Charlietalk, family

Four years.

Our Charlie turned four years old last week. And boy oh boy, was he ready. He’s been talking up his birthday for months. In fact, according to him, it’s still his birthday because it’s still April. And that’s fine with me. Hey, if you can find a reason to celebrate, by all means—celebrate!

Charlie, this year has been another fascinating peek into who you are, what you love, and how you interpret the world. You’re bigger, you’re braver, you’re LOUDER. More aware, more gentle, more compassionate. Independent. Full of in-the-moment joy (of course, the year has been interspersed with plenty of three-year-old doses of in-the-moment crankiness too.)

What fun we’ve had with you this year, little one. Let’s take a look back.

You love to be silly. And when you make someone laugh, I can see it in your eyes—you feel like you hit the jackpot.

Charlie01Your silly side gets me giggling.

No surprise–you’re still hamming it up with your brother.

Charlie09You still tell me secrets about how much you love Jacky, when Jacky’s not around.

If there’s a moment of silence in the room, you fill it with a request: “Can I have some candy?”

Charlie11Or ice cream, or cake, or… anything sugary sweet. Sometimes I worry. But I’m learning that a little (five jellybeans) goes a long way.

You’re still falling asleep in strange places.

Charlie06Foot in the popcorn bowl.

But you’ll fall asleep in plenty of normal places too.

Charlie12Story time with daddy.

Your speech is near perfect—all of the right sounds are in almost all of the right places. But your daddy and I never encourage you to say some words correctly. We find the way you say them too adorable to put an end to.

* brefkissed (the first meal of the day)
* lellow (the color of daffodils)
* sumping (I'd like to tell you…)
* teese (brush twice a day)
* mouse (what you put your brefkissed in)
* a-yoad (in regard to Nerf guns)

I see you consciously working on your “L” sounds. Last year you would sing “ya-ya-ya.” This year you make an effort to sing “la-la-la.” Part of me is proud to hear you challenge yourself. Part of me wants you to stop trying.

You have an unexplained affinity for people dressed up like animals. Unlike your brother, you don’t run screaming from them. Instead, you chase them down and jump into their arms.

Charlie13I admit it–they do look kinda cuddly.

You're such a charmer. You started an unexpected exchange of words a few months ago, between you and me. I don’t know where it came from. But I hope it sticks around for awhile.

Charlie: “I’m in love with someone.”

Me: “You are? Who are you in love with, Charlie?”

(He points to me.)

Charlie, we've spent such a fun, funny year together. You're always willing to try new things, and you're always striving to be self-sufficient–you just may be the most adventurous soul in our famly. But in the small, quiet moments, you still reach for my hand, still want to be picked up, still want to cuddle and be close. Sometimes it seems like my heart will burst if I love you more. Sometimes it hurts. And then I love you more.

What I'm realizing is that my heart won't burst. My heart grows with you.

Thank you Charlie-Barley, for helping me grow an ever-bigger heart. I am grateful.

On to year five.


ALERT: Charlietalk (rated PG-13)

Since Charlie entered the world of language, we’ve been teaching him the appropriate names for body parts. We did the same thing with Jack. We thought it was a good idea try and keep the subject open, honest, and shame-free.

For the most part, Jack uses the words when appropriate. Done. But our little Charlie. Oh dear.

Right now, Charlie has a dreadful, seemingly incurable case of. . . 

The Potty Mouth.

Current phase: Charlie will tack on a word for a (private) body part at the end of any sentence, at any time, just to see if he can get a laugh. He likes to make people laugh. Comedian.

Preschool was coming up, so we decided to sit Charlie down for a serious talk. We told him about words that were appropriate to use at school. And we talked to him about specific words that were certainly not appropriate to use at school. He listened. He seemed to understand the message we were trying to convey.

Last week we took Charlie to his first day of preschool. He loved it! When school was over he ran to Brett and I, hugged us tightly around the legs, and yelled, “That is the best world EVER!” We hugged him back, buckled him in the car, and started the short drive home.

Charlie: “My school was so awesome!”

Me: “I’m so proud of you! I’m glad you had a good time.”

“And guess what?”


“I didn’t even say vagina or anything!”

YES. So very, very proud indeed.


Charlietalk, crumbs, family, ReSew

the unwritten summer

Summer is gone. Jack starts school on Monday.

Summer is gone.

