Birthday Dress Snubbed, Mama Okay

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The birthday dress was finished two full days before the big day!  It was a fun project to design with The Geeg, and a delicious yarn to knit with.

She tried it on once and took it off again immediately.

I’m really not surprised that she doesn’t want to wear this right now.  The same thing happened last year, despite involving her in the selection process.  It’s okay.

As strange as this may sound, I don’t knit these birthday gifts so that she’ll wear them.  I knit them for her as a way to show my love.

It’s a time I spend thinking about her, the past year, and all the adventures she has ahead of her in life.  Sure, I knit other things for her when she asks and really enjoy that. But the annual birthday sweater is a constant and a great exercise in intention and thoughtfulness for me.

It’s hanging in her closet now, alongside her other dresses.  I hope that one day she surprises me by coming out of her room with it on.  Until then, I’m happy I made it and am content to wait.

Yarn: superwash DK by Yarn Ink in Frozen  Pattern: Oriental Lily by Georgie Hallam

Ravelry notes here.  More details on the project in this post.

Yarn Along :: keeping things simple

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With the turn of the new year, and as I ready and wait for baby, I’m craving simplicity.  I want (and need) for things to be slow, simple, and easy.  My body is working very hard these days (38 weeks, whoa!), and my mind gets tired fast.  I need simple forms of entertainment and activity so I don’t get completely overwhelmed with all the changes that are coming!  This can be seen in my current knitting a reading : small projects, easy reads.

Knitting: Zuzu’s Petals in Freia Ombre Sport for the Stash Winter knit-along (join in on Ravelry here). Such a fun pattern, this is my second!

Reading: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

My opinion isn’t fully formed on either of these books quite yet.  I will say I’m finding the tidying book inspiring if not a bit severe. But I do love her bottom line: keep only what sparks joy.  It definitely pairs well with the mindset of a nesting pregnant lady! I have already used her method to reduce and organize my clothes with success.  The novel is a fun candy bar read, perfect for where my mind is at right now.  It’s going fast, and I’m enjoying the characters and setting for what they are.

What’s on your needles and on on your nightstand this week? 

The Geeg turns 5

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Opie & The Geeg, friends since age 0
Opie & The Geeg, friends since age 0

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This past weekend was a big one for our little family. The Geeg (formerly known as Peaceful Baby) turned 5, and we had activities large and small to commemorate this occasion.

Five felt like a significant birthday, almost as much as her first.  Leslie and I joked that it was also our 5-year parenting anniversary, which really is the truth.  This is the moment we can celebrate all the changes not only in our daughter, but in our lives and in our selves, since becoming parents.  There are many, and it’s nice to have an annual opportunity to recognize and honor them.

We held a small party at a local nature center, where a guide taught the children all about a few amphibians and reptiles.  There were frogs, newts, salamanders, two types of snakes, and a box turtle.  The children had varying levels of interest in these creatures, which was fun to watch!  G was in kid heaven, surrounded by her friends and by animals.  It was a good day.

Two birthday celebrations, two batches of mama-made chocolate cake and cupcakes, thoughtful gifts from friends and family, a few surprises from the “birthday fairies”, the new privilege of chewing gum, and many little conversations about her life at 5 versus 4.  This was our weekend.

This is going to be a big year!

This Moment.

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{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Photo from our recent family photo series with the incomparable Becerra Photography.

Birthday Dress Update

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IMG_9578I’ve made a commitment to knit G a sweater each year for her birthday.  As a knitter with a winter baby, it seems like a sensible time to knit her an annual sweater (and an inspiring excuse to do so).  You can see her first birthday sweater here.  I can’t believe she’s going to be 5!

It feels particularly important and special that I put some extra love and work into the Birthday Sweater this year.  Our new baby is due later this month, and I want her birthday to be special, memorable.  She may not remember whether the dress was finished before her birthday or after, but I hope she remembers that I made her special clothes for her birthday.  That I knit a different one each year until she asked me to stop.

