Random List of Happiness

One of my goals this year is to share my every day joys on Saturdays. I just pay attention to the things that make me happy, watch for some sort of photo op (I try to not have it be a selfie) and then post a list on Instagram at the end of the day. (You can follow me on Insta! amylsorensen )

But of course there are happy things that happen all the time, so just because, today I’m making a list of some random stuff that made me smile, laugh, or feel happiness in some form during the past week.

  • It rained! And rained some more! It’s actually been really chilly for last week, so no warm afternoons spent reading in sunlight, but I will always be happy when it rains here. It also snowed in the mountains and if I could I would be up there hiking in the last of the powder.
  • Speaking of rain. Yesterday it was raining, and slowly turning to snow, and I looked out my window when something caught my eye. (Had to lower my reading glasses to understand what I was seeing!) There was a guy on my neighbor’s roof. Washing windows—in the rain. “Like a man washing windows in a rainstorm” feels like a line from a poem to me.
  • Cooking with Jake. I made a roast on Tuesday and since I worked that afternoon, he peeled the potatoes for me. Then he hung out and made biscuits while I made the gravy. We listened to his playlist and talked a bit and it was just…nice.
  • On Sunday I was pondering what to make for dinner and I was like… “it’s going to cause an argument but I really want spaghetti with red sauce so that is what I am going to make.” (Kendell doesn’t like spaghetti, even though I make a scrumptious red sauce, but it is my favorite meal and yes, we have had several arguments during our marriage over spaghetti.) And just as I was finishing the sauce, Nathan walked in! He had his Guard weekend so I didn’t think I’d see him, but he surprised me. And then I surprised him with perfectly-timed spaghetti! (He does not share his dad’s spaghetti opinions.) After eating (kind of a late lunch because no one had eaten anything yet), he took a long nap in my bed and it just made me happy. Happy to have him home and to be able to take care of him.
  • Sharing poems on Facebook for National Poetry month. Almost no one responds with comments but I still like the thought that I'm putting poems out into the world. 
  • Nathan sending me pics of his drawings. And a good, long phone call with him.
  • The social media trend I’ve been seeing here and there (I don’t know if it’s even a trend) of writing a poem with the titles of the last books you read. I am totally working on mine!
  • A few days ago, the city I work for posted on Facebook the requirement to still wear a mask in all city buildings. Holy cow. I thought the anti-mask crazies had found some sanity, but apparently they’ve just been being quiet because there is a bunch of vitriol in that thread. I posted my thanks to the city for protecting its employees and things got ugly. But Haley waded in and started arguing in my defense. (I can’t really say much, as a city employee, even though I have some strong opinions.) My daughter kicking ass and counting names for me? Ummmm. So good.
  • I took Kaleb to get dinner one night at KFC. We had to wait a bit for his order and so we just hung out in the car and talked. He makes me laugh.
  • I drove! First time since January. It felt weird at first but muscle memory is a thing. SO NICE to have my independence back!
  • At PT this morning, the tech told me he used to play a game with his dad, trying to be the first to say who sang whatever song came on the radio. So for the rest of the appointment I called him out on songs. I was a bit disappointed he didn’t know Prince or Michael Jackson (and it made me feel old) but it was the first time I’ve really laughed during PT, so that was great.
  • Listening to Kendell’s story about his first trip back to the (newly remodeled) gym. There’s a slide and an uphill ramp and let’s just say neither of those were great for his 50-something body…
  • I finally got the quilts that have been waiting to be sandwiched pinned together. The pinning did not make me smile. (That is my least-favorite step of quilting. I actually detest that step.) But having them pinned did! And I started quilting one.
  • My audio book was making me so happy. I have been listening to N. K. Jemisin’s “Broken Earth” series because I never read the third one and I decided I want to, but I couldn’t remember enough details. So I’ve been listening and oh my. They are so good. I mean…a world with a community that lives in a giant geode? God, she’s brilliant. Sewing and listening to audio books is just a little piece of peaceful nirvana. BUT THEN. I have only about 90 minutes left in the second book, The Obelisk Gate, and my check out expired! NINTY MINUTES. And now I’m #13 on the hold list. I mean, I own the actual book. I could just finish it. But I was so enjoying listening to it!
  • I cooked dinner. I cleaned the kitchen. I did laundry. I vacuumed. None of which usually find themselves on my happiness lists…but having not been able to take care of anything much lately, it did make me really happy. To just walk around my house on my own two feet and do all of the normal things.

What made you happy this week?


Messy Craft Table as Self-Portrait

This morning my plan was to add the border to the baby quilt I’ve been working on, so I can get that one and the other two that I need to finish sandwiched and quilted. I got derailed by laundry, though, and needing a quick trip to Target for the laundry and since I’m still not driving I had to wait until Kendell had a break in his calls and then…

I walked into my crafty space and just kind of had to laugh. Because look at my table:

Messy crafty desk 4 8 2021

I’m not the kind of person who’s bugged by some clutter. I’m OK to work around it. But this is ridiculous…all the useable space is used up! So before I did anything, I needed to clean up my space.

But then I really looked at it, and I thought….hmmmmmm. That’s kind of a self-portrait right there, isn’t it? My desk says a lot about me, my personality, my affections, my obsessions. So before I cleaned up I snapped a pic. I know it looks like a cluttered ridiculous mess, but here’s what my table mess reveals about me (starting from the left and working to the right.

