The Forgotten Blog

Have you ever started writing something, and then had to put it away for some reason or another, only to find it weeks or months later?  Had you forgotten about it completely?

That was the case when I found this started blog post from April 22, 2009.  It was probably left incomplete when one of the girls needed my attention, and I simply didn’t know how to finish it.  Like my time in England, I just didn’t know how to finish it.

A glimpse at a forgotten blog post from almost ten months ago…before I found out I was pregnant, before we moved home to America and left our life in the UK behind, before it all…As I sit here tonight watching the snow fall and missing my best friend on her birthday, this post brings so much back to me.  I’m feeling a little homesick, sitting at home.

I have refrained from posting much lately, for once at a loss for words for all that I want to say.  For every bit of excitement and anticipation I feel about our move back to America, another part of me feels devastated and conflicted.  I am filled with emotional turmoil right now, and haven’t been able to put it into words–for you, or for myself.

I have avoided much reflection on what our time here as meant–not because I don’t see it all, but because it would make it too hard to leave.

One of the things that struck me the other day, though, was that it’s amazing to me the way things are connected, and the ways in which the smallest change, gesture, or decision can impact so much of what’s to come.

It started with a simple mention by Marcus that he could apply for jobs around the world.  My shrug and spontaneous reaction to apply for the job here in England.

If he’d never done it, there would be no Erica just yet, as we decided to have Erica because I wanted to have a second child before we moved abroad.

If there’d been no Erica when we’d arrived here, we might not have been sponsored by Curtis, April, and Gabby.  Without this incredible family, my first 6 months in England would have been unmanageable.

If we’d never met the Bly family, we might not have been so inspired to try to reach out to other families in the same way that we were touched and helped.

If we hadn’t been inspired to help, we might not have met Jake, Jess, Sophia, and Ian, and tried to help them in the way that we were helped and supported.

If we’d never met them, I’d never have heard about Ravelry.

If I’d never heard of Ravelry, I never would have met and helped found the Harrogate Knitting Group.

If I’d never met the Harrogate Knitting Group, I’d never have known some of my closest friends here in Harrogate….

How quickly time moves on…


A New Beginning

2010 is certainly set to be a year of new beginnings for our family.  Along with Jessica’s impending arrival, we’ll also welcome our first nephew, Wyatt, this year.

39 weeks pregnant!

Along with new beginnings, we’ll have new adventures–kindergarten, preschool, and balancing three kids between two adults.  We’ll continue to work on the old adventures too–keeping the house, our finances, and work straight, while still finding time for fun and games, too.

Life in our home is never dull, and 2010 won’t be the exception to that rule.

How could it be, with these little things running the show?

Ready for the Next Adventure!

Here’s to the new beginnings, continued adventures, and a wonderful year ahead!


Passing the Time…

Time continues to pass…some minutes slowly, others more quickly.  My impatience is starting to fade (as are most of those pesky contractions…drats!), and we’re getting on with the business of the holiday season.  The girls have Christmas concerts at school tonight and tomorrow night, we are decorating my mom’s Christmas tree this weekend, and next week the girls don’t have school, so we have a full schedule of playdates, cookie baking, and other fun activities to keep us busy.

As for me, I’ve been knitting to pass the time, too.  This year, I opted not to involve in the madness of years past that I lovingly called, “Christmas knitting.”  This year, I have a chestful of handknits, and if I feel so inclined, friends and family to dole them out to.  But not something for everyone, and I have no guilt about it.  Some people appreciate and cherish handknits…others don’t.  More so, some handknits are more time consuming than others, and most non-knitters don’t really get that, either.

But here’s a peek at some of the knitting I have done lately, holiday or otherwise.  Ignore the mediocre lighting…most has been finished in the evenings, when daylight isn’t possible!

So, the time is passing.


Marching On

Time continues to march on, and suddenly, it’s December.  Where did the year go?

Marcus and I cannot believe that Christmas is right around the corner, that Jessica is due in a month (give or take), and that a new year is preparing to begin.

We started the year like this

The Herdrichs, March 2009, Cork, Ireland

And prepare to end it like this

I can’t wait to see what happens next!



I cannot believe that it is almost the end of October.  It was a crazy month–visitors, tons of writing and knitting, ballet and swimming classes for the girls, lia sophia parties, and now, Halloween.  It’s no wonder we’re ending the month a bit under the weather, what with all we’ve done.  Erica had a cough, which she promptly gave to me, and it mutated into a fevered variation by the time Samantha caught it.  Sigh.

But, November is going to bring with it a whole new set of excitement–and hopefully, a healthy household to go along with it.  I have SIX lia sophia parties this month, which is awesome.  I have a monetary goal in mind that may be a bit ambitious, but I’m hoping it works out.  Cross your fingers!  :)

Not only that, but we’ll still have ballet lessons for Samantha and swimming classes for Erica. They are both just too cute!

We’re also planning on a few fun activities for Thanksgiving week–our first Thanksgiving in the states since 2005!  It’ll be weird to be surrounded by people who actually celebrate this holiday!  Of course, we’ll miss our traditions–inviting our British neighbors over, the girls having school in the morning, and picking up the fresh turkey from the butcher (and running any additional errands) that day because everything is still open.  But, we’re excited to be surrounded by family.

It’s going to be another fast month…isn’t it?

And on that note, take a look at how big baby Jessica is getting!

October2009 055


The Sniffles.

The sniffles…the girls have them.  Poor things.  Luckily, I have (miraculously) wound up with two girls who handle getting sick pretty well, and they are simply getting on with life and ignoring their colds.  I am fairly certain that they did not get this from me.

