Wednesday, January 18, 2017

16 Great Things About 2016

I mentioned in my first post of this year that 2016 gave us our fair share of struggles. I have found myself (& weirdly other people) repeatedly focusing on that, and so I am making a list of 16 great things about 2016. Certainly not inclusive of every great thing in 2016 (and not in any particular order) but hoping it helps adjust my attitude...

1. Adding five baby chicks
to our little flock of backyard chickens

2. Spring break road trip to Pismo Beach, California
via some of Route 66

3. Kate being one of only 3 sixth graders
to make the school volleyball team

4. Girls' trip to Vancouver
with one of my dearest old friends and a new friend.


6. Learning to milk a goat

7. Trip to Tucson with kids

8. My niece and nephew coming 
to visit Colorado TWICE in one year

9. Dolphin tour from Newport Beach -
never seen such a huge dolphin pod!

10. Having a moose hang on the ski run
behind our mountain home

11. Three school snow days in a row!

12. Jack going to mountain bike camp
and loving his new sport

13. Planting and watching grow
the succulents gifted to me 

14. Kate making a state relay team
and the fun weekend trip in Grand Junction

15. Our summer fun in Minnesota/Wisconsin

16. Our end of the year trip to Baja

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DayBook 1.17.16

Outside my window... it's dark, dark. I was hoping to do a DayBook blog post most Mondays this year. Since yesterday was a holiday, I delayed until today, and this morning suddenly turned into evening and here I am just finding time to write.

I am hearing... the furnace and the washing machine running. Otherwise a quiet house. In this moment, anyway.

I am feeling... ever so slightly overwhelmed. I kept getting side tracked today and didn't accomplish what I wanted

I am thinking... and planning our spring break trip to DC.

I am thankful for... two (mostly) working eyes! The one that had surgery still isn't quite back to normal but slowly getting there.

From the kitchen... I made a family favorite for dinner tonight - Three Sister Stew. Roasted some beets for me to eat through the week. I have the beet greens soaking to make baked eggs with greens and mushrooms. I also have all the ingredients to make (more!) Texas caviar and a new quinoa and roasted butternut squash recipe. Might have that tomorrow evening with crockpot roasted chicken. Our bread loaf is getting old, so I think I'll make French toast in the morning for the kids.

I am wearing... black jeans, a black & white striped tee, and my red & black buffalo check hoody shirt. Feeling like a hipster!

I am creating... some space in my life.

I am going... to fold the 3 baskets of clean towels that have stacked up at the bottom of the stairs. Am I the only one who notices them?!?

I am reading... Olive Kitteridge and Intimacy as my fiction, Untangled as my nonfiction, How We Do It as my audiobook, and Lord of the Deep out loud to Jack.

I am hoping... for some warmer, sunny days. I need to get outside more.

Around the house... ARC coming tomorrow to pick up donations. Slowly working on basement, waiting for Matt to go through tools so I can continue to clean out/organize our workroom. Thinking I might go through our children's books soon. Will be sad to clean out a bunch of picture books...

In the garden... not much right now, but will start thinking about spring projects soon. If we get a warm day, I might turn the compost. Also need to add some dirt to the chickens' dusting bin.

In the homeschool room... sorta just doing what we want to right now. Maintaining with tutors. Need to sign up for a writing class and an art class.

How I am exercising... ugh. Getting back to it has been tough. I'm doing a lot of walking, started slowly running but it's HARD! A friend just announced she's opening a fit studio just a few miles from my house. Can't wait for that in March!

A few plans for the week...a massage, a haircut, a swim meet, my first tennis match since eye surgery. Plus all the other routine craziness. When is my nap??

Monday, January 16, 2017

Weekend Review - MLK

I love a long weekend!

Friday evening we headed towards the snow! Kids had swim practice while Matt and I loaded up for the mountains. I'm always amazed that a 2 night stay in the mountains requires as much stuff as a polar expedition!

We arrived at our mountain home late, and Matt was adamant as we went to bed that he was going to have the kids up and at the ski boot store when they opened at 8:30am so we could be on the lifts by mid-morning.

The kids didn't wake up until 9:30... we didn't get to the ski boot store until 11:30... we took our first lift at 3pm... !!!
Girls on the Lift
So Saturday, we ended up having a lovely, leisurely, late breakfast at a favorite spot in town. Kate needed new boots, so while Matt worked on that, Jack and I wandered home and took the dogs for a little snow hike.
Snow Romp
We geared up after a late lunch and *finally* got on the mountain for our first few runs of the season! Because of the late start, the lines and runs weren't overly crowded. Especially nice on a holiday weekend. Home for hot chocolate, snow play, and relaxing.
Jack & The Snowman
(He built this with
the drunk 30-somethings
staying a few doors down)
Met up with one of Matt's college friends and his extended family (who have become friends over the years) for a nice dinner out.

May have been a family snowball fight on the walk home...

Matt was up early Sunday morning to ski with his college buddy. Kids slept in LATE! I got a few lovely hours reading in front of the fireplace. Late morning, the dogs and I went for another snow hike. Had to cut it short because I found fresh moose tracks on the trail (later confirmed when we saw from the chairlift a big indention in the snow with moose scat right off the trail I was on). I love moose but have no intention of meeting one while hiking.
Moose Track
That afternoon, we went out skiing again as a family. Another short session, but it was really nice - not too cold with nice, soft snow. More hot chocolate then packed up and headed home.
Snow Dogs
Today was half holiday for us. Matt had to work, Jack still had homeschool tutoring and swim practice, and Kate spent much of the day working on her science fair project at a friend's house.

