26 July 2018

It's the little things

That is how you know you are loved. Yes, grand gestures are great and amazing and magnificent and everything our younger selves think they should be because we watch movies and read books that constantly show us that is what love is supposed to be... but it's not. Each person has a specific love language and it is up to us to learn it, just as we have our own love language and they learn ours.

Love is found mostly in the quiet moments. The little blips in life that most don't notice until they are gone. Waking up to coffee on your bedside when you didn't even ask for it... even more, knowing exactly how you take your coffee. Folding the laundry or even helping with the folding without being asked. Picking up one of his time consuming chores because you know that he has had a bad week. Making a meal you can't stand simply because you know he loves it. Cleaning the bathroom because there isn't a cleaner on the universe that doesn't bother your asthma. Taking out the dog whose eyes are floating so you can finish a row and not lose your place in the lace pattern.

I love you too, Pokey.
I could go on but you get the point. These little things, while they may seem common place and normal, are what showing love is about so don't take them for granted. Show honest appreciation for the little acts... because that gets noticed too. If you don't acknowledge those things, and I mean sincerely acknowledge them, the person doing them will feel as though they don't matter and they will stop.

For the past decade, if I am graced with the ability to sleep later than my husband, I wake to coffee on my bedside table. When I was a homemaker, he woke me with kisses and coffee. When I worked from home, he woke me with kisses and coffee. On my weekend, he wakes me with kisses and coffee. Even on the days I have to be up at 5 am and he is peacefully talking in his sleep as I get ready for work, I give him a kiss goodbye and there is freshly brewed coffee waiting for me in the carafe.

That is his love language... and I love him for it.

19 July 2018


That is the only word I can use to describe last night. It was the most amazing evening. The bands, the music, the family time - at one point, Hobbit got up and went to get a photo with the first act... BY HERSELF! She didn't want us to go with her. She was adamant that this was something she wanted to try and do alone so we let her... and she did it! She even has a photo of her with them, they're called Kulick and you should definitely give them a listen because they are fabulous. The smile on her face in that shot says it all - she is beaming! Don't tell, but I screenshot her photo from Instagram - look at that face...
She had to have asked a random stranger to take the picture too so double kudos to my awesome kid!
After their amazing set, The Rocket Summer took the stage. Wow. This guy will blow your mind. The sounds he was able to make and the songs he sang were just beautiful. I got one single shot of him and he is back lit by hot pink light so his face is gone. I'm not posting it here (it's on Instagram if you really want to see it, along with a few others and some videos of the night) but I did post a link to his music because you have to give yourself the honor of listening to him. You won't regret it, I swear.

After his set, I simply lost my mind. I have to admit, I am not their typical fan. I'm technically "old" by their average aged fan standard. It's okay. I don't honestly care. I smile every time I hear one of the kids in the audience say something like "Man, I wish my mom was like that" or "That kid is lucky, look at her mom" - and this is usually while I am singing along, acting like a Woo Girl, and having a blast. I did remember to get a few photos...
This was before it all started and we had just found our seats. See Pokey's shirt - Kellin dedicated the song "Gold" to "the awesome dad in the Stay Golden shirt". He was tired so he was sitting, holding my purse, while Hobbit and I sang.

This is actually the encore when Kellin and Nick came out to sing 2 Chords. It was amazing!
This man, Nick Martin, is the embodiment of pure joy. He is so happy that he truly fills the room with his energy.
There is no zoom on this image! Sleeping With Sirens was literally two people away from us. This acoustic tour was a dream come true for me. I have seen them before but I had always wanted to catch an acoustic show - and Kellin said that this would probably be the last time they do one so I am forever grateful for last night.
No concert is complete without purchasing the epic tour date shirt. There we were, 5th from the bottom on the left.
I was one happy camper. I put in some fabulous washout purple dye because Disney would freak if I went to work on Friday with purple hair even though I work in a backstage support area. I wore my pretty white off the shoulder summer dress and my sparkly pink tennis shoes. For one of the oldest fans, I was rocking it appropriately.
I did see a few other parents in the audience, my husband included, who were just sitting there. Pokey didn't really know them but he simply enjoys music so was having a good time. He has to stand all day at work so no one faulted him for sitting. The other parents though... I don't get it. They looked miserable. There was a mom and dad, looked to be about our age, sat in the row in front of us and they were just bumps on a log. It's like they thought they couldn't have fun. I was such a sharp contrast - and really always have been I guess. Granted, I am an honest to goodness fan of their music but even at shows where I'm not a super fan, I still have a good time. I think it does Hobbit good to see me up, awkwardness and all, just unapologetically enjoying myself. At one point, Kellin was talking during the lead in to "Better Off Dead" and he shared about his personal challenges with anxiety and depression. By the time he was done, just before he started singing, Hobbit and I were both just in tears because we understood and connected with him on that very real and raw level. We weren't embarrassed or ashamed. We were living in the moment - singing along, tears streaming down our faces, my arm around her shoulder and just living it.

