Wednesday, October 19, 2011


It's been well over a month since my last post and a friend recently said to me "I miss the Cyber Seckmans."

Me too, friend.  Me too.

Truth is, this last month has been pretty hard for me, on me, for my family and on my family.  If I'm completely honest, this last entire year has been tough because I acknowledged the spiral back in January and I don't think I'm entirely out of it yet.  I thought I was turning around and quickly proclaimed 2011 as "The Year of Re-Constructing Anna," vowing to get back to the old me and be who I deserve to be.  Who I want to be for both, myself and those around me.

So far?  Nothing. 

More therapy, different doctor, different meds and still I am filled with indifference, loneliness, sadness and anger. A general sense of hopelessness and a constant yearning to be the old me while firmly stuck inside the current me.  My mind is a muddied mess.

I don't doubt that I'll come out of this okay.  At some point I will find a regimen that works for me and will be able to get back on the path of re-construction. 

I just need a little more time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Updates from the Sewing Lair

Just a quick update to let you know that I've been super busy in my sewing lair....   

New to the shop:  zipper pouches!  I created a total of 4, including this cutie for myself and have them priced at a measly $16.00 each.  With any luck (ha) they won't last long!

An oldie but goodie is the mug rug.  The shop has also been updated with a variety of mug rugs in all colors and sizes.  Priced at $5.00 each these are a steal.

Per my sister's request, I made my first fully lined bag for Elliot, cousin Nate and birthday boy Kael a few weeks ago.  Following a pattern from Chez Beeper Bebe, these bad boys only took a few hours each but are sure to get hours more of use from each of the boys getting one.

And last, but certainly not least, the beast is done.  This Bottled Rainbow quilt took months to create with each block commanding about 3 hours of work ... crazy?  Yes, I am.  But I absolutely love it!

Shop updates here.
Flickr updates here.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Hey Waiter!

Hey Dad -

Remember how this weekend we were talking about how gross flies are because they puke on you every time they land on you? 

Well, I found a large, dead fly in my iced tea last night at a local eatery.  Not only did he likely puke all over the ice in my glass but he died there too and filled my cup with carcass germs.  I found him after I had already drank some of my tea.  I still throw up a little in my mouth when I think about it.

And?  The manager only comped my tea.

I hope your night was better.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

You Win, Zuckerberg.

Something Sewn has been back on facebook for a little while now and has a gigantic pool of likers (read: 32).  Do you want to like me too?  Do you?  Oh goodie!  Go here.

What I didn't want to do was set up a profile for myself but it seems Mark Zuckerberg thinks otherwise and in order for me to fully utilize my Something Sewn fb page I need to be linked up to a profile.  Tricky, Mark.  For the last week I've been having a staring match with him and it hasn't seemed to help my cause.  I even used his name in vain a few times in an attempt to ruffle his um, leg hairs?  Nothing.

Today I caved and blinked my eyes.  Anna Seckman is back on facebook.

Damn you, Zuckerberg.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Big 500

I've got super big huge news today, people:
This?  Right here?  Is my 500th post. 

I have had 500 things to share with you, tell you, let you know.

And, oddly?  I'm at a loss for today's post and have no words.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mouth of Babes or Whatever-the-F&@#

I was getting dressed this morning and my 4 year old gasped, exclaiming OH MY GOSH your underwear is like thiiiis big! with outstretched arms to show me just how big.


How'd your day start?

Friday, August 26, 2011

And All of My Money Goes To....

Commenter #9 - Wendi, who posted as Anonymous, gets a total of $16.60 from me just for playing. I was pretty sure I only had the $0.60 so it was a good day to play along.  Thanks for all the comments - I loved reading every single one.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Blippits: A Definition and Examples

Hi, my name is Anna and it's been 2 weeks since my last post.
And I don't honestly know when or if it will get any better.

You see, I just don't feel like I have anything to talk about that you would actually want to read.  Things are going on, sure, but I never feel like it's anything you'd want to hear about.  Or I have a post in mind that nearly requires a picture - something I'm just too lazy and forgetful to do.  And some are things that I'm not sure how to actually talk about here.

So, instead, I give you blippits (blurbs + snippets):
  • Elliot has moved up to the 4 year old / official preschool room at school leaving behind his beloved Ms. Nicole.  Her favorite memory of him?  Him coming up to her and politely telling her "my shorts are in my body" ... I guess we failed at teaching him what a wedgie is.  
  • Also, he got new shoes - in a size 12W.  Hellllo, giant feet.
  • The first Farmers' Market I did was great.  The second?  Sucked so bad that it had me re-thinking my ability to even turn on a sewing machine. Thankfully, Etsy picked up a bit and my confidence was restored.  Farmers' Market though?  Pshaw, I'm over you.
  • I got a REALLY COOL invite to be in a local craft show (that shall remain nameless for what I'm about to say...) but then got uninvited (I KNOW) because one item I make is too similar to something that two other people make.  I responded that I was disappointed and thought I had more to offer than just that one item... and noted I wouldn't be applying.  I'm really upset about this one - I was so excited that she searched me out and personally invited me to be a part of her show and then, with clickety-clack of the keyboard, uninvited me without much thought. 
  • New nephew alert!  Wyatt joined the ranks of Seckman grand kids as Fred's sister Steph had her second child nearly 2 weeks ago.  He's as cute as his brother was and just as charming.
  • We'll be at Disney World in 29 days!  I only wish that said FOR 29 days.
  • And because thinking of the big Dee-Dub (get it?  DW? Short for Disney World? Oh forget it.) reminds me of lots of people taking your picture, let me tell you a sad little story involving yours truly.  You see, we had a special event last week that I had to work at and numerous pictures were taken.  Numerous pictures showing just how (ah-hem) large I have become.  If you know me at all, you know I'm not one of those 'Yeah, and I'm proud of my curves" women but, instead, am the type that was made physically ill at the sight and cued up the band for my very own pity party while simultaneously trying to hide out under a desk somewhere lest someone should see this ugliness.  How much ugly can I lose in 29 days?
  • The place where I work laid off two employees on the first of this month thanks to the lack of funding to sustain the positions. I'm still not sure what to think about it all and am completely unsure that it's even blog appropriate. All I know is that I am no longer working with two people that I considered to be both, coworkers and friends. And I miss them. And, in a sick sort of way, I'm happy it wasn't me.
  • On the heels of that news, we decided to take on a few home improvement projects in the event that it could be me next time and if we needed to sell the house, at least we'd be ready to go. What started off as some weeding and mulching in the back led to painting shutters, painting the front door, installing new door hardware and making plans to replace outside lights next month. Speaking of outside...
  • Shrubbery Update: I've got Fred nailed down for NEXT SPRING to get rid of those barberries! Finally! Hurray! Hurrah! How long till "next spring?"  That's like February, right?
  • Speaking of Fred, we celebrated our 7th anniversary earlier this month by shipping Elliot off to Tecumseh so I could sew and he could play video games. Uninterrupted.  That?  Is love. 
In honor of our anniversary, I'll give one lucky commenter all the money in my wallet!  All you have to do is tell me something that's happened in your life recently or give a suggestion on what you'd like me to blog about.  I'll leave this open through Thursday at 11:59pm CST and pick a winner at random on Friday.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Let's Talk about Meds, Bay-bee

For the most part, I'm open and honest here and don't shy away from posting about my struggles with depression and anxiety even if it does send my pulse racing before I click "Publish Post" and wince, waiting for the lashings. 

The lashings never come.

Instead I get outpourings of support and love.  Support from people that understand what I'm talking about and that maybe struggle too.  Support from people that love me regardless of any disease I may have.

Yes, disease.  It is a disease.

And being no different than a Diabetic treating their disease with insulin, I treat my depression and anxiety with medication too.  Something in my brain isn't producing the right chemicals and I'm fixing that. 

But somehow I'm viewed as the crazy one - the one with a - shhhh! - mental illness. 

A friend asked this weekend why there is such a stigma attached to it.  I had no answer.  Why, she asked, is it such a big hushed-up secret as if you'd die should anyone find out you're on an anti-depressant.  I still had no answer.  Isn't it easier to justify if it's Post-Partum Depression and not just regular depression?   Again, no answer.