  1. I make quilts. I make baby quilts. If you are my friend or my family member and you have a baby, I’ll probably make a quilt for you. SOMETIMES I will buy the fabric but never make or actually give the quilt to you. But I still thought about it, that counts, right? It’s probably me overthinking, but the making of baby quilts is not just a shower gift for me. It is a love language that I speak to other people, a way of giving them my time and something tangible. It is because of Aunt Merle making me a baby quilt, and I can’t actually remember Aunt Merle but I can remember loving that baby quilt she made and so in essence some part of her is still here. Still remembered. Am I saying I make baby quilts to ward off my fear of death? Maybe. Don’t tell the new moms that though.
  2. My ginormous paper cutter. Kendell surprised me with this Rotatrim in 1997 or 98 and 20+ years later it still works perfectly. It felt obscenely expensive at the time but the long-lasting nature has made up for the cost. It is one of my most useful and most-used scrapbooking tools. And there on top of it is a quilting ruler, which I use interchangeable for quilting and scrapbooking.
  3. There are actually four things for placing cups on on my desk. The one I’ve used the longest is the one Elliot made for me. I think about him every day, partly because I have this beautiful and useful object he made for me. (Translation: my favorite gifts are the thoughtful and useful ones that carry some of the giver’s personality.) Also Monet’s Water Lilies, which I bought at the Denver Art Museum after seeing the exhibit. The corner is chipped because the airport security made me empty my entire carry-on bag (as has happened every time I’ve flown out of Denver) and the woman handling my stuff dropped it. Guilty of transporting art over state boundaries I guess and there’s always a price to pay for that. I’m not bitter.
  4. I didn’t think I would love having a laptop. I like the sturdiness of a desktop. But since Kendell’s been working from home (for the past four years, folks, don’t complain about your year-long time of never having any solitude or peace or quiet until you’ve done it for almost half a decade) and he uses the desktop, I’ve fallen in love with my laptop. Poems, essays, blog posts, political diatribes, editing photos, chatting with friends, writing scrapbook journaling and in my journal and bits & pieces of unfinished stories and…I use it a lot. So much so that I’ve worn out the left arrow key. (I don’t know why it’s that key.) Yes, I do have a purple mouse.
  5. The last scrapbook layout I finished, some supplies I still need to put away, my box of pins (unapologetically pink), a pile of purple pens. Just pretty and fun and colorful stuff I use.
  6. A couple of the border strips. I’m not 100% sure I can make the vision of this border actually work, but I’m going to try! I’ll let you know!
  7. My surgery amulets. I like Alex + Ani bracelets. During my recovery I wore those two gold ones. One has a seashell and it reminds me of the moment on the beach at Carmel when I had to admit to myself that I couldn’t muscle my way through this injury but would probably have to have it fixed. I cried a little but then I felt a deep sense of peace. Maybe the ocean waves were fooling me, but I felt like it would eventually be OK. The other has a charm of a gymnast doing a pose similar to dancer’s pose. I wore that one to remind myself that I have been strong and flexible in the past and those traits will help me be strong and flexible again. I’ve worn them every day since my surgery.
  8. Burt’s Bees. My favorite line stamp for journaling. My only real “mixed media” supplies that I actually use (the Heidi Swapp Color Shine spray). A box of new stuff from Felicity Jane, one of my favorite scrapooking companies. A book I’ve partially read.
  9. A headband and a scrunchie. Head bands are starting to show up around the house again, proof that I am doing more outside movement. I have some longstanding and fairly deep Forehead Issues, friends. It’s a story. I can’t stand to have my forehead exposed to sunlight. So I have a, well…a generously-sized collection of Bondi Bands. I keep them handy in all the spaces just in case.
  10. That clear tray holds new photos and supplies I want to use ASAP. The smaller pink one holds scraps I’ll use to make cards. As soon as I make cards. I still need to make, write, and send thank you cards to the many people who helped after my surgery. Three months later isn’t too late is it? 

I had to slightly clean off my desk just to write this post. Now I’m going to put on the border. Except I just heard the laundry machine ding…


Just a Rambly List about Us Right Now

Recently I’ve been digging in to some older photos for scrapbooking. This is partly because I still have so many stories to tell and partly because I have so few photographs of right now. (Kaleb hates having his picture taken and basically just scowls in every photo I take. Jake is at least past the scowling phase but if I hit it at the wrong time, asking him for a picture will spark an anxiety attack. Haley’s in Pennsylvania, Nathan’s in Salt Lake City, and since I still can’t hike yet…yeah. Not many new pictures.)

One thing I’ve really appreciated in this process is being able to go back into my blog to find stories I’d forgotten. Like the first time I made chicken curry, and Nathan literally HID because he was afraid it would be gross and didn’t want to eat it, and then ended up loving it. When I blogged more consistently, and about my regular, everyday details (instead of only book reviews and political rants), I ended up saving so many great stories. And even though I don’t have many photos, there are still stories to be told. (Although…to be honest: even some of the stories are not scrapbook-able, really. I’m not one who shies away from telling hard stories, but as the kids get older, their stories are sometimes harder and they don’t really feel like mine to tell.)

So today I thought I’d throw it back to early 20-ought-style blogging and just writer a right-now list about our family.

Feb 26 2021 fam

Kaleb is learning to drive. (how is my baby this old???)  He has his learner’s permit and is taking driver’s ed online. He tells me quite often how much he wants his own car. It doesn’t have to be nice, though….he’d be perfectly happy with a “butt car” as he calls it! It’s crazy how things change over time. When Haley was learning to drive we had zero intentions to buy her a car and we’d never actually purchased a used car before. It just didn’t seem within the realm of possibility somehow, and we made it work between the minivan and the Corolla. Ten years later, here we are: Kendell’s pretty good at finding the PERFECT used Corolla (not just for our kids but for Cindy’s as well) and he is starting to search for one for Kaleb. 

Nathan is finding his place. Or trying to figure it out. He has struggled a bit with different things since coming home in December. (See… “different things”… not stories I feel responsible to tell.) But I think this is all pretty normal after two years of being away in Army training. He has to make a new normal, and that is hard. But it is so nice to have him so much closer. He comes down usually on Sundays, to eat with us and hang out, and Jake has started spending some weekends at Nathan’s apartment. He sends me pictures of the art he is working on and asks for help with cooking and tells me funny stories about his job (he works in a salon right now). I have loved that he is growing closer to his cousin Abby, who he works with. And hugs on a more consistent basis are pretty awesome!

Jake is doing so much better. Sometimes I even hear him whistling again. I think the fact that he had to do more stuff around the house because of my surgery (he did all the laundry) actually helped him. Navigating his mental health issues has been hard on my mother’s heart, but then I just think about how hard it is for HIM and I know my heartache is far smaller. But he is so much more than depression and anxiety, and I feel super hopeful that this year will be a turning point for him.

One thing I just adore about Haley right now is her affection for plants. She LOVES them and is super knowledgeable about different varieties, what is rare, how to care for them. I had a little ah-ha moment recently about hobbies, which probably was always obvious but I never thought about it in just this way. As adults we have All The Things we have to do. Work and housework and the to-do list and washing the car and paying the medical bills. If that is all life was…that would be kind of sad. Hobbies are one of the things that give our life meaning and depth. And I am glad she has found a hobby she loves, even in the midst of all of her med-school stress. Work or school can be meaningful, our relationships are meaningful…but hobbies also bring us a level of pleasure.

Kendell is aching to be back on the trail again. He went hiking a couple of weeks ago with Cindy and I swear…as he bustled around getting ready there was sunshine coming from his pores he was so excited to be getting out. He’s had some ankle pain and started wearing his orthotics again. I think he’s getting pretty tired of me not being fully functional, but he has really helped out a ton.

