The world is a bit dimmer now. My sweet baby cousin Molly died last week. I say “baby” but she was, in fact, a grown woman with babies of her own. But when I was growing up, she was one of my very own, real-life baby dolls.
I wish I had pictures of her with me to post from when she was a baby, but my mental picture is a dark-hair, dark-eyed, happy baby wearing smocked dresses. She was a ballerina. We saw her perform in the Nutcracker, and I was never more proud the year she was Clara.
I was proud to have this beautiful, loving, wickedly funny woman in my family. Her laugh was infectious and her hugs were tight. I haven’t seen her in almost three years, thanks to COVID and her two young boys keeping her busy, and I regret so much not reaching out to her more than the occasional text. But isn’t that the way life goes?
I can’t stand to think about everyone who she leaves behind. Her two boys, her husband, her brother, her parents, her cousins and aunts and uncles and dozens of close friends. To know Molly was to love her, and I’m so lucky to have had her in my life.
Our tradition of me taking each of the boys shopping and out to eat individually looked a little different this year. We weren’t going to leisurely peruse stores for gifts, and we weren’t going to be eating inside any restaurants. But we still had fun.
Miles and I hit Target and then Five Guys. Is there anything more depressing than eating burgers on a gray, cold day at an outdoor table next to the parking lot and a busy commercial thoroughfare? I guess there is but I don’t want to hear about it. At least the burgers were delicious and Miles wasn’t complaining.
Oliver and I had a similar journey, but his requested meal was Popeye’s, so we had no choice but to bring our chicken sandwiches home. I was not sad about that. There are no photos of this jaunt.
Linus and I went to have brunch at Tartine, which has a lovely outside patio. One could say he lucked out. They have the most delicious baked eggs in brioche, which I can never not get. Yum.
Christmas Eve was pretty quiet. We had some incredibly delicious steaks that Kristina and Mike sent us. I was terrified of overcooking them, so maybe I went in the opposite direction (well, not for me – there’s no such thing as undercooking a steak to me) but no one complained.
Steak is our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, and we were able to partake in most of our other Christmas Eve traditions as well. Like…making the boys put on their Christmas stockings to show how much they’ve grown.
(I made them sit in front of the fire. Hee hee)
The first time I made them do this, they were much smaller.)
And we read The Night Before Christmas…
No one got a very good night’s sleep that night. The smoke detector right outside the bedrooms started chirping at 4am. Delightful! It took me forever to get back to sleep. At least the boys let me sleep until 7. Zzzz.
The boys got a gaming PC, or rather, all of the parts to build one. George put it together with their help later that day. They were surprised and thrilled with that gift. I got a giant Ziggy blanket (among other things) so I can’t complain. (Also a big pack of my very favorite socks from Kiki, which may sound lame was is absolutely not.)
Our oven broke sometime earlier this month, I can’t even remember when, so I decided I’d get a ham and cook it in my instant pot. That plan didn’t go well, so I gave the ham away and decided to do a charcuterie board instead on this gorgeous board that Steph MADE me! She MADE this! Isn’t it gorgeous?!?!
I was able to heat up the bread on the grill, which I might always do now. It was so good.
And that was about it for Christmas. It was quiet, but it was good.
An exquisite loaf of sourdough bread that I made for Thanksgiving. Recipe here.
Grandee and Larry came for Thanksgiving. We had zero vegetables.
Ziggy has been cute, as usual. We got our Christmas tree up!
Random leftover photos. Finally got the fabric for my cape! I was going to make it over Thanksgiving break, but I didn’t have the pattern yet. But it’s coming soon! Also the delicious beet salad I made. I like making things that are yummy.
Now it’s December 2 and the boys will be 13 in two days and I cannot believe it.
It looks like I’ll be writing one post with more than a dozen words in it per month. I don’t know why I can’t motivate myself to blog more. It’s not like I’m not sitting at my computer all day, every day. (Work is busy.)
So let’s see.
