Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sew(ing) Related

For the first time in my two and a half years of sewing, I have a dedicated area to my sewing stuff. I say 'area' and not room because I'm sharing with John's L-shaped desk. Although, as of yesterday, the long side of the L is now where my cutting mat lays, leaving the short side for his computer. Now that he has an iPad, his "home office" is the recliner, so he doesn't sit at his desk much anymore. So maybe I do have a sewing room?

Anyway, over the last two weeks, the room became a disaster, and you couldn't even see the floor due to fabric, my cutting mat, and lots of other odd and end sewing notions being scattered all over. I decided that something needed to be done and began perusing Pinterest to see if any ideas popped up.

Right now, this is my current desire for the room:

A peg board. Duh. The only size I'm able to find (at a decent price) is 24x48 inches, so while it would be large, I actually think it would look o.k. hanging above my sewing table with all my "tools" on display. This would keep my notions, rulers, cutting tools, and thread off the table and out of the way. The way I have everything organized works, but Hannah Grace is only getting taller (and more curious), and her hands are finding their way to things she shouldn't have in her possession (scissors, etc), so I want something that will get my supplies completely out of her reach. 

Other than planning the re-organization of my sewing room, I've been obsessively scouring the internet for fabric for a few projects I'm planning to sew over the next few months. Not only that, I'm also (obsessively) seeking out simple, fun tutorials to help me fill out Hannah Grace's spring and summer wardrobe. When I saw this skirt, I knew that I wanted to whip up a few: 

A Simple Skirt. 
The tutorial for the skirt can be found here.

As with each year (since mid-2009) I'm hoping to continue to expand my sewing projects. I started off making pencil rolls in 2009, made my first set of curtains and pillows in 2010 (along with simple baby blankets), and in 2011 I ventured out with clothes for Hannah Grace, making my first pillow case dress, dress with long sleeves, and pants. I have a few ideas as to what 2012 will hold, but we'll just see what I'm able to come up with!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


My Dad went Home six months ago today. Six months. Already? Jeeze.  They are six months that have flown by, and I'm tempted to ask where the time has gone, but I won't. I know where it went, and it went fast.

Last week I was a sewing machine. Almost literally. I sewed two pillowcase dresses flawlessly, experimented with sewing a sleeveless tunic, and experimented with sewing a tunic with sleeves (without using a pattern) for Hannah Grace. I won't be adding the sleeveless tunic to Hannah Grace's wardrobe because there are just too many things wrong with it, but I'll keep the tunic with sleeves. It isn't perfect, but it's in much better shape than the tunic with sleeves. If I hadn't have had plans this morning, I would have taken pictures of Hannah Grace "modeling" everything. Maybe we'll have another warm(er) day this week and I can. 

After going through some fabric last night I decided to sew through some of my larger materials and sell them off. Right now I know I'm going to make three baby blankets and sell them for $20/$25 each. I haven't set an exact amount because I need to add up the cost of the fabric by itself (which is why homemade items are more expensive than store bought-- fabric isn't cheap). But I am making them larger than a standard baby blanket (36' x 44') and I am backing them with the ever popular, super soft minky fabric, so I think people will get their money's worth. 

I'm happy to say that all things Christmas (with the exception of our now ornament-less tree) have been taken down and put away. This is the first year I haven't had Christmas decorations down before the new year, but between sickness and traveling, there was no way that was happening this year. Now I'm eagerly awaiting (consistent) warm weather in the coming spring and summer. For a couple of years I despised hot weather, but now that I'm going to have an active toddler this year, I can't wait. There are so many things to do outside with kids!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Those of you who have read this blog for awhile have read about our friends Andy, Cherie, and their son Zach. I've known Andy since I met John, and Cherie and I got along right away when she began her relationship with Andy two and a half  years ago. John, Hannah Grace, and I always make sure to spend time with them (along with our friends Michael and Amber) every time we come to Middle Tennessee. The six of us have formed a bond so strong that the line that used to mark the distinction between friend and family has been smeared and we don't even know the difference anymore.

On January 1st, Cherie was rushed to the ER with a sudden, severe pain in her temple. The medical staff at that hospital dismissed the pain as an odd migraine and sent her home with some painkillers. 

The pain still lingered and worsened into the following evening, so Andy drove her to another hospital about 45 minutes away from their apartment in hopes of getting a (more extensive) second opinion. After waiting several hours in the ER, they were finally able to see a doctor who could tell the pain was severe enough for Cherie to be admitted to the hospital for further testing. 

To make a long story short, Cherie was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia. You'll want to click on the link for more information, but basically she has severe pain on one (and sometimes both, which is rare) sides of her face. While the spasms can be triggered by several things, nobody knows what set it off in the first place. Heart breakingly enough, the squeals and loud jabbering of nine month old Zach can cause the pain to increase, so it is very difficult for her to be around him for long periods of time.

