things I learned {about marriage} while crocheting

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I recently finished up Jared’s afghan that I’d been crocheting. And everytime I do a “big” project like this (this is the second one) I can’t help but think about my marriage and how I somehow manage to learn a few little life lessons along the way.

1- Full Picture

Often you can’t see the full picture until it’s nearing completion. But, especially at the beginning. You may have glimpses, and you might know which colors you’re going to be using… you probably even have a pattern showing what the end result *should* look like, but since crochet is an imperfect craft (for me at least) there’s no way to know what the end result will truly be.

I know that in my marriage I have a much better overall picture of the whole thing now as opposed to 5 1/2 years ago when we first got married (and that’s only five years, not really a “long” time). But, I can look back and see how far we’ve come. I can see where I’ve gotten to know him better, therefore I can better see how we work together.

We’re making a picture with our marriage and our lives together, each year is another row. Each year we have a bit more of the picture complete. Each year gives us a better idea what our overall picture is going to look like.

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2 – Mistakes

There will be mistakes. I know when I crochet there are definitely missed stitches, or more commonly, I read the pattern the wrong way. But, I’ve found that one of two things can happen with mistakes.

One, they can be fixed (with a lot of extra work, yes – you may have to unravel many rows). Or,

Two, they can be lived with (which will cause there to be imperfections in the finished product, but that makes it one of a kind right?)

Either way, they have to be dealt with. Putting the whole project on the shelf because you’re pissed off that you made a mistake four rows back, doesn’t actually solve anything. You one, don’t fix the mistake or two, you don’t move on (which doesn’t help you get done any faster).

A little story to illustrate my point:

Jared usually does the dishes after dinner, which I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!! He does the dishes a little differently than I do, and (at the risk of sounding ungrateful – which I’m not) occasionally he doesn’t get the backs of the plates completely grease free. So, at that point I have two options: one, rewash the dish or two, live with it. Now depending on the day I may do either one, but I’ve found that throwing the plate on the floor, or leaving it in the dish drainer or yelling at my husband doesn’t actually solve the clean plate problem at that moment.

My point is that a lot of times, we.. or maybe I.. tend to make a bigger deal out of “mistakes” than is really necessary, and in the end it doesn’t help (or it doesn’t matter).

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3 – Is a labor of love

I just spent more than two years working on an afghan. There were times I wanted to stop, and if I had been doing it for anyone but him, I probably would have. But, I made a commitment to finish it, just like I’ve made a commitment to my marriage. Yeah there’ve been bad days weeks months, to the point where there probably would have been justifiable reasons to leave, but I committed myself to sticking with this. To working on it. We’ve come a long way in the last few years. A lot of times I don’t give credit to Jared for how much he’s worked on things in his life so he can make things better for us. But I do recognize that it’s for love that we work on this.

4 – Is made up of the mundane

If my math is correct the afghan was made up of 35,870 single crochet stitches. That’s a lot of single crochet stitches. And it… is……… b.o.r.i.n.g. I mean, absolutely mind numbingly boring.

Marriage is like that. Yeah, there’s highlights. But five days out of seven, we get up, get coffee, he goes to work, I see him at lunch for 30 minutes, he comes home at 4:30 (except Friday, then he’s back at 12:00!), I finish making dinner, we eat, clean up the kitchen, bedtime for the kids, and since we’re both kinda introverted we usually just want to do our own little thing before falling into bed and repeating the next morning. (Weekends have a little more variety.) But that’s about 70% of our week that’s on a mundane eat, sleep, work schedule. Mundane. Every day.

But, it’s living in those moments, that build the marriage. Hanging out with him for a few minutes while I’m making dinner is probably my most lovely-comfort time to hang out with him. And there’s nothing glamorous about that time – he’s just home from work, which if he’s been on the job site means he’s filthy, he’s tired, I’m tired, and dinner making is a necessary evil in my opinion. Not glamours. But marriage building!

5 – It’s both of ours

I made the afghan for him, so it’s his. But I made it, so it’s also mine. But who’s is it? It equally belongs to both of us at the same time.

Sometimes I forget that our marriage is both of ours. It can’t just be mine and it can’t just be his. It can’t just be me working on things and it can’t just be his. It’s both of ours, simultaneously, and equally.

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I finished it!!!!! {and WIWS}

 

First we’ll take care of what I put together for Mass yesterday:

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I, ummmm, didn’t manage to get a photo before so… this is after we got home. And I realized only after the photo was done that my hair was needing to be redone.

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What I wore:

Black Sandals (BTW I only have one pair of church sandals, and it’s these ones, which I wear all summer, until it’s absolutely impossibly too cold to wear them anymore, because I really, REALLY dislike closed shoes – that to say, I’m not going to keep mentioning my shoes, unless for some unknown reason I wear something else).
Black skirt with purple “embroidery” {thrifted}
Black sleeveless top {Belk sale rack a few years back}
Pearl necklace {gifted by my grandmother, but it belonged to my great-great-Aunt… just love little family details like this <3}
Pearl earrings {gifted by an aunt and uncle in Costa Rica; part of my first set of pearl anything}
Veil (you can see it in last week’s post ~ it was well off by the time we got home)

One of my favorite things about Trinity Sunday is that we usually sing the old hymn Holy, Holy, Holy. And before becoming Catholic I had only ever heard that hymn sung in my non-Catholic family, so I had always associated it with being a Protestant hymn (which when I looked it up it actually isn’t strictly Protestant, as it was written by an Anglican for the purpose of Trinity Sunday – reference here), and it was always a nice hymn, but it never really stood out to me.

