Cha cha cha changin'...

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. - Albert Einstein

Big changes are happening right now.  I feel butterflies in the stomach, topsy turvy, oh-my-goodness-what-did-I-do feelings but I just have to remind myself that it is a-okay.  Whenever big changes happen - falling in love, getting married, buying a home, starting a new job, having a baby (no, it's not the last one for me) - life is bound to feel a little crazy, a little exciting.  When these feelings come up, you have to go with them, live in them, own them, or you can never move through them.

In yoga, when you get to a pose and it is difficult, uncomfortable, and you want to give up, you just breathe.  When you breathe through the moment and into the sticky icky parts, you set yourself free to experience the fullness of the pose, and the fullness of life.  And, as my darling teacher says, if it still sucks, make yourself laugh.  Think of something that is truly hilarious - but gusting, rolling on the floor funny.  Go ahead, do it.  Now do that during the tough times - not so tough now, huh?  Sometimes laughter truly is the best medicine of all.  When the going gets tough, the tough get to laughing.

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” -Mark Twain

So, I am breathing and laughing through it all.  Living in the now, feeling what I feel, riding the ride, and making peace.  Because, when it comes down to it, I have my breath, my life, and a pretty wicked sense of humor for good measure. 


I am a Quilter

I can say that now.  I completed a quilt and it is beautiful.

My first ever quilt.  A simple baby quilt - black and white to help the little premie eyes develop with a pop of pink for the girl that she is.  I am proud to give this new tiny person my very first quilt.  It will be used, played on, loved, and washed a million times, and that is just what a quilt wants to be.

As I was quilting away in the final hours before the gift was given, it was just me and the whirring sewing machine.  I began to think:  Why did I think this was so difficult?  Why have I been putting off such a lovely way to make something beautiful?  What is quilting anyways?

- each quilt is a one of a kind
- you can follow a pattern or make it up as you go
- they come in any shape or size
- if you mess up, you just pull the threads out and start over
- you pick the colors, style, and difficulty level

When you make a quilt, no matter how big or how small, you pick different fabrics that are pretty boring on their own, cut them up into small pieces, mix them up, rearrange them until they are pleasing, and sew them all back up into one beautiful quilt.  Well, the same can be said of life too, right?

Your life is a mix of lots of little pieces, put together to make you who you are.  You are one of a kind.  There are patterns for life but you just might learn a little more if you make it up as you go.  We all come in different shapes and sizes.  If you mess up in life, you can either pull those life threads and start over or you can choose to work with the error and move forward.  And, the best part is that you are in control (for the most part).  You choose the difficulty level of your life - challenge yourself with a life of learning and growing, or choose to be content with who and what you are.

Here's where quilting and life are so similar:  quilters are always looking to learn and grow from each other, to try the next pattern, to share and swap and improve their skills.  And that's exactly where you will find me - learning and growing and extending myself to ask the questions and try new life patterns.  Sure, I have found the tricks and tips that have worked well for me, but I want more.  I want to expand my life and my repertoire.  Now I know why my mother and so many before her quilt, and why I will continue to do so for the rest of my life.  It's not just a gift for someone else, it's a gift that gives back to the maker as well - and that's the best kind of gift.


excuses are so last winter

About, I dunno, two months ago, I finished my Crossfit Fundamentals.  "Your what??!!"  Crossfit.  Fundamentals.  Essentially Crossfit is an intense training program that works your muscles in ways you didn't know was possible and rocks your little happy workout world.  Treadmill junkie?  Go run 400m outside as quick as you can.  Weightlifter at the globo-gym?  How about 95lb. deadlifts as many as possible in 20 minutes.  Think you've got some spring in your step?  Double-unders.  150 of 'em.  You get the idea.  So, I did my fundamentals a while back with my hubby.  And he's been once since (and injured himself, but that's another story) and I have never been.  Why?  Why would I go through all of that time, effort, soreness, and money just to never again set foot in the place.  Well, let me give you my list of excuses:

- My schedule is already very full
- The workouts make my muscles stiff and I have worked so very hard at yoga to make them long and lean
- It's my hubby's thing - I don't want to interfere
- See above husband injury
- My priorities changed and I just want to focus on my current regimen
- and on and on and on....

