DIY Way To Show Off Your Vows

After a week of misunderstandings I realized I wasn’t acting the way I said I’d behave in my vows. I became obsessed with hanging them on the wall — but everything I saw looked too formal for our bright, wild house. I asked Matt’s aunt Naomi for help. An amazing artist, she condensed our lonnnnng vows to the core and created a visual poem on two pieces of paper. We were going to hang them up in two frames, but we were having a holiday party and I really wanted that reminder on the wall. I found a big frame and made a collage with some fun pictures and one picture from the wedding.

His vows:

7F198AF0-67ED-46E1-88F5-ABC0CD1CF7E0.jpeg

My vows:

9B78050A-9374-4B95-AF68-63B0FECFB2C8.jpeg

For the collage I used 1. one picture from our wedding, 2. a photo booth picture when we were dating and 3. a picture from my baby shower.

F376B6F8-F6BA-430B-9C4E-CCCFB9CFE32D.jpeg

The rest of the photos are of Elro:

1FBAF728-1715-4744-B2ED-84BA175E95EE.jpeg

119B7429-BC5B-4303-9CD3-ABFD61626185.jpegHere is how it looks all together:

0ED445D3-D2DD-4124-B3AD-AD65276DA2E7

I like how fun this is. It reminds me of our vows, our journey and our current life. ❤️ And maaaaybe it will remind me to be as sweet as I can be as often as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elro’s First Xmas

I’m sitting in my pajamas watching Die Hard (my nephews insist it’s a Christmas movie.) The gingerbread has been eaten, the Hallmark movies have been counted down and Santa is home at the North Pole. I have to admit I’m a bit sad. This was my favorite Xmas since I was a kid. Elro made everything so fun. So here are some of my favorite shots.

FD0344F0-1B8A-4E04-A95E-4A771A12B796

My parents, Matthew and I took Elro to the beach. I ran into the water with her and dipped her little foot in. That was a first for her.

A5896BB0-02A9-4318-9A78-56703F489678

Decorating was so fun. I made 95 percent of the tree decor. I did not make that gorgeous pine cone glittery wreath because I don’t work with glitter… it gets everywhere… and when I saw it went down 50 percent I snatched it up. I did make her unicorn 🦄 stocking.

B9FDFD43-19EB-46C6-A6AA-652C42E3460D.jpeg

Never thought I’d have a kid. Never thought I’d want matching pajamas. Things change! 🙂 I wrote them a book to read together and used Shutterfly to create it. Someday I hope to own a fancy printer I can make amazing things with. Matt made it such a fun day. I’m so grateful.

What holiday do I get to decorate for next??????

 

Hope you had a great holiday season.

Xo

Rae

 

 

 

 

 

Indoor Felt Garden

For Matt’s first father’s day I went a little crazy on making gifts. So much so that on his birthday, days later, I couldn’t think of any good ideas at all. 😂

I always use felt from Benzie Designs. It feels so good in your hands that using it is like therapy!

Matt is an excellent gardener and so I looked on the web and found some DIYs for a felt indoor garden. She was an infant when I made it so it has only been recently that I’ve seen her play in it.

CFAED516-031D-4383-A29C-FA9E8C761039

I didn’t find a DIY for flowers to go in and out of the fabric dirt. I made the flowers, glued them onto a green pipe cleaner and attached a little bag of roots that allow easy picking and planting.

A01E0443-98C1-45C5-A511-65B5D11EE407

3EFA99AB-82CC-4F1D-8565-E7A4145CFB3EC22BE4D3-9471-4E09-A22A-BCD765C2868EOh and there is a pink mouse named Nee Nee. 🙂

The DIY Only My Dog Likes

I had this “great” idea to make something like a busy board out of fabric.

1. I collected some fabric, an old blanket that was falling apart as backing and some contrasting fabric. 2. With the fabric right sides together I added the blanket. I sewed it almost the entire way around, leaving an opening so I could turn it inside out. 3. I sewed pockets into the fabric, then cut slits for each pocket. I used contrasting fabric to make the holes sturdier. Elro woke up before I was done! 4. I quickly hid some toys into the pockets.

F33F47A8-B36D-45F0-B682-1AE82B753F03

5. At first she liked it! 6. She was all smiles. 7. But then she found a cardboard box, fell in love with it and did not care about what I had just made her. 😂 8. So, noticing my dog had been watching the whole time, I put his toys in the pockets.

30213AB8-4362-4CF8-A6D2-3638E8834BC7

This is what happened next:

 

I’m glad my creativity made someone happy! ❤️

Our Tree!

This is Elro’s first Christmas — we’re an interfaith family — and I wanted a tree full of handmade ornaments. This included a lot of woodland creatures I made out of felt — from Benzie Designs because they offer the most amazing felt ever — pinecones painted white or gold, houses made out of paper and felt and ornaments made out of wood and photos. Here are some pics of Elro’s first Xmas tree.

diyornaments.JPG

1. Gold pinecone and a house made out of our wedding invitation. 2. Pinecone dipped in white paint. 3. This is the toy that I gave to Matt that came with a letter about starting a family. 4. Two examples of what you can do with wood and mod podge — one is Prison Mike, the other is a picture Matt took of a hummingbird moth.

woodlandcreatures.jpg

5. The woodland creatures started with this felt bunny. 6. The last woodland creature I made was this mouse queen tree topper. 7. I took one of Elro’s first (finger) paintings, cut it out to fit on a wooden circle and mod podged the heck out of it. 8. The pinecone elf family ended up on the tree as well. Here they are all together:

