Monday, September 29, 2014

Summer seems to hold on

That's fine.

I know, I know. I probably shouldn't have let that happen.  But she likes to water her strawberry plant and watch it bloom.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Things that make me happy

I took a nap today.

Evelyn spent a couple of days with my mom and dad. Her visit included Wednesday class at the little church near them, and a trip to Memphis to see her aunt and cousin.  I'm told she could make Ellis stop crying every time she sang her ABCs.  Also, she went to the zoo with Laine and they were two big girls on a big girl adventure, just the two of them.  And she went to the Memphis Botanic Gardens!  I'll have to do a post about that with all the pictures Laine and Mom sent me.  So lovely. She was honestly a little bummed to come back to us, but I told her I would buy her some more Doc McStuffins merchandise and a Halloween costume.  That's really the only reason she went home with us and went to bed with a minimum of fuss.

So today I bought some Doc McStuffins merchandise: a doctor kit that's all glittery and includes a talking stethoscope, and a little stuffed dragon.   And we bought a Halloween costume.

She's been very focused on getting a Halloween costume and getting it from the costume store near our Target.  "Obsessed" may be too strong of a word, but it comes to mind whenever I think about her.  She was a little scared of all the decorations and some of the costumes and definitely all of the sounds, but she acted pretty calmly.  And we found a skeleton suit.  It's a little big, and the hood is a little small.  We may have to buy her a mask, assuming this is going to be her costume.  She really loves it.

I at least saved money by cutting Cody's hair tonight.  I'm glad he trusts me because I have no business wielding a beard trimmer all over someone's head.  But he looks fine.  Evelyn helped me sweep up the hair on the balcony when I finished.

I have a lot of plans for knitting hats.  So many plans. 

The morning glories are still going strong and there are some making our herbs look beautiful.  I was actually late for work this week because I wanted to run back in to take pictures.

Lastly, fall came this week and it's been pretty nice.  The leaves on the maples around here are starting to turn, and it's not so hot that I want to stay inside for all of eternity.  Mom and Evelyn made this cute little pumpkin a few weeks ago and it's been a great decoration for our table.

Things are nice.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

More morning glories

Here are some pictures from last week.

They're lovely.  I hope we can enjoy them for a little while longer.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I went to a fiber festival (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Sky Loom Weavers donated fiber to the event totes. They are beautiful people!  This is alpaca!
I went to the Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza yesterday.  I took off a few hours from work and drove to Hot Springs, Florence and the Machine blasting loud enough to shake my windows. I wandered around the vendor hall, clutching my chest before I bought anything.

But then I bought things. 

From the sale bin of Daizie Knits. They were nice!
 I used cash.  Um, until I ran out.  And then I used debit.

Why yes, there is a yarn outfit named Magic and Moonshine.  I obviously bought magic yarn.
 One of the most exciting things I bought was this:

That's a drop spindle kit from Twisted Purl.  Since I pre-registered, I had a goodie bag with some fleece in it.  Rather than give it to one of my spinning friends, I decided to get a spindle.  Most of the basic, regular ol' spindles were $10.  So why not buy a starter kit with a whopping 2 oz. of wool to go with it for just $5 more?!

I tried it out a little as soon as I got home and it went terrible.  Just awful.  I can't wait to watch more video tutorials and practice some more!  I've been watching people in my knitting group struggle and muck around with this for months and it looks like a lot of fun.

The vendors weren't just selling yarn and fiber, though!  There were stitch markers and project bags and t-shirts.  I bought these finger puppets for Evelyn.   She loved them.

I also bought this little mini-skein of yarn because I might make some socks for Boris.  Evelyn loves dressing up that bear (even though we keep telling her "He's a bear! He wears a fur coat!"), and I think she'd be tickled with some socks for her bear.

From Must Stash Yarns. I wish some of these baby skeins had sparkles.  Because she had sparkle yarn! It was lovely.
 I also bought this skein of yarn because it looks like enough to make the two of us some matching beanies.  They're going to be pretty short and simple, but I love this yarn.  It's so dadgummed fall-ish and I want us to have matching hats. 

From The Hen House. I was taking pictures of their yarn, and then someone gently informed me that they didn't allow that and then I was too timid to take any more pictures of anyone's yarn in the vendor's hall!
 But the best part of the evening was when my knitting friends came out of their classes and basically bossed me into grabbing dinner with them and listening to the keynote speaker. 

