5th Anniversary

August 7th is a special day in my calendar and has been for the last 5 years. On this day 5 years ago I was hallucinating in the ICU after spending 6 hours with my head clamped to a table in surgery. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it.

Going into surgery on August 7th, 2015 was the scariest day of my life and a close second was March 18th, 2015 standing in the emergency department in my pj’s being diagnosed with a brain tumour. The months that followed the diagnosis were challenging. My oldest son was in kindergarten my youngest in diapers. I was a mom to a 2 year old and 5 year old, first year graduate student and unsure of what the future might hold. Life was scary.

Today and every day I celebrate walking from the experience away a brain tumour survivor. Walking away was a feat in itself, my first walk (the length of a hallway) about 3 days after surgery involved my husband carrying my catheter bag like a purse, and IV pole and sunglasses. I will let you picture that because there are no pictures of that part.

My battle scars still exist, I have a nice 3″ scar behind my left ear, a metal plate covering the hole in my skull, and strength I didn’t know I had. I blame my inability to spell and the odd thing I think I can get away with on my now non-existent tumour.

Each year around my craniversary I challenge myself to partaking in an activity that requires balance. From paddle board yoga to rock climbing I have tried some interesting new things over the last 4 years, and this year I took the opportunity to enjoy an inflatable waterpark in Harrison Hot Springs with my husband and kids. While I still have rubber rug burn on my butt from the waterpark slides it is nothing compared to those first 5 days in the hospital.

After 5 years it’s time to close this chapter and move forward. To those still battling, you got this!

Who doesn’t love a resolution that involves new shoes?

The beginning of the year can be filled with pressure for some people as they resolve to change and change can be hard. In past years I have had some lofty resolutions none of which I ever followed through on, but for the last three years I have had more success. Part of the success has to do with making sure that I have the right tools to easily follow through on my resolutions.

Three years ago I resolved to listen to more music because it makes me happy. It was a pretty simple resolution, and to be successful I got myself setup with wireless speakers, and a Spotify account. Three years later, I am still listening to music.

Two years ago I resolved to spend more weekend time with my family, to do that I addressed the issues that were hindering my ability to have free time of the weekend. The main culprit was cleaning, so I resolved to pay someone to clean my house. Best resolution ever.

Last year I resolved to run because I have 2 feet and a heartbeat. This was by far the toughest resolution that I have kept up for an entire year. I have completed 3-5K races, 2-10K races and one half marathon. I have run 584 kilometers during 103 running outings in the last 365 days. It wasn’t easy,  but I did it, even Saturday mornings at 8am when I would much rather be in bed. There were many many days that I did not feel like running, but once I did I was glad I stuck with it. I joined a running group in January, downloaded the app Runtracker, and bought new shoes.

This year I am going to opt for an easier resolution. I need to sleep more. I am a night owl. My favourite time of day is when everyone else is asleep. I knit in bed before I go to sleep and sometimes get wrapped up in just finishing the row, or piece, or section…. But I also appreciate a good night sleep, which I can’t get if I’m not turning off the lights until after midnight. I have my fitbit to track my sleep, and I might use this as an excuse to get new sheets, pillows and maybe even a new bed.

What are you resolving to change in 2020?

 

 

 

Twelve days of Christmas – Day Twelve

Yippee, I made it through the twelve days of Christmas crafting. Today on day 12 I’m modelling my tall hibernating socks. Knit from a uneek sock kit, in colourway 60. I will be lounging in these socks over the holidays.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Twelve days of Christmas – Day Eleven

Today I dug our a few supplies to make wine cork trees. I sat on the living room floor and it was like I was magnetic. One kid came in and asked to make a tree, then the next one asked if he could make one.

I love that the boys want to craft with me. I’m so impressed with their making ability. I bet you can’t tell which trees they made.

Materials:

  • Wine corks
  • Washi tape
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors

Instructions

Tape the ends of the cork with washi tape and trim off excess. Arrange and hot glue together. Cut a cork in half and glue to bottom for the trunk.

Twelve days of Christmas – Day Ten

I was crafting with the kids today. We made gingerbread houses. We usually make one together but I decided this year to get them each one.

I was super excited when we opened the kits and the houses were already assembled and just needed to be decorated. Score!

I’m impressed with my older sons creativity and steady hand. My younger son used his leadership skills to tell me how to decorate his house 🤣.

Twelve days of Christmas – Day Nine

Who is gifting wine this Christmas. Send me a message I will send you my address. Let’s be friends.

These “wine sleeves” used to be part of my husbands sweater until it had an unfortunate adventure in the washing machine.

I measured the height of the bottle, sewed the sleeve closed, cut the sleeve off the sweater and tried the top closed with ribbon.

Twelve days of Christmas – Day Eight

Eight years ago my youngest son was 4 months old I decided that I would learn to knit while on maternity leave because of these tiny trees. I didn’t know how to knit but I knew I had to make these.

They were the first pattern I pinned years before I knew about Ravelry. It has taken me eight years to make them so they are fitting for the eighth day of Christmas.

They tie together my 2 hobbies (wine drinking and knitting) using waste from both to make something new.

Here is the pattern in case you are inspired too.

Twelve days of Christmas – Day Seven

I started running in January 2019. I’ve been at it for almost a year and have completed 2-5K races, 2-10K races and 1-1/2 marathon. I’ve run 570 kilometres this year and counting. I might try and slide in one more 5K race before the year is over.

Today I am crafting for myself because it’s cold outside. I ran this weekend wearing a toque but got too warm so I knit myself a headband to see if I can keep my ears warm but my head cool.

Materials:

  • Bulky yarn – Loops and Treads Cozy Wool
  • 9 mm US 13 – circular 16″ needles
  • 1 place marker

Pattern:

  • ROW1: CO44
  • ROW 2: Join place marker and K1,P1 to end
  • ROW 3: K1,P1 to end
  • ROW 4: Knit all stitches
  • ROW 5: P1,K1 to end
  • ROW 6: P1,K1 to end
  • ROW 7: Knit all stitches
  • ROW 8: K1,P1 to end
  • ROW 9: K1,P1 to end
  • ROW 10: Knit all stitches
  • ROW 11: P1,K1 to end
  • ROW 12: P1,K1 to end
  • ROW 13: Knit all stitches
  • ROW 14: K1,P1 to end
  • ROW 15: K1,P1 to end
  • ROW 17: Bind off and weave in ends

Twelve days of Christmas – Day Six

For the last few years we have done one family ceramic Christmas craft. Each year gets a little less chaotic as the kids get a little more independent working with clay.

This year we made gingerbread ornaments which were a piece of cake after making mugs and Christmas trees.

They are a little heavy to hang on a live Christmas tree. I might have to wire them on 😉.

Twelve days of Christmas – Day Five

I saw this idea when I was shopping last Christmas. I took a picture with every intention of making them last year. Here we are a year later and I can finally delete the photo reminder.

These are made from a tree branch from our yard. My husband cut these up into disks years ago after drying the branch for months. My son and I drew snowflakes on the wood discs and I drilled many, many holes. We sewed the snowflakes with red twine (from the dollar store) using a large needle. Then screwed hooks and added twine to hang them on the tree.