Knit Knosh! – Interview with Becky from Knit Actually

Knit Knosh Colorado Knitting Event Wine Food YarnThank you so much for watching! Today I interviewed my friend Becky from the Knit Actually podcast about her event Knit Knosh. If you would like to join us at this event, you can purchase tickets by clicking here.

To Connect with Becky:
Podcast: Knit Actually

The Dyers of Knit Knosh:
MJ Yarns
Bijou Basin Ranch
Colorful Electic
Knit Stitch Yarns
Modular Modular Bags

Becky’s Projects:
Knit Knosh Find Your Fade
Blooming Tee
Shawl Shrug
Atwood Shawl

An Update For You

Good evening, friends! I thought I would stop by and check in with you. Life over the last few weeks has brought a lot of change to my home.

We traveled to Omaha to see my wonderful friends, the Prairie Girls, and then on to Michigan to visit my lovely inlaws. Maybe I’ll come back and write a post about the trip itself, it has many yarnie stories for you. Just not tonight. 

After we came back we prepared for me to have surgery. On October 1st I had my thyroid completely removed. I stayed overnight in the hospital and returned home on Friday to rest and begin recuperating. As of 20 minutes from when I write this, it has been two whole weeks since the surgery happened. It feels like a lifetime away.

I’ll spare you the details of the actual reasons why we decided to remove my thyroid, but it was a long time coming. The big news is that the results came back from pathology as benign; we mostly expected this result but it was a huge sigh of relief anyway. I can definitely already tell, though, that this was the right move for my health and my family. 

Medically speaking, the recovery is going well. I am only in a little pain now, my voice is almost back to a normal level and I have resumed my responsibilities as a full time mom again. We have been so blessed with childcare help and meals, blessings that have made all of the difference in recovering so well. I am still taking it easy and listening to my body’s request for rest. As a result, I am getting a lot of knitting done, which of course is great. 

Psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually I am also recovering though not quite in the way I expected. Life right now feels like it’s moving in slow motion. I feel like a completely different person. Part of it I’m sure is the change in hormones, and the other part is the break from work and podcasting and volunteering and all of the other “stuff” I have put on hold until after Christmas. There are definite changes, though. My mind processes things differently, in a slower, more direct fashion. I have typed out example after example for you, only to go back and delete it because it doesn’t really make sense in print. It’s hard to verbalize, but trust me, it’s there.

The biggest thing I have right now is a sense of peace in the direction I am going. I sometimes feel like I have been replaced with an imposter version of myself, sometimes I wonder if this is truly who I was meant to be. I worry (not “worry,” really, more like “happen to wonder”?) If my friends and family recognize this person, and still like her? I don’t doubt they will still love her, I feel very fortunate to have a very accepting and loving family. But will they still see me the same way? In some ways I hope so, in other ways I don’t. Like I said, it’s hard to explain. I’m sure after I go back to a lot of my “stuff” some of that other version of myself will come back, as well as when my hormones level out. But I can already tell not all of it will return. In the meantime, I plan on doing a lot of knitting and resting and spending a good fall season with my family. I hope you are well. Please feel free to comment below or shoot me a message. As an extrovert with a love language of quality time, messages from you make my days all the more joyful, which helps me get better every day. Blessings!

Life Right Now

After my last podcast episode, I received several messages with encouraging thoughts and words that warmed my heart. Knowing that the podcast has meant so much to you has blessed me immensley. I have been overwhelmed by so many of you offering to bring meals to my family or come and visit with me (which, to an extrovert is like the best Christmas present ever!). I want to thank you and let you all know I have a fabulous support system in place, we have family, friends, our church and our neighborhood all ready to help us figure out what the fall will look like and make sure we are well taken care of. Thank you! 

I worked really hard to wrap up so many things this week. I drew prizes for the Great Outdoors KAL and have ear burned all the winners and announced them on the podcast as well. I had hoped to get prizes in the mail this week but that just didn’t happen, but I will send you a message when they go out if you won. The KAL was a great success and I had an absolute blast with it. I finished a big chunk of work and have just a few tiny things to catch up on when I get back. 

I have to say, now that all of my big stuff is taken care of, I kind of find myself in a strange place. I can knit what I want, which is what I normally do anyway, but this time it feels like it’s “for real.” With my photography business temporarily shut down, I can focus on building my technique and photographing what is most important to me: my family. There is a tiny bit of “now what?” going on in my mind. I don’t have any commitments right now, nobody is waiting on work from me and I don’t have to report any projects I’m working on. It feels strange.

