Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our New Family Member

This is the newest addition to our family. Our computer was about 6 years old, it was huge, and parts on it kept breaking. So...we decided it was time to get a new computer. We have been lusting after the iMac for a while now. Jay actually found one on sale for $999 (after rebate). And Macs never go on sale.

So, we decided it was time to take the plunge. I don't think that I've seen anything but the back of Jay's head since we've purchased it, but he is really enjoying his new toy. I love it because it is sooo small and is nice and fast. It will be very useful for video and photo editing...once I really learn how to use it.

I do feel a little like a yuppy having a Mac. It makes me think of #40 off of the blog Stuff White People Like. Not to mention;

And on, and on.....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Finished Quilt!

Well, I finally finished the quilt! And just in time for the shower (that was today...more pictures to come). I think that it's adorable. Katy seemed to like it, and Zane seemed apathetic (or maybe he was just asleep) but I'm sure that he'll grow to love it :).

The quilt itself wasn't too difficult. The most difficult part was figuring out the frogs. I always get an idea in my mind and have to bring it to life. I can't just find a pattern that exists and use it...I have to do it myself (I think I probably drove my mom crazy when I was little). So figuring out how to make the frogs look like I wanted them to (without them looking creepy, as Jay would say) was probably the hardest part.

Oh, and my sewing machine broke in the middle of it all. It's my cheap small one, so it's not a terribly big deal. But, since the only other one I have is an industrial, I still need non-commercial one to do things like zig-zag stitches and button holes. I don't really want to be spending money on a new one right now so I've been scouring Craigslist. Nothing yet, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring Wardrobe Time

I don't do much shopping (because it costs money), and I don't do much sewing for myself. The only time that I really can find modivation for either is when the seasons are changing. When winter begins to drip away, and flowers begin to poke out their heads, I get a desire for new clothes. The same thing happens when the seasons change from summer to fall.

So, last time I was out shopping, I picked up some fabric at Discount Fabrics. If you don't know much about fabrics, I wouldn't go shopping there for apparel material. There is a lot of junk, but definately some gems hidden among the heaps of cheap fabric and upholstry material.

I picked up 1 yard of a royal blue twill (which is going to become a skirt, I think), and 3 yards of a striped cream and denim material (which will become a cropped jacket and maybe a skirt if I can squeeze it out). They were both $1.99/yd. So, if I can get three garments out of $8 worth of material, I'll be doing pretty well. Oh, and the buttons were 40% off at Hancock Fabrics. Of course I won't have three garments until I actually make them, which may be another story. I'll keep you up to date.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Welcome to the World, Zane!

Zane Danger Clark
Holding Zane
The proud parents
Maria with Zane

Our dear friends, Pat and Katy had a beautiful baby boy named Zane early Sunday morning. Mom and baby are healthy and happy.

Zane's appearance into the world was a bit of a suprise. I think anyone would be suprised if their baby came five weeks early. I mean, we have a shower planned this coming weekend for Katy. So, Mom will be attending the show, and Zane will be making a guest appearance.

I spent a little bit of time with Katy and Zane today, and it's easy to see how having a newborn could easily become such an overwhelming thing. You pretty much have to shut the rest of the world out and focus on the baby's needs. And those needs seem so completely undefined. But, Katy is doing an amazing job and seems to be adjusting to motherhood very naturally. She is especially impressive because she missed a whole 5 weeks of (very important) preparation time.

Way to go, Pat and Katy!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Furnace is (Finally) Fixed

Sky is also happy that the furnace is fixed
Now she is contemplating the role that furnaces play in our complicated lives
Now she's getting annoyed at me for taking so many pictures

Yes, the furnace was fixed as of Thursday afternoon...just in time for 75 degree weather. There has been a bit of drama associated with this current furnace dilemma. It broke Monday morning and Monday afternoon the repair guy came out and said that he need to replace the flame sensor ($160)

Me: Bleck. Fine, we can't live without a furnace. I don't want to pay the $160 (on top of the $79 fee to come out initially), but what choice do I have?

So, the repair guy came back out on Tuesday afternoon and said that it actually wasn't the flame sensor, it was the control panel...which costs between $500 and $600...and by the way your warranty just expired a couple of months ago.

Ack! $600?! !#$%^&@. I don't have that kind of money laying around. There goes our tax return.

Wednesday morning, bright and early, I called up the Ruud furnace guys. I explained (as calmly as I could) that the control panel was broken and should not have broken under normal wear and tear, and I was hoping that they would extend the warranty to cover it. And...they did!

