Boston’s Run to Remember – Mem Day Weekend

I’m going to steer away from my usual knit-focused posts to something completely unrelated, running.

If you know me at all, you’d know that running is out of character for me, unless it’s to catch my bus every morning.

About a month ago I blogged about the Boston Marathon, and how it’s my favorite day of the year to live in Boston. I told myself that day that I need to be more active, and in April, my work crew and I decided to sign up for the “Run to Remember” race which has the option for a 5-‘mile run or half marathon.

For someone who care barely run 1-mile without stopping, the half was out of question, and I thought the 5-miler would be a stretch, but I signed up anyway.

I had about 1.5 months to figure it out, and build up enough stamina to run 5 miles non-stop. I know this doesn’t seem like a lot, and it isn’t for most people – It’s all mental. Just ask my co-blogger Amy how much I enjoy running. I don’t. I would run a mile, get bored, stop, and call it a day. This is us from a million (7) years ago at my first 5k. Amy was such a good sport -and- they had glow sticks, which was the main reason I signed up.

Babies!

Anyway, leading up to last weekend’s run I ran maybe 5 times, 1 mile each week and that was it. I knew the outcome of this 5-miler would be a crap shoot and was 100% counting on adrenaline to get me through, that and the thought of the bloody mary’s and beers waiting for me afterward. It’s the little things..

Overall, I’d have to say that running the streets of Boston at 7am on a Sunday morning was pretty awesome.

They closed the streets and we were able to run through downtown’s scenic sites. I got a taste of what Boston was like without all the people (and cars), minus the thousand’s of runners, but you know what I mean.

Luckily for me, the adrenaline did kick in, and I was able to run 3.5 without stopping, and was motivated by the shade, downhill paths, and the person ahead of me that had a t-shirt that said “Before you hit the wall, hit back” – I felt that. I walked briefly to get some terrible yellow Gatorade and ran/sprinted the rest of the 1.5 miles.

I was able to finish at a decent time and finally felt the joy of completing a race, and the “runners high” that I’ve heard so much about from my colleagues. We’re already talking about which one we’re going to sign up for next.

I do, however, need to remember to stretch thoroughly BEFORE running. The next morning I woke up and felt like Grandpa Joe from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was bad news, and has nothing to do with the amount of alcohol I consumed that whole day.

Nothing that some frozen corn and edamame can’t cure, right?

Welcome to the Jungle/Iceland

In honor of flashback Friday, here’s a fun one for you…

Last summer, my husband and I took a trip to Iceland. 

It. Was. Amazing.

Omg the views.

Anyway, something strange was going on the particular week we were there. It was a really really big deal. Like, everyone was freaking out big deal. 

Guns ‘N Roses were performing. And it turns out this would be the biggest concert to ever happen in Iceland’s history. 

Guns ‘N Roses. In 2018. 

Apparently it is quite difficult to convince tours to stop in Iceland. I read something about how boats had to bring everything over, and for one show, that does seem a bit costly. 

So yes. This was a huge deal. It’s all they talked about on the radio. People were talking about it in the bars. Our city tour guide was even bubbling over with excitement. 

I went through a really serious 80’s music phase in my later high school/early college years and they were obviously a central part of my playlist. So I started fangirling pretty hard. 

Alas, we decided to skip it. Because, in theory, we could catch them somewhere in the United States if we really wanted to, and our days were jam packed with hiking exotic and beautiful parts of the country- something we wouldn’t be able to do elsewhere.

However….

Because we went out to dinner (early, of course, because we’re old souls) one night and, as we were walking back, we found ourselves coming upon a small crowd outside of a small boutique hotel. 

“Wouldn’t it be funny if people were waiting for the band, Kyle? Let’s see what’s going on!” “Excuse me, is there something going on here?”

“Yes, we’re waiting for Guns ‘N Roses to come out to head to the show.”

YES.

I saw Slash in real life. 

For maybe 3 seconds, but it COUNTS.

I lobbied to stay longer, because the word on the street was Axl had not yet shown his face. But Kyle pointed out this was Axl we were talking about, and he was probably going to be another 3 hours, even if the show started in 2. 

So I lost that battle. 

BUT SLASH! In the year 2018! 

Thank you, Iceland, for making that dream come true. 

Also, I did crafts there. 

Iceland is known for their knitting, and even do guided multi-day knitting tours. Luckily no one saw my crochet hook and tossed me out of the country!

Thanks, Iceland. You’re the best. 

– Amy 

Work-life deadlines

..I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog and insta lately. Mostly because I’ve been swamped at work, adjusting into my new(ish) position, attempting to stay on top of my game, studying for a PMP exam, “training” for a 5-miler, and trying to squeeze in time for self care (yoga, knits and Netflix). 