 

pineconeelf.jpg

My favorite thing to do as a kid was lie under the tree and look up at all the lights. I made sure to hang some of Elro’s favorite things (felt lavender) where she could bat at them. Pretty cute.

raerose.jpg

 

 

“Money! The Frankenstein Monster…”

“that destroys souls!” — Carlo, My Man Godfrey

Disability turns you away the first time. You have to document how, in my case, crazy I was, how unfit I was to be working. I got interviews from my friends, family and roommates. I read them. They all talked about me like I couldn’t do anything — which was true. Brushing my teeth was a win. I couldn’t afford my medication. I was a financial drain. I remember reading about me from my roommate’s point of view… I had no idea but every time we went grocery shopping I had an anxiety attack. I wasn’t even aware of it, but there it was in black and white. Disability turned me down — we hired lawyers and I won my case.

The awesome thing? I was able to heal. I didn’t have to worry about the cost of medication anymore, I could take it every day without worrying. I went to school. I took care of myself. I started to reset. To learn all the lessons you’re supposed to at that age. Without that support system I know I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I’m not on disability — my husband makes enough money that I no longer qualify for it. I’m still disabled. Somehow my OCD locked on to the thought that I had to make a certain amount of money a month. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had so many alerts on my phone for jobs from home. (Most of them are scams, unfortunately.) I stopped cooking, I stopped doing laundry, I just sat collecting jobs and job leads. I went to bed reading about it, I woke up and read my newest job alerts. It was sick. I didn’t know how sick until my husband came home with the baby. They had gone to get her shots. She didn’t get her shots. My husband’s face was frozen.

She had fallen off a four foot table. The doctor said he could take her to the ER or watch her. A doctor or a nurse called me every hour — asking different awful questions like, “Is there anything seeping out of her ear?” We were told to take her in if she stopped moving any of her limbs, if she stopped smiling at us, reacting to us. We were told to wake her up in the night to make sure she could still wake up.

I said all the right, comforting things to my husband. I did all the things the doctor said to do. But, I knew I was empty. I knew I had to scale back on the job crap and get back to basics. Get the house in order. Find some peace within myself. Stop hunting jobs and thinking that I’m nothing, I’m nobody, I’m no good without earning as much as my husband does.

Elro is fine. And I’m doing better. I’m trying to focus on love, home, and family. I’ve spent a lot of time decorating for the holiday season. xmasdecor

The reason I share this story is that making money and having a disability — it’s problematic for a lot of disabled folks for a lot of reasons. Making money is complicated in our world. But! It shouldn’t be the center of your life, the center of your story — or ANYTHING to do with your WORTH.

You are worthy. As is.

disability

 

A Dare

meetmymeds

I dared myself to embrace what gives me the ability to be a mother, a writer, a wife.

To SPELL OUT exactly what my body needs.

It made all the right people uncomfortable —

“You’re going to wear THAT In a holiday photo?”

YEP.

It made all the right people, the people in my life who have a chronic illness, say —

“Hell yes! Where do I get one?”

There is no shame in taking lithium! LITHIUM is not a bad word — it’s a freaking miracle! YES I’m going to wear this during the holidays because without them I’d be locked up! No tinsel, no tree.

I’m proud of myself for my consistency and follow through, proud of the (long af) journey to get diagnosed and proud to be exactly who I am.

You see me, every day, doing what I do — well this is how I do it.

These are the words I’ve been told to be ashamed of — but SCREW THAT.

That changes now. Get to really know me. Meet my meds.

If you want to feel how EMPOWERING it feels to proudly wear your meds across your chest?

I’ve teamed up with @spooniesistershop to create these awesome shirts to raise awareness of chronic illness, and break down stigmas about the medications that help us live our best lives. They are SUPER soft & comfy, and are completely personalized with your own meds that help you do what you do.

Use coupon code “POETRAEROSE” for 10% off your own “Meet My Meds” shirt RIGHT HERE.

 

 

bipolarmom.JPG

 

 

That Pencil

After my 6 hour brain surgery to remove a cavernoma in my midbrain, I woke up and remembered what the doctor had said — that I could lose some faculties from the surgery.

I tried to lift my leg. It didn’t work. I tried to move the other. I could lift it about an inch. Something was wrong with my eyes, too. What scared me the most was that I had trouble moving my right arm.

She was my age. I told her I didn’t want to try to write yet, because it would devastate me if I couldn’t. All those journals I used during my bouts with bipolar disorder saved me. She was nice about it and left me alone.

The next therapist came in sometime later. She did not seem to care – she wanted to know – could I write or not? She put paper on a tray and held out a pencil. It took forever to reach for it. When my hand got there, it wouldn’t open. My fist looked like a rose — a frozen rose or a rose made out of stone. I didn’t even know I was crying. I was trying to open the hand that had saved me again and again when I had nothing else. Finally the therapist had enough. She pried my hand open, closed my fingers around the pencil and asked me to write my name. With every effort I had I tried to write an ‘R.” I only made a tiny indentation on the paper. Nothing I did would make a bigger mark and it certainly didn’t look like a letter. Covered in tears now, I looked at the woman and told her to get out.

“I told you I wasn’t ready.”

I heard myself scream. “Leave.”

She did, but she forgot that pencil. I called the nurse and told him to take it out of my hand it out of the room.

It took awhile to stop crying alone in that room. Sometimes I think about that day, that hour, that moment. Sometimes it still feels like it takes something out of me.