Stitch Therapy

Discovering me … one stitch at a time

Tag: working mom (Page 1 of 6)

A Quiz

Why am I happy today?

A. I have a secret space heater hidden under my desk to keep my toes warm and toasty.
B. Tom made me a delicious vanilla soy latte to enjoy on my commute.
C. My sweater has HUGE pockets (perfect for stashing my work badge, phone, and maybe a piece (or two) of emergency chocolate).
D. I have the BEST family on Earth.

Answer: Mostly D, but really all of the above.

Happy Thursday before a 3-day weekend!

And then he was 12…

I have been so emotional! Maybe it is because we are in those whirlwind late elementary/middle school years, but it seems like the boys are growing up so quickly in so many ways. It is hitting me hard. Since I have a tendency to get caught up in my own busy-ness, I have been trying extra hard to be more present (Thanks ET!) and sit down to talk, cuddle, or hang out with everyone a bit more than usual.

This week…

There was snow! We went sledding.

And finally got to try making snow ice cream.

Have you ever done this? Mix snow (clean! no yellow snow!) with condensed milk and vanilla. It was super easy and the boys loved it.

My new Kitchenaid mixer arrived so I celebrated by baking bread. I used the recipe that came with the mixer and it came out delicious! It doesn’t look so delicious, but you can trust me. We ate both loaves in just a little over a day.

On Saturday, we hosted Biggest’s family birthday party. Most of the family have heard much about his new found love of cooking, but few have had the chance to try it. This year, he wanted to cook a “fancy” dinner for everyone. It was so much fun to help him plan and execute his dinner.

Too many cooks in the kitchen.

We went with stuffed portabella mushrooms, crab bisque, and braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. He did an amazing job! Yum!

He knew exactly how he wanted the tables to look.

By the time dinner was served, we were too excited/busy to take any food pics. Oops. But everyone had fun and I think it was a success.

Happy Birthday to my sweet, sensitive Biggest. You make me so proud and I am thankful to be your Mom!

What’s new?

I feel like my blog has been so boring lately. Maybe it seems like I write about the same old things over and over. Maybe my trivial posts seem so silly when compared to the big things happening in the World. Maybe sometimes I feel like “What’s the point?”

I’m not sure if there is a point to this blog, except that writing it makes me happy, especially when everything outside seems so dark and heavy at the moment. Sigh. Deep thoughts for a Tuesday morning.

The weekend was cold. The highlights were that:

Tom surprised me with flowers for no reason.

Biggest’s school had a swap meet where the kids could rent a table and sell “stuff”. He and I spent one evening making a crapload of dumplings. He made $92 in dumpling sales and was super proud.

I finally nabbed the latest issue of CrossStitcher. By the way, did you hear that Cross Stitch Collection magazine is closing down? Sad.

We went out to dinner and my mashed potatoes looked like they were sprouting. Does anyone know what kind of sprouts those are? They were delicious.

Tom got me a “make it instead of buy it” cookbook for Christmas. It is full of cool recipes for things you can “make instead of buy.” The boys and I decided to try the recipe for pita bread. I made the dough, Littlest rolled it out,

and Biggest fried them.

They were tasty! It was a lot of effort so I don’t know if I would “actually make it instead of buy it” in the future, but it was a fun cold day activity with the kids.

What’s new with you?

January Daze

Hi Blog!

I have been quite buried around here. You know, with the usual stuff, but here’s the fun stuff!

We visited a pretty lake on a very cold day. (It’s apparently super entertaining to fight with your brother over who gets to break each and every ice patch with a stick.)

I attended a nicely styled dinner event. (That’s a blurry me at the end of the table.)

Littlest has been taking ice skating lessons. (1st lesson=tears, but subsequent lessons have been going great! Yay!)

We finally got some snow. (It’s all gone now, replaced by cold blustery rain this week. Yuck.)

The boys have been scaring me with a fake slug placed strategically around the house. (It’s so creepy looking. I try to scare them back but have not been successful. Yet!)

We have been having fun cooking together. (It’s the only time I can get him to set the table.)

