Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dressember Accessories

I totally wimped out on the last day of Dressember.  If I had somewhere exciting to go I'd probably have some kind of pretty outfit to wear.  Since we're just staying home tonight I'm just wearing jeans and another of my Arizona State sweatshirts.

I was up pretty early this morning in order to take delivery of my friend's doggy.  My friend had a death in the family and had to leave town suddenly.  I told her I'd take her puppy for the day.  She was here about 6:30.  I didn't feel like getting fully decked out that early, so I just tossed on some jeans in the hope that I would get dressed later. Totally didn't happen.

So here I am.  One couch holder downer on each side.  Here's a couple shots of my friend's dog, she's a sweetie.  In the first one you can see the aforementioned sweatshirt.


In the second you can see how seriously she takes the task of holding down that couch. Wild horses couldn't drag her from her duties. Bacon... now that's a different story.


She really is a sweetheart.  Eric came home and she was cuddling with him in a matter of minutes.  Never met him before to complete lapdog in seconds.  Now he can't keep her off him!

Since I bailed on Dressember I thought I'd take some pictures of my jewelry, just the stuff I wore this month.  My full body pictures kind of leave the accessories out and I really want to show them off a little.  Especially since I made some of them!  I apologize for the quality of the pictures.  Shaky hands and close ups are not a good combination.

Opal Ring: 10th Anniversary gift from Eric
Cameo: I made it with pieces from Findings Victoria on Etsy
Faux Pearl Brooch: Garage sale, I think it was less than a quarter.
Butterfly Brooch: Target
Grey Freshwater Pearl Bracelet:  A gift from my fabulous sister.

Pearl Necklace and Earrings: A gift from Eric on our Wedding Day.
Silver 'Globe' Earrings: Same Yard Sale as the faux pearl brooch, I think they were ten cents.
Gold Hoops: I think I got them at a mall kiosk but I can't remember.
Opal Necklace and Earrings: A gift from Eric. 

Shell Necklace: I bought as a souvenir from the cruise my mom took my sister and I on back in 2006.  I got it from the Hilo Hattie store in San Diego.

The four earrings on the left are all made by me.  The gold ones on the right were purchased from Feather and Rust on Etsy.  I thought displaying them on a glass of Martinelli's was appropriate.

Well, there you go.  Dressember has come to an end.  I really enjoyed myself and I plan to do it again next year.  I know I didn't do a fantabulous job dressing up every day, I'm hoping I'll do better next time.

Happy New Year everybody!  
Stay safe and I hope your 2012 is amazing and wonderful! 

Late

I'm running pretty late with this post.  I had my picture taken for Dressember around 11:00 yesterday but I didn't sit right down and post like I usually do.  Then I took the kids to Wal-Mart to spend their gift cards that they got for Christmas from my parents.  

That was quite the ordeal.  They absolutely love getting gift cards.  The problem is that my kids are not exactly the most decisive. There wasn't one big thing they wanted to get, they wanted lots of little things.  We kept going back and forth to the price scanner thingy so I could add up things and make sure they had enough on their cards.  Then they'd find something else or have a new idea and the whole process would start all over again.  At one point Elizabeth found a Smurf doll with no tag that she absolutely fell in love with.  We looked all over that stinkin' store and couldn't find another one. We had to take it to Customer Service to try and find a price.  Of course, since there was no tag they had no idea either.  They asked us to finish our shopping while they tried to look things up.  That was fine except that it made it a lot harder to determine how much Bethy could spend.  Ugh.  She had to wait until we were at the checkout to make her final decisions.  I felt so bad for the people in line behind us.

By the time we got home I was completely wiped out.  Practically catatonic.  I sat down to play with my Christmas Present and didn't move for the rest of the evening. Thank goodness we were just having bratwurst for dinner.  A few minutes in the microwave and dinner is ready.  I tossed in a bag of chips and called it good.  Okay, actually I just had Josh nuke the brats and told the kids where the chips were.  Close enough.

Here I am before the shopping trip:



Luckily I was smart enough to change into my ballet flats before our shopping trip.  Those shoes are comfy, just not hours at Wal-Mart comfy.

