All things Fall

Hello friends, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but there has been a lot going on these last couple months.  I’ll start with the MOST exciting news – I passed the PMP Exam (Project Management Professional) early September!  It was a professional milestone I was working on for ~9 months and it finally happened!  You may recall my post in June about “treating myself” – that was attempt #1.  It didn’t work out.  It sucked.  I was pretty down, disappointed, and after a week of wallowing, I was more determined than ever to get it done.  Thousands of hours, practice tests, bailing on fun, and discipline I never knew I had went into round 2, and seeing this beautiful sight when clicking ‘submit’ made it all worth it:

After passing that MONSTER, I had an overwhelming sense of relief, and more time available to doing things I love – without the black PMP cloud in the back of my mind.  100% of my summer was spent with my head in the books, and it wasn’t until September 4th until my summer officially started. Below is my attempt to make up for an anti-social summer spent indoors:
1. Time with friends – I just love these peeps:
2. A weekend in NYC – Aside from stuffing my face and walking 15 miles per day, I finally visited the Lion Brand flagship store.  I try to go to NYC at least 1-2 times a year since it’s a short(ish) ride from Boston.  Every time I’m there, the store is closed (their hours are wack, they’re closed on Saturdays – what!?) –  but this time, the stars aligned.  I was in heaven, obvi – and treated myself to a Two of Wands crochet velvet sweater, which is currently in the works:
3. A weekend in Austin – GIRLS TRIP!  Austin rocks. The people are nice, the food is delish, scooters are the preferred mode of transportation, and the music scene is captivating (especially after day drinking).  I loved everything about it, but I mostly loved being with these girls, my friends are the best:
4. A weekend in Buffalo – I can’t get enough of the BUF.  My Dad’s side of the family lives here and I go at least 3-4 times a year. Feels so good to be with family, they’re the best too:
5. A weekend apple picking!  How have I lived in Boston 6 years and never done this? Between my husband and I we probably ate 10 apples each, you know..to get our money’s worth. I love all things fall and will gladly pay a premium for apples that aren’t Honey Crisp.  It was also a perfect opportunity to wear my crochet cardi from OTH Crochet. I LOVE it, and want one in every color.  It took ~ a week to finish, which is nothing.  Check out her site for the pattern 🙂 >click here<
This week, I’m meeting my Mom in Sarasota.  We meet every October for her birthday and stay on the beach for half the time, and with my Aunt and Uncle the back half.  Warm weather and beach time that I never got this summer – check!  Time with my fam – check!
I’m checking all the boxes that I wasn’t able to get around to this summer and it feels so good to be back.
I’m relived the test is done. I’m grateful my hard work paid off.  I’m appreciative of my friends/family for being so wonderful.  I’m ready to start a new season with time to focus on enjoying all the things – fall things!..and Netflix, can’t forget that.

Parent’s Night Out

Admittedly, my husband and I do not do a whole lot of traipsing around together into the night like we used to. 

Babysitters are expensive. So we often trade off turns staying home with our sleeping child while the other goes out and catches up with friends. As an alternative, many plans these days involve other parents and children of similar ages, so it’s pretty commonly understood that we all need to head home by 7pm.
That’s just how our life has evolved over the past few years. 

Finished a blanket for a friend’s baby this last week… it’s heavy on the single crochet, but I think it was a little tight and might have seemed softer (and faster to do) in half double crochet…

But this last Saturday… we had a wedding to attend. And we had a child sleeping over at my mother-in-law’s house. So. We were 100% free to go wherever the night took us. Whatever we wanted to do. For however late we felt like being out.
We opted out of the after party, mostly because I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been out past 10pm this year. Honestly, I do not regret that decision.

Mr. Lion approved of the addition of fringe- a new look for my stuff.

Because we got up early.
We got up at 6am. On our own. On a Sunday. To go to Menards and pick out landscaping-related items.
So there we were at Menards by 7am, considering what kind of mulch to spread in the front yard. 
We went with a natural cedar, if you’re that interested. We also picked up some nice LEDs for our bedroom lights. 

