The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

my first quilt.

When I went to #nccraftweekend at Dani's house, she taught us all the basics of quilting while making our table runners. I've now put those skills to good use and basically made a larger version of the same thing. I used this tutorial from Heirloom Creations which sounds a lot more confusing than it really is. You basically take an entire jelly roll and sew it all together in one long strip, on the diagonal (which was the most difficult/time consuming part of the whole thing!). Then you sew the ends together, again and again, about 5 times. I know - watch the video - it'll make more sense.

This is the only picture I took of the finished product and it is the dryer at the moment so I'll try to take more later.

My original jelly roll(s) were from Hobby Lobby and didn't have as many different fabrics as the ones shown in the tutorial above but it worked out pretty well. Chad had the nerve to say "I'm not sure I like the way there isn't a pattern" but I guess he didn't realize there weren't supposed to be. I did a simple straight line quilting across every other stripe and backed it with some plain blue fabric that my mom sent me forever ago!

I am so happy with it and can't wait to snuggle with it on the couch! Yay for a new skill and putting it to work. I can't say that you won't see some quilted Christmas presents show up here in January when I can post them! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

life changing.

Theodore Roosevelt is often quoted as saying "Comparison is the thief of joy". I don't know if he actually did because - well - I wasn't there but I get it. I really get it. I try hard to look at my life and be happy - and I usually am. I recognize my blessings - a job I love, a beautiful home with plenty of space for more people, a husband who loves me and serves me and puts "us" first, family and friends that care about me and are too numerous to count. I could go on and on. But there are those moments of doubt. The unhealthy, stealthy, slimy thoughts that bring on comparison: if I was thinner, as pretty as her, if we had kids and could afford for me to stay at home, if we had more money, more stuff, vacations when we wanted to...more, more, more...different, different, different.

And then a friend at work said something that changed everything.

"I'm jealous of your life."

I was shocked speechless. I even laughed it off next. We joked about how she even wants a husband like mine except for the turns-off-the-air-conditioner-whenever-he-can-to-save-money part.

Then I laid in bed and thought about it for hours.

Someone - who is beautiful, funny, smart, dedicated, passionate, with a smile the can light up a room, full of life, surrounded by people who love her - noticed MY life. I'm not faulting her for looking at me and being jealous, falling prey to the thief of joy. Please hear me clearly here.
I am using her words to call out my blindness.
Am I'm too busy looking at everyone else's life that I forgot to love my own?

My life.
She is jealous of my life.
Doesn't she know about the extra pounds and the dirty dishes and the dog hair tumbling down the hall? Did she not notice the unending To Do list and the bills that need to be paid and the half finished projects and the mess that is in my closet and in my heart?
But she saw something I haven't seen in a while.
My life - loved.

And then another thought:
Was it me? Could I have done something to make her see that I see my life as worth loving? What an unimaginable dream. Could I have built a life so full of love and beauty and surrounded myself with people who are passionate, caring, and loving, and been so loud about my happiness that she saw something in me that I didn't even see? Oh Jesus, please let this be the case.

Don't be like me. Don't let comparison thief away the beauty, the pleasures, the blessings - all meant for you. Don't let the feeds, the boards, the wanna-be-like-anyone-but-me's steal away your life. Live a life that YOU are jealous of; fill your days, your minutes, your seconds with a love of YOUR OWN LIFE.

I'll get to see her in a day or so and I can't wait to hug her. I want to thank her for helping me make a promise to myself that I will not let the beauty in someone else's life diminish the beauty in mine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I know I talk a lot about loving my job and I hope that never changes no matter where I work. It is weeks like this that remind me how blessed I am to be doing something that I love and believe in and that it also affords me the opportunity to get to do some really amazing things. It is almost funny how we talk about giving girls amazing memories/life experiences/"firsts" when in reality, sometimes we are getting the benefit of all the same things. I've been in Salt Lake City for the last 5 days for the Girl Scout National Convention. I went to the last one back in 2011 (it only happens every 3 years) in Houston, Texas, and this one was in Utah. I'll be passing to torch to someone else for the next convention in 2017 so this might have been my last one for a while.

