7.01.2015

summer and everything after it

I don't know why this blog has received so little attention from me lately. Or my camera for that matter. It's been a few months with only sporadic posts, and I'm hoping to get things rolling again as best I can.

(And no... this hiatus has not been morning sickness/exhaustion related. Because I'm not pregnant. I've just had a weird few months.)

Ummm... sooo... summer is here?!?! It rained a bunch a few weeks ago and we loved it. Then the sun came out and hasn't gone away for a moment since. The temporary greenness we so enjoyed is now gone, the mountains looking their typical Idaho brown. 

And we are roasting.

My kids don't like to run through sprinklers. What's up with that?!

So we got a new inflatable pool. Libby was more entranced with the hose than anything...

 "How is it done? What is this thing which spouts water? It's a mystery..."
 In a few weeks time, we are packing up and heading east. Husband will be taking a temporary job in Minnesota, while the girls and I continue on to New England, to spend some much needed time with family that we rarely get to see. Two months. I don't know how I'm going to manage as a single mom for that long, considering I spend each afternoon pretty much counting down the hours till Husband gets home and can help me wrangle these little rascals into submission. How do single parents do it?

I won't be totally alone. We'll be staying with Grammie and Grandpa Jack. But I'm getting nervous about how they're going to handle being away from Daddy. Because seriously, he is the best thing in their little world.

And I might miss him a little bit, too...
 These girls are growing and changing so much everyday. 
 Come September, we have zero set plans. A few different options in the works, but for the most part.. we have no idea what the future has in store.

Everyone has a million questions, and all I can say is, "We don't know yet."

It's a strange feeling-- some mixture of excitement and apprehension that I can't really explain. Although I certainly try to focus on the excitement, and not on the unknown.
 So over the course of the next few weeks, I finish up all my Bradley classes and attend one more birth (assuming baby doesn't come too fast for me to get there!). Husband finishes up at his job. We pack up the little home we just moved into.

And in between all of that we spend as much time as possible with friends and family here, and as much time as we can splashing in our new oasis in the backyard.

We're in for an adventure.

6.22.2015

quilts

My mom has been quilting for years. She owned her own quilt shop for years. I got to do fun things like attend Quilt Market with her, and play around with her long-arm quilter. She's always been generous with her fabric stash.

Quilting and I shared somewhat of a love-hate sort of relationship until recently when I made Libby's baby quilt. It started out somewhat of a fiasco, being new to triangles. When my mom came to visit in January she helped me troubleshoot.. and once I got the hang of it... MAN! It was so much fun! I loved how dynamic all those triangles looked together. And I loved seeing all those little points match up perfectly.
And that was the part that always irritated me before-- was the need for such constant precision. You can't be lazy about details and make a great quilt.

But when the miracle of Libby's triangle quilt happened, something in my designer brain shifted, and I really began to enjoy the precision.
(Verity enjoys quilting, too.)
I decided to try hexagons from equilateral triangles, using a jelly roll my mom had given me years ago. It was a blast. The whole thing was loud and daring and dynamic, and it was so stinking fun!
After nailing the triangles (for the most part), I got this crazy idea to try out a Lone Star. I think mostly because my mom, the experienced pro quilter, had never done one. And I was determined that I could manage those diamonds. 

So I tried it, and I did it. Piecing that thing together was pure insanity, but I loved it. Absolutely loved the craziness, and watching it all come together so perfectly.
Then I tried the y-seams for the background.. and well, I'm still fighting that battle. 
For a long time I'd been wanting to make a houndstooth quilt. And I wanted to make something with ALL solids (because I simply love that look). And so this quilt was born:

Piecing squares after working with triangles and diamonds is, admittedly, a little boring. This quilt was beautiful but lacked momentum. Quilting and binding it in pink were the perfect finishing touches, and I was so smitten with this thing that I almost couldn't give it away! 

But then.. I thought of the baby girl whose nursery I had designed it for, and decided I would always see it as her quilt. And so I gave it to her, and (I hope) she loves it. 

Aaaaand the quilting obsession has continued. I designed this modern flying geese quilt for a friend's baby, and I can't wait to get started on the real deal! I might just kill myself making all those teeny little geese... but as with other borderline-insane endeavors of mine lately, I'm thinking.. I might just love it, too!
It must be some (very strange) quirk of creative people to enjoy and feel energized by complex, detailed, difficult tasks. At least, I'm going to go ahead and call it a quirk. I'm sure to some it's an ordinary character trait while to others it's pure insanity... but, hey. I'm okay with that.

If there's one thing I've come to understand a lot better about myself and motherhood, it's that I need to invest myself in something creative--which can really be anything-- on a daily basis, in order to be my best self. To have a smile in my heart all the time, to keep from feeling anxious, to have more patience with my children. And whatever creative form that takes on from day to day is fine with me.

Although speaking for my husband, I think he always likes it best when my creative impulses manifest themselves in the form of dinner!

5.11.2015

mothers day

Can everyday be Mothers Day? I mean... I slept past 8 while Husband got up with kids and made me crepes. We ditched out on church early (again) because the kiddos are sick (again), but not so early that I missed being handed a big ol' chocolate bar on my way out, along with the comment,

"Your girls are so beautiful. You're doing a great job."

(Whoever thinks women are unheard or unappreciated in this Church-- I don't understand where you get it. Not one bit. Being a woman and a mother in the LDS Church is the best thing in the world there is to be.. and not just because of the chocolate, either.)

I then got to take a nap while Husband put the baby down for her nap, and cleaned my whole kitchen. Which is really something, because we both hate to do it and it almost always needs some kind of love. And how often do I get to sleep simply because I'm tired and I need it?

Exactly. Almost never.

I woke up to Husband presenting me with the sweetest, most thoughtful gift: a couple hundred slips of paper in a vase, each contributing to an ongoing list of things he loves about me. 
 It meant so much to me, because we both know how much I need to hear these things, and how easy for him they aren't to say.
 Husband and the girls brought me a beautiful bouquet of lilies (my fave) and a bag of mint chocolate Milanos (also my fave) the day before, and the smell of those lilies is absolutely intoxicating. I seriously wish my home always smelled so heavenly!
We then had dinner with Husband's family. The men cooked up a whole lotta stuff, and cleaned up afterward, and all I could think was, "Man! Can we do this everyday!?"

A life where someone else cooks and cleans for you and attends to your every need? How did I not appreciate this when I was a child?!

Because, dang... my kids have it good.

As I read through all those slips of paper as well, I could help but think how awesome I am to my Husband, and hopefully to my kids. And I'm thankful to have such a happy list to look over again and again, whenever I'm mothered-out and need a break, or feel like all my greatest efforts amount to so little.

Many of those meant a great deal to me.

When I look back at my first Mothers Day as a mom of one little infant, I remember feeling so awful. Like I didn't deserve any of the appreciation I was being given- like I wasn't a good mother, or that merely bringing a child into the world wasn't equal to it all. I think we all have times we feel like that. 


But this Mothers Day, I loved every bit of it. Enjoyed it all. And was grateful for everything, because I know I work hard at this job, and every other day of the year it is mostly thankless. I do a lot. I don't get a lot of breaks. I give it my all and keep going even when I'm running on empty. All of these wonderful gifts and acts of service were the perfect thank you, and I loved it. The whole day and everything in it.

Special thanks to Husband, for making it all so special!