Monday, February 29, 2016

Just in Time for Spring.

...or at least those chilly spring mornings*. All that stands between me and a finished sweater is 
at my kitchen counter, 3:30 p.m.
  1. nine rows of ribbing over 239 stitches;
  2. a final blocking;
  3. tacking down two pockets; and 
  4. sewing on six buttons.
I really really wanted this done by the end of February, but at this point, I'll settle for March 2.

...back to ribbing...

*yes, even in Georgia, we have chilly spring mornings! we might even be freezing on Wednesday!

Friday, February 26, 2016

FO Friday | Socks!!!

It's been over three months since I last shared a proper FO post. And it's been over five* years since I finished a pair of socks for myself. So yes, all the exclamation points!!!

raveled here
This was my first time using self-striping yarn and I must say - it's fun! Even when the stripes don't match.

I'd forgotten how nice hand knit socks feel...and fit.

I bought the yarn when we were in Beaufort last spring; sadly, my LYS doesn't carry it. But we'll be going to Beaufort again in April. Maybe I'll even get the stripes to match on my next pair.

*September 2010 to be exact. I was surprised it had been that long, but I think my nearly empty sock drawer confirms it.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday | Mere-et-Filles.

photo that was part of the first blog banner - which sadly, I can't locate
This blog had a birthday last week. Yep, my very first post was Sunday, February 18, 2007. Time flies and all that... but whoa, it's hard to believe I've been at this for over nine years. It's fun to revisit those early archives and remember what life was like. 

I was working for Hewitt, with thoughts of "retirement" but no definite plans. Katie was a sophomore at Georgia Tech and Sara was a freshman in high school. Marc was working hard and playing golf (that's one thing that hasn't changed!) We had a big lovable yellow lab named Chance. We loved our iPods and digital cameras. No one had a smart phone. I didn't know anyone personally who blogged. I was on a break from knitting and didn't know about the on-line world springing up around our craft. 

Back then, Katie and Sara also published posts. It was always a highlight to open the blog and see a new post from one of them. I spent a few hours last night and this morning reading through those old archives. Mostly wonderful memories.



That summer Katie traveled to Europe for Study Abroad (she met her future husband Rob on the flight over there) and Sara went to camp. It was a trial run for empty nesting.

The funniest post I read was this one, from Sara, late that summer.

I couldn't find a photo of the three of us together from those early days, but there are plenty of "two of us". Here's what we looked like back then.

Sara and I - Chicago - April
 Katie and I - a coffee date - February
Wow, huh?

Thank you for reading...and being part of our story.



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Watercolor Wednesday | Chasing Dreams.

view over the lake on this morning's drive to yoga
It was a gorgeous sunrise - the kind where I roll down my window, stop the car and say a quick thank you that there are no cars behind me or coming toward me. It was also a complete surprise because we were supposed to have rain all day.

When I got to the Y for my class, this is what I saw on the bulletin board:
Every morning you have two choices: 
continue to sleep with your dreams, 
or wake up and chase them!
Here's to chasing dreams!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ten on Tuesday | Today's Favorites.

So glad Carole's back from the Big Apple to inspire another installment of Ten on Tuesday. Today we're sharing Favorite Things Right Now. Here's my list:
from today
1. Tuesday with Charlie at seventeen months. Y'all know I could write a whole post about this...so for today, just these photos.


3. Apple Music, especially the For You curated play lists. I'm listening to Sara Bareilles as I type this...and yeah, I love that Apple knows me this well.

4. Athleta. I treated myself to some "comfortable" clothes before I left for Florida last month. Best wardrobe refresh ever.

5. An easier make-up routine, also thanks to my weeks in Florida. Except for that pop of lip color - it just came out this past weekend...because Spring.

6. My current knitting....and what I'm planning to knit next. blog post coming, I promise!
today's knitting
7. Mah Jong. another blog post coming! (but here's a teaser - I took a class... and I won the first real game I played.)

8. Sarah MacLean's regency romances. I binged through The Rules of Scoundrels and I have the first Love by Numbers ready to go on my Kindle.

9. Downton Abbey's last season. I was a huge fan when the show began, but that season when Matthew died really threw me. I half-heartedly watched the next season and didn't even bother with the one after that. Until all the hype about this last season started. When Marc went to Asia in January, I caught up on everything I'd missed and watched the first two episodes of this season. And this past weekend, I caught up on this season and watched episode 8. Only one episode left...

10. Being back here. This community is a huge part of me and I'm grateful for all the support and encouragement you've shared these past few months. I've missed the routine of posting and hope I'm ready to resume on a (somewhat...more...) regular basis.

Prompts like this are also a favorite. I look forward to reading what y'all have shared... and all the smiles. Thank you, Carole!

Click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Glimpses of Spring.

These past few days, we've enjoyed warmer temperatures (I didn't even wear a jacket yesterday!) and it's really starting to feel - and look! - like spring. Here are a few glimpses from around my neighborhood this weekend.



reminding me it's always important to coordinate my outfit with Holly's!

I have to say, there is really nothing like shedding a few layers and seeing new life to brighten my outlook. 