Naturally, I tried to do both – which was a fail

There is just a lot going on, and I’m having a TIME establishing a healthy work-life balance (parents, I don’t know how you do it). I’m learning as I go, faking it til’ I make it, and trying not to sprout anymore gray hairs in the process.  PS- I recently spotted 3 devil hairs that grow significantly faster and thicker than the others. What’s up with that, anyway?  

Anyway, in midst of all the everyday crazy, that we all endure, I’m frantically trying to finish up this baby blanket for a dear friend’s baby shower in early June (15 days, to be specific).  Of course I’m woefully behind, but was reassured that I’d finish this in time if I stuck to a schedule I made for myself when I started in May. 

~100 rows to get the length aka ~3 rows/day for a month and it should get it done.  I am..behind. Weekends are typically when I have my time to catch up but they’ve been quite packed this month.  

There is just not enough hours in the day..and too many things I don’t want to do that are getting in my way of what I enjoy. This is life, I know and overall it’s good ‘problem’ to have. 

“If I can just make it though this week, I’ll be good” – and I’ll tell myself that for the foreseeable future,  or at least through the end of June. 

How do you prioritize your conflicting priorities in life? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? I’m open to any and all suggestions on maintaining sanity.  #SOS

~Bailey

Wrinkles

I have wrinkles. 

Not a lot, but enough to be noticeable. Small ones. Mostly around the eyes. They’re starting to intersect each other. Like the road map of a city that has started to expand and grow its own suburbs. 

Wrinkles and the garter stitch- slow and steady. Their progress sneaks up on you…

It’s possible they came from my job, which is an endless cycle of massive deadlines. Just as I’m about to get through a particularly brutal one, another one pops up for the next week. Rinse and repeat. 

It’s possible they came from my husband. By marrying him, I’ve set myself up for an entire lifetime of heckling about my driving and the constant annoyance of dishes piling in the sink. 

It’s possible they came from my son, who has meltdowns over things like his piece of toast tearing into two pieces and me not being able to magically fuse it back together even if IT STILL TASTES THE SAME AND THE END GOAL IS TO EAT IT ALL SO IT WON’T EVEN MATTER.

Sorry guys. Lost myself for a second. We get really passionate about toast around these parts. 

Our issues with toast may be directly related to my coffee consumption. #serenitynow

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. And since I haven’t quite come around to the idea of botox, the wrinkles are seemingly here to stay. 

So instead I have to find a way to embrace them. Perhaps connect good things that come from the decades of stress. 

With each work deadline comes a sense of accomplishment after I’m done. The wrinkles also represent the promotions I’ve received from hard work and dedication to a company I love. 

I’m now basically too anxious to drive with anyone ever because of the endless jabs, but I also have had 7 years of support and love and a few thank yous for when I decide enough is enough and load the dishwasher myself. 😏

And sure, there are terrible two meltdowns on the regular, but I’ve also got a toddler who grabs my wrinkly face and plants kisses on it *almost* daily (he was really upset with me over the toast thing). 

So yeah. My wrinkles are what they are. I guess I’ll own up to them and accept them as a fact of  life. Same as my upcoming, inevitable dive into the mid-30’s scene happening this summer. 

Or…

Or I’ll continue to assault them with every single serum and treatment I can get my hands on at Sephora for the rest of my life. 

Yeah, I’ll probably do that. 

– Amy 

Cross Country Poncho for a Cross Country Friend

I love making garments, accessories, or anything handmade for the people I love.  Not only does it keep me busy for weeks (in this case, months), but once it’s finished and put it in the mail, it’s a great sense of accomplishment.  Patiently waiting for it to arrive to its destination and envisioning the recipient’s face when they open it is the best part..Assuming it fits, and that it’s what they hoped it would be.

Making things for others guarantees that my finished product will not be sitting in my apt somewhere unused, and taking up precious space.  My stash is already closing in on me.  The more things I can gift, the better.  Plus, it makes both parties happy 😊.

I started this poncho in January and it took me ~4.5 months to finish.  Each row took ~15-20 minutes to complete.  I actually timed myself, and could never break my 15-20min row speed, that seems really slow.  It’s usually because I stop, crack my wrists/fingers, change the channel on my show, or do the downward facing dog stretch because all I do is hunch over in concentration, and these old bones are feelin’ it.

There is nothing too complicated about this poncho, it’s double crochet, with a few skipped stitches for the design.  It’s essentially a massive blanket with a hole for the head – I love it. Pattern here.  I can’t love it too much, or otherwise I’d become emotionally attached – IT’S NOT FOR ME, and I reminded myself that every time I picked it up. 

My Mom’s bestie requested this back in December, and when I agreed to give it a shot, I wasn’t anticipating how long it would take.  A whole season has passed us by but luckily this poncho will live in Chicago, so I’m sure it will get a lot of use no matter what.  

