Monday, April 19, 2010

A Week in the Life

So I've tried the 365 daily.

I've even tried A Week in the Life probably the first or second time Ali Edwards did it.

I don't do well with structure in my personal (read: my very own) life.  With the hubby there's a bit more success ... when it's just me? Well, other things take over.

In my usual ass-backwards fashion, I decide on the ride home from work tonight to participate in this:
No idea what I'll be structuring it as ... but that's okay.  It'll be reality, and that apparently is a good thing!  Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Celebrating 50 years together

Today we celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.  Nothing huge - just family ... but it was terrific.  I was the "coordinator" for everything.  My parents didn't want any of us to go to the expense of throwing them a party ... so they gave the party, and I handled the rest.  I'm not exactly sure how I managed to pull it all off, but everything came together. 

My sister made them a DVD with pictures from the family through the years, which they absolutely loved.  We had pictures of them placed around the house, along with their wedding album, which everyone loved looking through.  As part of their gift I'll be making them a scrapbook of the party.  We asked everyone to write a little note wishing them well ... and we also took video of everyone doing the same.  (That should be interesting to edit, knowing some family members .... )

My parents have been through ups & downs, like any couple after a long period of time together ... but they have taught me how to stick with it.  The fact that you may not like your spouse every single day, but you will always love them.  How to keep a family strong, roll with the punches and know what to make important and what to dismiss as insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

These 2 are amazing people.  Committed to each other through thick and thin ... and there have been both!  I can only hope to have my marriage stand the test of time as well and for as long as theirs has.

Amazing when you think about it ... all because my mother went to buy car wax at Pep Boy's ..... all because my father's boss suggested that he go help her after work.   All because two people fell in love .....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How is it April ... and why do I miss my knitting class?

As of tomorrow ... it's APRIL people!  When did this happen?  And why does it seem like 2010 is FLYING by already?  Maybe the fact that i wasn't working in 2009 factors into the "this year feels like forever" category.

So as I mentioned, I've been knitting along like a good little knitter (contrary to said knitting teacher's opinions ... ) and I'm really enjoying it.  I love some of the yarns ... and well, that has lead me to purchase some pastel-like yarn with which I have no inkling of what to make.  My poor goddaughter, Norah will most likely be gifted these little creations, because let's face it - who else can pull off multi-colored pastel items like nobody's business but a 6 month old adorable little girl?

I think I pulled about 6 different possibilites ... but here again - I find myself hindering myself.  I refuse to buy a knitting pattern when I know there are so many cute ones out there available for free ... but I have neither the time nor the patience to sift through them to see if I can find exactly what I want.

Then what I want has to be something with instructions I can understand since I don't have another class till next Tuesday.  (Easter break and all that ... )

As to my hat ... The band looks fabulous.  I have started and ripped out and restarted the actual hat part about 4 times now and I'm just thinking that I will have to get it ready to restart once again for Tuesday night.  This activity should amuse my husband because the ripping out part usually happens right next to him while we're watching TV and he doesn't realize it until I start re-rolling the yarn.  The poor boy.

Easter on the other hand .... is SUNDAY! (I feel like a monster truck commercial ... Sunday SUNDAY SUNDAY ... )  Totally came up on me unexpectedly and well ... we're joint-hosting again with my parents (I do the majority of the cooking and they insist on providing the food ... which works for me) ... so it'll be a busy Friday - Sunday morning. 

Two weeks later, we're having a 50th anniversary party for my parents - nothing huge, but sill around 20 - 25 people and I want to make sure it's special, memorable and perfect for them.  Note to self ... get on top of that project!    

I did try and find a slew of pictures to make an album for them with ... but no such luck.  Not really a lot of photos of the two of them together throughout the early years.  I think my sister is making a photo-collage disc ... so we'll see what that winds up to be.  Maybe it'll be a post-party gift to them with all the pictures I can make sure get taken at the actual party.  (Yeah, that sounds like a better idea!)

That's it for my little update right now.  I'm off to make meatloaf & mashed potatoes for dinner.  Hopefully it'll be done in time! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Long time, no blog ...

It kinda stinks that I can automatically tell that I haven't blogged in 18 days.  Made my husband yell at me.  (Not yell yell ... just "What do you mean you haven't blogged?" yell.  (Thanks honey.  You're supposed to remind me BEFORE that long passes!)

