Friday, December 13, 2013

The Bread

Ahh, the bread-making days are the very best days. 

It's been a while now that I've been making our bread.  A kind woman who is a bit older than me allowed the girls and me to visit one hot July morning.  I remember calling her and inviting myself over so that she would teach me how she does what she does. 

My girls were one and three years old at the time.  She had the best well-behaved, well-mannered kids I'd ever met.  Teenagers at that!  They sewed their own homecoming dresses, babysat every kid in the neighborhood (families with seven children!), and bread seemed like a good excuse to use to have some chatting time. 

I did not sit idly by with a cup of lemonade while she worked.  No.  She told me to roll up my sleeves and put flour on my hands the second we rolled in the door.  I learned so much that day that I still carry with me.  Bread, yes.  Life, without a doubt.  She's an amazing woman, wife, and mother.  This one's for you, Winnie.

There are a lot of moments where I completely blow it as a mom.  Well as a wife too if I'm honest.  My patience wears thin, I expect (and demand) too much, my words are not kind, and everyone feels on edge when mama is not happy.

But the days I bake bread... well, I have different energy.  I just feel more confident as a woman/wife/mama.  I don't know why but I'm full of more grace and peace and able to fill others' cups with it as well.  I have the recipe memorized now but still need to concentrate on counting out my 10 cups of bread flour. 

Yes, I do get a little testy when someone comes into the kitchen around cup 5 or 7 and then I lose count and shew them out lest my bread zen be completely lost.  But overall, we're all a little nicer on bread day.

Maybe it's the smell

Or using my very favorite bowl

Maybe it's the satisfaction in providing a simple, delicious, staple for my family

Maybe it's the slow, steady kneading and process that bread making requires. 

Whatever it is, I love bread days.  My joy is in serving those I love, especially those right inside these walls with me everyday. 

Thank you, Winnie for teaching me so much that ridiculously hot and humid July morning.  I've added another kiddo who loves the bread you taught me to make.  I can't say enough for how much I've learned from those who are a little bit ahead of me on this journey.  Little tidbits and valuable nuggets of info scattered into conversations have molded me into the person I am today. 
Who has mentored you, formally or informally, along the way?  Can you be a Winnie to someone?  We ALL have something to offer, something to teach or pass down.  Winnie has no idea how often I think of her and how much she has taught me in just living a godly life everyday.  She is worth more than rubies! I'm so thankful for the people God has placed in my life to help me up when I fall and to hold my hand along the way.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Struggle with Christmas

Well anyone that knows me well knows that I kinda struggle this time of year.  Not a little bit, either. 

It is so easy for me to get bogged down and depressed about the whole shebang.  Yes, I get a little Charlie Brown and then take a turn at Grumpy Street.  It's so hard for me to deal with all the stuff. 

I hate clutter.  Really, my kids know that smoke will come out of my ears if things are laying around in the family living spaces.  I'm cool with the playroom looking like a playroom.  I understand that their rooms are their personal spaces and things are out and about there.  But the rest of the place is mine.  ALL MINE.  And my husbands, but you know what I mean.

So my parents want to get my kids a ton of stuff.
My inlaws want to get my kids stuff.
There are aunts and uncles who are very well meaning and very generous, but alas... more stuff.

This is not a new problem, I completely understand that.  From what I've been reading and hearing, a lot of moms are in this boat and really dislike the mountains of stuff that finds it's way in the home this time of year.

I also get a little grumpy watching my kids grow increasingly greedy.  After opening a bunch of presents they look around and wonder what's next.  Hold me.

What do we do? How do I not let the mountains of stuff steal my joy? 

Because, I'm going to be honest here, my joy is hanging on by a thread.  Obligatory gift giving which results in unwanted items laying around is a complete waste of time, money, and space.  And that totally brings me down, man!

Well, I actually don't have a solution here.  Other than praying through it that God will change my heart.  My attitude will improve, and I will be grateful and joyful.  Even after Christmas when I look around at my decimated home and put my children through detox, I still need to have joy. 

We are here, we are healthy.  We have so very much to be thankful for.  We volunteer, we hang out with friends, we go to church.  Oodles of reasons to fall down on my face and say "thank you, Lord!"

Every once in a while I will get a new perspective.  I think if this "thing" really matters in light of eternity.  Is it really worth getting all worked about when I think about the Big Picture?  My mom and I had a huge fight because she was over-buying last month.  I said "please don't buy that" when we were at a store.  She marched right up to the counter and bought two. 

