Category: Just Me

Life is Messy

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I am reading through the Marie Kondo book called the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it’s been…interesting. I find myself having to hush my inner voice that says “This woman is obsessive compulsive!” and “She definitely does NOT have children or probably a significant other” She describes how she comes home each day, follows a very specific routine of putting everything in it’s place, everything she has in her purse is taken out and put away and she thanks it for doing it’s job that day.

Yes, I realize she is from a different culture. As an American, I think I would feel silly (and probably get some strange looks from my husband) if I spoke to my clothes and the things in my purse every day. (Although I did hear my son saying “Bye house” when we walked out the door the other day). While the idea of putting everything in a specific space does have some appeal (one morning my husband woke me up about 10 minutes to 6 AM to help him find his keys) and I do have a routine of keeping specific items in a certain pocket in my purse or putting my keys in a specific spot, but talking to my clothes? No, probably isn’t going to happen. But that’s OK.

Now, how has this book helped me? It has inspired me. The core concept of her book is to only keep items that give you joy and discard the rest. Let’s just say this is a struggle because I’m not the only person in my house. Marie Kondo addresses this briefly by saying to only worry about your own stuff. That seems to make sense, until you realize that even if you narrow your own stuff down to just the things that bring you joy, some of the items owned by the other people in your home may still cause mental clutter. I’m still trying to figure out how to address that.

What have I managed to do so far?

I’ve sorted through my clothes (which I’d say was less than most people have anyway) and only kept those things that I find joy in wearing. (I think I need to buy new clothes soon)

I’ve re-folded all the clothes in my dresser so that they follow her way of folding and now I can see all my clothes (did the same for hub’s drawer) and now I’m finding that when I used to hate folding clothes, I’m treating it as a mini meditation. Last night I folded clothes before bed while the boy was falling asleep. It was a quiet activity to do and I didn’t need a lot of light, then I could put things away and go to sleep with a clear “laundry conscience” which is my new favorite word (I just made up).

I’ve tackled the kitchen cupboards. This is a big one because we don’t own a lot of kitchen stuff, but we have a TON of cupboard space so the empty cupboards became a sort of dumping ground for our stuff. Well, no more! I was going to just tackle ONE cupboard, but once I did one, I just kept going and went through all of them. No big deal, I also scrubbed the kitchen counters, sorted through the drawers (except for one junk drawer I still need to tackle). I haven’t gone through the lower cabinets yet. That’s where we store some appliances and things, I don’t think I’ll have a problem sorting through them either. Truth is we just don’t cook super fancy meals that require special tools, so why keep all that clutter around?

I also sorted through my Quilt Book cabinet upstairs. I was able to donate a lot of books to my local library. I get so excited thinking about all the people who will be able to learn about sewing by checking out those books from our library. I wanted to try the “touch everything and only keep what brings you joy” technique in my sewing area, but it needs to be reserved for a time when I can devote a full day to it.

My husband thinks I’m on some crazy decluttering spree right now, and maybe I am. In remembering my word for the year, which is Passion, I’m sort of throwing myself into the process of cleaning up. I guess everyone thinks about cleaning things up in January, maybe in preparation for Spring Cleaning. The weather here in Houston is so Spring like that perhaps it’s spurring these feelings early. I know I could halfheartedly try to declutter a specific area, but it will immediately rebound to clutter again (which is something Marie Kondo addresses in her book). I want to avoid that. I think that methodically going through everything in the house is going to really help me understand what we have and why we have it.

A lot of people don’t do a whole house clean up unless they have a major life event like a new baby or a big move. We don’t have plans for either in our future but why not do the clean up anyway? Why start the year as a continuation of the things that were weighing us down last year?

More thoughts on this in another post. I’ve probably bothered you long enough.

