The Last Six Months

I’ve been away for six months. Over six months, actually. As usual, it wasn’t an intentional absence. I barely thought about it one way or the other, I just sort of stopped blogging out of the blue. I tend to sort of stop whatever is going on in mid to late Feb as FIRST wraps up for the year and winter drags on. I become one with the couch, watching TV while wrapped up in a blanket. Eventually the weather warms and my drive to do something other than the daily tedium of life is renewed. And then I, eventually, come back here and let people know what’s been going on in my little world while I was away. Except that last part is usually in April, not September.

The last six months. Wow, a lot has happened. I guess any given six month period is like that; it is half of a year, after all. Let’s start at the beginning. This post is a doozy, so I’d recommend you get yourself a large beverage and some snacks before reading.

February

feb mosaic

No photos of this but I did another of my single days of skiing, this time on Gore Mountain near Albany (still with Alex and Shelly, per tradition). We stayed in a great bed and breakfast that had a five course breakfast. Yes, that is possible. I did quite well in my lesson, only falling a few times – the most notable being the first time Matt went with me up the bunny hill and I decided to try and sit fully down on the disc that pulled you up to the top. I tried to ski the next day but that was a disaster – my ankles were killing me too badly. I spent the third day reading and knitting at the same time – a first for me!

The Raven also won the Super Bowl which was pretty awesome. We had just landed and gotten back to the car when the power outage happened – we got to the house just as they resumed play.

I did keep up with my One Little Word project but failed to take any photos of my completed pages prior to tossing them all during one of my must-clean-up-office-now binges. I only regret this a little bit, if I’m honest.

I spent a day hanging out with Melissa, as she stuffed envelopes and double-checked addresses on her wedding invitations. I spent the time rambling and making a bunch of the little cards for future months of OLW.

FIRST ended in the middle of the month. The robot, well, it didn’t work when we had to put it away in its giant plastic bag. The frisbee shooter was downright terrifying the rare times it worked and the climber…well..I don’t think it worked yet, either. At least we all made it home by 9 pm.

March

I decided to go a bit nuts at Ulta and picked myself up a Bare Minerals kit. I wore it daily for a few weeks which became weekly. About now, it’s only when we’re going out to dinner or I have time to get myself ready before going somewhere with friends. Probably just as much to do with it being summer than anything else.

We also had our second of two snow events for the entire winter. I stayed home from work this time, thinking the reports of 10″ of snow would come true. Not so much. Maybe 1/2 an inch that I could have totally driven into and home from work in. But I am glad I didn’t risk it and just took the mental health day. I probably made monkey bread, as I often do when I’m home from work for a day due to weather.

April

april mosaic

The month started out like any other April (that sound ominous!). It was still pretty chilly – actually stayed that way until almost the end of May!

Because of the cold, all of the predictions for the cherry blossoms were way off. We picked a random Friday afternoon and drove to the tidal basin to take photos of the few that had showed up at that point. It was rather chilly and windy so only a few pictures turned out, sadly. The next week, they were gorgeous but we didn’t feel like dealing with all of the crowds.

The second full week of the month, I didn’t feel great. No sick per say but “off.” And I did some math and figured out I should probably take a pregnancy test. I waited three minutes, saw a negative, tossed the test, and moved on. The next day, felt even more off and decided to retake the test. Saw that it’s a 5 minute test and took another after work. I had told Matt about the first test but not this one – I figured it would probably be another negative and I wasn’t in the mood for one of his “I told you so” looks.

(Dramatic pause.)

Five minutes later…two pink lines.

I went through what I would tell him as I walked downstairs to his office. All that corny crap you see online went through my head but, come on, that’s not me.

“I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’m pregnant.”

I was shaking when I told him. His response “I had a feeling.”

Redid the test a whole hour later – positive again. So either our water is laced with something or I was actually pregnant.

