Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Motherhood & More: With the holidays upon us, I am thankful for coffee*

Every year I wonder how it is that the holidays have come so quickly. I’m not nearly ready for any of it and it’s become a tradition to rush around crazily at the last minute. I don’t think this is so much because I put things off, but rather I pile too much stuff on in hopes of being everything to everyone.

So, in the spirit of giving myself a break, I’m copping out on this column. I’m going easy on myself. So this will not be literary genius of a piece, as they normally are, of course. This will be a last-minute, thrown-together list written in between work and laundry.

You are so welcome.

Without further ado, I give you my Thanksgiving List Of Things I Am Thankful For:

  • I’m thankful my daughter slept all night in her own bed without crawling into mine, snoring and stealing all the covers.
  • I’m thankful for interesting work I can do from my dining room table.
  • I’m thankful my son enjoys reading as much as I do, even if his favorites employ toilet humor instead of complex plot development. “Captain Underpants,” I’m looking at you.
  • I’m thankful we have a house that is a cross between 1920s craftsman, 1980s renovation and 2010s my-children-have-too-much-junk-and-refuse-to-clean-up-after-themselves.
  • I’m thankful for coffee.
  • I’m thankful I have a husband who sometimes makes me lunch when I’m busy writing a column that is past due.
  • I’m thankful for laughter and corny jokes and friends and family who indulge me in both.
  • I’m thankful for people who buy and appreciate the jewelry and hand knits I so love to make.
  • I’m thankful for parents who raised me to know how to do things for myself, like making a pie, sewing a dress or growing a garden.
  • I’m thankful my backyard is shady so I have an excuse not to plant a huge garden that requires a lot of work.
  • I’m thankful for warmth and good food.
  • I’m thankful both of my children are thoughtful and kind.
  • I’m thankful for health.
  • I’m thankful for coffee.
  • I’m thankful for the village in our real village — we have a good set of friends/neighbors who always are willing to help each other when needed.
  • I’m thankful for a husband who doesn’t complain too much when I leave the living room strewn with yarn and project materials.
  • I’m thankful for feather blankets on cold mornings.
  • I’m thankful for good wine and good bourbon.
  • I’m thankful for knit sweaters and socks.
  • I’m thankful for hair dye to hide all of my gray hair.
  • I’m thankful for friends who remain friends, even when we hardly ever see each other.
  • I’m thankful for Minecraft entertaining my children sometimes so I don’t have to.
  • I’m thankful my husband fills up the car’s gas tank so I don’t have to worry.
  • I’m thankful for love and acceptance.
  • I’m thankful for coffee.

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on Nov. 25, 2015.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Guys. I was very deep for my age. (#tbt)

I'm fairly certain this was the correct time frame.
I am in a foul mood. Like a foul, I-hate-everyone-leave-me-alone-or-else-come-at-me-so-I-can-cut-
you foul mood.

It's awesome. I'm 78 percent sure it's from lack of sleep, but still, it's super frustrating because I have Responsibilities and Children and I can't just block everything out with a book on tape and my sewing machine.

Also I sliced open the tip of my right index finger Monday on a mandolin so typing is amazingly awesome. Also - ouch.

So, to cheer me up, I thought I'd read through some of my old journals again and share some especially awe-inspiring and melodramatic entries with you.

You are so very much welcome.  Also - if you have any that you'd like to show me that would make me smile, please do.

As always, most names changed to protect the innocent.



I feel weird. I say that alot in this journal. I can't even tell Tana how I feel. Sometimes I don't even know. Please help me. I always act happy at school. Today I started crying, not that much, noone could tell. Mrs. Gentry kept saying I was one of the people she had to wait on to sing. She has no right to say that because I always do what she says.

So and so lies to much. I wish she would stop lying to me about everything.

I'm not sure if I want to die anymore. I'm not sure of anything anymore.



Music is like Life. When the music stops, so does life.

I hope the music lasts forever.



I want everyone to get what they want as long as what the want doesn't hurt anyone.


3-27-94 (Later that night)

I just want to feel loved by a guy. Loved and wanted I don't feel loved or wanted right now.



You know what? This journal is terrible. All I ever tell you is what I want. But what about what I have? I have a great fried named Maria (Lue), I have a great family. I know that in the past, I've written in here that I have a terrible family, but that's not true. I love my family. Of course we get into fights, every family does.

Maria is the sweetest girl in the world. She's my best friend.

Well, I'm hopelessly in love with a guy named Chorizo (Present-day Jaime says I AM RUNNING OUT OF FAKE NAMES). He's really sweet, and of course he's cute. Ha Ha! The only problem is he's about a head shorter than me! I think he likes me, actually I'm pretty sure he does, I'm just waiting for him to make the first move.

Schools pretty good. I like most of my classes I've got 5th and 7th plus homeroom with Chorizo. Aint that great! But he's a sweetie, and I really like him


The rest of my journal entries can be found on this page: Jaime's embarrassing journal entries about boys she loved and also how much she wanted to get her period

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Motherhood and More: Don't lose your head over Mom-made costume*

I have a Halloween problem. Or, more specifically, I have a homemade Halloween costume problem.

