Monday, December 27, 2010

So long and thanks for all the fish

Christmas is over (we had a loverly time) and now I'm diving head first into packing for the Big Move and for the Trip to California, both of which must be completed by Thursday.


So I will be seeing you in all the old familiar places of the internets in a few weeks!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Retirement, Christmas giftage, thankfulness

Steve is officially an old retired man.

Maybe not old...just retired from his night shift at the pharmaceutic plant.  This is like Christmas to me.  No more sleeping alone, no more whacky off-kilter schedules, no more day-in-day-out tussle with the stress of it all.  Glory be!  I am very grateful for what Steve's job provided for us: we own our house, HarriEd's medical bills are completely paid off, and we have a decent chunk of change in savings with which to make our move to St. Louis.  It was a blessing while being an immense stretch-er.  And I'm really glad that it's over and that now we can move onward and upward.

To celebrate this momentous occasion we hosted a little retirement party, which was made up of various and sundry brothers/sisters, friends-who-are-brother-and-sister, and a friend who is neither a brother or a sister to any of us.  It was a rather hip-happening time.  Steve and I had the brill idea of creating a pasta bar which was a splendid way to feed a small crowd.  We just cooked several kinds of pasta, sauteed fresh vegetables, prepared two kinds of sauces, and had some chicken and bacon on the side.  (My new favourite dish just may be sauteed veggies with fettuccine and homemade alfredo sauce.  I can only have it after I have burned about 2500 calories and/or sweat off 15 lbs at Jazzercise.)  We concurred that we will have to remember this dish when we are old and have to feed a bunch of Steve's seminary students at our house.

I have all of our presents wrapped and our stockings filled.  I just love Christmas and planning ahead makes this season more fun than stressful.  I want to go into great detail about the gifts because I'm so excited, but I know that too many loving relatives read this blog and then the surprises will be all spoilt.  However, HarriEd can't read yet (as far as I know), so I will tell you about her gifts.  She is getting a new Christmas dress which I finished yesterday.  It is a jumper which is sewn from pink striped flannel and is accented with a hot pink sash (poofy bows are the best!) and little pink fabric yo-yos on the skirt.  It looked awfully tiny when I was making it, but then I tried it on the little darling and the dress was definitely on the roomy side.  Oh well.  In addition to the dress, HarriEd will unwrap Robeez shoes (LOVE!) and four Winnie-the-Pooh related books: Now We Are Six, When We Were Very Young, The Pooh Cookbook and The Pooh Party Book. 

Sometimes God takes hold of my thoughts and says, "Look, Amelia, you are actually living the life that you have desired to live."  It's so incredible.  I have a wonderful husband in whose love I can truly flourish.  I have an adorable baby who makes my heart want to overflow.  I enjoy being surrounded by my own extended family and I can really truly look forward to spending the next few weeks with my in-laws - not too many girls can say that!  I am able to develop my interests of crafting, sewing, and reading without the pressure of deadlines and subjective judging.  And we are moving towards working in ministry together as a little family.  Hurrah!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Craftiness, etsy excitement, moving ramblings

My life has been entirely absorbed by Christmas crafting projects.  The biggest project was making gobs and gobs of little yo-yo trees as favors for the moms and workers who attended the MOPS Christmas Brunch.  I was so very grateful for the help of my dear mother, my dear sister Clara, and my dear new friend Kylie...sewing over 300 yo-yos of varying sizes is a lot of work and I could not have done it by myself.

My "dining room" table was overrun by the little guys for over a week.
I was really pleased with how they turned out.  My favorite part was rummaging around through the bag of vintage wooden spools that I picked up at a junk store to use as "trunks" for the trees.  Some of the spools were green, black, or blue, some had the brand name stamped into the wooden ends.  So much fun!

With all of the yo-yo making to do, I had to resist the temptation to finish our family stockings.  I had purchased the supplies a few weeks ago: rich wool felt, drool-worthy Christmasy fat-quarters, and juicy rickrack.  There it was, sitting in a bag just begging me to get to work.  Since Steve was home yesterday, I handed Harriet to him and ran downstairs to spend a few moments on my fun project:

It was worth the wait.
Now I just have to make tags for a few gifts, finish decorating a bit, and sew Harriet's Christmas dress.  Then I will collapse into a heap and go on vacation to California.  No, actually I will pack up my house to get ready to move.  Then I will collapse into a heap and go to California.

In other exciting crafty news, I sold my first item from my Etsy store!  When I got the email notification of the purchase I nearly fell out of my computer chair.  It was such a shock!  Sometimes I just really, really, really want to make it on Etsy, and I just don't know what to do.  It will take time and effort to both make creative things to fill my store and promote my products and with a HarriEd around I often think that time and energy are in short supply.  But sewing and creating is truly a passion of mine.  (It's just that the mercenary part of me wishes that other people would notice and pay me for my products.)  The purchase from my store this week was both encouraging and motivational: I need to make a plan for filling my store and just stick to it.  (After the move, of course.)

It was one thing to pack up all of my personal belongings into a Rubbermaid tub, load up the trunk of my car and move to a dorm room for a semester.  It's an entirely different matter to move as grown-ups from an established home to another state.  I found a very helpful list online which is helping me focus my energies on what needs to happen right now, rather than freaking out about what needs to happen in a month.  The challenge of yesterday was to obtain information on switching the utilities/internet/gas accounts from our name and/or cancelling them.  Such a simple task should not be so difficult!  While Steve was cursing the world of automated answering systems, I was wishing that the Qwest website would fall into the ocean-never-to-be-seen-again.  Tell me, what website signs you out of your account every time you visit a new page on the site?  Not a well designed site, that's for sure.  Eesh.

