Stitch Therapy

Discovering me … one stitch at a time

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Countdown

Hi Blog.

T minus 4 days till Christmas. Eek!

Last weekend, we went to look at lights (an annual tradition)

and went to a party. It was fun, but I drank too much (hopefully not an annual tradition).

Littlest had a violin concert (kids + violins = cute!).

There are 3 more days of work until I am done for the rest of the year! That part is exciting!

I guess it’s time to start thinking about my word for 2017.

In the past it has been Simplify (2016), Believe (2015), and Connect (2014). I want to pick just the right one for this year.

Do you have a word for 2017?

The Grumps

Hi Blog.

I have not been myself lately. Mostly I’ve been overwhelmed and tired and stressed. I imagine that I’m not the only person feeling this way during this time of the year.

I am antsy, but at the same time unmotivated to do anything. You can probably sense this from my less frequent blogging, and even less frequent cross stitching. Le sigh, indeed.

Work has been particularly intense these days, but well, that’s why it’s called work I suppose.

We sold one investment house and bought another one this month, which is very exciting. Tom worked long and hard on it. I’m super proud of him.

House sold = I’ve been begging for a new car = car shopping = feeling of dread. Am I annoying you yet, because I’m totally annoying myself.

But that’s not to say that we’re all Scrooges around here. Some of us have gotten into the holiday spirit.

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We got our Christmas tree!

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Biggest discovered the truth about elf on the shelf, but now we have an enthusiastic helper to move Timmy the elf each night! His ideas are waaaaay more creative than ours ever were.

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Sometimes I think I’m being stalked.

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I came across Biggest’s “My First Christmas” album which led to a lot of “OMGs!”

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and “Look at those cheeks!”

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and “Sammy was so young and skinny!”

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Time sure does go by quickly. Happy Tuesday, Friends!

Stuff I did

Hi Poor Neglected Blog!

Thanksgiving already seems long gone, but I hope that you all had wonderful celebrations with your friends and family.

Here’s what we have been up to:

We ran our first 5K as a family!

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It was really fun and I am so proud of everyone. The best part was the couples massage that Tom and I treated ourselves to the following day. If races=massages, then sign me up for more!

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I got some Halloween makeup kits on clearance intending to save them for next year, but someone was bored and wanted to try one. Is this creepy or what?

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The weather has been crazy. Last weekend, we went from this during the day (in short sleeves)

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to this at night (flurries and our first fire of the season!).

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I tried my hand at crocheting again, but couldn’t remember how to “turn”, so here is my very long skinny “scarf.” Voila!

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Tom found the perfect Christmas sweater (that cat!!!).

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Speaking of cats, this guy was 100% anti-cat before we got Charlie. I think that he’s grown on him.

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I mean, how could he not? Charlie is the BEST (ALL THE HEART EYES!) even when he drops a dead mouse right next to me (such as he did last week).

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OH CHARLIE! Don’t ever change!

Unity

Hi Blog.

What a doozy of a week we have had here in the United States. I have never been much into politics, but this election has affected me deeply. As a woman and a minority who came to this country as an immigrant, I feel personally touched by many of the issues that have been a source of much conflict and anger. Already, there are reports of hatred and cruel acts happening in our own city. It’s a scary time, with many people grieving a great loss and fearing an unknown future. It’s hard to make sense out of all of this.

We’ve been trying our best to trudge along in our little corner of the world. The boys are busy as usual with their million activities. Tom and I have been immersed in work and chores and watching The Crown on Netflix.

This weekend, we will run our first 5k as a family. Some of us (Biggest and Littlest) are more prepared than others (me and Tom), but we plan to stick together, encourage whoever is struggling, and do our best. I think that strategy can apply to a lot of things these days. Peace to you, Friends.

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Things & Stuff

Hi Blog!

It has indeed been a whirlwind around here. Last weekend was very festive with Tom’s birthday, the Halloween block party, annual spooky family dinner, and, of course, Trick-or-Treating. I didn’t take any pics. Who am I??!!

This week, I…

Have been immersed in my new (old) Julia Child cookbook that I found at the thrift store. She is so long winded. I love it! 2 whole pages on how to properly boil an egg!

