Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day!  Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

Featuring some crochet this week!  I received some wonderful Dishie yarn from KnitPicks for Christmas, and I'm using some of it to make some kitchen dish towels.  The all cotton yarn is going to be great because of its high absorbency.  And the colors are getting me excited for Spring and some warmer weathers!   

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Why I Blog

David posed an interesting question to me the other day.  He asked what got me started in blogging, and off the top of my head, I didn't really have an answer.

So as I was falling asleep last night, I started thinking about it again.  Why do I blog? And as I thought more and more about it, the answer became more obvious, and I realized that it wasn't just one thing that made me start  my own blog.  In fact, it even really wasn't one instance that made me start blogging--it was a progression of time that helped me make my decision, time that went well after I had already even started Kerry My Heart.

Before I started blogging, I was an avid blog reader.  I read blogs about fashion, about music, about just everyday life... You name it, I read it, and it wasn't long before I started wondering what it took to write a blog.

Then, when I came to college, I learned one really important thing: most bloggers are just everyday people.  And as I met some friends who just so happened to have a blog, I decided that I could be a blogger too.  Thus after a little ingenuity, Kerry My Heart was born.

But the process wasn't over there.  I was still on a learning curve, and I was still figuring out why I was blogging.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to almost be like a journal or a scrapbook of my life.  I have always kept a handwritten journal, but one thing that I've found really convenient about blogging is the ease with which I can write.  I'm a much faster writer when using a computer than I am with a pencil.  Don't get me wrong, I still journal like crazy, but I think approaching this blog in that way has helped me to be more personal and open with what I write.

I have also learned that with blogging comes a tremendous sense of community.  I have met so many wonderful people through the online world of blogging.  Starting this year, I have also greatly looked forward to the weekly Yarn Along that I participate in--there is no happier blogging feeling that receiving a comment on a post :)

Blogging has been a journey, and the reason I blog is continually renewing.  I hope you'll join me for the ride :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

First and Last Love

This is a poem that I wrote this past weekend for my creative writing class.  We didn't really have a topic or a prompt to go off of, but we were told to talk about a personal issue (serious or not) that we could talk convincingly about.  Everyone presented his or her poems in the front of the class today, and I wanted to share mine here too.

First and Last Love

Let me ask you something.
What makes it worth it?
All questions and few, if any, answers.
I watch you get on that plane,
Tears streaming down my face
As I try to make myself appear sane
As I sit back down, alone now, onto that cold Marta seat,
Looks from other passengers thinking I’m either crazy or elitist
Or both
With my sunglasses on,
Hiding red eyes in embarrassment,
Or something like it,
As the train pushes off from the airport station
And lurches and jolts back to Midtown,
A microcosm for my life as I feel myself unseaming.
Six weeks.
Six weeks and the longest period we will have ever undergone without seeing each other
In the two years since we met that hot April night,
Dancing on picnic tables,
And that kiss you gave me on the forehead as I was leaving.

It seems like we do a lot of that,
Coming and going.
But beneath the physicality of location,
We stay.

And so to you who doubt
And to you who ask
“What makes it worth it?”
I say,

I have found the one who loves me biblically
My salt of the Earth
And the light of my world.
The kind of man who kisses my ribbons of scars
And loves me for my laugh lines
And knows that every wrinkle,
Every blemish,
Every tear,
Is a moment well-lived
And a second of my life spent learning how to love,
Love him
More importantly,
Love myself,
Waiting for the instant when we see each other again,
That look on our faces and the pound of our hearts,
Knowing that this
Is Love.

Copyright © 2013 Kerry Cogan

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Walk To End Lupus Now

A few years after I was born, my mom was diagnosed with lupus.

The Lupus Foundation of America gives the following definition of lupus:

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints and/or organs inside the body). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from foreign substances, like bacteria and viruses. With lupus, your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body's healthy tissues and creates autoantibodies ("auto" means "self") to attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

It's scary growing up, watching someone you love have lupus.  There would be mornings when I would wake up to go to school and know that my mom was having another "flare" because she would still be in bed, something that never happened unless she truly was sick, and then she would usually be like that for days at a time.  I would pray every night that she would be up and about when I woke up the next morning.

But as the result of her disease, my mom is one of the strongest people I know.  She has worked hard every day of her life and puts on a smile to the outside world.  The only indicators to strangers that she might be sick are her handicap sticker on her car or her cane.

