Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
and a very...
Happy New Year to you!

began with a bang and a finish...

Day One ~ Partridge in a Pear Tree
Design: The 12 Days of Christmas 
Designed by: Satsuma Street
Day 1 Sastsuma Street

You may view the Satsuma Street Designs at her Etsy shop: HERE

What drew me to these 12 designs was the vibrant colors and whimsy in each square. You must admit that it is a bold move on my part and definitely a divergent color palette from anything I stitch. It just struck me and I bought it immediately. I will be making mine into ornaments for a 12 Days Tree....but the pattern also comes with a 12 Day Sampler and it is darling as can be as well. Check Satsuma Street out!

Today is the solemnity day of....Mary, the Mother of God.
And my family was there bright and early at sunrise mass this morning, it was a small intimate affair this morning with less than 30 people in attendance. But I always feel it the only way to start the "new" year off. So I woke everyone up and off we went. Here is a snap of the bright eyes and busy tails after we got home :)


Keith is absent...
because he is at his parent's home this weekend helping to take care of his father (who suffers from Parkinson's and dementia) while his mother recuperates from knee surgery. I'm praying that she makes a quick recovery and that we can run down some help for her inside the home after she's fully well. She is the only caretaker (besides Keith and his brother on very rare occasions). I and my sister-in-law are trying to find an adult sitter to sit with my father-in-law so that Keith's Mom can get out and have a little "me time" every other week. I think my sister-in-law found help through Respite Care and I think I have a lead on another one to fill in some holes if needed above what Respite will cover. It's so hard on her and I feel so badly for her. We are about 1 1/2 hours north of them so the only thing I can do long distance is call every day to let her talk (really I just blab on and on and try to make her laugh). She calls me her "guardian angel" and before we left after celebrating the holidays with them she gave me this:


It made me cry. 
Sometimes, I just feel like I take and take and never give back adequately. She wanted to give me this and I know that doing so gave her pleasure, but I don't expect anything from calling her. I call her just because I love her and I feel badly for her situation and I know how it can be when you have no one to talk to and you are stuck inside four walls. I think we all can understand that. I wish I could do more for her. I've offered driving down every other week to sit with him while she goes out, but she won't hear of it. So I'll continue talking to her. God gifted me with a big mouth and the gift of gab...and I use it well! I'll have to give her some hip boots to wad through all the BS. 

So I'm not making any plans for 2017 about stitching...
because let's face it folks, I never do a dip diddly thing that I "plan" at the first of the year.

of course I'd like to be healthier in 2017, but I try really hard for that daily anyway, fail a lot at it, but I try - hard. So I'm not going to write anything about losing weigh and yada yada. 
I'm just going to do it.
  (where's that Nike swoosh sign, when you need it?!)

The one true thing that I want to work on in 2017 is my personal relationship with God.
I struggle in my faith walk. I really do. My struggle is implementing quality time just listening to God. I follow Him and I know that I'm just where He wants me to be and doing just what He wants me to be doing. I know that firmly. The problem is: I don't spend enough time with Him. The last few weeks, I have began to try to mentally stop myself being negative. I sometimes don't always say out loud negative things (although being completely honest I say plenty of negative things out loud too), and I do think negative things a lot. 
Negative things about myself, negative things about others, just plain negative, hateful things. 

So in an effort to be the best me I can be....
I've started stopping myself when I start to think something negative - whatever it may be - and I think about it, why am I thinking this way, what can I do to change thinking this way, would God want me to think this way? No, He wouldn't - so I say a prayer and stop the negative voices in my head and think only of something good. Sometimes I've even written down things in my journal to pray about to stop my negative voices.
You know, I don't know if I am just a negative Nelly or what...but doing that - stopping yourself from negative talk, thoughts, actions....that's hard. But the good news is...I'm getting faster at recognizing my descent into negative hell and stopping myself.

