Monday, February 27, 2012

Finally finished...

So, I'm not the fastest knitter.  And I'm inconsistent - I'll work for a few hours a few day in a row, get to a step that makes me nervous, and put it away for a month. And that explains why this Central Park Hoodie took me a year to finish.

But it's done.  It's far from perfect - if I were doing it over, I would do it in the next size down.  But as a "jacket" sweater to go over a couple of layers, I think it's going to work pretty well.  It's the first sweater I've ever knitted for myself (well, there was another, but again, size was an issue...), and I loved working with this yarn (Dream In Color Classy).

Ta Da!

I'm now nearly done with my next project - should wrap up tonight or tomorrow.  I hope to be back to share it soon! And then it's on to figure out a couple of little gifts for some very important baby boys on the way...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Project Life weeks 5-7...

Tomorrow night I will sit down to complete week 8 of Project Life. But today I realized that I hadn't shared the last few weeks.  Honestly, I am surprised that I have stuck with it as long as I have - but it's been so easy to document the little parts of our lives that I would otherwise forget.

Honestly, sometimes I struggle with picture-taking during the week - it feels like there's nothing extraordinary to share. But then I remember that the way we spend our day now won't always be the way they are spent, and that alone makes it worth the time.

So, here are weeks 5-7:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wahclella Falls

On Sunday, there was a break in the rain.  February is running out, and if I wanted to meet my goal of getting a hike in, this was the best opportunity. And, as usual, when I mentioned taking a hike, the boys were less than enthused. Fortunately, Dan was in, so score one for the parents.

We hopped in the car and headed to the Gorge (the area where the Columbia River divides Oregon and Washington) for a little hike that had been on my idea list for a while.  Wahclella Falls is only 40 minutes out of Portland, right near the Bonneville Dam.  It's a 1 mile in, 1 mile out hike with only 250 ft. elevation gain. The weather was relatively mild, and the water levels are high right now, so it was the perfect day to be out there.

Thirty yards into the hike, both boys forgot they were a little chilly.  They were amazed by the river, the mossy trees, and all that good nature stuff.  It was grey and cloudy, but that didn't take away from the beauty of the river. And when we were only a quarter mile in, we turned a corner only to find a large waterfall RIGHT NEXT to the trail.  A bridge was necessary to cross it, and the boys loved being able to stick their hands out and feel the mist.

And they were hooked.  For the rest of the trip there wasn't a single complaint, bit of whining, or an "I'm tired" to be heard.  Instead, they were amazed at how beautiful everything looked and had a great time searching out any little caves they could find along the way.

When we hit the halfway point, I realized we needed to head back more quickly so I could make it to my book club meeting in downtown Portland.  Both boys were disappointed to leave, but immediately started trying to bargain for the next time we could return. 

Some keys to our success?
1. It was a hike of very easy/appropriate length and difficulty.  There was enough of an incline in a couple of areas (as well as a pretty steep drop-off) to help the 4 year old feel challenged, but still very capable.  We didn't want to push them too hard this time - instead, we aimed for enjoyment.

2. With the waterfall at the end, there was a destination - a goal for them to look forward to. At the one moment the little one was feeling hungry, all I had to say was that we'd have a snack at the waterfall, and he was off. Which brings us to #3...

3. We brought food.  Yeah, it's a very short hike.  But for the boys, some trail mix made it a very worthwhile adventure, and snacking on the way back eliminated any low blood sugar issues we may have had since it was mid-afternoon already.

4. We gave them the camera.  Any time they saw something they wanted to take a picture of, we handed the camera over.  Their eyes were constantly on the lookout for things they wanted to capture.  Our oldest found himself on a search for any cool caves/caverns/holes to record.  The little one was happiest with shots of the trees and sky.  But giving them the camera opened their eyes.

It was a great trip, and with success like that under our belt, hopefully the next time I suggest going on a hike, they won't be so resistant.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Music in the air...

Quiet time was ending last Saturday, and I heard Dan pick up his guitar upstairs.  I was in the living room, sewing away to the tunes of the Avett Brothers.  I heard the boys heading up to the playroom, and after that, I stopped paying attention for a little while. 

Sew a seam, turn the fabric, sew a seam, turn, sew a seam, turn, sew the final seam.  Cut the threads, set the piece aside.  Begin a new one. I was in a rhythm. All was right in the world.

As I stopped to turn the fabric right side-out, I listened.  Quiet voices, gentle strumming. But lots of strumming. It was time to check things out.

When I got upstairs, this was what I found:

Love the tongue out in utter concentration
It was the best part of the entire week.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Project Life Weeks 3 & 4...

I've been running a little behind with posting my Project Life layouts.  As I look at them, I know I have a long way to go in my digital scrapbooking, but I am taking great comfort in having two more weeks documented. Without further ado, here are weeks three and four:

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Daybook Post...

Good things going on around here, but no time for a bigger post. So today here's a post from the Simple Woman's Daybook:


Outside my window the wind is howling, but the skies are clear.

I am thinking about friends and family far away.

I am thankful for quick healing of the little one. One day fevers I can handle.

In the kitchen are dishes ready to be put away.

I am wearing flannel pjs that have seen me through the last 15 years and are nearly perfect.

I am creating a cowl, some valentines, and a mess.

I am going back to work tomorrow armed with some favorite poetry.

I am wondering how early I can go to bed to read tonight.

I am reading The Language of Flowers, The Prosperous Heart

I am hoping to find the right buttons for a newly finished sweater.

I am looking forward to the day when the 30 minute run doesn't hurt any more.  I know it will come again, but  I'm just not there yet.

I am learning about light.  How to use it, love it, have it shape my photos.

Around the house are the sounds of Anthony Bourdain in Peru, the humidifier in the boys' room, and the purring of the cat.

I am pondering my next quilting project.

One of my favorite things is the calm at the end of a day when the to do list is mostly done.

A few plans for the rest of the week: sew, write, zumba.

A peek into my day...