Somewhere in the Middle

Is it just me or is January flying by?   It’s already the 27th, and I feel like the new year just started a week ago. So, even though January is already almost over, I wanted to share a few resolutions I made for this year.

I don’t usually do resolutions, mostly because I have a tendency to give up at any hint of failure, but also because my overarching life goal is usually something like:  be perfect at everything.  And since that goal is both stupid and unattainable, I thought I’d try something different.

1.Love and/or use most of what we own.  So far this year I have donated 7+ big black trash bags full of stuff I don’t use or need, a few boxes full, and some odds and ends.  I’ve also thrown some things away.  It’s very freeing.  The key here though is not perfection…it’s livability and simplicity.  Notice that I said “most of what we own” and not “everything we own.”  Don’t get so carried away with getting rid of things that you throw away something a family member might really love…like a husband’s beloved excess sock collection.  They’re his….leave them alone.

2.Eat healthy and happy.  This means that I incorporate a lot of good things into what I eat everyday, but I don’t deprive myself either.  My diet so far this year is something like 75% organic, home-cooked, lovely food, 11% Enstrom Butter Toffee, 8% Coffee with heavy cream, 3% beer, 2% chips, and 1% Nerd Ropes.  It’s my happy place.

3.Move my body more.  I’m usually all or nothing when it comes to exercising.  Lately I’ve been more on the “nothing” side.  When I do exercise, I usually get a little intense about it, so I’m not instituting a super shiny, fantastic fitness plan…I’m just moving more.  I dance to music,  I randomly jump around on the cool indoor pogo stick thing we have, I ride my kids’ scooters, I do some of those Pinterest daily exercise things (except I don’t commit to doing them daily), I take a walk if it’s nice out, etc…I move more.  It’s good.

4.If I have the supplies to make something I really want or need…then I should find the time and just do it.  During all the organizing, I kept coming across supplies for things that I’ve meant to make.  And while I like being a “crafty” sort of person, I love being a crafty person that finishes things even more.  

One of the projects that I finished over the weekend:

New “Boo-boo Bags.”  They’re basically just fabric I sew up into different shapes, fill with rice, and throw in the freezer for when the kids get hurt.  They work really well, and our old ones were really…well….old…and probably super gross.  I made some to go in the freezer and some for heating up as hot pads in the microwave.   I love them and they’re so easy to make.  I kept making them until I’d used up a 5 pound bag of rice.

captured_by_snapseed_21_1  Alright, lastly:

5. Knit a little everyday.  I get into the habit of being ‘all or nothing’ with my knitting.  If I can’t carve a couple of hours out of my day to knit then I don’t knit at all. Then I don’t finish things; then I feel terrible…and have nothing to blog about.  So I don’t care if I only get 10 minutes a day to knit…I’m knitting.

Lately, I’ve been too busy to knit on anything that requires thinking or planning or reading directions, so I’ve been grabbing the big, blue blanket.

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I last mentioned this blanket way back in September, but it’s been slowly growing since then, and very soon I will run out of yarn, which makes me happy because for several months it was this giant bag of unused yarn taking up precious space in my craft cabinet.  Now it’s mostly a warm, snuggly blanket that covers my legs when I’m cold and I’m knitting.

So here’s to the new year almost one month in and to resolutions that can actually be kept!

And They’re Back…to school

Yesterday was my kids’ first day back to school (post-winter break).  I had plans to organize and shop and maybe drink a lot of coffee, possibly watch a show on Netflix that doesn’t involve animation or Disney Channel kid stars (although, has anyone seen “Girl Meets World”?  It’s not the best show ever, but it’s got all the old actors from “Boy Meets World”, and I just really like Ben Savage…he seems so friendly).

My wonderful plans got a little sidetracked when Tilly kept waking up throughout the night, and somehow, I ended up sleeping in her bed (which hasn’t happened in months) and later she ended up sleeping in my bed (which also hasn’t happened in months…this is starting to sound like an odd version of Goldilocks).  Anyway, everybody ended up being a little lot sleep-deprived.  All I could think was that my “first day of freedom” plans were now going to have to be supplemented by a nap.  (That’s “First Day of Freedom” fail #1…for anyone who wants to keep track.)

I had a particularly hard time waking her up for school that morning.  We were cutting it really close…twenty minutes ’til departure.  I finally got her out of bed by telling her she could have cookies for breakfast. (The only redeeming factor being that there were also scrambled eggs and apple slices.  Also, the cookies were homemade with organic flour.  The frosting had no redeeming qualities.  It was really tasty though). We were rushing around and really running behind, but we made it out the door with just enough time to get to school and not be late.

