Stitching, Reading, and Babies?

When Karin asked me write a post for her blog I warned her I’m a pretty boring person, but she doesn’t seem to agree so here I am.


Let’s see … about me …  Well, I’m a 42 year old single mom.  I don’t do a lot of crafting unless you consider baking and cooking a craft – I love to do both!  Every year around the holidays I do a huge baking weekend and go crazy, but during the rest of the year it’s pretty well contained to just a few batches of cookies here and there and homemade pasta.  I enjoy finding new meal recipes that take our favorite foods and repurpose them.  Recently I found one for leftover chicken (or turkey which is what we eat a lot of) that uses penne pasta which I make at home along with homemade alfredo sauce (so easy to make – who knew?!), crumbled bacon, cheese, and ranch dressing.  Want the full recipe?  Let me know and I’ll post it in the comments.


Several years ago I discovered that adding Italian seasonings (ground up with a mortar and pestle) added to the flour of my pasta dough makes for amazing tasting dishes!  I use it in my lasagna, fettucine alfredo, and a few others.


As far as typical crafts go, counted cross stitch is about all I do.  I don’t have a clue how to sew, I’ve never learned how to crochet or knit, but I can count squares and make x’s all day long!  Seriously though, I love finding detailed, beautiful patterns and creating something special for people I love.  I’ve done a lot of small pieces that I’ve framed and given to people as well as stockings for special people.  I used to have pictures of all of them that I could share with you, but my external hard drive where they were stored crashed so this picture of the framed wizard that is above my bed is all I have to share.


Currently I’m working on a stocking for my nephew.  Here’s what it should look like when it’s complete:

Full Stocking

Here’s a picture of the work in progress:


It is slow going on this project right now because I have a 2 year old who demands my attention when I’m home and when she goes to sleep so do I.


Speaking of my 2 year old …she’s the light of my life and my own personal miracle.  I waited late in life to have kids for a couple of reasons.  One, I was very overweight most of my life and knew pregnancy while as heavy as I was would potentially be dangerous to both me and my unborn child.  Second, I wanted to have a child with the love of my life.  Unfortunately, I never met him.  So at the age of 38 I made a decision that changed one of those things – my weight.  I had gastric bypass surgery in January of 2013.  At my heaviest weight I was 376.  On my surgery date I was 325.  By my one year surgical follow-up I was 168.  I lost 208 pounds – a whole other person!

WL Progress

(I was actually four months pregnant in that last picture.)

During your follow-up appointments with the surgeon they always remind you that your hormones are going to be out of whack for at least a year and to use two forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy – for both your safety and that of the baby’s.  This wasn’t an issue for me, but it got me to thinking more and more about having a child and the ever present biological clock that was starting to get kind of loud.


At around the 9 month point in my recovery I started thinking about what it would take for me to have a child.  I could hope to meet the love of my life, date, get to know them, try to conceive, and carry a pregnancy – all before my body decided it was too late – but it’s not as easy to just run out and meet the love of your life as you would think it is.  The other option was to have a child on my own.  Hmmm … random one night stand?  Sex with someone I already knew?  Would I want them involved in the child’s life?  What would be the logistics of that?  Ultimately I began researching cryobanks and sperm donation and all the details involved in conceiving with donated sperm.  My thought was that I could have a child and still hope to meet the love of my life, but I couldn’t guarantee that if I waited for the love of my life I would still be able to have a child.


By the time I went in for my one year follow-up appointment with my surgeon I had all of my research prepared and was ready to talk to my surgeon about whether or not I would be ok to try to get pregnant and if it would be safe for me and a baby.  Her immediate response – yes!  I was so excited, but there is a lot that goes in to the fertility process so her ok was just the starting point.  One month later I had an appointment with a local fertility clinic, three months after that we did the first procedure to attempt conception, and on the fourth attempt I conceived my beautiful baby girl!  I was a high risk pregnancy because of my gastric bypass surgery but I had a smooth and uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery and I’ve loved every moment of being a mommy.  Just ask Karin, she’s subjected to the flood of “proud mommy” posts on my Facebook page.

Here’s what I looked like on the day I went in to deliver her:

Delivery Day

Here’s my beautiful girl just minutes after her arrival:


And here’s my rambunctious two year old today:


I brought up these two subjects that have absolutely nothing to do with crafting or reading because I found out when I was researching both of them that I had a lot of questions that I didn’t know who to ask.  If you have any questions about either bariatric surgery or undergoing fertility procedures please feel free to comment on here and ask me.  If you’re not comfortable with asking publicly please email me at and I’ll answer you privately.


Getting back on track … reading … man do I love to read.  When it comes to books I will read on a e-reader such as my Nook and Kindle apps on my phone, but I really prefer to have a physical book in my hands.  I’m old school that way.  I’m not a “deep” reader.  I read for enjoyment and to lose myself for a while so I don’t look for books that are going to make me think.  I love Patricia Cornwell.  Her Kay Scarpetta series is my favorite series of all time.  I have every one of those books in hardback.  Did I mention I also prefer hardback to paperback?  I also enjoy WEB Griffin and Tom Clancy.  My grandfather introduced me to both of these authors.  The first true adult novel I ever read was Hollywood Husbands by Jackie Collins.  My grandfather also gave me that one to read.  I was 12.  I have no idea what he was thinking.  Hahaha!  I didn’t know what most of the sex scenes meant but I enjoyed the book!


I’m also still a FanFic lover.  Because I have a hard time finding time to sit and read without my daughter crawling over me or trying to take my phone to watch YouTube Kids, I find FanFic a wonderful option because I can read a chapter or so at a time and get updated when new ones are available.  I do stick primarily within the Twilight realm of fanfiction, but occasionally have ventured out to other series.  I don’t stick to any particular coupling – I rather enjoy reading M/F, M/M, F/F, and all the various combinations authors come up with.  Currently I have several authors on favorite, but probably the one who updates most frequently and has the best writing is LyricalKris.  She has a great Carlisle/Bella story, Worth the Wait and two Edward/Bella stories, Cerebral, and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, currently updating.  I have a ton of other stories that are sitting in my inbox just waiting for me to start them, but as of yet I haven’t found the time.


I hope I haven’t completely bored you with my little commentary on my life.  Please let me know if there is anything you have questions about – recipes, authors, fertility, bariatric surgery, or otherwise – and I’ll get back with you.

One thought on “Stitching, Reading, and Babies?

  1. Thanks so much for being my guest, Brandy! I adore the wizard! Beautifully done.

    And of course, recipes welcome 😉

    Cadence is adorable, but then, you knew that already 😉


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