Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's that time again

It happened yesterday. My older kids went back to school. It was exciting to start a new year, but I felt sad as I went about my day with half as many kids around me. I should be used to that by now, but somehow I still missed them, which sort of surprised me.

I was glad I felt that way. Sometimes I turn into a bit of a drill-sergeant around here, bossing and reminding and saying no to impractical I was glad to be reminded how emotionally attached I am to my kids, and how glad I am that they're mine.

And lucky for me, I still have some great companions here at home.

I know I won't be bored.

We made cookies today and Eden wanted to eat more dough. She told me, "I only had a casual-size piece of cookie dough before."

Not a big deal, nothing formal...just a casual bite.

I love my job.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One year ago

...our family made a big change, and embarked on a new adventure, a new chapter.

The change was mostly geographical, but of course it affected many aspects of our lives.

In sorting old video footage, I came across these two short clips, taken in sequential order on our camera. The footage itself isn't anything exciting, but I found their juxtaposition humorous, and reflective of just how quickly and drastically our surroundings changed last August.

Grand Central farewell from Marliese Ransom on Vimeo.

Iowa State Fair pigs from Marliese Ransom on Vimeo.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I tried something new machine quilting. Doesn't sound that thrilling, but it was actually really fun! I was amazed at how I looked forward to sitting down at my sewing machine, for a few minutes at a time, to add more swirls and loops to my sprawling, curly pattern.

I have a sister who is an expert quilter, and she has been experimenting with this technique for many years. She's has gotten quite good at it, and encouraged me to I finally did.

I had a baby-size quilt top that I pieced back when Tessa was a baby, but never made into a finished quilt. It's been so long (7 years, sheesh), that I don't much like the fabrics on it anymore, so I decided it would be a great guinea pig surface on which to try the free-motion quilting. If I ruined it, it wouldn't be a tragic loss. So I layered it with a backing and thin batting and gave it a try. After a week or two of sporadic, short bursts of sewing, I was done...and pleasantly surprised with the results.

I love its bumpy texture, and I like the random, amoeba-like shapes that ooze and swirl across the fabric.

It is certainly not perfect--my stitches are pretty uneven in some places (it's hard when you are controlling the stitch length), and I did commit the cardinal sin of free-form quilting, by letting my lines of stitching cross once or twice. The shame. But like many things, no one notices the little details. The overall appearance of it is good enough for me.

I was sort of sad when it was done...
1. because it was a nice creative outlet to distract me when I didn't want to do my normal household chores
2. now I have to put the binding on, and that scares me a little

Friday, August 6, 2010

"A girl with big muscles"

On the last day of swimming lessons this summer, the teachers let the kids have some fun and try some stunts...even the little ones.

After class Eden asked me, "Guess who jumped off the diving board today?"

Then she answered, "A girl with big muscles...called Eden."

Seriously, check out those biceps.

Perhaps not muscularly, but the girl is getting bigger, that's for sure. One minute she's bounding from the diving board, then before I know it she'll be headed to school.

We actually had a discussion about this recently. I playfully told her, "I'm going to miss you when you go to school! How am I going to survive?"

And Eden calmly replied, "Well, you're just going to have to relax."

Yes, that is perfect advice. I do need to settle down about all of that--growing up, kindergarten, college...and just enjoy my time here and now. We are having a great summer. Just look at the super fun water park that is minutes from our house. (Between the swimming lessons and family discount night, we've spent a bunch of time there.)

Life is good; I gotta remember to stop and soak it all up, whatever life-stage I am living.