We took 10 high school aged girls to participate in the Girl Scout Leadership Institute (GSLI) as a part of convention plus we had 2 girl delegates to represent our council. I am always thrilled that we have girls who are still interested in the Movement when they are in high school and it was a great trip. My co-chaperone - MPT - is always a riot to travel with and we get along just fabulously. We missed doing any sightseeing back in Texas so we weren't going to make the same mistake this time and got permission to stay an extra day. We filled that day with a trip over the mountains to Park City for a ride up the ski lift and then a trip over to Antelope State Park (in the Great Salt Lake) to check out the views - and free roaming buffalo!

I've never been to this part of the country before - flying over mountains, farmlands, the Rockies covered in snow, and deserts to arrive here. It was incredible. The scenery was amazing, the weather was perfect, and I am so thankful for the experience. So, ready for some pictures?

The Rockies.

Somewhere west of the Rockies. 

Salt flats around the Great Sale Lake.

MPT and myself with the outgoing National Board President, Connie Lindsey.

The Temple in Temple Square. The building to the right is the administration building that also hosts the twice annual LDS conference. Pics of that later but it is the building that we got a tour of on Saturday.

We pretty much missed the fall leaf changes over there but there were a few beautiful trees in downtown. 

This is the organ in the assembly hall for the LDS church. Might look familiar if you've seen any of their choir or Christmas specials. The auditorium seats 21,000 people. It was shockingly huge.

A view of the temple and city skyline from the roof of the administration building. 

Utah State Capital Building.

Our group with the giant trefoil.  It was a little sunny that morning so we're all a bit squinty.

Headed up the chairlift in Park City. I said on FB that I throat punched my fear of heights and it truly feels like I did. I won't be going skiing anytime soon but that thing was much higher off the ground than I thought it might be!

View coming back into the resort.

Don't think I'll ever need these folks.

The Great Salt Lake from Antelope State Park. 

A herd of roaming buffalo on the island at the state park. 
The views from here were unreal. 

It was an amazing trip full of memories and firsts and laughter. I always wish that my guy had been able to travel with me but I am even more happy to get home to him. I rolled in about 12:45am this morning and crashed, happy to be in my own bed. Back to the real world tomorrow so doing lots of laundry today. :)

Monday, October 6, 2014


I had an lovely weekend in NC with 3 hilarious and fun ladies. Dani invited us to come up and craft all weekend and we surely did! We made lots of fun projects, taught each other a few new things, and just generally enjoyed each other's company. Not to mention some delicious tacos at White Duck Taco Shop (so yum!) and finishing out the night with some sweet treats at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. So delicious.

 Danielle did "quilt academy" so we made small table runners...a project size that we could complete in one day (though it did require an after midnight bedtime). I'm pretty excited about this one, now shown on my dining room table. I picked all fall colors for one side and a light, green all over print is the backing so I can always flip it over for Christmas decor! I'm really happy with the way it turned out and now I feel ready to tackle something a little bigger. Chad wants to quilt too (don't tell him I told you) so it might be a fun project for us to do together. 

 We made these scrap wreaths on a core of pool noodle! (Shhh...don't share all our secrets). This is totally a Pinterest project and easy and fast to do. You could make a ton of them as gifts or for yourself (ahem...Katie) to match every season! Also a great way to use up scraps of fabric too. Everyone else did more colorful ones than I did but I like this B&W on my front door.

I taught "earring class" and while they made lots of fun earrings, I made a necklace and earrings for a friend at work. These are all even made on handmade earrings hooks, since that's truly a handmade gift!

We also made these fun string art things. Two other girls did words and one did a last initial that turned out SO STINKING CUTE. We all agreed that it looked like something from Antropologie and she could see them for a million bucks. This one is happily residing on my front porch. This is just a sample of one from another blog because mine has my house number on it. Sorry creeper.

I also taught them how to make the little pennant flags like the ones in my Etsy shop  (geez, I really am giving away all my secrets) but it was SO fun to see how all of theirs turned out. One of the gals even ingeniously made her to be reversible. It has two fabrics on one side, and two fabrics on the other side. I might be stealing this idea to make some for the shop!

