December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

2009 was a tremendous year. Difficult in parts, but a blessing in many, many ways. For one thing, I have more friends now than I ever have in my life. Yes, 2009 was good.

I saw this picture and I thought of something immediately: the orange that appeared in my mailbox in October of this year. Not a literal orange in my postal receptacle you see, but it was like one morning I walked numbly through my daily routine and opened my mailbox to find something fresh and new and full of awakening, one of those fantastic things you never see coming and then - surprise - it's there and bright, so refreshing and vibrant and wonderful. The orange in my mailbox was the Viking indeed.

Of course I have goals for 2010 and I will share them in due time. But I can't help but root for the cute in 2010!

What are your goals for the year?

December 30, 2009

T = 9

I can't believe he's 9. My oldest child is ... NINE. How did that happen?

Trevor, I love you because you are an old soul. I love you because, like me, you lack common sense at this age. You are booksmart and wise and passionate. Your eyes light up with such intensity and fun that it's hard to stare into them sometimes. Your laugh is contagious and I still very clearly remember the first time I heard your deep, belly laugh on the living room floor in Kentucky. I remember that when you were born I was in shock that you looked so much like me. You approach life with such vitality and interest. You don't shy away from things and you don't hide your feelings. I love each of these things about you, and so much more.

I love that you are a terrific big brother. You are guiding two siblings beneath you. You are a tremendous help but only because you want to be. You love being outside, you love reading, and you love US. Thank you for that. You insist on trying something new until you get it right and are amazing at finding alternative solutions to things. And I love how very much you love Jesus.

While I cannot wait to see how your future unfolds, I wish very much for you to slow. down.

Thanks for being my first child. You've paved the way in my heart.

Love, Mom

December 22, 2009

They're Only This Little For A Little While

First thought: Man, I love how little and innocent she looks while she's napping.

Next thought: Man, I love how none of her bed clothes match (and recognize that strawberry blanket, Aunt Lulu?)

Third thought: Dude, I so need to paint that room already! Blech with the baby poo walls.

Final thought: Man, I need to soak this up because she will only be this little for a little while. I will miss this.

The Sitter's Quilt

There is a very lovely lady in our lives. She watches the kids every day. She loves them, dotes on them, and doesn't tolerate any monkey business. I knew I would make her a quilt for Christmas this year.

Over the past several weeks I've collected pieces of green and pink, with little bits of yellow. Much of it came from my stash. Then I found the beautiful vintage sheet for my backing. While the kids were with their dad over Thanksgiving I got to work.

The piecing is a simple disappearing 9 block pattern, and I quilted it in a grid with white thread. It is lap/twin sized and, she tells me, very warm indeed. The whole thing took me less than 48 hours to cut, piece, quilt, and handbind. I felt so happy making it, thinking of all this lovely woman does for our family.

It was my favorite gift to give this year.
Would it surprise you to learn that I forgot to take pictures of the final product here? It's true. I had envisioned this quilt hung on my wall for a good "completed WIP" shot and then... I just forgot. Now, I see the sitter every day so hopefully one day I will take my camera and get that final shot. Until then, you'll have to just roll your eyes at me.

On My Wall

Print by Samantha Hahn.

My Three (AKA: The Post With Bad Bedhead)

Thank you all for visiting my blog this year. Your lovely comments bring me such joy. From our home to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Be Still My Heart

I've been working on breaking Mabel of the binky. She's plenty old enough, but dang it. She'll only be 2 once. She'll never be this little ever again. Do I really need to rush her to grow up?

I vote no.

And as it turns out, she's a good self-soother, too. I've never had a finger sucker and she doesn't do it often. That's good because it might be the cutest thing I have ever seen (made worse by the darling pom pom hat).

Those New Stockings

Back in the day, we really did it up for the holidays. We had 2 trees usually - one formal tree in the living room and a kids tree in the family room. I used 10 pine swags in our doorways and made holiday centerpieces for the formal dining room table. The kids had fancy quilted stockings from Pottery Barn Kids and there were FAAAAARRRR too many gifts.

When we moved out here and then moved again, I somehow lost 3 of those stockings. Mysteriously, I also lost my desire to be precocious and snooty at the holidays, too... hmmmm, food for thought there.

So we needed new stockings this year. Four of them. I decided to take a tip from Dottie Angel (whom I adore and you will learn more about next year when I take her Challenge of the Utmost Kind) and MAKE THEM. I used the one PBK stocking I had left as a template.

I did not pin anything. I barely even traced lines.

I used entirely repurposed materials for this project. Specifically, I used two old tablecloths, an old linen dish cloth and half a dozen doilies. I was even lucky enough to find a huge pile of white felt that I bought last year (to give structure to my stockings) and some old interfacing that had never been used - cut for an abandoned project a year ago (so what; I used it anyway) to reinforce my stockings and make the white sheeting more opaque.

I was fortunate that the tablecloth I found (for $4, by the way) was trimmed in darling Santas and yule bells, and Christmas trees. I cut 8 of them out - 2 for each stocking - so that all 4 could be displayed on either side.

Over the course of two nights, I sandwiched my layers together, adding bits and details along the way. It's silly the amount of excitement I gain from repurposing fun things. Truly these stockings came together in no time at all. Believe me when I tell you: not ONE single pin!

And, voila.

The kids are already arguing over who gets which one. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to embroider names on the cuffs or not. Doesn't matter. They are all delicious!

December 20, 2009

Hoar Frost

From Wikipedia, Hammer51012, Ashrunner and bullboy1983 on Flickr

Last night as I was being walked home by a certain viking, we noticed a heavy fog around us. And oh, was it chilly. I bet it was just below zero with very little wind. Our feet crunched the snow beneath us. Every road in our little town is still white-washed. It really is lovely.

While walking, I lost my footing. The viking kept me vertical and we both noticed something beautiful swaying above us.

The branches of every tree lining every road (gosh, what HAD I been looking at instead while walking?) were glistening with furry, white ice. The moonlight cut the fog and the branches absolutely glowed.

One more thing to love about Da Plains. Hoar frost. I'd never seen it before, and now, I'll never forget it.

December 18, 2009

Le Sigh

I love you, Aldo... oh yes, I do... I love you, Aldo... and your shoes.

My birthday presents to myself this year include:

Le sigh.


Okay, I guess my sneak peak from yesterday wasn't very sneaky, because all of you who guessed were right. I'm making new Christmas stockings. And I'm ready to show them to you except I need to celebrate something today first.

Yes, it's true that I was born 33 years ago this very day. But that's not it (I'm celebrating that later).

Yes, there is someone new in my life. But that's not it (also, celebrating this later).

Oh no. I am addressing a certain matter that pertains to Lulu's reproduction facility.

As it turns out, Muterus has taken heed and obeyed my orders. Taco, not turtle. In case you're not Lulu and can't understand bestie code, MINDY IS HAVING A BABY GIRL! And since I am living vicariously, I am profoundly excited!

Ahhhh, yes. Auntie Rach will be ready to make a collection of all things PINK.

What a wonderful birthday present. Thanks,, Lulu!

December 8, 2009

In My Head

All of these image sources can be found on my Tumblr.

This is going to be an amazing winter season in Da Plains, full of plaid and flannel and snow boots and hearts drawn in the snow. Lots of quilting and man-scarves made, perhaps sitting in front of a fireplace. A horseride in the snow is entirely optional. SWOON.