February 28, 2010

Green

Okay, okay. I have talked a lot about snow lately. About how much we get of it, about it's purity and beauty. About how it's whiteness reminds me of the blank slate I'm using. But seriously? I have had enough. Winter has drawn on too long.


I want green. Like, NOW.


I feel like brand new things are growing in my life, things I want to nurture and bathe in sunlight. Things I want to see raise out of the ground, healthy and verdant, to untwist and face the sun. It's time to mosey this snow right on out of here. Bring on the green. Green = LIFE.


Actually, I have to say that if the sunlight and green could start tomorrow that would be great, but I wouldn't actually wish to speed up time. No way. I want to soak up every moment possible these days.


I hung out with Tomato Soup yesterday. Such an odd but amazingly good thing to feel like we have been dating for months without either of us realizing it. It is a happy, happy thing we have. Real and tangible. A little scary but so freaking worth it. Full of LIFE.


Truth be told, I am falling for his green eyes. Well, that and the fact that after dinner, we had the most comfortable conversation while he hand-washed every dish as I watched from across the room. Really. Stood there in front of the sink looking unbearably handsome and all covered in suds. MERCY. How did he know dishes were the way to a girl's heart?


Hmmm. Green.

February 25, 2010

Home

I'm forcing myself to update today with more information not related to my smiling habit. Though I can't promise it won't work its way in somewhere. In fact, I'm sure it will.

Mabel still won't potty. She loves the idea of wearing big girl drawers but hasn't figured out what she's got to do to get them. It will happen; I'm just being patient.

Roo and I have been working on double digit subtraction with regrouping. His teacher said he was struggling with doing the problems on paper. She suggested flashcards and implied he might have trouble with them. I bought flashcards and we did them at dinner that night. He did every one in his head. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. So.....???? I need to talk to the teacher about testing him orally instead of on paper. When he sits down with a paper and pencil, he makes it too hard on himself. Ask him to do it in his head (even double digit) and all it takes is a few seconds and some eyes rolling as he thinks - and voila.

Trevor is still reading (HA! That's so putting it mildly). If he didn't play football, write songs for his band, or still adore television, I would be worried that he'd never pull his nose out of a book. He is CONSTANTLY reading. Adores it more than anything. And he's reading and retaining! He is testing for points in our school's accelerated reading program, and he's tied for first place in the whole elementary school with a 5th grader and a 6th grader (he's in 3rd). He's reading books that are 700-800 pages in length, testing (like 100+ questions), and missing fewer than TWO QUESTIONS. Such a smart kid. Now if I could only get him to focus that hard on bedtime routine.


And then, me. People, I am good. I am good in a way I haven't been for so long that I don't know how to function some days. Gosh that sounds drastic. Let me try another way of explaining: both Becky and Min have commented on my general disposition recently.

Said last night: "You were never like this in Ohio, Dude. Never this happy. Even when you were happy, you weren't happy like this. You never called me to gush like this. This is who you are, right here!"

Also this: "SQUEE! I'm so happy for you! It's about time! What I love most is that when you tell me things, I have a hard time differentiating between when you speak and when [Tomato Soup] speaks. You two speak the same language. He GETS YOU. And, Honey, [you are not dreaming] you are blissfully awake."

Twice this week at work someone said, "I never thought it possible, but you are even more happy today than usual!"

There has been a shift of something inside of me. Something has clicked into place. Feels like the hand of God, knitting things together. It's incredibly scary but I don't feel afraid. I feel HOME.

February 23, 2010

Can I Title Another One With 'Smiling'?

Anyone else notice a theme here? Man, I talk about smiling a LOT.


Last weekend I had a date. A date with the most awesome, almost-best friend guy I've been crushing on for months (aka: Tomato Soup). There were some really amazing fireworks (and that is SO putting it mildly).


He rang the front doorbell when he picked me up. In a flash, 3 little people rushed to the windows.


"He has brown hair and glasses!" Andy declared.


"And a white shirt on!" Trevor said.


Mabel and her curls just bounced on the couch beside the sitter.


They have never so much as seen any man I've ever been on a date with, but as I said before, this one is so very clearly different. I wasn't sure how the pick up was going to go down, but I wasn't worried. No way. Not with this guy. Even though he didn't come all the way inside for formal introductions (plenty of time for that yet), he was aware of them glued to the window pane, just as they were aware of him. And all of us were smiling.


He stood at the door with a big smile on his face and a sparkle in his green eyes. In his hands were a dozen red roses.