Today I read a blog post that nearly brought me to tears.  Struggling for some time, she didn't want to take her meds because of weight gain and honing her fine skills of convincing herself she's just fine. 

Like somehow breaking down and taking these stupid little pills makes her any less of a person - a mom, a wife, a woman, whatever.  Like somehow treating her disease would be viewed as socially inappropriate.

Been there, done that, got over it. 

I just wish everyone else would too so that those of us struggling wouldn't constantly feel like we're climbing up a hill filled with your disdain and dirty looks.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Favorite Time

Hands down, my favorite time of day every single day is the moment I check in on a (hopefully) sleeping Elliot.  I creep into his room, pull the covers back over his tiny, 4 year old body, and instantly forget (hopefully) any of the rotten things he may have done that day.

To see him sleeping - so soft and innocent - erases the yelling and scolding but reinforces the giggling and cuddling.  My boy - my perfect boy - resting up for another day with Giraffey and a blankie in addition to all of his normal bedding.

Some nights are easier than others and some nights beg me to call a witness to what I see - naked butt up in the air, most of a body hanging out of bed, etc. 

Last night was one of those nights. 

I know I should get on him about playing with things in bed, but when you go in his room and see that cuteness, how can you do anything but smile?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Kind Reminder to Myself

A reminder to myself as someone that takes everything and everyone entirely too seriously. Thank you, Pinterest, for this gem today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Local Feature

A local photographer, Natalie Myers of Shay Chic Photography has a segment she does on Wednesdays featuring a local crafter called Homegrown Wednesday.

Guess who today's featured crafter is?

If you guessed me, you guessed right.
(If you guessed someone else, shove off.)

Hop on over and be sure to show her, and me, some bloggy love.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

My High School Un-Reunion

High school sucked.  It sucked for everyone but I especially hated it.

We moved to Ohio right before my 9th grade year, making me a transplant among classmates that had been together the previous 9 school years.  I wasn't the judge's kid, I wasn't an athlete, wasn't popular and certainly wasn't rich.  I wasn't in one of the existing cliques and had a hard time making friends.  I was a girl from Nebraska (gasp!) who played in band and I was made, quickly, to feel my place in that school among my classmates.

So it's with mixed emotion that I read a former classmate's blog post about her 15 Year Reunion. The Jefferson Area High School Class of 1996 Reunion.  Our high school class reunion. MY reunion.


On one hand, I don't care because I wouldn't have wanted to go but on the other hand I feel a little like I just got put in my place.  Again, only 15 years later.

And that?  Sucks.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Too Hot for a Hot Tub

This heat is ridiculous.  And relentless.  And calls for swearing.

FUCK it's hot.

We've been in a heat advisory for close to a week now meaning that our temps are hovering at 100 and the heat indexes (indices? indicees?) are well into the 110's.  That's choking on the air hot. That's begging someone else to get the mail for you hot because the driveway will burn the soles off your feet hot. 

So when I got out of the shower yesterday morning, sweating, I wasn't totally surprised and didn't think a whole lot about it until I got an email from Fred about an hour later at work:  Our AC is out. I'm meeting someone there between 1 and 3pm.

A flurry of bad thoughts went swimming in my head, each one worse than the other.  OMG the house is going to be so hot since we have to wait another 5 - 7 hours.  Hot houses means spoiled food.  I hate bad bread. I wonder if the entire system is blown; it is a 14 year old unit. (Heh, I said unit.) I bet we'll have to replace the whole thing.  And that?  Will mean NO trip to Disney World.  Gahhh kill me now, it's hot and I can't see the mouse in a couple months and I have to replace the most major appliance in our house and I don't know how we'll pay for it. I don't even know how much a heat pump thingy is! Or hell, what it even is!  I'm irrational! and! using! too! many! exclamation! points!

I had no choice but to chill out about it for a few hours and was relieved to find out the repair had been done and wasn't going to cost the $14,000 I was envisioning.  It was the capacitor. And this guy?  Had the part in his truck. 

I would later learn that it was not the flux capacitor
that requires 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power. 


Good News:  It got fixed for a reasonable sum and in great time.
Bad News:  The house got up to 84 balmy degrees.
Good news:  I woke up shivering at 5am. 


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Random Updates and Smatterings

Those Damn Bushes.  Long blog post short, ugly and pokey bushes line our front walkway and I want them gone.  Now.  We've agreed on 2 years which is now down to 1 year and 8 months since I started the Campaign of Doom in March of this year.  Times-a-tickin, Freddie Bill.

Un-Pregnancy Scare.  Elliot told his classmates all about his little brother the other day.  How he's little and he crawls and he's cute.  His name?  Henry.  Turns out, he meant to say Cousin.

My Numb Hands.  Still happens occasionally but not at the frequency it was.  I'm not bothered enough to actually fork out the money for a doctor's visit and am, instead, somewhat entertained by flicking my hand to see if I can feel it.  I can't.

Feelings. Let's talk about feeeeelings!  As mentioned here, Elliot still has a higher preference for his dad over me.  Most recently I heard this gem: Mom, I like you but I like daddy more so he's going to put me to bed.  Dagger to the heart, man.

My Yard.  Turns out, I'm still not going to be a gardener.  I have managed to keep some flowers alive (read: it's rained on just the right days) but haven't done much more than that.  I blame the bunnies that ate my freshly planted cornflowers and the stupidly hot sun; they have sucked my will to live.  As a gardener, that is.

The Big Craft Update.  Since doing all of of my updates and announcing my upcoming appearance at the Farmers' Market, I've sold a business card wallet, a doll quilt and three pairs of pajamas.  I'm also going to be featured (not sure when) on a local blogger's Homegrown Wednesday segment!  Hooray!

Posts.  While I know they have been infrequent as of late, they're inching up to the 500 mark.  What should we do?  Have a blog party?  (What is a blog party?)  Have a giveaway of some kind?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


  • I can only get John Tesh on my radio in the evening but I listen to him anyway because I can't imagine not sewing for even one night.
  • When Elliot tells me he doesn't like me, I hug him harder anyway because it makes me feel better.
  • Even though I'm watching what I eat, I take the family out for ice cream anyway.
  • My house is never very clean, but I feel at home anyway.
  • Fred hates when I dump pictures onto the desktop and leave them there but I do it anyway because I'm just that lazy.
  • He, apparently, loves me anyway.  (Or just tolerates it?)
  • The outfits Elliot picks are awful but I let him go to preschool them in them anyway because I choose to pick my battles.
  • Every month we swear off eating out very much but go to Lazlo's anyway, so, you know, we can discuss this idea.
  • I shake my head and roll my eyes at Fred and even though Elliot has mastered the exact action I do it anyway.
  • I'm not too keen on swimming but we put Elliot in lessons anyway so he doesn't grow up scared of deep water like his momma.
  • Following up statements with "your mom" comments is pretty outdated but I do it anyway.
  • I really hate being bossy (ha) but I trained Fred on the only way to fold towels anyway because there definitely is a wrong and right way to do it.
  • Same goes for yelling "duh" at Fred, but I do it anyway.
  • And Blogger doesn't recognize definitely as a word but I'm using it anyway.
  • It's hard to talking with someone that is having a hard time but I do it anyway and hope they'd do the same for me.
  • Watching sports is torture but I do it anyway if that's what the boys are doing.
  • I'm scared to death I'll fail at this weekend's Farmers' Market, but I'm doing it anyway.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Idea taken from Ashley - family, friend and private blogger.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ready or Not...

Well, folks, I can't back out now.  I'm officially signed up for - and paid - 2 local farmers' markets.  I've done nothing but sew for the last few weeks (read: months) and am finally taking the plunge.

I think I'm ready, do you?

If you're local, come on down to the Haymarket Farmers' Market the mornings of Saturday July 16 and July 30th from 8am until noon.

For more pics, go here.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Put the "Mini" in Mini Quilt

These small quilts go by many names - mini quilt, doll quilt, wall quilt, art quilt - but for these 2 darling clients (read: my neice and nephew) they are most certainly doll quilts.

My super-talented mom sewed up quilts for each of her 3 grandkids earlier this year and my sister asked me to create replicas for her kids' dolls. 

Sure.  Easy.  I love making small quilts.

