Comb My Hair, and other New Year’s Resolutions

Let’s get real. I don’t comb my hair unless company is coming over. And, really, if you’re not English royalty then all you’re getting is a finger run-through before it being thrown back into a ponytail.

Someone must have snuck into my room while sleeping with a straightener, because this photo is about as good as it gets. My hair, that is. They must have also straightened R’s mustache as well. Yuh-ikes. I’m going to add “Trim my freaking ‘stache” to his resolutions.

Look at our daughter. She makes me smile from the inside out. I’m a little nervous about having a second, because this girl is chill and I don’t think we’ll get the same thing twice. How she came to be so laid back from both of our uptight characters, I’ll never know. I’d like to think it started with the somersaults I had to do in the pool at 37 weeks to get her to turn head down.

Speaking of her, do you know what was the top post of 2011? Ruth’s official introduction: Nice to Meet You, she said.  My personal favorite post of 2011? It was a tie: The debut of my baby bump and my home birth! A friend asked the other day if that experience made me leery or eager for another one. And like I told her, on the day of I swore I’d adopt the rest of my kids, but almost every day since I’ve been daydreaming about going through it again. It was both the hardest and most powerful thing I’ve ever accomplished. Click here to read about people staking out in our yard to see my baby bump. And here for when I relived the scene from Coming to America and had a hot tub in my bedroom (aka, my home birth).

As for next year, besides routinely combing my hair, I would also like to:

  • create a family tree for my mother’s side. My dad has this great tree framed and I’d like to recreate it, if possible, by the end of next year. With the help of my family, of course.

  • learn how to sew. I snagged my grandma’s sewing machine out of my sister’s loving hands and would like her to know it wasn’t all for naught. Hopefully I’ll be able to make something better than a trapezoid baby blanket.
  • buy 75% of my clothes at goodwill. The other 25% will probably be from Eddie Bauer. Ryan is aware that I run around behind his back with Ed, and fully approves. We have an open relationship.
  • make an effort to get ready in the morning. See above: combing hair. This also includes breakfast. Yes, we skip occasionally.
  • create a weekly meal plan. R and I talked, we’re going to go simple with our meals, with maybe one fancy dinner every now and then. I don’t know why I feel guilty if it isn’t a Cheesecake Factory knockoff with a bajillion ingredients, so I need to get over this. Soups, tuna patties, meatloaf.. These are all good. And easy. And cheap.

My Aunt S and I starting the ancestral process. Remember those long sheets of printer paper? I’d love to make a Happy Birthday sign from it again.

  • make sourdough bread. The thought of reducing ingredients in staples (ie: bread) makes me happy, like in this instance: store-bought yeast. I can do this, despite my anxiety.
  • run a half-marathon. October. I can do this. I’ll probably have to wear a hat with a piece of chocolate cake dangling in front of me, but I can do this.

Ruthie is intrigued. I hope she’s as obsessed with the past as I am. I’ll give you five seconds to try and find my parent’s newspaper stash. Go.

  • Pay off our car loan and some (if not all) of my school loans. We have paid off R’s undergrad and graduate loans, along with one car loan in the last few years. Selling our house, then living in a dorm room and now a shack has helped. We literally smell how close we are to having zero debt.  I remember Dave Ramsey calling those school loans “pets” that we pay on a little each month. It’s like we just assume it will be a monthly expense. R and I are working hard to eradicate that cloud over us.
  • lose this baby weight! I gained a whopping 55 lbs and have only lost 30 so far. 10 of those went straight into Ruthie’s thigh rolls which I love. But the ones still on me… not so much.

…starting the branches…

  • And lastly, I would like to grow more in my spirituality and give God the thanks He deserves. I sometimes congratulate only myself on accomplishments or achievements made. He is the rock that has helped me and He is who I need to give the glory to. Upon waking in the morning, I should open my eyes and immediately thank Him for another day in which I can become redeemed.

That’s my list. I have several more, but am afraid of getting overwhelmed. Come April 1st, we’ll see how well I’ve done in the first quarter.

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years and best wishes in 2012.

Trapezoid Baby Blanket

No problem, she said.

No one can screw this project up, she said.

Okay, let’s do it, I agreed. So after 30 years of living and breathing, I went under my mom’s guiding hand and turned on the sewing machine. A couple of hours later I came-to and she told me to get into the car. We needed fabric.

And off to Jo-Ann’s we went! I was excited, picturing this like the library of textiles. I’d be sure to love it.

Instead it was like a horror film.

Where the

h-e-double hockey sticks

am I???!!

[cue screams of horror]

This was moments before I started getting dizzy and off-balance. So I quickly focused on the 50% off sign, which can ground even the most vertigo-ed of victims.

After finally just closing my eyes and pointing to two fabrics, we had them cut and made our way back home.

We got to work pinning the fabrics (after a good wash), while I also tried to hold a ‘blank white wall’ intervention with my mom.

Nothing worked.

I convinced myself that she was going for the “tuberculosis asylum” look in honor of my great-grandma who was admitted in the 40s or 50s, but failed to forget that they probably would’ve posted cards up on the wall at least.

In other news, she did paint the living room Eggshell White or something like that. Progress is being made, people.

After we were done pinning, mom suggested we go to the sewing corner she created for me.

Yay! My very own sewing corner!!

…In the darkest corner of the house.

It was like Flowers in the Attic Basement and was the one time I wish everything were painted white. Don’t sweatshops even have painted walls?

She patiently showed me all the nuts and bolts, and I quickly got to work. Loved using the 40+ years machine- It felt solid and sturdy.

A while later, this square blanket magically appeared.

Check out the bottom. Now that’s what I’m talking about! Nothing like a good steady decline, if I don’t say so myself.

Baby better appreciate this.

Scarface part deux

I have a confession, my friends:

I have never, ever mended anything in my life. Never stitched up a seam, never sewed on a button… nope. But a couple days ago, I was folding laundry and came across a shirt that had a hole in the armpit. It’s one that we wear to bed, and really, should have been given to the Goodwill years ago, but I hung onto it for some reason. So I noticed the hole and decided that I was not going to donate it, but rather mend it.

Hell, at least I should donate something that I first royally messed up with mending. Right?

The Victim:

T-shirt already with low self-esteem as it had been relegated to the “sleeping attire only” drawer.


The tools:

A mixture of random supplies given to me during college that have never seen the light of day… which for some reason also includes one bright orange ear plug. Apparently I’m Van Gogh or something.


The moral support:

A batch of homemade chocolate icing. If I had only had graham crackers…

So after staring at the t-shirt for what seemed a couple hours, I finally picked it up. And lightning did not strike, much to my surprise.

Thankfully I did remember to turn it inside out. How I knew that, I have no idea. I probably just wanted an excuse to use the midget scissors and cut off loose ends.

But then I came to the needle and thread debacle.

Now, I’m not going to blame anyone (mom), but why do I not know how to thread and knot a needle?

I turned to my trusty binder full of misc magazine articles…and by golly there was a mending section! Surely they would describe how to thread a needle, yeah?

Um, no. Apparently that part of the process is a given. In fact, there was an asterisk at the bottom of the article stating, “Anyone that tears out this article for later reference should obviously know how to thread a needle and tie a knot. You idiot.”

I was offended. So did the only logical thing…

…and go to the internet. I swear, what would I do without the internet?

Except, this is what I watched for most of the time. Our internet is so darn slow, it’s excruciating. But finally she came through and showed me what to do.

And so I did.

And it was sewn.

And I flipped the shirt back to admire my handiwork.

Holy Freaking Moly.

Let’s all have a moment of silence and thank God that I did not become a surgeon.