Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New WIPs

Since I finished the epic giant checkerboard, I've moved onto other knitting projects. My first project is a pair of slippers. I just finished the second slipper. I need to tighten up the seam by the toes on the first one as it is a bit larger than the second. I would also like to attach a strap to them as well. My plan is to wear them around the house for a few days and if they hold up well I want to make pairs for my mom and sisters for Christmas. The only flaw in this plan is that it is June in Arizona so I don't exactly feel like wearing slippers right now.

WIP #2 is a new washcloth. E absolutely loves the handmade wash clothes that i did for the boys for Christmas so I'm knitting a few more. I'm working with Peaches and Creme yarn for this project. There are so many possibilities to choose from in terms of patterns but I think I've settled on an M & M pattern for this one.

I've also picked the baby blanket back up. The pattern is still irritating the crap out of me but I'm in a better mindset to finish the square now. I only have one more square left after this. I'm holding off on seaming it though until I find out if my sister is having a boy or a girl. If she's having a girl then I will give the blanket to her. If it's a boy then I may end up redoing the pink squares in blue. Or I may save this one until another of my friends has a girl and do a completely different blanket for my sister's baby. I've got a couple months to think about it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm Blessed

This week I was trying to be more aware of the many things in life I have been blessed with. One thing that stands out to me is my children. It's so funny to see two little people that are so much like E and me yet are completely their own people.

Today I want to specifically talk about my oldest. C has been such a blessing to me. He's starting to leave the terrible threes behind and is turning into such a sweet little boy. Don't get me wrong - I love him just as much on the difficult days as the fun ones. But now I'm seeing more of a distinctive personality as he is better able to articulate what he is thinking. He is also a sweet child. He loves to give hugs and kisses and tells everyone how much he loves them.

C has also made me reflect on my faith more. I could never even pretend to fully understand God, but C has given me glimpses of how God sees us as his children. He loves us when we are difficult, wants to comfort us when we hurt and would lay down his life for us.

Come join the blessings party by clicking on the following link:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Checkerboard

It's finally finished!
Checkerboard complete

According to Ravelry I started this nine months ago. The original goal was Christmas, then E's birthday, then finally Father's Day. I didn't have it quite done but I gave it to him anyway with the caveat that I needed to put a little more work into it. Honestly I didn't want to wait until Christmas again for the next gift giving holiday (I suppose I could have just given it randomly but oh well).

The other frustration involved the yarn itself. I ran out of blue with only one square to go. Since I'm trying to reduce my stash of Red Heart Super Saver, I subbed in another color - if you look in the corner of the pic it's pretty obvious. But E was fine with it.

I will say that I'm going to try to avoid taking on more than one large project at a time. Had I not been working on the baby blanket (that I ended up hibernating anyway) I probably would have finished before Father's Day, possibly even E's birthday. At least all's well that ends well!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My newest officemate


Isn't he cute! This little guy was sitting on the ledge right outside a coworker's office. I think he may be a peregrine falcon based on the research I've done.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Life's Little Blessings

I first started this blog when I was feeling a little down and struggling. There is so evil in the world and I was feeling discouraged. My husband suggested writing as a way to release some of that. The blog actually got it's title from the fact that I wanted to focus on some of the positives in my life - my kids, my hubby, my knitting and baking.

And it was good for a while. But lately I've been feeling unsettled again. Letting the doubts creep in.

Today I got a wake up call. My former Pastor's wife used to talk about the "I spy's" in life - the moments when God is speaking. Things that one might want to write off as coincidences even though they are more than that. My "I Spy" is about God's blessings. The author of a blog I read has issued a challenge (not sure if that's the right word but I can't think of anything better at the moment) for people to make note of the blessings in their lives. I thought about it but didn't do anything and ended up moving onto other things. Later when I was doing my Bible study the exact same theme came up! More than just a coincidence - I'm pretty sure I'm being reminded that there are a lot of blessings in my life.