I missed a bobble and didn’t realize it until another 10ish rows in… decided to leave the imperfection in because what in life is ever that perfect anyway?

And then we went out to breakfast. Not brunch, as the younger crowd is so fancy on, but breakfast with the 60 and up crowd. We discussed the decrease in quality of this particular place’s hash browns and created a grocery shopping list. 
Because this is 34.
And I kind of love it. Minus the hash browns. 
They really were that bad. 

-Amy

P.S. You can find the blanket pattern by Daisy Farm Crafts here.

Series of Unfortunate Events

Sorry I have not posted in a while, things have just been crazy, and summer is flying by. I am trying to make the most of the warm months in New England – but studying for an exam that I am scheduled to take soon has completely consumed my life, and gotten in the way of my fun in the sun.  In addition to keeping my heads in the books. I have been dealing with chaotic rental drama with what seems to be a series of unfortunate events.

First, we had a typhoon like storm that lasted 45min, which resulted in about 6 inches of water in our basement, and a surge that knocked over HALF of our ‘air-tight’ bins on the floor. There is nothing like coming home from a long day to find my Game Boy AND Super Nintendo soaked, along with my Super Mario Bros, Tetris and misc. other games floating next to it.  I can barely type I’m so sad.  Of course I don’t play them anymore, the pixels on those games don’t collab well with my flat screen – but I didn’t want them to go out the way they did, casualties of a sh*tty basement flood – ouch.

There was also a bucket full of highlighter yellow colored softballs.  I’ve never played softball in my life. Why so many? Where did they come from?  I’ll never know.

Flooding happens, and I’m STILL doing damage control and laundering my “t-shirts I cannot throw away” bin.  A normal person would turn this tragedy into an opportunity and purge all shirts from 2001-2010, but not me.  How could I throw away my old volleyball tee’s that don’t fit me anymore?  How can I possibly toss my Panama City Beach tee’s from 2009? Too many memories attached to that debaucherous trip – I must keep them mildew free until I die – just in case.

In addition to our basement swamp, our roof deck was unexpectedly torn down.  What was supposed to be minor repair (to fix our leaky roof that has been there for 6+ years) turned into a full demo.  200+ square feet worth of views, gone in a matter of hours.  I didn’t even get to say goodbye.  I just came home and it wasn’t there anymore.  All we were left with was the mess, lots of contractors using our bathroom (gross), yelling landlords and ~4 less White Claws in my fridge.

August is the perfect time to demo a roof deck, who wants one of those in the middle of summer anyway?

Farewell outdoor space, farewell views, and farewell to all the junk from that rooftop room that I was more than okay to part with.  At one point we were throwing everything off the back porch from 3 stories up.  50lb plants, tables, chairs, speakers, you name it. It’s not the way I wanted to do things, but it was the forcing function that made us get rid of the sh*t we DEF did not need anymore – except when it gets rebuilt we’ll likely just buy more stuff we don’t need to fill it.  Sigh. I need a minimalist life.  Clutter makes me crazy.

Anyway, how is everyone else’s summer going?  I’m kind of ready for fall, and hoping I can get back to what I LOVE soon (i.e. less studying, more knits!) and LESS chaos.

Treat yourself, for better or worse

Monday was a big day for me, professionally speaking. Details of my professional goals don’t really matter at this time, but what does matter is the preparation. Preparing for the best, and the worst.

If things go great – I treat myself.

If things don’t go so great – I medium treat myself, because I know it’ll brighten up a crappy day.

For me, things did not go so great. Monday didn’t go according to plan, my expectation/hope for a specific outcome didn’t pan out. Whatev, that’s life, I’m learning. I need to work harder. It’s a frustrating reality that I somewhat prepared for in the following ways:

1. I scheduled a Stitch Fix to arrive June 24th so when I come home I’ll have something new to try on to make myself feel better about my awesome (or not so awesome) day.

