Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year in Review

Today is New Year's Eve, and it is most likely that I will not do anything particularly celebratory today, or as the new year turns over tonight. Still, this day does make me reflect. 2016 was some year. At the end of 2015, also a hard year, I was so hopeful that the new year would bring new hope, joy and peace. In review, 2016 brought new challenges, experiences and heartache. Still, there was hope, joy and (eventually) peace, and I am thankful that I have made it through. My obligatory reflection this year is focused on my faith, and it was prompted by a question posed to me this week...a question that really made me think. 

The magic question, which came unexpectedly from a relatively new friend, was this: "Are you afraid of death?" 

My answer was quick and sure. No. Unlike poor Mr. Scrooge, I am not afraid of death. I am a bit fearful of the process of dying, and when that comes for me and those I love, I am hopeful that it will be quick and not uncomfortable. However, even if it is painful when my time comes to cross over, I will not be afraid, because I cling to God's promise that I will spend an eternity with him. Because I have accepted his Son, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior, God will look past my unworthiness, and he will welcome me to his heavenly kingdom as a beloved daughter. There will be no more tears or pain or heartache...only praise and love and joy and peace!

In 2016, I suffered a deep depression. I experienced the tragic death of loved ones and the destruction of relationships. There has been job loss and rejection, and the threat of divorce after 29 years of marriage. I stopped knitting. I lost myself this year, and I considered suicide in a very real way. But through it all, I clung to God, and he offered me hope. Hope in his promises. Hope in new relationships and jobs. Hope in healing for my marriage. (He also brought me hope through medical and psychological treatment, which are a very important part of my recovery...but this is not a medical or psychology blog. It's a Pretty blog...)

With my hope restored and my faith renewed, I was able to love again. Faith, hope and love are restored to me, and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13). With my faith and hope in tact, I can love God and his creation. I can love the lovely and the unlovely, and I can love myself again, because God loved me first. Thanks be to God!

If I had to pick one word to sum up 2016, I'd probably say that this year has been...interesting. I have grown as a person and as a Christian, but the road has been full of nasty potholes, and there has been some damage to my suspension. Even so, I will enter 2017 as a better and stronger person than I was when 2016 rolled around a year ago, and I am thankful for that. There is much to learn from tragedy, but I am ever hopeful that there will be less tragedy in the new year.

What's your word for 2016? And what are you hoping for 2017?
My hope is the same this year as last, that the new year will bring renewed hope, joy and peace to my life and the lives of my loved ones. Oh, and more knitting. I hope there will be even more knitting!

Thanks for stopping by today, dear readers. I wish you hope, joy and peace in 2017 and beyond.

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

I'm Not Sleeping Through Christmas!

Today. I. Am. Tired. I could sleep for a week! But I will not sleep through Christmas! You see, for the past week, we have had visitors. Wonderful visitors. Lovely visitors. Energetic visitors!

They have not spent the whole week at our house, but we have been blessed to spend LOTS of time with them, and I am so thankful. Getting to see these girlies so close to Christmas is one of the best presents I will receive this year!

There have been many terrific Christmas gifts already, like this set of mugs and dishes...

...and this blanket. Wow, Dollface! These are home runs!

The girls enjoyed their gifts, too. Look! They are all super heroes!

And there was gingerbread,

and snuggles...

...and so. much. FUN!!!

I hope that your Christmas is good! If you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope that you are celebrating something, and that all of your celebrations are good! It's the most wonderful time of the year in my home, and I wish all of you much love and joy to round out 2016.

Thanks for stopping by on Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas, and may you all Knit in Good Health!

PS - I've knit a pair of red mittens! There are few knits which bring such quick satisfaction as red mittens! Yay!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Dropped Call?

Sooo, I forgot to blog today, because this happened:

Yep, right out the gate, I dropped the phone, and whatever it fell on shattered my camera lens.  Other than that, the Galaxy S5 has been a great phone, and I would have kept it.  But with all my photos looking like this...

...and since I was due for an upgrade, I bit the bullet and moved on up to the S7, which I already love!  I'd take a picture to put here, but, you know, the other phone HAS NO CAMERA!

Other than the phone, the day has been good. Dollface and Friend took us to see "A Christmas Carol" downtown, and the girls have come to visit, so that makes the day very good!!!

