The Unexpected Lesson I Learned at SNAP! 2014

SNAP! 2014

If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook you know that a few weeks ago I went to the creative conference SNAP! I bought my ticket knowing I would have barely 2 month old but I figured at that age they sleep all the time. I just assumed that I would wear the baby in my DIY Moby carrier or pouch sling. Or that he’d sleep in his car seat in the stroller and be passed around. But after Teddy graced us with his presence it quickly became apparent that that was not going to happen. My baby doesn’t sleep during the day. Okay every once in a while he might but it involves lots of holding, bouncing, walking, shusshing, and constant but patting. Even still the process is peppered with crying, not exactly the ideal temperament for toting to a conference where people will be trying to learn and network.

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Some of Teddy’s fan club: Bev from Flamingo Toes, Vanessa from Our Thrifty Ideas ans the support team, my mom and daniel.

But so many of my friends were coming and I was REALLY looking forward to this weekend. So I set out to get this boy to sleep. We tried antacids for his reflux (it made him even crazier), I cut dairy (it seemed to help a little), but in the end I just knew if I was going to do SNAP! it would be mostly without him. So I set to pumping like a mad women since all the milk I had stored up in anticipation of the event was full of dairy and in the end my mom and hubby really took charge. Watching the baby most of the day and then camping in the hotel lobby in the evening so that I could feed him a little and let my friends who were planning on seeing him snuggle.

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With Susan from Freshly Picked

I am so grateful to have a supportive family that really made it work for me because I really loved my time at SNAP! 2014. Yes I adored meeting so many incredible brands. I soaked up tons of knowledge for improving my blog as well as my clothing business. I had a wonderful break and time with friends that most of my interactions are limited to online. It was everything I hoped it would be.

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The lovely Lindsay from The Cottage Mama ans Melissa from Melly Sews. And how cool is that backdrop made entirely of foam!?

But the lesson I value most? That I am a very blessed cookie. I was on the brink. When people say newborns are hard they aren’t kidding. In fact the word hard is not strong enough. I was so burnt when I went to SNAP! it wasn’t hard at all, I wanted, needed the break. But being away really gave me an appreciation for my mom and husband who bent over backwards for me to have those experiences and for my silly sweet boy. It was just the medicine I needed hearing my friends, online acquaintances, and new contacts gush over him and want to hold him. It reminded me that I don’t “have to” hold him all the time. I “get to” hold him all the time.

rae gun ramblings at SNAP! 2014

And I type this coming off of one of the harder days so far with Teddy and I’m still beyond deprived of sleep. I still need breaks (or at least showers). And I definitely need help from the grandmas (goodness I need help) but the reality check that I got from those few days at the conference really gave me a much needed perspective fix. I’m not sure if that made sense but I’m grateful for it any ways. So as we head into Mother’s Day weekend. Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who have been through this. I 80% believe you when you all say it will get better and I will survive but until then I’m happy to have this unexpected lesson from SNAP! this year.

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Bev – Flamingo Toes, Michelle – Delicate Construction, Carolina – 30 Minute Crafts, Angie – Country Chic Cottage, Michelle – The Scrap Shoppe

Melissa – Melly Sews, Amy – Positively Splendid, Lindsay – The Cottage Mama, Stef – The Girl Inspired

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


Sewing Summit Take Over by Sew a Straight Line

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Hey, Rae Gun Ramblings fans!  I’m Sabra from Sew a Straight Line and I’m a stalker.  Not a very good stalker, but hey! This was my first time and Marissa was my first stalkee.  Lemme explain.

Last weekend was Sewing Summit, a conference held in Salt Lake City for sewing people of all types.  Marissa, me, and a bunch of other super fun girls going to the conference, got together via the interwebz and decided it would be fun to partner up and follow each other around, documenting the others’ experiences.  Marissa got stuck with me as a follower.  I don’t know how she felt about it, but I was super excited.  I had hung out with Marissa this past spring during Fabric Weekend 2013 and fell in love with the girl there.  Marissa is sweet, funny, clever, and genuine.  She is the girl you want to hang out with and stay up late with, laughing, talking, and eating the best junk food.  Marissa is good people.

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And she’s crazy talented.

