Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall - A New Beginning

I apologize in advance; this is probably going to get a little cooky before I am done. I just got back from a run, like literally sitting in the kitchen with my sports bra on writing this. I have decided that if I intend to write more. I should write when I have something to say. Man, I am so smart. Anyways, I love running in the fall. The colors and trees are so beautiful. This afternoon was no different, and I was looking around appreciating the beauty and hating that it would “end” soon. The leaves will soon fall, winter will come and it will be over until spring. Then a queer thought came into my head, what if fall is actually the beginning. The more that I thought of this, the more it made sense to me. If you have ever planted a seed, you know that although you may not see anything above the surface yet, major things are happening beneath the soil. If the prep work is never done underneath the soil, then there would never be anything above. So how can spring be the beginning? Wouldn’t there have to be a season of preparation? Maybe fall is the first part of the preparation. The trees are actively choosing to shed themselves in order to prepare for the new things to come.Shedding the leaves seems to be a process. It seems like trees fight the urge to change their leaves. I always find that trees stay green for quite awhile, after the official season of fall starts. Then you see one spot of color on an entire green tree. As if the tree held out for as long as it could, and once they have accepted the color, then the shedding starts. Maybe that is why you see some trees hold their leaves until the last possible second it seems. Maybe they were the ones just weren’t quite ready to let go of the old in preparation of the new. This also makes me wonder why we celebrate the new year in the dead of winter. Isn’t the whole point of New Years is to set goals and ambitions for the upcoming year. It seems so unnatural to do it then. Why not practice the act of shedding our old selves during the seasonof fall along with the trees? It works so well for them. They shed themselves, they enter a season of anticipation and preparation. And then all of sudden, BOOM, spring. Amazing. I have some things I need to shed. Some bitterness, some self doubt, some Wish I’s and some Shoulda’s. Hell, while I am shedding things, I may as well shed this bit of fear. I am going to enter a season of preparation and anticipation. I have some amazing things in my life, and I can only imagine what is in store for me come spring.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I am a writer.

I am writer. I know that the few of you who read this are thinking, “ummm...yeah” But I don’t think I realized this, or I have definitely forgotten about it. Now that I sit and think about it, I have written quite a bit over the years. I wrote all my speeches throughout my many years in 4-H. I was the kid in high school that was acting like they were complaining, but was secretly a little excited about doing the research paper I remember being super clever on my introduction about my subject, Latin dancing. It went something like... “You see a couple in a dimly lit room. Two sweaty bodies convulsing to one dominate beat. You can’t look away, and are force to pry into this passionate moment. What are they doing? The salsa, of course.” Pretty clever, right? High school seniors loved it. I actually studied poetry while I was in high school on the side. My dad and I would go to Dothan once a month, so I could sit and converse with people much older than me. I would read my poetry for them, and listen to theirs. Before insurance, I was actually a journalism major in college. I also have started a blog. A blog that has derailed from its primary purpose, but a place where I write occasionally. So yes, I guess I am a writer. So I don’t know why it surprised me so much when Justin called me one on Thursday night. I don’t even remember the conversation; I just know that we were on our way home from the concert. He said, “Blah blah blah, you are a good writer.” And I was like, “say what?” Now if you know my husband, then you know Justin is also a writer. His short stories are amazing. His creative story lines and incredible description of detail is what I like most about his writing. Although, he doesn’t write as much as he should, he is a writer. And a very good one. So when Justin said that I was a good writer, it took me by surprise. First of all, he has never said that in the almost ten years we have been together. Second, I guess I thought since I don’t think I could ever write a book or a really good short story, that my writing was subpar. But Justin labeled my writing as a style, a style that he has tried before and can’t seem to get just right. We talked about how our styles are way different, the biggest difference being the audience. Justin has always written for others. His writings are meant for others to see and to appreciate. My writing is for me. I don’t give two s***s if I am the only one who reads this blog. This is me and my feelings, and I read them. I write for myself, and if others enjoy, that’s even better. So if I am a writer, and if I write about my feelings, and if I have a lot of feelings, I should be writing more. So why aren’t I? Good question, really good question.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I dont know how to do paragraphs any more. Someone help me...

