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.

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