Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hope in a chest

When you hear the phrase "hope chest", do you think back to the days of Little House on the Prairie? The times of the past where women's hopes were pinned on finding a man, and having that perfect little home for him?

Mine do! But, I also think there's nothing wrong with that, things like that are where the tradition of hope chests began. While I can't imagine my little nurturing daughter ever NOT being married, I also don't see that as a goal in life. It never was for me, and I'm glad, because that ensures that I didn't just settle when I "settled down", because I wasn't just checking something off my to-do list. I can't ever see Little M settling for anything less than AWESOME either, she's so headstrong it'll take a special someone to hold her attention and heart :)

In that vein, I've been seriously considering beginning a hope chest for her. Not in the hopes of marriage, but the hope of the future, of a life filled with love and family, whether or not she joins someone else's. This will be a chest filled with heirlooms, some made by me, some purchased, some handed down. Things to fill her house and turn it into a home, one that she will love to come home to, and be proud to use her things in.

This is not something that was done for me, which is completely fine, but something I would really like to do for Little M. I've compiled quite a list of lacy shawls (Ravelry link), etc to make for her and put away, in case she one day DOES get married. Even then, she may not decide to use any of them, and that's OK. They can be handed down, used as decor, etc.

I've also been thinking about making her some embroidered towels for the kitchen, some lacy-edged far that's it. Small, linen type items that are also useful. I want this to be pretty, but practical. I certainly don't want her chest to be filled with things she's afraid to use, for fear of "messing" it up.

Were you given a hope chest? Are you doing something like this for your child? What did you receive, or what are you putting away?

Please don't think this is limited to girls, many people have done it for boys too! I've read of including
a simple tool kit, which is BRILLIANT, along with various other things which would depend on the taste of the child (candlesticks, quilts, etc)

What would you put in a hope chest?

Friday, February 19, 2010


Silly readers, you probably thought I didn't knit anymore, since there's been hardly anything in the way of knitting updates.

You, silly reader, were wrong!

I haven't been knitting a great deal until recently, then suddenly, I caught the bug again. In 7 days, from cast on, to bind off, I made this beauty (ravelry link):

I love it, and I wear it nearly every day..with my t-shirts and hoodies and jeans. That's how I a knittin' fool.

Now that the shawl's done, I was able to cast on for my Ravelympics hat. Jared Flood's Koolhaas Hat, which I'm so in love with. I"m using StitchJone's Dyepot Worsted in the color Bliss. I ADORE this color, and this hat will be mine, ONLY MINE! Because, in case you didn't see the button in the side bar, I"m a Selfish Knitter :)

This last picture is from today. I'm nearly to the decreases at the crown, which means I"m nearly done! I'm not pissed off, though I look like it in this picture...I tend to look mean in pictures when I'm makeup-less!
Aside from that, I have the following on the needles, waiting for me to get around to finishing them (all links are Ravelry links, sorry if you're not a member!):
A blanket (for someone who might read this blog, so that's where I leave the info): approximately 50% complete, including the final assembly

Endpaper Mitts (for me, my first colorwork project): 50% complete, just one mitt to do! These go quickly, I just need to pick it back up:

Jaywalker socks (for me, I ADORE this color): halfway done, plus a little more. I'm partway into the second sock, but I get bored easily, as this list attests, and so I put it down for a while:

Hanami Stole (not sure who this one will be for yet, that remains to be seen): I'm down to the last 1/3 of this...really I just got bored with the beads I'd decided to do, so I set it aside. This should go quickly once I pick it up again:

Entomology Shawl (probably for me, not totally sure): Somewhere around 50% done, I got bored, honestly. hopefully I'll pick this up again soon, it will be stunning when complete.

I don't have any pictures of it, but I'm also working on a mindless blanket. I often take it places with me, and our cat has (lovingly, I'm sure) added his own touch of kneading it so various loops have been pulled as well. It's going to be for someone in my family who will appreciate the touches the cat has added, so I'm not worried. It's a very simple blanket, made from the Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth pattern, only instead of stopping the increases at 44 stitches, I simply keep going until it's to my liking, then I start decreasing :)
Easy knitting that I don't even have to look at my hands for!

Once I finish the hat, what project should I pick up?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Logan!

I am proud to announce the birth of Logan Tiberius Petrie, born February 14, 2010 at 9:46AM, weighing 7lbs, 14 oz, and 19 inches long.

Folks, I'm an AUNT! Growing up an only, there were some things that have happened in my life that I've simply never expected. I never expected to get married. Not that I was against it, it just wasn't on my radar. Ever.

I never expected to adopt a child. Again, simply not on my radar.

I never expected to live with my inlaws. Best mishap of our lives EVER.

I never expected to become an aunt! With no siblings, things like that just aren't in the realm of "I think this will happen when I grow up."
and now look, I"m Auntie Kristin!

beautiful little man, he was brought into a family that has loved him since we knew he was coming! Congratulations Casey and Eric! <3

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My teef! My teef!

