Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On being an aunt

I cannot wait to meet this little bundle of joy. Christmas is soon and I have so many ideas of what to get for her that I'm frazzled (she'll be just 1 month old - it's not like she's toy age yet, so my frazzledness is silly). My mom drove from WI to New Orleans to help out while my sister is mostly on bedrest. And to be Grandma.

This child shall be a loved child.
Cecilia Ann

I totally got her that star onesie (a whole pack in fact) right here in London and brought them to the US in the summer. She's chic and dressing in European fashion from the get-go! (Hah!)

It's times like this that I get bummed about living so far from my family. But near or far, I'll love her all the same.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful (day 5)

via: rifle paper co.

So it's the day after Thanksgiving. But I have one more bit of thankfullness to share. It's a simple one. But a great one.

oh, hi

I am so incredibly thankful for my wonderful boyfriend. He is my partner in crime. My shoulder to cry on. My rock. Here in London, I don't have much in the way of a social circle. But still I have The Scot to come home to. As I spent a good chunk of 2011 very underemployed (essentially unemployed), I have been more and more thankful that I have this marvelous person in my life who kept the roof over our head, food in our fridge and always offered his arms when I needed them. It really just gets better and better every day.

a boy in the grass

I love this one. And I am ever so thankful that he came into my life.

Thankful (day 4)

via: rifle paper co.

Today is Thanksgiving. (Well, it's a bit past midnight here in London. But in the US it's still fully Thanksgiving day, so just go with it).

I am so very thankful for my small social group here in London. As a person, I don't make friends easily. Many acquaintances, few good friends. Many of the people I feel closest to in the UK are dolly friends. But I've come to be a part of the circle that's largely based on The Scot's friends from uni. Tonight, 8 of us gathered here in our flat and feasted.

I forgot to take photos during the festivities. :(

However, I snapped this one just before all arrived.

And this after:
...and after

I took the day off from working. And spent the day cooking instead. Our meal of thanks included:
- roast turkey with gravy
- mashed potatoes
- brioche stuffing
- cranberry sauce
- green beans
- sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top
- roast carrots
- dinner rolls with butter (from this recipe - so yummy and SIMPLE!)
- pumpkin pie
- blackberry pie
- (with whipped cream)

Lots of pie was made on purpose, as I love it (and the boy can take a spare pumpkin one to work to share). But I did really well as estimating portions and we finished nearly everything. Which is great, since last year I ended up throwing out uneaten leftovers the week after as we'd had as much as we could. I think it also helped that this year the Brits had a better idea of what to expect (it was mostly a repeat audience).

mmmm. pie

A lovely evening. Not the same as a loud house full of family and making the meal together, but still a good time. We ate, we drank, we laughed, we played games, and now we'll all sleep well. (Sadly we have to work tomorrow, but it's the boy's birthday weekend so fun times are ahead!).

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful (day 3)

via: rifle paper co.

Today I am thankful for my newfound aunthood. And my gorgeous new niece.

Lovely little Cecelia Ann was born today. Early this morning. 8lbs 15oz. 20.5 inches long. And her mother (my sister) was in labor for 43 hours. FORTY-THREE HOURS.

I cannot wait to meet the little sweetheart (probably at New Year's). And I fully plan to spoil her to the best of my ability. Largely with knitwear.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful (day 2)

via: rifle paper co.

Of all the things I am thankful for, I know that I so many of them would not be possible in my life without my education. My education is absolutely due to 2 amazing people: my parents. They gave me so much as I grew up and continue to support me in so many ways as an adult.

the parents!

I am incredibly lucky for the parents I have. They're still together, which isn't something that a lot of my generation can say. As any couple who have been together for nearly 4 decades, they have their ups and downs. But they raised me to see what its like to have a partner in crime (in the best sense!). They don't always understand me, but they always are there for me. When I'm sad, when I'm happy, when my visa is up and I'll be heartbrokenly leaving my love on a different continent for a while, they'll be there. They've raised 3 fairly well-adjusted adults. As teachers they've influenced the lives of thousands of young people (both retired this year after teaching {Mom} and teaching/being a principal {Dad} since the mid-1960s). I love them. And I am so incredibly thankful to have them.

Thankful (day 1)

via: rifle paper co.

(This was supposed to post Monday night. But it didn't go through. So we'll just have 2 for Tuesday!)

I am thankful for my health. While my health since moving to London hasn't been the best (with my asthma being the worst in nearly 20 years), I still give thanks for my overall well-being. I'm neither crippled nor troubled in any other major way. Currently, I live in a country with free basic health care. While many days I laugh at the NHS's general inability to deal with some things in a reasonable way (ie: "Hi, I think I broke my toe and want to make an appointment to have it examined." "We can fit you in one week from now.") I am still glad for it. It covers my basic needs.

So many in the world are suffering. Or can't afford access to simple, basic services. I am grateful that I am well and looked after.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Give Thanks

It's been 2 weeks since I've posted here. While I hope you noticed my absence, I'm sure you've all gotten on just fine. The late stages of Autumn are upon us here in London and the lack of sun and the chill in the air seem to have sucked away my blogging mojo.

This week, though, I am hoping to be able to share news that I'll be an aunt. My sister's bebe is due any day now. I've been crafting lots of little things for the munchkin (photos when things are finished!). And, of course, Thursday is Thanksgiving.

via: rifle paper co.

As I did last year, I'm hosting a Thanksgiving dinner again. And this year I won't be the lone American (there will be one other). A small gathering (6-8), but one that will have our flat full-to-bursting. I'm really looking forward to it. AND I might just be able to find a source for buying lefse in London (because I don't have a griddle or a wood stove to make my own). Growing up in a family with Norwegian heritage, lefse is a must-have for holiday meals. And I haven't had it much in the past 3 1/2 years.

What are you thankful for? This week I'll be sharing a few things that make me grateful every day. Check back throughout the week and do share your own. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Autumnal Edinburgh

While I keep promising to get a bit more up here on {she's crafty}, I've found that I'm rather busy and a bit tired these recent weeks. I am, quite thankfully, working more regularly again. (Hooray!) The work takes me quite a while to get to and from, however. So too many hours of the day are spent on trains and buses!

Last weekend, though, The Scot and I took a train up to Scotland for a long weekend visiting his family. On Saturday we took off to Edinburgh for the afternoon. Lovely wandering up an down the hills, visiting yarn shops and artist shops and generally having a good time.


I brought Minerva along. Since her eyeshadow mysteriously chipped a while back, I've been so hesitant to take her anywhere. But she needed an outing. And I'm so glad that I did. She glowed among the Fall leaves.

minerva on the hill

Scotland always makes me feel a little more at ease. Relaxed. Happy. Every time I leave I can't wait to go back. Hopefully it will be soon.