Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why am I blogging?


I recently had a chat with a good friend about blogging, the act of blogging rather. How it's essentially laying yourself bare to the world. Opening, not just yourself, but your family and everything that you as a woman and head of your household represent, to criticism, snarkiness, and judgement.

On the other hand it also opens you up to this crazy beautiful world of people you never would have had the chance to know otherwise. Blogging allows you to use your voice (for good or bad), and to put that voice on a platform for the world to hear. It's super scary and exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.

As a writer, blogging is definitely the most vocal thing I've attempted thus far. I literally have a trunk full of journals, scribbles, and scraps of paper; I've been chronicling my story since fifth grade. I have all of it. Every note, every sad teenage poem. I've let certain people read it over the years, but never attempted to publish or share my words on this sort of level. I'm afraid. I'm afraid you won't like me. That I'll misrepresent my family, friends, and most importantly, my faith. It suddenly feels like a huge responsibility.

So I asked myself, why am I blogging? What am I trying to gain from this? What's the point?

Me being me, I pulled out one of the three journal/notebooks I'm currently keeping, and started to jot down some answers to these questions. I bought a special notebook specifically for my blog, it's got this wicked cool woodgrain paper (in keeping with the woodgrain background I've got going on here). I can literally find any excuse to buy new paper products. Isn't it pretty?

Anyway, I initially began blogging to help bring attention to my brandsy-newsy Esty shop. Why I started the shop is fodder for another blog post entirely, but it basically boils down to wanting to make pretty things and give glory to God in the process.

The goal was to drive traffic to the shop. That was it. And then I started writing. I've had this image in my mind of the 'The Hipster Housewife' and all of a sudden, I could be her. I am her. It's almost like getting to have an alter ego. And it frickin rocks.

I really feel as though I have something special to offer, and I promise when I figure out exactly what that is you guys will be the first to know! Ha! No, seriously though, I can see and feel God at work in my life right now. When I shared my testimony (which you can read here) I received such amazing encouragement and feedback from friends and strangers alike. It was a powerful experience, hearing how my story has blessed others. I pray that it will continue to be shared and read, and hopefully show who Jesus is to someone who may need him as much as I did then. As much as I continue to need him everyday.

I was fooling around with my new calligraphy set last week and I opened my bible for inspiration. My eyes fell on this verse :

"I waited patiently for The Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the muck and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." Psalms 40:1-3

This is my prayer for the 2014. I have resolutions and to-do's; lists and new apps. But this is my true hope for the New Year.

So yeah, that's why I'm blogging. To take that risk and share my life. To close my eyes and take a giant leap of faith, knowing he will catch me.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Not a fashion blogger

I love clothes. Call me vain, I like to look good. I paitiently waited for, missed, and then stalked the Isabel Marant for H&M collection on eBay; spending an absurd amount of money on a sweater. But I'm not trying to be a fashion blogger. In fact, I'm not entirely sure what kind of blogger I'm trying to be as of yet.
I don't really qualify as a mommy blogger, because my kids are "just my step kids". I won't even dignify that one with a response, but, yeah, there is that.
I'm not a foodie blogger, because me and the husband eat box pizza from Shaw's every single Sunday after church. Without fail. I love to cook (and my family will tell you I'm rather good at it) (hashtag humble brag) but I know the box pizza is a disqualifier.
I'm not a DIY blogger, because while I do love to create, make, and generally make art, I don't want to give all of my secrets away. Haha! No seriously.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I'm not not trying to be a fashion blogger, I promise. There are plenty of ladies out there with quite a bit more money and better photographers (the hipster husband took these charming snaps) who are far more adequately equipped to do the fashion-blogger-I'm-so-fabulous thing. But! I got new boots!
They are Kork-Ease and I'm in love. My mother in law saw them on one of my pintrest boards with the simple title "obsessed" and got them for me for Christmas.
As you can clearly see, I had a hard time taking this little photo shoot seriously. Our farmers porch is pretty though, isn't it? And I know my hat is fabulous. The dress is from the Narciso Rodriguez collab at Kohls, the bag is vintage Coach, and my awesome new winter jacket is from this special website for us tall ladies, LongTallSally. Granted, it's a silly name, but being 6'1 makes finding anything that's long enough quite a trick, so it's been a lifesaver as far as coats go.
This is my 'I'm a fashion blogger' pose. It's painful, I know.
That's it for today. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for the outpouring of love and support I received in response to my testimony I shared yesterday. Seriously, isn't God just amazing? I know it's a jump to go from a post like that, to one like this, but that kind of randomness is to be expected if you decide to follow along here.
I suppose eclectic is the best word for it.
It's just the way I operate.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Testimony : Saved by Grace


Ok, deep breath Christine.

