Friday, September 5

A New Season


My poor, abandoned blog.. last updated in the beginning of spring, over five months ago, and now here we are approaching fall. It's not only a new season on the calendar, but a new season in our life as well.


Our little Liam was born on May 8, 2014. He started as the sweetest, cutest, most perfect newborn you've ever seen (oh, perhaps I am a little biased) and now he is a sweet, spunky, perfect almost-four-month-old. I can't believe how the time flies!

   

The first few months were filled with lots of family, traveling adventures, and a bit of slowing down to get to know our new little man. In his short life, Liam has already traveled to four states and through even more.

    

He's been on eight airplanes, one on which the captain invited him to sit in the cockpit. He went to sleep away camp, attended a wedding, and even spent a week camping and lounging on the beach.

    

Things have calmed down since then and we are all getting back into the groove of life at home before our next adventure. I'm trying to get back into old habits like sewing and quilting and, as evidenced here, blogging.

    

In what felt like overnight, Liam turned into a napping champion (jinxing myself here, I realize) and I suddenly have a chunk of hours in a day to get things done. So let's see what happens, I'm not promising anything, but I hope to keep up best I can. 
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Saturday, March 29

Preparing

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of baby preparations. Immediately after he returned from a three week tour of Australia, Curt & I took a long weekend to visit our families in Michigan and had the pleasure of attending two baby showers hosted by my family. It was so nice to see many of our loved ones and see the excitement and love they already have for our baby. We are so blessed to have tight knit families who support us, even if it is from a distance most of the time. 


Last weekend my parents arrived and after a few splendid hours of sunshine, we headed off to our frIends' house for a fabulous party to celebrate their new books. It was a lot of fun and Jessica always throws the best get-togethers. 



The next day I had a surprise party of my own with my work friends to celebrate the baby & my birthday. They snuck into the house and decorated the whole place with the cutest poms, streamers, and balloons. Fatemeh made that gorgeous cake complete with sparkler candles. A couple long distance friends made the trek to our house and I couldn't have asked for a sweeter gathering. 

The rest of the week was spent finally getting the nursery ready for Baby. My dad painted the room, transforming it from boring tan to a calming greige. Curt refinished an old dresser, a project that has been in the works for a few months but was stalled by cold weather and multiple tours. My mom painted a thrifted baby glider and helped me make and upholster new cushions. 


Among the smaller details, this birch tie-back I've had in my head and my dad was able to construct. There are still a few things to finish - hanging shelves and art, creating a mobile out of more birch branches, putting the crib together (it should arrive this week), maybe replacing a table lamp, and adding the little finishing touches. We still have about seven weeks until Baby is due to arrive, but it feels so good to have most of the nursery ready and I know those weeks will fly by. 

I got up early this morning to see my parents off, throw in a load of laundry, and crawl back into bed. Curt snuck out at some point to get his sister and her friend from the airport while I slept in for the first time in a few weeks. I usually hear him get up and ready but I was so tired I slept through it all and woke up to find the last few bites of this amazing chai French toast waiting for me on my bedside. I realize once Baby comes that my days of sleeping in will be long gone, so I am trying to soak in as many as possible when I have the chance. 

I'm also taking the day to sit back and relax for the first time in a while and do nothing all day. The drizzly weather and constant stream of hot tea is enhancing the laziness as we work our way through our DVR. All the while trying to make a dent in my latest library book. What are you doing this weekend? 

Monday, March 10

Sensing Spring







Spring is coming! Can you feel it? Here in Nashville we are looking forward to temperatures in the 70's. I know it's only a fleeting warmth and they are talking about a chance of snow later this week, but for a few days I can pretend we are well on our way to warmer weather.

Cold weather makes me want to knit - there's something about bundling up on the couch with that warm wooly project in my lap. But thoughts of spring make me think of bright colors. I got the bug in my head to dye some brightly colored yarn and I couldn't let it go. So I stocked up on Kool-Aid and got to work. I dyed two skeins of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and one superwash wool blend sock yarn from Joann's. I love the way they turned out - all those speckled colors like the first signs of spring poking out from the ground.

I don't know what I'm going to knit with these yet, but they will probably turn into something for the baby. I tried to keep the colors relatively neutral, but who doesn't love a baby boy or girl in bright colors? I can't wait to see how these knit up and I will definitely be attempting this speckling technique again. Until I find the proper projects I will just continue looking at the yarns and dreaming of warmer weather and all the pretty colors it brings.

Friday, February 21

This Week



This week was very long. Monday was the epitome of Mondays - I wasn't feeling great and work was crazy and I knew Tuesday was right around the corner. Because Tuesday we had to wake up at 4am, which greeted us with a dense fog covering the neighborhood. Apparently we live in a valley because as soon as we hit the highway, visibility was clear. The early morning gave me a chance to catch up on a bunch of things at work and then I visited the mothership to pick up some fabric and plans for a new quilt project. 

