Glaze covers many sins

March 21st, 2014

I got my pieces back from my first pottery class last night. I’m taking beginner pottery again (along with 3 other women from my last class). My pots are a little misshapen and wonky but I have to say the glaze makes them look much cuter than when they were just bisque fired. My main problem is that I haven’t got the whole pulling up the walls action. If you look, all of my pots/mugs/things are about the same height no matter how much clay I started with. My goal for remedial beginner pottery is to figure that piece out. But I have to say I like most of my little pieces. These are all of them but 1 raspberry colored bowl my mother in law chose as her favorite.

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Steve made fun of the mug. It is pretty shallow and weighs a ton because of all of the clay in the bottom that didn’t get pulled up. I’m determined to figure this out and hope to have a little more variety of shape and size to show off after this round of classes.

 

Spring preview

March 16th, 2014

Time keeps marching forward at a much faster pace than seems possible. The girls continue to get bigger despite my best efforts to keep them my babies.  Sabrina is 7 1/2. Tessa is 5 1/2. Tessa outgrew both her bike helmet and her bike over this never ending winter. Sabrina continues to thwart all efforts to teach her to ride her bike without training wheels while at the same time starting to outgrow the bike she refuses to ride. Spring break is this week. Only 2 months of the school year remain. Then I will have a 3rd grader and a kindergartener. And I will have to figure out what the next chapter of my life holds. No pressure.

For now, let’s focus on some photographic evidence that this winter might end at some point. We had a little taste of spring last weekend and took advantage of it by playing outside.

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I’ll have a post later this week or next weekend to show off the first round of my finished pottery pieces. Warning: there will be many disclaimers about how hard it is because many of them are ugly and misshapen. But I love them anyway.

Reinventing the wheel – or how to give up your control issues for 3 hours a week

February 7th, 2014

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Steve and I celebrated our 9th anniversary in October. Ninth anniversary is pottery. I might kind of have a thing for pottery. Steve, being the amazing husband that he is, signed me up for a pottery class as my gift. I was so excited – I’ve always wanted to try throwing pottery. I couldn’t take the class the started right after our anniversary because the first class conflicted with Sabrina cheering at a football game (the things we do for our kiddos) so I started the session that began in January. It is 8 weeks for 3 hours each session.

It is so much fun. And so freaking hard. This sounds conceited but I am usually good at things when I put my mind to it. But so far? I suck at pottery. Yet I still love it. Did I mention it is hard? I’ve got the centering down which is what I had always heard was so difficult so I thought I was golden. Nope. For me the difficult part is pulling the walls up. I just can’t quite get the motion and the pressure right. I either put my finger through the wall or I get timid and don’t pull enough clay up from the bottom. And just when I think I’ve discovered all the ways I can destroy my creations, we learn trimming. That went horribly wrong as well. I just finished my 4th class. I have to say last night went way better than the first 3 weeks. We throw 4 pieces each class and I left the class with 4 intact pieces. Previously, I only had 3 pieces total that survived to their first firing.

The process is fun. It is kind of cool to get that dirty as a grown up – I haven’t been that muddy in *mumble mumble* years. I think it is good for me to do something that I suck at but enjoy. It is humbling. And it also makes me loosen up a bit with my control issues. I might seem laid back but only when I am in control *insert evil laugh*. Once I have some complete pieces (still need to glaze and fire again), I’ll share them here. Keep your expectations low. They are ugly. Not rustic. Ugly. But they are mine and I’ll be proud of them.

Christmas 2013

January 5th, 2014

We always enjoy our trips home. We spent most of this one sick and in and out of bed but at least we got to do it in the comfort of a quiet hotel room. The girls stayed with my inlaws and had a grand time. They had their first Build A Bear experience – and both chose to build My Little Ponies instead of bears. No surprise there. They played with their cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. We spent 2 days in Ohio at the end of our trip. I actually made it out to have a beer in one of my old haunts. That allowed me to hang out with my sister and see a couple of friends. Going home always makes me home sick. I remind myself that it wouldn’t be the same living there again but it is hard to remember that some days. But it is always nice to return home too. We had some friends over for a potluck on new years eve and that reminded me why TN is home too now.

My snaggle tooth girl – her front tooth was hanging by a thread for ages. Then it and a bottom one came out at the same time.