Do I have bad days? 
Oh yes I do! Yesterday was one. I was having a mad day. Maybe its hormonal, I don't know. But I was plainly having a mad day. I was in the thick of being a negative Nelly. 
This one wasn't doing right. 
That one wasn't doing right. 
I wasn't doing right.
 Nothing I did was right.
Nothing they did was right.
How can anybody stand me? (I think this a lot)
 After thoroughly immersing myself and steeping in negativity for a couple of hours I stopped myself. Why was I doing this?
Simply put: I was feeling sorry for myself. Why? I don't know necessarily other than the let down of the holidays. Keith was gone. The kids were all at work or doing something with friends. I was alone in my house with my cats (and they didn't even want to be around me)  and everyone else was having a big life and I was alone.
I said a prayer
  (and ate a piece of cake...which didn't help and made me feel worse...but I did it and I'll admit it)

I said another prayer and then I listened to a video that a friend sent me, that in reality spoke to the chaos in my head and the chaos that reigns in our world, but also spoke to the solace to which I cling.
If you'd like to watch the video, it is: HERE 

So my prayer was answered.
And I picked myself up by my boot straps, with my head and heart firmly planted in positive, reaffirmed my path and marched on. Because you know, we all make mistakes and I've got to learn (finally) the lesson that I have struggled with for 46 years: I make mistakes frequently, but that doesn't mean that makes me less. In fact, through the hard knocks of just makes me a better me.

Make straight your paths....
and walk with me.

Until the next time lets....
Stitch all the things.
Think positive.
Love one another.
Love ourselves.

(and I'm going to add one for me: only eat cake once in a while...)

Love and Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx


  1. Happy New Year Vonna: 2016 was a very good year 2017 will be even better.
    I was surprised when seeing you were doing the Satsuma 12 Days, they are vibrant colors but such sweet designs.
    I love the Jim Shore Angel, your Mother-in-Law was so sweet to give that to you.
    I have chaos sometimes I say the Hail Mary and she answers with a hug to my heart.
    I will put you on my Prayer list, I am sometimes negative but have gotten better with Prayer.


  2. Happy New Year to you and your family. I find you one of the most refreshing and kind people I "know". Don't be to hard on yourself. You are the Mother of 4 amazing children and with all the other things you do in your live I find you absolutely amazing.

  3. I really needed to read this today Vonna. Thank you for sharing such a personal post. You are a blessing to many.

  4. Here's to new starts in all things! (I wrote a pretty snappy blog post about it all last night.)

  5. Happy New Year greetings, Vonna! I can relate so much to your post and I can tell you that I struggle with the negativity that comes from within. I'm still a work in progress. What a beautiful angel given to you! Thinking of you!

  6. I so loved your post. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I pray that 2017 is a year of peace and great joy for you and your family...for us one and all. Blessings. ((hugs)).

  7. Anonymous2:15 PM

    I got the email this morning on this post and had to run over and tell you, yes you are where you are supposed to be cause you spoke directly at my heart today. God sent words through you to speak to me and for this I am thankful. Thank you and please keep on sharing and being the honest person you are, there are those out here listening and watching even if we don't always comment. Blessings to you.

  8. I love you, Vonna! What a sweet gift from your mother in law. That really was precious. I will be praying for you this year. I struggle in the same area, but God can change us both as we try to speak and think with love instead of being negative. Hugs!!

  9. The Satsuma 12 days ornaments as well as her others remind me a little bit of Barbara Ana Designs. Looking forward to seeing them stitched and finished into ornaments. Happy New Year!

  10. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings--I share many of your thoughts and feelings. We can be each others sounding boards and encourage each other

  11. Gee whiz.... it seems the Lord uses you in so many ways to speak truth to all of us in blog land. Thank you for posting your inner most thoughts. What a blessing you are.

  12. Can't say enough how much this post resonates with me. Thank you once again Vonna.

  13. You are my inspiration. I too, need to spend much more time tending to my faith walk and being less negative. I was having a bad day today. We are home from spending 8 days with our grand children. We live far from them . It is making me question our retirement choice although I love the beauty of the NW. I guess this gives me lots to pray about. My best wishes to you and your family for good health and happiness.

