August Quilt Pattern: Offset Stripe

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As promised, I’m here on the 1st of the month with the first of 6 quilt patterns I plan to write and publish over the next six months! (You may want to read more about this personal project of mine if you missed the post earlier this week.)

This month’s pattern is the Offset Stripe quilt that I made for a friend’s baby last year. It’s very simple to sew, can be made in any number of color/patterns combinations, and measures ~48″ square when finished. To learn more about it, check out the post I wrote when I made it, and to make one yourself, download the pattern here:

> Saroy – August Pattern of the Month – Offset Stripe <

This is officially the first time I have ever written a quilt pattern, so I welcome any feedback you might have! And if you decide to make your own version, definitely let me know!

p.s. You can also get the pattern — still free — from my just-created Craftsy shop.

35 Weeks with #2

Size of the Baby: A bit over 5 pounds, essentially full “height”, the size of a honeydew melon…and basically done with development, other than putting on more weight! Good job growing, baby girl.

Weight gain/loss: Same as last week, ~25 pounds overall. Fortunately no real swelling at all to this point!

Maternity clothes: I’m so tired of all my maternity clothes, but of course it makes no sense to waste money on anything new at this point.

Sleep: Aside from my perennial issue of going to bed too late, the general trend from the last few weeks of sleeping well has continued. Hurrah!

Movement: Hang in there little baby, you’ll have more room soon.

Food cravings: I’m so, so thirsty. Like, all the time. Also, we ate at Freebird’s last weekend and they had Vitamin Water (my random drink of choice this pregnancy) in the drink machine! Winning.

Best moment this week? Emma gained a new cousin on Tuesday night! I already have 3 nephews but now I have a niece! I can’t remember if I ever mentioned that my sister was also pregnant, but our due dates were only 5 weeks apart.

I won’t say anything more because apparently the rest of my family doesn’t like overshare on the internet like I do, but I’m very very excited!!! The only bummer is that since I’m currently super pregnant myself and soon will have my own newborn, I don’t know when we might be able to get out to Seattle to see them.

What I miss: It’d be nice to be able to bend over easily, to shave and put lotion on my legs, to drink a margarita, to go for a run. But with only 5ish weeks to go, I know I’ll be able to do those things soon enough. So things are good.

What I’m looking forward to: Tomorrow morning we’re going over to the hospital with Emma for their “super siblings” class. I hope she enjoys it! (And I’m looking forward to the hospital tour portion as well, since labor and delivery is now in a new wing of the hospital that didn’t exist three years ago when I was there having Emma.)

babyroom

Milestones: In the “preparation for baby #2″ department, we got one major item checked off the list by having the baby’s room painted! Yaaaay! (Here’s what this room looked like not so long ago.) With that done, this weekend I plan to get the basics set up — putting the dresser back in place, converting the toddler bed back into a crib, and building the bookcase we got at Ikea last weekend.

(Side note: how do I hang curtains on those windows? Do I hang the rods below the arch? Or above the whole window? Also you can see some gunk that’s stuck on the dresser top. What’s the best way to remove sticky gunk from wood without ruining the finish?)

I suppose I should start thinking about packing a hospital bag and putting the infant seat back into the car at some point too…

Leadership, and Saying What I Really Think

A couple weeks ago I submitted an application for a leadership development program at work. I have applied to things like this many times over the years with mixed success and for this program in particular, I have applied twice already and not been selected. (Although the first time, I had to do my interview four days post-partum so I think that shouldn’t really count as a valid attempt!)

So why try again? Partly because I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. Partly because I still think it sounds like an interesting program. And partly because I think it could open doors for me career-wise.

That last part is the kicker — because I think it could help my career. Isn’t that why we do a lot of things? Doesn’t self-interest motivate most of us more than anything else?

The application process involved writing 4 short essays about what I’ve done to develop myself, what I’m hoping will be the outcome of my (potential) participation in the program, what I’ve done to demonstrate personal effectiveness in working with teams, and my thoughts on leadership in general.

I’ve been asked questions like this so. many. times. over the years. On college applications, on scholarship applications, in job interviews, and in interviews for programs like this. Merely reading the same questions again often leaves me feeling defeated, because it always seems like there are certain things I “should” say, and it feels like such a chore to figure out what those things are.

As I sat there staring at my computer screen, trying to think of all the “right” answers, I just got tired. Tired of trying to use the appropriate big words and key phrases. Tired of trying to say things a certain way. And so instead, I just wrote.

I flat out said that part of my interest in the program was to further my career. I flat out said that I want to learn more about how decisions are made at NASA, both following the formal/official path but also in the unspoken, behind-the-scenes ways. Because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen how things really get done, and sometimes it’s not really visible. And I want to learn more about THAT.

And leadership? It’s not flowery words and phrases, and it’s not just for the elite. We see all the “traditional” leaders testifying in front of Congress and participating in press conferences and shaking hands with our international partners, but leadership exists at the lower levels too. Every time a Russian vehicle launches to the space station, I recommend whether my directorate should be “go” or not. I’m not the one who ultimately signs the piece of paper, but isn’t my role still a form of leadership? Shouldn’t that count for something?

In the end, after my supervisor did some editing, my essays came out sounding politically correct enough…but to me, they also sounded more real and more authentic than anything I’ve submitted before. And yesterday afternoon, I repeated the same themes in my interview before a panel of senior managers while their faces remained predictably impassive.

I have no idea whether this will translate into success, but at least I can feel happy about I wrote, and I can stand behind what I said.

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