Thank you Lord! Forgive me for not trusting you to take care of my family. Forgive me for all of the curse words that I said in my head. Forgive me for not trusting that, even if we had to pay the $600, you would still take care of us.

So a mere $75 dollars later, our furnace is fixed. Being a home owner, I have learned the important lesson of being proactive when there is a problem. There is us ally a solution that is not as expensive as you initially thought, or were told. For example, when my car was acting funny and Firestone told me it would be $450 to fix it. I just researched the problem and how much the parts actually cost, and found someone else to fix it for less than half the cost.

Lesson learned: a little research goes a long way, it never hurts to ask, and be kind to people and they'll usually treat you kindly in return.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Yay Jay!

Jay and Pat accepting their first place award

My baby won first place for a short competition (Rapid i Movement) at the Atlanta Film Festival! They (Mavin Productions) beat out 15 other finalists to win the grand prize with a short called Done in One. I completely agree with the judges decision. It was by far the best short there. Congrats, Jay!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Froggy Quilt

I am currently working on a baby quilt for a friend of mine who is due in May. The colors that they are using are blue and green, and they mentioned something about frogs, so I ran with it. The quilt is just a simple block quilt, but I added froggies in some of the blocks. They are my own design, and I think that they turned out really cute. I'll show more pictures when it's done.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Furnace Issues

My new boyfriend, Mr. Spaceheater

Our furnace is broken. It's been off for the past couple of weeks because the weather has been sooo nice. We got up this morning and it was freezing, so Jay went to turn the heat on. A little bit later, we realized that it hadn't warmed up, and the heat was not blowing. Well, turns out our flame sensor is bad and we need to get a new one...and that won't happen until tomorrow....and it's supposed to drop into the 30's tonight. I was already bummed out that I have to pay for a new flame sensor, and then I realized that I would have to spend the day and night in a freezing house.

I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself, when I remembered all of the loving members of our Home Fellowship group who live close by and are prepared to love me with the love of Christ and provide for my needs (and I was feeling needy after all). Long story short, I sent out an e-mail, and after about 5 minutes, I had about 5 offers to let me borrow a space heater..and even an offer for somewhere to stay if need be. Hallelujah!

I have to say that I have felt so blessed since we started this Home Fellowship Group a few short months ago. To be honest, I was skeptical at first, and very guarded and selfish with my time. But God has definitely transformed my heart. I love having people close by that I can get to know and a more intimate level and invest my time into. I love that I can be vulnerable with this small group, and share what I'm struggling with and what's going on in my life. I love being able to get to know people that I wouldn't get to know just by attending church on Sunday.

Thank you Lord for the gift of Christian community


This weekend I stopped by a thrift store/mini flea market called My Favorite Place. There is so much stuff in that place, it can make your head spin. And if you have allergies, don't go in there without taking a Claritin first. I don't always find anything, but this weekend I managed to find a couple of things. I bought an old print in a nice wood frame (I think that I just liked the colors) for $10 and an empty frame (to go on my wall of empty frames in the bedroom) for $2. Not too bad. Now I just have to decide where to hang the print. Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Amy Zimmerman Designs

Since I launched my line of bridal gown, Aehzim Bridal, a year and a half ago things have been kind of rocky. Starting a new business is difficult...especially a fashion business. It's especially difficult when you are jumping into something completely new with very few resources

There have been a lot of ups, though. My dresses have received a very good reception from the industry. I have been to three markets now, and each one has more successful than the last.

One area that I feel like I'm missing right now is local brides. I love working with brides in person. I love custom designing dresses. I love guiding brides through the process of picking out fabrics, laces, and sketches.

That's why I've launched a new website for Amy Zimmerman Designs. Please take a look and let me know what you think (and pass it along to anyone you know getting married). For those of you who know me well, you know that there will be typos, so feel free to let me know what I need to correct :).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Risky Gymnastics?

Today I was reading msnbc.com and I came across the article Kid's Gymnastics Among the Riskiest Sports. It describes how gymnastics ranks right up there with hockey as having frequent injuries.
I participated in gymnastics when I was growing up...okay, maybe I lived gymnastics when I was growing up. I was on the gymnastics team and competed from the age of about 8 until I was 15 or so. I spent what probably adds up to thousands of hours in the gym and I have a lot to show for it, good and bad.

Let's start with bad. While in gymnastics, I did experience my fair share of injuries (as the article describes). I had several sprained ankles, shin splints, a broken toe, and a sprained neck (eek...scary). I wouldn't consider any of them catastrophic (well, the sprained neck was probably close), and considering the amount of time I actually spent in the gym it doesn't seem like that much. And now that I stop and I think about it, one of the sprained ankles and the broken toe were from doing stuff outside of the gym. But, I did see arms broken and shoulders dislocated. It didn't seem weird back then, but looking back, they were all little girls.

