Friday, October 31

an apple a day

I love sewing. I love crafty stuff. So much so that I sometimes find myself getting resentful when I don't get enough time to do them. I read on Craft Apple that she feels like the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" applies to her crafting life. I have to agree with her on that. It surprises me to admit that, but it's true. A day without personal creative time is a frustrating day to me. A day with time to be crafty is a day of momentary calm and it usually ends in more of a peaceful state.

My stay-at-home-mom sis-in-law and I were talking recently about kids, hubbies, crafts, and finding time for it all. It's hard to do. It seems like it should be so easy, I mean- my kids DO sleep for heavens sake! When I was younger, my mom told me she would sometimes sew with me on her lap. I thought she was crazy, desperate, and putting my fingers to the test. But yet, I find myself winding bobbins with my son, trying to hem socks while passing out Halloween candy, and staying up late to write a blog and handsew a pillow shut. Most surprisingly of all, I have sewn with my son on my lap. He knows the start/stop button on my embroidery machine. Who'd have guessed???!

Time to go take a bite out of my daily apple. Muncha muncha muncha.

halloween threads

My husband is blasting the spooky music and sounds, my son is screaming at the trick-or-treaters that "we have candy!!!" and my daughter's bedroom is at the front of the house. Thank goodness she can sleep through all the craziness.
Did I mention my son didn't nap? So if someone dares to pass by our house without stopping, he starts bawling because he couldn't give them candy. [later when he was putting his PJs on he started crying because someone came to the door and he couldn't go down and give them candy because he was half-naked.]
And remember how I said I worked SO hard on my daughter's costume? Basically everyone thought she was a dinosaur. aarghh. I thought she was cute.
My husband went in to work last night at midnight, and has had a 2L of Mountain Dew throughout the course of the day. He's exhausted and a little crabby (understandably).

Thankfully I've got a bowl full of chocolate.
Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 27

old threads

I've been doing laundry and it still amazes me that my old college sweatshirt makes it through without falling to shreds. I got the sweatshirt almost exactly 15 years ago so I'd be able to show my freshman pride at the football game. It was so soft and fuzzy I waited as long as I could to wash it because I didn't want to lose it.
Now 15 years later it holds more memories than I can count. It has taken numerous trips across the country, cried with me and laughed with me.
So much I can't let go of.

I go back and forth about replacing the cuffs. Someday I'm sure I will replace them, when I have the courage to sew with knits. And when I have the courage to let go of the past. That's a hard thing for me to do! Right now, I cling to the sweatshirt as a reminder of all the places I've been. And it is a reminder of the work that will be to come.

Need your own little trip down memory lane? Listen to This Shirt by Mary Chapin Carpenter.
And remember a soft spot from your past.

Friday, October 24

my big night out

So here I sit at the local Panera waiting for my friend to show up. My
awesome fabulous hubby came home from work a little early due to a
migraine he had slept off in the parking lot at work. He then said
I've got the kids - you go out tonight. And he hadn't even forgotten
I'm going out tomorrow too for a friends birthday party. How cool is he?

My big night out consists of soup in a bread bowl- perfect for the
rainy cold fall night here. Oh yeah, and a monster size frosted brownie for dessert! Then of course- Joann's. My friend is looking for fabric for a baby quilt and I was happy to join her in browsing. We found an adorable giraffe print for the front and big green polka dots for the back.

Lucky for me - thread was 50% off. And since this was my "big night out" I bought metallic brass thread. Shiny brass. How fun is that.

Thank goodness for thoughtful husbands, good friends, and little indulgent treats.

Monday, October 20


I am constantly trying to find time to do all the things I want to do. Shower, laundry, dishes, motherhood, sleep... I need more hours in the day! My husband and I are a pretty good team, but we get so overwhelmed sometimes. The laundry gets washed but then sits in baskets for a week or two. Thank goodness for Downy Wrinkle Releaser. Dishes pile up because the dishwasher hasn't been emptied yet. We both went a little nuts last night trying to catch up. I ended up driving to Home Depot for parts for my son's Halloween costume, and then we spent our after-the-kids-are-in-bed time trying to catch up and get ready for the week.

