Wednesday, April 18, 2012

29 Random Things

Well, last week was my 29th Birthday! Here are 29 random things!

1. I have four kids, and I am convinced they are the best kids ever.

2. My husband and I met in High School. He won me over with his awesome hackey-sack skills, knowledge of Weezer lyrics, and (more honestly) the fact that he was a respectful, funny, good person. 
Also his family is the best.

3. I got a My Little Pony for my third birthday, and I have loved horses ever since.

4. I love Jane Austen. I think my favorites are Persuasion, Pride & Prejudice, then Sense & Sensibility. The others are good too, although I don't read them as often.

5. I had my last two children "naturally," without any drugs, after rather awful experiences with my first two. SO much better.

6. When I was in elementary school I had 3 pet gophers. I saved them from the field at my school (the maintenance guy was flooding all the tunnels) and kept them in a 60 gallon fishtank half-full of dirt so I could see their tunnels.

7. I also had fish, frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, lizards, snakes, mice, rabbits, and cats growing up. I told my dad that my kittens climbed in my open bedroom window and moved in. That was a lie. (sorry Dad!) I actually got one from a neighbor and the other showed up in my best friend's backyard.

8. I have all of the original Thundercats comic books.

9. I'm a very happy person. I love my life, my family, my faith, my friends, and my hobbies.

10. I've decided to learn to play piano this year. I played flute for a long time (although very poorly) so I've had a hard time teaching my brain about bass clef. 

11. I really love everything about quilting, from buying fabric, to planning quilts, to the actual work of cutting, sewing, and quilting. I sew almost every day.

12. Some of my favorite movies are Star Wars, Robin Hood (Disney Version), and Moulin Rouge.

13. I don't watch scary movies. I seriously can't handle them.

14. My favorite color has been purple for as long as I can remember.

15. I love Fall. So crispy cold, and blustery, and it just makes me want to curl up in front of a fire with a book and hot chocolate and a nice blanket. 

16. I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) when I was 18. 

17. I haven't worn any makeup ever since my Senior Prom.

18. I love the rare occasions when I'm in the car alone and can turn the music up super loud and sing along!

19. I have one younger sister, who is hilarious and beautiful and awesome.

20. I was a vet tech at an animal shelter before I quit to stay home full time. I've also worked at an emergency animal hospital, and daytime vet clinic, a horse ranch, a tack store, a pet superstore, and a burger restaurant.

21. I spent every summer through high school at my Mom's house in Sacramento, with no air conditioning. That city is not my friend.

22. I would love to have a little farm some day. My kids think it's a bad idea because they think they would have to wake up super early and work hard all day long. Scott thinks it's a bad idea because he doesn't like animals. I'm pretty sure I can still win though.

23. I'm a little bit claustrophobic, and don't do well in super crowded malls and grocery stores. It's not just the close space or commotion, it's trying to do things in those spaces, like change a crying baby in an airplane bathroom or buy groceries in a crowded store with three or four kids all talking and crying at once that freaks me out. That's normal, right?

24. I can drive a manual transmission, and two of my cars were manuals. Since those are dying out and there's very little chance of me ever needing that skill again, I'm secretly hoping for some sort of Jason Bourne-style chase scene to happen in my life where I save the day by being the only one around who can drive the Ferrari.

25. I used to be kind of a punk/skater chick. I was pretty terrible at skateboarding, but I could Ollie up a curb, which I thought was pretty great.

26. When thinking of names for my kids, I wanted them all to sound good as royalty, just in case. Prince William, Princess Evaline, Emperor Maximus, King Benjamin. You never know, so I didn't want to stick them with something that would sound ridiculous if the need arose.

27. I've only gotten my hair cut by a professional twice in my life. Once when I was 8 and once in high school. My Grandpa always cut it when I was a kid, I did it later on, and Scott does it now. I can't handle my hair being in my face, so it's always up, so I've never cared!

28. This was my Tasha dog. She was the best. I had her for over a decade, and she was the sweetest friend.

29. I've felt so young for so long, it's weird to be almost 30. Every where I go people are amazed that I got married so young, had kids so young, already have so many kids even though I'm so young. Maybe I'll just take it all as a compliment! 

Me at about 2 years old

Will's portrait of me a few months ago

Me and Evy last week

Hopefully you all don't think I'm a crazy person now! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On Failure

Last week, I finished this quilt. And I hate it.

