Wednesday, May 13, 2015

This Kid

One of my favorite things to say about Finn is that he's the baby I didn't know I needed. He was, as you may have surmised, a surprise. The pregnancy was not an easy one. I am not someone who enjoys being pregnant. I don't find it wonderful and magical. I find it uncomfortable. I find that I am particularly clumsy. I twist ankles and fall down stairs. My tailbone has never quite recovered from a fall late in Mavis' pregnancy. I also cry a lot. And get overwhelmed easily.

So Finn. I was in a fog the entire pregnancy. Nothing felt right. I didn't want to sew. I didn't want to cook. I didn't want to eat (but I managed). I didn't want to go anywhere. Nothing was funny. Everything was hard. I remember sitting in the lobby at church one Sunday. Mavis was misbehaving, as she is wont to do. I was sitting on the couch with her while the meeting was going on, and I was sobbing. I could not take another minute of life. A sweet friend came and put her arm around me. It was a good thing she did, too, because a not so sweet man thought it was a good time to tell me to "enjoy these moments because they go by so fast." Um. Right. I was in the 9th circle of hell. But I'll be sure to have a good time.

As soon as Finn was born, all was right with the world. He was huge: 10 lb 4 oz. He was sweet from the beginning. The past 6 months have passed by in a blur. We've gone from him nursing every 2 hours to him eating rice cereal and applesauce. He sits up on his own. He smiles and giggles and flirts with anyone who stops to look at him. And me? I sew. I cook. I clean. I do the laundry (but I don't like to fold it).

We all love Finnegan.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Remember that commercial that begins with a collect call? It's a son calling his parents. When asked to say his name after the tone, he says, "wehadababyitsaboy." And then the dad rejects the charges and sits down to say to his wife, "They had a baby. It's a boy."

Well. Blog friends. Wehadababyitsaboy.

That explains my absence in a nutshell. Last spring I found out we were (surprise!) having another baby. For a number of reasons we kept it quiet for a long time. And then when we started to tell people, I lost the will to blog and sew and cook and clean and do anything besides moan and groan. It was not pretty.

But you know what is pretty? My baby boy Finn.

I miss blogging. I have a lot to say, and only a few tiny people around during the day to say it to. And they don't listen. So I'll meet you back here in a bit, okay? Okay.

Yoo-hoo! Hello, family!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

So, It's May?

It's May, which according to a song is a "lusty month." I'm not sure why. But man alive am I happy it's May! The sun! It exists! The windows! They open! The noses! They sneeze! We are just starting to get little buds on trees. Spring is green and brown around Pittsburgh. Early summer is very colorful. It makes me want to skip with joy.

April was a rough one around here. I won't dwell on it much. Suffice it to say that sometimes life throws you curveballs. You gotta roll with the punches. Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. I was angry and upset for a good long while, but woke up to realize that's just not me. So I let it go. I'm not angry now, but I am worried from time to time. I have immense faith that God will provide.

On to happy things -- one week from today is International Quilt Market. Here. In Pittsburgh. I am so excited I may not sleep all week. (Just kidding -- I love to sleep.) Two besties are coming into town and we'll hit the ground running. If you happen to read this blog and are coming, I would l-o-v-e to see you. I will be in The Quilted Fish booth. Find me, please!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Grandpa

The first memory I have of my Grandpa Zundel was when my younger brother was born. Grandpa, who we actually called Church, picked up me and my older brother and took us home to Richmond with him. That sounds really boring, when actually it was the most exciting thing that had happened in my short, 3 year life. He took us home in a private plane. I had blonde pigtails and wore the sweater he had brought me from a trip to Germany. A man in a brown suit on the plane tried to talk to me, but I don't think I answered. It was so terribly exciting. I'm also pretty sure that on that trip I slept in his closet. Did his closet have a couch? Or did they have a sitting room attached to their bedroom?

He had a green leather chair. He always sat in that chair to watch TV. We loved sitting in that chair. The one he had for the longest time had a huge indentation in the seat. It was like sitting in a bucket. Grandpa did not like it when we sat there, but it was just so comfortable.

Once when we were staying with them one summer, my Grandpa came home from work. He took the train into Chicago. He had been pick-pocketed. I remember in detail how he reenacted someone crawling over to him on the platform and pulling on his pant leg, creating the diversion for someone else to take his wallet. I was horrified. He enjoyed telling a good story, and could tell them well. Then, after cancelling credit cards, he took us out to dinner. I think we went to Carsons for ribs.

He had phrases that were uniquely his: cockeyed. Sam Hill. Hotter than a June bride in a feather bed.

He was a collegiate athlete who, as a catcher for Princeton, knocked out George Bush as he was rounding for home. It's a story that is oft repeated in our family, and we've even heard President Bush tell his version. Grandpa Zundel always makes an impression.

