on failure + little handmade hearts

We live in the south. This means there are antlers galore, everywhere.

I had it in my head, that I was going to do this great project. I was going to make some antlers, and they were going to be sculpted from clay all the the name of Bambi, and it was going to be fantastic fun. There were light filled stags dancing in my head with sparkles and perfectly sculpted antlers. I was so excited. I was all, save the deer! Artistic interpretations. And stuff.

I know. I’ll stop while I’m ahead.


I tried twice, and they were a failure of epic proportions. One looking like a raven claw from some Edgar Allan Poe poem that just may come to life and strangle me in my sleep, and the other collapsed in the oven and was reminiscent of a weird tree branch that I won’t be keeping around because it, too, is a bit skeletonhandpoltergiestish.

I have standards. Duh.

This was all after spending a good amount of time on both and bemoaning my failure, when Emerson said, “It’s okay mommy. Just blog about it anyway. Say, cracks are cool, y’all.” And then she picked one up and started making ghost noises with it. “Ooooooooo scary.”

Cracks are cool. That actually happened.

A. Either I’ve brainwashed my child at this point or B. She’s right.

We’ll go with C. All of the above.

Cracks are cool, y’all.

And failure is totally okay.


But here comes the double whammy. I realized I was so into these stinkin pretend (fail) skeleton hands antlers (which I’ve also discovered other (better) versions of them out there, so never mind…. double fail-blogger probs) that I almost missed this:

Malone asked me to take a picture of him.

I looked up, and there he was, sitting there with this perfect little heart in his hand. Literally. This little piece of love.

I can’t make this stuff up. He’s just thematically appropriate/adorable like that.


And I heard this little voice in the back of my head say, “You almost missed this.”

I almost missed all three kids, gathered around me, at the island, creating and playing happily. Coming up with these pretty little creations that they were so proud of. While I was annoyed over arbitrary failure antlers and the resulting wasted time, they were happy just to be.



Don’t miss this. I muttered to myself.

My heart is heavy.

We’ve gone through a (bit of a tough) readjustment phase of sorts. We’re just acclimating to it all. Life works out like that sometimes. Family life goes through phases and this one has just been crazy. I’ve realized that in stressing out so much over the little things-from lesson plans to family stuff-I’m missing it.

Is it possible to miss something that is right under your nose?

It is if you’re focused on all the wrong things.

I feel like sometimes, there’s just a little too much pressure with the holidays. We toe the line between sharing some super fun ideas that we love, and doing too much.

This season, I don’t want to miss the point. I feel like we often get so caught up in the rush and outright pressure, that we just forget to sit back, relax and take it all in.

We’ve been on a journey for simplicity in our lives. Sometimes we focus so hard on not messing up, and get so distracted by the pressure, that we forget about the basic element of just being thankful.

And in doing so, we miss it.


Because these days, it’s about more than projects and shopping and craziness and pressure and presents. It’s about giving our children our time, and the gift of our presence. A little less stuff, a little less noise. A little more space to breathe.

So here’s to hoping for fun afternoons in a tent. Yoga pants and pajamas and rest with a good movie. For scaling back and breathing deep.


Snuggles in the bed with your littles and/or fur babies. Lots of hot chocolate.


And reflecting that maybe this season isn’t all about the rush of the holidays, but enjoying our loved ones,

and their little handmade hearts.

kidsHappy Saturday, y’all.

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Responses to on failure + little handmade hearts

  1. Carol says:

    Oh my goodness! This is just the sweetest post I’ve read in a long time and it is truly timely as we get so overly busy at this time of year. It truly is so important and such a blessing when you stop and really see the little things that are hugely important. Thanks so much for sharing this and the cutie pies in your life!

  2. Sally says:

    Yes! and AMEN. Why is it that we need to be reminded of this over and over and over? Thanks for reminding me again. Happy Saturday to YOU! ~Sally @DrinkingFromMySaucer

  3. The little moments all build up to make the happy positive memories that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. Your fail turned into the best blessing ever. Sounds to me you are about to embark on the best holiday ever. XO

  4. Cristin Malone says:

    I love this post. Thank you for the reminder!

  5. Brie says:

    LOVE…..this. I could have written this myself, just not so well=))


  6. Dawna says:

    What a great post and a great reminder! You have a beautiful bunch of kidlets and I am so glad that you captured the moment :) Mine are grown now, 23 and 20, and somedays you just want to go back….and do it all over again, but you can’t! Enjoy your “pyjama kinda day” :)

  7. I briefly considered making my own antlers, but I’ve decided to buy the $50 deer head from Amazon and spray paint that sucker white. Yay for faux taxidermy, and super big props to you for even trying to make your own. I puzzled over techniques and just couldn’t think of anything that I’d be able to execute.

    I love playing with clay with my kids, too. They make the sweetest things :)

  8. My heart is in this same place. Thank you for posting this !

  9. Jamie says:

    I needed this today…

  10. Mindy says:

    I love where you focus is, the drinking in of each moment and not missing it. Great reminder. And that heart – the sweetest!

  11. susan says:

    That is such a great post. It’s amazing where you can find an a-ha moment. This is why I love blogs!

  12. Jen Y says:

    A great post! And to give you a little less guilt about antlers – Deer shed their antlers & grow a new set every year. So you can use real ones without harming Bambi.

  13. allison says:

    This was really gorgeous and well put. I have the same struggle – I get obsessed with accomplishing, doing, and on my goals. It has been my challenge in life to relax, let life be slow, and to be OK with expanded peripheral vision to be “distracted” by the real life around me. Thanks for this!

  14. Mindy says:

    Great post! I love the last picture with the kids all at the table and the dog under Emerson’s chair! So cute!

  15. Anna-Ruth Murphy says: