On Becoming a Single Mother (Again)


I’ve written before about I how I was a single teenage mom. Since then, I thought I was set for life in my marriage, only to learn about year ago that things were not what I’d thought they were. It’s too personal to go into all of the hows and whys here, but the point is that my life is no longer what I thought it was going to be. And I’m venturing into the great unknown as a single mother of four this time around.

Depending on the day--and sometimes the hour--I feel liberated and confident and that the possibilities of life are endless. Other times I’m at rock bottom, fearful for the future, uncertain of how I will make ends meet, or how this will affect my kids. I get down on my knees and cry and pray when I need to. And instead of falling into the darkness of fear, God shines down and shows His face, and reaches out to help me stand back up.

Today would have been my 9th wedding anniversary. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how I feel about that. I’ve been apprehensive thinking about this day. I know it’s going to hit me hard and hurt at some point today. And that is perfectly fine. I don’t need to try to avoid it, only giving that fear of my pain more power. I’ll let myself feel the feelings, dry my eyes, and get back up. If it takes me a little longer to get back up, so be it, but I’ll get back up there. I miss the idea of being married, feeling loved and secure, of having a partner to share life with. But I don’t miss feeling loneliness and heartache in marriage.

I don’t have all the answers about what’s ahead for me and my kids. At times life feels so completely out of my control, and then there’s nothing left to do but to give up trying to have control. It’s difficult to explain, but the moments when my strength is renewed are the ones when I’m finally able to let go in my weakness. Relief comes when I give my life up to God. When I can stop being stuck in my perspective of scarcity in my life and trust in God’s great abundance. No one can manipulate their way to a life of love and light. I don’t have to have all of the answers. I’m not capable of making every step a perfect one. But if I can let loose my grip on fear and pain, I can find myself floating in waters of peace instead flailing only to drown.

I’m so grateful that I have this place here to share with you all. I love the work that I do, and I’m going to continue on with this gift as far as I am able to. I hope to begin sharing more of who I am in addition to the things I make and do here at Maker Mama. I’ve shared glimpses in the past, but I’ve often held back out of fear of vulnerability. My life experiences are a driving part of why I do what I do, and I want to share my journey of trying to live life to the fullest here.

So, to get me through this day, I’m going to reach out instead of huddling down and licking my wounds. There’s work to be done, but I’ll find some ways to show myself a little bit of extra love today. To celebrate my single-mama-life with my four beautiful kids, and to open my heart to the love and light God’s waiting to pour all over my life. Thank you all for walking alongside me and supporting my aspirations for creating a beautiful blessed life.


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Crafteeo Cardboard Helmets

This post is sponsored by Crafteeo

My boys recently had the opportunity to try their hands at making their own cardboard helmets from Crafteeo. It was fun being able to surprise them with the kits and they got right to making. Crafteeo is a family run company inspired by their own kids' love for playing with the box rather than all of the toys during gift giving seasons.  




The Southern Guardian Helmet kits we received came complete with the cardboard punch outs, paint, and LED lights, and we used our own hot glue and the online video instructions to put it all together. And when I say we, I really mean the boys--they were a pretty involved project, taking several hours over a couple days. It probably would have been too difficult for just my 8-year-old to do by himself, but with his 11-year-old brother they made a great team.  

The helmets were such a hit with my boys, that I think this may become a new go-to birthday gift for their friends--and my boys can't wait to try out more of their kits! Crafteeo is running a Kickstarter campaign to help produce their cardboard body armor set, and I highly recommend popping over and checking them out. You can even try download the pattern to make your own Guardian Spear for free

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Thrift Store Collector | Blankets


This post is sponsored by Goodwill SA

I've amassed a number of quirky and colorful collections during the 15 plus years I've been thrifting, but it's only been the last five or so that I've been collecting blankets. I think when you become a mother, blankets automatically become an obsession. As my kids grew out of their swaddling days I ventured into making my own blankets for them (I still have a bag of the girls' baby clothes to one day turn into quilts!). I don't get to make as many blankets as I'd love to these days, but coming across colorful thrifted finds definitely helps make up the difference!

I love cuddling up under a blanket in the winter, swinging one over the hammock, or taking one along for a picnic in the summer. And I always have a blanket (or two) in the back of my mama-van. Here's a peek at my full collection of thrifted blankets. 


The floral blanket on the bottom is actually a thrifted sheet and blanket I tie-quilted together (you can see it a little better in this post). And the solid striped one I made from thrifted jeans and a sheet for the backing (you can check out that one here).
I'm also a sucker for brightly-colored crochet blankets. It almost breaks my heart to see that someone gave them up, but then I get so excited about being the one to find it and take it home!



What are your favorite thrift store finds? Tag them with #ThriftStoreCollector and follow Maker Mama on Instagram to see my latest finds as I discover them. And check out my other thrift store collections while you're here: Vintage Suitcases & Kitchenware.


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Recycled Jeans Quilt


It's no secret that I love colorful jeans, but I'm taking it to a whole new level this week with a recycled jeans quilt. Come visit me over at Andrea's Notebook for the full tutorial. 

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Tie-Dye Shibori Placemats


This post is sponsored by ILovetoCreate and Blueprint Social. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this blog!

I'm always looking for new ways to recycle common thrift store items, and t-shirts are one of the easiest materials to work with. We use linens every night at dinner, but our current ones are getting a little sad-looking. So recycled t-shirt placemats it is! I love the shibori trend online right now, so I decided to give them a little color using a Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit.

DIY Cork Boats

I used up the last of my cork stash for these fun little floating boats. Come visit me over at PBS Parents' Crafts for Kids to learn how to make these with your kiddos! (And if you have any more corks feel free to send them my way!)
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Easy Upcycled Photo Album


This post is sponsored by HP.

Working and making from home in the midst of being a mama of four has it’s way of keeping me busy. I carry a to-do notebook with me to keep track of it all, and I do my best to plan as much as I can ahead of time: meal planning and grocery shopping, family activities, craft supply shopping, photographing, writing, and editing posts, and the hundred other things that come with these roles.

But life happens, and a wrench gets thrown in from time to time to throw me off kilter. Boys run into doorways and need emergency stitches, someone gets sick and I have to pick them up from school, or the printer runs out of ink in the middle of a project. Sometimes life’s little emergencies can’t be avoided, but running out of printer ink when I need it the most isn’t one of those wrenches anymore.
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