Imposter Syndrome

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post here. Honestly…I’ve been avoiding it. There are things I want to write about, and things I would feel guilty writing about, and some of those are the same. It’s hard for me to want to sit down and write, when I feel like I can’t talk about some of the things that have hit me the hardest.

Early June, I lost a very important person to me. My great-aunt was an amazing woman; kind, generous with her time, advice, and resources, incredibly gifted, and one of the most important people in my life.

But I didn’t act like that. I didn’t visit as often as I wanted. I didn’t call or email regularly. She taught me how to knit and spin, and honestly opened up an entire world for me. Through the skills she taught me, I made so many friends, some of whom are my closest friends today. She gave me a way to open a conversation when meeting new people. She gave me something to occupy my mind when J was overseas.

It could never be said that she had an easy life. The universe threw so much at her, but she took everything it sent, and stood solid in her faith and faced it all head-on, and many times with a smile. She is the strongest person I have ever known. She never let anything slow her down.

But I feel like an imposter. I’m not her child, or even grand-child. I’m a more distant relative. So I feel guilty for mourning her this much; as if it isn’t my right to do so. I have hesitated writing anything about it because I am so worried taht someone will say “you couldn’t care as much as you say. You only saw her twice a year.” Or “You’re not family. You don’t have this right.” But the fact is, I did rely on her. Even if it was just relying on the comfort of knowing she was *there.* And now she’s not.

I love you, Aunt Marie. And I’m sorry I didn’t show it better.


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tri, Tri Again

This past holiday weekend, I competed in my third ever, second individual triathlon. Each race has been such a tremendous learning experience for me. Those of you who know me are probably laughing at the idea of me participating in any sort of race, much less one that includes swimming, biking *and* running all on the same day.

The fact is, I signed up for my first one to prove a point. I’ve never been the athletic one in my family. As a kid I participated in swim team, but was never overly impressive. It didn’t help that my family is a bit competitive, and once my sister aged up into my group and kicked my butt on a regular basis, I decided it wasn’t worth the damage to my self esteem.

That was 10 years ago. Since then I’ve done social dance, marching band, and go on the occasional hike, but that’s it. That was all I needed. Recently though, fit is in. Athletic is in. And yes, I am shallow and superficial enough to start working out because it’s “in.” Hey, at least I’m aware enough to realize that.

My first race was just to prove I could do it, that I wasn’t a complete couch potato, and then call it a day. As a warm-up to the first race though, my mother suggested we do one as a relay, so that she could try out swimming in open water. Sure, whatever, how hard could it be? HA. That bike route was extremely difficult. It was the worst idea I’ve ever had.

After completing my first race though, I realized I enjoyed it. Sure I hated the training and getting hot and sweaty and sore 5 days a week, but the feeling of completing a race like that was really empowering.

So I decided to do another. Now, I will be the first to admit that I hardly trained for this one. We had a huge move, my bike is in storage, I’m still trying to figure out coordinating workouts with having an infant around, and I’ve been pretty inactive since halfway through my pregnancy. I didn’t finish this one in under 2 hours, but I finished it. Not only that, but I swam the whole thing without stopping, I only got off the bike once and that was to fix my brakes, and while I walked half of the 5k, I did push myself on the runs with it. I am proud of myself for not backing out; for proving to myself that even though I’m not the best, I’m better than I think; and that exercise can be fun, once you get past all the sweatiness, pain, and let’s face it, total boredom of being alone with your thoughts for 2 hours.

Now for pictures!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Back again!

I’m finally back. These past few weeks have had many ups and downs – and most of the downs are something I was not expecting to deal with, and hope to not face again any time soon. It’s been a rough entry to summer, but I think as a household we are finally finding a groove.

We still aren’t in “our” house yet, and are in a temporary home. It’s nice, but living in a place with not your furniture, and not your appliances can get a bit wearing after a while. We should be in our house by the end of the month, with all of our stuff back. Yay!

This weekend we finally had a gorgeous day, and nothing to do, so we decided to check out a nearby state park. We took both kids hiking up two of the more popular overlooks, and I attempted to make this a learning experience for A. Hey, when a kid asks a geologist why a rock looks a certain way, who can resist? I also ran around trying to get photos of interesting mushrooms. I know the white ones are sometimes called “Indian Pipe” but I’m not sure about the rest. I’ll have to look them up.

Next post, I’ll share my experience in my second ever triathlon!

Posted in children | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Insert Quippy Title Here.

