Tag Archives: moving

What Do We Value?

27 Feb

Yakima River Valley

I was standing in my kitchen tonight baking brownies for my kids and I found myself wondering how many more times I would bake brownies here. Usually that would be an odd thing to think, but we are at a defining moment in our lives, and suddenly I’m feeling nostalgic about my blue laminate counter tops and stark white appliances.

Lizze recently wrote about making changes in her life, starting over with a “New Beginning”. I am making some big changes as well, but rather than a new beginning, it is more like a flashback.

I grew up in Yakima, a small-ish town in eastern Washington state. For the last 13 years I have lived in the Seattle area where we have one season – overcast. Yakima has super hot summers where the cool breeze at night is just right. The winters are bitter cold with lots of snow. Spring is green and smells of flowers and fall is orange and red with a refreshing crispness in the air. I miss living in a town that has all 4 seasons, a place where you don’t need a calendar to know what month it is.

Decision time has come for us and we were given a difficult choice. The choice was, essentially, to pick what is most important to us. We could stay here in this cloudy and overcrowded place. The place where our kids have grown up, a long way from our families. If we stayed my husband was looking at a dramatic increase in pay, but also much less time with the children. Or, we pack up a moving truck and head back over the mountains and go home. Home to sunshine, family, and friends, but no increase in pay.

So what do we value most? Is it money? Having nice things? Yes. We need money to live and I do want nice things for us. But ultimately we chose experiences and family over the extra income. I want these kids to grow up having family around. When I was a kid we all  had dinner at my grandma’s house every Sunday. I haven’t had dinner at my grandma’s table in many years and I miss it dearly. I want family to come to my kid’s school performances, sporting events, and birthday parties. I want to get together and have picnics in the summer. I want to spend Christmas with them again.

We are scared of changing. Selling our home in this economy is a daunting task. Saying goodbye to our neighbors and friends will be hard. But it will all be worth it. I have dreams of big old farmhouses and 4th of July BBQ’s dancing in my head.

For Lizze and I, 2011 is shaping up to be quite a year full of new and exciting things. We are both afraid of some sort of disaster; of making a wrong choice. However, we have both made choices that are putting our families and our children before anything else. How can that ever be wrong?

“The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want at the moment” – Robert G. Allen

Selina

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Quilting a New Beginning

18 Feb

So often we start a quilt to commemorate a new beginning; a baby, a wedding, graduation, etc.  The quilt itself is a new beginning as well.  It’s a new pattern, new fabric, a challenge you’ve not yet undertaken, and the end result is a piece of you.  It’s a product of your own making; your time, your patience, your skill and love.  What you have as a result of your efforts is material, concrete.  Something you can hold in your hands, wrap yourself or a loved one in, and represents you and your love.

So often I have started a quilt for a baby-to-be and imagined how this new life would change the world, or at least, my world.  My first baby quilt was for my nephew some fourteen years ago.  My sister’s little one would be the first grandchild born on my mother’s side.  I had babysat a few neighbor kids, but this was my first “new baby”!  My sister and I were in very different places in our lives.  She was a college graduate, had been married a number of years by then and had a career.  I was still in high school.  It was my senior year.

At my age, I had never been to a baby shower or had any idea what an undertaking adding a new life could be.  I imagined what this new baby would mean to our family dynamic, how this new life would add to the family and how wonderful Christmas would be with a little one!  I’m not sure why it would strike a 17 year old girl to make a quilt for a baby, rather than buy off of a registry, but that’s exactly what I did.  I had it in my mind that this baby needed a quilt. And I needed to be the one to make it!

Aww, look at that tiny machine!

It so happened that I needed a Senior Project to graduate High School.  I instantly knew that my quilt for baby would be my product and my research paper would be on quilting.  As I sewed, I thought about this new baby, this new beginning.  That wasn’t what my paper was about, but that was the lesson I took away.

Many years later I made the same quilt for his sister, but in pinks instead of blues.  I have made a number of baby blankets throughout the years, all for the welcoming of a New Beginning, two for my own children as well.

I am currently at a precipice in my life right now, and am looking toward a New Beginning.  I am not expecting a baby, but I am facing a major change.  So, what’s the first thing I think of?  Why, making a quilt of course!!

