Monday, May 25, 2009

Summer is here.

A view of my world for the next three months or so. When I'm not cutting fabric, that is.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rainbow.

Have a happy, rainbow-filled weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New.

Anna Maria's Good Folks, as promised. Much, much prettier in person than any image found online! Whole yards to be listed tonight, with full yard and half yard sets likely posted tomorrow. Enjoy!

Boy art.

This morning I was going through Reed's gifts and cards and took a moment to actually read the ones from his friends. Both were handmade (love that) - and yet one featured a gun, the other featured a flame-thrower! Leave it to a boy to draw a flame-thrower (and label it as such) on a birthday card. If it had been for Lauren or Grace (and had been drawn by a girl), it certainly would have featured a rainbow, a heart, or two smiling girls holding hands!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Slumber party.

The night before Reed's birthday was devoted to a slumber party. Small-ish (2 friends + Reed) but fun nevertheless! He was SO excited, as were the other boys - they spent the week prior figuring out what movie to watch, which video games to play, etc. Besides, how can you go wrong with pizza, cake, presents, a sun-filled evening, and no time limits on gaming? They finally hit the sack about midnight, and promptly awoke at 5:00 am to resume the gaming (thankfully, they were in the basement). Reed came into our room at 5:30 am to report on something (I forget what) and we both said, "Happy birthday, buddy, but get the heck out of here!" He was totally exhausted for the rest of his birthday, but certainly perked up for more presents and cake later!
That's some major air after jumping off the swing!
Me: What kind of cake do you want? Him: I want it from Target. And with Wolverine on top. Or Star Trek. Me: (after calling Target) sorry, buddy, I had to do a military cake. Him: Cool!
A new nerf gun. This one has "bullets" that stick to glass, so they were getting shot at the fireplace all afternoon. Then, to check out if they were really glow-in-the-dark, he took the gear into the bathroom, turned off the lights, and proceeded to fire them all onto the mirror.

p.s. How can I be old enough to have a nine year-old?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 16th.

10 years ago, on this day, I was here:

It was every bit as amazing as you might imagine. We stood on the deck and looked out over Paris, with nothing pressing on the agenda other than "where do we go from here?"

9 years ago, on this day, I was here:

My first baby. At 11:11 am Reed made his way into this world and our lives were completely and amazingly changed. We love this guy and it has been a privilege to watch him grow up, to share our lives with him and to help prepare him to find his own way in the world someday.

7 years ago, on this day, we mourned:

Kirk's mom, Barb, passed away suddenly on Reed's 2nd birthday. She was his biggest fan and unfortunately never met her granddaughters Lauren and Grace. She was a wonderful woman who was incredibly proud of her two sons. She loved to cook. She could crochet and knit with the best of them. She always had her nails painted. We know she is our guardian angel, and we miss her dearly. Not a day goes by that we don't think of her.

One date on the calendar, May 16th. Much like one might describe a "loaded word," May 16th is like that for us with so many memories and bittersweet emotions attached. On this day we remember the love and laughter of one of our moms; we remember the excitement and overwhelming love that surged from us as we entered into parenthood; and, we remember the sunny day when we stood on top of the Eiffel Tower, looking out over Paris, and our whole future stretched before us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finally.


It has been a long wait, but the UPS man finally came through for me. I was so, so pleased to track my Michael Miller shipment this morning and found out it was out for delivery a day early! I ordered this stuff WEEKS ago, and I have been anxious to get some new pretties in the shop. Right now I have all of today's shipment listed in the shop (there are still 6 more to come, I think) - and later tonight I will be getting the full yard sets and half yard sets listed. Oh! And I finally ordered some Anna Maria Horner Good Folks today. Now I can be anxious for that shipment to come!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Goodbye, preschool.

My baby has graduated from preschool. While I am excited for the next year, the adventure of kindergarten and having all of my kids in elementary school, I am sad as well. How did the time fly as it did? She was an infant just yesterday, I swear. I nursed her and sang to her and pushed her in the stroller, and somewhere along the way she grew tall and learned to sing her own songs back to me. Today was her last day of preschool, and I am sad.

Her teachers sent this letter home today, and I count them in my blessings and realize how fortunate we have been to have a wonderful preschool with teachers that have loved each of our kids - almost as much as we love them. Here is what the letter said:

Dear Parents,

We give you back your child, the same child you entrusted to our care last fall. We give her back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible and more mature than she was then.

Although she would have attained this in spite of us, it has been our happy privilege to watch her personality unfold day by day and marvel at each new achievement, each new success, each new expansion of self. We give her back reluctantly; for having spent nine months together in the classroom, we have grown close, have become a part of each other and shall always retain a little part of each other.

We have lived, loved, laughed, played, studied, learned and enriched our lives together this year. We wish it could go on indefinitely, but give her back we must. Take care of her for she is precious and only one of a kind. Remember that we shall always be interested in your child and her destiny, wherever she goes, whatever she does, whoever she becomes. Her joys and sorrows we will be happy to share.

Please call on us if there is anything further we can ever do for her.

Her Preschool Teachers,
Mrs. W and Mrs. J

I know this sadness is fleeting, like a torch being passed from more experienced mothers, to me, now to others with littler ones than mine. I will always treasure the years when preschool was part of our lives, looking back on them with fondness and remembering the sweet pattern of days.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day.