So what have I been up to since March 1st? Trying to re-acclimate myself to being a working girl.  I have been forgetting that I don't have as much time as I used to to get things done ... and that I have a daily obligation to do work at work.  (Strange concept, huh?)  So besides discovering that my new boss is a secret paper hoarder that I am having weekly interventions with ... I also signed up for a knitting class and have been working away on that quilt I keep talking about.  Oh ... yeah - and we can't forget I've actually been having a pretty busy social life too.  (Well, busy for my standards.)

The knitting ...

I've been wanting to take a knitting class for well over a year now.  I blame my cousin, Lynn for this.  She has been knitting for a couple of years now - and brings these beautiful projects to work on when she visits from Massachusetts for the occasional weekend.  Enabler, I say.  So one weekend, we went to my local yarn store where I found the most beautiful multi-color merino wool yarn.  It had purples, maroons, blues ... just such a pretty blend ... so I got it.  

I made my very first scarf.  Love the scarf.  Get compliments on it constantly. I had (so I thought) the basics down.  I kept an eye out for the newsletter for the shop, and they had some beginner classes.  WAY too out of my price range.  Just couldn't justify the cost for 3 "beginner" classes anyway.  So ... I waited.  And waited.  Then .... just as I started my job, I get the flyer for our local school district's Adult Ed courses.  I hemmed and hawed about it for over a week, then signed up just a few days before the first class.  8 weeks ... 1 night per week ... $30.  I couldn't go wrong!  So now, Tuesdays are my knitting nights with two other ladies and the sweet older woman that teaches.  The same sweet, older woman that looked at the other beginner knitter watching her cast on, and said "You'll be a good knitter." and then looked at me casting on and said "You'll be okay."  Talk about a motivator!  

My name is Beverly and I like to prove people wrong.   

What am I knitting, you ask?  I decided to be ambitious and try to make this beautiful hat from a free pattern I found online here ... isn't it pretty?    So after much nightly amusement of hearing me muffle my cursing on my end of the couch ... I am now just about half-way through the little braid-looking band on the bottom of the hat.  How the heck I'm supposed to make the top of the hat, I have no idea ... but I'll muddle through with some actual cursing and figure it all out.  And by George, it'll be the best damn hat in the class! ;)

The quilt ... 
For whatever reason, it's feeling like this quilt is taking forever.  A few miscalculations on the amount of borders & backing I needed wasted some time as I tried going back to the store thinking that they'd have it in stock, then having to go online and re-order.  Thankfully my friends' mom isn't in an all-fire rush to get it!  (Maybe that's the real reason I don't have a fire under me to finish it?)  Hopefully it'll be worth the wait when I give it to her.  (I'm crazily aiming for the 28th when I'm going down to visit my friend.)

And that, my lovely blog readers, is what I've been up to!  What about you?  Been doing anything fun?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Honey

I love this picture.  This picture inspired me for so many little things in my wedding.  Truth be told ... this picture has inspired me for a lot of little things throughout my life.  It's my grandparents - Ann & Emil on their honeymoon in Atlantic City.   

Today is my grandmother's birthday.  She would've been 99.  Maybe it's silly to say that ... but its something that I think about every year since she's been gone.  Honey (that's what we called her) taught us all so much.  Such an amazing woman.  

I love you and miss you every day ... and so much more than I could've ever imagined. 
I thank you for teaching me what you have ... and for guiding me as I know you are.
You'll always be with me.  Always.

I love you, Honey. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spring in the air (for today anyway)

Today was GORGEOUS.  So beautiful in fact, that I forced my husband outside to play catch with me.  (I told you that I make him do strange things.)  Nothing crafty to report, but just sharing that for today at least ... I was outside enjoying the sunshine and crisp air before more snow comes with us.

How about you?  Getting out from under all the winter blahs?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What I've been up to ...

Let's just say that I now understand why we're given children as infants ... we need the time to adjust to them!  Watching my 9 yr. old niece for 3 days really tired us out ... not to mention screwing up our routine!! But ... I wouldn't have changed it for the world.  Love her.

After bedtime, I was able to squeeze in quite a few projects (surprisingly!).

Christmas Ornaments
First ... a little late for Christmas ... or is it a little early?  I had made personalized Christmas balls for my in-laws my first Christmas with my hubby.  Needless to say, I didn't include one for myself (didn't want to be presumptuous) or for his other grandparents (only one was living with them at that time) ... fast forward to our 5th year together ... I decided it was time to follow through and get all the grandparents done ... and as I type this, I've realized that I still have to do another one for me for their tree! (Pardon the background and poor lighting ... I wanted to get these done & up!)

