i really like crafting. and this weekend, i realized i have not been doing enough of it. lately, i've been keeping busy with perfectly reasonable things like cleaning and laundry and studying (ohmygoodness i haven't had to study in a long time and it is exhausting!) but none of that involves creating, or making, or ending up with a real finished product.
so i did something. i started my day at the fabric store with half a plan.
and i am so excited with what i was able to accomplish with six hours and my new sewing machine.
so. sorry about the radio silence around these parts. i'm still here. still living life, eating regularly, going to work, doing all of the important things like laundry and dishes and i think i might have even cleaned the bathroom recently so yeah, i'm pretty much a rockstar. *brushes off shoulder* but as far as writing anything? sharing my stories? documenting the life i am living right now? eh, not so much. *shrugs* and i'm kind of ok with that.
winter is tough - it is cold and lonely and dark and lasts way too long after Christmas and i'm just now realizing that i'm really only about halfway through the season. gross. but what i'm trying to say is that i feel like as long as i am surviving, i'm doing ok - even if the documentation side of things is slipping.
so just in case you've been wondering, this is what i've been up to lately: (and i even made my list alliterative! just because i can! Cope would be so proud!)
Sister Christmas. we travelled to Pennsylvania the weekend between Christmas and New Year's to celebrate with my family. i took zero pictures of our extended family celebration at Aunt Sara's house - i figured cousin Sarah had it covered - but did manage some pictures of our mini-Christmas with the sisters and our families.
we even had a tiny tree to put our presents under!
Mark's present came in a Victoria's Secret bag...
don't you love my sister's new hat?
Skiing. for the second year in a row, i survived the Shifflett family ski trip. and i liked it! we went to a different mountain this year - Showshoe, WV. the trails were tougher, and it took me a while to re-remember how to make it down the mountain upright (i ended the weekend with a grand total of 12 wipeouts and one giant hip bruise...apparently i always land on the same spot) but we had a really good time. my camera spent the weekend in my purse so i don't have any pictures, but my FIL took some good ones (and at least one terrible one that i couldn't convince him to delete) so if those ever actually make it off of their camera i might share a few.
Studying. the day we got back from our long skiing weekend, we also started an online review course for the PE Exam we're taking in April. ever since then, literally all of my free time has been spent with my giant review books; either reading theory, listening to lectures, working problems, or weeping in despair because right now it feels like there is no way i will ever re-learn all of this stuff in the next 79 days.
(not) Sewing. so i got that great sewing machine for Christmas. and i have some good ideas for sewing projects. and i have created a "sew fun!" pinerest board. and because of the aforementioned skiing and studying, i have had zero time to actually sew anything. sigh.
Shopping. mostly for groceries and other necessary but not necessarily fun things. i feel like i have spent a lot of time at the grocery store, which probably isn't even true because Mark's new job is right across the street from the grocery store so he has been doing a lot of the shopping for me. but, it started with an S so it made the list. i have been to Walmart twice in the past week to buy exciting things like lint filters for my utility sink and mini saltines and a dishpan. and ok i also impulse bought the movie Tangled just because i wanted to watch it. maybe i'll watch it again tomorrow...
Singing. the Frozen soundtrack. constantly. all the time. obsessed. have you seen this movie? is it even still in theaters? we saw it on a date night on New Years, and you need to see it too. trust me.
Sparkles. ok so this isn't really a thing i've been doing, but it snowed yesterday and it's a little windy today and all of the blowing snow outside my office window looks like one massive glitter party and it makes me smile.
is it true that the way you spend your New Years is the way you will spend the rest of the year?
for the sake of the rest of my year, i really hope this isn't true. because on my New Years, we left the party around 11 because we are old and lame and i was exhausted and there were harsh words and tears followed by several days of lingering frustration and other various emotions. not exactly an encouraging start for an entire year.
but we did go see Frozen on New Years, which was awesome, so I guess there's hope for the next 358 days.
this year, i want to survive. be happier. be a better adult. i don't know. enjoy? and maybe accomplish a few things while i'm at it? so i shortened up my non-resolution list for this year, to hopefully focus more on the bigger goals that have been languishing un-done on previous lists.
carry-overs from years past:
1. curtains. real curtains. really on my windows. i can do this. 2. read at least 3 non-fiction books. started my first one last night. 3. have pretty flowerbeds. a little tree removal, a little mulching, and then (hopefully) planting a lot of flowers. 4. budget. and then stick to it. 5. ride my bike. i don't think it got out of the shed at all last year. 6. read through my Bible. or maybe listen through it? 7. close my other bank account. this is just pathetic. 8. big book of everything. i have lost one too many passwords. time to get organized.
