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Um, I believe I have just found the greatest invention ever.  Are you ready?

A reclining armchair/blanket combo!!!

(Make sure you scroll through all the pictures to really see what I am talking about.)

If it weren’t so weird and my place wasn’t so small I would be ALL over this.

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Has anyone else developed a wee little crush on Chris Collinsworth while watching the Olympics?

Is it just me?  It is huh? I just can’t help it!  He really loves the Olympics–I can tell.  He gets all geeked out by being at the events.  And he and Bob Costas really seem to like each other.  And their jobs.  I find it all very charming.

On a related note, how good have the Olympics been so far?  I am loving it.  Part of me wishes I was participating in the Knitting Olympics or Ravelmpics or some other similarly named knitting challenge but if I started something new now I would never finish Vivian.  And I am so close.  So very close.

On an unrelated note, my next post will be 1. soon and 2. a house post.  So get off my back!  Just kidding :).  I love you all and any amount of pestering you want to engage in is completely accepted and frankly, well deserved.

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“Erin in the tens”

So I had this New Year’s post started…all about new years resolutions and how I love New Years and get seduced by “fresh starts” and thoughts of “this is my year” but that this excitement of mine generally leads to disappointment when 1. it is not “my” year or 2. I keep repeating the same mistakes and never seem to budge on the resolutions I’ve made over and over again for years and years and years.  But that was all before I realized something very important.  This is not just a new year…it is a new decade!  The “oughts” are gone and the “tens” have arrived! Now maybe I could have resisted the lure of yet another new year…but a new decade?!!  I didn’t stand a chance.

Now, before I talk about how excited I am to leave the aughts behind and really embrace the tens, I feel I must pay tribute in some way to the 10 years that just passed.  So here is a little look back into some highlights of my life over the last decade (accompanying pictures only from 2003 on–my post-digital camera era):

  • 2000 – I am living in Washington DC, working in communications at a lobbying office for a Pharmaceutical company.  I have been roommates with KW for a couple years at this point but this year Max moves in too making this the happiest and most fun roommate situation of my life (outside of my sister Kara of course.)   Sister Bri visits me during her spring break (she is a junior in high school) and we enjoy pretty much the most perfect trip to NYC together.  In June of this year my parents leave my hometown of Honolulu, HI and move to Tokyo, Japan.  In July, I become an Aunt for the first time as my dear Emma is born.  I travel to Charleston, SC for Memorial Day and spend Christmas in Tokyo.
  • 2001 – Realize my time in DC is done and move to Salt Lake City, UT in August.  Sister Kara has just graduated from college and flies out to drive cross country with me.  Live alone for the first time in my life–and love it.  After 3 months of no job I take a part-time, really bad paying job as an Internet department assistant–a job I don”t want at a company I do want to work for.
  • 2002 – Get promoted from the job I don’t want to one that is much better (and full-time) but maintain great connections with those I worked with (which helps mold my job options in the future.)  Get an invite to a dinner party along with six other women who have since become some of the dearest and most beloved of all my friends.  Again travel to Tokyo for Christmas.
  • 2003 – Second niece Ellie is born.  Go on a super fun (and fairly impromptu) trip to South Korea and Tokyo in the summer after I am set up with a boy over email who lives there.  The date isn’t that great (nice guy, just not for me) but the trip is sure fun.  My parents move from Tokyo to Salt Lake so for the first time in 12 years our whole family lives in the same state.

Shopping in Seoul

  • 2004 – In October, I stumble across a cute knitting pattern during a web search which leads me to buy a book, some yarn, and learn to knit.  Knowing I need more experience in the new field I am starting, I take a new job with a different company.

Being an Aunt

  • 2005 – After a lot of healing from a broken heart (long story) which (thankfully) brings sister Kara and I closer together, we decide to become roommies.  We find the perfect house situated in the perfect neighborhood.  On the day we find out my brother and his wife are pregnant (with cute Ryan) my Mom and Dad announce they are moving yet again, this time to Hong Kong. I start this blog…yeah, I know, I’ve been around a LONG time.  Bri moves to Salt Lake and in with super cool Amanda who introduces us all to The OC (the OC + love sac + Cafe Rio + Bri, Amanda, and Kara = heaven.) Baskin Robbins starts their best. promotion. ever, “Dollar Scoop Tuesdays” to which Bri, Amanda, and I start making regular appearances–before we get together to watch Gilmore Girls of course.  Baby Ryan is born.  I turn 30.

Wee little Ryan

  • 2006 – I learn how to garden from the “Tomato King”.  Kara and I attend Estes Park Wool Festival in Colorado.  Bri starts dating future husband Adam.  I fall in love with Hong Kong and ride elephants in Thailand with my family over Christmas.

Elephants!

  • 2007 – On a whim, I apply for a job with my favorite knitting publisher and much to my surprise am offered the job–and take it.  This means I leave my beloved sister roommate as well as the rest of my family behind and move to Denver, CO in June.  Bri marries Adam in July, I gain a new brother.  Am given the opportunity to work with the teenaged girls at my church which is not only super fun and fulfilling but also introduces me to two of my most favorite friends ever, Teri and Shelley.