Slow Down

I have been thinking about this post for awhile. I have been waiting to post it, because I am still a very guilty party of my own complaints. So read my post as a start to my own personal growth. I have made mention of this is past posts, on how “busy” we are and how attached we are to our technology. Yes, I am guilty of these things. I didn’t realize this at first, and I thought other people were missing out on the world around them. It hit me like a ton of bricks, when I realized that I, too, was missing out on the world around me. It started to hit me this summer, when I spent a couple weekends in the country. I loved it up there. I loved the slow pace. I loved spending quality time with the people I love. We spent actual time together. We had actual conversations. We laughed real laughs. We actually bonded. We made some real memories. And I treasured this time so much. It hit me even harder, when people would ask me what I had been up to. I would say, ”I have been busy”. But I found myself absent of a follow-up sentence. I couldn’t really describe what I had been busy with, I just knew that time had passed and I had been running around doing stuff. But I had too few real things, memories, or conversations, to show for it. And that is what hit me like a ton of bricks. We always look forward to Friday. We always look forward to our vacations. We always look forward to the holidays. But what about today? When today is over and done, what do I have to show for it? I sludged (totally made up this word, but I like it) through work, went home, cooked dinner, spent a few hours catching up on my DVR, and went to bed. Is that what I want Thursday, October 17, 2013 to be about? Is that how tomorrow is going to go? That sounds so sad. It is sad, and it is not who I want to be. My new goal is to be mindful, curious, and present. I don’t want to go through today on auto pilot. I want to LIVE today. I want to make connections with people. I want to feel good about what I did at work. I want to turn off the tv and go for a walk. I want to play cards and goof off instead of catching up on the latest Vampire Diaries. I want to knit something that I have never knit before with yarn that I absolutely love, instead of just cranking out the same old thing time after time with cheap yarn. I am going to do things that I have always wanted to do, but simply just have not done them. I am going to be more present with my family. I was recently down in Alabama for my grandmother’s funeral. Instead of just sitting around waiting to leave, like I normally would have done, I actually asked some questions. I listened to the others talk about my paw paw and maw maw, and it was like I was getting to know people whom I had never met. It is hard to imagine your grandmother as a young wife who started a family at the end of the Great Depression. While I was sitting at my grandmother’s house, I learned that my aunt is a crafter. I wish I had learned the importance of being mindful, curious, and present awhile ago. It is with much regret that the one of my favorite trips to my grandmother’s house was for her funeral. To think about all the stories and wisdom I missed out on, it gives me inspiration to ask more questions and to be more present with the family members that I am blessed to still have with me. I am going to be more present with my friends. They are really awesome; they are responsible for so much joy in my life. I am going to put my phone on silent when I am with them. I am going to invest my time, with people who invest theirs in me. Get ready friends, I am going to become more invested in your life, in your happiness, and in your achievements. I hope to enrich your life as much as you have enriched mine. I am going to be more present with Justin. I chose to be with him. I chose to marry him, and vowed to LIVE the rest of my life with him. And I am going to live that life. Because one day we will be too deaf to go to a rock concert. One day we will be too tired to stay up all night and play video games with each other. One day we will be too mature to sit at the kitchen table and play with Legos. One day we will be too old to go for a walk on a fall evening. And as morbid as it is, one day one of us won’t be here. I don’t want to miss any of these opportunities. Not a single one. I want to look back and see a full and vibrant life with real experiences, real people, and real memories. I am not going to be on auto pilot. I am going to live the life that was given to me, and I plan to do it well. So there you have it, my heart, my plans, and my hopes.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Is Summer Over?

I know it has been awhile since I posted, but I have had a busy summer. Wait a minute, I don’t have to explain myself to you people. According to Google, the first day of Autumn is September 22nd. That is still a good bit away. I have a lot going on between today and the first day of fall. But for some reason, I feel like summer is coming to a close. Here is why I think summer is coming to a close. -Holly went back home, and starts school soon. I associate Holly’s visit with summer. -Football season is only 3 weeks away. Football is fall. -Our schedules finally seem to be slowing down. Next weekend, we are not leaving Atlanta and no one is coming here for the weekend. Although, we do pick back up for the next couple weekends, but one free weekend has been foreign to the Broderways this summer. -School has started. Although, I have not started school in years, and I have no children. You can’t miss the increase in traffic and the school buses. -I saw jack o’ lanterns at Kroger. Really? Although, I hate it with a passion, I would fully expect to see Christmas stuff in the stores next month. -My plants are turning a little brown, and it is time to think about what next to plant. -My mind is wondering back to knitting and crocheting. I usually get a little distant from my yarn during the summer, but I feel myself slowly coming back to it. -Also, I have decided it was time to write a blog. That should tell you something for sure. So what should we call this gap, between real summer and real fall. Is Indian Summer the right term? I am not sure. That refers to heat waves, and it seems like all we have been getting is rain. I have no idea what to call this gap. And although fall is my favorite season, I am really going to miss summer. I went to some awesome concerts this summer. My best friend got engaged this summer. I had some pretty awesome parties. I had some great backyard bbq food. I had great fun picking berries and making jam this summer. I feel like the music for this summer was amazing. Awesome time at Six Flags, the list goes on and on. I am really going to miss summer.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blast From the Past - Written on the eve of my 24th bday

