Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Let's start with the most recent knitting projects.
Turn A Square hat by brooklyntweed for my niece, Kayla, for Christmas. These are her school colors and I figured (like every crazy knitting aunt does) that she needed a spiffy hat to accent her awesome letter jacket. Go Kayla!
I'm sure she'll like it and if I have enough time I'm going to try to make matching gloves. My favorite part about this hat is that the round stripes become squares at the crown due to the decreases.
My other recently finished knitting project is a new pair of felted slippers for me. Same pattern as last time (Mohair Ballet Slippers by Bev Galeskas) but in new colors. I think I like my old ones better but nothing lasts forever so when I make my next pair I'll try to find something besides pepto bismol pink.
And that's all on the knitting front that's finished for now. Up next: sewing/quilting update!
Sunday, December 07, 2008
On Saturday night we went to have dinner at the local church with friends and see a special visitor. It really helped me get into the Christmas spirit and I love Emma seeing Santa. It's especially funny to watch her because she had to go back and make sure Santa heard her saying, "Thank you!" Too cute.
I don't think Emma asked Santa for anything. She was so excited about the bag of candy she'd just been given that it's all she could think about. Oh well, at least Santa knows for sure that she's been a good girl. I mean, come on, look at that face.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I head to Commissioned Officer Training around January 12th and we will be hearing more about the details of where we'll be stationed when I'm done with training sometime this week (or next, or the week after...you know).
Monday, December 01, 2008
There is no doubt that I will be going into the Air Force, it's just a question of time until I get my official notice and orders about when to be to training and where we go after that. My faith is solid and from that comes patience. Even though I was supposed to hear from them November 7th, no wait, 21st, then 24th... any day now. I will not swear with agitation. I will not check my e-mail 23,742 times per day. I will not carry my phone around like I'm waiting for an organ transplant.
I will be cool, calm and collected. Never let them see you sweat, right?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Me? What am I doing? Well, I made Emma new pillowcase and I'm halfway through making her a new quilt with the 5 Funky Monkeys fabric I brought home over a year ago and just found again over the weekend. Amazing things happen when you clean out your craft closet.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Hence, the shirt making. And then the shopping... I hate shopping. No wait, I love getting pretty happy new clothes and there's no such thing as too many clothes but when I bring them home and half of them don't fit I just want to shove them down the garbage disposal and never look at them again. Really, inanimate objects shouldn't be able to taunt me.
Now it's time for hot cocoa and a movie because I have no idea what else to do with myself.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Monday: Cancel training session at the gym. Messed up ankle has yet to heal and I am trying to avoid any unnecessary walking. Students gripe about me not canceling class on Wednesday because fall break is Thursday thru Saturday and they really want an extra day off. I call them all wimps and thumb my nose at them. Besides, if I have to attend a department meeting on Wednesday right before their class, they should have to be in the building, too. It always rolls down hill, doesn't it?
Tuesday: A friend comes over for some wee ones playtime and when I get up to answer the door I twist my ankle again. Shoot. I hear my husband tell friend that if I don't stop hurting myself he will put me in a wheelchair. Children play, friends chat, babies poop and Emma heads to her first swim lessons with her Daddy. They have a great time while I am teaching a night class.
Wednesday: I make it to an early doctor's appointment and have the nice, somewhat handsome young man (who knows nothing about Economics and makes silly remarks to me about the general state of the economy when he mistakes me for a stay-at-home mommy) tells me I have a partially torn ligament in my ankle. Every time I hurt it the clock for healing resets and I have 4 - 6 weeks of resting up to do...each time. Ugh.
When I get home from work husband tells me we are not going camping because, frankly, I shouldn't be hiking and he really doesn't want the hassle. I breathe a secret sigh of relief. Next, dear husband surprises me with a plan for me to spend Saturday with a friend at a day spa with the money we would otherwise have spent on camping. Huzzah!!
Thursday: I sit. I finish quilt. The internets sucks me into extensive blog reading and I go to sleep very late (Friday morning).