*my inspiration and trainer with no excuses at all*

I think we can all make excuses for pretty much anything when it comes down to it.  Especially when it comes to exercise.  All of my workout clothes are dirty.  I have to go out later and don't want to get sweaty.  I. am. too. busy. (I know way too many people who say this one)  So, I'm not perfect.  Yes, I have a regular and content pilates and yoga workout schedule and am pretty fit.  But I like to try new things and experiment around and see what I might like... so why can't I commit to Crossfit?  To top it all off, it's across the street from my yoga studio so I see it all the time.  Why not go in?  I have the training.  I can join in a class if I want to.  Why not challenge my thinking?  This is the real question.  Without barely giving it a chance am I going to say "This isn't for me.  Thanks, but no thanks." or am I going to give it a shot- 5 or 10 classes and see how I do?  

This spring is about changes for me.  I am awakening an inner voice and living my life with full gusto.  I am going to see, experience, feel, and do - even if it's out of my comfort zone.  While I may not say yes to everything thrown my way over the next few months (I do still have to honor who I am at the core), I am pushing my boundaries and grow grow growing like the little spring flowers.  And so, tomorrow at 6pm I will be lacing up my shoes, heading into Crossfit 757 for the Tuesday night group workout.  I'll be the girl in the corner, ready to learn and grow (and drink a lot of water after!). 


This is one spring that is going to mean big change.... it is roarin' in like a lion!  Our rainy week last week led to a glorious weekend of sun, sun, and more sun.

*daffodils courtesy of Betz White*

We spent our days outside and our nights with our windows open, basking in our latest projects.

*spring brings new projects- my first quilt*

Happy Spring!  What does this season have in store for you?


So far, so...okay.

Life without television.  Sounds easy, right?  Not so, when your living room is dominated by a 50" plasma behemouth that stares you down as soon as you enter the house.  We could rearrange the furniture to how it was when we first moved it with a little less direct focus on the TV... but I would only suggest that to my darling husband when he is in the best of moods and willing to crawl under the house again to satisfy my furniture arrangement needs.  Or, I could get out of that room altogether, move to another room to relax and read or sew..... hmmm... my sewing room??

While the post was written 5 years ago, the sentiment of Kathy Sierra here still applies.  It's not the shows you watch, it's the television.  So far in my hiatus, I have watched one night of Monday night sitcoms (2 hours in total) and one night of a PBS series on food (yummy, glorious, exotic food!).  I'd say that's pretty good for a former television addict- a total of about 4 hours of TV?  I'll take it.  But here's what I discovered:  the sitcoms served to be an easy way to unwind with my hubby but they did nothing for my soul.  The PBS series was another way to unwind but it was educational... good for me... and fulfilled an interest of mine.  So which was the better of the two?  Clearly the latter, and not just because it was PBS.  It's because my mind was stimulated- ta da!!  I was interested in what I was watching, I was learning something, and I actively chose to watch it.  It was actually quite liberating. 

I know that after Lent is over and all of the Easter chocolates have come and gone, I will still be a television watcher.  The 50 inch-er is not going anywhere (unless it breaks or dies).  I will still watch, just a little more selectively.  And that is something I am really looking forward to.


So far this week...

* cute! *

* I now have a vision *

* the calm before the storm *

* cake for dinner *

How's your week coming along?


Fabric fabric everywhere!

A sweet friend from my husband's work, Mary, was reading my blog (someone read my blog!  yayayayaya!) and saw that I am climbing on the quilting train.  And she gave me fuel for my fire... all of these beautiful fabrics!  Of course I had to immediately organize them by color and type....

And she says there is even more where these came from!  Her mother used to quilt but can't anymore so she is happy to see these fabrics go to some use -- and I am happy to use them.  Much love to Mary and her beautiful fabrics.  Bring on the sewing fun!


