when i first started this blog about six months ago, it was purely to chronicle craft projects which were beginning to dominate our family blog. however, as life would have it, these projects have become a central fixture for me over the past few months, and i’ve been far more active here than our other blog, which always feels like a bit of a chore to update (and was supposed to be a shared responsibility with my beloved, but you can guess how that went). in a life currently so overrun by the needs, desires, and demands of my two miniature despots, it’s really nice to have a place that is only mine, where i talk only about what interests me.
anyhow, it’s come to my attention that all of my favorite blogs focus more or less on a subject area, be it sewing or cooking or design or motherhood, but have a personal touch that makes blogs so readable. i love my share of strictly business blogs too, but in this increasingly connected yet paradoxically isolating society we exist in, it’s kind of comforting to make blog friends. i do it all the time. when i read a blog that really resonates with me, i forgo the comments and just straight up email the author saying, hey, let’s be friends! i’ve been pretty well received so far, and i think it’s neat. even if i don’t go that far, i like having glimpses into the lives of my favorite bloggers, because it makes them real and relatable…and they *are* real and relatable.
i think blogs are generally used as online journals, which are by definition a deeply personal reflection, even if that’s unintended. and as we are always evolving, it would stand to reason that our blogs too would evolve. so, today’s post will be something different, a little more personal. it’s a transitional post, so bear with me! or, don’t read it. the other nice thing about blog friendship is that you can just tune out when it’s uninteresting and i’ll be none the wiser.
so, here is why i love wednesdays. for the past few weeks, the kids have been going to grandma’s on wednesday mornings. all i do is change them out of their pajamas, throw them in the car, and shuffle them into her pancake-making embrace, and all of a sudden, i’m an independent adult for a few hours. i have been a student nonstop since kindergarten, and i mean nonstop, classes every spring and summer term through college. i was a student right through the birth of both my children, which, given their close proximity, happened in the course of my nursing degree. with two babies to support and student loans to pay on a resident’s salary in chicago, i had no choice but to begin work immediately. so, while my husband worked 80 hours of bizarre shifts a week, i worked 3p-12a four nights a week, tended to two babies through the night, and got up with them at 6 the next morning. i was very tired.
life has slowed considerably since then. for better or worse, i’ve been unable to find regular work since we relocated to davis, ca, so i’m home all the time. the kids sleep through the night now, and we have many more resources for comfort at our disposal (space, a yard, good weather, etc). however, i’ve found stay at home motherhood to be taxing and draining in many ways, since my husband’s schedule leaves me a single parent a majority of waking hours (how do single parents do it? seriously, just how?) and our kids don’t attend any sort of school or daycare. naptimes are coveted but not guaranteed, and the few hours between their and my bedtime must also include some tidying, organizing, and chores as well as indulging my own interests.
but for a few hours on wednesday morning, suddenly, i’m a person again. i eat when i’m hungry. i drink when i’m thirsty. last wednesday, i turned on this american life and went nuts in my sewing room cutting out project after project and sketching furiously. today i ran, went to the dentist, then parked my car downtown and just wandered into cute little shops, just because i could. a bead shop. a shoe store. a bookstore, to make mental notes of what works of fiction i might someday read. i love to just feel the pages, i love how they smell. places i’ve never had the luxury of stepping into in the 8 months we’ve lived here because i’m never alone or on my own schedule. i sat on a park bench to eat a sandwich, without worrying about the kids falling or running into the street, or inevitably eating a majority of what i intended for myself, and ending my meal hungry, again. i went to an art store and bought some water color paints and brushes. the paints come in tubes. i don’t even know what to do with them, but i’m excited to find out (first experiment, painting over existing sketches of children’s clothing, of course). and now, i’m sitting underneath an umbrella (85 and sunny here today) outside the food coop where i plan to buy groceries at my leisure, in the bulk section! have you ever taken two toddlers into the bulk section? not recommended.
so, not only am i without two highly demanding little people needing constant attention and monitoring, i’m also without exams to study for, classes to attend or teach, papers to write or grade, shifts to report to. i leave the dishes in the sink and let voicemail take the calls. all of a sudden i’m living the dream. parents out there can surely relate to how different you are before and after you have children. the last three years of my life are a black hole of toiling through sheer exhaustion to nurture two babies and a burgeoning career. on wednesday mornings, i’m transported to the other side of that. i’m most definitely an adult now, but unsure of exactly who that adult is, or how she likes to spend her time. it might take a few more wednesdays, but rediscovering my own authenticity is pretty enchanting.
some things i find really exciting right now:
1. pinterest. i’m characteristically resistant to anything related to technology or trends. but as of this week, i’m head over heels for pinterest. finally, a way to organize my thoughts, and to find so much inspiration. it’s costing me hours of sleep each night, but oh, so much fun.
2. shot cottons. that beautiful rainbow of fabric pictured above? all shot cotton. i’ve been reading about these for awhile, and after my first [miserable] day back to work a few weeks ago, i decided it was totally appropriate to spend all my earnings on craft supplies (a few gentle raised eyebrows from the major breadwinner, but he’s staying quiet on this one overall–it was a 15 hour shift straight from the depths of hell), which included a fair sampling of these. and they are every bit as soft and interesting as i’d imagined, though i wish i could see the colors in person before ordering…
3. oliver and s patterns. i just got four of them (see item 2). these really need no introduction and i’ve waited almost a year to get around to purchasing some. apparently after sewing a few of these i’ll be a neat and tidy little seamstress. can’t wait!
4. japanese patterns. this series unlocked a whole new world for me with a style and artistry i totally covet, but never thought would be feasible to take on myself. i just got two books (again, see item 2), which happen to be translated into english (easing in is rarely a bad idea), and i’m totally stoked to sew from them. one is for women! i imagine my next sewing book purchase will include untranslated japanese books, so for now, practice.
back soon with more projects. happy wednesday!