In the Crib

In the Crib
In the Crib,
originally uploaded by marniduffy.
The girls are napping now, and I am hanging out, working on my wool vest. I decided to put some ruffles in it, hopefully it'll look good. I have never done this before, so of course I pinned them all in place in the wrong direction.
Fern is in Danger Baby phase: crawling to cords and stairs and putting things in her mouth that she'll choke on, pulling herself up onto chairs, etc. I forgot how exhausting this phase is! But at the same time, she is more content, and gosh those thighs are edible. I am really enjoying the girls lately.
"For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Matthew 12:34
The other night, Tray lovingly told me that I have been complaining a lot lately. It was hard to hear. But, I feel like it has helped me look at the words coming out of my mouth, at least with regards to complaining. The first day was really hard not to blurt things out and feel entitled to complain, but once I worked through that entitlement, I felt like God was meeting me where I was at and giving me the ability to move on. I am still working with it, but I feel so much more positive this last week. I don't want that negative poison spewing to others from my mouth, and I certainly don't want it in my heart.


recycled wool vest

recycled wool vest
recycled wool vest,
originally uploaded by marniduffy.
I am working on a recycled wool vest. This wool is making my studio very linty!



originally uploaded by marniduffy.
Yeah, so she already knows algebra, but she agreed to pose counting her fingers to humor us.



crazy face
crazy face,
originally uploaded by marniduffy.
In the middle of the night I couldn't fall asleep. I kept thinking about my often preposterous mothering skills. I feel like God has graced me with a pretty challenging 2 year old (well, she's been challenging since birth). I think most people have challenging 2 year olds.
I have been struggling with disciplining her. I am reading a book called 'Shepherding a Child's Heart' by Tedd Tripp. He talks about discipline that honors God and helps a child align their heart with God's heart. Pretty much, addressing the heart and not just the behavior.
Most of the time with Sage, I feel like I am acting out of STOP. Whether it's hurting Fern, running away, screaming too loudly, spilling, having an accident on the floor, biting, pushing, grabbing. Then I get so upset that it's hard for me to then follow up with a calm talk about "why". Plus, I feel clueless about what to say that she'll actually HEAR.
This leaves me feeling frustrated with myself and her, and like a failure in some ways. Then I feel like I am helpless, that I'll never get it "right", and I forget that I am supposed to be asking God for forgiveness and HELP!
Mothering is so hard. Amen?



originally uploaded by marniduffy.
Today I have felt endlessly hungry, and it reminds me of how I feel when I am pregnant. I had to go back and look at these photos.

PS: NO I am not pregnant.
PPS: Thanks, Carina! (The awesome photographer, how could I have forgotten to mention you here!)


my hair
my hair,
originally uploaded by marniduffy.
Ah, first thing in the morning. Pre-coffee and I hadn't even looked in the mirror for about an hour...then realized how super sweet my 'do was. Ha! Ridiculous. My brother Patrick and I have the Irish Afro.
Fern climbing stairsSo proud!



originally uploaded by marniduffy.
Fern is crawling on all fours, and about to be 8 months old! She was even climbing the stairs this morning. And already finding tiny pieces of everything to put in her mouth. Ah, another phase of babyproofing.

Ikea skirt on me

front of skirt
front of skirt,
originally uploaded by marniduffy.
I wore the skirt yesterday, and it is very comfortable! I was so happy. Next projects include a vest and another cool skirt, free patterns from BurdaStyle.

Here is a little cowl (capelet??) that I crocheted for Sage. I got the idea initially from an Etsy pattern that I wasn't able to find again. Also from my friend Jen who knits beautiful bandanas and sells them on her Etsy site. I can't afford them, but I think they're great!

