Saturday, 29 August 2009

Pouring out my Heart: Simplicity and Priorities (Warning: Lots of text and few pictures)

Hi Friends. I've been doing some thinking since Nicholas's birth.
For the first few days, I was terrified about how I would handle two kids by myself while KD is at work. In the evenings I would get lonely and depressed and cry because of all the impending changes, with some family drama added to it. I was sad because Juliana is no longer my baby, and I worried about finances and raising a boy, and all that kind of stuff.
Thankfully, after about four or five days, my hormones started to rebalance, and I stopped getting so emotional. I make a point to spend some one-on-one time with Juli. KD went back to work this past Tuesday, and we've been handling things pretty well. Well, except the housework, but that's nothing new.
But this is what I've been thinking about: I need to simplify my life. I'm not a busy person, but I can easily get my priorities messed up. Which has been the case in varying degrees for the past five years.
My first focus needs to be relationships. With God, my husband, my children, and my family and friends. I need to cut out the things that compete with these relationships. Like time spent on the computer, craft/decorating stuff, shopping, etc. I need to take care of my family first, then if there is time and money, I can do other stuff. Sounds like something I should have been working on since I our wedding seven years ago...but it's never too late to start, right?
My second focus needs to be housekeeping. Looking after our home is my responsibility, and should be my pleasure. A clean, safe, organised home shows my family and guests that I value their comfort. I am happier when my house is clean, and I know KD is. Juli and Nick are too young to notice, but they soon will. I didn't have a great housekeeping role-model while I was growing up--I had a single mom too busy keeping food on the table to care for our house--but I need to be a better one for my kids. I'm not saying I have to be perfect (I gave up being Martha years ago), but I need to be responsible.
My third focus will be the hardest to get back into. I have never mentioned on this blog my childhood passion, and my subsequent failure to do anything about it. So, here it is: When I was eight years old I decided that I wanted to be a writer. Of books. I didn't really know anything about short stories at the time...which is a pity because I probably would have been more successful had I started with shorter pieces. I had hundreds of ideas through the years. My favourite passtime in my lonely childhood was to create characters and come up with book ideas. Most of the titles went like this: Somebody and the Something Something. You know how it goes. I wanted to write books that I wanted to read. I keep all my ideas in a 3-inch thick binder. I would write a chapter or two, then get sidetracked by a new and better idea.
My desire to be a writer remained strong as I grew up, and through highschool, where I discovered that there was such a thing as short-stories. It was in my grade 10 english class that I actually wrote a poem that I still think was pretty good. Then I managed to finish a short story, in response to a comment from my teacher saying that "no one would want to read a story about a bench". So I wrote one and she said it's the first time a bench had made her cry.
I got married at age 19, and still I wanted to be a writer. I couldn't go to college right away, because KD was still in school, but the plan was that once he was done, I would have my turn. I kept writing, and got up to 11,000 words in one children's/teen's book. But then I ran in to a plot snag and got scared. I'm still scared of writing. I'm afraid that I can't come up with a decent plot, and that my characters lack depth, and that I can't really write anyway. So I eventually decided to change my focus and become an editor. The degree I'm working toward is for professional writing and editing, and I have so far loved my grammar and editing classes.
I still want to be an editor, and once I get my life a little bit more organised, I want to pursue freelance jobs. I have already edited (for pay) two science fiction novels, but haven't heard whether she has published them or not. And part two of this goal is to get back into writing. I can't let fear keep me failing in this. Writing has always been a strong passion in my life, and it is a shame that I have let it go for so long due to fear.
So to make room in my life for writing and editing, I won't be doing so many craft or decorating projects, and I probably won't be posting here very often. Or maybe I will just change the focus of this blog and post some of my writing instead. We'll see.
I don't know what my life is going to look like, but wish me luck with it all!
PS: Now that you know I'm an editor as well as a grammar-nerd, please don't pick my posts to pieces! They're all only first drafts!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Baby is Here

Our little boy Nicholas arrived at 5;50 PM August 18. He's 8lbs, and 21 inches. His hair is fuzzy golden brown, and his eyes are currently the typical grey-blue. Once they started the oxytocin drip, we had hours of waiting around until the doctor broke my water. Then the pain started. But it was short lived. One hour and 15 minutes later I started pushing, then out he came 5 minutes after that! It's an almost embarrassingly short labour story.