Clean Sheet Sunday

Man, Blair Peter just gets me (and she doesn't even know me!)  As in her house, each Sunday I put the clean sheets on the bed as the sun is setting and immediately climb in.  There's just something about clean sheets that make the week start right.  Fresh sheets, fresh week.  It's kinda my motto.  It's nice to start fresh.



Recently, I decided to take the next step in my sewing life and try out quilting.  If you know me well, you know that when I decide to do something like this, I kinda go whole hog and do tons of research and read lots of books and scour the internet for ideas and patterns.  Oh, and I think I can handle big time projects that require years of practice and experience in order to attempt.  Let's just say I get excited.  So I did some dreaming....

Check out this Circle Quilt by Bijou Lovely

This incredible Zig Zag Quilt by Kristin La Flamme

And then some sound advice that speaks to my green tendancies - quilting with thrifted pillow cases and sheets!

So, my first attempt will be a baby quilt.  It's for a friend, it's small, and if I screw up the baby won't notice or probably even care.  And now to find the perfect fabrics.... this could take a while!  Wish me luck!



I grew up in a Christian household.  We went to church every Sunday, participated in the youth choir, collected offering, and went to Sunday school.  We honored the holidays and kept them holy (well, as holy as four children can keep anything).  One of my favorite holidays growing up was Easter.  It wasn't the chocolate bunnies or basket of jelly beans or Easter egg hunts, however.  What I loved the most was the story - a story of love and sacrifice, of putting others before yourself, of true selflessness.  Since heading out into the world on my own, I have not connected with the divine as much as I did in my formidable years.  Was it the lack of structure or the lack of awareness?  My early twenties were very selfish years and I did not consider, well, anything.  I tried out different churches, different services, but never really found that certain something, that thing that makes people go "Yeah, that's what I know to be true." 

Today is the beginning of the Lenten Season, according to the Christian calendar.  As the stories go, Lent begins fourty days prior to Easter.  The fourty days represents the time Christ spent in the desert before his ministry - his sacrifice and difficult times before he came to serve the people and eventually give his life for theirs.  During the time of Lent, Christians offer a sacrifice of their own, often fasting or giving up a vice.  This is meant as a way to connect with the divine, to give a minor offering for one that was so much greater.

It is on this day that I am choosing to reconnect.  I don't yet know what this means to me.  I do know that I believe in love and I have a great deal of faith in the world.  One way to begin reconnecting is to offer a sacrifice, to give up something as a means to climb the mountain, to get to where I want to be one day.  After much consideration of what I can give up for this time period to accomplish my goal, I have chosen to give up television.  I could give up any number of things (cursing, desserts, Facebook) but none of these will allow me the time and space to reconnect with myself, my life, and my divinity.  Without television in my life, I will find time to read, to meditate, to pray, to think, to just be.  My evenings will open up with hours of time to spend with my loved ones, my Sunday mornings will be spent reading the paper over brunch instead of watching yet another home improvement show. 

Will this be easy?  Probably not.  But it is not meant to be easy.  A sacrifice ought to be a bit of a challenge, otherwise it is not a sacrifice at all.  Am I saying that my television set will never turn on?  Nope.  I do intend to watch movies when it means I will be making a conscience choice to do so and I will learn and grow from that action.  I also intend to spend time with my family and friends playing our Wii because, well, that's just plain fun.  What will I learn from this?  How will I grow?  Well, that is yet to be discovered.  And I have faith that there is a plan out there for all of this, for my life.  Perhaps all of this non-television-watching time will help that plan unfold.

What are you sacrificing?  How do you celebrate your holidays?


Organization is Key

For anyone who knows me, it will not come as a shock to hear that I like things to be organized.  I have Sharpies in every color available, I worship the P-Touch Label Maker, and I really love finding new ways to organize all of my things.  Needless to say, I was thrilled to come across this handy tutorial on fabric folding that, quite literally changed my fabric storage life.