Mother’s Day was great. I usually leave the house and go see a movie with Terry on Mother’s Day but that obviously wasn’t an option this year. But George got me a picnic basket full of goodies from Tartine, and I relaxed and spent the day outside (the weather was outstanding) and drank a bottle of rose that Kiki had sent me. Delightful!
And then later that week, George turned 50! George doesn’t care about birthdays as much as I do, but I tried to make it special. Dinner was from Tartine (shepherd’s pie), I got my friend Angela to bake a cake, and I got him a bottle of expensive whiskey and this portrait of Ziggy. His favorite gift (and I don’t blame him) though was the cards the boys made him.
I’ve been sewing quite a bit – some masks, of course, but also clothes. It makes me happy. I need to do separate posts on these, but I’ve made shirts, mostly. This is all leading up to me deciding which pattern I’m going to use when I sew up this length of Liberty cotton lawn I bought when a fabric store had a sale. All the heart eyes!
I’ve been enjoying my Peloton too. It is so nice to have the outlet for stress relief. Yesterday I hopped on it three different times when I was stressed out of my mind. Just a ten minute ride really helps! In five and a half weeks, I’ve done 80 rides! (I mean, yes, some of those are 5 minute warm ups or cool downs, but plenty are 45 minutes or longer!)
If you use the Peloton app, follow me! I’m…guess what…yep, pyjammy. Easy to find.
I’ve been watching all of the Marvel movies in the order suggested here, because Kiki was doing it, and it sounded fun. I realized I’d missed a couple of the movies over the years, so it was nice to get caught up. (And now the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War makes sense!) Sometimes I have it on my phone while I sew and kind of half-watch (I mean, I don’t want to sew over my finger or anything) or sometimes I have it on while I work on a puzzle. The boys watched Spiderman: Homecoming with me the other night, but otherwise it’s just me.
Speaking of the boys watching things, they were so happy last weekend to have a soccer game to watch on TV again!
Ziggy likes to watch sports too.
And he’s just generally cute.
Tomorrow is the boys’ last day of sixth grade! Last night they put on their school uniforms because they missed wearing them. So hopefully they won’t mind putting them back on for a last day of school pic!
I read about 100 books. (I didn’t keep track, but I think it’s safe to say 100.)
I sewed a million things. (Who knows? I also didn’t keep track.)
I went on 3 trips. (Serbia, Virginia/NY, Orlando)
I worked out at Orangetheory 85 times.
I wrote 46 blog posts (shameful!)
In 2020, I hope to read just as many books, and I probably won’t keep track of them. I’ll keep sewing, and hopefully I’ll get better about keeping track of my makes. I’m definitely going to travel more (Lisbon this month, Vienna in the spring, hopefully the UK in the summer, and Orlando again in the fall – all but one are work trips.) I have a goal of averaging 3 OTF workouts a week, but let’s say 150 workouts throughout the year. And since I’ve started another 366 project, my blog post count should definitely go up!
2019 in photos
Was on sabbatical! Turned 44! Kristina came to visit!
Still on sabbatical!
Rompers for my cousin’s sons
Mario shirt for Miles
Purple masks – $22
Mardi Gras! Bought a new car! Sabbatical ended, went back to work.
Marching in Alla
Me as Frida
Went to Serbia for work! Took the boys to Natchitoches!
Inside the High School Building
Ran a 5K with the boys, sewed things, soccer ended (for the spring), went on a field trip.
I made a bunch of shirts for Isa’s quinceanera! Soccer again!
Road trip to Virginia and New York!
Linus cheering for his team
The boys started middle school! Uncle Evan and Ellie came to visit! I sewed a dress for a friend!
Went to Orlando for the Grand Meetup!
Hmm. Soccer? Yeah. Also I sewed stuff like Halloween costumes.
Aunt Jenny and Uncle Rob and Emily and Andrew came for Thanksgiving! The boys started school soccer! I sewed a cool jacket!
The boys turned 12! Christmas! We closed out the year with a bathroom flood!