Two days later, I happened to be taking the day off work to get some lights installed in our living room and called to make my first prenatal appointment. Of course, they make you wait until at least 8 weeks to come in so I had thee whole weeks to wait (and freak out, because, well, it’s me).

The month ticked by very very slowly. I kept trying to resist googling whatever random symptom I thought I had. I don’t think I’ve paid more attention to my bodily functions and random pains and what not so closely as I did those three weeks.

There was the robotics regional in Baltimore that very weekend. Yeah, five weeks pregnant, complete with the famed first trimester super sense of smell and I had to spend two days with sweaty teenage dorks. It was still a great time. Baltimore is a great place for a regional – not too much traffic, lots of cheap places to eat nearby, and just a better competition. The team did very well – we were selected to participate in the elimination rounds and BARELY didn’t make it past the first round. Everyone is very excited about what this means for next year.

Later in the month was Ben and Melissa’s gorgeous wedding on Embassy Row. First trimester exhaustion had kicked in so I wanted to be in bed by 9, whereas Matt was having a blast and was still going strong at Midnight. Then I pulled rank and we went home.

May

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My first appointment confirmed that I was, indeed, pregnant and that I was 7 weeks along, not 8. They talked about changing my due date to respond to this fact but haven’t to this day. Baby Leese is expected December 11. I calmed down quite a bit after that but I don’t think I took a single truly deep breath until I made it to the end of the first trimester, the next month. Twelve week appointment was perfect fine, though still measuring a week behind. We chose to do the first trimester screening which showed only a 1/10,000 chance of any of the defects they test at that point.

We went to Shenandoah for Mother’s Day weekend, where we told Matt parents. I was utterly exhausted all the time at that point. I barely made it through the Dark Hollow Falls hike, it that means anything. And I kept getting dizzy/sick on the twisty roads – especially when morning sickness decided to appear at the same time. But we relaxed and enjoyed the scenery. I took a good amount of rather mediocre photos.

Over Memorial Day, we went to Deleware as Matt’s cousins were getting together in honor of Maeg and Jeremy (and the girls) visited from Colorado. This meant we told them and some other cousins we’re closer to. It felt like we were doing something really wrong, telling people before the end of the first trimester. Anyway..we did the typical Deleware BBQ chicken thing and just hung out. Thankfully, it was a beautiful weekend and we didn’t even hit all that much traffic on our drive back.

June

spain mosaic

Most of June was spent in Spain. I’m sure things in our life happened before and after but I have no idea what. Other than me finally calming down about whether I was actually pregnant or not. I still hadn’t fully accepted the idea, but at least I stopped freaking out at every twinge. I had about three weeks of what I guess you would call morning sickness, period. Basically, I was queasy if I didn’t eat often enough and I didn’t really feel much like eating until halfway through the Spain trip. At least I had almost all of my energy back before we left.

We’d planned the big Spain trip for years. See, my mom did study abroad there back in the late 70′s. Yes, this means it was either still under Franco or just haven’t gotten out from under him when she was there – little bit of a different country now. I am so, so happy we went, even if I was easily tired out, especially in the heat. We also – finally! – got to tell my parents I’m pregnant. Right at sunset. On a rooftop balcony near the Sol plaza. I wish I could remember what they said. Mostly that they were happy/excited…then my dad called my mom “Granny Hall.”

I could talk forever about the trip. Mostly nice weather but a handful of 95+ degree days. Amazing food. Very friendly people who didn’t automatically switch to English when we faced language difficulties. All you can eat paella on the beach on the Costa del Sol. More than enough Renaissance artwork to keep Matt happy for year; enough Morrish artwork / architecture for me for ten. Six hours spent wandering slowly through the Alhambra (on, thankfully, “only” a 90 degree day). One 300 Euro bill for damaging a panel on the rental car – we were caught on a wall in Arcos de la Frontera. Lots of laughing at one another. A near-perfect last big trip before the baby arrives.

