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Doing what matters most

I had intended to write a blog post days ago. But with summer ending, school starting, a husband having knee surgery – I haven’t even touched the computer for a few days. We went away last week for a family trip and last hurrah of summer vacation. As always, it was good to get away and hang out together. We’re at a pretty awesome stage with our kids right now where they all like going on road trips all together. We’re milking it.
We liked Yellowstone so much last year, we decided to head that direction again. We stayed a few days in south-eastern Idaho first. It was absolutely beautiful – in a big-sky-western kind of way.

There was also a nice balance of kitsch to go with the scenery. I mean, who doesn’t want their own giant Teddy-Bear sofa?
And inside Yellowstone, the scenery is incredible. Driving through the beautiful surroundings felt so therapeutic for me.

I worked on some more orange peel blocks on our drive. I started this project on our summer family vacation 2 years ago! Perhaps one day I will have enough and actually put them together in a quilt.
This summer has been a busy one, and a somewhat more tiring one than usual. I have one of those thyroid glands that does not work as well as it should. For the past 15+ years I have taken synthetic thyroid medication to compensate, and for the most part it has done a good job. I tried a different medication this spring and it threw my body out of whack. I had to go off everything all together for a few weeks so we could retest my levels, and then have been gradually building those levels back up to ‘normal’. As a result I was frequently physically exhausted for most of the summer. I’m happy to report that I’m feeling tons better now. Yay for that.
Another perennial road-trip project: mini hexagons

On top of that, I was asked to take on a busy responsibility in my congregation at church. (Our faith has no paid ministry – all congregations are staffed by volunteers only, with leadership and service responsibilities rotating among the members.) This time it’s my turn. I enjoy it because I get to work with all the women in our congregation, particularly those who might be going through a hard time. It’s not something I asked for, and it’s demanding on my time, but I enjoy it because I love these sweet women.

Can you see the hexagons I was working on in the car, reflected in the window?
So summer has felt physically and emotionally taxing this year – even more so that usual. There are many emails that I didn’t respond to (my humblest apologies if you’re one of them), I never did my summer closet clean-outs, I did far less sewing, my sewing room is a disaster, we had fewer trips to the pool, etc.; but I keep reminding myself that I did do things that mattered in the bigger scheme of things: visiting hospitals, taking care of extra children, doing things with my kids. What mattered most got done. And it was great. I’m glad for that perspective.

And now school is back in session. I have a lot of catching-up to do, and classes to prepare for this fall. I haven’t touched my machine for weeks, but I just picked up these two quilts from the quilter. I think some binding sounds equally therapeutic right now. And then: something fun and finished to share.

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38 Comments

  • Reply
    Funky Kim
    August 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Oh my goodness! You&#39;ve been so busy! If you need any unskilled help to get ready for your classes, email me. I&#39;m available Friday mornings and Saturdays. Otherwise, I&#39;ll see you in Las Vegas!<br /><br />Kim.B.Funk at gmail.com

  • Reply
    Claire
    August 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Look after yourself Amy.

  • Reply
    Live a Colorful Life
    August 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    You have to take time for yourself, and thyroid adjustments are no small deal. My brother-in-law and his wife live really close to Yellowstone, and yet we haven&#39;t been there since our honeymoon, many years ago. I would LOVE to visit there again. Your hexies are just beautiful.

  • Reply
    Kate
    August 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I hope your husband&#39;s knee and your thyroid get better!<br /><br />That teddy bear sofa looks really comfortable, but I probably wouldn&#39;t own one. XD<br /><br />Can you post more about those two quilts? They look pretty!

    • Reply
      amy smart
      August 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Thanks, Kate. I promise to share pics of both quilts. I&#39;m almost done with the binding on the bottom one and will post about it next week!<br />

  • Reply
    PattieD
    August 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Oh Amy! Enjoy those kiddos! Life is short and fleets by quickly. One day (as I have found)you will find you have all the time in the world to sew, but what you really want is a couple of kids to go to the grocery store with you or walk through the door at 3 after school. Love your small hexie project…maybe when my current hand project is finished I will have to consider some hexies! Take

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    August 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    You visited some amazing places, and I totally want that teddy bear sofa!!!<br /><br />Hope they have your meds sorted out now, you have so much to keep up with!

