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So I knit. And I think about knitting. I think about those who knit before me. The lore of knitting and the lure of knitting. It is all about how I knit in my life and what knitting means to me.

Friday
Aug012014

Friday 40 - Week 7

  1. Sometimes you just need your people. I'm SO lucky to have people.
  2. If today wasn't so great, tomorrow, just do better.
  3. I may have a few things left from my track coach. I actually told George "when it gets harder, you get stronger" while we were running. 
  4. I love that Chicago is a running community. And I love that I routinely see people I know on the running path.
  5. Speaking of running: A huge CONGRATULATIONS to my brother-in-law on being named the Acting Executive Director of the Chicago Area Runner's Association. That is pretty badass, isn't it? 
  6. A one pound barrel of Flava Cheese Puffs purchased at a gas station in Indiana. Just.So.Gross. {but the kids seem to love them}
  7. Eva Kay and I, upon realizing the sexism of a "four man tent," particularly given that it was to be a ladies only tent, decided to rename it the "Four Woman Tent." 
  8. We got sick of Chicago with all its noise pollution and headed to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky.
  9. We had the entire campsite to ourselves for a day. It was at once both peaceful and kinda creepy.
  10. Shockingly, I still had Wifi. Like phenomenal Wifi. Better than in my own house...
  11. I love that George and Alexander set up their own tents. 
  12. I love that, despite each having their own tent, all the kids slept in the Four Woman Tent with me {and the dogs}. 
  13. There really may be nothing better than waking up in a tent, surrounded by all that is perfect and quiet and peaceful in the world. 
  14. George: "Does anyone know where mama's beatin' rock is?"
  15. Alexander as our fearless hike leader for our hikes. He's aching for adventure. I could die.
  16. I put George in charge of the fire. Nothing burned except for the stuff that was supposed to.
  17. Eva Kay: "well, they taste really good at first, but then the aftertaste...makes them kinda gross..."
  18. Alexander, with actual fear in his voice: "Mom, what exactly are we supposed to do if we see a bear?"
  19. George pointing out all the mushrooms along our hike reminded me of the poem he wrote for me when he was in third grade. He wrote that he loved me as much as "purple sloopy schroop puffshrooms." I'm not sure I can take much more of these kids growing up. 
  20. George declared he hated camping when he got burned by his marshmallow as he was making a s'more. Poor kid.
  21. It always makes me a little sad to take down a tent. I feel like I'm leaving peacefulness behind.
  22. This: There are no signs for tomorrow / On the back roads of my sorrow / I could beg, steal, I could borrow / But the grace will have to come to me
  23. I am in somewhat of a panic as I realize I really don't know how to raise men. I suppose I need to figure that out.
  24. We came home early so Alexander could get braces.
  25. Running into Beth and JoJo at Rise. I'm sure we were meant to walk through the window. 
  26. So, I totally love my new camera.
  27. I'm getting super excited for the Moab Other Half Marathon
  28. This text: I've been reading some affirmations trying to fake it til I make it. Yes, self help books and fucking affirmations. 
  29. Knowing this: There is no time. There is just right now.
  30. And also knowing this: I don't have to be in a rush to get through it all.
  31. Alexander still asks me to snuggle him. How much longer will that last?
  32. Me to Alexander: "Your legs are so long, if you don't grow to be six foot eleven, there will seriously be something wrong with you."
  33. David: "Yeah. Alexander is like a walking skeleton right now."
  34. I am taking a shocking and strange amount of pride in how tall my boys are growing. As though I personally created tall people. Which I guess I did. I am so cool.
  35. Eva Kay tried to look like a boy. She put makeup on her face to simulate dirt, tied her hair back, put a ball cap on backwards and put on sweatpants. She reminded me of myself in fifth grade, when everyone thought I was a boy. 
  36. Five minutes later... she was wearing a witch costume with a frilly tutu.
  37. Eva Kay caught a firefly, named her Tina, did research on what fireflies eat, what they need in their homes, and made a beautiful house for her.
  38. Eva Kay sucks the marrow out of life. 
  39. After much fear and worry, Alexander loves and rocks his braces.
  40. Stolen Dance

So, there you go.