And me…I just don’t know. I am feeling stuck. I saw this image today and it made me cry:

Bird against glass

Because I AM just like the bird hitting the window, but I don’t know how to turn around. Part of it is, of course, just being immobilized by my foot, but it goes far deeper than that. It’s also my job and my marriage and my…my lack of definition. I want to find a way to feel accomplished and self-sufficient but I don’t know the route. I want to feel proud of my life instead of slightly embarrassed, like I do now, and I want some….some richness. Not really in the sense of money, but in experiences and relationships. Everything feels so thin right now (yes, like butter over too much bread).

As I went back over this post to proof it, I realized…these aren’t really stories. They are little…snapshots, I guess, of who we all are right now. Hopefully on the downside of the pandemic. Each of us in our own way trying to figure stuff out. Which is just life, I guess. And even though I didn’t write any actual stories, I’m glad I wrote this today because it brought me a sense of peace. Our life is not perfect (far from it) but I DO feel the sense of how lucky we are to have each other in the ways we do.


Thoughts on Glue and Fairy Wings: 2020 in Review

My Facebook memories reminded me of THIS POST I wrote last year, a summary of the previous decade. I had totally forgotten I wrote it, but rereading it made me stop and think. I have a selfie I took last year when I was taking down the tree, and I meant to make a layout about a note I wrote to myself that day for this December: remember to buy glue for the fairy wings. Glue for the fairy wings (some broken Christmas-tree ornaments) seemed hopeful…I can fix broken things, even if they are ephemeral, even if the will forever be repaired now.

A year later, I’m not so sure.

This year. This year. 2020 was pretty damn awful, wasn’t it? Here’s my personal list of what felt the most awful to me:

  • A super dry January and February. Maybe that sounds ridiculous but the dry, brown winters make me feel nervous and sad. They set a tone right from the start of the year, of unfulfilled hope and of fear of devastation.
  • The pandemic. In Utah, things shut down in the middle of March. For me, at first this was mostly just strange—everyone working from home, the library shut down. I had to cancel a trip to St. Louis that I very much wanted to take. As it went on, I grew more fearful, especially as we started to realize the effects the virus can have on hearts. My brain started planning various people’s funerals and I, for the first time in my life, had regular sleepless nights.
  • I injured my toe. This happened on the day we hiked to Silver Glance lake in the snow; I’m not really sure why, but when I took my boots off after that hike, my second toe on my right foot was swollen and throbbing. I cut back on running, then took a three-week break. I had cortisone shots. I stretched, I strengthened my feet, I murmured encouraging thoughts to my toe. Every time it would start to feel a little better, it would flare up if I tried to run (or, you know…even if I tried to walk around my house in bare feet). Then, the day before we left for California, I was running and something popped. Turns out, after an MRI (that took SIX WEEKS for my insurance to approve) that I tore my plantar plate. Solution? Surgery. Which I’ve had to wait for until next week, so basically I’ve been walking around with a toe that slips in and out of joint since August. And NOT RUNNING. I haven’t run since July.
  • I had several painful and ugly confrontations with people in public. The first one happened at the post office when another customer yelled at me for wearing a mask. There were several “discussions” with library patrons. A lady at WalMart got in my face. I stood my ground but it felt…those experiences chipped away at my confidence in humanity.
  • I had several painful and ugly—but more subtle—confrontations with friends, families, and neighbors about my decision to stay at home as much as possible, to wear a mask, and to expect others to wear a mask. I have been called a coward and weak because I am “living in fear.” I’ve been told I am brainwashed by the liberal media. I have been told if I had enough faith I wouldn’t worry, because God’s gonna do what God does regardless of whether or not I wear a mask.
  • The trump trains. Again…this might seem like a small thing, in the scope of such an awful year. But seeing miles of big trucks waving that flag along with the American flag broke something in me. My body had a physical reaction, as if my heart were circulating thumbtacks instead of blood. I still get a little bit jittery at the sight of a US flag. Such blind, thoughtless admiration of a horrible man whose decisions have cost so many lives…I can’t understand it.
  • Family drama. Actually, “drama” isn’t even the right word for it. None of it is my story to tell, but it still affected me and I don’t know how to figure out a new normal.
  • Kendell had to start a new medication for his heart. He hates it and it makes him grumpy. But his heart will slowly fail without it. This is why I get so hurt by people telling me I am a coward for taking the corona virus seriously. I’m not a coward. I just know the very real results of living with a repaired body, and as I worry about my husband I also feel sorrow for all the people who didn’t die from COVID but will bear its scars in their bodies for the rest of their lives.
  • Over and over, our nation’s “leaders” disappointed me.
  • The wildfire that burned through some of my favorite hiking areas. The wildfires in California and Colorado, too. I don’t know those mountains as intimately as I know my own, but so much burning of beautiful places just ripped my guts out.
  • Watching the way the pandemic affected my kids. Each and every one of them has had their lives impacted by it. Again…not really my stories to tell anymore, but damn if I don’t wish I could fix it all for them even as I know just how much I can’t.

So many broken wings. Maybe there isn’t enough glue in the universe to fix what is broken.

But at the same time, there is also this:

  • We all kept our jobs. Mine even let me work from home so as to minimize Kendell’s risk of exposure. Financially, the pandemic hasn’t hurt us yet, and I am so, so grateful.
  • We all stayed healthy. Not only did we not catch the corona virus, no one even had a cold or the stomach flu all year long.
  • Working from home gave me a more flexible schedule, which translated into more hiking time, which meant even with my injury and taking time off from all exercise, I still got in 51 hiked this year, 48 of them with Kendell. One with Jake too!
  • I got the opportunity to learn how to use my new sewing machine by making face masks for others. I also made a lot of baby quilts and celebrated several of my friends becoming grandparents.
  • While many of my friends and extended family members got sick, no one I know closely was deathly ill or killed by it. I say that with the utmost sense of gratitude and sorrow for those who DID lose loved ones.
  • We remodeled our bathrooms.
  • Haley got vaccinated. So did my sister-in-law who is a nurse.
  • Haley got accepted to med school and moved to Pittsburg, where she is kicking butt at her classes, even while having to take them mostly online and without the benefit of a cadaver lab.
  • Nathan survived one the most difficult Army training programs, taking most of his classes via a laptop in his tiny barracks. He passed his tests and graduated and he is home for a while!
  • Elliot finished his PhD and got a job at MIT.
  • Jake and I had some important conversations and understand each other much better. He is SO ready for the restrictions to be lifted so he can move forward in his life.
  • Kaleb finished jr. high, made the basketball team for his sophomore year, and got two 4.0s. AND is learning to drive.
  • I grew closer to several of my friends via texting, even though we couldn’t see each other in person. And I had several opportunities to help other people while they were quarantined.