There goes 23, here comes 24!

It was recently brought to my attention, that these are my last few hours as a 23 year old.  I know!  It caught me by total surprise, too.  This is also the end of my early twenties, because tomorrow I take a huge step into my mid twenties. Such a big step to take in one night, I should have spent more time preparing for this.  So much has happened this year, and I have so many things lined up for the next year.  So I thought I would do a little recap, and fill you in on why 23 was such a great year.  And why I expect 24 to be even better.

At 23...
v I ran my first 5k.  For those who have known me awhile, know that this is huge.  I have never ran any kind of distance in my entire life.  I was so proud of myself when I crossed the finish line.
v I became a member of Peachtree Baptist Church, and began teaching a Missions class on Wednesday night.  This was the first time I joined a church without my parents.  Justin and I joined in August of 2009.
v I went to the Bahamas.  I have never been there before, and I got to go with Justin on a cruise.  Freeport has one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.  I kick myself daily for not taking my swimsuit off the boat on that stop.
v I learned to knit.  Who knew that two sticks and a ball of yarn could be so much fun?  I have made bazillion scarves, a couple hats, and other things.  I am excited about my new craft.  It is hard not to be excited, when you think about the different projects, and all the soft beautiful yarn.
v I made my own jam.  I have seen people canned tomatoes and squash, but I have never seen someone make jam.  I made two kinds this year, peach and strawberry.  They were so good. 
v I saw Alabama have a perfect season.   And that perfect season included winning the Iron Bowl decidedly, making Tim Tebow cry, and beating The Longhorns for the National Championship.  What a season!
v I got a new addition to my family, Cooper!  I knew I wanted him as soon as his profile hit the Atlanta Humane Society Website, even though there was no picture.  We went downtown to meet him, and we fell in love right away.  He is the absolute sweetest, and he loves to knit as well.
v I participated in the Running of the Brides.  It was crazy, but a lot of fun.  I took a team of 7 with me, and they got the job done.  It took 7 teammates, 5 hours, 50 dresses, but I found the perfect wedding dress for a perfect price.
v I finished my first half marathon.  (I think I may kick marathons of any kind to the curb with my early twenties.)  But it was an incredible challenge and a lot of fun. In case you are wondering, 13.1 miles is FAR and driving is way faster.
v I was promoted to Underwriter.  All those years in college and working in the insurance industry and it finally paid off.  Now, I am able to put millions of dollars of my company’s money on the line.  Geez, a lot of responsibility for a 23 year old. Good thing I am about to turn 24.
v I got a car all on my own.  In the past, my dad has always played a big part in picking out a vehicle for me and helped me pay for it.  This was the first time I have ever done something like that without his help.  Man, looks like I am really growing up.
v I became a member of the Church Council at Peachtree Baptist Church.  I am glad to be a part of the decision making body that will enable PBC to grow and flourish.  Now I just have to figure out how to update the website that I am supposed to be in charge of.
v I have been to a lot of new places this year.  I got to visit Kansas City, MO & KS, Durant, OK, St. Petersburg, FL and all kinds of new places in Georgia that I had never been before.
v I got a rocking chair for my back balcony.  I know what you are thinking. Why is this making the recap list?  Because I love it.  And getting a rocking chair, another cat, and learning to knit in one year, lets you know that I am obviously ready to get older.

