Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Joel returned from Quilt market around 2:00 in the morning on Sunday. I think. I don’t know. I acknowledged his arrival with a kiss, but then rolled over to return to my blissful state of sleep. After four days of single-parenting, I was really tired. I shuttled kids around to Young Astronauts Club, Webelos Woods, piano lessons and two soccer games (one of which was hailed and rained upon the entire hour), spent an entire day sewing with my mom, spent two afternoons trying to clean the house after the kids tore through it like a tornado on the aforementioned sewing day and planned out the entire summer for keeping the kids entertained.
Oh yeah. And my exhaustion may have had something to do with the fact that I woke up to screaming children about four times each night while Joel was gone and felt so displaced when the bed was empty next to me. I never get accustomed to sleeping by myself when Joel is away.
Anyhow, I know Joel was exhausted also. He had worked late almost every night for a week leading up to his trip, and he NEVER sleeps well away from home (I guess he misses me just as much as I miss him). So, it was no surprise to me that he came home with a doozy of a head-cold that started to hit him his final day in Minneapolis.
Aside from his illness, he was excited about the trip and having reconnected with many people in the industry, as well as with having made a lot of new connections. Since I’ve yet to experience quilt market in person, I plied him for every possible detail so I could vicariously walk the show in my mind. I can’t wait until the show comes close to home next spring in Salt Lake. I will DEFINITELY be there…in our own booth!
Anyway, prior to the craziness that led up to Joel’s trip, I sewed some placemats for the Mother’s Day dinner we hosted for my mom. Joel took one with him to Market and dozens of you requested the pattern. I got the basic pattern idea from a placemat I saw at Anthropologie that “said” to me it belonged on my table. However, the $18 price tag told me differently. I decided to make my own and to add a bit of hand-embroidery to add a personal touch.
Joel thought I had lost my mind when I told him I was making 12 of them, and to be honest, I kind of thought I had too (I just wasn’t going to let him know that). They really came together quickly though and I found these placemats to be one of my most enjoyable sewing projects ever!
We’ve added the pattern and instructions in the sidebar for you to download, if you’d like.
And, as promised, you can get the recipe for my irresistible chocolate chip cookies here. Enjoy some for me because I’m trying to avoid sugar for a little while…um, starting right after I make myself a cup of hot chocolate to warm up.
They say Utah will finally warm up tomorrow, but after the spring we’ve had, I am a bit skeptical. For those of you who visit next May, I hope the weather here is so much more inviting than at present.
Monday, May 3, 2010
You know when I start eating Swedish fish in bulk-size portions that I'm stressed. It's not a good coping technique. I acknowledge this fact. I like to justify my actions though by thinking these bite-size pieces of goodness have some psychologically soothing effect on me.
We've had dozens of requests for the pattern of the skirt featured on our homepage. It's in the works, but guess who is working on it? Yes, that would be me, and I'm slow people. This is our first pattern, and it's taking me longer than I thought it would to get everything right.
It doesn't help that I volunteered to chaperone two field trips this week, and volunteered to head up the committee in charge of Teacher Appreciation Week, and volunteered to be a substitute pianist for one of our church meetings, but I did and the pattern has had to be put on hold. I think Joel has given up on trying to get me to say "no".
I've also been a bit preoccupied by the fact that my parents will be returning home later this afternoon after having been in Samoa the past 18 months. Our family was living in Florida at the time of their departure, so it has been almost 2 years since we last saw them. We moved to Utah just 10 days after they left and lived in their home up until 5 months ago when we bought our own. After thirteen years of living far away from them, we will now be living less then a mile away from each other. Wow! I hope we don't drive each other crazy!
So, I'm hoping to finish this project today (keep your fingers crossed). I'm currently testing the pattern to make sure that it works right, and that what I've designed won't frustrate the user into candy-eating binges like myself. If I could just get this blasted zipper to cooperate with me!
So, Please tell me that I'm not the only one who gets a little (or a lot) frustrated by their creative projects at times. If you are feeling a little creatively challenged at the moment, might I suggest a bowl of Swedish fish?
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Oh how I looked forward to this day after such a frustrating one yesterday. I woke up this morning excited for the prospects this day would offer. I got in a killer run this morning, we ate blueberry pancakes, bacon and orange juice for breakfast, Joel worked in the yard before the weather turned bad, our kiddos practiced piano without any complaints, I put some dogwood blooms (albeit fake) in a vase on our entryway table, we made some preparations for my parents' homecoming on Monday (they've been in Samoa for 18 months), and then we went plant shopping at an amazing nursery.
We headed to a town about 30 minutes from here with the anticipation of finding some great foliage for our yard. However, about halfway there, the weather went from okay, to bad, to horribly wrong. Despite the nasty elements, we continued on our quest in the rain and sleet and freezing cold as we perused the nursery's gardens and greenhouses. I felt kind of bad that we forced the kids to walk around in the rain, but they didn't complain and actually enjoyed the experience. We picked out our very first plant for the yard, a beautiful Japanese Maple that Joel and I can't wait to plant once the weather improves.
When we got home I was ready to snuggle up in a warm blanket and read a book, but the kids didn't allow that to happen. I sat down at the computer and opened up my blogger dashboard and was surprised to see Joel's picture and a short introduction to this post. I follow many blogs, ucreate being one of them, and it's always fun when one of them features a post about Joel or his fabric. I knew he had done this interview, but I never got to see his answers to Kari's questions. He did tell me about his "Survivor" answer though. I laughed. While I think he'd do well in the game in theory, just between you and me, he'd never last that long without me or the kids. Plus, I think he'd lose his mind if he had to deal with some of the crazy personality types that end up on that show.
As I mentioned previously, my parents lived in Samoa the past 18 months during which the current and previous seasons of "Survivor" were filmed. My parents got to talk to one of the crew members a few times and hear his stories of working for the show. If I had been there I would have begged for the opportunity to watch one of the challenges in person. I probably would have been disappointed with the live version though. I'm sure the T.V. editing makes it so much more dramatic.
Kari also alluded to my chocolate chip cookies as being Joel's favorite treat; they're actually my favorite as well. However, Joel can control his appetite for them while I cannot, so I only allow myself to make them about once a month. When Joel and I were first married I tried several chocolate chip recipes over and over again, only to be disappointed with the results each time. It seems silly now, but at the time I was truly frustrated that I couldn't make a decent batch of chocolate chip cookies.
While my cookies definitely improved over time, it wasn't until just a few years ago that I finally felt like I had perfected the recipe. We'll post the recipe soon because we feel strongly that everyone should have a perfect chocolate chip cookie once in a while, don't you?