In today’s post: I’m checking in and sharing a bit about what’s been going on in my life lately, like dropping kids off at college, a new design for this blog, jeans that will change your life, and a podcast that will blow your mind.
Dropping Kids off at College
This has been an emotional week for me. My husband and I have five kids, and this week three of them moved away from home to attend college. As one of my friends put it, having your kids move away from home feels like having your heart ripped out with a spoon. I’m super lucky: all three of my kids are at local universities about 20 minutes away so I’m guessing I’ll see them fairly often – my plan is to tempt them home with food.
I know a lot of parents are going to have to go a whole semester before they see their college kids again and that’s HARD, so I understand I’m very fortunate and probably shouldn’t complain. They’re doing exactly what they should be doing and I’m thrilled for them. But it also feels like nothing is ever going to be the same again, and I’ve spent some time grieving that (aka sitting on the floor in their empty bedrooms ugly crying).
Back to school can bring up lots of different emotions for parents. Maybe you are also ugly crying right now because you’ve dropped someone off at college or your baby just started kindergarten. Or maybe you’re counting down the days until the rest of your kids start school and you have a chance to sit down for ten whole minutes at a time (this was 100% me 7 years ago). You’re probably at least a little worried about how things will go, because that’s what parents are best at, right? However you’re feeling, hang in there, and best of luck to your and your kids this year!
New Blog Design
Moving on: if you’re a repeat reader of this blog, I hope you’ve noticed my new site design. I worked with an amazing designer and developer to give It’s Always Autumn a visual refresh and make it easier for you to find the craft projects, recipes, holiday ideas, and sewing patterns you’re looking for.
During the redesign process I really defined my reason for blogging, which is this: I believe that making things can bring peace and comfort into our busy lives. I really do. Life is tough, and life is crazy, and with all that’s going on lately it can seem like making a blanket or baking cookies is a waste of time. And if it’s not your thing, that’s fine! But I truly believe that making things with our hands can help us calm our minds, and that creating something from nothing has an enriching power in life. It doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to turn out perfect. We won’t always have time for creativity—but when we do it can make life better. I’m here to help you find creative ideas that you might enjoy. Click around a bit and let me know what you think in the comments, and let me know if you see anything that doesn’t look quite right.
Jeans that will Change Your Life
Since we’re just chatting today, I feel compelled to share with you the jeans that have changed my life: Pull On Jeans. A couple of years ago I swapped out my traditional jeans for pull on versions that have a stretchy waistline, and believe me when I tell you I will never go back. I know, just saying that makes me sound really old. But hey, I’m definitely old enough not to waste another second wearing uncomfortable clothes. Pull on jeans look just like normal jeans except the front waistband is flat because it’s elastic instead of a button and zipper. But you can’t even tell once you put a shirt on. Which I do, every day 😉.
I’ve tried at least 15 different pairs of pull on jeans (thank you Amazon Wardrobe) and the ones that fit me best happen to be the cheapest. I love these Levi’s Totally Shaping Pull On Skinny Jeans. They’re so comfy I’ve ordered extra pairs to turn into shorts for the summer.
One thing to note if you try these out is that the different colors sometimes fit a little differently because the fabrics vary a bit in stretch. That’s why I love ordering from Amazon with Prime – you can order one of everything, keep what you want, and send the rest back!
A Podcast that Will Expand Your Mind
Last year I listened to a podcast called Nice White Parents, and I still can’t stop telling people about it. It changed how I think about so many things. In the podcast, reporter Chana Joffe-Walt traces the history of one public school in the country’s most segregated school district: New York City. The podcast explores the way race influences us even when we are actively trying not to be racist, and the way even good intentions can contribute to institutional racism. As the podcast description states: “If you want to understand what’s wrong with our public schools, you have to look at what is arguably the most powerful force in shaping them: white parents.”
To call this podcast eye opening is a wild understatement. It’s incredibly well researched and completely fascinating, and I appreciated that as a “nice white parent” myself, I didn’t feel judged or attacked. But I did feel shocked and frustrated, and also like I’m beginning to understand things that are beyond my personal experience. If you’re looking for an absolutely fascinating thing to listen to in the carpool line, give this one a try. And share a recommendation to your favorite podcast in the comments – I’d love to know what you’re listening to!
Thanks for Being Here
I just want to end today’s update by saying thank you for visiting. Thank you for commenting and thank you for sending emails telling me you’ve started sewing again or that one of my recipes in now a favorite in your family. Thank you for making this blog possible.