Reasons to Love Maryland

We’ve lived in Maryland for more than three years now.  I never would have guessed that I’d have ever lived in Maryland (or Illinois, but that’s another story), but over the years I have grown to love it.  Here are some of the reasons:

1.  The annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival:  a party where people bring their yarn and sheep?  I’m totally in.

2.  Blue is my favorite color.

3.  The different towns that I’ve visited within the state all have a distinctive flavor.  Just in our county, you can tell when you move between Bethesda and Chevy Chase and Kensington and Rockville.  I like that a lot more than suburban sprawl (which seems like a strip mall wasteland to me).

4.  We get to experience all seasons here, without any of them being so extreme that it dominates the others.  We have a nice hot summer, a distinctive fall, a cold and snowy winter, and a flowery spring.

5.  The city called “Havre de Grace” is pronounced like it is spelled “Haverty Grace”, instead of something French sounding, like one might assume.

6.  It is relatively close to most of the places we might travel.  New York City is an easy drive (even with two little ones in the back!), we just drove to Connecticut this weekend, I’ve driven to North Carolina from here.  There are a bunch of airports near here, which makes flying further out easier and less expensive.

7.  Beautiful children are born here.  Case in point:

Hazel

Hazel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.  Rock Creek Park is beautiful and has been the source for some of my favorite photos.

9.  I get to experience DC whenever I want without losing my right to vote, or having to live in DC.

10.  We have amazing friends here, without whom we would be lost.

11.  And, finally, there is a bit of a feud between Maryland and Virginia.  People in Virginia think that Maryland is dirty and gross, people in Maryland think that Virginia (northern VA, at least) lacks character.  I love a good feud, and fuel it whenever I can.

12.  Maryland has the highest median income in the US, and who doesn’t love rich people?

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50 Things I Love

Because imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, I hope Katie won’t mind that I’m totally copying her.  Some things, like my husband and children are obvious so I’m not putting them.

Some things that I love right now:

  1. Puns
  2. Singing Kool and the Gang‘s <i>Celebration</i> when Oliver uses the potty.
  3. Naptime
  4. Working
  5. Coming home
  6. Riding in an airplane all by myself
  7. Knitting
  8. Matt Damon
  9. Big cities
  10. Driving down the road with music blaring, singing at the top of my lungs, dancing like a maniac, and looking over and seeing the person in the lane next to me is watching me and that I have totally just made his morning.
  11. m&ms with my coffee
  12. Babies’ skin.  I love how soft and smooth it is, like it has never had a worry or been disappointed
  13. Karaoke Revolution
  14. Cooking
  15. Office supplies.  I know it’s weird, but having a drawer full of blank, lined paper makes me happy.  Also, clicky pencils.
  16. Diet Coke
  17. Blue
  18. Painted walls
  19. Taking pictures
  20. Pirate jokes
  21. The West Wing
  22. Britney Spears
  23. Manos, the Hands of Fate
  24. Rings.  I wish I had one for every finger.  I have fat fingers though, so it’s hard to find.
  25. Vanilla ice cream with magic shell chocolate on top.  Mmmmm.
  26. That I got my belly button pierced again
  27. Tank tops
  28. Boots!
  29. A new computer
  30. Shopping with Kullervo, without the kids
  31. Making people laugh (probably everyone likes this)
  32. Gmail chat
  33. Papa John’s pizza with pineapple (and the garlic sauce)
  34. Oliver’s paintings
  35. Surprising creative things that I come up with and then implement, and that turn out as good or better than I had hoped, like this
  36. Doing gender atypical things (for example, changing my own oil in my car, which I did for years)
  37. Chocolate milk
  38. Cupcakes (hee!)
  39. New York City
  40. Redecorating when Kullervo isn’t home
  41. Vacuuming
  42. Having plans to do something with Kullervo at night after the kids go to bed, but getting so wrapped up in conversation that we forget to do it until it’s too late
  43. Brownie batter
  44. The idea of outside
  45. Sheep
  46. The blog post that will. not. die
  47. Being an Assassin Wife of Fury
  48. Down comforters and pillows
  49. The way that Kullervo looks in a pair of jeans (hot!!)
  50. Socks

Five Minutes

After a day filled with
whining,
potty breaks,
potty victory celebrations,
slightly sick kids,
yelling,
fighting,
debating over ‘one more bite’,
stuck inside because of the rain…
I have five minutes.

