Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Yarn Along

The first Wednesday of the year means that it's time for the first Yarn Along of the year! Right now, I am knitting a pair of Vanilla Latte socks with some of the yarn that I purchased on my honeymoon in Paris. The yarn is Cheval Blanc Balade in colorway 415, and I love how it striped up--something that I wasn't expecting since my other skein of this yarn (in a different colorway) didn't do the same striping.

The beautiful yarn bowl was a gift from my father-in-law who turned the wood himself on his lathe, and it is such a work of art. The grain of the wood is beautiful, and it's not only functional while I'm knitting, but it also makes a great vessel to keep my yarn and project displayed while I'm not working on it.

I'm linking up in this Yarn Along with Ginny from Small Things :)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Review of 2017

2017 was an amazing year. It was the year that David and I finally married and the year I finally started a job in my chosen profession. But among the big things, our days were also filled with smaller joys. The saying that "the days are long but the years are short" has always held some truth for me, but I've discovered this past year that when you're filling your time with tasks that give you purpose, then the days go by pretty quickly too.

- I started my last quarter of grad school classes at DePaul University.
- My sister, Erin, and her (now) husband visited Chicago over New Years, and they became the first people from my side of the family to visit David and me.
- I knit a pussyhat to represent my solidarity in the women's march that took place on January 21st.

- I majorly stressed myself out as I took an online class to finish up my degree requirements for my grad school program (definitely not a highlight of the year, but it consumed most of my time in February and into March).
- David and I continued our pursuit to always eat well and cook 75% of our meals sous vide.
- On the 25th, my bridesmaids threw me a wonderful bridal shower, and I genuinely felt showered in love.
- I finished knitting my "funfetti socks."

- I finished all my grad school classes and started my 10 weeks of student teaching at a charter school on the south side of Chicago.
- David and I attended the wedding of two Georgia Tech friends who have always championed our love too.

- I attended my third annual YarnCon and had a few fiber purchases :)
- David and I mailed our wedding invitations after many hours of addressing and stamping them!
- I had a nice week off from student teaching while the school I was teaching at was on Spring Break, and I rounded out the week by flying home to Atlanta for Easter.
- I gave sewing another try.
- I went through the nightmare that is edTPA.

- I frantically crocheted flowers as I finished up my two year project of having solely crocheted flowers for David's and my wedding and as I realized that I didn't have enough yet to see my vision through.
- David attended his bachelor weekend in Kentucky with his groomsmen and closest friends. They camped for a few days at the Land Between the Lakes before spending a few days inspecting the Kentucky bourbon scene ;)
- While David was gone for the long weekend, I put stems on all the crochet flowers that I had made.

- I finally finished the long weeks that were student teaching.
- I flew to Atlanta for the last week before the wedding, and my bridesmaids (aka my sisters) took me out for a night on the town for my bachelorette party.
- I graduated from DePaul University as a Master in Secondary Education with a focus in Mathematics, but I didn't attend the ceremony because that very same day...
- David and I finally married after 5+ years of love! We were married at my childhood church, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, and we partied the night away as a newly married couple surrounded by all our family and friends at Rhodes Hall <3 Oh, my heart, it was such a perfect day!
- Four days after our wedding, I interviewed at a dream school in Chicago, was offered the job that evening, and accepted the position two days later!
- David and I road-tripped to Lewis, IA for the wedding of David's best man.
- My newest niece, Caitlin Frances, was born!
- We left for our European honeymoon! We traveled to France and Germany and spent most of our time in Paris, Nice, the Mosel Valley, and Bavaria.

- David and I returned from the honeymoon of a lifetime (we already want to go back!).
- My sister, Meghan, came to visit Chicago for the first time.
- I enjoyed my last few weeks of summer before starting work in August!

- My family and I went to Cinnamon Beach in Palm Coast, FL for our annual week of soaking up the sun and good family time.
- I finally started my career as a full-time teacher! I teach high school math, and I love it!
- David and I traveled to his hometown of Lincoln, NE to attend the wedding of his cousin and catch up with his extended family.

- David and I drove out to Starved Rock State Park for a day of hiking over Labor Day weekend.
- I evaluated my yarn stash and made some plans to work through some of the yarn that I own.
- I finished knitting my Mercury Socks using yarn that I had purchased in Paris.
- I started two new pairs of socks.

- I finished knitting my Obliviate Socks and my Pebbles Socks.
- My sister and brother-in-law finally married!
- David and I traveled to South Carolina for the Georgia Tech vs. Clemson game.

- David's parents came to Chicago for a long weekend to visit. We ate lots of good food with them and went to the Museum of Science and Industry for the first time.
- I started my Christmas gift knitting.
- Chicago had its first snow of the season.
- I traveled alone for the first time to Seattle for an IB work conference.
- David and I spent Thanksgiving with our families in Atlanta.

- I knit and crocheted like a maniac trying get get all my Christmas crafting done. Ultimately, I finished three cross-stitches for my fellow math teachers, a knitted pair of socks for David, a crocheted blanket for my sister, another crocheted blanket for my mom, and a Christmas stocking for David.
- I went to my first Bulls game.
- David and I drank Ghulwein at the Chicago Christkindl Market.
- David and I got into the Christmas spirit by attending a holiday concert at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
- We spent a week in Atlanta surrounding ourselves with family, friends, and good food.
- We went to the holiday light show at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
- We rang in the New Year in Chicago with friends and are welcoming 2018 and all that the year will offer us!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hag-Seed // A Blogging for Books Review

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood is a re-imagining of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Its main character, Felix, is a theater director who has staged many of Shakespeare's plays but is dismissed from his job as a rival co-worker vies for his position. Over the course of more than a decade, Felix remakes his life, and begins to direct felons in his plays as a form of rehabilitation, both for himself and the convicts. As he plots his own revenge, he directs the prisoners in The Tempest, a play itself that is all about revenge and fantasy. The play therefore mimics Felix's own life, and Hag-Seed is a retelling of the classic play in a new and original way.

Atwood is successful in creating a depth and range to her characters that is usually only present in a theatrical setting, and she uses humor and magic to re-imagine The Tempest in a clever and satirical way. While I don't naturally gravitate towards Shakespeare's work (especially his dramas), I read this book in only a few days as it retold a classic in a modern way. Despite the heavy subject matter, this book read easily as a parody, and Atwood's writing was enchanting, as always.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.