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Tessa is into super heroes right now. I love it because I am tired of princesses and glitter. We are having fun with the superhero toys she got for Christmas. She also loves legos and magnetic tiles. I encourage anything that isn’t pink these days.

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Sabrina is starting to get into music. We managed to keep her into the 80s for a long time but she is starting to hear about other things from her friends. She got a little MP3 player this year and loves it. Taylor Swift is a current favorite.

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We try not to spoil the girls but it warms my heart to be able to make their faces light up with a requested toy. Sabrina was bummed because she didn’t get an Equestria Girl doll as she requested from Santa. She found a Rainbow Dash Equestria Girl under the tree at home and was thrilled. Tessa wanted a barbie with a horse and was happy to find that under the tree.

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Hope you all had a very merry and happy holiday.

You’ll shoot your eye out

December 17th, 2013

I’m struggling with Christmas this year. It seems each year I like Christmas a little bit less. Not the season – I love the season with everyone being merry and jolly. It is the actual day of Christmas that I struggle with. I dislike it. The pressure and consumerism…it bothers me more every year. I adore spending the week up north with our family. It is really amazing. I love getting a bit of alone time with Steve in the place where we spent our magical first couple of years together falling in love (I know, I know – but we are schmoopies like that). It is fantastic that we get to spend the week of Christmas kind of suspended from our normal lives. Watching the girls surrounded by aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins is fabulous. If I could just remove December 25th from the mix, it would be perfect.

Enough of my being grinchy. You come to see the girlies. I haven’t had my camera out much. In fact, my mom was here for 5 days at Thanksgiving and I didn’t take a single photo. Life is moving along. The %$#@ elf showed up again this year. His hi-jinks are definitely petering out. I’ll be glad for him to return to the North Pole. We’ve watched our favorite Christmas movies and cartoons. We baked cookies on a “snow” day and took them to some neighbors. My girlfriends and I had an ugly sweater party. I won. It was really hideous. Homemade is the key to a really bad holiday sweater. Sabrina finally lost her front tooth after months of it hanging loose. These 2 phone photos as all I have to offer.

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Early Santa Visit

November 9th, 2013

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We usually see Santa at our annual Moms Club Christmas Party. This year, the party was cancelled. I had nightmares about having to go to the mall in December and wait in line for an over priced mall Santa photo. Then a local business advertised an open house with take-your-own Santa photos. And the set up/background was lovely. So early Santa for the win!

Sabrina was happy to sit and chat with Santa. Tessa was less sure. She sat there. She let me take photos. She told him what she wanted. Then she ran right back to mommy the second we were finished.

A few photos

November 3rd, 2013

I realized this summer that I am kind of over blogs. Mine and everyone else’s. I haven’t been writing here (obv) but I also haven’t been reading many blogs lately. Once in awhile I check in on a couple but after 7 1/2 years of blogging and reading hundreds of blogs, I just need a break from it. It was feeling like an obligation on both ends. I felt obligated to write and to read. Don’t write me off completely. I’ll pop in and put up some photos and maybe a funny story now and then. And I’m sure I’ll come back to it all some day in the not too distant future. But for now, this few and far between thing will likely continue. Thanks to those who have checked in that we are all okay – we are all great. Just busy with life.

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When I lived in Ohio, everyone went to Myrtle Beach for vacation. When I lived in Pittsburgh, everyone went to OBX for vacation. Now that I live in TN, everyone heads to Destin for vacation. We have been here a little over 6 years (!?!?) now and had yet to make it to the gulf shore. A few weeks ago, the girls and I remedied that. We met my mom for a long weekend and frolicked in the surf in SeaGrove, FL. It was gorgeous. I haven’t been to the gulf in probably 30 years. I forgot how beautiful and clear and calm it is. The girls had so much fun. The Atlantic isn’t their favorite – it is usually cold and rough so they stay away from the water. But here we could have spent all day on the beach if 3/4 of us wouldn’t have turned into lobsters. I really enjoyed it more than I’ve enjoyed a beach in a very long time.

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This child takes my breath away. She is so beautiful.