July

The first weekend of July was the annual Bontrager reunion. Many adorable children running about. Even more food. A bit of debate. Much more subdued this year, for some reason, though most of the usual crew was there. It wasn’t too hot but we had to cling to the shade offered by the trees. To my surprise, we actually had to tell most of the family our news; the one time the Bontrager rumor mill has been known to fail.

I don’t actually remember what else happened during July. Hot summer days, sure. Lots of research into baby and pregnancy-related stuff on my part. I think we picked a daycare.

Oh! We found our we’re having a girl late in the month. That was pretty big news. The 20 week ultrasound also showed everything is great with her, though she’s still measuring small. And I’m still listed as being due 11 December.

August

August was spent with Matt wrapping up a big work project and me working to train the person who will be taking over for me when I’m on maternity leave. I also did lots of research into baby products, in prep for setting up our registries. We went to Florida for a weekend to see my parents and ate the requisite amount of seafood, tried a new brewery, and went to the beach for only a few hours as it rained most of the time we were there.

I can’t remember what else we did – mostly work and relax when not at work. So, here’s what I looked like apprximately at the end of the month. Fully in the “looking pregnant” phase now though everyone enjoys commenting on how small I took – the fact I’ve maybe gained 8 pounds sincd before I was pregnancy probably helps. Heh.

25 weeks

September

Ok, not much has happened so far this month. We set up our registries and the shower is planned for mid-October (my mom is even coming up for it!). I just splurged on scrapbooking supplies and a pair of comfortable yet sort of ugly shoes to wear to work. The last few days I’ve been feeling more sore and my rings are starting to get tight. Hopefully third trimester will be as easy as the last two have been, though I know I’m nuts for thinking that.

That’s it for now…what’s new with you all?

Giving up 2012 / Remembering worth 2013

2012 was the year of giving up…and not in a I-will-no-longer-eat-fast-food sort of way. In a I-can’t-commit-to-anything sort of way. I was restless and unfocused and, overall, uninspired. At some point in the year I started then later gave up on scrapbooking, wearing makeup, photography, writing a memoir, cross stitch, knitting, crochet, blogging, sewing, running, watching the X-Files, embroidery. Only thing I really stuck to was reading (three cheers for the Kindle) and dying my hair (though partly because of the appointments made in advance).

I felt not good enough. My photos weren’t as great as those of others on Flickr or Instagram, especially because I wasn’t willing to dress up in a funny costume and never figured out how to clone myself with software. My current life had no excitement to blog about and my past was too boring to write about even within the confines of the notebooks that no one ever sees. My cross stitch was mundane; my attempts at a TARDIS embroidery untidy. My knitting (except socks, everyone always love their handknit socks) was unwanted. My attempts at cooking, bland. My attempts to mentor the students at FIRST, ineffective. My job search did go well at first because my suit didn’t fit properly (not because a great job was waiting for my within my own company – where I wore jeans to my interview). The only thing I could do correctly was eat, it seemed. Oh, and fall asleep reading. Totally mastered that this year.

So..what will be different in 2013? I’ll learn not to care. Okay, still care about important things like doing my absolute best at work and not dressing like a slob and making sure the bathrooms are clean when guests come over. But, not to care about things which are creative.

My friend Heather once told me that you can’t possibly fail at creativity. And, you know what, she’s right. No one dies if your embroidery is crooked or your photos is a bit blurry (call it “artsy”) or your mac-n-cheese is a bit runny.

Because, for the 100th time, all of my creative (and running, ’cause, you know, there’s that, too) efforts are worth it. Because, greater than that, I’m worth it. My time, my energy, my effort, my stash of craft supplies – all worth it.

What I’ve Been Up To

I’m still here, just busy with work and life. This’ll be a photo-less post, partly because I’m too lazy to dig through Flickr to find relevant photos, partly because I really don’t have that many. Maybe next week I’ll get back into the swing of things with posts with actual photos in them. Who am I kidding, it’ll probably be another month or two before I write another blog post with something that’s not just like “here’s my latest scrapbooking pages.”