Except that it was cold.  Really, really freezing, icy cold.  And in the back of my head I was thinking how it was supposed to be warm because my husband had offhandedly mentioned that we were supposed to get a warm front this week (which we did.  today.), so I neglected to check the weather myself.  Usually, here in Denver, it gets cold and it snows, and the weather is sometimes weird, but we rarely have icy conditions.  But yesterday was horrible, so I had to scrape lots of ice off the car, which made the kids late to school.   (FDoF fail #2)

I did get them dropped off at school though, and then I headed home to drink more coffee and figure out the rest of my day when all of a sudden something flew up from the van ahead of me and hit my windshield.  It was just a little pebble or piece of ice, but the instant it hit the windshield a 3 ft-plus (almost a meter) gigantic crack formed and then grew a few more inches.  (FDoF fail #3)

I carefully drove home (the crack was u-shaped, so I could still see just fine), and I checked our insurance.  Did you know that cracks have to be smaller than a dollar bill to be covered for repair?  Otherwise the whole thing has to be replaced…out of pocket (blah, blah, deductibles and stuff).  Fortunately, I was able to make an appointment for noon.  So I venture back out to the car to go to the appointment only to discover that one of my tires was flat.  (FDoF fail #4)

I drove ever so slowly to the nearest gas station (which isn’t very near), filled it with air, and hoped it would stay.  And…it did!  But by this time I was a little late for the windshield appointment.  Thankfully, they didn’t seem to mind, and the whole business went ever so smoothly.  However, despite the appointment going well, I’m still counting it as FDoF fail #5 because I spent the rest of my “child free hours” waiting in a very gray room.

But….

what do knitters do whilst waiting in very gray rooms?

We knit, of course.

captured_by_snapseed_16_1This is the Kumara Wrap.  Pattern by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.  Yarn is Knitpicks Andean Treasure in Fog Heather.  The same as my hat.

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For some reason, I chose to knit this with two strands held together, so it is very possible that I will run out of yarn before I finish.  We shall see.  It’s very exciting.

So my “First Day of Freedom” didn’t go according to my plans, but it was a pretty good day nonetheless, and it left me feeling thankful that I have children who need me, a husband who’s taught me not to freak out about everything, money to pay for a windshield replacement, and the time to take care of it all without having to rearrange any plans that couldn’t be carried out another day.  Days like yesterday are good for me.

But I sure hope I don’t have another like it for a long, long while.

Here We Go Again

I keep writing blog posts in my head.

I’ve realized that this doesn’t quite count as blogging, so I had big plans for another “catch up” sort of post today.  I was going to write about Christmas and New Year’s and all the holiday goings on.  And then I realized that I took very few photos of the whole business.  Well, I took lots of photos with Aunt Carol’s very nice camera (sorry about that Aunt Carol…sort of got carried away with the picture taking).  I neglected to take pictures with my phone.  I’ll see what I can round up…for those who might be interested.

For those who are only interested in the knitting:  I did manage to take a few selfies of my new hat, Equistum, the second.

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The “me only” December knitting turned out to be pretty easy since I accomplished practically nothing in the knitting department.  I finished the black scarf for Ben and then the hat for me and bam! December was kaput.

I haven’t quite managed to nail down a photo shoot for Ben’s scarf, but I did manage this:

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(I had to stop him on his way out the door to get this one.) It’s an extra warm and toasty infinity scarf in the fisherman’s rib stitch. You make it by casting on a million stitches and then knitting until you run out of the three skeins of yarn you thought would be enough.

I also started one more project for myself and got a little more than halfway done.  I’ll show you tomorrow… :)

Me, Me, Me

This “me only” December knitting is harder than I thought.  I’ve done a recent sorting of the stash, and it reminded me that I wanted to knit another Likesleeves for Tilly.  And Dodge needs a new hat (maybe this one).  I’m sticking with my plan though.  I will conquer the selfish knitting.

I finished the big, black neck thing for the husband over the weekend (which I decided counted as “me only” knitting…somehow… pictures to come. ), and I was just really getting into the hang of thinking about myself when the husband mentioned going to see a movie with the kids.  I thought my knitting plans were foiled until I remembered that people sometimes knit at movie theaters.  I usually don’t, but I grabbed a hat pattern, some wooden circular needles, and away we went.  I decided on a hat that is a current favorite: Equisetum. I knit the last Equisetum a little more than two years ago, and I love it.  I have deep, deep feelings for things that are gray, and so I decided on a gray hat.  I was placing a Knitpicks order at the time, so I went with Andean Treasure in the only gray they had: slate gray.

Thankfully, they have updated their selection of gray since then (which I am super happy about), so as of this weekend, while watching Big Hero 6, I started my new project: Equisetum in Fog Heather.

It’s gorgeous and soft and coming along nicely.  I can’t wait to wear it!  Merry Christmas to me!

 

Ode to Me and the Turkey

I want to knit a hat.  And a new scarf/shawl.  For myself.  And maybe some new slippers.

I haven’t yet planned any Christmas knitting for this year.  I can tell by the collective, knitterly gasp that you’re all very shocked.  It’s true though.  I’m still knitting the black thing for the husband, which is not for Christmas (although it may take that long to finish), and I’ve still got two blankets, a pair of socks,

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and a sweater sleeve on the needles, but that’s it, and none of those projects have a deadline.  And that means I’m free.

Free to knit for me!

I’m gonna take the whole month of December (well, what’s left of it) and only knit for myself (and probably I’ll finish the black thing for Ben…we’re one, so that counts as knitting for myself…right?).  

This is just too exciting.  Will I accomplish selfishly knitting for a whole month?  During the season of giving?  It’s a challenge for sure, but one I’m willing to accept.

