Friday, December 31, 2010


I think that 2010 was the best year of my life.

First of all, I think that 2010 was the happiest of my married life. Not that other years weren't good ones, but it seems that John and I have truly found our stride. In February, we had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Not because of anything great, but the mood and the gifts were perfect. We sat on the couch after the kids were in bed and ate chocolates. We usually don't celebrate Valentine's Day so maybe that is why it was special. We also celebrated our 10th anniversary in October.

In April, we finally got the crazy, long ordeal with our Evansville house behind us. It felt like a ton of bricks had lifted off of us. And with closure on that, we were able to start renovating this house. We said from day one that we would fix this house up, and it gives me so much pleasure to finally make this house our home.

In May, my baby graduated preschool! Mary also learned to ski this year. We finally ended our long, long, long nursing relationship of 4 years, 3 months, and 30 days. I never thought we'd last that long. I truly feel like I did what was best for her in letting her nurse for so long. And then, after a great summer, Mary started school. She's grown up so much after only one semester. She can read and write. I am so proud of her, even if we do butt heads most of the time.

In August, I had probably the happiest birthday I've had in many, many years. I was able to see my entire family in one weekend. The girls and I stayed out at Grandma Mary's farm one night, and then spend Saturday night at my Mom's. I got to see my entire family that weekend - Grandma Mary, Dad, Mom, Papaw Clyde and my brother Matthew. Papaw Clyde had received that Hoosier Homestead award and hosted about 150 people at his farm. His/our family has owned the farm for 100 years. It was a busy weekend, tiring, hot, but wonderful. I had my family and my girls. I fell asleep that Saturday night thinking about how blessed I was to have so many people who love me.

This fall Ellie finally found her voice.....and hasn't stopped talking since. She lives up to her nickname of Firecracker day in and day out. She's trouble. She has a light in her eyes that I hope is always there. She now has her own room with her big girl bed. She isn't a baby anymore. She's two going on seven. She begs every day to go to school with Mary. She loves Mary, but tries to beat Mary up at least 319 times a day. She is absolutely exhausting, but she's such a joy.

This fall I was also able to heal some very old, very deep wounds in the relationship with my Dad. I am grateful for a second chance with him. The girls absolutely love him too. I am glad they will be able to have a good relationship with him in the years going forward.

This year has opened my eyes to how truly blessed I am. I'm able to stay home with my kids. I have a wonderful husband who loves me. I have a family and friends that support me. I have everything I need. A home in the country to raise our girls. Good health. Peace in my heart. Life is so very good.

And I truly believe the best is yet to come.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Round two

Remember my original batch of yarn for my log cabin blanket?

I've dedicated my knitting time in January to working on my blanket again. I started on it over the weekend and ran out of yarn last night.

See my needle down there in the bottom right corner? I was trying to bind off that strip so I could turn and start another dark red strip. I came so close! But there was no way I could finish the row or go on since I was out of white. I still have a little bit left of the other seven colors.

So today I bought eight more skeins of yarn. I'm thinking that one way or the other, I will be done with the blanket when I run out again.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And just like that.....

Ellie can say "Mary."

Ellie loves Mary. The first word she consistently said was "me" which meant Mary. It was clear she was not talking about herself. Once she could call herself something, she called herself "my." I loved it. I think that a lot of toddlers call themselves me. Mary did. But Ellie already needed the word "me" for Mary.

I've noticed lately she's started saying "I" instead of "my" when talking about herself. It made me sort of sad. The end of her baby talk in some ways. Now she says it almost all of the time. Good-bye "my." You made for some great sentences.

Then late last week, Ellie and I were playing. She found a pair of dolls. One is the mom and the other is a toddler. She asked me what their names were.

"Who this name?"
"Oh, who this?"
"Why this Mary?'
"You little stinker, you can say Mary!"
"Why this Mary?"
"Ellie, what's your sister's name?"
"Me Wizabeth"
"And what's this doll's name?"
"And aren't those the same name?"

blank stare from Ellie.

I asked her later, and she told me that her sister was indeed Mary.

Today, she said Mary probably 9 times out of 10. It freaked Mary out. She kept thinking I was talking to her. It freaked me out too!

Overall, Ellie's still pretty hard to understand. But two of my favorite words of hers are gone.

My baby is growing up.

Tomorrow her mattress and box springs will arrive, and she will sleep in her own room for the first time in her life.

Deep breaths. She's still my baby.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ellie's room is almost ready!

This poor bookshelf. It just can't find a home. First it was in the entry way, then the spare room. But Ellie doesn't need it. So we moved it to the master bedroom. The girls think that moving it is a great game! I let them take all the books out, and then they carry them to the new spot for me.

