Tag Archive | Christmas

My Best from 2013 ~

I found myself watching intently my digital photo frame in the Family Room this morning.  Almost all of the photos on it are mine, and I was noticing that I really do have a few exceptional photos from last year when I was very enthusiastic with my camera.  I thought I’d post a few of my own favorites.


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While these are all not necessarily fantastic photography, some are my favorites simply because of the content, or they’re favorite places or events from last year.  Some are very meaningful, perhaps only to me.  Some are my first endeavor at macro and super macro.  But these are my favorites.  Hope you enjoy!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you again soon!  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt


Sew What?

I have not blogged in almost two months, a record for me.  I also haven’t taken any “serious” photographs in at least that long.  For awhile I thought I’d lost “it”, that inspiration that has been sending me out all over several counties to find interesting things to photograph and share.  While I’ve since discovered I still  have “it”, I’ve realized that “it” isn’t on my top list of priorities anymore.  And there just isn’t THAT MUCH around where I live that’s interesting to photograph, or that hasn’t already been done over and over by someone else in the area.  How many times can you take a shot of a waterfall, or water, or a lake or a pond?  And while there are many seasonal things going on locally to photograph, I think I did them all last year.  And I haven’t even gotten to the part where my camera has been taking some pretty awful shots for the past few months.  And, no, it’s not the photographer!

So, putting the camera on the shelf for awhile, I’ve gone back to my sewing room as my creativity outlet for awhile.  Quilting gives me more long-lasting satisfaction anyways, so I’m happy to be back after a month’s absence.  I was working on my “Pure Decadence” quilt, and actually have it all sandwiched and ready to start quilting it, but Christmas interrupted my intentions.  I needed our immense diningroom table that I had been using to sandwich the quilt for Christmas present wrapping.  So the quilt got put on a back burner until after the holidays.

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For awhile I was making fabric Christmas gift bags, sew easy!  I found a pattern online and I just loved it.  Not only can you make them for Christmas, but also any other occasion you can imagine for which you might need a gift bag.

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And I remembered I had a small quilt project started!  It was one where I had found this beautiful fabric while looking for something else, and I decided I really wanted to work with it to make something special.  At the time, I didn’t know what that “special” thing was going to be, as I was completely uninspired.  But having been working on this simple little Nine-Patch quilt top for a month or so now, I have finally decided who is going to get it and that it is going to be a Spring 2014 surprise for someone special.

Spring Surprise 2014

Spring Surprise 2014


Meantime, I have been cuddling up with my pink quilt very often lately, especially while watching t.v. in the family room.  I’ve been thinking that, although I create a lot of “theme” quilts etc., I’ve never really made a “seasonal” quilt.  And I want to make something “Christmassy” for winter cuddling during the holidays.  There has been a particular Christmas quilt in my “Keepsake Quilting” catalog that I have been wishing for for about 2-3 years now.  I’ve never purchased a “kit” before, but I really, really want to give this a try.  So, I may splurge and get this for myself after Christmas.

Christmas quilt kit from "Keepsake Quilting"

Christmas quilt kit from “Keepsake Quilting”

The hardest part will be keeping it for myself.  I always want to keep giving my creations away!  I can think of several special people that would enjoy this quilt as a 2014 Christmas gift!  However, at this time next year, I will be soundly sleeping through several afternoon  t.v. shows in my family room cuddled up with this finished quilt!   Until then, I will continue to work diligently on my “Spring Surprise” quilt and will keep you posted.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a looksee.  Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt


“Merry Christmas, I’m Pregnant”

Gavin & Liam ponder their new sibling, due in July 2013

Gavin & Liam ponder their new sibling, due in July 2013

You know how you watch “American’s Funniest Home Videos” and they inevitably have the clip(s) where the couple informs their parents (on video, of course) via some unexpected way that they are expecting a baby?  I always thought those clips were so phony and the people involved were actors, or just plain ridiculous.  Well, up until now, that is.