My fabric shelf (yes, it's just one shelf for now) went from this:

To this:

*Hallelujah!*  Now I bet I can relocate some of those books to a new location and get some more fabrics to make the magic happen again!  Love love love it!!!!


Round 2

Snow is falling once again on this little house.  And even more to the north of us and more and more and more... my brother was expecting 18-24" last night.  I sure do hope he had a shovel ready.

Snow is a pretty miraculous thing, right?  It is simply frozen water, falling from the sky just as rain falls, but it has a surprisingly different impact in it's frozen state.  Drivers are more cautious (or out of control), children (and kids at heart) run outside to make a snow angel or snowman or to have a snow ball fight.  Snow falls down and, on a good day, sticks to the ground and to itself and to everything it touches, turning the whole world white and wonderful.  Snow makes us stop in our tracks and it provides a place to leave tracks behind when we head out into the world.  We help our neighbors, shoveling sidewalks and driveways for each other, getting cars un-stuck from the snow the night before, assisting the elderly as they walk across the slick ground.  Each snowflake is different, we know, but they all look so much the same.  Snow has the power to cancel schools, close businesses, eliminate power lines and television.  Snow also encourages lighting a fire in the fireplace, snuggling up with a mug of hot cocoa, tucking in to a warm cup of soup, and grabbing that favorite quilt your grandmother made.  The dichotomy of snow is incredible ~ it truly is a wonder to behold and consider.  What else can make us stop, look up, and stick out our tongues in glee?  

As I ponder the snow, I have gathered a stack of books from the library to snuggle up with.  Enjoy your day....


Snowy Weekend Project

It snowed here in Southeastern Virginia!  I know that seems like no big deal to those of you who have had snow for several months now but let me tell you, this snow is a big deal!  Look at how much accumulation we got:

That is a major amount of snow that came overnight (the first 3-4 inches) and through the next day (the rest of the probably 8 inches in total!)  So, needless to say, in a city that doesn't do snow, we were shut it.  And, maybe just to ruin all of my fun, I had a sinus infection all weekend.  Ugh!  So, inside, low engery level activities were needed after the first three hours of staring at each other.  I took half a day doing some light house-cleaning (to which my darling husband said "You don't have to do that if you are sick." Um, the house isn't going to clean itself, dear) and then layed around watching movies for the rest of Saturday.  Sunday started with the man of the house clearing off my car and the walk in the front and a path in the back for the puppies (how cold their feet were!)

After some warm oatmeal and hot tea, I needed some me time and my sewing machine was calling.  I have been pondering the idea of quilting and wondering what my first project would be.  And so I found myself digging through my starred items on Google Reader and was inspired by a post from Coyote Craft for tiny little pieced and quilted coasters.  With the right amount of inspiration, quiet alone time, and scraps in my bin, I set off to make some coasters all my own!

What do you think?  Pretty cute if you ask me.  And soooo functional!  I always struggle with the wooden coasters we have at home- the drinks slip around and one little spill makes it all the more slippery.  These coasters soak up any spills, provide a little cushioning for the mug or cup, and are washable- how great!  I was pretty pleased with myself and went on the spend the rest of the day kicking butt in Wii Resort Disc Golf.  Disc Golf with 8 inches of snow on the ground?  Alright day, if I say so myself!


Cooking up some ideas

Cooking, for me, has always been a bit of a creative endeavor.  I mess up, I score big time, but usually I just make a meal that satisfies and is pretty healthy.  I've been reading a lot about these 365 photo journals and I figured I would endeavor to do one and keep it over on my Flickr page --- with my food.  Sometimes I will share the photos here but, since this blog is for stuff other than food, I'll keep it all on my Flickr and just reference it now and again.  K?  So, I know it's the 10th of January, which makes me a few days behind but I have some photos to back up the past.  With each photo, I will tell you what the food is, attempt to give you some kind of "recipe" (though I usually make this stuff up) and give you any fun facts on how it came out.  Fun?  I think so!

So, without further ado:

Jan. 10, 2010

3 bean chili with Diaya cheese and cilantro - Yum!!