Thursday, June 4, 2020

white woman talks about race?

So, right after masks became mandatory in VA, George Floyd was murdered. It was awful. I still have no words.

But then the looting started. First Minnesota, now Atlanta. 

I have not joined in on any of the debates. I've honestly been too scared of saying the wrong thing as a white woman. I'm very white. Not only did my ancestors probably own slaves (on my dads side?? my moms relations immigrated from Germany around world war one) we whites also completely destroyed the Native American culture. The face of America would look a lot different if Columbus had never "discovered" it, conquered it, and began the systematic destruction of the indigenous peoples. 

This is a lot of space to hold. I have to acknowledge that can't make restitution for the people my ancestors hurt. I'm barely able to touch the surface of healing my own generational abuse and trauma, much less the magnitude that is slavery for Africans and theft of land and life from Native Americans. There is nothing I can do to make it better. 

However, looting things is not the answer. (And I am not saying the protesters are the ones doing the looting. Many who are out there are showing how the BLM protesters are telling the looters to stop) But, how does rioting and looting bring justice to George? Korboi Balla, a black business owner, had his life's work destroyed during the looting. So yes, justice for George but also justice for Korboi. These looters and arsonists NEED to be apprehended.

I firmly believe that citizens should not take the law into their own hands. We are not heroes. Two white men killed Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging. They took the law into their own hands, playing neighborhood vigilantes. They thought they were "saviors" or "heroes" and instead they are murderers. The rioters and looters are taking justice into their own hands, too. They are wrong. Vengeance is the Lords. Let the law work. I have not heard ONE person say George was not murdered. I mean, we have it on tape! Everyone is appalled. Yes, I know it should not have happened. But it did. The looting and rioting should not have happened either, but it did. It seems to me that someone is using the death of George to cause anarchy and strife. 

I am appalled at the state I find our nation in. I am appalled, but not surprised. With the decline of education, and world with rampant child abuse that runs on the degradation of morals, fueled by the "if it feels good, do it" life foundation, what else can we expect? We are a nation divided into liberals and conservatives, who can no longer communicate and who have lost respect for all sides. We can't trust our media or even what we see posted by regular people anymore! Everything seems like a scam. Whatever happened to acceptance and tolerance? I see the Coexist bumper sticker everywhere, but guess what: we are utterly failing at coexisting. 

If you are a liberal, I see you. I love you. You have space to feel how you feel and your vote counts.

If you are a conservative, I see you. I love you. You have space to feel how you feel and your vote counts. 

Let's make America UNITED again. Let's not fight anymore. We are getting nowhere. And let me be honest: the corrupt politicians and greedy "one percent" are THRILLED that we are at each other's throats and our focus is off them. THRILLED. Let's end the fighting and have civil conversations and treat each other like people and not emotional punching bags. 

So, how? It starts small. It starts with our children. Raising kind children who offer kindness to others. Offering kindness ourselves as an example. Not abusing or neglecting our children so they have to raise themselves. Teaching them strong morals, teaching them to honor their elected officials and care about the country they live in. Most of all--teaching them that even if they don't agree with someone, that person still deserves respect. Ending the entitlement generation-- returning to our roots of hard work and gratitude. Glorifying the quiet life--instead of the rich and famous. 

Repent and believe. Repentance is what we need, white or black, brown or cream. Nothing we humans can do can cover the racism and pain that people of color have dealt with across the world. No hashtag or protest can cleanse the welts from the backs of slaves. Our past is dirty and riddled with shame. But the love of God, and his nail scared hands...his blood is a beautiful picture of forgiveness in death. Only Jesus saves.

Only racists can end racism. Just like only rapists can end rape, and only arsonists can end arson. 

What do you think? I am bowing my knees in prayer. I am listening and I am here. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 8)

Week eight was really nice and relaxed. I felt awesome and loved and we had all sorts of fun! I even made cheese (the highlight of the week for me) and we were outside a lot. Week eight will always hold a special place in my heart.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

still thinking about a facebook argument I had weeks ago

On Tuesday (May 26th) Virginia's Governor announced that masks must be worn inside all public places and where people are gathering indoors (not in private homes). I have several feelings about this audacious proclamation that I will attempt to calmly address below.

 I got this mask from here)

First off, this is three months later. THREE MONTHS after VA shut down due to coronavirus. People don’t even wear masks here!! About half of the people I see in the store wear one, and even the employees working don’t wear them. This is how it’s been for weeks, and Lynchburg is fine.