It’s been a while since my last post. I’m not even going to look at the date, because I don’t want to know just how long. Life has been changing quickly here, and it’s taken me a while to regain my bearings and figure things out. Our family has moved to a new town in a new state. I’ve gone from being a full-time career woman, part-time student with a kid to a stay at home mom who telecommutes a few hours a week.

Just one of those transitions would take some adjusting, but doing both at once made it very difficult to adjust. I had to start figuring out a new schedule as a stay at home parent, while also trying to find things to do in the area, navigate new towns, and plan how to keep myself current professionally.

We’re still living in a temporary house right now, which makes things even more difficult. I don’t have my kitchen supplies, canning items, or food storage. The vast majority of my knitting and spinning supplies are in storage.

I guess a large part of me feels like I have nothing to write about…my days are pretty mundane right now. Who wants to read about what new skill the baby learned, or what I cooked for dinner? Maybe I’ll start a series on some of the awesome new recipes I’ve been trying, or the local travelling we did. SO I will write a post on the delicious dinner I made last night, and post it tomorrow. And then I will begin finding things I WANT to write about each day.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Struggle is Real

I’ve never been the best when it comes to blogging, but it’s definitely gotten worse these last few months. It’s amazing how one can underestimate the time lost once you have kids. Oh sure, I’ve read blogs and stories from moms talking about how it’s so hard to juggle working and kids, or kids and hobbies, or kids and having a social life. I always read those and thought “Not me. I am older/wiser/more organized/less uptight/smarter.”

I would love to go back and laugh in the face of my pre-baby self. HA. HAHAHA.

It seems no matter how many times people tell you, one never really graps how hard this really is. And when you are a working mom, there is so much additional guilt that comes along with it. I feel guilty for not spending all day every day with my son. I feel guilty for sometimes wanting to go out with my girlfriends and not take my son. I feel guilty for wanting J to take Connor elsewhere for a few hours, so I can enjoy a quiet house. And then I feel guilty for even admitting any of this. I work 40+ hours a week. I take at least one evening class a week. I used to go to a weekly knit night, but have had to skip because it’s during bedtime. My other weekly knit night is also during bedtime, but since it’s on the weekend I don’t feel as guilty, since I just spent all day with him. This doesn’t even include errands that may need to be run that week.

And hobbies? HA. By the time he goes to bed, I’m so exhausted I usually head up shortly after him.

I’m not writing this because I want people to pity me, or because I’m looking for validation. I just want to say “It’s hard. It’s really, really hard, even if you don’t work outside the home. You will feel like you’ve lost all sense of your identity outside of ‘mom.’ You may feel like you’re doing so many things, and not giving 100%to any of them.”

That’s completely normal. Which sucks. It sucks that this feeling of being overwhelmed, of never giving enough, of feeling guilty for wanting some time for yourself (and work does not count, no matter what anyone may say.) is considered normal. I wish I had some magic way to overcome it, but I think that no matter what, it’s always a lingering feeling.

So I’m going to work on myself. I’m not going to focus on how I feel like I don’t give him enough time, and instead focus on making the time with him quality time. I may not be home for every bedtime, every bath, but I’ll make sure when I am with him I make the most of it. Even if I’m only home for the temper tantrums and meltdowns for a while.


And after that very serious post, I’ll post something about my knitting later this week.


Posted in children | 3 Comments

Finished Object (not quite) Friday

I have some exciting finished objects this week! Ok, some of them were finished a while ago, but I didn’t have photos to post, so I pretended they didn’t exist yet.

About a month before Christmas my sister, who loudly proclaimed a few years ago that she NEVER wanted anything handmade, asked if I could knit her a baggy sweater. It didn’t matter that it was a month before Christmas, that I had an 8 week old keeping me busy, and a number of other projects to finish- she finally asked for something handmade, and gosh darnit, she was going to get it!

In true knitter fashion, I was up until 2am Christmas Day putting the finishing touches on her sweater, but it was done in time to be wrapped and placed under the tree. It was a simple pattern but I love the look of it, and it was exactly what she asked for.IMG_20150118_093559240 Pattern is Il Grande Favorito, knit with Plymouth Encore Chunky. This was the 38″ bust for 4″ ease. So incredibly simple, and so comfortable.

