Our Handmade Christmas - For the Dad
Two Hats

On to the New Year

Thanks for all the handmade Christmas love.  I really appreciated all your thoughtful comments.  We will be repeating it again come December and I have something up my sleeve to get most of my family involved, too.  And just to be clear, the handmade Christmas was only part of our gift giving.  I wish I could make more, but 2006 nearly did me in.  So from now on, a good mix of bought and made.  It works for me.


We are eleven days into 2008 already.  Eek!  It's going fast.  Before I lose the courage, I am going to throw out my goals for the year.  Here goes nothing....

Personal Goals:
1. Get back to my pre-Kate weight.
2. Run a half marathon
3. Cut out the crap food.
4. Write more.
5. Say yes to my kids more.
6. Practice patience.
7. Have a positive attitude.
8. Don't over-commit.

House Goals:
1. Make bed skirt and pillow shams for master bedroom.
2. Finish master bedroom duvet.
3. Finish guest room curtains and pillow shams.
4. Clean out all of the closets.
5. De-clutter.
6. Work on sunroom.
7. Paint hallways.
8. Carve out office space for myself.
9. Hang Kate's window treatments.
10. Make a shower curtain.
11. Order and install new blinds for the girls.
12. Hang kids' art and family photos.

Craft goals:
1. Make a quilt.
2. Finish the granny square afghan.
3. Knit the tangled yoke cardigan.
4. Sew some clothes for myself.
5. Finish swap projects on time.
6. Finish embroidery and get it framed.
7. Take a photo a day & learn how to really use my fancy pants camera.

I think these are all reachable.  I have a tendency to be unrealistic at times so I have edited this down in a big way.  Many of these projects are already started so I just need to finish them up.


By the way, these photos have nothing to do with this post.  I just like them and I really don't like posting without photos.  Just thought you should know.

Now, what was I saying?  Oh yeah, resolutions and stuff.  I did clean up the blog a bit - kind of a spruce up for the new year.  There's a new banner and new info on the about page.  You can find answers to lots of your questions over there.  Really.  Go look.  While you're at it, look down a bit and see my new link list.  I was really torn about how to handle the 100+ blogs I enjoy.  There is no way I can link to all of them and actually keep up with the list.  So I listed a few for now.  In a month or six weeks, I will change the list.  If your blog is not on the list now, don't fret.  Your time will come.  I'm spreading the love and not overwhelming myself at the same time.  I also added a little blurb about comments.  I love your comments.  I really really do.  Thank you for taking the time to make them.  I appreciate it so much.  Here comes the bad news...I am finding that I have less and less time to answer them, though.   My inbox runneth over so to speak.  So if you have a specific question, just email me.  I will do my best to answer it.  And please don't be mad at me, okay?  I really couldn't handle that.

Allright-y then...back to our regularly scheduled crafting next week.  I have some knits to share, a new sewing machine to unbox (!) and, if all goes well, a free pattern for you knitters.  Have a great weekend.

Oh yeah - I am looking for a good slow cooker cook book with kid friendly meals (we eat meat, but do vegetarian fare, too).  If you have a suggestion, email me - hillroad at bellsouth dot net.  Gracias!



love the new look. i know marcia has a good slow cooker recipe book - give her a holler.

Sarah Jackson

Love the resolutions - we have many in common. Except I think I'll be passing on the half marathon. :)

Here's to a productive new year!


One of my New Year's resolutions is to let people know what I think more. So I'm de-lurking here to let you know I love your blog! I've been reading it a couple months now, and I find your projects and take on life so inspiring. Good luck in all your goals!


Great set of goals for 2008!


Happy New Year, I love the new look xoxo


I am so with you on Personal Goal number 5.

Love the new look and banner. And I love the idea of highlighting a few blogs a month...go figure I did it on my own blog:)


love the goals.
and your new look.
can't wait to see your knitting pattern!


I really like your new about page... I clears up a few things, like how Fatty got his nickname- I've always wondered. And I think my house is messier than yours!


Everyone has such lofty goals for 2008. Running a half marathon! Wow! I think I'll just aim for a 5K. And maybe I need a list too.
I love the new look of your blog. It's crisp and fresh.


I love your about page. I've always wondered about Fatty...I thought maybe it was the girls' young version of daddy. :)

Anyways, it all looks great. happy friday!


Love the new look and the about page is hilarious.


Lovely photos! Also, great lists. I need to write mine out before I forget them all. ;)


I've often been a lurker and not a commenter because I didn't want the blogger to feel obligated to respond to so many comments. Please don't respond and thanks for letting me off the hook! I have loved your blog for a long time, and loved your handmade stories. Wish I had done more of that when my kids were little!


Loving all that's "new" about your blog. I bet it feels great to shake things up a bit for the new year.


I like your goals. I think it's good to have a list like that to keep you on track. Oh, I'm so with you on the comments. I've been letting my comment reply's slip lately and feeling so guilty about it. Oh well, what can you do? There's only so much time in a day.

Alicia A.

Great lists, great site changes-
btw, if you don't want to invest in Photoshop try GIMP. It has nearly as many options, is very cool and totally free.


Love your new updates and the biography. Let us know if you come up with a good slow cooker cookbook.


I can't wait to see your new machine! Noble goals, all, and quite a few of them are the same as mine!


Very Nice List! Love your new about page -- it sounds like Fatty is the perfect guy. Love your attitude towards comments -- I need to figure out how to do that too.


Love your new banner. Best wishes with your goals--I'm hoping to run a 10K in a few weeks to jumpstart my year!


the blog looks great. love the about page - so fun to read. and i'm proud of you for letting go of responding to every comment! there are so many.


great list. great new look. i got some sprucing to do, too....