So…many good things this year, too. What is broken? What is too fragile or too torn to repair?

If I think of myself at the start of 2020 and here at the beginning of 2021, I feel like I am a different person. I feel, honestly, more than a little bit jaded and even more bitter than normal. Not because I don’t recognize and see the blessings in my life—I do. But the thing that makes a fairy is its wings. The things that made me who I am, or at least some of those qualities, have been severely challenged this year. What I am not sure I can repair is my belief that logic and kindness will always win out in the end. There has been so much ugliness this year and I feel…I feel like my wings are tattered. (And even as I write that I remember the memes about how the dufus wasn’t elected to tiptoe around my feelings.)

So as I start 2021, I am not sure. I want to glue my wings back—I want to figure out who I am now, and not let what is unique to me be discarded. But honestly? Honestly, I am not sure how. I don’t know where to get that glue.


2020 Goals: March Recap and April Ambitions

Keeping up with my goal to COMMIT this year, here’s an accounting of my March progress and a list of my April goals.

MARCH GOALS:

  1. My EXERCISE goals were to run 50 miles and to go to 10 ballet barre classes. March goals running
    COVID-19 put an end to the ballet barre classes, but I did get in three before the craziness escalated. As the month progressed, Kendell wanted to walk with me, so I walked a lot. More than I ran. I am feeling like getting outside and moving is more important than ever right now, and it matters more that I do it and less HOW. My mileage this month:

6 runs, 23.55 miles
6 walks, 24.55 miles
2 hikes (Dry Creek and Grove Creek), 10.28 miles
58.38 total miles

March goals dry canyon hike

  1. My WRITING goals were to blog two times a week, work on four poems, and finish an essay. Almost total fail. I did blog 8 times, but I worked on zero poems or essays. The enforced togetherness of the quarantine is not fantastic for my writing goals.
  2. My QUILTING goals were to finish the octagon flower blocks, bind Jake’s quilt, and figure out the process for Kaleb’s quilt. I finished a hot pad I made with some scraps from my Crazy Paving quilt (it is named "purple chakra") March goals purple chakra
    and the octagon flowers and I bound Jake’s quilt, but he hasn’t used it yet because I haven’t dared to take it to the laundromat. I did not figure out the process for Kaleb’s quilt but I did print out the pattern so that is a start! My other goal was to NOT quilt as much, and I did accomplish that; I made one little mug rug and I shopped for fabrics for another table runner, but that was all.
  3. My SCRAPBOOKING goal was to make some layouts, and I did that! I organized and executed my Christmas in March week (which is extending into April!) and I made 10 layouts. March goals scrapbooking
  4. My READING goal was to finish the two books I hadn’t and to start The Dark Tower series. Reading has taken the second-biggest hit during the quarantine for me (writing is first), but I did accomplish these goals. But I haven’t read much at all.

March goals dark tower

APRIL GOALS:

  1. EXERCISE: Eight runs (two a week) and as many walks as Kendell or anyone else wants to go on. Three hikes. Pick up strength training again by logging in to my Beach Body account and/or Peleton app. Also, MOVE MORE while I’m working at home. On Wednesday I took several 5-minute breaks where I did a little bit of exercise—jumping jacks, planks, burpees, each one followed by some gentle cobra poses—and my back felt 100% better at the end of the day.
  2. WRITING: Blog twice a week. A couple of days ago, I got sucked into a YouTube add for a Master Class by Joyce Carol Oates. Three things she said I want to remember: “The most destructive thing to our creativity is constant interruption.” “If you feel like you are a writer, you probably are…Take that instinct and turn it into a craft.” “What we all need is the psychological uplift of finishing something.” I was listening to this at the same time I saw that meme about how if you don’t finally do the thing you’ve been putting off doing during the quarantine, you obviously didn’t NOT do it because you didn’t have the time, but lacked motivation. If I don’t finally settle down and write something, anything, during the quarantine, will I ever? Well…who knows? What I want to do is to look at it like a challenge. I WILL be interrupted. I love my people and I love that we are together, but just their presence in the house makes me feel less able to write. (Does blogging count as writing? Yes…but also, sort of no, because it is easier. It doesn’t have the challenge of being chosen by an editor in order to be seen, and so in that sense it is more of a writing exercise.) So, I am making my goal smaller and more specific: I am going to finish an essay I started a while ago and submit it to the Ploughshares emerging writer contest.
  3. QUILTING: Actually make the table runner. Start on Kaleb’s quilt.
  4. SCRAPBOOKING: Finish the Christmas layouts I had planned and make three layouts for my family stories album.
  5. READING: Commit to reading for 30 minutes a day. I have the time. I’m going to try to not let myself feel guilty about this.
  6. BONUS GOAL: Right now, it feels like packages are life. I keep placing online orders for stuff I don’t need. So, I’m setting the goal of MAILING more than I order. I’m going to make and send two cards a week.

Of course...with all that is going on, maybe the best goal is just to survive! How did your March goals go? 


Currently: The Almost-Late-Winter Edition

I haven’t done one of these for a long time, but Britt inspired me. Catching up with what’s going on in my world:

Hoping: that Haley will get into med school (she had an interview in Erie, PA last week). That I get a spot in the NYC marathon (through the lottery as I’m not fast enough to qualify via speed). That Nathan’s shin splints can stop bothering him.

Watching: Ehhhh. There are several TV shows that Kendell and I watch together, but nothing I really, really love (like I used to love E.R., Ally McBeal, Grey’s Anatomy, The News Room). It’s mostly just something we do together. The new Star Trek mini-series, Picard, is pretty good though. I like the Chicago shows (Fire and Med) and SVU; we’re still watching both The Walking Dead series, but I have to take it in small doses. And we just picked up a new one that I might really like, Tommy.

Reading: The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal in print (a fairy tale about syphilis); The Priory of the Orange Tree in e-book form (I’ve now checked it out 7 times…it is HUGE and I can’t read very long on my cell phone because my eyes start to hurt); The Library of Lost and Found in audio while I’m quilting.

Making: so close to finishing my heart quilt (hopefully today!) and then I’m finally going to bind the quilt I made for Jake in September. A Valentine’s Day/anniversary gift with photos.

