Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mother Nature likes to mess with me

Things are a little shaky around here... in more ways than one. Of course, you have all heard by now that we finally got to experience an earthquake. By finallly, I mean that I have been prepared all my life for an earthquake, since smack down the population center of Utah, my old home, lies a humongous fault line. Since it was discovered, scientists have warned of a catastrophic event that would likely topple just about everything :-). So we had earthquake drills in school all of the time and, I'll admit, I hoped more than once that the quake would come and destroy my middle school (after we all got out and ran to the soccer field, of course). There was a definite lack of excitement in middle school.

So, to say the least, we were excited when something literally shook up our boring August afternoon. To truly fascinate you, though, I have to tell you about earlier Tuesday morning, before all the fun began, when Ethan approached me and asked, "Mom, how do earthquakes work?"

We had a little discussion about plate tectonics; how the Earth's crust is made up of plates that are shifting and moving as we speak. I told him that on those plates are rifts or faults that, when movement occurs, rub together or bump into each other, causing the ground to tremble.

When the Earth actually began to tremble a few hours later, it took a second to realize that the low rumble and jarring vibrations were not caused by a bulldozer knocking over the townhouse to my left. It hit me and I looked at Ethan and said, "Ethan! I think this is an earthquake!"

After we scrambled under the dining table, I remembered that I have another child. I told Ethan to wait and as I got out from under the table to go snatch Ruby out of her crib, the shaking stopped. I immediately got chills, first at the thought that an earthquake had just occured in Arlington, Virginia; and second that we had an entire conversation earlier that morning about earthquakes. It was an amazing hands-on learning experience. Thank goodness it was a mild quake and no one was seriously injured because, for me, it was an amazing 15 seconds.

Beyond the earthquake, things are just off this week. Today - and the past few days - I have been unable to muster much energy to do anything at all. I can't really pinpoint why. I have got to get going though, because we are almost a week away from our Outer Banks vacation... that is, if there is one.

Hurricane Irene is focusing all of her fury straight toward the Outer Banks. Her Category 3 winds seem intent on whipping our rented beach house and her storm surge aims to flood it. I am scared, not that we will be anywhere near the carnage. No, we aren't scheduled to travel there until NEXT Saturday. I am just terrified that the Ferrari II, our beach house that is supposed to house eight families including us, will be nothing more than a memory. I have been planning, scheming and dreaming about this Outer Banks trip since the day I left the Nags Head, N.C. last September. All summer long I have been antipating the lovely beach, warm waters and dance parties with my crazy friends and if this trip is canceled, I might implode. Outer Banks, you're all I' got. Don't fail me now.

Looking past my shallowness, I hope no one is seriously injured in this event. Clearly my vacation is the least of their worries. I'm praying she will weaken to a tropical storm.

Oh, and here are some photos of my kids after just one of the many thunderstorms we have had in this very wet August. 

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Another dress

I never realized how much fun sewing could be until I had a girl. I remember the pre-Ruby days, when my friends with daughters would discuss all of their little projects and I would roll my eyes. My friend Val told me, "You just wait until you have a girl and you will catch the bug too." I really didn't believe her but she was dead on. Not long after Ruby was born I started imaging little things I could create for her and when I finally made something I found it to be very rewarding.
I often feel guilty that I spend all my time on Ruby projects and don't make anything for Ethan. My motto has always been that there is nothing you can make for boys that will look better than something you can buy in the store. However, my friend LuAnn has recently proved me wrong. She makes some really amazing clothing for her boys. She is going to help me create a T-shirt for Ethan so wish me luck.

Back to the dress. This was, of course, an Easter dress a few months late (to the tune of late June). It took a lot of effort to make sure all the stripes were lined up correctly and it's still not perfect. I also really screwed up a sash that I obviously had to remove. I just tacked a bow on at the time but realized it didn't look so great. While I was in Utah my sister said, "Did you make that dress? At first I thought you got it at Target or something but then I looked at the bow and realized that you made it." I could have taken this comment to mean a lot of different things but I decided it meant that it looked well-made enough to be sold at the store but the bow needed a little work (love you, Kenz). I have since sewn on a ribbon from each side so it looks a little better (sorry, no photos of the improvement).
I'm proud of this dress despite its flaws and I hope that one day I can look back at all of Ruby's homemade clothing (poor girl ;-)) and see my sewing evolution. 
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