I’m alive!

Whoa. Hey there! Long time, no talk. Things were going so well for us, and then all of the sudden… I ghosted. And I’m sorry about that — really, I am. I had a lot of great things planned and I left without notice and I let some folks down. I feel really gross about that, and I’m sorry. But I’m really trying hard to be more present here, so can we catch up? Awesome! Let me suggest a cup of coffee for this post, cause it could be a long one…

Wait, where’d you go?

To make a long and complex story short, work got busy. We’re working on several linked projects that are time-consuming, deadline-oriented, lawyer-filled, and (to be frank) incredibly emotionally traumatic. The work we’re doing is so important, and something I’m more than proud to be a part of, but that doesn’t make it much easier.

So yeah. Not only did my sewjo leave me, my just regular ol’ mojo left, too. I’ve been pretty much coming home from work, eating dinner, and then laying on the couch in front of the tv or reading for a bit before heading to bed.

Things fell through the cracks, most notably #SewMyStyle2019. I’m disappointed in myself for letting it go so far before my amazing leaders fully stepped in, but I’m so grateful that they did! I’m hopeful you’ve all been loving it so far and that I’ll be able to be more involved soon. A super special thanks to all my #SMS2019 ladies. You guys are amazing, and I owe you a ton.

I also want to say a giant thank you to all of you who messaged me in my absence sending good wishes. Every once in a while those messages would pop up in my notifications and it was so nice to have something to throw at my anxiety brain to say “see?? Not everyone is mad at you and hates you!” You made coming back to this so much easier.

So then what’s changed? Uh, not a lot on the work front. In fact, that schedule is looking like it might get even crazier. But I’m starting to feel better, and like those first tulips popping out of the snow in winter, my sewjo seems like it’s coming back. I started a pair of jeans this weekend, the first time I’ve sat in front of my sewing machine in at least two months.

I’ve been thinking critically about what I want the future of MaddieMadeThis to look like. Honestly, it’s not sustainable, workload-wise or Earth-wise, to post about a new garment three to four times a month. I have some ideas for new content, but is there something you’d love to see from me that I don’t post about at all/a lot right now? Let me know!

Let’s chat a little about what I’ve been up to in the past couple of months. And I want to hear from you, too! I’d love to know what your favorite recipe, album, book, make, or whatever has been in recently.

What I’ve Been Up To

Oh, beyond work you mean? Well, a little…

I was up in Chicago for the holidays with my family. Some much needed time away from work, although with two teenage brothers and a rowdy dog, is it much of a vacation?

I turned twenty-five! I spent my birthday (just a few days after Christmas) at the Art Institute of Chicago with one of my best friends. This definitely was one of the things that started to flip my brain back on.

2018-2019 was one of my fave NYEs ever. It was such a good night with my best friend from high school and some of our other friends, finished off with pizza.

I knit a baby blanket! I’ll have two new baby cousins this spring, and I’m so excited. The second blanket is in the works.

Music, Food, and More

Food: I love it. But it turns out that some of my fave foods don’t love me as much as I love them. Ugh. So I’ve been pretty good about cutting out grains and dairy from my diet since Thanksgiving. I’m definitely not perfect (helloooooooo, peanut butter pretzels in the cabinets at work), but I do notice a real difference in my body when I’m not eating them. I know I’m not celiac, but I do have a lot of questions about the way Americans treat the ingredients that build their food now.

I’ve also been better recently about taking my Vitamin D supplement. I started taking it for my autoimmune disease, but fell off taking it regularly in the fall. I read over the holidays about how it can be good for supporting mental health. That made me get right back on it! It could be a combination of the coming spring and the placebo effect, but I do feel like it’s helped.

Music: I’m a longtime Spotify lover, and I really feel like they just keep getting better! I’m so into the daily mixes and how they reflect all the genres I listen to. I’ve also always been a fan of all their mood playlists. I almost always find a new band to be obsessed with. Here’s one of my current favorite playlists.

