Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hope Unfolding Book Review

I received this book right after giving birth to my first baby. I was kind of skeptical, and running on little sleep and I was extremely unhappy with my body. Also, I'd never heard of Scisssortail Silk or Ms. Thompson. After the first chapter I looked up her blog and followed her on twitter. Not only did this book meet me where I was and spoke to me in what I would call the hardest time of my life, it did so from a biblical perspective, with humor. I cried about every other chapter.

I am so glad she's written this. I want to buy it for all my mom friends. I want to get to know Becky in real life and go out to coffee with her. I love how real she is in her book, how she talks about her miscarriage (I had three, so I really really relate) and the trauma and, eventual contentment in God she found.

In short, I would recommend this book to every mom, or mom to be.

3 Easy Date Outfits for Mom

Here are my top three date outfits.

I love fashion, but I love the necessity of my Tula even more. What's your go-to date night outfit?

LoveBlog with Belle Brita

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Paleo Week 2 Recap

Week two paleo. It's been a little easier. I was worried about breastfeeding, but I am not counting calories, just eating when I feel hungry and watching to make sure Reuben has enough wet and dirty diapers.

This was my first week full paleo, as last week I was only paleo for dinner. I gave myself grace. During this week there was one meal I added rice to, and I continued to eat both beans and peanut butter.

I did package up a big box of non paleo food that I delivered to my sister. It didn't make sense to hang on to that anymore. I gave her several boxes of mac and cheese and tomato soup! Oh, tomato soup I will miss you (I just need to find a good non-dairy version).

This week I noticed my eczema is improving! Score! However, I am almost always hungry. I remember last time I went paleo it took about 2-3 weeks for the constant hunger to dissipate. I am making sure I eat a light snack every 2-3 hours to keep up with breastfeeding, and I didn't exercise during this week to allow my body more time to adjust.

I went to the doctor too and was shocked when my blood pressure was 95/70. I've had high blood pressure for awhile (not high enough to medicate, but high) and these numbers are amazing! I was going to pick up cake on the way home because I was starving and hearing the good numbers made me not cheat.

Next week I plan on starting up an good 3-4 day a week exercise plan and keeping with my paleo diet as well. I've already noticed an improvement in my bloating/postpartum belly!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Stop Asking Moms to Volunteer in your Church

When I was in high school and college I loved volunteering in my church nursery. I also briefly worked on habitat houses for several summers in middle school. Roofing is fun. Also, once I got married I did a lot of volunteer work, from baking to giving money to free rides and then some. I say this to tell you that I understand volunteer work is important.

But now I am a new mom.

Once I gave birth the suggestions started coming in. Almost every Sunday I would hear "you should volunteer in the nursery!" on a weekly basis.

At first I felt bad. Why did I feel so against volunteering in the nursery? I finally gave in and said yes once. Reuben was about 4 months old and I had daddy keep him in the service because I knew if he was with me I wouldn't put him down. I wanted to volunteer and pay attention to the other kids.

Only I felt worse after volunteering! I felt like I'd not been a good mom. I felt like I should have been in the service, soaking up God's word and tending to my own child. And I was tired and cranky all day because we woke up early to attend the first service so I could volunteer in the second.

It took me awhile to work through all my feelings. Reuben is now almost 8 months old and I no longer volunteer in the nursery.

For one, my husband has never been asked to volunteer in the nursery, yet I get asked (still) almost every Sunday. Why is this? I know that the nursery is a role that more females than males tend to do,  but still.

The second reason is one of time.

I just do not have time to volunteer in the nursery anymore. Sure, as a high school student I had plenty of free time! Even in college I had ample time to give to my church. (I would like to point out I had to step up and ASK to work in the nursery during these times). As a new mom my first priority is towards Reuben. He is a baby. I need to take care of him. My second priority, honestly is sleep. I need sleep. I am sleep deprived. I am also not going to put my mental and physical health on the line waking up an hour earlier to volunteer in the nursery. I am sorry.

