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Showing posts from February, 2011

Long Distance Relationships...

When I was in 3rd grade, my family moved from Fort Morgan, Colorado to a working cattle ranch in the sandhills of Nebraska. It wasn't the first time our family unit had moved, but that move sticks out in my mind because it was the first time that I remember leaving friends behind. For the year following our move I exchanged letters/cards with my best friend in Colorado, Jon. I can vividly recall the Christmas card he sent me that year. It had a little gray mouse on the front in an over-sized Santa hat. To this day, thinking of that card brings a smile to my face.

At the end of 4th grade we moved again. Then again in 5th grade...twice. It became overwhelming to try to keep up with the friends I had left behind and soon the sending/receiving of cards/letters ceased. Even when I left high school, and to some degree college, friendships that once been day to day connections quickly faded. To put it bluntly, over the years of moves I had kinda developed an out of sight, out of mind app…

Why Didn't I Think of That...

I have a love-hate relationship with oatmeal.

I LOVE the taste of oats. We use quite a bit of oat flour in place of wheat flour these days and I love how it gives our pancakes, waffles, and muffins that distinctive nutty, oatty flavor. I adore granola...which is mostly oats in most cases. No bake cookies? Um, yes please.

However, I hate oatmeal as a hot cereal. Obviously it's not the taste...it's the texture. No matter how I try to get past it, my gag reflex starts to kick in about 1/2 way through eating a bowl. I've tried just about every thing I could think of to be able to enjoy the warm, filling, budget friendly goodness of a warm bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, to no avail. And it's not just oatmeal, warm tapioca pudding and even Quinoa(which I normally can't get enough of) prepared like a hot cereal does the same thing.

Earlier this week Mark Bittman wrote in the New York Times about McDonald's latest addition of oatmeal to its menu as a "healthy" b…

Quite Dashing...

Last month I knit another pair of hand-warmers. Really, you say? Hand-warmers, that's totally unexpected. I guess hand-warmers are to me what socks are to other knitters...a tad bit addicting. What sets this sets this pair of mitts apart from the others, they were made for man hands. Scott's to be exact.

The pattern is Dashing from the Spring 2007 issue of Knitty. I think this was one of the first patterns I queued up in Ravelry when I joined. I love the simple design with a hint of cables. The yarn is Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride superwash worsted purchased on spring break last year that I had intended to use for socks. Eh, close enough...


I think what makes knitting these for Scott even more special for me...he requested them...and he wears them quite often around our chilly old home.


I love that man. He makes my heart smile.


peace

Yellow...

Lexi came home from TaeKwon Do practice last night sporting her new belt...


Even the dogs are proud of her...




peace

Tiny Pink Feet...

On a cold, snowy, lazy January day, I knit these adorable baby booties(Ravelry pattern link) for a little girl who we knew would be making her entrance into the world this month. Since that day they had been sitting on our living room book shelves, looking cute, but still needing buttons. Then the day before Valentine's day we got word that baby was on her way! After breakfast and coffee I took the 10 minutes to sew on buttons...and then spent twice as long taking pictures of the cuteness...





Friday evening we had the chance to go snuggle the special little recipient.




As you can see, we were all quite taken by her.

(And for the first time in a LONG time I left with a hint of that maternal instinct that makes me wonder if we are indeed done having kids. I'm pretty sure that answer is yes...but it's amazing how strong the urge to mother a tiny being again becomes when I spend a little bit of time with one!)

Congrats Matt and Jess! Welcome to the blessed life of being a family.


pea…

From White to Yellow...

Today Lexi attended her first Tae Kwon Do testing session. On Monday she will be receiving her new yellow belt from her instructor, Mr. Crawford. I unfortunately couldn't attend the testing with her, so I sent Scott with the camera to catch what he could of the experience.

Here Lexi and her fellow young white belts are performing their form, Chon-Ji.



And then, of course, there's the board breaking.



Scott and I are so incredibly proud of her. And more importantly, Lexi told me she is proud of herself. I don't know that I can express how hearing her say those words brings joy to my heart. As someone who, in adulthood, has found a great appreciation for how self confidence and self acceptance can come through the regular practice of physical pursuits (for me, yoga & cycling), I'm overjoyed that Lexi is starting to get a taste of those benefits at the youthful age of 9.


peace

Like a Box of Chocolates...

My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." ~ Forrest Gump



Isn't that the truth. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about life right now. Some days are easier than others. The return of the sun helps. And the loving support of friends and family near and far.

In general, our life is VERY blessed. We have our health, safety, and LOTS of love. For those things I am thankful. But sometimes it's hard for me to ignore the constant current of stress that runs through our life due to financial strain. Financial stresses affect so many other areas of life. I know it's simply going to take time before that strain lessens. I'm not a violent person, but if I could, I would totally punch financial related stress in the face.

