Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Finally... A completed project!

I've got a million projects in progress, but it seems as if I've been so busy with school starting, birthdays, and returning to work full time that I haven't been able to finish anything at all. Well, that changed last night with the completion of the season's first pair of slippers. I love corn-cob slippers! I'm going to sell these ones, so I can't wait to get some nice pictures taken and list them on etsy.

Birthday Party

Last weekend, we had a birthday party for Molly and Micah. Micah turned 3 years old on Sept. 12 and Molly turned 6 years old on September 23. Since we have so many people that have to travel for the party, I usually do just one party. They don't seem to mind.

I made Molly as Strawberry Shortcake cake. For some reason, I just couldn't get it right. I started out with a plan to cover the cake with fondant, but the fondant kept tearing. After the third try, I just used plain frosting. Yummy home-made frosting, but plain frosting all the same. I did my best to make a girl who at least looked a little bit like Strawberry Shortcake -- my work did not live up to my standards, but Molly told me it was beautiful, and that's all that matters.

For all the trouble I had with Molly's cake, Micah's cake was a breeze. He absolutely loved it, and spent the whole morning singing the spider man song. Notice in the pictures that he stole the frosting off the entire base of the cake. He snuck tastes, but he was ever so careful not to wreck the cake...

The kids got some very nice, very appropriate gifts. There were no toy guns and no slutty little girl things, so I didn't even have to take anything away and hide it on top of the fridge!

Micah's favorite gift was a remote control front end loader and bulldozer. We had to talk him into setting it aside opening the rest of gifts. He particularly enjoyed the scooping action.

Molly's favorite gift was a fashion drawing kit. It has clear films with different clothing pieces and that you layer on top of the picture of the model and then trace the figure onto tracing paper. There are also some textures to rub and other fun things. I think she drew about 10 girls (fabulously well dressed ones, of course) that night alone.
The funny thing about this gift is that earlier that week, Molly had told me that she wanted to be a fashion model. If she's lucky, Molly might grow to be 5"1". I told her that I think that she is beautiful, but that fashion models are usually very tall. She was disappointed until I suggested that she might like being a fashion designer instead. I explained what fashion designers do, and she said, "Well, I do like to draw... Could you teach me how to sew?" That-a-girl!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hugs and Kisses

Little Miss Madelynn has learned to give hugs and kisses. Last night, during out designated Sponge Bob/Calm-Down-for-Bed time, she had herself a little hug and kiss frenzy. It was a slobbery mess, but it was seriously one of the cutest, sweetest things I've ever seen. She is just full of love.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kindergarten Rocks!

Molly started Kindergarten last week, and I have never seen her happier. She came home from the first day of school and told me, excitedly "We did the letter A, the number one, and the color red." I noted that Kindergarten moves a little faster than pre-school, and she agreed.
Our school offers all day, every day Kindergarten. This is a god-send for my sharp little girl. She's been more than a little bored and is very excited about the faster pace.

After two full weeks of school, she is still glad to get up and ready in the morning. She has her own alarm clock, and comes down stairs dressed for the day and ready to get down to business. After telling me about her day, she falls asleep on the way home nearly every day, so I know she's playing hard and learning lots.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Missed a big goal ... Now what? Reassess!

I was one of those people who spent the vast majority of my childhood with my nose in a book. At some point, I decided that because I loved to read so much I should try writing. I wrote quite a few little stories, but was never terribly serious about any of it. I was a journaler, so I constantly had a little note book. It was mostly filled with complaints about my life, as writing has always been very cathartic for me. Writing something down was a way that I could wrap my head around a problem and work toward a solution. In college, I took a teaching course about teaching writing and it resurrected this interest in a way that surpassed simple journaling. I developed a rough plan on how I wanted to write a book by the time I turned thirty years old. Now I thought I was being rather realistic at the time. I didn't specify that it had to be a particularly good book, or that the book needed to be published. There wasn't anything in this plan that even addressed showing this book to other people. I admit that I occasionally daydreamed about this book being selected for the Oprah book and giving a rocking interview to Oprah herself (or at least Gail), but I didn't seriously entertain such thoughts.

Well... I turned thirty years old a couple of weeks ago, and I've not so much as finished filling in all the blanks in my children's baby books. I think that the saddest part of this story is that I pretty much forgot about this goal. About a week after my birthday, I was driving home and listening to Minnesota Public Radio, as usual. Carrie Miller was talking about her book club and that she was going to interview an author about his writing process and it just hit me.

I'm thirty. I was going to write a book and I totally didn't do it. I didn't even give it a good try. Oh Shit. I'm such a loser.

Instead of coming up with all kinds of excuses for myself, and there would be plenty legitimate excuses, I began to reassess. Well, I let myself feel like a total loser for a few seconds and then began to reassess.

Do I still want to write something? Well, yes, I do. Writing has always been something that I truly enjoy. Do I still want to write a novel? Maybe one day, but I feel a little too out of practice to just jump into such a major project. Novels have lots of words. Lots of words means many many hours on just a rough draft. I have three children and a full time job, so that just isn't realistic. Plus, other than listening to audio books when I go for walks, I don't even remember the last time that I even read a novel. Good writers read, and I'd feel like a bit of a fraud if I just sat down and tried to write a novel. I do read a lot of children's books. I've read hundred's over the last six years. I could give that a shot. I also read a lot of non-fiction, especially about sewing and craft projects. I could try that, too. Now I know that a children's book or something non-fiction will still be a lot of work. I'm not nixing the novel because I'm afraid of hard work. But, for some reason a children's book or non-fiction book just feels less daunting to me. They are familiar, comfortable, and interesting to me. Both are things that I would want to read, and isn't a writer supposed to write for herself?

Shortly after I decided to update my writing goal, I ran into an old friend. She's recently finished writing a book and is working on finding an agent. Wow! Talking to her was very refreshing and inspiring for me. I think I'm really going to do this. I'm going to write something. So, since I didn't get this done by 30, when do I get this done by? I've always thought that it is very important to have realistic, attainable goals. I'm going to aim for 35. If it doesn't work out, I'll just reassess again.