Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Sweater Central

So, I found a great baby sweater pattern, and I've since fallen in love with it. It's the first clothing (besides hats) I've ever crocheted, and it turned out to be a great pattern to start with. The problem is, now I have a couple of little sweaters sitting in my livingroom that I need to find homes for. First, let me show you one that is already being loved on. It was the first one I made.

Next is the one I call the Watermelon sweater. You can see it in an earlier post, but I will put it in again so you don't have to go hunting. This one is about a 6-9 month size, lime green with hot pink edging and flower, and it zips up the back (they all do so far) so your baby can't wiggle out and escape.

The most recent addition is this one. It is a rose color with a slightly darker scallop edge around the hood, cuffs, and bottom. It's about a 24 month size. I am asking $30 for each of these, and that includes shipping in the continental US.

This one is my favorite. I made it for my friend's baby. She just got it today, so I don't have any pictures of him in it yet. I will be sure to post when I do. I used a much more expensive yarn on this one, and it is a lot thicker than the others I posted. It would cost $50 for me to make another with this same yarn, but it turned out beautiful! It's going to be great for our uber-cold Montana winters!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


It's all Relative

With the holiday season right on top of me, it's hard for me not to think about my family. My screwed up, dysfunctional, absent family. I have wrestled my whole life with trying to figure out where I fit in. It's a long story, and you probably wouldn't believe it if I told you, so I will do my best to just give you a quick outline. My dad was married and had five kids (one outside his marriage), and my mom was married and had two, both with different fathers, and in 1973, they married each other. I was born in 1978, the youngest by eight years. My dad was significantly older than my mother, so I have siblings old enough to be my parents...Anyway... My parents were divorced when I was five, and my mom remarried instantly. A few years later, my dad remarried his first wife. And it all rolls downhill from there.

Most of my siblings were either adults, or close to it by the time I was born, so I have had very little contact with them. In fact, I have several nieces and nephews that are near my age that I would be more likely to connect with, or so you would think. My step-mother has always treated me like I was an unwanted interruption in her life, so we have never had a relationship worth talking about. I had one sister who used to have me come stay with her from time to time, and I thought that was a bond I could count on. In the last year I have come to realize that there is a big difference between "family" and "relatives."

Last June my husband and I moved our family to Billings, following his job one more time. It was close to family, his and mine, and we thought it would be a good move. As an adult, I wanted to reach out to my brother, two sisters, and numerous nieces and nephews who live here in town. For once I wanted to feel like I had a place in this family. I felt the need to get to know them, to have a reason to love them, to finally have a connection. It became much harder for me to want after my dad died four years ago, but I decided to give it a try.

Last year we spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at my sister's house. My kids loved her family, and especially playing with the dogs. We went trick-or-treating there, and hunted Easter eggs there. They bought Boy Scout popcorn from my son, magazines and Girl Scout cookies from my daughter, and stayed at my house one night when I had to take my infant to the ER. And on Memorial Day, I posted a status update on Facebook about missing my dad and not even having a grave to visit (he was cremated), and two of my nieces twisted it around and fed it to my step-mother. It got completely out of hand to the point that I had to call her and fight to explain myself, to justify why I had the right to my feelings. And that was the end.

After that incident, I was asked to not have any contact with them anymore. My kids ask me several times a week if they can go to Auntie's house. How am I supposed to explain to them that Auntie doesn't want to be our family anymore? That the cousins they had grown to love threw that popcorn, those cookies, and other "favors" they had done back in my face and broken my heart? Just this afternoon my almost seven year old daughter asked if we were going back for Thanksgiving next week. What should I say to her?

I guess what it comes down to is this: I will have to explain to my children the difference between family and relatives. You don't have to be related to someone to love and be loved by them. Your relatives don't have to love you just because they should. Blood isn't always thicker than water, as the saying would have us believe. Sometimes friendship is more than that, and a last name in common is merely a coincidence.

It's taken a heartbreak, but now I know who my family is.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The Watermelon Sweater

I'm sure everyone on Twitter is sick of hearing about my dang sweaters, so I will post it here and give them a rest...for now. I just finished this sweater. It is probably a 6-9 month size, lime green with hot pink trim and flower, hooded, and zips up the back (so your baby can't escape!). I am selling it for $30, which includes shipping. If you are interested, let me know.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Winner, winner, chicken dinner...sort of.

Hey! Check out this guy's blog! He'll make you laugh, cry, and really think. Plus, sometimes he gives things away!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

1 .

Days Like This

The song tells us how "Mama said there'd be days like this" but it doesn't tell us Mama will be the one to set the course of the day. There are a number of good points to living less than two miles from my mother. On the other hand, we live less than two miles from my mother.

For the first nine years of our marriage we lived over 600 miles from all of our family. Finally, just before our fourth baby was born early in 2008, I convinced my mom that she needed a change. I was a little shocked when she agreed, packed her stuff, and moved into the same apartment complex as us. It was great having her there to watch the three older kids so I could care for our extremely over-sensitive, usually screaming newborn. When my husband was transferred back to small-town Montana four months later, we brought her back with us.

Don't get me wrong, it definitely has its perks, but mornings like today make me wonder if it's worth it. I've found that our differences in personality, homemaking, and child rearing make it a lot more difficult to see each other on a daily basis. She's lived a tough life, become a lot more irritable and impatient, and always seems to expect the worst, no matter what the situation.