So with that said, I am blessed in so many ways!
- I have a darling husband, who I just celebrated 10 years of marriage with. He keeps me focused and puts up with my mood swings.
- I have two wonderful little boys who amaze me with their curiosity.
- my parents and sisters live close by and I can see them all the time. So many people do not have that luxury.
- I have a roof over my head, food to eat.
- I have job. There are times when I feel like I'm just slogging through the day but in this economy, many would be grateful for even that.
That's just a start but it's a good reminder for me. Other people blogging about their blessings can be found by clicking here.
Also I've had a song stuck in my head today that I think is good for me to remember whenever I'm feeling down or alone.

Oh Protector of my soul You will stand against the foe
In the dark You'll be a light for me Oh Protector of my soul
You who created the ends of the earth Guided me unto Your throne
Offered Your healing hand to me Mercifully made me Your own

Oh gracious God above I could never earn Your love
I'm amazed to see all You've given me Oh gracious God above
You who created the ends of the earth Guided me unto Your throne
Offered Your healing hand to me Mercifully made me Your own

Oh Holy Spirit come Show the world where life comes from
May they always see You alive in me Oh Holy Spirit come

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blueberry Clusters

Father's day is tomorrow so I decided to do something similar to what I did for my mom. First I got my dad a gift card to one of his favorite restaurants. Then I made him a sweet treat to go with it. My dad is a blueberry fiend so I wanted to incorporate that somehow. I found a recipe on http://www.keepitsweetblog.com/ for blueberry pretzel clusters that I decided to use. I had more blueberries than the recipe called for so I increased the other items slightly. The great thing about this is it's only three ingredients so it doesn't have to be very precise as long as you have enough chocolate.


I melted the chocolate then added the blueberries and pretzels.

After stirring together, they are dropped onto a wax lined tray and put in the fridge.

Mine didn't look the prettiest. Some of the blueberries popped open when I mixed everything together but they did taste good!

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Year New Resolutions (Part 7)

Today I checked another item off of my New Year's Resolution list. I went out for sushi today. And no, it's not like the lame attempt at sushi that I blogged about in December. This was a legitimate attempt. And I liked it!

My coworkers and I went to a place downtown called Moira. I decided to dive right in and try the raw sushi instead of the cooked. I didn't go as far as getting sashimi but I did get nigiri. First I tried the Philly Roll. This was a good start as it had cream cheese in it which is a texture I like. So I think that made the first few bites less intimidating. It also had cucumber in it; I'm not the world's biggest cucumber fan but it went well with the roll. Then I moved on to the nigiri; I chose the tuna. It was really good. It sounds really stupid but I think the fact that I've had canned tuna made it not so surprising, even though the texture is very different.

In addition to the sushi, I also tried the Miso soup and seaweed salad that came with it. I wasn't crazy about the Miso soup but I don't think I was alone in that - a coworker mentioned that she has yet to find a really good miso in Arizona. I did, however, really enjoy the seaweeed salad. And it's low calorie too!

Sushi will definitely be on my list of things to eat again! Now if only I could convince E that fish is good...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm so blue

Or rather my knitting is. I'm still working on these stupid blue squares for the checkerboard. And knitting time has been in short supply lately. I've been putting in extra hours at work, desperately trying to catch up on everything that got pushed to the side when I was on vacation. I think (hope) tomorrow will be better. Knit Night is tomorrow night!

On the weight loss side, I haven't weighed myself yet. I want to give myself a week or two to make changes so that I don't get discouraged by any lack of success. So far on my calorie counter, I've been over on the count two days and under the other two. Today was one of the better days and I haven't even been feeling all that hungry. Hopefully I'll see progress soon!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A better me

I've decided that I need to get in better shape. Specifically I'd like to lose some weight. Ultimately my goal is to lose forty pounds but I don't want to get discouraged so I'm setting my goals in ten pound increments. I plan on checking in here periodically to keep me on track. I want to increase the amount of exercise I do (currently almost none). I'm also going to eat healthier and smaller amounts of food. It's a lot to change but honestly I'm tried of the way I look and feel.