That was before I realized just how small these pieces were going to be. 

I did my fair share of cussing, but they turned out pretty cute and really weren't too difficult once I got the hang of working with pieces about 1/2" big. Quilting was a cinch since they measure a whopping 18" x 23" and I had them out in the mail to the kids about 2 weeks after starting.  Here are some pics* (more here) of the finished pieces:

Just yesterday I got the most delightful package of hand-written thank you notes from both kids... melting my heart and making me forget just how tedious these quilts were.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
*A note on the pics... they were taken at the same time and same place so I'm not sure why the coloring is so off**.  Must be my camera's way of telling me I am a sucky operator.
**The rainbow quilt is actually WHITE, I swear.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Whiney Wednesday

This morning started with waking up 20 minutes later than usual.  For a girl that gives herself precisely 30 minutes to get up, get ready and head out the door, this is bad news.

Jump in the shower.  Jump out of the shower.  Jump into some clothes.

Turn on the hairdryer and a quiet whirring noise is all I get.
Unplug the dryer.  Replug the dryer.  Try again.
Added to the whirring noise is a plume of black smoke.

Great.  I've owned this dryer for approximately 5 weeks.  WEEKS.  Weeks is not enough to have blown up my hairdryer but it is more than enough time to toss out the receipt and box.

A moment of silence please for both, the dryer and the wet hair attached to this whiner.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Need Your Help, Dr. Internet Friends

Because I'm sick of going to the doctor for this, that and the other, I'll just ask you: What does it mean that my hands keep going numb at night? 

I wake up 3 - 4 times each nights and both hands are numb.  It only takes a minute to get feeling back and I go back to sleep but I can't figure this one out.  At first I thought I was just sleeping on them or something but it doesn't matter where my arms are - my hands continue to go numb.  It's been going on for a few weeks.

I did ask my BFF Google and it tells me it could be a variety of things but that, most importantly, I need to see my doctor. 

Hogwash.  My doctor is sick of seeing me and my never-ending string of "stomach episodes" lately and I hereby vow to go at least one full month before seeing my doctor again.  Which, btw, tmi, it cost me close to a grand to waltz into the hospital, poop in a bowl and waltz back out and then find out nothing's wrong.  W. T. F.

So here's where you come in, friends.

Any of you have this problem?  Heard of this problem?  Have any guesses?  Are you good at the Googles, interwebs and tubes and can you find an answer? 

Did you stay at a Holiday Inn last night and now you're a doctor? 

Enlighten me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bedtime Battle: Elliot 1, Mommy 0

Elliot's been a bear at bedtime lately from getting pajamas on to brushing teeth to getting into bed all before yelling and singing in bed in a valiant effort to keep himself awake for a solid 2 hours before his body gives up in exhaustion - it's a struggle every day that's getting older by the second.

Last night he asked to sleep in his clothes and being a battle we're not going to fight, Fred obliged his request.  Then laid down the law telling him no more special game time (read: trying to break the precious iPad) unless he can go to bed quietly like a big boy and not like the writhing baby he's been.

So, much to my surprise, he went to bed peacefully.

For a while.

About 30 minutes later I hear a voice pipe up from his room.

E:  Mommy?  Will you come in here please?
A:  What do you need?
E:  I want pajamas.
A:  Nope, sorry.  No pajamas.  You wanted to sleep in your clothes and you're supposed to be asleep so lay down and go to bed.
E:  But I want jammas.
A:  Sorry.
E:  But I want---
A:  Elliot James, what did Daddy say?  Don't start crying or there's truly no iPad games for you.
E:  (Very meek voice) But I want jammas.
A:  Nope, sorry.  Go to bed.
E:  I could take off my clothes.
A:  (Exasperated) Fine, do whatever you want, sleep in your underwear, I don't care, just go to bed.

I went in around 10pm to tuck him in and the kid's naked as a jailbird wearing only his Batman socks.  He might be stubborn (a trait from his father)(surely)(SHUTup) but at least he keeps his word.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Un-Funny, Sewing-Related Update

Flip flops mean summer.

Festive flip flops mean I'm ready for summer.

After finding this fabulous tutorial on Pinterest, I couldn't help but give my tired old flip flops a fresh look for the summer... and I love them!

Crafty me has been busy... I finished piecing the Bottled Rainbows quilt, made baby quilt #2 for my sister-in-law Steph, put together miniature quilts for my sister's kiddos, made these flipflops, put together a scrappy USA, built a clock from an embroidery hoop and buttons, finished 2 of the three commissioned t-shirt quilts, made the world's tiniest stitched handprint and perhaps most exciting of all - signed up for 2 Farmers' Market dates in July.

(Photos here.)

I'm looking forward to our weekend of no plans so that I can quilt the two miniature quilts, piece the third t-shirt quilt, sew together two doll quilts and cut out another one, teach Stacey to embroider, and, and, and...

I hope yours is just as enjoyable.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I Want to be Your Real-Life Friend

facebook, I never thought quitting you would be such a big deal. 

I am glad to be done with the annoyances, mind-numbing activity of checking status updates and hurtfulness of people un-friending each other.  What I didn't realize - and how could I? - was how far off the grid everyone assumes I want to be.  It's as though quitting facebook was my way of saying I want nothing to do with your life.

And that?  Not true. 

Just because I don't want to deal with facebook doesn't mean I don't want to know - or should have the privilege of knowing - when things happen.  Pregnancies, engagements, ridiculous things our kids do, graduations, fabulous trips to far off places ... I want to know about this as much as any of your 247 friends.

So the next time you're talking to me and I don't know about the latest thing - just take a few seconds to fill me in instead of laughing at me and telling me I should "just join facebook to find out."  That's what FRIENDS do.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You Might Learn a Little Something

Because I really don't have anything better to talk about right now, let's talk about me.  Stolen from KAIT's blog, here are the ABC's of the lovely Ms. Anna Seckman.  But, to make it just-this-much different, I'm adding numbers 0 - 9 at the end of this... Watch out! I'm living on the edge.

A. Age: 33
B. Bed size: Queen is what I own, King is what I want.
C. Chore that you hate: All.  But mostly, dishes.
D. Dogs: Had one when I was little.
E. Essential start to your day: Weekends - a bowl of LIFE cereal
F. Favourite color: Gray
G. Gold or Silver:  Silver or White Gold
H. Height:  5 feet, 7 inches
I. Instruments you play:  Just one - the flute.  And I rocked that bitch.
J. Job title: Grants Manager and Benefits Administrator.  Exciting, right?
K. Kids:  No baby goats at my house.
L. Live:  Home, Sweet Home for me is Nebraska.
M. Mother’s name:  Judy, or mom
N. Nicknames:  Jess
O. Overnight hospital stays: Being born, Having a baby and Gallbladder
P. Pet peeve: Chewing with an open mouth and x2 if it's gum.
Q. Quote from a movie:  "I'm right on top of that, Rose!"
R. Right or left handed:  R-r-r-right
S. Siblings:  Two brothers, one sister; I'm #3 in the lineup.
T. Time you wake up:  When either the alarm clock or child blares in my ear.
U. Underwear:  I just bought some 'hipster' grannies.
V. Vegetable you hate:  Duh, all of them.
W. What makes you run late:  Running?  I don't run.  Pshaw.
X. X-Rays you’ve had:  Ankle, twice.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Meatloaf
Z. Zoo animal:  None.  I'm not a fan of zoos.  But if I have to go to a zoo and have to look at some sort of being, it'd be those adorable penguins.

0:  Bones I've broken
1:  Number of children I/we want.  No, seriously, just one.
2:  Perfect number of donuts for breakfast
3:  Times each year I get my haircut, on average
4:  Years at my current employer
5:  Times per day I check Pinterest 
6:  Number of 8oz servings of iced tea I've had today.  Jittery much?
7:  Years I've been married to Fred in August
8:  Times per day I use the word shit, or its variants
9:  Number of $1 in my wallet.  I think.
Learn anything?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Back When I Was a Kid...

Today is the last day of school for the kids around here and while I don't yet* have a school-ager, it has me longing for the summer vacations of years past.