Ok, should go read with this toddler of mine.


best one!

best one!
best one!,
originally uploaded by marniduffy.
Another couch photo shoot!



originally uploaded by marniduffy.
Here is the skirt I just finished. It was a good experiment. The material is an Ikea duvet that Tray had when we got married. Diesel dog's hair was all embedded in the corners when I cut it up.
I got the book 'Sew U', and this was my first project. The zipper isn't great, but I am getting better. The darts are better than my last ones. And this is my first blindhem! I did it on my machine, and it was super quick and super easy.

In other fun news, check out this site for awesome bike lust.



During our visit to Carversville on Sunday, I was speaking with my friend Julie about gardening. We walked to her neighbor's garden and our girls picked some of the vegetables. This garden was quite impressive. It seemed to be laid out very well, and though the plants weren't perfectly pruned, things seemed to be going smoothly. The plants were producing beautiful fruit. I asked Julie if she cared for gardening. It made me think about all of the plants I killed this past summer. I just feel like I don't have the discipline for daily tending to a garden. There is something in my soul that craves to create and nurture plants and help them do what they were made to do, but on the other hand, I feel another part of me that wants to reject that and rebel and not tend.
Joshua spoke about community being like a vineyard where we are all growing and should be producing fruit. I am glad that I am a plant whose Keeper cares and is dedicated and wants to provide me with space and soil and nutrients and sunlight and water. And I am also grateful that I am surrounded by others who are also being nurtured and tended for their growth, who can offer encouragement and support.


Fern, Sage and Cosima

Fern, Sage and Cosima
Fern, Sage and Cosima,
originally uploaded by marniduffy.
This is my first time posting directly from Flickr...how exciting! Here is another picture from yesterday's visit with the Dovans. Isn't Cosima beautiful?

Today I used the babysitting at the Columbia North YMCA for the first time. I was nervous, as any mom is when leaving her little ones with a new babysitter for the first time. It went great!! I got to go up and see where they play. There is a daycare on site there, and they play with the day care kids on the rooftop playground! Sage had a blast and cried when I came back, and Fern seemed pretty happy as well! Plus, Mama got a workout in, and I was so energized for that last hour before nap. What a treat.



We spent Sunday morning with Tray's best friend from childhood and his family. Well, the Dads went mountain biking and the girls hung out in their home in Carversville, Pa. What a beautiful, historic, amazing home! They live in NYC during the week, but come down to this house on the weekends. They have two little girls, Cosima and Phillipa. Here is Sage with Phillipa. They played so well together. The moms enjoyed some coffee while the girls played with dolls and bikes and cardboard boxes.
We walked to their neighbor's garden and picked some basil and tomatoes. Yum.


zoo trip

Here is Sage with the gorilla who was sitting there entertaining all of the little kids with her antics. And Fern with Gus the giraffe, the new boy in town. We had such a blast!



This morning, at about 9:15, I set out for what was supposed to be a 25-30 mile bike ride. I had a bright green cycling vest on for added visibility. At 16th and Spring Garden, I was peddling in the bike lane and about to ride through the intersection when a car decided that he was going to make a right turn in front of me. I was hit and slid on the ground, hurting my right butt/tailbone and my left calf. I was scared and pissed. I jumped up to get the person's license plate as they sped off, but was too rattled. I then tried to flag down a cop, but he sped past too. I wish he was going to the car that hit me, but I think if that was the case, the cop would've sent an ambulance to me (and he didn't). I called Tray, who came and got me. By the time he got to me, I was crying and the initial shock was over. I was just needing a hug and some TLC for my wounds, and reassurance that I would be ok.
This was so scary. I don't know that I'll be riding the streets for a little while.
In happier news, we just got a family membership to the YMCA and we took the girls swimming! They both LOVED it, and it was such a nice way to spend some time. I think we're off to the zoo this afternoon.
I am still in mental replay mode, my mind is trying to make sense of it. Tray says that my head will grow weary of replay mode and soon move on.
I am grateful to be alive and to be able to walk and talk and breathe and hold my babies and hug my husband.