Now when 24 gets here, I have big plans...
v I am going to chapel, and I am going to get married.  Justin and I have been together forever and we are busy making plans to make sure our wedding day is perfect.  I cannot wait for my initials to be BB.
v I get to visit Memphis.  Even better, I get to visit Memphis at Christmastime.  I know, I am pumped, too.  Justin has already promised that we can go to all the yarn stores in Memphis.  And you know that will be visiting the zoo.
v Courtney has agreed to help me improve my swimming.  I got this hare-brained idea to do a triathlon.  (We will see about this...)  She has seen what she has got to work with, and she has accepted the challenge.
v I want to take a class in order to learn how to make a sweater.  I think it is time for to take my knitting to the next level.  I keep watching for a great class to be scheduled, and then I am going to jump all over it.
v I am going to learn to make my own sushi.  I love sushi, and it would be really impressive if I could make it at home.  Don’t worry, I am going to start with the safe ones before I go to any that are raw or that can kill you.
v I am going to Jacksonville, FL.  I have never been there before, but I have made plans to go in less than two weeks and return often.  I miss Alyce and Kate very much.
v I am going to finish my CPCU designation.  I have been working on this for years. 7 tests down and one to go.  I can do it, but I should probably be studying instead of typing this.
v I am going to move in April.  Justin and I plan to move deeper into the city.  I am really excited about getting to decorate a whole new place with all our new stuff.  Maybe I will be able to put all Justin’s stuff in a nice little corner.  Just joking, of course.
v I want to go back to Mexico, who wants to go with?
I am sure 24 is going to hold some surprises, so stay tuned...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Trend of Domesticity

If you have been listening you have probably heard the talk of this trend of domesticity that has been plaguing young woman across the country.
If you haven’t heard of this trend, then I am certain that you have seen it.  You have seen a young person become more interested in DIY projects, crafts (such as knitting and crocheting), and old time projects (such as canning and jam – making).  If you have not seen then trend, then you obviously have never met me. A few months ago, I heard a podcast on this subject and was like, “HEY, That’s totally me!”
In the podcast, they discussed how the domesticity trend was a possible step back for feminism.  And I, honestly, can understand how that argument can be plausible for someone who hasn’t fell victim to this trend.  But as someone who has, I totally disagree with this.
Yes, I have a garden.  Yes, I am learning to sew.  Yes, I knit. Yes, I crochet. Yes, I love to make jam.  Yes, I love to cook. And yes, all of those things are very similar to the roles of women in the ‘50s & ‘60s. I cannot speak for their reason, but I can speak for mine.
My sense of feminism is not dying, in fact, I think it is strengthening.  I am taking control and ownership of things in my life.  I am taking the power from corporations and using it as my own.  With my garden, I am in control of the food I eat, and I can choose not to be subjected to the chemicals that are in so much of our foods.  With sewing, if I see a skirt that I want, and don’t want to spend the ungodly markups, I can make it myself.  I have that power.  So I don’t see this trend as an act of relinquishing my feminism, but playing a more active role in my own life.
I feel this trend appeals to me partly, because of its traditional background.  We live in fast –paced world.  Our cell phones can do everything and more than my first computer.  Actually, who even needs an actual desktop anymore?  We are so attached to this technology, and I believe it is getting worse.  Sometimes, I like to put my cell phone down, put my full time desk job out of my head, and pick up my knitting. 
I embrace this trend, and for the feminists out there that disagree.  I hope I can teach you to knit one day.
P.S. Tomorrow I want to show you pics of my garden.  I was going to show them to you here, but as you can see here, I digressed.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Real Cost of Handmade

(Climbs up on soap box)

I make a lot of the gifts that I give.   I knit these gifts.  I crochet these gifts. I sew these gifts.  I do some other kind of craft to make these gifts.  I am lucky to be blessed with people in my life that appreciate handmade items, but there is a negative connation that is sometimes associated with handmade/homemade gifts.  I will discuss that a bit further down. 
First I will tell you about my handmade gift-making process.
I want to tell you about my sister’s apron that I made for her for Christmas, even though I have no pictures to show you.  Although my sister knows the value in handmade gifts, this is the perfect example to show you my complaints with the common misconception.
Where the idea came from?
My sister is a chef, and I see her years down the road with little ones around her and she is in the kitchen baking.   In this mental picture of her, I see her apron.  It is an apron of a mom and aunt, not a chef.  It is a vintage style apron that has apparent wear to it.  I knew that that apron needed to be handmade, and I wanted to be the one to make it.
Next Steps?
I gathered the materials.  I did this well before Christmas.  I found the perfect pattern in October, and it was on sale for $1!  I continued to check fabric sales and found this light blue plaid with cherries pattern.  It was on clearance, and I bought the fabric and other materials for around $9! Total score!

