53 In Life/ Sewing




From Oreos to Cinnamon Rolls & cookie dough… please forgive me for the temptations!

Life has been busy this week. Lots of Christmas programs/parties, cookie baking, present making {not wrapping}, and fellowshiping going on. My poor sewing machine has heard several “unglorifying” words this week. I tried to whip something up early this morning before coffee… it was a nightmare. I should really not do anything before I have a cup of coffee. I really know better, but I thought I’d try anyway, it was not pretty.


I love my sewing machine {a LOT!} but the little rabbit doesn’t go fast enough for me, nor does it have “autopilot”, which is really what I need it to have. Especially RIGHT NOW because I should be sewing not blogging! Actually I should be cleaning out my cabinets… but that’s another story. topsecretoperation

I love to sew but doing so under pressure is not my forte. I’d show you what I’ve been making, but it’s a **top secret** operation. One that I feel certain will keep me up into the early morning hours because I’m not anywhere near done, I’m not even close to halfway. Good thing there’s Target nearby in case I jump ship on this endeavor.

The children are not getting handmade gifts, I tried that last year and they were less than impressed. They would rather have junk from Big Lots… it’s sad, I know, but it’s a reality. Maybe one day I can convince them that a doll sling is way better than a Little Pet Shop animal.




Stephanie, at Eloise & Henry {in Decatur, AL} sent us a Christmas Happy that made allof us very happy. Three sets of the cutest, softest Christmas jammies I’ve ever seen. I’m tempted to start Round 2 of the Christmas card pictures in Christmas PJs… maybe this weekend! I have a feeling by the time I get it all figured out Christmas will be long over!

Let’s talk about dinner for a second. I usually don’t have the presence of mind to be prepare for dinner long before Justin gets home from work. Usually he calls and says, “I’m on my way!” And I think, “Oh my goodness, what can I make in 5 minutes?” The answer: quesadiLas. {that’s for all the Napoleon fans}. We eat twice as many tortillas as we do slices of bread. Anyway, this is one little creation that can be whipped up in about 5 minutes. Refried black beans & cheddar cheese quesadillas. Yum-o! I also love to make quesadillas with brown sugar ham and cheddar cheese and serve with honey mustard and sour cream!


You can’t really make out the image behind the quesadilla so let me help, our children look like him, at least two for sure, the jury’s still out on the third.

You can serve them with rice, or in our case, I served them with crumbs from the bag of Doritos and sour cream. Here, let me show you my tablescape.

If that doesn’t make you want to come and have dinner with us, I don’t know what will!

 Ok, I better get my nose back to the grindstone. I keep telling myself not to stress about Christmas, that this is about Jesus Christ coming to earth for us… not about presents. I’ll be honest, it’s a battle because as I preach the truth of Christmas to myself, I still have to face the reality of fact that I have a long list of people that I WANT to provide gifts for!

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  • Christina
    December 18, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Wow, no comments yet, I must have clicked on your blog just after you posted this! Your honesty is refreshing! I hope your projects and to do lists go well.

  • Tara Carmichael
    December 18, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    i tried to make my daughter a navy coat her first Christmas to go with a darling navy bonnet I had bought at a craft show…it didn’t turn out, the sleeves were way too long, but it is a sweet memory.
    good luck with your sewing project
    those pjs are adorable
    dinnertime is just like at our house
    love your blog and have learned so much from it
    joy and peace to you and your beautiful family this Christmas

  • alison g. (brazil)
    December 18, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    I really just about jumped out of my chair and licked the screen – I LOVE “sin”amin rolls – sinful, because of the sheer amount I can stuff down my gullet!
    Merry, merry’s to you, busy Elf!

  • Jessica
    December 18, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    mmm….now I want some cinnamon rolls AND quesadillas! Can’t wait to see what you’re making with that Amy Butler fabric! I’m attempting to make a few things for Adriana (good thing my younger one, Soraya, has no idea she’s not getting anything this year!)….hoping she actually likes them though! My kitchen looks like that every day – if not worse – so don’t feel bad. Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! 🙂

  • Remodelaholic
    December 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Those cinnamon rolls look divine! It is lunch time and now all I want are those!

  • Mott
    December 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    You are as refreshing as a drink of cool water! I love your blog and can’t wait to see what you’re making!

