Monday, October 7, 2013

Not really she who pushes

And just like that, the girl whom I blogged about in the previous post will be here in two weeks, God willing. She has a name now, Merris Caroline, and an absurd amount of clothing. She is already a most beloved little sister and her big brothers...well, two-thirds of them, begin their day by figuring out how many more days until she arrives. When your birth will be by scheduled c-section, it makes a countdown a little easier.

 This will, again--God willing, be my fourth c-section. It used to really bother me when I would read the birth stories of women who labored and persevered and surrendered to the pain and then were rewarded with their beautiful baby being pressed against their chests in sweet victory. They were very active participants in their child's entrance into the world and got to experience the heights of despair and then rapture as their pain culminated in a joyful, wonderous result.

 I, on the other hand, just lie there. Strapped down. I feel a little tugging, a little pressure. I stare up at the bright lights and try to stay in a sacred mind space, which is harder to do than you might think with the doctor and nurses chit-chatting about their weekend and Sunny 99.1 playing in the background. Within a few minutes, I hear a cry and a tiny little head pops up from behind the curtain. Hello there. Nice to meet you. I lie there a while longer while my internal organs are replaced, my incision restitched, and I glance over at the nurses busy ensuring that my child is as ready as he can be for this next leg of the journey.

 But as I was reading in the Psalms the other day, a verse I've read many times struck me in a new way. Psalm 22:9 says, "Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts." So really, it's not about me nor is it about the kind of story I emerge from the hospital with. Maybe the mother's role in childbirth, no matter how active or passive, is not really the point? We have a picture in our head of what we think we want or how everything should go, but ultimately, it is God who takes us out. So it's not really she who pushes, or she who is cut open, but God, who shows mercy.

 So, the tiny little girl who has, by far, outkicked her brothers, will be taken from the womb on October 21, 2013 by her Creator, although it will look an awful lot like a obstetrician pulling her out and lifting her up to be be seen by very grateful mother. The One who thought her up and called her by name and was nice enough to let her parent's feel like it was all their idea will make her trust him. And I will give thanks for this glorious birth story "for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name." (Luke 1:29)

Friday, June 7, 2013

We're having a girl!

Did not see that coming. What the hell-o kitty? I just assumed this baby would be a boy for several reasons. We have 3 of them. We have a ton of boy paraphernalia already. Life is already a little crazy with lots of potential change approaching. I just thought God would want to streamline things a little for me. I know boys. I get boys. Yes they are loud and full of energy and rather rough. And dirty most of the time. But I adore being a boy mom. I could just envision my little boy band all lined up in coordinating khakis and button up oxfords.
And then I am laying on the table in the doctor's office having my ultrasound. We see a beautiful head and a four-chambered heart and two sweet little feet. Everything is looking great. Then the technician starts pressing harder trying to get a good shot. She scrolled around a little--I kept thinking, "we'll it's got to be there somewhere. He's a boy. Where is it? I seriously don't see it." And then she said, "it's a girl!"
"Are you kidding me?"
"No." Ultrasound ladies never kid.
I was stunned. Kris was grinning smugly. He knew. Mainly because he figured a boy would be the obvious, easy, simple route and hello--it's us. Life rarely ends up being obvious, easy, and simple so of course--it's a girl!
She is, right now, nameless. I have my pick (which, sadly, is not Elinor.) But her daddy doesn't feel the same sense of urgency I do to make a decision. This is not unusual.
The boys are very excited about their little sister--the notable exception being Simeon--who only wanted a puppy. But he'll come around. I hope.
Here she is at just a few days shy of 20 weeks. (Isn't she lovely?)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sample Sale!

In an effort to maintain a great selection of Noonday samples, I've decided to part with a few items and hopefully make room for a few more.  Many of these items are currently offered on the website but a few are discontinued.  I have listed all of the pieces at 40% off the retail price.  They are all in great condition but since they are samples, they are being sold "as-is" and I can't offer any refunds or exchanges.  If there are any notable flaws, I will disclose them in the description.

All pictures and descriptions are taken from the Noonday Collection website.  You can view additional pictures of each item or check out the items that they are paired with there.

I'm listing each piece as a seperate post, so if you see something you want, comment on the picture with "SOLD" and your email address.  If you are local, we can make arrangements for pick up and if I need to mail it to you, I can invoice you via paypal.

Happy shopping!

Stacked Arrows Necklace

Retail: $39  Sale: $23

Stacks of arrows point you in the right fashion direction!

Handmade by a fair trade artisan group in India that creates avenues of employment for the economically disadvantaged.

17"-18.5". Composed of brass. Brass will oxidize over time and tarnish with wear. Handle with care. 

Packaged Pretty Earrings

Retail $38  Sale: $23

Hammered gold wire packages our individually handcrafted paper beads for a fun play for your lobes. This piece is handmade by African Style, a group that Noonday Collection helped launch in Uganda. 

jones design journal

Retail: $22  Sale: $13

One of our favorite bloggers, Jones Design Company, collaborated with us to bring you an inspiring spot to record your dreams. These journals are made from handmade cotton paper by one of 6 women who reside in a northern Indian slum. The income they earn from this has been a game changer for them. They contain 48 sheets, for 96 pages of writing space. Each journal is 5" x 7". Paper is made from recycled cotton. Each journal has a photo and the story of an artisan who made it on the inside back cover, along with Jones Design for Noonday Collection. LIMITED QUANTITIES AVAILABLE. 

