It has taken me awhile to put together my thoughts on the Boston marathon bombing. The event has been on my mind often, but I haven't found myself able to articulate my thoughts. I found much more clarity while on a run...imagine that.
It is so sad that we live in a world in which incidents like this one occur. I suppose it is part of being an adult as opposed to the sheltered-ness of childhood, but it does seem like tragic events occur more regularly now. I will never understand how someone can be filled with so much hatred towards others, especially when innocent ones are targeted...and frankly, I'm glad it's beyond my comprehension. I hope my family and I always know so much love and compassion that such hatred is beyond us.
I was privileged enough to run the Boston marathon several years ago. If you are a runner, it is an experience unlike any other. The entire city is alive with running excitement. I doubt any other running event comes close to creating the sense of community, togetherness, and passion that the Boston marathon does. If you are ever given the opportunity to participate, DO IT!
I trained my ass off. Pardon my language, but there is really no other way to describe how hard I trained for Boston. I was up at 4:30 most days, running in the cold, dark winter mornings. I put in the miles, hours, and effort in a way I have never come close to since. All that work and then the weather didn't want to participate. Boston was hit with a Nor'easter the same day/weekend. I was worried that all my hard work wouldn't pay off because of something beyond my control.
Luckily, the weather wasn't as bad as predicted. I ran a PR (to this day). The entire event was amazing.
Yet, when I think of the day I ran the Boston marathon, the most vivid memory of the day is trying to reach my mom on the phone afterwards. It took awhile to get through. I immediately started gushing about the race. I think she let me finish, then she asked "Did you hear what happened in Blacksburg today?" You see, I ran the Boston marathon on April 16, 2007. The same day of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. While I didn't know anyone personally that was killed, it was so difficult to comprehend. A girl that I sat with at lunch occasionally lost her father. Friends of my parents lost their daughter. It was/is so difficult for me to even begin to understand the sense of loss these families feel. It was hard to believe it all took place in quiet, little Blacksburg. It is so strange to see images of your small hometown on every possible news source in the country.
When the bombings happened at this year's marathon, in my mind, I couldn't believe another tragedy would now be connected with that race, at least in my mind. Most people probably don't connect the Tech shootings with the Boston marathon, but I do. The whole thing makes me wish there was something I could do to show there is still so much love in the world - something to shower love on both communities through next year's race. Some small way to show that while there will always be a few bad people, there are even more people filled with hope and love. I would love to find a way to permanently stamp a memory of love and compassion on my memory and both Blacksburg and Boston.
Most likely, I won't put my thoughts or feelings into action. Between family, possibly working, moving, helping support Justin through graduate school, etc, I'll excuse myself out of finding the time to train for a marathon to qualify for Boston again, much less the Boston marathon itself. Nor will I find the creative way and energy to show love to both towns. Sadly, I guess that makes me a bit apathetic. I wish it didn't, but in this stage of life I seldom find the time for such things. However, I do believe in the power of prayer and so for now I'll continue to pray for love for both towns and for our entire world.
Post race dinner with my friend who I went with and whom also raced that year.
Touring the Red Sox stadium the day after the race.
As both kids have started to talk more, I have over heard or been a part of several conversations/quotes that are worth recording and sharing. No doubt about it, these two are precious little souls.
After putting the kids to bed one night, over the monitor we hear the following conversation (centered around Summerlin wanting to get in Jackson's bed with him):
JB: Ok Summy, but you can't pick on me. You hear me Summy? No picking on me.
SG: Ok Jack Jack. (btw- the way she says "ok" is one of the most adorable things about her right now)
JB: If you need to pick on someone, you pick on yourself. Ok Summy? You hear me Summy?
SG: Ok Jacko. You no pick on you.
At the playground next to the public library:
JB: Mommy I need to go peepee!
Me: Ok Jackson, let me put Brady in the car.
(As I'm opening the car door to put the dog in the car, I turn around to see my three year old son drop his pants and start peeing in the middle of the playground.)
Me: Jackson! You can't pee on the playground!
JB: But mommy, I had to put the fire out! There was a fire on the swings and I used my hose. Am I a good firefighter mommy?
Me: Umm. Yes. But you can't pee on the playground.
The soundtrack of our day (things I hear over and over and over each day):
JB: Mommy, am I a good firefighter? Like the best firefighter ever?
JB: Mommy, watch I!!!
JB: Mommy, I'm going to do the biggest throw/jump/etc EVER! Watch I! Watch I! Did you see that Mommy?! Was that the biggest ever?!
SG: You love _____ SO much! (Fill in the blank with whatever she is lovin' on that moment - Jackson, Daddy, Mommy, herself, Toby the train, Baby, fairies, etc)
I am looking for any and all advice! When we move to the mountains I will need to generate more, steady income than cakes have provided. My deepest desire is to still be at home with the kids as much as possible. I would really like to find something (or a collection of several somethings) that I can do from home. I still believe my place is at home with my children and I like the flexibility of working from home.
