Goings on and whatnot

I never want the monthly pic to be the only thing I post on my blog, but it looks like October went by without anything else, so I am going to make up for that now. Buckle in.

Just kidding, it hasn’t been that eventful.

Let’s see, the last thing I posted about was my new coat, which I have had several opportunities to wear. Which brings us to topic #1, my first work trip since January 2020. Automattic has gotten very very large since our last Grand Meetup in late 2019, so they decided to have smaller division meetups instead. So I spent last week with almost 500 of my colleagues in Denver.

It was so nice to see them, but quite bittersweet not to see my other coworkers and friends who I might never see in person again! Don’t really like to think about that.

A truly random assortment of pics:

Let’s see, what else? Oliver went to homecoming, his brothers did not.

I made a hoodie dress. It’s exquisitely cozy.

I got another tattoo! Well, actually, I got two more since I last posted about tattoos. I hadn’t get posted about the one I got in August. I had been wanting one of star jasmine, because I love it, but I don’t really know a tattoo artist in New Orleans whose style I really wanted. Until someone I know posted a picture of a tattoo she’d gotten by Mecca at Hell or High Water Tattoo, and I immediately booked an appointment.

The inspiration/tattoo:

And I loved it so much I went back for a magnolia.

And I love that so much I made an appointment for my birthday, but I won’t spoil what I’m getting.

Everyone is asking “are you doing a sleeve” and I am a dorky middle aged soccer mom, I’m just getting flowers I like without much of a plan.

Speaking of flowers, the camellias started blooming again.

Ziggy remains cute.

Halloween was fun because I got to give out candy for the first time ever. I made a shirt to wear.

Well, I guess that’s it? School soccer has started, but the first two games happened while I was in Denver, so I’m looking forward to seeing them play this weekend. Linus scored a goal at their first game!

14 years, 11 months

You’re looking at the three newest members of the Ben Franklin JV soccer team! Okay, it’s not that much of an achievement since no one gets cut BUT STILL I can be a proud mom, can’t I?

I also realized I haven’t posted since last month’s picture, which is shameful but also, there hasn’t been much to post about because life has generally revolved around, well, soccer tryouts. And starting next week, games and practices. But I’ll be out of town for my first work meetup since January 2020! Pretty excited about that.

Whoops this is supposed to be about the boys, not me. Well. They turn 15 in a month, and ain’t that a kick in the head?

No. 178

Look! I managed a laugh in there! They do have teeth, betcha didn’t know that.

Also, Linus and Miles obviously have favorite outfits.

The perfect coat

Due to a shipping snafu, I ended up with six meters (instead of the three I ordered) of a gorgeous teal melton wool from Blackbird Fabrics. Last fall Two falls ago I made a cape with it, and I love it, but capes aren’t the most practical and I’ve wanted another teal jacket/coat since I “outgrew” the one I wore to my bachelorette party, 17 years ago.

After making the Chilton trench last year two years ago, I always thought I might make another one without all the bells and whistles (the epaulettes, the belt loops, the cape, the flaps, etc) and a bit shorter, since I had enough fabric for that.

Figuring out what to line it with was tough. The matte satin I lined the other one with was a nightmare to sew with, and my pockets have torn at the seams a couple of times, and it frays incessantly. But satin really does make the best lining so it goes on smoothly. I wouldn’t have minded a cotton lawn, but Joann doesn’t carry cotton lawn and when I want to make something I want to make it ASAP so I didn’t have time to order any.

So. I went with the infamous rainbow stretch satin that I’ve made a dress from before. It’s so dreamy, I love it, but I wasn’t sure if it was the vibe I was going for, and I was reluctant to use another satin again.

But I’m so glad I chose it. It doesn’t fray as much as the other satin I used (maybe because of the presence of stretch?) and it’s really soft to wear on bare arms, much nicer than the other stuff. And it looks incredible.

I do wish I’d used a darker solid color inside the pockets, but I couldn’t settle on anything so I just went with the rainbow satin. It’s all good.

It all sewed up well (I cut and sewed it almost entirely in one ten hour day) and the lining came out much better than the last time, and I really paid close attention to the details (like the bits that need to be hand sewn) and so I’m really proud of it.