new for this year:
9. pass the PE. and feel no guilt for basically disappearing for the next 4 months while i study. 10. overcome my fear of the lawnmower. we got a riding lawn tractor. i want to be able to use it. 11. run. i think new shoes are in order. 12. sew a cushion for the entryway bench. top of the sewing list. 13. get the air ducts cleaned. this should just take a phone call. 14. yoga. just because. 15. start the kitchen renovation. it's the next major project on the major project list. kind of a long shot, but we'll see.
obviously there are other things i want to do this year that aren't on this list; like spend quality time with friends and family, and keep making my marriage a priority, and big overarching ideas and areas in which i would like to focus and improve like being a better adult-type person. but for right now, i need my list to be shorter, simpler, and full of things that i can legitimately accomplish and eventually cross off. so here we go.
well, 'tis the season for self-reflection and grandiose goals. so let's have a little look-see at how well i managed to do with this year's non-resolutions: run a 5k. did the Color Run this fall. ran the whole thing. so much fun.
have pretty flower beds. we mulched a lot. i planted two little bushes, and zero flowers. we're heading in the right direction. finish reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy
& watch the movies with the hubs. done. also watched the second installment of the Hobbit. go skiing. did it. loved it. hoping to go again this winter.
get real curtains on my
windows. kind of. there are placeholder curtains in the fireplace room. there are curtains in my dining room and front room. they are all different lengths. i don't know how that happened.
have regular personal time with God. whoops.
ride my bike. a lot. whoops again. maintain my
weight. i think i did reasonably well with this. haven't actually weighed myself to compare, but i'm happy with my body right now.
finish Mansfield Park. haha nope.
read more non-fiction books. eh, not so much. i actually think all the books i've read this year have been fiction, and i just started the Divergent series so...yeah no. clean out my closet. i did that once. it could probably use another go round...
make my marriage a priority. we did date nights pretty regularly this year. i feel like we are in a good place right now. i also feel like there is always room for improvement in this area. go to the dentist. did it. twice. going back again this week for fillings. fun.
close my other bank account. ugh. nope.
new music on my iPod. nope. go to Wyoming. labor day camping weekend for the win! apply for the PE exam. applied. application accepted. have to sign up for the review class. this is going to happen. organize the craft
corner. did it. love it. have actually managed to keep it pretty clean.
do a pull up. hahahahahahaha nope. take more pictures of me and Mark together. there is definitely room for improvement on this one. lots of improvement. finish Mark's
quilt. done. get a sewing machine. yes! Merry Christmas to me from Mark! go to the beach. twice. love it.
split the guest room back into
two. not even close. got a lodger in the basement instead.
implement a new budget. nope. maybe next year.
try at least one new healthy recipe per month. i think i tried a few new recipes this year. we also tried a whole new meal planning system for a few months. and if you count juice recipes we've tried over the past few weeks, i might have accumulated 12 over the year. i'm giving myself partial credit on this one.
so with a grand total of 14.5 items out of 26, (i was generous with my half-credits, ok?) i completed 56% of my non-resolutions for this year. if i ever got that kind of a grade in school (high school or even college) i would be ashamed of myself. but surprisingly, i feel pretty good about this past year; what i accomplished, what i made some progress on, and what i can carry over into next year.
fingers crossed i can take some time this week to spend some time looking forward to the new year before it gets here...
last year, i gave a lot of homemade Christmas gifts - wooden signs, soap dispensers, personalized mugs, large paintings, i was gettin' all pinteresty all over the place. and i loved every minute of the madness.
this year, i did more shopping than i did crafting, and i am thrilled with all of the gifts i am giving. but when it comes to homemade gifts, i have to say that i might have outdone myself this year on one of the most epic homemade gifts i have ever made: a personalized stationary bottle opener for my brother-in-law-in-law.
i got the idea for a bottle opener from one of those lame gift guide lists that are all over the internet in December, and i knew it would make a perfect gift. but i also knew that instead of spending $34 plus shipping to buy the finished product, i could probably make a better version for less. so i did.
i found a stationary bottle opener online, and decided to add a cap catcher for good measure. i designed the sign in powerpoint, (with some inspiration found here) prepped and cut and stained the wood, then finally painted it over the weekend. i applied the third and final coat of poly around 10:30pm on Christmas Eve, and then finished putting it all together Christmas morning. considering i ordered all the parts on December 2, i didn't think it would wind up being so down to the wire, but i guess that's just how it goes sometimes.
all told, i invested $22 in the opener and the cap catcher, and several hours of quality time spent with some powertools and my paintbrushes. the finished product is so worth it. i am ridiculously happy with how it all turned out, and was even more thrilled that Russ liked it too! i'm not sure if people are supposed to have favorite gifts that they have given, but this is definitely mine for this year.