Of course, Marcus and I have them too–not from a cold or the weather, but because Anne and Phil’s time with us is up.  They left yesterday for a few days in NYC before they’ll return to the UK on Saturday.  We are both really, really sad to see them go.  Marcus and I were talking last night about how we would have liked to have met them earlier on in our stay overseas…but of course, we can’t go back.

We had a great time while they were here though!  We took them to Deep Creek, where we hiked and generally just hung out and relaxed.  They saw downtown Annapolis as it prepared for the boat show.  They got to play with the girls (they’re exhausted now, by the way).  Anne and I knitted, and Marcus and Phil played video games.

And when they left, Marcus commented about how we’ll really have to try to get me out there next year…so at least that’s something.

Cheers, Anne and Phil!  We miss you already!



Well, Marcus is back at work for his first full week this week, and that means we’re  slowly getting back into routines here at home.  Of course, they’re new routines, but they’re routine, nonetheless.  There are two more weeks until the girls start school, so that still leaves the three of us with some lazy summer days to fill up with friends, family, and activities.

With routine brings my old insecurities, and I worry about my depression rearing its ugly head.  But I know that one of the best things I can always do for myself is to keep busy.  This illness can be a vicious cycle, and the less I do, the less I want to do.  So we’ve a full schedule over the next few weeks.

In addition to the things the girls and I have to keep our days busy, I’m keeping my “free” time pretty booked up, too.  I’ve started selling lia sophia jewelry, which I am really excited about.  Not only does it bring in a great part-time income, but I can work when I want and sell a product that I really love.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Then, when I can, I also fit in my writing.  I’m still in waiting mode on my second query, which quoted 4-6 weeks wait time for a response.  After that, I have a lead with an Catholic editor who may be able to offer some help, so I’ll turn to her next.

In addition, my web writing business has been booming lately, with pieces for Associated Content and plenty of their partner websites, too.  The money I bring in monthly from them, plus the money I have started to bring in from lia sophia, should be enough to send the girls to nursery every month and give a chunk to secondary loan we have out.

I do feel good, knowing that I am contributing to my family both monetarily and in my care of the girls and the house…which surprisingly, is fairly clean at the moment!

So, though we’re getting into our routine, I suppose you could hardly call our busy days “hum-drum”…


Baby, oh Baby.

Marcus has insisted that I can’t buy anymore yarn (except for my ESK Malabrigo Projects Club that comes monthly) until I finish his sweater.

Therefore, I’ve had to resort to stashdiving.  It isn’t an impossible task–there’s plenty of yarn in there.  Some earmarked for large projects (6 skeins of while Malabrigo Silky for a shrug, 9 skeins I bought as a going-away purchase from Sheepish, set to be Catriona when I lose my baby weight, etc), plenty waiting to become a pair of socks, and some drifting aimlessly, sans purpose.

So, I’ve been using up odd-balls and single skeins on baby gear!  It’s quick, rewarding, and absolutely adorable.  I really should have started to knit baby things sooner.

I’ve knitted a handful of hats, earmarked for no particular baby.  I’m super excited to have so many other friends and family members pregnant right now!

Baby Hats, Artyarns Supermerino, Scraps

Baby Hats, Artyarns Supermerino, Scraps

Then I started with my first baby sweater, from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders.  It still needs seaming, but I adore it.

Cascade 220 Heathers, Peony Heather

Cascade 220 Heathers, Peony Heather

And then I also knit my first EZ pattern from the Knitter’s Almanac, the Baby Sweater on Two Needles (or, the February Baby Sweater).

February Baby Sweater, Lornas Laces Shepherd Worsted, Whisper

February Baby Sweater, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, Whisper

The first is for our baby–yep, our third girl.  The second is for a friend’s first daughter.

Now…what baby stuff can I knit next?


What I Love About Sundays

Even after we purchased the AFN, American football on Sundays was one of the things I missed most living overseas.  Even during years when I didn’t know all the players names, positions, or teams, there was nothing I loved better than sitting down on the couch and being able to catch the Redskins game.  Something about the tradition of it all was what I ached for, so even when I stayed up late to watch a game, it just wasn’t quite the same.

So we found new Sunday traditions.  Thanks to Anne and Phil, we became huge fans of the Sunday Roast–a nice, big, mid-day meal and the company of good friends, followed by desserts, tea and coffee, and (when Anne was around) a knit and natter.

Back in America now, we managed to blend the two, quite nicely, if I do say so myself.  Following a nice big Sunday roast, the girls had their first, impromptu football practice thanks to Uncle Andrew!

Maybe you can go home again, after all.


The Power of Handknits

I wonder if people who don’t knit, or those who have never been knitted for, can truly appreciate the power of a handknit item.

Power, they might wonder?  What power is there in something handmade?  It’s just knitting, after all.

Oh, there’s power, alright.

When this arrived in the mail from my best friend Anne last week, the powerful part was that, with an ocean between us, I could picture her sitting on the couch knitting it in our last weeks together.  There was power in the fact that when I put it on, I could practically smell her living room in her house in England, where I’ve knit thousands of stitches with my best friend.  There is power in the fact that when I put it on, I feel closer to her.  And since I miss her so much, that’s a pretty awesome feat.

The Tilted Duster, from Anne

The Tilted Duster, from Anne

The power is also present in the fact that my mother can’t keep her darned hands off the thing…having developed a love for all things handknit, but no desire to knit them herself, she has resorted to thievery.

Mom in MY Tilted Duster

Mom in MY Tilted Duster

I tell you…those handknits are powerful.