Friday: More sitting. Merlot and steak were found for dinner along with an amazing frozen cake thing I am ashamed to say I had four servings of. On Monday my trainer is sooooo gonna have my butt.
Tomorrow: lather, rinse, repeat.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Go see for yourself.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Don't be fooled, I'm not knitting at the speed of light but I am finally finishing up projects that have been languishing for months.
Pattern: Urchin by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Fiamma by di.Ve
Modifications: I knit the large size and only did 6 repeats of the wedges instead of 7 repeats. Also, because I was being lazy, I used a three needle bindoff to finish the job. I hate grafting.
I love this yarn but it's been hating me for almost two years now. All my other attempts to knit it into something have failed terribly but because of the colors I couldn't give up. This pattern finally let me put this lovely wool into something wearable and I'm thrilled! My husband hates hats and even he was impressed with how good it looks. That has to be a good sign.
Now, let's see what I finish up next. Should it be socks for me or Emma's sweater?
Monday, September 29, 2008
Pattern: Niblet Socks by Kathleen Taylor
Yarn: Cascade 220 and Galway Highland Heather
Modifications: My mother-in-law has wide feel that swell often so I needed to make these socks bigger. I started by casting on 60 stitches instead of 45 and when I did the heel I picked up an extra loop on the far side of the slipped stitch and k2tog to eliminate the holes I was getting with the psso. Much prettier.
To add some fun to the top (and use up some pretty scraps) I added some variegated yarn for the cuff and a few stripes. It's the same yarn I used for my father-in-law's slippers' cuffs so now they have matching feet!
I ran out of yarn on the second toe but picked up some Galway Highland Heather that color matched with the Cascade like nobody’s business.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Last post was my 200th (can't believe it's been that long and that I actually have had readers for 3 years) and last Thursday was our 4th wedding anniversary (can't believe we've been kissing and loving for 7 whole years now). How time flies. I realized that next month I turn 27...which means 30 is just around the corner. Just yesterday I was patting myself on the back for being such a well-accomplished 26 year old and as of next month I'll be creeping up on 30. Wow.
To commemorate the occasion here are my top three favorite moments from the last 4 years of my life:
(I was totally going to do a David-Letterman-style top 10 but when I got writing I realized it would be a veeerrry long top 10.)
3. Walking out of the conference room after presenting my research project to my committee to finish my Masters. I worked through some of the hardest times of my life (the deaths of my friend, cousin and sister, the estrangement of my mother and a hard fight to find balance in my relationship with Morgan) and managed to come back to UW to finish grad school. I will always be proud of myself for accomplishing that feat...and I grew a baby at the same time. Go me!
2. The minutes after giving birth to Emma. It was such an amazing moment to have her in our arms that I cried from relief and Morgan squeezed out a few tears, too. Labor was finished! Nine months of waiting to see our new baby had passed and there she was, healthy and real. (Also, the epidural was still working so the pain from giving birth hadn't set in yet.)
1. Our wedding was a happy day but it's almost a blur. The greatest moments were not those in front of friends & family in that church but the quiet times to follow, those times when we have truly inhabited a life together have been my favorite. They were mornings on the porch in the sun with coffee, others have been playing with Emma, and the best tend to be quiet nights that we sit and talk for 3 hours. It's not one special moment, but the accumulation of years of love that have come in precious pieces.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I'm a Democrat and that's no huge secret but this latest bill from the Bush administration has left me seething. The cover issue is that this bill will allow medical providers room to follow their conscience but it will come at a cost. And surprise, surprise - women will be the ones who pay the price. This bill will allow any medical worker in a facility that receives federal funds - receptionists, volunteers, nurses and doctors - to decline to assist in any services they find objectionable. On the surface that seems fine, but let's think about how this will work in practice.
Scenario 1: Doctor or pharmacist decides that birth control is a form of abortion and simply refuses to inform the female patient of options available to her - or the pharmacist refuses to fill her prescription. Who are they to determine who should and should not be allowed to have access to family planning? They are not the ones who will be raising my children that I will have without birth control and not the ones who will shoulder this responsibility. Why should they be allowed to make this choice for me? Who are they to prevent me from having access to health care?