I would do anything for her.

Every year, my family participates in the annual Lupus Walk.  It takes place at Piedmont Park at the end of April, and every year, my entire family gets together to raise money and walk for our mom, wife, and friend.  For the past three or four years, our team, Lynn's Lupus Fighters, has even had the recognition of being in the top ten earning teams.

Registration just opened up for this year, and our team is accepting donations.  Monetary donations are amazing, but if you don't have the means, then prayers are always acceptable forms of donation too--they're absolutely wonderful, in fact.

You can donate on my personal page or you can make a general team donation.  Either way, it all goes to help find a cure for lupus.

Thank you :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day!  Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I've always loved knitting lace.  I think that even the easiest lace stitches look so gorgeous which is why I like this pattern so far.  It's just intricate enough to keep me interested but easy enough to where I'm not sweating messing up every row.

As I'm getting used to the pattern, I'm hoping that I'll be able to work more quickly on these leg warmers.  Less than four weeks till Chicago!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Yoga

Let me just say that I forgot how intense doing yoga could be.  Yoga is really a workout, not all the inner peace like it's made out to be.  Don't get me wrong, there are times where it's really relaxing, but depending upon the type of yoga, you can be sweating in minutes.

But I'm determined to get back into the swing of things with yoga because I do remember the great benefits from it.  It's been since high school that I've really had a yoga routine, and I'm hoping I can set aside some time a couple times every week to get my inner downward dog on.

Or I'm just looking for an excuse to wear yoga pants more often...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Today In Pictures

An afternoon spent doing Analysis test prep.

A chocolate raspberry cupcake during a girls night with my amazing sisters and mom.

Feline socks to keep the toes toasty.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Only Wanna Be With You

"Look what has happened with just one kiss, I never knew I could be in love like this."

Happy Valentine's Day :) I hope you spend it with people you love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I started working yesterday on a pair of lacy leg warmers. I haven't done much more than the cuff on one, but even the ribbing makes me happy.  I'm hoping to finish these beauties up in time to go to Chicago next month.

And hopefully I won't get the syndrome a lot of knitters get when knitting in pairs--finish one and lose all motivation to do the other!

Also, I just started reading Naked Heat by Richard Castle.  Anyone else watch the TV show?  I'm finding the books to be just as addictive.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Spring Break Plans!!

How many days until Spring Break??  Well, check out this countdown timer to find out!  Coincidentally, this also counts down the number of days until I get to see David :)  It will be exactly four weeks from Friday, and I can't wait!!  This week, we'll be celebrating Valentine's Day long distance, but St. Patrick's Day conveniently falls during the week that I'll be spending in Chicago.  I'm excited to see the river dyed green.  And I'm excited to see my guy, of course :)  Hopefully the weather will be starting to get warm... Maybe?

Needless to say, I'm excited.  Bursting inside, in fact.  Spring Break can't get here soon enough :)

P.S. I'm drinking a yummy Darjeeling tea today.  What are you drinking?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Review of Laura Newbern, Dan Veach, and Thom Ward

I had the privilege to attend a poetry reading this past Thursday night.  These are my thoughts on it.