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Progress Report: October Use It or Lose It Stash

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I’m not sure how many of you have seen my posts about my challenge with myself and my friend Jennilee (@quiltyjl on IG). We said we would choose a simple shape and turn it into a quilt using only our stash. We were going to do one a month starting in August (because we came up with this idea at the retreat in July) and we decided to do something with squares. Well, I chose a Scrappy trip around the world quilt because it’s very easy and uses a ton of fabric. Also it helped that my buddy Sara E. was also hosting a STATW QAL on Facebook for motivation.  So I cut some strips and dove in as I typically do. I kept up the pace of the QAL which was pretty rigorous, I even won a door prize for posting my blocks! At this time I’m happy to report that I’ve made so much progress that I even ran out of red strips from my first day of cutting! I still have a long way to go before this quilt top is done because I decided I need to be a little more prescriptive in how I use my low volume fabric so that means that I have to make more blocks (each row has to have the same low volume fabric to make a consistent pattern.)
Throughout this process I learned something which I think I already knew but it was a good reminder: I hate repetitive piecing. I get bored very quickly and lose focus. The QAL ended (the rest of the group is challenged to bring a completed top to the November guild meeting in San Antonio) so now my motivation has waned. The only reason I really picked it back up was that I had the blocks up on my design wall and wanted to work on something else but didn’t want to put the blocks away for good! So I’m pushing through and in between piecing strips and subsets I’m working on the Epic Lightning McQueen quilt (#epiclightningmcqueenquilt) for my son. It’s also a racing theme and so I think it will have a little more longevity than just a flat out Cars theme quilt.
This one has also pushed my limits and comfort zone because I chose to follow a pattern, which I also dislike to do. I’m rather frustrated because I cut all the pieces as the pattern specified and they are all squares or rectangles and they are still not lining up! I’m not really OCD when it comes to piecing (it’s hard to be when you prefer to improv or make it up as you go along) but the blocks are coming out wonky and I’m not doing it on purpose and that bothers me. I’m plugging through though because I know that a little wonky never hurt anyone and this isn’t a quilt for a show, it’s for my son to use and love. And he gets excited when he sees the fabrics up on the design wall.

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Lastly I thought I’d share an update on my most recent finished project. It was a triple threat because I used it as my October project for the Savor Each Stitch bee (so fun to have two new people at our meeting this month!) Plus it was triangles which was the shape Jennilee and I chose for October Use It or Lose It challenge,  plus it was a practice of the 6th score in The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters!

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So there it is, it’s super small, but it took me a few hours to piece because I was trying to teach myself how to sew triangles without looking at a tutorial!  Let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it seems. And yes, it’s quilted with free motion triangles and I only did a zigzag on the edge because I didn’t feel like doing a binding or facing. I’ve already hung it up in my cubicle where I am replacing all the minis I got in swaps witb minis that I’ve made myself.  The swap minis are on display at home in my sewing loft.
Well I guess that about sums up the month of October for now. Next week is my birthday and 4 days of classes at Quilt Festival!  I may have overdone it a bit since I’m kind of wishing I had allowed myself an extra day off to go get a pedicure and get my hair done or something. I’ll be in class all day every day and then I’ll have to go home and be mommy and wife in the evening. Maybe I need to take Monday off the next week so I can recover! Too bad I have too much going on at work to allow that.

Thanks for reading all this even though you’ve probably seen it all through FB or IG. Happy Thursday!

Anna

Make Beautiful Things

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Found on Pinterest
Found on Pinterest

I think I’ve always had some sort of entrepreneurial spirit. I think it runs in my family. I’ve been told that my grandmother (the one who was a quilter) used to pick up old furniture off the side of the road and paint it to sell (this was way before chalk paint and Pinterest), she also had a ceramics shop and a restaurant at one time. I’m sure she was super resourceful, being the mother of 10 children.

