My Favorite Spot

Today I get to spend the day at my desk with the everchanging view of a large maple tree. A Nor’easter is dumping snow on us just as fast as it can, and the region has closed up shop. A great way to start the week!

Finding this perfect spot in our home has been such a blessing to me – not only do I get a view that helps me pretend like I’m out in nature, I also get to see the comings and goings of our neighbors (yup, I’m that neighbor!). There is good light in this room, and because of it’s smaller size, it’s actually one of the warmer spots in our home. Since it’s the guestroom I also get to spread out. The only downside is that I don’t use it when we have guests staying here. Though the pleasure of having friends in our home far outweighs that!

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Loving Someone Daily

“What does it look like to love my husband, daily?”  A newlywed friend asked me recently.  “When we were dating it was easy, but now… seems like between figuring out how to run our home and get some alone time, I have no idea how to love him anymore.”  I agree with her that seeing your spouse every single day is vastly different than while you’re dating (note: most of these differences I think are attributed to the line between living together and not living together and I realize that line isn’t dating/marriage for everyone).   Partially, it’s just simple math.  Whereas before you only “had” to do fun, sweet things every week or so, now you see one another every day.  Surely you’re not supposed to bake cookies every day!  But I think it’s also related to the fact that your two lives are now so much more intertwined; issues for which you used to each have independent responsibility are now topics of conversation: “By the way, did you ever find the batteries?” “Hey, did we ever pay the dentist’s bill?”  “Let’s stop and get some laundry detergent.”  While dating, these topics simply didn’t make an appearance!

I think there’s one more thing.  Your love changes from a mostly self-centered love (“does he make me feel good?” “do we have fun together?” “is he good to me?”) to a much more other-centered love.  Questions I began asking once married are “Am I a good wife to him?” “Do I inspire him to be more fully himself?” “Do I give him enough freedom to change?”  Those are much more difficult questions to ask and answer because the answer is less clear-cut.  If he’s growing and changing, then what does that mean for me, and for us?  How do you continue to know him so well that you can answer these kinds of questions, while continuing to run a household together?  How do you keep those questions in a place of higher regard than the once about laundry, dishes, sweeping, and how we’re spending our money?

So yes, the way we love our spouses must change, and all we can do is hope that our dating/engagement lives have laid a strong foundation for that to happen.  What changed for you?

Heroes

Happy friggin’ new year to you too!  I sit here and watch the snow/rain/slush/wintry mix coming down, blowing so it’s sometimes horizontal, sometimes at a 45 degree angle.  It’s supposed to snow more inland, where my fabric store is that carries the fabric of which I need more.  I thought I’d only need a 1/2 yard, turns out it’s 3/4!  Grumpifying.

MrH and I have recently “discovered” the tv show Heroes, as well as the Netflix “watch instantly” function.  We’re immersed in season one, it’s completely addictive, and probably not very good for my soul.   I don’t usually watch stuff with so much death and action.  I get really wrapped up in the characters’ stories and lives and start feeling unsettled in my own.  But somehow, this show drew me in in a different way: the big questions it poses about life, free choice and destiny, mission, trust, and identity are fascinating and I enjoy being along for the ride.  Except when it unsettles me.  The big question is whether to delve into the unsettledness, or brave the weather and pick out some gorgeous fabrics to pacify myself.  I’ve learned that the latter is sometimes a better option for me.

When It’s Cold Out

It’s been the snowiest December since 1970.  During the first storm, I wrote this post and forgot to publish.  I’ve adjusted a little better now, but it’s still applicable.

When it’s cold out, I get acrimonious.   MrH will try everything he knows how, but it’s never quite right or quite enough.  There is a tricky balance between expressing how you feel (need, cranky…) and loving the other by realizing that he is cold, too.  We both have the same goal: to get home quickly without falling on the slippery ice.