Five minutes to sit back and close my eyes.

Five minutes to imagine my next knitting project (I’m currently between, which is always a tough spot to be in).

Five minutes to sit on the couch and read a few pages of Wicked, the book I’m currently reading.

Five minutes where I can take a mental vacation to New York City, and I swear I can smell the hot dogs cooking at the street vendor as I walk down the street, surrounded by people, all going about their business, all looking like they are in vastly different businesses, but all in the city that I love.

Five minutes to drink–and enjoy–some chocolate milk and say a prayer of gratitude for Nesquik and for sometimes not having to share.

Five minutes to listen to my husband bathing the children and hear them all giggling in delight.

Five minutes just for me, where I can enjoy what I have, what I am, what I have created, and what I will create.

Thank you, God, for five minutes.

Boogas

In the last few weeks, I have made two Booga bags and one Mooga bag.

A mooga bag is a mini Booga–I wanted to make a smaller bag, and so I shrank the number of stitches required for a Booga. I haven’t felted it yet; pictures to follow when I finish felting them all, and send the one that is a gift to the recipient.

My Life is Complete

You know how occasionally something happens–you do something–that is just the ultimate.

This happened to me today. I have a knit (not by me) cardigan that I keep at work that I throw on when it is absolutely freezing in the audit room. (As an aside–I always wonder if they make audit rooms as uncomfortably temperatured as possible on purpose… to freeze/heat us out, maybe?)

One of the cuffs of this cardigan had come apart, so that it flopped awkwardly every time I moved my left arm. I keep meaning to bring it home with me and sew back up the side. But, of course, then my cardigan would be at home, and I probably wouldn’t do it anyway. So I never bring it home. This morning, the audit room was freezing as usual. But I just couldn’t bear the thought of putting on the floppy arm one more time.

So I grabbed a darning needle and a couple of rubber bands, and sewed together my sleeve.

My life is now complete–I have done something knitterly with office supplies.

FO – A Hat for Hazel!

I made this hat–twice actually–for Hazel. I didn’t have a pattern; I just kind of knit, using a stitch I really liked (from the most recent socks I made for Conner). I had to knit it twice because the first time it was too wide and too short (so much for swatching…). However, since it was cashmere, it was yummy to knit with. I think it turned out well, especially since it’s really the first thing I’ve made without a pattern.

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Hazel likes to touch it too! (It’s soooo soft!)
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Hobbies

When Conner and I first got married, I felt like I didn’t really have any hobbies. I’ve always loved to read–more than your average person–and loved watching movies, but those didn’t feel like hobbies. I wanted to create something, or have something to show for my time. So, with Conner’s encouragement, I decided to find something.

I started with cross stitch. I did that for quite a few years, found it relaxing, and loved the final product. We still have one of my cross stitches hanging on the wall. Here’s a picture of it:
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Then, I got myself a teach-yourself-to-knit kit. I ignored it for a couple of years (haha!). When we moved to New York I pulled it out again (maybe I found it when I was unpacking), and decided to give it a whirl. My first attempts were abysmal–I thought I was purling, but was really just knitting wrong. My first square was ugly, at best, but a good experimental piece.

I’ve continued knitting, with more and less vigor, since then, and have lots to show for it. Socks for Conner, a major scarf, a pretty scarf, an ice cream cozy, an ice cream pint cozy that turned into a hat when it was too big for ice cream, a few purses, hats… I love knitting, I love reading about knitting, I love yarn, I love yarn stores. I’m a knitter.

I also took up photography. Almost two years ago, I got a great bonus at work, and spent it all on a Nikon D50. For my birthday that year, my dad got me another lens for it for my zoom shots. I’ve since bought two additional cameras and have a great time taking photos and videos of everything. I was fortunate enough to be able to take the photographs at a wedding. Two of the bride from the wedding:
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I also love writing. And cooking.

So, these days, my problem is that I don’t have the time to do all of my favorite things to do. And this is while I’m on maternity leave! When I go back to work, I’m only going to have less time for the things I love. And I’m not sure what to do about it. I’m working on socks for Conner. I have a ton of photos that I’ve taken and want to go through, edit, and post online. I want to create my portfolio. I want to cook more–especially now that Hazel’s on solids, I want to make all of her food like I did for Oliver.

I am so blessed to have so much in my life.