Both Friday and Saturday of the conference, Marissa showed up in handmade dresses.  But I only knew they were handmade because I follow her on Instagram and on her blog.  The dresses look amazing in person.  First, the green one, the one she calls The Princess in Another Castle Dress.  It’s kind of adorable.  And I’m pretty sure I was with her when she bought this fabric during Fabric Weekend.  SAS, Marissa? (Marissa – Yup) And then the dress she wore the second day, her All the Stories Dress.  Incredible.  I love how seamlessly (sewing pun. ha!) she works literary references into her designs.   Talent.

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But sometimes she stands on the furniture.

And here is where I explain why I’m a horrible stalker.  I got very few pictures of Marissa during the weekend.  And it was my *job*!  But we were just having too much fun and learning too many awesome things for me to think about taking out my camera.  Thankfully, I did get a few.

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Like this one of Marissa being a better stalker than me.  This was after a blogging class we took together with Bernina.  Marissa and I were in a couple blog-geared classes together.  Marissa also took a few creative sewing-related classes.  She’s already shared her Polo Refashion and the blouse she sewed in the classes at Sewing Summit.  She also took a fabric printing class.  I took the same class on a different day.  And guess what?  We were both horrible at it!!  Well, at the carving  the stamps part anyway.  Twins!  I’ve also heard that Marissa attended an inspirational Creative Journey lecture with Susan Petersen (Freshly Picked) and Leanne Barlow that she loved.

All in all, I think Marissa had a great time at Summit.  I mean look at how excited she looks here:

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I loved being with Marissa at the conference and my only regret is that I didn’t get more pictures of and more information on her to share with all of you. She and I actually live fairly close to each other, which means that if I apply myself, I should be able to really hone my stalking skills and find out even more juicy dirt on this book-reading, adorable-clothing-sewing, good-food-eating  woman.  How creepy exciting is that?!

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Thanks for letting me tag along with you  last weekend, Marissa.  You are amazing and beautiful and so much fun!  Can’t wait to see you again!


And be sure to check out some of our other blogger friends who have taken over each others’ blogs!
Marissa of Rae Gun Ramblings writes about Melissa of Melly Sews
Jessica of Running with Scissors writes about Jen of I Candy Handmade
Melissa of Melly Sews writes about Justine of Sew Country Chick 
Caila of Caila Made writes about Veronica of Sew Very
Veronica of Sew Very writes about Jessica of Running with Scissors
Justine of Sew Country Chick writes about Caila of Caila Made
Jen of I Candy Handmade writes about Sabra of Sew a Straight Line


National Infertility Awareness Week: My Story

(my husband being the best uncle in the world)

I’ve felt the need to write about this for a while. I’ve wanted to but at the same time I didn’t. So this is going to be a bit disjointed because while I’ve learned to become open about my baby making troubles in real life, on the blog I’m stuck. I don’t know everyone who will read these words. I can’t read your expression and stop and walk away and I’m not going to lie I’m usually not a hyper-sensitive person At.All but with this stuff just the littlest bits of insensitivity or ignorance can get to me.

So let me first ask. IF YOU ARE GOING TO COMMENT ON THIS POST OR TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS PLEASE READ THIS POST IN ITS ENTIRETY BEFORE DOING SO. This post is going to be pretty personal. I know it’s not usually how this blog is so if that doesn’t interesting you I totally understand just check back next week and I’ll be back to my crafty bookish self.

So this is my story.

We got married. We worked hard. We were happy. We finally moved into a house big enough for us and to start a family. I was winding down with my grad school stuff. So we started trying. I was on prenatals, I charted faithfully, temperature every day and other fertility signs (if you haven’t read Taking Charge of Your Fertility it is quite great).

And then we had a baby. We saw a heart beat. And then we didn’t.

I was about 10 weeks along when I miscarried. We hadn’t told our parents yet. I had bought picture albums and scheduled a dinner with all of them since all four of their birthdays are around the same time. So I sat through this awkward dinner knowing I had lost the baby that was the whole point about the joint birthday thing. I took the medicine that was supposed to help the process finish but my body just wouldn’t and after watching a close friend go through months of waiting for her miscarriage to be complete we decided on a DNC.

But that was real surgery and I flipped out and decided we HAD to tell our parents and our sisters. How would it feel if they found out, how would I have felt, what if something worse happened? And it’s not that we didn’t want their support. Both our families are GREAT I just felt like I had robbed them of a happy couple of months and was just going to spring “dead baby” on them. Plus I was a mess to begin with. So Daniel went on his own to tell my family and to tell his family. I just couldn’t. But it’s not like he wasn’t rocked by all of this also, he was.