Wednesday brought another day of work as well as a box full of yarn. The grocery store didn't have what I needed for dinner (what a pain!) so they gave me a $10 gift card for the inconvenience (how nice!) By the time I got home, I was exhausted from the last few days and all I could muster after a late dinner was some easy knitting and Olympic watching. I cast-on a lightweight sweater for the baby with my new yarn and I love the way it looks so far.

Thursday brought 70 degree weather and a new outlook on the week. I had a baby appointment in the morning and everything checked out. Listening to the heartbeat never gets old and I love to know that all our levels and stats are where they should be. We found a foot and the baby rump, but the overall position was a bit of a mystery to the midwife. That little bony butt made an appearance Wednesday night while I was trying to relax on the couch - rumbling back and forth across the top of my belly. My mom was concerned to hear her grandbaby is already twerking! 

After my appointment I set to work drafting a pattern for the new project I mentioned above. It wasn't as straight forward as we had hoped, but after a lot of math and a bit of a redesign, I made it work. I use my middle school geometry and algebra a lot when quilting, so thanks to those teachers. I'm sorry I don't remember your names.

After enjoying open windows all day, the evening brought in severe weather complete with tornado sirens and uninterrupted weather coverage. I retreated to our only "safe place" - the downstairs half bath. Which is not the most comfortable place to spend half an hour. Knitting on the toilet is also not the easiest, but I managed to get a few rows in while the storm passed.

Which brings us to Friday. I'll work on the quilt for a bit, teach my piano lesson, run some errands, and see what the rest of the day holds. The storm brought a cold front through, but this weekend looks to be a bit warmer and I hope I can open up the windows again and enjoy the fresh air while I work.

Sunday, February 16

Newborn Knits


After years of knitting socks, I have acquired quite a stash of tiny leftover balls of yarn. I've used them for different projects, but I have a new favorite: The newborn hat! 


Oh yeah, and tiny socks. 


The beauty of baby knits is how fast they knit, how little yarn they use, and how sweet they look. I have knit a few already and have more on the way. 


This little rainbow duty is made from many different sock yarns. I just knit a few color repeats of each and then tied on the next one. 

The pattern I am using is called the Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat and here is a link to my project on Ravelry

Saturday, February 8

All of Them





In an attempt to get control of, and use up, my yarn stash, I took all those odd bits of leftover cotton yarn and wound them into new assorted balls. Some people in the knitting community call it a magic cake, I think it's more of a magic onion because each layer brings a new surprise color. Some of the balls were completely random - I just reached over and blindly grabbed the next color. Others, like some above, were selected with a bit more thought, combining like colors or themes - ie, all muted colors, or all bright colors together. 

I knitted and crocheted a few dishcloths from these surprise balls and I love the fun, scrappy feel they bring to my kitchen. Some are hideous and some are pretty, but they all wash dishes just the same and they all used up a small part of my overflowing stash. I can knit a whole dishcloth out of a little less than one of these balls, so I just tie those leftovers on to the next ball and start all over again. I plan to keep going until I completely run out of cotton yarn and then comes the real fun - restocking! 

As I knit each new color section, I remember the original recipient of many of the original dishcloths - specific colors for specific people - moms, aunts, grandmas, cousins, friends... It's nice to think a little part of their kitchen is also in my home. These scrappy versions are very much like a scrappy quilt made with all the cherished leftovers and memories, which also happen to be some of my favorite quilts. 

I plan to spend my weekend knitting some more scrappy dishcloths while watching the Olympics. We caught a bit of the snowboarding qualifiers last night and it was so exciting to see the patriotism and competitive spirit in the athletes! I hope you have a great weekend and Go Team USA! 

Friday, January 31

January 31

If we were still living up north it would not surprise me that th temperatures are this chilly at the end of January. But as it is, we are not up north yet the weather still remains much colder than we prefer. 

We stay warm with lots of tea and hot cocoa and our flannel sheets are enjoying an extended stay on our bed. 


Curt has been working hard this week, so I snuck in some sewing time to check a couple things off my list.


I transformed a director's chair for my parents from the original mustard yellow to a much more pleasing purple ikat-like print. I shipped it off this morning and hope it fits! I just used the old parts as a pattern, making it a quick and satisfying update (if successful). 


And how about this adorable baby quilt for friends who just had a little girl?! The back is a flannel mermaid print, which helped inspire the pinks, corals, and aquas on the front. I love this color scheme so much I might just have to make a few more. Or a big one all for myself. 


I stitched it up and then quilted it yesterday. Turns out basting a quilt on the floor is not the easiest task in the world with a baby belly. Thankfully my pregnancy yoga has helped me remain somewhat agile in my rounded state. 


While I taught my piano lesson today, Curt ran some errands and returned with a heart donut. Delicious and cute. 

A friend from college is visiting Nashville this weekend to audition for The Voice so she will be staying with us. I need to vacuum the house and run the dishwasher and make sure everything is ready for her arrival before I met off to work tonight. I hope you have a relaxing weekend and a fun Super Bowl Sunday! 

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