I did manage to escape the mom induced funk by hitting the mall with some of my favorite girls this afternoon. Mom called to apologize, and I'm feeling better, so I guess even with days like today, it's totally worth it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


My "Phantom" #fail

I read a book several years ago by Dennis and Barbara Rainey called "Building Your Mate's Self Esteem." One of the first chapters is all about overcoming your "phantom", the image you have of yourself, the unreal expectations you set for yourself, your unreachable goals. In reading this chapter I realized that my own phantom was waaaay out of control, or more precisely, in control of my life. Though I am aware of this issue, I still have days when my phantom comes out to haunt me. Today was one of those days.

From the moment I woke up this morning, everything felt off. I had a headache, which is never an indication of an easy day. My kids had been awake for over an hour and had completely demolished the living and dining rooms, both of which had been clean the night before. By 9:00 am, the phantom had taken hold, mentally preparing my overwhelming list of achievements for the day. Before I knew it, I was behind. By noon, I was feeling so overwhelmed that I sat down to crochet, knowing I could never get caught up again. And when my husband left for work shortly thereafter, I burst into tears at the failure I had become. In my mind I kept playing out my failures as a parent, as a wife, and especially as a homemaker. I'm pretty sure that's when I took a fork to the birthday cake in the kitchen. Add healthy lifestyle to the list of casualties in my day.

Now I know that I can't possibly be a failure at everything, but days like today really make me wonder. I did finally get the kids to do there chores, after much prodding and annoyance. I did cross a few things off the list myself. I realize now, though, that my phantom did its best to make me doubt myself and my abilities. With a clear head, and a dirty kitchen, I will drift off to sleep tonight knowing that it will all still be there tomorrow so I can try again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Well, it's only the first day, right?

I'll admit it. My calorie intake for today was about 900,000. Yesterday was my mom's birthday, so we had pizza for dinner followed by the richest chocolate cake I've ever placed on my tongue. I had to throw about half of the frosting away, no lie. Not to mention the peach turnover I had for breakfast. I'm convinced that because peaches are fruit that it really doesn't count though. I've still managed to beat the soda temptation, so I'm calling it progress and moving on.

In other news, I started a new crochet project tonight. No, I'm not done with the green sweater yet, but this is an easy scarf, so I'm going to hurry up and finish it, then go back to the sweater. I also got a great deal on some Vanna's Choice yarn today. Now I just need to get to work and finish some things so I can send them off to my friend to add to her table at the annual Church Christmas Bazaar. I also have another scarf order in, but am having a hard time finding just the right yarn to make it. Yet another joy of living in Buffalo Chip, Montana. (That isn't the town's actual name. It just expresses my feelings toward this place.) Maybe next year when I say I am going to work on projects all year so I will have an inventory built up by December, I will actually do it. (Please do not start holding your breath.)

I guess all I can say now is that tomorrow is another day, and I will try to make the best of it. For tonight, I'll just be me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Goal #1

My first weightloss goal is going to drop out of the 200's. I'm not telling you my current weight (and it's rude to ask, FYI), but I would like to see 199 by the end of January. I know it's reachable, but this time I'm not going to beat myself down if I don't make it. I will do my best every day, and that's all I can ask of myself. Here are some helpful steps I need to take:

Stop drinking soda (I actually did this about a month ago. I miss you, Mountain Dew...)
Start drinking water. Lots of water. Entire lakes of water. (I hate water.)
Get in some exercise, no matter what it is. (I'm not entirely fond of you either, Leslie Sansone.)
Eat healthier, or at least eat less. Portion size is my downfall.

So that's where I will start. I'm pretty sure I will need your help, so keep me accountable. Ask me how I'm doing. Just don't ask me what I weigh...yet.
1 .

Goodbye Fatty!

In this world of do more, spend more, play more, moremoremore, I have chosen "eat more" as my personal anthem. I've never met a hunk of sugar I didn't like, and even if I had, I would try it twice...just to be sure. I've gained weight...and gained weight...and gained more weight. I have plenty of viable excuses for the weight gain, but I'm to the point that even I don't believe most of them. I still tell people that it's because my husband is an amazing cook, or because he manages a great steakhouse, and of course it's because I've had four babies. Still, when I realize that the "baby" is almost two, and I don't even eat at the restaurant all that often, I know that there is something else. There has to be some underlying issue that is keeping me this way. I've come to the conclusion that there are several. Let's take a dip in Lake Me...

First and foremost, my biological family is made up of drunks and crazies. I won't go into detail. Just know that they aren't going to be on the cover of Family Fun magazine any time soon. (Though keep an eye on the Springer show. It's really only a matter of time.) I've spent my life trying to fit in and find my place. I've come to the realization that my place isn't in this family.

On the other hand, maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm too lazy to do anything about my weight. I pay for a gym membership that I never use. I live in an apartment complex with a gym on site that I walk past occasionally. I don't even know how many exercise DVD's I own.

I like to blame it on life in general. I just don't have time with the hours my husband works (though his shift normally starts at 2pm), and with so many kids in the house (well, three are in school all day, but that's not the point), and I'm so tired by the end of the day (because I stay up all hours of the night waiting for previously mentioned husband to arrive home from work). Let's not forget to take into account the physical fitness (mostly a lack thereof) of my parents. Both diabetic, morbidly obese, and outwardly unhappy with their lives, and my father died with so many other health issues that I would have to start another blog just to name them all. It's a metabolic legacy I'd like to do without.

At any rate, I've decided that I'm done. I'm tired of being the fat girl. I will do what it takes this time to make it to my goals, to be happy, healthy, fit, and in control of my life and mental state. And so I shout it from the rooftop (or maybe from my second floor window) "Goodbye Fatty! Hit the road, and take these frumpy, old lady clothes with you!"