Summers of my childhood involved secret forts with strict no-boys-allowed policies and super-secret passwords to be allowed in, playing house and fighting over who got to be named "Kate," begging and pleading for money for the ice cream man and plucking stalks of rhubarb from the garden to eat them raw.  A clown-head sprinkler on hot days, homemade popsicles and gulping down glasses of Kool-aid before returning outside to our bikes, dolls or jungle gym.  We climbed trees, swam in horse tanks, spent days at a time with each set of grandparents and suffered through swim lessons.

We had the best summers - carefree and easy.

I want to be 8 again.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
*The local school board passed the 2012-13 school year so I now know Elliot's first day of school will be Tuesday, August 14, 2012.  Freaky.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things I Would Say to the 15 Year Old Me

I was walking back from lunch today and noticed a woman wearing a Surf Style windbreaker*- nearly the exact one I got from my then-boyfriend Joe back in the 10th grade.  Popular for about as long as it took you to get hot in one (read: 10 minutes), this hideous thing brought back a flushing of memories.

A.  The plastic-y purple monster was an obvious knockoff.
B.  The "matching" shorts were green.

By the time I got to item C in my head, I was grinning like an idiot just seconds away from guffawing right there in the middle of 14th Street.

If I could go back to 1994 and let myself in on a few things, I'd likely be better off.  For starters, I'd let myself know that he was cheating on me from the beginning. 

Second, I'd tell myself that those red jeans never were, or would be, cool.  Neither would my uber-flat hair with that ridiculous puff of bangs.  Stop rolling the sleeves of shirts and peg-rolling jeans.  Esprit bags were cool in Nebraska in 6th grade when I couldn't get your hands on one - not in 10th grade in Ohio where they were probably never popular to begin with.

I might even try to warn myself about my future and how my first love is years away but that I will find real love when I'm not looking - and his name will be Fred.  And he's a real person.

No, seriously, his name is Fred.  Yes, he's our age.  Yes. 
Actually, it's Freddie with an i-e.  I know, right?**

I'll be living "the dream" by my early 30's happily married, owning a home with a fence, driving my preschooler around to his sports commitments in a small SUV and taking family vacations to Walt Disney World.

But that to get there, I'll do stupid things in college and make (and lose) great friends along the way.  I'll date a variety of guys: addicts, just plain crappy, possessive, too nice and mommas boys and get the worst haircut of my life on Halloween Day in 1998.  I'll seriously cry it was so bad.  Bawl like a baby.

[How bad was it?  SHE CHOPPED LAYERS IN MY HEAD BY GOING AROUND ME IN CIRCLES SNIP SNIP SNIPPING AWAY.  The top of my head had hair about 2 inches long when she was done.]

I'll live in a handful of states before returning 'home' to Nebraska just in time to lose both of my remaining grandparents.  I will be a terrible Maid of Honor at my sister's wedding - but didn't know any better at the time - and try to make up for it by being a good Aunt to her children and good sister to her.

I will learn things the hard way and it will be because both, I didn't know any better and I'm bull-headed and stubborn and won't see it any other way but my own. 

Simply put, I'll live life.

I just wish someone would've told me not to wear that denim jumper in my Senior Pictures... that decision will haunt me forever.  *shudders*

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
*I've done you the favor of Google Image searching it, results here.
**Cindy and Jim - You picked a lovely family name for your son.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thoughts on Life

My life hasn't been perfect these last 3 weeks as I've had 2.5 rounds of a stomach virus and my pleas of death have fallen on deaf ears.  And as I comically ask for my own demise, I have been - instead - reminded of just how fragile life truly is.

I visited a friend in the hospital last night who was there to have a "quick procedure" following a miscarriage.  While rooting around they found a bunch of other problems that, after being taken care of during a then-extended surgery, most likely saved her life. 

To think that these problems were completely unknown blows my mind.  But to know that had she carried the baby to term all of her symptoms would likely have been brushed off as some of those weird things pregnancy does to a body.  I cannot imagine what feelings she is struggling with right now - knowing that her baby is gone but that she is (and will be) still here.

In my crafty world, I'm working on some t-shirt quilts for a family that lost their dad unexpectedly.  Each kid picked out the shirts that most reminded them of their dad and I have been tasked with building a quilt to hold these memories. 

I don't know this family personally but do know how difficult it has been for me to construct the quilt knowing that I am working with a man's entire life laid out in the shirts he owned; I can't imagine how hard it was for them to pick through and only select a certain number.  What I asked of them now seems entirely impossible.

Life is just that - life.  A collection of beings moving in and out of each others' lives each each day someone new is added and someone old is taken.  It's kind of a lot to grasp.

To say my empathy is in overdrive this week is an understatement.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You Decide

So, what's worse:
A.  I was sick as a dog AGAIN, or
B.  The office toilet is nastier than mine at home thanks to the Office Pooper?

Decide and get back to me, yeah?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Video killed the radio star

Anna has been asking me to post some video for a while. We got a new camera (like over a year ago) and while it takes better video, the file format is not as user friendly. So I haven't made hardly any videos in the last year. This morning I tried a new video editing software (which is quite advanced) and I was at least able to at least put together a few clips we had taken this spring, ending with Elliot's first race this week (he's on the inside lane). With some more practice, hopefully I will get better.

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's Just a Phase... It's Just a Phase... It's. Just. A. Phase.

Fact:  Elliot doesn't like his mom right now.  He's gone beyond 'favoring' Fred and into full-on not liking me.

Supporting Evidence:  My name is often Wicked Witch or Mr. DaddyPants and when I told him 'I love you' this weekend, he retorted with 'I love Dad.'  I ask to put him to bed and he flees from me as though I asked that with a chainsaw in hand.

Proof:  All pictures from this Mother's Day weekend are of him and Fred.

And me, of course, following behind them taking pictures.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Got Plans?

Every Tuesday night until the end of June, we'll be watching the most adorable ensemble of kids in matching track uniforms run, jump and throw their way through Little Green Track Club practice.

If you ever find yourself bored on a Tuesday, join us for this cuteness.

More pictures here

[Edited to Add:  Hey Locals - practices/meets are on Tuesdays at 6:30p.m. at Nebraska Wesleyan, just 2 blocks north of 56th and Leighton Streets.]

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Hero Drove an El Camino

I spied an El Camino on my drive into work today that immediately flooded back one specific memory from my childhood: my sister and I were nearly kidnapped.  Isn't it funny how that happens?

The bus dropped us off at the end of a dirt road that would get us home quicker than riding the bus all along its route and back into our neighborhood - something we opted for daily.  Many memories of mine involve that road with finding cool stuff (read: crap) in the ditch, racing to beat the rain and general goofing off. 

My memories of exactly what happened are a bit sketchy and I'm not even sure how old I was at the time - but I had to have been between 6 and 9 years old.

My sister and I got off the bus and started walking down the road, same as always only this time a giant-at-the-time conversion van pulled up and the passenger started talking to us.  He offered us a ride and the driver climbed through the back and opened up the side door, also offering us a ride.  I distinctly remember feeling like this was weird but that whatever my older sister would do, I would do the same.  She told them our house was close and they told us they knew that already and that they just wanted to give us a ride home.

We're about 2 seconds from climbing up into the van when I turn back and see my dad's El Camino barrelling down the dirt road and I yelled at Jen that it was him.  In the time it took me to turn back toward the van, doors were closed and it was speeding off.

My dad jammed his brakes and yelled at us to get in the back, something I remember doing very vividly without any thought other than how much his voice was scaring me. Jen gave me that look and we climbed in, sat down and stared at each other wide-eyed, not really sure what was going on.  I don't remember much after that.

Later conversations with my parents and sister have provided a few more details that leave me shaken and shaking my head in disbelief that it even happened.

We were nearly kidnapped a mere 2 blocks from our home.  My dad got off work early that day for some reason.  AND?  He rarely drives on dirt roads but thought he might catch us walking home that day.  Imagine his shock when he sees his two very young daughters about to climb in a stranger's van.

After dropping us off at the house, my mom said he drove around for some time looking for that van but never found it. 

I can only imagine what he would've done if he had found it.  Or them.

I doubt I said it then:  Thanks, Dad.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What I Was Doing Before I Tried to Die

My sister has a little more craftiness in her than she lets on - this completely justified by the darling napkins she sent me last week sewn with designer fabrics and hand embroidered.  A set of 5, I now have a napkin for each day of the work week so that my packed lunches are just a bit brighter.  [Her post on the napkins, here.]