Cass W

Love the new banner. Your personal goals look a lot like mine especially 3, 5 & 6


I got a new slow cooker recipe book for Christmas, its from Gooseberry Patch. The nice thing about their books is that people send in the recipes so they are tried and true and usually have simple ingredients. I have one of their casserole books too and love it!


Where to start?! Many of the subjects you bring up in this post are relevant to me, too. Thank you for your insight!
--Your personal goals sound very close to mine. Personally, I find weighing out my parenting vs. crafting aspirations a bit difficult. For instance, as I make little purses to sell on Etsy right now, I realize I haven't even made my own daughter one!!?! I think I need to say "yes" to my own kids more than to others right now.
--Fitness: I would love to run a half-marathon. Both of my very good friends ran marathons in the last two years but I truly think that if I put my body (joints) thru that much stress, they'd rebel in a big-bad way... Half-marathon sounds just perfect! Maybe I'll add that to my goals this year...
--Comments. I don't know how you've done it this year! You ALWAYS reply to my comments and here I receive HALF your comment number on my own blog, and I don't reply very much. Give yourself a big pat on the back to the amount you've already replied to! Also, long story short, I don't always receive all my comments in email form, so when I brought this up to Etsy, they told me that many bloggers (Soulemama being one) reply within their own commenting forum and there is now an RSS feed to your own comments. I've thought about going this route and I don't handle anywhere near as many comments as you do!
Blogs---Your reasoning is precisely why I don't post blogs on my sidebar. I'm fickle and apt to whimsy, so I don't feel comfortable posting the blogs I read because it could change from week to week.
The moral of the whole story I'm writing here ;-), thank you for discussing some of these 'touchy' blogging subjects and describing your own thoughts and conclusions. This topic is the same one I mull over, but you brought it all up in a very positive and thoughtful light.

Thank you & happy new year!


erin, what a fantastic list of goals. my only goal was similar to your first - get closer to my previous weight before both kids. some people say "wow, you look great after two kids", i say ..."you should see me with my clothes off". we are our own worst critics at times. :) i love the new banner! i can see the patchwork dispenser i made you more frequently. wow, so nice! love that you use it that way. awesome! best of everything in 2008.


i'm already cheering you on for that half marathon! go erin! what a great list of goals for 08. you wil reach them all and then some! :)

Mary Beth

Erin, I could never be mad at you! You are so nice. I totally understand about not replying--there are only so many hours in a day! And I love your new banner!

Account Deleted

Erin, I so totally love your post with all the goals and resolutions. You have totally been honest with issues about blogging...You have inspired me to add to my 2008 list 'take a photo a day'....You new banner rocks!


I'm like Sarah above but will chime in with my favourite slow cooker cookbook: The Slow Cooker Ready and Waiting Cookbook by Rick Rodgers. My husband's a chef and this wins his praise. It's published by William Morrow and Co. Now dinner can be cooking while you're out training for that half-marathon.

erin s

Very ambitious list of goals Erin. I am with you on a lot of the personal goals, well except the half marathon part :o)

I love my slow cooker and haven't found one good recipe book. I usually just hunt for recipes on Recipe.com!


I love the new look on your blog! And I think all of us struggle with answering comments (we all want to answer all of them, I think), and with blogrolls. My blogroll is so long, but I just keep adding to it. I like that Typepad will alphabetize it for me, it keeps it more manageable. But there are almost 130 on there. Oh, well.

And your new About page is GREAT! At the end, when you said that you're a very blessed girl, I wanted to add, "And a very talented one, too!"

If you get any good slow cooker book recommendations, can you pass them on to me? I'm also in need. Also eat meat and vegetarian here.


erin, I have been meaning to tell you that you certainly don't need to feel obligated to answer all my comments. I just appreciate you commenting on my blog. :) this was a great post...I love the new banner. I am looking forward to cheering you on to your goals this year. (I can't wait to see your quilt!)

Steph F.

I always enjoy your posts but have never commented. Part of my New Year's resolution is to comment more on blogs that I like to show my appreciation, so this is my thanks to you for all the lovely posts!

I love training for and running half marathons - good luck with it :)

Oh and if you find a good slow cooker cookbook, please post your own recommendation if you can!


hey erin, please feel free not to respond to my comments! you absolutely needn't feel the need whatsoever :)

Commenting to and fro is good.

and I'm on a mission to get back to pre-astrid weight and then some. doing well so far!


That's a great list Erin! I'm specially fond of your half-marathon goal. It's a lot of work but so worth it in the end. Good luck with the training! :)


I hope to be right there with you on one if not a few of those resolutions. And I want you to resolve not to respond to my comments, either. We'll be in touch when necessary. Loving the look of the new and improved blog!


hello erin,
just reading your archives. i'm using this post as inspiration for a mid-year check on my own goals. I'll be re-listing based on the amount of time left in 2008. I hope your reaching many of these personal goals. THANKS for the inspiration.

Vanessa Williams

I just found your blog via Sew Mama Sew!(Picnic quilt with rock pockets tutorial - which by the way looks great and is something I will make for my recently married cousin). Anyhow, I am adding you to my favorites and will be checking back often...I love your blog!
I love using my slow cooker...and have two cookbooks. Both are the slow cooker recipe books from Williams-Sonoma. They have some great meals in there ranging from pulled pork bbq sandwhiches, to fancier Moroccan lamb curry and vegetarian fare as well. I have yet to find a recipe in these books that was disappointing.
Have a great week!

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