December 2, 2013
'Tis the season for giving thanks. I do have so much to be thankful for. We've been fighting colds. Again. Joshua caught a second cold, gave it to my dad and eventually gave it to me. Ugh. Thankfully the adults didn't get hit as hard as Joshua but still. Ugh. The woman who cleans my house has become a friend and she and her son dropped off the most amazing soup and spaghetti for us. She knew we were feeling terrible and was so thoughtful. That is so special. Did I mention the food was awesome?
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. My dad's been in town and we had a great visit. We spent Thanksgiving with some of my dad's extended family. It was nice to catch up after thirty some years. And the food was awesome. Again.
On Black Friday, we played tourist in San Francisco. Took Joshua for a cable car ride. He loved it. We had fun too. It was a gorgeous day and nice to be spent outside.
Since we weren't home for Thanksgiving, we decided to make our own turkey dinner over the weekend. We needed leftovers. This was possibly the best Thanksgiving dinner Bill ever made. The turkey was magazine cover beautiful. And the rest of the dishes turned out so well. It's a ton of work, but it was so good.
We're now in Christmas and birthday mode. Decorating. Shopping. Planning. I am trying hard to not get overwhelmed, to enjoy it all. It's all supposed to be fun, right?
October 11, 2013
Sorry I’ve been away from here for so long. I’ve written so many posts in my head, they just never make it to the computer. We’re keeping busy. Same old, same old. My little goose is at such a fun age. Sometimes, challenging, but mostly a joy.
He’s figured out how to take pictures. And he takes a lot. I have about 13 of this breakfast. Pretty artistic for a little guy who has no concept of photo composition.
In my free time, I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of crafting, knitting mostly. I’ve got so many projects that I want to do, and of course I keep adding to the list. It got to the point where I made a physical list of my top priority projects. It’s been helping me focus.
I’ve been knitting pumpkins out the wazoo. I started at the beach, when we went East for vacation. I’m leading a KAL at work so I wanted to practice before the workshop. Now I’m creating a pumpkin patch in front of my tv. I do like pumpkins as decorations since they work through Thanksgiving. I have an idea for a table runner for my pumpkins to sit in. See, how the list just keeps growing?!
Those pumpkins got felted and shrunk down. They still need some finishing touches which I will do at our workshop on Wednesday and then I am done with pumpkins. It’s been fun but the last one was just tedious. It was also my 10th. Yup, done with pumpkins.
One project that I finished up that was super fun was a cowl/infinity scarf for my cousin. She is very stylish and wears a lot of scarves so I made her a neutral scarf for winter. This is out of Misti Alpaca and super warm. The pattern makes a really dense fabric. Good thing she lives in Wisconsin. I think it turned out well. My only concern is that it seemed a little sheddy, but I’m hoping that the bath I gave it helped. It was well received!
And my most recent finished project is this cute little beret. It was a fast knit (less than a week). The yarn was Elfin Tweed by Knit One Crochet Too and I love, LOVE this yarn. I’m very happy with my beret. I think I’m going to wear it to work tomorrow.
Well, it’s 10pm so I’m going to say goodnight and knit a few row of my next project. Gotta get through the list!
August 8, 2013
I feel like I am in a constant state of shuffling. Shuffling stuff around my work table so I can work. Shuffling stuff around the table so we can eat. Shuffling furniture around the house and garage. These things need homes so they can be put away. Why is it so hard? ‘Cuz there’s too much stuff. Oye.
I’m making progress. We sold a couple of things at Bill’s office. The stained glass supplies are actually out of the garage. It’s almost a miracle. I brought in a bedside table from the garage and am going to use it for Joshua. I think it will be a good place to store his puzzles and duplo blocks and flash cards. (So sometimes it is nice to have “extra” stuff.) The first thing Joshua did when he saw it was open up all the drawers. The bedside table cleared up space in the garage so I moved (shuffled!) things around and put some stuff away. I moved some things outside that need to be broken down and thrown away. We need as much space as possible in the garage to store our outdoor furniture because we will be having the backyard redone next month. (yay!!!) My goal is that when the yard is done and all the furniture moved back outside, I’ll immediately be able to park a car in the garage. Permanently. Once I get to that point, I’m going to start going through the garage cabinets and thinning out the stuff in there. It’s just neverending.