My hope is to continue cakes - maybe advertise that I can make and deliver birthday cakes/cupcakes to Tech students from family and friends back home? In addition, I've tried to think of things I can do with sewing or other crafty skills. Is starting an Etsy shop worth it? My greatest concerns with that are again it is unsteady income, it's probably difficult to create a large enough following to generate much income, and I feel like I'm a bit of a "jack of all trades, master of none". I hold my own sewing for my own family, but I'm not sure it's of a "sellable" quality. So, I've tried to think of other ways I can generate income from work on the computer on home...and that's where I'm stuck.
I'm not opposed to doing multiple small jobs, but I would love any and all advice on what these jobs could be. Please, please, please share all your ideas!
Meanwhile, here's a picture to remind you of why it is so important to me to stay at home with my precious babies.
Friday morning was the first showing of our house. I'm not going to lie, I was beyond excited with how happy the kids were to watch TV for two hours while I made all the finishing touches I could to get it as perfect as possible. Yes, I hate that I had my kids spend the first two hours of their day glued to the television. But I'm human and it happened.
I don't know that I can get it this perfect for each showing. I won't always have the time or the energy. So, once the kids were in their car-seats, I ran back inside to grab a few pictures to share. It just looked too "show ready" to not share it with you all!
Guest bedroom/Office/Sewing room
Kitchen - Complete with a cake on the counter! I put one in the oven, but I couldn't find another safe spot for this one. Oh well, we do still live in the house, so it can only be but so "perfect".
Living room - Sorry the living room pics are so dark. The leaves have come in on the large Maple out front, so this room is shaded now...plus the flash on my camera no longer works.
The picture of the kids room was way too dark, but it is the one room in the house that remained virtually unchanged. I already kept their room free of toys and clutter - just beds, dresser, and a hamper. The only real change in there was that we took out Töchterchen's white dresser and they are now sharing Mannchen's.
In the midst of finding out Hubby was admitted at Tech and getting the house on the market, I forgot to post our Easter pictures. We spent a long weekend in the moutains with my family. It turned out perfect because the day we left was the same day we got a response from Tech. The following week was Hubby's spring break, which made it easy to extend our trip, allowing us time to apartment search...but more about that later, back to Easter.
Before leaving town, we died Easter eggs using turmeric, purple cabbage, and paprika. The paprika was supposed to be orange, but really made a light tan color. Either way, it was a fun experiment with natural dyes and I found out my kids love to snack on hard boiled eggs.
My parents did a backyard Easter egg hunt for the kids. They had a blast and there were lots of eggs to go around.
Töchterchen and Baba - such a great picture! I think this one is getting framed.
Discovering their treats!
Mannchen and Baba - another great, frame worthy one.
Töchterchen and baby on Easter Sunday.
Our gorgeous, happy girl.
The Easter bunny brought Mannchen real water color paints.
We had a great Easter and are so excited to have many, many more days together in the mountains!
I have the tendency to purchase cute fabric when I see it, regardless of whether I need it. That being said, I have quite a stash in my craft closet now.....and in a few months I won't have a craft closet or a sewing room. So, now that the house is as fixed up as it's going to be, as clean as it's going to be (for a few days), and as packed as it's going to be until the actual move itself, it's time for me to start using up my stash. I'm going to do my best to blog about a good portion of my creations and the inspiration behind each of them. But no promises.
Part of my stash is a collection of fabrics purchased with the intent of making dresses for Töchterchen. I had a few inspiration pins over on Pinterest:
#1 - loved the coordinating band at the bottom
#2 - loved the sleeves
#3 - not on Pinterest - This is a top of Töchterchen's that has matching pink polka dot capri pants. I used this top as my basis for the pattern I made. I ended up copying the sleeves on this instead of dress #2. I might attempt them on my next dress for her. I widened the bodice and extended the length to create a dress. I also used this as my guide for how to sew everything together.
And here is the result! A quick, simple summer dress for my sweet Töchterchen! The neck is elastic so she can get it on and off easily (no buttons or zippers).
Proud of her new dress...and the good news is now one of us is dressed for the day.
Now, other mama friends, you may be wondering how in the world I was able to sew with two little ones around. This is how. One child is naked - convenient since she's in the midst of potty training. The other (and myself) are still in PJs. My kids love to cut, color, and glue. So we set up a massive creation station on the floor. It evolved into playing store/house. Apparently Mannchen is in the grocery store - he made lots of items to sell in his store. Töchterchen is in the shoe store - she pulled lots of shoes in from around the house. I wonder where the shoe store idea came from. I don't know if my kids have ever been in a shoe store... Anyways, if I want to craft/sew/bake while they are awake, I have to allow them to take part in the process in their own ways. Whatever that may look like each time, it involves being ok with a messy, creative tornado styled room afterwards. Thankfully it can usually be contained in one room.
We celebrated with a special treat afterwards - deep dish oatmeal chocolate cookie bars (also found on Pinterest)! Yum!