TV: Like, oh, 95% of America, I binge-watched the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix in January. Initially I was apprehensive about it, since I had heard some unfavorable reviews of the first episode (sorry, Ma, for refusing to watch it with you). Of course, I was hooked after like ten minutes and promptly KonMari-ed my house. It felt SO GOOD, y’all. I took five bags of clothing to my local thrift store drop box! I can’t recommend it enough if you need something to kick you into a fresh start. (PSA: my comments section is not a place to debate her methods, and I will delete those comments with abandon.)

I’m also obsessed with The Bachelor, as per usual. I feel like this season has been kind of boring, but I’ve also heard that the season finale is up there with Ari and his ilk, so I guess it’s got to get good sometime… I am dying to see what prompts the fence jump!

Books: My sister has been harassing me to 1 – let you all know I’m still alive, and 2 – give some more book recommendations. I’m going to shift those from my Instagram stories to my blog, just because I read a lot and that would be a highlight out of controooooolllll. Sometime soon I’ll post the books I read in 2018 by genre, plus what I read in January and February this year. PS: wanna hang out on Goodreads? Just let me know you know me from here/Instagram!

Okay, that’s a lot for now. I’ve missed you all, and I’m really going to try and make this community a priority again — you all bring me so much joy! I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. What have you binged recently? What’s your favorite thing you’ve cooked in the past few months? The best thing you read in January? Tell me, tell me, tell me! And let me know if you like this sort of catch-up post. I’m thinking of doing them more often, maybe a Monday morning check in. Is there anything you’d like to get more frequent updates on?

14 comments

  1. Welcome back!
    And, a belated Happy Birthday!

    1. Thank you on both counts, Rhonda!

  2. It’s nice to see you back! I enjoy your blog, but certainly don’t feel entitled to regular scheduled posts; just appreciate what you have time for! As for blog posts that work with a sustainable work/life/hobby balance, I like posts that are more in depth about how you plan and execute a garment (so you end up with multiple posts per project, focused on identifying what you need to make, choosing pattern and fabric, problem solving for issues that come up, etc). My own sewing is often hung up on these decision points, so I love reading about how others work through them. I also appreciate “update” posts on how a garment has worn or whether it ends up working or not. So I get excited about a finished make, and then 6 months later perhaps can be more objective about what is good and what is not. but good luck with everything!

    1. These are awesome ideas! Thank you so much. I definitely think “update” posts are a good idea, especially considering how many handmade pieces I just donated!

  3. I love to see your book recommendations and I’m excited for more! Of course, I love the sewing projects too. 🙂 I’m glad you have a chance to be back at your sewing machine creating beautiful projects!

    1. Good to hear you love the book recs, Cassie, because I definitely have some more coming! 😉

  4. So lovely to read your blog again, and to hear you’re doing well. I can well relate to being crazy busy at work and having no time for yourself. But it’s nice to hear you’ve got a bit more balance back. Looking forward to following your book reviews on here as I loved seeing them on IG. Will go follow you on goodreads!

    1. Thank you so much, Yasmeen! I’m happy to be around a little bit more 🙂

  5. Welcome back!! I desperately need a true professional to give me book recommendations, if NOTHING else. Sewjo comes and goes (I went through it at the end of last year, too) so don’t beat yourself up about it, or anything else. And happy belated birthday! 25 is a biggie <3

    1. Haha I can definitely provide book recommendations! Thanks for everything, Paulette ❤️❤️

  6. Welcome back! I hope your road is a little less bumpy going forward! I think someone said something like it above, but I always love to know how patterns fare I n the real world. Everyone LOVES a pattern when it’s first released and they sew it up ASAP, but how many of those jumpsuits are worn on a regular basis, huh? Did the pattern prove practical and useful and did the fabric hold up? I’m interested in the finished garment one year later, ha!

    Also, I’ll look for you on goodreads! Sewing and audiobooks are my two favorite hobbies and they can be done together! Woohoo!

    1. Awesome! This is great feedback, thank you so much, and thank you for the well wishes! ❤️

  7. Welcome back, Maddie! It sounds like ‘you’ve been busy’ is an understatement! The nice thing about sewing is that it’s a pastime that will be there whenever you are ready!

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