The dress is done, except for finishing the length of the shoulder straps.
It is completely recycled cotton: the main dress material is made from t-shirts and other pieces of cotton knit that were donated to me (or were my t-shirts). The facing (inside) is made from an old sheet, cut on the bias (diagonal) for stretch (because the t-shirts stretch a lot). This was the first time I made pockets. The buttons are all selvedge from old clothes also!
I still plan on doing a photo session with the outfit ON me, but I must be honest, I don't know if or when I'll ever wear this! First of all, I am nursing now, so not only do I not get out a lot, but baby has to have access to her food!
Secondly, I didn't really plan the color scheme. Overall, I don't love the materials or colors, there is no rhyme or reason to them. This was more of a learning experience for me, rather than an attempt to make something I would wear a lot. So, in that respect, I was successful.
Thirdly, it is VERY low cut. Like, so low cut that I would have to wear something underneath, and I don't know what that would be yet.
The buttonholes were tough on a couple layers of stretchy material, and the directions were difficult to follow at times, and putting a side zipper in was really tough!!
I am excited to have finished my first adult-sized garment, and look forward to many more.


Diamondman Triathlon

A photo of me laughing as I get passed by some 50+ year old man!

So, I am back from the race, and it was SO FUN! Tray and I are just really stoked that we can do these types of things. Just 6 or so months ago, we both had the overwhelming feeling that we'd never get to do ANYTHING fun again (Fern being a tough infant)...and now it seems like we've had a couple weeks of fun activities and sleepovers. I am realizing that it's not that Fern is necessarily an "easier" baby, it's just that we are doing things regardless of her temperament. Getting out and about and traveling makes me feel less stuck to this concrete jungle.
Last night, Tray got home from work and we went down to Delaware to stay overnight near the race. It was so fun to go on our "special trip"! The girls didn't go down until like 9:30, and we were up at 5, but it was so fun.
The race was a blast! I was more nervous than I would like to admit, but it was fine! I worried about not having a wetsuit because they quoted the water at 72 degrees, but it was fine, and was actually 78! Beautiful lake! The ride was gorgeous, but long, and the run was just 2 miles. Only one person passed me on the run! I anticipate seeing my times, but I know that I had a blast. Tray did great with the girls, and was helped out by our friend's daughter Mia. It was a smaller triathlon, so it was so fun to come through transition and see their smiling faces!
I haven't taken pictures of the dress yet...it's on my to-do-list. I am too tired to walk upstairs to get it right now!
Hmm, what's next? I think another Tri next weekend...but it's $100 and that's a fine fee, especially for hubby taking off work again.
Speaking of hubby, mine is the best. He has been so overwhelmingly supportive of my training and my races. From helping and encouraging me to get out the door for daily workouts, to getting me equipment, to being willing to devote his weekend to my races. He is one heck of a fella, and I love him!
Here are my results, I am suuuuper stoked on a sub-8-minute-mile pace for the run, that is unheard of in my running career!!

Oh, and apparently the contest I entered the video in will not be announcing the winner for another 2 weeks!!! They received over 100 entries and are taking time to make a whole week devoted to them. Hmm.


different pops!

Okay, so why do the Tootsie Roll Pops that come in a bag taste different than the ones that come in the bunch? The bunch ones are smaller and taste much more like poop, noticed especially when you get down to the last colors (for me, orange and brown)!?
Also, why is it that completing things is so hard (i.e. a car trip, a sewing project, a meal, cleaning, laundry)? It takes me so much discipline to FINISH.
Lastly, I am really nervous about my race on Sunday, and also about hearing the results of the contest.
I am such a nerd!!!


too tired

I am too tired to post pictures yet, but it's been quite an interesting couple of days! It feels like eternity, but really, just 4 days or so. We have slept over at my parents' house as well as our friends' house in Pennsburg, PA. Lots of time outdoors, in water, in parks, and with family and friends. The best.
Fern did an army crawl today. She's not an infant anymore.
I love late summer.
Tri in 5 days.