There is no guaranteed cure for Trigeminal Neuralgia, but it can be treated. Right now they (Andy, Cherie, and the doctors) are searching for the best medical treatment for her. Surgery is an option they are considering, and she will be consulting with a neurosurgeon at the end of the month.

Cherie is in a lot of pain, and while she is on medications, the lingering pain greatly affects her day to day life. John, Hannah Grace, and I have seen her twice since the diagnosis, and while she is able to talk with us, it's evident she is uncomfortable. Being a girl of such spunk, joy, passion it is really hard to watch her go through this. Cherie is as strong as anyone can be in this situation, and I admire her faith as walks this long, difficult journey.

We pray for her daily, and I am writing this in hopes of it reaching as many people as possible. If you are reading this, please, even if it's just for a second, pray for peace and healing for Cherie. All she wants to do is get better so she can take care of her son and allow Andy to resume a normal work schedule. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Coming Up to Breathe

I'm still here.

Right as Hannah Grace recovered from Bronchitis, John and I both got sick with two variations of The Yuck. His was in the form of losing his voice, sore throat, coughing, and (eventually) a stuffy head. Mine was in the form of a sinus infection sent straight from Satan himself (at least that's what it felt like). It was literally as if I was constipated in my sinuses, with the pain starting with my maxillary sinus and extending to my top molars and left ear. For three nights I was awake every two hours for up to an hour because I was in so much pain. Thankfully a trip to the doctor yielded some antibiotics, and it began clearing up a couple of days later.

John, Hannah Grace, and I spent the weekend in Cincinatti, Ohio so I could be in one of my oldest friend's wedding. John and I were absolutely dreading the drive (seven hours each way) because we knew Hannah Grace would be miserable (if you've kept up with us, this blog, Facebook, or talk to us in Real Life, then you know about the issues we've had with HG in the car).

She wasn't miserable. At all. In fact, in the total fourteen hour drive, there was less than thirty minutes of crying and fussing. I can't even begin to describe just how amazing that is. I REALLY hope this is something that continues, but even if it doesn't, I'm thankful she was perfect on such a long trip.

Anyway, once we were in Cincinatti we spent our time (and by we, I mean me, the bridesmaids, and the bride) getting pampered before the big day. For the first time in years I got my hair done, for the first time since before Hannah Grace was born I got my nails done, and for the first time ever I got my make up done. I loved it all, especially since John kept Hannah Grace at the house we were staying at while I was out and about.

I LOVED the color I picked out for my nails; it's You Don't Know Jaques by OPI, and it coordinated with my dress really well:

We got home late yesterday afternoon and unloaded the car. This morning John and I agreed that if I took Hannah Grace to the grocery store early, then he would take her out on some errands he needed to run so I could have a couple of hours to clean the house. They're both back, and now Hannah Grace is napping, so I'm going to keep on cleaning (and hopefully take Christmas down, agh!). 

Monday, January 2, 2012


I am not going to do a reflective post on 2011.

I spent the first half of the year wishing it away because we were traveling so much, and all I wanted to do was spend a couple of months at home.

I spent the last half of the year wishing it away because I wanted to get away from the worst day of my life (and worse week of my life) as quickly as possible. This event brought on more traveling than we anticipated during the last five months of 2011, but that didn't matter to me anymore. As it turns out, all the traveling we did January through May gave me more time with my dad in those five months than I had in almost two years.

Now that 2011 is gone, and 2012 is here, I can't help but feel a sense of relief. I know it sounds kind of lame to talk about a "fresh slate" when all it really is is another turn of the calendar, but when something so tragic happens in your life, it taints the entire year, and all I want to do is look at a different number.

As I've said in past posts about every new year, I don't have resolutions. Only goals. I didn't exactly meet my goals in 2011, but at the same time I feel like I exceeded them.

As for 2012, my largest goal is to develop a structured routine for meal plans and cleaning the house. I've said this before: meal planning isn't my problem. Sticking to the meal plan is where the issue lies, and I want to improve on that (big time) by the end of the year. And while cleaning the house isn't hard for me, I often find myself with more to clean in a day than I'd like. What I've learned in almost four years of being a housewife is that it is much easier to clean your house when you spend 20 minutes each day (if that) tidying every room. Considering that most rooms don't even take that long (except maybe the kitchen), I could have our entire house tidied in an hour. The most difficult part about that, however, is having a toddler un-tidying everything you've cleaned, especially in her room and the living room. I've come to grips with that and am o.k. picking up after her several times a day. My next step is developing some sort of schedule that will help me maintain the deep cleaning that goes on around here (toilets, floors, etc.)

I also want to find (or create) more creative meals for Hannah Grace, ESPECIALLY her lunches. If anyone has any ideas/links/recipes/ANYthing, feel free to share!