Anna Maria Locke

and then it was summer all of a sudden

Hello, blog. It's been awhile. In the last month and a half a lot has happened, and summer is here. 
Time to play catch-up!

Here's what's been happening the last couple months:

I celebrated the epic 25th birthday with best friends. We are all April babies! This is Christine and Anna S. (They are going to be two of my bridesmaids as well!)

I decided to stop jealously stalking craft blogs and start taking action! I can make pretty things too. Dusted off the sewing machine to attempt my first pinterest craft that turned out surprisingly cute.

However, I have this issue with sewing: after all the arduous time spent picking out fabric and fighting with the machine to produce something un-crappy, I end up sick of the fabric and color combos and don't even want to use what I made. I harbor visions of selling adorable crafty accessories online but who knows if the pipe dreams will ever become reality. 

(It's easy to have existential pipe dreams when you're in the middle of a job rut...)

 My grandma turned 83 on Mother's Day weekend, and we FINALLY gave her this cross stitch that we (as in my mom and siblings, mainly my mom) have been working on for LITERALLY TWENTY YEARS. Probably more. Like, since the earliest I can remember, this in-progress bundle of thread has been sitting around and accompanying us on family vacations. The kit was from the 80's and you can't read through the glare, but it says "I'm not cluttered, I'm country." And has adorable little sheep. Basically, it defines my grandma's life.

(Here's something almost no one knows about me: I love cross stitching and go through huge binges every couple years.)

Gratuitous flower picture. Iris on the farm. 

(pic via one of my brother's fb friends)

The sad part of this month was having to put our cat Thijs down. He had definitely gone through a few lives over the past couple years and kidney problems finally got too bad to handle. We had him since I was ten, and he was the sweetest kitty in the world. He loved tuna, sleeping on chairs under the table, and chasing bits of food and lights from a flashlight.

Ok I can't end on a sad note.
In addition to sewing, I'm also fulfilling my suppressed desires of starting a potted herb garden. I had some bad experiences in the past that I'm going to chalk up to living in a dark basement apartment in grad school, and not because I have a black thumb. I mean, my whole family is in the horticulture industry! I need to be able to grow things. Well, now that we have a balcony in the sun, so far so good. Our basil, sage, and oregano are thriving, and baby parsley finally started peeking out (the only herb we have from seed, thanks Nicole!) He grew 1 cm just today and I'm very excited. I may or may not have screamed for Ben when I noticed the little leaves, and scared him into thinking there was an emergency. Nope, just excited. Love baby plants.

What I've learned from the past couple months: don't just dream and wish your life was better. Take ACTION and do things! Yeah, not very deep or groundbreaking but a pretty big concept for me right now.

Oh, speaking of doing things I also went through a two month stint as a substitute teacher, which deserves its own post.

And best of all, after two years of moving around the country and job hunting, Ben landed a teaching position at a charter school in Chicago, so we will be moving to the Windy City this summer !!!!!! I'm so excited to begin a new chapter of life together.