  • Reply
    snapshotsandwhatnots
    August 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Sometimes the times we think will be quieter and easier like the summer end up being more chaotic and stressful then we think – take it easy and you&#39;ll be back in the swing of things soon<br />Martina

  • Reply
    nhager
    August 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    It sounds like even though you didn&#39;t do some of the &#39;thought&#39; you though you should. You are where you are suppose to be. It is just one of the seasons of your life. Enjoy every moment with the kiddo&#39;s they grow up way to soon.

  • Reply
    nhager
    August 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    Lindsay Wilkes
    August 22, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Awwwww, so sorry to hear that, Amy!! Feeling tired is the pits! I was feeling that way this summer too and had my blood checked. Apparently I had no Vitamin D or B12 in my system. Yikes! Glad the thyroid issues are getting under control. Can&#39;t wait to see you in September :). Take care, Lindsay

  • Reply
    Meggie
    August 22, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    You have a lot going on at the moment….your faith will see you through. I enjoy reading your blog…love the &quot;orange peel&quot; blocks!

  • Reply
    Nedra
    August 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Having a young family, and being RS Pres, I&#39;m surprised you can even get to your machine at all. I remember those days when I was just glad to get my shoes on ๐Ÿ™‚ But, it doesn&#39;t always stay that way. Believe it or not, but the years go by quickly. People used to tell me that, and it was hard to comprehend through the exhaustion. But, I turned around, and the next thing I knew we were

  • Reply
    jlk
    August 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    My goodness. What a summer you have had! I have to keep telling myself that in 10 years I won&#39;t look back on the summer of 2013 and think &quot;gee, I wish I had holed myself up in my sewing room more often.&quot; Perspective is a wonderful gift, isn&#39;t it?

  • Reply
    Megan
    August 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    your trip looks like it was amazing! I&#39;m glad you&#39;re feeling better and that your meds are worked out again. That kind of thing make much more of a difference than we give it credit for!

  • Reply
    Farm Gate Creations
    August 22, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I&#39;d be milking it too, you all looked like you had a fantastic time.

  • Reply
    life in red shoes
    August 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Bless your heart, your plate is full!<br />On the unpaid clergy subject. Did you hear the clergy in the Greek Orthodox congregations in Utah walked off the job because of a pay cut? No one to conduct sermons, weddings etc. I found that eye opening?<br />Take care of yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Jenni Mills
    August 22, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Kids are awesome at that age. But guess what? They get even better as they get older, can you believe it? Well, mine did anyway. Teenage troubles sure … but they are more my friends than ever. Have lots of fun!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    August 22, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Your little hexie project is delightful – seeing it inspires me to try hexies. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Sherri
    August 23, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Such a good post Amy! I know I can always use reminders about what matters most! Love your projects…and hope you are feeling better ASAP!

  • Reply
    Jenny Faasavalu
    August 23, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Thanks for the post, Amy! You reminded me of many things I should be grateful for: I&#39;m thankful that at this point in time I &quot;just&quot; teach Primary, my thyroid issues are under control (even though I can&#39;t seem to lose weight!!!!) and I have barely accomplished anything in the sewing room, but did lots of stuff with my kids. We all have the times in life when life is crazy and

  • Reply
    Colleen Potter
    August 23, 2013 at 6:58 am

    You have your priorities straight and I really admire you for that. You have had a very full summer and still managed to keep in touch with your readers and all. No apologies needed ! You are amazing !

  • Reply
    Wanda
    August 23, 2013 at 9:24 am

    You are not in the thyroid boat alone, me too! Glad to hear they are working the meds better. Love the Teddy bear couch. I&#39;m dying to know where it is! I&#39;ve been toying with Yellowstone for next year&#39;s vacation. It looks beautiful.

