Friday, January 31, 2014

One Little Word | Choose.

It is not what you first think. There is no effort of will, no firm resolve in the face of this thing called living. There is only paying attention to the quiet each morning, while you hold your cup in the cool air & then that moment you choose to spread your love like a cloth upon the table & invite the whole day in again. ~Story People
This word snuck up on me last fall. I wavered about it a lot in late December because I wasn't quite ready to commit. But then I came across this story in a scrapbook that my family made for me last Christmas. And I realized the choice had been made.

Then it took nearly a month to knit the mitts and get the photo. Huge thank you to Katie for braving the sub-freezing temperatures this morning for the photoshoot. (She also captured a few of the snow day mittens since we were already cold).

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What a Difference a Day Makes.

…the weather folks got it right.
this morning's walk…in approximately the same spot we stopped for a photo yesterday
Thankfully Marc made it home safely yesterday afternoon (he thought his 2+ hour commute was bad…til he heard stories from coworkers who didn't get home til after 10pm and a few who were out later than that).  We took a quick walk yesterday afternoon. Holly honestly doesn't know what to make of all this white stuff.
Holly and me
from an upstairs window, about 5pm yesterday
Today we're staying home. He's working. I'm watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (on Netflix - thanks so much to my sister for the recommendation - I'm halfway through Season 1 and love that I have enough TV lined up to keep me entertained for a few more days!) and knitting.
thankful for stash (that's two balls of Kathmandu Aran) and a decent library (that's Ann Budd's Basic Mitten, from  2009 Interweave Accessories).
That pair of mittens I've been promising myself is going to happen today. Hopefully before I have to take Holly out for another walk!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ten on Tuesday | Loving Winter.


captured just as I started typing this post
…I can't help but wonder if Carole's prompt this week - about Loving Winter - might've jinxed us. For the first time all season, we are supposed to get real snow today. The kind that sticks on the ground and makes a mess. Snow is one of my least favorite things about winter. I do, however, love many things about this season:

1. sweaters. all the knitwear. all the knitting. this is truly our season!

2. snuggling.

3. fires in the fireplace.
on the sofa table
4. candles and glittered pinecones.

5. comfort food, as in oven-roasted anything and hot soups, especially from the slow cooker.

6. beginnings.

7. the clean landscape. green leaves are pretty, but bare branches have a special beauty.
from this morning's walk
8. my uggs and Holly's pink coat. (that coat makes me smile every time!)

9. primroses.

10. …and spring is just around the corner!
click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Holy Hills Batman!

…I ran the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15k yesterday. Alpharetta, especially around Lake Windward (where I live) is especially hilly and just about any run around here will have hills. The Hot Chocolate route made me grateful for every last one one of those training runs.


This was only my third race, and the first I've run with someone.
as close to the starting line as I've ever been!
Lauren has lots of experience with races, but this was her first one in Atlanta. I knew enough from the Publix Half Marathon and all our two-day walks that it would be a tough course. Having her by my side made all the difference. We encouraged each other through the painfully cold start (our fingers and toes didn't thaw til about mile 4),  that incredibly long climb around mile 5 and the seemingly endless succession of hills that made up miles 7 and 8. We had just enough left to race down the hill at the end. My garmin showed a 7:46 pace for the last bit. We were delighted with our finishing times - 1:20:23 and 1:20:25 respectively (she beat me by 2 seconds!) - and overall 8:38 pace. Not bad, we said, for two old ladies; we placed 9th and 10th in our age group! (The winner in our age group ran a 7:11 pace…whoa!)

Lauren's 21 year old son ran, too (a little bit ahead of us :-). So we had someone to take our picture. and drive.
after the race
The post-race finisher mug was a little disappointing. The hot chocolate was good, but I wanted cold water and some protein. Oh well.

It was ok because Marc left me a very nice surprise. (the dinner was delicious…after a nice nap and a few glasses of wine).

And now, a day later, Lauren and I are meeting for a short run and a long yoga class. I feel pretty good about the whole thing.

Thank you to my Instagram friend Beth for this post's title. She was so right about it!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Around Here | January 2014.

this morning's journal time
Ali's done a few posts like this and I love that it lets me document the right here right now without the constraints of -ing words. And documenting the right here right now seems the best way to dive back into blogging. Not that a single post proves anything, but it's a beginning. I can only hope it's a good one.

Around here the weekdays start dark-early (5 am for me and 5:30 for Marc). He typically leaves for the office by 6 (gotta love a man's up-and-out routine that takes less than 30 minutes!), but was home this morning until 7. He worked at the kitchen table while I checked emails and blogs at my usual kitchen-counter spot. It was nice to connect at the beginning of the day… even if we both had our minds mostly elsewhere, we chatted a bit and we were together.