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Could truthfully use the excuse “the cat ate my homework.”

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Listened to not one, but TWO, violin players in the house now! We’re on our way to being a string quartet!

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Have a great weekend, Friends!

Tricks & Treats

Hi Blog! Another weekend has come and gone.

Saturday was windy and cold! Tom and Biggest went to the beach house to do some fishing and crabbing. Biggest has really caught the fishing bug! It’s great to see his enthusiasm.

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While they were away, Littlest and I spent some quality time together. We:

shopped for Halloween costumes,

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picked out Tom’s birthday presents (this Thursday! 45! Wheeee!),

made gluten free pumpkin muffins (yes, I’m back at it!),

did a little grocery shopping, where I managed to drop and shatter a glass bottle of tea tree oil in the checkout line at Whole Foods. Mortifying! Especially when people started to wrinkle their noses and say “What’s that smell?”

went on a gluten free pizza and frozen yogurt date,

and watched Zootopia while cross stitching!!!

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On Sunday, we dragged the Halloween bins down from the attic, which led to hours of trying on old costumes and giggling hysterically. Here’s a random sampling of what we modeled:

Spock ears
Karate outfit
Cowboy/Cowgirl
Caveman/Cavegirl
Chinese dress
Red Riding Hood/Wolf
Monk with pug head
Wednesday Addams

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The BEST part is that I found a costume that I made for Sammy when he was just a puppy. He wore it to a costume contest and won. He was even featured on the evening news! Sammy has put on some weight over the years (sigh… haven’t we all?) and it no longer fits, but Charlie was able to be squeezed into it! HA!

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The WORST part is that it’s been a few years since I’ve worn some of these costumes too and could barely get them zipped up. Sammy, I feel your pain.

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Charlie, afterwards, obviously trying to forget the entire ordeal. Sorry, Charlie!

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Happy Monday!

Mountain Girl

Hi Blog!

Last weekend was amazing! The boys had off from school on Monday, so I figured that we’d take advantage of the long weekend and go to the beach house. Unfortunately, there was a date mix up and Tom told someone else that they could use the house! Of course, I sulked and carried on for a good few hours because that’s what I do.

Things turned around quickly though because Sweetie McSweet-Tom surprised us with a getaway to the mountains instead. We had so much fun!!!

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We rented a beautiful house. It was very private and quiet on 12 acres of land.

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The house was kid (and adult friendly) with a trampoline and ping pong table and foozeball and, perhaps the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, swings hanging by the rafters in the basement.

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We were all big fans of the hot tub.

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The boys had fun exploring and doing boy things.

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On Saturday, we went on a 15 mile bike ride in the mountains! The best part is that they drive you to the top of the mountain and you just bike DOWNHILL. That is brilliant if you ask me.

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This was us at the beginning when we were still fresh and cheery.

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The sights were pretty glorious.

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We took a lot of breaks.

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Here is my artistic shot of Tom at the opening of an old railroad bridge. Littlest thought that it looked like a dinosaur eye!

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Tom and Biggest did a lot of fishing, which meant that Biggest was in Heaven.

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I was in Heaven too, stitching while admiring this scenery.

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I moved every once in awhile to find a shady spot.

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The boys did not catch a lot, but they were very proud.

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They insisted on learning how to clean the fish (Thanks a lot, YouTube) and preparing it for dinner.

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We had enough to make a very small appetizer. It was delicious.

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The next day, we found a quiet beach at the lake.

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I love him.

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In the evenings, we played board games and some very exciting Blackjack.

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On Monday, Tom and Biggest went out early for more fishing.

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Littlest and I played a few competitive rounds of Don’t Break the Ice. My baby, age 10 with bedhead.

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I have always thought of myself as a Beach Girl, but this weekend has me thinking that Mountain Girl has a pretty nice ring to it.

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Might be time to reconsider.

 

Around here…

Tom and I have been taking turns being sick.

The two older guys (Tom and Biggest) went to the beach house to go crabbing. Biggest caught 2 blue crabs and proudly cooked them.

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Littlest and I went to the roller rink (old pic from last Summer, also known as my roller queen days)

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And prepared a fondue feast for Tom and Biggest’s return home.