Exercising: Running, 3-4 miles each time as I try to solidify my base. Hiking, at least once a week unless the avalanche danger is high (which it has been a LOT this winter) or the prospect of deep mud is highly probable. Ballet barre class, which has been so good for me. It is helping with my knee flexibility and the leg strengthening also makes my knees feel better. (It does shake my confidence a little when I see my body in the mirror but I am trying to deal with it.)

Listening to: Lewis Capaldi (Nathan introduced me to him), Vampire Weekend, Death Cab for Cutie. When I got my new phone all of my playlists got lost (because yes, I actually buy music, copy it into my phone, and listen that way, rather than Spotify or other music services. I like owning my music) and I haven’t remade them yet, aside from one running list, so I’ve done a lot of listening to random music. Some songs I’ve rediscovered this way: “Love Game” by Lady Gaga, “I Smell Winter” by The Housemartins, “Broke Window” by Gary Jules, “Little Lion Man” by Mumford & Sons. I also love the new Green Day song “Oh Yeah!” and “Gloria” by The Lumineers.

Taking: I went back on my anti-depressant in January, so that, a Naproxen, liquid turmeric, protein collagen, biotin, chondroitin, Jolessa, and my thyroid med every day. I’m not sure when I started being a pharmaceutical junkie…

Looking forward to: spring. Seriously…this winter has drained me. In theory I love winter, but what I really love specifically is cold, snowy winter. Dry brown ones, or even dreary rainy ones, are soul-sucking to me. This winter it seems like every city around us has had big snow storms but they’ve all missed Orem. And the air pollution! Uggg. I’m so excited for spring. For color to come back and the air to be fresh and to see green again.

Loving: My Rae Dunn mugs (I have “Feminist,” “Mamacita,” and “Amy”—in case I forget my name?—and Kendell has “Papa Bear”). Having Grandma Amy’s sewing machine in my front room. My new Bernina. Texts from the kids—always. Alex & Ani bracelets. A little bit of weight loss. Kaleb's current sense of humor, which is getting a little bit spicier and also unique to him. Like, one day last week he told Kendell "You know what I'm trying to figure out? How is there bacon in the freezer that hasn't been eaten?" HA

Stretching: almost every day. I love stretching. I love that we've had a few bluebird days and I guess the lack of snow in my yard has one benefit: I can drag out my yoga mat and stretch outside like I did on Saturday. Happy sigh!

Currently stretching

What’s happening in your world right now?


50 Things that Bring Me Joy: A List

On one of the Facebook groups I belong to (it’s called Skirt Sports Women Who Move if you’re interested), we are doing some reset-your-life kind of exercises. Last week’s was to write a list of 50 things you love right now. Specifically, “50 things that bring you joy.” I thought about this all last week but didn’t sit down to write them because I had a nagging thought: anyone who knows me already knows what I love because I talk about it all. the. time. I worry a lot that people must think I’m weird, a grown-ass woman who shares way too much on social media. But I keep doing it because…well, it is a thing that brings me a type of happiness. I don’t have a ton of skin friends (the term I use for friends I know in person as opposed to friends I have never met outside of the Internet) so the people I’ve befriended online help me feel….well, it always comes back to what Luna said in The Order of the Phoenix: “it’s like having friends.”

(Having met a few of my online friends in the real world, I know it’s not even “like,” it is. Real friends.)

At any rate, my psyche just wouldn’t let me write my list until I wrote this first, so I could silence those “you’re so weird” voices for a minute.

Shhhhh. I’m thinking about happiness.

  1. Morning hot beverage ritual with Kendell.
  2. My white “feminist” mug and Kendell’s black “Papa Bear” mug.
  3. Driving Kaleb to school in the mornings.
  4. My recent newly-found ability to get out of bed and go to the gym before 6:00. (one of the ONLY good things about perimenopause.)
  5. Ballet barre classes…specifically the deep-down noodle leg feeling it gives me.
  6. Wearing my brightest, floweriest capris and/or tanks to ballet barre classes, partly because I love them, partly because everyone else wears black.
  7. Hiking on snowy paths and the way the snow silences the world around you, except for the crunch of your feet in the otherwise-silent snow. 20200112_132641 rock canyon 6x8
  8. The feel of spikes crunching into the ice underneath the snow on a snowy trail.
  9. Pretty wool socks. I wear them all year, but admittedly in the summer only inside.
  10. Black and white floral or paisley prints. On anything.
  11. My new purse. Not so much for the purse itself (I like it but it tips over all the time) but because Kendell pushed me into getting it.
  12. Every single text I get from Nathan, and just the fact that he CAN text now. (Boot camp silence was hard on this momma.)
  13. Austin sending me pictures of Haley, and me sending him pictures back of her when she was little.
  14. That Haley & Austin found each other. They seem good for each other and most importantly she seems happy.
  15. When Kaleb comes and talks to me. He’s in a taciturn, stoic phase so this doesn’t happen often, but when he does hang out and talk, he’s just…he’s just awesome, smart and thoughtful and spunky and just him.
  16. Photos of wildflowers. In winter the world is nearly colorless and I am starting to feel starved for color. I love looking at photos from our spring and summer hikes so I can remember that color, and especially flowers, will come back into the world.
  17. Reading a book I love and don’t want to put down.
  18. Reading a book that speaks to me, so I have to go find a pen to start underlining and commenting, or if it’s a library book I have to go order my own copy so I can start underlining and commenting.
  19. Reading poetry, especially when I find a poem that helps me understand something I couldn’t put into words before the poem.
  20. Flannel sheets.
  21. Flannel pajamas.
  22. Talking with Jake. He has some great insights and interpretations of the world.
  23. Messaging with Becky and Suzette. Mom’s last illness and her death drew us so much closer.
  24. My silver bead necklace. It’s the jewelry I wear most often and has so many good associations it’s like a wreath of happy memories banging on my sternum.
  25. Wearing my mom’s turquoise bracelet. I wish I knew if there is a story to go along with it. Where did she even get it? Did she love it or was it just a random piece? I don’t, though, so I guess I will have to make my own stories while wearing it.
  26. All of my post cards from art museums hanging on the wall in my crafty space.
  27. Perfect corners when I’m binding a quilt. Not necessarily that they’re perfect, really, but the way it feels when that 90° just works.
  28. Looking at old pictures. Kayci found some when she was visiting last week that broke my heart and lifted me up all at once. But also photos of the kids. I’m grateful for every single one of them.
  29. My new cell phone case. The new cell phone is nice, too, of course, but the photos aren’t as amazing as I thought they’d be. (They’re still cell phone pics.) But I love my aqua and white case!
  30. Watching Kaleb’s body language when he makes a bucket in a basketball game. Also how happy his new basketball shoes make him.
  31. Having a protein of some sort prepared and frozen, so making dinner is so much easier.
  32. When everyone’s home and we can eat dinner together at the kitchen table.
  33. Baking: cookies, bread, biscuits. I’m trying to love this less because I know sugar + white carbs aren’t good for me. But I love the actual process of baking as much as I love my chocolate chip cookies.
  34. On Instagram, FB, or my blog.
  35. Email from friends (instead of just endless ads.)
  36. Thinking about where our next travels might take us.
  37. Wednesday nights, about 7:45-9:00. I’m working at the library and usually it has quieted down; it’s dark out and that is when I feel most focused and productive and loving of my job.
  38. Talking with my library friends. Librarians are a unique breed (and for me, “librarian” really has not much to do with what your college degree is in); while we are wildly different we also have this similar thing that I haven’t quite named yet, a way of looking at the world that is informed by so much reading. I’m so grateful to have so many kindred spirits.
  39. A handful of almonds. It is my go-to fast snack so I don’t always notice, but sometimes I do: the flavor, the crunch. It’s tied to eating the insides of peach pits, and so summer and so my childhood and so almonds make me feel a sunny sort of happiness.
  40. Speaking of nuts: when I am snacking on a few from my bag of mixed nuts during a hike and I get to a pistachio. A little, meaty-sweet bit of salty perfection.
  41. Drinking a zipp fizz with Kendell at the top of mountain.
  42. That feeling when there is only about ten minutes left of your run and you’re both relieved it’s almost over and sad it’s almost over. The thought of getting home and stretching gives me a little burst of energy to push on through whatever tiredness I might be feeling.
  43. Stretching after a run. My favorite is stretching outside and I can’t really do that right now, but stretching in my front room is still lovely.
  44. Puffy stickers, especially of the squishy variety. I haven’t done much scrapbooking over the past year but it is still a hobby I will never give up. (I woke up just this morning with an idea for a layout!)
  45. Script fonts. I especially like them on book covers.
  46. Getting packages. It is so exciting to spot it on the porch, bring it inside, and open it. Doesn’t matter what is in the package: new Skirts, a book, scrapbook supplies, fabric, clothes. I wait until no one’s around and make a little ritual of opening and going through what I bought. Is it the most emotionally healthy thing? Probably not. Do I need anything new? Absolutely not. But a package still makes me happy.
  47. The clean, decluttered, simplified feeling of a house in January.
  48. The new kitchen paint. Kendell did a great job and I love the grey we chose. (Now to finish the ceiling, stair wall, hall, and front room. Painting does not bring me joy.)
  49. My creative space. I write, blog, scrapbook, quilt, and dream in here. I know it is a luxury to have an entire room dedicated to doing stuff I love, so I am grateful I get it.

