In which I have an epiphany

Several weeks ago, I had what may be one of the most powerful epiphanies of my life. It came upon me suddenly, but since then, not a day has gone by where I haven’t thought about it. I’m not sure I will ever not think about it again.

I am a worrier. I’ve also attributed this to my depression and anxiety. It has gotten better as I’ve treated those issues, but never entirely gone away. I worry. It’s what I do.

After an all-clear from my father, I took my daughters to see my grandfather for the first time in several months. It was a big deal. Suffering from leukemia, his guest list is strictly monitored and children under 18 had, until now, been forbidden. He was thrilled to see them. I was thrilled to see him see them.

But after I left, I couldn’t stop worrying. Though Jessica’s nose was dry, it had been running earlier. What if she got too close to him? What if he got sick and wasn’t strong enough to fight off the infection? What if…what if…what if…I couldn’t stop worrying.

So I brought the question to my sister. She reassured me and said all the right things.

Still, I worried.

So I asked my aunt. I confessed my worries and fears. She reassured me and said all the right things.

Still, I worried.

I called my husband. I poured my heart out to him. He reassured me and said all the right things.

Still, I worried.

I worried in spite of all those words that people spoke. I kept looking for someone else to take my worries to, convinced that they would be able to say something that would ease my worry. But nothing worked. No one said the right thing.

That’s when it occurred to me. There was only one person that I could bring this…any…worry to and get an answer that would take my worry away. There was only one person that I could speak to that could help me find peace. That person was God.

Those of you who know me know that though I consider myself a Catholic, and raise my children as such, I don’t often wear my religious heart on my sleeve, or think about the world from a spiritual perspective. So this epiphany…this was a very big deal for me.

I prayed. Instead of looking for someone to take my worries to, I took them to the Lord. And for the first time in my life, I felt peace.

It had little to do with His answer, I found. But my peace came from the telling. I turned to Him. I should always turn to Him.

Perhaps there’s something for you in this epiphany.

If nothing else, will you keep my Poppy in your thoughts and prayers? He…I…we…would all appreciate it.



Nolan is live!

My newest knitting pattern, Nolan, is now live!  Yay!  I really do adore this hat, and it may be my new go-to for babies, toddlers, children, and maybe even for myself.  I’m not just saying it because it’s my pattern, either!  I promise!

Now that we’ve gotten the exclamation points out of the way, let’s talk details.

I got the idea for a garter rib body after knitting about a dozen Snow Day Cowls, a pattern by my friend and fellow designer Sue.  I loved the idea of a hat that had a garter rib body, and was surprised that I didn’t find one.  But I never sit down to put the hat together, mostly because I was intimidated with finding a way to make the crown come together nicely.  Then my sister got pregnant with her second child and decided not to find out what she was having.  Suddenly, I *needed* a gender neutral baby hat, and I knew this was where garter rib could work.  So I went to work.

Nolan is sized for newborns, infants, toddlers, and children.  I had a variety of head sizes to work with here at the house, but I also referenced Kate Oates’ great head sizing chart.  Because heads come in many different shapes and sizes, this was a wonderful resource for me as a designer (and a knitter).

Nolan is knit in sportweight or DK weight yarn.  I knit my first sample in Huckleberry Knits Nootka Merino sportweight (the Huckleberry colorway) on 3.25 mm needles.  I knit my second sample in String Theory Hand-dyed Merino DK  (the Nevirrik colorway), also on 3.25 mm needles.

One of my favorite things about this pattern is the stretch that the the garter rib has, without all the work of regular 2×2 ribbing.  In fact, if I had added extra length to the toddler-sized hat I knit for Jessica, I could have worn it!

Nolan is priced at $4, but between now and the end of November 2011, if you purchase in threes: a baby cardigan or Wyatt, you will receive Nolan free of charge!

I hope you enjoy Nolan as much as I have!



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.


A History of my World in 100 Objects #2-6

It seems like a cheat, but of course, I cannot tell the history of my world without these 5 items. My girls and my boys. My daughters came first, then my nephews. Then encapsulate who I am. They cover the relationships that matter most to me in the world, even those not explicitly pictured here. They make me mother, wife, sister, daughter, woman…and those have been defining roles in my life. They always will be.

I cannot possibly paint the history of my world without them.



To the festival!

We felt motivated and in the mood to head out and do something fun today, so it was off to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. We all had a great time, and Marcus and I may go back one day without the girls (beer and turkey legs were calling!)

Highlights of the day’s festivities…










In which I might be obsessed with reality television

Dance Moms.  Toddlers & Tiaras.  Teen Mom.  16 & Pregnant.  Jersey Shore.  Storage Wars.  Pawn Stars.

They’re “real” (whatever that means).  They’re raw (well, sometimes).  They’re addicting (without a doubt).  I’ve found that the more that I yell at the television screen, the more likely I am to add it to the DVR list and watch next week, too.  Damn it.  It’s almost like they’ve done research and know that’s going to happen.

Poor Marcus.  At least he has his Bejeweled Blitz, Words with Friends, and Army of Darkness to help him cope.


One thing after another

This week has been chaotic. Not only did all three girls end up really ill, but biscuit (our 5 month old puppy) spent a night at the emergency vet and we had a disastrous day with the big girls.

But we have survived and another week is upon us. It’s the last full week of summer vacation. With quite a few ups and downs, I have mixed feelings about the return to school. On one hand, it’s the return to schedules, routines, homework, and after school activities. On the other, thank goodness for just that!

So, I’m determined to slow down and enjoy this week with the girls. The week before I have a first grader and a kindergartener, the week before my babies are back to being big girls, and it’s the week before everything changes (again).

Here’s to one thing after another…and then another!