I should probably clean up the kitchen but I can’t. Honest. I have part of a sweater blocking on the counter. What a shame. I guess I’ll just have to sit in my craft room and knit while contemplating homes for the stuff on my worktable.
This is actually a post from August 1st that was never uploaded:
I’ve been wanting to blog, but about a bunch of different random things. So I’m going with bullet points.
Starting with all things Joshua:
- My little boy is so silly. I don’t know where he picked it up, but he likes to dust. Well, he only dusts two things, but he does it a lot. In his world, tissues are also dust rags. He was working on my exercise ball on Saturday.
- I wish I knew what was going on it that little head of his. The connections he makes are amazing, and the things he picks up (or doesn’t pick up)… it just makes me wonder. We were re-caulking around the tub so we emptied it out and a bottle each of shampoo and conditioner ended up on the toilet. We don’t normally have anything there and Joshua noticed it right away. I turn away and a few minutes later, he had added to the shampoo bottles. I found it to be incredibly sweet.
- This is Joshua’s “shh…I hear a birdie” sign. His “shhh” is a finger to the nose with a puff instead of a “shhh” with a finger to the lips. More preciousness. Usually when he does “shh” it’s because he hears a bird.
- I’ve been working on knitting a lacy sweater. It’s from a European pattern, originally written in Czech but translated with a friend. My friend made the sweater and it looked amazing so I’m giving it a try. I was making great progress but now I’m on a super boring part…
- We had our half bathroom redone. It looks nice. Waiting for paint to dry so I can hang some artwork and then I’ll post pictures. I made a new curtain though…
- I also pulled out one of my halloween quilts and started piecing again. I was motivated to try and work on it every day. Ha ha ha, I’m so funny. Did I really think that was possible? I worked on it for two days and then haven’t touched it again for two weeks.
- I pulled out a needlepoint project I started last year. It’s nice when I feel like doing something mindless. I forgot how much I enjoy it. This was started because a shop in Portland called to tell me they had a canvas back in stock. It’s a souvenir from our trip this spring, and once stitched it will go on the travel wall (should I ever hang the travel needlepoints again). I guess I pulled out the other WIP because I was feeling guilty about buying a new one when I haven’t done needlepoint in about a year.
- I’m on a kick to redo our bedroom. Going bold with the paint. (I think…) Ordered a new rug and headboard. Gotta pick the color.
I guess that’s about it for now.
July 9, 2013
I just had a leftover hotdog for lunch. It was soooo good. We discovered these hotdogs at Whole Foods. We originally got them for Joshua since it’s the only meat he’ll eat (aside from sausage on pizza). I tried them and they are Margaret approved. I’m actually not a fan of hotdogs at home. They never live up to ballpark hotdogs. Except for these. The one I had was left over from our 4th of July cookout.
Speaking of which, our 4th of July weekend was great. We took Joshua to his first parade. He was so precious. The parade started with firetrucks and their sirens. Joshua was unsure about this. He liked the trucks but not the noise. He enjoyed all of the rest of it though. He loved waving at the people, and he’d occasionally look at his hand to make sure it was doing the right thing. Too stinkin’ cute. He was pretty tired after all the excitement. He took a long nap and then we took a quick trip to the pool. Bill and I watched a movie while Joshua slept. No fireworks for us. He’s still too young.
The next day we took a trip out to Pigeon Point lighthouse. Crazy drive through the mountains but a gorgeous view of the coast once we were on the other side. The lighthouse was pretty, and Joshua walked with us. He’d point at a path and that’s where went. It is such a fun age. We took the “long way” home via Santa Cruz. A less hair drive over the mountains. We were on CA-1 and we rounded a curve and voila, tons of kite surfers. It was really cool.
Saturday we relaxed and did some stuff around the house, then went to Vasona Park to explore. Joshua finally went down a slide. When my mom was here, he went down a hot slide and didn’t like it. Weeks later, he still remembered it. He pointed at it and said “hot” but we showed him it wasn’t and down he went. We had to do it over again for his second trip down the slide but he did it.