Evening Horizons Necklace

(Gold beaded necklace only.  Top tagua seed necklace not included)

Retail: $42  Sale: $20  (currently backordered on website)

(over 50% off!) Dress it up or go casual, this rainfall of golden beads flows along azure and cobalt threads to stylishly grace the neck.

Handmade by a fair trade artisan group in India that creates avenues of employment for the economically disadvantaged.

22" long. Composed of thread and brass beads. Brass will oxidize over time and tarnish with wear. Handle with care. 

Circles Forever Bracelet-Silver

Retail: $25  Sale: $15

Hammered and welded circles made of brass wrap into an elegant, modern cuff and measure 2.5'' wide and 2.25'' deep. The Ana art Group is a family owned artisan business that receives a living wage for their work and is certified Fair Trade. "I had been working in this art for 10 years before I learned about fair trade. I now work only with fair trade buyers, I charge more for my products, and I finally can enjoy my work," says Naseem, on the artisans based in Delhi. 

Beaded Statement Bracelet

Retail $26  Sale: $16

Each bead is handcrafted from recycled paper and then strung to look like many bracelets. Choose from a variety of color ways. Wrap your wrists in love; each bracelet measures about 3'' wide, and stacks between 1.5'' and 2.5'' high. Handmade by African Style, a group that Noonday Collection helped launch in Uganda. 

Breezy Ikat Scarf

Retail: $42   Sample Sale Price: $25

Light-weight cotton is hand woven to create a breezy statement wearable any time of year.

Handmade in the Guatemalan highlands by artisans who earn a sustainable living by keeping a traditional artform alive.

38"W x 42"L. Composed of: Hand Woven Cotton. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Minted Necklace Winner

And the big winner is comment #18 (adjusting for duplicates/replies) Alli!  Yay Alli!  I will have that pretty little necklace sent to you ASAP!  Congrats!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Noonday Blog Train!

It's kind of like Soul Train. But different.

During the month of January, thirty-one of the Noonday Collection Ambassadors are hosting a giveaway on our respective blogs.  That means the odds of you wrapping up January having scored yourself a little Noonday treatie-treat are very good indeed. I'll list the blogs at the bottom of this post so you can avail yourself to all of the opportunities to win.

Recently, I posted about how I got started with Noonday Collection.  It's a moving tale and why the Lifetime Movie Network hasn't called asking me for the rights to my story so that they can turn it into a miniseries I'll never know.  It is a beautiful story in which I utter the words, "well. if I totally hate selling this stuff and quit, at least I'll have a ton of jewelry."  I say touching things like this often.  Delicate and heartfelt.  I can't help myself.

BUT, I am pleased to report that I, in fact, love being an Ambassador.  (And having a ton of gorgeous, fair trade jewelry at my disposal ain't killing me either.)  I love that I get to represent the artisans and tell their story to the women who will wear their creations.  I love that I get to use words like "purpose" "redemption" "hope" and "dignity" on a regular basis as I share about the effects Noonday Collection has had around the world.  I love the time I put into planning, scheduling, presenting, ordering, and traveling does not drain me, rather it fills me up.  I love that I work for a company that understands making a difference and making money are not mutually exclusive.  I love that the distance between me and some of the most forgotten places on earth is about as long as a strand of beads.  I love that every stitch sewn, every seed strung, and every thread woven, points to a day when hunger ends, tears are wiped away, and "all the sad things become untrue."

And I love that I look freaking awesome in my Cascading Falls Necklace and my Embellished belt. I mean, let's just be honest, shall we?

One of my favorite parts of being an Ambassador is that moment when I share about a certain piece of jewelry or a certain artisans story and the eyes of the person I'm speaking with light up.  Because they get it. They get why their purchase matters and why it is so important to stand behind these women and something as simple as wearing a necklace really can change lives.

Like the Minted necklace, for example.

First of all, could this color BE more beautiful?   It's mint for crying out loud.  It looks amazing with so many things--especially coral.  Is "mint and coral" over?  Or will that always be the most perfect combination on the face of the earth? It's still all over Pinterest so I think we're good for now.  The Minted Necklace is made in Uganda by Noonday Style, a group started by Noonday Collection which affords the artisans, not only a dignified job but also, for some, an opportunity to buy into the company.  Equity stake in a business.  Not.even.kidding.

And I am giving one away! (YOU get a necklace and YOU get a...oh wait, I'm not Oprah.  There's just one. But you should totally buy one if you don't win because did I mention the "mint and coral" situation?)

To enter, please visit Noonday Collection and then come back and tell me which piece is your favorite.  Make sure your email address is included in your comment.  I'll pick a winner next Wednesday, Jan. 23rd.  Good Providence! (I'm a Calvinist, we don't say "good luck.") (I'm kidding.) (No, I'm not.)