Scarf: Crazy Horse, I think I got it at J.C. Penny.  It was years ago though, so I can't really remember.  I bought it after seeing How to Steal a Million for the first time.  If I could I would dress like Audrey Hepburn every single day.
Earrings: Another one of my creations.
Top: Wal-Mart
Skirt: Target
Leggings: Motherhood Maternity
Shoes: Wal-Mart

Since I was so late posting here's another bonus picture of my dog holding down the other couch.  


What would I do without her?  All those couches, just floating around on the ceiling.  Oh yeah and my bed.  She holds that down too. So helpful. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rainy Day

It's a little rainy today.  It's actually pretty warm outside.  Somewhere in the 40s, I think.  It feels more like Spring than Winter.

Just take a look at that sky:


Isn't it gorgeous?  It's been awhile since I've been able to use the grey yarn in my Sky Scarf.  Today I can!  Is it totally sad that I get so excited over such mundane things?  Oh well, I prefer to see it as finding the Joy in Everyday Life.  Yeah, that sounds much more normal.

Today's outfit is a subtle homage to the 90s.  The sweater was a Christmas present from Eric our first Christmas together, 1998.  The hiking boots with a skirt was a pretty big trend in the 90s.  Especially the early 90s.  A trend which I embraced fully.  Is it sad that I actually miss the Grunge?  Probably.  I still listen to my music from then.  I ripped the CDs to MP3 years ago.  I kept the CDs though.  Someday I hope to introduce my grandchildren to the awesomeness that is Green Day's Dookie on "original" CD.

Sweater: Tag says Crystal-Kobe
Polo: No Boundaries from Wal-Mart
Skirt: Issac Mizrahi from Target
Socks: Hanes
Boots: Alpine Design from Sports Authority
Necklace: Made by my Elizabeth

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fashion Show

I've got a deluge of pictures of me wearing dresses today.  I feel horrible about all the sick days I've taken from Dressember so I put on three different outfits today and forced my long-suffering oldest son to take a bunch of pictures.

I will admit that I didn't wear the first two dresses longer than it took to take the picture and then change.  I'll explain why after each shot.


This is the first dress I ever sewed start to finish for myself.  It's actually wearable.  Okay, it was actually wearable.  When I tried it on earlier this month and realized that I really need to let it out.  In the bust area.  I never thought I'd actually have to say that.  I'm used to being the Pirate's Ideal.  You know, a sunken chest.  Needing to let out a bust is definitely a first for me!

Yeah, as you can see from the picture this dress needs lots of help.  One of my Christmas presents is a Dressmaker's Dummy, hopefully I can do a lot of these alterations so that my wardrobe doesn't have to be held together by safety pins!

The shoes I've got on in the picture were purchased especially for that dress.  I made Elizabeth a dress in a similar material the same year and those shoes looked just like her dress shoes.  I thought it was cute to be a little match-y.  They are the most uncomfortable shoes I own.  Even more than the ones that left visible bruises.  It's too bad they're so cute.  I can just make it through the three hours of Church before I have to give up and take them off.  I might also take them off any time I'm sitting down at Church.  Let's just say I won't be sitting in front while I'm wearing these babies.  Also so you know, I only wear them in the Summer.  I'm a pretty strict follower of that "No White After Labor Day" rule.  I know it's pretty silly but I just can't shake it.  I also try to match my shoes to my handbag and belt if I'm wearing one.  I swear I was born in the wrong decade.

Here's my red dress, the one I was saving for Christmas.


I think it's time for this one to go in the donate box.  I iron it and it still looks so wrinkled.  I hate ironing and I really hate ironing when it has no effect. I've also mended the hem three times.  It's in need of more mending and I don't think it's worth my time.  It's also too tight across the bust, gaping buttons are not attractive.  Oh yeah, and the buttons end way too high up on my leg.  I have to pin it for about a foot below the last button and that makes the whole drape of the dress wrong.  I'm actually kind of glad I was too sick to go to Church on Sunday.  I would have been really uncomfortable in that dress.

These shoes were also specifically purchased for this dress.  They are the second most uncomfortable shoes I own.  The ones that left the bruises are number three on the list.  These red shoes are also Summer shoes, I don't wear any tights or nylons with them.  I'm also on board with the whole "No Nylons With Open-Toes" rule.  I broke it for the pictures of my favorite shoes a few days ago and I'm still feeling kind of guilty.  Tights are a different story but it has to be special circumstances.  I don't think the picture above is one of those circumstances.  I just don't like how it looks.  Maybe if they were patterned tights or woven or something.