When I was growing up, I had the typical lemonade stand (plus popcorn) at my parents’ garage sale.  I was always searching for another way to sell things to make some money. It was a fun way to pass the time. As I got older I would offer to scrub the bathrooms for some cash and take my parents’ car and hand wash it at the car wash. Our agreement was that they would give me $5 and I could keep anything I didn’t use (you remember those timed car washes that gave you about a minute of spray time for a 25 cents? I could usually wash and vacuum the car for roughly $2)

I’ve also probably always been crafty (I think I remember trying to figure out how to sell friendship bracelets) so when Etsy came into the world, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to make stuff to sell. The problem is, I’ve had a lot of experience with reality since I was 8 or 9 years old and I realized that it’s difficult to really make enough money selling handmade items to be profitable. And I know myself and I just wouldn’t enjoy making custom items for other people (don’t even ask about the curtains or the table runners I’ve made on commission).

So I came to a realization yesterday. Even though I want to build my blog readership and post more often, I’ve decided that I’m not in pursuit of sponsorship dollars or book deals. As the picture above says, I just want to make beautiful things and tell people about them. I want to make things for people who I know and family who I love so that I know that deep down they will love and appreciate the handmade gifts. I want to make pretty mini quilts to put up in my cubicle at work so that when people ask me about them I can say “yes I made these, no, I don’t sell them” which most of what I usually say (except most of the minis in my cubicle are not made by me because of swaps and such, I’m going to bring those home for a mini display wall in my sewing space.) I don’t want to work my tail off to promote an Etsy shop and end up burned out making things for other people. I no longer WANT to have a handmade business, I just want to make beautiful things.

I feel that when blogging first really started it was because people wanted a voice. I think that crafty people started blogging because they wanted a way to feel accountable because somehow when you write something down that people can see, or put it out into the world, you feel like you have to do it or risk disappointing your readers.

As you’ve undoubtedly seen, I don’t use a lot of photos in my blog posts because I use Instagram for that purpose, for the most part, my blog is my voice, the thoughts in my head and things I want to share with anyone who is willing to read it.

This sort of goes back to a Quilt Without Obligation discussion that happened a while back. I always end up comparing myself to the amazing quilters that I follow on IG who ARE writing patterns and promoting their blog to build readership and who WANT to design a fabric line or write a book. I just want to make pretty things and share my process and successes and failures along the way.

Of course, if someone wants to give me a book deal, I’m certainly open to the idea, but for now, I’m just going to use my precious free quilting time to make things I want to make, with very limited or flexible deadlines. I still need to finish up my 80s 90s Swap project, am working on a mini medallion swap with my friend Emily and have a monthly Quilters Bee Mod block to make, but the rest of my projects are going to be flexible.

It always makes me so sad to think of the practical hoards of fabric and unfinished quilt tops that end up being sold at garage sales and on eBay because that quilter didn’t get the chance to finish the tops or use the fabric. I’ve done pretty well with my Use My Stash/No Buy Challenge for 2015. It has been remarkably easy to NOT buy fabric since I have such a nice stash to work with. Now I just need to work on quilting and binding the tops!

Alright, I think that is all I needed to say for now. It’s very surprising how significant of a realization this is for me.  I know I’m not the only one out there who feels like this.

Thanks for sticking with me for this long post!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Categories: Blog Post Just Me

How to Get Over a Quilt Retreat Hangover

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Pass the Coffee
My son, Michael James, probably about 18 months old

Ugh, it’s Monday after an amazing quilt retreat at Honey Hill. I’ve been on several retreats and I always take Friday off to travel to the site and come home on Sunday. Then I always wish I had taken Monday off too so I could recover from the weekend! The feeling you have on Monday when you have to go back to work after a quilt retreat is what I call a Quilt Retreat Hangover. No, alcohol is not even required for this lethargic effect that hits you when you realize you have to return to reality bright and early Monday morning (or Sunday night). If your Monday morning job is doing laundry and entertaining young children or like mine, going in to work by 8:30 am, it’s always a difficult adjustment to get back to that routine. Thankfully the only real effect is tiredness, not sensitivity to light or sound or nausea (if that is the case, maybe you should have done more sewing and less actual drinking).