I am looking forward to the day when I can run to the grocery store and not cringe when the cashier gives me the total for my order. For the day when I no longer feel guilty about spendin…

A More Relaxed Approach...

With the first year of pre-school comes Brea's first chance to carry on the tradition of hand-making Valentine's Day cards for her classmates. Unlike Lexi's first Valentine's exchange, which was a HUGE production that involved hours of work that I later regretted thinking we could pull off without a few words of frustration from us both, we kept this year's card making process very simple.

Side note: I thought maybe I had blogged about those fabulous cards...but I guess not. In fact the only post about our annual card making activities I could find was from 2008. Hmmm...apparently I don't ALWAYS blab on about nothing in particular.

Any who, Brea loved every minute of this year's card making and was even more excited to deliver them to her friends last Friday...




As much as the world changes, it's nice to know that some of the very simplest joys of childhood never cease to exist.

Sunshine and Snowmen...

Yesterday was all about sunshine, and melting snow, and getting outside, and recharging our solar batteries, and playing, and breathing fresh air, and laughing, and snowmen, and snapping almost 200 pictures of nothing in particular because THE SUN WAS SHINNING...







And maybe I freed my feet to soak in the sun...



Did I mention the sun was shinning?


peace

Kindness...

I love how the universe knows just when I need a little pick me up to keep moving forward with hope and a smile. The little sparks of goodness that have happened this week in our lives could not have come at a better time. Little rays of sunshine to off-set the bitter cold of winter and the worries in my heart.

This week our family received the gift of a random act of kindness. Someone anonymously assisted with some of the expenses for Lexi to be involved in TaeKwon Do. We are both grateful and humbled by the unknown person's generosity. What may have seemed like a small kind gesture, means a lot to our family. I sincerely hope Mr./Mrs. Anonymous knows just what a difference his/her kindness has made. It offers hope that regardless of how roller coasterish our life may seem right now...smoother days are ahead if we just keep holding on. And until that time comes it's a reminder that we are not alone.

Thank you kind souls of the world for spreading goodness. You make this crazy o…

Mooooooommmm...

If I didn't know any better, I'd say the girls are getting a little annoyed by the number of times I've randomly grabbed my camera to take pictures of them doing nothing special lately...



What can I say...they are my muses.


peace

It's Not the Snow's Fault...

We're enjoying snow day here in central Iowa. The girls are chillin' in their PJs. I've canceled classes at the studio. I'm even treating us to an extra 2 degrees of warmth on the thermostat. (Oh 67, how tropical you feel.) My lunch is warming on the stove and soon I'll be making my way to a comfy spot on the couch, under a blanket, to knit. Snow days are nice.

We only got about 7 inches of snow, but thanks to the wind we have drifts 2-3 feet deep covering our yard. We now have 1/2 + 1/3 of a block worth of sidewalk to clear when it snows...that's 1/2 + 1/3 of a block more sidewalk than we had at our old house. BUT our driveway is MUCH shorter. (However after shoveling today I'm starting to think that old drive was a better deal than our new sidewalk.) Scott always tells me not to worry about shoveling, that he'll clear the snow after work. He leaves in the wee hours of the morning which doesn't give him much time before hand to shovel anything beyon…

Progress...

As you can see, the sock and I are getting along nicely. (Sorry for the less than fantastic photo...camera phoneage.) I think I just needed perspective.

I. Knit. A. Whole. Sweater.

This sock kinda feels like no big deal now. In fact, I'm kinda enjoying it and once again excited about the small stash of sock yarn I have waiting for assignments in my yarn basket. Thanks to all of you who have offered up encouraging words on my last sock post. You were all totally correct in your assessments of the situation.

In other news...this is my 600th post. Crazy, I know. Crazy that I've yammered on about little bits of our lives 600 times. Crazy that you all have stuck around to read what I yammer about 600 times. Thank you, thank you for sharing those little bits with me.


peace

Doing Right...

A snowy storm is settling over us today. In preparation Brea and I headed to the grocery store to restock our very bare kitchen. As we approached the parking lot, I noticed an elderly gentleman walking out across the mall parking lot, shuffling along with both hands full of shopping bags. We drove up to the gentleman to see if he had very far to walk and if we could offer him a ride. He thanked me but said he was just heading to wait for the bus inside the mall. As we drove away to go fill our own shopping bags with groceries Brea commented:

"That man was really old. It's good we checked to see if he needed any help."

In that moment my heart filled with pride. She gets it. She understands the importance of extending a little everyday kindness and compassion...even to those we do not know. My heart is smiling.


peace