So, what have I been doing? Well, working, knitting, scrapping, improving the house, enjoying the weather, planning vacation, and reading. Mostly working and reading (ok, and sleeping and eating but no one wants to hear about that).

Working

Don’t worry, no boring details. Just know that work is busy and while it’s sometimes overwhelming, I’m enjoying my current project.

Knitting

Ok, so I haven’t knit a single stitch in about three weeks but before that, I knit a shawl/scarf and about 2″ on a colorwork hat.

The shawl/scarf was Different Lines using bright blue and bright orange Neighborhood Fibre Co Studio Sock that I originally purchased to make the Steven West mystery shawl. It turned out HUGE and rather scarf-like due to how I blocked it. Of course, I forgot to really take photos of it once I gave it to the recipient (Anne, my Phi Rho big sister).

The colorwork hat actually isn’t one of the patterns I was trying to choose between a few months ago. It’s called Latvian Hat and I’m using Neighborhood Fibre Co in a white colorway that’s named, appropriately, after what Matt tells me is a very, er, racially non-diverse part of Baltimore and Miss Babs in Lilacs. Even though the pattern starts at the crown and gets larger, it’s still very slow to work a single round and the pattern requires rather a lot of conentration. It’s also at an awkward stage where it’s a bit too small to work on two needles comfortable but too large for only one. I put it aside once work got busy enough that I was only making myself more frustrated trying to work on it in the evening hours.

Scrapping

Despite not taking a whole bunch of photos lately, I have been keeping up with making at least one scrapbooking page a week. Some weeks, they’re rather unimpressive but it’s about recording what’s gone on, not always having a gorgeous page. I am going to try and pick up my picture-taking so it’s not quite so sad when I open up the week’s folder of photos and see only two in there. I’ll post pages from weeks 5 to I think we’re on 11 later this week. I also still need to finish the last few pages from our last Europe trip. I think maybe two need words then they’ll be done. Oh, and finally print some of these off, likely starting with Europe pages.

Improving the House

Nothing involving power tools or anything but quite an impressive list of small projects:

  • Hanging photos everywhere (my friend Lead provided opinions on good locales)
  • Installing a door sweep and fixing the screen on the porch door (Matt did most of this)
  • Picking out and trying a paint color for our bedroom (liked the color, will paint the whole thing starting this week)
  • Buying a new hanging birdfeeder – the old one had old feed permanantly stuck in it
  • Cleaning up the leaves / sticks / acorns / randomly strewn bricks in the backyard (Matt did most of the work here but I helped with some pickup and  moving of stuff to be picked up to the curb)

Enjoying the weather

Despite being mid-March, it’s been in the high 70s almost every day the last week or so, with mostly clear skies on top of it. We’ve already grilled out twice (burgers then chicken) and enjoyed several evenings of reading on the porch after work. I keep waiting for the weather report to talk about a return to colder temperatures but it’s supposed to remain warm at least for a few more days. Anyone know if this may mean I can get my hands on some good and not very expensive steamed crabs earlier this year than normal? The wait until Memorial Day may be the end of me. Ok, not really. I’m just impatient.

Planning vacation

Matt and I started a few weeks ago thinking about taking a summer vacation and where we wanted to go and all that. After lots of thinking and looking around, we decided we’re going to head to Ireland for 10 days in May.

Reading

Ever since Matt got me a Kindle about a month ago, I have been reading like a crazy person. I think the first book I read on it was an Agatha Christie book, quickly followed by memoirs, dystopian novellas, more Agatha Christie, two books about WWII with a time travel theme, and, most recently, a thriller. I won’t go into all of the details but you can check out what I’ve read on Good Reads.

So…what’s up with you all?

Year in Review (2011 Edition)

I was going to make this a post about how I did or didn’t meet my goals for last year then realized I never made any. Sure, I wanted to graduate but, really, was that ever in doubt? (Oh, I hope not.) So, again this year, a year in review.

