Fa La La.

This weekend, my besties and I all got together for a lovely holiday gathering. I was reluctant at first, because holiday cheer, even the most sincere forms of it, are really hard for me to weather right now. But I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and picked up the gals and headed out to Heather's lovely abode.

We all drew names waaaaay back in July, and had a subject to knit mittens for. This was a difficult challenge on so many levels. You knew everyone was going to bring their "A" game, and when they person you're knitting for cranks out beee-you-tiful work, it's hard to decide on a pattern that you think will measure up. After agonizing over pattern and yarn choices for a couple months, final decisions were made and the mitten knittin commenced. You know you've picked a winner when not only do you want to keep the mittens you're giving away, but that the person you're knitting for has made THE SAME PATTERN for their swap recipient! However, this puts a new twist on the gift giving anxiety - can I knit my mittens as well as she knits hers? GAH! But, in the end, I am pleased as punch with the final product, and I think Bethe was too! Nothing warms the cockles of one's heart more than a happy gift recipient.

Then comes the other side of the story - who knit mittens for me? We have varying mitten-knitting abilities in our group. A good number of us bit the bullet and did fancy colorwork mittens that were beautiful, and challenging. The ones I was hoping for, however, were from Danielle. She had NEVER knit a pair of mittens before this swap, and I really wanted a pair of mittens that were truly knit with nothing but love and the best of intentions. Imagine my excitement when I GOT DANIELLE'S MITTENS. I think I started crying before I even opened the box. I received the best pair of mitered mittens ever knit. Every stitch was a labor of love, knowing that this pattern, to Danielle, was what colorwork and complex textures were to the rest of us. AND SHE CUT HER KNITTING TO MAKE THUMBS. Something most of us are still afeared of.

It is a blessing to have a group of friends that would all agree to knit a pair of mittens for someone else, not because they were obligated to, but because we truly care for one another. The time spent was not a waste, but a reminder of how much we all mean to each other. And whether they were beginner's mitered mittens or fancy fair isle stripey mittens, each stitch in each pair of mittens was knit with positive intentions - to warm not only the recipient's hands, but their hearts as well. We appreciate more than the mittens, we appreciate the selflessness. I have been through hell in the past couple of months, and it's wonderful to be part of a group of gals who will drop everything, put themselves aside and take care of each other. We have all been grieving together, but I believe it has brought us all closer, and taught us what really matters (and what really does not matter!), and that, my friends, is what truly defines a WIN.


Count your blessings.

I am blessed to have a wonderful husband, my bond with whom has been annealed in the fire of recent events.
I am blessed to have family that can find words when most cannot.
I am blessed to have friends that would walk through fire for me, and I would do the same for them.
I am blessed with the ability to see all things in focus, truly discerning the important things from those that truly do not matter.
I am blessed with strength, with fire, with passion, with grace, with peace.
I am blessed.

Finding normal.

The one thing I am learning is that my definition of "normal" is changed forever. I spend my days trying to feel what normal is for us now. Once I was able to knit a stitch without feeling guilty, I found a kind of normal, a comforting routine. I started a pair of felted slippers, the jury's still out on those - they didn't quite felt how I'd like, so there's still some work to be done to get the proper fit. The one project I am looking forward to working on is Anne Hanson's Maplewing Shawl (Ravelry link). Step one: Cast on *600* stitches.

I bought this kit at SPA last winter, and was looking forward to working on it while I was home on maternity leave. Obviously, I had no idea how little knitting time I'd have - or I thought I could do everything! Now I look at this pattern and find a little escape from thinking too much, an invitation for some peace.  I have a simple square shawl on the needles as well, to satisfy my need for mindless knitting, and I'm also working on Liesl, which is a pretty easy knit as well. But when I need to turn down the volume, Maplewing's ready for me.

Moving on.

This blog is not the place to chronicle the long journey ahead of me. This blog is for things that I have made, done, seen, enjoyed. Thank you for taking a look and reading these last few posts - the knitting has commenced, and forward is the only direction I can go from here.