I started this a really long time ago, when a friend was pregnant. Her baby is now almost a year old! Oops. I saw the backing fabric (Parisville by Tula Pink) and I thought it would be awesome as a whole cloth quilt--just that print on one side and lavender Minky on the other. Then I saw the scallop stripe print, and got this great idea of borders with mitered corners. I worked on the blocks when we visited my in-laws last July, and got really discouraged. Mitered borders are hard. And use a LOT of fabric. I made 5 blocks, and ran out of fabric, and did NOT want to make any more. I put it away for a few months, because I just couldn't handle it! I got it out again, and decided to just put something else in there with the blocks, and came up with that blue from Joann's. It matches perfectly, but it's just too much! I used my last little bit of fabric for the back, basted it, and put it away for a few more months. Then Angela started Project UFO, so I got it out again. I finally decided to quilt it in this great Big Diamond, Little Diamond pattern from Film in the Fridge. I even used a BLACK Crayola Washable marker to mark my lines--honestly, I couldn't really like it any less, so who cares if there are black lines all over it?

 The lines washed out perfectly, without a trace, surprisingly. 

Anyway, the point of this is that I made this here thing, which I thought would look great, and I really just don't like it at all. To the point that I'm too embarrassed to give it to my friend. I'll be donating it to the charity that my quilting bee donates to, My Very Own Blanket. Because that way, I'll know some little baby in foster care will be getting a quilt that will be just for them, but I won't have to hand it to anyone and see the look on their face when they see it.

After feeling pretty lame about this and two other disaster quilts I've been working on, I read something that made me feel SO much better. I'm reading this great book, Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes. There is a section about having realistic expectations of your abilities in art, and understanding that just as you have to learn how to run or ride a bike or anything else, you also have to learn how to create art.

"Like the rest of us, professional artists are often dissatisfied with their work. Knowing this, we ought to give ourselves and the children we work with the freedom to be dissatisfied and to learn from experience. When an adult beginner doesn't like his or her first couple of drawings, he tends to throw them away and conclude he has no ability. When a child tells an adult she doesn't like something about her drawing, it is quite common for the adult to begin praising the drawing and trying to talk the child into liking it. If you do this, you rob a child of the ability to solve problems and develop creative thinking skills. When I was learning to play the flute no one was surprised when I hit wrong notes or tried to tell me how wonderful it sounded. Our society is totally unrealistic about what to expect of beginning drawers. We have created an unwillingness to take risks and to enjoy the process of learning."

This made me feel much better about my failures. I attempted this quilt without any real plan, measurements, a drawing, or anything, and it didn't work out. Now I know that if I'm going to work without a pattern, I need to draw everything out on graph paper and have Scott do the math. Which led to this piece of amazingness:

Seriously the coolest thing I've ever made. 
(photo courtesy Hilary Reimers)

So it's a learning experience for quilting, and that book gave me some great insight into parenting. Double high five!

Photo shoot out-take!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Decisions, decisions


I have a really hard time making trivial decisions. Like trying to decide which restaurant to go to, or even just making dinner at all. Which is why I usually end up making mac & cheese, toast, and a can of pears at about 6:15 at night. Anyway, that's why is the best. So this morning, here are the things I'm trying to decide between:

1. Clean the light fixture in the entryway
2. Clean the piano
3. Laundry
4. Dishes
5. Bind the Parisville Quilt
6. Make back for the FFA1 Quilt
So, Mr. Random says I should: 4. Dishes. Dang. Well, that didn't go the way I had hoped.


OK, dishes are "done," although around here this statement is less "all the dishes are now clean" and more "the clean dishes holding rack dealie and surrounding counters are now full of clean dishes, but there are still two sinks mostly full of dirty ones." Let's be honest.
I always have "helpers" when I do dishes. They love it. They argue about whose turn it is, and get really frustrated if I forget the proper order and they don't get the turn they think they should have.

Most of the time it drives me crazy, because water gets everywhere and they are in the way and I get all claustrophobic, but Will is finally at the place where I don't have to rewash every dish he does, and Ben is close. I dream of the day when I will only have to do the dishes like once a week, because everyone else will have turns on the other days. Yes! It will be amazing! Also, this is sweet one-on-one time with each of my kids. A little bit of time each day (well, maybe I skip doing the dishes some days. might explain the continual mountain) with just one kid (usually) to talk and work together and be right next to them. Hopefully this is the kind of thing they will remember about their childhoods, and not the fact that we always had lots of dirty dishes and ate canned stew and cereal for dinner half the time.

Now for the grocery store. I hate the grocery store, and would be procrastinating going even more, but I just put the very last diaper on Mackey, so we're on a tight timeline. Hopefully I'll have just enough time to put away the cold stuff, then go pick Will up from school. By the time we get home Scott should be home from school (Yay! He was gone for 5 days, and we are all super happy he's back home!). Then there's been a rumor that a friend might give us a big ol' trampoline. Then we've got a t-ball practice and game. I should probably figure out something for dinner in there somewhere.

If, by chance, there's time for another of the aforementioned activities, let's see what Mr. Random thinks I should do next: 4. Again. I kid you not. Looks like I might empty that sink out all the way after all!