This pattern was out of my league.  I am a beginner seamstress, and I needed help.  Luckily, I have a friend whose mom helped me.  She was amazing and I can say without a doubt, that Becky would not have an apron without her.  She and I spent about 14 hours working on the apron.  Part of that was due to the fact that I am amateur seamstress, and the other part was the dang bias trimming the skirt had.  What a pain!  I made my teacher take $20 for helping, although she deserved much more than that.
This is where the negative connotations or common misconceptions come in.
1.      People think handmade gifts are cheaper.   This is the one that bothers me the most. Handmade gifts are most certainly not cheaper.  I will explain. Yes, the cost of my materials and my tutelage came to a total of $30!  That is a great deal for a normal Christmas present.  But if you add in my time at an average hourly wage of a woman in the US which is $23, in case you are interested.  The total cost of my present soars to $352.00!  I will not even factor in the opportunity cost, remember Economics?  Things/activities that I had to give up in order to make this apron.
2.      People think that handmade gifts have less meaning or less thought.  No, I didn’t run out some corporate powerhouse and fight the crowds to get you the same gift that thousands of others will open on Christmas morning.   Instead, I thought about what I wanted you to have, and I took the time to make it.  TIME, not MONEY.  Money is a renewable resource.  More money can be made each day.  It can be saved and multiplied.  TIME is another story.  It is not a renewal resource; it can’t be saved or doubled.  In fact, time is slipping away from all of us.  And I chose to spend my precious fleeting time to make this gift for you. 
3.      People think that handmade gifts are not the same quality.  Well, this could be true depending on the skill level of the crafter.  But for the most part, the skill that we crafters have is amazing.  And even if it is not perfect, the time and love that went into it make any gift worth treasuring.
4.   People think that handmade gifts are not to be used.  This could not be further from the use.  I want you to use that dishcloth that I made you, until it is ratty and gross.  And then, I want you to tell me that you need another.  I want you to put that tiny sweater on that baby, I don't care if he throws up on it or stains it.  In fact, I would rather it be that way.  I want to know that you loved your gift  And if you love it, you will use it.  And it will show signs of use, and you will eventually need another one.  I know this, I look forward to it.

Obviously, this is a subject that I feel passionately about.  So you may be wondering how I deal with the people in my life that don’t realize the value of handmade? 

Easy, I buy them stuff. I don’t waste my time of making them something they will not appreciate. 

Why would I do that, when I know...

That Holly loves custom made character hats in the winter?
That Becky needs an apron for this future vision I have of her?
That my mom needs new crocheted towels for her kitchen?
That Terri loves the crafts that I put in her Christmas basket?
That Sandy loves the scarves and cowls I give her to keep her warm?
That Justin appreciates having a character doll that no one else has?
That Andrew loves his tank slippers so much that they are on display during the summer months?

I am busy crafter, so I craft for those who love receiving handmade gifts.  And the others, I simply will let the big box stores with their unoriginal gifts do their part.

(Steps off soap box)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hot Pink Gardening Gloves

I have mentioned before that my dad has a green thumb; actually I think he has an entire green hand.
It is no secret that I had grown weary of apartment living.   I had become restless and very jealous of my friends who lived in houses; friends who had front yards for decorations at Christmas, real front doors for displaying wreaths, and backyards for the warm weather enjoyment and gardens. 
So upon moving to a house, one of the first things that I did was start to plan a garden.  So I called my dad, the expert.  We had several conversations about what I would plant, how I would plant it, and what I would do with the harvest. 
Finally, the time came to plant last weekend.  My dad came up to help, and he brought all kind of stuff with him.  The only thing that I had to provide was the plants, so Saturday morning, dad and I went and picked out my plants. 

 I naively thought we were just going to use regular dirt, but there is a certain mixture and a method to the dirt.

There is a lot of talk of raised gardens and things like that, and this method is very similar.  These pots will help me control the water that the plants get during the hot summer.  And hopefully, I will be able to keep little critters out of my garden by using this method. 
I planted tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers, and zucchini in these pots.
On the back porch, I have 3 smaller planters.  One of them holds sweet mint, and the two pictured below hold lettuce, rosemary, basil, and pineapple sage. 

