Keep It Together

comments: 44















Hello! Guys!!! Thank you thank you for all of the Secret Garden orders! I'm so grateful — seriously, thank you. I've been here for the past week and a half, watching them roll in and now we are getting organized, placing orders for packaging and labels and materials. So things are happening here, and all the crazy parts and pieces of these projects are starting to come together, and I thank you, so, so much, for all of your kind comments and your orders! I'm really excited, and just so grateful for your support. You can't imagine. Thank you.

This week has been pretty discombobulated. We had two two-hour snow delays, and one totally cancelled snow day. The snow day was lame because there actually wasn't any snow. There was ice, and some wind, and a bunch of minuscule snowflakes that whirled but never really landed or stuck. Mimi and I had been in each other's pockets for days and days. By the time school got cancelled yesterday, I was pretty much wiped. I would've liked nothing better than to sit and watch twelve straight hours of Fixer Upper. Instead I just let her do whatever she wanted. It was too icy cold to play outside. I made breakfast, and then cleaned up. I made tomato soup, and slightly burned grilled-turkey-and-Swiss sandwiches, and then cleaned up. I made a snack, then cleaned up. I made fish sticks and broccoli for dinner and then cleaned up. When I wasn't cooking and cleaning up I read Missing, Presumed while lying diagonally on the sofa while Amelia tried to catch a fly with a handled strainer for forty-five minutes. She painted and drew. She dumped everything out, looking for some random thing. I don't remember what. She found fifty other things she needed. We've been reading eight books a night at bedtime. I put another comforter on her bed last night because it's been so cold and the kid was asleep like a bug in a rug the minute her head hit the pillow. Cabin fever, caught in only a matter of hours, is for reals. 

Only children. They can really wipe you out sometimes. When I come careening back downstairs in my nightgown after putting her to bed I swear I'm one almost-sob away from sobbing with relief. If any of the animals happen to be sitting on the sofa, they see me coming, hair streaming behind me and my eyes ablaze like a bird of prey, focused on my spot, and they get the hell out of the way stat. MAKE. WAY. MOTHER IS FIFTY.

Evening project: Using up my yarn stash. My stash is made up of a million partial balls yarn. Almost nothing has a label. Totally impractical stash. Good for making nothing but stuffed puffins, pears, and hot water bottles.


Lynn Marie says: March 01, 2019 at 03:35 PM

I laughed out loud at this! My kids are grown and gone but the pictured you painted of yourself barreling down the stares is SO ME! And the animals running for cover! If I get mad about something for any reason and start slamming around or sighing loudly the animals both slink off for another room...LOL! ☺

I agree with the comments above, the years go by too fast. I'm a grandma and it was always a little bittersweet with birthdays and other milestones. Now, I see it with my grandkids :( and I'd love to go back in time and do it all again!

Oh mighty mama Alicia P! I just pretty much love everything about this post! My mama heart and head giggled so hard together--in complete commiseration. Here in MT... my littles (13, 11, and 7) and I are mostly snuggled indoors with -15 and -40 windchill. Cabin. Fever. Strikes again. Oh Winter 2019!

I'm a 57-year-old only child, and I spent Thursday at my parents' house, using an extra kitchen table they have in their basement to cut out some nightgowns and pajamas I want to sew---I am quite sure my mom would agree with your comment about the way we can wear you out. My parents are both almost 90 now, and while I'm very lucky to still have them, the roles have gradually reversed in allot of ways, and I'm becoming the caregiver. Enjoy these days when everyone is still healthy and clothed in their right mind---no matter how many you have, there are never enough. (And when did that big girl lose her front tooth? Does she stick her tongue out through the gap?)

Spring will come, and you will feel better. xoxo

Bless! And now as I read this, it is still cold in the PNW but BEAUTIFUL blue skies! I bet you are doing the happy dance this week! I so love that cozy water bottle cover, is it a pattern you made up or is there a link to a pattern you used? I didn't check your Ravelry page. I will do that too. Hang in there, Mama, it does get easier!

Ellen Patton says: March 04, 2019 at 02:11 PM

I love your blog and photos.