*It's not that I needed Cody's permission to go out and spend money and feel joy and see my friends, but I did feel like I should head home even though Cody was like "Hey, have fun. Let me know when you're on your way back." But the knitters 'made' me eat Mexican food, and then we sat and knitted and listened to the Yarn Harlot talk about knitting.

She's a fantastic storyteller.   She's funny and smart and talented and made the act of sitting there knitting with my friends and having a fantastic time at a fiber arts festival feel so very legitimate. 

I don't mean like as in, some people make money doing this.  Although some people do and they're serious business people and incredibly talented at their craft.  I mean like as in, this is not nearly as silly as golf.  It's not just for grandmas and it never has been.  It's a fantastic skill, all by itself, and it doesn't need a rebranding for people to love it.  You can do it however you want, in whatever way you want, and you absolutely should never downplay it.  Lately, I've tried to notice whenever I feel like I should dismiss some work that I did by pointing out the flaws or fudging on the number of hours I spent making something.  And then I try to shut that whole thing down.  

I'm lucky to have a very appreciative spouse and family, who are always incredibly nice and supportive about everything I make.  And I'm also lucky to be in a knitting group where we freely admit to one another and the strangers who pass by our table and ask us about our projects HOW MUCH TIME AND EFFORT goes into some of our projects.  But even then! Even! Then!  I still try to normalize knitting in a way that really freaking downplays how difficult it can be for me to understand a pattern, find time to work on it, and finish something up on a deadline and in the color you want.  And that's dumb. 

I don't want to be dumb.  I'm brilliant.  I can tackle any project I want.  I can do fantastic things!  I can complain about how I am incompetent at drop spindle spinning because I've only had about 20 minutes of practice!  It's fine!  It's great even! 

I kind of lost where I was going with that rant, so whatever.  Here's what I knitted during the talk.

It's another Tomten jacket for Evelyn.  She's outgrowing the one I made for her two years ago.  I picked out blue for her and Ellis, and she picked out the green for the border.  (It was that, or yellow.)  It's coming along nicely and I love all this garter stitch and simple construction.  I got probably a little over 2" done during the speech, when I wasn't laughing so hard that I had to wipe tears off my face.  I cry a lot when I laugh.  It's fine.

This was like a really good knight night, multiplied by 100 and with a lot more spending.  I loved it.  It was so very needed, and incredibly great.  Oh hey, here's another picture of yarn.

I don't know what I'm going to do with this really lightweight yarn from Knitting Rose Yarns. I don't care. It was on sale. It's beautiful. It lives with me now.  Everything is awesome.

Monday, September 15, 2014

This is just to say

that Surge is back in the world and I'm going to buy some once it's for sale again.

I'm so happy. 

Big thanks to Sara for leaving this very important news item about it on my Facebook.  It totally made my day.

It's the little things. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A birthday post for Dallas

Dallas is 13 now because time won't stop and everything is terrible and the aging process is inevitable and oh man.  But also everything is beautiful and perfect and amazing.  He turns 13 today and is going to play paintball.  He had a little family party last night and since there weren't many kids there and Evelyn's getting bigger, she got to play football.  Cody shadowed her some of the time, but for the most part we just made sure she stayed next to some of her uncles and they made sure the big kids remembered to throw her the ball every now and then.

Favorite parts of the evening: Dallas trying to get Evelyn to throw him the ball and shouting, "Pass it to your favorite brother!" and Jack yelling, "That's me!"

And Jack helping Evelyn down some stairs, and her saying "Thanks. I love you!" (They just met last night.)

Evelyn kissing people goodnight.

Dallas letting Evelyn help him blow out the candle on his cake because she thinks she gets to blow out the candles at everyone's party.  He was as gracious as he always is, and she was so happy to see him.


It was all my favorite part, really.  It was a nice little family gathering and I'm so happy that Dallas is 'ours'.  I love watching him grow and learn and turn into the kind of big brother we've always hoped he would be.  Happy birthday buddy.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A post for 8 years

I'm sure I could write a whole post.  I've been thinking about it for a while.  But I'm tired after working late and writing another post for my job and it's late and I think we're going to watch an episode of Burn Notice.  Maybe I'll do a real post for 8 years of marriage later in the week.  We'll be celebrating all week anyway.  Evelyn told me about my 'surprise' present yesterday, and then I left Cody's card in a notebook at work today so he'll have to wait, and we're going to hang out later in the week and and and.  We'll just keep sucking at life and partying anyway, just like we always have and I hope we always do.