One day, a cute little girl went to Target with her dad and grandma. They sat and ate at the Target Cafe, enjoying hot dogs, Icees, and Oreos. Because they were an incredibly healthy family. After they finished, dad leads them over to the kids' section, where the cute little girl finds some things to try on.
Being 7 and fully independent, she goes into the fitting room alone, and grandma waits around outside. After a while though, cute little girl doesn't reappear.
Grandma goes to see if she needs help, and is admitted into cute little girl's dressing room, where she finds an amusing sight.

Cute little girl is standing in front of the mirror, naked except for panties (though she was just trying on a shirt), with her mouth wide open, fingers inside, prying at her teeth.

She turns to grandma, eyes wide, and says, "Grandma, I have HOLES IN MY TEETH!" and proceeds to point out all the dark spots on her teeth.

Cute little girl brushes her teeth twice a day, and is supervised every time in order to prevent such a scenario.

This is the reason that grandma did the following two things:

1) she laughed

2) she reached over and scraped some of the 'holes' off, as it was simply residual Oreos from the earlier noshing

At least cute little girl knows to be panicked should she see such a site in her mouth!

Friday, February 5, 2010

40 Days of Water

Blood:Water Mission sent out a reminder that 40 Days of Water is coming up! I did this last year, and I'd like to do it again. I love that this year, they'll have a place for us to log our drinks, etc. I think that will make things very easy!

The basic idea of 40 Days of Water, is that we, as a community of people with a bevy of choices to eat and drink, choose to drink only water, and set aside the money saved by not buying drinks constantly. At the end of the 40 days, total your accumulated savings, and send to BWM.

If you aren't aware, $1.00 to Blood:Water Mission provides clean drinking water for one person for one entire year. So, say you're someone who drinks a coffee each morning on your way to work, they average $4.00 a cup. $4.00 x 40 days of not buying that coffee = $160.00. You've just provided water for ONE HUNDRED SIXTY PEOPLE.

It adds up, even if you don't buy coffee every day. The little bits we spend on soda, tea, etc all add up to helping give others a basic necessity for survival.

From the BWM Website:


We don't think about it - really. On the way to work, we swing by our favorite coffee shop to grab that jolt to get us started. After a workout, we slurp a blended fruit smoothie to sustain us. In the evening, we get together with friends over beverages to celebrate the end of another day.

What if we didn't have those choices? What if water was the only option to sustain us? And what if we had to walk miles to get water - only to have a water source that is contaminated and full of disease?

Choose to make water your only beverage for 40 Days between February 17 - April 3 to help Blood:Water Mission provide clean water for people in Africa who don't have a choice.

By giving up what you'd normally drink in exchange for the water from your tap you can save that money to help build clean water projects for communities in Uganda. You can stay updated on the work you are enabling by reading our blog and Uganda project updates.

So ditch the morning coffee and o.j., leave out the lunchtime soda, and cancel the evening beverage. You won't need an ark for this 40 Days of Water, but you will need a little self-discipline and maybe a few friends to join you. But we know you can do it, because you know who you're doing it for. Make the choice.
We've provided the resources for you to organize your friends and family to get the word out and help you keep track of what you're saving. For registering your campaign below, we will send you two 'reminder bracelets,' one for you and one for a friend. Also, if you need a good way to remind yourself to only drinking water, order one of our Blood:Water Nalgene Water Bottles (BPA free).

At the end of the 40 Days you can donate online or by mail. Just make sure to let us know your donation is from the 40 Days campaign by writing "40 Days" in the comment section of the web form or the memo line on your check.
Also, tell us your story of what it was like to participate in 40 Days. What did you experience? What did you learn? What is different now that you have participated? You may choose to keep a journal or write down thoughts or experiences along the way. We'd love to share them with others.


Mailing Address:

Blood:Water Mission
c/o "40 DAYS"

P.O.Box 60381
Nashville, TN 37206

Will you join me in the 40 Days of Water?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sleep is overrated

