Mommy and Daughter Crafternoons

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Well, it’s no shock to those who know me that I love some craft time. Nora seems to be taking after me, and now that she’s four, we can really get busy!

Carson has a pretty consistent two-hour nap every afternoon, and we need to fill time at home while he rests. This week we enjoyed the refreshed attic space to get our craft on–and Nora surprised me with her desire to learn some new crafting skills.

Our first project involved making some hair accessories for fall. Nora will be dressing up as Elsa for Halloween in a costume that I made. To make the costume even more fun, I wanted to add some bling to go with her outfit. We made a beautiful rhinestone headband (wrapping an old headband in blue ribbon and hot gluing jewels of different shapes and sizes to it) and some barrettes and bows.

After we finished the project, I started working on an embroidery project and Nora was eager to try it herself. After setting her up with an embroidery hoop and some floss, she got busy next to me on the couch. She wanted to do it the next day as well, and she’s pretty amazed at her new skill set (as am I). I am not fully prepared to have a preschool embroiderer on my hands, so I highly recommend this tutorial on maya*made if you want to get your kids started. I’d like to purchase some burlap and yarn needles for Nora so she can take the project with her where she goes (I do not feel comfortable giving her a sharp needle to take around the house so it’s a with-Mommy project only at the moment).

I’ll keep you updated on what other projects we tackle in the coming months.

New House: Attic Happenings

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With the weather turning cooler (the exception being this weirdly warm week!) and company arriving for the holidays in just a short while, Steve and I are determined to finish upgrading our attic into a cozier space. When we bought our new house, the finished attic was a major selling point, providing us with room for toys, crafts, and guests. However, the space needed improvements.

The previous owners finished the attic themselves some years ago, but when we purchased the house this spring, upgrading the space was an immediate priority. The attic needed carpet, new light fixtures, and some general TLC. Within the first month in our house, we had replaced the carpet and lights. We also purchased a bed for the guest room and set up the larger bonus space as a playroom and craft room.

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However, the room still lacked a cozy feeling. Figuring that the cold and dark months ahead will encourage us to use the attic often, we wanted to add some elements that would cheer up the room. Enter paint! Thanks to a can of dark blue paint (Hotel St. Francis Spirit Blue) from Lowes and painting some accent walls, the space is already feeling more homey and comfortable. I also purchased a color for the guest room, so I’ll add the full attic reveal soon.

Rejuvenating Weekend

Well, I didn’t spend the weekend at the spa, but it was truly rejuvenating. While it was full, it was not spent entirely in front of a computer screen so I could catch up on work. Now, I have a GIGANTIC project that will be on my doorstep today, but I don’t have the number of projects that I’ve had to balance in the last few months.

What did I do instead of work?

  • Went to a vow renewal of close friends.
  • Cooked (Moosewood’s Cauliflower Cheese Soup!).
  • Crafted. (Currently knitting really cute scarves for my little ones for Christmas.)
  • Taught Sunday School.
  • Painted our attic.
  • Watched the Eagles rout the Giants.

Today is Columbus Day, so Nora’s school is closed. We’re heading to a fun kid activity center and then we’ll put the attic back together. It’s a nice, low-key day, complete with Trader Joe’s pumpkin cinnamon rolls. What more could one want?

Refrigerator Tableau

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This is what the side of my fridge looks like these days. What a beautiful sight! In case you can’t tell, the kids are working on fall, Fire Prevention Week, and the color red at preschool. Honestly, when I signed up for this parenting adventure, my first thoughts were of snapshots like this. Eager young minds applying all of their developmental skills to creating art. We’ve navigated through the baby spit-up, nursing, all-night marathons, diaper blowouts, first foods, etc. Now we get the good stuff! (Though my kids are not as cuddly and do not smell as good as they did back in the day!)

 

#TBT: Frankfurt Book Fair

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Here I am in Frankfurt in October 2007. For four (or five?) years I attended the Frankfurt Book Fair, selling rights to the books published with my small independent press. Though I had traveled often as a kid and spent three weeks in Europe following high school, going to the Fair each year was a real test for me. The company I worked for sent me with a companion a few times, but I often spent time alone in Frankfurt and was fortunate enough to link up with other young professionals there. Steve never made it to Frankfurt with me because of football season, of course. This photo was snapped by a best friend and mentor when we traveled together after an epic year at work.

I look so young in this picture (pre-kid days!). As a professional in my mid-twenties at Frankfurt, I had to play “dress up” wearing pretty conservative suits and heels to look older and get more respect from the international publishing community. I often felt awe-struck in Hall 8 surrounded by huge publishers making blockbuster rights deals. The food was generally awesome there, especially for someone who loves cheese, bread, ice cream, and beer.

It would be an awesome opportunity to go back to the Fair. As I continue my career in publishing, I can only hope that I’ll ramp it up when my children are older and have a chance to be a player in the industry again (one of many pipe dreams!).