I do like this feeling, but I can already tell that I’m not built for it to last forever. I’m a social person, and the podcast for me has been a huge community builder. It’s more than just me sitting behind my computer and reporting on my latest projects and blunders; it’s about connecting with you all on a deeper level. Through the podcast I have made some of the most wonderful friends I could have imagined; people who “get” my obsession with yarn and craftiness, who are kind and thoughtful, and who have blessed me with relationship on a regular basis. I have discovered how much I love teaching photography and watching you all grow as photographers. The podcast has pushed me and helped me discover more of who I am as a person. For that I am forever grateful and looking forward to the spring. In the meantime I plan on snuggling a new nephew, playing in some leaves with my kids, and of course, knitting. Life is good. 

Garden Update

Colorado has been extremely rainy this year. We were one day short of breaking a record of not going over 90 degrees for the entire month of June. I have to admit, though, I have really enjoyed the rain, the cooler temperatures, and even the occasional lightning storms. Maybe my heart belongs in Portland? 

As an added bonus to all of this rain, my garden has been flourishing. The peas have taken over, to the point where I have to keep them from strangling the tomatoes. The zucchini plants have exploded, and little zucchinis are starting to emerge. I expect to start harvesting next week.

Do you gave any suggestions on why there is brown on my zucchini plants? 

Do you gave any suggestions on why there is brown on my zucchini plants? 

The tomatoes have been interesting. I think I have an infestation of Mexican Flea Beetles, so while there are tiny tomatoes evergreen on my plants, they seem to be stagnant. A lovely row of sunflowers is almost up to my hip in the back, I’m hoping these will attract the bad bugs and bees. I also picked all of the carrots I had planted in the first round.

The other plants are growing steadily, pole beans and bean bushes and peppers, and the spinach has gone to seed so I need to pull it asap. In the meantime, I am so pleased with our first big harvest. These carrots are called “short and sweet” with a short growth time period. I planted a second round and should be able to harvest them in August.  

I never thought I would be able to actually have a successful garden, but I guess the rain this year has washed some of the black off of my thumb and revealed a bit if green. Who knew?  

Do you have a garden this year? Tell me all about it, and feel free to link to your site or blog! 

…. A Day….

Today was…. a day. I promise not to turn this blog into a complaining mess of how hard it is to be a mom. There are plenty of blogs already out there that do that. While it’s great to vent and let others know we are real and life can be really tough sometimes, I personally don’t feel the need to share the hardness on the interwebs. I mostly feel this way because I don’t want to go back four years from now and read this and remember how hard it was.  I want to remember the happy things, the sound of my kiddos singing a song from the new Annie movie (Miss J loves Mrs. Hannigan) or Little Man C giving me “fives” and “eh-bows” all day long. So for the sake of my future memories, we will just say that today was… a day.

I knew it was going to be…. a day…. really early. Sometimes when these days come up I find something as simple as a change of scenery can really help my mood and attitude. I wanted today to be a fun day for my kiddos, so I scrapped the idea of getting loads of chores done (really, who needs a clean house anyway?) and strapped them into their car seats and headed to the local playhouse. It’s a place where we can come in and pay to stay as long as we want, with loads of toys and dress ups and a tree house for them to climb in. There are slides and push cars and ropes to swing on, and enough kids to keep the friend rotation going for hours. Adults can order coffee beverages, and cafe quality lunches are available for parents and kiddos. Plus, there is a yarn store three doors down from this playhouse. Seriously!?! It’s the best place ever. 

My favorite aspect about this place is that I can just BE. When was the last opportunity you had to just exist? To sit and bask in the glory of just being present, without having to jump or chase or run to catch your naked baby who just took off out the front door right after you got out of the shower and before you could put clothes on. (Did I mention that today was… a day….?) I am trying to be a better mom about sitting down and playing with my kids, engaging with them, putting together puzzles and reading books. I have good days at home where I feel like I am finally winning as a mom. Then there are days like today, where all I need is an opportunity to sit and think what I want to think and not have to work quite so hard for my children to be happy. After almost nine years of being a mom, I have learned that I need these days of rest just as much as my children to play and engage. Places like this can offer a good compromise; the kiddos had a blast while creating minimal injuries (on themselves, others, or property) and mommy didn’t lose her schmidt. I sat back and watched them, answering a few questions here and there and taking a couple of potty trips. Mostly, though I listened to an audio book and worked on my Follow Your Arrow 2 shawl. This sucker requires an awful lot of concentration, which would normally result in entire boxes of cereal being poured all over the floor if I tried to work on it at home. 

