Thursday, May 24, 2018

May

The month of May makes me happy.  Over the long winter I kind of forget how pretty my flower beds are.  Each year, as they come back to life I am delighted all over again.

   

More than that, when I remember how ugly the landscape was when we moved in, I am amazed at how all my hard work is starting to pay off.

The garden is mostly planted.  I still have a couple of starts to plant in containers, but most of the big stuff is in.  The plants are so small in May.  It's hard to believe that by the end of summer they will have almost grown together.
This year I planted mostly tomatoes.  I planted 11 plants.  Six are heirloom varieties for eating and the rest are for canning.  I can hardly wait to dig into a plate of vine ripened heirlooms.  
I'm also planting summer squash, bush cucumbers, butternut and acorn squash. Yum.

I started some of my plants from seed with mixed results.  The veggies did well, the flowers not so much.  I don't know what I did wrong but they never got very big or well rooted.  I think it was a lack of good lighting.  Oh well, I'll do some research and try again next year.  


The porch and deck are shaping up nicely.  The flowers in the containers are still small but in just a few weeks they will be spilling over beautifully.

I saw these cute frog yogi statues at my local garden store. Yes, they had to come home with me.
They keep my little, cement gnome company.
They also speak to a fun project I am putting together for the summer.  I've decided to hold a free, weekly yoga class for my neighborhood.  It's going to be an outdoor class in my backyard.  It's just my way to try to boost community spirit and "minister" to my friends and neighbors.  I'm excited and nervous about it.  I'm kind of putting myself out there in a way I haven't before.  I hope it is well received.


These succulents decorate the patio/deck area.  


So does my herb garden.


 The fairies have set up shop under my birch tree again this year.

And finally, the lilacs are bursting out all over.  I have the windows open as much as I can so the scent can perfume the whole house.  


I love them so much I tuck them into every possible nook and cranny.  

And while getting the yard in shape has taken up most of my time this month, it isn't the only thing I've been up to.  This show came to town.  If you get a chance to see it, go.  We laughed our heads off.  
I took my annual pilgrimage to Women's Conference.  This year I went with my friend Margie.  We hadn't seen each other for years but we happily picked right up where we had left off.  We talked each others ears off and giggled like school girls.  In short, we had a blast.

 Gentry performed at the evening concert.  They are one of my favorite groups.  It was amazing.

I always stay in student housing when I'm there.  It's fun to check out the old stomping grounds.  Surprisingly, it hasn't changed all that much since I was a co-ed.  Here's my old dorm, Merrill Hall.  Mostly good memories there.

Everyone came up for Mother's Day weekend.  It's always a lot of chaos but always worth it.  I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world.  


And then there's this.  Boy, does this ever bring back memories of all the hours I spent sitting on the sidelines cheering on my own sons.  I'm so lucky to live close enough to have the chance to now cheer on Mason, as well.  I can't believe he's old enough to be playing soccer.  It seems like only yesterday I was writing this.

I haven't done much quilting lately...too busy.  I'm getting back to it though.  I've got a quilt on the quilting machine and I spent today sewing my block of the month.  Hopefully, I'll have pictures to post soon.  

Until then you'll find me outside enjoying the beautiful spring weather.  I hope you will be too.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Springtime Anxiety

This is the time of year I start to get anxious.  The time of year when I'm so over winter that even the smallest rain shower feels like a bitter blow to my psyche.  The time of year when I'm so desperate to get my hands in some dirt that even weeding is a pleasure.

I kid.  Weeding is never a pleasure.  But you get where I'm going here.

Luckily, I have ways to distract myself.

Mom turned 80 in March.  Since that is quite the milestone birthday, I threw her a birthday bash.  The kids and their families came up and we had a big, loud, messy party for her.
One of the gifts we gave her was a memory jar.  I had each family member send me a list of memories about her and Dad.  I then cut them into slips of paper I put in a decorative jar.  I wanted 80 in total and we almost made it.  I think we had 70 when all was said and done.
She read each slip out loud and we had a fun time remembering together, lots of laughter and only a few tears.


The other present we gave her was a ticket to Riverdance.  She has always wanted to see the show so we made sure that happened for her.  The show did not disappoint.  I was actually surprised at how much I liked it.

April is always General Conference season and this year we spent conference weekend at Damen's.  Conference is pretty long for the little one's so I let Maddie play with my phone for a bit.  She had quite a bit of fun taking silly pictures of herself.


And a few of Grandma and Grandpa.

When she put the phone down to play with Kenson, I sneaked this one.  This pretty much says it all for me.  This is my joy.  