It reminded me instantly of napkins I'd get from my mom in the elementary years.  Just a little something doodled on the corner - a quick way for my mom to tell me she loves me without having to be mortally embarrassed in front of all my friends.

Feeling much too snooty to carry around nice napkins stuffed in paper bags with my plastic-wrapped sandwich, I took to the Internets to find a lunch bag tutorial; via Sew, Mama, Sew, I found a quick and easy tute from The Long Thread here.  I picked up a few coordinating pieces of fabric and by the end of Friday night, this little beauty was created to go with my darling napkins:

I took pictures on Saturday before I tried to die but haven't been among the living long enough yet to get them posted.  So, tomorrow - my first day back among the living - I not only am posting pictures (hooray!) but I packed myself a sweet little lunch and tucked the Tuesday napkin in on top. 

It's sure to be the best tasting sandwich and chips I've had in years.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Indecision is a Killer

I hate making decisions.  So when it's 1:30am and I have to decide where my insides should explode out of my body from, just know I'm not going to make the decision in time.

Someone kill me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When NOT Sharing is Actually Caring

I don't like to share.  Never have.
I blame my brother for this personality trait (read: flaw).

Little baby Dan was brought into the world exactly one year and one day after me and, I think, he pushed his way out weeks early because he was so jealous of my awesomeness and wanted to ride my coattails for life. And from day one, I've been shooing him off of said coattails and out of my way.

But he never listened.

Instead, I was forced to share birthday parties with him. 

Wah for baby Dan, let him open his presents on Anna's birthday because he'll be so sad.  Why don't we just give him Anna's birthday all together?  She doesn't need one at all!  Dan, you have TWO BIRTHDAYS now!  Congrats to you!  Anna who?  What?

I'm positive that's how it went.

Baby Dan turns 32 today.  Thankfully, we live many states a part so that there is NO CHANCE that I have to share my party with him now.  HA, SUCKA.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Special Note for a Special Person on a Special Day

My Dearest Darling,

At 7:52am this morning you turned one year older... and oh! what a year it has been. You've grown in so many ways and I couldn't possibly love you much more than I do right now. 

It seems like you just keep growing - sometimes over night - and I've found myself having to suddenly rush out and buy new clothes for you. I wish you'd stop! I should bind you up and take away all foods for a few months to see if that puts a stop to the nonsense.

An up-side to your growth, though, is that your taste in television programming has gotten better.  You seem to be steering away from crap and more toward 'Phineas and Ferb' - surely a large step in the right direction.

As you get older, you're getting a bit wiser and tend to make less rash decisions.  Instead of pretending like you can't hear when I ask for help with dishes, you look directly at me before stomping away.  It's progress.

I can feel you testing your limits too, like throwing a fit when I don't let you watch TV before bed.  You'll eventually grow out of this and learn that 'my way or the highway' just ain't gonna work in all situations.  I know it seems like you should get to do whatever you want at this age, but sometimes - and you'll have to trust me here - I actually do know what's best for you.

You did manage to kick a few addicting habits this year and for that I'm proud of you.  I'm also proud that you're going to put yourself out there this summer and show your friends and family what you are capable of.

I look forward to the next few months, years and decades.  I think our love for each other can only get better from here. Happy 33rd Birthday, Anna!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Things I Don't Understand for a Thousand, Alex.

Answer:  The Royal Wedding

I don't get what the big flipping deal is.  Of course, this is the same girl that doesn't watch our own Presidents get sworn in on Inauguration Day but still. 

What it boils down to for me is this:  Isn't this country and it's monarchy exactly what we were trying to get away from oh-so-many years ago?  Why yes, it is.  We didn't like the monarchy set up and we didn't like them bossing us around so we threw a little fit and staged a large-scale temper tantrum to let them know.

Fast forward a century or so and now we're having parties just to watch the royal wedding? 

I don't get it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Bunny Knows

I remember staring at my cousin Carrie and not being able to find the words to ask her the biggest question I had in my mind: how did the Easter Bunny know you'd be here?

For whatever reason, her and her brother had stayed at our Grandma's house that weekend and it was completely outside of my comprehension how he - the Bunny - would know to find them there. 

Did he go to their house and find it empty? 
Had their parents informed him ahead of time?
Was he really magic and just knew?

Regardless - he found them and here were their baskets and eggs were strewn about the room, waiting for the two to find them.  And I don't recall her response to my question but it was something along the lines of him 'just knowing' where they were... looking back, and knowing our age difference, I'm sure my question was also answered with a grin that all adults and older children get when in the presence of little believers. 

The oh! isn' this cute she believes in the Easter Bunny look. 
The very same look I probably give to my own child.

We may find ourselves out of town Easter morning and I am finding myself in this same predicament as Elliot's old enough to know about the Bunny but young enough to believe.  I'm not even sure if he'll think, but I already find myself wondering what my response will be.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'd Like an Update with a Side of Updates, Please

1.  The office pooper has either moved upgraded it's wrath or we have another bathroom offender.  Our newest culprit is the seat pee-er on-er.  I'm so over the females in my office.

2.  Thanks, no doubt, to your fabulous comment/letters, Fred has agreed to a removal plan of the world's unfriendliest bushes ever.  2 years, he claims, and they'll be gone.  That gives me just enough time to save up my allowance to PAY someone else to do it.  Heh.

3.  Elliot would like a baby sister.  I'm still laughing hysterically.

4.  Elliot would like a puppy and a kitty.  Again, laughing, still.

5.  I'm going to be a gardener this year.  I've planned out my planting list (perennials, thankyouverymuch) and have a list and am ready to hit up the big plant sale this weekend.  Garden - you will be mine.  Oh yes, you will be mine.  (Well, until you make me hot and sweaty, fill with bugs or get too many weeds or it's too hot to go out and water or or ...)

6.  I got to hang out with my girl crush on Friday!!! After much giggling, cuddling and spa services we went our seperate ways on Saturday.  My heart breaks but is filled with hope that I'll see my South Carolina love again.

7.  Best news ever for Fred and Elliot: I'm in a decent mood today.

What's going on in your life?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There's always something in a husbands life that his mother just does best.  In our situation, his mom can actually make the Toll House Cookies turn out while mine end up one of two ways: thin and crispy or fat and puffy.  It doesn't matter what I do or how hard I try, I just can't get them to work.

I made on Monday, though, and OH! they were good.  Even Fred agreed they were deliciously, nearly-perfectly to the level of his mom's cookies.

Me = Satisfied

To keep my mitts, and the mitts of people living with me, out of them, I packed them up, put on a lid and didn't think about it again.  Until I got the following text from Fred:

Pulled into work. Looked at passenger seat. It's FILLED with ants.  The cookie container was filled with ants.

In my best Samuel L. Jackson voice, there are MOTHERF*CK!NG ANTS ON THE MOTHERF*CK!NG COOKIES!  (Get it?  Snakes on a Plane?  Worst movie ever?)

Those little bastards somehow snuck into our house on Monday night and camped themselves out IN THE CONTAINER OF COOKIES and probably dined like kings until Fred found them crawling all over his truck seat.  There was not a single ant on the counter that morning.  And really, if my options are to hang out on Formica or hang out in a giant sea of cookies, I'd go for the cookies too.


Or, Cindy found out that I made a good batch and drove an hour up here and back JUST TO PUT ANTS IN THE COOKIES.  She's plotting and devious, that one...

Needless to say, war has been waged. 
On the ants, not Cindy.  She's good people.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What "4 Year Old Boy" Looks Like

Watch out, he said, there is 'struction by the door.

Indeed, there was.

I'm thankful, daily, to have this boy in my life.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Anna Smash Heart Hands

There is an on-going trend that I am so over that it induces a severe eye roll whenever I see it.  A worse offender than vegetables, Pickleman's making me pay for pickles, Ticketmaster fees and puppy mills.


You know you've seen it* - images of people all cutesy (read: barfy) holding up their hands together in the shape of a heart, inducing an "oh wow" sigh from most everyone but me. 

I'm over it.

Knock it off.

Put your hands down.

