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A Family First

Since returning to the states in 2009, our international travel schedule has been someone limited. It has become increasingly difficult to leave the country on a moment’s notice, especially with the addition of a third child, school schedules, and financial constraints. That doesn’t mean we don’t have plans–it just means we’ve had to evolve.

This year, instead of exploring ancient ruins or trolling the rolling countryside, we decided to take a new travel route.

We’re in Walt Disney World. Heaven help us.

We made the approximately 15 hour drive over two days, and the trip itself was relatively painless. The girls were well-behaved. The traffic was minimal. The gas prices were falling.

So here we are. They aren’t castles and abbeys, but they’re historic in their own right. And we’re enjoying every minute of it.

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In which I hang my hat

My trip to the UK went off without out a hitch–even better, I had an amazing time.  It was great to see my friends, relax, walk to town, eat all the yummy foods I’ve been missing, and to get a bit of a break from Marcus and the girls.

Better still, I got to do it all in a place that feels like home.  Marcus wondered if we’d perhaps been romanticizing our time in England–were we remembering it as better than it was simply because we were away with no immediate plans to return?  He was pleased to hear me say that no, England still felt like home, was as beautiful as it was when we left, and that all the things we missed were there and as perfect as we remembered.

Of course, our time in England did have its ups and downs, and coming home when we did was the right decision for many, many reasons.

But it was a reminder to me, to us, that there may be a place for us in England again, one day down the road.

More than anything else, my trip came at the ideal time.  I returned home refreshed, mindful of the wife and mother that I want to be and with my sights set on being her.  I was reminded of the fact that Marcus and the girls are my everything.  I really do have it all.

And I’ll hang my hat wherever they are.  That’s home.

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Catriona

Catriona is done.  Done, like a turkey on Thanksgiving.  Done, like a Sunday Roast.  Done.

She’s done!

I’ll try to post some pictures of me wearing it on my trip (I leave tomorrow!), but until then, this will have to do:

Catriona

England, here I come!

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In which I attempt to pass the time

I leave for my vacation in England in less than 3 months now.  Those 3 months will be full (as are most days!).  We’re preparing to start kindergarten for Samantha and preschool for Erica.  I’m considering a babysitter for Jessica one day a week so I can devote time to work, instead of finding time for work.  We’ll have Girl Scouts, soccer practices and games, Sunday School, and the logistics of day-to-day life filling up our calendar.

And still, I find myself thinking about my time in England and how I can’t wait for it to get here.

So, to help pass the time I’ve decided to start a large-scale knitting project.  I’ve got socks on the needles, a shawl hibernating, a test knit halfway completed, and a hat almost completed.  But I want to knit something for myself, and I think the time is right for Catriona.

Three months to knit Catriona.  It’s actually a pretty ambitious goal, because of all the cabling.  And I won’t lose sleep over it.  But I’d like to challenge myself and see if I can do it.  Bring it with me.  Wear it.

It seems to suit, doesn’t it?

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In which some things crawl and others don’t

My week at the beach with the girls did, in fact, fly by.  We had a great time, though the weather wasn’t as cooperative as I would have liked when I hear the words “beach vacation.”  But still, we had a blast…

Off to the pool

Jessica learned to crawl.  This means that I can no longer just plop her down and have her be there when I return.  This changes things considerably.  But it’s so cute to watch that I can’t be disappointed about what it means for our lifestyle!

Bathing Beauty

Eight years of my marriage has somehow passed incredibly quickly too, and Marcus and I celebrated our eight year anniversary this week.  We’re taking a much needed getaway and family is helping with the girls.

Marcus and I

Crawling by, flying by…quick or slow, it’s going.

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The Beach House

My parents bought the beach house when I was just a kid.  And while they’ve sold house after house over the years, and even divorced themselves, the beach house remains.  Ocean City has changed, the drive has changed, and even the decor inside the house has been altered over time…but still, the beach house brings back memory after memory after memory.

The Beach House

It was here that I wrote my first short story and showed it to my mother, who said I was a good writer.  It was here that my sisters and I went fishing and crabbing with my dad.  We spent days at the pool, building forts in the small clubhouse.  We returned from the beach and were careful not to track (too much) sand inside.  We met up with friends and family at the beach house.  I remember Aunt Mary burning her shoes on the empty lots next to ours (now filled with more condos and houses) after quitting an awful waitressing job.  I can still almost hear my dad trudging up the stairs when he’d arrive on the weekends, after we’d been there with my mom all week.  My grandfather is floating in the ocean and making dippy castles out of sand and water.  I can almost feel the excitement from a boardwalk night.  I see cousins, remember the TV shows we watched on early mornings and after beach trips, recall the disappointment of a rainy day.

Of course, I wonder how many of these memories are actually my own, and how many have been compiled from years of stories and nights reminiscing.  And even those moments have become memories of their own.

So here I am now, sitting out the beach house (wishing I was drinking coffee but unable to find any) with my three girls.  We had a week with no plans, and I thought I’d like to bring them here, just the four of us.  I wonder if one day, when they’re reminiscing about their childhoods with their own friends and family, if they’ll have the same memories of this place that I do.

I hope so.

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Brilliantly Britain

Malabrigo March never fails to entice me, though this year I had to curb my participation due to the business of life (3 kids, house, writing, designing, and jewelry sales make for a busy Kelly).

Last year’s big Mal March undertaking was the Brilliance Pullover in Malabrigo Worsted, the lettuce colorway.  It was knitting up beautifully.

However, as the pack out and move back to the states approached, it got pushed to the back burner and then was forgotten about in lieu of other projects.

But as another Malabrigo March came and went and we approached the one year anniversary of our move home, it seemed only fitting to dig my Brilliance Pullover (aptly named my Brilliantly Britain) out and start working on her again.

The knitting itself is so soothing–I love that it’s simply knits and purls, with the ridges mixed up and creating a beautifully textured garment that my husband thinks looks like the most professional thing I’ve ever knit.

But as I prepare to knit the last few rounds, I find myself saddened by the concept.  It feels, in a way, like this is my last tie to our time in England.  The last remaining project that I cast on during our time there is about to be finished.

Has a year really gone by already?  It doesn’t seem possible.

Expect pictures of Brilliantly Britain soon…