Snow day knitting

 

handspun-scarfgramps

 

Hello, friends! I’ve been, ever so slowly, getting more and more knitting done as the days go by. I’ve had a brief period of not wanting to do any knitting at all, and if you know me you know that I’m never without my needles in hand. I’m always working on something. I guess that comes with the highs and lows of this depression. This last week or so I’ve been back to my usual self when it comes to knitting. I finished the baby’s Gramps cardigan for next winter (just needs buttons), I’ve even made a baby-sized vest for an expectant cousin with the leftovers of the red (also needs buttons, and photographed), and then today I’ve cast on for a scarf for the Mr. It’s a well over-due project that I meant to have to him last year. Oh well, better late than never, yes? It’s, really, the perfect snow day knitting – the pattern is 2 rows and easy to remember so it’s interesting but also mindless enough that I don’t feel like I have to think too hard on it (which is important for during-the-week knitting when I’m feeling brain dead). I might even make myself one out of some lace I have hanging around!

The weather has dumped a lot of snow on us (though I’m sure those in the northern states would laugh at that), and all I want to do is hibernate. And eat. If I never had to leave the house during the winter I’d be pretty content. I often wish the local grocery stores have a pick-up service so I could order online and just drive through and pick it up on my way home. There’s a grocery near where I work that does that and I’m tempted to start doing my shopping there simply for that convenience. I really hate going grocery shopping and meal planning. It was fun when I was 18 and living on my own and buying groceries seemed like the most adult thing ever. Now it’s just a weekly chore that ranks up there with the hatred I have for cleaning the bathroom.

I did manage to spend some time in the kitchen yesterday making lime bars, mostly to use up the limes I had going bad. They’re tart and sweet and a nice, bright treat for these cold and gray days. But sweets, no matter how hard I wish them to be, are not substitutes for real meals. I want comfort food. Stews and soups and fresh homemade bread. The husband is not at all a fan of soup and prefers his to have a lot of stuff in it so it’s less broth and more substance. I just want quick and easy and tasty. It has to be tasty. Maybe I’ll make some chicken noodle soup tonight… that never takes very long to make, and I have all the ingredients. Do you have a favorite stew you make for these cold snowy days?

 

We faked it

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It’s the new year, and I probably should be writing about fresh starts and whatnot. Instead, I’m going to tell you that we faked Christmas pictures this morning. We woke up, put on our holiday pajamas we wore on Christmas morning, and we faked photos. See, we were so in the moment on the 25th that we totally forgot. I’m not sure how we managed to forget, but we did. And I was so, so upset about it – the baby’s first holiday and I didn’t have any photographic evidence of it.

I voiced my frustration online, and several friends told me they’ve done the exact same thing. They’ve just been so busy and overwhelmed with things going on – kids begging to open presents and such – that they totally forgot. I’m not alone, at least, which really does happen to make me feel better.

So we faked them. I’m told that in 15 years I won’t even remember we faked them, but I feel like I’ll still know. I know ultimately it won’t matter, though – I won’t be focused on the fact that we faked them, and I’ll instead be looking at how tiny and sweet my boy is here.

Goodbye holidays, hello new year

pizzelle

The holidays are officially over. I traditionally take down the decorations on New Years Eve/New Years Day, but I’m finding myself itching to take them all down this weekend and get my house back in order. It might have something to do with the fact that our dryer decided to stop working on Christmas so there’s laundry all around the house air drying. It also might have something to do with my readiness to just move on. I need the fresh start that the new year brings.

I had this post written out with all my plans for 2015, but Monday I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and now the only thing that seems important to work on is taking care of myself to fight the PPD and just, overall, survive. I still want to work on my list of plans, but those all have to be secondary. My main priority right now is to get back into running since exercising has always made me feel better and helped with the small bits of depression I’ve had off-and-on throughout my life. We’re probably going to re-join our local YMCA – winter in Ohio isn’t a horrible season to run so long as there isn’t snow and ice, so having the indoor track is going to end up being necessary. I want to get back to my 5k race days, and the only way that will happen is with a lot of hard work and dedication to training 3x a week.

(About the photo: my husband bought me a pizzelle iron for Christmas. They’re imperfect, but I’m getting better at it the more I use it)

All is calm

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A peacefully napping baby, a mellow (and temporarily clean) living room, and knitting by holiday lights as the dawn arises. The calm before the holiday storm.

(Knitting is just a basic double-stranded garter stitch blanket, using up some acrylic I’ve had hanging around for a while. It’s not the prettiest thing, but it’ll be a fantastic toddler-sized blanket for the baby’s crib for next winter.)

On traditions and simplicity

Traditions are funny things. They are, by definition, a pattern. It’s tradition for me to put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. It’s tradition for me to give the niece and nephew an ornament each year. Every year I do the same things.

But traditions change, too. They evolve. It used to be tradition that I went to see my extended family on Christmas day up until a few years ago. Now it’s tradition to stay home and open presents and relax (because it’s something I’ve always wanted but never had as a kid). Christmas with the extended family on my mom’s side used to mean a tree you could barely see because there were so many presents piled around it. Now the tree is more simple, and there are only presents for their children (my mom and uncles and spouses) but not the grandchildren. There’s a little sadness in that for me. It isn’t the presents, though that makes me a bit sad, too. I think it’s that, as an adult, you see things differently. You know the why and how. You see things for what they really are instead of having the lens of childhood innocence to tint your view a different, happy shade.

Traditions change, and it has taken me 30 years to realize it. I can’t believe I’m finally realizing that I don’t have to follow tradition just because “it’s tradition.” I don’t have to do something if I don’t enjoy it. I don’t have to make something work just for the sake of keeping tradition. All I have to do is what makes us all happiest, and say no to the rest. No to making 10 different kinds of cookies and candies, yes to just the one or two we actually enjoy. No to the pressure of making everything hour and minute special, yes to keeping it simple and laid back (which is our style, anyway). No to letting anyone dictate what our traditions should be, yes to doing what works for us.

Just a happy, simple holiday season for probably the first time ever in my life.