Friday
Jul252014

Friday 40 - Week 6

  1. After 110 months of speech therapy (which for two years was three times per week), the little boy, who at two years old could only say two words (go & off), who at one time stuttered every single syllable of every single word he spoke up to 20 times (try it for one sentence and see how long it takes you to get a thought out), who fought for literally every word he can now speak, is DONE with speech therapy.
  2. ^He's fucking brilliant.
  3. So Eva Kay read my blog last week. She now walks around saying "I'm mom's perfect little soul." She is also the devil.
  4. I run with the kids now. Their little bodies are made to run. And they are going to be faster than me in weeks.
  5. George, after our first run: "That felt great. I gotta do that more often!"
  6. George and Alexander with thier mohawks. They look pretty awesome.
  7. This text: "So we're just gonna take a moment to appreciate this text. Before we delete and don't respond."
  8. This text: "Angles are singing and birds are fluttering around and the heavens have opened up. And god is real and holy and life is good. Amen." 
  9. Dinner and drinks with Greta. And popcorn. And drinks.
  10. The Roast of John Kelly. Little brother, I now know way too much about your sex life.
  11. Sometimes, you need a good, 80-something degree day to run seven miles, stopping every half mile because the kids are on bikes and bringing you down.  This was much fun. Oh wait, no. No it was not.
  12. Eva Kay could spend forever in Bath & Body Works. She will smell every single item. Twice. And when she leaves, she wil smell like every single item.
  13. Isaac: "Jackie, I think I have lice."
  14. Three out of five children have lice.
  15. Proudly, I did not freak out the way I did the first time we had the lice. But Lord, I am sick of combing little lice eggs out of hair. I really am.
  16. Because George and Alexander have mohawks, they have less hair = not that big of a deal to comb licey bugs. Yes. I now love them the best.
  17. Dinner with Julie and your girls. Eva Kay loves having neighbors who are girls that she can play with all the time.
  18. A fast 8 miles. Which makes up for the slow 7 miles. 
  19. I truly take such great joy in the happiness of my friends. Beth, I'm talking about you. So deserved. 
  20. The world is full of loss. It is inevitable. But loss means at some point, there was something to hold on to.
  21. I refuse to feel guilty about not taking my dogs to the vet for a long little bit. Hello. Grad School happened. I barely took care of myself. Besides, they are totally fine.
  22. Sometimes doing nothing is everything.
  23. We now have a chart, complete with shiny stars, for all the days the kids go running or ride their bikes. 
  24. George is already running more than a mile. He is awesome.
  25. Some people look for jobs in their bathing suits on the back deck while drinking a beer. Some people look for jobs from their beds. Both seem like totally the best way to look for a job if you ask me.
  26. This text: "Really Jackie? I think the kids call that 'those are not my parents.'
  27. Big Star. 
  28. LMC - I demand to see the actual award for the Award Winning Hand Job. Until it is produced, I am skeptical. 
  29. I now spend an hour a day doing academic reading. Which is much more than I did when I was actually in school
  30. Alexander needs braces, despite him declaring them stupid. George's braces can wait another six months. Thank god. 
  31. Knowing that there is nothing you can't come back from. 
  32. Dinner with friends on a Thursday night. 
  33. Grilling redemption. You earned it.
  34. Still those three things before I drift off to sleep.
  35. Sometimes Sister forgets Husband's birthday. But he's British and super stoic about it. Because that is his way.
  36. Sometimes I just laugh through the tears because it feels better.
  37. I got a new camera. It is the shizzle. It is a "Just Because I Love You" gift. 
  38. Lazy summer days. They really aren't that lazy, but still... I love them.
  39. David: "It is a great day to be alive. And a great day to be alive with you." 
  40. Little Pieces

So, there you go.

Friday
Jul252014

Friday 40 - Week 5

 

  1. Look at that little soul up there. She. Is. Perfect. And apparently we are cut from the same cloth. Damn. I apologize to my mama. 
  2. "I'm feeling tired. It may look like hungover, but really it is fatigue."
  3. Making a scarf and iPad cozy for a special part of my heart. KFI ILU.
  4. Reality is powerful stuff.
  5. Coffee with Julie. Tears and all.
  6. This text from Beth: Okay...No. I refuse to allow you to call a person I love an asshole! 
  7. Sometimes, the things that are supposed to be happy things are really sad things. And that is okay.
  8. The text: Some things in life are just bullshit. We still have to be there for someone else's bullshit because people were there for mine.
  9. I can stand my ground. I am stronger than I was before. 
  10. A sore shoulder must mean something good, right?
  11. During a conversation with Eva Kay about going to sleep-away camp, she said, in the most amazing and grown-up way "I'm excited... but I'm nervous, too." 
  12. Mothering. It is so heartbreaking. It feels so urgent and I want to freeze time.
  13. Sometimes, an email breaks your heart. But that is okay because it is movement. And movement is a good thing when you've been standing still for a long time.
  14. Job interviews aren't exactly a bad thing.
  15. Lunch with Regan. 
  16. Somehow missing school. It has been one month and I miss it. What is going on?
  17. Being told three things as I drift off to sleep.
  18. My biggest fantasy in life right now is to mate all the freaking unmated socks. I realize how sad and pathetic this is.
  19. Chuck Taylors may be the perfect shoe. 
  20. I still love my Alexander Girard Electra bike. 
  21. Slow-roasted pork belly was super delicious. Not at all nutritious. 
  22. On that same note, I now know why they call it crackling.
  23. This: "Have your moment and move on," she said, "it is going to be a busy day."
  24. Summer. It always slips away so quickly.
  25. I ripped out every stitch of that sweater I was knitting. It just did not fit. It was sad, but I am so glad I had my knitting crew to support me.
  26. So I am totally not the only person to be fascinated by Justin Theroux's running in the Leftovers. Wow. And maybe ouch.
  27. I went on a run without my Garmin and I did not die, get lost, go too fast, or too long. It was just a run. Kinda like how the cavemen must have done it. 
  28. Sometimes, when you listen with your heart and not your ears, the words feel so much better. 
  29. Proverbs 31:25. "She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."
  30. Turns out, when one attempts to flush one's phone down the toilet, and watches it swirl around and around and around, and then tells the supposed Geniuses at the Apple store that it is a toilet phone, they shan't touch it with bare hands. Wimps. 
  31. All data lost. All pictures lost. All text messages lost. A not so gentle reminder that life is right here, right now. 
  32. Dinner at Perennial Virant. Utterly delicious. 
  33. This text from Beth: I did something. Because of you. It is all your fault. (at least I think that is what it said, I'm working off of memory here...)
  34. I am thoroughly enjoying these fall-like summer days. I know I'm not supposed to, but I am.
  35. I am trying to figure out what kind of eggs I like, because I really don't know.
  36. Coffee in bed. Almost every morning.
  37. I can accomplish a great deal of things from bed, as it turns out. If I could have a bed office, I would. And I would be super productive.
  38. I think, and hope, and believe, that some things are getting better. 
  39. Knowing that things aren't perfect but that doesn't mean they aren't worth it. 
  40. I Cannot Find A Way 