Do you wanna see pictures of people who I love that I won’t be knitting for?

We visited my family for Thanksgiving last week (and we threw a birthday sleepover in just for fun).

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Tilly with her adorable cousins, Jules and Adi. They’d just given each other “makeovers.” 
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Jack (son of Shawna and Jeff) and I looking a little blurry…feeling a little blurry too.

 

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Tilly and Adi getting ready to eat a little breakfast after spending the night at Uncle Dan and Aunt Bree’s.

 

 

 

 

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Dodge leading the family outside to say our farewells.
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Everyone’s heading out to eat brunch at Hotel Sorella (very wonderful hotel…if you’re in Kansas City, check it out!) My mom’s taking a picture of us getting ready to head back to Colorado, and I’m taking a picture of them because I’ll miss everyone. Love you all!

We had a really wonderful time.  The week went by way too fast. And I didn’t get any photos on Thanksgiving Day, which is a bummer because I missed getting a photo of my Grandma Peggy and her wonderful, new boyfriend Art…very cute couple, and I also missed getting some pictures of all of us “grownups” playing a whole lot of the game “Ticket to Ride”.  Good times.

Thanksgiving behind, Christmas ahead.  Here we go.

 

 

 

Thermostats and Steam Vacs

I was all set for being complain-y today.  I was gonna tell you how some piece on our toilet broke over the weekend and flooded our carpet and we had to rent a steam vac.  I was gonna say how we had a mini-sleepover and I was driven slowly insane by children who don’t listen, argue about everything, and have terrible table manners.  I was gonna complain about my mountain of laundry that needs washing before this weekend and last night in the midst of the mountain, the washer made a weird grinding sound and now won’t drain.  I was all set for complaining.  I was.

Then I happened by Facebook and read my sister’s status.  This morning she had a busted pipe that sprayed onto her furnace and ruined some electrical panel thing that connects to the thermostat.  She had to call a plumber and whoever the people are that fix thermostats.   And do you know what…she didn’t complain at all.  Not even a little.  She was thankful to the people who came and fixed everything.  She even had a “praise the Lord” in there.

So…

I am thankful.  I’m thankful that the carpet only flooded in a few places.  I’m thankful that my husband knows how to turn off water valves.  I’m thankful that since we live in an apartment all the maintenance doesn’t cost me a penny. Praise the Lord!

It’s good to have an older, wiser sister to help you keep things in perspective and have a good attitude.  Thanks Sister. :)  (Did you see how I threw “older” in there?  You’re welcome.)

I am also thankful for yarn, which rarely causes me as much angst as water-related appliances and plumbing.  

I’ve got a granny square infatuation going on right now, and these little guys are made with my leftover scrap yarn.  I will have to crochet a billion of these before they become a blanket.  It might take years.  I kinda like that.

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I’m also working on a big, black neck thing for the husband.  He uses public transportation because it’s available, and he braves the cold daily.  He deserves a big, warm, cushy neck thing.

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He doesn’t like animal fibers so close to his neck, so I’m knitting it out of Bernat Softee Chunky (which is acrylic).  I’d rather be knitting with a lovely, natural fiber, but I am thankful that this stuff doesn’t break the bank.  Now I can keep the  yarn budget for myself.

Well… if I had a yarn budget. ;)

One Big Party

This week has been cold here (like in many places), and it’s gone by fast.

This time of year always goes by fast, and I feel like I have to run to keep up with it.  It starts with Halloween and then….boom…school stuff intensifies, holidays become something to start preparing for, and it’s Tilly’s birthday (not today, but really, really soon).

I always feel under-prepared for Tilly’s birthday.  I spent the week trying to deal with the cold and getting everyone into coats and snow boots that fit (it seems everyone’s grown since last year)…

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My son and I have the same size feet at the moment. He commandeered my snow boots earlier this week, so I had to buy myself some new ones *sigh*… *giggle*.

 

…and I have neglected my baby girl’s birthday.

Not to worry though, I spent the day getting pizza and cake and a very pretty outfit and we even took treats to school this morning (not homemade, but satisfactory for an almost 7-year-old).  We blew up balloons this morning too, and Tilly wrote herself a note:

captured_by_snapseed_44_1And I’m treasuring this moment that she’s still 6…and her spelling is pretty terrible, and she made herself gag blowing up balloons, because it really does go by too fast.  Kids are just such new people, and it’s amazing to see what they can do.

Love.  Just so much sappy love.

If you didn’t come here for the sappy ‘mom’ moment, but you came for the knitting, I have something to show you.

captured_by_snapseed_40_1It’s a finished “Elemental Linens” place mat, and I love it!  Doesn’t it make my sad, lonely, lemon look elegant?  I think so too.

I also finished a hot pad thing (trivet?) I’ve had in my “to finish” basket for a while.

captured_by_snapseed_43_1It looks homemade, which is what I was going for here.  I think kitchens need a little kitsch.

captured_by_snapseed_41_1Hope you all have a Happy Weekend!  We’ll be partying like we’re 7!

Oh, and a big congrats to my friend, Kelli!  She’s welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world.