You see, ever since the first time I sewed my oldest child his Halloween costume, I haven’t been able to go back to store-bought ones. I just have a problem paying upwards of $20-$40 for a costume that will be worn once, then fall apart.  That’s not to say that we’ve never rocked the premade ones, but this way makes us all happier.

Plus, as with everything I do as a parent, I have Mom Guilt. My mom made our Halloween costumes. They were always fun and awesome, especially that one year in high school where I made her sew me a sunset costume.

Yes, yes I did. And yes, yes she did.

So I feel it’s my duty to carry on the tradition because I have the capabilities. And it’s just fun. I like saying that I made it, and to me, Halloween should be all about creativity. You can be anything you want and should take full advantage of that.

So I’ve made ninja costumes, wizards, Batman, Harry Potter, an Elsa cape, and, though it wasn’t for Halloween, I’ve made a Luke Skywalker costume.

This year my son has been adamant that he will be the Headless Horseman. It took me awhile to figure that one out. We had a cape from last year’s Harry Potter costume, so that part was simple. But the pumpkin head has given me trouble. I’ve looked at Styrofoam pumpkins, plastic pumpkins and any other pumpkin I could find before dismissing them all as too small, too large, too difficult or too plastic-y. I finally realized that a Paper Mache pumpkin would be perfect. I could make it the size I wanted, easily cut a hole for his head, and it still would be light enough to sit on his shoulders without causing harm.

He wants it painted black with dripping blood, and he also wants to be able to throw it at people because of course he does.

He’s worrying a bit because it’s not quite finished yet.  Don’t worry, kid. I may be last minute but I always get it done.

I started the pumpkin head late because I’ve been fighting with my daughter’s fairy costume. This one was ridiculous. I’ve never sewn satin or organza, and never will again after this. Maybe if I’d done a bit of research before jumping in I wouldn’t have had such trouble, but if I had then I wouldn’t be me.

The costume has a dress and flowing skirt, plus a vest. And it was supposed to have handmade wings but I had to throw in the towel on that and use store-bought ones. There’s only so much torture I am willing to take in the name of homemade Halloween costumes and I had met my limit with all of the hand sewing required.

So I’m excited for Halloween because my kids are pumped about their costumes, which makes me feel good. And I hope that this is something they let me do for years and years to come.

I’ll even sew a sunset costume if that’s what they want.

Halloween 2012 can be found here and here. Sebastian's Luke costume can be found here. And Halloween 2013 is here. I don't have a post for Halloween 2014 because I got lazy, but I do have instagram photos! 

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on October 28, 2015.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Let's talk about exercise! (Hush, it's super awesome.)

I should really be working but I want to go back to bed.

That sentence probably runs through my head at any given time on any given day because zzzzzzzzzzzz and also DEADLINE.

But that's not what I'm here to discuss. I want to talk about fitness.

I know, I know. I'm vaguely dorky in a whole new way. But I can't help it. I am really, really enjoying what I'm doing.

I am the type of person who needs a program, I've discovered. I can run regularly and do a bit of weight training, but nothing has worked and I haven't really stuck with anything because BORING and also I WOULD LIKE TO SEE RESULTS.

I recently discovered the 21 Day Fix. I'd heard about it before, either from a blog post or pinterest recipe or the like. But I didn't delve any further for whatever reason, until last month. I spoke with a friend who was really involved in the Team Beachbody programs, and she seemed just as excited as I am now. So I joined. And I get it.

(Excuse me while I gush a bit.)

I like that I have a 30 minute exercise program first thing in the morning. I like that they are different each day of the week. I like that I can double up on the exercises after awhile. I like that there are modifications built into the exercises so I don't feel quite as bad if I can't do something as well as these people who workout for a living.

I also really, really love the shakeology because it is delicious.

I like that I did a full minute forearm plank for the first time in my life this morning. I like that I can feel and see new muscle definition.

I feel like I'm getting somewhere, and when that happens I am even more motivated to keep going. So many times I've started focusing on fitness super hard and dedicated, with little results. And I get sad and mad and say FINE! SCREW THIS it's not worth it if I'm not going to be where I want to be.

But this one is working, guys.

This is my second time on the program. I finished the first one the end of September, then took a week off for my kids' fall break and camping and beer drinking.

I started back this past Monday and it huuuurrrrrtt. I was so sore, but I loved it because I WAS DOING SOMETHING.

I'm really hoping to move on to something a bit tougher after this. Body Beast? Maybe? I haven't decided because it depends on where I am once I'm done with this program.

I even signed up to be a Beachbody coach because I feel so strongly about all of this. So if you're interested at all let me know and I can hook you up with info and encouragement and challenge packs and whatnot.

I also incorporated running because apparently I am training for the Kentucky Derby Mini-Marathon.

Chris has been really pushing for this because the race is right around our 10 year wedding anniversary and, I admit, it's kind of a cool way to celebrate. Plus he knows that it is something I want to do for myself to show that I can.

I am terrified. I am not a good runner at all, but I hope that by giving myself enough time and actually following a training schedule I can do it.