I’m challenging you: If you read this, try to write your own list of 50 things that bring you joy. You might find, like I did, that it’s both harder and easier than you think. I tried to make mine really specific to right now, the middle of January at the start of a new decade, when I am 47 years old and it’s just barely snowing outside. Share with me if you do!


Week in the Life Day 3: A Day of Rain

This morning I ran outside because I heard the garbage truck coming and I wasn’t sure if the can was out. It wasn’t, so I rolled it to the curb and then just stood there, on the sidewalk under my maple tree, my toes just barely touching the bright-green grass. The skies were grey and it was storming on the mountain, so there was the faint smell of rain, and the stronger scent of damp earth, wood smoke, and a vague floral. The wind sighed a bit. The air was just so delicious, better than any perfume I have ever smelled, heavy with coming rain but also with brightness and hope, and in my flower beds the violet violets bloomed under the green leaves of poppies and I just: I wanted to stay there forever.

Instead I went inside and got ready, because Jake and I had some stuff to do. He recently lost his wallet, and finally decided he won’t be finding it any time soon, so he and I went out to take care of it. We went to the bank and the DMV, with a quick stop for a haircut along the way. I loved this morning, for reasons it would take too many words to explain. But I needed it, just to spend time with him but also to feel like he is going to be OK. To maybe let go of a little bit of fear and worry. (Plus it made me happy how I could see his face again after his haircut.)

Then I was off to work (a little bit late; I had curly hair because that's the fastest way to do it).

One thing I love at work is when it rains and I am sitting at the reference desk. In front of me are high, tall windows that the rain taps against; to the top left are the windows to the courtyard, where the trees—white flowering pears—move in the wind. And to the right, more tall windows where I can just see, around the reference shelves, Cascade. Grey and green and white; wind and rain. I am lucky to work at such a library.

After work, I rushed home so I could grab a jacket and then make it to Kaleb’s soccer game. I was a little bit late, and when I got there I discovered that the other team had to forfeit because they didn’t have enough players show up. So the coaches decided to just play a soccer game, 30-minute halfs, and some of our kids played on the other team, and when that wasn’t enough two of the refs also jumped in, but they couldn’t play well because it had rained and the grass was wet and they weren’t wearing cleats. Kaleb played defense, which he never does, so other kids could get practice at playing forward. And it was all funny and fun, and he kept laughing and everyone was breaking rules. It was maybe the funnest game they ever got credit for winning!

Witl 2019 kaleb soccer

I took my DSLR because I am trying to use it more, and Kendell took this pic of me taking pics, which, like a nerd, I love:

Witl 2019 amy taking pics 6x6

Once the game was over, I wandered around my yard for a little bit. These last tulips looked so beautiful in the long, early-evening light!

Witl 2019 beautiful tulips 6x8
I took a few pictures and just stayed outside because I was, honestly, avoiding my daily biggest stress: what to make for dinner. I love cooking but I don’t love how it’s become this futile exercise in trying to please everyone. Kaleb, who would be happy if we ate cheeseburgers every day, was making himself sandwiches when I came in, in order to avoid leftovers. I tussled with Kendell for awhile, a little spark of arguing that grew bigger over the evening (while we were watching TV I kept making him pause Trevor Noah so I could point out another thing I am frustrated with right now), and all he wanted was tacos. He’d eat tacos every night for the rest of his life if I would make them for him, and meanwhile if I never have another *&%(#@&% taco I would be just fine. As I had cooked a bunch of hamburger on Sunday night, I made him tacos and myself some red sauce and spaghetti. (Why can’t he just like spaghetti like a normal person???)

