Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Work in Progress Wednesday


I haven't made much progress on my Rocky Coast Cardigan. It sure is going to be beautiful when it's done, though. (Stash yarn)

I'm starting to work on the legs of my afterthought heel socks. I'm doing a bit of reducing and I'll start the patterns on the next row. I'm very excited about these. They're made from Ella Rae Lace Merino and it is my very favorite sock weight yarn. It's beautiful, rich, and so incredibly soft. I'll admit, it's a little spend to use on socks, but I'm going to love these socks, and it was in my stash. (Stash yarn)

I'm almost done with the back of Gary's Penobscot Bay Pullover. I'm pleased with my progress on this. The past two weeks have been hectic around here, so my knitting time has been limited. This has been a quick knit so far, but now that I'm to the moss stitch, it's slowing down just a bit.

I've got three of each of these colors balled and ready to knit. That means I can start knitting the boys' geek-along-blankets. They'll have to wait until I finish my socks.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Work in Progress Wednesday

I was doing well, working on two projects for myself from my stash yarn. But, today, my yarn order came in. Now, I have 6 projects that have to be prioritized. Gary's gets top billing, so my Rocky Coast Cardigan has to go on the back burner. I know I said it was my year of stash crafting, and it is. But, I needed enough yarn to make Gary a sweater, and the boys are getting blankets for Christmas. Quite frankly, I actually don't have that large a stash. (Of which fact I'm inordinately proud.)
Toe up, two at a time, afterthought heel socks- something outside my comfort zone


Rocky Coast Cardigan and cat

So. Much. Yarn. 

The top yarn is Gary's sweater. The bottom 4 are for the boys' Geek Along blankets. That's going to be fun.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Transformation Tuesday

Last year at this time, I was taking lots of pills. I was doing things with my kids on my bed because I was too tired to do things elsewhere. Chronic illness had taken over my life. I even broke down and wrote a blog post about it. (If you haven't read it, it's here.)
I'm better now. When I started working out at the beginning of December, I was scared. The last couple times I'd tried to exercise, I thought I was going to have to go to the ER. Once, I was just doing some light jogging/walking on the treadmill. The other time, I was doing gentle yoga. I spent days in bed afterward. But, it's been better this time. I've been able to keep my workouts restrained so that they don't drain my energy or cause me more pain.

At the beginning of 2015, I was scared. I was scared that I would die young, and scared that I wouldn't die young. I was at a point in my life where I felt like a burden to my family.
This is the beginning of 2016, and I am excited. I am hopeful for my and my family's future. 

I'm going to admit to something. These are really hard for me to post, and that's embarrassing to me. It's embarrassing and frustrating because I'm the first one to encourage people who don't like their bodies. I truly believe that everyone is beautiful. Still, to stay consistent, I need motivation, and here it is.
These are my before/after pictures of four weeks. My goal was not to lose weight. My goal for December was to increase my stamina, and I can honestly say that I did. I started the month barely able to do any of the exercises, and finished it with being able to do most of them with several heavy modifications.
I am so incredibly proud of myself. This may be one of the hardest things I've ever done. I only lost two pounds, but I lost a total of 17.25 inches! 3.25 each around the bust, waist, and hips. I am beyond thrilled.





When I started this journey in December, I was doing it for my health. I knew that goal would impact my family because I would be able to do more with them. I chose to become a Beachbody coach because it gave me added accountability. I didn't realize how much it would impact my family's health. 
My mom started her 21 Day Fix the day after Christmas. In two weeks, her Systolic blood pressure number has fallen 40 points. 40 points. She's still got a ways to go, but I'm astonished and grateful.
Add to that the fact that my children are making healthier choices and working on their own fitness and I'd say I'm pretty much loving Beachbody right now. I'm so grateful to my coach for inviting me to join her and believing in me.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Finished Object Friday

These are the projects I've completed this week. I'm trying to use up as much of my fabric and yarn stash as possible this year. This is my year of stash crafting. All of these were made with stash supplies.


First up, a dirty Santa gift. I chose to make a Princess Leia slave bikini, because everyone needs one. Right? 

Sheep Ball
This is my second sheep ball, and I love both of them.



The only problem with putting your knitting projects on Facebook is that your friends want them. I happily knit this for a friend after she saw the ones I made for the boys.



The Yipes Stripes Cowl is a great stash busting project. I modified it a little by changing out yarn anytime I ran out of a color.
Buddha was cold.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Quick Health Update

The problem with being chronically ill is that you can never use the well entrance- Gabriel


In April, when I wrote this post, I sat each member of my family down and interviewed them. I wanted to know what it was like to live with a mom and wife with chronic illness means to them. I intended to share those interviews with you, but they ended up being very personal. I decided that my children's and husband's privacy was important. There were a few things that struck me, though.

Xavier and Dominic cannot remember a time when I was not sick. That is hard for me to hear. I say "is" because it is still hard for me to think about. 

In April, Gary got tired of me reacting to more and more foods each time I ate a meal or snack. Finally, he decided to put me on a juice fast, or, as we like to call it, a juice infusion. Part of my problem is that I don't uptake vitamins properly. Vitamins in pill form didn't seem to be having a huge impact. We got desperate and tried juicing.

It made a huge difference. My brain started functioning again almost immediately. It was amazing. My brain suddenly started being curious again. There were once again times I couldn't shut it up. That hadn't happened in so long. And it feels so good. In fact, it feels incredible. 

Now that my brain is starting to work again, I'm working on my body. My energy levels are better, but not perfect. I don't know if I'll ever have the confidence in my body that I had before I got sick, but I'm hopeful now. I'm hopeful in a way I haven't been in a long time.

Without hope, we give up. We're scared. We don't plan or dream. I'm hopeful again, and that, more than anything else, makes me happy.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Finished Object Friday: 2015

2015 is finished, so I thought I'd share some of our favorite photos from the year.


Lots of knitting happened


Gen Con costume- everything created by Gary and me

Gabriel's last day of high school






Dominic decided to make himself the hall monitor of our little homeschool






Gramma taught Gabriel how to make lumpier


Gabriel voted for the first time



The boys refused to take a picture with Santa, but jumped at *being* Santa and his elves.



Xavier grew taller than the bookshelves and the Christmas tree



Happy New Year 2016!

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