Man, Christmas came fast this year, didn’t it? Stupid late Thanksgiving. In spite of the lack of time, it was still a wonderful day. So far (I mean, only 3 weeks in), the age of 12 is wonderful – there was no whining or complaining or anything this year. Well, very little.
As usual, I took all three boys out shopping by themselves for their brothers. First was Miles. He picked out gloves for Linus and pants for Oliver from H&M. And a shirt for himself that I told him to forget we were buying. After we shopped, we had sushi for lunch.
Linus was up next, and we headed to Baton Rouge for our shopping. I was meeting up with two dear friends (I don’t want to say old since they’re my age, but Kristie and I have been friends since we were 12, and Ann and I were freshman roommates in college.) So good to see them! Again, sushi for lunch. And later, Five Guys for dinner.
Kristie, me, Ann in 2019
Me, Kristie, Ann in 1996 or so
Linus got Miles gloves (cute) and Oliver a charger and cable for his iPod. He also helped me pick out an outfit for Miles from me and George. (Miles only asked for shoes and clothes for Christmas.)
Finally on Monday, Oliver and I headed out. We got all of our shopping done at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx, which are now Oliver’s favorite stores. He got Linus an Adidas backpack and Miles a Saints shirt. We did not have sushi, thank goodness. We went to Five Guys instead.
On Tuesday I had sewing to do – I had bought team fabric for each of the boys’ favorite soccer teams, and I needed to finish them up, but I couldn’t do it while they were home, so I had George take them out for a bit. Later we had steak for dinner and we watched Klaus (good!) and read The Night Before Christmas before I tucked the boys in.
Reading The Night before Christmas in 2019
and in 2008
Christmas morning was gray but the boys were pretty happy with their presents. Linus was thrilled with his Saints jersey (I was pretty excited because I bought it before he put it on his list) and they loved their gifts from each other and Kiki and Santa. It was a good morning. We had eggnog French toast and bacon and I had mimosas for breakfast.
Oh, and I got excellent presents, which is of course the most important things. Two pairs of earrings I wanted and a gift certificate to a local glass studio where I’ll get to make something! So fun! I’ve always wanted to do that. And the boys picked out a glass penguin from the studio as well. I haven’t named him yet. Hmm.
Also fabric and tea and the softest scarf from Nepal (where Kiki and Mike went in the fall.)
More pics of presents and whatnot:
Earrings and scarf
Kiki sent these to the boys. They cannot wear them to school.
Miles in his PSG PJs
I’m quite proud of how I wrapped the soccer balls
Linus representing his two favorite teams – the Saints and Real Madrid
We went to the pub for Christmas lunch, and then came home and chilled for the rest of the day. All in all, a lovely Christmas (even though of course it will never compare to 2016.)
It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted so I’d better get back to it! I was looking at my blog stats earlier today and I’ve only posted 42 times this year, which is waaaay fewer than any other year since my stats begin. Eek! So let’s see.
The boys had their first school soccer game. They won! They were put on the 7/8 grade team, even though they’re only in 6th grade. I like to think it’s because they’re just that good, but it’s probably mostly because they’re among the older kids in their class. In any case, I’m very proud.
There’s also been some sickness. Miles and Linus have both had a day home with me. Oliver was not happy.
Oops. I started this a week ago so I’d better finish. But at least now I can add some Thanksgiving pics!
The wild grownups spent time watching recorded episodes of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. (Always watch Jeopardy first and then WoF so you can claw back a modicum of dignity.)
My sister and I went to Orangetheory on Thanksgiving morning.
The boys didn’t touch any of the three soccer balls they brought with us, instead playing football with Uncle Rob and their cousins.
After dinner on Thursday, we had a little early birthday celebration for the boys.
And of course the money they got was immediately burning holes in their pockets, so we hit up Best Buy that night. Wasn’t too crazy, thank goodness.
The long-coveted Xbox.
Grandee with most of her grandkids:
So now it’s two days before the boys turn 12, so I need to go weep in a corner.
So uh let’s see. We arrived in Virginia Thursday night and were all pretty exhausted. Dinner. Wine. Sleep.