But the last part, closures, was the hardest. I really didn’t want to make buttonholes. I contemplated sending it out to a tailor, and if I had settled on buttons as closures, I think I would have done that in the end. But I liked the idea of toggles, so I ordered some brown leather ones from etsy and I adore the way they look. It took me a while to figure out the placement, and then some time to muster up the nerve to sew them on, but it finally got slightly cool here (to be clear, not cool enough for a wool coat) so I just went ahead and did it last night. (Thanks to my friend Jen for helping me troubleshoot the placement.)

This morning I hung it on the soccer goal outside to get some good pictures of it. The color is just so beautiful! I love everything about it, and I can’t wait to wear it for real.

I actually bought a clothes steamer but obviously didn’t use it today.

Bench #7

My brother and niece were in town and we took the 7th bench picture. Or sixth, if you choose not to count last year’s curb pic. I’m not sure if I do or not.

2022:

If you look at the previous pictures, you might ask yourself if that’s the same bench as in previous years. LSU apparently rearranged the furniture a little, because they seemed to have moved the bench over about six feet to the right and removed the tree that was on the right side in all the pics (that’s now the shrubbery behind Linus and Ellie.)

We determined that this is the old location of the bench, you can see that the concrete is a bit lighter where it was:

Irritatingly, the children would not help us move the solid concrete bench so we could more accurately recreate the old photos. Jerks.

Here are the previous bench pics. Watch everyone get smaller!

2021
2019
2018
2017
2015
2012

First soccer tournament in a while

The boys joined a competitive team again, but not the same one they played on a few years ago. They’re probably the youngest players on the team (it’s for kids born in 2006 and 2007 and they’re right at the end of 2007) but they seem to be holding their own.

That said, the team only won 1 of 3 games this weekend. But they had fun. It was hot. Very hot. I was kind of sick all weekend. It was close-ish to Baton Rouge so we were able to spend Saturday night at Grandee and Larry’s instead of going all the way back to New Orleans, which is good because they had a game at 8pm Saturday and then another one at noon on Sunday.

I was happy to pull out my camera and fancy big lens I got just before the pandemic. The night game was challenging, but I got a few neat pics. In the last game, they all played at the same time, so it was fun getting pics with all three in the shot. (Linus is 12, Oliver is 17, Miles is 22.)

Fourteen and three quarters

Technically, according to Louisiana law, they could start driver’s ed now.

:hyperventilating:

I mean, for obvious reasons, that will not be happening just yet (are the reasons obvious? well, okay they are: these are my babies; they can’t possibly be that old yet; is louisiana insane?; drivers ed for three is going to cost a fortune; these are my sweet little baby bunnies) so maybe we’ll look into it later, but I am most definitely not ready for that yet.

I mean, look at what they looked like last September!

Sewing lately

I’ve been doing some sewing, but haven’t done much blogging about it. (Couldn’t, really, since some of it was gifts.)

I made quilts for my mom and sister (Mother’s Day and 50th birthday, respectively), both using patterns from Kitchen Table Quilting.

Also I made a jacket. It’s kind of a test version, because I wanted to make one out of denim, but now I’m not so sure. Only because it’s designed (I guess?) not to close all the way (I know I picked the right size) but it hangs open, which is fine, but probably I don’t need two. Or maybe I’ll make a shorter version. Who knows. Also I added an inch to the sleeves (I guess in my head my arms are freakishly long) but they ended up way too long so I guess I should hem them.

I used IKEA fabric again (this is the second Helen’s Closet jacket I’ve made out of IKEA upholstery fabric) and I barely got it cut out with the slightly less than 3 yards I had. And then I realized I’d only cut out one yoke, not two, so I used some denim for the inner yoke. I like the way it looks.

So yeah, I guess that’s it. I thought I’d sewed more. I did make shorts and t-shirts earlier this summer, but that was ages ago.

Next up? Who knows.

First day of high school!

It’s here. The first day of high school. First day not wearing uniforms. First day at an “English” school.

LOM

Oliver was not as unhappy as he looks here, I swear.

I also had to take one in the same order as their very first day of preschool, 11 years ago:

I had to do a lot of research to figure out who was who in that first picture. Also I couldn’t convince them to hold trains this time.

August 4, 2022

They just keep getting bigger and bigger. To see the difference between this August and last August, check out my instagram.

(And you’ll be getting an almost identical picture in four days, on their first day of high school (!). No uniforms!)

Summer camp recap

We (the boys and I) got home yesterday from ten days in Virginia and I’d better write it all down before I forget. The beginning of our trip already feels like a lifetime ago (but like, a really fun lifetime.)