I have a number of quilt kits.  And by “a number”, I mean more than any reasonable person should have.  And by “reasonable”, I mean “sane”.  One of said quilt kits is a blue and white gingham based king sized quilt from Thangles Buck-a-block.  (Blue gingham has always been a favorite of mine.)  I had been participating the buck a block program at my local quilt shop, The Calico Cat, before they closed.  While I was sad to see them close, I was able to get the finishing kit for my buck a block at a discount!  As things happen, it has been sitting prettily under my desk for some time.  I have decided that now is the time for this quilt.  This will be my reemergence into the life I want to live.  I will likely be moving July 1st, and intend to have this quilt completed as a housewarming gift to myself.   I have only made one other king sized quilt (for myself), and it took me about a month to complete!  Now that I have my deadline, I have a clear goal in mind.

So, while this kit is not “new” to me, the project is.  It will be the physical manifestation of my New Beginning.  I look forward to the process, the undertaking and the symbolism it holds.  I will always be able to see this blanket and remember this time in my life.  Like a secret diary that only I can read.  I will keep you updated on the process and completion.  Wish me luck!!

My New Beginning!

Lizze

 

I Wish I Had More Time

23 Jun

It seems that we have more time to ready our home for sale. I am in the process of trying to make it pretty by sprucing up the paint. You see, we are not fans of white walls. Every room in our house is painted sone kind of funky color. My kitchen was this color that I bought just for the name; it was called “storm warning”. I loved it. Now it’s beige. Blah.

We had a relative come over who happens to own a framing business. He bulids fancy new homes for a living. I was very upset after his visit because he said my house is awful. Not in those words, but he actually suggested that my best bet would be to “accidentally” burn it down. I’ve decided to take his words with a grain of salt. My house is not brand spanking new and I don’t have stainless steel appliances, or granite counter tops. I also don’t have a postage stamp for a yard, a garage with no door opener, and a house that looks like every other house on my block. I also don’t have neighbors five feet from my house that can see in my windows when I’m changing. So it’s fine. My house was built in 1970 and it has character. I’d take that over a cookie cutter any day!

With all this painting and cleaning and packing, my sewing is taking a back seat for the moment. Hopefully I can get all this done soon so I can get back to doing what I love. I miss Ingrid (yes, I named my sewing machine. So what?). Thankfully Lizze is still sewing up a storm and helping out with the shop. We haven’t even had time to get business cards done. Maybe Thursday will be a good day for that. I’m taking that day off.

Selina

Happenings for Today

18 Jun

Today is a busy day for me. I have a quilt in the works that is almost complete and ready to list for sale. It’s the cutest camping themed fabric. It’s a small quilt, perfect for a crib or toddler bed, or even just that special blankie for your little one. I can’t wait to have it finished!

I am running low on quilt batting so I need to go get some more of that today as well. When I say low, I mean, I have about 5 yards left. If that. Talk about waiting until the last minute!

And, of course summer break is here. Does it feel like summer out there? Anyone? My kids are home all day and it’s too cold to send their little bums outside! I may go insane before month’s end. Grocery shopping is on my agenda for the day. Have you ever taken four children to a grocery store? I’d almost rather starve to death.

Lizze has a birthday coming up. I worked on her gift yesterday and got it all done. Now I just have to wait until June 28th to give it to her. I hate waiting to give people their gifts. I’m always very impatient about that sort of thing. Especially if I know it is something they will love, and I know she will love this! We also plan to go to the Seattle Waterfront that day and have lunch at one of the many wonderful seafood restaurants they have. We are still undecided as to which one we’d like to go to. Then we’ll come home, drink booze, and eat cake!

Speaking of things I am impatient about, I might be moving soon. My husband has been offered a chance (as well as a couple other managers) at running a new restaurant. He has said yes, but now we are waiting for the “big bosses” to talk amongst themselves to decide who will go. I can’t stand the waiting. Moving involves many details. First and foremost, selling my home. Which in this market, I can’t say that I’m looking forward to that. If we get the new store we will be packing our bags and moving back to Yakima. Our hometown. My beloved. I’m trying not to get my hopes up just in case it doesn’t work out, but I am failing miserably! If anyone is looking for a 1700 square foot home with a 2-car garage, 3 bedrooms, 2.25 bathrooms, with a huge yard on South Hill in Puyallup, I may have one available soon 😉 A new sewing room would be nice. And a swimming pool. They have sunshine in Yakima!

Selina