Is it worth it?

I do struggle and I don't want to.  I want to not care. 

 What do you do when your joy is being stolen?  How do you change a grumpy heart and poor attitude?  Pray more, run, exercise, read the Bible, bake lots of bread...?  I need help!

Hoping your season is full of joy and togetherness and maybe some cheesecake. Cheesecake is full of joy, right?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sewing Things

It has been a very wonderfully busy time of year.   It's so humbling to think of all the things I've been making and where they are headed in the world.  I have said before how I pray over each item as I'm sewing and the recipient.  Sometimes they are babies, sometimes they are great-grandmas.  Each client has a beautiful story of the baby shower coming up or the reunion they will soon attend.  Sometimes I think I should just mind my own business and not be so dang nosy. 
But over the six-ish years I've been making custom items, it's the people that keep me engaged.  I can sew all day long for someone that tells me the littlest tidbit of their life.  I love their stories and what is happening in their corner of the world.  It's so fascinating to me to think of what everyone is busy doing with their days. 
Side note: I used to think there was a little girl named Allison who was exactly my age and lived on a farm living a parallel life with me.  That doesn't even make sense, but I guess it shows I've always been thinking about people and their goings-on.  Even fake people!

So here we have a little baby Kate who is yet to be born.  Mama likes purple and gray.  The bunting is going in the nursery after the shower and baby Kate will fill out that onesie all too soon.

The rustic churn dash quilt is for a little boy in Canada.  His mama had a baby girl not too long ago and then !! Surprise!!  Baby boy came along.  OH those are the best stories.  I love surprises!  Especially baby surprises. 

Baby Autumn was born at the correct time of year.  Thank you, dear.  I just happened to have masses of yellow matching leaves sitting in a neat little pile near my photo shoot area.  My little nature detectives love the yellow maples leaves. 

My own baby surprise likes to come see me do my sewings.  Apparently patchwork squares work well to line up cars before they race. 

Who knew?

This sweet commission was one of the coolest quilts I've made in a while!  Sadly I don't know too much about the client (except she has a beautiful name and was really patient with some slow fabric delivery) but she has a keen eye for gorgeous fabric.  This was made with Amy Butler's Cameo line.  Each side is a large rectangle with 8" border.  So it is pretty much reversible, depending on if you are in the mood for navy or aqua.  Fantastic idea!  I'd love to make about a thousand of these to change out with the seasons and give as gifts. 

This little daisy chain sampler has been by the couch for about a year now.  Yikes!  I was going pretty well at a letter a day.  And then I met some hexagons and fell in love.  And then I fell out of love with the hexagons and picked this up again.  My 'R' got a little out of hand.  It's lookin' large, but oh well.  This is for me.  I'd like to frame it and hang it in the sewing room.  My daughter wants it as a pillow but I might have to turn that request down. 

I mean, really kid, I have kept NOTHING that I've sewn over my many many years of sewing.  Nothing. 

And finally we have Matilda who is a little girl in England and is severely disabled.  A friend is taking her this pillow to brighten up her room in hopes of bringing her a little joy.  My gosh, what a sweet heart to think of color and happiness for this girl.  I do pray that you will feel loved and at peace, little Matilda.  God bless you!
Thanks for coming along on my little sewing tour today.  It was lovely to have you!  This next month will probably be a whirlwind as well.  These days just fly by too fast.  It's so nice to sit and chat and see what has been taking place. 
I love winter and being snowed in. I'm so excited to settle into the dark winter months and our cozy rhythm of the home.  Fires, candles, lots of quilts and snuggles under them. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The {other} side of Homeschooling

So after writing about all the wonderful things that I feel about Charlotte Mason and homeschooling over here I felt it only fair I should divulge the other details as well.

Lately I've been thinking about consequences to choices.  Mostly because I have children and I want them to learn that there are always consequences.  Good and bad.  When you choose to follow something, it means another thing will get left behind.  There are always natural reactions to our actions. 

When I chose to homeschool, I miss out on getting together with friends. I admit there is a pang of jealousy when I see Instagrams of friends getting together for brunch or coffee while their kids are in school.  I miss out on serious "me" time.  THINK of the sewing I could get done if my kids were away at school! AHH! Lately it has extended beyond selfish measures to where I am missing out on some awesome ministry opportunities. 

I have a heart to serve women who are held captive by chains of injustice.  Women who don't know their worth and how precious they are and choose to do things that harm their bodies and their hearts.  I've been volunteering monthly or so for weekend events to minister to these women.  We try to do some creative things that aren't uber geeky but yet lets them know just how much we (and Jesus, above all) love them. 