I got the curtains up. Now I need to take them down, iron them and attach the hemming tape that came with them.

I couldn't paint the window itself. It will have to wait for spring when I can leave it open for more than 30 seconds. I got the dresser upstairs. I got the changing table moved back in. I'm hoping we can get a mattress this weekend. We are planning on getting it home in John's truck, and it is currently full of snow.

Still left to do: get all the junk of the the closet (including that big dresser which has Ellie's clothes in it) and hang the closet doors. Paint the back of the door to the room and hang it. Then I'll give both sides of it a final coat of paint. After that, Ellie can move in. I still need to get some art or something, and a bigger rug. Oh, and make a bed skirt as I cannot find one locally.

Monday, December 13, 2010

working, working, working

Who remodels in December? My friend Sarah is remodeling her kitchen DIY style this month. I am sure there are others too. Ellie just needs her own room NOW. Mainly so I have somewhere to send her for time out!

working with my girls

This picture shows how I get stuff done. I was trying to paint around a million toys and two kids. They were playing baby dolls/animals, crafting, reading, and eating. I bought a box of 10 (small) Christmas cookies, and let them have as many as they wanted. I'm still finding crumbs on the floor. I managed to get all the trim and the walls cut in with primer and then rolled the walls all in one afternoon. I think that was last Thursday. That night I was able to cut in the yellow paint. Over the weekend I got the walls done. Today I got the first coat of white paint on the trim and got it all caulked. I still need to give it another coat. I have the closet doors painted. I have the door to the room primed with one coat of primer. I need to give it another coat of primer and then two coats of paint. I'm doing it down in the basement on saw horses so I can only do one side at a time. I'm hoping to put the furniture in on Saturday!

I've been knitting too!

I have another scarf type thing done too. I need to find a button for it, and block it. Hopefully I'll remember to take a picture.

I have all my shopping done! I am making the girls main gifts. I need to get started on them as soon as I finish Ellie's room.

What on earth will I do in January? Oh, wait! Mary's new twenty dollar desk needs painted as does her five dollar headboard. Not to mention that I secretly wish we could get her room redone by her b-day. I think John would kill me if I suggested it to him though.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I've got to get my knitting done!

I am just not in the mood to knit. Ugh. I am going to regret this when I'm up all night on Christmas Eve.

I've been too busy looking at my dining room. I love it. When I imagined it with the dark paneling down, I imagined it with the tree up.

View from my desk this morning.

I loaded the tree up this year! I didn't put a lot on it last year as I didn't know if Ellie would bother it. This year I don't care. If it fall, it falls. I'm going to enjoy it and hope it's still standing on New Year's Day when I take it down.

I sewed this circle garland the other night instead of knitting. It's doubled up across the curtain rod, then goes down both sides of the curtains. I love it. Mary did some writing and reading while I cut it out. Ellie colored pictures and played with her babies. It was so much fun to sit at the table and all of us have something to do. We played, we chatted, and we snacked. Ellie picked up all the scraps of fabric and put them in the trash can. I think she thought it was a game. Every time I see that garland, I'll have an awesome memory of a wonderful afternoon with my girls.

If no one is sick this weekend, we are working on Ellie's room. Last weekend Mary, Ellie, and John were sick (again? still?). I'm hoping to finish up Ellie's dresser and bookshelf AGAIN this weekend, and I'm hoping that John can get most of the trim installed. We have the old stuff ripped out. Then it will be my turn to paint the trim, walls, and doors. We hope to have it done by Christmas. Huh. Maybe I really should get to that knitting.

But wait! I just have to remember the before picture of the dining room one more time. I wish I had one with the tree up, but I don't think I do.

It doesn't even look like the same room. I am so proud of the hard work we put into it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Completed table runner and my centerpiece

I gave Mom her table runner on Saturday. She loved it! I did too. I was sorry to see it go, even though it was too short for my dining room table, and too long for the kitchen table.

I think I am addicted to quilting. I wanted to make myself a new runner, but I am out of time. Oh well, there's always next year. I should make it right after Christmas just so I am not time crunched next year.

Plus, I've been busy making my awesome centerpiece.

Here's how I did it:
Find 2 matching candle sticks from the thrift store. Take them out to the garage on a night that's maybe just a bit too cold to spray paint. Get a coat or two of paint on. Flip the first one over carefully and paint under side. Flip the second, paint it and.............BREAK IT!!!!!! Son of a ^#%! (I was trying to flip it over quickly as the paint was tacky and I didn't want to touch it too much.) Next glue the pieces back together. Laugh. Remember Grandmother who broke everything and glued it back together. Laugh some more.

The break is under the pine cones. It was just two medium pieces that came off. I think it's pretty, break and all.