Monday, November 19, 2012

Changes coming....

Hi, case you didn't know, I have a NEW space!

Mattie Mae Designs has become a very big part of my life, so I decided it needed a space of its own, so I'm proud to let you know that I'll be blogging at - we have a blog section, as well as a shop section!

I will not be updating here anymore, so if you want to keep up with us, you'll need to visit us HERE!

Thanks, y'all...hope you like the new place!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Matilda Jane Clothing trunk show!

Hi, friends! I wanted to personally email you all and let you know about a fun event that I’m going to be hosting.  On Saturday, November 3rd at 6 p.m., I will be hosting a Matilda Jane trunk show.  
Now, those of y’all that know me, know that I’m addicted to this clothing line.  Like, seriously addicted. And for good reason, y’all!  Their items are some of the most well-made items I have ever seen.  Annie Louise loves to wear her MJ pieces because they are fun, comfy (no itching, heavy pieces) and she looks adorable in them!  The women’s line is amazing, too – lots of eye-catching pieces that look great dressed up OR down.  
Matilda Jane is definitely worth every single penny invested in it, PROMISE!
I’ll be hosting a show for the 4th release…if you’re not familiar with Matilda Jane, they have “releases” where they release new pieces to go with their entire fall line.  So, at my show, you’ll be able to order pieces from the 4th release, as well as from the previous 3 releases.  I’ve ordered something from each release, and it’s so fun to mix and match items from each release!
If you're a local gal and would like to attend, leave a comment with your email address, and I'll get back to you with all the details.  If you're not local, but you still want to join in on the fun, leave a comment with your email, and I'll let you know about the ordering process.

I love to endorse companies that I love and respect...and Matilda Jane is DEFINITELY one of them!  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

talking about our loss.

I can remember seeing that faint line start to appear.  Oh, my word…I could not believe my eyes.  It was so faint…if you squinted your eyes, you couldn’t even see it.  My heart began to race.  
We had obviously wanted a baby, but were we ready?  
Of course we were.
Cue the excitement and tears and so many emotions.
Doctor’s appointments to schedule.  Blood to be drawn.  Due dates to write down in the calendar. 
I bought a pregnancy journal…some might say it was too soon, but I couldn’t resist, I wanted to write down every single thought.
We told our parents a special package was being delivered to their house.  A picture of a positive pregnancy test tucked into a priority mail envelope.  The tears, the hugs, the well wishes…more than we could have hoped for.
That joy and happiness would soon be replaced with an overwhelming sense of hurt, paint, shame, hopelessness...for we lost our baby all too soon.  April 18th – my due date would come, but there would be no baby.
This was a pivotal moment in my life – the first time in my life when I can remember turning to scripture for help.  For hope.  For joy.
A friend gave me the book, “I’ll Hold You in Heaven,” and it saved me.  I now know that one day, I will hold that precious baby again, I will cover him or her with kisses and love, and that empty feeling in my arms will be replaced.  God had special plans for my baby and for me.  Although I may not understand these plans…they are HIS plans.  
I still cry and mourn our sweet baby, and that’s okay.  April 18th will never be just another day for me, and I will never stop talking about our loss.
I think it’s so important that we talk about these babies…that we share our stories and our losses.  My sweet friend, Melody, is hosting a special sale at her shop for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month – please read the details HERE.  Consider purchasing one for yourself (even if you haven’t lost a baby) and purchase one for a friend or family member…her nest jewelry is so beautiful and lovely!  

I wear my nest ring daily, and I get comments on it all the it so much!
Thank you for letting me share this story, and I encourage you to share yours, too!
I sought the Lord, and He answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered from shame. 
- Psalm 34: 4-5

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hiding behind my blog.

I’ve been writing, or should I say, trying to write and keep up a blog for over 5 years.  I started as a means to keep a memory book for B and myself…a way to document milestones in our new marriage and to get things out of my head and heart and on to “paper.”   Does that make sense?  I wrote it for myself, and didn’t even realize that other people actually read it.  
Anyways, I have always talked openly and honestly about my blog, and family and friends know I have one, and they oftentimes read it (or I hope they do).

I post on my personal facebook page when I post something new, and I let all of my twitter followers know, too.
So, why do I get that whole deer-in-the-headlights look when someone says to me, 
I read your blog.
Oh, gracious.  Insert frightened look + lots of stuttering = the reaction you’ll get from me.

 It’s not that I don’t want you to read it…I do!  I love getting comments and emails and questions, I really do.  It’s just that I really don’t know what to say when someone says that to me.

This blog has been my hiding place for so long – where I go to pour out my feelings and fears and dreams and hopes.  And I do it behind my nickname of “LeeLee.”  I do that partly because of past experiences I went through because of my blog (my character being questioned) and partly because I kind of liked living these two separate lives.  
But attending Influence (and I’m sure any blogger conference) inserted this magical connector between those two lives.  As Jessi from Naptime Diaries wrote, “the internet is real!”  And she was so right.  
You have no idea how surreal it was to finally connect with these women that I felt I knew so much because of their blog/online space, then to realize that they are in fact, a real person, not just a blog I read!  It kind of felt like a dreamland at first...

I think sometimes I hide behind this blog – here is where I really share my story.  Then when someone approaches me about my blog…I freeze up.  I go blank.  I say nothing.  I don’t share.  I let the words that flow through me so easily on my online space get blocked out.  
Why is it that I can share so much about my faith on my blog (hiding as LeeLee), but as soon as God gives me the opportunity to show them in real life that same goodness, I trip over my own words?