Here is a pic of me and my dad after a morning of gardening.  You can’t see my hot pink gardening gloves, but they are really dirty.   It was a great time for me, and I think my dad really enjoyed teaching me how to do this. 

Here’s to fruitful summer!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A New Diet

I sometimes like to press pause in my busy life, and take a moment to reflect.  And I was doing that this afternoon, drinking my afternoon smoothie, reading an old blog post, and realized that I have been drinking green smoothies for almost a year.

So as I am nearing my one year anniversary of green smoothies, I would like to notate the things that I eat on a regular basis now, that were NOT in my REGULAR diet prior to the smoothies. 

-bananas (of course, I occasionally ate bananas before, but not nearly as much as I do now)
-strawberries (same as bananas)
-cranberries (delish in a fall smoothie)
-pineapple (I had never bought a pineapple before I started making smoothies)
-oranges and tangerines (the one I had with lunch today was amazing)
-Brussels sprouts
-turnips (my dad has been trying to get me to eat turnips for years)
-onion - (I still only like onions when they are roasted or fully cooked, but even this is major progress)
-Bell peppers – (same as onion)
- broccoli – I would this every now and then, but now I love it steamed, roasted, dehydrated, etc
-rutabaga – my mom has been making this for years, and now all of sudden I love it
-okra – same thing as rutabaga
-zucchini – I are squash before, but I have discovered a passion for this food.  Lets put it soups, breads, muffins, roast them, hash

I look at this list above and wonder what in the hell did I eat if I didn’t eat any or much of the above.  I don’t know the answer to that, except that it probably wasn’t good.

I am going to continue to try new things, and see what agrees with my taste buds. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I feel as if we are on the cusp of a change.  I have felt this way for a little while now.  I am not sure if it has something to do with our whirlwind moving plans, the weather, future goals, or maybe it has been a combination of all of these things.  But a change is coming.
We moved this past Friday, and I think this is going to be a good move for us.  We have lived in an apartment for 4 years since we moved to Atlanta, and we have outgrown that space and lifestyle.  We are older now.  I want a garden.  Justin wants to grill on the back deck, and cut the grass.  I wanted a bigger kitchen.
In my parent’s house when I was growing up and now, the kitchen was always the main focal point.  That is where people hung out and people gravitated, because that is where the action was, and it no surprise that my home has become the same way.  The kitchen in our last apartment was so small and did not fulfill its purpose.  But twice since we have moved in, I have seen my friends lounging in the kitchen having both deep and silly conversations and thinking this is what my kitchen is for.  And it is also for cooking, which as many of you know, I do quite of bit of.   So a new living environment is definitely a change.
I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but this weather is ridiculous.  April is next week, and it is time for it to be warm.  We all got a taste of it a few weekends ago, but it did not stick around.  On my drive into work, I can see the trees and flowers trying to bloom.  I know that one morning on my drive in, it will be like, “Bam, Bloom”  and there will be this amazing explosion of color.  Change is coming.
Another change is coming as well, I look around as I was boxing things up last week and I was a little embarrassed.  I realized that I really do have a lot of stuff.  I do not live simply, and it seems that I might be too far gone to retrace my steps.  But I can makes small changes and small efforts to declutter my house and my life.  Change is coming.
Change is exciting, even if it unknown or scary. Change is hard and necessary.   And I think in order for us to be the best people we can be, change always has to be around the corner.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day

I love Valentine’s Day.  I am not sure why I love it so.  I am fully aware that it is a made up holiday, so commercialism can dig its claws even tighter into us as society.   The money spent on roses, dinners, jewelry is a little ridiculous.  Yes, even I can admit that. 

And I saw the worst part of Valentine’s Day yesterday.   I was in Kroger buying some cream cheese and a few other things.  (I attempted to make Crab Rangoon last night, and definitely will try again, but a post on that when I actually get it right.)  Anyways, while I was in Kroger, I saw all these men rushing around trying to find something, roses, orchids, a box of chocolate.  They were in search of anything that they could take home and their significant other would not be pissed at them.  That is how Valentine ’s Day gets a really bad rep.