    • Reply
      amy smart
      August 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Thank you Wanda. Isn&#39;t that Teddy Bear couch funny? It&#39;s at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Esch House Quilts
    August 23, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Your title says it all – taking care of yourself and your family are the most important things. I&#39;m so glad to hear you are feeling better.

  • Reply
    Thimbleanna
    August 23, 2013 at 9:26 am

    It sounds like you&#39;ve had the perfect summer. Sorry to hear about your thyroid woes — but glad to hear you&#39;re feeling better. I LOVE that orange peel — it&#39;s on my Too Big for this Lifetime List!

  • Reply
    Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts
    August 23, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Kids grow so fast, you did exactly what you should have been doing. Best wishes to your DH as he recovers from surgery. And I&#39;m sending good thoughts for you too as you recover from your thyroid med upheaval.

  • Reply
    Anita
    August 23, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Glad you&#39;re feeling better :). Love your orange peel blocks and hexies! They are going to look so good in a quilt.

  • Reply
    diane
    August 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I just live this post. <br />I hope things settle down and you feel strong and &quot;healthy&quot; really fast.

  • Reply
    amy smart
    August 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Thank you so much for all of the sweet and encouraging comments! I&#39;m grateful to be doing much better. And now with regular schedules again I may start to catch-up on some of that other stuff. And if not, we&#39;ll survive. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Annie
    August 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I&#39;ve been on thyroid meds for a number of years, too. Right now I&#39;m on 75 mg of levothyroxine, but I&#39;ve been up to 100 mg. I get it checked every year and it&#39;s hard to predict what my numbers will be. Right now I&#39;m feeling pretty good – sleepy well, not gaining weight while eating normally, and have a good amount of energy. It seems that sometimes levothyroxine of the same

  • Reply
    OPQuilt
    August 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I&#39;m thinking that you were called to be RS pres, judging from how you described it. If that&#39;s the case, hats off to you for juggling everything. I am sure that the sisters in your ward are keeping you in their prayers, just like I keep my RS prez in mine.<br /><br />I had foot surgery this summer, and just like you, nothing got cleaned out (except behind the washer, because that died

  • Reply
    Lynette
    August 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Oh Amy family vacations are special memories, keep on making them! I just went to visit my granddaughter, she&#39;s four months, a few weeks ago and it was wonderful, I made her laugh out loud, repeatedly for the first time, ever. (I think it has something to do with my silly looks!) ;)<br />Good luck with the husband&#39;s surgery and give yourself some time too. I&#39;ve found that when I can&#

  • Reply
    Rachel
    August 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    How timely this post was! My mom had to be take to the hospital for severe dehydration and they found she had hypothyroidism and her TSH was 28! We&#39;re wondering now how long it&#39;s been out of balance and if that led to many of the other symptoms she&#39;s been having. I&#39;m glad you&#39;re feeling better and can&#39;t wait to see those two quilts! Your blog is one of my favorites.

  • Reply
    Karen - Quilts...etc.
    August 26, 2013 at 7:37 am

    the photo of you and the kids by the waterfall on that overlook – been there! recognized it right away – we love Idaho and Wy and have been to the area tons of times – used to live in Idaho for awhile and saw a lot of the eastern side of the state and some of the central as well.

  • Reply
    pforgerson
    August 26, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I so want to start an orange peel quilt, did you use a specific template or just design your own. Have looked around, but haven&#39;t found a shape as good as yours!

  • Reply
    LittleLucyGoosey
    August 27, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Even when things are &quot;normal&quot;, summers are crazy at best, so it sounds like you had quite the crazy one! I hope that you are feeling better and hubby&#39;s surgery goes smoothly and he recovers quickly. I haven&#39;t had much time to read blogs, but yours is one of the few that I save to read for later! I admire that you don&#39;t try to keep up with your blog when family and other

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