Did you (or your mom) have a nice Mother's Day?

I did, despite the rocky start. Funny how a simple thing like changing what time you go to church can thoroughly mess up the internal happiness quotient in 2 out of 3 kids. Let's just say that by the time we got to church, I was more than happy to have them go to Sunday school! And then I promptly felt guilty for wanting to ship them off after watching a Mother's Day video which made every single mom in church (myself included) weepy and grabbing for the kleenex. The kids were at least back on an even emotional keel after church and managed to stay delightful through a lovely brunch with my parents. My mom is the best and I love her to pieces!

At this point of the day it was only noon, so we then all headed out to look at a few model homes. Kirk and I are in the beginning stages of planning to sell our house and likely build another...there is so much to consider it can really get my brain spinning! Fortunately, the kids have loved visiting models and enjoy picking out which room they would have. I like the fact that there is generally nothing breakable for them to encounter! Since no one lives in the house, there is no feeling like you're intruding on someone else's space. Anyway, it was fun but by early afternoon I was wiped out!

I did get some great presents - tissue paper flowers from Grace, an artwork plate from Lauren (and a card that she made which read, "You've won 2 million dollers!!!!!!!!) and Reed gave me some original poetry. This is what it said:

J ust plain kind
E tsy addict
N ecessarily nice
N ervous when I get lost
Y oung always

I like the "young always" part! Tell me, how was your special day?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The compost bin.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had purchased a compost bin for our family. I got a lot of flak from Kirk, thinking I had wasted a ton of money and reminding me I would have to twist his arm (and the arms of 3 children) to actually make use of the thing. Well, it's been up and running for over a week so I am here to report on it's initial use.

Firstly, why get a compost bin? I started researching them after my cousin got one and decided we could try it out, too. The question of 'can we really turn our garbage back into dirt?' is intriguing! I decided on getting a tumbler bin and ended up purchasing The Envirocycle. It is smaller, less expensive (although not cheap by any means...the price I pay for experimentation) and simple enough that the kids can easily help as we go.

So, The Envirocycle. It comes assembled and you literally lift it straight out of the box and plunk in down in your yard. It has two parts - the drum which is where you dump the garbage, and a base that has wheels on which the drum rotates. The base also is an empty vessel that collects "compost tea" - basically the liquid that drains off and is a natural liquid fertilizer.

My method so far - I have been collecting kitchen scraps (fruits/veggies, coffee grounds + filters, egg shells, and other food waste but NOT meat or dairy) and I place them in a bowl on the counter. I then cover the bowl with a plate to keep garbage out of site. There is no smell (I empty the bowl daily), and yet I will probably not do this long term. You can buy crocks and various containers (prettier than a bowl and plate) that are made for this job, but even they are kinda pricey. Another alternative (and what I plan to try next) is to keep a container in the freezer and empty it when it's full. Supposedly the freezer helps the waste start to break down a little before it even enters the compost bin.

The other stuff that can be composted is virtually any non-glossy paper (shredded is best), cardboard boxes, paper napkins, used kleenex (gross, but true!) and even drier lint. Of course yard waste is also compostable, from grass clippings to leaves. Best to leave out weeds and sticks, unless the sticks/wood are chipped.

The downside to the bin? It's small, so we will not be able to compost all of our grass clippings (we get 2 full trash cans a week in the summer) and once it's 3/4 full, we will have to stop adding more and keep it turning for a few weeks (months?) until it is all turned into compost.

But the upside? It's a great learning tool for the kids. We have frequent conversations about what can be turned into dirt, what can be recycled, and what happens to the regular trash. It is also helping me become mindful of what I used to blindly throw away (or down the disposal) and how it's really not hard to separate a few things here and there. We do that anyway by recycling, so this is just taking it one small step further.

Will we get compost? I hope so. I will keep you informed of our progress as the season progresses!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Captured.

Note to self: bring the camera more often, because you just never know when the light of heaven will shine down on your path.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A-line skirt.


About a month ago I was inspired to make myself a new spring skirt from Amy Butler's fab Optic Blossom. Naturally, the weather has been chilly enough that I haven't been able to wear it until today. It's a simple A-line, made from no particular pattern - I literally traced the lines of my favorite skirt onto the fabric and cut. This book helped too, I highly recommend it. It has a zipper on the side (had to put that in twice, guess that's good practice right?) and a narrow bias tape waist band. Super simple.

Hello, Sunday morning shadow.

And those toes? Those are happy toes. Welcome back spring, these toes have missed you!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2nd.

Seventeen years ago, a boy took a girl on a date. They went for pizza, then he took her home to meet his mom. A movie followed. At the end of the night he walked her to her door and asked permission to give her a kiss goodnight. She said, "Of course." Then, they bumped noses when they kissed. It was sweet and new, the beginning.

After that night, many things followed. A courtship, distance, a proposal, a wedding. They traveled and planned, gained a mortgage and then kids. Together they lost dear ones but gained perspective. And the common thread through all, more careworn and golden but still sweet and everchanging was love. Love for a life shared, for better or for worse, for each other and the family they created.

Thank you, Kirk, for that first kiss seventeen years ago. And yes, you may kiss me again. Love you.