I mean, here is how my weekend went (note the time references):

Friday – Arrive at the retreat at 4:30 pm, stay up until 4:30 am trying to finish that last row (of course my bobbin ran out after sewing about 4 inches so I just decided that was a sign to wait until the morning)

Saturday – Woke up excited around 9:30 am despite going to sleep at 4:30 am. Who needs to SLEEP when you can SEW?? Stayed up until roughly 2:30 am working on a project which, deep down I KNEW I couldn’t really make any serious progress on because I managed to leave ALL my lime green fabrics at home (hmm, maybe I should have read my previous post about packing for a retreat).

Sunday – Due to the previous two days of staying up past my normal 11 pm bedtime I was a little tired and slept until 10 am.  I mean, when you don’t have a kid jumping on your face at 7 am, it’s amazingly easy to sleep in! Plus, the room was pleasantly dark, at home my bedroom is full of daylight by 7 am (which is why the kid wakes up). Finally hit the road around 1 pm, and made it home around 6:30 pm (because of my detour to the quilt shop and some heavy traffic on the way home). For some strange reason I stayed up until 1:30 am on Sunday night, not the best idea when I knew I needed to wake up by 6:30 am today.

Of course, when I got home, I was instantly back to being Mom and wife again. No easing back into the routine for this girl. Apparently my child missed me so much that the normally fairly independent toddler became a Klingon. While I appreciate the sentiment, it was still difficult to carry around a 40 lb child or have him following me around like a little shadow.

So, you’re probably wondering when I’m going to get to the part about how to combat this effect of being extra tired on Monday morning. Truth is, I don’t really know how to get over it. Here are a few suggestions though:

1) COFFEE, COFFEE, and more COFFEE (or just the usual dark roast from Starbucks)

2) I strongly believe that taking Monday off from work will help transition back to reality. (even if it is delaying the inevitable)

3) Maybe working from home would help (in my case that would mean being able to sleep in an extra hour) if your job allows that option.

4) Going to bed as early as possible on Sunday night (for some reason I was up until 1:30 am last night, unpacking and chatting with hubs)

5) Spend as much time with child, husband, and/or pets as possible on Sunday night. Put the phone away and “be present” for the family because you were just immersed in a quilt/IG/FB/girl time weekend and they missed you!

In the end, how you cope with the Monday Quilt Hangover may be different than how I do it. The best thing is that just getting away from mommy duty for a couple days was very relaxing and helped me recharge my battery. I have some mommy guilt but I know that if I don’t take some time to recharge and hang out with adults who have the same interests that I do and have some girl time, it makes it harder to be a loving mom and wife.

How about you, do YOU have any suggestions for a Quilty Hair of the Dog remedy for a Quilt Retreat Hangover?

I’m looking forward to hearing your response. And thanks for stopping by to read my Packing for a Quilt Retreat post!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Do you dream in color?

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I absolutely love color. I think my favorite part of the quilt design process is choosing the fabrics because it means I get to play with color. Yet I hear that so many people feel lost or stuck when it comes to choosing the colors for their next quilt.  Do you use Pinterest?  I have one main board just dedicated to color combos but I’ve also started other boards for specific projects and for those I typically start with color pinspiration (see what I did there?) This picture is from Pinterest and it’s a stretch from the colors I typically choose. Normally I lean toward aqua and coral and maybe a pop of lime green (and my wardrobe reflects that as well). But when I was pinning color combos for my Sewing Buddy project with my friend Emily, I saw this combo of green, blue and deep purple and jumped on it. Oddly enough, today I’m wearing my one outfit that doesn’t have coral and the color combo is very close to the image above and that was a complete coincidence! If you need some other color inspiration, check out the #fridayfabricmix tag on IG. The hostesses chose a theme each week and asked people to pull fabrics with that theme. It was really fun to see the different combos people chose based on their interpretation of the theme. I hope they will continue the challenge beyond May! If you get stuck when choosing colors, try this: Pick one fabric that you know you want to work with and look for colors within that fabric. The coordinates don’t have to be solid and there are a ton of amazing geometric designs out there (I believe quilters call them blenders) that would play so well with a main fabric.  I just need to warn you, if you are choosing colors based on a main fabric on a website and you have all 12 fabrics in your virtual cart, don’t wait overnight to order because the next day your feature fabric may be sold out! (ask me how I know this). If you decide you want to play with color combos, I’d love to see what you put together! Feel free to tag me in your IG post about color!