He gave me my Patriarchal Blessing. In fact, I was the first one he gave. He sealed Curly and me in the DC Temple. And when Curly and I were having some problems a few years ago, he called me on the phone to tell me how much he loved me. He lived in a different time zone by the time I was 8, but while we were in school, still came out every season to see my brothers, sister, and I play a game or act in a play. He visited me on my mission. He and Grandma followed me around Temple Square as I gave a tour and took pictures. Then they took me and my companion out to dinner at the very fancy Roof Restaurant.

One summer he bought all the girl cousins pretty gold necklaces. When asked where he got them, he vaguely said, "From a guy I know." To this day I have pictured a deal in a back alley where the guy opens a tan trench coat and has necklaces hanging inside.

The last time I saw him, I was pregnant with Ginger. We went to church with Church and Grandma Jeanne, and out to lunch the next day at The Cheesecake Factory. I am pretty sure he did not call me by name that entire time. Alzheimer's was setting in. Truth be told, I think he thought I was my mom. He sang the Princeton Fight Song the entire time to my kids. They thought he was hilarious.

He was a giant of a man who left a huge impression on my life. Yesterday, at the age of 90, he passed away. My heart aches for my Grandma. And, my heart aches for me. He called me Janaboo and he made me feel so special. I was his favorite. I know his reunion in heaven has been sweet. I am so thankful for eternal families. I will see him again. That knowledge is sweet.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


My last post was nearly two months ago. Two months! What the flagnog? I wish I could say super exciting things were going on, but that would be a giant lie. Nope. We've been dealing with winter. A paralyzingly cold, polar vortex induced, snowy winter. And then two days ago it was 65 and I opened the windows and we went to the park. And today it is 20 but feels like 7. The end.

I have logged a shockingly low amount of hours in my sewing room over the winter. For one, when the wind is howling and the fire is crackling, it is just too hard to resist the couch with an already-sewn comfy quilt. Also, my baby wakes me up every night, sometimes twice, like it's her job. That makes for a tired Mommy and only a couple of hours post kid bedtime to sit on said couch with said quilt in front of said fireplace.

And then today, when I had a list in my head of super fun things today, I rolled my ankle as I was coming down the stairs. So I have alternated between sitting with my leg up and hobbling after kids. It has not been super fun.

Instead I am dreaming of warmer weather and fun projects to finish. And here is a fun photo from the summer of a trip we took up to Palmyra, NY. Look how sunny it was. Notice the lack of coats. Instead of a White Christmas, I'm dreaming of a sunny springtime.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Special Quilt

Last week, Curly and I were invited to NC to see our dear friend be baptized. It's a huge deal. We have watched her grow spiritually for the past year and a half. The baptism itself was just the icing on the cake.
She asked Curly to baptize her. It was such an honor to be there. Let me tell you -- this is a strong woman. She is not easily swayed. She knows what she wants in life and goes after it. There have been some hiccups in her journey, but she has persevered. And while not everyone in her life agrees with her decision, they know she has come to it truthfully and honestly because they know the kind of woman she is, and they respect her decision. I just love her to pieces.

So I made her a quilt.
I wanted her to not only have something to remember this weekend by, but I wanted her to have a tangible reminder of the Comforter. When times get tough, and they will because that's just life, I want her to have something she can see and feel and be reminded of the promises she has made, and that God has made with her.

Her favorite color is red, so I used this fantastic Riley Blake chevron fabric for the back. I love it so hard. The best part about it is that it's 108" wide, so I didn't have to piece the back.
 So I went a little overboard with the size of this thing. The pattern calls this a "lap" size. Ha. Hahahhahhaha. That's a gigantic lap. It fits on her bed.

Quilt stats:

Pattern -- 3 in a Box by Jaybird Quilts'
Fabric -- Songbird by Carina Gardner for Riley Blake
Size -- Ginormous. 83" square.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Resolving, not Dissolving

I think I was in the minority this past December 31, because I did not want 2013 to end. It was a good year. We finally closed on our house in Maryland, we also bought our house here in Pittsburgh, and we had a baby. A very cute, happy, silly, baby who still likes to wake up for a little snuggle once or twice a night. And she has teeth. Three of them so far. They all broke through within a week. That was super fun.

I'm not one to wallow in the passage of time. I love that my kids grow and learn and become their own people. But, oh, if I could freeze things as they are right now, that would be fantastic. Freeze Mini-me when she is still young enough to play with My Little Ponies, but old enough to have her own sewing machine. Freeze Patch as he has giant teeth growing in and is constantly discovering new talents. Freeze Ginger as she daily discovers cool things, and sometimes it's the same discovery two or three times in a row. And freeze Baby as she lights up with Curly comes in the room, or as she waves and claps and tries to blow kisses. I wish I had frozen Flower before she got into high school and became so busy.

But I can't freeze time. So we'll march on. And while I march, I will "try a little harder to be a little better." This year I am resolving to be a better steward of my time. I am resolving to be kinder towards myself. And I am resolving to keep up with the laundry.

2013 was good to me. I can't wait to see the great things that will happen to me in 2014.