One big year

This was an important weekend for my husband and I. Sunday, we celebrated our first anniversary! It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since we were married, and on the other hand, with all that’s happened in that year, it feels like a lot longer than 365 days!

It’s been a journey, there’s no doubt of that. Here’s just a few things that have happened in the past year:

  • We spent an incredible weekend at the Great Northern Resort in West Glacier. We had a great time getting snowed in and snowshoeing in Glacier National Park.
  • We snowmobiled to the top of Desert Mountain outside Martin City. Incredible view!
  • Great spring break trip to Nebraska (I miss you, you lovely state full of lovely people!)
  • I quit my job at the newspaper and moved so Shawn and I could live together. I also decided to go back to school!
  • I went to England with my dad and sister. Shawn went to a geological engineering conference in Utah.
  • We found out we’re one hit wonders! And not in the singing department. In May we learned I was pregnant. Baby numero uno is due January 23, 2012!
  • We visited friends Kristin and Nate in San Francisco. We also spent time in Monterey and Big Sur.
  • We had a nice visit with Kat and Brandon in Glacier. Yay hiking! Yay Polebridge! Yay friends who actually visit!
  • We had visits from my mom and from Shawn’s parents. Great fun on both counts!
  • We moved… again! That’s something like 13 times in three years. We’re never moving again. (OK, it’s very likely that we will, but not for at least a year and hopefully longer than that!)
  • I went back to college. I’m studying sustainable crop production.
  • We had a fantastic float on the Yellowstone with friends Katie and Martin.

We’re looking forward to Thanksgiving in Denver with my family (including a few family members I haven’t seen in something like five years!) and loads of friends, as well as a baby shower then too (so, so excited!). After that, Shawn and I will spend our first and only Christmas alone together. I don’t care if they’re needless and expensive, we’re getting a Christmas tree! I’ve already started making some ornaments. Sadly, we lack a fireplace/hearth for the gorgeous stockings Shawn’s mother made us, so if anyone has any ideas about where to hang those, I’m all ears! I also need to find a good specialty meats market here where I can buy potato sausage. Swedish Christmas dinner tradition!

It’s also been a difficult year for us. We’re both in school, so finances are tight to say the least. We weren’t planning on having a baby for the next, oh, five years. Shawn spends a total of three hours commuting everyday. My back friggin’ hurts. But you know what? That’s life. And we married each other for better or for worse and we’re getting through it. This is just a phase, a step on the journey. This too shall pass.

In the meantime, we’re getting more excited and prepared for our son everyday. This is what 27 weeks pregnant looks like. At least on me. Some women I’ve talked to say I look tiny. Compared to a friend who is about three weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy, I look huge. The baby inside me is very active. I’m convinced he’s going to play soccer (or rock at yoga).

For our anniversary, we had breakfast at a joint in town we’d never tried before and it was fantastic. Shawn was in heaven with his corned beef breakfast (he has to eat it when he can; he loves corned beef and I think it’s just plain nasty), while I enjoyed chicken-fried steak with eggs and buttermilk biscuits. Don’t judge! It’s the first time I’ve had chicken-fried steak in, oh, years, and well, the doctor did tell me to load up on protein. So delicious. We spent some time doing homework (well, anniversary or not, we’ve got tests to study for), but not too much time. In the afternoon, we took a drive to look at the beautiful fall foliage here in southwestern Montana. These photos were taken near the headwaters of the Missouri. Sunday evening we made a steak dinner at home (Shawn’s folks have a similar tradition) and burned the pillar candle that was on the altar at our wedding. Shawn’s grandparents burned their altar pillar candle every anniversary and when Dixie passed away it (after nearly 50 years of marriage) was just a tiny pool of wax. It’s our plan to get down to a tiny pool of wax ourselves!

What a year! Here’s to many, many more!

Finishing the projects I’ve begun: It’s harder than it seems!

In our second bedroom (which is ever so slowly becoming a nursery for our baby boy… speaking of baby boy, Oct. 23, which happens to be my first anniversary, we’re T-minus three months!), I have a shelf in our closet piled with fabric and yarn and quilting books and embroidery hoops. Also on those shelves are at least four unfinished projects. And it’s time to start ticking those projects off my list! I’ve got two quilts in various states of done-ness and I’m pondering attempting to sell the finished products. Which I have my doubts about because I’d ideally like $700 each for them. Sounds like a lot, I know, but in each quilt is, oh, $250-$300 worth of fabric, plus the many, many hours I’ve put into the quilts. So folks, frankly, that’s what they’re worth. Maybe I’ll put them up on Etsy and see what happens. Wouldn’t mind the extra money in my pocket, though!

But anyway, two other projects I’ve been working on because they’ve been moved up in priority is a mobile for above the crib and a pillowcase that I will take to the hospital with me. The mobile, which features little stuffed fabric birds perched on sticks, is about halfway done. I’ve got six of the planned eight birds sewn, waiting for stuffing. I need to go stick hunting (yay excuse for a hike! not that I need an excuse…), and then assemble the mobile. It’s going to be bright and lovely and I’m really excited about it. Especially since we can’t paint the room, the colors will help the room feel more like home for our little one.

And I’m proud to report that the pillowcase is done!

Yesterday I spent the afternoon at a friend’s house sewing my fabric together. She was working on a darling trick-or-treat bag for her niece (it looks like a piece of candy corn! so cute!). Needless to say she is a much more competent and much faster sewer than I (and I have major sewing machine envy!), but I completed my pillowcase project. As I said, I plan to take it to the hospital with me when our son is born. I’ve heard from other friends who’ve had children that many of the photos taken of our little family will feature the pillowcase in the background. Plus the pillowcase will add some color and life to what will no doubt be an otherwise pretty sterile, boring environment.

The body of the pillowcase is a plum color with a floral print. The accent is green and the cuff is a pretty teal. And I think it’s lovely! I’m totally into the personalized pillowcases, even if they don’t match the sheets (though luckily, in my case, the pillowcase actually coordinates quite nicely!)

Alas, the pillow project has spurred another project: a pillowcase for my husband. Luckily he’s not big on lurking around fabric stores like I am so maybe if we can avoid being in a fabric store together in the near future, I can focus on finishing all my other projects instead of starting a pillowcase for him with fabric he’ll pick out.

Next project to finish is a quilted stained-glass Christmas tree advent calendar wall hanging. I took a class with my sewing friend and while her tree wall hanging thingy is about ten seconds from complete, mine it woefully just a bunch of fabric scraps pinned together. So that’s next! And hopefully in time for the Christmas season.