Happy Stitching,

Anna

Categories: Blog Post Just Me

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What’s Up Wednesday – The Happiness Project

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happinessproject

Recently, my dear husband got this book for me from the library. It’s call The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (I highly recommend you see if your library has it). I am devouring this book! It’s sort of like a self-help book but she explains what she did to help improve her happiness! And it’s not because she was depressed or anything catastrophic happened, it’s because she felt that it was good to work on happiness when times were pretty good, so as to help make room for more happy! Does that make sense?

Oh and I just found out she has a podcast and that has made me completely giddy because I just started going to the gym during my lunch break and after I finish reading this book I think I’m going to enjoy listening to the podcast at the gym!

I have a hard time reading books even though I’ve always loved reading. Typically, I almost prefer to spend my free time (usually on the bus commuting to and from work 45 minutes to an hour each way) just surfing Instagram and checking in on Facebook. But lately, my IG feed has become a reminder of the millions of quilting projects that I want to do but can’t figure out where the time to do them might be (unless I learn how to survive and function on minimal sleep). So why do I want to remind myself of that? When I found this book and started to read it, I instantly related to Gretchen. Even to the point where she said she would delay going to bed because she didn’t want to take out her contacts, wash her face and brush her teeth (that’s just in the first chapter).  Each chapter is a different month and a different focus in her year long endeavor to become happier. Right now I’m up to June (about half way) and I’d say I’ve been able to relate in some way to about 99% of what she talks about. Even though at first the multiple references to other “happiness experts” reminded me of reading research articles in graduate school, I’m enjoying the fact that I know she has researched this topic which can seem rather “touchy/feely” and it’s actually based on some sort of science and repeated studies. It may be her experience, but it’s not just her personal opinion about how to make yourself feel better.

So much of this book reminds me of my own life and I can’t wait to finish it and then maybe read her next book (which is the one my husband checked out originally which sparked my interest and prompted him to get this book for me).

I don’t know if I can make a year long project out of this idea, but I’m excited to look at the rest of Gretchen’s website and see what resources I can use to help make my life a little happier, even if that means I can’t quilt non-stop in all my free time.

Happy Stitches!

Anna

Categories: Blog Post Just Me

Thursday after QuiltCon

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It’s so hard to believe that this time a week ago I was eagerly anticipating my weekend away at QuiltCon! That weekend, even though it had a rocky start (the torsion spring in my garage door broke, effectively trapping my car in the garage so that delayed my trip a little), was a whirlwind of volunteering, attending a great class, and spending time with friends, new and old! I came back tired and inspired and yet haven’t had a minute to sit down and create something fun or beautiful since I got back.

I realized something about myself in the last week or so, I have a hard time just sitting on the sidelines. I want to participate (which is why I spent half of my time in Austin volunteering for the show), I want to be known as someone, I want to do something awesome. But I also have to remind myself to just slow down and enjoy the time I have there. Honestly, it was very difficult to come back to the reality of a messy house, changing diapers and working 40 hours a week outside the home.

I had to made a tough decision last week, even though I want to be involved in everything, I realized that I need to take a step back. I need to refocus my life. I want to create beautiful things. I want to do what it says in the picture and create things that set my heart on fire so that I can be proud of them and excited by them and not feel dragged down or obligated to create something. I want the awesomeness that I know is hiding inside of me to shine through.

I hope if I can focus on that, I can start making something awesome and it will lead to more balance in my life. I don’t know if work/life balance is just a myth. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who truly seems able to balance being a mom and working full time and having hobbies. Something probably has to give at some point. I just know it can’t be my job or my family. I guess it’s only really possible to find balance when you have two forces pulling on you. Right now I have at least three forces and I’ve been confused about what I should give the most attention to.