Yes the alone time feels are real. As a single mum i actually cherish going to work just to not have to parent for a few hours haha They seem to sense it too. I was just thinking what a lovely peaceful weekend we had for a change when, yep hes throwing up, another day at home.

I don’t barrel down the stairs, but I have an equivalent — I’m 47, and when the 5-year-old is tucked into bed (and the older, more independent sibs are all taken care of...homework help, food, organizing, listening to the stories of their days...), I just flop on the bed and breathe a sigh of relief. And then like 10 minutes later I go back in and peek at the little man, who by then is asleep and so beautiful. :)

Have so enjoyed seeing the birth and development of Mimi's dollhouse. Lovely to see her playing with it!

As I'm about to start re-furbishing one for my toddler, I'd sure appreciate a post or a few words on the supplies you used (wallpaper paste?, glue for the popsicle stick floor?, what sort of paint?...this is all new to me, eek) and also some sources you used for the furniture. So far, I've found only sources that offer two extremes: detailed 'real life' miniatures or plastic-y simplistic toys with little detail. Nothing in between. Hmm.

PS The house I'll be doing up is coming from my husband's aunt (now 82). Bought for her granddaughters in the mid 1980s. Its design is the same as yours! Sliding doors. Wooden. Four rooms. The two levels separate. It's from the British company 'Early Learning Centre'. LOVE IT!

Jean Cogdill says: March 08, 2019 at 10:41 AM

Being a grandma now has it's "perks"! But, when it was a cabin fever sort of day... even if it wasn't a "snow day", and I just needed to get away from the kids; (we had 4). As soon as hubby was home, I would take off! As I was leaving the kids would ask me where I was going... I would tell them I was running away from home! They always thought it sounded like fun... so some times I would take them with me. Then, after they realized that I was just running to the "fabric store", they stopped wanting to go. It didn't matter that I didn't come home with any fabric, it was just a peaceful release for me. So, after that when I told the family I was running away from home; the kids would just say... "she's just going to the fabric store"! I loved it... great pick me up and I could breathe.

We had two kids and everyone said that having them four years apart was great since the older picks up toys and such. Noooo, it didn't happen like that at all. My house was a mess! At 10 PM I would be sitting in living room with a basked full of clean laundry and folding it by myself. I look back and wonder how on earth did all passed who quickly. Your scones looks lovely and so does the wheat hot cereal with blueberries!

Everyone's right. It does go much too fast!
But, even when they've left home and set up on their own, there are phone calls and emails, lunch dates and holidays. And so many memories.

Thanks for this real life post!! The title says it all. <3 I'm hoping March has brought a new freshness with it for you like it gradually has for me. xx

Ginene Nagel says: March 11, 2019 at 05:57 PM

I now understand the difference between women who've had children and those of us who have not. All the women who have children said this post made them laugh so hard. And, I thought it was sad. I felt bad for you until I read all the comments. Now I get it!

Only child + older mother is HARD. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. An only child brings unique challenges. Being an older mother brings challenges. Add in self-employment and it's a wonderful life but also a lot to juggle.

Hang in there. It does get easier. My daughter is 12 and as much as I enjoyed the younger ages, I really am enjoying these older ages more which really surprised me in a wonderful way.


Oh my gosh! You have such a knack for putting into words exactly how mothering feels! That almost sobbing with crazed exhaustion - a thousand times yes! Hurry and go to bed so I can collapse into an exhausted melted puddle in my bed surrounded with a mountain of pillows for some very much needed tv & Animal Crossing Pocket Camp - momma needs some peace! I'm so sorry about your fabric store - consider yourself virtually hugged and made a steaming soothing cup of tea. ♥

I have a collection of paisley fabrics that I need to sell .. if you are interested would you please email me.
Thank you,

oh my gosh! I love what you wrote about Only Children. LOL> I have an only and also I read a few of the comments and they seem to agree, it's exhausting! I never really thought of it before because a lot of my friends have more than one child and complain about being tired, etc. but look at me like maybe I'm not allowed to be tired... and it's funny because me and my husband are his playmates, he is in ALL of our business and all of our convos all of the time. Such a special family tri of a family though, I feel so grateful just like I know you are too. It is AFTER bedtime and I'm loving my tea and my blog reading, ha!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.