And of course eating together. (Biggest made this pie. Yum!)

Small dog or big cat? (You decide.)

What have you been up to? Happy January 24th!

Countdown

Hi Blog.

T minus 4 days till Christmas. Eek!

Last weekend, we went to look at lights (an annual tradition)

and went to a party. It was fun, but I drank too much (hopefully not an annual tradition).

Littlest had a violin concert (kids + violins = cute!).

There are 3 more days of work until I am done for the rest of the year! That part is exciting!

I guess it’s time to start thinking about my word for 2017.

In the past it has been Simplify (2016), Believe (2015), and Connect (2014). I want to pick just the right one for this year.

Do you have a word for 2017?

Tricks & Treats

Hi Blog! Another weekend has come and gone.

Saturday was windy and cold! Tom and Biggest went to the beach house to do some fishing and crabbing. Biggest has really caught the fishing bug! It’s great to see his enthusiasm.

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While they were away, Littlest and I spent some quality time together. We:

shopped for Halloween costumes,

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picked out Tom’s birthday presents (this Thursday! 45! Wheeee!),

made gluten free pumpkin muffins (yes, I’m back at it!),

did a little grocery shopping, where I managed to drop and shatter a glass bottle of tea tree oil in the checkout line at Whole Foods. Mortifying! Especially when people started to wrinkle their noses and say “What’s that smell?”

went on a gluten free pizza and frozen yogurt date,

and watched Zootopia while cross stitching!!!

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On Sunday, we dragged the Halloween bins down from the attic, which led to hours of trying on old costumes and giggling hysterically. Here’s a random sampling of what we modeled:

Spock ears
Karate outfit
Cowboy/Cowgirl
Caveman/Cavegirl
Chinese dress
Red Riding Hood/Wolf
Monk with pug head
Wednesday Addams

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The BEST part is that I found a costume that I made for Sammy when he was just a puppy. He wore it to a costume contest and won. He was even featured on the evening news! Sammy has put on some weight over the years (sigh… haven’t we all?) and it no longer fits, but Charlie was able to be squeezed into it! HA!

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The WORST part is that it’s been a few years since I’ve worn some of these costumes too and could barely get them zipped up. Sammy, I feel your pain.

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Charlie, afterwards, obviously trying to forget the entire ordeal. Sorry, Charlie!

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Happy Monday!

Around here…

Tom and I have been taking turns being sick.

The two older guys (Tom and Biggest) went to the beach house to go crabbing. Biggest caught 2 blue crabs and proudly cooked them.

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Littlest and I went to the roller rink (old pic from last Summer, also known as my roller queen days)

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And prepared a fondue feast for Tom and Biggest’s return home.

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Sunday was cold and rainy, so…

I baked Pesto bread (which got weirdly tall), but tasted delicious.

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Tom hung our new (old) lucky horseshoes above the doors.

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Littlest sat at the top of the stairs creating comic book characters.

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Biggest disappeared into his room (Preteen! No photos!)

Sammy did what Sammy does best.

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Coal celebrated his 15th birthday!

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Charlie hung out in a box.

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What did you do this weekend?

Shopping Adventures!

Hi Blog!

What?! Monday again?!

On Friday, Tom and I went to dinner and a comedy show with some friends. We saw those guys from that old improv TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” It was hilarious.

Stephanie and I went shopping on Saturday and I bought this old blanket chest. I love it.

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I guess I never finished telling you about our cross stitching adventures in Paris. I looked up some stitching shops to visit before the trip, but we didn’t manage to go to any of them!

One day though, we were out strolling near the hotel and spotted what looked like a fabric store. We stopped in and, lo and behold, it turned out to be a fabric, knitting, and CROSS STITCH store!!! Quelle surprise! They had a whole floor dedicated to cross stitch stuff! In a terrible moment of irony, my phone battery chose that exact time to die. Luckily, Tom was there to snap some photos.

I almost couldn’t focus. There was so much to see!

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Evenweave and linen in every color…

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They had a ton of pre-finished items just ready to be embellished with some cross stitching. Cute pouches of every shape and size!

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And pretty kitchen towels!