But now, masks are needed? This is Virginia's second week in a "soft opening" (called phase 1) where some non essential business can reopen (under strict guidelines) and things have been going great! We Virginians have been walking around for three months with only mask-wearing being suggested, and we are doing fine. There was absolutely no reason to make masks mandatory. Many people do not even have access to masks because you can't find them anywhere! Also, children under 10 are exempt, so if wearing a mask actually protects me/you but my kids are walking around with me, you will catch it from them if our family has it because my kids/me breathe the same air and live in the same house. My children are too small to wear masks, Reuben is 4 and Rebekah is 2. I do sometimes have to bring them places (we spent the first 5 weeks staying home absolutely because we didn't know how hard our area would be hit but I need to get things we have run out now, and my husband works a ton) Anyway, me wearing a mask while they don't doesn't do anything. Nothing. At all. Read the studies. This one is particularly interesting

"One randomized controlled clinical trial of cloth masks, published in BMJ Open in 2015, compared their effectiveness with that of medical masks worn by hospital healthcare workers. (2) The study, involving the industry partner 3M (which makes medical masks), reported that healthcare workers 'should not use cloth masks as protection against respiratory infection. Cloth masks resulted in significantly higher rates of infection than medical masks, and also performed worse than the control arm.'"

To make matters worse, I got into a facebook argument with someone who posted that "those who don't wear masks should think of their children dying." Here is exactly what the post said that I was angry about.



Excuse me? I should think of children dying if I go out without a mask?! Or my mother? Also this low-key calls people who don't wear masks uneducated. 


Needless to say I tried to explain why this is rude and awful, but I just got yelled at. Because, masks. And fear. Here are some of the things I said. 

I didn't get everything because I started getting upset/anxious reading all of this again. You can see the actual post here (its open to everyone right now) and participate in the argument if you wish. Even if you believe different. Just be kind.

But, first of all, I have worn masks. I did for a long time. It makes me super claustrophobic to wear a mask. I just can't anymore. Yesterday we were in Walmart and I had to leave and go sit in the car to wait for my husband because I was having a panic attack from wearing my mask. I do want to follow the rules, but please, don't act like you are special or a better/ more caring person because you wear a mask. I hate the elitist attitude of mask-wears who put themselves on a pedestal for wrapping a piece of cloth around their face. Like, wear a mask if you want to. I fully support you. But don't vilify or verbally assault those who don't. And definitely don't tell someone who doesn't wear a mask for whatever reason that they don't love others or that they should imagine their loved ones dying. It isn't kind or nice.

ANYWAY. This is an angst-ridden head canon brought to you by me. Please resume your normal isolation activities and yes, I need to stay off of Facebook. I actually have only been on once since Tuesday. My anxiety can't take this. My kids need a mom who isn't upset about drama. And I definitely couldn't function if I had to imagine them, or any of my loved ones, dead. LIKE WHAT THE FUDGE?!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 7)

two year old girl holds tree limb and looks to the left

Week seven was another hard week. I didn't film much and I struggled with my mental health. But God is good and I am doing okay! We went to more parks and just took it easy. I found myself getting increasingly frustrated with the political side of all the covid debates. It's so hard to read hate when I just want everyone to love everyone! Hahaha. I wish we could all talk about our different ideas without anger, name calling, and all the vitriol. 

God is good and he is working out his will in the world and we are here to worship him and glorify his name. I keep trying to remind myself of that as I pray and play with my happy children all day.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 6)

Week six was a sweet spot! I started a sourdough starter, read a lot, we saw friends and even ventured out to the park to play!! I went to the store without a mask for the first time. I began to calm down about the news, pray more, and refocus my attention on God and my tiny family. Our area is not hit hard, and I am continuing to pray for those who are.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

April Mother Culture

a smiling woman in a flower covered long dress sits on a swing with two small children

Are we still doing this? Writing progress posts about my personal goals in the midst of a pandemic and a miscarriage? Yeah, apparently I am. 

I have finished books through March! Yeah! But I feel zero percent like reading. I have not started on anything for April at all, and now it's May. I NEED to read Home Education as we will be starting a Charlotte Mason home school in August and I kind of need to read the book. So, that will be my goal for May: read that book. Some of it. Hopefully. Ignore everything else. Read book.

I have not felt like knitting at all. AT ALL. I finished half of my Happy Mitts (aka one mitt) and...I just could care less about knitting anything. I don't want to crochet anything. I don't really want to paint because I suck at it, and I don't want to read because I am tired all the time and it hurts my eyes. I probably need to go to the eye doctor, but alas, my care-o-meter registers no response to my brains futile wishes for an eye appointment. Maybe I'll do it next week. Knowing them, they are probably closed. Or require me to wear a mask. Meh.

So, what do I want to do? Um, I don't know. I've been playing a lot of animal crossing and eating sourdough bread. I think I want to sew something? But the thought of pulling out my sewing machine exhausts me. Also my husband is working from home in that room, so that isn't going to happen.

