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?

crumbs, family, jackspeak

Seven years.

Our Jacky turned seven years old this week.


Fall 2010. The morning after losing the second front tooth.

Boy, have I learned a lot about you this year, Jack. One thing I’ve learned is that, after a full year of first grade behind you—and after a painfully shy babyhood—you are really good in social situations. You excel at making friends. You are friendly, accommodating, polite, and thoughtful. At the family birthday party, you blew out your candles and said your wish out loud. You said, “I wish that my entire family stays healthy.” I saw a few family members’ jaws drop. But not mine. Because at your best, you are selfless.

You’re also a charmer. How do I know this? Because of the stack of love letters you received from—ahem—several girls this past year at school. You’ve told me about the ones you like, and the ones you love. But don’t you worry. I’ll keep your secrets about who is who so you can play the field as long as you need to.

There are also some things that haven’t changed.

You are still… not wearing clothes much. Snow, rain, sunshine—it’s always the same. You enter the house, throw pants, shirt, and shoes in a pile on your bed, and hang out in your undies. I’m still under the impression that you will outgrow this little quirk of yours. I was under that same impression last year. Guess I’ll check back next year.

The paragraph above should explain several upcoming photos.

You are still… creating.

Makingthings1with legos

Makingthings2 paper

Makingthings3 buttons

Makingthings4 wooden tool thingy parts

Makingthings5 and more legos. And tiny ninjas and purple rubber frogs.

You are still… loving dress up.

Costume2One of this year’s favorites for me: the bandana loincloth.
(I’ve got pictures of the back too.)

Costume3 You were very proud of this warrior mask. So innocent. You even taped it to your face! I didn’t have the heart to tell you what it reminded me of. I didn’t want to spoil your fun or choke your creativity. The politics of it are for another time.

Costume-4 Modeling a scuba-diving balloon creation given to you by our neighbor.
(More of Marc’s amazing balloon stuff here.)

Costume1 Sometimes your dress up is a little more realistic than I would like.
Yikes! But that’s the actor in you.

(which leads to)

You are still… acting.

Whether you’re portraying a robotic dinosaur:

a sad little girl from old Russia:

or an old man sneezing…

It’s always entertaining. Bravo.

(Just in case anyone wonders, that’s magic marker on Jack’s chest. It’s an Ironman thing.)

You are still… not swimming.

SwimBut you’re getting braver by the day.

You are still… reading! More than 100 books during the school year. Lots of summer reading too. I’m so very proud that you enjoy it. Chalking that up to me and your dad, reading aloud, reading aloud, and then reading aloud some more. Backs patted.

You are still… loving your brother.




Sleep“Two peas in a pod” never made more sense to me.

* * * * *

I remember when you were a baby, Jacky. That painfully shy babyhood. You were so, so very shy. You held on to me so tightly when we were meeting someone new. So tightly. I didn’t want to force you. So I just squeezed back. I wondered if you would ever gather up the courage to let go.


These days, you’ll still hold my hand. But if there’s someone new to meet, you let go. You let go of my hand to meet them. And that makes me happy.

I’m starting to realize it’s me that needs to gather up the courage to let go.

I promise I’ll work on loosening my grip a bit. If you’ll promise to, if only once in awhile, hold my hand tight. Like now. Hold my hand, bean, and I’ll hold on to yours. Let’s walk together.

Birthday7 Onto year eight.

crafts, family, sewing

learning to fly

I fell in love with a sewing project recently. I found it at Artful Parent, who found it at Prudent Baby, who found it at Llevo el Invierno. So, from North Carolina to Texas to Mexico comes the Utah version of fabric wings. Made for my niece’s 4th birthday.

The process is very simple—you can find different versions of how to make these at all the links above. I hand-drew a scalloped template, traced it onto the back of different-colored fabrics again and again and again, cut the fabric out on the way to Heber City to see Thomas the Train, and sewed them onto two sorta triangle-shaped background fabrics. Then I bound the wings together quilting-style and tacked on some lengths of twill tape for the neck and wrists. Plus a bit of velcro at the neck.

Basically, I winged it.

My niece was feeling a bit camera shy when I gave the wings to her. But I think she liked them. Time will tell. My boys pleaded to try out fabric flight before we gifted them to Willa for good. Willa obliged.




The boys want yellow/orange/red/brown/black wings for themselves. Jack wants to be a bald eagle or a raven or a hawk. Charlie wants to be “a birdy.”

Wings1Big requests from my little birds. My scissors better get ‘flyin.

Charlietalk, family

Three years.

Our little Charlie is three years old today. He’s been talking about his birthday for months. Well Charlie, today is THE day. You are three! We are all looking forward to a very special birthday dinner tonight, with each course chosen by the birthday boy himself. On the menu:

  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Butter beans
  • Green beans
  • Cinnamon bread
  • Ice cream cones

Mmm. Carbalicious.

I very clearly remember the day you were born. You came into the world like a tornado. But as soon as the winds of a terrifyingly fast labor died down, your personality reminded me of your dad—laid back, willing to bend (but not break), adventurous, fun, funny. You are all of those things, little one. But as much as you are like your daddy, there is a magic about you and your ways that is oh-so distinctly Charlie.

Here are a few things I learned about you this year.

You love being outside.


Through every season.

Charlie3And not just the warm ones, either. Not even Jack
will stay out there in the snow with you for that long.

Charlie2You love helping me in the garden. (Thanks for the company.)

Your brother is your bestest, best friend.

Charliejack2You’ve told me so–especially in secret, when he is at school.

Charliejack1You can be sure that you are his bestest, best too.

Charliejack3Together, the two of you make messes that put Pig-Pen and the Tasmanian Devil to shame. Truly. It’s astounding. (And you guys are real life. Those guys are cartoons, for cripes sake.)

You are a bit shy.

Charlie6 I find your bashfulness to be quite adorable.
(This and final photo by our amazing picture-taking friend, Mike.)

You get sleepy at funny times, and in funny places.

Charliesleep2You’ll sleep before the other shoe hits the floor.

Charliesleep1You’ll sleep before you complete your final death-defying, pillow-jumping dismount.

Charliesleep3You’ll sleep before finishing the last Cheeto. (Now that is something I cannot do.)

You love anything sweet. Meaning sugar.

Charlie5 I should have never, never introduced you to chocolate.

You love to make people laugh.

From strategically placed flatulent noises to stripping down nakey for a fancy dance, evoking laughter in others brings you joy. You’ve even ventured into your own style of joke-telling:

Charlie: “Why did the water swallow a cow tummy?”
Me: “Um, okay. Why?”
“Because he ate strawberries!”

(You just can’t make this stuff up, folks.)

Charlie, every day you charm me. Every day. You are delightful. You are smart. You are independent. You are sassy. You are helpful. You are cuddly. You are friendly. You are endearing.

You are so loveable.

You are so loved.

Happy birthday, my sweet baby. We are so happy that you are ours. Sugar high and all.

Now, on to year four.

Charlietalk, family

ALERT: Charlietalk

Potty learning has gone remarkably well with Charlie. We've been out of diapers for two months. The Potty Book for Girls has been an instrumental part of Charlie's success. Yes, it's about a girl, but it's an adorable rhyming story that Charlie asked us to read to him every day for months. And often, when we reached this page, he had an interesting editorial comment to make.

Me: "It's time to go with Mom and Dad to buy new underwear. Can you guess who gets to choose that very special pair?"

Charlie: "Oooh! I yuv pears. They are so yummy and juicy. I yuv those pears!"