Life? Not Too Shabby

Serious dork confession here: at least every other day, there’s a moment where I stop and think to myself, “Wow. I love my life.”

Seriously. Who is this girl?!

20140911. Birdie photo bomb.

Our favorite play things – the nasty old mirror on the inside of Chris’ closet and Birdie.

And then it occurs to me that life probably isn’t like that for a lot lot lot of people. And then I wonder if Chris feels the same way. Hell, five years ago, I definitely didn’t feel this way. Even two years ago, I didn’t have these moments wash over me quite so frequently. Blame it on the baby and the massive, life-changing decisions that have defined the last year and a half?

091023. oh, hi!

Me. Five years ago. Not looking like I love my life.

It’s not super easy, and it’s not perfect. But I’ve decided I need to kick perfect to the side of the road. It’s great, and I love it. Even the hard stuff.

I think a lot of it is that I’m starting to feel settled in this whole motherhood gig. Looking back, the first four or five months were me battening down the hatches. Being a mom was so all-consuming. I went from successful working person to OMG WTF DO I DO WITH THIS TINY CREATURE (and with myself). I had no idea what being a mom was going to look like for us.

IMG_0032

I hardly remember what we did all day when he was this tiny.

We’re seven months in now, and I feel like Willem and I “get” each other these days. I’m expanding my fellow mom friendships and feeling confident in getting out of the house and doing stuff. EX: Willem and I met up with a friend for a youth orchestra recital (at a McDonald’s, of all places – a McDonald’s WITH A STAGE. Only in Broad Ripple) today, and he sat in my lap, eating sweet potatoes and taking in the world while friend and I chatted. We can DO stuff like that now, because we get each other, you know?

Baby brigade takes over City Market.

Us downtown this past week, kicking it in the fall foliage with our iced coffee (for mom) and sweet potatoes (for Willem) at City Market.

I’m knitting and cross-stitching and making friendship bracelets and doing “me” stuff again – note that this is stuff that, five months ago, I had literally no concept of how I would ever be able to fit it into my life again. Like, really. I was just keeping my head down and hoping to fake it til I made it.

Now? I’m able to lift my gaze, and the view is good. I can see, if not the horizon, at least to the end of the road. The more comfortable I get with this whole mom thing, the more I’m able to dream and plan and think about other things again. Fun things. Crafty things. Projects. Friends and relationships. Farms in the Smokies. Tiny houses and big barns. You know, life and stuff and the future.

So life? Yes. I love it.

A Gratuitous Post All About LOVE and THE FUTURE

Today marks our one-year wedding anniversary. What a wonderful, insane year it has been.

20130907. Our wedding!

20130907. Our wedding!

20130907. Our Wedding!

20130907. Our Wedding!

20130907. Our Wedding!

For instance, we now have some new residents: tens of thousands of bees and an adorable almost-seven-month-old.

Willem adores his BFF Crosby:
Friends.

Homies and their chew toys.

As always, we are looking to the future. I think that’s one of the coolest things about us as a couple: we push each other and support each other and egg each other on with whatever latest hairbrained scheme one of us has until it doesn’t seem so hairbrained anymore and we actually do it.

Today’s discussion (during lunch at La Margarita, our fave Mexican restaurant, which I hadn’t visited since my due date) centered around finding some land/buying a farm so Chris could start raising nucs and building top bar hives (the latter he could do here; the former, not so much). I also had a really freaking amazing idea last night centered around food deserts and a new way of getting produce to communities who would maybe love to eat fresh produce if only they had access…. And that’s all I want to say about THAT because I might actually want to try to do it at some point.

I’m also exploring new ways to spread art into the world (and maybe make a little cash on the side so we can maybe, possibly, actually get us some land one of these days) and have re-opened my Etsy shop! Visit me at www.etsy.com/shop/famousthecat and get yourself a custom “home sweet home” print to display your own family love all year round.

Here’s ours:
20140712. Updated Home Sweet Home.

