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?


In which I have a freak out

I feel like you must be tired of posts about this, since there have been many over the years.   I regularly have to balance my desire for an immaculate home with my desire to have a fun house and my desire to make time for myself instead of spending every free minute cleaning.  I have to balance it all, and sometimes I fail at that.

What happens a lot of times is that I can handle the chaos and the messes and the never-ending to-do list for a while, and then suddenly, I can’t.  Suddenly, I’m overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done, even though those things have needed to be done for X amount of time.  And I have a freak out.  There’s usually yelling at Marcus and the kids, stomping around the house, and mumbling under my breath about how I do everything, how no one helps or appreciates me, and there is often a fight that ends up ensuing between Marcus and I about something unrelated but brought on by this change in my mood.

This is not something that I am proud of.  In fact, I’m pretty ashamed of it.  I worry that the girls will grow up and remember these freak outs, instead of all the fun stuff we do, all the books we read and games we played, and all the times I was a calm, patient parent.  When I’m in my rational mind (hah!) I recognize that that isn’t the case.  But when I’m in the throws of this anxiety-induced freak out, it’s all I can see.  And I hate myself during and after these episodes.

I think the reason I decided to blog about this is because writing about it and telling people about it helps me own it, so that I can work on changing this behavior that I so despise.

My plan is simple–try to keep up with things around the house a little better, try to worry less about what other people think about the way my house looks, and try to recognize that I am a good wife and mother and the way my house looks has nothing to do with that.

Wish me luck!


Oh, Snap!

Jessica doesn’t have a scrapbook yet. I have a substantially larger amount of printed pictures for Samantha than I do for Erica (or Jessica, for that matter). I have large piles of photos in folders and in boxes awaiting their final destinations…and I’m three years behind.

It’s because of this that I truly believe that camera phones are the best invention of the past decade…and I only started using one last year. thanks to a camera in my phone, I can take pictures in places when I’d normally not carry my camera, especially when I have three little girls in tow.

My scrapbooks might be behind–but at least I’m still snapping away.


Depressed? Nah.

I’ve had some questions about how I’ve been feeling since Jessica arrived, and I thought it warranted a blog post.  The long story short is that I’ve suffered from bouts of major depression and anxiety since I was in high school, was diagnosed in college, and had a major episode during our stint overseas.  However, when we moved home from England last April and I found out I was pregnant, I quit my medication cold turkey (which, for the record, I don’t recommend…ever).

So here we are now, almost a year later.

I won’t lie and say it was always pretty.  Once I made it through the withdrawal, I suffered from a condition known as “first trimester.”  It wasn’t pretty.  But I don’t know if it was uglier for me than it was for any other women with two active children and a husband still overseas for seven more weeks.

Then, I suffered from a terrible bout of “it’s getting dark earlier.”  It did have me craving a Celexa, but I survived thanks to my fabulous husband and family.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I ran into “the end of pregnancy blues” that are often accompanied by a lack of sleep and severe exhaustion because you’re the size of a house.  But I actually think I managed to handle them pretty well.

Of course, after Jessica was born I was visited by “the baby blues.”  Been there, done that, wrote the book.

So that brings us to where we are today.  And I won’t lie and say that being a mother to three children (five and under) is easy.  There are days I starting counting down to bedtime (usually on my fingers, because my kids have sucked all the intelligence right out of me) shortly after we get up in the morning.  But overall, I’m feeling pretty good about life.

I’m loving every second of Jessica, and I know that’s helping.  The thought that she *might* be our last (my husband is feeling pretty “done” after three girls…I’m not convinced) gives me plenty of cause to cherish every second.  And I’m not sure if it’s because this is my third and Marcus and I have this parenting thing down, or if it’s because Jessica is such a good baby…but I feel pretty on top of things.

For the first time in a long time (ever?) I feel like I’ve got things under control.  I’m a good mom.  Not perfect, but good.  Some days I’m great.

So depressed?   Nah.

It hibernates.  Will it rear its ugly head again?  Perhaps.  Probably.  Maybe. One day.

And I’ll be ready.



I was super excited by this year’s Ravelympics/Knitting Olympics challenge.  The Plain and Simple Pullover has been in my queue for a long time, but I was daunted by the idea of a fingering weight sweater, even one that has a fairly straightforward construction and short sleeves.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to challenge myself.

But life, as it seems, had other plans.  Close friends were stunned by news that cancer has returned, and suddenly their lives revolve around schedules and experimental treatments.

These aren’t the friends we’ve known the longest, and aren’t the family we were born with.  But their story has really struck a chord with me.  Perhaps it’s the wife’s upbeat nature, refusing to become consumed with her husband’s scary prognosis.  Maybe it’s the fact that their children are the same age as our children.  Maybe it’s watching the couple together–how much they love each other and appreciate one another, recognizing the blessings they’ve had together in spite of this terrible news.

Whatever the reason, I’m putting my knitting projects on hold for a greater purpose–hats they’ve requested to take with them to New York.  How can I refuse?

It isn’t my Knitting Olympics project, but I’m not sad to put that to the side for this.  There’s more to life than that simple, self-imposed challenge. There are real challenges out there, those I can’t even begin to comprehend.  Those that no one should have on their plate.  Ones that, though I pray, I can’t get a grip on.

I wish there was more I could do.  But in the meantime, I’ll knit.


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!