So, there you go.

Friday
Jul182014

Friday 40 - Week 4

 

  1. A few years ago, I took the above picture of George with the caption "He'll probably feel misunderstood by the time he's ten." I think  I was right on the money. It crushes my heart. 
  2. Roasting marshmallows over the campfire, which, shockingly looks a lot like our barbecue grill in the backyard.
  3. Isaac: "Dad, can you help me put this pillow case on the pillow? It is definitely at two man job...Or a one woman job." David: "Many things in life are."
  4. Watching Alexander play soccer in the rain. 
  5.  I can cook so many things on a grill. In the rain.
  6. Julie, girl, you're the best. I'm so glad you're in my life. Our conversation sitting in the rain at the park was kinda the best thing about my day. 
  7. Celebrations of life are always better over pizza.
  8. Those Lewis children sure do give the best hugs. Tears. I was choking back tears.
  9. Impromptu barbecues followed by exactly one scoop of ice cream. 
  10. Alexander gave me a kiss on the lips. For exactly the fifth time in his life.
  11. This text: Also you'll notice we lost our ghetto fans 'cuz we got a/c back. Yup. We ballers.
  12. I have like a million square inches of carpet padding in my van. 
  13. Eva Kay loves gymnastics. And that is nice. 
  14. Oh Beth. Seriously. Are you kidding me? Thank you. Sometimes you save my sanity.
  15. This text: Jackie. Listen to yourself.
  16. Eva Kay: Mama, can I use your alumni mug? I like using that one because it says you are a University of Chicago alumni.
  17. The gas man came by and restored our gas service. We can use the shower now. Not that the boys take showers because they like the way they smell.
  18. This text: I've got a dirty fish tank, trash waiting to be taken out, and stained ugly carpet... Oh, and kids that won't brush their teeth or their hair AND two clogged toilets and NO food in the house!
  19. Addison Montgomery, I love you.
  20. I have lots and lots of clean carpet now. And clean chairs. For a minute at least. 
  21. Some things about being 40 are not all that fun
  22. I deserve flowers. Lots and lots of flowers. Regularly.
  23. Me: I think I am a lot more boring than when I did this before. Or else I'm just less grateful for stuff now because it is way harder this time around.
  24. Amy: Listening to you reminds me of why I don't own my own home.
  25. Melanie, Jenny, and Amy in unison: No! No! DO NOT MAKE HIM A SWEATER! 
  26. Time is a gift.
  27. ^ So is Salty Caramel Ice Cream. In bed. At 1:00 AM.
  28. The Grapes of Wrath truly is the finest book ever written. Ever
  29. Some things are normal and that feels really, really good.
  30. This message from George: Hi mom. I'm just calling to tell you good night and that I love you.
  31. My startup disc is full. If only I knew a) what that meant, and b) what my kids downloaded to fill it up.
  32. This text: Maybe they'll never leave your house. They just live there now. Deal with it.
  33. Okay so I abandoned my daughter on the porch and she was crying and locked out of the house. What did we learn? There are still nice people in the world who will help out a crying child. And I'm only sort of the the worst mom in the world ever.
  34. A lovely lunch date. I've missed those.
  35. David: I don't want to see any of this on the Friday 40.
  36. Out of the mouths of babes, this from a little girl: What, you took your stuff and left, so we put our American Girl doll stuff in your closet.
  37. Dinner with my ladies. Nothing is better.
  38. Out of all the people in the world, nobody deserves to have giddy, unstoppable happiness as much as Beth. I'm so happy for you.
  39. David: Three girls and two bottles of wine. Not much good can come from that.
  40. What Can I Say

So, there you go.

Wednesday
Jul162014

Searching for Simple

Sometimes I just want to get lost in my knitting. Stitch after stitch. Row after row.

Move through the pattern until the pattern emerges. Keep going. And because it is simple, there are no mistakes. Nothing earth shattering, at least. 

In knitting the simple, there is quiet. There is peace. There is space.

In that quiet time and space, I can forget and can see where I am and where I am going. 

And I can just keep going.

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