  14. Hello Vonna. I love the new 12 days, the colors are beautiful. Thanks for the faith reminder. My mind and my heart can be negative too. I will work on that along with you. I watched the video and I had forgotten that this is 100 years since Fatima. Thanks for the reminder. Happy New Year to you and yours.

  15. Nice job on your 12 days. I'm so sorry to read about your FIL. I hope your MIL can get some much needed respite. Happy New Year!

  16. Thanks for another year of 25 Days of Christmas!! Loved today's family selfie and self reflection--a message we all need to send ourselves again and again. Hope to work with you for finishing projects again in 2017!! Nicole

  17. Thanks for another year of 25 Days of Christmas! Loved today's family selfie and self reflection--a message we need to tell ourselves again and again. Hope to work with you again for more finishing in 2017! Nicole

  18. Happy New Year. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today. The holidays threw some curveballs my way this year too. Nothing that touches what you have been going through, but I am just glad that they are over. Thanks for the reminder that I too, can be negative and need to work on that. I am sending you a huge virtual hug. Because sometimes a hug from a stranger can be welcome too.

  19. A lovely project to start the new year. A lovely gift of the angel from your MIL.
    One of my friend is in the same position (her mother has Parkinsons and now dementia). It's getting very hard for her father and difficult for her as it's about a 5 hour journey by car. She now flies up far quicker, but she does have a husband, children and grand-children of her own, so she is torn between them all.
    I'm going to work on my positivity this year and try not to moan too much.

    Happy New Year!

  20. Vonna, we all have those days - you are not alone. It's good that you noticed that you were being a "Negative Nelly" though. Some people don't & they continue to waller in it. Just remember, negative energy can spread like a virus. :( People with negative thoughts will be attracted to you & then you'll NEVER get out of that mess! LOL Prayer is good. Just hand it all to God - I'm sure he's heard worse! LOL

    As far as your MIL, just show up at her house. I know she tells you not to, but she probably feels guilty about you driving 1.5 hrs. If she won't get out of the house, for some "me time," you can just visit. Having a live person to talk to would give her a little bit of a refresher. Think back to when your kids were little & a grownup would come to visit, or your husband would come home. How excited were you to talk to someone about grownup stuff? :) Or you could get together with your SIL & double team her. One could stay at the house & the other take her out... get a manicure, take her to get her hair done - go out to eat! Just something to get her out of the house & have some type of normalcy. If just for a bit. You have a sweet heart & good soul Vonna. That's why I like watching you - you're funny, helpful (to us non-creative people) & positive in your videos. Sending positive thoughts & prayers y'alls way :)

  21. I love your life goals. Being positive is so important. Not easy. Important. You can do it! I have faith in you.

  22. Vonna, thank you for being so honest and open. I definitely have those bad and mad days too, and the negativity etc. It's so good to hear how you deal with it all. I admire you so much. You are so giving and caring -- just your MIL is an example, and so wonderful. Happy New Year to you and yours -- may 2017 be the best year it can be for you!

  23. My heart goes out to your MIL and to all of you as you try to support her. Life really brings trials to test all of us. So many people have expressed how much that they were glad that 2016 is over; it really seems like there are so many people in a crisis or suffering in some way. I truly thank you for your post today about negativity as I also need to work on this. I think that negativity sometimes comes when we are having feelings that we don't like or don't want to have such as loneliness, anger, sadness, depression, etc. so we strike out at others to try to make them feel bad in the same way. I agree that it is so easy to jump on the negativity train, but that ride always ends up making us feel worse, rather than better. I am joining you in trying to stem my negative thoughts and words; I don't want to make others feel bad. I also need to spend more time reading my Bible, and time with the Lord, not just my left over time either! Hugs and caring thoughts coming your way for each day; one at a time.