Yeah, it was a shouty kind of night.

But then it started raining again. And not just a gentle rain, but a thunderstorm. So I went outside for some more rain listening. There was thunder and lightning in the south and the wind was blowing. Exactly what I needed to try to make myself feel better.

Just before I gave in and just went to bed, Nathan called me. He just called to thank me for sending him a package of stuff he needed, but we ended up talking for 45 minutes, about his shin splints, military thinking, what he is loving about his experience, what he is struggling with. Even while he is struggling he just has a way of cheering me up. I miss him!

Jake came home (he’d been out with friends) and he talked to Nathan for a bit, too. Then he and I talked about the storm (he loves the rain, too), his dentist appointment in the morning, some Game of Thrones theories.

So I went to bed a little bit upset, but hoping maybe a good night’s sleep would help me feel better. Tomorrow will tell. I do love this photo that Kendell talked Kaleb into taking with me though. So there's that.

Witl 2019 amy kaleb soccer game 4x8


Week In the Life, Day 1

(I’ve slipped a little bit in my blogging. This is because there is a blog post my spirit wants me to write but which I’m not sure I should share. It’s raw and revealing and might make me look weak and foolish. Usually when this happens I just stop blogging until that feeling passes, or I just write it in my journal. But it also feels important so I’m going to write it and ponder. Instead, I decided at the very last minute to jump in on A Week in the Life. Not doing it on Instagram like all the cool kids, or at least not very much.)

Sunday, May 5, 2019:

This morning I slept in. I’ve been fighting a headache off and on all week, and on Friday afternoon I started itching like crazy. So Friday night I took two Tylenol PM (I know, I’m a heavyweight). The itching stopped but holy cow. It takes me so long to get the Benadryl out of my system. Thus the lovely sleeping in this morning!

After slathering up with sunscreen (I got so burned when we hiked last weekend) Kendell and I hit the trail. We first wanted to hike to the overlook we hiked to on Christmas weekend, but when we got to the turn off, we both felt great so we kept going. Thanks to Strava, we figured out a route to do a loop we’ve never done before, and I finally, finally made it to The Rock Pile! The rock pile 2019 05 05

I’ve seen this spot about a million times on the Instagram feeds of local trail runners and bikers. I could see it on a trail map, but I wasn’t 100% sure how to get there. But today, once we went about a mile further on this trail than we ever have, we got a little bit turned around. I wasn’t sure if we should keep going or just go back the way we’d come, so I zoomed in on the map, and there it was: The Rock Pile on a route I could understand.

I’m not going to explain how we got there, because it felt so fortuitous that it almost feels like a secret. (Even though a billion people probably know how to get there.) (And even though there are like five or six different ways to get there.) We wandered through just-blooming trees on trails that were still covered with last year’s maple leaves, down valleys and up ravines, through narrow meadows just starting to flush with wildflowers. A few deer bounded across the trail. (It was like a magical fantasy fairyland loop of a hiking trail. Plus I finally bought some more pink lemonade Zipp Fizz which is my favorite flavor and I’ve been out. It’s like a sour, pink fizzy little bit of icy-cold nirvana.) (Icy cold because yes: I carried up some ice in my Hydroflask.)

I mean, I’ve asked friends before, and they’ve all be vague. Even the hiking group I belong to on Facebook hasn’t ever posted instructions.

So maybe the first secret of The Rock Pile is to never tell anyone how to find The Rock Pile. Orem foothills timp behind me 2019 05 05

Go exploring!

After The Rock Pile, we had about three miles left to get back to the car. These miles were also magical: Another meadow, where three deer were eating until I startled them and they bounded into the trees. Higher up, as we were climbing up to the shoulder of the ridge, there were more deer in the trees, always in groups of three. Can you see the deer

(Can you see the deer?)

And then, when we got to the other side of the ridge, we discovered that a huge storm was blowing up over the lake. Behind us, to the east, blue, placid skies over Cascade; in front of us, grey squalls and the rain already falling on the far shore. The wind kicked up and a little bit of rain started to fall. Which maybe seems miserable but it wasn’t. It was just enough to cool us off.

The only thing that made this hike not perfect was this: I forgot my hiking poles. And just a little bit less than two miles away from the car, we hit the steep spot. About a half mile of sheer, rocky, dirty steep trail. When I hiked up it I thought “this is going to be hard to come down” and I was right. I haven’t hiked without my hiking poles since I injured my knee back in August, and while I am OK on gradual steepness without poles, I am not, I learned today, OK on steep-steep steepness. It was like being shocked on the side of my knee. I was so glad I had my knee compression sleeve in my pack. It helped me get down off the mountain.

But I won’t forget my poles again!

As we drove home we talked about how hungry we were, and what sounded good for dinner. I decided I wanted to try a new recipe, which means I needed some hamburger, so, yes: not only did I hike on Sunday, I ran into the grocery store. Which I only mention because I loved the cashier. She said “I need to tell you something that might sound weird, but I think you look beautiful,” and I said, “oh, ummm, wow, I look hot and sweaty” and she said “you look like you’ve been out running and you just look so happy” and instead of rejecting her compliment I said “Oh, thank you, I really appreciate that!” And I wanted to remember that because it felt like a moment of grace.

For dinner I made this chili mac soup from my friend Red Molly’s old blog. I loved it, Kendell and Kaleb not so much.

Kaleb came and talked to me for awhile after dinner. I like him so much right now. Once I can dig him out a little bit, he tells me the best things. I mean…I want to gush and say how cute he is, and how cute his strong calves are, and how cute his tallness is, but I just keep it to myself because I know it would annoy him, and I just want him to keep talking to me.

Tonight, that storm that was building over the lake finally broke. It poured. So, in keeping with my “savor spring” goal, I went into my crafty room, opened the window and the blinds, and worked on my cutting project while I listened to the rain. Kendell was a bit annoyed with that, as he thinks that “rain listening” is kind of a waste of time. But, really: rain is my favorite, and this spring aside, we don’t get a lot of rain in Utah. So when it falls, I always appreciate it.

And that, friends, is my first day of A Week in the Life.

My goal tomorrow: Take some pictures!

Are you doing WITL? Link me up if you are, I’d love to read it!