I made Cody and sometimes Evelyn take a few selfies because it's our anniversary, dangit.  Nothing major.  I used the flash for most of these and everything.  I just wanted to record us on our actual wedding day before we went out for Chinese food and Starbucks on our little family date.

This is Evelyn's picture smile. She's fine. This picture is the one I deemed "the best" and put on Facebook so that people would congratulate me on managing to be married for this long.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pinnacle Mountain, 09.07.14

We probably carried Evelyn less than a third of the time, I got to hike ahead/out a few times to see things, and we didn't make it to the top.  It was pretty fun.  There's a playground at the park and Evelyn chased after several little girls in Disney attire to tell them "I loooove your skirt/shirt/outfit.  I just love it."  We want to try it again when it's cooler.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tonight, Tonight

From wikipedia.

Cody heard that a local group was having a moon-watching party downtown tonight, and asked me out on a date a few days ago.  I wasn't sure if it would still happen because of the weather, but it cleared up after a while.

Today was payday, so I grabbed a grouchy Evelyn and went to Target almost as soon as I got home from work. She had had a short nap, and was pretty furious that her visit to Granddad and Gil's house today didn't include an overnight stay. 

Last week, she stayed with them for two days.  Cody and I were pretty much dying by the time she came home on the third evening from missing her so much and feeling so weird without her in the apartment.  I flung open the door when she got to press the doorbell and she immediately shouted "Mommy!  I do not want to come to here!"


So.  Lots of distractions cheered her up, and stocking up on cleaning products made me happy.  We got home a little before 8, ate pizza, and strolled a few blocks.  She was already impressed with the fact that we were walking around at night, and that she hadn't been plopped in the bath immediately after dinner.

The Central Arkansas Astronomical Society had set up telescopes all over the vacant lot where the Argenta farmers market meets and people were just milling around and visiting and looking through different types of telescopes.  Evelyn stood on a stool or two, but mostly she looked through telescopes while I held her and covered up one of her eyes with my hand.  Everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful--they had to readjust the telescopes every so often because the moon would just sort of slip away.  Cody even looked through one telescope and the guy who owned it (I guess) was pointing out that he could see dust clouds in one of the moon's craters. 

Evelyn kept yelling "This is just like the pictures! This is just like on that show!"  She really loves The Magic Schoolbus right now, and we've watched a couple of the space-themed shows on repeat for the past few days.  Also, she  wants to be Carlos right now.  She maybe told the cashier at Target she was Carlos.  This is still not as strange as when she was Liz. 

Anyway, people talked to her and she loved that. Everyone was very nice and I had her walk up to some people and ask them questions (it's not like Cody or I knew what any of the telescope parts did!), and she was thrilled with the answers.  She was also thrilled to get a Frisbee and a little foam air plane.  She would probably tell you she got that from a guy after she complimented him on his tank top, but really they were passing goodies out to attendants. 

There was a pretty diverse crowd.  I was surprised at all the middle school and high school-aged kids I saw, and how many questions they had.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time, especially once the clouds moved away.  We were probably there for 15 or 20 minutes, and the lateness started to wear on our little skywatcher.  She seemed content with leaving, though, because she got a poster on her way out of some stars being born in dust clouds--"Just like on the show!!!!!!!"--and because I think we looked through 10 different telescopes.  It's not like something cooler was going to happen that she was afraid she'd miss if she'd already looked through every kind of telescope known to her three-year-old mind.  Also, someone asked if she wanted to go to a star-watching party in a few weeks and she was pretty enthused.  I'm not sure how much she'll love space in a couple of weeks, but I hope it's early enough in the evening that we can go.  This was a casual, quick little event for us and a really fun break from our ordinary nights.  We walked home, threw some pajamas on the kiddo, and called it a night.

It was a good date.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Reasons to be excited for September

  • Cody and I celebrating 8 years of marriage.  Goodness
  • Dallas will turn 13!!  Super goodness.
  • County fair time!
  • The state fair will start accepting entries!  I'm not ready!  But this will motivate me!  I hope!
  • Evelyn will officially be three and a half.  Three!  Years! And six  months!
  • I'm going to a fiber festival.  I'm not even going to any of the lectures.  But I'm going to go see a bunch of fiber vendors and I think it's going to change my life.
  • September's just a good month.
  • Apples might be in season.
  • Some of the TV shows I like will come back on the air. 
  • It might get cooler?  Or not? I don't know.  We'll be edging into fall, even if it's in name only. 
  • I just feel good about this.