January: Attempted, yet again, to blog daily which became weekly which became only when I felt guilty that I hadn’t blogged in awhile. Visited the National Building Museum. Started working with the TJ FIRST team. Mostly focused on coding my senior design project. Started a new job.

February: FIRST season concluded and senior design continued. Tried skiing for the first time.

March: Attended the St. Patrick’s parade in Old Town. DC FIRST regional held. Midterms and a big senior design deadline consumed my life. Spring break was spent working and doing school work. Attended Steph’s baby shower.

April: Life consumed by school projects, tests. etc. Traveled to West Point to attend a design competition (and really wished they didn’t have a rule about no AC before 1 may).

May: Wrapped up my last undergraduate semester. Graduated Suma Cum Laude. Celebrated Matt’s grandmother’s 90th birthday. Went to a color theory workshop with Ms Babs.

June: Started first full-time job (and it’s not so fun commute). Started looking at houses. Got back into sewing by making a few handbags (and failed at making myself a skirt).

July: Brutally hot month. Went to more open houses and house tours. Attended the first annual Bontrager cousins reunion in DE. Started digital scrapbooking five years of marriage.

August: Put a bid on a house, counterbid accepted, home inspection, mortgage application, and everything else invovled with buying a house. Felt not nearly as poor as expected at the end of the process. Really started my new job (assignment received). Started a quilt for the first time in four years.

September: Moved into the new house. Held a housewarming party with friends, family, and neighbhors.

October: Spent two and a half week exploring Spain, France, and Italy. Spent the rest of the month starting a new project at work and recovering from being away for so long.

November: Had Thanksgiving at our place, this time with Matt’s parents, Jesse’s family, Alison, and Lucy. Attended the DE reception for Caleb and Karen. Finished making a sweater for myself that actually fit.

December: Enjoyed a realitively warm December. Parents and brother visit for Christmas. Had first year of decorating our own house for Christmas (but settled for just a tree and some lights on a front window).

Ten Minute Update

I’ve only it ten minutes until bedtime so this will be super fast (but will, in no way, involve Elmo).

1. I finished the sweater I’ve been knitting since we got back from Europe and it fits! Photo session as soon as I convince Matt to help with the photo shoot.

2. Work is busy and stressful.

3. My only day off next week is Thursday. Before you feel sorry for me, realize I did just take a 2.5 week vacation and will get so very much done with everyone else out.

4. I have no clue what I’m going to knit next. I started a few things today but pulled out progress on every single one because they just weren’t working.

5. Here’s a photo of Willie.

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In my head

I have this great, mostly writte-up post all ready to go about how I’ve been so good and bought almost no yarn and have been knitting a ton and trading away yarn I don’t like. Then, well, MD Sheep and Wool happened. Yes, it’s this weekend and I’m not even attending but it resulted in my decided to buy some yarn from LYS from a vendor that’s going to MDSW, as the cool kids refer to it. So, yeah, not so good on the stash reduction on that front and now my post would just seem pathetic.

But, alas, I have all sorts of things filling my head I haven’t told you all about yet. Yes, this will be a list blog post.

1. I have been horrible about keeping up with Macro May. Not a single “real” macro photo since Sunday. I have a relatively free weekend so I should have time for more shots then.

2. I’ve knit four shawls in the last two months. Two have no recipient in mind (Haruni and Daybreak from my last post). No clue as to recipients, either.

3. I’ve had each of the following songs stuck in my head over the last week: I Feel Pretty (Dan and Cody’s fault), On the Street Where You Live, the “Children who refuse to learn, will not return” song from the Mary Poppins broadway soundtrack, and Country Girls.

4. I bought three albums last week: 99 Essential Spring Songs (Amazon only, all classical music), Best of Neil Diamond, Melissa Lambert’s latest.

5. I only have one project report and two finals standing between me and graduation. Starting to freak out about this fact.