Spring is always time to give the house a bit of a refresh.  Here's a couple of fun little do-dads I found at Target (thank you Joanna Gaines). 
I found the Y'all sign at Hobby Lobby and wanted to get it as a nod to our Texas years.  

This is my favorite addition.  This spoke to my heart so deeply.  That hand gently reaching for the little black sheep...when I saw it I had to have it immediately.  I mean, not to get too personal here, but I have felt, so many times in my life, like I am that black sheep.  This is just the reminder I need that no matter how I feel, his hand is always reaching for me.  The name of the portrait is, Come As You Are.  Very appropriate, I'd say.  

Of course, my day to day life isn't very eventful (yay).  Just days filled with tender mercies and simple joys.  



Just bread making days...




And grandma days spent playing Bingo.

And of course, the quilts.  
Every year, my quilt guild does a friendship block give away in which any one who wants to signs up and then everyone in the group makes one block (the same block) for everyone else in the group.  One year we made houses.  Last year we made half-square triangles.  And, that's how I ended up with a box full of HSQ's that have sat in my closet forever.  
Last month I finally decided to figure out what to do with them.  

This is what I've come up with so far...not exactly my color palette but I had to work with what I was given.  What do you think???


I also joined a Block of the Month group at one of the quilt shops here in town.  How cute are these?

This has also been in my UFO closet for a while.  

I don't know why I let it sit unfinished for so long.  Those whimsical, little girls are just delightful.  

Gnomes seem to be all the rage lately, so this is me jumping on the bandwagon.  Not to mention, there is just something "springy" about a Gnome.  

Actually, the gnome fabric I used on the back is one I've had in my stash for over five years now.  So maybe I was ahead of the trend to begin with.  I never could find the right project for it so when I saw this cute pattern,  jumped on it.  The colors from that fabric helped be choose the color palette for the front.  

The fancy hedgehog fabric is one I found locally.  
Gnomes and hedgehogs, what can be more springy that that?

So this is how I've been counting down the days until spring.  
Today, I'm heading to the garden shop to get the supplies for planting some flower and veggie starts.  It may be drizzling outside and it may only be bagged soil, but I WILL be getting my hands in some dirt today.  

Friday, March 2, 2018

Kenson, Christmas and Quilts

Even though these last few months have been busy, I haven't taken time to post about them.  Truthfully, I sometimes find it hard to take the time to record my life.  I'm just too involved in living it.

Of course, the big news has been this little man, Kenson Clayton Burnham. What a sweet addition to the family he has been.  I cannot get enough of those big blue eyes.  He simply melts me. 

This melts me, too.  Watching your children love their children is a joy that cannot fully be expressed.   To say Kade is smitten is an understatement. 

Damen's family is flourishing as well.   
The kids are growing so fast!  I can't believe Mason is old enough to be losing his teeth.  

Doesn't he look like a little Abercrombie model?? So cute!

Maddie had her first day of pre-school this year.  She was so excited.  

I just had to put this one up for grins.  She is such a little devil sometimes.  She DID NOT want her mom to wash this off her face!  

She is my little buddy who has absolutely no problem telling grandpa that I am her favorite.  Matt and I get quite a kick out of that.  


I don't have too many pictures from Christmas but I did take a few.  Damen doesn't pose for too many photos so I'm posting this one for posterity. Here we are at the Bell Concert on Temple Square.  It is my favorite event of the season.  



Christmas day was filled with fun.

Even Matt couldn't contain himself.  (Not really, I made him pose like this.)


Luckily, we had some good, wet, pre-Christmas snow.  Perfect for snowman building and sledding. 

I finished this quilt just in time for the holiday.  It's my homage to the "ugly Christmas sweater" and I had some serious fun putting it together.  


This one is a definite keeper.  







It was the perfect showcase for all the retro and vintage Christmas prints I've collected over the years.   


I even adore the back!  I am a sucker for word fabric and when I found this fabric with the words from favorite Christmas songs it was a match made in heaven.  


This is my other big finish. This one is going in the fair.  
I actually finished the top quite a while ago but it has hung in the closet for over a year because I was terrified to quilt it.  I love the pattern so much, I didn't want to ruin it with subpar quilting.  


Finally, I just decided to go for it.  I'm really proud of it, as it is my first time quilting feathers.  


And I did some whimsical, little detail work on the dresses that I like very much.  


And again, a perfect word fabric for the back. Definitely, another keeper.  

One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon that seems to sum up my life neatly is found in the Book of Jacob:

"time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream..."
Life is good right now; simple, happy and filled with family.  I don't take that for granted.