And now there are weekday/morning meetings for them to gather with my good friends.  Oh the potential to reach out to these women in those meeting times.  My heart has been aching to be there and hang out with them.  I really want to know them and listen to them and give them great big hugs.

So then I realize that this too is a selfish matter.  That Jesus is able to meet these women without me.  These gatherings with friends and "the women" (as we'll call them) are not for me at this time.  If I were to drop homeschooling and attend these meetings, it would be for me and my glory, since I have not been called to be there.  Ick. 

So I will deal with feeling left out and left behind.  I will be grateful that we are able to homeschool and do all those really fabulous things I spoke about before.  When I chose to open the Homeschool door, most of the other Weekday Fun doors closed. 

My prayer is that I will continue, day by day and year by year to seek the Lord's will for this family.  Someday He may say this homeschool gig has been great but it's time to focus on ministry.  I don't know.  I DO know that I don't want to be like Jonah and disobey Him for my own desires.

If you are thinking of taking a leap, first seek His will for your life.  He has a wonderful plan for each of us.  It's true!   

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rhea's Memory Quilt

I adore making memory quilts.  Relationships are big to me and making a custom memory quilt with a new client is my very happy place.
Especially when there is a good story attached.


Sweet Rhea and her brother lost their dear mama not long ago and I had the honor of making a memory quilt for each of them.  Well, she insisted the brother came first and Rhea's will come next. 

Mama loved color and bright clothing so I thought it was appropriate to incorporate that into the quilt.  Knowing this was going to be for a man I wanted to keep it masculine as well. 

I went with the color spectrum/rainbow layout. 

The back is warm green flannel with some extra squares down the side. 

It was really nice to get to know Rhea and her family through this journey.  I'm excited that I can continue to work with her and make something a little bit different but with the same clothes (I kept the fronts for the brother and saved the back of each clothing piece for her.) 

Included in this memory quilt are swimsuits, leather handbag pieces, sweaters, pants, tshirts, dresses, and other clothing.  The textures are my favorite part.  Lycra, cotton, spandex, leather... it was so fun to touch.

Memory quilts always allow me the chance to slow down and think about family.  The client's family I'm working with as well as my own.  I create these with peace in my heart and a prayer on lips.  I try to be timely but can't help but slow down and take a pause every so often as I consider the lives that will be touched by this quilt. 

I do pray that it will bring comfort and peace to the memories of her.  Love and blessings to you and your families.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

I {heart} Homeschooling!

Continuing my mini series about getting to know me and the things that make me happy... one of the greatest blessings in my life right now is homeschooling.  I get a lot of the same comments and questions.  Mostly "You must be so patient" and "Why do you homeschool?".
So here are a couple little tidbits into what we do and why we do it.  I've been homeschooling a very short time and know hardly anything about it.  But I have learned a lot and really am enjoying this journey.
First of all... I am not always so patient.  It's a habit we're all working on.  Homeschooling is not just me dumping info into my child's empty brain-box.  We are all (dad included) learning and growing and becoming better humans.  It's part of the program.  We pick a habit and work on it.  Sometimes it's patience and when that is mastered (or close enough) we pick a new one.  For my middle (only 4 years old) I've been working on not dawdling.  For the baby (2 years old) it's obedience.
This comes from the wisdom of Charlotte Mason and her emphasis on cultivating good habits.  

So the infamous question I dread most: Why do you homeschool?

Well, it's not because of the public school system.  It's not horrible and it's not amazing.  I really am pretty neutral on public schools.  There are pros and cons to every decision (homeschooling included) and it's up to each family to make the decision that works best for them. 

It's actually Charlotte's philosophy that hooked me.  Her focus was on effort and character.  The goal is always growth and that is something that each child can attain in their way.  Some grow faster in mathematics, some in handiworks.  It is all about taking the next step. 

Isn't that half the battle when we are down, dear friends?  Taking the next step?  Ugh, I know when I am just not feeling it on a given day and need a little umph that it feels so very good to accomplish something.  Clean the bathroom, cut some fabric, plan the dinner for that night. 

When my kiddos are breezing through a certain subject or lesson, life is good and they are feeling encouraged.  I am so happy to be there and see those light-bulb moments and share in a high-five.  Ice cream for lunch after getting everything correct on a math test!