2. I ordered a knit kit from Lion Brand last week so it could arrive and be ready to start THIS week. Nothing brightens my outlook more than a new project that I desperately need (hello, new summer backpack)!

3. Fill my social calendar because sitting at home moping for more than one night doesn’t do any good. Friends do. (Baseball game, drinks, sushi, brunch, yes please).

4. Block off one night to catch up on 3+ episodes of Teen Mom OG on my DVR. (I know, I know, but I love that show, and have watched it from the beginning. The kids are like 10 now and I am committed to see how they turn out).

5. Schedule a massage for the weekend. (I actually canceled this and will reschedule for when I REALLY earn it). I shouldn’t have canceled. Oh well.

All these things would be much more fun had I accomplished what I set out to, but I didn’t. I wish I were celebrating instead of wallowing but items 1-4 can help balance out my bum-ness.

Tomorrow is a new day. I will not let a setback get me down for more than 24-48 hours. I will learn from it, move forward and do better. I have to.

If you’re better than you were yesterday that’s progress.

How do you bounce back from setbacks? What cheers you up on a crappy day? Asking for a friend, aka Me. Please and thanks xo!

~Bailey

Regression

I’m going to go ahead and anger a lot of parents right now when i say that my child never had to be sleep trained. After the first month of life, he was really great about long stretches of sleep, and even completely sleeping through the night not long after.

I know he is not the norm. And we felt… what’s the word? 

Ah- blessed.

Until recently. 

Apparently there’s a toddler sleep regression? 

WHY DOES NO ONE TELL YOU THESE THINGS?

It started innocently enough. He’d call for me once, shortly after going to bed. 

Then he started calling for me a few times in the first hour of being in bed. 

Trying not to snap my hook in half as I listen to my child rage against bed time.

Then he started calling for us in the middle of the night, too.

Then he started completely waking up in the middle of the night and refusing to go back asleep unless we were with him. 

We have felt the pain of listening to him cry it out for almost 2 hours. Kyle and I have spent recent nights on our child’s bedroom floor. (admittedly, when exhausted, my consistency falters)

Our child is tired. We are tired. Our dog is tired. 

When asked why he is sad or upset, all I get is, “mommy, sometimes I just need to cry”. Which makes me cry. Because why does my child feel there’s ever a need to just cry?

Parenting, at times, really is the punch to the gut you never saw coming. 

The kiddo helps with props sometimes. He’s got a great eye for contrasting colors. 

But we will continue to persevere. This phase surely can’t last forever. 

And there’s always wine. And my knits.

In other news, my child has also (almost) memorized three songs by The Killers, which is probably the one thing I’ve found amusing about his middle of the night wake ups. He sings “The Man” and “Run for Cover” to his stuffed animals.  

Perhaps this sleep regression is his way of preparing for the rock star lifestyle?

He’s so career oriented. 

-Amy

So Much Yarn, Seattle

Last week I was fortunate enough to travel to Seattle for business. It was a short trip, too short actually – but we made the most of our time there and that’s all I could ask for.

Sun is rare here, so I’m told

We flew in Tuesday afternoon, had all of Tuesday day/night to check out the city, the views, and scope out the food. So. Much. Food. I’m a foodie, and this place got me immediately, just look at this place, Pike Market. 

I should have brought a bigger purse (kidding…)

I’m still drooling.

I also stumbled upon the first Starbucks. I wasn’t entirely impressed and there was no way I was waiting in line at 4pm for a coffee I could get on any other corner in the country, but it was cool to see nonetheless. 

Here are some more cool touristy shots:

Middle left is Mount Rainer, luckily it was clear enough to see it

The restaurant we went to, Matt’s in the Market was exceptional. I ordered the seafood stew because it was the house favorite and I was not disappointed. This photo does not do it justice. Crab legs, fish, scallops, mussels, clams, bread, and broth that I wanted to take in a to-go cup. Mmmmm! 