Scenario 2: Receptionist decides that he/she objects to homosexuality and refuses to book an appointment for a man seeking an AIDs test.
Scenario 3: Nurse refuses to administer emergency contraception to a rape victim in the ER.
You can see where I'm going with this. I firmly believe that individuals should have the right to make decisions that follow their own beliefs but what about when that decision is paid for by someone else?
What happens when your rights infringe on mine?
Are my doctors beliefs more important than mine?
Should my freedom of access to health care be optional?
Thank you for reading.
Friday, August 29, 2008
1. I am finally in my new office, having moved around many heavy pieces of furniture all by myself thanyouverymuch. This great feeling of calm has settled over me (stop that laughing, Suzanne) and I think it's because I've decided to stop freaking out about whether or not I get into the AF, I am simply going to act "as if". So much in life can be accomplished with just a little bit of backbone. My current peaceful feeling may also be attributed to the semester having started and my office now being in an orderly fashion. I am such an organizer freak (not that my house reflects it, that's communal space and under a different category in my world) that I need to have ends tied up before I can breathe normally.
2. I am/was training to run a 5K on September 6th. I say was because on Tuesday I ran 2.3 miles and yesterday I stubbed my pinkie toe and ripped it open pretty badly so shoes mean bleeding foot right now. No doubt I look silly going to teach my class tonight in a dress and flip flops, but nothing else I had to wear on my feet would keep the pressure off my gash in my foot. Depending on how quickly my toe heals up I may or may not make that 5K next week.
3. I really need a new digital camera. This blogging thing is getting boring without pretty pictures of all the fun things I've been making lately. *sigh*
...and that's all the time I have for now, folks!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
An experience that stood out to me this week:
Getting onto a plane, I had a moment when I brushed against how deep and precious life is. It was nothing huge that triggered it, I was just watching all of the passengers ahead of me step through the threshold of the aircraft. We are all being packed into this small vessel and the accumulation of all those lives peeked at me. A wedding ring, two friends talking, a favorite book in hand. Our plane could fall from the sky, a metal capsule brimming full of people who have loves, children, ideas, words, aspirations, strength, songs and years of life behind them. What an aching loss it would be to the world to have even a relatively small slice of people disappear. Life is always from a first person point of view, but for just a second there I saw it from many points of view. How precious and amazing we all are.
Now go listen to this song. Achingly beautiful.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
We were out for a long bike ride this morning and ended up riding right past the Startup Candy Company. They were closed then so we went back a few hours later and discovered this cool candy that only they make (because one of the earlier Startup men invented it around 1900) called Magnolias. They're little candies that taste like flowers!! I am soooo buying some of these for Grandma's birthday. :) They mostly focus on doing wholesale and internet sales these days and their tiny shop front is only open from 12 - 2 Monday through Thursday. If you're in the area or feeling adventurous I highly recommend trying these candies. Enjoy!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
It was this massive sight of relief in our household. We caved and gave Emma back her pacifiers and since then she's been napping, sleeping and even eating. Who knew? And we figured out what's up with Miss Fussy Pants. Yesterday I discovered that she has a molar breaking through. Also, after a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Household we think her "try and make me" attitude has a lot to do with her adjusting to life with Dad home all the time. Mom she knows to a tea and knows just how far she can push me, but Mom+Dad and Dad Alone are whole different animals.
Bottong line: we think she's testing the waters and with a new molar coming in and a lack of sleep she was having a riot in the house. Thankfully, peace has been restored and we are all much more well rested and happy. :)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I met with my Air Force recruiter on Monday and it was our first face-to-face meeting. She must have thought I was the strangest person she'd seen in a while because I was operating on five hours of sleep and two cups of coffee. Bad combination. In an attempt to compensate for the lack of sleep I went to bed that night at 7:30 with Emma...only to have her throw a screaming fit around midnight so I wound up fully awake in the dead of the night. Boy, a girl can do a lot of filing and paperwork between midnight and 3:00 AM.
