The only things missing from today were rainbows and unicorns. Every nook and cranny of my day was filled to the brim with goodness. I wish I could bottle this feeling for those days when crawling in bed seems the only viable option. I know I shouldn’t feel the need to apologize or justify my good fortune, but I know others whose day fell far short of anything resembling good. I’ve been stuck in lackluster existence lately. There are too... [Read More]Read more
I appreciate a good craft project. I swear I can hear my glue gun and sewing machine calling to me when they’ve been neglected. My husband will come home to find items painted or rearranged.
Our kids enjoy being involved with sports, school and clubs. Over the years, they’ve amassed quite the collection of t-shirts from various organizations. They eventually are relegated to the pajama drawer. I saved outgrown shirts thinking I would find the perfect keepsake project. Two years ago, inspiration hit when I overheard a conversation about the making of a t-shirt quilt. I thought it was perfect. I do sew, but I gave myself too much credit. My first attempt for our oldest son was not my “A” game.
I’m too impatient to make sure every rectangle is the same size. I lacked the right cutting instrument, namely a rotary cutter. I don’t really have a designated crafting area where projects can wait to be worked on when I have the time. I had never sewed with jersey material. The list of problems with that first memory blanket is long.
None of the problems I saw with the quilt mattered. That boy of mine loves it. He immediately placed it on top of his comforter almost two years ago when I finished it. It’s been there every night. Each of those messily cut and sewed rectangles hold some memory for him. I know he appreciates the effort, but it’s wonky at best.
I continued to save t-shirts knowing I would take another swing at the quilt. I began a second t-shirt quilt this summer with ideas on how to fix the issues from the first quilt. I dove in with the younger boys assisting me. They helped pick which rectangle would go where in the design of the blanket. They assisted in the sewing of rectangles. Then they watched me burn out and set it aside.
No one said anything about my failure to finish. One day I looked at the pile of rectangles and decided it was a Christmas present that needed finished. Giving myself a deadline was all it took. I worked for a couple of days while children were at school and finished the t-shirt quilt. It’s wrapped and under the tree waiting to be discovered Christmas morning. I wish I could share step-by-step instructions for the project. I learned by trial and error. It helped me on the second quilt to look at more photos of quilts and to have some experience with jersey material under my belt.
It’s lovely and not even comparable to the shabby thing my son loves. It’s gratifying to work through problems and see issues rectified. I could have chosen to wash my hands of quilt-making, never to cut or sew another jersey rectangle. Instead, I believed I could learn from mistakes and become better. I think the third attempt with be the best yet.
I do best when I have a list to work from. I don’t forget things or continually push things to the next day if I’ve written it down (most of the time). I get great satisfaction from crossing tasks off a list. I may even write things down I’ve already accomplished just to cross them off. I’ve learned over the years to schedule family time along with to-do items. Our family countdown of the 12 days leading up to Christmas... [Read More]Read more
Every year when we pull out Christmas boxes filled with decorations, I think I’m going to cutback this year. We won’t put up quite as many decorations and only do those traditions that we absolutely LOVE. Then I start sifting through the boxes with my helpers and quickly realize that’s not going to happen. Each tradition is special and each of the children can make an argument for why we most definitely cannot live through December without XYZ. We haven’t... [Read More]Read more
I’m a fan of the small gesture. A text to say hello puts a smile on my face. I appreciate the effort put into a hand-written note or card found in my mailbox. A genuine compliment or inquiry into how I am makes me feel noticed. You never know when two minutes of your time may be the bright spot in someone’s day. Our oldest son finished his first quarter in middle school on the honor roll. His name was... [Read More]Read more
There are days when it feels like this family will always be three boys vs. one girl. They bicker. The boys are rough. The girl is not. She wants to change her clothes multiple times a day. They could care less what they wear. Seven years between oldest son to only daughter sometimes feels like much more. Then there are days when I see them for what they truly are. They are four siblings who love each other despite all... [Read More]Read more
I spent yesterday in a kitchen with four kids baking and prepping food for the feast we’ll share with friends today. Christmas music was our soundtrack of choice. The counters were sticky. Crumbs littered the floor. Every single mixing bowl I own was dirty. The sink was full of dishes waiting to be cleaned. It was perfect. When I give myself time to truly reflect on what I’m thankful for, my breath catches. I live in a house with on-demand... [Read More]Read more
We travel to the Black Hills of South Dakota a couple of times each year. Several times while we’ve visited Rapid City, our kids have asked to stop at WaTiki Indoor Waterpark. We’ve always managed to avoid the waterpark, until last weekend. Our second oldest chose to celebrate his 10th birthday at WaTiki. It seems most of our friends have driven the four hours to enjoy the water slides in the 30,000 square foot park, so we had a vague... [Read More]Read more
Our second child hits double digits this weekend. We’ve had the privilege of calling him ours for 10 years. Those years hold so much life….accomplishments, laughs, travels, tears, struggles. I’ve caught myself this week involuntarily remembering moments from the last decade of J’s life. I’ll be washing dishes and be caught off guard by a moment from years ago. The night he was born, the nurse brought him to me all cleaned and wrapped like a baby burrito. I held... [Read More]Read more
I left the house this morning just before 9 a.m. to drop off my youngest at preschool. I was rocking this Thursday. I had exercised, dropped three kids off at school, done dishes, cleaned two bathrooms, put one load of laundry in the washing machine and sorted a second pile. It wasn’t even 9 a.m. I was riding a supermom high. That feeling is rare in this house. I remembered paperwork to take to preschool, books to take to the... [Read More]Read more