Sunday was a typical Sunday. Getting ready for a new week. It’ll be a good one.
July 3, 2013
It is currently a gorgeous 81 degrees out now, on its way up to 91. It feels delightful out and for the first time in about a week, we have the windows open during the day. We’ve been running the a/c during the day and were able to turn it off at night except for 2 nights. It did cool off but there was no breeze whatsoever so we kept the air on overnight. We are fortunate to have a/c as not all the houses here do.
Things are slowly returning to normal. We are something of empty-nesters these days. We’ve had houseguests since mid-May and now everyone has returned home. A mixed blessing. We got a lot accomplished with the extra help and of course we enjoyed the company. My mom was in town for about a month and she overlapped a weekend with my inlaws who stayed on for a week. We kept busy. Park, pool, reading, playing, building, watering, sleeping, playing, reading, building, etc. Really delightful visits.
Now I’m getting back into the swing of things. We got off our routine of walking every morning and it feels good to be doing that again. We started swim lessons this week, every day this week although we are off until Monday. It’s not exactly fun yet. Joshua is…resisting? He likes the pool and will jump in off the side (into your arms) as shown in a photo above. But he doesn’t really want to work in the pool. He’d rather just hang on and watch everyone else. Take things in. He can kick and he does it for a second as if to say “see, I can do it” but then he tucks his legs in and pulls back up into my arm to observe.
I’m ready to veg. There’s so many things to do, but I’m still recovering from all my hostess responsibilities (ha ha), and all the activity from this morning… If I do the kitchen, I can let myself relax guilt free. One, two, three… here I go…
June 7, 2013
Unfortunately it took us a little bit to realize what the problem was…
I am hoping to finish a beautiful but oh-so-frustrating scarf today. It’s one of those projects that I have made as difficult as possible, unintentionally of course. I had planned on doing a second one, and I will. In a bit.
June 6, 2013
In a blink. It was here and then it wasn’t. It’s been a little busy. We took a trip to Nashville and Chicago. We travelled on Mother’s Day. First stop was Nashville to visit Great Gran. We got to see the extended family and Joshua showed Great Gran all the interesting things in her house that she might have forgotten about. Or maybe Joshua was just making sure that Gran wasn’t taking them for granted. Our cousin Cassie drove in from Knoxville to play cars. She might have though she was coming to visit, but Joshua had some pretty specific ideas. The weather was glorious, not too hot, not humid (shocking!). We checked out two parks in the area. And in general, visited and relaxed. Truly my favorite moments are just sitting and visiting. You have to listen carefully because Gran will slip in some interesting nugget of family history. Now, when I read Nancy Drew books, I think of Gran. Not solving mysteries, but how boys and girls interacted and “dated”. We found out that Gran’s first memory of her husband was seeing him in knickers and thinking that they were a little out of fashion. (I think I have that correct.) A nugget, right?
From Nashville we flew to Chicago. We spent Thursday in the city, taking my Grandma to lunch at one of our favorite pizza places. It is totally a blast from the 70s but has the best thin crust pizza. Joshua enjoyed it very much. We all enjoyed it. We also took Joshua to Lincoln Park Zoo. I had my heart set on him seeing and hearing a lion but no lion! I was (am) so disappointed. Joshua does a great lion roar and I so wanted him to see a real lion. We are 0 for 2 at lion sightings on zoo trips. Boo.
On Saturday, Joshua was baptized. We had it done at the same church where Bill and I were married, now 13 years ago. (Just celebrated our anniversary.) We are not very religious but it was important to me to have it done, and it worked out well. With family all over the country (and in South America) there was no ideal place to do it, but this church had meaning to us and it was a lovely service. My dad’s side of the family was there except for one cousin who had to work. A cousin and his girlfriend trekked in from the city, another cousin made the early trip down from Milwaukee, and one of my dearest friends left at the crack of down from Fond du Lac, WI to be there. Another cousin rolled out of bed early to come (another sacrifice since I’m sure he wasn’t in bed particularly early the night before). And most importantly, my grandma (who is very religious) was healthy enough to be there. We acknowledged the family that wasn’t there as they were in our hearts that morning. Joshua was so good during the service. It was really, really nice. And the church recorded it for us and burned it on DVD.