Coffee Cozy & TomTom holder
My sister has been pestering me since Christmas to knit her a holder for her TomTom navigation system.  (Yes, there are premade ones out there that are probably better, but asking me to do it is cheaper.) So ... I put together some crafty things that she's been liking of mine for her birthday.  (Still debating on whether or not I can finish a pair of fingerless gloves by the time I see her!) 

Valentine's Day/Anniversary 
My husband and I started dating in the beginning of February ... I like to make sure we remember this anniversary as well as our Wedding Anniversary ... and usually I wind up making him a small album at least once a year.  I wasn't going to this year (for the stupidest of all reasons ... I couldn't come up with a good "theme" ... but then I decided that I needed to do one.  One night, about 4 hours later (thank goodness for some Library of Memories organization!) and voila!  A mini-album on his bedside table for him to look at and cherish (and thankfully, he does - cherish them.) 

One thing I love about this album was that it is literally just pictures and journaling.  I didn't need to go all-out with a page.  I got down what I wanted to relay to my husband and took some of the pictures that I loved to tell that story.  PERFECT.  I don't even mind that my handwriting isn't the best in the world - it's totally authentically me - and that's 100% okay!

  Journaling reads: Our 5 month anniversary,  The first time I realized just how much you listened and paid attention.  After a passing comment on our 2nd or 3rd date about loving Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when I was little, you surprised me with tickets to the new Broadway show.  It still amazes me 5 years later how you pick up on the little things ... both in what I say and what I look at.  I'm so lucky to have one of "those" husbands ... the one everyone wishes for ... the one who can really pull off a perfect present without being led straight to it.  Granted ... it probably helps that once I look at or talk about something I like, I tend to forget about it!
Journaling reads: 10 weddings in 5 years.  Six of them within one year.  Part of me sometimes dreads seeing those invitations in the mail.  Weddings are expensive - to throw and attend ... and you've got A LOT of single friends and family ... still!  Then ... there's the other part ... the one that LOVES being dressed up along side you, looking so very handsome in your suit and tie.  I love being there next to you.  I love that you don't mind dancing with me.  I appreciate that you love to socialize and have a damn good time at most weddings and am happy to supply the safe drive home when needed.  Besides ... I really just love showing you off whenever I can!

Journaling reads:  Why does it seem like every vacation we have must include some unplanned adventure built in?  On our trip to Las Vegas, we dealt with the relationship issues of others.  In Vermont, you kept dropping the ring as you tried for the perfect moment.  Then ... there was Aruba.  Who else has the best Honeymoon stories but us?  A double ear infection, the wave runners, the lovely Jeep excursion and the drinking bus.  Through it all, we just keep moving forward, taking care of each other when needed and most definitely laughing.  After all, we at least get some great stories out of all this!
Journaling reads:  OH  ... my Johnny.  The things you do for me.  You grunt and moan and try to reason me out of my so called crazy ideas, but in the end ... (most times) you let me win. (and yes - I know you LET me.)  This picture is often the result.  Outside with me and my camera.  You get the job of being my subject as I search for the "perfect" photo.  You crack me up every time.  You make me be more free and more fun - two things I always need more of.  Now the question is - can you take another 50 years of this? (Please? :) )

Journaling reads: Together.  That's us ... always.  Five years later, I really thought the desire to be with each other as much as possible would fade.  It hasn't.  I still want to be snuggling on the couch instead of being somewhere else in the house doing something else.  Luckily for me - you still like having me around, and love snuggling just as much as I do!

By the way ... is the light colored text annoying to any of you?  Trying to figure out a "theme" on this blog and stick to it ... so help me help you! :)  Let me know what you prefer seeing (plain background, black text, etc.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I haven't forgotten!

We're watching my niece for a couple of days (since Sunday) so snuggling on the couch watching the Olympics has taken priority over the computer.  I'll post about my weekend creations tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Back to work (literally) ...

After being unemployed for WAY too long (in my humble, unbiased opinion, of course) I am finally back at work.  This isn't something I talk about much to people.  Well ... not even just "people" .... really - I don't talk about it much with anyone other than my husband.  But here, my blog-land friends ... here, we share in safe place. :)  We won't go into the details of my little stay in unemployment land ... but we will say that now ... now we're employed and so far, liking it and the people associated with it.

Which leads me to the purpose of my post.  I'm TIRED.  I'm not getting up much earlier than I did while I was home ... and I'm not going to bed much later (not on school nights anyway) ... but dear Lord ... I'm just sleepy this week.  I'm guessing it has to do with being "on" and being in front of people.  Guess it just doesn't take that much energy to be "on" with paper and fabric, huh?