A sister gets married

  • 2008 – Start carpooling for the hour drive to work and realize how lucky I am to have such a good and easy time with my two carpool buddies (and soon to be very close friends) LL and Tricia.  Visit Kara while she lives in London and the two of us visit Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and France together.  Became active in social groups with people from church like book club, craft night, scrapbooking weekend, and many baby showers.  My association with these awesome women connects me to Denver in a way I don’t ever want to break.  Due to an overwhelming desire to wear long-legged lounge pants, I finally learn to sew for reals.

Sisters and Big Ben

  • 2009 – Grandpa passes away and the entire family gathers in Hawaii to celebrate his life and our heritage.  I make the hard decision to leave a great job and really perfect friends for a new job opportunity in Salt Lake City.  Move in May.  Travel to China and Hong Kong with “my long-time traveling companion” Laurel in June.  Parents move back to Salt Lake from Hong Kong.  Become roommates housemates with my parents while I figure out where I want to settle.  Become a home owner for the first time in my life and move into my awesome home in November.

China Erin eats fish with the head on the plate

So there you go…the last 10 years in a nutshell.  That was harder than I thought it would be but as you can see, I have no reason to complain, in fact, I feel pretty blessed to have the life I do.  So thank you aughts, the last 10 years were great. Could it have been better?  Sure.  Could I have been better?  Yeah.  So of course, after reflection my mind then turns to thoughts of the tens…

What do I want to accomplish in the tens?  Where will life lead me in the tens?  And ultimately…who do I want to be in the tens?  That last question lead to a long list (that I am still adding to) of changes I want to make or qualities to aspire to and even things I do now that I want to continue.  Basically, who is Erin in the tens?  I don’t feel like they are resolutions–more like me defining who I am and will be (in the tens.)

Just to give you an idea of what to expect…Erin in the tens goes to the doctor and finally figures out if indeed she is allergic to metal (i.e. razors) and if she has a deviated septum.  Erin in the tens reads much more as Erin in the “late aughts” missed it.  Erin in the tens is really good at saving money.  Erin in the tens enjoys food but does not eat excessively.  Basically, Erin in the tens is a lot like Erin in the pre-tens only she is doing her best to be a little bit better.  I am excited…I just have a good feeling about this one.  This is totally my decade.

Happy New Tens to you all!

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A new me

So all I have are poorly lit photos taken by me on my cell phone at work BUT, I thought I would share anyway.

Before:

After:

It is like it is a whole new me.  (But still totally me.)

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I miss knitting

I know it is a silly thing to say, seeing as how I am perfectly capable of picking up the needles at any time.  But the past 6 months…life has been busy.  An unsettled kind of busy.  And when life gets like that for me, during my downtime I seek less release in my more active and creative pursuits and tend to fall back on easy and mindless activities (like browsing the internet or playing word games on my phone while I watch TV.)

I spent some time on Ravelry tonight, browsed patterns and projects, took a look at my queue, and started remembering.  I remember what it is like to see a design or a finished object and get that flash of inspiration/obsession.  To carefully choose yarn and colors–usually spread out on the floor of a friendly local yarn store.  To rush home and make a hasty effort of a swatch (just so you can say you did) and then excitedly cast on.  Then there is the actual knitting process, watching something grow and seeing how the colors and texture take form.  Setting mini-deadlines and reaching mid-way milestones of finishing the back, or a sleeve.  Finally being able to block the finished pieces and always forgetting how long it takes to actually seam the garment.  Trying it on for the first time and taking that first “I just spent over 100 hours on this project and what if it is hideous” look in the mirror.  Then of course there is the awkward photo shoot to show the blog what it looks like on even though you feel like a huge dork and hate having your picture taken because you over smile and feel self-conscious and worry others will think you are a wannabe model.  Yeah, I remember it, and I miss all of it.

So, all this to say, I haven’t been knitting.  Or I haven’t been knitting much.  I’ve had the same project on the needles since before I moved from Colorado.  And it is no where close to being done.  See?

When I started this top I was so proud of myself for the season appropriateness of it all.  I reasoned, by the time I finished, summer would be here.  Although now that I think about it, by the time I finish NEXT summer will be here.  So I guess it is okay.  This is such an interesting knit.  I mean, it is constructed diagonally! I have never seen a sweater knit this way and don’t know what it means in terms of fit.  In fact, I have no clue how it is going to fit and probably won’t until it is done.  I have gotten good at adjusting a sweater to my body but on this one I have no choice but to follow the pattern as written.  I just have to have faith in my gauge…although it is hard.

Crazy, crazy top.

Even though I haven’t spent a whole lot of actual knitting time with this project, I am still feeling the pangs of boredom that come from looking at the same pattern and colors for months on end.  So, sadly, I doubt I’ll finish this any time soon.  Just don’t let me put it off too long.  In the mean time…winter knits anyone?

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News

Last time I wrote I promised news.  Now I am aware that from time to time I have promised things on this blog and didn’t deliver.  This is not one of those times.

