********************So S turned 9. We had the big Harry Potter party, a family party the next day, and we went out to his choice of restaurant on his actual birthday. Lots of celebration for a really great kid. We gave him a new scooter and an embroidery that I made. I started working on this last year and it got set aside when other projects seemed more urgent. When I pulled it out again to finish it, I was pleased to find there wasn't much further to go. I finished it just in time to take it to the frame shop to have a special mat cut that would mimic the look of a comic book page. When I started this piece, S's favorite book series was Bone by Jeff Smith. He's on to other things now, but I think Bone still holds a special place as the first series he ever read on his own. He'll still go back and read the books from time to time. I picked my favorite page out of the whole series and chose to stitch that. I think the simplicity of each frame is really striking, and it's also an important moment in the story. Anyway, a lot of words to say that I finished a big project and I love how it turned out. It's hanging in S's room now.
I participated in my first embroidery swap. This is something a lot of crafters do on a regular basis, but I have just never made time for. But I saw a swap on Wild Olive blog and decided to go for it. The way this swap was organized meant that I made a little piece for a someone, and would receive a piece from someone else. You get to give a few suggestions for motifs that your partner may or may not follow. :) My partner said she liked space, geese, fairies, sunflowers, Arizona, and Texas. She also said her favorite colors were orange and purple. After some thought I decided to use a vintage pattern I had and made her this little Texas bluebonnets embroidery. Texas and purple hit two of the suggestions, I figured. It was fun to participate in a swap and I am eagerly awaiting a little hoop in the mail.
I'm not really keeping up with the outside blog, but we are spending a lot of time outside. The weather has been beautiful. The boys have friends who recently moved and now live right across from the school playground. So many days we stay and play for a long time after school, if their friends can play. Also, some neighbors recently got a trampoline, so the boys are over there a lot, jumping and playing with the boys who lives there, who is right between them in age. That has been great, although I hope our neighbors aren't too annoyed by our boys' near constant presence at their house (especially by T, who tends to ring the doorbell about 6 times a day to ask various questions).
I feel like the 15 minutes outside challenge has been successful in many ways. One of the positive effects is that we make more of an effort to go to special outdoor places. More trips to woods and parks. Because Nate is awesome about embracing my crazy projects, he has started researching state parks and we are going to try to go to more of them. Last weekend we went to Matthiessen State Park, which is near Starved Rock. I had never been to either of them. It was a super fun day with Nate's parents and the boys. So gorgeous. I can't wait to go back and explore more.
Onesies are selling like hotcakes. I'm super busy with that. It has made me think a lot about how I spend my time and how I want to spend it. I think some changes might be in order. I'm struggling to balance it all at the moment. "Work" time (I now think of the onesie shop as my job), family time, housework time, relaxation time...... I don't feel like I have the ratio quite right at the moment. I need to think about it and then shift some pieces around to find a configuration that works. I know it will just keep evolving and I'll have to continually re-adjust. But I think it's worth the effort.
I can't believe my baby is nine. Time is flying by, it truly is. The cliche turns out to be stone, cold fact. I want to make the best of every moment we are given.