I've gotten some negative feedback about portraying my 'perfect, little life' here on the hipster housewife. In fact, one guy called me THE c word (yup, that one). So I thought I'd share how I got here. It's an ugly story, I'm just going to warn you up front.

I got up in front of my church a few months back, palms sweating, and ready to throw up, and read them the following transcript. I couldn't look up from the page, and I cried throughout, but God got me through it. I shared it then because I hoped I could help someone, and I wanted to give all the glory to God for literally bringing me back from the dead. I do so now for the same reasons.

"I was raised catholic, church every Sunday, CCD, from baptism all the way to conformation. At face value we were a "good catholic family" but I never really got the feeling that my parents were particularly religious. As a child it was just something I had to do, it was boring and never really meant anything to me. By the time I was a teenager I completely hated it. Around 16 years old I became very rebellious and flat out refused to go. I hated everything I thought my religion stood for - all the persecution done in the name of the church throughout history, the help-meet role of women, and the idea of original sin. I wanted nothing to do with the cookie cutter type of religious conformity and assumed perfection I saw at church.

During this period in my life I started to do all of the typical rebellious teenager stuff, experimenting with drugs, defying my parents, skipping school, but for me it didn't come from a typical place I guess you could say. I've always felt somehow broken, or flawed, and it just seemed to get worse in high school. I began seeing what became a long string of different therapists, was a diagnosed with a number of different mental health issues, and given any number of different psych meds to 'fix' me. Of course nothing did fix me and it just made everything so much worse. I tried to end my life and was put in the hospital. Then I would get better for a little while, spiral downward again, and it would start all over.

After a years of this type of behavior I was a mess. I managed to keep my life together to a certain degree but I was never really ok in my own skin. I ran around like a crazy woman in my early twenties, and my drug abuse continued to escalate. I was constantly searching for that thing that would make me ok, that elusive thing that would fill the gaping hole in my chest that I walked around with everyday. I would stuff whatever I could into that hole to make myself feel better, and sometimes it would work for a little while, but it always came back bigger than before.

This entire time I knew I was on the wrong path but I just didn't care, the pain I felt overrode all that. I just wanted the pain to stop. I just wanted to feel like a regular person. I started reading about all different kinds of pagan spirituality in kind of an obsessive manner, searching for an answer. I thought I had some kind of a relationship with god, like I could be in the woods and this sense of peace would come over me and I knew it was him, but it wasn't enough for me. I wanted answers to unanswerable questions. I just wanted something, anything, to really satisfy me.

And then I found heroin. And I thought it was my answer. It satisfied me... until it didn't anymore. This drug completely destroyed my life, it took everything from me. It turned me into something I could no longer recognize. I did horrible things and had horrible things done to me. In the course of my addiction I actually died several times, no breath, no heartbeat, and was brought back and it didn't even scare me. All rational thought was just gone. My existence revolved around using. My best friend from the time I was 5 years old overdosed and died. It didn't stop me. Nothing could stop me. I was in and out of detox and rehab, in any number of programs. I was considered a hopeless case, the lowest of the low, living in a constant state of desperation.

On Easter Sunday three years ago I was in a program. They brought us to church every Sunday and for the first time I actually enjoyed myself in a church. It was unlike any I had ever been to, full of life and music and joy, much like this one. I wanted to learn more and while I was there I did. I wish I could say I got out of that program and stayed clean and life was great but it didn't happen like that. I got out and stayed clean for a little while, but eventually that little voice started back up in my head again 'come on you are doing so good, you can handle it, you deserve it, it will make you feel better'. This time out was much worse. I ended up homeless and in jail. Being in jail was my hitting rock bottom. My dad made me stay in there for a few days to teach me a lesson before bailing me out and it was the scariest, most degrading thing I've ever been through.

I got home and I was just not ok, serious major depression. I again tried to take my own life. My dog is actually the one who saved me, he alerted my parents by barking by my door. My father still call him his hero dog. I was in the hospital for almost three weeks. I came home and I stayed clean, but I was very depressed. I started to work with a great therapist and began to get marginally better.

