There was a time, when my kids were very young, when I put aside absolutely everything I enjoyed doing in my free time. “Free time” was the craziest phrase I could imagine. There weren’t enough hours in the day to work full time, feed my family, keep a fairly clean house, bake cookies, and still have enough time to do something for myself.
Now that my kids are older (my son turns 17 tomorrow and my daughter is 13), I’ve taken back a little time for myself. They are off doing their own things, spending LOTS of time at sports practices, plenty of time chilling in their rooms, and a good chunk of time doing homework. Sadly, when they have spare time they don’t usually say, “Hey, mom, do you want to play a board game?” Nope, those days are gone.
So, how do I spend my time? I really love to cook. I enjoy looking through cookbooks, Pinterest, and blogs to find new recipes. If I can cook with ingredients grown in my own garden, this makes me even happier. As much as I love to cook, I must confess something. There are days when I ask myself, “WHY, oh why, do my children want to eat 3 times a day EVERY single day?” I try not to use too much processed food as I’m cooking, so that makes things a bit time consuming, but I have a hard time keeping every meal on the healthy side. I really love cheese, and cooking with butter and cream just makes things taste better. It’s a work in progress to find healthy meal options, but I’m trying. (If I don’t try hard enough, my naturopath gently reminds me at every appointment.)
I’ve always loved to bake. Cookies and bread tend to be my favorites. Lately, I’ve tried to change things up and try whole wheat breads or flourless cookies. When my kids were younger, we’d have Cookie Friday. Our district dismisses early each Friday and I’d always have cookies ready for the kids when they got home from school. There would usually be a handful of friends and neighbors and sometimes a cousin or two. Those were the good old days. Now the kids just hurry home so they can take naps. Ah, teenagers.
Sometimes (most times) I really wish I lived in a sunnier location so I could happily enjoy my garden day in and day out. To say that I love to be outside is an understatement.
Most of my edible garden space consists of herbs and veggies that don’t require full sun. My neighbor’s trees have grown so tall that they shade my veggie garden. I’m barely able to produce tomatoes any more, so I’ve just given up on things that needs tons of sun.
My basil and mini tomatoes have been moved to a plant stand on the deck. The deck gets a good amount of afternoon sunshine and the heat reflects from the house onto the plants. Basil is probably my favorite thing to grow and we eat a lot of pesto in the summer time.
I have my fair share of perennials in the center of my yard. I love that I don’t have to replant them every year. Every few years, I get to divide them. Score! Free plants!
The best part about gardening is the end of the day. I love the “golden hour” in my yard. After spending the day getting my hands dirty, I absolutely love putting my feet up and enjoying the view. I do miss the days of the kids playing on the swingset or jumping on the trampoline, but there is also something incredibly relaxing about the quiet of the backyard.
Sewing and quilting are my winter hobbies. When I can’t spend time outside because of the relentless rain, my sewing room is my happy place.
My mom taught me to sew when I was about 7 years old and I insisted that both of my kids learn to sew. I make all of my own home decor items. I love making curtains, valances, pillows, and quilts. I love the personal touch handmade items have on a home. I’ve even been designing my own quilt patterns with a quilting program for the computer.
I’ve had to start changing pillows and quilts out seasonally because I’m running out of space. I’ve started putting zippers into my pillow covers so they are each to wash and change out frequently.
This was one of my favorite projects. When my daughter was younger she picked out a fabric line that she thought was pretty. I bought the fabrics and she chose a pattern that she liked. We painted her room a color that coordinated and her new room was born.
I love looking through blogs and seeing cohesive quilts that all have the same feel, but I can’t seem to stick with one theme. I love vintage/scrappy, French General, warm and cozy, and also whatever is new and trendy. As much as I like the cohesion, I also like to try new things when it comes to quilting.
I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to photography. I love trying new things with my camera. My favorite subjects are my own kids and my YoungLife kids. My YL kids are Juniors in high school and I feel so lucky that they’ve allowed me to follow them around with a camera on my neck, capturing memories of Summer camp and school dances.
Of course, these two have my whole heart and they know to always pack “picture clothes” every time we go to the farm or the beach.
How about you, friends? What’s your hobby?
I’m sharing a few of my favorite photography items that are sold through Amazon. I’m part of the Amazon Affiliates program and if you choose to purchase through Amazon, I get a teensy-tiny portion of the sale.