My New Car!

You can see my old baby in the background.

I almost can’t believe she’s mine. Backup camera, button start, extendable visors! I love the two tone interior, too. It feels like we’ve known each other forever. Old friends getting reacquainted. Yes, it gets personal with my vehicle. We’re a team on the road. Did I mention I have a radio too, with speakers that aren’t blown out!

Don’t get me wrong. I love my old baby, but she’s been done for a while now. She has seen us through many family vacations and quick trips. Day adventures to hiking trails all over and grocery adventures that felt like a circus. She has never let me down even at the end. Now it’s time to send her to the yard and let her rest.

Candy white and pure white. Makes me giggle.

Now I can focus on the move without the added worry of my car. My Tiguan can carry quite a lot of cargo and I’m looking forward to getting us into the new house and this old place all cleaned out. My brain is at max capacity.

The Mess of Moving

This corner has been seeing a rotating variation of boxes and totes as I fill them up and then transfer them over to the new house. This particular stack has most of our holiday decorations. That’s one more closet empty.

As areas of the apartment become emptied of their important items, what remains are the leftover bits of our time here and a giant bag filled with trash. I’m trying to get as much as we can over to the new house as quickly as possible so we have plenty of time for cleaning and painting here at the apartment. We have definitely left our mark. I’m not sure we’ll get our security back, but if we can be rid of our busybody landlords, I don’t really care. Although, it would be nice.

The pile of donations is ever rotating as well. My mom has taken several bags on her way home up in New York State. A friend of mine has taken a few boxes of books and toys to a place near her. And I have dropped off just under a half a dozen bags of clothes myself. Here’s even more and I guarantee we’ll have still more before this is over.

I definitely got some rest this morning, but am relieved I made some headway before tomorrow. I’m getting another massage (I’m so happy my boss set that up for us!), and I really wanted most of the heavy lifting done today. I’ve got more moving to do Wednesday.

A Day of Rest is a Day of Knitting

We had big plans for moving more stuff over to the house today. I even woke up at 7 feeling pretty good about the day. Sunday’s are one of the only days our kids get to really play video games or use my tablet to play games. This morning was like any other Sunday morning, lots of quiet screen time interspersed with the occasional scream of frustration. I got to drink my coffee, while it was still hot. I read a little of my new Sherlock Holmes spin-off series. I even knit several rows of my purple sweater.

I love the cables in this book! I was a bit intimidated at first, but once I read through some explanations and gave some of them a shot, I fell in love. I usually try to design a lot of cables into a piece, but never get up to doing it all. After looking through the beautiful pieces in this book, I decided the purl side of stockinette stitch does look really good with these cables. This also gives me some uninterrupted knitting streaks where I can relax from all the focused work of the cables, but the intricate cable work to keep it interesting and break up the stretches of mindless knitting.

Later in the day, the girls played outside, enjoying the beautiful weather. The hubby and I got to do a few things out and about with each other. The evening saw more Minecraft and we all pitched in on dinner. It was a late bedtime, but everyone went straight to sleep, so all in all it was a good day. We’ll see what kind of morning we get.

Just Another Moving Day

My plan today was to take stuff over to the new house and set a few things up. I got a bit delayed enjoying my coffee and relaxing before I loaded up my car and headed out. It’s about an hour drive from our current apartment and for some reason the thought of making this trip on my own filled me with throat constricting anxiety. I even started to turn around. That’s when I came across these deer hanging out in the road. We just sat staring at each other for a few moments while I took these pictures. I felt much better about everything after that. I also always feel better once I get to the house. It’s definitely becoming home quickly.

I unloaded my car, got a few things set up and enjoyed the yard for a bit. The to-do list is getting longer. We need to spray for insects. I’m allergic to yellow jackets and I don’t want anything nesting in the house. There’s grass that needs pulled. We’re going to have to mow soon. We also need to put up some cabinets and shelves inside so that we have places to put all of our things. I can’t wait! First, we need to finish moving in.

House Painting

Big news. The thing that has been keeping me from staying on task with this blog is a house. We bought a house! It’s still pretty hard to believe. We did a little painting already, but are moving in slowly. The girls are almost done with school and we live a couple blocks from where they all go, so we’re taking the month to really get things set up at the new house before we actually move in.

