Thursday, January 28, 2010


3 witty remarks
It doesn't come as a shock to anyone who knows me that I am not really the biggest fan of winter. I even haven't updated my blog in ages because once Christmas is over, there's nothing interesting to say or do or look at for weeks at a time. It snows, it melts, it rains, it snows some more. Actually, today is one of those icy-sunny days, which I think I prefer over 30 degrees and overcast. So yay for the sun. Although, I'm probably not doing myself any favors dividing my time between the basement (for crafting) and the computer (for tutoring and, occasionally, updating the ol' blog.)

But we are just plugging along in this family. Matt goes to work, Betsy goes to first grade, Porter is in preschool in the afternoons and when Amy naps I have a little time to get things done. Matt took Porter to a Pacers game last week and they both had fun, although Porter was mainly interested in the water fountains at Conseco Fieldhouse. Betsy had the 100th day of school and glued 100 buttons to a T shirt - much to my surprise, they didn't all fall off. Amy's new words lately are "okay" and "mm-hmm" (both of which crack me up), she's doing better with two-word sentences, and she likes to blow raspberries on my cheeks. She's also obsessed with baby dolls but that's nothing new.

As I mentioned above, I've been doing a lot of crafting in the new year. Mainly sewing, so far. (I finally cracked and got a Slice - a digital cutter for scrapbooking - but it was dysfunctional and I had to send it back, so I really haven't scrapped that much yet.) I've been sewing a lot of doll clothes - something I really enjoy, although I think I need to take a break from it for a while. Last night I cut out the girls' Easter dresses, mainly as a way of looking forward to spring. They will both be vintage patterns (Amy's and Betsy's) made out of fabric with vintage patterns on it. Yes, there are times when I enjoy being the mother of daughters and this is definitely one of those times.

I was talking to a friend today and realized that while I've been sewing like crazy lately, I've barely sewn anything for myself. In the past year I've made me two dresses and a skirt. Sad. Now, one of my New Year's resolutions - pretty much the only one - is NO NEW FABRIC until at least June. It's fun to challenge myself to shop from my stash, and I've realized that I really need to make something for myself, because I've reached that inevitable point in the winter when I realize I hate all of my clothes. Anyway, I have lots of summer dresses, and lots of Sunday dresses, but what I really need is a winter weekday dress. Something that I can wear over thick cotton tights and some knee-high boots (from Goodwill, of course). So I went through my ever-growing pattern stash (the corollary to my rule above, by the way, is no new patterns, either) and I've definitely come up with some good options. I have lots of vintage patterns that are actually my size, so hopefully I will be able to get something whipped up by the end of next week.

The other thing that's been keeping me busy lately - no, it's not laundry - is the Easter Cantata. See, a lady in my ward decided it would be fun to put together a multi-ward choir (It really baffles me that some mothers - she has three small kids, even - can do stuff like this and I can't even get my laundry folded.) and put on a massive performance of one of Sally DeFord's easter cantatas. Matt was actually the one who saw the flyer first and told me about it - I've really missed being in a big choir since I left Rochester. Anyway, guess what this paricular choral work has?

Have you guessed yet?

FLUTE PARTS, and guess who plays the flute (although not so much in recent years), it's me. So I went ahead and volunteered my services, and surprisingly there are actually not a ton of flute players around here, so they were more than happy to have me. So I've had to practice a lot, although I have to say, it's all come back pretty easily. I loaded the music onto my new MP3 player (Thanks, Matt!) and listened to it over and over so that hopefully, when March 28th comes around, I won't totally embarrass myself.

Actually, now that I think about it, 2010 hasn't been so boring after all. We've been to the Children's Museum and saw the new Barbie exhibit (Mom - you HAVE to come see it) and we went to Conner Prarie, the local living-history place, on MLK Day when it was free. I actually liked it so much I think we might get a membership (it's only $65 a year, which is cheaper than any of our other memberships) and go back in the summer. Matt and I went out for our 9th anniversary (only a month or so late) and I wore this new outfit, courtesy of Goodwill. The Colts are going to the Super Bowl, and unlike certain brothers of mine, I am hoping they will win (although I wouldn't mind if a Super Bowl victory is not followed by a giant blizzard like it was the last time around). I've been watching Universal Sports Network a whole lot lately and getting excited for the Winter Olympics, which I always enjoy watching even though I'm not really a sports person. So it's been a decent year so far and there is still plenty to look forward to.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2009: Year In Review