Many of the nursery workers I see are young moms. They are tired. They are stressed. Their kids are half dressed and they are sometimes (like me) late to church. It's a miracle we as parents of young kids even make it to church. Yet we are the main demographic asked to volunteer and give up what precious time we have. Why is this?

You may say, well, Jesus wants you to volunteer! It's in the bible! It's your job as a Christian! Well, you would be right. God does want us to minister to those around us. But that can look different for everyone. For example, right now I love taking food to mom's of newborns. This is away I can volunteer without losing sleep or sanity. I am doing what I can. I cannot do more than that. Right now my first priority, as I said, is Reuben, my second is sleep, and after both those are filled I try to pay some attention to my husband because, you know, I'm married to him. If and only if all three of those are filled do I attempt to do something else with my time.

Because what God does not want is me putting my mental health on the line to check off a "volunteer" box. He does not want me losing sleep to watch other people's kids and thus, be unable to take good care of my own because of exhaustion.

Sometimes volunteering is wonderful. But sometimes, and especially as a new mom--I need to be ministered to, not doing the ministry.

Now this may not be for all moms of young children. Some may be able to volunteer. Some may love it, and some may feel called to it even when they hate it. God works in many different ways. What I don't like it the expectation that just because I birthed a kid, I somehow magically belong in the nursery. I don't like the fact that when I am at my lowest and most vulnerable and struggling to feed myself on a timely basis, others think I somehow need more on my plate. I dislike the stigma that those who volunteer are somehow more "holy" or "Godly" than I. I am not more holy if I volunteer or if I don't. I am a sinful child of God who is struggling in this world. And my current daily struggles do not permit me time to volunteer in the nursery. To do so would be to ignore my conscience and to be sinful, I believe. At this time in my life I can hardly handle taking care of the small person God has entrusted to me.

I feel that God has called me to die to myself daily as I care for my small family. That is my ministry right now. Thus, saying no to these volunteer opportunities is God's will for me. Please, fellow worshipers, respect and understand that.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Tardis Mitts

I finally finished my tardis mitts; pattern by Spilly Jane! It only took 5 months or so, give or take a week or two. Babies are exhausting (but I love him). Anyway, I used knitpicks fingering wool yarn for these. I didn't want mine to match what everyone else has created, so I used the tardis color for the background and a mint green for the actual box. I love the effect!

The pattern has a 1v1 stitch on the back, and I didn't like how it looked so I changed it to a 2v2. I also drastically lengthened the wrist portion. This girl likes her wrists well covered in winter.

The actual colorwork part is really straightforward. I added a thumb gusset as well--I think it just made for a much more functional and comfortable glove.

I can't tell you how much I LOVE these mitts! Dr. Who fans, unite!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Paleo Week One

So, I did the 21 day fix and vlogged about it. I lost four pounds and was ecstatic. However, one week after I was done with my fix I had gained all the pounds PLUS one back, even when keeping up with my exercise. I was livid. I was mad at my body.

So I hired a fitness coach. Her name is Dorothy Booth, she has multiple certifications and a degree as a personal trainer. She also uses the paleo diet to manage her type one diabetes. It cost $140 a month for her expertise (she does use beachbody for workouts), although she also has a lower costing plan.

This last week was week one on my journey to become paleo again.

Boy, was the first week hard. I did paleo for dinner only, focusing on eating what little non-paleo food I had for breakfast and lunch. I didn't want to waste anything.

I decided for this week I would not be meal planning. All I did was shop the perimeter of the grochery store and buy fresh groceries and veggies/fruit. I made different types of meat/sides with these combinations every night for dinner.

I thought it would get boring. It didn't, I liked everything I made!

by (@moonofsilver) on

The reason I wanted to go paleo again? Well, besides the eczema, stomach problems, chronic constipation, and brain fog--I am hoping paleo will help me with my postpartum belly that is still way huge, and with weight loss.

Anyway, I vlogged through week one as well!

I wish I had been able to stick to paleo while pregnant, and I wouldn't be trying this all over again.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Boundaries and Birth

Birth is hard. First there is the escalating 9 months of pregnancy. The anticipation. The advice (so much advice). And inevitably birth.

