Progress Report

The first few weeks of 2011 have been pretty uneventful, yet relaxing. Besides the usual rejecting patents, botching dinners, and a Colts upset that we don't speak of in this house, there isn't much to report. That is all about to change, with my next few weekends being filled with visiting family and friends with my big 3-0 around the corner. Meanwhile, I thought I'd let you know that I've been staying pretty on track with my resolution to run and train for a half marathon. Check out my January running log:

I have yet to commit to a race, but my strategy for now is to increase my distance slowly to reduce the possibility if injuring myself. It's been a little bit of a challenge running in the cold Virginia weather, I've sacrificed spending money on every day clothes for running clothes that I'd never wish for anyone to see me in, but all in all, I'm really pretty proud of myself and I feel great about the progress I'm making. 

I'm also posting this so that it makes it harder for me to get lazy and fall off the wagon. Here's hoping it works!


Reflecting on 2010

"Whoooo is that girl I seeee... staring straiiiight, back at meee..." Okay, sorry, I could never resist a Disney song when the opportunity presents itself. My dear friend, Christopher Jay, who has been blogging ever since he discovered he has fingers, does a summary of his year every year. I am stealing this idea, and am presenting to you my year in a nutshell.

There are three major things that I am taking away from 2010, all of which are extremely personal to me, so bear with me as I do my best to put myself out there in words.

At the end of 2009 and for all of 2010, I committed myself to discovering faith. There were times when I found myself seeking help that could only be fulfilled by God. Throughout the year, at times when I sought comfort and peace, I found it through prayer. My hope going into 2011 is to strengthen my knowledge of and my relationship with God.

Last year's annual review included a specific hope for 2010, and that was for Eric and I to start a family of our own. This still has yet to happen, and there was a stretch of time that I really struggled with the disappointment of it not happening and the desperation of wishing for it to happen soon. What I've learned (and am still working on) is trust, patience and gratitude-- trusting that when the time is right, it will happen for us, and meanwhile, patiently waiting and being thankful for things that we still are able to do before this major change in our life.

And finally, in the last few weeks of the year, a lot of my close friends unexpectedly lost loved ones. And from this I was reminded that life is way too short and to truly, truly cherish those that I love and those who love me. I don't think I was ever one to be shy about telling people that I love them, but I am definitely taking advantage of all opportunities to do so. In this coming year, I want to show my family and friends more often how much I care about them. I want to be able to brush off the small petty things and appreciate every minute I have with everyone, because you never know when it will be the last one.

"Whyyy is myyyy reflection someone IIII don't knowwww~~" Okay sorry, had to lighten up the mood a little bit with some more Disney. Anyway, I have another resolution that I've only committed to a handful of people, and I figure I should make it public to force myself to stick to it. I am committing to running 4 times a week. In 2011, I want to run my first half marathon.

And there you have it folks. I can't complain at all about 2010. It was a really good year for me, and I am very thankful for it. I am definitely looking forward to this coming year. I don't want to jinx it, but I got a really good feeling about 2011.


Sew good from afar

... but far from good. So if you follow my blog, you will recall that I agreed to sew a dress for my sister-in-law for her beachy Hawaii wedding. Our conversation took place over Thanksgiving, when Erin was talking about her wedding dress and said that all she wanted to wear was a white kimono dress. Naturally I responded with "I can TOTALLY make you one!!" and I was totally wrong, as you will soon see.

I gained some confidence with yesterday's sewing success, and decided to dive right into this project. I picked up some shiny white material, and checked the layouts of my pattern at least 8 times before scissors touched any of the fabric. All was going pretty smoothly, and I got so into it, I actually finished her in one afternoon.

I had some serious issues with the skirt bunching in the wrong areas, and Heidi Klum and Michael Kors would've definitely auf wiedersehen'd me for the awful hem job I did... but nonetheless, this dress was sewn with love, and I actually tried very hard to make it turn out as good as possible. I'm hoping practice will eventually make perfect for me and sewing.

My favorite part of the dress was the part that didn't require any sewing. I added little crystal beads to the tie in the back, just to add some wedding flare to a pretty simple dress. 

I don't expect Erin to wear this at her wedding, in fact I'm hoping that she won't because she deserves to wear something much more beautiful and not home-made by me. I'm sure you'll look great in what you do decide to wear Erin... um, unless you decide to wear this dress, haha ;) 


Sew Warm

A few weeks ago, Chi Hai got busy on MarthaStewart.com and emailed me several crafty links, including these simple yet adorable fleece hats. So this afternoon, as a sick Eric Oberly was under the weather and under his snuggie and overdosing on Sunday football to feel better, I declared that I was bored. To remedy my boredom, I got dressed and headed to the fabric store to fulfill these custom order hats for Aidan and Brooke.

I had used online templates/directions before, and I often find that they aren't always as easy as they claim to be. I actually made a prototype of Brooke's before I decided that I actually can commit to making these.

Brooke's hat with ears

Brooke's hat is a white polar fleece. Before the ears, if you lay the hat flat, it actually looks like a rectangle. To make the ears, I tied the corners together, and secured the shape by hand-stitching. As previously mentioned, I had practiced this hat so I knew it was doable. So as soon as I finished it, I had to come up with a game plan for Aidan's.

Aidan's navy blue and red hat
Aidan's was a little bit trickier, with the horizontal stripe going through it. Okay, it wasn't that much harder, but it was important to me that the stripe was perfectly even all around, and that was a little bit of a challenge. But just as the rule of construction, I measured twice and cut once and was successful upon first try. The second challenge was the pom-pom. I wasn't confident that I understood the directions correctly, but I trusted my instincts and got lucky a second time, and that too turned out. Like Brooke's hat, this one also looks like a rectangle right before the finishing step. All that needed to be done was sewing the corners together, then pulling the corners directly down the top center of the hat, and topping it off with the pom-pom.

Now I'm usually not very confident that things I sew will last after one wear. This one is no exception. I'm hoping that after their snow trip, Brooke won't come back with a one-eared hat, and Aidan won't end up with a rectangle on his head. Have fun, kids! Di Ba misses you!


Auld Lang Syne

Eric and I went out with a bang this year and celebrated New Year's Eve at an event hosted at the Willard Intercontinental, a beautiful and historic hotel in Washington DC, known as the crown jewel of Pennsylvania Ave. We were immediately excited about the celebration as soon as we set eyes on this gorgeous hotel.

outside the beautiful Willard Intercontinental
the breath-taking lobby
The party, hosted by thingstodoDC.com, consisted of 10 themed party rooms, including a Times Square room, and our personal favorite, the Japanese room with Karaoke included:

Our own New Yorkers representing in the NYC room

Look out Backstreet Boys, there's a new boyband in town
Although we hit a few snafus due to poor planning by the event hosts, I think I can speak for all when I say we had such a wonderful time. The hotel was beautiful and our group of friends who celebrated with us were just amazingly fun. I still am on the high of having had such a great time sending off 2010 and welcoming 2011. This really set the tone for the upcoming year. I have a great feeling about you, 2011!