Thursday, August 18, 2016

Spain, kidneys, and good ole' Tula

We are back from our trip to Spain, and I am in love. It really was beautiful and just touched on the "go chase adventure" nerve. So much to say, but how do you summarize a country, it's people, a culture in one blog post? Instead, I will just share a few of my observations and impressions that I am left with. Also, I totally realize that my observations are very general and there is more to tell about a person than a simple glance as they walk down a street....

The people of Rota are beautiful. I couldn't help but notice how their hair seemed shinier and fuller, their skin seemed brighter and smoother, and overall, when compared to Americans (this American, in particular) they were in far better shape. They seemed more carefree and not so rushed. I thought a lot about this, and my very layperson observation is that a culture that embraces naps, relies on their feet for transportation, and eats differently (big lunch, small dinner), maybe has a wonderful effect on the body and mind.

Other things I noticed- walking down a crowded street, a couple pushing their baby in a pram, they literally stopped to coo and make faces at their baby. I saw this a lot. They seemed generally invested in the moment with their babies. I couldn't help but think, man, I would probably never stop in a crowded street because it would annoy the people behind me, nor do I know if I am ever that present to see and stop what I am doing on my way somewhere to just making funny faces at one of my babies. I kept noticing this, the attentiveness to the babies, and it tugged on my heart. I know it may sound silly, and maybe I happened to witness the only 4 families in Spain who weren't so in a rush that they stopped to coo at their little ones, but it spoke to me, and I made a little promise to myself to stop and just watch my children more and stop rushing so much.We lose so much in the rush. I want to be the mom that comes to a dead stop just to squeeze my little ones for no reason other than they are adorable.

So many of the places we went, people went up to Evie and Declan and touched their cheeks, or the top of their heads, and spoke to them. It's kind of troubling to me how off-putting such a sweet gesture was at first. It just made me think that being on-guard as a parent can also mean that sometimes we lose a little bit of our humanity.

Not all of my thoughts were deep. Other noteworthy things: sangria in Spain is delicious and powerful, the breeze coming off the coast was amazing, driving down tight streets super fast scared the crap outta me, and any time I heard a siren from a police car (which was only like twice) I thought Jason Bourne must be up to something nearby.

.....dang my husband is HOT!

...and I don't know why Tyler is making that face. But it's definitely a good one. 

If we are friends on IG, then you know that on my birthday I woke with horrible pain and went to the hospital to learn I had kidney stones. That was no bueno. For real, I have never felt pain that intense. My body was shaking, I was sweating profusely, my blood pressure was crazy, and I felt like I was going to pass out and vomit all at the same time. I said a little prayer thanking God for the creators of Dilaudid and Morphine.

Okay, on to a more sew-happy note. I saw this little challenge/sew-along all over instagram and I decided to join in. The idea is to make 100 blocks in 100 days #100blocks100days using Tula Pink's City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book. I am so excited about this. I am telling you, this quilting community is so inspirational, so positive, so encouraging, that it feels good to be a part of this greater group project.  Here are my first 2 blocks:

 In the book, Tula talks about how she has only numbered the blocks instead of naming them, so they can take on our unique ideas and what we want them to be, and as such, aren't limiting.  How in the leaving them unnamed, we allow them to tell our own story, and as such we name our own block, sort of. I have decided that this is a quilt I will keep for myself, so I am naming each block after a person or thing that is part of my story. So each block will be like a little chapter of my life or a piece of my heart. In deciding this, it has made the overall quilt so much more exciting and fun for me!

I have named the first block after my Mom, because she is amazing and the start of my story. The navy blue floral fabric reminded me of a dress she might have worn.

The second block was named after my first daughter, Kaitlin. The colors combine in a way that mimic her beautiful eyes.

My plan is to make each block from scraps I have and pieces laying around, with no focus at all on overall color, only in combining color for what feels right and based on who/what I am naming each block after. I typically (always) like to have a sense of cohesiveness about my quilts, but this time I am letting the cohesiveness lie in the block size and sashing, and letting each individual block not be tied to any rules. This is a big leap for me, but sometimes it is good to shake up the way we work.

If you are participating in this little stitch-along challenge, I'd love to know!

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