Monday, February 27, 2012


This week is a big exercise in mental, physical, and emotional preparation for change. I just completed my final residency program for graduate school. I have 3 weeks left of my current classes then I'll have two more classes to complete before I start my six month internship. During my internship I'll finish up two final classes and then graduate in December. I know that sounds like a lot but the end is finally in sight (at least for my masters anyways, still debating going for my doctorate...). So, I'm preparing to move from class taking mode into internship mode in just a few months. I'm also preparing to take on a new, full-time nanny job next week. That means that the time I've had during the day for the last 8 months to do laundry, schoolwork, pay bills, grocery shop, and keep up the charity is about to be gone. But I need the money and I'll be helping a friend out so I can make it work for a few months. I'm also preparing to go back to Romania. I've set a little reminder using the iPhone app "Commit" to help me stick to my language studies for the next few months. My friend Connie who lives in California and runs Project Hope is moving overseas and has very generously gifted me with some of her Romania language learning materials. I'd love to be fluent one day but for now I'll just be looking forward to understanding a little better and being able to ask something more than, "Where is the petrol station?" Another aspect of my nanny job is that it's an hour drive to and from my house each day. In order to save my sanity (and on gas and wear and tear on my car) I'll probably be staying 2-3 nights each week with my parents (who only live 30 minutes away from my new job). This may actually be good in preparing for a possible, more permanent move, to their home. It depends on if I have a roommate by May or not. Or I could be moving to my grandparent's house, depending on my internship. Either way, I'm preparing for a possible move. So, yeah, lots of preparing going on around here.

This morning I was able to open up a Cafe Press shop to help fund raise for my trip. I've had some friends and family who have graciously agreed to create some designs for me free of charge and the ones I have so far look awesome! All the proceeds from the shop will go towards my trip which is currently sitting at a $3000 price tag. Go check it out and buy some stuff :)
My favorite design (so far) that's up in the shop.

I've also been slowly working on some knitting projects. Sadly the wedding blanket has not been touched in a few weeks. I left it at home when I went to my residency program because it's getting to big to transport so I haven't done any new work on it. I completed the 5th block which means I'm officially half way done with the thing.

My sister in law's socks have been growing a bit too. I wanted these done by the end of the month but I'm thinking that might not happen now :(
I have about 2 inches to go before I can start the heels. I'm shooting for 2" of work on these each night. That should make fairly short order of these. If I can stay focused.

I finished the Citron shawl and washed and photographed it.
I love the white and dark purple at the bottom. The shawl ended up turning out really nice and not too terribly big at all.

I also washed, blocked, and photographed the Mossy Ridge socks (finally).
But they have been finished for awhile.

And then I did a bad thing. A very bad thing. I started another charity project. I wanted something portable that wasn't worked on size 2 needles (like my SIL's socks are). So I started an EEROP Year Long KAL project: the ScWiNoNa scarf.
It's made up of left over worsted weight yarn I had lying around, mostly Cascade 220 (or so it feels). The orange bit is Malabrigo and will be the last section. I've just joined and knit the new color until it runs out. I had two more partial skeins I could add but it's almost the end of the month and it will be plenty long as it is.

I hope you're preparing for March too!

Project count up:
Charity: 4 completed, 1 on the needles
Self: 0
Family and friends: 2 on the needles

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

I don't usually do posts on holidays. Usually I forget about important dates (like my blogiversary) or I'm too busy doing other stuff (like at Thanksgiving and Christmas). But today I wanted to write about Valentine's Day. It looks different for me this year. Typically I could care less. The running record for the last 3 or 4 years has been to be single and a little bit whine-y and depressive. Again, this year is different. Instead of musing over how I'm still waiting for my Boaz I thought I'd tell you about the loves of my life who melt my heart faster than one of those big chocolate hearts left outside on summer day in Miami, my Romanian boys.
It's crazy to think that a year ago at this time I didn't know your names or faces.
It's crazy to think of the instant connection I felt to you.
The way my heart pounded with true love the first time you took my hand.
I marveled at how you chose me.
How you wanted to be near me.
How God brought us together in a supernatural way.
The same blood does not course through our veins.
I wasn't there the day you were born.
But that makes you no less my children.
That doesn't mean I care any less for you.
No one could ever replace you in my heart.
My heart which is filled to bursting when I see you smile.
And though we spend most days apart, you are on my heart and in my mind all day, every day.

Love you guys and can't wait to see you again!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sucker Punched

My friend Jonathan made the speculation today that "It seems like winter was just hiding until it could jump out and sucker punch us in February." True, true. I don't think I turned on the heat at all during January and I know for sure I wore short sleeves at least once last month. But now it's game over. The temperatures have been hovering around freezing and the wind has been gusting at 35 miles per hour all weekend. I came home on Saturday night from a baby-sitting job/visit with friends and immediately went to turn on the heat. The heater ran for 2 hours with no change in temperature. I called maintenance and I'm running on "emergency heat" (yes, that's an actually setting on my thermostat) until they can come look at it tomorrow. At least I have this magical "emergency heat" or this would have been a very unpleasant weekend.

I've really been loving the Year of Knit Alongs that I'm hosting on the Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project's Ravelry page. Every month I've managed to pick some designs that people are actually pumped to do. Of course I like them, I picked them! I finished the Mossy Ridge Socks (sadly no picture). And started a Citron Shawl. As per my last post I decided to make this using worsted weight wool because the thought of actual lace kind of gives me hives. So I picked out a light purple yarn and some size 6 needles and started plugging away.
I knit the whole first section and started the second. But something was bothering me. The yarn is acrylic (don't shoot me, I have a lot that needs to be used up and I'm broke). The needles are kind of small for any worsted weight. The combination of the small-ish needles and the unforgiving acrylic was too much. My hands were killing me. So, I did the only sensible thing to do and ripped the whole thing out. I didn't want to do it but I knew I would have been miserable if I didn't. There was a whole episode with the ball winder and the skein tangling and me cursing and then cutting up bits of acrylic yarn and threatening to burn it and then I was done and I had this:
3 decent sized balls and a tangled mess which I promptly threw in the trash. One thing I will not do is cry over tangled acrylic. Then I grabbed up a pair of size 10.5 needles and started once again. Much better. In 13 days I now have this to show for it:
I nearly completed shawl. I'm on the edging right now as we speak. Just 5 more rows to go and this bad boy will be finished. I'd love to do some more charity knitting but I think that the rest of this month will be devoted to projects for other people. I've set a goal to finish my sister in law's socks this month.
Which means I better get going. And I also want to finish at least a square and half of the wedding blanket.
Which might actually be do-able since I'm already almost half way through the next block (the black one on the right in the picture above). The blanket will be easy because it's mindless and I can work on it while I read articles for school online. The socks are another thing. I kind of have to pay a little more attention to them. Either way just these two projects are coming with me when I go on a little road trip for school next week. Stay tuned to see if I can meet my goals!

Project count up:
Charity: 3 completed, 1 on the needles
Self: 0
Family and friends: 2 on the needles