Emma's going to go visit her Auntie and cousins for a week pretty soon here and I'm wondering if it would be possible to let my sister-in-law keep Emma longer...like until she starts kindergarten. Because we need the sleep around here and this has to end. Seriously.
Friday, July 11, 2008
1. As we held hands at the dinner table and talked about what we are grateful for, Emma took her turn first and said," I'm grateful for Emma, family," took a short pause, looked me in the eye and said, "and I'm grateful for Mommy who is my friend." I kid you not. Those were her exact words. I had to get up from the table and wipe my eyes.
Her vocabulary is moving at warp speed this week but I was shocked by how well she put that sentence together. The other amazing thing is that these are concepts she came up with on her own. Morgan and I say we are grateful for each person but we don't say family in the general sense. We were both floored and talked about it more last night in the dark before sleeping. Those are some of the best conversations of my day.
2. I went to a baby shower for a neighbor who is due with a little girl in a few weeks. The night before I made this nursing pillow for her.
The pattern I had in my stash was actually for a pillow cover but I improvised a bit and made the pillow itself. My mother-in-law mentioned a cool trick that I used and it was totally worth it. I lined the two pieces with quilt batting to keep the pillow smooth and I basted the batting down so it would stay in place when I stuffed the pillow. It was a very well recieved gift and I feel pretty good about it.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
We found an awesome campground next to a stream and Emma had a blast. The next morning we went on a gorgeous hike and I was amazed by all of the beautiful wildflowers in bloom.
On the hike back we saw a deer, lots of butterflies and Emma met a horse. Pretty cool stuff.
Next it was on to Bear Lake and then Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Like the picture of the Tetons?
We took it from our canoe...shortly before it capsized. Yep, the water got choppy as we headed back to the marina and the wind combined with a wake from a too close boat tipped us over. The amazing thing is that the digital camera and cell phone both survived the swim after drying out for a few days. Totally crazy! The down side is that with the camera out of commission for the next several days we have no pictures of our trip to Yellowstone. :(
Hope your 4th was great, too!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I took the GRE yesterday as part of my application to the Air Force and let me tell you, I feel awesome. Five years ago I took the test and got a 1200 on it. Not exactly Einstein but not too shabby either. Good enough to get me into grad school and help me secure a stipend. Yesterday I managed to better that score by 30 points. Go me! When I got home later that night I did a happy dance.
What did I do to study for the GRE? A few hours with a book during the week before helped me brush up a bit. The night before and the morning of the test I made this:
The Cotton Shop was having a Shop Hop sale so I went a little wild with the $.88 fat quarters. This is my second Turning Twenty quilt and I love how fun and simple they are. Now all I have to do is sew it up. :) Have a happy weekend.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Strangely enough, I think I was more nervous about that part of my application than any other part. The GRE looms ahead, scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, so there's plenty left to do and lots and lots of paperwork ahead. I feel like this is the right thing for us to be moving towards and it's interesting how when your feet are on the right path, the steps seem to come smoothly. Not that everything is suddenly easy, but there is a rectitude in your actions.
I would love to sit and ponder at this keyboard for a while but it's getting late. Perhaps more later this weekend. For now, it's off to get a good night's sleep before I go crack the GRE like an egg. Grrrr!! :)
Saturday, June 21, 2008
*My boss called and offered me 3 more classes to teach this fall on top of the 2 I already have. Not only that, he offered me a one semester contract as a lecturer. Let me translate all that: more work and a whole lot more money! Yippie!! In about 4 months I will make what Morgan pulled in over 6 months. This is great news because his back is recovering but we're coming to realize he may never be the same again and his wrenching days are probably over.
*The pacifiers will soon sleep with the fishes. Daddy and I pulled a fast one with the scissors and now they no longer provide much sucking pleasure for Emma. Our hope is that she will ix-nay them very quickly now that they're "broken". We keep telling her she's a big girl now and big girls don't use pacis.
Emma's big girl room is now done and covered in faeries. Too cute. We spent a few days painting and one late night stenciling faeries. She loves them!
*We just bought new swimsuits today (no pictures, very sorry...ha ha) so next week it's water park here we come!
