Thursday, May 5, 2011

Playing Catch-up

When Hans left for class I begged him to leave the laptop at home so I could write a blog without having to sit in the cold, windowless basement where the desktop resides. He agreed, "but only if I promised to write a blog."

Er, ok . . . since then I have:

1. Taken a nap (which was less napping and more tossing and turning, scratching my nose and wondering why I always have to pee when I'm trying to sleep).

2. Checked facebook (for what feels like the zillionth time)

3. Researched doll-making patterns and materials, comparing prices, adding and removing things from my shopping cart, all the while thinking doll making? Really Suz?

It's now close to dinner time, which means I only have a short time to make my mind sit still long enough to write a few cohesive sentences about my life, which really is a challenge when I haven't done it in so long. Seriously, what has happened here? I spend hours each day reading blogs about other people's lives - what they feed their kids, crafts they make for themselves or their Etsy shops, divorces and separations, new babies, new homes, new jobs . . . and when I am done I think I should walk away feeling informed, refreshed, full. Instead I feel numb, complacent and silenced by all the amazing people in the world - the work they put into their lives - the things they must struggle with. Everything I write and the pictures I post seem so trivial in comparison. But this is not a competition.

So . . .

I'll start with what I've been doing the past few months. In February I auditioned at the University of Kansas (KU)  to begin work on a Masters in Music with an emphasis in vocal performance. After being accepted (yay!) I am now left with the daunting task of deciding: a) Whether I should go, and b) How we are going to pay for it if I do. This inner dialogue is still very private, and there are a lot of factors playing in the decision-making, but suffice it to say I am happy/conflicted/elated/confused/excited/anxious about what the future may hold. Does that clear things up a bit? Good.

Most of my time is filled with Hannah. We try to go on 3-4 outings a week - to the park, to the library, to the farm, to Amy's house, shopping . . . whatever I can think of to get us out of the house and burning as much winter-stored energy as possible. On the stay-at-home days we usually play outside, where she likes to pick flowers from Nana's garden, dig in the sandbox, pick up shards of glass (don't ask) and pedal around on her trike. We're also learning how to build fairy houses in the forest, which I'm beginning to think is more for my own benefit and entertainment than hers. I try to plan at least one art project a week for her, whether it's painting, coloring, sculpting with play-doh, making tissue paper flowers, or dying Easter eggs. Next week we are going to try dying our own wool felt and play silks with my sister-in-law Kerri at the farm. I love to see Hannah's little mind, hands and heart create.

Enjoying the mud puddles at Powell Gardens
Our Fairy Houses so far . . .

We crashed the Baptist Church's Easter egg hunt and got tons of loot.
More on this cutie in later posts. :)
I also spend a lot of my time knitting, crocheting, needle felting and sewing little toys and gifts for the children in our lives. Hannah and her cousins enjoy most of these special gifts, but I am thinking of starting my own Etsy shop and joining the masses of stay-at-home-mothers who are really just looking for a source of income to fund all of their craft supplies.

Leonard the Lion 
 Lately I've especially enjoyed working with natural materials and fibers - wool, cotton, wood, bamboo, and silk - to make toys. Using these materials adds a certain organic warmth and integrity to the toys. They feel more "alive," and I feel better about the end product knowing there are no man-made materials in it. Of course, I still have scads and scads of acrylic yarn in my stash, but I'm slowly converting. I'd like to start learning some woodworking skills to make a doll house, doll crib, barn, toy boxes, furniture etc. Hans promises to help me with these projects, so hopefully we'll have something made by Christmas.
Hattie the Goat - named after Pete and Kerri's new baby goat, whom Hannah loves to death.
 The rest of my time is filled with reading (currently: "Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales" and "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks") and teaching piano and voice lessons - some whose houses I travel to, and some who come to me. I truly love teaching. Truly I could do this for the rest of my life and be happy. I'm still involved at the community theater, and will probably audition for their production of "Cinderella" this summer.

Next post: I'll tell you all about Hans' school work, volunteer work, and new job!

Also, I cut about 7 inches of my hair off.
. . . and I got a new camera!      


softearthart said...

Very interesting news Suzanne, a busy and happy life, doing things that you love. cheers Marie

Samantha said...

Oh good to see you bloggin again!!
Hannah is getting prettier and prettier.
I am excited to hear about all the other things going on in your life! Sounds like a lot! I hope you are able to do whatever makes you happy, in regards to school. And those fairy houses are the cutest idea. Z would love that.

Anonymous said...

Suz, I know at least one little girl who is very glad you are coming to her house to teach her how to play the piano. And I feel blessed to know you, Suzie girl! You are great!

Alainarae said...

Suzie, your life sounds way more exciting than most blogs that I read- you must be reading some extremely cool blogs to feel like you maybe have less exciting things to write about! I am now sitting here thinking, wow- I blogged about picking strawberries- when you are doing all kinds of amazing, creative things with your sweet kid! I'm such a boring mom! lol- we shouldn't compare ourselves- I fall into that trap sometimes, too!

How exciting about your master's program! I'm sure you'll make the right choice when you decide. You are awesome!

sidd finch said...


maybe it's just been a while since you posted pictures. either way. glad to hear from you again. those little animals are very much etsy-worthy.

Suzie said...

Sometimes it feels like she won't eat anything except candy and icecream! Oh, and asparagus. She likes that. Especially if she has a few stalks,so they can talk to each other.