  • Victoria
    December 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Ha ha…we always say quesadiLas too! Always a crowd pleaser and the beans make it nutritious 🙂

  • Meredith
    December 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    This post made me chuckle today. Loved the tablescape!

  • Sue
    December 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    You don’t know how much I enjoy reading your blog. Your children are just precious and you always are showing something that is so creative or yummy! It’s so nice that you show us that you are “real” and although you are the most creative person I’ve ever seen…things are just as hectic and “normal” for you as they are for us all. Hope you and your wonderful family have a great Christmas. I am sure whatever you are giving (whether homemade or bought) will be just perfect.

  • Meredith
    December 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I’m praying you will have patience and time to get it all done. I would come over any time for dinner, just to see those sweet faces and see what interesting things you have whipped up. Those cinnamon rolls are calling my name! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Maybe we will run into each other again, hopefully somewhere other than the grocery store!


  • Abbie
    December 18, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Love the tablescape. 🙂

    Merry Christmas!

  • kristy
    December 18, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Hi Darby. Today is my birthday and we always have “birthday” cinnamon rolls to celebrate … but I must say that your homemade cinnamon rolls look so yummy and probably taste far better than the ones we had this morning from the can. However, my sweet husband did place candles on my cinnamon rolls … so thoughtful!

    Have a wonderful holiday season!

  • andi
    December 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Howdy!!! Love the tablescape. 🙂 Festive pics! I am so with you about wanting to do for those we love,,,,but I feel so hurried…I want to savor the time, not fly through it, you know? Oh well, tis the season, hopefully I can be jolly.

  • Jan
    December 18, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    i think your tablescape is beautiful! it’s REAL and that’s perfect! oh, and i only have one christmas present under our tree this year (fake prelit with no ornaments), and it’s from my sister to my four month old daughter. i kind of like it that way…while we can still get away with it.

  • Jennifer
    December 18, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    You make me feel normal! ; )….quesadillas (love Napoleon), behind on Christmas photo, behind on gifts….Thanks. : ) And, yes, Jesus!

  • Melissa
    December 18, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Oh, you must NEVER sew before coffee! You’ll run your fingers over!

    If you want to get really fancy, use bacon and add some sauteed mushrooms– those are OUR favorite quesadillas!

  • Colleen
    December 18, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Yes, I agree with Jennifer. You make us feel normal and you make me smile too. Enjoy those busy, hectic days… the kids grow up too fast. Merry Christmas!

  • kristen
    December 18, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    quesadillas are great for a meal to use up your leftovers too! actually they are great for anything 🙂 and i can’t quit thinking about those oreos..i’m going to have to get some!

  • Melissa
    December 18, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Good luck with your sewing project. It looks neat already and I am sure it will turn out. I had the same problem but was due to trying to sew too late – I gave up around 1030 last night and decided I would start fresh with the sewing this evening. Sometimes just happens. Your kids are adorable as always.

  • Mandy
    December 18, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    So cute! I am glad someone elses table looks like that…it gives me confidence that I am not the only one trying to get through the day sometimes! How awful is this? I bought those unhealthy, terrible but good party pizzas for my family tonight because I am so done of it this week! I want to drink hot chocolate in my clean house, in my pajama pants, by the fire, play with my kids and NOT DO ONE THING! I hope you get it all done…you will and have a good weekend! Love, Mandy

  • beki
    December 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Oh Darby, I could have written this post! Sometimes I feel a little guilty about all the ‘making’ I do that doesn’t go to my kids, but the reality is that they could care less. They prefer junk. And sewing under pressure?? NO WAY! I hate that. Hate it hate it hate it. I end up using my seam ripper more than the sewing machine. Also, your tablescape looks exactly like mine, but there would be a TV on somewhere in there. Ah, such a glamorous life (that I wouldn’t trade for the world)!!

  • Kathy
    December 18, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Amen! You couldn’t have said it better. A very Merry Christmas to you all!

  • Lisa
    December 18, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    You had me at “cinnamon rolls.” 🙂


  • Annie
    December 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    That looks like the EXACT fabric I’ve been searching for to make a new slipcover for our craigslist glider–what is it?? I thought it was Amy Butler, but I haven’t been able to find it…

    And Merry Christmas!

  • shannon
    December 18, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Miss darby,
    I thought I would just let you know that last night I made your honey cinnamon butter and it turned out fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing and I can’t wait to share it with friends!

