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Julia Catherine Creates

Summer is here!

Wow. Half a year went by so quickly! Relatively often the thought of posting crossed my mind, but I haven’t made the time to do it until now. Now that six months have passed, it seems like a good time to check in on how I am doing with meeting my goals for this year.

  1. Knitting a sweater: sadly, I haven’t even bought the yarn yet. I searched online to find the yarn called for in the pattern, and I finally did, but it’s pretty expensive and I’m not sure anymore that I want to use it. I think that instead of a striped multi-colored sweater, I want to make a soft gray one. For some reason, I have a weakness for gray sweaters and gray yarn in general. They are just so beautiful!
  2. Learning how to French-braid my own hair: I haven’t practiced in a while, but I’m pretty happy with how this one is coming along. I have tried a few different variations, as you can see in the pictures down below. My hair is curly, so the best time to braid my hair is when it’s wet. Once the curls have dried, it’s very difficult to separate the different strands of the braid since that separates the curls and makes my hair get very frizzy!
  3. Losing weight: oops. I haven’t even come close to meeting my goal. I know that I need to be far more disciplined with what I eat. Once my school schedule became lighter, I was able to work out more regularly, so I’m happy with the strength I gained from that. I’d like to lose some weight and create healthier eating patterns so it’s not so hard for me to resist sugar. We’ll see what happens.

On a lighter note, having less (and now no) schoolwork to do has been absolutely wonderful! Work has taken over most of my time, which I’m not thrilled with, but I still have so much more time to relax. I’ve been able to read a lot, and I’m working on a quilt! The fabrics are in a light pink color palatte, and the pieces are equilateral triangles that fit together. I haven’t decided yet how they’re going to be arranged when they’re all sewn together.

Another thing I love about summer is getting to spend time at my grandparents’ lake house. Lake houses have been an important and special part of our family history, and I’m so happy and grateful to make memories there.

How about you, friends? What are you doing this summer?

xoxo Julia

“Winter Moments”

About a year ago, my Spanish teacher from my junior year of high school started a children’s literature publishing house for women authors. Along with her good friend Laura Kern, Betsy Howard founded Wandeling Press. They recently funded their first book Woolies for the Winter on Kickstarter, and it is now available for purchase on their website. If you have a little one who enjoys listening to books read aloud, this is a sweet little book and a great company to support!

In the fall of 2015, they hosted a poetry contest for young women. This was a really fun challenge; it made me think about what I love best about winter and how to describe it. Poetry is such a neat way to communicate ideas because it can have so much structure and so many standards to adhere to, which forces you to be concise and be very intentional about what words you include and what you leave out. This is the poem I wrote:

“Winter Moments”

Sitting in silence, I stare at the tree in its colorful, glowing warm lights;

Tucked in the corner, it fills me with peace as I ponder the coming of Christ;

A moment I treasure, that comes once a year, filled with wonder, a wintertime night.

 

Sitting in silence, I watch the snow float past my window and read a good book;

Tucked in the corner, ‘tween headboard and wall, blissful hours fly by in my nook;

A moment I treasure, of calm and content, as snow slants down the path the wind took.

 

Sitting in silence, I smile and glance at the children’s pink noses and ears;

Tucked in the corner, I sip steaming tea as they chatter with eyes bright and clear;

A moment I treasure, of simple, shared joy, and of laughter, of people held dear.

 

Sitting in silence, I gaze through the woods and look up as the bare tree boughs creak;

Tucked in the corner, I sigh and fall back as snow crunches beneath, cold and clean;

A moment I treasure, of white, wintry wonder, of slow, icy beauty and peace.

What is your favorite form of literature and why? Do you have a book, short story, or poem that has always stuck with you?

Julia

Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions are funny. The thing is, no matter how seriously you tell yourself, “This year, I am going to ____________,” it doesn’t work. You can’t make anything happen just by saying that it will. Resolve disappears quickly.

Can we call them “New Year’s Goals” instead? Somehow, that makes them seem so much more feasible. After all, you don’t just muster up your strength and promise yourself that you will meet a goal. You have to think about how to reach it! Also, I think it’s important not to set too many goals at once. As the saying goes, “When everything is important, nothing is important.” Whether you need to get things done during a single day or over an entire year, setting just a few goals can help you remember them and get excited about reaching them!

For this year, I (somewhat arbitrarily) decided on three goals:

  1. Knit myself this sweater (I’m so excited! My sister and I are planning to go yarn shopping on Saturday.)
  2. Learn how to French-braid my own hair (I’ve always been too lazy to learn how to do it well.)
  3. Lose weight (For goals like this, it’s important to have an actual number in mind!)

But how do we reach these goals? Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m guilty of lazily resolving to “do better next time” but then falling back on my old habits because I didn’t plan. As the year progresses, I’ll share the ways I’m trying to reach my goals and whether or not they work.

For now, here’s the game plan:

  1. I’m super excited and can’t wait to wear the sweater, so hopefully it won’t be too hard to work toward this goal!
  2. Once a week, I’m going to braid my hair for practice. (I need to have some sort of system to track whether or not I actually do it.) This is a picture from a few days ago. I French-braided around my head with the “tail” end hanging over one shoulder, but I didn’t like how it looked, so I wrapped the “tail” end back around, tucked it under the rest of the hair, and pinned it. 
  3. I’ll get back to you on this one! I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast on most days for a while now and not eating much dairy, which I plan to continue (besides having ice cream occasionally, of course). Breaking that ice cream addiction is another story… as is escaping my sweet tooth in general…

What goals are you setting this year, and how do you plan to reach them?

Julia

Hello, world!

Welcome to Julia Catherine Creates!

On this blog, I hope to talk about creativity, literature, and life. I started this blog several years ago, but sadly never got it very far off the ground. This time around, I plan to treat it as a journal of sorts – a way to creatively document the experiences I’m going through and the lessons I’m learning in all aspects of life. That could include ideas inspired by books I’m reading, classes I’m taking, challenges I’m facing, foods I’m eating, or projects I’m working on.

I hope you enjoy coming along for the ride!

Julia