Okay, here's what I'm actually wearing today:


I thought the ballet flats were appropriate since I feel like my ballet instructor from Third Grade, Ms. Greenwald.  The T-shirt is from Target and the rest of the outfit you've already seen.

One last picture before I go.  I found this written on our white board.  I have no idea which of the two kids who can write actually wrote this but it's just too darn cute not to share:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sick Day

I'm still sick.  Running a fever and everything.  Since I feel like crud I'm staying on vacation from Dressember.  I spent most of today sitting on my couch folding laundry and wearing the same sweats and grimy T-shirt I was wearing yesterday.  I will admit that I am getting pretty rank.  Hopefully I will get a shower before bed tonight, otherwise Eric might just kick me out of the bedroom.

Since I don't have a Dressember picture to post for you guys I thought I'd give you a little list of my favorite time wasting websites.

The Daily What, a site with lots of bite sized fun things.
Etiquette Hell, daily stories of massive etiquette faux-pas.
Very Demotivational, funny "anti-motivational" posters.
Learn From My Fail, funny stories of other people's mistakes.

There are tons more but I'm going to save them for a rainy day.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday

This was not a stellar Christmas at the Haskett house.

First a little background.  Elizabeth's birthday is at the beginning of December.  From the beginning I was concerned that her birthday would be overshadowed by Christmas.  Because of that I have a few rules.  One is that any birthday presents must be wrapped in anything but holiday themed paper.  The other one is that our Christmas tree won't go up until after her birthday has passed.

On my side of the family Christmas starts immediately after Thanksgiving.  There were times when we actually put up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day.  Christmas is a big deal in my family.  A Big Deal.  Coming from this type of background makes waiting to put up the tree a pretty big sacrifice.

This year wasn't too bad.  The problem came after Bethy's birthday.  We all got sick.  Some kind of head cold type deal.  We didn't get it all at once either.  Oh no, that'd be too easy.  It started with Bethy and slowly worked it's way around the family.  I had it the longest.  Probably because I didn't get the chance to rest since I was busy taking care of sick people.  By the time we were all better we were well into the middle of the month and I had a ton of catch-up housework to do.

I finally got the house presentable again and the kids get sick again.  This time it's some kind of stomach flu thing that's been going around.  I think Eric brought it home from work, the lady he shares a cubicle with was sent home puking.  Twice.  Wasn't it just sweet of her to share?

Where does that leave me you ask?  That leaves me on Christmas Eve with no tree up.  Feeling worn out and achy.  I rallied the troops though, and we got it done.  Without further ado I give you our little tree:


One thing you have to understand about our tree is that we don't put ornaments on it unless they are meaningful to our family.  We could have a great big tree but I think it would look funny having those few ornaments all spread out.  Each of the ornaments you see in that picture have some kind of special memory attached.  Some of those ornaments belonged to my parents and were on every Christmas tree I had growing up.  Every one in the family has an ornament from their first Christmas.  Whenever we go on vacation we pick up a new ornament from wherever we are.  The kids also get a new ornament every year that gets their name and the year written on it.  When they move out they'll get to take those with them.  I know I'm kind of a snob about it, but that's the explanation for our tiny tree.

Okay, back to the holiday.  Christmas Eve was basically spent trying to prepare for Christmas.  Eric and I were feeling pretty tired but we were excited for the kids so we just soldiered on.  Of course we stayed up late waiting for the kids to go to sleep so that Santa could come, and come he did.


Unfortunately, Eric and I both woke up Christmas morning running fevers.  The kids were all better but the parents were ailing.  Due to the flu-like symptoms Church was definitely out of the question.  We lazed around most of the day feeling sorry for ourselves.

Fortunately, the illness left really quickly.  When we woke up this morning we were both feeling better.  Not great but better.  We've been playing catch-up all day, trying to get the house back together after the holiday. I've been running a fever off and on all day.  

Things were so discombobulated that I also took a holiday from Dressember.  I'm horrible, I know.  Even today all I wore were my sweats and a grimy t-shirt.  I'm going to try really hard to do better tomorrow, I promise!



Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Shopping

I watched my friend's kids yesterday, today she took mine.  Woo Hoo!  Kid free time!  Unfortunately I had to spend the time braving crazy traffic and shopping in crowded stores instead of doing what I would like to have done.  You know, sleep.

I was able to knock everything off my list and found a few bargains too.  I also managed not to lock myself out of my car, kill the battery, or get in any accidents.

I did all this wearing high heels.


The skirt is another summer skirt.   It's linen which means it wrinkles if you look at it funny.  It's also very light and breezy.  Perfect for Summer.  Not so great for Winter.  I came home and put on my sweat pants.  I'm not sure my backside is defrosted yet...

Today's outfit is really an excuse to wear my new scarf.  I could have just worn one of my blue floral dresses but I'm trying really hard not to be repetitive.  All though, I am basically out of options.  I have a red dress that I'm saving for Christmas but otherwise I'm pretty much done.  I think the rest of the month will be variations on the skirts I've already shown you.  Now's really the hard part, being really creative with what I already have.  It's a good thing I like a challenge!

Scarf: See my last post.
T-Shirt: Target
Skirt: Tag says "Separates by New York Design Co.", I got it at a thrift store
Boots: Mudd

Kimono Scarf

I showed you a picture yesterday of my latest project.


It's another scarf!  I wanted something small and fun that I could wear as more of an accessory than an actual neck warmer.


I think it turned out pretty well.  I needed a quick project to kind of help me relax.  I've been knitting nothing but presents and using acrylic yarn, I've been dying to get my hands on something a little more fun.  Eric took pity on me and let me get this fun yarn at my local yarn store, The Needlepoint Joint.

It's called Kimono, made by a company named Grignasco.  As far as I can tell it's an Italian company and the Kimono line has been discontinued.  This pattern would work for any fun yarn, but I was able to find some Kimono for sale on Ebay.

Kimono Scarf

Materials:
1 skein Grignasco Kimono
Size 15 knitting needles

Directions:

Cast on 14 stitches

Knit in garter stitch 114 rows or until you run out of yarn.  Try to save enough to cast off with!

Weave in the ends and you're done!!


For those interested, I made the brooch from pieces I bought at Findings Victoria on Etsy.  A great shop and very nice to work with.  The first time I got my order it had been chipped in the mail and they sent me a totally new one at absolutely no charge to me.  Plus they let me keep the chipped piece, so I was able to make Elizabeth a matching pin!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Six Kids

I have six kids in my house right now.  No, I didn't spontaneously give birth to triplets.  I volunteered to have my friend's kids over for a while while she did some Christmas shopping.  I only get the oldest three, she took her baby with her.  Darn it.  I was really hoping for some baby cuddles!

Things are going surprisingly well.  The oldest boy is good friends with my Josh and they are playing together happily.  Bethy and the middle boy are also playing together and so far it's been great.

The youngest is another boy who is just a bit older than Joey and they are like two peas in a pod.  They've been having an absolute blast with each other.  Things got a little quiet so I worried and went looking.  I found them playing with a couple of flashlights in a box that I would have sworn was way too small for two boys.  Somehow they made it work and had quite a time. So far, so good.  Knock on wood!

I made lunch for everybody.  It was so pretty I had to take a picture:

The cut off one on the far left is Bethy's Gluten Free Sandwich.

I feel like Martha Freakin' Stewart.  Six nutritious lunches and I didn't even break a sweat.  I've already cleaned up the mess too.  Gape in awe at my amazing-ness.

Everything went so well I was able to finish my latest project.  It's yet another scarf.  Here's a quick picture to tease you, I'm going to type up the pattern for another post.



I knew I'd have a house full today, so I went for comfort over fashion again in my Dressember outfit:


The skirt I'm wearing today is actually a dress.  It's the same as the blue one I wore on Dressember Eleventh, I bought them both at the same time.  On clearance at Wal-Mart.  For a store I hate I sure have a lot of clothes from there.  The long sleeved T-shirt is from Old Navy.  I can't remember if it was on sale, but I'm pretty sure it was.  The boots you've all seen before, and I'm not wearing any accessories.  Sorry, it's pretty boring today.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dressember Twenty-first

I actually saw a patch of blue sky today!  YAY!

It was stinking cold out though so I took pictures showing all the layers of my outfit today.