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful christmas. I agree about reminding oneself about celebrating the Lord’s birthday and glorifying Him throughout the season. I keep having to ask the Lord to keep that in my heart.

    Merry christmas to you and your sweet little family!

  • Andrea
    December 18, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Please post the recipe for the cinnamon rolls. They look divine!

  • Carly Winborne
    December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    oh, dear darby. that’s my exact story. except i’m sitting here contemplating how early i can put my children to bed so that i can return to the sweat shop called my sewing room. why do we do this? reminds me of cramming for finals back in the day, which i did on a regular basis. perhaps we both work better under pressure. honestly, i don’t know what i would do if i were just sitting here twiddling my thumbs at christmas-time. it wouldn’t feel right.

    one thing i am doing as i work – thinking about jesus. and mary. i wonder how she was feeling on that first Christmas. it’s comforting for me dwell on as i work to the quiet hum of my sewing machine.

    hope your projects go well and your Christmas week is productive and precious.

  • Melissa
    December 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I feel so much better knowing that my “tablescape” looks just like yours!! 🙂 Definitely try taking photos in the Christmas pjs! That’s what is on our cards this year (that I will post once I ever get around to addressing and mailing them!) Can’t wait to see what you’re sewing!

  • Susan
    December 18, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Love, love, love reading you and your sister’s blogs. You are both precious and bring me back to the time when I had 4 little ones under the age of 6. Three boys (a set of twins at the end, put an end to babies!) and one princess – the “little” boys are now 15 (one is 6′ tall and weighs 240 – thankfully, football is his game) and the “big” kids are now a junior and sophomore in college. Time really does fly! Enjoy them.

  • Susan
    December 18, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Oh, and my house STILL looks like that….

  • seleta
    December 18, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Your tablescape is far fancier and more sophisticated than any of our dinners in the last two weeks. Thank goodness I’m not the only mom who’s trying to keep up with the pace!

  • mommasissy
    December 18, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    YOU are FUNNY. I dont need anything… I’m just excited about seeing YOU over the hollydays. XOXO

  • Tara
    December 18, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks for keeping it real with your view of a family dinner time. Also, I wanted to say that if gift GIVING is what you desire most then I think your heart is definitely in the right place. My mom gave my daughter a book about the meaning of Christmas and it says “God sent his son, Jesus the Christ, from heaven up above. He came to earth to save the world—God’s greatest GIFT of love.” I love how children’s books always say it best…Christmas is about gift giving…it’s a way to remind us all about the best gift we ever received! Give on girl, give on!

  • Becky
    December 18, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I always love your posts, but I wonder how long a typical post takes you to do. It must take at least an hour esp since you include the flickr page for every picture, right?

  • alissa
    December 18, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Hi Darby – I spent most of today in my sewing room with those exact two Amy Butler fabrics! Good luck with the rest of your projects!

  • Lindsey
    December 18, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    that’s about what my kitchen looks like everyday! do you have a quesadiLa maker? and the zappos charge… real men boots for steven?!

  • Sara D.
    December 18, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I love this post, I can TOTALLY relate! A reader of my blog recently told me that my children need to see me relax and not run myself ragged. Which made me feel REALLY self-conscious. But the truth is that gift giving is my love language…and I LOVE making things for family and friends, even if I bite off more than I can chew. Keep on truckin’ girl…one more week!

  • meaghan
    December 18, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    thank you so much for posting your “tablescape” i feel much better now…ahhh! i even shared it with my husband. i said,”i appreciated this girl”

  • Amy
    December 19, 2009 at 3:20 am

    Well, I just found your blog and {as I am sure you hear all the time} I LOVE IT! Thank you! So fun to peer into other mom’s lives and see that I am not alone. 🙂 Also, its so GREAT to see other mom’s with like faith.

    May God bless you!

  • Carol
    December 19, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Darby, I always read your blog but don’t often comment. Just wanted you to know that you are a blessing to my life. I love how open and honest you are about how life REALLY plays out. Don’t let yourself get too crazed. It truely is about God coming to Earth in the vulnerable form of a baby. He is so smart. . . babies are so easy to love. That’s what I wish for everyone to remember, not only at Christmas but all yar. Let that love for Jesus fill your heart and spill over into your everyday walk. You do a really good job of the Darby. Thanks!