But they also have those days of just not feeling it.  Where we slog through a reading and meet limitations head on.  Those are tough.  There have been tears.  But what a blessing it is that mama is there to comfort and encourage.  My hope is that we have built an atmosphere that fosters love and learning.  Those habits we've worked on (patience, endurance, effort) really kick in at these times and the fruit of our labor is intense. 

So in answer to the question WHY, it is all about effort and character.  God has blessed me with these three little people to grow and train up.  A typical school day consists of your normal subjects but a lot also happens in the periphery.  When the baby is getting potty trained and I just can't get there in time, the two big sisters are expected to jump in and help out.  They prepare simple snacks and even get their own breakfasts at times.

They have learned to problem solve on their own and seek an answer to their curiosities.  Sometimes that answer comes weeks later.  Charlotte advised the mama not to supply an answer to every question.  Let them ponder.  Let them explore.  So much happens when a child is able to think on their own.

One of my favorite aspects that is special to a Charlotte Mason education is her emphasis on nature study.  She suggested 4-6 hours of outdoor time every single day.  We do not get near that but it is a goal to get outside.  Period.  Once we're out we have no problem staying out.  But like running, I have to make it my goal to put on my shoes and go out.  THEN take the next step. 

Today... take the next step!  Put forth good effort!  Do your best!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Yogurt and Granola

My absolute favorite breakfast is Greek yogurt and granola.  Crunchy, smooth, salty, and sweet.  It's everything I'm looking for all in one little bowl!

Here is the deal on making Greek yogurt.  It is amazingly simple, but does take time to come together.  Like if you make it today, you will not eat it until tomorrow. 

Here are my gadgets:

Yogurt maker
Strainer (only necessary if you are making Greek yogurt)

Using one of the glass jars that come with the yogurt maker, I fill that with milk 7 times and pour the milk into a large pot on the stove (This is roughly 5 cups of milk).  Watch it ever so carefully because boiled milk sneaks up on you and can boil over in a second.

Just let it come to a boil and then remove from heat.

I use a ladle to scoop some out and let cool in a separate glass.

To this I add a packet of the yogurt starter after it has cooled, like an hour or so.

For vanilla yogurt:
 I add about 3tsp of vanilla and a 1/3 cup of sugar.  Mix everything so it is all dissolved and pour back into the large pot of boiled milk.  Give it a good stir so it is all mixed together.
Then pour it all into a large glass bowl that fits on the yogurt maker.  Some people just skip the maker and warm it in the stove at a really low temperature.  Never tried that but I'm sure it would be fine since yogurt existed before the Euro Cuisine came to town.

Turn on the maker, cover with the lid, and let it sit and warm for about 6 hours or until it firms up.

After it is firmish pour it into the Strainer should you want Greek yogurt.  I usually have to do this in 2 or 3 phases since the strainer is a bit smaller than the amount of yogurt I make.  Put the lid on the strainer and keep it in the frig overnight.

When you wake up, you will notice the yellow whey in the bottom of the strainer and the lovely creamy yogurt (also called yogurt cheese for some reason) in the top.  I usually spoon out the yogurt into a plastic container and pour the whey over my acid-loving plants.  (A whole lot of research is needed in order to make the most of this by-product.  I also read sourdough bread can be made with this whey.)

Any-whey (HAHAHAHA!) there you have it!  Greek yogurt!

Here are my favorite granola recipes:

Alton Brown's Granola
The CHOW Basic Granola Recipe
Chunky Granola

I found a recipe a while ago that added egg whites to the granola mixture just before popping it in the oven.  It was supposed to make it super chunky.  I can't find it now, but that's a good idea too.

Sometimes I actually remember to add in flax seeds (They're always being left behind when I bake bread.  I always intend to use them and forget as soon as it's too late.), but everyone seems to like crushed almonds and dried cranberries added in the granola just before serving.

I've also added bran flakes (Grape Nut Flakes cereal) to Alton Brown's version and loved it but my oldest did not.  They don't even have a taste, it's just texture and crunch.  Which apparently isn't a thing for 7-year-olds.

Granola hardens as it cools.  I like big chunks (and I cannot lie) so I just take it out of the oven and leave it alone for hours.  Mostly because I'm lazy and don't feel like going into the kitchen.  Thank you for being low maintenance, granola.

Let me know your favorite recipes and hints on the process.  I always love to try a new spin on something.  Especially if you have ways to make it chunky!

Show me the money!

