Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cheaters never prosper

I have been cheating on knitting with sewing.

(first quilt top all done)

But just a little, if by a little you mean a lot and all the time. I have had a knitting project tucked into my bag that I do continue to work on at night after I have put some mileage on the treadmill (running inside blows). Thankfully we have netflix so I keep the good times running by watching movies that do not involve cartoon characters or moral building story lines. The other night I watched a movie called Purple Violets. I am not recommending this movie by any means. In fact, on the blow scale (from 1-10, 1 being not blowing at all and 10 being a really stinker) this movie scores an 11. I only rented it because I have a thing for Patrick Wilson who may be the only blonde that I am ever attracted too. Even though the movie was a bomb I found another reason to keep watching. Knitwear. The movie had the most amazing sweaters in it. So amazing that I found myself knitting fervidly. Then I started sketching and making notes in my journal concerning said knitwear. This girl's glass is half full. Crap movie, but overflowing with inspiration.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A handmade Christmas

For too many years now I have had a Christmas to do list that has been haunting me. On it were the aspirations of a semi-crafty lady. I think the original list was made somewhere around 2003. So 7 years later I finally got my tush in gear (and now own a sewing machine which was one of the players needed that was missing earlier on). The goals were to sew our own stockings and to make a tree skirt.

These little things were made important to me because many, many years ago my Grandmother made stockings for each one of my sisters and I. Those stockings are still hung every year at my parents house even though we have moved away. They are there like little stand-ins of Christmas joy, beacons that hold memories and hope. I wanted to weave that same love into my own family's holiday.

So finally and abruptly (which is how I start most things) I tore into our garage on Monday and found the box that contained our sad little store bought felt stockings. 15 minutes and my handy dandy seam ripper later I had my pattern. I decided to not use Christmas colors mostly because I am not a huge fan of red and green, sure I like a sprinkling of them here and there but was excited to do this stocking thing on my own terms. So Max's stocking is made of a combination of colors that make me thing of my little boy; browns, butterscotch and a little teal. Max has always appeared to me as a little brown bear, so my color choices for him usually reflect that.

For Charlotte's I dove into some scraps that I brought home from a recent trip to Washington and some scavenging that I did around my mother's sewing table. She is making a beautiful quilt for Charlotte which meant that I came home with some gorgeous fabric scraps. Sewn together they look like this:
Unfortunately (or rather fortunately for me) my little girl was not completely in love with her stocking. Her exact words were, "Mommy that is really pretty but when I dreamed about my stocking it had some red in it." Ok back to the drawing table.

Now I just have to find some fabric for Alan's stocking and a bit more fabric for the tree skirt pattern that I found. Then my "to do" list will be a "done list," and those are the best lists to have around.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I am no Caroline Wilder

Charlotte and I have been reading "The Little House on the Prairie." I love reading to my little Bug just before bed. I decided last summer that she was ready for longer more involved books. Our first big girl read was, "Because of Winn-Dixie." It was cute and I was just as excited as Charlotte to watch the movie when we were done because the beautiful and talented Dave Matthews is in it.

The next book that caught my eye was our current selection by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I picked it up with excitement at an used book store and was immediately reminded of how much I had loved the series as a child. So it came home with me and two weeks ago we dove in.

But reading the book as a grown woman has brought out different emotions in me. Like this one for example, "Why the hell did Caroline allow her husband to drag them so far away from everyone that she held dear into dangerous territory?" or more recently "I think that I would have told Pa to shove it." Of course I have not been sharing my thoughts with Charlotte but I am afraid that my modern feminist sensibilities are getting in the way of my pleasure in the story.