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School is going well for everyone. We decided to do another year of preschool for Tessa so that she could mature a little bit socially. It feels like the right decision. Sabrina seems to be catching up in areas that she has struggled with. There are fewer tears this year over reading and homework. (Also less homework – yay!) Halloween is always cause for big excitement. We had Robin (or SuperGirl if you asked Tessa…she is suddenly into super heroes and after 7 years of pink and sparkle, I’m all about it) and a cat this year.

She has moves like Jagger.

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Sabrina also loves climbing trees in our front yard now.

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So there you have it. All the news worth knowing around these parts. Life is pretty quiet. And I’m pretty happy about that.

 

End of an era

July 28th, 2013

I almost never dress the girls alike. Usually just 1 outfit for our family photos at the beach. This year, for the first time, Sabrina objected. She also pouted and sulked. I promised I wouldn’t make her do again. But I didn’t make any promises about coordinating outfits. Because look how stinking cute they are!

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The attitude is developing nicely in the bigger child. She has been expressing that she is mad at me about different things. We got our first silent treatment at the beach this year. Sadly for her, it cracked us up and I documented it with a photo “My baby’s first silent treatment”

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She was mad because we walked to the lighthouse and didn’t realize there was a fee to climb to the top. We didn’t bring our wallets so we couldn’t go up. She walked 5 steps ahead of us and refused to speak the whole way back to the house. She wasn’t amused that we were so tickled at her attempt to freeze us out. The photo taking and chuckling might have fueled her indignation. There was another incident of not talking to me (that one apparently Steve wasn’t blamed for) and being mad at me at Cracker Barrel on the way home. It was also met with mirth. She is kind of screwed with that tactic. It won’t ever work with us.

OBX 2013 – now with fewer words!

July 19th, 2013

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Steve and I – photo (and the next couple) courtesy of my SIL…the last few are mine). A relaxing week (if hellish drive to and fro) at the beach was just what I needed. A break from the girls’ bickering, time to read books, swimming, crossword puzzles, and cocktails.

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The ocean was FREEZING so our swimming was in the pool only. But the girls liked playing in the sand.

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My BIL took some time to paint.

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We just returned from our annual family vacation. A great time was had by all. The girls had a great time with their cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. I love that they get this week every year with extended family.

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We spent the night in Asheville on the way home. We just love it there. If we could figure it out, we would move there. The girls had a great time dancing at an outdoor concert after dinner.

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Happy 4th!

July 4th, 2013

We are about 1/2 through summer vacation here. I’m ready to start counting the days until school starts. I’m having fun with the girls but their constant bickering is driving me crazy. They talk constantly. I answer 1,343,564 questions a day. And the eating. Holy cow, the eating! Where to they put it all? They are constantly saying “I’m still hungry!” I’ve tried discussing the difference between hungry and not being stuffed or being bored but they just look at me blankly and say “We are still hungry.” So, I got a brilliant idea from a friend. Snack baskets. I put all of the food (outside of reasonably sized breakfast and lunch and dinner) that they can have in the day in a basket in the frig. They may eat what they want, when they want. But when it is gone, it is gone.

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A couple of types of fruit, some nuts, yogurt, hard boiled egg, and a granola bar. I vary it every day. I try to do some veggies but no one is ever hungry enough to eat them. Sometimes, they spend all morning just eating it all and then have nothing for the afternoon but they’ve learned there are no refills. They seem to like the control it gives them. I like forbidding the phrase “I’m still hungry” from being uttered in my house.

Sabrina spent a week at day camp. That was a great break for all of us from the bickering. But can I just say she looks way too old/big in this photo from the last day? The growing up needs to stop now.

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Otherwise, we’ve had a low key summer. It has been unusually cool and rainy here in TN so very little pool time. They took some swim lessons at our local rec center but they were pretty worthless and the girls didn’t really learn much. We have made it to the zoo twice which is surprising because it is usually way too hot for zoo trips in July. The girls are excited beyond belief about our annual family beach vacation which is coming up later this month. We’ve been counting down the days.

Last year, the fourth festivities were cancelled due to dry conditions – the cities around us banned fireworks because of fire concerns. This year it has been raining for over 24 hours. But at least the rain let up a little to let us have a little low key fun with sparklers and smoke bombs. The girls declared it the best ever.

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Seriously – look how green that grass is. It is usually brown and crunchy this time of year. But it has been so moderate and so rainy that we could mow every 4 or 5 days.


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