Almost two weeks ago, I finally finished my husband’s first handknit sweater. This is a testament to true love- stockinette (with some ribbing) in a plain grey. I love my husband dearly, but this sweater tested my resolve. The actual sweater knit up easily, then took 4 hours to seam up. By the time I got to the zipper I just ran it through the sewing machine, because I couldn’t stand to work on it any longer. But it fits him perfectly, and he wears it all the time. 20150118_133529 Pattern is Cambridge Jacket knit with Cascade 220. Size 44″ chest, which gives no real ease. Modifications I would make: increase the sleeve length by 1″, and maybe less increases on the upper arm- they seem a bit loose.


This project was just finished a few days ago. I started a baby blanket for Connor back in July, but got so distracted by little sweaters, hats, etc that I ignored it for a while. Plus he got so many beautiful blankets from friends that I didn’t see the rush. But I finally buckled down and completed it the other week.

IMG_2966 IMG_2965
Pattern is Honeycomb Stroller Blanket, knit with Ella Rae worsted superwash. I modified the edging to this. The pattern has you pick up stitches on one side, knit garter stitch for a few rows, then bind off. Repeat 3 more times. I don’t like how modular that looks, so I picked up stitches all the way around, then did two increases at each corner every other round. I also did two garter ridges in white, then one garter ridge in brown, two white, one green, two white, then the bind off. I think it makes a much nicer border for this blanket.

And of course as soon as those are off the needles, I have just as many cast on. Another baby sweater, a scarf for a family member, a Doctor Who scarf for Josh, and I’m hoping to start something for myself here soon.

Posted in fiber, knitting, sweater, sweaters, wool, yarn | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Finished Object Friday

Woo hoo, another FOF! It’s only been what, 6 months since I did one? There’s a lot to catch up on. Granted, not much has been accomplished since the little one was born, but I have lots to share from right before he arrived.


Fall Antlers20141004_140553_medium2 Knit in Neighborhood Fiber Co. Worsted weight yarn, size 3-6months. While Connor has already outgrown it, I will say that the sizes run true. He’s just a giant baby that is already in 6-9 month clothes at times. Super easy to follow, fun to knit, and bonus! it is sized from newborn to adult, so the whole family can have one!

I’m actually thinking of knitting him a second one in a larger size.



This is the second Owlet sweater I have knit. The pattern is so easy, and since it’s knit in a chunky yarn, it’s finished almost as soon as it’s started! I let A choose what buttons she wanted for eyes, and she went at that with a passion! Each owl has a set of eyes, and while no two eyes match, at least each set has a theme. The yarn used for this one was Berrocco Vintage Chunky- a nice machine washable wool/acrylic blend.

Baby Hat and Booties



These were knit just before Connor was born. The hat still fits him, but those booties were too small by the time he was a month old or so. Both were super easy projects, and were nice  little things to work on at the end of my pregnancy, when I was fidgety and nothing was entertaining for more than a few minutes.

Pumpkin Hat


And finally, the pumpkin hat. Connor was due in October, so this seemed fitting. I used the leftover Neighborhood Fiber Co yarn and some green alpaca/wool blend I had hanging around for the stem. This also knit up in just a day.


Posted in children, fiber, knitting, sweaters, wool | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Princess Paradox


Photo courtesy of Jennie Park Photography

This morning as I was nursing my son, my stepdaughter turned on Disney Junior. It was early, and I was too tired to argue about watching tv first thing in the morning, so I let her. Plus. the show looked decent enough.

What did she turn on? “Princess Sophia.” Apparently this show follows a fictional princess through dealings with her family, going to princess school, and learning what it means to be a princess. No big deal, right? Well, to premise of today’s episode was summed up in a single line from one of the teacher’s at princess school- “A good princess helps others, no matter how important something she wants to do is.”


So to be a princess, little girls should always put others first, no matter what? No wonder women in the corporate environment (and in general) are expected to be passive and agreeable- that’s what we’ve been training them to be!

Parents and grandparents walk around calling their daughters and granddaughters princesses, and surround them will all kinds of images of Disney  characters that personify this. The phrase “That’s not what princesses do” or “Would a princess do that?” seems to be thrown at female children regularly. And what do princesses do? They are quiet, well behaved, don’t act out, don’t interrupt, don’t get dirty, and apparently put others needs before their own, no matter what.

Then when they grow up, they get frustrated because they are always doing for other people, always putting their needs second, always being polite and not causing waves or upsetting people, and what does that create? Unhappy adults who get frustrated and burnt out. They get frustrated that they aren’t respected at work, angry that they seem responsible for everyone’s happiness at home, and feel guilty for occasionally wanting to take time/resources to do something they want to do.