When it was all over, I even had the courage to go to the stage with Hobbit while Nick was giving away the set lists (no, we didn't get one) and holler "Thank you" to him. He put his hand on his heart, smiled at us, and said "No, thank you!". This made our night!! The first time he came over to our side of the stage, we both waved at him and since he couldn't wave back, he gave us the biggest and cheesiest smile ever - right at us - and we were tickled. The last time we saw them, we connected with Nick and he tried to toss us guitar picks, missed, shrugged, and blew us kisses instead. That was another amazing summer night just last year.

So I guess I really can think of another word to describe last night... amazing... because it totally was!

Oh, and since it is Thursday and I try to track my projects on this day, here is an updated shot of my Marley Blanket that I am making for a coworker who is due to have her first girl in October. It will be her fourth child but her first girl...
I am literally halfway done. I have 3 more rows of the even section and then I start the decreases!

17 July 2018

Tuesday Tunes

Tomorrow, we finally get to go see Sleeping With Sirens on their summer acoustic tour. We caught them last year on their Up Close and Personal tour when Gossip was released. We are super excited to share this experience with Pokey since he couldn't go last time. Our seats are third row, stage right. It is going to be amazing! In honor of our adventure tomorrow, here is one of my most favorite acoustic versions of their songs for you to fall in love with...

14 July 2018

You'll never guess what I did!

Here, I'll give you a hint...

With my donation on Friday, I managed to log 101 Disney VoluntEAR hours already for the year! I am so over the moon proud of myself. I gave myself a goal of 100 hours this year. I had a lot going on and I wanted to challenge myself but thanks to some serious crafting during times when I didn't think I would able to, I was able to smash my goal with 5 months left in the year. All of my hours are from crafting and donating it all to the Disney BlanketEARS.

I'm feeling pretty dog gone good about myself right now.

13 July 2018

Wear your ears!

Happy Friday the 13th! 

At work, it is a tradition that we wear our ears to ward off the bad luck and bring in the good so you know I've donned my classic ears today. You know what else I've done? Opened an Etsy store! Yep, that's right. I have decided to open an Etsy shop. I only have patterns up at the moment but I am going to be adding a few homemade things as well. Some sewn, some knitted, some crocheted, and some where my creativity got the best of me. I figured with as much crafting as I do - and I want to do - that I can't possibly keep it all so I figured I would share my wares with everyone else.

It was just something fun I thought of doing yesterday and now it's up and running. Take a wander around. I'll let you know when I get a few items up for sale besides patterns.

Have a beautiful day!!

12 July 2018

Out of my comfort zone

So I spent yesterday day - all day - out of my comfort zone... the whole week, actually. I won't go into detail because it just makes me cry but between horrific people, losing loved ones, and extreme challenges at work, this work week was simply brutal. I honestly think I cried every single day of the week. Not tears of frustration either. These were heartbreaking tears of just complete and utter sadness. It was a rough week... but I digress.

Wednesdays are my Saturdays. After such a gut-wrenching week, I wanted to do nothing but be a human burrito in my squishy Lazyboy chair and binge watch old TV series. Instead, I got up early and headed an hour and a half away to meet two girls from work who share my passion for fiber arts. I didn't want to, but I did because I promised. Don't get me wrong, these girls are amazing and sweet and funny and beautiful souls whom I truly treasure. My anxiety was on point by Wednesday and it was simply a struggle to put on that "I'm fine" mask and people. Peopling has never been my strong suit but I make myself do it anyway, even when I don't want to do it all.

So I took them to my favorite yarn shop in the universe, Four Purls. They were adorably overwhelmed. We sat in the living room a good bit, just so they could get comfortable and acclimated to their surroundings. I guess it can be a lot to take in if you have never been to a LYS as opposed to popping into a big box store and picking through their meager offerings. Don't misunderstand, I love me some Hobby Lobby and JoAnn Fabrics goodness but nothing compares to the sheer joy found in a local yarn shop.

They both walked out with yarn for a new project - Glow* is making a long cowl for her new job which requires 100% travel in soon to be cold areas and Eartha* is making a Barley hat and a guinea pig since she has one at home that she adores. I got yarn to make myself a Madame Entrechat, with a twist. Here's my yarn...
It is Emma's Yarn in the Practically Perfect Sock base in the colorway 80s Rewind
My pattern calls for worsted weight yarn but I wanted it to be a mostly white base with speckles of color. I was hoping that Emma, one of the actual Purls in the Four Purls collection of kids, had branched out into worsted weight but she seems to be sticking with sock/fingering bases at the moment. I wandered around the shop several times, always admiring my favorite worsted yarn, Malabrigo Rios, but the colorway I had in mind just didn't exist.. and every time, I would end back on the back wall staring at this yarn because it was perfect... but the wrong weight... so I just jumped even further from my comfort zone and bought it, determined to do the math to make this project.

Now, let's all keep in mind that I am not mathematically inclined. The thought of recalculating an entire pattern stitch count for a sweater is not something I do. I usually bend my vision to match what I have at my disposal, not the other way around... but I did it... eventually.