In those moments I want him to take charge, but don’t agree with his decisions when he does.  Recently, we’ve been seeing a portrayal of this in all its awfulness: know Nate and Jen on the Amazing Race?   If you don’t,you should watch it because they are like a caricature of how I get when it’s cold out.  Not pretty, not teamwork.  Working on it.

Cute, no?

I learned how to put snaps on for this little number:

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Blogging Lessons

Personally, I really love my mystery image below, even though Kate spoiled it by guessing correctly right off the bat :)  I still think that the snow-covered table looked more like a big fuzzy donut, and I was enchanted by it.  Hope some of you enjoyed the picture!

Lessons learned:

  • “mystery image” draws more visitors to my blog!  Too bad this wasn’t as exciting as circles in the cornfields
  • Ten comments is a bar that’s too high for us right now
  • Kate might still get her prize, just because I enjoy her (keep an eye on the mail!).  Even though she ruined my dream of being thought mysterious and exciting. A salesperson in a wine-store once called me “dark and mysterious,” as a result of my wine preferences.  I think that’ll just need to do for now.
  • I still like writing on my blog, even if I get zero readers (and I get more than that, so there!)

Mystery Image

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I recently took this picture, and by the time I uploaded images, had forgotten what it was of! While I’ve since remembered, I thought it’d be fun to see if anyone can guess what it is.

To win a prize: at least 10 different people need to take a guess, and yours needs to be the only correct one. Happy guessing!

Cookie Update

I had to come clean to the cookie party hosters (see here), and admit to not having a favorite cookie recipe at all! I offered to bring a log, and they vetoed me for fear of getting the ones with the Christmas tree in the middle!  But here is the secret: their chocolate chip, plain sugar cookies, or peanut butter cookies, are the SAME as if you’d made them from scratch!  Trust me, I know.

While I have never gone so far as to lie about the source of my cookies, I was able to keep up a cookie-foolin’ with MrH once.  During our first New Year’s together, I was still recovering from an extended illness and pretty weak.  We decided to make it a calm evening in and he picked up takeout from our favorite restaurant.  Well, I wanted to do something romantic and sweet for this amazing man I was dating, so I got a package of the soft Pepperidge farm cookies, displayed them prettily on a plate, and added some Hershey’s kisses to finish it off.  For years he thought I’d baked him cookies that night.  Ooops!

All that to say that nobody needs to know you used a package or a log.  Happy “baking!”

Weekend Feel

I’ve been sewing lots lately. Having the inspiration of numerous peoples’ blogs has been really fun, and I’m learning all sorts of things. My hope is that this can replace some of my purchased clothing and save me a few $$. So a few weeks ago I made this bag. I decided to make it a bag with a weekend-feel rather than something I’d tote on the T with me. I’m very satisfied with the end result:

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Both fabrics I used were pretty thin, 100% cotton, so I did add a layer of interfacing which helps provide a bit more structure. I’m really happy with how it came out, but will make a few changes before my next bag: longer strap that’s narrower up top, deeper, and a little less wide. I’ll also make it reversible and will find more fabulous buttons.

One thing that was fun is that it was my first time making something with a lining like that, which I was then able to also use in the stockings I’m making for Christmas.  I told a co-worker of mine who looked like she though I was kidding, but finally just shook her head (ever so slightly) and said “only you.”  I think she meant it as a compliment.

Cookie Recipe?

True confessions: I don’t have a favorite cookie. But I have to find one, and quick! You see, someone at work decided to host a get-together where we’ll bake cookies for our most gracious and wonderful volunteers (all 300 of ‘em!). The idea is that we’ll each send our favorite cookie recipe, and will then each be assigned an ingredient to bring.

My dilemma? I make cookies from a refrigerated log; boxed mix when I’m feeling especially excitable. I’ll even mix in additional ingredients. But a favorite recipe from scratch? I can’t even remember the last time I made cookies from scratch!

So would you help me out and share your favorite with me? Just leave it in the comment section. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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