a new direction

Joining Ginny and Nicole.

A few weeks ago we put an offer in for two acres of undeveloped land just outside of Austin. The owners accepted it and we expect to close sometime in the next week or so. Everything is so different from what I’m used to, topographically speaking. The trees are shorter and bushier, and the grass is higher. The ground is dry and packed tightly with crushed limestone that glitters in the sun. It’s so different from the soft, damp grass-covered earth in Washington. The plot is in a small subdivision that consists of small acreage plots. While I can see my neighbors in front of us, (not something I am used to) the homes behind us are hidden by trees and the plot next to us is undeveloped. Austin is only twenty or thirty minutes away depending on traffic. It’s a nice compromise between homesteading and city living. We also have a bit of a view of Lake Travis, although as you can see, it’s only visible between two houses that are located in front of our property. I’m hoping we can obtain a more unobstructed view once we build a house with a second story.

It’s exciting to have an answer to at least one of the many questions we’ve been facing over the past few months, specifically “Where are we going to live?” We secured a rental ten minutes away from the property so we’ll be able to monitor the building process, whenever that begins. I have to confess I am a little apprehensive about our temporary living arrangements. The house is lovely and spacious (it has closets!) but we will be living in a subdivision with homes that are what I would call one step away from being sardine-packed against one another. We anticipate the build taking anywhere from 12-18 months so it won’t be forever, but it feels odd moving into a neighborhood where I can see my neighbors, hear my neighbors and well, not be able to escape my neighbors. It makes me sound so unsocial and ungrateful just thinking that way. I generally enjoy people and have been called a social butterfly a time or two, but I have always appreciated the escape route living in an isolated area has provided. It’s nice knowing that you don’t have to see people if you’re not in the mood. Gabe did point out that living in close proximity to other people will also make it much easer to actually meet them, which might come in handy after moving to a city where we don’t know anyone, so I think I am going to focus on that aspect of our temporary neighborhood.

Eddie asked me for a new hat a few weeks ago, so I chose some leftover Misti Alpaca Chunky yarn and knit her up a beanie with a hole for her top bun. I made up the pattern as I went along and I think it turned out pretty well. She was very eager to pose for her photos, as you can see. Someone loves her accessories as much as her mama. Sam decided to make an appearance at the end of the photo shoot and it always gets me that he hates posing for photos when I ask him to but once I start photographing someone or something else, he’s suddenly unable to stay away from the camera.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

socks and valentines

Joining Ginny and Nicole.

Tuesday marked Sam’s very first Valentine’s Day party, which also meant it was his first time making valentines. I was delighted to receive a note the previous week from his pre-school teacher stating that “store bought cards are perfectly fine and handmade cards are not necessary.” I tend to put pressure on myself to be The Pinterest Mom when it comes to these types of things and so having someone give me a way out was a relief. On Monday my mom and I took the kids out to run errands and we stopped off at Michael’s to pick up some pre-made cards. Much to my dismay, they were almost completely sold out of their card sets, save a few Disney Princess themed boxes, which Sam was not particularly fond of, as you would imagine. We ended up purchasing foam hearts and about $20 worth of stickers, heart-printed washi tape, and new markers for Sam to make his own valentines. I put my foot down when he requested glitter pens. I drove home thinking that the afternoon was going to be terrible because I was sure Sam would tire after making three or four cards and I would be begging him to finish all fifteen of them. Surprisingly, not only did he manage to finish the cards in less than an hour, but he completed them all without stopping or any nagging from me. He carefully selected each sticker and mulled over the placement of every singe piece of tape. He was so intensely focused during the entire process that he barely spoke.

It. Was. So. Cute.

On Tuesday he woke up early and dressed himself, he was so excited. When the classroom attendant walked him to his room, he was practically skipping, swinging his bag of handmade cards by his side. Later that night he told me that he had “the best day ever.” Must have been quite the rager.

I finished my Petty Harbour socks! The texture is so squishy and I love how the color works so well with the pattern. This was my first time trying an afterthought heel. I really liked the entire concept, even though I made a few mistakes along the way. I hate picking up stitches for the gusset after knitting the heel. I always have holes that I have to go back and fix, and the afterthought heel completely eliminates that problem. Plus, it’s nice to not have to stop and knit a heel just when you’re getting the hang of some complicated pattern and you finally feel yourself knitting “on a roll,” so to speak.

The afterthought heel was my January skill, so now I need to learn a second skill for the month of February, per my New Year’s Resolution. I have a pattern that calls for a provincial cast on, which I have never done before. I also discovered My Cup of Tea Socks have giant holes in the heels! Perhaps I should learn to darn? Do any of you have any experience in darning or recommend a tutorial online? I hate to throw the socks away!

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Snow days and sick days

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Joining Ginny and Nicole.

I have very little to write about regarding these past two weeks. These photos were taken two weeks ago after our first snowfall of the year. It was only a few inches, but it was more than enough for the occasional snowball fight and a few little snowmen. The next day, the plague hit our house. Everyone has been taken ill with some sort of chest cold, sinus cold, fever or cough. As soon as they recover, another cold hits two or three days later. My ears have been clogged for the last week, which I suppose one could argue is not necessarily a bad thing as it helps me drown out the crying, whining and sobbing of the three sick littles. As I sit here and write this, Caleb is asleep upstairs but I can hear him coughing, Sam is sniffing on the couch, and Eddie is laying her feverish head in my lap, only lifting it periodically to sip some orange juice and lick her tiny parched lips. We are a pathetic bunch.

I did finish my Hollows shawl. It’s too big to block here so I brought it over to my parents house to block it in my mother’s knitting studio. I hope to have one of those one day. As you can see from my kitchen table, my creative endeavors have added to the mess and chaos in our house.

I did receive a delightful package from Quince and Co! Phoebe in the colorway Mars for a pair of welted fingerless gloves for a girlfriend and Owl Tweet in the colorways Jay and Russet for a Roar hat for Sam. I’m almost done with the ribbing for Sam’s hat. I don’t know if I will have it done in time for the first night of Chanukah but I should have it done before the last.

I hope everyone is having a good pre-Christmas/Chanukah week.

Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. May your holiday be blessed with good health, family, friends, and lots of holiday cookies.

And maybe some new yarn.

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