I think I am more Anne of Green Gables (yes I realize that she was a fictional character) than Caroline Wilder. My husband pointed out that it is likely that Caroline did not have any choice in the matter of her families migration west, which is true. Or perhaps she found Pa's wanderlust and shenanigans endearing? Whatever the matter, I think I may have to go dye my hair red and walk the ridge-pole of a roof. Has anyone seen Diana Barry?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tis' the season

This time last year I was knitting my little fingers to the bone. I had set lofty goals and wanted to knit about 6 gifts. This turned into the two darkest knitting months that I hope to ever experience. This year I am learning from the mistakes of my past. No knitted Christmas gifts. Period. I have decided that knitting gifts are going to be used for birthdays and general wishes of good will. So this year I am finishing a cardigan for a friend's little girl, and then casting on a cowl (for whom I have not yet decided). In the sea of holiday craziness knitting is going to remain my quiet sea of calm.

Now if I could only talk myself out of the crazy 48 hour bakeapalooza that I do every year. Small steps, right?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

About me

1. I LOVE LISTS. I have been caught making a list of lists to make. Seriously, it runs that deep.

2. Dave Matthews Band is my most favorite band of all time. The obsession began in the ninth grade when my Dad played "Satellite," for me.

3. Becoming a mom is by far the best choice I ever made.

4.. I love to cook. I am forever looking for new recipes and I promise to share some of my favorites here. Such as this one, perfect for fall or winter- Roasted Tomato Basil Soup (it is heaven!).

5. My BFF is my Grandma. She and I are like two peas in a pod, well not really, but we accept eachother nevertheless.

6. I am a raging Liberal. This can make living in Idaho a bit annoying at times but I am proud to say that all of my friends know my political beliefs and that I am willing to engage in an intelligent conversation at any given time.

7. My husband and I are currently obsessed with the show Dexter.

8. I believe with my whole heart in God but not so much with organized religion.

9. My favorite exercise besides running is the practice of Bikram Yoga. I like my yoga hot and really hard, anything less is just boring.

10. I not so secretly want to be Anne of Green Gables. I met my Gilbert in the 5th grade and married him when I was 23.

11. Our dream is to have a farm house on some property.

12. I want to raise Chickens on said property.

13. My favorite cake is Red Velvet.

14. I love being an ICU nurse. I thought forever that I wanted to be a labor/delivery nurse but have realized that I really enjoy taking care of elderly people.

15.I am a ridiculously fast knitter. I may be an idiot savant where knitting is concerned.

16. I have three beautiful, smart sisters. They are the reason that I do not accumulate too many friends. God already gave me 3 that are stuck with me for the rest of their lives!

17. I love Sex and the City but thought the second movie was CRAP!

18. I can swear like a sailor, but am really trying hard to curb this habit.

19. I LOVE clothes. Love them.

20. I have a hate/hate relationship with my straight brown hair. Really hoping to accept it one day.

21. I love to read. Am trying to decide if I am for or against this Kindle thing. Might miss the smell of books too much.

22. I started blogging because I was inspired by all of the amazing bloggers out there. Haven't decided yet if I need to be one of them, decided to tinker with it while I make up my mind.

23. I have run out of semi-interesting things to say.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Last weekend I ran a half marathon with two of my sisters, and it was amazing. Not only do I get the privilege of sharing the same gene pool with these two beautiful women but I also got to cross a finish line with them.

What does one think about while they are out running for nearly 2 hours? Everything. My mind tends to wander into the strangest places while I am running. I am pretty sure that I discovered the solution for world peace while I was out the very least I remembered that I can do ANYTHING that I want to. ANYTHING. And so can you.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Sometimes being an ICU nurse can be really sad. We always see the worst case scenario, and very few of our patients return to their previous quality of life. Which can make one tend to wonder what is it all for? It can feel like running in quick sand.

But then sometimes a patient that you thought would never leave the hospital alive walks into the unit to thank people that she cannot even remember for saving her life. It isn't the thank you that makes this story special it is the walking and smiling part. That alone gives me enough hope to keep doing this job for another five years.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happiness is.....

in the small moments. Today while I was running an elderly man saw me from his garden, smiled and yelled, "Keep going you can do it!!" That is the closest that I have ever come to kissing a stranger (ok first lie, but the last time that I kissed a stranger I was drunk and 22 so it must be forgiven and stricken from the record). I was on mile 7 of 8.5 and not loving it. But after the encouragement of the morning gardener I found some extra pep in my step and continued merrily on my way.

