This year I really had to come to grips with the fact that I simply could not make and do what I have in years past. It was okay really, and I learned something. Sometimes I try to do it all and do it poorly. Things are rushed, slapped together, and I don't enjoy the process. When I am more selective with what I take on- my projects are well-finished, well-wrapped, and well-enjoyed. Am I the last one to figure this out?
Sugar cookies. A quadruple batch. Precisely mixed, patiently chilled, skillfully cut out, carefully baked, kid frosted (here's where I had to do some letting go: neon colors, tons of sprinkles, less than perfect). These cookies have been a tradition in my family since I was a little girl. Oddly, I don't really like them, but that is good because my recipe calls for at least 2 cups of butter!!
I like practical gifts to be pretty as well. Last year I made natural cleaning kits for my friends. This year, I made them Jane Market Bags. The pattern is so simple and fairly quick once you get going. I made a few and I think the best way to go about it is to do an assembly line sort of thing. I cut all the fabric and then I made each bag simultaneously as I moved through the steps of sewing it together. In the front pocket I tucked in one of my favorite note pads. A perforated menu planner/grocery list from MomAgenda.
My Mother-in-Law is the famous "lunch lady" at the high school where she lives. For some time now she has been asking me to make her an apron. I have gotten great use out of my Emmaline Apron so I decided to make one for her as well. Because I was familiar with this project I was able to really take my time cutting, pinning, stitching, and pressing. I had a decaf latte nearby and listened to my ipod. I love sewing when my brain is not puzzled by the pattern. Thank you to Alicia and Meg (creators of these patterns) for making them so simple!
We kept up with our school work for most of the week. Anticipating a baby this Spring is great motivation for keeping up- even getting ahead a bit. The girls have done so well to keep up. There hasn't been much complaining. We also hosted two family dinners to celebrate Christmas.
With a Mama who scaled back her efforts, a Husband who generously filled in the gaps (big praise for being self-employed and the ability to work from home if need be), and Daughters who are growing up and able to help- really help (like cleaning the bathrooms, folding laundry, and mopping floors) we even had some time to enjoy our favorite sledding hill.