Birth changes things. It changes the dynamic of marriage from two to three if it's your first. It changes how you sleep (you don't) and how you eat (everything in sight) and your personal time (what's that) and your outlook for the future.

On top of all of this you have to create boundaries. Boundaries for friends, because the first weeks after birth you might not want visitors traipsing around your living room while you try to figure out breastfeeding. Or maybe you a super chill and don't mind a friend or two cleaning your kitchen while you rest on the couch. Either way, communicating on little sleep and with a frazzled mind can be very tough. Often times I didn't know what I wanted. Did I need a friend to bring dinner? Did I need someone to come hold my infant while I caught a shower?

I was mostly trying to figure out how to walk again without peeing on myself, so I let my husband dictate the boundaries for awhile. I am glad we discussed my wants in advance--he knew dinner being brought over was fine, but that I didn't want long term visitors. He knew that I wanted him to be there if his mom was over, and he knew that my mom had an open invitation to come any time she wanted, because if I needed anyone more than my husband it was her.

I made sure to discuss boundaries with my mother in law before birth. I asked her to not come to the hospital until we called, and I told her I didn't want her back in my room until after I had delivered and I was done being stitched up. I talked to her about this three times, and she still came to the hospital when I was pushing and walked in on me. Because of this I struggled with trust with her for a long time. I talked to her about it and she said she was just so excited she forgot. Next time we will not be informing her we have gone to the hospital, and I will be sure to tell the nurses that no visitors are allowed. Also, doing your own thing when someone has clearly stated their boundaries is not advisable. I now am mostly disappointed her, and that situation made me realize I need more boundaries when it comes to our relationship. I love her, but she needs to respect me.

I tell that story to help you understand that birth puts you in a very vulnerable position. Especially if it's your first go-around and you don't know what to expect! Having an advocate like your husband, doula, mom or sister there who can enforce your boundaries as you are expelling a human from your body is vitally important. Just as important as packing a bag, and choosing a name--because boundaries define the area of your comfort, and if there is one thing you need when in a medical situation it's comfort and support.

So, what were your birth boundaries?

Today I linked up with Brita and Mai for her #loveblog challenge! 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pondering Hard Questions

Today I was struck with many thoughts.

It came about like this: My mom gave me some very long bell-bottom pants. So long I walked on the tails. I have needed new pants as my current wears are leggings and more leggings. Pants would be nice, maybe I would feel like an adult again and not like a milk dispenser.

Only I needed to sew them. I figured it wouldn't take long to shorten and skinny-jean them, so I handed off baby to Dad and went upstairs for what I hoped would be a relaxing half hour of communing with my sewing machine.

Only it wasn't. The baby (who was recovering from a cold) was fussy and Dad kept calling to me from downstairs "to help" interrupting what was supposed to be my zen moment. I was ticked off. Reuben shouldn't be hungry. I had just fed him. I kept thinking I only want pants to wear. So I ignored Brian, who was saying things like "mommy will come back, don't worry" to my whiny 7-month old and giving me "the eyes" of "please help me". As I threaded my sewing machine Reuben finally quieted down and I could hear him playing with some toys. I tackled my pants.

I made one leg too wide and one leg to tight.

By that point about 30 minutes has passed and I was ready to cry. All I wanted was pants to wear, and because pants are kinda expensive, sewing my moms to my size had sounded like a good way to save money and have fun. If only my husband wasn't an incompetent baby sitter. Okay, so I know he's not a baby sitter, he's a father. He's a good father. But he sometimes equates every peep and squeak with Reuben's need for a boob. I feel like he does not try to soothe the baby in other ways most of the time--he just turns to me. And that frustrates me. I tried to remember that my baby was getting over a cold, and that my husband currently had said cold, but still. I was also sick.

I gave up on the pants. I will probably just throw them away and buy a pair that actually fits. I feel useless.

Anyway, what does that have to do with anything? I'm not done with the story, and I certainly haven't gotten to the point yet.

Later that day I went to the doctor. Ever since birth sex has been very painful. Extremely painful. As you can imagine, this has not helped my marriage relationship blossom. This was my third doctors visit, and to be honest I went in feeling extremely helpless and hopeless.

