New Stitches: Mother’s Day Edition

I have been so excited to share this recently completed project, but had to keep it under wraps since it was to be a gift. For Mother’s Day, I knit my mom a scarf using Cascade Yarns’ Ultra Pima in China Pink, completely in garter stitch. The yarn has wonderful stitch definition and was great to work with. This was my first time working with this yarn, and the reasons I selected it were: I wanted something lightweight; it is machine washable; the color is gorgeous. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, so when I saw this perfect shade of pink, I knew I had to go for it. I will say, I washed it in the washing machine upon completion and one or two stitches came out. I ran it through the delicate cycle, yet it did not hold up 100%. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed. Despite that, I still enjoyed working with this yarn and have already purchased more in another color for a “to be determined” project. Next time, I will simply hand wash this yarn.

Without further ado, please enjoy my “Pretty in Pink” Mother’s Day gift:

Pretty in Pink 1

Pups Pink 3

Pups Pink 5


Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Mom,

Happy Mother’s Day! Not only would I quite literally not be here today without you, I would not be the woman I am without your unconditional love, unwavering faith, and seemingly endless patience. Thank you for being an exemplary role model, a trusted confidant, and my best friend. I owe everything to you–thank you for all you do.

Mom 1

Mom 2

Mom 3

Mom 4

Moms Day 5

“What Do You Want?”

Today’s journal entry was inspired by this post over at (in)courage, by Holley Gerth.

In the post, Holley discusses asking the question, “What do you want?” After reading the post in its entirety, I sadly realized: I have not stopped to ask myself this question in quite a while. Sure, I think about things I “want” any day of the week, but they are superficial, material things. Handbags, shoes, books, stationery, journals, decor for the condo, a spotless home, jewelry, a new car. I need not go on, you get the point. I mean, who doesn’t fantasize about these sorts of things on a regular basis? Yet, it has been longer than I can remember since I sat in pensive silence to think on what I really want. What does your heart, mind and soul truly, genuinely desire? What a question! So then, after reading Holley’s words, I took the time to process the question, allowed it to sit awhile, and then aimed to list out my answers.

Here are a few real, genuine wants of mine:
–restored health
–to be completely free of facial pain
–more physical energy
–no more panic attacks
–to once again feel smart, intellectual
–friends and genuine connection with women here in Chicago
–a true sense of belonging
–to better learn Scripture and the teachings in the Bible
–a deeper relationship with God and Jesus Christ
–have less fear
–more confidence, courage and a stronger sense of independence
–to be more physically fit for my current health and future preventative benefits
–to be able to go to a live music show (I used to do this all the time before getting sick and I LOVED it) and really enjoy it without experiencing any panic or anxiety
–to serve the less fortunate and under-served in my community as best I can

Over the next few days, take some time to think on the question, “what do you really want?”

Note: I am not an affiliate of (in)courage, I simply enjoy the writing of their contributors and reflecting on same.

Travelogues: Annapolis, late April

Last week I traveled to the Annapolis area to see my grandmother, spend time with family, and celebrate the grand opening of a housing project which includes a community center named in honor of my late grandfather. The weather was perfect, the quality time with family was priceless, and there was lots of crab consumed. It was wonderful to see that side of the family together and honor an amazing man.

Grandmother and the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland cutting the ribbon

Grandmother and the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland cutting the ribbon

My grandmother and me posing with a photo of my late grandfather

My grandmother and me posing with a photo of my late grandfather

USNA across the Severn River

The US Naval Academy and the Maryland State House across the Severn River


I always love visiting Annapolis–the historic downtown and the U.S. Naval Academy. (Growing up, USNA was my “dream school.” I received a congressional nomination but was waitlisted.) This town is truly one of my favorites. Annapolis has always held such a special place in my heart, and now, even more so.


PS: While traveling, I have been working on more knitting projects, which I hope to share with you all soon!

Travelogues: Houston, Easter Weekend

P and I traveled to Houston for Easter weekend to spend time with my family. It was so nice to get out of town for a few days and enjoy warmer weather. Traveling is always exciting, but it always seems to bring me a bit of anxiety. Lately with my increased bouts of pain and panic attacks, I have not been wanting to get out of my comfort zone all that much. Despite the fact that we were going to visit my family (and I was super thrilled!), I still worried. And felt anxious. And panicked. We had to board Theodore, which I really dislike doing. He does not do well at the vet–so much so that the vet has prescribed him a sedative to administer before vet appointments. Anxious kitty equals anxious kitty mom. Fortunately, P kindly dropped Theo off so I would not have to deal with the emotion (read: have my heart broken upon leaving Theo at the front desk). Rationally, I know something like this should not upset me as much as it does; Theo has boarded with the vet several times before and always survives just fine. Anyway, I digress…

While we were in Houston, I enjoyed a little shopping with my mom, lots of quality time with my brothers and dad, and I got to see P relax like he has not been able to in quite a while. It was glorious. I even got to spend time with and get a massage from my friend and favorite massage therapist!

Easter Sunday was beautiful: the weather, the company, the Mass. Mom and I had some devotional time. Sadly, I had a pretty bad panic attack toward the end of brunch. My body was telling me it needed rest. I was able to enjoy a delicious home cooked dinner with my family after napping for a while and getting through the exhaustion caused by the attack.

I am so grateful P and I were able to spend this time in Houston with family. Our next visit will be in just one month, as the twins graduate from high school. Unbelievable!


My childhood sanctuary.


Mom and I enjoying a meal al fresco on Good Friday.

Learning to Listen

Lately I have been feeling more inclined to listen and read words than to write or speak. It’s been an interesting experience. I have thought of several blog post topics, and barely begin writing before saving the draft and moving onto something else.

P and I are currently in Houston with my family, whom I miss tremendously. So, instead of speaking, I am learning to listen to their stories, to be present in the moment, to really take it all in.

I have been reading Scripture in preparation for Easter, and trying to listen closely to God through the written Word.

My short break from writing on the blog will end soon, but while I am in Houston with some of my most beloved people, I will be devoting my time and attention to simply listening.

A beautiful and blessed Easter to all.

Yes, more snow…

It is currently snowing here in Chicago. Yes, you read that correctly: snowing. And not just tiny flurries, but decently-sized snowflakes.

Good thing I had another nerve block injection this morning and must rest for 24 hours because, believe you me, this frozen white powdery stuff falling from the sky (I am actually considering banning the word “snow” from my vocabulary) is making me want to curl up under a blanket with a hot cup of tea and a book…until July.

Fortunately, as of now we are planning to jet off to Houston for the latter half of Holy Week, so hopefully we will get a true taste of spring soon.