OK, that’s it for my ramblings right now. I hope to check back in again soon.

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Categories: Just Me

And Just Like That…

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So yeah, I bought a domain name and now I’ve changed my web identity. I decided it was time to get over my Peter Pan Syndrome and finally grow up.

I’m a wife.

I’m a mom.

I’m a mod quilter.

So why not change my name from Mod Quilt Girl to Mod Quilt Mom? Well, I did!

AND I’ve ordered the sweetest buttons to swap at QuiltCon! I just hope they get here in time!!

I’ve changed my name on IG as well to match my new domain, I’m now modquiltmom_anna on IG. There may be changes to my blog, other than the subtle changes to my header images.

I’m not sure yet. Just hope you’ll come along with me as I explore the reality that is being a modern quilting mom!

Happy Stitches (and diapers and house cleaning),

Anna

Categories: Just Me

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#quilt15February is going strong

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I figured that everyone loves a good challenge and I really work well when I have a personal challenge to meet. My husband and I challenged each other to not each out for lunch or dinner more than once (each) in a week. This is HUGE for me because I have a tendency to go buy lunch EVERY day, or almost every day at work. A friend of mine usually asks me to go to lunch with her. It doesn’t seem like much but those $5 or $10 lunches really add up! I’m happy to report that I made it through one entire week and only ate out for lunch one day that my friends had already planned a lunch for. That was a BIG deal! My reward? My husband gave me a “credit” for one yard of fabric of my choice (which I have to pay for). Why did he give me that credit? I mean, I have a good paying job and I am perfectly able to buy fabric any time I would like, but that’s another challenge that we made with each other.

He said he didn’t think I could go an entire YEAR – yes 365 days – without buying ANY fabric. I’m calling it the #fabricnobuyzone challenge! If I break down and buy anything, I have to sit through multiple episodes of South Park, which is a cartoon that I absolutely HATE more than ANY other show I can think of. Although, Family Guy is a very close second. So, it’s the perfect deterrent. And I’ve made it through all of January without really even WANTING to buy fabric. I spent a good amount of 2014 buying fabric because I was stressed at work and the only consolation I could give myself was that the job paid enough so I could treat myself to some fabric, EVERY MONTH. So, yeah, I built a nice stash last year. My prize if I make it all 365 days is going to be one of those adorable little Singer Featherweight sewing machines.

Doesn’t my “credit” for a yard of fabric make more sense now? The best part? I don’t even know what I would use it on! I already ordered a 1/2 yard bundle of Doe (that was on 12/31/2014 before the No Buy Zone kicked in). Also, there was a #fabricforward giveaway hosted by someone on IG and I actually WON the fabric I had been dying for, the viewfinders from Melody Miller. And these aren’t even from her new line, they are from her ORIGINAL print of that fabric (it has a little linen texture to it). They will be the PERFECT addition to my Child of the 80’s quilt! But I WON the fabric, I couldn’t even believe it!

So what is my current challenge to myself? I’m calling it #quilt15February and so far I’m not doing too great. My goal is to sew, piece, quilt, plan SOMETHING for 15 minutes every day in February and share my progress under the tag and get others involved too. I mean, 15 minutes is barely anything! And I’m finding out that it’s difficult to quilt, sew, or create something for ONLY 15 minutes. I always want to keep going, luckily, I have had extra time so far. The truth is that once I get started I typically have a good 30 minutes to 2 hours to sew, create, or quilt! And I’m seeing progress on my Scrappy Log Cabin quilt that I would typically lament at not having enough time to work on! At this point, I’ve managed to do some sort of Quilt 15 on February 1st and 2nd, but 3rd and 4th were not so great. I’m planning to make up for that today. Truth is, it’s just been exciting to check the hash tag on IG and actually see other people joining in! It’s been amazing to see that 40 people liked my original idea to do this for 15 minutes a day and that they are encouraging each other! Now that’s what I’m talking about!

