Tag Archives: 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

And here we are, it’s Christmas Eve! Perhaps one of the best things about getting married (besides the whole commitment to spending the rest of my life with the person I love and all that…) is that I get to celebrate Christmas even more.

And always with this guy!
And always with this guy!

We did the Vonck thing last weekend with my parents and siblings and nieces and aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and puppies on that side of the family.

You can kind of tell that we're related... and that we enjoy our time together, eh?
You can kind of tell that we’re related… and that we enjoy our time together, eh?

Tonight, we start the party Stankowski-style, which as I have mentioned before is big, big, big.

No matter the “side” or the location or the event,¬†as the Muppets say (in the best version of A Christmas Carol ever produced EVER): wherever you find LOVE it feels like Christmas!

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And it’s so true! Love, love, love… every where! In every way!

And to quote another immortal soul, one Mr. Frank Sinatra:

I wish you shelter form the storm
A cozy fire to keep you warm
But most of all, when snowflakes fall
I wish you love

That is truly my Christmas wish for you. For everyone. For myself even. Lots of love.

And especially for my sister’s dear friend Jackie, who I unfortunately did not get to meet when I was in Midland for a few days– I really hope she knows how much she is loved! To be loved by my sweet and fisky sister, that’s a big deal ūüôā

Claire knows it's a big deal to be loved by my Shabsky Balu-- look at that happy little face!!
Claire knows it’s a big deal to be loved by my Shabsky Balu– look at that happy little face!!

I love all the rest of you too and I thank you from the very bottom of my heart for hanging out with me for another year here at Under the Tapestry.

My goal for 2014 was to convince you that I am truly unhinged, but full of love. (The best kind of unhinged, really.) If I haven’t done that yet, let me just send you a quick Christmas card…

Created using Minted
Created using¬†minted.¬†I’m so so so pleased with minted. Highly recommend!

Transition to crazy dog lady — complete!

Oh how I love that pup!!

 

Wishing you and all of your furry (or scaled or feathered or whatever) friends a very merry holiday season full of love, love, love!

Beginnings, 2014 style.

Nothing like the first page of a brand new planner. I’ll always be a pen and paper girl and for me, that first week in January when you crack open the pages for the first time– heaven!

Ahhh... week 1 of 52...
Ahhh… week 1 of 52…

I love blank slates… fresh starts, do-overs, and second chances.* I also love dinosaurs. But that’s not the point.

The point is, a new year offers a fresh start. But so does a new month. A new week, a new day. Each new minute is another chance to start.

I told you like a million years ago (poetic license) that I was reading a book by Joan Chittister called Welcome to the Wisdom of the World and¬†I mentioned that I was both excited and nervous to get to the chapter entitled “What’s Wrong with Me: Why Can’t I Change?” Excited because I thought maybe she’d have the answer for me. Nervous because maybe it would be something that I couldn’t do, couldn’t handle, whatever.

What Joan Chittister told me was incredibly simple, yet remarkably profound:

“If the question is, What is wrong with me: what can’t I change? the answer may be that I have to decide to begin. When the struggle will finally end, what the end will look like, we cannot know. We can only know that¬†beginning to begin is the secret.”

Woah.

While we aren’t given unlimited time, we always have a moment in which we can decide to begin. It’s that grace thing again. Maybe you did burn all your bridges… but you could learn to swim. You could build a boat. You could purchase water wings. You could tame a dolphin and ride him. Or you could just build another bridge, I suppose. Lots of ways to get to the other side.

Dolphin Ride

Resolutions early on in the new year are truly a dime a dozen. For that reason, you’ll hear lots and lots of naysayers– “80% of all resolutions are given up by February” and “bandwagons are bad” and all that. But a dime a dozen?! Sound like a pretty good deal to me! And bandwagons can be a lot of fun. (I imagine it to be like a hay ride– with a drum line. Sweet. Work those quads, LQ!)

