Santa In October? But I Just Want To Be A Burrito!

Autumn is my favorite season. I think I write that sentence in a blog post every year around this time. My reasons change a bit each year, but my love of the season is mostly about boots,  food — butternut squash, brussels sprouts, warm apple cider — and the free pass to snuggle indoors. #hyggelife

As a human person who wants nothing more than to read under a quilt by the fire without worrying about ice dams on my roof, I never want autumn to end.

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Image Credit: lillisketchtumbler.com
As a small business owner, autumn is something entirely different. It’s when THE HOLIDAYS are meant to be start. No, not Halloween or Thanksgiving. Autumn marks the beginning of Christmas and Hanukkah and gift-buying and gift-giving (my favorite part). So instead of wrapping myself like a book-loving burrito by the fire, I’m supposed to be thinking of snowmen, gift wrap, and eggnog.

And each year, I rebel against The Holidays coming so soon — even as a business person — because my human-burrito side just wants all the autumn all the time! And if I can’t have it all the time, can I just have it during autumn? Pleeeease!

This year, the answer is no. No I can’t. pen&thimble is starting The Holidays “early” this year. Which is really just “on time” with all the other shops. Holiday items have been made and photographed and are just waiting for me to finish one last bite of an apple to be listed on my Etsy shop.

This year, I’m offering a gift wrapping option too!  Bright hand-stamped (by me) stars and a gift note wrapped in twine. It’s already designed and photographed and waiting to go live as an option soon! But first I’m going to slide on my boots and crunch up some leaves and maybe start a fire in my fireplace and read a bit.

Post Update: Holiday Items have rolled into the shop. Gift wrapping option coming soon! 

I Make Bibs…But Not For My Second Child!

The list of things I haven’t done with/for kid #2, that I did do with/for kid #1 could fill …the infinity stretch part of my old maternity jeans. …the long expanse of the night wherein I used to sleep. …the deep cavernous hole in my life that was once filled with finding something to do because I had time to fill.

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In short, I’m a that regular mom who has dropped the ball with her second child in all of the usual ways but they sound super terrible when I list them…

  • I did not make a pregnancy book with my second because managing that pregnancy and a sensitive toddler took more time and energy than I had. With my first, the days felt like forever between the next week’s baby bump entry. You guys! Do you remember those long days before kids? Now let’s forget those days. We’re parents now those days aren’t for us anymore. 
  • I did not keep a baby book for my second because postpartum depression + baby and a toddler = management capacity. Memories-shmemories, I was just trying to get us through the day. Oh man I regret this one, but I do have tons of pictures and I kept milestone notes in the notes section of my phone. OMG I’m the worst mom ever. “Here is your beautiful baby book, Child #1. Here are a few shorthand notes I entered into my phone, Child #2.” Worst. Mom. Ever.
  • I haven’t taken my second to all of the baby sing-alongs, gymnastics classes, and play groups that I took my first to. She does get to do pre-K pick-up with me! So fun! 

So all things considered, I guess it isn’t a big deal that I never made any new feeding bibs for my second kid. I have clearly dropped the ball in major ways. And our feeding bib supply, although made for my first kid, still do the job!

But this is our real life. We are knee-deep in the good, bad, and temper tantrums. I may not always have all the details nice and tidy, but I will drop everything to do a puzzle when my youngest asks. She’s obsessed! My arms are always available for snuggles through the good and bad, and most importantly, I shower both of my girls with lots and lots of love and positive vibes all day long.

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Happy To Be Kid #2

PS. Check out the durable bibs in my pen&thimble Etsy shop for your first, second, and third kid. 🙂

Truth: There is No Balance in Growing a Business and A Family

My youngest is turning 2 years old in Thursday. 2 you guys! So I’ve been feeling nostalgic and flipping through photos and realizing how wonderful and challenging it’s been to grow my handmade business and my family together at home.

My studio has moved and grown with my family. My family has grown in the studio. The days I feel like I balanced mom-life and work-life well are rare. Some days I feel like I haven’t gotten any work done. Sometimes a week goes by and I can’t remember the last time I had some good quality family time. But that’s the “work-life balance.” It’s a pile in one direction or the other with the hope it all balances out in the end.

And one thing I know… No matter where my studio is, my pajamaed kids in my sewing chair makes my heart so happy! 🙂

PS. To see the handmade bibs, placemats, and kids decor I make  alongside my little shop assistants CLICK HERE!

pen&thimble handmade business