Lessons, Loves, & Looking Forward

You guys, finding time and the motivation to write is near impossible these days.

I know, shocker. But in effort to keep from doing a boring “WAHHH I have two kids and my life is crazy” post all the time, I thought I’d try to introduce more structured posts that you can expect month to month. Maybe give it a few months before you expect it regularly? Yeah, ok. Let’s give it a shot.

Lessons

My big lesson this month is that I really need to stay plugged in — not to technology or anything, but to my community. Be that getting our family out the door to church regularly, going to work at the book store once a week, or even just talking to my sister on the phone in that terrible witching hour that comes in the afternoon. Keeping regular and predictable contact with other adults is so important for my sanity. Plus, when I regularly talk to my sister I get to be a part of her crazy Alaska adventures from the comfort of my sunny Southern back yard :)

MOOSE!

MOOSE!

Loves

Ironically, my love this month is the complete opposite — I got to spend a weekend at home by myself!

I have never ever been home alone since Chris and I got married. But Vanya turns one in just a few days and Chris had some PTO burning a hole in his pocket, so he packed up the boys and took them to visit his parents. They got to have cool adventures like going to the aquarium (Pasha is now a shark enthusiast) and I got to stay in my pjs all day while organizing closets. Sounds boring, but have you tried to organize a closet while a small child pulls everything back out? Don’t worry, I also had fun. I read two books, took myself to Trader Joe’s, and all but finished knitting my sweater. It was a pretty great weekend.

Looking Forward

There are so many good books coming out in February — The Last Romantics, On the Come Up, The Psychology of Time Travel. But the one I cannot stop talking about is The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray.

I had the worst, most amazing book hangover after finishing this one. The Butler women crawled into my heart and made it impossible for me to leave. Gray's writing made each character distinct and so real for me that in the middle I had to put it down and take a breather. This book will have you calling your mom, your sister, your aunt just to tell them you love them. Seriously, it’s that good and I cannot wait for more people to read it!

Comfort Fade Cardi

Is there anything better than a newly completed sweater?

You might disagree, but it’s gotten cold here in NC, so I’m thinking no.

Back in October I took the boys to SAFF with my mom (Pasha’s third visit, Vanya’s first). I knew we wouldn’t have much time to browse so I went in with one goal in mind — to buy the yarn for a Comfort Fade Cardi from Deep Dyed Yarns. Luckily we were the only people in her booth when we got there, so the lovely proprietress helped me pick out exactly what I was looking for.

I probably could have gotten away with knitting the medium instead of a large, but I like how cozy it is. Seriously, I’ve worn this sweater every day since it finished blocking. The yarn is a superwash base, so it did have a lot of extra drape when I blocked it. Luckily I noticed before it dried completely and popped it in the dryer for about ten minutes. Presto chango! it’s perfect!

The logistics — I used one skein of color A, two of B, two of C, and two of D. I have an extra skein of C, which I’m already trawling for a use for. I knit the boys DK weight sweaters for winter so I might try to find something that uses their leftovers as well.

It feels good to have my first FO of 2019 in the books and have it be something that I bought and knit within short order. Now to tackle the rest of the stash (or maybe order another sweater)!

Gaining Momentum

Best laid plans, am I right?

So it’s the third week of 2019 and I’m just now writing the second post of the year, a year for which I had planned to write one post a week. But, you know what? It’s ok. It takes a while to build the momentum.

I’m making much better progress on one of my other big goals for the year — read 150 books in 2019.

I know. I KNOW! it’s a ridiculous goal and far beyond anything I had thought I would shoot for. But here’s the thing. I already read 136 books in 2018. So building on the momentum that I’ve already built up (see where I’m going with this?) I should be able to hit that mark. Or at least come close.