I think that more than these injuries, I am more affected by the injuries that occurred slowly over time (as is my sister). I began having lower back problems right around the time I quit gymnastics, and they still plague me. I did physical therapy in high school (because it got so bad that I couldn't sit down), and basically told that I had put my growing body under too much strain and my muscles were overcompensating my spasming. My knees and my neck also give me problems, and I'm worried about arthritis.

On the other hand, gymnastics made me very strong, physically. I feel like I still carry that with me. It taught me how important it is to be in physically fit (although I did have to undo some of my training to become aerobically fit). It taught me how to handle pain and how to work hard. I gained performance skills and a confidence in my physical abilities. It gave me worth, and something that I could be proud of. And it kept me busy. I never had time to get into any trouble, or watch too much tv, or sit around and mope.

So, would I let my children take gymnastics lessons? Probably. I'm not sure what I would do if they wanted to join the team and become competitive. I think that I'd probably try to introduce them to other sports before I let them get too serious about gymnastics...and maybe bribe them with candy/toys/whatever it takes.

This is the only picture I have in Atlanta of me in gymnastics. I can't do that anymore.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Craft Time

Our friends Rocky and Maria came over Friday night so that Maria and I could make invitations for a baby shower that we are giving for a mutual friend. We partied hard (notice the big piece of cake), but ended up with some oh-so-cute invitations in the end. We look pretty focused in the picture, don't we.
There are some crafty things that I love to do, and some crafty things that I hate to do. I don't know why, and I don't have any explanation or rationalization for my likes and dislikes. For example, I love making invitations, but I HATE wrapping presents. Sometimes I have a desire to make presents pretty, but as soon as I start I remember how much I hate it and I quit. I guess it's just the enigma that is Amy. Here are some more examples:

Hate - arranging food to look pretty, rearranging furniture, arranging flowers, taking pictures, picking out clothes in the morning, shopping, hanging up laundry, and on

Love - setting pretty tables, painting furniture, decorating, photoshopping (don't think that's a word) pictures, sewing, designing, folding laundry, and on

Oh, and love - Rocky and Maria. They're the best!

Monday, April 7, 2008

This World

Today I was driving home from an errand and the car in front of me had a bumper sticker that read:

"We are not humans beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience"

Judging from the other bumper stickers on the car, my beliefs and theology do not match up with the driver's, but this made me stop and think. As Christians, we know that this fallen world is not our home. Our final destination is with God.

Sitting amid traffic and construction (daily life in Atlanta), this was such a peaceful thought. I am looking forward to heaven and being in the presence of God. Despite my excitement for it, heaven is such an abstract thought to me. A renewed Earth is something that I can relate to. The thought that one day God will create a New Earth without the falleness of sin really excites me.

From the driver's seat in my car, there were soooo many things I could see that needed renewing (I am sure that there will not be any traffic). But, then driving back into my neighborhood, I could see Forsythia bushes in bloom, and cherry trees beginning to blossom.

God is good. He has given us so much beauty in this world, I can't imagine how amazing it will be to live on an Earth without sin and where we'll no longer need a sun because "the Lord will be our everlasting light".

For an amazing description, read Isaiah 65:17-25

Sunday, April 6, 2008

New Dress

Here is the newest dress for my bridal line, Aehzim Bridal. It will be part of the collection for Spring 2009 (which will show in the fall). I think that it turned out lovely (notice how I cut out the messy sewing room background).

Friday, April 4, 2008

Something Cheery

This is picture of our new niece, Morgan. The new parents told us that she could roll herself over (at the ripe age of two and a half weeks). She wouldn't perform when we were visiting, but they snapped a picture of her on her way over for proof.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Feeling Low

I am just feeling down this week. Today marks one whole week that Jay has had the flu. Poor man. I know that that he is getting better, but it's hard for him to recognize. His patience has run out, and he's starting to think that he's never going to get well.

And my patience is running out too. I'm trying to be a good nurse and be loving, nurturing, and positive. But, I'm feeling emotionally drained. Physically I'm tired, but emotionally, I'm exhausted. I keep praying for strength, but I feel like it's not coming. I know that God is answering my prayers because I haven't run out of the house screaming yet. It's just easy to assume myself ignored.

I know that God will see us through this. It's just been a hard season for me. I feel worn and tired, but without any fruits to show for it. So, pray for my little family...that we'll make it through the flu and that we'll feel God's love and peace on the way.