So. My doctor says my body is basically lacking estrogen and that is causing extreme dryness in my lady parts. We do use things to help this (lube is your friend) but that and the fact that I had a ten pound human exit my nether regions 7 months ago... well, you get the picture. She says it will all go back to normal once I stop breastfeeding. She also said I could use a estrogen cream for 4 weeks and that it would help, but it might dry up my milk. She wrote me a prescription for the cream that I am supposed to pick up tomorrow, but I feel so conflicted about it. I don't like the idea of putting synthetic estrogen in my body. And I don't want to quit breastfeeding.

The doctor (who was wonderful and listened to my whole explanation of everything) also told me not to have sex, because having painful sex isn't good and causes inflammation and perpetuates the problem.

I cried all the way home.

Anyway, I am sitting here just wondering about things. Why do I feel so driven to blog, to write and to make videos? Why do I like to devote my free time to these things? Putting my life on the internet annoys my husband. This irritates me, and we have discussed it several times and basically agreed to disagree. I hate fighting. My husband loves me, and I love him. We just both have different needs.

But is it worth all this time and effort to do the thing I love?

I suppose that question needs more explanation behind it. I have limited free time. I already realized I don't have time to make crochet and knitting tutorials anymore--the thought of doing that stresses me out and it isn't worth expending the brain power when I am sleep deprived and tired and fighting to stay afloat. I mourn the loss of making things for people (I will never give up my own personal creativity). Sharing my love of knitting and crochet satisfies me a lot, but I simply do not have time to do that anymore. I know it's a season. I will return to it. I mean, I could make a pattern, but then I'd have a hard time exercising and that, frankly is a big priority to me right now. I need to exercise or I will fall apart. I need that to feel human again.

I love making videos, but I think I will have to stop making everything but vlogs. I just don't have the energy to devote to it. I mean, I have all sorts of ideas but no time. And a vlog is basically just a bunch of clips thrown together with music, I can edit that in no time.

Right after I had said above revelations I felt like an utter failure. A mom who couldn't follow her dreams. A mom who had given up.

But I am not failure. Setting aside things that make me stressed and practicing good time management is important to me. I will return to the things I love when I have time. Right now I have limited time and my emotional and physical well being comes first. I can't be the same person I was before I had a small human. Why do I expect this of myself? Why at the end of the day do I feel I've gotten absolutely nothing done? Why do I feel like a failure?

These are the hard questions I am pondering right now.

My Husband Hates Social Media

My husband is always telling me to delete Facebook. It seems like since we met he has puzzled over my apparent obsession with blogging, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. As an introvert who works on a computer all day doing electrical and computer engineering, it must seem a bit odd to my husband when I actively want to spend time online.

In 2013 I did go ahead and delete my Facebook on request from my husband (and as a social experiment). I did see some bad habits forming, and to be honest the absence of Facebook impacted my life very little. I didn't miss it.

But I now have Facebook and use it regularly. As a stay at home mom and as a very vocal extrovert Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and this blog have been integral to my social life. It's really awesome that I can have a social life from my couch while nursing my 6 month old, and it has really helped with the feelings of isolation and abandonment I am dealing with after birth. It's hard to go places with a baby.

My husband still wants me to get rid of Facebook, but I think he understands more what a companion social media can be. And I am coming to understand how much more private and introverted my husband is-- so different from myself! He does not have Facebook, and I am honestly sure he never will. And I'm okay with that.

How do you compromise in situations like this? I think showing my husband that I was using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in a positive way helped. I don't think it occurred to him that these platforms were anything but time wasters! I also make sure to limit my time on my iPad or desktop when I am hanging out with my husband. He sees me staring at my phone and immediately thinks I am ignoring him!

In this season of my life, I am very grateful that I live in the information age.

What about you? Do you see the positives in social media?

LoveBlog with Belle Brita

Monday, February 15, 2016

Why Group Counseling is the Best Self Care

Two years ago I was suffering from infertility and had just had my third miscarriage. I was depressed, and I felt very much alone.

One of my friends sent me a link to infertility group counseling. I rolled my eyes at it. Me, group counseling? I didn't need that. I was coping fine on my own.

But the thought kept creeping back up in my mind.

So I went.

And what I found was a group of women who deeply understood what I was going through. Because they were going through the same thing. Here, I wasn't just another childless married woman--I was a friend, a grieving, heartbroken friend among friends.

It's the best decision I ever made.

If you are struggling with anything, group counseling can be a great place to unwind. To hear other people talk. To know you are not alone.

You don't have to be an extrovert. You don't even have to talk. All you have to do is show up. The first few meetings I attended I honestly was too afraid to open my mouth. But just being there in the presence of others who I related to was deeply soothing to my soul.

This year I joined a motherhood group for moms. We talk about breastfeeding and bottle-feeding and kids that don't sleep and drool and yes, even poop.

It's amazing.

I am not alone in this life. We all need someone.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Marital roles

If I could say anything about my marriage, it is simply that my husband and I have very similar ideals when it comes to roles. We matched effortlessly on almost everything! If I hadn't been so much in love I would have found it uncanny.

We have very complementarian roles. But it was something we both choose and wanted for ourselves and it is something that also works extremely well. We did try different things in the first year of marriage but in the last two years we've settled into a routine that we are both (for the most part) really happy with.

My husband works full time, so he makes 99% of the money. We have completely separate bank accounts. He takes care of all the bills, and pays for everything (we go grochery shopping together every Sunday afternoon). All of his money is put into his account, and then he gives me a little bit of spending money every two weeks into a separate account (mine) for me to spend on whatever I want (because asking my husband for money is not a thing I think is healthy in marriage; he's my husband, not my dad). The "personal" money amount he gives me is something we decided on together when working out a budget. I also make a little bit of money from selling locally and from YouTube, and that is my money as well.

I do most of  the chores at home, with the exception being mowing the yard. My husband actually loves mowing the yard for some strange reason (?) and it does not sound at all appealing to me so I gladly let him do it. I cook. My husband hates cooking. His idea of cooking is takeout. When I am sick this sucks, because I don't like takeout when I'm ill. But most of the time it's okay. (Drive through Panera Chicken Noodle Soup is my go-to). I still remember the first time I was sick and my husband tried to feed me 10 cent microwave ramen. It did not go over well.

We didn't really think about how to structure our roles much. We both just fell into it this way and with a little bit of wiggle, created something that works. To outsiders, it can kinda look like my husband is controlling. He isn't. He's very loving and if I want to buy something big for the house or I have an idea he's always open to talking about it and buying something if needed. And if I really wanted to I could "save" the bimonthly money he gives me and purchase whatever I wanted myself, or get a job. (I did try to sell Arbonne, but everyone I tried to sell it to said it was to expensive, so I quit). I am much more of an impulse buyer, and having someone who is more of a thinker when it comes to buying things helps me a lot. I have a hard time saving any of my "wife allowance" money as it is. This month I spent it on things for Reuben's nursery! I can't wait for them to get here. Last month I bought the 21 day fix from beachbody and some graphics for my website (the background and home and social media icons) and a pretty new diaper cover for Reuben from Etsy. The month before that I bought leggings from Etsy...

Anyway, I digress. Marital roles can be complicated and I am glad we've worked out the kinks in ours. And I am glad we matched up so perfectly with many of them!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Missing my Husband

Everyone told my husband that he would be second base after our baby came. And almost every couple I asked gave me advice to "not forget about my husband and making him feel special". Many others also told Brian that he was headed for lonely territory, because I would be so busy with our new bundle he would basically be left to fend for himself.

A rare prebaby date photo. Now we'd be trying to make sure Reuben didn't eat the table!

I remember thinking in my head that this advice was crazy. After all, Brian and I have a tight marriage. In the three years we've been together we've had few fights, all that were resolved fairly quickly. No way would I abandon the needs of my husband, even with a new squish! 

Fast-forward 6 months. I certainly understand their advice now. Not only have I struggled with loneliness, depression, anxiety and despair since giving birth, but I know for a fact my husband has too.

I am very busy taking care of a little one whose basic needs must be met by me. I had no idea what I was getting into, and while I honestly can say I love most of it--I won't downplay the sheer exasperation factor.

I miss my husband. I would love to spend a evening picking his brain without scooping up a fussy teething baby. I would love to lounge around in bed with him wearing nothing for a few hours without checking on my sleeping offspring every 10 minutes. I miss him.

It's a season, I know. A surprising one. I knew that motherhood was lonely, and I expected to be isolated a bit from friends as I can't pick up and go for coffee and I most certainly can't go out at night with a newborn--but this isn't just light isolation. It's a war zone and you are in solitary confinement.

I didn't know that motherhood would isolate me from my own husband.

I didn't know I would be so exhausted some nights from just caring for my little one that I wouldn't say two words to my husband except, perhaps "can you get me some water".

It's not like I put him last. I want to be a wife and a mother. I think its 100% and 100%. But when I haven't slept and my kid is teething and I myself haven't showered and I've rushed to eat, it's hard to think of my husband. It's impossible sometimes. Try swimming--nay, almost drowning, and then suddenly being informed that another human wants to interact with you on an intellectual level.While you are drowning.

Because that is a little bit like what having a tiny human is.

Sometimes I remember to make time for my husband. Sometimes I remember to make time for myself.

Sometimes I just survive. It is what it is.

LoveBlog with Belle Brita

Monday, February 8, 2016

First Baby Marriage Advice

Are you about to have a baby? Are you strangely not worn out from being given baby/marriage/parenting advice? Then this blog post is for you! Linking up with Brita again for #Loveblog week!

  • You will be worn out and tired. I know people have told you this before, but I don't think you understand. You will be worn out and tired and unable to rest because you are taking care of a new little person. This new little person is demanding. Give yourself and your partner tons of grace.
  • One of you might be able to rest. I've never been more resentful of my husband's full nights of sleep--because I have not gotten A SINGLE full night of sleep since birth. Know that resentment will simmer within you. Quell it, because someone has to sleep. The person with the most sleep gets to make dinner. And take care of the one who didn't get sleep who is taking care of the tiny demanding person. It will not help to cry and whine about your lack of sleep or to be angry with He Who Received Sleep. It's just a season.
  • It's okay to wake your husband up if you are at your wits end and need some sleep. It does not make you weak. It does not make you a bad wife. It just makes you less sleep deprived and better able to care for your tiny new person, so don't stress over it. In the middle of the night when you are sitting there holding your awake baby fighting tears and hating your spouse who you can hear snoring from the living room--just wake them up.
  • You will argue. Even if you have never argued before. And it will be stressful, because who wants to try to communicate while holding an upset baby when one or both of you had less than 6 hours of sleep? 
  • You will miss your spouse. Things just are not the same. Try not to think of it as someone horribly ripping out a part of your life and think of it as a wave. Ride the wave. Don't fight to return to your pre-baby existence. Ride the wave to find out what this new two-adult plus tiny offspring life looks like, because the wave is going to take you there rather you want to or not.
  • Give yourself tons of grace. In the first few weeks, not only do you have to take care of a little person, you also have to take care of yourself because said little person just squeezed out of your body. I know personally it hurt when my husband didn't see I was suffering. He can't know if I don't tell him. Make an effort to be verbal with your partner. It really means the world to them, and also to you.
  • Sex is not just an afterthought. You need to plan sex. I know this can take the fun out of it, but if you don't plan it the baby will poop and dinner will need to be done and you will realize you haven't showered and than suddenly it's bedtime and everyone is exhausted. 
  • Both of you need two extra sets of hands and a legion of washers and dryers. 
  • Do not compare yourself to your pre-baby self. I mean this in terms of health as well as productivity. You have a small human to care for. Don't expect to get the same amount of work done in a day that you did before. That was before, this is now. Don't expect to look the same. Not only did you squeeze said small person out of your own body, you are now surviving on 4-6 broken hours of sleep a night. Give yourself grace. 
  • You will feel alone. You will feel isolated. Some of you may even wake up and wonder who you are. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to grab up that baby and visit a friend and cry on their shoulder. It's okay to call your partner and ask them (again) to pick up take out for dinner. Do what you need to do to survive, and get rid of the guilt. You have a baby who is totally dependent on you for the first few years of life. It's hard.
  • Having a baby will test your marriage. It might not be the hardest test, but it is going to be rough. The best thing I found to do is to embrace the difficulties and structure your life for the least amount of stress possible. Stay home. Delegate tasks. Hire some help. Nothing is more important than your emotional and mental health, and the emotional and mental health of your marriage.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Internet Favorites