I just did a bit of math and found that it turns out this super awesome Greek yogurt is about $0.16 a cup.  Umm... we used to pay $1/cup of the Oikos yogurt at the store.  I'm shocked it's that much of a difference! Wow, that's pretty exciting.  Well... enjoy! Save your money and spend it on fabric.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kind of milestone

I'm about to be 35 years old. 

I think I'm ok with it.  Actually I really am very ok with it.  I finally feel like I know who I am.  This wife-mother-quilter thing is really feeling good. 

For a long time I wasn't comfortable in all these new roles.  What's it like to be a wife? How to live in a house with someone 24/7 and not get completely irritated with all their junk?

And then this baby comes along and well... talk about junk... I'm totally not a fan of clutter and enormous baby items.  But it all evened out when I found the Goodwill donation center.

At the storage unit where we store all the... stuff

So now here we are at 11 years of marriage, 3 sweet kiddos, 1 loveable doggy and I think I finally found my groove.  My favorite things right now:

*Making bread for my fam (a batch of 4 loaves usually get us through the week)
*Making yogurt and granola (kinda making this every day right now)
*Getting a new cookbook and going bonkers making everything in it (Really losing myself in Smitten Kitchen right now)

*Waking up early and sewing.  As Christa Wells said: creating in the margins doesn't make you a marginal artist. 

*Running on Saturday mornings with my good friend
*Starting to attend calligraphy meetings with my oldest daughter (she's so talented at just 7 years old!)

Life is so exciting and God has blessed us with so many opportunities.  None of them earth-shattering.  I mean, cooking, running, and sewing are not new to anyone but pursuing them alone and with friends make life so rich. 

I have a friend who doesn't really have any hobbies or interests.  It drives me crazy.  I want her to see this life so full and abundant.  It doesn't have to be crazy or death-defying.  We're healthy and young-ish (some would debate that) and able to learn something new. 

So if you have been thinking about taking up the fiddle (also on my list), learning a new language, or going for your first run: go do it! Get out there! Create, pursue, LIVE!

I tried to make pajama pants at Sewing Summit last month and failed miserably.  I will try again.  But it was cool to realize that I'm not good at all sewing (or even a lot of sewing).  Pretty much just quilts.  And that's ok!  It's good to find a niche and settle in comfortably, right?  Just find something you like and go do it.  Some will work out and some won't, but for goodness sake get moving and explore this great big beautiful world!

What are you waiting for?!

Monday, September 30, 2013

"I don't like tomatos but I love ketchup"

...said my 7-year-old daughter. 

It's true. 

(Photos completely unrelated to content.  You'll see.)
I have some of those odditites too.  Here are my top 5:

1.  Gladys from Texas said it best but I echo her sentiments all the way: "I love Jesus but I drink a little."

           I DO love Jesus!  I also married an Italian that makes amazing wine.  We combine the two and life is good.

2.  I love quilting but stink at garment sewing. 

          I tried to step out of my box at Sewing Summit and try my hand at sewing a skirt and pajamas.  Neither has seen the light of day yet.  I've been home a week and contemplate what should become of them.  The seam ripper will be busy, that's for sure.

3.  I love people but gosh am I an introvert. 

        Introverts recharge or get their energy from some alone time.  I completely agree.  I really, really, really love my family and friends but if it's 1pm and I haven't had some down time... I get cranky and put myself in time out. 

4.  Selling a house is stressful but I love kicking everyone out and cleaning "just incase". 

       Open Houses, showings, appointments... I love them all.  It's a tad crazy getting everyone and the dog out but hoooo baby do I love having a good excuse to finally get all that slime off the surfaces.  Mostly I've just been painting over everything.  The cleaning was too intense!

5.  I love writing but blogging is hard.

Until the app arrives that downloads my thoughts in blog-form, this will probably be a little inconsistent.  I don't know who said it, but "I don't know what I think until I write it down" is funny but true.  When I am struggling with a spiritual matter or something is just bugging me, it really helps to just write.  RIGHT?!   But sadly I don't get to write at the computer nearly as often as I'd like.  I have three little kiddos, homeschool, and a little quilting business.  Even if no one ever reads this space (which is very likely!) it's so healthy to write. type.  whatever. 

So there's a little bit about me.  I was recently inspired to be a little more vulnerable in my blogging.  After attending Sewing Summit last week, I still think that's a good idea.  I've often held back on things I want to say so as not to offend anyone.  I've never been sure how much of my personal life to share. 

