This year, for the first time – and the last, in our lifetime – as I’m sure you’ve heard, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving collide.
If you think about it, it makes more sense for Hanukkah and Thanksgiving to be simultaneously celebrated than it does for Hanukkah and Christmas. Hanukkah is a holiday of remembrance and gratitude for miracles and deliverance. And what better time of year than to celebrate that than in November, around Thanksgiving.
This year will go down, for me anyway, as the year of incredible change. So, on this Thanksgivukkah, I’m thankful for family, friends and the security they bring amid circumstances that can sometimes be scary but are also exciting.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah
When we were married in 2007, we had no idea.
We were 23.
We had no idea that we wanted children, how to make a budget, what it meant to plan for anything. We didn’t make our bed every day, stay on top of the laundry and sometimes I bought books instead of food.
We had no idea how much we loved one another, or how much we depended on each other. There were fights and loud voices, there were slammed doors and big sighs. There were tears. But there was also laughter. Oh so much laughter. And smiles, and hope and dreams.
We were 23. Practically children, we had no business starting a life together. But we did it anyway. Fresh out of college, fresh in our relationship, we made it work.
We make it work.
Now we are 29. We have a child, we budget, we plan, we make our bed, we do the laundry, we still buy books but we make sure there’s money for food too. Life has changed us and I look at our faces from 2007, when we were on our Honeymoon at the happiest place on earth, and there’s a lightness. I can tell we had no idea. I can see it in our eyes, and our smiles. I love this picture because I can just tell we had no idea what the future held, but we were okay with that.
I wouldn’t go back to that unknowing past. And I wouldn’t change our past, because I love our present. We’ve made choices that have brought us to this point where we are and, while sometimes I feel like the only certainty I have is the man standing beside me, I wouldn’t change anything about our story.
Because it’s our story. We write it every day, with our whispers, our looks, our thoughts, our frustrations, our excitement and our words. Some days we write more than others, but as we close each year, we have one more book to add to our shelf and when I look at the six volumes we have stacked up, they’re perfect and full of promise. I look at the stacks and stacks of books yet to be written and I can only imagine where they will take us.
We celebrate six years on December 1st. Six anniversaries, 4 jobs (most of those mine…), 2 pets, 1 child. Countless seconds, moments and thoughts. Being married is complicated and wonderful, it’s hard but it’s simple. It’s a choice and it’s a commitment. It’s taken me six years to even begin to scratch the surface of starting to appreciate the man I allowed to capture my heart and build a life with. What will it be like six years from now?
I’m writing this on a Sunday night, while we are doing one of the most mundane of things – sitting on our couch, watching our Sunday shows, slurping milkshakes and winding down from a busy weekend. Our dog is on his pillow, on the table behind the couch. Our cat keeps a watchful eye while snuggled at my side. Our baby peacefully sleeps in his crib. This moment is our life, the simplest of happenings but the most beautiful, too.
Beneath all the quiet, we are always writing those words in our story.
Over the last few months, I’ve worked on a lot of custom knitting projects and I thought I would share a few of them here.
A good friend of mine asked me to make an army cap for the newest little addition to her family, in ACU colors, to honor her husband who is active military. I was really excited about this project because I’d been wanting to experiment with a billed, knitted hat. The pattern was a lot of fun to make and I learned a few new things about short rows – they’re great not just for shaping out the backside of a cloth diaper soaker, but also for creating slanted edging for bills on hats!
I searched and searched and searched for yarn that would accurately represent the ACU colors and it was almost impossible to find. Luckily, one of my friends spied a colorway of custom dyed yarn called “campfire” on The Knitting Addict and I snapped it up. The yarn knit up perfectly for this sweet little newborn ACU army cap.
Last month, I got quite a few requests for custom Halloween hats and some of my favorite to knit were minion-inspired ones. Just something about that cheery yellow was so fun to work with.
This pattern wasn’t very complicated to write since the hat had just a blue band and yellow body, with a black stripe midway through. I made the eyes out of felt. Crocheting is best for making circles and since I’m not a very good crocheter I decided to not risk it and just stick with what I can do.
One customer did ask me to create a very customized minion hat for her daughter. She wanted it to be part white and part yellow for the body, with only one eye, blue felt hearts and a blue pom pom. That one was extra fun to make!
Last month I also began working on longies. I love the look of these, and what’s fun is I have the flexibility to customize the waistband, the cuffs and even the legs (to make them shorts or capris)! One of my best friend’s son was the guinea pig for this pattern and I think they turned out perfectly.
You can grab up a pair of longies for your little one here: Knit wool longies by Charmingly Modern
This month, my main custom orders involved cabling – which I love to do, but don’t get the chance to do too much of. It started when a friend mentioned she wanted a set of boot cuffs and a mug cozy when the weather turned cool. I started with the mug cozy pattern, which I kept simple. It has a moss stitch border and a simple cable down the center.
You can get your own mug cozy here: Cabled mug cozy by Charmingly Modern
I decided to have way more fun with the cables when it came to writing the boot cuff pattern. The first pattern I wrote, though, used up entirely too much yarn and the sizing was completely off. I didn’t realize that cables ate up so much yarn! The cuff was meant to fit an average adult, but I think it would have fit a toddler – haha!
So, I re-wrote the pattern and chose a still fun but not so intricate cable called “turning diagonal.” This time, things worked out perfectly and I couldn’t be happier with the result.
You can get your own pair by clicking here: Cabled knit boot cuffs by Charmingly Modern
I have a few more outstanding orders to finish before I can get started working on holiday knitting. I have some ideas up my sleeve and can’t wait to get started!
If you have an idea for a custom knitting project, drop me a line and I’m sure we can work something out
A couple weeks ago, we nabbed up a mini session with Jennifer Rose Photography to get Ezra’s 18 month photos done.
I can’t believe this child is already a year and a half! I know it’s cliche but, seriously, where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday we were looking at this:
And now we’re looking at this:
Jen did a great job with Ezra, and he had a lot of fun roaming around the park we did the pictures at. Of course we had a fox present for part of the photos. That’s only natural in this family.
At 18 months, Ezra is:
He is so sweet and tender-hearted, a lot of fun and really silly. I can’t wait to see who Ezra becomes with each passing month. And speaking of, he is actually 19 months as of yesterday which means the big countdown is on until we have a two year old!