2019

I often say I want time to slow down. Life is going so fast and I feel like I don’t have time to savor it. I’m rushing through life – trying to get dinner on the table, trying to get the kids down for naps, rushing to finish a book so I can start my next one, furiously knitting on a project I’m sick of so I can start the next one.

I am the reason life is going so fast. I’m rushing myself instead of slowing down to savor how wonderful my life is.

The other day Elliot told me “I’m being careful not to pee in my eggnog”. It hit me that I’ve been peeing in my own eggnog (metaphorically, for the record). Instead of taking time to enjoy the moment I’m trying to get to the next moment. I’m too busy thinking about what is next to enjoy what is right in front of me.

This year I’m going to try to change that. For the first time in years I’m making actual resolutions. I believe I can make small changes that will help me stop rushing my life.

  • I will be making, thrifting, or mending any clothing that I need. This will help me slow down because I won’t feel the panic when I get an e-mail about a limited time sale. I don’t usually shop for clothes at the store, but I am a sucker for e mails from stores having a 40% off sale.  I’m opting out of that stress this year. I’ll be making exceptions for undies, bras, workout socks, and workout pants. I’m sure I’ll focus more on thrifting than mending or sewing, as I don’t really sew and I make my Mom sew my buttons on for me.
  • I will try one new recipe from Skinny Taste a week. I love to cook, but I find myself making the same recipes over and over. Some of my favorite recipes are from Skinny Taste, and I would like to try more of her recipes. This will help me slow down because I’ll have to take the time to think about what I would like to make, create a grocery list, and actually cook the meal. I plan to blog about this weekly. If you have tried a Skinny Taste recipe you like please let me know in the comments.
  • I will move my body for at least 20 minutes a day. Every day. Even when we are stuck at home. If I’m going to slow down I’m going to need to take more time for myself. I love walking, and want to do more of it this year. I use being busy as an excuse not to exercise, and that needs to stop.
  • I will blog more often, averaging three posts a week. I love writing the blog and sharing my thoughts with you. I find it calming to sit down and put my thoughts into words. I look forward to slowing down and taking the time to write more posts.

I hope that my resolutions help me slow down. I want to be present and enjoy this time in my life, and I’ll do whatever I can to do that.

Let’s make 2019 the best year yet. Be careful not to pee in your eggnog.

 

Another Reason to Read Blogs

I love reading blogs. I like feeling connected to other people with similar interests around the world. I’ve learned about new recipes to try, which lap desk I should get, knitting patterns to look at, and yarns to try all through blog posts.

Today I learned that I should keep better track of projects I’ve knit for the kids and put away. Today I was reading Bonny’s post about her recent cast ons. One of the yarns looked very familiar.

It was the same yarn and colorway I used for a sweater for Audrey two years ago.

I made the sweater big, so I could pull it out when she was around four. I had totally forgotten about it until I read Bonny’s post today.

I read the post. I searched for the sweater. I made Audrey try it on. It fits.

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Please note this is a forced smile and she is faking it only so she can go back to watching Chuggington. Elliot’s cool guy pose, however, is totally unstaged.

If I wasn’t a person who reads blogs I never would have read Bonny’s post. I would have discovered the sweater too late for Audrey to wear. I don’t think it will fit her next winter.

I am thankful for all of my readers, but today I’m especially thankful for the blogger readers. Thank you for taking the time to share part of your life. Thank you for creating such a great sense of community. Thank you for continuing to write, especially since people seem to be leaping to shorter and faker forms of social media. I appreciate you. You make my life happier and more enjoyable.

Through bloggers I’ve been reminded to search for a sweater. I’ve received knitting advice for a persnickety sock project. I’ve learned which trashy romance novels are worth picking up. I’ve learned more things that I can link to in one post without looking like a weirdo. I’ve found a group of people who are nerdy about the same things I’m nerdy about. I’ve found people I care about. I found a blog tribe (although, to be fair, most of them would probably roll their eyes upon hearing that term, which is one of the things I like about them).

I hope all of the bloggers in my life continue to write. I also hope that more people start to blog. It’s a great way to get to know people. It’s also a hand way to be reminded of sweaters that you forgot you knit.

WIP Wednesday

I’m hopelessly devoted to my current sock project. I can’t decide if it looks more like a Wonder Woman sock or Ernie’s sweater. Either way, I’m pretty sure this is going to be my new favorite pair of socks. The yarn is Biscotte Yarns Bis-Sock and the colorway is Princesse et les 7 mailles.

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Let me explain how much I love this yarn: while writing this post I organized a KAL with my friend Jess to make the Green Bay Packers socks. I was on the website to look up the colorway and ended up in a knit-a-long. That has never happened to me before. Don’t worry, I’ll post pictures when the yarn arrives (I can hear your sigh of relief from here).

I’ve also worked on my shawl this week, just not enough to bother showing you a new picture of it.

In 2018 I was a busy knitter. I completed 41 projects, 21 more than my goal at the start of the year.