We had a lovely time together. In fact, we all even left happy and Miss J begged to go inside of the yarn store because “It’s right there, Mom!” (We went in, and left five minutes later before it turned into another…. day…. again). Truth be told, what started as ….a day…. became a really good day with my kids. The laundry and dishes still aren’t done, yet I consider today a total success.

What do you do when you know today is going to be a rough day? Please tell me about it in the comments below!

Happy New Year!

Happy 2015! I hope you all enjoyed something fun to celebrate. We were a little late putting an evening together, but it all worked out just fine. My sister and her husband came over and brought their kiddos and their new card game, Dominion. With all six kids tucked in bed (and only an occasional reprimand for getting out of bed) the adults brought out the wine, hard cider, cheetos and dip and played the game all night. Of course, I knitted all evening and finished the last sock right at midnight. Even though it was just the four of us it was a great evening. Though, truth, I’m still recovering this morning. Staying up late and then taking care of kiddos can be a bit rough as I get older.

  Playing Dominion and knitting. I really hate this picture but it was a great night!

  Playing Dominion and knitting. I really hate this picture but it was a great night!

I have been trying to think of a theme for my resolution this year. Normally I try to not set specific resolutions and goals because I will never get them done. Instead, I follow the footsteps of Jasmin from the Knitmore Girls and think of a theme for the year. This year my theme will be to follow through. If I start a project I want to follow through and finish it. If I tell someone we should get together, I want to follow through and actually spend some time with that person. Returning phone calls and messages, finishing my craft room, even keeping up with this blog are all things I want to follow through with. I’m hoping the result will be a lifestyle that leaves a positive mark in my corner of the world, where people feel they can trust me to only take on what I will finish and stick to it. Plus, I am hoping some of the organizational following-through will help with the stress level in my home. We will see if it works, I was really happy with my theme last year and felt a great improvement in my work. I’m looking forward to what the future will hold! 

Do you make resolutions or have a theme for the year? Tell me all about it!

3rd Birthday

It’s hard to believe my baby girl turned three this month. I know, I know, the normal cliches of “Where has the time gone?” and “I blinked and you grew up!” sound so cheesy, but they are completely true. It feels like yesterday I was holding her in my arms, completely in bliss with this adorable newborn and somehow navigating a new life of having three children. 

Copyright Emily Straw Photography, LLC

Copyright Emily Straw Photography, LLC

Copyright Emily Straw Photography, LLC

Copyright Emily Straw Photography, LLC

I was surprised how easy life with three kids seemed to be. Everyone told us we would be outnumbered, that suddenly life would become chaotic and feel out of control. We were really nervous about adding a third, but we knew it was something that was right for our family. Then she came, and I realized our lives were already chaos. By this point we were used to the messes, the diapers, and the noise. We were used to having our valuables put away from little fingers and sharing bites of our food. We had let go of the expectations of “We will never be THOSE parents” and instead knew that, at some point, we probably would. Adding a third was, surprisingly, uneventful.

Copyright Emily Straw Photography, LLC

Copyright Emily Straw Photography, LLC

Then, I blinked. My sweet, adorable, tiny baby that I snuggled with until two o’clock in the morning with, turned in to a three year old. She loves to play with her My Little Ponies, wear twirly dresses, and hone in on anything and everything pink. She talks non-stop and makes up stories and songs, and repeats lines from Frozen as if it were scripture. Truthfully, she throws a lot more tantrums than she did when she was one or two, and sometimes the days feel long and difficult. While she is normally okay with humoring her cousin in being a prince instead of a princess, she also has her own opinions in how things are done. My favorite, though, is when she creeps into bed with my husband and I almost every morning. We used to think we would never let our kids sleep in our bed, and then we realized they are only little once. The time will come soon enough when she won’t want to sleep in our bed, when she will be impossible to wake for school and cringe when I kiss her goodnight. Until then, Happy Birthday, punkin. May you love being three!

Oh, and in case you were wondering if our lives stayed easy and blissful? Well, let’s just say those same people who told me about 3 kids also told me that after 3 they just keep getting easier. For the record, those people lied. Even with the craziness, though, I wouldn’t change a thing.