Then later I took my four year old daughter to run errands with me. She has developed a fondness for the music of ABBA, I have no idea how it happened (second blatant lie, I did it, I fostered her love of Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, etc. but their music is so damn happy how could you not love it?). Anyways we were riding in the car on this beautiful sunny day singing at the top of our lungs and I felt it, complete euphoria. There is nothing like being a Mom, even on the hardest days it is amazing and sweet.

I continue to work on a sweater for my Dad's birthday present. I think that the monotony of a man's sweater may be slowly killing me. I am so tired of knitting it that I almost allowed a known mistake to remain. Thankfully I came to my senses, got my act together, ripped out the little sucker that was causing me so much mental strife and have continued on my way. I think that I am going to have to cheat on knitting with sewing, just a little bit to preserve what sanity and love for the craft I have left.

I am reading the book Run by Ann Patchett. I am about 70 pages in and it is amazing! It has been a long time since I have been able to read a book of my choosing for pleasure. I still feel like I am going to find out that I have a looming assignment that I have forgotten about, a fear that will probably persist until I get my diploma in the mail.

Hope that everyone is enjoying their Sunday before the weekdays grab hold of us all again! I am off to get into some trouble............trouble of the crafty kind!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Check that off the list

The last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic for me. I finally finished my bachelor's degree in nursing. I have been a nurse for 7 years now, the first three as an LPN and the latter 4 as an RN. The end of my college career has been fairly anticlimactic, I am already working as an RN, and since I finished my degree online and approximately 600 miles away from the college I won't be participating in graduation. The best part is though, that I am no longer writing essays (or feeling guilty for procrastinating the writing of essays). This has given me some freedom that I haven't had in a long time. It is amazing the energy that I have found in the wake of graduation. I was able to weed and till my garden finally (my very first garden....really hoping that it turns out!) and am enjoying not feeling like a zombie Mom.

I also finished my first lace knitting project. I have taught myself how to knit using only the internet as my tutor. This has led to some ugly knitting moments but also a huge sense of accomplishments when I tackle something and am successful at it. Now that I have the lace bug I may not be able to stop.

Last weekend I ran the Montana Women's race. It was awesome. I did the fastest 5 miles that I have ever done. There is something about being at a race and surrounded by other runners that always tugs at my heart. And there is something about seeing morons standing at the sidelines smoking that makes me irate. But I choose to not digress.

The most important thing that happened in the last few weeks was my daughter's fourth birthday. It seems completely impossible that this little blonde happy go lucky child is the baby that I held in my arms four years ago. I catch myself looking at her in amazement. I now understand what my mom meant when she used to say that we would always be her babies. There are moments when I want to swaddle Charlotte up in a blanket and hold her close as long as she will let me, which would not be long. It seems as though the ADHD is in the genes, I just need to teach her to channel it. I see knitting lessons in our future.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Out comes the sun!

It is amazing what a little thing like a change in the weather can do for your disposition. The long winter appears to be making its exit and for the first time in months the roof is icicle free. I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to strap on my running shoes and head outside which reaffirmed my love for running just as the long runs on the treadmill had begun to tarnish it. Outside in the fresh air with my IPOD the world is looking like a friendlier place.

My babies too are grateful for the warmer days. They have already been out to inspect every muddy corner of the yard, and have each of their amazing discoveries breathless with excitement. We are going to try to have a vegetable garden for the very first time. Charlotte has been helping me nurture my little seedlings which are thriving on our back (indoor) porch. Everyday we check on them and tell them nice things so that they will grow big for us this summer!