Well hopefully you'll journey along with me on this here road as I process those things over and over.  It's good to be back. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Scenes of Summer

I was really excited to make a quilt for a local out of her sorority tshirts.  About 99% of the time I send the quilt in the mail and never get to see the recipient or their reaction to their new quilt.  Well this is one of those rare opportunities where I got to meet, plan, and give the finished quilt to the new owner.

I really liked the back with her sorority's... I wanna say... name?  Chapter?  Section? Grouping?  I don't have a clue what they're called.  Obviously I was not in the Greek scene back in the college days.  One extra drinking commitment would have probably killed me.

Taking the summer relaxation thing to a whole new level, Nino is really duding it up these days.  His new favorite word is "awesome" which is usually accompanied by the phrase "check it out, mama".  Yep.  My little dude is perfectly boyish.  We were able to cut the surfer hair when hubs went out of town but it didn't take the surfer out of the boy.

My garden!  It actually looks like a garden!  Last year was SUCH a bummer.  No rain, crazy heat, and a lazy gardener did not bode well for my little seedlings.  This year however we were pretty confident that it could only get better.  And it has!

Awesome, check it out!  haha.  I see a ton of tiny tomatoes right down there.  And the pole beans are actually growing up the poles!  I find it quite interesting when they do what they're supposed to do.  I mean, how the heck do seeds know that they are supposed to climb instead of bush out?  I realize that's like a 3-yr-old question, but you gotta admit it is rather amazing.

Even the dog is impressed.  Owen doesn't know what to think of me.  Even the compost was so awesome that a few zucchini plants sprang out of it.  Hello!  I will probably come to regret this soon as they are huge stinking plants that are taking over my sweet little carrots.

And finally it was (probably) our last Independence Day parade here.  We're thinking of selling the house and getting some land.  I mean, we can't let all this gardening prowess go to waste!  Where's my tractor?

Anyhoo, we updated the banner one (last?) time to reflect the 45 years our neighborhood parade has taken place.  The rain held off just long enough so that we could all come together to leisurely stroll down Braewick, wave to our fans, and jam our faces with a few cupcakes.  My parents came in town for the event and were not disappointed.  It's everything a small Americana parade should be.  Neighborly chatting, kids with 7 lollipops at a time, drippy watermelon chins, kids braving their new bikes without training wheels... There are even some super ambitious families who dress up as famous American heroes.  Oh it is all kinds of wonderful.  We're such suckers for these things that we'll probably come back for it next year.  I DO have sign responsibility, after all.

Wishing you a very happy summer.  Frankly I'm more of an autumn person myself.  The Ohio humidity and mosquitoes aren't so great.  So it's fun and all but I'll be in a better mood when the temperature eases back down to 70.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Catching Up

April was so good to us! 
My oldest and youngest both had birthdays.  We gave Isabella  a sewing machine for her big day.  My husband and I set it up at night while they were asleep.  She woke up to find it on her desk and was very happy.  Whew!  I was afraid she would be disappointed.  If she was, she never let on.  :)


I also entered my first quilt show.  It was a very last minute thing.  The Akron Modern Quilt Guild made a very small appearance at a local quilt show.  I suggested using QuiltCon colors so that we would be cohesive in our approach.  I was inspired by the world around me: Akron!  In the spring and summer we often see the blimp many times a week.  After living here for 10 years now it is still exciting to hear that low hum in the sky and look up to find it hovering right above us.  
 A very good friend recently had twin boys!!!  Although she deserves a new car or something, I only managed to make her some pillow covers.  I really like the modern edge they have and am pleased with how they turned out.

Also in April (told you it was a great month!) my mom came across some ancient unfinished embroidery.  It belonged to her great grandmother so it's well over 100 years old.  The muslin is very fragile but I'm so excited to work on it.  It has that beautiful old musty smell that about knocks me off my feet every time I open the tin it was stored in. 

Originally I was hoping to finish it up for my mom for Mother's Day but that is never going to happen.  Maybe next year!  We made her a sweet little pillow instead.  (pics to come after she recieves it)

And finally, we really had a lovely time at a tea party with my mom while she was visiting.  It was a beautiful Victorian tea room that my daughters just loved.  They each got their own teapot and dainty tea cup.  I was so proud of them for bringing their best manners.  That's a lot of pressure for a mom:  little kids, breakable things, and kick-butt manners.  I was sad they didn't have wine because I really could have used a glass to calm myself.  Chai was the next best.

So thankful for my kiddos making me a mom.  Happy Mother's Day to all my mommy friends out there!  It's a wild ride but glad I'm on it.