A Speedy Entrance into Our Pastured Poultry Operation?

I hate to even THINK this, much less document it in the written word, since we had so many trials, tribulations, and just plain old waiting for any of our chickens to start laying eggs, but bless the eggie gods, we are already to the point where we *almost* have too many eggs! And only two of our five girls are laying at this point.

20121208. EGGIES.In other words, I’m beginning to look to the future (as in, holy crap, what will we do when all five girls start laying?!). Also, I know a lot of friends who have expressed an interest in buying our girls’ eggs.

An early entry into my dream of having a pastured poultry operation in the middle of the city? Perhaps.

Also, after a couple of beers last weekend at one of our favorite local breweries (Black Acre Brewing Co., that is – if you need a laugh, select “I am under 21” when you visit the link), Chris uttered the words I’ve been longing to hear. Wait for it… wait for it…

Chai tea milk stout and boyfriend at Black Acre.

“We probably need more chickens.”*

And my heart went pitter-pat and my mind went racing off like a roller coaster! Not one of those new fangled roller coasters, though, where the high tech cars glide noiselessly over the metal rails and you feel like you might just get shot straight into the stratosphere, oh no. More like one of those ancient wooden ones that are all jostling and jarring and you think you could get thrown off at any moment but hope to high heaven you don’t.

Welcome to the roller coaster that is my brain! In somewhat related news, I really want to buy this amazing historic building roofless facade and turn it into an open air pastured poultry operation, gardens, and market/farm store. Anyone have $279,000 lying around?

*I suppose we should note here that Chris claims to have no recollection of uttering these words I’ve longed to hear. I have assured him that he did, indeed, say them and, even moreso, meant them with all his heart. Help me out here, guys! MORE CHICKENS! You know you want eggies, too.

Knitting as Relaxation? Not Exactly.

Let me start by saying that anyone who says they knit as a stress reliever is lying. Knitting is difficult. It requires math and keeping track of stitches and patterns and taking notes and counting. There is a famous knitting book called Knitting Without Tears, for goodness sakes.

However, I have also been accused of not being able to relax properly, and I suppose if you consider it in that way, knitting is my version of forcing myself to just STOP. When I watch a movie, for instance, I’m thinking about all of the things I am actively not doing because I’m watching a movie. So I pick up a pair of needles and am suddenly quite content to sit still for a couple of hours, doing “nothing” and “relaxing.”

20120116. Petite Facile by Meghan Jones

Case in point: I started knitting this sweet, gender neutral baby sweater for the new niece- or nephew-to-be on Saturday... and finished it Monday morning. Pattern: Petite Facile by Meghan Jones.

Let’s summarize: knitting as relaxation? Not exactly. Rewarding? Heck, yes.

I hadn’t thought much of my knitting compulsion in terms of self-sufficiency until I embarked on a personal challenge during December to wear a different item I had knitted myself every day of the month (more on the 30+1 handknits project at my old crafting/things I like blog). During the project, I started thinking about canning, gardening, baking, focusing on low-processed foods, and knitting as different spokes on the same wheel. I like the idea of limiting how many stores I need to frequent and products I need to buy. Knitting is a super satisfying way to make a teeny, tiny dent. Plus, it’s really satisfying to be able to clothe yourself with nothing more than two pointy sticks and a ball (or five) of yarn.

Dirty little secret time? I want to learn how to knit my own undies. How rad would that be?! And super-duper secret, i.e. don’t tell Chris? I want sheep. Someday, I will have sheep, and I will make my own yarn.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to pour some out for the sheep. One day (after much studying, learning, and apprenticing, most likely – as well as moving, of course), you will be MINE.

20120116. Marigold Sweater by Amy Polcyn

Although this entry is ending on a decidedly pro-sheep note, this sweater is actually a cotton-linen blend. So let's hear it for our plant friends, too. Pattern: Marigold Sweater by Amy Polcyn.