  • stephanie
    December 19, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I sew quite a bit and I KNOW that my one day kids are going to want to wear Hannah Montana over their mamma’s creations and I’m alread sad about it.

    Totally random, but I am friends with Kennon Vaughn. We went to the same church in Memphis and I went through a discipleship program he leads. I was looking at his Facebook and I saw either you or your sister in a photo he was in and I was like – hey, I read their blog:)small world

  • brandy
    December 19, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I too make quesadillas a little more than is probably healthy for my family! You should try black beans and corn with a little bit of salsa and brown sugar mixed in. Then add the mixture to the tortilla and some cheese. There you go, a few more veggies in there! Also, in the summer I like to saute squash and zucchini and add then to a quesadilla. The possibilities really are endless, I mean how could you go wrong with cheese and tortilla? Merry Christams!

  • dianereeves
    December 19, 2009 at 11:10 am

    This is exactly what happens weekly at our house, except my husband ends up making the quesadilLAs. Thankfully, we have some pretty yummy tortillas made fresh at our grocery store, so it is hard not to eat the whole bag of them by yourself. As far as our tablescape, my two daughters sit and eat at our island, I sit at our computer desk and my husband, he doesn’t even get a chair, he usually stands, refilling drink orders.

  • Mandy
    December 19, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Looks great! As a mother with young children too (2.5 yrs and 3 months), I can TOTALLY empathize. You know what though? I’d rather have happy kids and dirty counters than the other way around.

    … and it never seems like my bunny goes fast enough either! 🙂

  • angela
    December 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I can’t remember if I posted when I first read this but I had to make sure I did because your tablescape made me laugh. Out loud. Just keeping it real I know but too funny.

    Those truly are adorable pajamas!! Love them!!!

    Can’t wait to see what you are making….sewing before coffee…tell me not!!!

  • bonnie
    December 19, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Umm, could I come for the cinnamon rolls? I don’t care about the tablescape. And coffee, I’ll need coffee (real coffee) served extra hot with half and half. I’m easy!

  • Lyndsey
    December 19, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I say you skip the holiday card and send a greeting to your friends and fam in the new year. Send them warm wishes for 2010. It is always fun to get snail-mail and its especially nice to get it when you are not expecting it- i.e. January, after the holidays. Just a thought. PS- my sister and I are quesadillas fans too! Good luck with your sewing project.

  • Victoria
    December 19, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    LOL at the tablescape! 🙂 It just shows that you are as down to earth as you seem to be.

    I can’t wait to see what you are making! I just started sewing this year and made my little girl a dress. I wish I had more time to spend sewing…it is fun!

    Merry Christmas!

  • Katherine
    December 19, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Okay–My friend Susan (see comment above about having 4 children under the age of 6) loves your blog and told me about it and now I love it too! I laughed when I read your comment about your husband calling to say he’s on the way…that’s so me except I think, “Oh, shoot! Nothing is defrosted!” The tablescape definitely looks like ours and mine are 17 and almost 14–not sure it will get any better until they leave home! BTW, I have a 1960’s era home that had the exact same scalloped molding you have on those cabinets next to the fireplace in the den in the background (I left it on the powder room cabinet just so people could see what the entire house had at one time!)

  • Bailey
    December 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Dying…Your tablescape would really make drunky Sandra Lee proud, it makes me proud nonetheless. Quesadills are the absolute go-to for this little (two person) family, although your chickey in foil has really been doing us right lately. Merry Christmas Darby! I have a feeling a post about your cute little lambs in a Christmas Service might be on its way, which would make me very happy!

  • Melise
    December 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I know! Why should we feel guilty for wanting to GIVE at Christmas? God did! He loved the people He was giving to and to give so much that he gave the very best most expensive thing He had! Seeing someone happy, especially our children, is what makes Christmas so wonderful. So, buy as many little plastic pieces of crap you can find if it makes em smile! Right? :0)

    Thanks for the 5 min dinner idea. Spencer always calls me on his way home too. I never think he’s just being so sweet to call me….he’s warning me! hahaha

  • Stacy
    December 21, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Just have to say I love your blog:) I always feel inspired but never inadequate. You’re creative, energetic, spiritual but VERY real. I just loved your tablescape!! THANK YOU!!!!

  • Melissa Richie
    December 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    we have black bean quesadillas almost everyday for lunch. i am so glad that i’m not the only one! 🙂

    merry christmas!!!