Goodbye, 2014!

December 31, 2014

Sigh…  It is always a mixed blessing to have the guests leave, the Christmas decorations packed up and life start to return to normal.  Normal is a little slow coming.  We started a small household project that is taking longer than usual and limiting my access to the garage which apparently, I access a lot.  We had a new couch delivered and to make room for it, we put the old one in my craft room.  For over a week.  Along with the coffee table ottoman.  Stuff has kinda been piling up lately, literally.  The Salvation Army picked up the couch today and we took the ottoman to the consignment store.  The decorations are mostly packed up but the containers are still waiting to be put back in the garage.  We are getting there.


This is an especially hectic time of year for me.  I’m still learning how to manage things with Joshua’s birthday in the mix.  It is getting easier.  I have learned to be realistic about the amount of stuff I can take on.  I am keeping my projects small and manageable  and every year I’m able to do a little more.  I actually did some baking this year, and I managed to get sweets to our neighbors before Christmas Eve!  I still chuckle when I think about how my neighbors and I were criss-crossing each other on the street to get our goodies delivered.  It was fun and festive.  My mom and I made tamales for the third year in a row and we are getting better!   The preparation goes a lot more quickly and they are getting tastier each year.


Given all that there is to do, it’s hard to find time to sit and enjoy the season.  I think that’s where I need improvement.  My favorite memory from this visit is from an early morning.  Joshua had just woken up and, like usual, he plodded into my room to snuggle with me.  Bill followed close behind.  My mom checked that we were decent and then hopped up into bed with us.  Casey joined us.  Jacob was not too far behind.  So here we are, all of us on my bed and I say “where’s Gracie?”  And up hopped Gracie.  I wish we had been able to take a selfie because it was a fun moment.

Our Christmas was relaxing and low key.  It took over an hour to open presents; Joshua waited patiently for his turn.  We visited with family on the computer and played with our gifts.  We had cooked our big dinner on the 24th and the 25th was a day to take it easy.

The holiday was barely over when my thoughts turned to the new year.  I’ve been thinking about resolutions and I’ve decided to make this the year that I catch up.  Really.  I’ve been carrying so many projects forward that I need to stop making excuses and just do them.  I’ve also decided to take one morning a week and take a craftsy class while Joshua is in school.  (Something else I had been meaning to do and haven’t done).

Explaining the bayberry candle

I say goodbye to 2014 with thanks in my heart.  It was a good year.  Our bayberry candle is burning down as I type this and I hope that it starts our 2015 on the right foot.  We normally light our bayberry candle on Christmas Eve but we remembered at about 11PM so we decided to do it on New Year’s Eve.  That’s the kind of year it’s been.

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A Crafty Christmas

December 10, 2014



I feel like over the last couple of years I haven’t done much Christmas crafting.  A couple of small things here and there, but nothing very significant.  With Joshua’s birthday right in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I feel like this time of year passes in a blur.  This year however, I started early and was able to do some fun Christmas crafts.  I’ve been working on a couple of different ornaments.  One is from the Make it Market Kit from Papertrey Ink.  I’ve recently become interested in a lot of these paper crafts and when I saw this kit, I had to have it.  The ornaments just look so cool and there was a video showing me exactly what I needed to do.    Needless to say, I treated myself and over the course of a couple of days over a couple of weeks I put the ornaments together.  They went out to family as a small token of appreciation to family who were so wonderful to Joshua when we were recently in New Orleans.  I was all set to make more except that it has been nearly impossible to find more of the plastic ornaments.  I even had a bad experience on Amazon trying to get them.  But I’m really happy with the ornaments I did finish.  They were fun!  And I can always make more for next year.


My other craft required a little more brain power.  I had seen this idea on Pinterest, but no instructions.  (Actually, I falsely assumed there were no instructions but I just clicked on the pin and “ta da” there they were.)  Anyhoo, I figured it out myself and have made 3 of them.  They are little gifts for a couple of knitting friends.  I used little bits of leftover yarn, and had no trouble finding these kinds of ornaments.

It’s not much, but it’s something.

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December 5, 2014

Helloooo, Blog.  It’s been a bit.  I’ve thought about you a lot.  Last week I even sat down to say hi.  Then, BOOM!  8 days go by and I still haven’t finished my Thanksgiving post.  I feel like I reference time flying by in every post but it’s so true.  I’ll try and do better.  Are we still friends?

It’s the season for being extra busy, but we are doing our best to enjoy it.  My dad was in town for a couple of weeks and my in-laws had been in town right before for Halloween.  Both were lovely visits.

Thanksgiving was low-key.  Bill made a fabulous feast.  I helped a little and made the apple pie from scratch.  I did some chopping for Bill but he did the rest.  I think he prefers it that way.  Not that I’m a slouch in the kitchen department thankyouverymuch, but I think he enjoys it way more than I do.  Anyway…  delicious meal of which I can take no credit.


Since it’s the season, I have been thinking about how much I have to be thankful for.  I have a happy, healthy child who gives me more joy than I deserve.  I have a truly wonderful husband who supports me in all of my crazy craftiness, my “brilliant” ideas for home projects, my yoga and lets me snuggle in bed when I need a break.  I have Casey and Gracie who are sweet and loving critters, both so patient with Joshua.  We live in California where I can walk in December and smell the roses.  Bill has a great job with a great company where he is challenged, treated with respect and fed well.  Our parents come out to visit, are healthy and willing and able to make beautiful memories with their grandchild.  We have loving families.  I have great friends, both old and new.  I have hobbies that both challenge and relax me.  I have amazing memories of loved ones who are smiling down on me from heaven.  My life is filled with love and beauty.  For everything, I am so thankful.




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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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