Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

October 31, 2017

Pyrex Purging and Motherhood Musings

I broke a Pyrex dish about a month ago. It was only my second Pyrex casualty ever, but it was one of my favorite patterns and dishes. In that moment, as I stared at the shards of the Butterprint refrigerator dish scattered across my kitchen floor, I decided to sell off most of my collection.

In fact, I've gotten rid of lots of stuff lately.
I have never been a hoarder, but after moving (again) this summer, the thought of packing up everything about did me in. There was absolutely no reason to keep my Girl Scout sash from the early 1980s. (You'd be amazed at what people bid on eBay for stuff like that. Clean out your closets and storage areas!) And so, most of the Pyrex went off to auction, too. 

I'm keeping these though!

I went a little crazy on the Pyrex collecting over the years, mainly because I traveled so much and never really had my own kitchen until later in life. While sorting photos from eons ago, I realized I took a LOT of pictures of my Pyrex.
It reminded me to pick up my camera and to actually take pictures with something other than my phone. It also reminded me that it's been forever since I posted anything on here. I started this blog five years ago — back when I seemed to have more hours in the day to take photos of stationary things like Pyrex, and to make crafty stuff to later blog about. 

These days of mine now are filled to the brim with cooking, cleaning, train track construction and Lego building with the Peanut, puzzles and books, mud painting and coloring, piles of laundry and dishes, and lots of refusals to nap. He is exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. 

While I can still remember my life pre-Peanut (oh sleep... I still miss you...) it's hard to fathom that this blog is older than he is. I feel like so much of my life has changed, not only since I started this blog, but since having the Peanut. I am now introduced as my child's mother. (People never seem to remember the mother's name at child-friendly events.) I just ripped apart the last thing I crocheted because I hated it, leaving me to wonder if I'm ever going to use my stash of yarn again. I serve boxed mac 'n cheese for lunch more times than I care to admit. I live for nap time, on the rare occasion it happens. I find myself constantly repeating things like 'put your pants back on'.

I look back over parts of this blog and some days I'm not sure what ever happened to the old me. Well, actually the younger me. 

I got a glimpse of her earlier in the week though, when I met someone moving overseas. Her son is the same age as mine, and she and her husband will be moving to a country near and dear to me in just a few months. She wanted to know about any helpful tips and tricks for adjusting to an international life. She was of course apprehensive, but also excited. I never asked her age, but I'm guessing it was a lot younger than mine, and I realized with a bit of a shock that I've now become that older person who doles out advice to people half my age. 

I saw part of my former self in her though, and it made me smile. I too was nervous before I moved overseas for the first time, but I also remember the excitement the anticipation of adventure.  

It's something I want to continue to instill in the Peanut, even when I feel old(er) and more tired than I ever have in my life. I hauled him to Scotland this summer because we had travel vouchers to use and because I wanted him to experience this incredible place where I've had countless laughs and adventures for over two decades. I hadn't been back for years, and I missed it fiercely.

Besides the phenomenal amount of rain and mud, the acquisition of a stomach bug, and general fatigue that comes from traveling and camping with a newly minted three-year-old, the trip was pretty amazing. In all of the summers I've spent on the shores of Loch Lomond, this was certainly the most challenging, but also one of the most rewarding. I got to show my little guy one of my favorite places on the planet and he reminded me that sometimes you just need to throw a rock into a loch to feel better. 

He still talks about camping and canoeing in Scotland and months later, he's completely enamored with the Thunderbird rockets that his 'Aunty and Uncle' from England sent to him after our trip. (After at least two dozen flights to several countries and continents with a child, I finally decided to write some travel tips here.)

When he wakes up an hour after falling asleep because he's overly tired from not napping earlier, I have to remember that these days are fleeting, even when I too am struggling to keep my eyes open. I have to remember that he already views life as an adventure. It's exciting for him to help make pancakes or waffles, to pour the milk, to help me put away the groceries, to wrap yarn around a tree, or to build a rocket house with sticks and leaves. 

He's not going to care if we mix those pancakes in a vintage Pyrex bowl. He's only going to care that I let him sit on the counter and crack the eggs. And those are the images that I will probably never get on camera, but they'll be imprinted on my heart forever.  

We don't always have to travel far to see what an adventure life can truly be. And we don't always need a photo to show everyone where we've been. There are days when I miss my old life, but I still wouldn't trade it for the world, because I've already seen it. And now I'm seeing it through the eyes of my son.  

I just hope he sleeps long enough for me to actually publish this post. 

PS: National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, starts in a mere matter of minutes! EEK! This is my third year participating and hopefully my third win. The story of why I started this insane tradition can be found here.