*In case you've never seen this ridiculousness, I've linked to a page of images here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Beginning of "Parenthood"

I thought parenthood started when the baby follows you home from the hospital, demanding your every free second and ounce of energy.

I was wrong.

Parenthood begins when your preschooler announces to the world that "you are no fun" and you retort "I'm not supposed to be fun, I'm your mom."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Failing at Life... Or Just Parts of It

Debbie Downer here today to talk to you about the things in life that I'm currently failing at.

1.  Twitter.  It all depends on your definition of failing here because I do tweet now and again and mostly do it so there is some interest on this blog when I'm not, well, blogging.  However, I tweet to no one and no one tweets to me and I'm pretty sure that's a fail. 

Solution:  I look forward to quitting Twitting in the near future.

2.  Weight Watchers.  I'm down 14.2 pounds (huzzah!) but for some reason just can't seem to get on the wagon this week.  Not even sure how I got off but my money's on jumping into a plate of cookies last week.

Solution:  Every day is a new day; every week is a new week.

3.  Reading.  Not one single book was read in March.  I'm not even sure I read a single edition of the LJS Sunday Paper.  No magazines.  Heck, I'm not even sure I read speed limits or construction warnings.

Solution:  Open eyes while driving.

4.  Brown-Nosing.  I tried to suck up to my boss (actually, I didn't, but it's funnier this way) by making a baseball cookie with his favorite team on it but someone else ate it before he even saw it.

Solution:  Learn my lesson.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool Me Not

There are two kinds of April Fool's Day pranks - the kind I'm okay with and the kind I'm not. 

Okay: harmless pranks like giving someone a message to call Ben Dedd at (insert funeral home number here) or even telling kids it's a snow day when there isn't a speck of snow for miles.  It's funny to fill a pitcher with Jell-O and tell your kids that sure, they can have some Kool-aid.  Tee hee!

Not okay: mean pranks, whether intended to be or not.  Tying shoelaces together on the bus isn't a funny prank. I'm not okay with pranks that single someone out and embarrass or humiliate them and writing it off as an April Fool's Day joke.  It's painful to watch and---

I am embarrassed to admit I was part of one of those pranks today.  Whether my part was small or not (which, it was) doesn't really matter as much as how awful I felt when I could tell how much the recipient was hurt by the actions of myself and others. 

I apologized.  I still feel bad.

Lesson learned I hope.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Green Scrap Quilt

My grandmother made each of her grandkids a twin-size quilt - a quilt that I still have today and use whenever I'm feeling sick. It's got the wear and tear of a quilt well used and I love every single inch of it. My mom decided recently to make a twin quilt for each of her grandkids, carrying on the tradition of sorts. While I haven't seen the quilt for Elliot yet, I helped her pick out the fabrics and was lucky enough to keep the scraps. Those scraps made a darling quilt for one of Fred's coworkers. Excuse the pictures - I forgot to take them and hurriedly asked these find folks (hi guys!) to take quick shots. Oh, and if you don't like them just don't say it to them as she's like 87 weeks pregnant. So you can talk to her hand.



** For whatever reason, blogger's spacing is being an asshole.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Campaign of Doom, or, "Gawd I Really Hate Those Stupid Pokey Bushes Out Front"

Ever since buying the house last summer, I've had one complaint and one complaint only: the front walkway is a line of mean, pokey barberry bushes that alternate in color from lime to red to lime to red to lime to red and from lime to red again and repeat one final time.

10 barberrys all in a row, poking and pricking people since 1997.

And, unfriendly!
And, ugly!

Should my own darling child lose an eye to one of this prickly human-haters, I would never forgive myself.

And, did I mention they're UGLY?

I know there's an easy solution to this but... well, there's opposition to my plans. The Mr. of the house actually LIKES them. He likes them! BWA! He wants to keep them because "they are mature, grown in, have some nice color and are easy to care for. All I have to do is trim them three times a year and they look great." I admit, it IS hard to argue with that.


He knows I hate them and want to get rid of them, but I wonder if he knows just how much. I've had conversations about it with coworkers, all agreeing that while they were oh-so-cool in the late 90s (coincindentally, that's when our house was built) they are very much not cool now. One person I talked with even worked out a plan to take care of the problem on the sly so he would think they suddenly started dying off. And then, I enlisted the help of Aunt Becky and her Merry Pranskers and all (read the comments) told me ways to secretly kill them off.

It was reading these that I realized just how present my conscience is and that I could never do it like this. It seems so ... unfair.

So, instead, I want my loyal followers (hi you two!) to write letters. Sort of like writing letters to your State Senator when you really care about an issue, I want you to write letters to Fred letting him know you support his opposition (read: ME) and that you, too, want the bushes GONE. You can write these letters in the comments - but be nice because Freddie Bill does have feelings and we're not trying to hurt those. We're just trying to break his very strong "I love those shrubs" stance.

Now, I can hear you saying But Anna, you HATE yard work! and while that is certainly true, I plan to be a gardener this year* and have every intention of replacing those shrubs with something nicer. Maybe something that flowers! Still having a nice look in front and still lining the entry way - just not with the shrubs of death.

 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
*I try this every year. It has yet to stick because I hate being hot, sweaty or dirty and I hate bugs flying on me or slinking around in the dirt and will scream every time one touches me. I do, though, love the IDEA of it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shop Update

It may have taken me the entire month of March... but my Something Sewn Etsy shop is updated! New items, more items and even a new logo.

Check it out... and use the code FAMILY to get 20% off your purchase.

Go! What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The 'Thank You's' I've Never Said. Until Now.

I read the most beautiful thing I've read in a long time today over at Aunt Beckys' blog Mommy Wants Vodka. She recently lost a family member who had been near and dear but that she'd never had a chance to thank for the little things he did for her. She writes:

"And I’m sorry I never expressed to him how much those small things he did when I was small meant to me. I regret that even though I know that there would never have been enough words to properly say what I meant. I could never explain how those small things changed me."

Here's my quick list:

To my grandma Cropp - thank you for coloring with me.
To Mrs. Smith - thank you for complimenting my writing skills.
To my mom - thank you for teaching me to sew.
To Jennifer - thank you for telling me I am your best friend.
To Dr. Xxxxxx - thank you for convincing me that I'm valuable.
To Fred - thank you for every hug, smile and 'I love you.'
To Auntie D and Aunt Betty - thank you for being my Lincoln moms.
To Ms. Haley - thank you for being Elliot's first great teacher.
To Stacey - thank you for reminding me each day is a new day.
To Elliot - thank you for playing Candyland with me.
To my dad - thank you for letting me shift the truck gears.

I know there are more - more than I could probably ever remember but this is a start. From here on out, I will try to remember to say thank you more often.

... for being something we drill into our preschooler's head daily, at what point did we stop saying thank you? And at what point did that become okay?

Monday, March 21, 2011

1 Part Good and 1 Part Bad

Good: The weather will warm up to 70 today.
Bad: My jacket was in my office at work this morning.

Good: We attended a beautiful wedding this weekend.
Bad: My dress' hem fell out and I lost a button.

Good: I got a clean bill and clean teeth from the dentist.
Bad: I had to go to the dentist.

Good: Spring is here and I found day lily tips!
Bad: The cookies I made to celebrate were ugly. UG-ly. Like I didn't even finish them before dismantling them ugly. Melted snowmen? More like Melty Uglymen.

Good: I think he just fixes helicopters... but
Bad: Cousin Mike got deployed somewhere secret and was given a day or so to pack for a year. I have seen the news a few times this weekend so I think I know where he is and somehow that's a bit of a comfort.

What's good and bad in your world?

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Little-Bit-Late Leprechaun

A leprechaun, obviously running a bit late for St. Patty's Day, left a little something at our house this afternoon.

I love coming home to unexpected surprises.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Pinterest Necklace

To say I'm addicted to Pinterest is a fair statement. The other day, a fabulously smart necklace cropped up and not only did I re-pin it but I was determined to recreate it.

And recreate it, I did, for about $5.50.

A series of loops through each washer holds everything together and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sort of amazed at the ease of this project.

Finally complete! I wore it to work the next day and while I did get a few inquisitive stares, most everyone thought it was pretty slick.