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Except this time she requested a dress.  A floor-length dress. With a train.  Like Queen Elsa.

I wasn’t about to commit to that much knitting!  Fortunately, we quickly negotiated and agreed that a sewn train/cape would be acceptable.  But that’s a whole other project…

A couple of months before her birthday, I start asking G what she’d like in a sweater this time.  Color, style, themes.  This gave me time to favorite some patterns on Ravelry and pre-select some yarn for her to choose from.  She quickly chose Oriental Lily by Georgie Hallam and this shade of yarn from Yarn Ink, appropriately called Frozen.

This dress has been a really fun knit. I’ve been working on it monogamously (more or less) for a couple of weeks.  It’s been in the car, at work, in cafes, and just about every room of our house. Of course, it seemed like it was not growing at all for a few days there; every time I measured it felt like I still had 6 inches to go!  Thankfully she has requested it have short sleeves, so this should be done by the weekend.

Now to figure out how to sew an organza cape…

One big year, one little word

It’s New Year’s Day, 2015.  Naturally, I’m feeling reflective of the past year and looking out toward the vast unknown of the year to come.  It’s a time of self-reflection, one that brings up deeply complicated dichotomies.

I made mistakes last year and I had some big wins.  I gave up on things, I chose to let things go.  I picked fights and made up and let relationships slip and made deep connections. I created a lot of wonderful things and still feel like I should have done more.  I failed and succeeded and won and lost and loved and hurt.

This is the richness of life.

 

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Going into 2105, I’m thinking a lot about my one little word for the year.  I’m searching for a word that I can aspire to, explore, settle in to.

For the past 2 years I’ve had phrases for the year that were chosen to help guide my intentions and focus for that year.  2013 was Going Pro and focused primarily on building my business in a way that was big and risky and professional.  2014’s phrase was Positive Ease.  This phrase served to remind me to look for more ease and positivity in my life.  I’ll think I’ll bring this one along with me, it’s a work in progress.

As I stare down 2015, I know this will be a year of great growth and change for me personally and my family as a whole.  Welcoming a new child into the mix will be a different kind of transition than it was the first time around.  We already know way more than we did as newbie parents, and that gives me peace of mind.  But what I don’t know how to do is parent two children.  And I definitely don’t know how to do it while still taking care of myself and my relationships.  I also don’t know what it’s going  to be like to own and run a business with a newborn.

Bottom line: I don’t know what this journey is going to ask of me, and that leaves me feeling vulnerable.

I know this coming year is going to offer up a lot of opportunities for me to feel challenged and overwhelmed by these things, and I’m going do my best to face them and not let them bring me down.  This is a year I’m going to grow a lot as a mama and a person.  I want to stay flexible and let the little things go.  I want to remain open to all this new love and bravely face the challenges that come along with it.

To help figure this all out, I’ve chosen Grow as my word for 2015.

I like this word as it encapsulates the ideas of flexibility, of stretching outside my comfort zone, extending beyond what I already know and reaching into new areas.  I want to grow, expand, flourish, and become the best of myself in 2015 while facing unknown challenges and joys with grace.

Do you like to choose a word or phrase to help guide you each year?  I’d love to hear more about it!

Sick & Happy

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The past week has been a relatively slow, quiet one for our family.  We celebrated Christmas week with friends and family, and by the time the big day rolled around it was just us.  This was pure bliss as I have been craving lots of time just the three of us.  We played, stayed in our pajamas all day, cooked, ate, watched movies, knit and crafted, baked, took walks, and read books.

And then we all got sick.

It figures that as soon as we slow down and catch up, our bodies respond by giving in to whatever they’ve been fighting off.  I’m trying to appreciate the timing; it could be worse and we could all be sick right after baby is born.  But it also kind of sucks that we’re home together and feeling whiny, grouchy, congested, and low-energy.

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I have to hand it to my family, though.  We’re pretty good at working through these low moments and finding a way to shake it off.

We wish you and yours a peaceful, fun ending to the year and all that you dream of in 2015.  See you next year!