Lately, mostly what I want to to do involves sleep. April, the month of sleep. I have actually been sleeping a lot: taking a nap when Becky does every day. It's great. I don't know why I am sleeping so much. Hormones? Aliens? The Covid fifteen? Oh well. It's my new hobby.

Here is a picture of my bread. That I made. Why? I don't know.

All of this to find out I really don't like sourdough. And neither does anyone else in my family. I don't know why I wasted two weeks of my life fermenting flour on my kitchen counter, but no one will eat it. So I am eating it because I am not wasting food. And I didn't spend an hour making bread to throw it into the trash can. (also can we talk about the fact that I made it twice just in case the first time was a fluke? Nope. Still not tasty. Sigh.)

Mostly the indecision (over what to create, knit, read, write) is driving me crazy. I want to do something, I just can't decide on what to do. So I do nothing. A lot.

That's April! I feel like these posts just get worse and worse each one I write. Hahahaa.

Oh, I did start writing a book. It's horrible and I'll probably never finish it, but I did write. Something.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 5)

Week five. Week five was when I slowed down, stopped trying to do EVERYTHING. We drastically reduced school, did some easy meals for mama, and tried to reconfigure our expectations. I decided I needed to hang out with people. Starting next week (6) I hung out with two other families who also had been staying home for five weeks to limit our exposure. It was so needed. Not only was I lonely, I had begun to experience some depression. Opening up my circle safely helped boost my spirits!! And looking forward to those planned play dates also helped me clean my house.

This is also the week I began to suspect I was pregnant again, which seriously stressed me out due to my infertility and miscarriage issues. I'm so happy to say my little one is still around! (or was when I scheduled this post)

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Tea Cozy

Was bored of knitting, so whipped up this cute tea cozy! I just made it up as I went along. What do you think? I love it!!!!

What should I make next?

Monday, May 11, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 4)

Week Four! Week four was really hard for me, but I don't think it comes across in the vlogs. We still had a great week--it's just the isolation and stress was taking it's toll, as well as me not taking time for resting. I learned my lesson, folks! God comes first.

How are you all?

Sunday, May 10, 2020

well, I miscarried

This isn't a post I wanted to write.

Mother's day was hard. 

Also, I had to go to the ER during a virus outbreak. When I started to miscarry, we dropped the kids off with a neighbor (who they knew) and Brian took me to our local ER. I thought he would be able to come with me. I was counting on it, but because of Covid he wasn't allowed and I had to go in alone. The ER was empty. I'm talking, rows upon rows of empty beds and shut of lights and very reduced staff. I saw one patient waiting when I came in (he had a broken leg) and another elderly lady came in after me. When I left 4 hours later-ish (was it 3? I don't remember) I saw the guy and the elderly lady on their way out too, and only one man going in. It was eerie.

I was masked upon arrival and wore it the whole time, even when I sneezed on myself. I don't recommend sneezing on yourself.

I hate blood work, but I had to do it alone. I lived. But I sure missed my husband, and he missed me. He always holds my hand and tells me I am being a big baby and it helps.  

Anyway, I was eight weeks. But my hCG levels were around 2300 (usually 6 weeks). They couldn't see anything on the ultrasound. 


What is wrong with my body? I asked the doctor, but he didn't answer me. Why does this keep happening? Six times now.

It is sad, but I am also okay. And done trying for awhile. I think forever, but I'll say awhile because time changes people. I just wish I knew what was broken inside of me, what is making my body have so many miscarriages. The only blood work that came back "high" or "abnormal" was my bilirubin levels, and I don't know what that means. Doctor said it could be normal for some, but it felt like a red flag to me. He did not seem concerned. 

I'm exhausted. 

I trust God. I do. And I love him, and I know he loves me, but I did really want this baby, even if I was not exactly thrilled about giving birth again. I need a hug and I need friends but since I went to the ER, we need to stay home for at least a week to make sure I didn't pick up covid-19. 

Leave me a comment that cheers me up. I need it.

Friday, May 8, 2020

still no nausea

I have had only one day (and in that day, only two hours) of actual pregnancy nausea. But I did finally take a test today and it turned positive immediately, so I am growing a human. I have had tiny bouts of nausea here and there, always very low on the nausea scale (like, doesn't affect my talking, eating, or speaking, I would rate it a 1/10) but now even that has gone. I thought, well, the nausea will come. It usually comes by week six for me; I am incapacitated with 7 to 8 out of 10 basically ALL DAY. With Becky, I had crippling nausea for 30 weeks. I threw up a lot. It was HORRIBLE. I can't remember what it was with Reuben but it was bad. I was miserable.