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Sunday was cold and rainy, so…

I baked Pesto bread (which got weirdly tall), but tasted delicious.

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Tom hung our new (old) lucky horseshoes above the doors.

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Littlest sat at the top of the stairs creating comic book characters.

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Biggest disappeared into his room (Preteen! No photos!)

Sammy did what Sammy does best.

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Coal celebrated his 15th birthday!

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Charlie hung out in a box.

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What did you do this weekend?

Shopping Adventures!

Hi Blog!

What?! Monday again?!

On Friday, Tom and I went to dinner and a comedy show with some friends. We saw those guys from that old improv TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” It was hilarious.

Stephanie and I went shopping on Saturday and I bought this old blanket chest. I love it.

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I guess I never finished telling you about our cross stitching adventures in Paris. I looked up some stitching shops to visit before the trip, but we didn’t manage to go to any of them!

One day though, we were out strolling near the hotel and spotted what looked like a fabric store. We stopped in and, lo and behold, it turned out to be a fabric, knitting, and CROSS STITCH store!!! Quelle surprise! They had a whole floor dedicated to cross stitch stuff! In a terrible moment of irony, my phone battery chose that exact time to die. Luckily, Tom was there to snap some photos.

I almost couldn’t focus. There was so much to see!

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Evenweave and linen in every color…

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They had a ton of pre-finished items just ready to be embellished with some cross stitching. Cute pouches of every shape and size!

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And pretty kitchen towels!

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There were soft stitchable bath towels in lovely colors…

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And a whole wall full of embroidery books!

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I had never seen the Rico design books in the US before and promptly fell in love. It was reaaaaallly heard to pick just a few items to buy.

I ended up getting two books, filled with the most gorgeous designs.

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So tasteful…

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And modern…

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Le sigh…

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I also bought a pre-finished runner and a tablecloth that was made specifically for stitching some of the designs from the books. I love the pretty texture on the tan one and … swooooon… white swiss dots! Who doesn’t love swiss dots?!!

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Can you tell how excited I was to find this store?

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The rest of the trip, I carried my stitching stuff around Paris in hopes of working on it during any down time. There ended up not being any until our final day at the Luxembourg Gardens.

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There were a lot of people milling about reading and sketching and relaxing. Can you imagine a dreamier place to stitch?

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I worked on last year’s 12 Days of Christmas stitch-a-long because it is small and portable and not too confusing, especially amidst so many distractions.

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Oh… is someone selling baguettes? Oh… do I smell crepes? Oh… should we walk over there for a quick Cafe au Lait? You know, distractions.

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I also stitched on the flight home and managed to complete Days 1-6. Quick aside, can I say what a treat it is to sit on your butt for 7 hours while watching movies (of your choice) and cross stitching while people bring you booze and food? Other people think that flying is a pain, but this tired working mama says “Bring it on!”

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I think I’m calling this project done for now and try to do a little finish work so that they are ready for Christmas. It only took two years to complete 6 days. I guess I’m not so good at stitch-a-longs.

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Anyhoo, that wraps up the Paris recaps. You’re probably tired of reading about the trip by now, so this week I’ll move onto more exciting things like Soccer practice and Chili making. Haha. Until then!

Ermahgerd! A blerg!

Hi Blog!

We had a great weekend but I barely took any photos, so does that mean that it never happened? You will have to use your imagination today.

This weekend, we:
made soap (Oatmeal Honey again. I’m a one trick pony.)

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made yogurt (no pic, but it was good!)

went to the trampoline park (no pic, but the boys were sweaty!)

ate the best Vodka Rigatoni. Do you know how to determine if you’ve found your true love? I wanted to order the Vodka Rigatoni because it’s my favorite but Tom wanted to get it too. So I ordered the scallops instead, because we can’t both get the same thing (weird rule in my head). So then Tom told me that he didn’t really like the Vodka Rigatoni so we switched and I happily scarfed it down in record time, only to figure out later that he really like the VR better, but pretended he didn’t so that I could have it. Sniff. True love.

hunted for Pokemon (Biggest is really into making memes these days)

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broke the paddle on my stand mixer. Waaaaaaah! Mixer, why have you forsaken me??!!!!

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mugged for photos at Barnes & Noble

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Happy Monday!

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