when the kids are away the mama will play

Once a week I have a rare opportunity for complete and total solitude. That one day a week, Nina has preschool in the afternoon (the other two days she goes in the morning), and Olivia usually takes a nap at the same time. I look forward to that little snippet of time so much that I almost panic as to how I should best spend it! It's not that I don't love being with my kids (I do) and I know that one day I'm going to miss all the craziness of having little kids at home...but you know, it sure is nice to sit down by myself once in a while.

So here's a peek into this week's "Mama Time." I decided to get productive after the last few months of feeling so blah and tired. It was exciting to pull out a bunch of unfinished projects and chip away at them, even just a little.

I decided last week to get my paints out. A HUGE step, let me tell you. I haven't painted in so long I feel like I'm relearning everything! But it makes me so happy, holding a brush in my hand, swirling it in the jar of water, and mixing up some pretty colors. Why haven't I done this in so long? So the paints are now sort of a permanent fixture on the kitchen table. I'm so much happier when I can do something creative everyday. And one day I WILL get my books published! Right? So here's a little sample of what I've been painting this week.

I also decided to start writing new story ideas, since I have a little project I'm working on with my brother and sister...more on that later.

What's "Mama Time" without something chocolatey? Try this, you just have to.

Chocolate Sandwich

2 slices of good, rustic bread
a small handful of semisweet chocolate chips,
(or a few squares of your favorite chocolate bar)
a smidge of butter

Put the sandwich together as if you are making a grilled cheese, only with chocolate instead of cheese. Spread a thin layer of butter on top. Grill it in a sandwich press or on the stove until the bread is toasty and the chocolate is melty. Let cool before diving in, the chocolate will be like hot lava! Don't forget a glass of milk alongside.

Last of all, I pulled out this quilt that's been in the works for about 2 years. My sweet mom-in-law gave me all this fun fabric awhile back, and I meant to have it finished for Olivia for Christmas this past year, but hey, she'll never know the difference, right? So I made a little progress by getting it all ironed. Maybe next week I'll actually put the front and back together (but don't quote me on that!).