I’ve got a couple ideas about what I’d like to do in 2014… not necessarily hard and fast resolutions, per se. Just some ideas:

  1. Be funnier. I’ve been a little bit serious on Under the Tapestry as of late. More jokes, more jokes!!
  2. Grow more food and/or eat more food that other people grow. This year, I’ve¬†got to get a garden up and running so I can can some of my own stuff. (Love when two or more cans happen in a row! Can can can you do the can can?!) Also, I got a pressure canner for Christmas (oh snap, I am getting SO brave!) so that I can can stuff that’s not super acidic. Pretty pumped about that! Beans? Pumpkin puree? And I’m sure Seth wouldn’t mind¬†more homemade ketchup (although that was a¬†lot of work).
  3. Sew more. I was warned it would happen– fabric, half-finished projects, materials for grand ideas that never get used. I didn’t believe it would happen to me, but it did. By the end of 2014, however, I¬†will finish my duvet cover. (omg! you guys, it’s so awesome– and more than halfway done, I can’t wait to show you!) In addition to a couple other projects I’d love to turn out sometime in the near future (I found some tweed with a touch of sparkle– it’s been begging me to make it into a super cute skirt)!
  4. Improve my home. My husband is¬†awesome¬†at his part of this. He’s ridiculously handy and loves learning to do even more stuff from his dad, who is even more ridiculously handy than my husband. Seth has installed new wiring, gas lines, insulation, a satellite mount, in-wall/in-ceiling surround sound speakers, and a new water softener among a million other projects both small and large. The nuts/bolts and inner workings of the house are very well taken care. The aesthetics are more my domain… I painted a couple rooms, hung some new curtains, halfway finished a duvet cover (see above), purchased the paint for another room… and then… got tired? Gave up? I don’t know what. But I need to get back on that. And stat. For that reason, I’ve joined the Apartment Therapy January Cure for some motivation, and I’m pretty excited about that! Today, I made a list of 3 – 5 things per room in my house I’d like to change. Project list– check! It’s a start, anyway!
  5. Read!¬†For book club, of course, and anything else that sounds interesting. But I’d also like to embark on some sort of awesome book challenge. My friend Nicole pointed me to this woman’s challenge of reading a book from every country in the world. Dang. I’m amazed– she must have learned so much! I’m thinking something smaller, perhaps a little more domestic. But what? My initial thought was to read at least one book set in every state (plus one more for the UP, because I think we all know God’s country warrants at least one book of it’s own)… but I’m certainly open to any other suggestions? Also, I super want Nicole to do the challenge with me! And to blog about it! Thoughts? Anyone?

You’ve probably noticed that all of these things are things I’ve started before. I’ve told a joke (or two), canned some tomatoes, sewed most of a duvet cover, painted a couple rooms, and read many, many books. But there’s no reason I can’t begin again and I’m desperate for a ride on that 2014 bandwagon (can’t you hear the cadence?! I¬†need to groove along with it!) so I’m deciding to begin in these 5 areas¬†again. Because I’m allowed to do that– and so are you!

As Joan Chittister suggests, the only way to change is to decide to begin. Any day, any time.

 

*Unfortunately, sometimes my anal retentiveness goes a little too far and I love these fresh starts a little¬†too¬†much. One time (ok, several times) in high school (and yeah, maybe in college… and grad school…) (ugh, and my real life current job…) I’ve gotten so annoyed with my handwriting or a stain on something that I’ve copied it again, neater or on a fresh sheet of paper, and tossed the old one so that I could admire the new one. Pathetic? Maybe. But it just looks¬†so nice! Plus, copying your own notes is actually a decent way to study something… it can’t really have hurt, anyway.

2013: The year I crapped my pants. Twice.

It’s December 31st, 2013. I just got home from Appleton. We picked up my pup from her third surgery on the same knee. Here’s hoping that this won’t be the third¬†failed surgery.

Curly in Cast

And that’s pretty much how 2013 has been. Except… EXCEPT! I started Under the Tapestry. And¬†that has made all the difference! Because each time we chat, I’m reminded that for every dark cloud, there is a silver lining, and that each and every tangled thread I see is part of a much bigger and more lovely picture.

For example:

In 2013, I crapped my pants. Twice. We’ve been over this. My stomach was a MESS. A terrible, horrible mess. And I went through a lot of scoping and the like to be diagnosed as cra-a-a-a-zy lactose intolerant. But in the process, I was saved from a pretty much certain fate of colon cancer. So boom– turns out that was pretty awesome!

If that’s not enough to make me believe in silver linings and blessings in disguise, what could?!

For that reason, and many others, I am truly grateful for all the good, and especially the bad, that has happened in 2013. Of course, I wouldn’t mind a lesson or two¬†less in 2014, but I’ll take it as it comes. After all, the bad often comes with a funny story to share and knowing it’s good blog material makes it much more bearable!

Best wishes to you and yours in the coming year, friends!

 

PS: Tonight, Seth and I are wearing comfies, snuggling our pup, watching tv, eating chips, and struggling to stay up until midnight. Perfection.