I got started on this NYE…

One size fits all should hold true – that is the best project to make for people without overthinking the whole “I hope this fits” question that haunts me with every garment I make.  Thankfully, this is meant to be oversized and cozy and there is nothing better than that. 

What do ya think?

Quarantine

We took a lovely long weekend trip to Missouri over Easter. 

Given that my child is almost two and a half, it really is a crap shoot of what to expect from him on the 7.5-hour drive. For example, last time we made the trip, he projectile vomited within 5 miles of my parents’ house. 

It could have been worse, I suppose. He could have thrown up in hour 2 and the smell would have destroyed us all. So there’s that. 

But anyway, he did great. Both the ride down and back. Possibly the best road trip we’ve had with him. 

My husband, however, did not fare so well. 

He got the chills the night before we drove back home. 

We still drove back, but turns out it was strep throat. And we had all been trapped in a car together for 7.5 hours. 

Kyle immediately went into quarantine. And while I like to think of myself as a loving wife, there’s only so much nurturing to go around. And when I am doing everything I can to keep my child from getting strep, there’s not much leftover when it comes to looking over his well-being. 

I warmed up a couple of cans of soup. Threw a bottle of NyQuil at him through a slightly opened door. Provided him with some Clorox wipes to wipe down anything he touched between the two rooms he was allowed in – our bedroom and the bathroom. 

And then I slept on our family room couch for two days. 

Because it is all about survival. And sorry, bro, you have fallen and I cannot help you until you are officially no longer contagious. 

That does seem harsh. But to be fair, if I were to get sick, I would expect about the same. One adult being sick is tolerable. But if you take the child down with you, we’re going to have problems. 

He must be protected at all costs. 

So Kyle stayed in quarantine and I caught up on Netflix in the evenings, with crochet in hand. 

I really love the texture, but due to the size of this throw, it’s been slow going. It’s also stalled at the moment, because I need to buy more yarn for it.

With health being restored in our household, I also expect it to stall more because I am desperately behind on my NICU blanket goals. 

This is the last one I worked on. Before the need for quarantine.

Gonna have to partially blame the husband and his germs on that one. 🙂 

-Amy

Spring Reflections

Ah, Spring.

A time to put away bulky winter wear and make room for the clothing that takes up less space in our closets.

A time to take everything that no longer pleases us and donate it, throw it away, or stash it in a storage bin and put it in the basement for the next 8 months.

A time to realize that those 20 storage bins, some labeled: “T-shirts I cannot throw away” is 100% unnecessary.

I love to declutter (throw things away), and if it were just me I would feel a sense of accomplishment by the countless bags of clothes that are purged/donated each year.  Less junk means more space, right?  Wrong.  It isn’t just me.  It’s the hubs too – and he has his own hoarding tendencies that are more severe than my own.

I’ve reverted to closing the door to our spare room to avert my eyes from the explosion of clothes scattered and piled everywhere.  Not my mess, not my problem.  Just close the door and pretend the mess isn’t there.

Between the ages of 10 to 18, my Mom tried to instill cleanliness into my routine everyday. It never worked. I’m sorry for being so messy, Mom – and for driving you insane.

I am much better now, it only took me 31 years, and living with someone else to know that messes aren’t welcome, especially when they’re not mine.

I think the only way to remedy this situation, and to spark joy in the declutter process is to watch that Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo“ – I’ve heard it’s quite motivating for those who need a swift kick.  Until the day I can tie down the hubs to watch it with me, I have my own words of wisdom for “tidying up”:

If you answer “NO” to ANY of these 5 questions – THROW IT AWAY!

  1. Have I worn this in the 12 months?
  2. Does this still fit me?
  3. Was this expensive?
  4. Do I plan on wearing …XYZ…this season?
  5. Is this brand within my age range? (ahem..those 10-year-old hoodies from Hollister, A&F, Forever21, – toss that shit, you’re too old!)

Maybe I should make a sign?

Maybe this blog post IS my sign.

Maybe I will just keep my fingers crossed and hope he becomes motivated to purge on his own time.

…or maybe I will just throw it all away because chances are he’ll never notice they’re gone.  Nah, that’s probably rude.

And it’s not just clothes, its knits too.  Just look at this stash collection I’ve created.  I have a problem.

I’ve seen worse, obviously, but this is me not buying yarn for MONTHS (except for that one instance last week), I feel like I still haven’t even put a dent in these bins.  I have no idea what this yarn is even for?  Why did I buy it? Why is it colorful?  What was wrong with me?  I either need to donate this, make something out of it, and THEN donate, or continue to store it for a rainy day.

Ugh, how do YOU become motivated to purge? I’m asking for a friend.