 I write this with a heavy and broken heart today. Our daughter was laid to rest yesterday, having passed away one day shy of turning four months. Reading the previous post almost comforts me, knowing that nothing was ever taken for granted with bean. This picture was taken the night before we lost her.

We know that there are no words to ease the sting; we know that nobody knows what to say. And thankfully, almost nobody can say that they know how we feel. We all know that life is fragile and temporary, but when faced with a light that was extinguished so quickly, every moment seems more precious. We are thankful for every day that we had with her, and as I was reminded by a family friend this week, she never had a bad day. She was happy and bright, and in our biased parental view, perfect. And if anything good can come out of this, please find a renewed love and appreciation for your kiddos, whether they're your children, nieces or nephews, godchildren, students, or just someone else's kids in your life. We thank you for your thoughts and prayers in these difficult days.

Time flies when you're having fun.

Or when the sleep deprivation makes distinguishing one day from the next a little more difficult. It's been over three months since the bean has made her way here. The change that has happened in these three months is absolutely mind-boggling. She's got personality now, we have long talks, we crack each other up. I can't imagine how I got along without her. She's one cool kid so far, and I can't wait to see what's in store.

The best part of becoming a mother is the new focus I have on everything. Nothing else matters anymore. This little peanut is the center of my universe. I was always someone who would sweat the small stuff; she has made all the small stuff in my world vanish. I have never been so at peace with myself and my situation. I totally get why parents can never stop talking about their kids - this is the most fascinating, amazing, miraculous, incredible experience, and every day takes all those emotions up one more notch. 

There's a wee bit of knitting taking place - I started a Rhinebeck sweater, fully intending on finishing it in time to wear it to *this year's* NY S&W. We shall see. Pictures (taken with the new camera) coming soon... 

So far, my fave FO to date.

And the best Father's day present I could ever give anyone.

See? I knit things...

From top to bottom (ravelry Links): Ice Queen, Mrs. Beeton, Fake Isle hat and neck tube, Squares, and Watermelon. Top two are for me, middle set is for TC, and the last two are for the wee bairn... when she gets here...


Wow. Last post was January. I've neglected this poor little blog. Maybe some more time at home (ha!) will get me writing here again...

I am still pregnant. 39 weeks. Due Monday. And I'm really going nuts waiting. This is most definitely the hardest part of the pregnancy. The rest of the time, everything has been going by the book, healthwise and comfortwise I've been perfect. Last week, I went in for my usual appointment, and my blood pressure was slightly elevated. Nothing to write home about, except that I tend to run low in the BP department, and slightly elevated to the average bear is high for me. So, my maternity leave has officially begun. I'm not on bedrest, just not-at-work rest. I'm trying to stay off my feet as much as possible, which is hard when you have an urge to reorganize everything in the house. I'm getting some last-minute errands done, at least. I wonder if I can will myself into starting labor. The mind is a powerful thing, you know.

Once the sun actually comes out, I may have some FO pictures to post. Including some handspun yarn. I haven't been super-productive in the craft department as of late, but I should have something to show for my months of radio silence. Stay tuned...

Hi. :)

I haven't really been knitting, or doing much of anything lately, see extreme fatigue comment a few posts down. Mostly because I'm making a little person, and it has made me tired and incapable of concentrating on anything. I'm beginning to come out of the fog, and have become semi-productive lately, but working a full time job, at this stage, is really all I have energy for.

So there. If you didn't already know, ya do now! And there may be actual content in the near future.

Oh, and thank you, Mr. Varitek, for taking the deal. We all know how miffed I'd be if you hadn't.

Happy New Year!

I must admit, I am very happy to see a new month, and a new year, on the calendar. December was a rough month! We had some terrible ice storms that knocked our power out for several days *twice*, a satellite TV installation that took three weeks and hours on the phone with customer service, leaky window jambs in our old house, and another repair bill for the truck. But we have much to be thankful for as well! This year brought me a bunch of new friends, new career opportunities, and many other happy blessings...

Looking forward to 2009! Hope you all are well and have many blessings to count!

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