And I died.


So today... I am still SMILING. I can't help it!

February 16, 2010

She Has Her Ponytails On

Hey, Moo.









Yes, I'm talking to you. I see your little poptart right there. On your cheekies. Know what I also see?



Yes, that's right! Your ponytails!







"Mommy, I has to show the guys. I has my ponytails on!" :: bounce, bounce, bounce ::

("the guys" being Trebber and AndWOO)




Oh, mercy. Am I ever in trouble.

An Overachiever

Two Saturdays ago, Mabel popped her little eyelids open at a ripe 7:00 in the morning. She started babbling, got up and played with blocks, and promptly crapped herself before 8am.

Sigh.

I began to think about Summertime. I began to remember last Summer, when it was fully light by 5:30am. Didn't read that right? Yeah, you did. FULLY LIGHT BY 5:30am. Oh, the midwest is a funny place. Anyway, a future of very tired people began to haunt me and so I began to plan a way out of the certain mess.

Room-darkening curtains? Yes, you read my mind.

Most room-darkening curtains are ugly. I looked around a bit online, did some research, and checked our local thrift stores on account of my challenge and all. What I came up with will hopefully satisfy both my need to keep Mabel snoozing until it's actually time to get up for the day AND my thrifty need to beautify my home.

At Walmart, I bought a pair of cheap room-darkening curtains. They were sort of a mushroom/poo color. Ugly. No matter; I had a plan. A plan and a bag of thrifted sheets in my linen closet.

Which I turned into these in about two hours:







Darling, no? I laid the curtains on top of the sheet one at a time, pinned, and sewed the edges. Then I "quilted" a grid to hold the two layers together. I had wanted to use fusible webbing, however, the curtain care instructions clearly prohibited ironing. Crud. You can see the grid when the curtains hang on the window and of course the grid isn't straight... but I don't care. They are lovely. And functional. And darling.

Just hours after finishing the project, I traded texts with Tomato Soup. I bragged on my productivity, telling him that I'd cleaned the house and made curtains. He promptly called me an overachiever, which made me smile.

This past Saturday, Mabel's eyelids popped open at 8:30. Much better. Too bad she'd already crapped her pants.

Trevor's Quilt

I promised, didn't I?

:)


My inspiration for Trevor's quilt came from the fabulous Blair Peter, who made the quilt below for her son. I knew I wanted to use white in Trevor's quilt, but I also knew I wanted a lot of patterned fabric (the same fabric I've been collecting for his quilt for years now). I was unsure of how to accomplish both at the same time until I saw Blair's masterpiece.






Blair used a pattern from a book and lots of yummy gray cotton. I did not want to spend the almost-$20 for the book. And also was feeling a bit big for my britches again. Ahem. So I decided to MAKE myself a pattern. (Remind you of this at all?)




I began by sewing together large strips of fabrics, that will later be cut apart into thinner strips and pieced together with white kona cotton.







Only 11 more of these to go!

February 15, 2010

The Snow


I have lamented countless times about how much I love the snow. I didn't realize the depth of my love for the powdery, sugar goodness until I moved to Da Plains. And it's a freakin' good thing, too, considering this winter continues to drop flake upon flake of the good stuff at my door. And because I love boots. This weekend we collected another 5 inches.


A friend asked me the other day if it melted in between or, "does it like, just keep piling up until you have 5 feet of snow in front of your house?" Funny. It's closer to 4 feet, actually. The answer is no, it really doesn't melt much until April. We just push it around into piles and step on the brakes a good 20 feet from the stopsigns. It's almost impossible to play in, too now, because the bottom 3 feet are frozen solid. Slippery and fierce if you take a piece in the eye.


Where was I going with this?


Oh. Today I feel refreshed. Reborn. Sort of like the new white blanket of snow outside, covering the world's mistakes and past promises. Perhaps one of the reasons I love the snow so much is because it symbolizes a cleansing. Pushing the restart button.


And dang if I don't want to tell you more about the restart button my heart is trying to press! Except, I'm hesitating because this one feels... different. Wholly, entirely different. This one (Tomato Soup) has been under my nose since September, slowly growing into a new best friend. One who roots me on constantly, one who uses WORDS. One of the most freakin' awesome men I have ever met. Ever. Then one day in January (around about the time I knew The Viking was NOT for me), I woke up.


Looked out at the blanket of snow in front of me.


The earth looked new. All of the feelings I'd been trying to force (not that I realized it at the time) with the other two men I've dated since my divorce were coming on their own now. In fact, I couldn't hold them back.