However this is week seven-ish since my last period (it was March 16th, maybe??) and I am often forgetting I am pregnant. I am often cooking, cleaning, smelling food and feeling normal. This is bliss. I can do this. I don't have any nausea. AT ALL.

I was even able to go to the park with my husband and everyone rode bikes. This is Reuben's first time doing the bike by himself. He did very well.

I was slightly stressed about my lack of symptoms since it can be a early sign of miscarriage but since I am not bleeding or exhibiting signs of a miscarriage, I am just going with it. I'll head to the doctor at 12 weeks, but for now I am just going to enjoy this amazing blessing from God.

I have no idea what I have done right. Is there a cure for nausea or am I going to find out I have some type of serious complication when I have my first ultrasound? The only thing I have been doing differently is the Nemechek Protocol for about 8 months now, and also I have been eating fermented wheat products. I don't know if either of these can cure pregnancy nausea or its just a super amazing blessing from God, but I am thrilled

Not only am I excited about having a baby, I get to actually enjoy it while having fun with my kids. I get to play dress up with Becky (she dressed herself above) and do puzzles with Reuben without swallowing my own puke and feeling miserable. My pregnancy isn't getting in the way of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE, nor is it making me dizzy, sick, or cranky. Sign me up to be impregnated again, please! Alas, I know that is not possible, but really. This is awesome!! I never imagined I would have a pregnancy without nausea. THIS IS AMAZING.

I am very thankful, today, even through I colossally burnt dinner and my husband had cereal instead. Meh.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Lord Of Chaos

Well, I finished Lord of Chaos. Book six!

When I started book five, I begged my husband to read the books because I desperately wanted someone to talk to about this story.

I just finished book six and he is on book seven now. The man went and passed me and I am not thrilled about it. He has been listening to the audio books, and in the four months it took me to read book five and six, he read 1-6 and is on seven! I am flabbergasted.

So many things happened in this book. So. Many. Things.

But the most frustrating aspect of reading Lord of Chaos is the misinformation! I still don't understand why people don't just talk to each other. Each faction (like the Aes Sedai of the White Tower lead by Elaida) is just running around blindly in the dark in so many areas. Their information is seriously lacking and it causes so many crazy faux pas. For example, the delegation from Salidar, who don't understand Rand at all and start treating him like some evil mastermind, causing him to flee...that sets in motion the whole series of events at the end of the book. Orrr like Perrin and Faile, and her jealousy over nothing. Like, just talk to your husband. Just talk to him. Ugh!

One funny thing about this book is how much I despise Mat. I've said it before and I'll say it again—he is my least favorite character. I hate whiny people who beat around the bush! But, Mat Cauthorn is Brian (my husband's) favorite character. I will begrudgingly say he does have a kind heart. What??! I told hubby that Mat was the most illogical annoying person I'd ever met even if he IS kind, and Brian looked at me with shock because he thought Mat was the one who made the most sense! I can't believe it. I'm flummoxed.

Here is a small summery of Lord of Chaos: Elayne isn't queen yet, no one knows that her mother is alive and MANY people need to know, Egwene was made Amyrlin, Siuan and Leane were healed, but are lesser in power, and Logain was healed also, and escaped. Rand's love triangle is a mess, but the ladies (M, E and A) are behaving very well towards each other. I still don't understand why he has three girls besotted with him since he is a wool headed sheepherder, but it is what it is. I'm a little less team Min after seeing the way she fawns all over him, and more team Aviendha, but Aviendha needs to calm waaaay down. She's so serious and spiky. I guess it's all the toh. Elayne is so... queenly. She needs to wash more dishes and muck out some stables. Bah, none of them are right for Rand. He should just sleep with Berelain.

Nynaeve and Elayne go from running their own lives as pretend Aes Sedai to chastised accepted before you can blink, but they still are grinding their teeth (and tugging on braids) and disobeying orders all the time. Nynaeve still can't channel unless she is mad. But, Egwene makes them Aes Sedai-in-name-only. Most still sidebar treat them as Accepted. It's like a bad hour of What Grinds Your Gears. The girls make it to Ebu Dar to search for the magic bowl of weather-making, but alas, Rand takes up the entire last few chapters so we don't even get to know what happens in Ebu Dar. Annoying Ta'veren, hogging all the action.

Brigette has not found her destined lover (Gaidal) yet.

On to my head cannon.

Why does everyone think Rand killed Morgase???! Why does everyone think he killed Moraine? Why can't people just BELIVE other people? Everyone thinks everyone is playing the game of houses so they are looking for tricks everywhere!! It's so hard to keep up with sometimes. Ugh! What is with Mazrim Taim and his angst with Rand? Rand needs a friend. Why does Lews Therin always want to murder everyone? And now Rand can talk to him. It's crazy.