PPS: The holidays will be here before we all know it. If you're visiting friends or family, or hosting anyone, brush up on how to be a charming hostess and gracious guest here.

September 18, 2016

Itching for Fall

All around me, people are itching for Fall to begin, in more ways than one. (Heat rash, anyone?!)

This summer has been a crazy hot one... and although I'm usually a little sad to be packing up swimsuits, the reality is that this summer was almost too hot to even go to the pool, so I find myself yearning for cool days constantly. The Peanut and I stayed inside more often than not, and we spent a lot of time at indoor play areas (those outdoor playgrounds get insanely HOT. I still don't know why more playgrounds aren't built in the shade.) 

I can remember walking past mall play areas thinking that even if I had kids, I probably wouldn't ever take them to such a loud crazy place. 

And yet, at least once I week, I find myself smiling as the Peanut clamors to get to the steps and slide, running around like he has a firecracker in his pants. 

I've eaten a lot of my words about motherhood in these past two years. I swore I'd never become a mommy blogger and yet you can read my first official mom blog post over here, where I air my confessions. I will be blogging regularly at Chattanooga City Moms Blog for at least the next six months, so be sure to subscribe to their posts if you don't want to miss out! There are quite a few of us contributors on the site, so it's been neat to read different local mom perspectives. Plus, it will give me a chance to be a mommy voice in the community, without turning Typing Sunflowers into the latest mom blog. 

Besides chaos, I'm still making stuff. Like these adorable vertebrae sweaters for ALL OF THE BABIES friends are having. (Seriously ya'll... is it something in the water?!)

I'm also still breaking stuff. Walter, my dear companion and iMac of the past six years, refuses to show me anything on his screen, and it's a costly repair. I'm pretty sure we're going to have to simply bury him somehow in the recycling bin. Until I can get Walter's second brain (aka, my backup hard drive) picked apart, I don't have many other photos to prove any other craftiness to you at the moment, but I can assure you, I've made more of those cardigans than I can count this summer.   

We are now mere days away from the official start of Fall. It's finally raining outside, there is a slight chill in the air, the Sailor is home watching British football (soccer) and the Peanut is sleeping soundly. I can feel the seasons changing. And that's always a good thing.

May 4, 2016

The End of a Chapter

Ever since I took my summer break, it's been obvious that I've struggled to post regularly on here. I've barely created even one post a month since then. (Let's face it, I completely missed the months of January and April.

The past half a year's worth of blogging have been fraught with apologies for not posting often enough. I used a lot of different excuses.
Last October, I realized I had been writing Typing Sunflowers for three years. I started it at a time in my life when so many things were uncertain — where we would live, what trips the Sailor and I would take, whether my brother would ever get better, if children would be in our future.

The blog helped me get through a lot of those uncertainties by giving me something to focus on without any pressure. Nobody was paying me to do a job; the only deadlines I imposed were my own. 

Some people see their life as a movie. I've always seen my own life as a book. A very large book, with multiple chapters, lots of plot-lines, a myriad of characters, conflicts and resolutions and of course numerous travels and places along the way

This blog has seen a lot of chapters in my life. A move across the country, several overseas trips, including a cruise, a few trips to South Africa, and even Singapore, the death of my brother, the arrival of the Peanut, getting published in Artful Blogging magazine, my former editor and mentor passing away, another move, and a whole lot of crafting stuff in between. 

Many things in my life have cycled in stages of three years. The blog is now only a few weeks shy of exactly three and a half years. In retrospect, I should have maybe written this post on Typing Sunflower's third anniversary back in October. Then again, perhaps I needed a few months to gain perspective.

After my break, I realized something. This blog has changed over the years. I've changed.  

I love having a virtual record of the past few years. Unlike my chicken scratch handwriting in the journals that I keep nowadays, I can look through my past blog posts and actually read my writing.

I think though, perhaps it's time for this particular chapter to come to a close. I have been feeling this for some time, but I held on, thinking that I could just keep posting photos and projects. But the reality is, for whatever reason that I'm not yet clear on, I think it's time to simply let it go. (I'm probably the only person on the planet who has yet to see Frozen, but I do know that 'let it go' is a great life theme.)  

My life 'book' isn't finished yet, and there are still lots of chapters to be lived. In the meantime, I will continue to write and create abundantly. Typing Sunflowers may or may not be resurrected in some form along the way. And I'm okay with that uncertainty, but I thought you all should know, in case you wondered where I went.

I won't be deleting this blog like I have previous ones, so feel free to continue to peruse the archives or get in touch with me via the contact tab above. Lastly, a massive thank you to those of you who have been faithful readers, followers and champions of this blog, whether you've been here since the start, or you only stumbled upon Typing Sunflowers recently. I have loved sharing a small glimpse of my life with you. I hope in some small way I've inspired you all to dream big and create your own meaningful life.

June 1, 2015

Summer Break

Summer is generally a slow month in the publishing world and like most students, I used to look forward to the season with tremendous anticipation when I was in school. Summers are generally lazy... a time to head to the beach, lay around the pool, catch up on paperback fiction, and sit on porches to watch the sunset. 

I need a good summer. 

I need a summer to sit around with a beverage of choice (even if the Peanut is clamoring up my legs...) I need a summer to travel and see friends I haven't seen in years. I need a summer to work on crochet blankets, one square a time. I need a summer to read at least one book that I can't put down — even if it means missing out on some sleep. 

I don't want to spend my summer thinking of projects to do, and then spending more time at the computer trying to blog about them. 

I want to actually try out the recipes from my homemade cookbook. I want to add the Peanut's photos to my Project Life album. I don't want to rush a single cuddle with the Peanut because time with him is already flying by too fast. I want to spend time eating lemon meringue pie and picnicking in the park with Pyrex. I want to sit on the porch while the Peanut (briefly) naps. I want to actually clean and purge and declutter, not only the cobwebs from the apartment, but from my mind. 

Many years ago, I volunteered with Mercy Ships as part of their communications crew. I wrote stories, hosted media teams and even took photos. After my nearly five years with them, I took three months out of my schedule to take a photography course in South Africa. I needed that time to create without the confines of an organization. 

I came away from the course refreshed and bursting with creative energy. (I also realized during the three months that I could never be a full time photographer... I needed to write and do other creative things to feel fulfilled!

I need a similar sort of break now. I need some time to actually work on projects and simply enjoy life, without wondering if I took enough photos and if I'll have time to document it in a blog post. 

With that in mind, I'm taking the summer off from blogging.

I know summer doesn't officially start for a few weeks, but according to most people, Memorial Day hails the unofficial start. And let's face it, it's hot enough to swim where I am, so it already feels like summer! 

I'll be back sometime in September... right around the same time school starts. In the meantime, enjoy your own summer and get out there and enjoy life around you. And for the small handful of you regular readers, if you're in need of a Typing Sunflowers fix, there are plenty of posts in the archive to get you through the next few months. 

Thanks for sticking with me! Ciao for now.

December 29, 2013

Blog in Review: 2013

Between Christmas and New Year's, I always find it kind of therapeutic to reflect on the past year. I sometimes reread my journal, or look at photos. This time I went through Typing Sunflowers. This year had some of the lowest of the lows... but also the highest of the highs. Blogging was definitely one of this year's highlights. I'm still having fun with it (that's a good sign, right?!)

And in case you missed most of the year, or if you're a new follower... here are some of the events that shaped 2013 for me:

My granny square slippers post continues to generate a lot of traffic on here, telling me two things: 

1: People love a good granny square.


2: Slippers will never never go out of fashion. 

Slippers are necessary in my book -- so is eating. I continued to cook things like macaroni and cheese in the tiniest kitchen ever while I shared some family kitchen stories, along with some more kitchen disasters. I even tried my hand at preserving

The Sailor and I traveled to South Africa where we had a lot of braais (the Sailor shares his rules for successful grilling here) and we went on a cruise to the Caribbean, where we had plenty of sunshine and an encounter with a Mexican Bug

I shared my wedding invitations with you, plus I got published in Artful Blogging. I competed in photo shows, had fun with #7Vignettes on Instagram, and generally had a blast being creative with pictures using ordinary objects. 

This year also had its full share of grief. We moved and had housing issues. I gouged my foot and broke my iPhone. I missed out on another summer in Scotland. Worst of all, my brother lost his battle with cancer and Mother's Day wasn't quite the same. 

In the midst of all of that, I continued with my Pyrex obsession. To celebrate 6 months and then 12 months of blogging, I gave away a gravy boat and a butter dish. I scored some great gooseberries, entered a Pyrex photo competition and I also shattered my first piece of Pyrex ever. Besides Pyrex, I also thrifted some other amazing vintage items like this sewing bench and these snack sets.

I crocheted and knit throughout all of 2013, but I am perhaps most proud that I finally finished the Patient Shawl

My love of luggage and bags carried over to the crocheted bobble bag. Food also won my heart with amigurumi meatballs and burgers. And I still can't decide which I like better, knitting or crochet.

I spent several days with three fabulous friends from far away... on a farm. I hosted a wine and cheese and foreign friends. My mom came to visit. And I remembered to celebrate every day with the Sailor. 