April in Review

Next to October, April is my favorite month. Not just because it’s my birthday month, and my daughter’s, and my best friend’s (also one of my grandmother’s and two of my great nieces’), but because it is beautiful. I love spring flowers so much. Especially hyacinths! We’ve had a cold, slow, Spring hyacinths
rainy spring here in Utah this year, so everything has bloomed later than usual (which is fine by me because there’s less chance of flowers being withered by late snows), the grass and trees are bright green, and even the foothills are verdant (I love my mountains but they’re in a desert; temperate, yes, but often and usually brown and dry). The valley is full of color in April, flowering plum and almond trees in shades of pink, yellow forsythia, sometimes even a few early lilacs. Daffodils in every shade dot yards and even the dandelions seem beautiful, it’s just so lovely to see color again after the grey, dun shades of winter.

I’m always sad when April comes to an end.

So here’s a list to help me remember this beautiful April before May starts in with its certain lilacs and vibrant iris.

  • My sisters and I finished emptying my mom’s house. We spackled and painted and got it up for sale. While I am glad this is finished, I am also really sad this is finished. There are no more treasures left to find and I don’t get to see them every week.
  • Kaleb spent a Saturday afternoon straightening up my mom’s yard. It looked so much better when he was finished.
  • After a rough start, Kaleb started enjoying his soccer games again. The start was rough Kaleb soccerbecause he has really fallen in love with basketball, and the rhythms of a soccer game are definitely different. Once he remembered he loves it, though, he loved playing again.
  • Haley went to Mexico to celebrate her birthday. I loved seeing her pictures come up on Instagram and now I really want to take a trip to Cozumel, too!
  • Whenever my schedule and the weather let me, I went outside to work in my yard. Last year I let it get ahead of me, but not this year. (I think I will always be grateful now for springs without whooping cough!) I’ve weeded and planted a few new things. All of the rain has made it more difficult, though, so I still have some seeds to plant.
  • Nathan settled in to his training at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. He struggled with shin splints and with knowing how to negotiate getting medical care. This military experience is new to us. He didn’t want to seem like a wimp. But eventually he had to take some time off of running (which really is the only way to conquer shin splints) to let them heal. I hope his fellow soldiers didn’t give him too much grief. To help, I sent him a bunch of different things: another tube of Deep Blue, some compression socks, two new pairs of running shoes, new combat boots. He has just started running again and I am hoping the time off will have helped.

  • Spring hiking desolation pointKendell and I hiked four trails: Desolation, Johnson’s Bowl (new to both of us!), Battlecreek Overlook, and Grove Creek. I loved the winter hiking but it is pretty nice to not need so many layers anymore, and to see colors in the mountains again. Our last two hikes even had a few wildflowers! 75 miles of hiking, 7000+ feet of combined elevation gain.
  • Spring runningI ran just over 40 miles in April. As my March total of hiking and running was just under 40, I’m happy with that. I ran longer than I have since my marathon in July; when I told Kendell that he pointed out that running 5.5 miles isn’t as impressive as running a marathon and then I had to remind him that I’ve been fighting an injury, duh! I am grateful every time I go out for a run that I’m still running.
  • We tried a couple of new restaurants. Bam Bam’s BBQ is a place my sister recommended for their nachos. We didn’t love them and will continue looking for a good place for take-out nachos. (Our favorite place, El Azteca, closed over a year ago and we’re still sad about it!) We also tried Bajio’s, again for nachos, which were better but still not fantastic. We went to Rubios on National Burrito Day. My burrito was delicious but they were out of almost everything (even though we got there at barely 5 pm) so I was disappointed not to have the steak burrito I first wanted. (While we were there they also ran out of chips, guacamole, and sour cream; seems like someone forgot to check inventory!)
  • Some meals I made: chicken alfredo, chicken with cream sauce (I made this with ricotta and romano, so the flavor was different from alfredo), cream of broccoli soup, chili with savory corn cakes. Also, of course, tacos, which are Kendell’s favorite. And red bean burritos, which I usually only make when Haley’s home. I am trying to cook more, not always successfully, as sometimes it’s just me and Kendell eating dinner and it seems like a waste of time to cook just for us. One thing that’s helped me a bit is trying to prep a few things on Sunday. A recent favorite is to dice a whole package of chicken breasts (the big package from Costco) into bite-sized pieces, toss it in olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic, red pepper flakes, and basil, and then bake it. I like this so much better than cutting the chicken after it’s cooked, because then all the edges are a little bit crispy. I make a meal with some of the pieces, save some for another meal, and then freeze the rest.
  • Kendell and I finished up watching The Walking Dead and started watching Game of Thrones. My favorite thing about this season so far: the song in the second episode, and talking about each episode with Jake. He watches them with friends and we’re sometimes watching a day or two later, but he’s careful to not give any spoilers.
  • I did pretty well with my goals: I ate more veggies (not every day, but way more), I only had two days when I didn’t reach my water goal, and I think I rocked it on my blog-every-day goal—I only missed three days.
  • Things I bought: A new Hydroflask (the watermelon color!), new regular shoes for Kaleb, new basketball shoes for Kaleb, new soccer shoes for Kaleb. New bras, yay! A few Skirts. A red dress that I’m not sure I’m going to keep. Sprinkler parts for the sprinkling system. A new blade for my rotary cutter. A bunch of storage containers.
  • I used my DSLR. I haven't done that since November! I took it to Kaleb's Alpine Days track meet. He won fourth in the high jump and I got some great pics. I think I'm going to add "use DSLR" to my goal list! Kaleb alpine days
  • I read two books: Ammonite by Nicola Griffith and The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.
  • I only read two books because I spent all of my free time doing stuff with fabric. I shopped, I bought, I cut, I pieced. I made it more complicated than it needed to be but I think I just needed the process of a more intricate quilt (two, actually). I think it was my way of dealing with my mom’s death. She didn’t teach me everything I know about quilting, but she taught me to love fabric and to give pretty gifts. I can’t say I gained any resolution or much peace…but some. A bit. (I will share more of these two quilts once I finish them and give them to the moms of the babies they are for.)
  • Actually, that’s not true: I worked on three quilts. And I shopped for four. I started a new quilt for Jake, as the one I made him oh…four years ago, I think, or maybe five, was totally worn out. I’m doing it in shades of blue and grey, all flannel except for a little bit of minky. And I’m still picking up pieces for Kaleb’s quilt, which he needs because he’s now sleeping in a queen-sized bed. I’m excited to see both of these quilts come together!
  • Kendell had a heart check-up in April, and everything is looking good. This will of course never not be scary for me, AND to make it more difficult I also talked to his surgeon about Kaleb’s heart issues. I managed to not start sobbing, but only just. Every single one of you reading this right now, stop and give thanks for your healthy heart to whatever deity or spirit you believe in. Hearts are scary and the fear is pervasive.

Now on to May!