First, all bundled up:

 Similar to Dressember First

This is how I ran around the house all morning:

This neck warmer was too cozy to take off.

This is what I wore around the house the rest of the day after lunch:

Too cold for bare arms.

And here's the dress with no layers over it:

.

This happens to be my favorite dress.  Eric bought it for me at Burlington Coat Factory waaaay back in 1999.  That's right, this dress is 12 years old.  If it were a kid, it'd be a Sixth Grader.  If it were Harry Potter, it'd have defeated Voldemort three times.  If it were the Beatles, it would have already broken up...

I've mended this dress a few times and it still looks great.  I love how it fits and I think it's pretty flattering.  It's machine wash and dry-able, and it never wrinkles.  Even if it's been stuffed in the bottom of my closet and forgotten.  And of course, it's blue!!

I've had twelve years to find the perfect accessories for this dress.  The earrings are the latest addition.  They were a gift from my good friend who's husband is from Tonga.  They are shells in the traditional Tongan shape of a fishing hook.  The necklace was my souvenier from the cruise Mom took Heidi and I on back in 2006.  I bought them at a Hilo Hattie Hawaiian store in San Diego.  

In the winter I wear this dress with my black boots.  Gotta love those boots.  As awesome as they are though, they don't hold a candle to the amazing, gorgeous, fabulous shoes I wear with it in the summer.

Drum roll please...




I LOVE THESE SHOES!!  I think if my house was on fire I might just grab these shoes after I made sure the kids were safe.

They so totally fit my personality.  The style is called 'Harlow' which fits right in with my love of old, old Hollywood.  They have an ankle strap which means I don't have to worry about them slipping around.  They're eye catching without being over done.  Love them!  Normally I wear them barefoot, the nylons are for warmth and the picture.


I actually bought these shoes at a real life Department Store.  Not an outlet, not a thrift shop, not a yard sale, a real store in a real mall.  Of course, they were on sale for half off but that's not the point!  The point is that.... the point...the...  Okay, there is no point.  I just wanted to prove to you all that I am capable of buying things new.  I don't prefer it, but I am capable.  Especially when the items are as cute as these shoes are!

Outfit Info:
Earrings: Gift from a friend
Coat: Wilson Leather, thrifted
Neck Warmer: Made it myself
Necklace: Hilo Hattie
Dress: The tag says Max Taylor, bought at Burlington Coat Factory in AZ Mills.
Watch: Fossil, gift from Eric
Boots: Mudd
Strappy Awesomeness heels: Amanda Smith 'Harlow', I think I bought them at Z.C.M.I. (before it was sold.)


*****

For those of my friends who celebrate it, 
HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE!!  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dressember Fourteenth Part Two

If you were waiting with bated breath for my second outfit of the day then I apologize.

When I picked the kids up from school it was very clear that Bethy wasn't feeling very well.  We're having some nasty Winter air problems and it's really taking a tole on her.  Since she wasn't feeling well I stayed home with her and the littlest monster while Eric went to Josh's Choir/Recorder concert.

I stayed in my jeans and grubby shirt.  Sue me.

I'm not dressed for the day today yet either.  Same jeans and grubby shirt.  The missionaries are coming over tonight and I have a ton of housework to do.  Then I will shower and get dressed.  I have kind of a weird outfit planned for tonight, so I'd love your feedback.

In other news, we received our 2nd Annual box of caramel apples from my mom. (Hint, Hint Mom.  Second Annual, as in please make this a tradition!!)

My mom gets these apples for us from QVC, they're called Mrs. Prindables.  They are awesome!!  I can't find the ones she sends on their website, so they must be a special thing for QVC.  The ones we get are dipped in caramel, then rolled in chocolate chips and colorful sprinkles.  We get three different kinds: white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate.  They are so yummy!

In fact, I'm having a white chocolate one for breakfast right now.  My logic is that it's mostly fruit, which is good for me.  That makes it a healthy breakfast.  Just like brownies, 'cuz they have eggs in them.  Everybody knows eggs are a breakfast food.

I'm also having Dr. Pepper for breakfast.  It's already been one of those days.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Story Time #1: Why My Dad Is My Hero

I've been told I should write down some of my stories.  I have a ton of them, but I'm not sure how they could actually go together in some kind of book.  Instead I'll write them down here and share them with you all.  If any book publishers are reading feel free to contact me and I'm sure we can work something out.