Then my aunt Lisa asked me to come to new hope christian chapel with her to see the teen challenge women speak. It was like the church I visited when I was in the program, but better, my family was there and people reached out to me. I didn't realize it then, but god was calling me. I kept coming back and my life was changed forever. It sounds dramatic, and I guess it is, but it's also true.

God has taken me from a broken, ashamed, hopeless drug addict and has turned me into a whole, happy, loving woman with a beautiful family. When I gave my life to Christ the desire to use drugs was literally lifted from my body, it's just gone, that in and of itself is a miracle, but he has done and continues to do so much more for me. I am not even remotely the same person I was two years ago, or even one year ago. When I first started coming here I walked around thinking - what if these people find out out about me? What if they find out that I'm not like them, that I'm actually a bad person? The shame I felt, I can't begin to put into words. And yet here I am today standing in front of you all sharing my story.

Jesus did that for me, he took that shame away. I am forgiven. I could never truly explain to you what those three words mean to me. But they are true. I am forgiven, I am washed clean, made new. Second Corinthians 5:17 says "therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!" These are not just words from an old book. This happened to me. I am a completely new person. I don't have to walk around with that pain and shame anymore. That hole in my chest is gone. I'm free.

The satisfaction that I was constantly searching for has been found in jesus christ. To be free from the slavery that is addiction is a blessing beyond measure. Because that is what I was - a slave in very real chains. It truly is for freedom that Christ has set us free. You hear the words "Jesus saves" or "being saved" so often that they just become words. But Jesus literally, actually saved my life in a very concrete, factual way.

I was a walking dead person and Jesus raised me to life.

And he continues to do amazing things in my life. You know that therapist I told you about? Turns out she's a Christian and even though its way against the rules we pray together and talk about the bible during our sessions. My mental health issues have become completely manageable without any kind of medication, and they continue to improve everyday. I have a beautiful family that I love with all of my heart. I know that god brought drew and I together, there is no doubt in my mind about that. He truly does work through people, drew has played no small role in my recovery. I know I went through everything I did so I could be here today, with my fiancé and our kids, surrounded by people I love, sharing gods glory.

I know I'm worth something today, that my life is a gift from god. And I am so blessed to be here living it."


So that's it. Praise God.

Please try not to judge another before you've walked a mile in their shoes. The saying is beyond cliché, but it also couldn't be more true.

Oh, and if you still think I'm a c*** that's cool too. God knows me by name.


Much love and thanks

The Hipster Housewife xx


Friday, December 27, 2013

In which I determine I need a studio, 2014 (non) resolutions, and NEW ART SUPPLIES!

Well, if that title wasn't all over the place, I don't know what is!

Part of my 'goals for the new year' (not resolutions, those are just doomed from jump) is to create a working mini studio in my home, for both my etsy shop, and my own personal art endeavors. As it stands right now, there is crap everywhere, expensive brushes mingling with Barbie and Ken next to their dream house. Washi tape and micron pens in the girls' hair accessory bin (for lack of a better term... We have a lot of barrettes in this house).

I went to my local art supply shop today and picked up a few things I needed for two custom commissions I have in the works. I spent about an hour in there even though I knew exactly what I needed. I can't help myself I'm like a junkie in a crack house (kid in a candy store, cop in a doughnut shop, you get the idea). So I have everything I need, but this disturbing disorganization is messing with my creative juices!!

Lucky for me I have an awesome brother who got me a sick ikea desk for Christmas. Unlucky for me it was back ordered. So I'm waiting on the desk, to start getting everything in better order, to start the projects. In the meantime I'm working on some etsy orders on the living room floor.

This lovely mess will eventually become one of my scripture canvases. I'm still learning this whole blogging thing, so I'd love to be able to say check it out 'here' and you could click on it and see it in the shop, but for now you get a picture. Sigh.

I'll be featuring a post soon showing some of the process behind creating these bad boys. I would love to hear what you, my lovely blog readers, would like see as far DIY posts in the future. I'm thinking of doing some hand lettering 'courses' in the upcoming weeks. If you have any ideas please leave them in the comments!

Much love and thanks!

The Hipster Housewife xx


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas on the Hipster Homestead

As you can tell from my youngest's (that's Maddie, she's four and pretty fabulous) face, we had a pretty successful Christmas over here on the hipster homestead.