And I knew that miscarriages were common so as awful as it was, being a worrier I was as ready as you can be for that. I threw myself into my work and became obsessed with reading getting lost into other people’s stories. These dystopian tales where the kids dealt with such unfairness and such horror. If they could make it through so could I, right? It was still horrible and hard but I was coping.

And we started trying again as soon as we got the okay. I was still charting. But nothing happened. I got on vitamin D and that helped with the depression that had crept up. Months and months passed but still nothing. I told the doctor something was wrong but she said I was just being impatient and we knew everything worked already and just to give it time. I gave it a few more months and then basically said either we start testing or a find a new doctor (it had been over a year).

We did lots and lots of tests. And I was normal. He was normal. The doctor wanted to put me on fertility meds. So I found a second opinion. Apparently there was one test she didn’t run a Post-Coital test. Basically they swab the woman after sex to see if the sperm are still going strong. And low and behold I was a sperm killer. So glad we switched doctors.

So with some intervention we should be able to easily by pass the issue. But here we are on round 4 of intervention. The second level even. And I’m here waiting to see if that feeling I suspect is me about to get my period is real or just my paranoia.

And that’s we’re I am. I’m mostly okay. Really. But those first few days that I get my period I’m a mess. But it’s hard because I know it’s okay for me to be sad but then I learn of a friend who’s sibling or parent has just died or an acquaintance who’s kid is extremely sick and I feel like an ungrateful, selfish, jerk for hating my life in those moment.

Because I don’t hate my life I have a good life. But it does have this huge sucky part to it. And I just don’t know how to feel. That moment when the doctor told us she couldn’t find a heart beat is one of those freeze frame moments that pops back up and attacks me out of no where. And when I get my period each month it’s like torture. Conveniently after the miscarriage with every cycle I get full on pregnancy symptoms as PMS. You can see how I could commiserate with my YA heroines. I don’t wonder why this last try didn’t work. All I can think about is why I couldn’t just have that first baby. We had one! But it is what it is.

I think the hardest part (at least today) is that I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL. I’m scared to hope. But scared not to. I’m a very religious person but I don’t believe that this life is fair and I know I have been blessed far far beyond what I deserve already. It might sound crazy but really I don’t know how I feel.

What I do know is that I can let this sucky thing consume me and rob me of everything else that is great or I can walk through it continue to try and figure it out and focus on the things that I have. My family, my nieces, my business, my amazing friends, this wonderful online community, my books, and my husband who is more perfect for me than I could have ever dreamed, and much more. And so while sometimes I feel schitso -in one moment so sad and in the other so happy- this is me right now. Most of the time I genuinely enjoy my life, I’ve learned to relish the little things like the triumphs and loves of my silly books. And when it’s a rough day I let myself feel it. I call my friends I hug my husband and nieces. And we continue.

I hope that I will be able to share good news on this front some day but PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME FOR UPDATES EVEN IF YOU’RE REAL WORLD FRIENDS AND FAMILY that’s something I just have a really hard time handling. I have a few people that I found can ask and I can go to without falling apart and that’s just what works for me. When there is news worth sharing don’t worry it will be shared. And I trust that we will have a happy ending. Whether it’s that I can finally be content not having my own children and just being an aunty or that we do eventually have kids (however that may happen) I don’t know. Even with that uncertainty I really do have a lot and I know it.

About Me Party: I Love…SLC Eats & A Love Story

It’s time again for an About Me party. This month we are sharing things/people we love. I love a lot of things books, my naughty nieces, my cute hubby, but some thing I haven’t posted much about is my love for eating out. When you work at home all day as the musicmaker and I do it’s really nice to go out at the end of the day. Plus it means one more day that I don’t have to deal with the dishes.

So today I want to share with you some of my favorite Salt Lake City eateries. But I share these not only as recommendations I share them because they’ve been places where I’ve made some wonderful memories with Daniel and friends. It may sound cheesey but they are almost a part of us. If you find yourself here in my neck of the woods, not only should you let me know I’d totally love to meet up if I can swing it, but you should definitely check out some of these tasty places.

Red Iguana – We go a few times a week. They catered our wedding rehearsal dinner. We love it here so much. They have top quality delicious, crazy flavorful food and top notch service. They pride themselves on both and do not disappoint. Their specialty is mole (kind of like Mexican curry). The first time you go tell them you are new and ask for the mole sampler (it’s free) that way you can see what the different moles taste like. Our favorites are the enchiladas suizas, enchildas amarrillas, and puntas de filet. A few times they had fresh trout with mango mole and it was ah-mazing! The portions are generous we usually order one plate and a side of refried beans to eat as an appetizer with the complimentary chips and salsa and we are stuff (Daniel and I eat more that most people we’ve ever dined with just for a reference). Our bill is usually around 20$ including a tip. They are always busy if you go during dinner especially on a weekend plan on a wait. We usually go later after the normal rush and we get in quickly.

Bombay House – If you like East Indian food you should definitely go to the Bombay House. We have only been to their SLC location there are 2 others. Everything we’ve had has been so so good. When I lived in Thailand there was an Indian area and the food tastes just like it did in the restaurants there. This is the place that my girlfriends and I go when we hang out but Daniel has a new obsession with Indian food so I’ve happily eaten here a lot. We usually order the assorted snacks appetizer, the Malai Kofta (my all time personal favorite, it’s vegetarian and I usually MUST have meat but this is SO good) and either briyani chicken or a coconut korma but I’ve also had their saag paneer and it’s really good. Vegetarian and vegan options. We leave with leftovers. Our bill (for two of us) is usually around 40$ including a tip.

The Pie Pizzeria – I used to live walking distance from the downtown location. When Daniel and I dated we he’d come by and we’d often walk there late at night to have slices that they sell during lunch and after 10 pm. We’ve made friends with staff some who remain and some who move on and there was a time when they’d start filling a diet coke when they saw me walk in. Out of all the restaurants I feel like this one played a role in our love story (I know cooties). If you know people from the area The Pie is kinda famous. Giant pizzas, obscene amounts of cheese and toppings. So yummy if you’re up for grease. This is a destination that people who move away make a point to visit when they are in town, plus it’s fun. We usually get the cheese pull-a-parts with a side of blue cheese for dipping (it already comes with ranch and maranara) or a 12 inch pizza our favorites are the Chicken Ranch, the Buffalo Chicken Ranch, or we just get it topped with Itallian Meatbals. I also really like the Wise Guy Calzone. And I get it all with a side of blue cheese because I love their blue cheese. We get out of there for about 15$ or less. Plus they are open late.

MacCool’s Public House – Super tasty Irish food. They have half price appetizers on Tuedays and their apps are really good we really like the finn skins (kind of potato nachos), calamari, mussels, BBQ wings and lamb quesadillas. We usually get 3 and are full. Their lamb ribs are to die for but they aren’t included in the discount. If you are there during breakfast I definitely recommend the Plough man’s breakfast, huge yummy and sharable. And if you’re not their on a Tuesday my favorite is the Buffalo Shepard’s pie. So yummy. We spend about 20$ to 35$.

Little World – A great dive-y Chinese restaurant. Their Assorted Meats, Seafood, and Vegetables is a favorite and plenty to stuff two people. They have the absolute BEST wontons I’ve EVER had in my life. I like it in the wonton noodle soup (with duck if they haven’t run out). We also really like their hot and sour soup and their shrimp balls. They have the American chinese-y stuff like general Tso’s too if you have pickier companions, everything I’ve tasted has been yummy. Depending on how piggy we’re feeling we usually spend 25$ or less.

Bambara – Finally if you feel like a little splurge or something fancier we love Bambara in the hotel Monaco. The food is fresh and always delicious. If you sit in the right spot you can even watch them prepare it. It reminds me of all the yummy food I see on Hell’s Kitchen but without the drama. We usually split a main dish and an appetizer. They serve complimentary breads with this yummy hummus spread (I’m a tad obsessed with the foccacia with the hummus combo). Everything we’ve had has been great. We probably spend 50$ to 60$ .

And a bonus we’ve only been there once but we fell in love with Communal in Provo, Utah it’s got all the awesomeness of Bambara but their yummy bread isn’t served with hummus. They suggest you order a starter, a protein, and a side which we did and we paid 60$ and I think we got the most expensive things in 2 if not all 3 categories.

This post got SUPER long so I decided that I really needed to break it into two parts. I’ll be sharing some of our favorite dives in the next few weeks.

Okay now it’s your turn let’s see your Love… posts. They can be new post or anything you think fits under this topic! I know I went kinda crazy on mine but you can do something short, long, a list, just a picture, no picture, anything.
And here’s the next few topics:

  • February: I love …
  • March: Pet Peeves
  • April: Quirky but True
  • May: Away from Home