Hope your week is off to great start! Happy Monday!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Words in the Wild.

spotted this afternoon at Lululemon
I'm always a sucker for a good store window selfie. I couldn't resist this one. and I consider myself blessed to have multiple people in my life who tick every single one of those boxes (y'all know who you are!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday with Charlie | Seventeen Months.

I wasn't sure how today was going to go. I shouldn't have worried. We fell right back into place - albeit a somewhat different place than the one we shared on our last Tuesday together*, back in early January.

He is still a ham for the camera - and I loved that I could get him to play along on the floor for a long series of selfies. Yes, Marmie desperately needs a new phone lock screen and this was it! He even enjoyed the review and select process. Maybe seeing all those photos of himself stood in for the mirror. We didn't have any mirror moments today.

I did see him briefly on Sunday, but it wasn't until today that I could really take stock of how much he's changed in a month. He's taller. He used to stand on his tippy toes to barely see out the window to wave bye bye to his mama...not now.

He's still a great eater. Today's favorites included blueberry waffles, oranges, avocado, banana, applesauce, cheerios...and milk. Sadly, the pork tenderloin Marc and I enjoyed Sunday night was not a hit. 

And how about colors and coloring. and putting things into bags. I think he enjoyed that ziploc more than the coloring. 

Also walking. We took Holly for a walk after lunch and he walked the whole way holding tight to my hand. He really loves the big steps up and down and the big trucks (there's a huge construction project at the golf course behind our house and he was mesmerized whenever one of them drove by).

He's very interested in Ha-eee (Holly). Happy to report no altercations today. But there's still a ways to go before they're fast friends. (at least on her part). He's learning patience. and maybe she's learning trust. We'll see.

...and now it's time for a glass of wine and a little knitting. That hasn't changed!

*and because I'm sure inquiring minds want to know, that Lettuce and Purple Mystery is still sitting on the shelf in my yarn room. Spring seems like it might be just around the corner and my knitting thoughts are shifting to lighter projects...and finishing up a few cooler weather pieces that I just might have an opportunity to wear this season. Stay tuned for a knitting update. I know...it's been a while!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Home.

the view from my car yesterday afternoon
After nearly four weeks in Florida, it feels ... strange and unsettled to be sitting at my kitchen counter.

I did walk dark early in the park this morning with Lauren; I'm grateful that's one routine that won't be hard to re-establish. But the piles of paperwork (yikes, tax season!), the empty cupboard and bare refrigerator (I guess now is a great time to clean it!), the dust, the laundry ... so much else ... seems overwhelming.

Thank goodness it's Friday. I'm looking forward to catching up with Marc. and hopefully Charlie (and his mama). and being back here with y'all next week.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Eye Candy Friday | Blue Sky Blooms.

It's easy to see why so many people flock to Florida this time of year. Even the really winter-y days are rarely below freezing and there's plenty of sunshine. Holly and I have been taking full advantage with long daily walks (yay for 10,000+ steps!). The perfect opportunity to capture #blueskyblooms. Here are a few of my favorites over the past two weeks.

Yesterday's stormy rain left behind the promise of more bright blue skies today. I'm looking forward to it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday | 78 Years.

This photo has been sitting for months in a draft post. the planned follow-up to a post I shared last spring about family treasures from Mother's side of the family. Draft posts aren't really my thing - I like to publish the posts as I write them; I rarely even schedule a post to share a day later.
a collection of old photos from Daddy's childhood
But I guess the time is finally right to tell this story. I took that collection of photographs home with me last March promising to have them scanned so we could all have copies. Of course I still need to do that, so I brought the collection back down with me. And yesterday we sorted through more albums, boxes and envelopes and found a few dozen favorites. I scanned, edited and printed them so we can make a photo board for Saturday's visitation.

What struck me as I was sorting through the printed photos today is how well they tell the story Daddy told of his life when he wrote his obituary last summer (to be published only in his hometown paper; you can read it on-line here). Here are few of my favorites.

on the steps of his grandmother's house (the same house featured in this story)
1946
Daddy was the quarterback on his high school football team
Mother & Daddy - 1965 (this is one of the photos Betty brought with her last weekend)
October 1987 - Mother threw a surprise party to celebrate his 50th birthday
1996 - at a Texaco executive meeting - that's Daddy riding the bull!
Mother & Daddy in Newfoundland (one of their many train and boat trips)
Mother & Daddy in Cuba - they went there on a train tour (the trip was only approved because it was educational)
Daddy's 75th birthday - he couldn't have been happier with that backdrop!
I now have a renewed energy around getting all my old photos sorted and scanned. I've heard good things about Scan Cafe, but would appreciate any other recommendations or advice. Thank you!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ten on Tuesday | On Repeat.

Today's topic - in honor of Groundhog Day (the day and the movie) - is about moments in our lives we'd like to repeat. I think the timing is perfect to list ten moments I shared with my father that I have on repeat in my heart.