Mat is the leader of the band of the red hand. He's a great leader if he would just stop grumbling and complaining all the time.

Anyway, I need a break before book seven. By the time I start it, my husband will probably be finished with the series. Perhaps I'll just get him to tell me what happens. Knowing him, he won't.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 3)

Week three of the corona virus lockdown! Self-quarantine. This week I was the homeschool queen! We did school every day. I may have over done it (I can laugh about this now but at the time was very stressful). We had a good week, I just forgot to take time to rest. Always take time to rest.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

What Losing You Did to Me

In 2014 I wrote a very short story called "What Losing You Did to Me" on my blog. I recently made it into an audio story for my YouTube channel. You can listen to it below!

Monday, April 27, 2020

What is Happening

Somewhere around last week I realized I had not had my period since March.

I immediately panicked.

I just had a miscarriage in January! And now I'm pregnant again? Or maybe pregnant? I religiously track my period but after my miscarriage its been ALL OVER THE PLACE so I...quit. That probably wasn't the best idea, but oh well. Life happens. I am not very fertile--after each miscarriage (I've had five) it has taken me at least eight months to become pregnant again. Well, except this time. This time it took three months.

I am now experiencing nursing aversions and mild nausea. So, I am going to just call myself pregnant but I have not tested yet. I will in May. 

My main fear is I'll have another miscarriage. My next fear is that I will have something go wrong with my pregnancy. I've had mildly complicated pregnancies. I had marginal placenta previa with Reuben and severe gestational diabetes with Rebekah. What new medical horror awaits me this time? I've been praying about it a lot. That I will have an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. That God will give me the strength to be okay with another loss or with whatever hurdles this pregnancy brings.

Also, everything in our state (Virginia) is still locked down. My thrive market deliveries are two weeks behind. We can't find some things in stores, and everyone is wearing masks. I'm wearing one too. Basically my life has been mildly impacted in a first world way, and I will not complain, because I know people out there are suffering a lot more! I will thank myself that I can afford thrive market deliveries and am able to stay home with a nice big yard to play in. I am thankful that our air conditioning works, we have toilet paper, and electricity to run our Nintendo switch games. God is good. I am praying for our country and for protection from this virus. I am praying a lot.

This week, and last week (week 5 and 6) we have started getting some take out food! Ice cream, and our favorite Thai restaurant both are doing to-go orders. It's awesome to support small businesses and food. 

We are bored of our yard and of walks around the neighborhood. Time for some social distancing park adventures.

How are you guys doing? Should I name my baby Corona?

Friday, April 24, 2020

March Mother Culture

I think these mother culture posts have become sort of a joke. I am so behind! But with a global crisis in March, proceeded by the death of my friend in February and my miscarriage in January, I am giving myself grace. Goals and lists are not the priority right now.

For March, I had scheduled two books and one knitting project. I did finish up my knitting project from February (the Engle sweater) and I LOVE it. Made of 100% wool, its super warm. You can read the post here where I shared all the modifications I did. Suffice to say, I am pleased.

I also finished my own pattern, that I had scheduled for March, of these cabled legwarmers. I love them, and they are also warm.

I'm still reading the books I had scheduled for February: I Said This, You Heard That, and Lord of Chaos. I did start on the books for March, but now I am reading four books. This is not ideal. For April I plan on finishing up February's books. It is what it is.

I would like to say I am too busy with my kids to read, and that is true in part. But honestly I am too distracted by our Nintendo Switch to read much. Oh, well. Perhaps I will moderate my time better next month. Maybe we will be able to actually go places soon. The switch is just too easy to choose when I am depressed and anxious and have a headache. Reading while my children scream is a lot harder than playing the switch while they scream. Bahahaa. Real life motherhood right here guys. Don't judge me.

Here is to April, may she be virus free. And full of sourdough bread making, because this girl ordered 15 pounds of wheat and rye berries online. Huzzah! Don't tell my husband.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Knit Cabled Legwarmers

I finished these wonderful leggings. You can download the pattern here. I made them with worsted weight yarn and 4.5mm knitting needles! They go from ankle to right under my knee. Check out all the info on the pattern page!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

somewhere in the middle

If I would have to define my views on the whole "covid-19 crisis" I would place myself somewhere in the middle.

I don't think resuming normal actives in the midst of a massive viral outbreak is a good idea. No matter what conspiracy view you hold, something is infecting people and I don't want it around me or my loved ones.

But, I am also worried about the economy and financial stability of America.

(I won't theorize about countries that I am not a citizen of, so don't think I am glossing over the whole world battling this virus. I know they are, but I don't really know what they are going through. Just know I am praying for everyone, not just Americans. But America, and specifically Virginia, is where I am and where I am seeing the ripples of this virus and subsequent quarantine multiply. This is where I am seeing people suffer from job loss, mental health issues, and even the virus itself.)

