Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Going without

Three weeks ago I started feeling sick about watching television. I didn't like how I flipped it on when I was bored, or how I intended to watch one show and ended up watching three, and I especially didn't like how desensitized I was to the muck I saw. Certain shows that used to make me wince no longer even phased me. I felt really disgusted with myself for letting my standards slip. I started brainstorming ways to change my TV habits.

My sister-in-law, Sarah inspired me with her goal to go media-free for 21 days. Trevor and I decided to go without TV and movies for that amount of time. And we decided it was time to change our TV-watching habits, so when we start watching again, we don't slip back into the same routines. We made a list of shows that we're allowed to watch. We can add to the list, but we can't just turn on the TV to "see if anything's on." I guess we're active viewers now: when we turn on the TV, we'll know what we're going to watch, and we'll watch only that. We also decided on a three-strikes-and-you're-out rule: three offensive moments and we turn off the show; three offensive episodes and it's off the list.

I thought my reward for going without TV for three weeks would be loads of free time. I imagined getting big projects done, reading two books a week, writing in my journal every day, making dinner each night, and still having time to spend with Cassie and Trevor. Not so. I've had a little extra time, but I've still been busy every day and I'm not getting a lot of extra things done. (I guess that's a good sign- maybe I wasn't watching as much TV as I thought.)

What I have noticed, though? I don't miss it. My life is full and happy without television. ( I did miss the occasional weekend movie with Trev...) And I'm ready to change the way I watch TV now that I've realized how little it enriches my life.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Freezer Paper Stenciling

While we all anxiously await Trevor's post about China (he loves blogging), let me share with you about a super easy and satisfying craft.

Here's what you need:
freezer paper
x-acto knife
cardboard or cutting mat
a t-shirt (or bag or pillowcase or tablecloth...)
fabric paint
foam paint brush
a design

Cut off a portion of freezer paper and place your design underneath it, so you can see your design through the freezer paper. The freezer paper should be wax-side down. Trace your design onto the freezer paper.
Use an x-acto knife to cut out your design in the freezer paper. Iron your freezer paper-stencil onto your t-shirt, again wax-side down, making sure every piece is securely stuck to the shirt.

Use fabric paint and a foam brush to fill in your stencil. Follow the instructions on the fabric paint for drying time.
Now, I've never taken a class in technical writing, so those were probably the worst step-by-step instructions you've ever read. Good news, though! My good friend Kristy (who deserves all the credit for finding this craft) just blogged about it too, step-by-step instructions and all. I didn't read her post before writing this one, so it's pretty funny that there are some word-for-word similarities and the exact same pictures. :)

I highly recommend this craft. So fun and easy, and looks just like screen-printing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Catch Up: Post 2


After staying in Denver for a week, I flew back to Salt Lake where my wonderful brother and sister-in-law let us spend the night. The next day, we drove to Trevor's parents' house in Oakley, Idaho to spend the week.

You know all those horrifying stories about in-laws and how hard it can be to get along with them? Well, the only horrifying thing about Trevor's family is that you might laugh so hard you forget to breathe.

My pictures from Oakley don't accurately capture the awesomeness of the week. Here are a few anyway.

My birthday: Yep, there are 25 candles on that cake. (See that red necklace? It was a surprise from Trev. He had hidden it in the trunk of the car so I could find it on my birthday. Very clever. And sweet. )
Highlights of my birthday: talking with Trev via webcam, talking with Taja on the drive to and from Twin Falls, finding pants that are long enough for me for only $20 (!), the surprise from Trev, schhhhhhhhhh! (that one's for you, Taja), the "drinking" game, a scrumptious cake, cute new earrings and a shirt from my in-laws.

We celebrated Cassie's birthday there too, and as you can see, she liked it. Especially the ribbon.
P.S. She's walking! She really got the hang of it while we were in Oakley.

Here are some goodies of Cassie with her aunt, uncle, and grandma. She was really comfortable with them.It was an awesome week. I watched at least 4 movies, made Cassie a skirt, went on a bike ride, picked flowers, jumped on the trampoline, played the piano and sang with Taja, ate delicious food, played some hilarious games with the family, and never felt like Cassie was neglected. Everyone was so helpful. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Hawkes!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Catch Up: Post 1

Sorry about the lack of posts on this blog. Trevor and I were traveling for a few weeks. I'll be catching you up in increments. Here's Post 1: Denver!

Background: Trevor decided to go to China as part of a Mega Structures course (Once in a lifetime opportunity, and only gone for two weeks! We decided we could handle two weeks apart.) I figured Cassie and I would just spend time with my parents, until they announced they would be on a cruise for the same two weeks. I didn't want to stay at home, and I had enough frequent flyer miles for a free round-trip ticket, so we flew to Denver for the first week to spend time with two of my closest friends, Kristy and Alicia. They were SO generous and took care of us very well.

We swamand playedand crafted
and playedand barbequedand playedand ateand played.
AND best of all (in my opinion), we jammed. Which I didn't get a picture of. But imagine three music-obsessed women belting out their favorite songs from musicals and playing the piano as loud as they want. Oh, it was good.

So a big thanks to Kristy and Alicia and their beautiful families for making me feel less like a single parent and for making it fun fun fun!