I view it a little differently.  I view as an opportunity to share with Justin, my friends, and my family just how much they mean to me.  I honestly try to spend as little money as possible.   Actually, this year I only spend $35 on Valentine’s Day.  This is what I bought for $35 dollars.  Ten cards, 1 gift card, crab meat, wonton wrappers, cream cheese, cake mix, powdered sugar, sprinkles, and two skeins of yarn.  What did I do with all of this stuff?

-I made two attempts to make crab rangoons.  I came really close to getting it right, but Justin would not let me make a 3rd batch.
-I sent 10 of the most awesome ladies I know a card.
-One of those cards included an extra special gift card.
-I made cupcakes for my favorite people at the bar Monday night.
-I made a fingerstache.  It is awesome.
-And finally, I made Ness.

Now Ness is the main character from Justin’s favorite video game.   He has played Earthbound every year since we have been together, and I sure that tradition started before we were together. Justin’s morning alarm is Ness’s wake up music in the game.  Yes, he is that big of a fan.
I am not sure how I thought of this idea.  I have no idea where it came from.  I just know that I was sitting at my desk as work, letting the creative juices flow.  Then, out of nowhere, came this awesome Idea.  And I knew if I could get it right, it would be awesome.   There was no pattern for a Ness doll, so I had to create this one from sheer skill.
Here is the picture I started with.

Here is the head and the hat.  I know that logic would suggest that I completed the body and then add the features.  But I could work on the naked body at home in front of Justin.  However, the clothes I worked on during my lunch breaks.  So yes, I am in my car, crocheting.   And yes, I may be a dork.

He is really starting to come together here, although he still has no legs.

And here is my Ness doll, complete with his backpack.  I was proud of him, but nervous as to what Justin would think.  Justin loved it.  He immediately posted it to an Earthbound fan site.

So Valentine’s Day is not about chocolate, flowers, and jewelry.  Although those things are nice, and the flowers I received from my sister made my whole day. My Valentine’s Day is about taking a little extra time, and doing something that wasn’t “expected” of meto show those closest  to me that I care for them.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Grand Debut

Have you ever worn something really new and super cute to work, and then waited for the compliments to come flooding in? 
Yes, I may be taking the long way to the water fountain today.  Yes, I may be striking a pose every now and then.  Yes, I may be a tiny bit obsessed with my outfit today. 
But, come on? It’s amazing!

And I made it!
Are there mistakes? Absolutely.  Are there different knitting techniques I would use in future versions of this sweater? Yes, sir. 
But for my first sweater, I consider this a huge success! 
I love it! It’s amazing!  I am amazing!
PS – I am trying to remain humble, because there is a super secret project in the works that I haven’t quite figured out yet. More on that next week.
PSS – But come on,  it's amazing, isn’t it?

Monday, February 4, 2013

More Progress

It seems the two biggest things that I have going on right now are the upcoming half marathon and my sweater. And while they seem very different, there are a few similarities.
1.      Time - Both require a lot of time that most people wouldn’t spend on this.  The training hours and the hours knitting are extensive.
2.      Soreness - My legs and the rest of my body are seemingly continuously sore from the training runs.  While I am recovering from the runs, I usually participate in marathon knitting sessions that my hands sore and stiff.
3.      Training – Both of these things require a lot of skill.  You can’t just leave your house and run 13 miles, or at least I can’t.  You can’t just pick up some knitting needles and knit a sweater, or at least I can’t.

The similarities are there.  If I could figure out how to run and knit at the same time, my life would be complete.
 I ran 10.6 miles yesterday.  It sucked, but not near as bad as the 10 mile run last week.  My legs today feel as if only a little train has run over them.  So definitely progress is being made.
And here is my sweater on Saturday evening.  I know it is a short sleeve, but I wanted to be able to wear this throughout the spring. Progress!

Since then I have added another sleeve.  All that is left is the finishing and the mistake hiding.  I am saving the final sleeve for the final reveal.  I am excited.  I am really doing this!!
I also have a super secret to show you, next Friday.

Monday, January 28, 2013


I am feeling a little on top of the world right now!  I ran 10 miles yesterday, and survived.  My legs feels as if they have been ran over by a train.  And on the last 3 miles, I really did consider sitting down and waiting for Justin to come pick me up.  But I kept on, and I finished, so I am beyond excited.  I am going to celebrate this feat for a little more, before I start thinking about next week's long run.

Anyways,  I am plugging along on my sweater.  I wish you could understand how much I am in love with this.  I could not be happier at the moment.  And much like running, I am going to celebrate this accomplishment a little longer, before I start thinking about the sleeves.

