Wednesday, February 2, 2011

summary of an away

life has been pretty full around here. family gatherings, illness, a craft project, a book read, more family time, organizing, and of course the boys. nothing too dazzling- just things that consumed the time (and energy!) i would otherwise spend writing.

family time:

for my birthday, tim's mom hosted a dinner and game night. i am so blessed to have such an amazing second family. tim very sweetly got off work a little early, then after hanging out with us for a little bit, took the boys home to put them to bed, allowing me to stay and play balderdash with tim's brother, his wife, two of their boys, and tim's uncle. they are all such clever, funny people, including the boys, and we laughed sooo hard. i couldn't believe how late we stayed up.

fortunately for me, tim then had to stay home my whole birthday weekend(!!!) because his back was really bothering him. bummer for him but totally awesome for me to get to have him around and have help with the boys-even if he was mostly restricted to the couch and recliner. having some quiet time to myself was the best present.


i've been cleaning out the house, organizing, and rearranging furniture. being stuck inside for so much of our days makes the changes exciting, even if just for a day. it amazes me how just moving one thing can distract the boys and awaken creativity.

normally i am a saver, and tim is big time, but lately, i have been cleaning out a lot of stuff. our house isn't huge and i want to make the most of the space that we do have. more than toys, the boys seem to need space. to run, wrestle, jump, and play. with all their busy buzzing about, i seem to need more open space too.

crafty time:

one of my college roommates was expecting a little girl at the end of january and i knew i wanted to make her something. i had really been wanting to try to make a bunting for awhile, but just wasn't very motivated. when i visited jenny in december and saw the nursery, i knew exactly what the blank wall above the crib needed. when baby piper came early, i had to kick the bunting up the priority list.

i was so happy with how it turned out, but couldn't get a good picture of it. (not that i tried very hard. i was really eager to get it in the mail.)

i used this tutorial as my starting point, but because i have a complete inability to follow directions, i had to make some changes.

instead of running the string through it, i used bias tape to finish the top. i think this was easier and bonus-i already had the bias tape. i think my mom had given it to me a couple of years ago when she moved and majorly purged her craft room. (proof of my hoarding.) i also changed the measurements and hand embroidered the letters.

it was really hard for me to slow down on this project and really take the time to do it right-ironing all the pieces, hand embroidering, double sided with finished edges. i tend to like fast projects, so when this one dragged on for several days, i had to fight my impatience. i'm so glad i did. and most importantly, jenny really likes it. (and i'm sure piper does too.)


tim, being the sweet guy that he is, picked up anthony bourdain's kitchen confidential for me from the library. we like watching his show on netflix, not so much for his personality, but for the places he goes and the food. because of his personality on the show, i was hesitant to read the book, certain it was going to be pretty crass. when i finally picked it up, i was quickly proven right. i almost stopped reading it several times-i really dislike vulgarity. but when he's not describing the way the kitchen staff talks to each other or his personal life, the food and restaurant parts were pretty interesting. i like food and i like reading about food.

more family time:

for my goddaughter's first birthday, i had her and her siblings over for dinner so her parents could have a break. really, i just wanted an excuse to snuggle and kiss and smush her with love.

sometimes i offer things before i really think them out. dinner by myself with five kiddos ages 4, 4, 3, 2, and 1 certainly wasn't a very logical way to spend my evening. but we all survived and i got the snuggles i needed.

as a bonus, i got to take some pictures of the "quilt" i made for my goddaughter when she was born. like with the bunting, i was hasty in giving it to her and never got any pictures. along with the quilt, i gave her an outfit that said "sweet pea", so that was kind of the theme for the quilt.

she didn't like being put down. i quickly accommodated her with more snuggles.

and of course the boys:

they're still alive. and cute. and making me crazy. ben is sick right now. the other night i heard him crying in his bed and when i went to check on him, i got to feel the cold squish of vomit between my toes. ah the joys of parenting.

so that's what we've been up to. now to tackle february.

i'm going to try posting weekly, with wednesday as my goal. i won't go into the overly extensive analysis that led to this decision. but that's my goal.


  1. yes! the guilting worked! I am quite satisfied with this post!
    1. I wish I could have been there at the goddaughter bday party. Looks like fun. I really, really enjoyed spending time with her two siblings in december.
    2. "cold squish of vomit between my toes" -that is so disgusting and so superbly written.
    3. I recommend Heat. Bourdain is a judge on top chef this season, and since hulu isn't carrying as many episodes this season, i am stuck reading his blog posts. He is a talented writer, but he seems to try way too hard. Every sentence seems unnatural. I'd like to see him right something as honest and succinct as "cold squish of vomit between my toes." He comes off quite pretentious and insufferably arrogant. I recommend Heat. The author is much more skilled and much more humble.
    4. I LOVE that photo of Ben looking in the lego plane. Like: "that's a GREAT picture" LOVE.
    5. I knew Jackie would find me out before I finished typing this. She just came out to the family room to see why the wood box was not getting filled. I blurted out "MARY BLOGGED!" in my defense.

  2. Thank you for posting. I understand the overly extensive analysis about when/what to blog. It almost kills me that I've had to let go of my 'schedule'. Thanks goodness for people like you to remind that the life outside of my current project still exists.
    I am very amazed with your bunting. I've been wanting ot make a Happy Birthday one for a few years now and won't buy one because I say I'm going to make it....maybe this summer you can teach me.
    Eww, I hate vomit. And we've had our fair share of it you'd think it wouldn't bother me anymore.

  3. I enjoy your blogging, too and would not mind you doing it more often.

    I hear you on the organizing, cleaning, pitching, needing space bit. I live that pretty much ALL THE TIME. But it seems that no matter how much I get rid of, more comes in and no moving things here or there, will take care of the problem that we live in a small house. But it is OUR house and we are grateful to have our own home. The blessings of a large family and me being home to raise them out-weigh the possiblity of a larger living space at the expense of someone else raising our kiddos and most likely having less of them since we would not be able to afford childcare for so many.

    I really like your "projects." Your goddaughter's blanket looks warm and cozy!

    Well, time to get back to avoiding making dinner (the baby is sleeping on me - what can I do? :)

  4. The bunting is such a sweet gift idea!! Happy belated birthday. = )