I live in Boston, I know good seafood and Seattle is up there. In fact, I’d say its better, especially the crab. Maybe it tasted better because I could expense my meals, who knows. I just know I floated out of that restaurant (and every restaurant) so incredibly happy, and that doesn’t happen often. 

I wish every meal could be expensed. That’s where most of my money goes, sadly.  #freefoodforever 

After stuffing my face, countless drinks, rooftop views, and sleeping approx 3 hours, I decided to hit up downtown for some shopping Wednesday morning before switching hotels and focusing 100% on work. 

Obviously, I found a yarn store called “So Much Yarn” – it was a few blocks from my hotel. The store had views of the water, lots of windows and the people were so friendly. I asked if they were hiring, but they’re not. 

The store’s name was accurate, wall to wall yarn, it was beautiful. I swear I would have walked out with so much loot had I packed accordingly. Guess that means I’ll have to go back to visit, and I’m cool with that. 

There was also a store there called Robot vs. Sloth. I love sloths, it’s my spirit animal, so I went in and went medium crazy in the enamel pin department. How could I not, look at these! They can also be found online here. You’re welcome. 

And finally, the space needle. We went there Wednesday afternoon after a long night of beverages, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. But the views were. I wish there were more time to spend there because apparently they have a Garden as well but we missed that. Like I said, next time. 

Have you been to Seattle? Where is your favorite place to eat when you’re there? I need recommendations for the next time I go-which is sooner than later, I hope! 

Average Adulting: A Review

Oh hello, it’s been a bit since I’ve popped in. Things have gotten busy. Both Bailey and I seem to have overlapping busy seasons, so….

It happens.

I should have expected it. I’ve always seen adults as I was growing up who were busy. They seemed stressed. They had a lot to do and never enough time to do it.

I never thought about how that would apply to me when I reached their age. Perhaps I just thought they had poor time management skills. Or it just didn’t sink in that I would be in a similar situation one day.

But here we are.

Sometimes I review how things are going for me as an adult/parent. All in all, I do ok. I put in a solid effort. Like I said, ok. So I thought I’d share my most recent observations on Amy as an adult. Here they are with no logical structure whatsoever:

1.       I have become a playground expert because we do not want to spend money on things when my child has the attention span of a goldfish some days. We once visited four playgrounds in one day. FOUR. There are probably 20 in the area that we’ve been to over the last year. And believe it or not, strategy is involved. Ask me about the importance of slides draining properly when it’s 6:30am and your kid wants to take a walk to the playground and everything is still covered in morning dew.

Slide fail. He still has no fear. One of the many reasons i love him.

2.       Weekday wine doesn’t have to be for something special. It can just be to congratulate yourself for surviving the day.

3.       I’m turning into my mother. Furthermore, I’m turning into my mother and I’m not particularly upset about it. The jury is still out how my husband feels about this recent development, but he and my mom get along well, so that’s a positive sign.

4.       Potty training hasn’t even truly started but I can already tell it’s going to scar all parties involved for life. We’re considering the “weekend from hell” method. We’re scheduling time to clean our carpets the following weekend.

5.       I hate cooking. Like really hate it. I’m lucky it’s 2019, because I’m pretty sure 60 years ago this would have kept me from ever finding anyone to consider me a desirable mate. As a side note, this is one way I am not like my mother.

6.       Having a vitamin D deficiency can really mess a person up. I now take a daily vitamin D supplement on top of a multi and am researching vitamin D light boxes for next winter. Seriously, guys. I can look back now and recognize the slow descent into feeling bad with no seemingly logical explanation for months. Takes just as long to climb out of it. Take your vitamins.

7.       I get daily reports from daycare about my kid and so I also get daily feelings of envy as I review my child’s nap report.

8.       Aimless lego stacking has become an important part of my work on my mental well-being. Crochet is clearly my primary method of destressing, but legos are a close second that have the double benefit of being an activity I can share with my child.

So there you have it. Some wisdom (or perhaps just a “heads up”?) you didn’t ask for.

Thank goodness for crochet, wine and legos, amiright?

-Amy