Now onto brighter subjects. I'm almost done with the checkerboard! 58 squares done and six more to go. All are seamed together except four green and two blue. I should finish at least two more blue squares and seam it so I will be able to give it to E finished or really close. Then I can finally move on to something new. I may finally pick up the baby blanket that I'm mad at - I have a reason to work on it again!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Vacation - Day 5

Yesterday was our last day of vacation but by the time I got home I was too pooped out to write about it. It was mostly a travel day for us but we did go out for breakfast before heading home. We went to a yummy restaurant near downtown called Big City Bagels. I had a sesame seed bagel with garlic and chive cream cheese and a mocha on the side. E had a plain bagel with egg, cheddar and bacon. He let me have a bite and it was fabulous too. If we ever get back to San Diego I'm definitely going there again.

Then we left for home, which unfortunately was about a six hour drive. But at the end we got to finally see our boys. Yay!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vacation - Day 4

Today was the last full day of vacation. It's been fun but I'm kind of ready to get home and see my boys. We did have a fun time today though. Things were not too hectic as we were done with all the major tourist attractions. It was all about taking it easy today. Our first stop was the Air and Space Museum. Lots of neat planes especially the ones from WWII. We also saw the Apollo 9 landing craft.

After that we went to the Museum of Champions. To be honest this was probably my least favorite thing. I really like most sports but this seemed kind of lame - there wasn't a whole lot to see. I did snap a few photos though, including a replica of one of the minor league fields.

Then we grabbed a picnic lunch and took it to the beach. We went to Mission Beach again but this time went to the ocean side instead of one of the coves. Beautiful!

Next was Boomers for a round of mini golf and then to Old Town for Italian food. Yummy!

On the knitting side of things I finally finished the green squares for the giant checkerboard. Woohoo!!!! Eight more squares and the thing is finally done. I have 10 days if I want to get it done by Fathers Day. I also finished off one practice slipper with the exception of seaming. Hopefully it fits!

Vacation - Day 3

Today was another busy day on vacation. First stop this morning was Legoland. It is absolutely amazing how they are able to create these wonderful works of art out of Legos. Some of the sculptures had over a million pieces! One was a replica of the New York skyline that used 6.5 million pieces. E and I spent most of our time in Miniland, where the most detailed replicas were.

This is Washington DC, specifically the Capital with the Washington Monument in the background.

They had also opened up a set of Star Wars scenes. Some of these had to use an even smaller scale or it would have been too tall. This is Hoth from the fifth episode.

After we were done at Legoland we found a cute little pizza place in Carlsbad and had a nice lunch. Then it was off to Seaworld. We saw the whales

And a tide pool

And some penguins

We also saw the the Blue Horizon dolphin show and the Cirque de la Mer show (and rode on the gondolas that are in the background of his pic)

I also got a little knitting done today. I'm down to less than 10 squares on the checker board and I've also started a pair of slippers. If these turn out well, I'm going to make some pairs for Christmas gifts.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Vacation - Day 2



And bears oh my!

Today we visited the San Diego Zoo. What an amazing place! The zoo is truly world class. I was able to get some great pictures as well.





After the zoo we visited the USS Midway. We were able to walk around on the deck and see examples of some of the planes that have been flown by the military. Pretty neat piece of history (and a museum I haven't visited before)

Then we jumped on the ferry to take a tour of the area around Coronado Island. Our tour guide was quite knowledgeable! As an added bonus it was nice to sit for awhile too...

The last stop was Seaport Village. Cute shops but I'm kind of glad I didn't make a separate trip out there. After that it was finally time to go back to the hotel. What a busy day!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Vacation - Day 1

E and I went to San Diego for our anniversary this week. Today was mostly set for traveling. It was a long drive but kind of nice to be able to talk without being interrupted for 6 straight hours. The drive was mostly uneventful but we did see the effects of a wildfire. As we were going over the mountains there was apparently a brush fire nearby. It was very difficult to see and the area smelled like a giant campfire!

Once we finally made it here we headed for the beach. We decided not to wear our suits since it was so cold (yes we are wimps from Arizona). Instead we just sat on the beach and collected sea shells to take home to the boys. I did wade up to my knees (had to check off something from my list!) but E stayed on the beach.


After that we went to the Gas Lamp district to walk around and have some dinner. Cute shops and lots of people.


Of course we had to stop here!