6. I somehow managed to win a writing award at school. (Don’t laugh. I’m a much better writer in a technical forum than I am here. Here I mostly write like I talk – though without the figeting, odd faces, and hand movements.)

7. We’re having a Cinco de Mayo party with a few friends tonight. Matt’s been making things for it since Saturday. I’d have been happy just eating my weight in chips and tomatillo salsa.

8. I have yet to “set up” my chia elephant here at work. I tried to once but the chia seeds were duds. Purchased new ones this weekend but, alas, have nothing to soak said chia pet in (they gotta soak for 24 hours before you “plant” the seeds). Also, considering just trying to grow something like oregano instead of chia – would make cubical smell rather nice.

9. Cannot wait to do the ceremonial tossing of the school files once I receive all of my grades.

10. Thinking of wearing a knitted icord or crocheted chain at graduation, just because. And because the only other thing around my neck will be green/gold honor cords (magna cum laude!). Mom, I know you’ll disagree but it’s better than the “water wand” things Dad made his AP Chem students that one year.. (or did he just talk about that?)

11. I’ve been trying to make dinner one day a week, though it’s turned more into a day a month. Using mostly recipes from America’s Test Kitchen or Cook’s Country. I like that they assume you have no clue what you’re doing. I know in theory, then freak out when I’m actually left to do things by myself. Thankfully, I’ve got Matt to help me out when I freak out so much I can’t even figure out how to use our manual can opener.

12. I am rather desperate for new clothes. Went through my closet and got rid of everything that was too faded or falling apart to wear. Left me with 15 days of outfits. After removing things I will simply never wear again, I’m down to 8 days worth (including dresses which I rarely wear). This is after what felt like a giant shopping spree Saturday when I bought a dress, two tops, and three pairs of jeans. Yeah, really do need to do some more clothes shopping before I start the new job. And shoes to wear with the new dress (it’s dark blue, all nice shoes are black). Sometimes I rather dislike being female; Matt buys most of his clothes at Costco.

13. Matt’s dad is coming down Saturday to help clean the basement in preparation for my parents’ visit at the end of the month. It’s a total disaster between the fact we’re never down there and it’s where the cat box is located. Plus, stained, original to the house linolium tiles. Feel pathetic that I need help to clean it but even spending hours doesn’t seem to get anywhere. The man’s a cleaning genius so it should be dramatically improved. Also, I plan to hang out down there more often this summer. Just need to hook up the Wii to the TV so I can stream Netflix and keep a fuzzy blanket on the futon to curl up in. I could use the alone time to write more. What’s the female version of a Man Cave?

14. We only have the most basic cable plan. And, even that we were going to get rid of but it’s actually cheaper to have it than not due to the bundling with our internet. I don’t often miss it, but for one thing: Dr. Who. I was able to catch the first episode at Matt’s parents’ house but the last one, well, not so much. I’m going to have to turn to iTunes which means $3 per episode (yeah, $60 per season, approx). Expensive, yes, but I must remind myself that that’s less than a single month of the cable package required to see it. And I’m highly to re-watch the episodes multiple times (versus Top Chef which we also downloaded last eason and have zero desire to watch again).

Almost

To put it simply, I haven’t felt like myself for a month and I’m finally starting to get myself back.

Almost.

I won’t dwell on how or why I haven’t felt like me but, rather, what’s been helping me to get to being myself again.

Of course, Matt has helped immensely. He let me have only very temporary pity parties but also made me eat even though my jaw hurt*, go to the farmer’s market and have friends over for dinner when I didn’t feel social, work on my project although it was after bed time, took me to a big box craft store when I wanted to try cross stitch again, and even sat through a Disney cartoon when I was feeling nostalgic.

And then there was crafting. Crafting both makes me feel better and helps me to realize when I’m not feeling like myself. So it helped and didn’t, all at the same time.

I did a little cross stitch.

