Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratitude

I tend to prefer the word gratitude to thankfulness. Thankfulness reminds me more of a once-a-year obligation, or proper etiquette, or a brief note following a gift. Those things are good, but gratitude is a mindset, a daily lifestyle. When you're truly grateful for something, it lingers. It doesn't wax and wane based on your life circumstances that day or month or year. You feel it despite life's normal ups and downs, despite the everyday annoyances. It's a deep contentment in your soul that you can't help but dwell on when life slows down. That's how I feel about this guy:

I'm talking about the grown man here, not the baby. Though he's pretty swell, too. Check out that snarl!
I'm thankful for all the little things he does each day: The way he looks at me and tells me I'm beautiful no matter how many times I roll my eyes; How hard he works each day so that I can do my dream job, and how intentional he is about making time for family each day in spite of his busyness; How tender he is with our little son, and how sensitive he is to my needs at the end of the day. But, even on the days when our relationship isn't as picturesque and I feel a little frustrated, I am still so truly grateful, for his constant presence in my life. I am grateful to have a partner to go through life with. I am grateful to have a mirror reflecting my true nature back at me. I am grateful to have a picture of God's love and dedication towards me, when I can't see or feel God on my own, especially when He seems absent for months, years at a time. I am grateful for a husband who God uses to hold my faith together.


What are you grateful for in your life? And don't forget to read how some other folks are blessed! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Super Simple DIY: Homemade Cloth Wipes

For some reason, when I decided to do cloth diapers with baby O, I was like, "But I won't do cloth wipes because that's just crazy." Then every time I used a wipe I wanted to just drop it on the dirty diaper and throw it in the pail like you would with disposable diapers, but I had to put it in a separate trash can instead. If I used cloth wipes, I cold just include them in the diaper laundry that I'M ALREADY DOING. Duh. So I did a little research and found that I could use some stuff I already had around the house to make this happen. Decision made. I'm going for it.

Step 1. Gather up a couple of those precious receiving blankets that are clearly made for itty bitty tiny little infants, of which we have none (Hello 9lb. newborn!). If you were smart enough to not even get any of these, you can probably find some at a thrift store because nobody uses them. Or you can use whatever the heck fabric you want.



Step 2. Cut 'em up into wipe-size pieces (I got 12 roughly 7.5x9.5 in. wipes out of each blanket) and sew the edges so they won't fray apart in the washing machine. I did a zig zag stitch around all four sides of each wipe. Full disclosure: I didn't even know how to use our sewing machine until now, but this is a GREAT sewing project for beginners because it's simple and it doesn't matter whatsoever if it looks terrible. Of course, you could still make them look really cute if you wanted to.


Step 3. There are many ways to go about dampening cloth wipes, but I chose the spray method with a homemade Olive and Tea Tree Solution, since we already had all the ingredients on hand. You can find a ton more options here. For the Olive and Tea Tree Solution, combine the following and pour into the spray bottle:

1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp baby soap
a drop of tea tree oil

It sparkles like liquid gold when you're done!
Step 4. Throw the wipes into an old wipes dispenser for convenience sake and put it and the spray bottle near your changing station. Then you can just grab a wipe and shake and spray before each use.



Bam. Homemade cloth wipes. And I didn't even have to leave the house.