I had a rather lovely evening last night, catching up with one of my best friends who recently moved across town. "Across town" doesn't sound too bad, except that the Portland-Metro area is sprawling, and "across town" means the polar opposite end...45 minute drive with no traffic. There's always traffic.
It's rare that we get to hang out because of this distance, but we chat and text regularly. Last night was a rare opportunity to actually SEE each other, have coffee and catch up on the mundane and not-so mundane of our lives. After a delicious coffee at Silk, we retired to the Japanese restaurant across the parking lot for some delicious miso soup and sushi. Aside from the thermostat being set at a very chilly 60 degrees F (fine if you're working, but freezing if you're just sitting and eating), it was a lovely meal, complete with inappropriately loud laughter and name calling.
We then ventured BACK across the parking lot to the Salvation Army, where I nabbed several books for less than $5.00 total. One is a traditionally bound book, with a fabric cover and it's old enough the boards have gone a little soft. It looks lovingly worn, and I can't remember the title to save my life, but the story sounded interesting as well. However, for $1.49, I'd have bought it just for aesthetics if the story was boring.
After bidding each other good night, I went home, thinking I was in time to sneak in and tell little M good night before she dropped off to sleep. No such luck, as the girl was put to bed early (long story, but she needs more sleep, and I'd forgotten we've been moving bedtime up), and was out like a light when I got home. So, I took a nice long bath, reading one of my new books. Then went to bed, read a while longer and finally put it down when I couldn't keep my eyes open.
So I fell asleep somewhere around 11pm.
This is not me
In the dead of the night, our door is flung open, and our little M is trying to get Matt to move over to make room for her in our bed. She chatters on as we try to sleep, and eventually rolls onto me and whispers in my ear "Mom, do you want to take me back to bed?" Um, yes? I can't sleep when she's in our bed, though I sure try.
Still not me
We traipse back to her room, she bundles up, and I read some Dr. Doolittle to her. Three chapters later, I'm nearly falling asleep reading, and she's still NOT ASLEEP. I finally say "That's all I"m going to read", and put it down. She knows not to argue with that, especially when it's the middle of the night! Sometime she finally fell asleep, around 30 minutes to an hour after we went in there. I also fell asleep, and at 4:30am I woke up and went back to bed, pausing to reset my alarm for later, and just resign myself to a very short work day today.
Up at 6:15am, then on my way, realized I have to get gas before I could get to work. I did so, and FINALLY arrived at work at 7:45. I prefer to be here at 6:30 so I can get in a full 8 hour day before leaving to pick up the girl.
Today will simply need to be viewed as a treat - less work!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy birthday to the love of my life

See that handsome man on the right, in the killer vest and yellow shirt combo? That's the style master I married. If this were a better quality picture, you might notice the green hair, black nails, and glitter.

14 years later, he's even more does that happen??

One of the things that attracted me to him is Matt's ability to hold a lengthy, intelligent, awesome conversation on nearly any topic. We used to talk for hours after school at the bus stop, and my mom eventually got me a pager (remember those?) so she could make me come home when she started freaking out.

This is pretty much how Matt is. Goofy, fun and happy. Who wouldn't want to be around a guy like that?

We were the odd couple in high school, the one other kids made fun of, gently calling us "the old married couple" etc. We still bicker like that, and yet...even high school we talked about having kids, parenting ideas, etc. This man is the most incredible father anyone could ask for, and I am blessed to be the one standing by his side, parenting with him to our beautiful daughter.

Matt has always had the strongest convictions of right and wrong of anyone I've ever met. The shirt he's wearing in this picture is one of those convictions - To Write Love On Her Arms is something you may have seen me mention here on the blog. Matt introduced me to this amazing organization of suicide prevention. They have helped countless people who had lost all hope, those who think there's nowhere to turn, who think they're worthless, who think no one loves them. This organization reaches out, and gives love to anyone and everyone. We spread the word about this as much as possible, but Matt especially, as I'm the shy one of our duo :)

Matt loves his family with all his heart. Even though he sat on his sister and broke her collarbone when they were little, things are fine now and they love each other like nothing else. And now that Casey's about to have a baby, and Matt helped name him (he suggested Tiberius as the middle name, and thus, geek out name was born, without it being horrible), he's very excited to be an uncle.
There is nothing this man wouldn't do for his family.

He gives the best hugs in the world. Little M's are a very close second. I could hug Matt until I die. I would die a happy woman.

Matt has always loved kids, always always always. I've always liked kids too, but my candle of like next to his roaring fire of love... LOL This is Justin, a boy who has been in Matt's life for years, the son of very close friends of the family. Justin is nearing adulthood now, and yet, this picture encapsulates the relationship that he and Matt still have. They're both men, yet they're not afraid to be silly and goof off, especially with each other. Matt has had a huge influence in Justin's life, and I am so happy to be here to see it unfold.

One of my favorite memories from years past...playing Chubby Bunny with the extended family at Thanksgiving each year. Matt's about 17 here, and I believe he won the contest. Never played Chubby Bunny? First you need a sense of humor and the inability to be embarassed. Then, a bag or three of jumbo marshmallows. Now, everyone who's playing lines up, and you go down the line, placing one marshmallow in your mouth, and say "Chubby bunny". as you reach the end of the line, start again at the beginning, adding another marshmallow....the person who has the most in their mouth and can still say "Chubby bunny" without losing any wins the game!

all in all, a wonderful 14 years I've spent with this man, my best friend, keeper of confidences, champion of the downtrodden, love of my life, stylish artist with an impossible memory...
My husband, Matt.

Happy birthday my love.

I will love you until the end of time.