I came home yesterday afternoon and stared at my freshly caked yarn and panic hit me. What have I done?!? Did I just waste over $80 on yarn for a project that I won't have the ability/courage/intelligence to do?!? After several hours (I wish I was kidding, I'm not) of this anxiety driven diatribe, I started researching. I purchased 1200 yards of it since the worsted weight pattern called for 900 and I was going to need more than that for obvious reasons that even I understood without doing the math. I figured first things first and I found some old icky US 3 needles and made a swatch... then I ordered a new pair of fixed circulars... then I finished my swatch. I got 6 stitches per inch. I knew I needed to worry more about the across stitch count than the length in inches because I can fix that easily by simply continuing to knit until it is the desired length. So there I had it. 6 stitches per inch. The pattern had 18 stitches for 4 inches which divided out to 4.5 stitches per inch. Now what! I had information but no clue what to do next.

Then I found the most amazing page in all of the world wide webs and I heard angels singing as the heavens poured enchanted sparkling light on everything. Once I read through it a couple of times, I had enough confidence to attempt the first section of the pattern. Then, I mathed. I mathed so hard, my head swam! Once that part was done, and I checked it three times to ensure my counts matched what the amazing page said the calculations should match, I moved on to the next section. I was tired, emotionally spent, but I soldiered on and managed to math the entire pattern conversion!! I wrote it all out in the notes section of my project page so I would not lose it. I printed out the project page just in case Murphy and his laws decided to play around with things. I was in awe of myself - I mathed!!

Today, I will be mostly in my comfort zone since it is my Sunday. I will do a few chores around the house because you can't escape adulting but otherwise, I will be knitting my calculations. I will start this project on my icky needles while I wait for my new ones to arrive. I am anxious, but not in my normal sense. I am anxious for good reasons, as I really am proud of myself for all that I accomplished yesterday and if my calculations are correct, I will have something to remind myself of this moment once I finish my sweater.

Sometimes... just sometimes... it's good to get out of your comfort zone.

*Names were changed because I didn't ask if I could share their day with the world

04 July 2018

Wrangling them all up...

Oh gosh, this idea may be harder than I thought. I was thinking I would do a quick update on all the items I am currently working on but then it got to be depressing - all the things I haven't finished! Now I have changed my mindset and so instead of that sad angle, I'm going to show a few things I am going to finish in July... that I started a while ago...

This is the oldest item in the collection of things to complete in July. I started this at the beginning of the year. It was my mindless knit during Peak Season (January - April at work). I am actually a little further than this photo too, since I'm up to 25 teeth so I'm still plugging along... just not very quickly.

Because I love Christmas in July, I plan on putting on two of my favorite Christmas movies - maybe even the entire Santa Clause Trilogy! - and finishing this new tree skirt up. It is cute and I do like it. I'm not even that far from being done either. I have 5 more squares and the edging left. It's super huge but I think one devoted day, or maybe even my weekend, and I will have this completed.

This one is a bit of a stretch. It's my Marley Blanket that I'm making for a friend at work. She is due in October but I wasn't sure how long it will take and I wanted to be sure to be able to finish it. I finished the 9th edge scallop at lunch today so if I don't finish this month, I will definitely be able to finish it in August - because October is closer than you think!!

I have the standard Blanketeer hat on my needles too but those are always going and I stick to a handful of patterns and colors so they are a bit boring to update. I want to turn in at least two hats a month so that's 8 hours. If I do that to the end of the fiscal year, that's 24 more hours and will end me 111 hours. If they stop counting at the end of the calendar year, that would be 135 hours. Either way, I will have made my goal that I set for myself.

I'm trying to get a good schedule going here. I know it won't be an every day event but I am shooting for 3 or so times a week. I'm brainstorming some possible new themes and such. Just like life, things evolve over time and it's a new season in the life of this blog... but this blog needed life so I'm trying to figure out how to do that - for both you and me.

Time to go enjoy my family. I hope y'all have a happy and safe holiday.

03 July 2018

What's Up?

Yes, I know... can we just skip the excuses and apologies, hug it out, and move on? Yes? Great! So, first things first... look at what I earned...

Do you see up there? No? Okay, I have to be quick though because we aren't supposed to have our phones out taking photos on the floor...

I know it's a tad blurry but I had to be quick about it. That is a medal - my own medal. My very first medal! This is the 35th Anniversary of the Disney VoluntEARS and if you earned at least 35 volunteer hours, you earned a medal. So far this year, I have 87 hours earned and I am going to turn in at least 8, possibly 12, more hours this month. My goal was 100 hours and I think I may make it!!

How did I get it? Oh, knitting things for charity. Yep, I am very proud member of the Disney Blanketeers. Did I mention that we were the VoluntEAR Team of the Year this year? No, well, there you go!

Tomorrow, I'll share what all I'm working on now. I hope y'all have a great (and magical) day!

02 July 2018

Motivational Monday

I know I've been quiet lately but I promise, I'm soaring!

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