My first story is a sweet little number about why my dad is my hero.

My dad is an awesome guy.  I don't want to get into too much back story, so let me just tell you two things you need to know about my dad in order for this story to make sense.  1.) My dad is retired Army.  He could kill a man with his bare hands or whatever rudimentary tools happen to be nearby. 2.)  My dad is super mellow and incredibly easy going.  He could kill you, but he's just too great a guy to actually do it.  It takes a lot to get him riled up in any way.

I've only seen my dad get really angry a few times in my life.  When my dad gets really angry it's scary.  That's when it's easy to see the soldier.

The times he's been really angry have only been when a member of his family is being threatened.  This is my story.

When I was a little kid I used to have a recurring nightmare about a Nazi with a German Shepherd who was coming to get me.  Every time I had the dream (twice a year or so) the Nazi was getting closer and closer.  When I was 12 I dreamed that he was across the street from my house. Then I never had the dream again.

Fast forward to me at 16.  My mom had a gas card for Circle K as a perk from her job and we were all allowed to use it to fill up our cars.  Pretty nice perk, right?  There was a Circle K about a half mile from our house and the next nearest was more like three miles away.

One day after I'd given my mom my gas receipts she noticed that for the past few weeks I'd been going out of my way to use the farther station.  Of course, she wanted to know why I was driving so far out of my way when the other station was so much closer and easier to get to.

Well, there happened to be a creepy guy who looked just like the Nazi from my old dream that liked to hang out at the nearer Circle K.  He would just stand by the counter and flirt with the girl who worked there and he'd flirted with me a little too.  Nothing to bad, just mild banter.  Still, it creeped me out enough that I stopped going to that station. (This station was old, there were no card readers at the pump.  I actually had to go into the station to pay.  The far station was newer and I could pay at the pump.)

My dad was in the room when I explained this all to my mom.  She looked over at my dad, he simply nodded to her and told me, "Get in your car, we're going to get gas."

When we got to the station he asked me if the guy was in there and I pointed him out.  I got my gas and my dad told me to go in and pay as usual.  He said he'd be right behind me.

I went in and just like I'd said the creepy guy was flirting with the cashier and said something to me.


My dad went ballistic.


I mean that literally.  My dad turned into a weapon.  He physically swelled up and just lashed out at the guy.  He didn't yell, but he wasn't speaking softly by any means.

"DON'T you DARE speak to my daughter.  What are you doing here bothering the people who work here and bothering underage girls.  YOU need to find a new place to be.  If I EVER hear of you loitering here when my daughter comes to get her gas you will have ME to deal with."

My dad was probably 6 inches shorter than this guy but I saw Creepo literally shrinking away.  The ladies behind the counter were startled at first and just kind of stared at my dad.  After my dad watched the guy leave the station he went out and stood by my car.  I sheepishly paid and kind of mumbled "Sorry."  The lady who was ringing me up was grinning and told me not to be sorry, that guy had been bugging her for weeks and just wouldn't take the hint to leave.  She was thrilled my dad had gotten rid of him for her too!

And that is one of the reasons why my dad is my hero!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I've been up to my ears in projects.  I don't have any pictures yet because as soon as I finish them I've been squirreling them away so the kids don't see them.

As soon as I'm able I'll post some shots.  I'll also update with a whole list of the things I'm making. 

I haven't forgotten about you, I promise.  I've got great things in the works!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Balance

Saturday one of my oldest friends ran her first 5k.  Rachel also happens to be my favorite blogger and an amazing writer.  Yesterday she blogged about the experience and I really want to share what she wrote.  Please go over to her blog and read Sweet Spontaneous: Run For Your Life.


These are truly beautiful legs. (Rachel's, not mine!)


I really believe that life is about balance.  Male & Female, Good & Bad, Happy & Sad, Summer & Winter.  You can't appreciate the good things fully if you never experience the bad.  Sometimes we are extremely fortunate and we can learn from other people's experiences.  I can see the family who lost their mother and mourn for them while holding my own kids a little tighter.  In comparison my own struggles are easy to bear.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Quick

I've been a little busy watching T.V. the last few nights.  Last night was a disappointing finale of Project Runway and tonight I've got a few season premieres to watch.