Friday we walked to Chipotle for lunch. Then we got ready to go our first professional soccer game. The boys were very excited. We went to Audi Field to watch DC United play New England something. I can’t remember. The boys got free scarves! The sunset from the stadium was gorgeous. Anyway, ultimately the game ended in 2-2 but we didn’t mind because it was exciting.
Outside the stadium
In front of the field – check out Miles’s new “smile”.
Beautiful sunset view. Look, the Washington Monument!
Saturday, the boys and I drove to my sister’s in Clifton. It’s about half an hour from Kiki’s, and it’s a pretty drive if you take the shorter (I think) route but it’s also windy and hilly so I prefer to take the boring highway route. I know, it’s bad but what can I say?
(Is is the middle of my sabbatical? The exact middle? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. If it’s more than halfway done, I’ll be sad. Okay, I don’t think it is. But it’s close. That’s okay! As long as it’s not actually halfway over. It’s not. Whew.)
I want to open with this really exciting work thing – I know, I’m not even working! But I haven’t been able to talk about it until this month. Ages ago, I mentioned to our marketing team that sewists use WordPress.com for blogging about sewing a lot. And they paid attention, particularly my friend Michelle, who is on the editorial team and is one of the most amazing and funny and coolest people I know. We chatted a bunch about it at a lunch at the GM, and then she brought it up at one of their meetings. And things led to things and I told her about The Sewcialists website, and then they created this really amazing list called the Anything is Possible list, and look, I don’t want to take too much credit, but I mean, I want to take a little credit, but who ended up on the list but The Sewcialists! And check out this video, which gets me choked up every.single.time!
On the other hand, yesterday was a horrible, terrible, not good, very bad day. The van has been not wanting to start sometimes for a while, but it always would start after a little while with some prodding. (I feel bad now that I never named it.) Yesterday, it just wouldn’t. After some coaxing and sweet talking and banging on some parts, and trying to jumpstart it, I finally gave in and had it towed to the mechanic. Fingers crossed it’s not too expensive. I’d just like one more year out of it. At least. George’s car only has one more payment, and it sure would be nice to have no payments for a while, eh?
When I came home from bringing the boys to the bus stop (where it died, which was not convenient) I found that Ziggy had snuck into my bedroom and was curled up on my bed, which was cute. But the puddle of pee on my bedskirt, where he has peed a few times now, was most decidedly NOT CUTE. Taking the bedskirt off a king bed to wash is not fun, but I’m looking forward to putting it back on even less. Argh.
One positive part of the day was taking the ferry across the river to the aquarium to see Linus giving a presentation with a group of his classmates on the Gulf of Mexico. Thank goodness we got in for free again. The aquarium costs THIRTY DOLLARS if you don’t have a membership. Ridiculous.
Anyway, while I was at the aquarium, the school nurse called. Of course. Because Miles’s asthma was flaring up. Of course. Fortunately, she was able to get it under control. But I stressed hard about that for the next several hours.
But that’s enough about yesterday. Today I’m stuck at home so I’m going to tackle the reorganization of the upstairs bathroom. Time to throw out the makeup from my wedding, finally. Ha ha! I kid! Um yeah! For sure, totally kidding!
What else has happened? Well, the Saints game. I’m not even going to talk about that. I made some scarves with pockets and sold them to neighborhood moms and, well, I guess I won’t be selling any more until next fall. But they are super cute. I’m going to try some Mardi Gras prints next. The pockets are super handy!
Black and gold Art Deco – $22
hidden zipper pocket!
Linus had a disgusting bump on his arm and we had to get it…dealt with. (Any other words I could use in conjunction with that are too gross.)
Soccer started back up for the spring.
We went to visit Granny and Grandpa, and the boys are very very very close to being as tall as them.
My kitchen is still clean from Kiki’s visit! And yes, I have cooked!!! (and yes, that is clean!)
I ordered new glasses.
Okay, no more procrastinating via blog post. Gotta go tackle the bathroom!