  24. Happy New Year!

  25. Happy New Year. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your life and faith. It reminds me that I need to make more time in my life for the important things. I hope that you are able to sort out respite care to help your mother-in-law. Dementia is such a cruel disease without having another disease alongside it.

  26. your cookies are phenomenal - I didn't get to post on that post. my DH got sick on Christmas Eve and I followed on the Wed after Christmas - NYE was still iffy but we are all better now. I did start Snow Place like home on one long piece for NYE/NYD - had no brain power for anything more. I don't like your blog posts where you talk about how horrible you are and how you don't do things the way you should. I frankly don't know anyone else I admire more as a good Christian, devoted mother, wife, relative, friend, mentor, teacher, cross stitch rock star, floss tube diva - shall I go on ??? please don't run yourself down - it makes me sad. You are someone many people known to you and unknown to you hold in high esteem. all the best in 2017 - Mel

  27. Vonna, You are the 'truest' person I know. So open, honest, and faithful. An inspiration.

  28. Always enjoy reading your blog. You are giving in more ways than you know. Thanks for reminding me that I have a personal relationship with God and that it always needs work. You are truly a Guardian Angel.

  29. Happy New Year Vonna!

  30. Thank you so much, Vonna, for sharing your goals for 2017. I, too, struggle with my faith, spending way too much time trying to understand rather than trying to just believe and breathe. I know this has alot to do with my negativity as well. I just wanted to thank you for your post - I usually feel so alone in these kinds of battles. God bless you and your beautiful family. Love your blog and videos.

  31. Vonna, I think I have only commented once on your blog but I had to say I totally understand what you are going through. I have been struggling with my relationship with God for the past year. I don't know if it is tied to hormones and soon to be empty nest when my son goes off to college this fall but I have to fight being negative and snarky all the time. I know the only way to really change is a heart change so that can only come from spending time with God and the Holy Scriptures. We are new converts to the Catholic church from a very active protestant life. That is a story I won't share here but I do think confession is something I need to be more diligent about. Every time I have gone I have left with such a tangible feeling of God's love for me and that He knows my weaknesses more than I do and yet there is Mercy. Mercy is an amazing word that I am just now exploring with the help of the Divine Mercy Cenacle that meets at our church. When I pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet I am humbled that I am praying not just for myself but for God's Mercy for everyone everywhere. This is something I am just exploring in my personal life so I don't have the answers just know that little by little I am being transformed. I need to stick to it though and allow the time to pray the chaplet to take priority. I don't have any thing to say that you don't already know but that God loves you and somewhere I think in Isaiah? He says that He looks over us with singing and that we are the apple of His eye. Need to find the reference. Anyway the point being He just wants to be with us and love on us.

  32. Love that Jim Shore piece--what a great thing your MIL gave to you! You have a very kind heart. We are human, not perfect. For YOU to be having such times of negativity, I would check out the possibility of peri-menopause. It seems women are younger and younger these days, experiencing the symptoms of menopause. I know I went through it at 43! And then again, ten year later, because of the breast cancer...after I was finally past the original mood swings! I think it could somehow be related to things we are eating... tho you will find many different opinions about the cause. I was blessed in that my sister is an herbalist and provided me with a proprietary formula that took away the mood swings and hot flashes! I do not think you are a bad person to have an off day or to be angry/moody/etc... You are just a child of God, living your life the best you can! Jesus took time away from his life to pray too! It's a good thing! I am thankful for you and all that you do for the stitching community! God will bless you, over and over!

  33. I forgot to say that I love Satsuma Street designs, just because they are a departure from the other designers that I also love! I have done the Chicago one for my son, and have two autumn ones and the San Francisco one in my stash, to be done! They are enjoyable, quirky and bright! Hugs!

  34. I understand about your father in law. My dad had Parkinsons's and dementia and I was his full time caretaker for about 4 years before he died. I literally didn't have a night out with my family (dinner, movie, that kind of thing) for 4 years straight. It was painfully hard. But I don't regret taking care of him. We did the best we could with the situation.


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The Twisted Stitcher