I had lofty plans for the blog this summer. And now, here we are at the end. I’m realizing that my many, many goals went unrealized. For instance…

I had plans to: post about several pieces of pink Depression glass I inherited when my wonderfully sassy Aunt Dawnaline passed away earlier this year. Her home had pink dishes on the walls, pink dishes on the counters, pink dishes in the bathrooms, pink dishes in the cabinets. Did you know that during the Depression, cereal companies put these dishes inside cereal boxes as an incentive to buy? I think they’re beautiful.


I had plans to: put up this little tutorial for a denim doormat that I thought might turn out kind of fun.







Still in progress.

I had plans to: share a bit about our trip to St. George and Zion, where we had a wonderful week with my brother and his family:

Zion 1

Zion 2

I had plans to: show off this incredible shawl that was given to me as a gift by a friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time—about seven years. She’s this wonderful quilt-book author. Her name is Ursula, and she has a heart of gold. Obviously, she has hands of gold as well.


Shawl2 I lost my breath when I saw this shawl, and fought off tears to save you and I the embarrassment… thank you, Ursula. (And for the gorgeous cupcakes too.) Cold weather can't get here fast enough.

I had plans to: keep up with Jackspeaks and Charlietalks, like this one (rated PG):

Me: “Charlie, I heard that you said, ‘What the hell?’ in front of your cousin.”

Charlie: “Yeah.”

“Well, remember, we talked about that. Those are the kinds of words that aren’t for little boys.”

“I know.”

“Okay then.”

“Can I say ‘What the poop?’”


“Can I say “What the pee?’”


“Can I say, ‘What the penis?’”


“Can I say, ‘What the nipples?’”

“Dude, I don’t even know what you mean when you say that. How about you can say, ‘What the heck.’”

Charlie is silent.

Me: “Go on, try it. What the heck?”

Charlie: “Um… what the heck.”

“C’mon, really say it. Say it loud. What the HECK?!?”



“Hmm. Well, I guess. I guess I can say that.”

“Thank you.”

I had plans to: announce that ReSew is now an eBook. You can have all 144 pages on your desktop in less than five minutes. Isn’t that cool? Yay for instant gratification!

Resew ebook

I had plans to: write a post attesting to the fact that sewing connects us globally. Case in point: someone in China linked to a recent tutorial of mine. I used Google Translate to find out what they wrote, hoping it was positive. According to Google, the post says:

The skirt to dress? Have this possible? In the end how to modify it?
We take a look at the WildCards. This site provides good ideas.
Please link to practice page. Another trick is to cut the original T-shirt dress with the upper half.
After reading this demonstration for change clothes. Is not so that we have another new enlightenment?

Google Translate needs some work. (But I was thrilled to see that the post was, indeed, positive. I think.)

But now, at the end of our summer, none of those posts have come to be.

Instead, we’re doing this:


We’re moving.

Brett and I have been talking a lot about our family. Brett just noted yesterday that it’s been a full year since we started talking. It’s turned into a pivotal, enlightening discussion about who we’ve been, who we’ve become, and who we want to be. And through so many talks, we decided what is important to us right now:

  • To find a place where our boys can run. And run. And run.
  • To grow a little closer to the earth. All of us.
  • To hear quiet.
  • To see billions of stars at night–instead of scant millions, you know.
  • To smell fresh-cut hay. (Brett’s favorite. It makes him happy.)
  • To produce a freaking HUGE vegetable garden.

So, we imagined a place. We didn’t know where this imaginary place was until just this week. (In fact, when I started this post a while back, I titled it “On a Road to Nowhere.”)

The imaginary place isn’t imaginary anymore. It’s real. And we’re moving there.

I think we may have just turned our year-long talk—our dream, really—into reality.

I am elated. I am scared.

I was recently lamenting at the dinner table about possibly moving Jack from one school to another in the middle of the year. I was afraid for him. I was going on and on and on and on about it.

Suddenly, Jack interrupted me. He said, “Mom, we’re moving. Get over it.”

Oh. Well. That does seem like the easier route. Thanks, my sweet Jacky. Thanks for letting me know you’re game for this adventure, too.

And although we're now moving to a new home, what I’ve learned through this year-long process is that home isn’t where your house is. It’s where the people you love are. For me, it’s where Bretty and Jacky and Charlie-Barley are. Everything else will fall into place. I believe it.

I recently came across this quote (introduced to me via Soulemama). For me, it was the kind of thing that stopped me cold. I read it several times, and then felt a need to print it out and hang it on my design wall. It says:

Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
–Mary Oliver

Wild and precious. Yes. And one. Only one.

What is it you plan to do?