Crafts, Uncategorized

Easy Knit Shawl

I love knitting.  I learned fairly young and I’m glad my daughter is also picking up the hobby.  The rhythm of each stitch relaxes and calms me. And nothing better than having a finished product made by your own hands.

I bought this yarn by Fierce Fibers on our trip to Portland, Oregon last summer. It works so beautifully and I hope to make another trip to this year to spend more time in the city. It is a hand dyed yarn with a blend of Merino, Cashmere and Sterling.  Check out their bright and colorful yarns Here

I told Vanessa to pick the yarn and I would make her a shawl. The pattern I used was Simple Shawl by Jane at Hedgerow Yarns on Ravelry. I love Ravelry. Always so many fun patterns. CLICK HERE  for the free pattern.

She loves everything I make her and loves to tell her friends when I make her something. She is the hugest blessing in my life and things I make her is a large expression for my love for her.

Here is how the shawl ended up.

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Photo of the Day

Warming Up to Christmas

It was really chilly in Sacramento today making me cold to the core. Bundled with my blankie (yes, I’ve had my blanket since 3rd grade and will never part with it), I decided to watch the Pioneer Woman, my cooking idol and inspiration. She was making enchiladas and instantly I knew what tonight’s dinner was going to be.

I made my own enchiladas with Spanish rice. Nice thing about enchiladas is how you can throw a lot of your favorite in there and it will still be tasty. I might try some olives next time or use green enchilada salsa.

It warmed me up and was the perfect cozy dinner.

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Then, we spent time going over all the books Vanessa purchased at her school book fair this week. We are a big advocate of reading so we were okay with spending a little more. Take a look at her eclectic choices.

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We ended the night watching Christmas Vacation, one of my dad’s favorite Christmas movies. It was really nice watching a Christmas classic with our tree lit up, hearing Vanessa laugh, wrapped in a blanket.

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I’m starting to warm up to Christmas. It was never my favorite holiday and was always stressful, but my perspective changed when I decided to let the little things go and enjoy my time with my family.

Photo of the Day, What Makes Me Smile

Giving Back

My daughter continues to amaze me. She works hard, loves God and has a giving heart.  And I’m so grateful we have the opportunity to give back to so many other amazing kids and to let them know there are others that love them too.

Today we went to Shriners Children’s Hospital in Sacramento to deliver Girl Scout cookies that the little miss worked hard to donate. The person there to receive the cookies was so lovely. She told us how excited kids are to get the cookies every year and how the little miss should be so proud of herself.

Can’t deny the smile on her face!

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We made another stop today. We delivered 18 birthday bags to the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento. Our birthday bags included cake mix, icing, balloons, stickers, crayons, toys. etc.

The receiving home can house up to 80 children, and provides many programs and activities for the children during their stay. We hope these birthday bags will bring joy to each child, and we look forward to more volunteer opportunities here.

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What Makes Me Smile

My Dad

I’m not one to talk about “feelings” and hugs and kisses make me nervous. I’ve never been one to say ‘I Love You’. Not that I don’t feel it, I just struggle to say it. I know my dad knew it, even if I didn’t say it much, but I loved him very much. And each day, I strive to be more like him as a parent, friend, sibling, spouse (one day).

Each passing year has not been made easier that my dad isn’t here to be praised for Father’s Day. I’m not sure it will ever get easier. You just get better at dealing with the pain. But today, on Father’s Day, I reflect on what made him such a great Dad!!

He showed up and participated in all our activities. He was there at every soccer game (even though I was sometimes cranky), every talent show, and every concert recital (where he had to sit through 4th graders on wind instruments). But he was there.  I never had to worry when I looked over in the stands during my rugby games, or the bleachers during band concerts if he would be there.

He wanted us to have great experiences as a family. We were always going on trips, big or small. We would camp, small trips to Solvang, and, of course, DisneyLand. In fact, my parents started taking me to Disneyland when I was a baby. Now it’s in my DNA.

The quality of our home life was important to him. Summers he bbq’d while we swam. Winters we would cut down trees and watch homes movies. When I wanted to redecorate my room, he was there to help me paint all my books shelves in crazy colors. My childhood sometimes feels like a dream.

He didn’t get much time with my daughter, but I know that if he was here, he would still be at all her cheer games, all the talent and fashion shows, and each trip we take to Disneyland.

I miss him a lot still, and I wish I spent more time telling him how much I appreciate everything he did for us.

There are thousands of pictures of my dad being an awesome dad. But I thought I would post some that really conveyed the kind of emotion he had for his kids. He did so much for us and never a complaint. He did it all with his heart.