Where Have I Been?!

The vain side of me really hopes you noticed I took a break in this space for a few months at the end of the year. The logical side of me knows this post is just a way to update my mother on my life without having to actually call her. (She loves when I tease. Hi, Mom!)

So let me catch you up on what I’ve been doing while I wasn’t here. I’m thinking by the month?

July

In July I decided to leave my position with the health department and move over to a more traditional marketing job at the Department of Defense. Leaving ASPR was a really tough call to make because of the great people and the wonderful work I got to do. But I also knew I had to move so I could continue to grow in other ways. I left ASPR near the end of July right before my daughter came to visit. And also, this started a much needed three-week break between jobs.

Picture of me and my friend, Ron

I’m going to miss the best work husband ever and getting to report from the field with him. This is Ron and me at our Centro Médico location after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

August

This was probably the busiest month. I spent a couple weeks with my daughter who was visiting from California and ended my time off by meeting my dad in New York to take in some Yankee games. (Isn’t he handsome?!) At the end of the month, I suited up and started my new job. Oh, and I started taking flying trapeze lessons.

me and my dad

My dad and me on the subway on our way to Yankee Stadium. He and baseball are two of the greatest loves of my life.

Emily Visits the East Coast!

I love my daughter to death, but boy do we make a mess when we’re together. In two weeks, we made at least a dozen visits to the quilt store, JoAnn’s, and Michael’s. There was crap everywhere. One of my favorite projects we worked on was this little pineapple. We each made minis for our own sewing studios so we could think of each other while we sew. Awe!!

pineapple mini quilt

Emily and I each have this in our studios so we can think about each other every time we look at it!

We also made the rounds to wineries – she’s old enough for tastings now! – and our annual girls’ day at King’s Dominion. She is just so much fun to hang out with as a “grown up.”

me, Emily, and Woodstock

My favorite part of King’s Dominion is Planet Snoopy, so we had to take a selfie with Woodstock!

Play Ball!

Every year, my dad goes on a baseball trip. Most times it’s to stadiums where the Yankees are the visitors, but this year it was to the beautiful Bronx! DC is just a three-hour train ride away, so I crashed boys’ weekend with him and his friend, Bob, to take in some games with my pops. He is the reason I love baseball so damn much (and sports in general).

bob, my dad, me

Bob, my dad, and me at the best stadium in MLB!!

We went to two games and sat in the bleachers both games. If you don’t know what it is to be a Bleacher Creature, definitely look it up. My friend, Sri, came to crash boys’ weekend for the second game, and we met the bleacher captain for the day, Patches.

sri, patches, me

Sri, Patches, and me right before the start of the game. If you even remotely like baseball, go to Yankee Stadium and be a Bleacher Creature for a day. My allergies really started acting up at the end of Roll Call.

But the Bronx in August wasn’t my only dip into baseball this year. I ended up at four different stadiums this season: SunTrust Field in Atlanta, Nationals Park in DC, Camden Yards in Baltimore, and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. If I plan out my travels for 2019 right, I’ll get to seven stadiums! I buy a hat from each stadium I visit. Here’s this years travels!

baseball caps from nationals, braves, yankees, and orioles

Baseball has been very, very good to me.

Fly, Joni, Fly!

So I was driving around southeast DC in August when I passed by the Trapeze School of New York. What?!!?! This is a thing?!?! And I can do it?! So of course I flew for the first time two days later. I’ll talk more about this later because it turned out to be awesome! It ended with a recital in November, and here’s my amazing flying class.

group photo of trapeze class

My Looney circus family!

September

I’m a couple weeks on the new job, and I am exhausted! Between having to keep a normal person’s schedule again and everything there was to learn, my brain was fried nearly every day. I didn’t do any sewing once that month.

October

Well, flying took a bit of a set back. I had a bad landing – totally my fault, and I know what I did wrong – and got a good case of whiplash and a concussion. I had to take a serious brain break, which meant no screens and no sewing. Now I’m starting to get antsy.

November

I’m back in action at the flying trapeze rig just in time for our fall recital. And I was able to reach my goal of catching a back-end trick in the show. Here’s my straddle. Our group’s theme was Looney Tunes, and I was Tweety. This night was so much fun since it was my first circus event, and I loved showing off for my friends. Here’s the video of my trick. It was so exhilarating, and I am definitely running away to join the circus at some time in the future!!

I also traveled to San Francisco to visit Emily for Thanksgiving and her birthday.

Emily with her birthday cake

The birthday girl! How is she 22 already?!

Now it was time to get serious about my Christmas quilting. I had two complicated quilts to finish for my parents and Emily, and I literally finished them just in time! Everyone was happy with their presents.

dogs in sweaters quilt

Dogs in Sweaters for my doxie-loving parents.

Lloyd and Lola quilt

Lloyd & Lola for my llama-loving daughter.

December

Home for a week and then it was off to Hawaii for a few days of R & R with Sir. I’m usually not one to get into the Christmas spirit. I rarely decorate anymore, and I can be a real Grinch about the whole season. But as I was walking through our resort in shorts and flip flops, I found myself singing along to every song and taking pictures of every tree. The moral of this story is that I need 80 degrees and sun to really get into the holiday season!

me and sir

Sir and I taking a hammock break after a day at the lagoon.

January

Christmas quilts are done, and I finally make a commitment to head into the studio on a regular basis to get back to this art I love so much. But I found myself uninspired by the projects on hand. I had spent so much time over the past two years really knocking out some old UFOs, that I barely had any left. I decided that I’m not a one-quilt-at-a-time woman and resolved to add more UFOs to my list this year! So I jumped on some quilt along band wagons and definitely have more than enough to keep me busy and inspired.

Of course this happens just in time for me to pack up my studio and move!

February

My moving truck came on February 1, and Sir’s came on February 8. While I’m grateful we didn’t combine our homes by having two trucks on one day, it felt like it took us forever to get moved in and settled. Last Monday was the first day I felt like I lived in the house instead of in service to it. We have everything set up just how we like it, and I’m ready to get into our joint studio to start creating quilty awesomeness. That’s right! He’s an artist too!!

my quilting studio

My half of our studio. Once we’re completely set up, I’ll do a tour!

Moving On

Now that my life has settled down a bit, I’m happy to report that I’m loving my expanded UFO list, the studio where I get to create, and the calendar I’ve created to keep my quilting, blogging, and teaching on schedule. I’m excited to see what’s next!

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