Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy 2014!

Today I spent some time in my shop.  It wasn't much time, maybe 4 hours or so.  But it was glorious!  Its been far toooooooooooo long....  Since August 17th 2013 (my previous blog post) my life has been, well lets just say "busy."

Where have I been?  Well, since about September my wife and I were very busy preparing our home for the arrival of our son, expected to come in January 2014.  There was a lot of shopping to do, baby showers to attend, and baby room to paint and prepare.  Everything was going well, my wife was feeling very pregnant, but otherwise great.  

Then one night in early October, while just watching some TV and winding down from the day, my wife's water broke at 28 weeks gestation.  It was determined that she was thankfully not in premature labor, but the rupture was severe and required hospitalized bed rest until the baby was born.  They told us it could take anywhere from a day to several weeks.  Our goal was to try and make it to 34 weeks gestation.  Regardless, we were going to be parents of a very premature baby.  Needless to say, we were terrified.  Twelve days after she was admitted, she went into labor and my son was born on October 26th 2013.  At 3 pounds 5 ounces, he was at a good weight for his premature birth.  We were thrilled, terrified and hopeful.

For the next 9 1/2 weeks, our lives consisted of little more than eating, sleeping, working and visiting Cooper in the NICU.  Even though he did very well from day one, it was the longest time of our lives.  Thanksgiving came and went, we spent Christmas at his bedside in the NICU and we knew he had to be coming home soon.  We got a surprise when they told us we could take him home on New Year's Eve.  Finally, we could start our new life together as a family.

Since Coop has been home, it has been great, but very crazy.  We are learning how to be parents and all about that unconditional love we heard about from other parents.  Cooper keeps us pretty busy around the clock.  But he is doing great, gaining weight and growing like a weed.

Anyway, I have been really feeling the urge to get back to the shop lately.  I have a lot of projects I need to do, but I'm not sure which I'll do first.  My wife is trying to start a new career as a writer this year and has been asking for a new writing desk to make her work more comfortable.  Our home office needs some serious rework and reorganization.  Also we would like to redo our living room with a new entertainment center as the centerpiece.  And I need to continue work on the back deck as well, with lots of projects out there.  Lots to do, where to start?  I am not sure, yet.  But I am anxious to get started.

Today was all about putting the finishing touches on my FORP bench.  Just a few minor details and I also started the daunting task of flattening it as well.  It has sat in my basement, for the last 6 months or so and it is moving all over the place.  The slab top is shrinking a bit and crowning in the middle as a result.  I decided I would take a crack at flattening it with hand planes first.  It's going well, but 5 months or so absence from the shop has taken a toll on me physically.  After a few passes with the hand planes, I was beat.  I think I may barely be able to move tomorrow.

But it was a great feeling to sweat over that bench again.  The entire time I was working on the bench today, I constantly thought about all the years of use I hope my son and I will get out of this bench.  One day it will be his bench, and hopefully he will want it.  I can't wait to get him down there working on some projects together.

With my limited time these days, I don't know how often I will get to work in the shop, or even write about it on this blog.  But I am going to try to make this more regular as I have truly missed both.

Anyway, here is a pic of me and my new shop assistant.  Cooper says Hi!  Happy 2014!!!!