So you ready for it?  My news…

I am buying a house!

Actually a condo, but I hate the word condo (for some reason it feels like a very cheesy 80’s word to me.)  I don’t like the word apartment either because that word=renting in my mind.  And I will be a renter no longer.  So if you have a great word I should call my place please let me know.

This whole buying a (insert great word for property I am buying) is a pretty big deal to me.  I know, many of you have already done the ‘buy the house’ thing but it is new for me and I can’t help but be terrified and at the same time very impressed over my grown-up self.

Sure, there is the chance that this doesn’t happen.  I don’t close for 2 weeks and something could go wrong.  (Please don’t go wrong.)  But it feels like it is going to happen and so I feel relatively safe making this announcement.  Plus I am just so excited I can’t stand holding it in any longer.  In fact my reasons for being excited are so many I feel an itemized list coming on…

Reasons I am excited for my upcoming move/purchase:

  1. My new neighborhood: the Avenues.  I love the history and charming homes, the proximity to downtown and yet the feel of a neighborhood.
  2. Hatch Family Chocolates.  My new place is within two blocks to my favorite chocolate shop in all of SLC.  Say we are hanging out at my place one night watching Gilmore Girls on DVD.  I could turn to you and say “Hey, you want 1000-calorie-but-best-I-have-ever-tasted hot chocolate right now?”  You would say: “Um, yeah!”  And then we would go and be back with said deliciousness in like 10 minutes.  I am not saying the close proximity of Hatch’s is good for my healthy diet but I am certain it is good for my soul.  In fact, I am contemplating a change jar which will serve as my slush fund for Hatch’s and nothing else.  Am I a little too much of a superfan?
  3. Decorating.  Really it is just another creative outlet that I am tapping into.  I watched my sister Kara have so much fun making her “flat” (her chosen word) hers by searching for deals, painting, and finding accents that has made her place truly envy worthy.  These things take time though (and money) and so I will have to pace myself but I am having fun so far with visions of what it could be.
  4. I get to be with my stuff again. For the past 5 months, 95% of my things have been in storage.  I miss my stuff.
  5. My new commute. Remember my 1-hour-each-way commute to Loveland from Denver?  Now my commute will be 5 minutes by car, 20 by foot.  Yeah, I could walk to work if I wanted.  And then walk downtown on the weekends, you know, for fun.
  6. Finally, the apartment itself which was found pretty quickly. I did a lot of research and looking online but on the first night of looking in person I found it.  It was the last place we went to and I am pretty sure my real estate agent knew what he was doing saving it for last.  I love it.  Hardwood floors, french doors opening to a “balcony”, open kitchen and living room space, awesome views of the mountains and valley.  It is not a huge place (about 900 square feet: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath) but it is perfect for me.  I promise to take lots of pictures as soon as I can.  It is going to be awesome.

Don’t get me wrong though.  I will miss my roommies Mom and Dad and the fun times we’ve had living under the same roof.  I’ll miss having disposable income.  I’ll miss…um, I think those are the only two negatives.  My tentative move in date is Halloween.  I am totally dressing up as a homeowner this year.

P.S. All this house stuff has really put a damper on my other creative pursuits.  I haven’t been knitting.  Or sewing.  I know I will get back to it but for now my mind is otherwise occupied.  I will post pictures soon though of what I have been able to accomplish this summer.

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Catching up

Not posting for a while is kind of like taking too long to email a friend back (of which I have way to much experience with.)  You keep meaning to write but every day/week/month you wait, all the things you have to cover just grow exponentially.  The more you have to write, the harder it is to find the time to write until you either never write or you break down, skip all the fun details, say “life has been busy”, and start from scratch.  I am trying to fight the urge to do either one of these things.

I really do have stuff I want to share. The summer was crazy….I moved!, started a new job!, went to China!, sewed 3 skirts + 3 shirts+ 1 dress!, started a new fitness plan!, became roommates housemates with my parents!, frogged and casted on again for the carp!, watched the 1st season of Big Bang Theory on DVD! (okay, so maybe I did have some time to blog.)  Anyway, crazy times for me.  When I move to another city I feel a little like I am hitting the reset button on my life.  It is kind of an awesome/strange feeling.  I like fresh starts for the same reason I like new year’s and birthdays.  I like taking stock, making changes, and the promise of the unknown.  But it takes a little time for me to feel comfortable in my skin, to settle.  And even though this time I moved to a familiar place, I still felt unease that for me only calms with time. I miss my apartment and my supermarket and my neighborhood and my restaurants.  But most of all, as my dear friend Shelley would say, I miss my people.  (My Denver people that is, thankfully, I do have Salt Lake people that I don’t have to miss any longer.)

All this to say that thanks to this angst-y adjustment time, I have gotten out of the blogging habit.  But, things are changing.  Pieces are falling into place and it is starting to feel normal that I live here again.  And of course…it is October.  I LOVE October.  Good things happen in October.  So maybe it is my calming down life or the magical month of October that is bringing my blogging mojo back but either way, here I am, and I will be back soon with some fun news and maybe a peek at what little knitting I have gotten done.

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