Back to it

Also, some knitting for baby Ada. Finished a blanket for her (no photos yet) then made a BSJ with the scraps.

BSJ for Ada, Pt 2

And, then there’s the trip planning. Both a short trip in the near term and our big European trip in the fall. Almost every day, Matt has some new question or fact related to that trip to distract me with. Plus promises of finding the jewelry shop in Venice where he got my engagement ring.

Finally, reminders that graduation isn’t that far off. Just over two months away. I have the announcements and the cap and gown to prove it.

I may not feel like myself yet, but I know that this “almost” should turn into “completely” very soon.

* Sore jaw due to four dentist appointments in 10 days which helped diagnose and treat what had been a multi-year problem with a single tooth. After a round of anti-biotics and a root canal, all is pretty much normal.

Random? Random.

As usual, I’ve got a million things on mymind and some combination of “I don’t have time to blog” or “I don’t feel like blogging” means you’re stuck with a list post for today (with the requisite random photos).

1. Finished knitting the alpaca shawl and hoping to block it soon, though I really don’t know when. The cats have taken to taking naps on the futon I usually block things on. May just block on my side of the bed, starting one of these days when I get home well before Matt. I can point the fan at it to help the drying process, right? It has no destined recipient so it’s not as if there’s a big rush.

2. Have finished knitting the scarf for Leah and am now working on a single crochet edging to help stop some of the curl. After that’s done (hopefully shortly after I get home from work this evening), I’ll toss it through one or more machine wash cycles to “block” it. Really, really want to get it to Leah tomorrow though Monday (when I would see her next) seems more likely.

3. No progress on the gloves for my coworker due to the concentrated work on the other projects.

4. First sock for Danielle is done, second is only a few rows away from starting the heel turn/gusset (whichever comes first on a cuff-down sock).

5. I have applied for graduation with the university, filled out my departmental paperwork, and even bought graduation announcements. Yet, still, I can’t seem to wrap my brain around the fact I’m actually, FINALLY graduating.

6. Next knitting project I’ll start will likely be a blanket for Dan and Shelagh though I’m waiting on them to pick yarn/colors.

7. If I finish the gloves and am itching for another WIP to work on, I’ll probably be good and finally finish up the sweater I started for myself months ago. Just needs 1.25 sleeves and a good blocking.

8. Been very much slacking on my daily self-portraits. Missed taking one altogether last Thursday. I blame the fact we had friends over for dinner though, really, I had no excuse. I even had my camera downstairs! Look, I took this photo of the flowers Matt got me.

Flowers

9. Turned in abstract for my project to a conference/competition at UVA. Project is going in a different direction, yet again. I’m not too bothered, really, as it’s more of a change to the wrapper of our projec than it’s core.

10. The robot ships a week from today. I doubt Matt will be on the same planet as me before then. I’m still quite distant from what’s going on with the team as I’m only at their Saturday meetings and, well, I’ve been doing my own school work then. Maybe I’m helpful in showing that women are engineers? The school is a fancy engineering/science prep school with a good 50% female population, so it’s not as if the girls don’t think they can go into this field, but it’s another thing altogether to know the female engineer isn’t something their teachers made up.

11. It was super warm for a few days but today, back to very windy and upper 30s. Thankfully, more warmth is coming later this week.

12. We’re thinking of going to Europe this fall. Matt has a new idea as to where every time we talk about it. This time, we’re going for at least two weeks. Sort of tired of rushing around for 8 days and just plain getting worn out versus relaxing.

Flake-itude

Once upon a time, I could keep simple promises. Promises like blogging weekly and reading freinds’ blogs then commenting. Apparnetly I have now succombed to what I’ll call Flake-itude. When you adopt of the attitude of a flaky person.

But, I will try to shake my current affliction and get back to blogging. Maybe even multiple times this week. Gasp!

So, what’s going on in my life?

School project is crazy.

Other class is easy (learning about inventory control which I learned at a previous job).