That means I'm not doing anything really interesting but I have gotten quite a few afghan stars made!

Today's Sky:  Overcast with really high thin white clouds.  I could almost see blue through them.  It was a really interesting sky today.

Stars Made Today: 6
Just a note for future reference:  I've decided instead of counting stars every day I'm just going to count how many I've made since my last post.  That way I don't have to post those silly, short updates!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I wasn't sure what to blog about today.  I didn't do any crafts, no new recipes, just a regular day.  I thought about introducing you guys to some of my favorite websites, but hadn't narrowed it down to one.

I randomly checked my Facebook, and saw that Allie Brosh had finally posted a new Hyperbole and a Half.  Yay!  I love her!  She's so funny and her drawings are adorable. I just love the way she thinks.

Super excited, I hit the link and read the post.  Adventures in Depression.  Not so funny.  Well, okay, it had funny moments.  Mostly though, it was sad.  She tells her readers about her past few months and her depression.  Just reading it made me feel like putting an arm around her and giving her a big hug.  Letting her know that I understand.

I understand what it's like to have that voice in your head that is constantly telling you what a waste you are.  I know what it's like to feel like you only have friends because of what you give them.  "She only likes you because you make her laugh."  "He only likes you because he's friends with your husband."  "You really bug them but they're too polite to tell you to get lost."

I know what it's like to have a huge pile of laundry or dishes that is so big and has been there for so long that I hardly see it any more.  I stop seeing the mess as a self-preservation tool.  If I really saw the mess then I'd have one more voice telling me what a horrible housekeeper I am.

I know what it's like not to care about what I look like because caring would mean that I was worth the time it would take to fix myself up.

I still suffer from depression.  I always will.  I'm lucky, I was blessed with an amazing husband who saw the signs in me and demanded I get treatment.  It's still an uphill battle.  Even when I get my medicine right my body can become tolerant of it and I have to adjust my dosage.  I still have good days and bad days.  Even with the medicines every day is a struggle.

Even little things that other people take for granted like getting dressed or making myself something to eat are a struggle.  When I say struggle that's exactly what I mean.  It's a fight.  I'm fighting against those nasty voices in my head that are telling me I'm not worth it, I don't deserve it, why waste it on me.  I'm fighting against the apathy and the physical pains.  Simple things like this can be completely exhausting.

Just getting my kids ready for school can wipe me out for the rest of the day.  Grocery shopping isn't something I've been able to do on my own for months.  The last time I tried it took me 4 hours and I was exhausted for three days afterward.

I'm not typing all this out because I want you to feel sorry for me.  When I read Allie's story I wanted to give her a hug and get her some help.  While I welcome hugs, I am already getting the help I need.  I'm actually doing pretty well right now.

I'm typing all this out for two reasons.

First, for anyone else who might be feeling this way.  It's not normal.  There are ways to feel better.  Talk to somebody.  Anybody.  Try medication if you haven't, try therapy, if those things haven't worked for you feel free to talk to me.  I'll try to help you find some solutions.  Just keep trying.

Second,  for those of you who don't know how this feels.  Try to be a little more understanding.  You can't tell somebody with depression to "Just cheer up!" any more than you can tell somebody in a wheelchair to "Just get up and walk!"  Yet mental illness is looked down on as some kind of moral failing.  I'm a talented, smart, loving person who also happens to deal with mental illness.  Just like a diabetic has to manage their illness, so do I.

This is a great article for helping people understand "hidden" diseases.  The lady who wrote that is talking about Lupus, but she might as well be describing my depression and anxiety.  It's a really great analogy.

I believe that mental illness is a war.  Every day is a constant battle.  Medication and therapy are just a few of my weapons against depression.  I also believe that this is probably a battle I will fight for the rest of my life.  I could let that last part overwhelm me, but I won't for one good reason:  I believe that as long as I keep fighting and doing the best I can do then I'm winning.  As soon as I give up I lose.  I'm too stubborn to stop fighting.  The things I would lose if I let my illness take over my life are too precious to me.  I won't lose my kids or my husband to something like this.  I will fight every moment of every day because even if those voices tell me I'm not worth it, I know in my heart that my family is worth it.