Enjoy your weekend.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
One of my favorite things is to sit back and watch Morgan and Emma play together. He has the ability to point out the new, simple and special joys that Emma thrives on. We went on a hike a few days ago and it was Daddy who took Emma up the rocks of the waterfall. I pointed out a shallow stream and Daddy showed her the best way to splash with rocks. A little green caterpillar crossed our path and Daddy helped Emma hold him gently and then put him back on a tree to go home to his Mommy and Daddy.
Morgan is far more than a father, he's a Daddy. The one who kisses boo-boos, takes her to the potty in restaurants, lifts her high with one hand, lets her play with sooooo many of his tools, teaches her how to make new funny noises and convinces me to buy the Teddy Grahams. He is a wonderful partner and an excellent Daddy.
Happy Father's Day, Morgan!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Moving on...Yellow Duck is done! At long last, he can make his official appearance in all his fully-limbed glory. He was meant to be an Easter gift for Emma but she discovered him before I was done so I lost my motivation to finish him.
When our friends, Ben, Erica & Nick, came to visit (way back in April) Mr. Monkey teased Yellow Duck to no end about not having arms. After that I just couldn't stand to listen to his pitiful little quacks as he begged for arms. He just wanted to be like all the other stuffed animals, he said. Two weeks ago, his day came.
Pattern: Duck from Knitted Toys by Fiona McTague Yarn: Red Heart Sport
Mods: I knit the body in the round and the body and head in one piece to avoid that whole floppy neck thing that sometimes happens when you sew the head onto the body. And, of course, Yellow Duck has a red heart stitched on his chest, just like Mr. Monkey.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Another opportunity has presented itself and I'm having a hard time deciding if it's a brilliant idea or an insane one.
Here goes. I'm thinking about joining the Air Force.
You heard me. I grew up while my father was in the Air Force and it gave us a really interesting life style that seems even more appealing when you factor in pretty decent pay, great benefits and the chance to travel all over the world while serving my country. Same reasons that I wanted to join the Foreign Service...I just couldn't pass the entrance exam.
The anxiety comes from wondering how well my husband is going to adjust to being a stay-at-home dad and how much I am really going to miss spending my days with Emma. I love her more than sunshine and for the last two-and-a-half years my hours have been occupied by her presence, voice, smiles, tears and hugs. How will I live without that? The mere idea makes my heart ache.
On the other hand, I can learn a new skill set, apply my degree, provide for my family in a substantial way. There is the possibility that my new job could take us far away to travel around the world. The Air Force would give us good enough health benefits to have another child, something we want but are not sure how to get anytime soon. And I can't tell you how nice it would be to have enough leave time and money to actually go on a vacation...all while building a career. Last but not least, there will also be the chance to serve my country, which is no small thing. I can imagine my father would be proud of me for seriously considering this option.
Last night I watched a video clip about Officer Training and when I was walking to work this morning I became aware of how my body moves. I walk with my shoulders back, my eyes up and a firm heel-toe foot fall. This is how my father walked, so distinctive that I knew who had just come into our home by the way the footsteps sounded. This is how my brother learned to walk and how I, too, walk. I realized today that I might as well be marching in formation, for all the way I carry myself. In the echo of my footsteps down the sidewalk, I was sure I heard my father's right beside me.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
While my in-laws were visiting I spent a fair amount of time sewing with Cathymom. Behold, the newest edition to Emma's wardrobe. Emma keeps telling me she needs a black dress every time she sees me get ready for work. Instead of a black dress (a bit warm in the summer, wouldn't you say?) I found her some adorable white fabric with black graphics and topped it off with adorable red poppy buttons. The bottom half is a bit sheer so she has to wear white bloomers under it, but no worries.
So far, it's been given the Emma stamp of approval. The pattern? Er, um, kind of improvised. The bodice piece was guided by a super-old book of How to Sew Clothes for Children and I changed all the rest was made up as I went. Not too shabby.