I won't even tell you about the whole "secret password" fiasco.

There are some things that I am not looking forward to regarding this move, namely saying our fond farewells to people (especially my family), driving in the middle of January for 10+ hours with a Uhaul trailer, and not really knowing what to expect job-wise when we make our landing.  However, some aspects really excite me.  This will be the first time that Steve and I will be known as a couple.  Every other place we've lived or visited we have both been known as separate entities, whether at school or just being in our hometowns.  I'm looking forward to being the Rodgers and getting involved in a community together.  The prospect of being back in an academic environment is wondrous, as well as being able to serve more whole heartedly in a local church.  I'm excited about what cultural possibilities St Louis holds, too.  (I really love being able to access a city.)

Back to crafting....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Harriet update, things people say, library, answered prayer

(*pant, pant*  I just got the invites for the annual MOPS Christmas Brunch out in the mailbox before Mr. Postman came by.  That kind of felt like giving birth. I am absolutely covered in blue glitter.  How festive.)

I have been missing my dear ol' bloggie and I have been desperately wanting to write, but life has been b.u.s.y.  First off, there was Harriet's cold which caused her sleeping improvements to go entirely downhill and leave me in a pile of tears the next morning.  It was horrible, but now things are better.  At least the last two nights have been better and that's all I ask for.  One night at a time.  The busyness has also stemmed from my free time (haha!) being almost entirely taken up by preparing for the aforementioned MOPS Christmas Brunch (more on that later, but things are super-duper cute) and putting my house back together after days of negligence.  The laundry pile is not a pretty sight.

Taking up the rest of my time is Harriet, and that's as it should be at this point in life, it seems.  Harriet has become a Big Girl at her advanced age of five-months-on-Thursday.  She grabs everything and puts it in her mouth, including her daddy's glasses right off of his face.  I was making snickerdoodles last week and she was sitting in her Bumbo on the counter.  The Bumbo is of great importance these days since it affords Harriet an upright perspective on the world and also keeps her somewhat contained.  Anyways, Harriet was looking hard at the bowl of creamed butter and sugar when suddenly she reached forth, grabbed the bowl, and refused to let go.  I gently pried her fingers off before she could add any of her drool into the mixture and she wailed and hollered.  This was the first time she wasn't like, "Oh, gracious Mommy!  You know best, so I'll give my [insert item] back to you."  Nope, she was downright angry.  It was funny, but also sobering.  We may have quite the opinionated, temper-ready child on our hands.

Harriet with the Christmas tree.

Harriet grabbing the Christmas tree.

Since having Harriet, I've been getting used to the plethora of comments that are showered upon her as a sweet baby and us as a little fambly.  It's rather fun to have such an adorable conversation piece.  Everyone should get one!  Most people are so very kind and encouraging.  I took Harriet into the library for quite a bit of time on Sunday and I wondered if/how people would react to such a small squirmy thing in, well, a library.  After a while, an older lady came over to me and said, "Oh, she is so sweet!  You wouldn't even know that she is here."  That made me feel confident.  

Thankfully, we haven't received too many weird comments...although one occurred yesterday.  Steve and I had optometrist appointments, and we took Harriet along.  I had some slight changes to my eyesight, thanks to shifting hormones in pregnancy and breastfeeding.  Apparently the glasses-fitting lady knew this from my chart or something because she looked at Harriet and said, "We need to stop breastfeeding so Mommy's eyes will get better."  Uhhhh?  Methinks I will keep breastfeeding and just get glasses, thank you.  

(Incidentally, I'm not getting glasses just yet.  The prescription was so minimal that it didn't seem worth it to add glasses to my life.)

Yes, Harriet sat in the library without making one little peep for nearly 2.5 hours.  For the first time I really experienced what it's like to enjoy having my child with me.  Don't get me wrong: I enjoy Harriet every day.  But there was something so interactive and pleasant about the two of us at the library that made me feel close to her in a mother/daughter way and not just a caretaker/baby way.  Does that make sense?  It makes me look forward to when she is older and can actually enjoy reading the books at the library.  In the meantime, she just enjoys looking at the pictures in Winnie-the Pooh.  Oh!  Speaking of Winnie-the-Pooh, I have officially completed Harriet's Pooh collection with the addition of When We Were Very Young, Now We Are Six, and The Pooh Party Book, and The Pooh Cookbook.  They will be part of her pile of Christmas presents.

We are still planning on moving to the St. Louis area in a little over a month.  That seems like a loooong time away, thanks to Christmas and a trip to California stuck in between, but it also seems like a shoorrt time away.  I don't really know what to do.  We have been praying and praying for "something to turn up" to boost our moving finances and also that we could find a place to live.  Both happened this week!  Apparently our mortgage company got a better rate on something, so they reimbursed us the difference in the form of a pleasantly substantial check.  Then we found out about a house in the exact town where we want to be that will only require a very minimal payment.  God truly does provide and I'm praising him for it!

Oops, the munchkin doth awaken.  And I should probably do something about this glitter.  Cheerio!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


O God, who art the truth, make me one with Thee in continual love!  I am weary often to read and hear many things.  In Thee is all I desire and long for.  Let all teachers hold their peace; let all creatures be silent in Thy sight; speak to me alone.  - Thomas A Kempis, The Imitation of Christ