Then every once in a while the kids both happen to take simultaneous afternoon naps. (TODAY!) I think I've caught a break, and then someone calls to "chat" for half an hour or more. It's hard not to ignore the phone or be a little annoyed when the other person carries on forever and ever.

Of course I do have a tendency to let myself get lost in blogland too... hee hee.

Just when I think I'm getting ahead, an order comes in. The nature of my business is that it involves making gifts for new babies. Nobody wants to wait a month to give something special, so my life gets busy in the blink of an eye (or in the click of an email). I feel like I've been making progress on my to-do list from the Open House, and then add on 2 hooded towels, 2 onesies, and a towel and my time disappears again.

I wish I could figure out a better routine. I really don't want to have to pay a mother's helper or a babysitter, but I feel like I need a better schedule to my day and to my week. My mom and mother-in-law are wonderful and love to spend time with the kids, but regular scheduling is still an issue. My husband says I'm too much of a planner, but that's just how I am. If nothing else I have kindergarten to look forward to in a couple years!

Monday, October 13


A member of my extended family and I have not always seen eye to eye on things. In fact, she did something hurtful on the day of my wedding, and something hurtful after the death of my grandfather. Things that although small add up to hurt feelings anyway. Because we live far apart and weren't ever really that close, the relationship never really fully healed. Slowly we have rebuilt a few bridges through sharing stories about our sons, a month apart in age. Today I found out that she miscarried. Every pregnancy is a miracle, and even more so for her because she thought she would never be able to conceive. She has adopted two boys and built a wonderful life for herself with an amazing husband by her side (when he's not deployed). Today, my heart breaks for her. This is an unimaginable awful hurt that I wouldn't wish on anyone. God bless her with courage to tackle this hurdle.

On a smaller scale, here's our family's story tonight... My husband was working on a project outside - widening our driveway and adding some gravel. He pinched his finger in the tailgate of his truck and found himself at the ER getting 2 stitches.

There's a lot of mending to be done right now. Relationships, dreams, bodies, souls.

Blest be the tie that binds.

Saturday, October 11


So I finished my daughter's Halloween costume today. Much more effort than I originally planned, but so it goes. Now the "bloomin' garden" is done (except for a tag on the back). It took me way longer because I decided to follow the pattern (!!!!) and put in a lining. That meant more fabric, more cutting, more piecing and a little ripping out of what I'd already done.
All done while my other family members were going crazy. My son wouldn't nap, my husband wanted to work on our driveway (mudpit!) and my daughter wouldn't eat.
Who's idea was it to make this silly thing? oh yeah, mine.
Who would have noticed or cared if my daughter's first Halloween costume was storebought? Probably only me. (OK - maybe my mom and one friend who knows I can sew and would comment about it.)
Why do I put myself through this? Just to be counter-cultural and not buy it off a rack? Maybe a little. But ultimately, I find joy in creating something. Having a vision in my mind and being able to make it happen.

I may have a vision of married life, parental life, my body, my house, my car... but those are often too hard, time-consuming, or expensive to bring to fruition. But sewing...that's something I can do. usually. Maybe even in the course of one crazy afternoon! It might mean ripping out some threads, but I can make it happen. And what a victory it is. I am so proud that what I envisioned has been accomplished. Hooray for me!

Tuesday, October 7

what kind of thread would you be?

My son was helping me wind bobbin thread this morning. He was having so much fun lining up the empty bobbins, pressing the start button, feeling it "tickle" his fingers, and then putting them in my case when they were done. Such a simple easy task and yet so vital to my future sewing projects. We finished off a spool of thread and that empty spool became a new toy. What a fun way to spend my daughter's morning naptime.
It got me to thinking about thread again. Always weaving itself in and out of my life...

I found
this website and I was kind of having fun looking at all the different kinds of thread under the microscope. It made me wish I had my own microscope to check out my stash.
What kind of thread would you be? Would you be a sturdy all-purpose white? Rayon embroidery thread? Glow-in-the-dark? Are you a shimmery metallic ready to snap if the tension gets off? Would you be bobbin thread? Stuck in the bottom, wound tightly? But SO important to the final project? Or are you the bargain basket thread, fraying, splitting, and coming apart? But gosh darn it, getting the job done on a budget.