Until next time. I have at least three more projects to show you this week. Oh, and a test to draft, too. Blah!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Morgan is healing but needs to be taking it easy. He's going to be out of work for about 6 weeks but his boss is amazing and we are grateful that he has a job to return to. The funniest part is watching Morgan drop something and the look of distress on his face is quite comical because he realizes he can't bend over to pick it up.
Just wanted to let you all know that we are doing well and appreciate your good wishes!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Keep us in your prayers please.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
1. Love listening to music on Pandora. If you haven't heard of it, I dare you to try it.
2. I made a Coconut Lime Cake today from The Cook's Kitchen Bible. It was wonderful and much easier than I thought it would be. The guys loved it and thought it was a nice balance to all the spice of the BBQ.
3. I had to rip back the entire gusset of the Baudelaire sock because I increased on the wrong side of the instep. This will be my first pair of toe-up socks and they're killing me. This yarn and I are having an (off-kilter) love affair that seems to be made to end badly (like those late night cravings for curry) so I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that the pattern is kicking me, too.
4. I picked out the paint for Emma's big girl room and I have one month and counting to paint the walls, do a tree and a couple of faeries. Stay tuned, pictures will be forthcoming.
5. I miss my father. I miss the way he always hugged me too hard, like I was never too fragile, just too valuable to not be hugged tightly. I miss cooking with him. I miss his advice which was never sharp, given sparingly and well worth every minute. Now that I am a parent I am gaining a greater appreciation of my father in so many ways and I miss his presence dearly.
Good night, my dears.
Friday, May 16, 2008
If I was 6 years younger I would have spent a beautiful, sunny but blah day like this in the park with tuna sandwiches, a frisbee and a good share of vodka-spiked kool-aid to make it all better. Ah, the relaxation of a misfit youth. Alas, there is to be no vodka or frisbee this afternoon. Us Mommies are made of sterner stuff and must revert to coffee, naptime and cookies. *sigh* Wish me luck...and send more cookies.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Aint she a beauty? I know, she's really pink, but I'm thrilled and I wish I had her right now. The only downside is that the store is out of stock of this bike so I have a rain check and I have to wait until their next shipment. Until then, I'll just dream about bike rides in the warm sunshine and trips to the park.
May your Mother's Day be delightful!
Thursday, May 08, 2008
"We're four years old," she said.
My response, "Are we now?" Said with a smile, it was meant as a humorous observation not a mocking remark.
I now find myself making similar "we" statements on a regular basis without a second thought.
"We've been sick this week."
"We're growing so quickly."
"We love M&Ms."
And the truth of the matter is that after having a child we are never a singular individual again. Marriage makes us partners, but being a parent makes you an indivisible part of a unit. The moments you spend alone are almost nonexistent so it's honest to say that whatever happens to one is usually shared by another. It's more than that though, it's the fact that even when your child is not around they are constantly on your mind. Like a limb that is missing, you are acutely aware of it's absence.
The physical reminders of parenthood and that filial link will never disappear either. Emma has a fascination with bellybuttons and when she tells me, "No, that's mine!" I tell her it's mine, too because it is where we used to be connected. Her body will always hold that mark, just like every human will. As a mother, my body will always bear witness to the stretching and aching of holding another human being inside me, cradling the most precious creation I have known.
It's now been three years since she came into existence and it seems like forever that we have been "We."
Friday, May 02, 2008
Yesterday the sewing bug bit me hard and I just HAD TO sew something. Since Emma now has a dress and nightgown fetish, I thought it would be nice to make her a few nighties from a pattern I picked up...for $.25 at a second hand store. I am so thrifty some times I impress myself. *big smile*
Anyway, the Cotton Shop has their striped and polka-dots knits on sale so we dashed down there and bought three super-cute fabrics to make nightgowns. Emma also has a thing for polka-dots. No idea where she got it. *ahem*
The nightgown is cute and huge. I am pretty sure Emma will be able to wear it until she goes into Second Grade. Based on her excited reaction when she first saw it, she might even try to.
