kids' clothes and car rides and a former self

March 18, 2015
Today was just one of those days, you know? We had to get out of the house, for the love, despite the fact that it feels like it might start snowing any minute. Which is very dramatic of me, really, as it's in the mid-40's. But after a solid week of warmth and sunshine and no hats, back to normal spring weather feels like a death sentence.

But we put on our hoodies and our hats, grabbed our sunnies and headed out the door. We had two bags full of clothes for a little friend of ours, six months behind Lou in age and so the perfect dumping ground for all those things we no longer need - baby clothes, diapers we've outgrown and haven't used, swings and bassinets and all those little baby things you have and use for five seconds and then hold onto JUSTINCASE they decide they love it again, when you know they won't. Which reminds me, I've got an exer-saucer in the basement we should have brought along as well. Ugh.

We're so lucky, really. We have a friend with twins - A and J - and we give her all of Owen's old clothes for J as he grows out of them, and she gives us all of A's old clothes as they no longer fit her. Lou gets an amazing new wardrobe every four months or so, as does her son, and we both spend far less on clothes than we would have.

In turn, when Lou grows out of everything, we bag it all up and take it over to little miss M, who gets a new wardrobe and her parents then don't have to spend a mint, either. It works out far too well, you'd think we planned it. I promise that's not the case.

On our way over to M's house, stopped at a stoplight, Owen began to tell me about the pretzel he wanted for lunch. His stories have gotten amazing lately, let me tell you. The kid knows how to spin them, and I laugh so hard every time. The pretzel he wanted, very specifically, tasted just like a french fry, and was blue. As all the best pretzels are. So as I turned around at this red light to discuss the pretzel situation, I happened to notice the girl in the car next to us.

I swear, it was me. Well, me at 24, with my bleached out blonde hair cropped just so, tussled with product and extra large sunglasses shielding my assuredly hung-over eyes, a Parliament Light in my hand with the window cracked just enough to let the smoke out and keep me naively convinced the smoke smell wasn't permeating every pore of both the car and myself anyhow.

She was singing along to some song, and I stopped, so startled at seeing this girl, an older version of me so clearly driving along next to me. And here I was, in my late 30's with two little kids singing songs and discussing blue french-fry tasting pretzels as we took baby clothes over to a friend, and I laughed out loud.

That girl, that former me, she was decidedly anti-kids. She didn't ever want to get married, for the love, much less have KIDS to contend with. She was just passing through, finishing up her degree after her original reasons for being in this small town calling itself a city went up into smoke. She was just doing some time before moving on, leaving all of this midwestern smallness behind her.

She had no idea that before that bleach blonde would have a chance to grow out she'd meet the man who would change her mind on all of it, or that in a decade she'd be driving around with two car seats, singing the ABC's on repeat, counting to 20 while always forgetting 15, and reminding her strong-willed little Louise that she really should NOT try to rip the modem out of the wall for the fiftieth time today.

And then, the light changed, and the former version of myself sped off and turned the corner, and we continued on our way. We stopped to get french fries after I convinced Owen that I was probably not going to be able to find a blue fry-flavored pretzel on such short notice, Lou laughed at the construction on the street, and we came home. Hoodies and hats and sunnies on the bench, please, and yes I will get those fries out now. Shoes off, trains out, and life goes on.

the state of things

March 17, 2015






Lately, life has felt a bit jumbled, and much harder than it should really be. I'm so lucky - I get to spend my days puttering around with two of the greatest monkeys on the planet - and yet, these last few weeks (months, really) I've felt it all to be just a bit too hard.

And there's no reason why. When I step back and look at it all, I love every bit of it - my husband, my kids, staying home, this home we've made, the little bits and the big that make up life right now are all wonderful. But still, this dark cloud hangs over.

So I'm practicing gratitude. Openly, here in this space, as often as I can and for as long as I must. And then some, I'm sure, because gratitude is good. And I have so much to be grateful for.

Like the fact that I gave Owen a hair cut by myself, and it's not the worst hair cut he's ever had. Not the best, but after the last few butcherings at the shop by trained professionals, I figure I can do at least that bad! Thankfully, he's not yet a kid that cares what his hair looks like, so long as we don't mess with it too much.

Like the fact that Lou has grown herself into 18 month clothes, and fights sleep in all the exact same ways Owen did when he was a year old. She prefers sleeping on the couch (beds are dumb, guys), and loves to get excited and scared and surprised at movies she's seen a hundred times.

Like the weather, which was so warm yesterday that we should have all been wearing shorts. And even though it's cooled off today, to 50 degrees, it's still nice enough to not need a jacket in mid March, which is unheard of.