Around here the days are noticeably longer. Little bits of sunlight start to peek through just after 7 o'clock and sunset isn't til nearly 6. This week it hasn't rained, but it's been cold (Atlanta cold anyway - lows in the teens and highs in the 30's) and the sky has been clear blue with white clouds. It's energizing to be outside, as long as you're dressed for it.

Around here I'm drinking lots of coffee. Santa brought me and Sara one of the "free refill" mugs from Starbucks and I'm averaging at least one cup a day (not to mention what I brew at home).  There's a Starbucks about a mile from my house that's conveniently on the way to just about anywhere I go, and there's another one next door to the yarn shop. I hope it's not going to be too hard to break the habit when I have to start paying $2 for those refills!

Around here my daily routine always includes journal time, usually just after Marc leaves. I love the quiet and watching the day come to life outside the window. I started journal #20 on New Year's Day. It's still hard for me to believe I've filled up 19 books with thoughts, doodles and other stuff…I wonder how many more there will be?

Around here my daily routine also includes Instagram, #fms prompts(!) and - most days - 10,000 steps. Yes, I love my fit bit. It's helping me focus less on miles and more on simply moving.

Around here I'm in two book clubs and some months (like this one) it seems I barely have time to read two books. I just finished the second one - Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey. I'd barely started it when we met last week, but the discussion really drew me in. Turns out the "real" Downton Abbey has much to offer - Edwardian England, World War I, King Tut, royalty, wealth and quite a few charming characters. Yesterday, I started the first February selection, House of Sand and Fog. Somehow I managed to miss the book and the movie but just a few pages in I already sense this story isn't going to end well. Fortunately, I've already read the other February selection (Light Between Oceans) so next I'm going to finish Mary Poppins.  I started it last month before we saw Saving Mr. Banks (a wonderful movie for anyone who loves Emma Thompson or Mary Poppins…I happen to love them both!) and I'm pretty sure it has a happy ending!

Around here Katie, Sara and I will celebrate the last spring break (yep, Sara graduates from college in May!) with a girls' weekend in March. We had our hearts set on San Francisco, but I finally accepted the reality that it's just not feasible for the three of us to fly to the west coast to spend four days and three nights in an expensive city. So we'll go someplace closer with good restaurants, a little shopping, nice scenery…maybe Highlands, NC?

Around here on the needles - a sweater for Katiea shawl, and a cowl and mitts for myself. Mindful of the resolutions I set for this year, my next project is a prayer shawl, with yarn I already have. …and hopefully mittens and a hat. Boy it would've been nice to have those these past few weeks!

Around here there is still Project Life and One Little Word. I look forward to sharing more on both…soon.

Around here it is now nearly 11 am and I must get Holly out for her walk.

Would love to hear what's happening around you!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Knitting Resolutions for 2014.

…yep, I made some! and since one of those resolutions is to blog about my knitting, I figured it would make sense to share the whole list. Here goes:

1. Update Ravelry as I knit, including photos. I had been really good about this and I need to get back into the habit. Not only are the notes helpful when I'm asked about my projects, the photos are fun to share (and helpful).

I made this little set over the weekend and I'll be blogging about it for the shop later today. It's a baby gift, knit with yarn I bought in 2013…so count one for others (#3) and one for stash (#4)
2. Blog about knitting, both here and for the shop.

3. One-for-one for myself and for others.

4. One-for-one for stash projects and new yarn purchases. I am counting WIPs and hibernating projects as stash in the hopes that motivates me to finish them! But this is still going to be hard - I work at a yarn shop! And five days into 2014, I've already bought yarn for one project… so I need to start something with stash or finish one of those WIPs to balance that out!

5. Knit more cowls and shawls (and fewer sweaters) for myself. Getting to wearability here, I find I'm wearing my accessory pieces more than my sweaters - even in winter. Of course I have at least six sweater's worth of stash (and one WIP); we'll see how this goes!

6. Knit myself a hat and mittens to wear when I walk Holly. This has been on my to-do list since 2010 - and I am finally going to make it happen, hopefully this month, but for sure in February (and yes, I've got plenty of yarn in my stash, so that's a help).

7. Finish all my WIPs and hibernating projects. I have one sweater (for me) on the needles and a handful of hibernating projects, most of which are socks. Here are the hibernating projects - see what I mean about the photos?

So there you have it - not too long of a list, and certainly do-able. I'm hoping it gets me into some better habits about what I knit and for whom. Are you resolving anything about your knitting this year?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

...if last night is any indication, 2014 is going to be full of laughter and friends.
we celebrated with a few friends at our home…and yes, the tree is still up!
(of course if today is any indication, I might not get much accomplished…but hey, I'll have fun doing nothing!)

Wishing you and yours all the best in the new year!