Finally, we made these fun wrapped twine stars out of a bunch of old rulers that one of the girls brought. Sadly, none of us realized how much twine they would take so this again is a picture from the internet. In all honestly, this is about how far each of ours got on Saturday so we'll all be watching our weekly shows and spinning twine for weeks. I'll show it to you when it is finished. :)

I had such a good time that now I want to host craft weekend of my own. Looking at the calendar right NOW!

Friday, September 26, 2014


Always apologies for the silence on my end. Life has been busy - isn't it always - and I just haven't found time to write. I've still been sewing some...a few new things on the Etsy site and enjoying some sweet time at home in the evenings with my guy. I'm so thankful that he's been on first shift since about June. I'd forgotten in the 18 months prior what having a life, eating dinner together, and seeing each other's face in the daylight actually looked like. It is lovely and sweet.

Things are busy at work, gearing up for a new year of fun. I'll be with a group of our girls all day Saturday for a team building and training session prior to our National Convention in October. The 12 of us - 2 adults and 10 teenagers - are headed to Salt Lake City, Utah for 5 days in addition to our council's national delegates and some executive staff. Convention is always loads of exhausting fun. Its been a while since I've flown anywhere and almost exactly 3 years since I've had to fly while keeping my eyes on a pile of teenagers so it should be interesting/stressful/hilarious/educational.

I'm also looking forward to a fun craft weekend in Asheville with my sweet friend Dani + more lovely ladies. I've been pinning ideas to Pinterest like a mad woman and already plotting what craft supplies to take (all of them?). I'm super excited to get away for a weekend and just hang out. However, my good friend K is in the have-a-baby zone about that time so we'll see if the best laid plans include a trip back to Knoxville for a baby welcoming.

Chad and I have been talking to the pastor at our church about starting a college-aged small group for the folks from Covenant College who go to our little place on the mountain. Everyone seems to be on board and this Sunday is the last of 3 meetings at the church to see who is interested. There are about 6 girls who have been coming regularly so we are excited about getting it off the ground. It means we are committed to being there every Sunday night but I think the consistency will be good for everyone. Pray for us will you? This was, frankly, my idea first and Chad and I have prayed a lot about it before we jumped. I am a little nervous about being the role model, confidant, and friend to this group - I know how much grace I have been given and I want others to see that in me too.

My life is full and I am more aware than ever of the good parts and the time spent with people who mean the most to me. Maybe that is why words don't make their way here as often.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Been sewing!

I've been sewing a lot and I've added a few new things to my newly minted Etsy store.

Check it out at St. Elmo Sweetness.

Here's a few things:

I made 3 of these embroidered, free hand french knot things in 3 different sizes because I thought I wanted to hang them in the bathroom. I've changed my mind, due to them not fitting in the space like I wanted so why not sell them!

I have 3 of these little card wallets on there which are perfect to stick in your pocket and go! Fun patterns on each of them...

My current obsession is making these fabric pennants/flags. I have about 5 different color combinations on there with plans to make more. It is an easy way for me to get rid of my fabric stash and I've really been enjoying making them. 

If you want to purchase something, I'd love for you to (of course!). Since my 6 readers are also friends, use the "Friends15" code at checkout and get 15% off your purchase! Yay!

Friday, August 22, 2014

6 years.

We both agreed that it feels more like 3 years but 6 years has flown by.

This guy I'm married to...I can't imagine someone who would have fit me more perfectly. It is so amazing to see how our relationship continues to grow and stretch and change as the years go on.
I am so thankful for him... his calm nature (admittedly, bordering on TOO laid back sometimes) but providing the voice of reason when I get worked up about something...the way he puts his relationship with God at the top of his priority list and is constantly studying and reading the Word...the way he makes me laugh - and when I get to make him laugh and his face lights up.

I love being his wife. He is so consistent, kind, generous, and hard-working. He gives, gives, gives - expecting nothing in return.

So, a little throwback to that sweet day in the park by the river.

 I'm glad we had nearly 4 years of dating to decide that we wanted to get married. I'm glad that our marriage is built on a strong friendship - that we actually LIKE hanging out together and just being friends. I like that he rolls his sleeves up. I like that he lets me be silly and weird and loves me just the same.

As we have made it our sometimes tradition, we are going to take a picnic to the park and eat in the same spot we got married. I love this guy - and I hope we get 70 more years together.