At the start of 2013, I never imagined how the year would turn out. It's been a rough ride in some places... and absolutely amazing in others. Thank you, dear readers, for joining me on the journey! The blogging community (that's you!) has been wonderful -- and every day it amazes me that people actually stop by this little corner of Internet.

Here's to a 2014 full of surprises!

(*Many of these photos are from my Instagram account. If you're on Instagram, follow me here for even more pics.)

August 16, 2013

Keeping it Fresh

Every few weeks, I try to add a few extras to my blog, besides simply new posts. A few months back, I sorted out my virtual chaos and joined Bloglovin'. Then I added an Instagram tab where you could follow me through photos I take using only my iPhone. 

Today, I added the LinkWithin widget to the bottom of my posts. I've seen it on multiple other blogs that I've stumbled across, and I liked it since it was easy to see related posts, rather than scrolling through the archives. I hope it's helpful here, too! 

I also (insert drumroll) finally entered this decade and joined Twitter today. I figured it was finally time to see what the fuss is about. The jury is still out on whether I'll use it as much as I do Instagram, but if Twitter's more your thing, you can find me there: typingsunflower. (Apparently Twitter doesn't want me to be a bouquet -- they limit their user name to only 15 characters, so I'll be a solo sunflower there. I'm a little late to the party, but I'm sure I'll catch up soon.)

In addition to all of that excitement, I decided it was high time to give you a little more information about The Sailor. I've added a tab above, to give you a whiff of salty sea air.

And, lest you think I've forgotten all about that gorgeous green yarn that I mentioned last week, I haven't. I found myself busier than usual these past few days with non-crafty projects and I haven't had the chance to cast on for my new knitwear yet. In the meantime, I did at least find a new container to keep it all organized. You can see my latest post on the Pyrex Collective III, along with more pics of that fun summery 1961 Bride's Promo here

Finally, I've had a few people ask me how they can follow my blog, without signing up for Bloglovin'. If you'd like to get email updates each time I post to Typing Sunflowers, you can sign up in the box on the right where it says: 'follow the story by email'. Once you enter your email address, hit submit, and then you'll receive a message from Typing Sunflowers. You'll need to open that email and click on the link to verify that you would like to receive updates! (The email may end up in your junk mail folder if your privacy settings are high, so be sure to check there if you don't get an email within 24 hours. That last step ensures that you actually signed up to receive updates in the first place -- otherwise anyone could enter any email address willy nilly.) The emails usually go out early the next morning, after I've posted a new entry.  

Have a great weekend, wherever you are! 

May 7, 2013

Bloglovin' and Virtual Organization

I like being organized.

I like things put away, in their proper place.

I like all of my ducks in a row. Or at least the (chicken) eggs. 

I see patterns and order daily. 

Most everything in my small apartment has its own place. Chaos makes me a little crazy.

My blogroll though, was a different story

Until about a month ago, the list of the blogs I read and wanted to read, looked like this: 

My bookmarks, especially, were getting the better of me. I had so many bookmarks in different categories: yarn, cooking, paper, photography. I finally just created a folder called: 'blogroll' in my bookmarks. But then I'd forget to check the folder and therefore, I'd forget to check the blogs I wanted to follow.

With some blogs, I signed up for email updates. These are great, if you only follow one or two blogs (and a special shout out to you email followers who have been with me from the start... you know who you are!) But if you follow lots of different blogs, it starts to clog your inbox.  

Thankfully, I discovered Bloglovin'. Bloglovin' is a user-friendly site that lets you read blogs, search for them, sign up to follow them, and then get as many or as little notifications as you like when those blogs update. 

I didn't need much convincing. I signed up right away and got busy following other blogs. 

Now, once a day, I get one email update that combines ALL of the blogs I follow on one page, with a little blurb and thumbnail photo from each. To read the rest of the post, I just click on the link. 

When I login on the Bloglovin' website, it lists all of the blogs I follow, in ONE place. 

Sheer brilliance. 

Seriously. This may have revolutionized my virtual organization skills.

I noticed this week that I got a little giddy when I described the site to a few friends. I decided you all needed to know too, in case you weren't already a fan of Bloglovin'.

You may or may not have your own way to organize the blogs you read. Maybe you like getting 28 emails twice a day from other bloggers. Perhaps you enjoy the hunt of checking your favorite blog daily... trying to guess which day it will actually update. Or maybe you like sitting down with a nice cuppa' on the weekend and reading the latest 14 posts from each of your favorite blogs. 

If you're anything like me though, then those ideas weren't working out for you. Sign up for Bloglovin'. Post your own blog so people can follow you there. And say hello to virtual organization. 

(Disclaimer: I received no compensation from Bloglovin' for this post -- I simply think they rock.)