Here are all the other blogs featured this month--enjoy blog-hopping when you should be cooking dinner or watching your children! (I hear people do that--can you imagine?)

Jan. 1-
Jan. 2-
Jan. 4-
Jan. 5-
Jan. 6-
Week two: 
Jan. 7-
Jan. 8-
Jan. 9-
Jan. 10-
Jan. 11-
Jan. 12-
Jan. 13-
Week three:
Jan. 14-
Jan. 15-
Jan. 16-
Jan. 17-
Jan. 18-
Jan. 19-
Jan. 20-
Week four: 
Jan. 21-
Jan. 22-
Jan. 23-
Jan. 24-
Jan. 25-
Jan. 26- 
Week five:
Jan. 30-
Jan. 31-

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WYPW: Two Down, One To Go

Grace Upon Grace

Multiple Children Close in Age 101:  If one gets sick, they all will. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually, it is going to happen.  And the moment you think you've dodged the bullet, you find you have not.

Asher threw up Sunday night.  He was fine Monday--played, ate, a little tired, but overall it seemed as though he was back to his old self.  We assumed it was something he ate since there were no other symptoms.

Last night, I was driving home from meeting Cheryl and I called Kris to see if he needed anything (I'm incredibly thoughtful.)  He informs me that Simeon had thrown up four times after I left.  But he let me enjoy my time away (He, too, is incredibly thoughtful.)

My point:  I am waiting for Jude.  It will happen.  He will wait til all the sheets are clean and floors have been mopped and everything has been Clorox-wiped.  But it will come.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yours, Mine, and Ours

About two years ago, Cheryl and I went to our first (and one of the first I'm pretty sure) Noonday trunk show which was being held to raise funds for the adoption of Missy's daughter from Ethiopia.  We were really excited to find out what Noonday Collection was all about and for the chance to support two great causes--the artisans in developing countries and adoption.

I don't remember when I began learning more about the concept of "fair trade" and the impact that our dollars can make, for better or worse.  I knew Noonday Collection would be something I would love because I was (and still am!) in love with the "not-just-for-profit" business model.  I have no background in business but this merger of capitalism and compassion excite me to no end.  The idea that a company will just say, "Yes, we want to make money, preferably a lot of it.  But we will only be as successful as we are responsible" is just so inspiring.

I toyed with the idea of becoming an ambassador for Noonday from the beginning.  But I had three kids three and under and launching a business just didn't seem feasible.  About a year later, I explored the possibility again.  I hosted a trunk show (and I used my hostess rewards to buy this little beauty)

This necklace will change your life.  I kid you not.

I decided I still wasn't in a place to commit to being an ambassador.  The boys were a little older but it still felt like too much to take on.

Fast-forward one more year.  Our family was going through a lot of personal and professional changes.  We started homeschooling.  I started teaching a class for our homeschool group.  I had a 5, 4, and 2 year old.  So I picked THEN to become an ambassador.  Makes total sense.  But it has been a great decision.  I absolutely love that I get to combine so many of my interests into one role as an ambassador.  

That's my story.  And it overlaps with their story--the artisans around the world that have found sustainable income because we sell the products they create.  I put on my beautiful salmon-colored Cascading Falls necklace from Ecuador and all of a sudden, it becomes our story.  I wear it--not just on me, but in me.

As the picture above states, when you give a gift from Noonday Collection, you really do give twice.  Your friend, sister, wife, or daughter receives a beautiful piece of jewelry or a fun new accessory, and the artisan who made it receives dignity, hope, and--let's not over-romanticize this--a paycheck!  Do you like pay day? Yeah, me too.  Them, too.  Universal happy dance.

And just in case you need a few suggestions, here are some of my favorites.  The above necklace of course. A little pricey BUT you will wear that thing non-stop.  So divide $138 by a million to arrive at the price-per-wear and you will find that it's practically free.

Also, the Bethe Rope necklace and Organica necklace (both shown here) are lovely and versatile.
The Bethe is made in Ethiopia out of recycled artillery.  What's it called when you take something with a history of pain and sorrow and make something beautiful out of it?...oh yeah--REDEMPTION.  Now available in necklace form.

This one is sort of the quintessential Noonday piece.  It is well-made, well-priced, and goes with everything.

 The Beaded Statement bracelet is made in Uganda.  Oh the amazing stories coming out of Uganda. 

Another favorite, go-to, wear all the time with everything piece is the Angelica Infinity Scarf.

The infinity scarf is my favorite because it is such a no-brainer to wear.  You throw it on and it looks cute with no complicated tying or arranging.  

Ok, just one more.  Tea towels!  The absolute perfect gift.  If you have a kitchen, you need a tea towel. It says, "I'm cute but I don't try too hard."

This is the set of three but you can order them individually.  

I could go on.  But I won't.  You have until Sunday, the 16th to order.  So go ahead--give twice.

PS--There are a LOT of companies out there with the same heart and goals as Noonday.  If this isn't quite your aesthtic or products that fit your needs, I encourage you to look around until you find one that resonates with you.  A few places I can recommend are Trade As One, Ten Thousand Villages, and Krochet Kids

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