I see my son as a variegated multi-colored thread. There is so much color brilliance and to him! And he is ALWAYS changing. My daughter is still revealing herself to me. I would call her a bright pink embroidery thread. Gorgeous, eye-catching, and "the icing on the cake".
As for I feel like a nice solid blue all-purpose thread. I got the job done, no fuss or flair, but in my favorite color.

Somedays I feel like a bobbin. Somedays I'm a twisted variegated rayon embroidery thread. Every once in a while I'm that shimmering metallic. Either way I'm trying to weave myself into something special.

Sunday, October 5

why be the thread...

I used to teach and my login was bethteaches. Then I changed internet providers and became a librarian. So I decided to be bethreads. Beth Reads. That has proven to be a discussion point time and time again. When I give my email address over the phone I have to clarify that no my maiden name was not Reeves. I have to explain that I USED to read lots of books - books I could discuss with adults - but now I just read books titled "I Stink", "My Truck is Stuck" and anything starting with "The Very..."
Then a new friend who didn't know I was a librarian in my pre-children-life said, Be Threads? Is that because you like to sew?

And I started thinking how I sometimes feel like I'm hanging by a thread.

So... be the thread. The thread that holds my family together. Sometimes, the communicator between my brother and parents. The one who's "always around" for the kids since my husband works outside the home (in a couple different jobs).

And also how I want to be a thread sometimes - woven into something beautiful, strong, and creative.


First of all - I love to sew. This realization has been a long time coming, because I "couldn't" be my mom. But now that I am a mom, I realize everyday that my mom is a good role model. For a lot of reasons. But we'll save that for another day.

Secondly, I love to bake. Desserts mostly. I just hate to clean up. So I don't do it because I don't want the yucky work afterwards. Let alone my fear of not being able to control myself from eating a half a pan of brownies before the end of naptime.

Thirdly - I LOVE books. My collection resembles that of a small town library. Seriously. I own over 2 thousand children's books. I think. I don't know, I've kind of lost track what with not teaching any more and having books all over in my kids rooms, the playroom, the downstairs "library" room, etc.

My next love - card making paper-crafty colorful fun. The stamps, paints, stickers, scissors, embossing - it takes me back to my childhood and my little sticker collection in the pink Hello Kitty book. Ah. Then when I was in college we hung some white paper on the back of our dorm room door and doodled when we were bored, tired, feeling feisty, procrastinating - whenever the mood struck.

I also love technology. I can't say I'm much of a hardware gal, but give me my iPhone, my Macbook, my digital camera, and I'm good for the afternoon.

Most of all I LOVE being a mom and a wife. Really I do. It's hard to see the forest through the trees sometimes. When the fire pager goes off, the babe is screaming, and the boy is "singing" at the top of his lungs, I have to question my loyalties. Can't I just grab some hot chocolate and retreat to my comfy green chair with my iPod and a good book? I sometimes can't believe that I'm not 21 anymore I guess...

So how in the world can I find time for all the things I love?

hanging by a thread

so. here I am. hanging on by a thread.

Life sometimes seems too overwhelming. Between the impending doom of nuclear holocaust, environmental disasters, and economic crisis, it's hard to find a positive future. Then I wake up the next morning and greet my children.
A 6 month old girl and a 3-1/2 year old boy with an ACTIVE imagination give me a lot to look forward to. Between starting her on rice cereal, sitting her UP to play, and increased waking hours and interest in the world around her, my dear little girl is not nearly the baby she used to be. Then there's my little boy - no longer a toddler, but truly a boy. He is starting preschool, gaining independence (grabbing it by the horns?!) and continually imagining up new adventures that can only be faced with his fire boots pulled on and doggie in hand.
Then my husband comes home from work and I am greeted with a man so in love with me, and so in love with our children. He finds a way to make my evening a little less stressful - a quick run around the block with the kids, a spoon to the food on the stove, whatever it takes.

So, why am I hanging by a thread?! Expectations that are too high. I don't consider myself a perfectionist, but yet here I am - trying to be "that mom", yet buying premade brownie mix. Trying to be "that wife" but hiring a cleaning lady. And trying to be "that business owner" but being terrified of the paperwork and having a product that isn't what my customers want.

Join me on the ride.