If you like a challenge, please join in, I’m hoping to put together some prizes at the end of the month for those who participate. Who knows, you might just win that fabric you REALLY wanted!

Here are just a few ways to participate in #quilt15February:

1) Cut out a project you’ve been planning for a while

2) Pull out fabrics and plan a new project

3) Sit and sew some scraps together to practice improv piecing, see how much you can sew in just 15 minutes

4) Sketch out an idea that’s been bugging you lately

5) Attend QUILTCON or another local quilt show

6) Make Valentine’s gifts for your children or their teachers

7) Load a quilt on the long arm

8) Quilt a quilt on your machine

9) Lock yourself in a quiet room and enjoy perusing your favorite quilt magazine (Or wait for the kid to fall asleep)

10) Whatever you do, take a picture and tag it with #quilt15February to be entered for prizes!!

I’ve also found that some projects can be broken down into parts, so one evening you might cut the pieces and the next night you sew some together. By the end of the week you’ll two or three blocks finished! Quilting really is my therapy!

Happy Stitches (even for 15 minutes),

Anna

Categories: Just Me

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Woman vs WoMOM

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Confession:

Sometimes I feel like I have two personalities that are at odds with each other.

One of those is my professional self. I get up every morning, get ready, dress in heels (most days) and go to work where I sit at a computer for roughly 8 hours then run out the door to get on the bus for the 30 minute commute home.

This professional self does the job and gets paid to help pay the bills, which include paying for daycare for my almost 3 year old son.

My other self? That’s the WoMOM self. *yeah I didn’t really even mention the wife self because she usually gets pushed to the far back*

The Mom self, after getting the Work self ready, wakes up the toddler, changes his diaper and gets him ready for daycare. I take him to “school” (which usually means carrying him in while wearing heels, such a fun thing to do, especially when it’s rainy and cold), then in the afternoon when I get home around 6:30, he’s home and I have to change his diaper and make sure he has dinner and brushes his teeth.

On the weekends, I get to be Mom full time, because even though Dad is there and is supportive of us, the boy really likes Mom more right now. Dad is the one who makes meals for us and there have been weeks when he’s had to travel and I’ve had to feel the full reality of what it would be like to be a single parent, that is NOT fun!

There are times when I get to be the Quilter Mom who spends precious time at the sewing machine making magical quilt blocks appear. The few days we had off on January 1st and 2nd was awesome. My toddler actually played by himself with his new cars he got for Christmas for a couple of hours straight! (Normally, when I sit down at the sewing machine, no matter what he’s doing he’ll get up and come over to request attention)

I haven’t figured out how to get these different personalities (or roles I guess I should call them) to play nicely together. Commuting and working 40+ hours a week is sort of exhausting, which explains why I typically fall asleep around 10 PM and most of the time while on the couch just vegging out and have very little time to myself or to spend with my DH.

But I’m determined that in 2015 I’m going to figure out how to get some sort of balance. Even if that means that I spend a few more minutes in the morning trying to fix my hair (I actually bought a flat iron last night and used it today for the first time in my life) or learning how to tie a scarf a different way (Pinterest I LOVE you!)

My boss is only a year older than me, she has three children (twins who are 2 and a kindergartner, all girls) and she still manages to come to work looking fabulous every day! EVERY DAY! She wears make up and her hair looks awesome and she wears pretty clothes.

I should be able to do that. I only have 1 child and he’s a boy, so his clothes and hair don’t require as much attention. (Be honest, it’s true) I just don’t put the attention I should on myself because I’m so busy with my daily routine.

Well, thanks for letting me ramble today. For those of you who follow my blog, I really appreciate knowing that people read it. I’m also documenting my efforts to fight the frump on Instagram with the tag #fightingfrumpmom If you want to take some steps to fight the frump, feel free to use the tag as well!

My next step is a good haircut and some better make up! (Oh and more practice with the flat iron)

Finally I’d love to hear if you have suggestions for fighting the frump and finding balance between a full time job as mom and as a “career woman.”

Happy Stitches,

Anna