This afternoon in honor of MLK Day, we went to a matinee showing of Hidden Figures with another of Kate's friends and our math tutor (I know, seems random, but we adore JoAnn plus we knew she'd love the story being a female engineer & mathematician herself). So good! Just go see it.

Matt had a work dinner, so the kids and I went out for hamburgers and stopped at Williams Sonoma where I bought them out of clearance hot chocolate. If you can still find any, I highly recommend it! It's not powder but actual shaved chocolate. Blended with whole milk in my Breville frother - YUM -doesn't get much better than that!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Quilt for Lucy

And another quilt I started a bit ago and finished up this fall for my niece Lucy's birthday.
The front prints are from a set of charm packs. Can't remember the name. Backing and binding is from my stash.
Quilted with wavy lines and loops. Tried a few quilted hearts. Need to work on that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Baby Fish Quilt

Speaking of quilts...

A quilt finish for a baby boy born in August. I didn't get it finished until December!

Pattern from here. Not difficult, just a lot of little pieces. I love the subtle fish pattern since these are friends from swim team.
Pulled all the fabric from my stash. Backed with a wave & whale print (maybe from Connecting Threads?) and a stripey binding.

Really happy with how it turned out. Hope it gets used and loved!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 Quilt Plans

I really, really, really want to get some WIPs (works-in-progress for you non-quilters) finished up in 2017. Mostly because my sewing room needs cleaning up, and I've discovered the best way to clean it up is to finish quilts and get them out!

Of course I'll get sidetracked and start some new projects... I'm thinking of some fun ones even as I sit here writing about finishes...

Quilts to Finish
  1. Multicolor Madness - top is finished, have backing - just need to baste, quilt, and bind
  2. Colorado Wildflowers - top is finished, have backing - just need to baste, quilt and bind
  3. King Stars - top is finished, need to figure out back for this monstrosity
  4. Low Volume Love Quilt - need to finish piecing the top - this one is a gift and so a priority
  5. Green Quilt - this one is so old that I don't even remember what I was doing! Figure that out.
  6. Star quilt - pieces cut, needs to be pieced, just lap sized so should go quickly
  7. Boys' quilt - pieced the top but not happy with it. Need to figure out how to fix that.
  8. Xmas quilts - won't finish these, but want to cut fabric to reduce volume
  9. Bluebird of Happiness quilt - won't finish this either, but need some organization for it
  10. Scrappy Pieces - this is a quilt as you go, need to keep adding little bits to finish
Colorado Wildflowers on the Design Wall
Other quilty sewing projects
  1. Happy Birthday Banner - I made these for my sister-in-laws many years ago but never finished my own!
  2. Holiday Table Runners - I want one for each season or holiday because they look so nice. Just need to not make it complicated for myself. Start with winter, Valentine's Day, St. Pat's, Easter/Spring
  3. Quilted Throw Pillows - because I love them
  4. Zip bags - for gifts
  5. Christmas tree skirt - 12 months to make it!
I'd like to have a few quilts to hand bind during swim meets in January & February. I'm also losing my sewing room once our remodel starts (it's moving to our current guest room) so I'd like to make a bunch of progress in the next couple months.

Monday, January 09, 2017

DayBook 1.9.17

Outside my window... still dark. And crazy windy. I haven't slept the last few hours because I was worried a tree would fall on me!

I a hearing... the wind howling and the fire crackling and the furnace just turned on for the day.

I am feeling... anxious about this wind storm. But I've fixed myself a cup of tea, started a fire, and am snuggled under a favorite quilt with Tripper next to me. That makes me feel better. **While writing this post, Jack woke from the wind and joined me on the couch. Now he's sleeping on the floor!**
Right Now
I am thinking... about travel plans for this year. Exciting to wonder about what we'll see and do.

I am thankful for... a real fireplace.

From the kitchen... chili for dinner tonight (if I can fix the flavor - I used a new seasoning and it's crazy bland). Also going to try this chicken pesto and veggie recipe.

I a wearing... black leggings, a white turtleneck, and a grey cocoon sweater. Very comfy.

I am creating... a low volume quilt. I've never made one before, and I like it. The one I'm working on is a gift, and I already want to start another for myself.

I am going... to call the tree service first thing today. I want them to come thin the tree branches of my giant blue spruces.

I am reading... actual reading is still a bit hard on my eye. I'm slowly making my way through Wave (just a page or 2 a night). Jack and I are reading Call It Courage together. And I'm listening to Chasing Monarchs and New Seeds of Contemplation

I am hoping... that I can take a nap today. Was up way too early.

Around the house... working hard on cleaning out the storage areas of our basement. Just the workroom left. It's emptied out, now just slowly sorting all the junk that goes in there.

In the garden... hopefully the trees are still up with first light! I can't believe I'm starting to think about planting for spring. Considering doing some starts on my own. Just unsure if I'll remember to water them!

In the homeschool room... we eased into some homeschooling last week. I need to write out a plan for January.

How I am exercising... not at all the last 8 weeks or so. I'm going to do a couch to 5K plan to ease myself back into running. Today is supposed to be my first run.

A few plans for the week... hoping to meet wth our architect, Matt has a day off which is always productive, otherwise it's going to be a pretty routine week.