This is not what I want for my children. I want them to explore everything- explore sounds and activities and nature and science and be silly. You know- like a *kid*. While helping others and being considerate of those around us, I don’t want my children to think that women should sacrifice everything for the needs of others. Sometimes, their own needs or desires come first. I don’t want my daughters growing up with a princess complex, and I don’t want my sons growing up to expect women to “act like a princess.”

Posted in children | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Welcome to the World

This post has taken me a while to write. Not so much because I didn’t know what to write- I know what I want to say. And not because I don’t want to write it; I do. I guess the reason it has taken me a bit is because it’s still so very surreal. Writing about it makes it seem more real, which is also terrifying.

On October 6th, at 1:17am, I woke up, not knowing why. After laying in bed for a few minutes, I realized I woke up because I was having some mild cramp-like pains.

At 2am I headed downstairs to tell my husband I thought I was having contractions. The poor guy was just about to come up to bed when I told him this; instead he sat up with me while I walked around, bounced, and timed them.

At 4am my contractions were pretty regularly at 4 minutes apart, and getting more intense. We called the doctor, packed up, and headed to the hospital. This is where my timeline gets all confused, and I have no idea what time it is anymore.

I labored for 24 hours. 16 of those hours I did without painkillers, without an epidural, without drugs. My original goal had been to have a natural childbirth. All the women in my direct line of descent had quick, easy childbirths (<6 hours). Mine? Long, drawn out, with little progress made at each check. By hour 17 I was in so much pain and agony that I convinced the nurse to give me an epidural. I literally could not take it anymore. Each contraction had me in hysterics, and it seemed each one brought me no closer to the end. I wasn’t dilated enough to push, and the contractions were so strong at that point they were making me throw up. Finally at hour 20 I was told I was allowed to push, so I did. For five hours. Five long, agonizing hours. This is where we found out that the head was stuck. I spent most of those 5 hours moving around into positions trying to get the head shifted. Nothing helped. At the end of the five hours I was told they recommended a c-section. This was the one thing I had hoped to avoid, but by this point I was exhausted, I was stressed, and I was feeling like a failure.

At 2:04am on October 7, 2014 this beautiful boy came into the world:


His name is Connor Tiberius. He was a whopping 9lbs, 2oz at birth. Apparently he was a bit too large for my body, and I wouldn’t have been able to evacuate him the natural way anyway.

Connor is now 1 1/2 weeks old, and I am in love with this kid. He has the grumpiest old man face most of the time, but when he smiles it is the most adorable thing I have ever seen. He loves his snuggle times with daddy, and naps on mom are the best thing ever.

these past two weeks have been exhausting. I have slept less per night than I ever did in college, I have been peed on and spit up on. I spend most of my day on the couch nursing, so J has to do most of the housework right now.

And I love it all. Well, except for the parts where I’m crying hysterically because it’s 5am and he hasn’t slept since midnight and is fussy and I don’t know what to do. But that is what husbands are for.

We are so very, very blessed to have him, and I cannot wait to watch this tiny little person grow into a unique and wonderful human being.

15366106920_78f427b43c_z 15551737425_d928023464_z 15549057921_b1918b4dcd_z 20141017_143928


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

First Finished Object Friday

A lot of crafters participate in Finished Object Fridays, but I take so long to complete things that I’ve never joined in. This week, I finally have a few items that are 100% done, so why not participate this time around? Heck, if I’m feeling really daring, I might even do WIP Wednesday next week!

On to the finished objects! First up: Baby Sophisticate Sweater for baby Dez. This was knit out of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran ( I think…I need to find the ball band). This is the 3 month size, and is so teeny it’s squeal-worthy. Go ahead, you know you want to. I’ll wait.








Next up is Owlet, by Kate Davies. This was such a fast and easy knit (hard to refrain from a joke there…). I really enjoyed this pattern, and am seriously considering knitting the adult version for myself. Or maybe I’ll knit SD one so they can be twinsies at Christmas. Because kids LOVE IT when you dress them identically. This is out of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran, in the 6 month size. Our families have a history of large babies, so my hope is that this will fit him during the second half of winter.








And…that’s pretty much it. I’m not finishing much around here, lately. Environmental Law is kicking my butt, and we’ve been trying to spend as much time with SD as possible before she leaves tomorrow. Tune in Wednesday to see what I’ve been knitting on to date.

Posted in fiber, knitting, sweater, sweaters, wool, yarn | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment