January 20, 2011

What I want to do...

What I want to do is always so different from what I have to do. Do you run into that problem? I want to sit and sew. These lovely dresses from At Second Street are adorable and I want to make one or three. I have nieces that need cute things too. (Can I just say, I love Kalleen, even though I have never met her? What a generous and talented woman.) I also want to make those Valentines bags. I am cutting those out this morning.
   I want to edit some photos I took of my darling children the other day. Even with the big black eye, my kids are adorable. My computer is running oh, so slow and it's making me crazy to edit things right now. I really want it done so I can send out Valentine's cards though.

   I also want to work on some genealogy. I have gotten a few new leads and I am so excited to see where they go. I love seeing those connections made. I want to do better at my daily devotionals, do crafts with my little ones, overcome my glitter phobia and do fun things for my family like the Happy Home Fairy. She rocks. I also want to get started on my garden (we are in San Diego, it's almost time), go on a date with my husband sans kids and spend more time cultivating friendships. I am still feeling a little on my own here, with a few exceptions.
  So much I want to do. What stands in the way? Besides the stuff I have to do: get the kids off to schools, laundry, dishes, meals, cleaning, errands and general running of home stuff, mostly myself. It's like being a toddler and being too overwhelmed to choose something, so you just sit and cry about everything. I have never had any patience. I lack the balance I see in my Mother-In-Law. I feel like they are all good things to be doing and I am overwhelmed at choosing what I have time for. I recently re-read this talk Good, Better, Best. Nothing like direct, loving words to put you back on track. First I need to do things to strengthen my family and my relationship with my God. After that, things fall into place. There isn't time for every little thing, even if they are good little things and the best things are the things I am seeking after. How do you balance things? I could use some practical skills.

January 15, 2011

How Quickly We Forget

   In a few short weeks I will have been married 19 years. I have been with my husband longer than I have been without him. We have been through a lot as a Navy family and as a couple. For the first 6 months of our marriage, we did not live together, thanks to the Navy. When we did move in together it was in a far away place, with no family close and no friends in the area. We didn't know the area and we got a crash course in getting to know each other.
   For the past 19 years we have moved almost every 3 years. We don't move across the street or to a near by neighborhood, we move across the ocean. We have bounced across the Pacific Rim together meeting new people and having new experiences. Often we are many, many miles away from family and we learned to make good friends quickly. We still have friends all over the world, for which we are so grateful.
   For many, many years he has been on Sea duty in the Navy. I would guess he's been gone more than he's been home during these 19 years. {I have often wondered- does that count as only half the years of marriage, or double them?} We were blessed with children after almost 10 years of marriage and he was lucky to be home for the first 2 years of our son's life. He was home the night our daughter was born and left at 6 am the following morning for 3 months. I brought home a preemie baby after having been on bed rest most of my pregnancy with a 6 1/2 year old son at home desperately missing my husband.
   I have been looking back this week at all of the things we have been through. I have nursed sick kids, and my sick self. I have held jobs, done volunteer work, dealt with emergencies, extended family members, attended funerals and spent more time in the ER than I care to remember while he's been gone. He's missed first steps, lost teeth, school conferences, bike riding, funerals, furnace failures, car wrecks and so much more. We have persevered. We have made it through the hard stuff and lived to tell the tail. We have cried on our own, because the other wasn't there wipe away the tears, but knew we always shared in the grief and joy. This has been an amazing marriage.
  The past 10 months Justin has been on shore duty and has been home almost every single night. We had a little adjustment period. It was hard for me to give up my running of the family on my own, and it was hard for him to give up running a division. I had to remind him that I didn't work for him and he had to remind me he lived in the house too and stop jumping every time he came into a room. He took over the grocery shopping and meal planning. We eat a lot better. I get some time to myself now and then and a break from always being the "bad" parent. It's a good arrangement.
   Here's the point of this long, long trip down memory lane... Last week I got sick. I had an infection that was backing up into my kidneys and I was down for a couple of days. He happened to be working nights all week, not our usual arrangement. He wasn't home when the kids went to bed and wasn't home to help with dinner when I needed it. He had other obligations, which I wasn't questioning. I did get a little whiny though. OK- a lot whiny. I was sick, where was he at? Then it hit me like a brick in the face. After all we had been through, how quickly we forget. In the past, while he was in a deployment cycle I would not have batted an eye about being sick with kids at home. I would have taken it in stride and not lost my temper like I did. In just 10 short months my entire perspective has changed and I have forgotten how strong I can be and how much I can do. I forgot to call on friends and church members who would have been happy to help and lift me up. How often do we do that? How often do we forget how strong we are and how the way has been provided for us to handle anything that comes our way? How loved we are and how much the Lord wants us to succeed? There's so much to remember. I hope this is one lesson I don't forget.

January 7, 2011

I can't pass up a deal like this...

I do love a good deal. Especially on something I know I will use or I really love. While wandering around a store I hardly ever go into anymore the other day I found some of their fabric on the clearance rack. It was Christmas flannel, and it was marked $.86 a yard. Yep, Eighty six cents a yard. Amazing. I have been known to stand in line at JoAnn's Black Friday sale for flannel at $1.75/yd for hours. Really- hours. I took all there was- a little over 5.5 yds for less than $6.00. There's always a use for cute Christmas flannel and I will find a place to stash it. Can't wait to find it again next Christmas sewing season and be happy about a great deal all over again. It's easy to make me smile.


January 3, 2011

Cute new dress

I have posted before about Dear My Kids patterns and I just finished up another one. This is the reversible tunic pattern, although I didn't make it reversible. I love that her patterns are so easy to modify. I tried it on my little one for size before she went down for her nap and she was very serious when she told me "I need a pocket on this before I will wear it. And it needs a button." She loves, loves buttons. It did call for a button on the back, so she was lucky. I think I will try and whip up a head band to go with it soon. I can't believe she's so particular about her clothes already.

   The pattern comes in tunic and dress length and one of the alterations I did was to add some more length to it. Dad wasn't satisfied with just above her knees the way she plays and pays no attention to her underpants showing or not showing. I also wasn't wild about the elastic in the arms, so I just made straight sleeves, which I like much better. I didn't have enough of the contrasting fabric to make it all reversible, so I just made an inner yoke to make it all lay right and look cute. They are very easy patterns to follow and very easy to change up to meet your needs. Love that.

   Can I say one more thing about my new sewing machine, which I LOVE? I never in a million years knew there were so many presser feet or had a clue what they could do. I put on the overcast foot and found out I could do nearly perfect top stitching. That is amazing. Love that. I am going to try the specialized foot for pin tucking next. I have always wanted to learn how to do that. Stay tuned. While I am adding one more thing... a big thanks to my Grandma Cozette who encouraged me to learn to sew and even bought my first machine a million years ago. She's a hard teacher who will not tolerate "good enough" in her sewing.  I have ripped out as many seams as I have put in, but I have learned so so much from her. Thanks Grandma. Love you.

I tried to make a skirt today too but darling daughter wasn't crazy about it. I guess it needs some modifying. She's just fun to sew for, even when she isn't crazy about my creations.. The big kid isn't crazy about me sewing anything for him to wear. He's so over that he told me. Sigh...