5 witty remarks
Yeah, so I've been meaning to do this blog post all year (ha!) and haven't had the time. Right now I am in a tutoring session waiting for a student so I will take the opportunity to sum up some of the many things that happened in 2009. Sort of the highlights of my blog, if my blog can be said to have any highlights.
  • 2009 got off to not the greatest start with my Grandaddy passing away. I have to say, though, that in looking back I find this more bittersweet than anything else. His passing wasn't particularly unexpected, it was peaceful, and he had a really beautiful funeral with military honors. (Oh, and I was totally shouting ROLL TIDE last night in Grandaddy's honor.)
  • Things got kind of interesting with the child care situation. And then, all of a sudden, everything got easier again when I was let go from my job. I have to say, I was expecting to stop working sometime in 2009, but not in the way that I did. Crazy. On the plus side, I've been able to get more tutoring hours and that goes a long way in making up lost income, especially since I don't have to pay for child care (and can write blog posts while I work). And I can totally take a nap or make cookies any time I want.
  • We didn't have any car accidents in 2009, thank goodness. The van did have a flat tire and a $400 brake job, but it's got 80,000 miles on it (and is paid off) so I guess that's to be expected.
  • I got a serger, which is like the awesomest thing ever. It really came in handy when making Betsy's Halloween costume. And I established my craft area in the basement, which means I now never have to pick up after myself ever and have almost infinite storage space for all the fabric in the world.
  • Amy started walking. And talking. We found out she has a mild speech delay (the other 2 probably did as well but we didn't know as much at the time) and started her with speech therapy through First Steps. Which basically consists of a Nice Lady with Toys who comes out and plays with Amy for an hour, twice a month. Win-win as far as I'm concerned.
  • One visit to urgent care (when I spontaneously broke out in hives in July) and one visit to the ER (y'know, when Porter fell on his head) complete with CAT scans. No stitches or broken bones or concussions or appendectomies, thank heavens.
  • I saw two of my brothers get married: Rob in the same church where Emily and Russell got married, and Kevin in the Washington D.C temple (it was my first time attending a temple wedding since my own). Welcomed three new girls into the Blinn family: a niece and then two sisters-in-law, tipping the balance even more favorably towards the double X chromosome.
  • Now that I think about it, I saw the Blinns a lot in 2009. Besides the weddings and funeral, my parents and sisters traveled here a couple of times, such as to see Mike graduate law school or because I didn't think Matt and I could finish a whole Thanksgiving turkey by ourselves. Also, Cath came out for like a week and a half during the summer and we had a blast. Of course, with Mike and his family living on the south side of town, I expect we'll be seeing a lot of them (sorry, guys). Actually, I totally unexpectedly ran into Mandy and Miles at the Children's Museum right after Christmas (well, the museum is really fun so it's not that unexpected).
  • Porter spontaneously taught himself to read. At the tender young age of four and with still a full year left before he starts kindergarten. Yeah, much as I would like to take credit for that one, I really can't. If anything, we should blame the bump to his head because it was right after that that he suddenly knew how to read. I wonder if it will be like in old movies where he will bump his head again and then forget everything. I sure hope not.
  • Betsy also learned how to read in 2009, and learned math and writing too - she is really loving first grade.
  • The kids took swimming lessons over the summer - this was as much about conquering my irrational fear as it was about them. Crazy Mother, party of one! Betsy also did some sports camps which she enjoyed, even if she doesn't show a whole lot of natural athletic ability. Sorry, Matt.
  • Matt and I both got new callings: he's the stake Young Men secretary and I am the Primary chorister.
  • Interestingly, 2009 was the year I decided not to have any more kids. For a long time I'd been planning on adding a fourth after Amy and this year I realized that's not practical for several reasons. The good news is this means I get to keep calling Amy "the baby" until she's about 60 or so.
  • I joined Facebook. Weird to say that this changed my life, but in a way it did - I got back in contact with many high school and college friends and have even met up with some of them in the "real world" (you know, that thing that's not a computer).
  • I started a lot of projects, and finished many of them.
  • I had several cards and a layout picked up for publication. I have received some of them already and am currently stalking bookstores for Scrapbook Trends' latest idea book (there should be a cute one-year-old inside!)
  • I bought two American Girl dolls, both of them secondhand at ridiculous discounts, and both of which are currently put away for the girls to get a little older (a Kit for Betsy and a Bitty Baby for my bitty baby). Also, I discovered how insanely fun it is to sew clothes for American Girl dolls.
  • I finally joined the rest of the world, circa 2005, when Matt got me an MP3 player for Christmas. But I still have a cell phone that only makes phone calls.
  • I played my flute in church right before Christmas - something I haven't done for a while. (But I will be doing a lot of fluting in 2010 so stay tuned!)
  • I learned how to sell on both eBay and Etsy - didn't sell a whole lot, but made enough to have a little bit of "fun money" to blow on fabric and patterned paper.
  • Turned thirty, and found my first gray hairs. Yuck.
  • Things that didn't happen in 2009 that I thought probably would: Matt didn't find a different job and I didn't stop nursing Amy. Oh well, there's always 2010.

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