When you break it down that’s about three books a week, which is about what I read anyway — one print book during the week, one on the weekend, and an audiobook a week. Does this sound absurd? Maybe. But just like with knitting, I’m finding ways to fit books into the pauses of my day (and it’s actually easier than with knitting). When the kids are playing, or eating a snack, or watching a tv show, I have a book close by. They are in a stage where as long as I sit right where they are they are generally happy, but if I get up to do anything — dishes, laundry, make food — they lose their minds.

I used to feel guilty about it, what kind of mother sits and reads all day instead of doing enriching activities with her children? But then I realized that they don’t necessarily want me to play with them all the time, and that time when I’m sitting quietly is much better spent reading than playing on the phone or watching tv. Children imitate what they see, and I want my kids to see that reading is a fun and important part of life.

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We’ll see if I can keep this momentum through the year, but right now I have high hopes. That might be because Chris took the boys to visit his parents over the weekend so I had the house to myself for three days, allowing me to do things like read and knit at the same time or read a book in a day!

Are you making any reading goals for yourself? What parts of your day do you use to squeeze in some extra reading, knitting, or other hobby?

This Thing Still On?

Holy accidental hiatus, Batman!

I can’t believe it has been so long since I sat down to chat with you. Life got to where it felt it was going out of control back at the end of Spring and I had to simplify life a bit.

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So let’s see, when last we met Chris was still home on Paternity Leave, Vanya was a wee thing, and I was a stay at home mom trying to find an identity outside of the house. Obviously Chris went back to work and then so did I! I started working for my local bookstore, Page 158 Books, doing our online event postings and some social media work over the summer. Then in the Fall I started working in the store itself on the weekends and hosting one of the book clubs.

This really is my perfect job right now. My origin story as a nerd is up a tree with a Narnia book and it feels so good to indulge that side of me again. I’m meeting authors, reading tons of books, and most importantly helping people find the books that speak to them. I love it!

Believe it or not Vanya is about to turn one next month. He’s the happiest baby I’ve ever met and into absolutely everything. We feel like we’re possibly days away from him starting to walk. He and Pasha are thick as thieves. There are some serious let’s drive mom crazy teamups happening around here. I can’t believe that I have two little boys running around. I never knew I wanted to be a boy mom, but it really is the best.

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I knit a few things, but not a lot. I read a ton, but more on that later. I spent soooooo much time with my kids and my family and absolutely loved it. All told, 2018 was a great year and I’m hoping for an even better 2019. Hopefully less stress, more writing, and the same amount of chaos. If you’ve stuck with me through the crazy I can’t thank you enough. I hope you enjoy what I have planned for us this year.


Note: all pictures in this post were taken by the amazing Nevada Marie Photography. And yes, all sweaters were knit by me. The boys are wearing Jones by Tin Can Knits in Leading Man Fiber Arts DK and mine is Big Sister by Kate Oats in Infinite Twist.

Half Moon Oracle

It's been a long time since I've had an FO for me to share with you

or at least one that's not socks. Last week I was cleaning out some nooks and crannies around the house and I stumbled across a project bag with a fully completed shawl inside. I cannot for the life of me remember when I finished my Half Moon Oracle but I feel pretty confident it was right before Vanya was born. All it needed was the ends woven in and a good blocking. That's it! It was like I left myself a little surprise hiding out in my bedroom.

Color A:  Gracelynn Wool , Happee Birthday  Color B: random stash I can't remember  Color C:  Spun Right Round , Fairies Wear Big Boots

Color A: Gracelynn Wool, Happee Birthday

Color B: random stash I can't remember

Color C: Spun Right Round, Fairies Wear Big Boots

I love the way this shawl turned out so much. I'll be 100% honest, when I added in the Spun Right Round I was suddenly certain I'd made a huge mistake but at the same time I was not interested in ripping back so I just decided to press on and see where things ended up. The end result is so springy and happy that I cannot believe I almost changed it.

The only thing holding me back from knitting another is the monstrous stitch count at the end. I already have one giant shawl on the needles so I think I need to wait until I finish. At the same time, I love shawls over my tshirts and tank tops when I'm outside playing with the boys, so maybe I'll put one together to cast on next.