We’ve changed the locks. Moved some boxes in. And hung out in the yard, on the porch a few times. The first links of our ownership are in the books, the kitchen, and, oddly enough, the bathrooms. My first goals are to get the kitchen at least halfway ready, and bathrooms set up. And the bookshelves.

There are so many firsts for us with our first house. First pool, first fenced in yard, first yard, first fire pit, fix it jobs, designing, … We even have a started extra room that we want to turn into a bathroom with a closet/sitting area off of our bedroom. The girls will have their own rooms, and a third floor to play in. Today is more cleaning in our apartment. I’m hoping to pack a few things too. For now, I’m resting. It’s been a busy week!

Getting a Massage

It has been way too long since my last massage. I am not always this terrible about getting body work done, but our schedules at work are always full and it’s just been too difficult to schedule anything for ourselves. The studio owner noticed this and set up a couple days for a therapist to come in and work on us. I have really been looking forward to it.

Since it has been a while, I wanted to prep myself for the hour. I began drinking a bit of extra water. I stretched and foam rolled and stretched some more. I took a wonderfully hot shower and rested and then stretched again. I made sure to leave with plenty of time so I didn’t feel rushed. I even had a chance to breathe a bit before getting started.

It was wonderful. He really focused in on what I needed and had asked for, which was arms and shoulders with some neck and chest/scapula work. I’m usually pretty bound up through my arms, but after some house painting the other day, they have been pretty shot. I also made sure to bring water and have been drinking lots of it over the last couple days.

I’ve been stretching and checking posture regularly since. It feels delightful to be able to actually feel the movement in my muscles again. Definitely too long since my last massage, but it sounds like the owner might try to make this a regular thing for us, which would be fantastic. I still need to schedule massages on my own, though. Honestly, I should be getting two a month just for regular care.

So, don’t forget to book yourself a massage. Make sure to drink extra water and stretch both before and after your session. Don’t be afraid to communicate exactly what you want and be sure to give yourself some recovery time afterward. I need to start scheduling my husband somewhere too.

The Lake is Back!

Whipple Dam is a favorite hike of ours and we have not been able to go there for quite some time now. They have been putting bridges and ramps along the trail for a few years and then they set to draining and dragging the lake last year. We were able to hike a few times while they worked on it, but then they shut the trails down. We decided to try again the other day and because family time is rare these days, we wanted to do something we all love.

The battle was epic. Our oldest staged a sit-in against going to the woods. Our middle one eventually joined. There was much screaming and stomping of feet. Chaos and collecting of items for the car ride ensued next, and then the scramble out the door and into the car. It was a mighty feat, but we managed to get on the road and past the rain for a wonderful walk through the trees by a stream. My favorite kind of place and the girls had so much fun rediscovering one of their favorite trails.

It’s a very swampy place, hence all the bridges and ramps. It also causes a lot of fallen trees where the roots just don’t have anything to hold onto. The result is some really cool sights. We could have stood there for a while enjoying the view, but the bugs were rough right there, even with our -covers everything that can bite you- bug spray. Ticks are even worse than ever before. Although, I will say, we’re usually safe on the trail as long as everyone sticks to it. It’s backyards and climbing around in nature that gets us.

It was a fantastic trek with three adventurous kids and the perfect partner. Worth all the battling and whining. We picked up some things for dinner on the way home. Had showers after and settled in to relax before bed. We may have let everyone stay up a little too late, but we were all enjoying some time cuddling on the couch together before another week of missing each other.

It’s Been a Day

I had a plan. A loose plan, because I know how things play out in my life, but I had a plan that included resting. Doing just about anything these days takes more energy than I’m used to and my recharge time is really important. Things were going well. I dropped the kids off at school on time and headed out to run my errands and made it home in time to see my husband before he left for work. Here is where I was supposed to start relaxing before switching gears for picking up the girls.

Instead, I had to run back out for missed items. I still managed to make it home for some down time before school was over, but then house drama began and one last minute item that several of us were a bit hand-tied about kept me on the phone and emailing away, stressing over things I can’t do anything about. I was even on the phone at a friend’s house while our kids ran around playing outside together.

We’ve also been struggling to eat well, which has led to bad moods, lack of sleep, and achy muscles. I sat down last night and made a meal plan and grocery list, just like I used to, only so much more easily than ever before. This might have something to do with having packed all my cookbooks, except for these two (and I just bought the Mediterranean one). It definitely makes it easier to want to cook when I already know what I’m going to do.