            Tonight was one of those nights where I got back to my apartment and felt like I should make a cup of tea, or do anything really that might prolong the sophisticated feeling that I had left with after attending my first Poetry @ Tech event.  That’s not to say that the poets I had heard acted stiff and lofty, as one might associate with a poetry reading, but rather, I left feeling as though they, as artists and story-tellers, had somehow passed on some of their worldliness to me through their craft and their experiences, and I wanted to extend that sensation for as long as possible.  Dan Veach evoked this sentiment best when he said during his reading that “all poems are the translation of our imagination and experience into words.”
            Immediately, at the start of each reading, I was surprised.  I was at a poetry reading for Laura Newbern, Dan Veach, and Thom Ward, and each one of them devoted some of their mere twenty minutes of allotted time to reading the works of other poets as well, other writers who have inspired their writing in the past.  It felt like a homage of sorts, and listening to their inspiration made me feel moved and encouraged, proving that all great poets have to start somewhere.
            The first poet to read was Laura Newbern whose work Thomas Lux described as “quiet and sparse” when introducing her.  Those words extend to more than just her work though.  She was meek and soft but not in a way that was detrimental to her work.  In fact, her humble attitude helped evoke the sentiment and life of her poems, especially those from her book Love and the Eye.  She expressed that she was on an “errand of love” and that her poems were not so much a love story as a “longing story,” a fitting phrase given the nature of her voice—every word felt deliberately chosen and the way she articulated her verses felt like she was making love to the words.
            Second to read was Dan Veach who began his poems by speaking of far-away places and adventure, almost as though he were setting the stage for the rest of his work where he spoke of similar journeys and undertakings.  The first of his poems that he read, and also the title of his new book, “Elephant Water,” articulated themes of wisdom and a life well-lived as he describes an elephant’s “wrinkled dignity,” and how life doesn’t permit half-attempts—it’s “full immersion or nothing.”  Having been given the opportunity to hear Dan Veach read, I am so glad I got to hear him read his own work as I’m not sure I could have given the same voice to his poems had I just been reading them to myself.
            Last to read was Thom Ward who easily held his audience captive.  His poems, containing a combination of light and darkness, were uninhibited and slightly immodest, but a more restrained tone would not have conveyed the same meaning that his works bore.  Slightly outrageous in personality, Ward had his audience laughing every few lines of his work, even the ones that were more serious in nature as he overlapped his slightly grim poems with a humorous texture that created a humane juxtaposition—he laid out his poems just how a person might have a regular conversation with someone.  It’s this kind of witty cleverness that made Ward succeed in his bombastic approach to writing and highlighted his apparent intelligence even though he proclaimed himself to be not much of a student in high school.  Also, it’s clear that he draws inspiration from everywhere—he works nursery rhymes into his poems and borrows lines that he’s heard from his children, and even as he interrupts his own poem to say something to the audience, you get the feeling that every word he’s written is just for you.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I Will Follow You Into The Dark

"The time for sleep is now, it's nothing to cry about because we'll hold each other soon."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny over at Small Things :)

I don't have a lot of work to show for the past week, but I did finish up both a hat and a scarf that I was keeping secret for a while given that they were for David's birthday last week.

That being said, there's not a lot else going on in my yarn world right now.  I found a great pattern for some leg warmers that I want to knit, and I decided they would be the a great project for me to learn to knit on double pointed needles.  I'm already having trouble keeping track of all the needles though.  Casting-on is about as far as I've gotten.  Hopefully I'll have more to show next week :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Strib Hat

I love knitting hats. I received some awesome wool yarn this Christmas that was soft enough to be worn but still warm enough to be used in colder weather, and I immediately thought of a pattern I had seen earlier when I saw the color combinations together.

Thus, I started the Strib Hat which acclimated me to ribbing and color changes when knitting in the round. I knitted about seven inches before I started the decreasing as opposed to the 5-6 inches suggested in the pattern because David has mentioned in the past that the hat I've made him before didn't completely cover his ears. It ended up being a good call because it fits him perfectly! I love how it turned out. I especially love the color blocking.

You can find the pattern and my Ravelry notes here.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My First Ever Crochet Project

I've gotten so into crochet these past few weeks! I definitely think my history of knitting helped me to get acclimated to the new challenges that crocheting brought to the table, and before long, I felt ready to undertake my first project!

After finding the easiest pattern I could, I chained 224 stitches and thus my first crocheted scarf was started. I decided to crochet the scarf longways because I wanted it to be long enough (the width was the more optional aspect in my opinion), and it is definitely long! It measures out to be about seven feet!

With the weather in Chicago having taken a drastic turn colder these past few weeks, I knew that I needed to make David a new scarf--one that would be thicker and longer so he could wrap it tightly around his neck and face to protect against the single digit temperatures. Plus his other scarf is getting pretty worn considering David uses it almost everyday. Yay for now having options!

I hope this new scarf keeps him nice and warm!

A work in progress!

All done!  It's crazy long!

The pattern and my Ravelry notes can be found here.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hot Stuff Cross-Stitch // Caffeine Fix Cross-Stitch

Nothing beats an awesome (and dorky) cross-stitch.

A while back, I found these really great patterns for some molecular cross-stitches. I immediately thought they would be perfect gifts for David given that he graduated with a degree in chemical engineering.

I sort of gave away already what the caffeine molecule was, but does anyone know what the other one is? :)