I'm VERY much looking forward to this weekend though.  My dear hubby has to work all weekend - so that means that other than whatever errands are a must ... I can hole myself up in my craft room and finally get stuff DONE!  I'm planning on being a busy little bee and having a bunch of new things to share and list.  (More on that later though.)

For now ... (YAWWWN) ... Good night, internet.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why am I still up and online?

It's 2:48am ... and I'm still surfing around online.  What is wrong with me?  I told my husband I was going to bed over an hour ago!  I did finally get one thing accomplished though - I cleared out my Google reader after almost a week of having anywhere between 300 - 500 unread posts.  It was hard to do, but I persevered and of course came out with tons of cute ideas.  I just can't click "mark all as read" and feel okay about it.

I'm glad I can sleep in tomorrow.  I think I'm going to need it.  I'll have to remind my internal alarm to be quiet though.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project Photos

As promised ... pictures of the few things that I've been up to.  Pieces of the quilt are currently pinned or waiting to be pinned and sewn together tomorrow - so hopefully by Thursday I'll be posting a picture of the quilt top.

Some of what I've been up to ...

In the past couple of days, I've been crafting away ... finally!  I took pictures ... but they're on my laptop and I forgot to upload them ... so no pictures right now - I promise to repost with them later!

First (and finally) I altered a cigar box for my mom to send to one of my aunts. It's so hard choosing a pattern and/or color when you don't really have a good feel for a person or their home ... I at least had the memory of my aunt's house to go off of!  Then I made the frame & burp cloths for a friend to give as a gift.  This is my 2nd baby gift set done for that particular friend - and both kids' names started with an "a" ... as did the set I did for one of my husband's co-workers.  Apparently little girls names starting with "A" are popular around here lately!  I get to do a boy themed set for that same friend later this week.

I'm also turning the corner on finishing the quilt that I've been working on.  It's currently laid out on my den floor and this afternoon (after a trip to Barnes & Nobel and lunch with my mom :)  ) I will be piecing that together and finishing the top ... then the search for the backing is on!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One stitch at a time

So I've been making great progress on finishing up this quilt.  Until earlier tonight.  I had to take apart way too many pieces because I screwed up due to lack of attention.  Paying attention to the process and enjoying the sewing, but apparently missing the finer details.

Nothing that couldn't be fixed or modified ... but just frustrating - especially when you feel you're on a roll!

The hubby intervened after hearing one too many f-bombs and made me stop to go finish watching the extra scenes from The Hangover.  Ladies ... when this movie first came out, I said no way ... I was SO SO SO wrong.  It is hysterically funny.  It's a great movie to watch and kept us laughing the whole time.  And ... there have admittedly been some lines that have stuck around too.

It's 2:30am ... what the hell am I still doing up?  Night all!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Have you ever .... ?

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I'm working on a commissioned quilt for a friend.  I've cut all the fabrics, labeled them so I don't confuse myself and was going to pin them together for sewing while watching TV with the hubby.  (See?  All ready to go.)

Now ... I have my lovely & beautiful craft room ... however - I don't sew there.  I sew on our beautifully huge kitchen table.  It's big enough for me to spread everything out, or quilt a queen size project - and it's closer to my hubby since he probably wouldn't like me using the sewing machine next to him while we watch TV.  (Just a guess there.)  This being said .... I kind of have taken to putting my sewing supplies in our front foyer closet.  (Who needs to hang guests' coats?)   Around Thanksgiving when everything has to be "guest perfect" ... a whole bunch of stuff got put into an extra large reusable shopping bag that I picked up from The Christmas Tree Shoppe. 

I had only taken out what I needed so far (cutting mat, ruler, tools) and had left the other stuff in there.  I now needed pins ... and lots of them ... the pin cushion just wasn't going to cut it.  I had to get my other box of pins that I use just for this type of thing.  Only problem?  They weren't where I thought they were.  They *should* be in the little tote carrier that holds all my little stuff ... seam ripper, measuring tape, etc. for sewing .... shouldn't they?

And so began "the search" .... I couldn't find the pins in the bag, in the containers or in any other godforsaken item that I had around.  I searched.  I looked in my craft room, the laundry room and everywhere else I could think that I may have used or put them for "safe keeping".  Nothing.

What else is a girl to do?  I had (HAD) to organize all my sewing stuff.  That's right - go through all the fabric stash and reorganize into different containers ... after all ... I *have* to do this, so why not make it useful organization time.   I *still* couldn't find them.  All my fabric had been sorted, folded or refolded and categorized (felt and flannel have their own boxes, yardage and fat quarters do as well) and I, like a good wife ... went whining to my husband.  