As a side note: my very own cute and handy decorating idea is indoor clothes lines. Two nails and a length of thread make the perfect display set. You can clip pictures, fabrics, ideas or sewing instructions. It's so very handy when you need to free up table space but still have a way of checking pattern directions often. I'm planning to put one up in an empty hall space we have to hang Emma's drawings on. The fridge is getting waaaaaaay too crowded.
Now, if you will excuse me, it's nap time for her so I'm going to go sew myself a shirt. Ta ta!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The apple tree out back is blossoming as of this very morning.
Emma and I worked in the garden on Saturday and the legacy rhubarb is alive and thriving. You know, the rhubarb plants that came from my Father's home in Wyoming that he transplanted from his Grandmother's farm in Wisconsin. After my father died, I had Morgan bring me some of those plants when I started my garden last year. They were so scrawny I was afraid they wouldn't make it. I can remember sitting in the grass and almost crying, "I know my Dad is dead now but would you at least let the plants live? Please?!?"
Small blessings come every day.
Thank you, God.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
For the rest of the week I'm planning:
* To make this dress for Emma in a fabric that matches one of my skirts that she's fallen in love with. Then she can stop running around the house with my skirt that is 23 times too big for her.
* Finish Yellow Duck. He now has two legs, but no arms yet. I'm still knitting the arms.
* Read lots of papers from my classes and finish editing the final exam.
* Bake more bread. The Artisan Bread book is awesome and the Cheese Bread recipe is my favorite so far. Especially with an egg wash. YUM!
* Playgroup on Friday and BBQ on Saturday.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Moving on...I knit something!
Pattern: Dolores Park Cowl by Parikha
Yarn: Lion Brand Thick & Quick in Pine
Mods: The yarn I used was a bit heavier than the pattern was written for so I ended up with a much bigger cowl than intended. No worries, that just means it won't muss up the hair as much going on. This is actually for my sister-in-law, Evette, who came out to visit last week with her two sweet girls. I offered to knit her something and when I showed her the Dolores Park Cowl she really liked it so here it is! Now, I just need to mail it to her...
I need to make myself one of these because it is sooooo nice and warm. Only in something super-soft like Alpaca. :)
Friday, April 04, 2008
Freshly baked bread! Homemade apple butter! Few things are as satisfying as those "I-made-it-myself-and-boy-does-it-taste-great" moments. I found this book from this blog and as soon as our local library had it available it was in my hot little hands. Since then we've made fresh bread and calzones. *sigh* It has the stamp of approval from this household. Go on, give it a try. No doubt, you will love it, too.
Other fun news: I'm going to be teaching more! I will teach three classes this summer and two more in the fall. This job is so much fun and a really great experience for me...hopefully for my students, too. Today I'm a little nervous because I have a social to go to tonight for adjunct faculty. I look young for my age and I am young to be teaching at a university so I'll most likely be the youngest and least educated faculty member at this dinner. *gulp* Well, I guess this is when we have to "act as if." My high school class didn't vote me Most Charming for nothing. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
When Morgan came home I was sitting on the front couch (while Emma was being distracted by a movie thankyouGod!) hunched over a sock, knitting and mumbling. Bad sign. His response, "Can I take my two girls out to dinner?" Perfect. I love this man so much.
I was so exhausted that after we got home from dinner I found PJ's for Emma and myself at the same time. Little girl crawled into our big bed for her story time and then Morgan tucked us both in, gave us a kiss and turned off the lights. That's right. I went to bed at 8:15!
Heaven is a warm bed and a good night's sleep.
Monday, March 31, 2008
At last the flowers came, like a sigh of relief, that finally spring might be here.
Pattern: Garter Stitch Silk Slippers by Erica Knight
Yarn: Jager Trinity
For: Holly's (expected) baby girl to match the hat I knit for the baby shower
These slippers have been done for a while, just waiting for me to sew the ribbon onto them and for Holly to come pick them up during our weekly playgroup. Holly was thrilled with them and said she wanted to put them into her hospital bag...especially since the hat was already packed and needed something to match it.