Times right now are stressful, hard, and agonizing to see. 

So what would I do? Or what do I think the plan should be?

I have absolutely no idea. And I am not about to suggest one either. Maybe the best I can say (after reading a lot) would be to go state by state and locality by locality in regards to the "reopening"? But that is hardly a plan.

I am neither a doctor nor a politician; only a mom with a bible.

I can't even keep my kids face clean.

But if I don't know what the world at large should be doing, I have figured out what I should be doing. And it's the same thing we are always called to do.

Love your neighbors as yourself and love the Lord your God. There is no greater commandment, or so says the Lord, and he's pretty high up on the list of who I listen too.

Or so I am reminding myself as I panic and struggle through my home days. And my husband's job hasn't even been effected! (Yet) (and hopefully never) I know I have a lot to be grateful for, but this is still hard. I am struggling, I am depressed. I am anxious.

But in these times, I try to remind myself of the truth.

This is the truth I cling to: Even if we all die, he is still Lord. Even if the economy crashes and it takes 10 years to build it all back... he is still Lord. Even if we never find out where Covid-19 came from, who made it (if anyone)...he is Still Lord.

I love you all. Reach out. I am here and I miss you.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Sweater Weather (Engle is done)

I really really loved making this Engle! This was a long knit, but it is soooo worth it. I made some modifications: I used three colors instead of four, started out knitting a size 7 but switched to a size 6 after the colorwork part (I just didn't do the last increase) and I made it with short sleeves. I am in love!

Exact modifications:

1) Decided to use three colors because I accidentally reversed the first two colors on the chart. Did the white (color 2) where it was supposed to be Main Color---I just went with it when I noticed.

2) This yarn is wonderful, but also hard to work with. First time with this kind--I couldn’t do “ m1” (make ones) without a lot of frustration, so I just started k1fb when she says make one. SO much easier.

3) Went up a needle because I know I knit tight, and also up two sizes (I would be a size 5 but am making 7). 

4) Didn’t swatch. I hate swatching. Looking great so far.
5) Close to the end of the yolk, it started to be too big so I just didn’t do the last increase and this left me four stitches short of size 6. I just left out the 2 stitches on each arm, and since I am doing short sleeves I don’t think it will make much of a difference.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Olive and the Station (In The DARK of the Station)

I used to post writing on my blog. A long time ago, before kids, I was a writer. I wrote some good things, and some horrible (bad writing, not scary unless bad grammar and prose scare you). I learned a lot.

I still write.

Here is the book I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2016. I know, I know. It's 2020. I'm sorry.

Well, enjoy! I don't know if I should title it "Olive and the Station" or "In the Dark of the Station". Right now it's "In the Dark of the Station" and the series is called "Olive and the Station" because I want to write a second book.

You can buy it on amazon in ebook and in print.

I'm a (self) published author! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek.

Anyway, this book. I have several author copies and I keep having spacing errors. I can't figure it out. Hopefully, you won't care. Sorry! I'll be perfect in heaven. Also I would give my book 3/5 stars. Don't expect anything amazing. It is my first book and I wrote it sleep deprived with a one year old.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 2)

Vlogging gave me something to do on the long days at home. Here is the little I happened to capture. We got sick this week and I was sure we were all going to die of Covid-19, but alas whatever we had was 24-48 hours and husband never even got it, and he has the worst immune system ever. I'm going to guess it was NOT the dreaded virus and carry on as usual.

Saturday, April 11, 2020


Divisive. That is how week four of quarantine felt.

I am lonely. Video calls with friends are just not the same. My children need the park.

This week Virginia decided to cycle through all four seasons in one day--a fact that I apparently had trouble handling. Friday we woke up to snow flurries that turned into fall that turned into spring by the afternoon while summer was still in full bloom outside. It was weird. Everyone felt cross putting sweaters and coats on, especially the toddler. I was suddenly aware of how much the weather does indeed sway my mood. The children didn't want to go outside because cold, while mother definitely did want them to go outside. We tried walking while everyone (except mommy) complained bitterly about how cold they were.

It's Saturday now and even colder outside than it was yesterday, so the kids are watching Blippi while I hide in my room with tea.

I have had mental health issues this week. My husband, who I love, has been working from home and unfortunately listening to me parent. This sparked a generous flood of parenting advice. It did not go well. 

Several times he happened to come downstairs and "caught" me trying to take a break while the kids tore up the house. THAT on top of the "parenting advice" (which mainly was "don't let the kids do this / pay more attention / why is everything a mess / why is crying happening) also did not go well. How does he think I get a break when he is not here? I can laugh about it now, but I have decided that 1) my husband does not give advice in a understanding way, and 2) He would do the same thing if he was locked up with two kids forEVER. But yeah, we all need grace and I certainly needed some from both God and my husband this week. 