But for now, I'm gonna wrap up this post and say, "Good night Gracie."

Good night Gracie!

Thanks for stopping by, and knit in good health!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Party On, Garth!

Last week, I mentioned briefly the party of the year. A party worthy of any party award...a party of parties, and the best annual party I have ever been a party to! This year was no different. There was hot chocolate, spiked just slightly, and food for days!

If this party were a girl, she would make Wayne and Garth yell, "Shwing!," every. single. year. Probably several times. Every year, we exchange gifts, and each one seems to be more amazing that the last! Look at some of these:

Did she make that? She did? Shwing!

Are these for real? Way! No Way! Wayyy! No Wayyy!

Did she really just draw and paint that while we were sitting here? Party on!, Excellent!, and Shwing!

But even the gifts aren't the best part of this party. The best part is being with people who "get" you. It's sitting on the sofa, or behind the sofa, 

knitting and laughing and eating with some of the dearest people I have the pleasure of knowing!

It's wearing hand-knit socks into a group that "gets" hand-knit socks,

and it's finding that some of you even have the same socks!

(Or you soon will!)

This year, it was learning how to use a selfie stick, 

and getting all of us in a group shot, laughing a bit too hysterically because someone shouted, "Acrylic!"

(For those of you who don't knit yet, there is a joke in that. Let me teach you about the yarns, and in a few years you will be laughing with us! I promise.)

Thanks for another memory-maker of a party, ladies! I love all of you more than I can express, and I missed those of you who couldn't make it this year. But, there's always next year!!! (And, of course, we meet every Thursday, so I hope to see you long before next Christmas!)

Today there is more Christmas at my house, and I will party on with gingerbread and tree decorating. My favorite littles are coming for a visit, and Gramma's house will need to be just so for Christmas, in a 2-year-old-safety kinda way! (Wish me luck on that!) I'm sure that it will be another fun day, though not quite as much fun as last Saturday, lol! Whatever you're up to today, I hope that you will find contentment and joy in it.

Thanks for stopping by, and knit in good health!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Today is the Day!

One of my favorite worship songs is Today is the Day, by Lincoln Brewster. Whenever I hear the opening chords in church, I know that the day will be good. (In truth, any Sunday that I can get to church and sing to the Lord with my brothers and sisters is a pretty good day, but I do like that song!) Anyhoo...even without church, I know that today is a good day! Today is the day of the annual Knitters' Christmas Party!!! By the time this post goes live, I'll likely be working on seconds from the amazing pot-luck style food, and we should be in the third hour of eating, laughing and knitting! It's an event that I look forward to just as much as the annual excursion to Woolapalooza (which I missed this year, making this party even more anticipated for me)!

Before 9am this morning, I had made the treats I will contribute, prepared the bags we will all take home our haul of gifties in and wrapped up the goodies that I will give as "stocking stuffers" to my besties! Here's a sneak peek at one of the items I've made:

Little snowman ornaments, with a mirror where the face should be! Each comes with a poem that goes a little something like this:

A snowman for you –
Well, it’s for your tree.
Look at its face,
What do you see?
I see someone special
In just the right ways–
I see love and kindness
In a beautiful face!

I hope the girls like them! I know that I can't wait to see what creative gifts await me at the party! The stocking stuffers are typically some of my favorite gifts of the Christmas season! Actually, by looking at my house today, you wouldn't even know it was the Christmas see, we had new windows and doors put in this week, and I have not had the chance to do much decorating, aside from the wreath on our new front door (but where will I hang the house numbers now???).

Universal Windows Direct did a great job with everything from the sales pitch to the clean-up! We had a very efficient install crew (they did all the windows and doors in one day!)...I couldn't be more impressed! I'm not being paid to say this, but if you need windows/doors, check them out. They are terrific, and I love my new windows and doors!

Maybe I'll get the tree up tomorrow...and maybe not. The grandkids will be visiting at Christmas time, but not before next weekend, so I still have time. It does make me twitch to not have it all going on in December, but it's been a year, so I'm letting myself off the hook just a bit on this one. :^)

Well, I think that's it. Today is the Day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it with my besties at the Christmas party! I hope you have some fun things planned for your today as well! Whatever you've got going on, thanks you for stopping by, and I hope you will Knit in Good Health!