We arrived after an early flight at around lunchtime on Saturday the 9th. Kiki picked us up, and we headed to my sister’s house to drop the boys off for their first day of Camp Aunt Jenny. She made shirts. After lots of hugs and pictures, Kiki and I left to go have lunch at a Mexican-Indian restaurant. (Yum!)

Then we got to go back to give hugs and goodbyes again because I left my wallet at my sister’s. (Convenient!)

After shopping for a lot of booze and food, we headed to Kiki’s house and got ready for Camp Kiki. I made shirts. We had a very fancy Wagyu steak for dinner. It was sublime. Also Maxie is very cute.

We loaded up Kiki and Mike’s car Sunday morning and drove a couple of hours to an amazing airbnb in Charlottesville. On the way, we stopped at winery #1, Early Mountain. We drank wine and ate delicious food, including this couscous that I need to figure out how to recreate. It was incredible.

The airbnb was amazing – very clean, well stocked, and with a huge pool, hot tub, and a gorgeous view. Perfect place for Camp Kiki!

Day 2 in Charlottesville:

Kiki went for a walk, then hit a few wineries before spending the afternoon in the pool. Everything was delicious and the scenery everywhere was stunning. We made s’mores around the firepit later and saw lots of fireflies, which was exciting for me.

The next day, Kiki’s friend Jess arrived, yay! That day we hit up a winery and a brewery, had more delicious food, more pool time and then some rousing rounds of Shithead.

Wednesday was the day for lunch at Pippin Hill, which was just breathtakingly gorgeous. We also hit a cidery afterwards, where I got to see apple trees and a cute dog.

More pool time and more Shithead followed.

Sadly, Wednesday was our last night there. And of course that’s when I discovered a friend lives less than ten minutes away from where we were staying. Isn’t that always the way?

But I couldn’t be too sad because the next phase of Camp Kiki was a trip to New York City!

We got back to Woodbridge Thursday afternoon, did a shitload of laundry, and repacked for the trip to NYC.

Friday morning, we hopped on a train like the fun-loving globetrotters we are.

After a few hours we arrived at Penn Station, and then made our way to our hotel (not before having some lunch and wine.) The hotel was adorable. It’s called the Library Hotel and see if you can guess what the theme of it is.

After relaxing, we headed out to dinner at a wine bar, and then to a play. The play was the main reason we went to NYC. One of the stars is Noah Reid from Schitt’s Creek and maybe you don’t know this about me but I am a little obsessed with Schitt’s Creek. Surprise! I was supposed to go in May but because SOME CHILDREN I WON’T MENTION got covid, I had to cancel that trip. So I’m glad I got to see it finally. Even if it was…weird.

The wine bar we went to was fancy (like us) and we had some delicious wine and food before heading to the theater. Our seats were very good, and it was neat to see Patrick Noah Reid up close.

We were only there for one night, but we made the most of our morning before the train back to DC. We walked down to the Union Square Greenmarket, which was very cool. And then wandered around for a while. Kiki was THE VERY BEST FRIEND EVER and agreed to let me go to Mood. Yay! I tried to be as fast as possible, but I get decision paralysis at smaller places than this, but I went in with just one goal (some cotton poplin) and I made it out with just that. Whew!

Afterwards, we got our stuff from the hotel and I cursed my sandals for reactivating my Achilles tendinitis, but it was worth it. We hobbled our way back to the train station, and, well, the rest of the day was fairly uneventful.

I mean, we’ve done so much already, wouldn’t you think our trip was almost over by now? It’s only Saturday at this point and we didn’t go home until Tuesday!

Sunday, we went and retrieved my offspring from my sister’s house. They had stayed up until 2am because my sister had promised them middle of the night ihop, so they were pretty tired, but we had a baseball game to go to!

Mike and Kiki have season tickets to the Nationals so that’s how we spent Sunday. We ate delicious food, drank delicious things (including a bloody mary with a raw oyster on top), and were good luck charms for the Nats, who won for the first time in a little while. Yay us! It was overcast, too, which was nice.

We were all pretty exhausted after that.

Monday was our last full day, boo! We took the boys to see the new Thor movie, which was fun. And then we picked up some dinner, and saw a rainbow, and packed up our stuff, and watched the Home Run Derby.

Tuesday morning we went home. Everyone (except us, apparently) is getting covid and it sucks. But it was nice to see Ziggy again and to sleep in my own bed. The end.