Then we came home and the next day my mom arrived. And our neighbors let us know that the fence people were ready to start the work and they were going to be working from our yard. And then Joshua got sick. And then I got sick. And then Bill got sick. Thankfully Mom was healthy and took care of us. Memorial Day was a non-event because we were recovering, but we’re all back to normal now.
And it’s June.
April 30, 2013
It is often said that being a parent is amazing and wonderful but I don’t think you can realize how true it is until you are living it. The thing that I like best is seeing my son try and do things that he’s seen done. Or apply something he’s learned to something else. Children’s minds are so amazing. I’m always wondering what’s going on in there because I see him taking things in and processing them. Every so often my son does something that is so utterly sweet and special and he has no idea. To me, witnessing those moments is the joy of being a parent.
Joshua has been helping me water the outdoor plants. It’s been so hot (already), really I use it as a way for him to cool off and have some fun. My plants are getting a wee bit trampled in the process but they’ll grow back. I hope. Anyway, he watches me with the hose and the watering can and he helps me fill the watering can and carry it and tip it over. And he loves to put his hands in the water as it pours out. Typical little kid things.
Yesterday, I was watering some of the indoor plants and when the watering can was empty (I’m no fool) I let him play with it. I turned around to see this.
It was one of those squeeze your heart type moments. I don’t know why he thought to “water” the books, but he was so methodical and careful about it. He did all three shelves, and hit various books on each shelf. I think it is one of the absolute sweetest things I’ve seen. And of course it doesn’t hurt that he was showing off those baby thighs which are my favorite baby part!
Again, I wondered what was going through that little brain of his. What made him apply what he’s seen me do with the plants and flowers to the books. It doesn’t really matter. I’m just glad I saw it happen.
April 28, 2013
I hadn’t intended to be “gone” so long. We went on vacation for a week at the beginning of the month and the next thing I knew, it’s practically May. I’ve also worked every weekend for the last three weeks so that makes the time zoom by for me. Anyhoo…
We went to Portland and Vancouver for a week. Two days in Portland, then we drove up to Vancouver, BC, for the weekend. Friends who live in Tacoma, WA, met us there and we rented a condo for all of us (4 adults, 3 kids). It was fun! Overcast and a little rainy, but we made the best of it. Vancouver is beautiful. It’s a smaller city than I imagined, very walkable, kid friendly with some great food and beer. We enjoyed visiting with our friends and having the kids play. We drove back to Portland, and spent two more days there and then headed home. Portland was also wonderful. Cute neighborhoods, also very walkable. Some great parks that Joshua enjoyed. It was also rainy and overcast but that didn’t stop us. We drove out to Multnomah Falls and explored the Columbia River Gorge area one day. We spent one afternoon walking in the Pearl District. I found a needlepoint store, knitting store, and fabric store all in a row. I was in heaven. We went to Powell’s Books which was amazing. I think we could have spent hours there, and also a lot of $$$, but we limited ourselves to one book for Joshua. The bookstore was so amazingly organized. The kids section was huge. Bill and I certainly enjoyed it.
It was a nice vacation. Not fabulous, but nice, Great to get away from our daily routines and spend time together. I really wanted to explore some place new. It just ended up being more driving and time in the car than we planned on and was about one day too long. Joshua was so good considering he was almost always strapped into something and the places we stayed were much smaller than home, with far fewer toys and no furry friends. But he was a trooper and a pleasant little travel buddy. Funny thing though, when we walked into our house, both Bill and I thought “this place is huge” after all the hotel rooms and small condos we had been in.
The Pacific Northwest is beautiful and I would definitely go back and explore more. Preferably when the sun is out.
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Where I Find Inspiration
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Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.
A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.
You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!
My Etsy Shop
A place for me to sell my handmade goods. My style? It's fun and funky with a hint of romance.