I am definitely struggling with some depression. 

But God is still good.

Three of the hardest things this week:

1) Watching the political debates go down on Facebook. I need to get off and stay off. Help. I'm so over how angry everyone is. I'm angry at the angry people.

2) Our washing machine is still broke. Everything is dirty, and I am frustrated. 

3) Trying to keep everyone clean and fed and the house in some sort of order. Why is this so hard? I don't remember it being so hard "before" covid-19.

I have been watching Austin movies after the kids go to bed and I find it strange that I relate to the mothers in the story. In Mansfield park, I am the exhausted mom who married for love. In Pride and Prejudice, I am Mrs. Bennett with my overabundance of sharing. Can we laugh until we cry about it? I was shocked to see myself in characters I had all but ignored or chuckled over in the past.

I don't want to be Mrs. Bennett or Fanny's mother. I want to be Elizabeth and have a dashing young man read me poetry. 

Life is full of surprises. 

How are you all doing? Ready to blow some stimulus money on a Hawaiian vacation? This is a joke. We will be spending ours on bills.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Rainbow Coat

I finished my Elwood a long time ago but didn't have any pictures. Now I have some. I love this rainbow sweater, it was so fun to make. I wish the neckline was different, but hey--nothing is perfect.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Thoughts on the Changes

What has everyone been doing the past three weeks? I've lost track of the days. Has it been three weeks or is this the forth? When I'm able to see people again, will I remember how to socialize?

So many things have changed.

I get stressed when my kids "waste" food. I used to be mildly irked, but now I notice my anxiety rising as their cereal coalesces in their bowels.

I have started using tea bags twice. I used to do this sometimes before, but now I do it every time. I have night asthma and I use something called Bronchial Wellness Tea in the evenings to help me breathe. It's sold out EVERYWHERE. I depend upon this tea to help me actually breathe, so to think I may not be able to get it when it runs out is panic-inducing. I just opened the last box of 20 and I am hopeful that it will last at least 40-50 days. I think a lot of people who don't need it have bought it because the virus that is going around affects the lungs and they think maybe it will help? But I use this tea and need it--and now I can't find it. I need it more in allergy season (spring) and now it's impossible to find!

Our mornings look a lot different. No packing a lunch for daddy, who is working from home now. He eats breakfast at the table with us, and he makes his own coffee.

This seclusion has been so healing and wonderful to our family. I was a bit worried we would fight, and while we have both been stressed and afraid at times, I am glad to have found I still like my husband when I'm around him for days on end. He has faithfully supported our family and even prayed with me every night. He has mowed the lawn. Done bedtime. Seen my anxiety and tried to help. I'm happy to report our relationship growing in ways it never could when he worked outside the home for 9-10 to 11 hours a day. Now he comes down for lunch and plays with the kids for an hour, and he is able to walk downstairs instead of spending all the time driving to and from the office. He is still working "late" most days but able end work by 6:30, and with no commute this has been absolutely healing to the atmosphere of our family. Both kids have soaked up daddy time. I've soaked up husband time.

This week I have implemented a loose schedule. 8am breakfast and mom break (where we are now as I write this), Start school at 8:45/ 9. Daddy has a big meeting at 9 every day with his work and "school" helps us be quiet. 10:30 is that Lynchburg library online stream. The kids love it. 11, walk or play outside, 12-1 eat lunch and play with daddy. 1-2:30 Becky naps and my son plays on the switch. After nap we play outside from around 2:30-4 or inside if it is raining. 4pm I ignore kids who make big messes and make something for dinner. After dinner we go on a walk and then do bath and tick checks. Hopefully after that daddy is off, if not, TV time while mama relaxes and finishes up the chores.

This weekend will be our first time trying to get groceries in all this madness! I am hopeful we can get two loaves of bread, since one person is gluten free. We did a grocery pick up order. I'll update you guys on how it goes!

Anyway, here are the next three vlogs (day 4, 5, 6) from our first week of self-isolation. Watching them was hard, mostly because I thought it would only be two weeks, and the numbers for our state were under 100. Now its over 1200. I am praying or those with the virus every day, and I am praying for the protection of my children and my house.

What have you guys been doing? Any changes? I love you and am praying for you--especially Michelle as she is due any day! What a time to have a baby.

How is everyone?

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Finding Normal

As we approach week three of self isolation, I am just now editing our vlogs from week one. What a week that was--relearning routines, being gentle with ourselves because chaos and shock--and discovering God's holy provisions even in the face of fear.