We had presents, French toast with strawberries, family, and we watched A Christmas story (like we have every single year since, well, since forever). Cadence, who is seven and quite the independent woman, if you get my meaning, became a ballerina, a horseback rider, and the proud owner of one easy bake oven. I was definitely just as excited as her about that one. I mean, I had one when I was her age, so that makes it retro. And wicked cool.

We also got her a rainbow loom, which neither her father nor I could figure out how to do without becoming completely frustrated and kind of (ok a lot of) losing our cool. Fellow parents, don't buy your kids one of these unless you are very ambitious and have very nimble fingers.

Jaxon, my sweetest (I know we aren't supposed to have favorites, but damn it that boy has my heart!), built plamobiles until his little five year old fingers could take no more. Then he proceeded to smash on his drum pad for about an hour. Thanks for that Santa.

All, in all, it was the perfect day. I got tons of new art goodies that I can't wait to start playing around with and showing off to you guys because that's just how I get down, including a gorgeous calligraphy set from the hipster husband. We got to spend time with both of our families, eat way too much food, and basically just love eachother all day long. It doesn't get any better than that, well, except maybe for this blanket.

Yup, it's covered in our instagram pics. Can't out hipster this family.


Merry Christmas and much love!!

The HipsterHousewife xx


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve! AKA the Awesome Miracle

Tonight, as we gear up for all the madness that is Christmas Eve - the family visiting, the excessive consumption, the childish glee that overcomes us all - PRESENTS!! People are going to give me stuff!!! - I want us to remember what Christmas is. 

It's an Awesome Miracle. 

The birth of Christ.

I want us to read our children the Christmas story before we tuck them in tonight. Focus their little hearts on Him, not Santa (ok, I know Santa is exciting, and I can't frickin' wait for our little ones to rip those presents open tomorrow in a state of unabashed ecstasy, but stay with me here). 

I want us to spend tomorrow feeling so blessed for our families, not for the things they give (or didn't give) us. I want us to take not a moment of it for granted, but not attempt to photograph all of them. I'm especially guilty of this, but instagram can wait. And when we get frustrated, as we surely will, I want us to remember that Awesome Miracle, thank God, and have another glass of wine.

Merry Christmas my friends!
Christine xx

Monday, December 23, 2013

Who or what exactly IS a hipster housewife?

Well, for starters, I am a hipster housewife. Looking for some hipster street cred?

1. I created and DIYed my entire wedding from scratch on my parents farm.
2. I'm a self professed 'cool Christian'.
3. I cook all of my meals from scratch. And yes, they are mostly organic (when we can afford it). HOWEVER I hate Whole Foods because I always feel so inadequate when I walk in there.
4. So what does that mean? Farmers markets!! And my mothers garden. 
5. We own chickens. 
6. I follow fashion, but only so I can studiously look like I just threw something together and it comes out fabulous. This old thing? Thrift shop, darling.
7. I am that cool mom. My seven year old owns vegan leather pants and hair chalk. 
8. I'm an artist. Why the f*ck else would I be doing this? I want to share my work.
9. I'm a writer. See above.
10. Being so cool, I want to share some of that coolness with the rest of the world, hence, The HipsterHousewife was born. But in a totally relatable, non condescending sort of way. I'm already failing at that aren't I? 
Most of my awesome church friends are hipster housewives too. Those kick ass, do it all, crafty moms, who know just the right moment to send you a heartfelt card despite the screaming toddler attached to their leg. The Hipster Housewife is a women who doesn't just embrace being a housewife, she actually makes it look cool. She could be a Christian, Muslim, Jew, or atheist. She could be any color, any race, be from any country. We aren't perfect moms, wife's, or friends. In fact, more often than not, we couldn't be further from perfect. We just like to dive head first into life and get our hands dirty. 

So here is my open invitation friends, join me on my journey as I continue to figure out what it means to be a hipster housewife. We can make some stuff, cook some stuff, attempt to figure out this whole wife and mom thing, plan the *perfect* outfits, and generally be super cool doing it. You in or what?

***UPDATE*** (edited to add)
I've received some negative feedback regarding this post, and I just have to add - it's SATIRE people! I'm halfway making fun of myself! Of course I take my life seriously, my family, my faith, and all of the eclectic craziness that comprises said life. But if we can't laugh at ourselves, then WTF can we laugh at!

Welcome to the world of The Hipster Housewife!