Today's Sky: Partly Cloudy
Stars Made Today: 1

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leftovers

Today was another busy day.  I had three sick kiddos, plus I was feeling pretty under the weather myself.  There was a lot of sleeping and television watching at my house today.  Luckily the kids all seem to be doing much better, and I think the older two will be up for school in the morning.

We had leftovers for dinner, and I have to say that the Cupboard Soup is in fact one of those dishes that tastes even better when it sits for awhile.  It thickens up considerably, I could almost eat it with a fork.

Today's Sky: Partly Cloudy
Stars Made Today: 2

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Checkin' In

I'm just checking in to update my sky and stars, today was a busy day!

Today's Sky: Partly Cloudy
Stars Made Today: 2

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Star Afghan

When I'm sitting I need to have something else to do. I can't just sit and watch a movie. I have to be doing something with my hands. 95% of the time I'm surfing the web on my laptop, but sometimes Eric wants me to be more present and actually spend time with him. That's when I pull out my knitting or sewing or crochet or whatever other project I'm working on.

Like I said before, I'm horrible at projects. If it's something too big I'll lose interest or find something more fun to do.

I was recently introduced to Pinterest. If you don't know what that is then I pity you. It's awesome. I might need to do a post just extolling the virtues of that amazing site.

Anyway, on Pinterest I saw this adorable afghan:

There isn't a link to a pattern, it's just a picture so I filed it to the back of my mind.

Then I saw this:

It's an actual pattern! Whoo hoo!

Then the idea popped into my head, "Why don't I make a fun afghan out of stars and join it together randomly like the baby blanket I saw?"

So that's what I'm going to do. I decided to buy a skein of yarn and just start making stars. I keep it in a basket in the living room with whatever other random project I'm working on. (My Sky Scarf gets its own basket to cut down on tangles!) Since the stars work up really quick I can do as few or as many as I want as I'm unwinding for the day or when I take a minute to rest. When I run out of this color yarn I'll get another skein in a different color, and so on.


The great thing about this is that it's impossible for me to get overwhelmed because I have no set finished number. I could do the math and figure out how many stars it would take to make a good sized afghan, but I prefer to do it this way. Then I'll be surprised with the size when I'm done. No pressure, no anxiety. And if I decide to give up on it for a month (or a year) it's no big deal. Even if I quit right now I could just join the stars to make a wild little scarf.

I've also decided to start something I call Purse Projects. I rolled a small ball of yarn and put it in a sandwich bag and stuck it in my purse. That along with a crochet hook, a small pair of scissors, and a copy of the pattern allow me to crochet a star or five while I'm out and about and find myself waiting for whatever reason.

Admittedly I haven't actually made any purse stars yet, but that's because I also have a Kindle and I've been playing the new free games they just released. (Hmmm. I might have to do a Kindle post too...)


Today's Sky: Clear Blue
Stars Made Today: 4

Updates. So many updates...

I have neglected my blog. Bad Heather. I've decided to try to keep it up better for my own sanity.

I do have a few readers, so for anybody still paying any attention to me I thought I would post some updates for my older posts.

Celiac Disease:

After my little experiment two years ago I found out that I do indeed have Celiac Disease. No doubt. Since that point I have not intentionally eaten anything containing gluten. I still get accidentally "glutened", especially when I eat out, but overall things are much better. The Gluten Free Diet has become rather trendy, so there are new companies coming out with gluten free options all the time. Unfortunately there are no current regulations on GF labeling, so I still have to be cautious when trying new foods.

I also started my own blog about gluten free living, Everyday Celiac. Feel free to visit and send friends. I haven't updated it in awhile, but I have a few posts planned for the near future.

Overall Health:

I am no longer underweight. I am on the low side of normal with a BMI of 19. Over the summer my boys got the flu and for the first time ever I didn't get sick! This past week Eric caught a cold and again for the first time I didn't catch it! Huzzah!

I've finally gotten my appetite back and actually get hungry at meal times. I have to eat small frequent meals or I get really uncomfortable, but at least I'm eating again.

I'm still struggling with fatigue and some other issues, I'm working with my doctor. Hopefully someday we can figure those out too.

Depression:

I'm still struggling. I'm back on meds, currently taking Celebrex and really liking it. I have an appointment to see a Psychiatrist soon, so things might change. If it doesn't get too personal I'll update you.


I think that's about it. If I've forgotten something let me know.