I have been praying for Italy and New York a lot, watching the news (and not watching the news) and talking with my church members. I miss playdates, park adventures, random coffee runs. Reuben's preschool camp was canceled. I had not even told him he was going yet (it was a two hour program for one day) but I was excited for him. My friends are losing their jobs left and right and some of them can't find specific foods at the store. A close friend of mine was only allowed to buy one loaf of bread for her family of 12. Three weeks ago I was moaning about how cold it was and feeling sorry for myself as I did dishes and made beds and wiped bottoms. Now I thank God for our health and pray for a country that is changing right before my very eyes.

we are out of flour now, but I baked a lot the last two weeks!
Here in Lynchburg, VA, the virus is new. When self quarantine started two weeks ago, we had around 12 cases in the state, and zero anywhere near me. Now, two weeks later (as of 3/27) there are 600 cases and 4 around me (only one in Lynchburg as of yesterday). We are staying home. I have autoimmune diseases, my husband always has lung issues and gets everything in his lungs, I have Becky who is normal and Reuben who is always sick and has a lot of allergies. We have gone out a few times and taken the trash out, and done some car-side-to-go orders, but the next week we will be trying to leave our house as little as possible to flatten the curve as much as we can. I am grateful that my husband can work from home during this time and glad we have groceries until next Saturday.

If you are interested in seeing what our first three days were like, I will leave those vlogs below. Follow me on my vlogging channel if you want more. Hint, its mostly shots of my cute kids. Because it helps me take my mind off things...and, cute kids.

How are you guys doing? What has changed in your lives? I am praying for you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

No One Really Has A Surprise Pregnancy

One of the things God has taught me as I have traversed infertility (twice now) is that no one really has a surprise pregnancy.

I have heard (and said myself) about how amazing it must be to just have sex and get pregnant. No complications, no tears, just BAM. I have envied other women who seem to get pregnant with ease. I have thought they were lucky. I have wished to be them.

But you know what? To God, all babies are planned. There are no surprise pregnancies to him. He plants babies in mamas to further his will and his glory. He gives gifts of children as he sees fit. While I worked really hard to have my Reuben, struggling for three years with miscarriages and infertility, God already knew that he was coming. God formed him and knew him. Reuben is mine to raise for this short time on Earth, even as I know he belongs fully to God; and he wasn't a surprise to God.

The same goes for my friends who seem to "get pregnant easily". God knew and gave those women babies too. I should not envy what God has given another, I should not let anger simmer in my heart over what I do not have.

my two sillies
Babies may certainly be news to us here on earth when they come, but now I can glory in the fact that God knew all and loved all, and planned for all.

This simple revelation helped me release my feelings of sorrow over infertility, and accept God's will for me and his gifts of Reuben and Rebekah. I would have more children, if I could choose: but I can't. I must be thankful what God has given and rest in his plan for my life. His plan is good, and I desire to be a good steward of the time he has given me.

So, I thank him for the tiny moments I had with my babies who passed and rest in the joy that God gives to those who search after him. God knows the story of my life and the story of my babies lives already, he is the one I want writing on the pages of my life, a life he gave to my mother.

My life belongs to him, always and forever. And I thank him for my two babies and my five miscarriages, and for my dreams. God is good.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Life is not about YOU

How many people do you know who are dissatisfied with life? With their jobs? With their spouse? 99% of the time it is because they they think life is about them, their pleasures and their wants, their happiness and their desires. This is a wrong foundation to build your life on. So what should you think about? What should you do?

I've made a video about my thoughts below, and would love to hear yours in the comments.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

I feel like a good mother when...

I feel like a good mother when my house is clean.

I feel like a good mother when my child eats all his food.

I feel like a good mother when I cook nutritious meals for my family.

I feel like a good mother when my son is in a good mood.

I feel like a good mother when my baby naps.

I feel like a good mother when I get my “to-do” list done.

I feel like a good mother when the laundry basket is empty.

I feel like a good mother when the toys are picked up.

None of these things have anything to do with my motherhood.

I'm a good mother when I speak kindly to my children, and others.

I'm a good mother when I apologize.

I'm a good mother when I battle my own sin.

I'm a good mother when I give myself grace.

Motherhood is not measured by meals made. Motherhood is not measured by obedient children. My floor could be clean, but if my children don't feel safe and are not being taught the word of God, am I really following God's will?

A clean house and a organic meal can fester as idols in my heart.

A spotless floor and non-GMO produce does not make me a good mother. My worth is not found in things. My worth is not found in tasks. If I am prideful, I am not a good mother.

A good mother is humble. A good mother learns from her children as they learn from her.

A good mother bows her head before God and knows she is only a good mother because of Him.

I want to be a good mother.
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