We had Christmas dinner at my eldest daughter’s family’s house, and my son-in-law’s parents also came down from Watertown to join in.  After the nice dinner of ham, potatoes, veggies, breads, olives etc., we all sat down in their livingroom to pass around/open Christmas presents each had gotten for the other.  The first thing received was a Christmas card in a beautiful red envelope, and both “mother’s” were urged to open them and read.  Upon opening mine, I became so enthralled with the OUTSIDE of the pretty card that I handed it off to my husband to share the pretty sentiment BEFORE I read the inside.  I saw that there was “something” loose on the inside of the card, figured it would’ve been a photo of my two gorgeous grandson’s, and waited for my husband to finish perusing the outside of the card before he would hand it back to me and I would admire the photo enclosed.  My husband took the time to look at the photo, AND the inside of the card before handing it back… and I’ll never forget that peculiar look on his face.  Meantime, a commotion started in the livingroom, as my son-in-law’s mom had taken the time to read the entire INSIDE of the card and it began to sink in.  I finally grabbed back the card from my husband and looked at the photo (as seen above).  It didn’t take me only about 3 seconds to realize I was looking at a sonogram!  This was something my husband had never seen, so he didn’t know what to make of the photo when he looked at it.  THEN I read the inside of the card and it became all too clear.

For a split second I thought maybe I was being punked.  After all, Kristen’s final words after hours of laboring with Gavin were “never again” in a seething, pained, rasping voice that could only be compared with Darth Vader… and true to her word at the time, Liam was adopted.  And now, could it be?  And then I remembered those silly people on AFV and realized I had just become one of them… without the advantage of being video-taped.  All I remember after that was pandemonium.  At one point, I thought maybe my head had exploded, but I kept checking and it was still intact.  It didn’t FEEL intact. 

 I think it was only about 1-2 months ago I was wistfully telling Al that I wanted to make another baby quilt for someone.  I remember actually searching for someone in my area of friends/acquaintances and even church friends looking for someone to bless with a new baby quilt.  Hallelujah!  Now I have a reason to make a baby quilt… or two or three.  We don’t know whether boy or girl yet, but I can put together something totally appropriate for either in the blink of an eye!  And, once we know for sure that it’s a girl, I can make more… in pink!  Did I say something about a “girl”?  Well, here’s hoping! 

Forgiven & Set Free: 1st Christmas ~

I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to “how far” I need to go in my post-abortion healing.  How long does one grieve?  How long before I’m healed?  Some people feel the need to “celebrate” yearly milestones, but I think for me, I’ve about reached the summit and am prepared to let it go and perhaps in the future “celebrate” and remember in my own personal way.

I have, however, recently purchased an ornament to put on our Christmas tree to commemorate the very first Christmas that I feel allowed to remember him.  It would’ve been this week or next that Kirk would’ve been born, had he been allowed to go to full term.  He would’ve been a Christmas baby.  It’s important to me to have “concrete” items with which to celebrate and remember, and I’m blessed to have been able to find what I consider the “perfect” ornament for our circumstance.

Back side of ornament

Back side of ornament

I found the ornament in an online search and sent for it.  It’s gold with autumn colored beads, and on the center piece on the front is a gold oak leaf embellished with red/orange tones.  On the back side it is engraved (4) lines:Kirk L Thomas, December 1974, Forgiven and, Set Free.

Front of Kirk's commemorative ornament

Front of Kirk’s commemorative ornament

 And with this, I think I’ve gotten the closure I needed to move on from this experience.I still have the red oak tree planted in our front yard this fall that will continue to grow and be strong.  Al put some Christmas garland around the bottom of it ~ kind of like on “A Charlie Brown Christmas” where Linus puts his blanket around the bottom of that sad little Christmas tree that Charlie Brown got.  And with that, I think I can say “Everything is going to be all right” at last.  


To understand where I’m coming from with this, please read Forgiven & Set Free from the start.  


If you’d like to visit the website where I got this amazing ornament, go to KyleDesigns.com.  They offer all kinds of beautiful ornaments and other personalized/customized items.  Their customer service was exemplary… I got my order two days prior to when it was expected!


 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!


Forgiven & Set Free ~ Introduction

Originally I had kept this F&SF subject matter in with my “Random Thoughts” category, but it has since taken on a life of its own.  So I created a F&SF category to house just my thoughts on my abortion experience and the Grace given to me by God to get through it to the “other side”.

I’m finding, as of this 12/12/12 writing, that the process didn’t end with my post-abortion Bible study, counseling and hours, weeks, months of insight and talking with friends about the subject.  Each day brings something new, something different to think about, to ponder.  As I’m going into the Christmas Season, new thoughts of my little boy, who would’ve been born the week prior to Christmas, had he been allowed to go to full term.

I cannot deny the sadness and regret I still feel on occasion, but for the most part it has been replaced with comfort and joy, and the knowledge that I will be with him some day once again.  Of that I am sure.  It is that that gives me some semblance of peace. 

So I will continue to post in this section of my blog as my thoughts merit.  Your thoughts and comments are welcome on this, or any other post on my blog.  And I thank you for your consideration.