I don't have a lot of time to keep up with bloggers lately. Here are my favorites--even through I miss many posts, I try to read at least one of their blogs a week, usually while nursing.

My Favorite Bloggers
  • Wool and Wheel - the only knitting blog I read. Also blogs about old movies, books, and dyeing/spinning yarn.  
  • Addie Marie - One of the first blogs I ever started reading! She just started up blogging again after a two (or three?) year hiatus due to college (I think). Blogs about sewing. Wears handmade gold flecked pants that I envy on a daily basis. 

I actually met Rachel two years ago. She was awesome. It was awkward, because well, um, internet-real-life meetings and I am a potato, but she was amazing. Wish I had more time to get to know her. In other news, it's best not to make a kidnapping joke when meeting an internet friend for the first time. (sorry Rachel)
  • Michmash - blogs about her very humorous life, most recently about her cute little baby girl Gracie.
I also met Michelle last year as well. It was amazing and I probably freaked her out x1000 with my very extroverted self. Michelle I love you.

  • Belle Brita - Brita blogs about life, feminism and also about current events. She's been to France and I like her fresh take on life as well as perfect spelling and grammar on her blog. (Rachel also has perfect spelling, don't think I don't notice Rachel). I aspire in that area.
I also met Brita this year (I really love meeting internet friends) and she was so petite and well mannered and frank and I wish I lived closer so we could have coffee weekly.

 My Favorite Vloggers

I also love watching vloggers on Youtube. Here are my favorites I keep up with.
  • Texan in Tokyo - Texan married to a Japanese native. Does day in my life videos as well as other Japan related stuff. Very interesting, given the culture difference. 
  • It's Me Anna E - Writer and weekly vlogger from GA. I met her too and you can see that in this vlog!
  • Erik Conover - Lives in NYC, makes daily videos with his girlfriend, who is a full time model. Really interesting. 
  • Loepsie's Theetuin - Vlogs from the Netherlands in Dutch (with English subtitles). Love seeing how her life is. She's a vegetarian too, and always shows her food!
Those are my favorite people to keep up with! If you know any vloggers/bloggers I should follow, let me know! I am always looking for new and interesting people.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

How I plan on Celebrating Valentines Day

First I plan on enjoying a quiet day by myself...

What's your valentines day look like?

LoveBlog with Belle Brita

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stripped Crochet Legwarmers

Stripes in the round can be hard in crochet, because usually you can see the seam when you slip stitch to start a new round.

I think my way of doing it is seamless, and it all has to do with where you start your new color!

To make these leg warmers you will need about 300 yards of worsted weight yarn in two colors, so 150 yards of color A and 150 yards of color B. I used a size 4.5mm crochet hook and I have a 8 inch ankle. There are 3.5 hdc sts an inch for gauge when working hdc in the round. Finished legwarmers is 10 inches long with a circumference of 9 inches, measured without stretch. Will fit a 8-11 inch ankle. My ankle is 8 inches but my calf is 12 and it got a bit tight at the top but it still worked. Increase your starting chain if you ankle is bigger by 4 chains an inch, and decrease by 4 chains an inch if smaller.

Chain 39 sts.

R1: Skip first chain, and do 38 hdc, one in each chain down the row

Join in the round (I sl st into the first hdc)

R2: Chain 1, and do 38 half double crochets all the way around one in each st. Slip stitch into the first stitch, cut yarn.