I’m starting to figure out what’s going on at work (at last!).

Went skiing for the first time Saturday and didn’t manage to kill myself despite the fact I had the wrong skis and bindings. Will try again at the end of the month. I won’t say I enjoyed myself though I did much better than I expected.

Booked a giant pavillion which will house my graduation party in May. Plan is to get BBQ from a place in Annapolis and invite basically everyone I know, even if they don’t live nearby.

I read a book. It was for class, but it’s the first book I’ve even tried to read this year. I’ll lead my review of the book for a later blog post.

I’ve been doing lots of knitting and a little crochet. And that’s where this post’s photos come in.

The oldest WIP I’m actually working on is this shawl in Ultra Alpaca Fine. I have no idea who to give it to when it’s complete, I just know there is no earhtly way I could wear it against my neck. Alpaca’s fine for me to knit with but, man, does the stuff make me itch everywhere else. Does one of you in blog land want it? It’s a beautiful crescent shape with a simple, traditional lace edging.

Progress

Next is a scarf for Leah, of which I have no recent photo. It’s now a good 30 inches long so far more distance to go before it’s complete. It’s large enough that I can no longer tote it with me to/from work or school though I must get better about actually working on it. She’s a great friend and I don’t want to get the scarf to her after it’s already warmed up enough not to need it. [Yarn is Berroco Weekend]

Scarf for Leah

Then there’s these fingerless gloves I started to crochet for a coworker but got stalled on when I got to the second one. These’ll get finished real quick once I pick them up again. [Yarn is Neighborhood Fibre Co Studio Sport in a OOAK colorway named L'Enfant Plaza.]

Half Done

Finally, another pair of socks for Danielle in squishy Sanguine Gryphon Bugga!.

7 Feb - Cold Toes

So much for that…

For the last couple weeks, I kept posting my daily post on Thursday. I knew this and fully planned to write a post yesterday. Too bad all sorts of things conspired together and I didn’t actually get that post written. I also almost forgot to take my daily self portrait.

Oh, right. I don’t think I’ve said anything about that here. I’m trying, yet again, this year to take a self-portrait daily. With a brand-new camera and a year that’s going to be full of all sorts of big changes in my life (hello, college graduation!), it was the perfect time to try again. So far, I haven’t missed a day.

I can’t say all of my shots have been wonderfully inspired. Some are just quick iPhone shots of me during my commute or sitting at my desk at the end of the day, but there’s always a picture. On more exciting days, I’ve been trying really hard to record what happened to make that day important/special/impactful (yes, it’s a word). Way to record my life, even though it’s usually pretty mundane.

Outside of this photo project and forgetting to blog, I’m working on getting back into the swing of things with school and work. I only have two classes so most days are spent at work, not at school. That’s going to take a lot of getting used to, as I was only working 8-10 hours a week last term.

But, only 15 weeks of school left and my classes aren’t that bad. Senior design is complicated and stressful but, really, that’s expected. My last operations research class looks like it’s going to be easy and the professor is a good combination of informative and interesting (though he voice is so soothing, it makes you want to sleep in class).

Oh! And the crafting. I finished that blanket for Steph and Kevin and the socks I’ve been working on for Danielle since early December. Also slowly plugging away on an alpaca shawl for some as of yet undetermined recipient. Feeling guilty that my cardigan I started for myself in late November still has only 3/4 of its first sleeve (though the body is all done). Started the next pair of socks for Danielle though the dark color of the yarn she chose is obfuscating the pattern horribly. Just this morning, started a pair of fingerless gloves (crocheted) for a coworker with permanantly cold hands.

Exciting, huh?

Today’s random blog photo is of a prototype for the claw the students designed. Search my blog for FIRST and you’ll find previous posts about the high school robotics program I work with. New school, same concept. [Though these kids can all solder, machine, weld, and draft far better than I can. It's nuts!]

Claw Prototype 002

Later, all!