December 29, 2018
December 22, 2018
December 18, 2018
December 16, 2018
December 8, 2018
December 4, 2018
November 15, 2018
November 13, 2018
October 27, 2018
October 23, 2018
October 15, 2018
September 24, 2018
August 23, 2018
August 12, 2018
July 16, 2018
July 6, 2018
June 12, 2018
May 23, 2018
May 13, 2018
April 28, 2018
April 10, 2018
April 2, 2018
April 2, 2018
March 29, 2018
March 21, 2018
March 15, 2018
March 13, 2018
March 9, 2018
March 8, 2018
February 17, 2018
February 9, 2018
February 6, 2018
January 30, 2018
January 28, 2018
January 3, 2018

I hope to slow down my knitting this year and continue to work through my stash. Last year I implemented a yarn diet. I only allowed myself to buy 100 g of yarn for every 500 g knit. I knit 8300 g last year and bought 1660 g of yarn. It felt amazing to work though so much of my stash. I found that I didn’t have guilt when I brought yarn into the house  (or, you know, ordered it mid blog post because I got so excited about Biscotte Yarns’ selection) because I knew I had earned it (please note that John doesn’t mind that I buy yarn, yarn guilt comes from me alone).

I still have a significant stash to work through. I would eventually only have yarn in my house that I will knit within the year. We don’t have a lot of space in our house, and my yarn is overwhelming me.

This year I’ll be doing the yarn diet again, this time allowing 100 g in for every 300 g out. I keep track of my yarn diet with a spreadsheet on Google docs, because that is what a stay at home mom with an MBA does for fun. If you are starting a yarn diet yourself and would like a copy of the spreadsheet just let me know and I’ll send a copy your way.

I hope you are enjoying this first week in the new year and getting some knitting done.

December Reads and January Book Goals, Plus my top 10 reads in 2018

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating. John and I watched Dr. Who, read, and fell asleep early. It was wonderful.

Before I get to my usual monthly review of what I’ve read, I thought I would fill you in on my best reads in 2018. I read 86 books this year, 29 more than last year. I would like to tell you that is because I made more of an effort to read this year, but that would be a lie. I read more books this year because I went through a trashy romance novel phase. I’m not proud of this.

Despite my current love of trash, I have ready some really good respectable books. Of those, my top 10 (in no particular order) are:

  • The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
  • Me by Katherine Hepburn
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  • American Princess: The Many Lives of Allena Tew by Annejet van der Zijl
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  • Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
  • Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

In December I read 11 books. It was an odd month for my book selections.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty. This book is about a stressed out middle-aged woman heading to a health resort to recuperate from being the victim of a scam that broke her heart and took her money. From that simple start the book adds a crazy guru, LSD, and a retreat experience that goes from weird to terrifying. Reading this book made me happy there are so many more Liane Moriarty books for me to read. I give this book four out of five stars.

Comfort & Joy by India Knight. This is a book about a woman in London that I couldn’t get myself to like, understand, or relate to. I don’t think I’m British enough for this book. Oh well. I give this book two out of five stars.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle. If you were ever a huge dork in high school you are probably familiar with Monty Python. This memoir is a fascinating look at comedy troop, with gobs of gossip about George Harrison and other major celebrities of the seventies. I could not get over how much he was sharing. I liked reading it, but he is feeling his mortality, which made the book occasionally dark.  I give this book three out of five stars.

Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Kristin Hannah is a national treasure. This book is exactly what I was looking for in a Christmas novel. It starts out as a normal Christmas romance, but there is a twist. I have this on my kindle, but I’m thinking about buying a real copy to pull out and read every year. I give this book four out of five stars.

Chemistry by Weike Wang. This book is like reading the transcribed thoughts of a woman having a mental breakdown and going through recovery…but funny. I liked this book, but it’s not for everyone. I know this because I gave it to my aunt to give to my cousin Claire to read (I think Claire would like it a lot). My aunt was confused and thought I wanted her to read it. She read it. She did not like it. It’s totally worth the confusion just to hear her talk about the book. Hopefully Claire eventually reads it and lets me share her review. I give this book three out of five stars.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. This book is about a child unaware of the atrocities around him, and his best friend, who is painfully aware of the atrocities around him. It is a sad and touching tale. I’m glad I read it, and thankful I don’t have to read it again. I give this book four out of five stars.

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. This is a book by the guy who plays Ron Swanson on the office and the woman who plays Karen Walker on Will and Grace about their marriage. I’ve read Offerman’s other books and found them funny. This book was not my jam. That might be because I read the entire book in Karen Walker’s voice in my head. This is the book that made me vow never to fall victim to my library’s “New Memoir” selection ever again. **shakes fist at the Des Moines Public Library and their friendly staff with usually helpful recommendations** I give this book two out of five stars.

One Day in December by Josie Sliver. This book was hyped as a new Love Actually. Actually, I didn’t love it. Perhaps I went in with expectations so high no book would ever reach them? It was fine. I do like that it has drink recipes in the back. I give this book three out of five stars.

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny. This book lets you look into a marriage – the good, the bad, the funny. I don’t read many novels that are written from the male perspective. This novel was a fun change to the norm. I loved the voice of the protagonist. This book was funny and entertaining. I give this book four out of five stars.

Sweet Girl by Cristin Harber. This book was horrid. I read it for my book club. I can’t wait to drink wine and talk about how bad this book is. The ending was so implausible I wanted to write the author and provide feedback. This book does not deserve a star rating.

Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey. This is one of those trashy romance novels I told you about. A woman leaves her abusive and incredibly rich husband and runs away to Texas where she starts working as a cleaning lady for the arrogant, incredibly handsome ranch owner. I bet you can guess what happens. It’s mindless and fun. I give this book two out of five stars.

This month I hope to do some serious reading. I’m going to finish A Gentleman in Moscow if it kills me. I skipped Book of the Month Club this month, so I’m hoping  to actually make a dent in this pile.

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What do you hope to read this year? Is there anything I should add to my list for the year? Are you hoping to read more this year?