Hot damn, I am one pretty lady with my fancy necklace!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sing to Prince's Song: This is What She Looks Like... on Abilify

To say I've been a little more active since starting Abilify would be a huge understatement. I'm almost to the point of being over-active. Maybe even a touch of hyper-activity.

I. Can't. Stop. Doing.

Thinking. Creating.

Laughing. Talking.

Case in point? This is what has come from my sewing room in the last month. Oh, and I work full-time at an office, am married and have a 4 year old and am in bed by 10.

Honestly, I'm not sure how I've gotten all of this done... baby quilt, full-size quilt, scarves, hanging towels, embroidery and applique, notebook covers, an ironing board cover and even starting my first quilt-a-long.

And! I'm not even tired yet!

Abilify: It's like crack for crafters! Wheeee!

Abilify: I can't sit still long enough to read a book! Booo!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quick Question

Any interest in seeing my crafty crap here every once in a while? I promise to not turn this into a "look how amazing I am" blog, mostly because it's a no-brainer, but sometimes I want to show you things!

[Edited to add: Resounding YES!]

Because His HAIR Hurts

Mom! Mom! Mooooom!

Mom. Mom.


Me: Yes, Elliot. What.
E: I can't sleep cause my hair hurts.
Me: Your HAIR hurts?
E: Yeah.
E: It hurts like this (puts head on arm) and it hurts on this (puts head on pillow).
Me: Wow, rough. You hair hurts when it touches your arm or your pillow? You're right, you can't sleep like that.
E: Yeah.
Me: Good thing Grandpa Frank's blanket he brought is magic. I'll just tuck it around your pillow and (trying it out for self) YEP, it doesn't hurt my hair at all.
E: Oh.
Me: Go to bed.
E: But my hair hurts.
Me: Go to bed.
E: But it hurts on my arm and on my pillow.
Me: Go. To. Bed.
E: (harrumphs and lays down) It hurts.
Me: I doubt it. Go to sleep.
E: My foot itches.
Me: Go to sleep. (Leaves room)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Picture Day, Picture Day

This past summer, the Seckman family road-tripped out to Chicago to see my parents and my sister and her family who were in town from Cleveland. (Saw my brothers too but they live there so it's not that amazing that we say them as well.)

I got the pictures from that weekend a few months ago but just found them again this morning and got to thinking about that weekend. Specifically, Sunday. Sunday was the day my mom deemed "picture day" but I more fondly think of it as "disaster day."

It started off nice enough with a big lunch with all 4 of us kids and spouses and grand kids around the same table eating my mom's delicious cooking.

Then, it was time for pictures.

But it was also time for the kids to nap (or, at least, ours because he was a monster).

But it was time for older brother to meet with friends because his allotted time for "picture day" had already expired.

In a few minutes' time, Elliot turns into a jerk and Fred is forced to yank him out and drive back to the hotel for some rest time. This put the family into a tizzy with pictures being delayed and now younger brother was getting in on the your family is wrecking this vibe. Fred comes back after a while and we trek down to the park to snap some shots in the warm and sticky August sun.

I think this picture shows the general mood:

We rallied on and got a few family pictures snapped out too. The children were not amused.
Back: brother-in-law Dave, Kevin, Dan, Fred; Middle: Jen, Dad, Mom, XL Me; Front: Nate, Belle and Elliot.

(From adult belly buttons up, it's a lovely picture!)

We eventually went back to the house and had large slices of german chocolate cake* and rides on the Harley which seemed to magically erase the kids' attitudes and we enjoyed the rest of our time.

It wouldn't be a weekend full of family if it didn't have some drama.


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*I don't care who you are, MY MOM makes THE BEST german chocolate cake in the world. And, no, mine doesn't even come close so don't ask.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let's (Not) Be Friends

You may or may not have gotten a friend request from me via facebook yesterday. A set of emails that set me off on an I-hate-you-facebook rampage of doom with only poor Fred to listen to me rant. (Say it with me, Poor Fred!)

I deleted my facebook account a bit over a month ago and haven't looked back. But, my little sewing business did.

I foolishly thought I could set up a business account on fb but noooooo, Mark Zuckerberg intervened and while he rubbed his hands together maniacally, he decided to make me pay for quitting in the first place.

Before I knew what was happening, it forced me to set up a profile by asking a stream of basic questions - all of which I figured you'd see if you clicked on the profile of Something Sewn. I then did that good ole address import business to find "friends" and that's when it happened... emails flew out of Mark Zuckerberg's butt and directly into your inboxes all but begging you to please, pretty please be my friend.

And, oh!, the flurry of responses I got.

Mostly it was your run of the mill "um, thought we WERE friends?" comments with the addition of one snooty "you deleted me as a friend and now you want to be friends again?" snip. No, obviously-good-friend-of-mine, my decision to delete my entire account (hint: read my blog and you would've known...) had nothing to do with you, personally. So shut your bitchin.

I railed against facebook and stupid Mark Zuckerberg for the better part of an hour and then, in one fatal click, put my account to rest again. No profile for Anna Seckman also means no account for Something Sewn. Pisser.

Reason #17 I'm glad I quit facebook: You didn't even notice I was gone... proof that it's just becoming a platform for games and self-absorption.
Reason #18 I'm glad I quit facebook: Can't set up a small business on there without setting up a full-blown profile.
Reason #19 I'm glad I quit facebook: Tricky Mark Zuckerberg.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Major Life Change

There was a time when our precious darling wanted the most simple of careers: to be a trash truck squisher guy. He had no intention of driving the truck (mom, you do it) or owning the business (dad, you do that) and had every intention of being the one to SQUISH THE TRASH.

This held strong until yesterday. We got a note sent home from preschool informing us of Elliot's major, life-changing decision: he wants to be a paleontologist.

Now, he's watched his share of Dino Dan episodes but I wasn't sold he even knew what a paleontologist does.

Me: Elliot, says here you want to be a paleontologist.
E: *blank stare*
Me: Don't you want to be a trash truck squisher guy?
E: Nope.
Me: A paleontologist?
E: *blank stare* *cocks head to side*
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
E: A dinosaur digger guy.
Me: Oooh, okay. Why?
E: Cause when you dig up the dinosaurs that's when they come.
Me: Riiiight. Cool. Carry on.
E: Okay. *walks away*

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Definition of Awesome

Awesome is when you and a co-worker come to work better dressed than highschoolers on Twin Day during Spirit Week.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Eat your heart out.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Weight of the Matter

I broke the #2 rule of Weight Watchers (cause, of course the #1 rule of weight watchers is to not talk about weight watchers) and weighed myself before going to the meeting.

It said I gained. I went in and they said I lost 1.2 pounds.
Loudly, I exclaimed "Suck it, home scale!" and grinned.

Today I crammed my bottom half into a pair of jeans one size smaller than I wore this time last week and smiled.

I've struggled with weight my entire life from growing up with three tiny siblings (no, seriously, not sure any of them weigh over a full buck) and being called names having anything to do with lard by them as well - lardbutt and lardo were the most common.

Hurtful is putting it lightly; it was brutal. And if my parents tried to stop them, it fell on my deaf ears as the damage was done. When asked if I really wanted a second helping of corn or if I just enjoyed being fat (true story), it finally clicked in me that enough was enough.

Thanks in part to growing like a boy in 8th grade, and not eating breakfast or lunch and only dinner if I couldn't make plans with a friend, I was slim in high school. It took a lot of work to stay that way and I was tired and hungry most days.

But? I wasn't made fun of.

In fact, I made fun of others. I swore to my friend that if I ever, EVER had to wear a size Large in anything to just kill me because I'd be too fat to be worth living. (I'd kill to fit nicely into a size Large.) I was kind of a bully about it, but not to any one person and really, kind of to the old me.

It started to crumble when my teammates went to our cross country coach and told him I wasn't eating. He confronted me and there, in the halls of Jefferson Area High School, I cried on his shoulder. I started eating as little as possible to make them shut up and never told my family what happened although I'm not so sure that he didn't call my mother.

I was crushed. It was so hurtful to go from being told I was eating too much to being told I needed to eat more.

I couldn't win.

I gave up in college. I decided I didn't care anymore and on came the freshman 15 and it's been up and down ever since.

