Welcome! I’m Melissa, and I’m so glad you’re here. I have a cup of coffee sitting next to me as I write this page, so I’ll just picture you with your favorite hot beverage in your hand as you read.
This is my family. Our children are currently 14, 12, 8 and 6. (This picture is over two years old. I really need to get on that!) We have homeschooled since our 14-year-old was in kindergarten, but our two oldest are now at a Christian school and we’re homeschooling the two youngest. We take it a year at a time and remain open to whatever direction God leads.
My husband, Dave, and I have been married for 17 years. The first Sunday after I moved to Spokane for my new teaching position, I visited a church and he was leading worship. And I knew. Or at least I hoped I did! It just took him a little longer to figure it out. *Wink* We have walked through some extremely difficult times in our marriage including a separation that lasted essentially the entire time I was pregnant with our third child. There were nearly no feelings of love left. But our commitment to keeping our vows and the redemptive power of our Lord worked together to not only restore us but to create a marriage that is more than I ever could have imagined. I would never choose to repeat those years, but I would also never trade them now that I’ve seen the fruit.
I’ve been blogging at A Time for Everything since April 2007 when our daughter was a few months old. I didn’t know what I was doing, but it looked like fun so I jumped in! And in typical Melissa fashion, I didn’t just choose a template and start writing. No, I had to create my own banner, learn some html so that I could change colors and fonts and margins, figure out how to add things to my sidebar and rearrange elements… you know, just complicate my life in general. It took me hours and hours to get that first blog design going. And it was only on Blogger where it woulda coulda shoulda been simple!
I started out like most moms who blog, posting pictures and telling stories about my family and everyday life. I added in a bit about my hobbies from time to time, but it was mainly just a way to connect with people pre-Facebook and Instagram. Most of my readers were people I knew in real life.
When we moved from our little starter home in 2009 to the home where we live now, I became very intent on finding thrift store and garage sale bargains that I could paint or otherwise make over into furnishings and decor for our house. I started taking before, after, and in-process pictures of those projects and sharing them on the blog, and readers seemed to enjoy it, especially when I included tutorials. I’ll never forget the day I discovered that The Nester had shared my alphabet wall. Even after 4 years, her post is the sixth all-time highest source of traffic to my blog!
Pinterest entered the picture and brought more visitors. My hanging jewelry organizer post has been pinned nearly 60,000 times and has had almost 200,000 page views! Crazy.
In 2010, I started noticing lots of free tutorials and patterns online for sewn items, and I began to regret that I hadn’t been more dedicated when my mom tried teaching me to sew as a teenager. I did manage to make a couple of things back then, but I was easily discouraged. When my mom upgraded her machine, she gave me the one she had received when I was a baby, and it traveled with me from place to place. (Specifically, closet to closet!) It rarely came out except to turn a tablecloth into a valance with a simple hem or for sewing on scrapbook pages!
I finally decided that it was foolish to continue being afraid of that old machine when there were so many fun things to be made! So I set out to take on some super easy nothing-but-straight-lines-of-stitching projects. The first thing I made was a camera strap cover. Then I sewed a cover for a throw pillow.
And then these plastic crate liners.
I was giddy. Of course, it was still all straight lines, so I wasn’t super confident. But by that time I was hooked.
At the end of that 2010, I came across a tutorial for a cash envelope system wallet made of oilcloth. I’d pretty much had it with my tattered envelopes, but I had never heard of or worked with oil cloth. When I set out to find some, I happened to come across some laminated cotton (which was fairly new on the scene) at a local fabric store, so I purchased a half yard so that I could give the wallet a try.
It was the first time I had ever sewn in a zipper, and I was fairly certain it would be my last. That thing probably took me close to 10 hours to make! It was ridiculous. But it was so rewarding to be using something I had made. It was rough and imperfect, but I had done it!A few weeks later I decided to share it in a blog post, never having a clue that God would use it to eventually change the course of our lives.
And for that part of the story, you’ll have to be patient. It’s far too much to cover here and far too amazing of a testimony to breeze through quickly! I will eventually be telling the rest of our story on the blog and will link posts here as I share each piece.
Here are some other tidbits about me:
- I am the oldest of five (with four younger brothers) and am a typical firstborn in pretty much every way.
- I’m a temperament/personality types nerd. It fits well with my Melancholy – Beaver – INTP – C DISC Style self.
- If I see a menu item with the words browned butter, chipotle, or cilantro, I am likely to order it.
- I like my coffee and chocolate nice and dark. And if the chocolate has a spicy kick to it, then all the better.
- I started using the envelope system right after graduating from college, back before Dave Ramsey was a household name and Larry Burkett was the one whose financial advice was sought.
- I bungee-jumped when I was in college. Looking back, I can’t believe I did it. Neither could my mom when I told her after the fact.
- I love old movies & old books and new movies & new books that are set back in time.
- Our first baby was born in a hospital where I was allowed to forgo a PICC line, our second was born with a midwife in a birth center, and our last two were born at home. When I was pregnant with our fourth, I joked that I would probably just pull over and give birth while running errands.
- This reminds me that my favorite comedy act ever is when Jim Gaffigan talks about four kids and home birth. The. Best.
- I enjoy technology immensely and can figure out how to do just about anything on a device, but when it comes to calendars, planners, and lists, I am steadfastly committed to paper. I have to actually write.
- I have a degree in education and was a K-8 teacher before my kids were born. My favorite grade level was junior high. I hated being that age, but I loved teaching it.
- I’m drawn to information, and one of my very favorite things to do is research and gather facts. I will dedicate lots of time to finding & exploring possibilities but am not so good at actually making a decision. When I need to make a purchase online, I get lost in the process of searching and invariably find that I’ve moved on to the next task with nothing even in my cart. My husband has learned to follow up by asking a day or two later if I’ve ordered that thing we need. I’m embarrassed by how often I have to say no and am trying to get better about setting a limit on how long I take to gather information before I decide.
- I also love to develop systems of organizing and efficiency and then tweak them to make them better.
- If I were to get my Master’s degree, I would probably choose Library Science.
- In my 40’s, I have really grown to love God’s word and finally enjoy history. My hubby and I read chronologically through the Bible last year, and the two have merged in such a real way for me.
- I am an introvert and a homebody. I sometimes feel anxious about having to leave the house when it’s going to require being in a large group. Running an online business and providing customer service have helped me become more confident when interacting with people.
- I never, ever thought I would be working every day with my husband and loving it. But I am.
Thank you for sitting down with me for a cuppa. Now go enjoy some posts!
I would love to stay connected with you!
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