So, I'm taking my time here. Pushing that button. Starting new. Because holy shit it's scary. This one is... different.


So, yes. I love the snow.

February 13, 2010

Set The Fire To The Third Bar

This song is on constant repeat in my head right now.



That is all.




Love

image by notebookdoodles



Since it's Valentine's Day tomorrow, I was thinking of some random things I love today.




A pile of new thread

A stack of vintage fabric

Watermelon Jolly Ranchers

Avacados

Tomato soup

Plaid (particularly if its a button down with the sleeves rolled up... just sayin')

Facebook

Public speaking

Planning a missions trip to Ethiopia

Skinny jeans

Chucks

"Whatever It Is" by Zac Brown Band

The Black Eyed Peas

Hoar frost

Summer thunderstorms

Crisp, verdant, green grass

The smell of books

Waking up an hour before the alarm, and realizing I have an hour left to sleep

Walks in the snow

Snuggling beside a campfire

Tattoos

Devil's food cookies

Men who are scruffly on purpose

Running

Holding hands

Alfalfa rolls, lined up in a field

Fishing

Vegetarian Sushi with Sapporo

Men who COMMUNICATE

Playing ice cream with Mabel

Books that make me cry

Honesty, integrity, and reliability

Neck nuzzling

Godiva chocolates

Hairy chests

Laughter

When a man sings into your ear while you're dancing

Freckles

The weight of my camera in my hands, the beepy click of the shutter

Strong hands

Aveda lip gloss

Green eyes

Marathon texting (or chatting) with your crush

February 10, 2010

Y'All Might Shoot Me


Mercy. It's been a heck of a week.


First I want to tell you all that in the past little while I have been contacted about, like 50 more blankets that are on their way to the children of Appalachia. Amazing! Thank you.


But this week... this week has been long. So long, already.


Today I sat in a meeting at work for seven hours. Literally SEVEN HOURS. I captured open action item after action item... and nearly lost my mind. That was just today.


Yesterday I sat in a meeting at work for four hours. (I did not capitalize because it sounds so much less severe than seven, doesn't it?) Except that four hours is a honking lot for a meeting wouldn't you say?



I am worn out.


I cannot sew.


I cannot clean.


I was able to make pork chops for dinner tonight. I was able to dance in my kitchen with my little girl, who still refuses to sit on the potty. Help my boys address their valentines.


I was able to text with Tomato Soup. *wink*


I am still fighting that nasty cold, which I believe has made its way into my sinuses now (appointment is tomorrow, thanks).


I need sleep. Like, soon. Y'All might shoot me, but this is all I've got tonight. I promise to post more pics of Trevor's quilt - just as soon as I get off my sick and tired hiner and do something with it!

February 5, 2010

Oh, The Inspiration














All image sources can be found on my tumblr.




This is just a small collection of the images I've put on tumblr lately. Each of them speaks to my soul in a different way. Some represent growth, reconsideration, upcycling, and others - new beginnings.

February 3, 2010

Good Idea, Moo!

When we moved into this house, there was something about the dining room that I wasn't sure how to handle: two silver planter-type boxes nestled into the woodwork. What the heck were they for?

Plants?

Books?

Over the past couple of months, we've kept them empty. I figured I'd have a non-tacky brain wave at some point.

Then last weekend I noticed that Mabel had taken it upon herself to solve this design dilemma.




Why yes, those boxes are the perfect size for a 2 year old bottom...





...and her stuffed puppy...




...reading a book.




Good idea, Moo!

February 1, 2010

Progress On All Fronts

Hidy Ho!


This weekend I:

  • Went grocery shopping with 3 cranky members from the cast of Gremlins
  • Did NOT work on my quilt
  • DID take pictures of my quilt progress
  • Noticed that Mabel had broken my brand new DVD of The Holiday
  • Immediately ordered a second copy of The Holiday
  • Cleaned the house while dancing to I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas and Mr. Brightside by The Killers
  • Nursed a sinus headache that turned into a cold (Thanks, Daughter)
  • Forgot to sew some snowpants for a friend
  • Tickled my children senseless
  • Went out with friends and shook my booty (and realized that - dang, I can still shake my booty!)
  • Read lots of books (namely about folks called Jack and Jill, Otters, and Alice in Wonderland)
  • Said, "Yo" to one of my favorite people
  • Bought princess pant1es for a little girl who needs to very much start potty-training

Yes, I would say progress was made on a number of fronts.