Greek Salad for dinner with pita bread. Three of us liked it. My oldest made herself regular chicken salad. It’s also been tough since their dad switched to night shift at work. We all miss him and the stretch between dinner and bedtime snack is a restless period. Tonight we decided to play Silly Street. It’s a goofy family game where the board is made of puzzle pieces and the cards are funny activities you have to do to earn the spaces you move. Great for our mixed maturity levels.

All in all, it was a good day, but it was definitely a wacky one. I’m thankful it’s ending with some knitting.

Knit First Drafts

Here are the first rough drafts for my Artemis Spring/Summer designs. Each of them need adjustments and some redesigns, but I just need something done that I can look at and see where I need to tweak things or completely change them. The Stag always seems to be the easiest. I like to keep it simple, clean, and in line with the style of the studio where I am a massage therapist and where I sell these.

The top one is the only one with buttons right now. It is the first draft with the first final draft below it. I still have to secure the button hole with some stitches and sew on the buttons and weave in the end, but for now I’m focusing on making about five of these and then I’ll start the final revisions on the gold Archer.

Part of the process. I kept pulling all my pattern books out and scouring them for the perfect bit or hint of what I wanted and what would work. All three are made with the same fundamentals, but have their own border style and hem. This gold one still has some tweaks needed and has probably been ripped out the most, but I think my second draft will do the trick. I have pages of notes for each bandana. The green one will be getting some changes as well.

This part is a mixed bag for me, but getting everything just right and being able to replicate it again and again is so rewarding to me. To have other people like what I’m making is even cooler. I haven’t perfected my pattern writing skills, but it’s all one big puzzle to me anyway, which is part of what I love.

The Things We Collect

So, that may or may not be related to the book, ‘The Things We Carried’. I read it in high school or college. I don’t remember which. I can’t even tell you if I finished the book at all. That is not a criticism of the book either. That is a statement about my life at the time. Even reading a book was often too difficult a task. Or opening it. I remember sitting in my bedroom for hours, just staring at my school books trying to will myself to move and lift the cover. And let me be clear. I am a nerd. Have always been a nerd and will always be a nerd. I love learning. I love reading and researching almost anything. So not being able to do my schoolwork was torture for me.

Anyhoo, this seems to be turning into something I hadn’t planned. The things we collect. Here’s the bomb. We’re moving soon and so I’ve been sorting and cleaning and packing over the last month or so. I have unearthed things I haven’t thought about much. I also discovered that I have three memory boxes, not one. My kids have marveled over my ability to hang on to certain items from my childhood, because, you know, it was soooooo long ago. They also know how many times I’ve moved before I met their father and how many times him and I have moved. They like to count the number of houses they’ve lived in. Our oldest has moved the most, 5 houses. Our youngest has never lived anywhere but where we are right now.

I have every journal I’ve ever written in. Almost none of them written in til the last page. I never liked using a journal all up. I have my two flower girl dresses. There are a lot of school papers, report cards, and essays I was particularly proud of. I have little toys and postcards. Notes and photos, souvenirs from places I’ve been. I still have the teddy bear I bought in Berlin to help me through the trip. My depression was an ugly thing in high school. This tiny grey bear kept me calm, so it has been tucked away for safekeeping while my girls were too little to understand. Since finding him while sorting, he sits out on a shelf, and they all understand his importance to me. I’ve had him for 20 years! It still feels bizarre to be able to say that.

I also have many books from my youth. Some from my childhood that my mother kept safe until I had my own. Others were important to me during my developing years and so came with me with every move. This post was supposed to be about yarn and knitting books, instead I seem to be sorting through my own experiences with the great changes of life. The big events that shaped me. This will be one that shapes not just myself and my husband or our family, but each of our kids will have their own relationship with this life event.

New schools, new town, new house, new rules. Everything they really remember has been here. Telling them stories about the times I moved as a kid seems to help. I share how scary and exciting it was. The hard parts, the easy parts. We focus on all the opportunities our new house will give us. We’re also making this a slow move. It’s about an hour away, so we’ll start taking boxes over and setting a few things up to help the girls with the transition. We’re hoping that by staying here until school is over and giving the girls more time to adjust and say goodbye will help. It will be interesting to see what becomes part of my children’s collection. What their memory boxes may hold.