Other thoughts:

  • A friend asked me to accompany her to The Hundred-Foot Journey. We went to a 4:30 show (on a Wednesday!) yesterday while Steve cared for the kids. It was a treat to be in a movie theater and watch such a sweet (and succulent!) movie. I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
  • I am brainstorming a Christmas craft project. So exciting to be thinking of the holidays!
  • Oh, and I am still obsessed with Jamberry nails. I’m wearing an orchid floral print this week and have developed the expectation that I’ll always have my nails done now. After spending a lifetime agonizing over my crappy nails, there is finally something out there for me!

 

Trying Something New

Last week, WordPress informed me that my blog is six years old. I’m amazed at the changes I’ve experienced while blogging–trying to make sense of my twenties, becoming a mother, quitting my career, finding a new home, and now balancing a life at home with children and freelance work. Lately, I have been feeling less motivated to post here, and it makes me a bit sad. This has always been my outlet to share my life with others (and figure things out for myself!), but it feels a bit like a burden sometimes. While I don’t want to stop writing, I need to find a muse for this space again.

My children are growing and are truly people now, which means that I don’t feel it is appropriate to share all about their lives. My life as a mom is getting a bit easier in the day-to-day because of their maturity as well. I am spending more and more time in front of a computer screen for freelance work, and I’m not biding time at my salaried office job, which was a boon for this blog!

So, where am I right now? I am about to hit another birthday in my thirties. I have two preschoolers. I work as a freelance editor, trying to find time for about ten to twenty hours of work a week. I try to be a good household manager (with my hubby, of course!) by keeping up with fun recipes, staying on budget, keeping things clean, and helping my children stay active through a variety of activities. I am really involved at my church right now. I am part of a few playgroups for my kids. I have wonderful friends who I try to see at least once a month. I have been reading the same book (Wicked) for the last few months because of my intense workload–this is really bothering me! I am psyched for the upcoming holidays (possibly a muse!) and hosting lots of family. I am loving campfires, fall beers, and football (when I get a chance to watch it).

I’ve selected this new blog look to keep things simple here. There’s so much rattling in my head that I want things to look and feel straightforward in this virtual space. I need this to be a space that’s more about me, so I’ll have to work harder to think about that difficult subject. I promise, however, that I’ll keep my Instagram feed filled with cute kid faces!

Nora at Four

IMG_5167Nora turned four last weekend. To celebrate, we enjoyed some rainbow festivities. The birthday girl loved her special day, soaking in all of the attention. It’s interesting to be at the point with her that she remembers events from year to year. These celebrations do count.

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This kid loves the monkey bars, dancing, swimming (she’s graduating to Eel at the YMCA in the next session!), crafting, going to school, and being a big sister. Her favorite books are in the Pinkalicious series and she loves Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. She drinks tea with me in the afternoons and LOVES pepperoni.

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Nora still plays with her dolls and stuffed animals but really enjoys games and puzzles too. We’ve been playing a lot of War lately and working on puzzles when Carson naps. She also loves to clean (not necessarily her own toys, but adult things) and her sense of humor is amazing. And, she’s a clothes horse. So. Many. Clothes. (And shoes!!!)

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We are so grateful to have this spunky gal in our lives. Now that she’s four, she’s a true companion and friend.

These Pumpkins

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I realize I already posted this shot yesterday, but I am taking a mommy moment here to reflect on some kid milestones. And the milestones have to do with pumpkins, of course!

I regret how little I have documented here about the kids here as of late. I feel like I’ve missed so many cute Carson-isms now that he’s talking, and Nora’s turning four tomorrow, which is still a shock.

One thing that I always want to remember is how my kids said “pumpkin” when they were little.

Nora: “punkin”

Carson: “pumpin”

Of course, my hot-shot daughter now says the word correctly, but Steve and I were blessed with two whole years of “punkin.” And now Carson, with his awesome toddler speech, has gifted us with “pumpin.” I absolutely adore it.

Here’s to (I hope) another year of that pronunciation. While we still get “Tarson” and “Nooah” from him, I doubt those will be around much longer.
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How was this two years ago? Though it’s hard to remember what they were like as babies anymore . . . sniff, sniff.

 

Early Fall Snapshots

I have missed coming here and writing posts. Things are looking a little less hairy today, and my oldest child is enjoying some brother-free time (he’s at preschool) on a rainy Thursday morning.

Here are some fall pics I’ve snapped this week. We’re excited to be lighting pumpkin candles, sipping warm drinks and pumpkin beers, and visiting our favorite fall places, such as the pumpkin patch!

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He’s a cute witch!

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This girl turns 4 on Saturday. I’m getting sentimental!

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Thinking this should be the Christmas card! My pumpkins!

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This girl is wonderful at posing. She’s so big these days.

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Pumpkin beer + my latest Jamberrys (Imperial). A good evening!

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Working up a fall mantel. It’s fun and challenging to figure out what looks good in the new house.

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Fall is my favorite time of year, for sure, and it’s a great gateway to the behemoth that is Christmas. I look forward to lots of festive cheer in our new home this year!