Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Honey, Honey

I've had a thing about finishing knits lately.

That is, I haven't been. Rosie's cardi will never fit her, one sleeve done and the other hibernating. My Shalom, too, is sitting in the knitting basket, untouched. Dinah's shrug just needs a button.

I'm not sure what that's about. I'm usually so good at finishing one thing before beginning another but the past few months I've been...distracted.

I broke my unfinishing streak this weekend, casting off my honey cowl on my birthday. Happy Birthday to me, because it's gorgeous and I'm in love. It may seem ridiculous to knit a wool cowl in April, but with the temperatures dipping below freezing yet again, not to mention waking up to snow this morning, I know I'll get some use out of it. You can find my ravelry notes here.

I cast on 280 stitches on size 6 needles since I used fingering weight yarn. The fabric ended up being lightweight yet warm with a lovely drape. Perfect for Spring in daffodil yellow.

I'll definitely be knitting this again. I kind of want one in every color.

(I apologize for the cheesy photos. I'm a horrible model and my hair is doing something dumb!)

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Monday, April 14, 2014

A Beautiful Life

I turned thirty this past weekend. My oldest teased me on Saturday morning - "Gosh, Mom, you look ooooold!" It's a good thing he's so cute because his charm has quite a ways to go. I spent the weekend with the people I love the best, doing the things I love the best - knitting out in the sunshine with bare legs while pushing my baby on the swing. Taking in my sister's ballet with my little girls sitting right on the edge of their seats. A night out with friends. Palm Sunday, whispering thinly veiled threats down the pew, praying through gritted teeth that the five year old have the good sense to keep from flogging the nice people in front of us with his palm. Family dinner (and an epic chocolate cake) with my siblings and parents.

While the babies napped on Sunday afternoon, I threw open my bedroom windows and took some time myself to think back on my last 30 years and ahead to the next. I know my life is more than just my life. It's a testimony to what I believe to be true and right. What I want for my children. It can be a cautionary tale or a practice of perseverance. So much of living a good life is what you make of what you have. I can forget that sometimes - and find myself in a swirl of discontentment, harping on the things that aren't exactly as I wish them to be. But when I look across the last thirty years, I see a life that is more beautiful than anything I could have dreamed of, wished for or possibly deserved.

This morning the baby woke early and spit up all over me in bed. The temperatures are falling swiftly, our golden weekend in the sun a mere memory and snow in the forecast. We have 8 people in our family and not a single mode of transportation. It's Holy Week and I have nothing for Easter baskets and have to figure out how to get back and forth to church 3 times. Each and every day has more than enough trouble to keep me mired down for weeks, but when I take that long view? I can see how each and every day I've lived, I've been held. Gently and completely.

That's what makes a life beautiful. Not how good (or bad) I am at keeping my home, not how perfect my marriage is or well behaved my kids are. Life is beautiful when it's lived under the arch of God's everlasting mercy. Day after day after day.

30 grace and joy filled years. I'm happy to have lived them all.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014


Yesterday the girls came running in, Fiona with a smudge of dirt right across the bridge of her nose, both with hair ratted right up by the passing of the breeze as they whipped around the block on their bikes. My girls are 7 and 9 now, so big...so small. They hop up and down in excitement on the rug, unwilling to remove their mud-encrusted shoes but knowing I'd be less than happy if they tracked it all through the house.

"Mom! Moooooooom! Come quick! They're here!"

 I peek into the kitchen to see and there they are. My two girls holding out tiny bouquets of blue flowers - my blue flowers. Scilla that come up every year right about now. They don't miss a year, hunting and hunting to find me the very first ones, filling little cups with wild flowers and setting them around the house.

This time of year is always one of growth and stretching for me. The concentration of family birthdays, the memories of bringing babies into a world of spring rains and budding trees, the ending of Lent and the hard-hitting realities of Holy Week...I feel each and every moment. The first day we keep the kitchen windows open all day. The first time the baby toddles over the uneven ground out back. Calling the kids in after a long day outside and the way they smell when they come reluctantly back in - like dirt and wind and joy.

Somehow the combination of healing sunshine and the gradually spreading of green in the backyard softens the ache in me like nothing else possibly could. Even in the mud and mess, the redemption of the long winter and the promise of coming warmth steadies me and gives each morning the unmistakable air of possibility.

I open my hands and my girls fill them with flowers and another Spring has come.

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