I have made some serious progress. This is Saturday night.

And this is this morning...

This is around 7:30 before hair and makeup, so no judgement. 

I hate short sweaters, so I am going to knit on, and then the sleeves.  But who knows?  I may be wearing my first sweater as early as next week!!  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Finally, A First

I have said for at least 3 years I was going to do this, and I haven’t even made an attempt to start.
I read a lot of knitting blogs, and I always see these fantastic sweaters knitted with fantastic yarns.  And I want so bad to be able to knit one for myself or my hubby, if he would ever wear it.  But I have been scared and nervous about starting one.
Until Now

 I am finally starting, and as you can see from the pic it is going pretty well.

Pattern:  $5 in Paris
I found this pattern on Ravelry, and a lot of people used this pattern for their first sweater.  One of my hang-ups, is that most sweater patterns call for really nice (read: expensive) yarn.  I was nervous to invest that much money into something I didn’t know if I would or could finish.    However, this pattern was written for cheaper (yet, still nice) yarn.  So I thought, I will give this a try and see what happens.

I am very excited, and thrilled with how this is going.  I am anxious to work on it this weekend.  I will keep you informed on the progress.

I am doing it, finally doing it!!

Happy Friday, Friends!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Izabella Miya

Like most people my age, I had quite a few toys when I was growing up.  Nothing like the kids today, but I still had quite a few.  And my parents taught me from a very early age that “things” don’t matter.  It is about the people around you and the experiences that you share.    My memories of my childhood are filled with people, fun times, and times when my sister got me in trouble, which was always. J
My mom and I didn’t keep a lot of my toys after I outgrew them.  We lived in a small house and there wasn’t room for two teenage girls and a whole lot of toys.  So we donated what we could and threw away the rest.  I have a teddy bear that has a special meaning to me, but that’s about it.  I am okay with that.
However, I do miss one toy, one baby doll, one red-headed cabbage patch doll.  I can remember everything about her.  What her hair looked like, what she wore, and I also know that there would be a stain on her chest, where I mimicked my mom changing my sister’s bandage on her chest.  I wish I had had the foresight at 13 to know that even though I had outgrown her at the time, that I might still want her in the future.
Whenever I am in a toy store, I take a quick look at the cabbage patch dolls, hoping to find her or one like her.  Now they have corn silk hair, preemie cabbage patch dolls, newborn cabbage patch dolls, and so forth.
So when this came in the mail yesterday as a belated Christmas present, I was pretty excited.  Justin had done a lot of searching for a vintage style, red headed, green eyed cabbage patch doll.  No, this is not exactly like the one I had.  The clothes are different.  The hair color is right, but the style is not.   It is still pretty dang close. Close enough that when I texted a picture to my mom, she recognized that it looked like the original.   I can assure that I am going to take better care and track of this one.
Please meet Izabella Miya.

This is me and Izzy on my new chair.

P.S.  Next time I am in Alabama, I plan to dig up a pic of me and the original and add it to this post.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


2012 was a great year for me.  I had a lot of fun.  I learned a lot of new things.  I met new people.  I traveled to new places.  It is going to be pretty hard for 2013 to top it, but I am excited to see what’s in store. 
Now Justin and I aren’t very superstitious, but we make sure to eat some black eyed peas.  And I make sure to eat something green. 
As Justin and I were taking the Christmas tree down last night, we were talking about goals for ourselves and our family.  Things we wanted to do and accomplish, our dreams for our future.  It was a great time of reflection and of looking forward into the future.
Some of my personal ones are...
1.      To knit and crochet things that I want to make, and challenge myself.  Even if this means I have to cut other things out.
2.      To be healthier than I was before.  And to continue to run.
3.      To keep not biting my fingernails.
4.      To be more organized.
5.       To look for the adventure and make the most out of it.
Some of our family ones are...
1.      To watch less tv.
2.      To save more
3.      To not “buy” any Christmas tangible Christmas presents next year.
Yesterday was filled with everything that I want 2013 to hold.   I had breakfast with friends.  I ate some great food.  Saw some beautiful scenery.  Had plenty of time to knit and crochet.  Didn’t spend any money.  Organization of the pantry.  Watched some great football.   Spent quality with Justin.  Yes, 2013 is going to be a great year.