I have decided to attempt a lace project. The beginning did not go very well, there were some harsh words spoken and more than once needles were thrown hastily into my knitting bag with force (take that yarn and sticks!). But now all is well and with a successful swatch in hand I am waiting for my first hanks of malabrigo yarn to arrive. I have been dying to try malabrigo ever since I started listening to the Knitmore girls, those ladies cannot get enough of it!

Alright that is enough blogging for now, mostly because I am using the blogging to avoid my homework which desperately needs to be done!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Home sickness

This last September my husband and I had to move our family from our home in southern Idaho to Montana. My husband was offered a great job in the economy that demands that you don't turn down jobs so we packed up our two little ones and our belongings and moved 10 hours by car from everyone that we loved and who loved us back. I would love to say that I am fearless and able to take all the change in stride, but I am not. Nearly six months after the move I am still heart broken.

The package looks great, we are renting a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood. And things have gotten easier along the way, I have made some amazing friends, and am waiting patiently for spring(ok not really patiently, I may beat up the next snow flake that I see) but no matter how bright my outlook I still cannot shake the desire to pack us up and move back home. No spring plan will ever be better than having my sisters over for dinner and watching them love my kids or heading over for the day to my grandparents house, or cleaning like mad while I wait for my parents to visit for the weekend.

I am not a person that can sit in uncertainty. I always have a plan, a list and a million things to do. There has never been a situation that when taken into my own hands that I couldn't fix. So right now while we try to decided how much homesickness is too much, and weigh the options (or lack thereof) I find myself in uncharted territory. I wish that there was a bandaid that I could apply to ease the ache, but am afraid that this wound runs too deep for such an easy fix. Home may be the only remedy that will suffice.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It is better to have worn and lost than to have never worn at all

So last week I finished this cardigan. Pretend that I am an aged (through the miracle of movie make-up) Richard Dreyfuss conducting a large orchestra because this sweater was my opus. It was very (very) cabled Autumn Vines Cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio and loved it . Notice, my use of the past tense?
On my first day of wearing my cardigan to work I realized that it had been the victim of a chicken broth splashing (which is the lesser of the two evils that it suffered). I was pretty mellow about this little upset. After all, chicken broth washes out easily. So I put it into the laundry on a gentle cycle (cold) wash. When I went to take my little lovely out of the washer however I realized that my two year old had been playing with buttons and had turned the wash to warm. Voila! Felted cardigan. Ughhhh.
First I wash nauseous, almost tearful. Then I decided to do my next one in purple. That is the beauty of knitting, I made it so I can remake it. Probably even better than the first time. Take that fate! You just cannot hold a happy knitter down.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Passion is the nectar that makes life sweet and the hue that gives it it's brightness. Having moved through most of my life without having found what it is that I was most passionate about I can say that without it one tends to feel a bit lost. Thankfully I believe that finding our calling is part of what drives us, that we are made to search out and discover our passions so that we can be found.
Knit. Run. Love. Those are the three things that fill me up and make me whole. My husband and children make everyday glow. Finding that one person who loves you so strongly that you are finally able to truly be you is the most freeing thing that I have ever experienced. Having first our daughter and then our son calmed my soul and brought to the surfaced the mommyness that I was unaware existed.
Running has been with me for a very long time. It took many years for me to recognize it and give it the importance that it needed in my life, thankfully it laid there waiting for me. Now that I have allowed running to play its proper role I am a much happier person.. It is while I am out in my running shoes merrily pounding the pavement that I have the time to really think things through or to allow my mind to wander. My running epiphanies are my most favorite.
Knitting. What can I say? When you break it into its parts it doesn't look like much....needles, yarn and only two stitches. But it is with this simple activity given to me by my grandmother that my creativity flourished. Cuddling my babies up in a new sweater that I have just made for them is the most beautiful feeling. In my mind and hopefully someday theirs each stitch is saying, "your mommy loves you, stay warm and safe little one."
This blog is intended to be part journal, and part portal for my family to see our goings on. So that even from far away they can peer into our lives. Here it goes.