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?