Friday, 14 August 2009


Today my pretty gift bags are featured at The DIY Show Off! That blog is full of beautiful, inspiring projects that make me wish I wasn't such a procrastinator. Thanks Roeshel! Find more gift wrapping posts here.
On Wednesday, we had a "surprise" baby shower at KD's work. JK and I showed up at 11:30 to find a table full of amazing potluck food, games and gifts ready for us, along with 20 or so of KD's coworkers. After the party, we went up to see KD's cubicle, and his inspiring 6th-floor view of the next building. And then people just started giving JK things...just because she's cute! This is what she looked like when she was done:
She's adorable, I know, but I'm starting to worry about people always wanting to give her things. I'm raising a mooch! On Monday this week, she got a free cookie at the grocery store, and on Tuesday she got a free colouring sheet. With all the stuff she got on Wednesday, I really hope she's good for a while!
As for baby news, I'm slowly working on decorating his bedroom, now that JK is sleeping in her big-girl-bed. We're trying not to spend money right now, so I have to use only what I already have. It has been fun figuring out ways to decorate!
But I'm going to have to speed things up now, because I'm going to be induced on Tuesday. So instead of having two more weeks left, I have four days before this baby comes home! My doctor is worried about extra blood vessels rupturing because I had such a low-lying placenta.
Oh, and I did finally wash my floor! I guess revealing my faults to the internet (and specifically to various friends and family who read this blog) is great motivation!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Grandma's Souvenir Spoons

I came across a pretty project today that gave me an idea. Along with my Grandma's china, I also inherited her collection of souvenir spoons. I'm not really interested in souvenir spoons (especially the modern ones), but I wanted to display some of Grandma's vintage-ish spoons. The pretty display of ironstone started me thinking about my spoons. This is what I started with: my painted/crackled rosewood tray, and a sandwich bag full of Grandma's spoons. And, 10 minutes after reading the post, I was hanging this back on the wall: I used hot glue to attach about half of the spoons. I didn't want to overdo it with the spoons. I tried to pick spoons that had some significance. For example, the spoon below is actually just tiny spoon from the cutlery set my family used while growing up. I don't know how it ended up in Grandma's collection. And this spoon has a cross-stitched medallion of my grandma's initial. Her name, Kirstine, is JK's middle name.I think I rather like the effect!
Oh, and since today is Monday, you can see other before and afters at Susan's Met Monday post at Between Naps on the Porch.
I am honoured to receive an award from Katrina at My Mommy Life. It is the Honest Scrap award! I'm not sure exactly what it signifies, other than that someone likes me. But that's ok! Thanks Katrina for the award! I'm supposed to share 10 things about myself:
  1. I really, really missed my daughter this weekend when she was away with the grandparents.
  2. It is mine and KD's seventh anniversary today. People keep warning us about the seven-year-itch.
  3. It also would have been my parents' 30th anniversary, and is my grandparents' 53rd anniversary. We like to reuse dates, apparently.
  4. I don't like Braxton Hicks contractions.
  5. I skipped the first stage of labour in my last pregnancy...didn't feel a thing.
  6. I have an overactive imagination. It makes me a little paranoid sometimes!
  7. Or maybe I just watch too many crime shows like Law and Order, and CSI.
  8. I really, really need to wash the floor. Any volunteers? (Kidding!)
  9. I always have to fight my naturally lazy tendencies. It's getting difficult these days, when I have 25 pounds of extra excuse attached to me.
  10. I need to go take a nap right now.
I hope you enjoyed my list of random facts! I want to pass this award on to everyone who takes the time to comment on my posts. This whole thing wouldn't be half as interesting without comments!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

DIY Day - Painted Doll's Cradle

This week, I want to show off JK's doll cradle. I bought it back in May at Goodwill, and finally painted it. This is how it started out: It was cute as it was, with the handmade look, and knotty pine...would have matched the baby boy's room perfectly! But JK's room is blue and white, so this is what I did to it: Those tiny flowers are the only motif I know how to paint. I'm impressed with how my stripes turned out. They look exactly imperfectly perfect. They are a little darker than I had planned, so I may wash some diluted white paint over them. I still need to put some kind of sealer on it. I was going to try the minwax poly that people have recommended, but we're trying not to spend any extra money right now until the fence is done. So I'll have to use the spray craft soon as I find it. And I want to sew a little mattress for the cradle. JK loves rocking her babies. Or rather, she loves telling me to rock her babies and sing while she dances around the room. Once her bedroom is painted and decorated, it will look so sweet in there. See more DIY posts at Kimba's DIY party.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Tribute to Sanctuary Arts at Home - and she's having a giveaway

One of my favourite blogs is having a giveaway! Jen from Sanctuary Arts at Home is celebrating two years of blogging. When I started posting this, I had overlooked the part that said it would get me an extra entry, so I thought I was doing it for "free", just 'cause I like Jen. Why do I like her? She is an amazingly talented painter, and shares tips and advice with her readers. In addition to that, she makes me laugh, and she values her readers/commenters. She emailed a reply to my first post, and even though she has hundreds of followers and lots of comments, and probably many other blogs to read more interesting than mine, she still replies to my comments and even comments here on my little bloglet! So Jen, thanks for sharing your incredible talents and witty writing with the world. To my dozen-or-so readers: Go to Jen's blog and check out her generous multi-faceted giveaway! And stay to look around at the rest of her great posts too.