R3: NEW COLOR! pull up a stitch, and chain one. To make it seamless, make sure to start in new stitch NOT where you sl st in the previous round with your old color. do 38 half double crochets all the way around one in each st. Slip stitch into the first stitch.

R4:  Chain 1, and do 38 half double crochets all the way around one in each st. Slip stitch into the first stitch, cut yarn.

Repeat round 3-4 until desired length. I did 14 stripes. If you want more stripes make sure you have more than the recommended 150 yards of yarn. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Best Friends

My ideal best friend would be someone who could show up at my house spontaneously, food in tow and dressed in leggings and a old tee, because they would be holding my baby while I showered and cried tears of joy over their person.

Perhaps this is why my best friend is currently a pack-in-play. Only it never brings me food and stays in the living room--but it does hold my baby really well, so it works. Also the fact that I can't imagine life without it.

I think I am in a transitional season of life right now. My friend Larkin moved across town and is busy with school and a 40 hour week job. Since I've had a baby, we have seen each other twice. She's busy. I'm busy. Maybe we will be better friends later.

My other two good friends Tori and Sabrina both moved away last year, and I am terrible at keeping up with long distance relationships. I stalk them on facebook occasionally.

Couple that with me never wanting to leave the house and...well, that explains my obsession with the pack-and-play.

I have one good mom friend who has two kids named Melissa, but she is also very busy. As she also has small offspring and a kitchen to clean and a husband to care for as well as a sister getting married there is little time for friends. And she is always going/doing something... But, for my birthday she made me cake and she also gave me a "bad day grab bag". What is such a thing, you ask? Well, its a gift full of little things to open when you have a bad day. So when my husband has to work late and my kid is getting a tooth and I can't shower because he refuses to let me put him down I can open a little package and paint my nails.

It's the little things in life. That bag was the best thing ever. I say was, because I already opened everything. When you have a baby sometimes every day is a bad day.

I'm going to go put my kid in the pack-in-play and do the dishes now.

LoveBlog with Belle Brita

Monday, February 1, 2016

Marriage after Baby?

If I had to pick a theme song for the last six months of my life, I think it would sound like a mix between a Donald Trump commercial and a tornado. Six months ago I birthed a human. Since then I have been trying to catch up, slow down, stop, go, sit and make bacon and eggs while simultaneously juggling.

I burned the eggs.

But I still deserve an award. 

Also I should, you know, probably be working on that thing that helped create said offspring, right? My marriage? 

Last week I was unpacking some books and I found the dusty copy of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (we also read his book "Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married "). I remember when hubby and I picked out these books for our premarital counseling sessions (in fact I think I blogged about it here). I also remember how revolutionary it was to the first two years of our marriage. I credit Chapman's book with helping me understand Brian in many ways.
look at us all cute and unmarried... XD
As a bright eyed engaged woman my love languages were physical touch and words of affirmation (if I am remembering correctly?) and darling boyfriend's were touch and quality time. I remember thinking smugly that since one of gifts overlapped, things would be easy. 

On an unrelated note does anyone have a time machine so I can go back and slap myself with a fish? You are right, it probably wouldn't help. And I'd smell, well, rather fishy. Doesn't make for a good love story.

Continuing on-- into marriage that is. Now I really get to put those things I learned in that book to work! Right off the bat my love languages changed! Apparently cohabiting and priorities can shift my desires, needs and wants too, who knew! Now the things that show me love the most are gifts and acts of service. Boy, do I love gifts!

Husbands desires remained placidly the same. Must be nice to be even tempered. I should try it some time. 

The book did help. If I wanted to do something special for husband I only had to think of his love language. Touch is the way he prefers to communicate with me. I learned to make snuggles and quality time (sans iPhone) priorities in my life because nothing made my husband think I was being disrespectful more than sitting with him but staring at my iPhone the whole time. Also, learning my love language helps me verbalize what I need to my husband. I have been known to melt into my husband's arms when he spontaneously buys me chocolate at the grochery store.

And then we had a baby and now I am lucky if I remember to brush my teeth.

Linking up all month with Brita over at BelleBrita!