on the blanket in the backyard

Tonight I was trying to photograph Nick's grandmother's quilt and it somehow turned into a picture of the boys laying on it.  But actually, I really did just want a picture of the blanket!  Nick's 91 year old grandma hand stitched this blanket when he was growing up, but the stitching is now coming apart and needs to be repaired.  Some of it is so fragile that I think it might be better as a wall hanging to save on the wear and tear.  I'm not sure exactly what my plan is for it, but I'm saving the applique blocks that she worked so hard on and going to re-piece them together.  I might have enough to make two small wall hanging quilts and if they turn out nice I could give them to the boys when they get older.  I'm excited to have my next sewing project in the works!   


sewing for boys: an art smock

Maybe it's the new season approaching, or the fact that my little baby is almost 5 months old, but lately I've been feeling the urge to be doing creative projects again.  I dusted off my sewing machine a couple of weeks ago and spent some time scouring a friend's new fabric shop.  I picked out the most adorable green carp fabric for Edwin's new art smock and it's got me really excited for making projects for little boys!  The art smock only took me a few afternoons and it's already well loved.  I used this Simplicity pattern and I would love to make a couple more for friends or nieces.  It was the perfect project to get me back in the mood to be sewing and using my creativity again.  I find I am so much happier when I have a little project to work on when the kids go to bed or if I find myself with a rare afternoon when Edwin is entertained.  He loves painting so this project was a win-win!     


doubt and fear and overcoming obstacles...

This is something a little different than what I would normally write, but it's probably long overdue.  It's been just over a year since I left my job and we've also added another child into the mix.  I do think our transition to two children is going really well, and we are all pretty obsessed with Arthur, but there are definitely some bigger issues that I need to work on.

When I made the decision to leave my job last year it was absolutely because I wanted to be at home with Edwin and have another child.  But it was also because I was struggling personally with work.  A lot.  I somehow found myself in a negative cycle of doubting my abilities to handle everything that work was throwing at me, and I couldn't get out of it.  The negative thoughts started the year after Edwin was born and seemed to snowball for the following year.  I was constantly stressed out and instead of rising to the challenge and feeling capable of accomplishing everything, I let my doubts and fears get the best of me and I resigned from my job.  Some might have just thought I was depressed but I am now realizing it was so much more than that.  My mind just got really good at telling myself that I couldn't handle work and motherhood.  It was challenging, for sure, but my real issue was that I was constantly telling myself that I couldn't do it. Over and over again.  And, if I was struggling with one child, how was I ever going to do it with two, right?  Obviously the decision to leave my job is done and over with and I truly have no regrets.  But now that I've had a little space to think I do wonder what would have happened if I would have been in a more positive frame of mind and telling myself that I was capable of handling the challenges I was facing.

I was listening to a really good podcast that basically states that the doubts and fears that are placed in front of us are there for a reason - because we are capable of overcoming them.  I've never thought about challenges in this way before.  I guess I'm just realizing that the doubt, fear and challenges in life are there for a reason, so they can push us to new places and make us stronger.  I'm hoping to keep this in mind going forward, especially as I encounter parenting challenges (I'm looking at you tantrums!)  Resigning from my job was the toughest decision I've ever made, but I can't resign from motherhood.  If I want to be a confident and capable wife, mother, adult, and hopefully again someday, teacher, what do I need to do to keep my thoughts on a positive track?  Anyway, just a few things I am thinking about right now.  August is a very reflective time for me.  Obviously with a small baby I don't miss the back to school frenzy, but I do want to keep my finger on the pulse of where I've been and where I'm headed.  And, I'd also like to figure out how to teach those two sweet boys to think positive thoughts so they can someday help themselves and those around them and be wildly successful.  No pressure, right?!
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