God Bless him ... he actually helped me look for about 3 minutes - and marveled at the fact that I couldn't find them.  Then he asked what was to me the funniest question ... "well, why don't you go through your stuff and look for them."  I stared at him.  I looked back at the kitchen table, did my best Vanna arm swipe to show him the table and said "What do you think THAT is?"


He shook his head and went back to watching TV.  I, however could not.  I needed those damn pins!  EVERYTHING that was downstairs had been sorted through ... where the hell were these things?  I went back up into the craft room and looked on my desk ... nothing ... looked around the room in various places ... nothing.  Then ... sitting on the old sewing desk/table from my grandmother was a white basket.  Hm ... it wouldn't be in there - that is just old sewing stuff that I had put aside.  How wrong was I?  They were right there, next to a pair of scissors and some bobbins ... just waiting to be used.

Needless to say, I was too damn tired after reorganizing everything to even think about pinning things together that night - but I did finally get it done last night as my husband snickered next to me, mumbling something about me being crazy.  It's not my fault the pin found his arm! ;)

Please tell me that this has happened to you at some point too ... that I'm not the only one that has reorganized an entire section of something looking for one tiny little thing?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Amazon Wish List ... did you know about this?

Somewhere in my blog stalking reading last week, I found someone talking about clearing out their Amazon Wish List for the new year.  Hm ... clearing out a list to begin anew?  I like this!  So I hopped over to Amazon and looked for a Wish List.

Of course, I easily found it and started one up.  Then ... then, my friends ... I realized that I could add a "short cut" button to my tool bar and put ANYTHING on my Wish List.  FROM ANYWHERE!  Poking around 2Peas ... click "add to Wish List" and voila ... it'll get in there. 

Now, why am I so enamored by this?  (1) It's super easy.  (2) I'm the person when asked "what do you want for __________ (insert any gift giving occasion here) that says "I don't know ... whatever" (don't hate me).  (3) It fulfills my need to think I'm going shopping but never checking out and actually spending money.  Let us not forget the most important one .... (4) It lets me have one easy access place to remember where I saw what I wanted! 

I tried the same thing once with Kaboodle, but it annoyed me and I didn't keep going there.  This one is straight forward and easy ... and really - I don't need to know what other people want (like on Kaboodle), I just need to know what I want!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hello, 2010 ... I've been waiting for you!

I don't know about you, but I love New Year's Day.  It's one of those lazy holidays where  you're just recuperating from the night before  ... mulling around and deciding if you "feel" like doing something or not.  At least, that's what it is for us! 

We had a great NYE night ... hung out at a friend's house with other couples and ate, drank and played games.  (It's hard to play Taboo while drinking ... but damn funny!)  We didn't get home till after 4am - and that to me is a sign of a good night!

So ... have you guys heard about choosing one little word for your year from Ali Edwards?  I've done this in the past, and while I may not live with it imprinted on my forehead ... I do find myself remembering my word throughout the year - especially if I feel myself getting discouraged about a situation. 

This year my word is embrace.  


1[em-breys] Show IPA verb, -braced, -brac⋅ing, noun
–verb (used with object)
1. to take or clasp in the arms; press to the bosom; hug.
2. to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly: to embrace an idea.
3. to avail oneself of: to embrace an opportunity.
4. to adopt (a profession, a religion, etc.): to embrace Buddhism.
5. to take in with the eye or the mind.
6. to encircle; surround; enclose.
7. to include or contain: An encyclopedia embraces a great number of subjects.

For me, it's all about definition No. 3 ... to avail oneself.  I want to take a more active part in my life.  (You're probably thinking um ... duh!)  This year was a somewhat hard one.  Lots of things that I thought were just a given, weren't.  I doubted myself and my abilities - though I vanquished that doubt quickly time and time again.  I sometimes felt that my life was just being spent going from one task to another and that I was forgetting to enjoy the process and the moments in between.  So for 2010 ... I will embrace the changes that will come into our lives - expected and unexpected.  I will embrace new opportunities and go after the ones that I truly want.  I will embrace my life.  I will find ways to enhance it and stick with the ones that work for me, and change the ones that don't.

Now ... I need to go embrace some cleaning.  For whatever reason this year, I want my Christmas decorations away.  I usually keep them up longer, but not this year.  I actually considered taking everything down on the 26th, but held off.  I think it has to do with just wanting all of 2009 to be done and finished.  

Later I plan on doing some self-evaluating.  Seeing where I am within myself and what I would like to accomplish for myself this year.  From unfinished projects to personal goals.  That and some quality snuggling time with the hubby.  Sounds like a good day to me!