I don’t know if there’s a definite answer for me on this matter.  I know for sure it’s something that I’m working on every single day.  I’ve been praying for God to give me the words He wants me to say when someone approaches me.  I’m praying that I wouldn’t be shy and hide…instead, that I would be bold, brave and courageous.
I think I'll begin with a simple "thank you."
(side note: please do not be afraid to approach me and say "I read your blog." 
I promise I won't be too terribly least I'll try!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Facing my fears.

If you’ve been on my page more than one time, you probably have heard a thing or two about our Annie Louise.  She’s our wild, independent and sassy 2-year old.  
And she’s adorable.
I love watching her explore our world…and oftentimes, I’m a little bit jealous.  

Because she’s fearless.  
She’s sees something she wants, and she goes for it – no matter if it’s the milk jug at the top of the fridge, that Barbie doll that’s trapped under the laundry, or the mini marshmallows that I try to hide, but she always finds them.
She goes for it all.  No inhibitions, no excuses, just pure excitement.
Me, on the other hand?
I’m the complete opposite.
I write down my lists…lists of pros, of cons, of things that might happen.  I list outside forces that could affect my decision, what other people might think about me.  Blah, blah, blah, blah.  The list never ends.
And most of the time? I choke.  I back out.  I give up.
Then, the worst thing happens…I regret.
There isn’t a worse feeling (to me) than regret.  If only I had…I wish I would have…things would be so much different if I had…

I know that I can’t really face all of my fears all the time.  But, I do know that I can face some of them most of the time…with a little help. 
For, I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. – Isaiah 41:13 
Today is a new start for me – a more bold Lena emerges.  I’m ready to attack those fears and do it with Him.  
I’m ready to tell that little voice inside me that says "you can't do it", that he's wrong.  I’m ready to pray harder than I’ve ever prayed before…to have the Holy Spirit move in and through me.  
Are you ready? Who’s joining me?  What fears have been keeping you from reaching your fullest potential in Him?  
Let me pray for you and let’s do big things for Him starting now!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An attempt at my Influence recap.

Well, here goes my first attempt at an Influence recap post.  And I'm not even sure what I really want to say.  I haven't opened my journal full of notes and thoughts.  I haven't sent follow-up emails to my stack of business cards.  I miss having a late night pizza party and laughing until I cry with my roommates who felt more like sisters to me.

I haven't really even started to process the trip as a whole.  

To say I had a great time would be an understatement.  I went with no real expectations of what kind of trip I would have - I didn't really have an agenda or a list of goals for the trip, either.

I knew I wanted to smile lots, hug even more and meet some pretty awesome women.  Oh, and wear something cuter than business attire for once.  Well, as you can see from all my photos from instagram and twitter, I have a ginormous smile on my face, and I'm standing next to some pretty awesome gals - most of them received a bear-hug from me before we took a picture.  Oh, and I got to wear my cowgirl boots for like 3 days in a row.  Mission accomplished.

I learned oh-so-much.  My brain is working overtime, y'all.  I have my list, full of goals and dreams.

But more than anything, my heart is full.  Even though it was overwhelming and at times, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, everything made sense on Saturday night.  To close out the weekend, we had an hour of worship.  And it was heavenly.  Nothing else mattered to me at that moment.  All the times I heard "you're not good enough", "no one is listening to you", "you don't matter" - they were all wiped away and replaced with "you are mine and precious and you mean something." And that's what Influence was all about - to make much of Him and to spread the good news.

I know some of you were following the #influenceconf, and you saw the same good news this weekend - through pictures and tweets and saw a group of women radiating the love of Christ.  If you don't believe me, check it out yourself.

myself + mama pea = pure joy, y'all!

One of my favorite bloggers, Sarah Matheny/Mama Pea (who I totally love and nearly peed my pants when I got to hug her neck) said in her own recap:
"And this inexplicable moment.  Right now.
When I feel both hollow and full.
When I am sad to have left but overjoyed to be home.
When I feel like I have nothing left to share, but hear Him saying, “I’m not done with you yet."

I love those words, because she is so right.  So, I'm at the end of my sharing (for the time being), and I'm waiting, waiting to see what He does...and I cannot wait!

some of my favorite pictures from instagram...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Silent Auction for the Turners

I am just returning from Influence Conference, and I'm planning an entire post dedicated to my weekend. But I had to help out with this special project when I heard about it. 

The blogging community is so amazing...especially in instances like this for the Turner family.  I cannot imagine losing my precious husband, left to raise a daughter on my own.  I think it's amazing that everyone is coming together to help this family, and I knew I had to be a part of it.

So, here's the item I'm auctioning off.  If you're interested, leave a comment with your bid.  Bid increments should be increased by a dollar (i.e., if the person before you bids $9, you bid $10).  The highest bidder will receive a PayPal invoice once the auction is over on Friday at midnight.

custom initial or name onesie or shirt from Mattie Mae Designs
Estimated value: $26
You are bidding on a custom, hand-appliqued onesie or t-shirt.  
You have the option of choosing either an initial, monogram or name.  
Examples of each are below, and they can be made for a boy or girl.

Thank you all for your generosity in helping this precious family.  
Happy bidding!