It took a long, long time for me to realize I was NORMAL and that my siblings, actually, were quite skinny. And when I asked my sister about it a few years back, I found out that she doesn't necessarily love it and would give almost anything to have some of my features (read: hips and boobs). Funny how you learn these things so much later than when it would have mattered most.

So you can imagine, that after only 5 weeks of Weight Watchers and losing a mere 10.2 pounds thus far, just how excited I was to not only get on the next size down but to get them buttoned AND STILL BREATHE. AND WALK. AND SIT.

And that? Is awesome.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Let's Talk About Poop, Baby

There's been a whole lot of poop talk around here lately.

I recently had a discussion with the preschooler about the correlation of tooting and pooping as it pertains to his little body. You toot? You poop.

So you can imagine his concern when I let one rip the other morning but didn't make a beeline for the bathroom. Thus began a lengthy conversation of my lack-of-a gallbladder, surgery, scars and tooting just to toot.

The next time I tooted he looked at me sympathetically and said "Mommy, it's okay if you not hafta go poop cause you doesn't have a badder." Gee, thanks.

The office pooper is back - but I think it's a new one. The last one had an issue with keeping it in the bowl but this one seems to enjoy filling the bowl... and, oddly, only the part that doesn't have water. I'm not even sure how this is physically possible and at what angle you'd have to be hovering to poop on the back inside of the bowl.

Lengthy discussions have been held, Ms. Pooper, and we have some questions for you. First: how much fiber DO you eat? Second: You feeling okay? Third: HOW do you get it there?

One of the most intriguing things I learned during my pregnancy was that a lot of women poop during delivery. I found this little nugget out on the night we toured the delivery facility at our local hospital and remember wondering why it was the first I'd heard of it and how hilarious it was.

I was going to poop on the floor. Bwa ha ha ha!

And, it turns out, I did. Twice.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Didn't Give Much LURVE to Books

Blame it on the a a a a a alcohol (kidding, blame it on a slew of new anti-depressants), but I didn't read many books in February. I read three but only finished two... I quit reading the BLECH below because it was literally lulling me to sleep every time I'd try to read more.

Bleeding Heart Square by Andrew Taylor

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Maybe, in hindsight, I should've blamed it on the short month so you don't think I'm a boozy pillpopper. Lesson learned. (I hope.)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sometimes Once is, Indeed, Enough

I have done a variety of things in my life that I will likely never do again. Some good, some bad and some that should have been good but ended bad. I'm sure we all have our lists, so here's mine:

Animal Riding. Only been on a horse 3 times that I remember and the last time ended with me being at a doctor's office getting x-rays and later an MRI to learn I chipped away part of my ankle bone while gracefully somersaulting of his back. I don't think, at this point, I'd even be willing to ride a donkey in the Grand Canyon.

Deep Water. If the water goes above my chin, I am not getting in. I mostly blame this on the swimming lessons from childhood when - due to my girth - they thought I was older than I was and pushed me in the deep end, yelling SWIM at me. I remember going under.

Dating Addicts. Whether trying to fulfill that angel complex (you know, the "but, I can fix him/that/it/her") or for some other random reason, dating a drug addict is not a good idea. At some point, he'll steer you to a friend's house in your car where he subsequently does a deal and then doesn't understand why you don't want to be with him anymore.

Ramen for BLD. In college, my roommate Tara and I subsisted on Ramen Noodles for all three meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner. No really, I'm not just telling you another college horror story... we really did. A TREAT for acing a huge exam was McDonald's and Denny's was only afforded once per semester.

Transfer Universities. Speaking of college, one thing I'll never do again is transfer universities. I attended a total of 3 and each time you transfer they re-evaluate credits. This last round cost me dearly as I came in with close to 130 hours and they only accepted 40-something and put me back in Freshman level classes. Um, no thanks.

Running. Partly due to the incident between me and the horse, and partly due to finally realizing that I get absolutely no enjoyment from running. And, shoes are expensive.

Take the fall for a friend. Cover for friends all you want, but when it involves your parents, their parents and the police you just shouldn't do it. I did and I regret it to this day. And, I don't think I ever told anyone the real story about that summer in 8th grade when we sent a slew of delivered food to a certain person's doorstep. Am I sorry we did it? Yes. Am I sorry I covered for the brains of the operation so she could still go to choir camp? Absolutely.

RWD on Ice. Duh.

Cheap Hotels. Whether it's the gas scare in Ramada Inns back in the day, the sketchy joints near every airport or anything costing less than $75/night, I'm probably not staying at your hotel. I have heebie-jeebies when it comes to hotels anyway and for the longest time, would only sleep on top of the covers and not on their pillows. One too many Datelines? Probably so.

Baby Talk. Like I've said for 4 years, not having another baby. I didn't have a bad pregnancy, delivery was fine and Elliot is a dashing young boy out to steal the hearts of all the other boys and girls. I'm just not having another one.

Baby Talk, Part B. If the unlikely event of me sprouting a second child were to occur, I will not ever fly with a baby under the age of 12 months again. While I don't enjoy screamy babies on planes, I dislike the jerks that point out your screamy baby to you while trapped on a plane.

What are some things you'll never do again?

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Storm of the Century / The BreakUp of the Century

Dear Guy Who Advises Me on Weather,

It is with a heavy and cold heart that I must break off our weather advisory relationship. It's always been one-sided and maybe that was the fault from the beginning that, as of yesterday, turned into a giant chasm that can no longer be overlooked or simply stepped around.

You told me it would be 52 so I wore a short-sleeved polo shirt and a flimsy jacket to work.* I dressed our innocent child in a tee-shirt as well.

I sort of thought my walk to work was brisk and a co-worker immediately asked "Um, why are you wearing a jacket?!" when I came in to work. I scoffed back at her "UMM, cause it's going to be 52 today???" Duh.

She looked like a sad puppy and was forced to tell me that no, actually, it would be no where near 52 and that, in fact, we were due to get a snowstorm that afternoon.

Our high temperature was 31.

It snowed 4 inches between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m.

I traipsed 2 blocks to my car in a jacket and short sleeves with ankles soaking wet from a lack of boots. I cleaned off my car in a pair of ratty gloves from the floor of my car with chattering teeth and a cold nose for a solid 10 minutes before I could see well enough to drive home. And drive home I did - a long 45 minutes that normally only takes 20 - hoping to avoid any accidents or stalls because I was not properly dressed to be outside any amount of time.

Finally, I get home. Home to a closet full of coats, hats, gloves and scarves. And I praised dear lord baby jeebus that I was home in one piece and not frozen on a street in downtown Lincoln. And then I gave you dagger eyes until you apologized.

And then I moved on; I loaded a weather app on my phone.

I don't need your services any longer.

You can pull your shenanigans on the next girl, cause like my friend Carrie Underwear says, the next time that you lieabouttheweather you know it won't be on me.

I wish you the best in life,
Anna M. Seckman

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*In Nebraska, when it gets over 40 in February it's shorts and sandals time baby.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Do Not Pass Go; Go Directly To Dealership

Hold the phones people! I must drop everything and get my car into the dealership AS QUICKLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

Cancel lunch! Cancel the snowstorm! I gotta jet!

If I don't hurry and get my recall fixed, my accelerator pedal could ... accelerate!

I guess if I ever take my floor mat out and don't replace it properly, my gas pedal could get stuck under the mat and that could make my pedal accelerate! Nooo! I drive around daily with a preschooler in the back seat! THE HUMANITY!

Some big federal group just did a huge (and likely hugely expensive) 10 month investigation, and I read-ed it on the interweb tube so I know it's for reals, so I know it's as dangerous as they are telling me. This report has determined that my gas pedal can get stuck for three VERY scientific reasons: becoming trapped, age/wear and driver error.

Wait - what? It's caused by not putting your floor mat in right, your floor mat getting old or me just being a jackass? And this has prompted a 10 month study and recall? A. RECALL?

Okay, what now? It's only if my car has a kind of floor mat not standard to my vehicle but instead is a fancy schmancy all-weather one?

So, let me get this right. They want me to bring my car in so they can modify (read: cut with a razor blade) my mat so that this doesn't happen.

Um, I'll pass.
[Cue exit music: Aerosmith - 'Living on the Edge']