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There were soft stitchable bath towels in lovely colors…

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And a whole wall full of embroidery books!

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I had never seen the Rico design books in the US before and promptly fell in love. It was reaaaaallly heard to pick just a few items to buy.

I ended up getting two books, filled with the most gorgeous designs.

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So tasteful…

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And modern…

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Le sigh…

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I also bought a pre-finished runner and a tablecloth that was made specifically for stitching some of the designs from the books. I love the pretty texture on the tan one and … swooooon… white swiss dots! Who doesn’t love swiss dots?!!

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Can you tell how excited I was to find this store?

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The rest of the trip, I carried my stitching stuff around Paris in hopes of working on it during any down time. There ended up not being any until our final day at the Luxembourg Gardens.

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There were a lot of people milling about reading and sketching and relaxing. Can you imagine a dreamier place to stitch?

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I worked on last year’s 12 Days of Christmas stitch-a-long because it is small and portable and not too confusing, especially amidst so many distractions.

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Oh… is someone selling baguettes? Oh… do I smell crepes? Oh… should we walk over there for a quick Cafe au Lait? You know, distractions.

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I also stitched on the flight home and managed to complete Days 1-6. Quick aside, can I say what a treat it is to sit on your butt for 7 hours while watching movies (of your choice) and cross stitching while people bring you booze and food? Other people think that flying is a pain, but this tired working mama says “Bring it on!”

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I think I’m calling this project done for now and try to do a little finish work so that they are ready for Christmas. It only took two years to complete 6 days. I guess I’m not so good at stitch-a-longs.

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Anyhoo, that wraps up the Paris recaps. You’re probably tired of reading about the trip by now, so this week I’ll move onto more exciting things like Soccer practice and Chili making. Haha. Until then!

Around Here

Hi Blog!

I’m getting bored with these trip posts, so today let’s take a break to talk about what’s been going on around here lately.

Are you as happy as I am that Fall has arrived? It’s still hot in Pennsylvania, but there’s that bit of crispness in the air to show that the seasons are changing. Yay!

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I am feeling especially thankful these days to be back into our school and home routines. I do love me some routines! Taurus much?

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Soccer season is in full swing so our Saturday mornings are spent on the field. The weather has been perfect for this so I can’t complain. The boys have been playing hard and I love to watch them.

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In addition to Soccer, they both signed up for a running program that culminates in a 5k. Littlest said that he wanted us to run the 5k as a family. I foolishly agreed. This week, I broke out my super fashionable knee brace and 80s music mix and restarted the Couch to 5k training. Mom guilt sure makes you do some crazy things!

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I really fell off the gluten free train while we were away and it’s been soooooooo hard to get back on. Every day I start strong, then stuff like this happens…

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I know at some point I really need to commit to the diet again, but WHY IS GLUTEN SO DELICIOUS?!?!!!

Speaking of delicious, the boys and I continued our Saturday dinner tradition with an Asian inspired evening of Dumplings, Soy & Ginger Glazed Cornish Game Hen with Bok Choy and Shitake Mushrooms, and Mango Sorbet. Yum. They are seriously upping their game.

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And in stitching news… I’m discussing Halloween stitching in the October issue of CrossStitcher magazine, available on newsstands now (Haha. I’ve always wanted to say that)! It feels these days like I write about cross stitching more than I actually cross stitch, but blergh… such is the life of a working mother.

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Happy Friday, Friends!

En Français

Bonjour mes amies! Where to even begin?

Tom and I just got back from Paris! It was très incroyable. Originally he was going to join me for a few days only, but changed his plans and ended up staying for a full 9 days! Wheeee!!!

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We had a lot of adventures. There was sight seeing! And snail eating! And cross-stitch goody buying! And art admiring! And French language botching! And people watching! And walking! So much walking! I logged 145,883 steps on my Fitbit. Crazy!

There are a gajillion photos to wade through, but that will have to wait for another day while I catch up on work, and hear about the boys’ first days at school, and give Charlie some extra tummy rubs. Il n’y a pas de place comme à la maison!

I hope that you had a great week too!

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