1. Playing games. I originally shared this photo and story back in 2009. It's obviously had a lot of repeat playtime over the years.
Daddy and me, age 2

2. Camping. This is another story I've already shared here and I was kind of surprised myself that it made this list. I do not love camping. I do not love long car rides. But I do love spending time with family, seeing new places and having fun. Those trips were all about that.
summer 1971
3. Eating. Daddy always enjoyed eating and he loved everything (which for a boy raised in small-town Alabama is a real credit to my mom, a California native with very adventurous tastes). One of the hard things about the past few years is that he could no longer eat. But in early 2011, he could tolerate soft foods and we hosted a Chocolate Mousse Throwdown when the family gathered that Memorial Day. My sister, my nephew and Sara all "competed". Of course Daddy couldn't declare just one winner, but he did enjoy a lot of chocolate mousse that day.
Karen, Andrew, Sara and Daddy (and a lot of chocolate mousse)
4. and drinking. Daddy's drink of choice was always scotch, a drink I've tried to like, but ... just can't. So about ten years ago, when he started liking Pinot Noir, I got excited. We shared this toast together in early 2012.
lunch out April, 2012
5. Beaufort weekends. Mother, Karen and I started a "girls weekend" tradition back in 2005. In 2007, we officially settled on Beaufort, South Carolina as our destination. Daddy came along, too (but stayed in a hotel separate from us and had his dinners out with our dear family friend Charlie) and we'd meet up for lunch on Saturday and church on Sunday. Last year, my brother joined the weekend and stayed with Daddy. It was perfect. We are actually going to repeat this one - kind of - in April. The whole family, including spouses, children and Holly, is gathering in Beaufort to inter Daddy's ashes in the Memorial Garden at the church we love there. This place has special meaning for us and being able to share it - over and over again - with Daddy is a blessing.
Steve, Mother, Charlie, me, Karen, Daddy
6. Daddy and Charlie. I am so glad Daddy got to meet Charlie. And we have many photos of the two of them together so Charlie learns about his Grandpa Roy. But I wish they'd had more time together; I know they would've had a great time and Daddy had so many experiences to share.
May, 2014 - Daddy and Charlie, age eight months
7. A proud moment. Daddy loved Georgia Tech. I think the last time he was on the campus was to celebrate Sara's graduation in May 2014. This photo was one of his favorites - what a legacy!
Marc, Katie, me, Sara, Daddy and Rob - all Georgia Tech grads!
8. Dancing. I think the only time we ever danced together was at Katie's wedding in May 2013. I'm glad we had the opportunity.

9. Thanksgiving. My parents have been coming to Atlanta for Thanksgiving for years. They stay with my sister and we plan all sorts of get togethers (pretty much every day except Thanksgiving!) around their visit. This year, we gathered at my house for cocktails (always a favorite "reason" to get together) the day after Thanksgiving. This is the last photo I have of the three of us children smiling with Daddy.
Steve, me, Karen and Daddy
10. ...and this is the last one of us three with him. Much of those last few hours are not something I ever want to repeat, but this moment, simply holding hands, is a beautiful one.
January 22, 2016
Photos can tell a powerful story. Thank you, Carole, for giving me a reason to do it today.

Click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun.

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Treat-filled Weekend.

My father's sister Betty drove up from North Palm Beach Saturday morning. She left after lunch yesterday. Her visit was a real treat for me and Mother in many ways:

Shortly after Betty arrived, we picked up Mother's friend Martha and headed downtown to visit the Farmers Market and have lunch. The Farmers Market runs year-round here. It's small, but surprisingly well rounded. I bought the last loaf of bread from the bakery stall and we picked up fresh crab dip and red snapper from the fish vendor.

Then we had lunch at Turners, probably my favorite restaurant in Leesburg (we have two more lunches planned there this week). The food is delicious... and the conversation was delightful. and funny. Martha and Betty are both from Alabama; they share a certain sense of humor that really cracks us up.

Maybe one of those next times I'll even remember to take photos of the food. For now, you'll just have to imagine fried green tomato caprese salad and sweet potato cheesecake.
Mother, Martha, Betty and me
Betty brought an old scrapbook that my grandmother had compiled. It started in 1966 and was filled with letters and drawings from her grandchildren and a few newspaper clippings. We had a great time reading those letters. and the clippings. oh my. the hometown paper's descriptions of the weddings are simply priceless.

I also enjoyed seeing photos of everything - afghans, sweaters, toys, hats - that Betty has knitted for her children and grandchildren. She has seven grandchildren ranging in age from 14 months to almost 13. That's a lot of knitting! 

Saturday night's dinner was fresh stone crabs. When Betty texted us about coming, she promised she'd bring them and Mother told me I was in for a treat. This was my first time eating them and wow!

Betty cracking the claws - it's a real art to break the shells without shredding the meat inside

We played two games of Five Crowns. Mother won both times, in spite of Betty's and my best efforts (and on my part anyway a few not-so-best efforts).
not one of my better efforts!
Yesterday morning she and I visited the local church; she'd been with Daddy just three weeks earlier (his last Sunday there). The sermon was on Esther and celebrating life. ♥

She's invited us to visit anytime. It's only three hours away, so really do-able for a quick visit. Maybe in June. She's promised to teach us how to play Mahjongg. I can't wait to learn. Do any of y'all play? It sounds like a lot of fun.

Hope you had a treat-filled weekend!