It fills me with such joy to think that a new baby's first shoes and hat might be ones made by my hands. I still have Emma's coming home outfit and whenever I take it out I have to hold back the swelling in my chest. To hold your child and bring them home for the first time is a huge rite of passage for parents and I feel honored to be a very small part of that. Best wishes, Holly! I know how anxious you must be and your bundle of joy will be here...right when she's supposed to.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Easter here was fabulous! Instead of the usual egg dying we all painted wooden eggs that we can keep. Emma is especially adept at hand-painting eggs. Next year I'll make a little Easter tree we can hang them on. :)
On Saturday, Emma went on an Easter Egg Hunt in the park for the first time. The anticipation was nerve wracking, especially for a toddler, as she watched them spread the eggs out on the lawn. There was almost a collective wail from all the children 2 and under just seeing all those bright and colorful eggs being flung about that they couldn't go grab immediately. Kind of like in those zombie movies, only whiney-er.
After Emma picked up her five eggs (there's a limit, similar to fishing), the Easter Bunny came hippity hoppity to the park only to be mobbed by hundreds of children. Since it was nippy out we decided we would rendezvous with the fluffy giant at the mall where the clime was more hospitable. Oh. my. gosh. I have rarely seen Emma so excited as she was to go sit with the Easter Bunny. All she could do was smile, hug and ask, "Bunny, what's your name?" Sadly, bunnies don't talk so no answer was given but I don't think she minded.
Sunday was another great day with a picnic in Provo Canyon, bubbles for everyone, a half-finished duck made by Mama (yours truly), a long walk, hidden eggs in our house, chalk drawing on the driveway and lots of love. We hope your Easter was just as nice!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
The Invisible Mom:
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Hello out there! We are still alive and kicking. It's been a busy week with lots of fun stuff going on. Last week we:
*Went to the Museum of Ancient Life (AKA the Dinosaur Museum) with our good friend, Naomi, who was visiting on her way home to Alaska. Emma thought the dinosaurs were neat but some of them freaked her out a bit. Not surprising considering the "thunder storms" in the produce department of the grocery store scare her lately.
*Made White Chocolate Coated Pretzels. Soooo yummy and super easy. Melt chips in a bowl in the microwave. Dip the pretzels in and let cool on wax paper. Enjoy!
*Completed one sock of a pair. Details when they're both done!
Monday, March 10, 2008
This daylight savings thing has thrown me and I'm grouchy because today my trainer at the gym took all of my measurements. Not good. No progress since October...as a matter of fact, I don't think I've really made any progress at all by having a trainer. Note to self: never sign up for a trainer again.
I have all of these crafty projects waiting for me but I'm just too sleepy to want to do them. On the down-side, if I just decide to bag it all and take a nap I won't be tired tonight until midnight, again. Whine whine whine. I think I'll just go lie down on the floor and be grouchy.
Friday, February 29, 2008
You see, Holly is having a little girl who is due to arrive in April. Not exactly the wool booties or warm hat season. I remembered finding a pattern that used the same yarn I have left over from a shawl I knit last year. So, viola! An Emli Bonnet was cast on and knit in a few days time.
Pattern: Emli Bonnet by Alison Hansel
Yarn: Jager Trinity (a silk & cotton blend) in a soft pink
I think this baby hat looks like a flower fairy's hat with the embossed leaves pattern flowing down from the top and the picot bind-off gives it that little extra frilly. Absolutely perfect for a brand new baby girl.
I didn't make any modifications to Alison's pattern, I just stopped before all the increases were done because the hat looked plenty long to me. Here's hoping I'm right.
Holly's baby shower is tomorrow and I hope she thinks it's as adorable as I do. Thanks, Alison, for the cute pattern!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I thought this might be a quick project and as much as I like to pretend that all these things are effortless and just flow from my fingertips at whim, I have to admit the whole process took me about 2 hours. Good thing Emma takes one long nap in the afternoon!
I also managed to learn something new. You can paint color onto cookies either before or after baking by just diluting food coloring with water and brushing it on. Pretty cool. Next time I'll let Emma help with the painting but after she colored all over the couch with a pair of highlighters yesterday morning I wasn't too eager to give her more resources to color my house with.
May your Valentines Day be sweet and full of love.