Like the fact that I AM IN LOVE WITH TEACHING MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS. I officially have that particular brand of crazy down, and my practicums this term have shown me exactly where and how and who I want to teach. It's such a relief!

Like the fact that, even when the laundry is never done, and the carpet needs to be vacuumed at least three times a day, whenever I want an extra hug or kiss there's three people here who want to give them out.

Like the fact that Zach can see how stressed I am, and takes overnight shifts more often than he should so that I can get some sleep and hopefully knock this black cloud away, and how he gives me big hugs as often as he can, and reminds me that our life is good and amazing, and our kids are happy and healthy and that I am, in fact, and despite what I may think, doing a good job.

Like getting hats off the needles still, one at a time, slow as molasses, but hats for others, none the less.

Keiran Blanket

March 16, 2015
I love little baby props, and mini blankets are no exception. They work up super fast, look adorable in photos, and can be gifted to new mamas to use as car seat blankets, perfect for keeping baby warm between the house and the car!

I've been slowly stocking the She Makes Hats Shop with newborn hats again, and have added in a few other fun newborn photo props, this Keiran Blanket included. You can purchase one there for just $25, or if you're so inclined you can make one for yourself using the free pattern shared after the jump!

YARN

Lion Brand Thick N Quick

NEEDLES

size US 17 /  mm straight needles

NOTIONS

Darning needle for weaving in ends

GAUGE

6 stitches = 4"

SIZES

finished blanket measures 14x14"

See the Ravelry Page for more information.

Out and About

March 13, 2015
It's been so gorgeous out these last few days, I grabbed some new sandals (my old pair kicked the bucked this week) and have been spending as much time outside as possible. This means the park, walks up and down the block, and driving around with the windows open as often as possible! While the weather won't probably stay this nice through to summer, and we're sure to get plenty more cold days and rain and the like, I'm so ready for spring to be here!

Also, how cute is Lou in her pigtails?! They only last about five minutes, but they're worth it every time!

Here's a few fun things I've found while poking around on the internet these last few weeks -  have a great weekend!

Great thoughts from Susannah on living in and loving on your body.

Gilmore Girls knit-along!!

I love this story about a guy who took an upright piano around the country!

For as often as we have bananas about to expire, I could be doing this instead.

You guys, Rebecca never disappoints!

Even though I read far less than I used to (where do I find the time?!), I love finding book lists like this one.

Great photo editing app lists from both Taza and Tammy!

As a hat knitter, I don't usually have to worry about storing bits of my finished projects, but I love Karen's thoughts on the subject!

Elise is always on point with her decorating thoughts, and these framed photos are no exception!

I love love LOVE how Natalie parents! Also, her book comes out on Tuesday - have you ordered yours already? I sure have!

And finally, I guest posted on Asymmetrical's blog today, sharing a bit of a peek into my writing life. Spoiler alert, it involves kids on tables, pajamas, and food.

Word Tasting Tour 2015

March 12, 2015
I'm so excited to share the next big book tour happening with Asymmetrical Press - Word Tasting Tour 2015!

For those new to this space, Asymmetrical Press published my book She Makes Hats last March, and is comprised of a great group of writers who are super passionate about words, writing, and the medium of books.

Most of last year saw two of Asymmetrical's founders touring around the USA (and a few stops across the globe as well!) in support of the book Everything That Remains. They're taking that model and scaling it to be more manageable, and probably a bit more fun, by inviting more authors on the road with them, stopping at a smaller number of cities, and touring for a shorter amount of time.

From the website:

Not just a book reading, not just another event—a meaningful experience. Asymmetrical Press’ team of talented authors is hitting the road in May and June for a WordTasting Tour across the western United States and Canada. From minimalism and travel to storytelling and humor, this tour provides a taste of something for everyone.
Join Colin Wright, Josh Wagner, Shawn MihalikSkye Steele, and special local guests for an evening of WordTasting: readings, stories, live music, questions, and answers. Plus special guests Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists will host and read at most events (see full schedule for details).
Admission to each two-hour event is free. So are the words. Come get a taste of something simple, unique, indie.

The tour is taking place on the West Coast for the most part, touching into Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado as well as Montana, so I won't be able to attend any of the dates (sad! tears!), but if you're anywhere near any of the events, you should make a point to attend.  These guys are true class acts, their writing is above and beyond amazing, and they give free hugs at the end of every event.

Visit the website for more information, a list of dates and specific cities, and to learn everything you can about these amazing authors!

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