I remember last year, Father was doing his homily about the Trinity, and he did the Benediction and they played that hymn for the recessional.

Just the words:

God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

It was just the perfect way to tie it all. I was able to internalize it so much more!
(#MassMusicfortheWin)

WIWS over at Fine Linen and Purple

.~~~

And!!!!

I finished my afghan!!!

or, well, I guess it’s Jared’s afghan 😉

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afghan done

And… it won’t fit hanging on the wall where I thought it would. (That’s a queen sized bed and it’s laying across the end). So, another place I shall find.

I have some thoughts on this project that I’m in the process of writing up (the goal is to have them finished by Wednesday)

UP next:

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Finishing up the doily in the inset. This picture was take WAY back right after I had started it (early this year), and I’m on the outer edge now, but if you look real close there’s a flower in the middle that needs to be done, and that’s not done.

This is a project requested by Katherine, since she wanted one for her table so she could match my table. Actually, what she really wanted was the doily on my table, but I decided I would make her one because somewhere in my foggy New Year’s / Winter brain that seemed easier?

But it’s nearly complete now, so I’m just going to finish it 🙂

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Link to the link-up in the image! (Over at SaintAffairs)

 

Finding time {Yarn Along #3}

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…Post

Joining in for this weeks Yarn Along fun, by Ginny @ Small Things

It’s absolutely not secret ’round these parts that I have too many hobbies.

Way. Too. Many.

Firstly, I like to crochet….

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This is part of the doily I’ve been in the process of making for Katherine. I pretty much work on this one when I’m teaching the kids to read. There are many repeating elements (many, many, MANY repeating elements), so by one or two repeats I’ve got it for the remaining 167 stitch combos that are exactly the same.

I love crocheting with thread, but it does get tedious.

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Anyways, one way I find time to squeeze in this particular project is while doing something else. As mentioned: teaching the kids to read, or watching a show, something I don’t do very often, but I make an effort at so that I can spend some time with Jared doing things he likes (I just can’t get myself interested in playing video games – the other option)… But, I digress.

Sometimes though, especially with my bigger still-not-quite-done project *ahem* I have to just sit down and do it. Once the morning chores are done and the kids are outside playing (and the baby’s napping) I’ll gather everything up, and find a space outside to set up camp and do it.

This is the strategy I employ when I just need to finish something. And this project is way past the “Just Need to Finish” stage.

I’m aiming for Father’s Day

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At this point in the process, I’m actually not liking how this afghan is turning out. I’m not sure the patter was written all that well to begin with, but I also think my stitches are too tight. Which made the inner circles a little more oval-ish than circle-ish…. But J. doesn’t seem to mind, so I’m gonna just try to work myself out of not liking it. I have to finish the black and outer gold circle and add “UNITED STATES” at the top. Then I’m done. (But first, actually I have to go get some more gold… and red… because I don’t think I’ll have enough to finish… 😦 ).

~~~~~

For reading:

Here’s what I read in April.

I’m also reading:
* Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander) by Diana Galbadon
Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, Third Edition by St Therese of Lisieux
* Catechism

Finding time to read….
Usually in the mornings for a little while, until about 7:15-7:30, so the earlier I get up the more I get to read 😉
At nap time also known as: that time after lunch where my kids go upstairs and make noise and don’t actually sleep, but I get the downstairs to myself for a little while….. yes, I wish there was actual resting going on, but most days… nope.
Before bed, if I make it off the computer soon enough to get in some time before I fall asleep.
Little snatches here and there.
Oh. Super long doctors visits. Can’t tell you how many books I’ve made significant progress in while waiting at the doctors (this tip also applies when you’re getting your tires changed and/or looked at for the third time in two months…)

~Ruth Anne

 

Links may be Amazon Affiliates, thanks for Supporting HollowayFamilyNorth

Yarn Along {2}

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Joining in for this weeks Yarn Along fun, by Ginny @ Small Things

I have made a few rows of progress since two weeks ago when I posted. That isn’t much by any stretch of the imagination, but, progress is progress.

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I did finish the interior white circle, so… YAY!

I also started a doily for Katherine. She came into the bedroom last week and was going on and on about getting “one of those white things” to put on her table. I didn’t have one that was not a little broken, so I decided to make one for her. (I dunno, seemed like a good idea at the time…)

IMG_4426I let her choose one from this book (The Ultimate Doily Book). I’m not sure how the book came to be in my possession, but it has some cute designs (think more old-fashion-y rather than new-fangled). She chose the one on the inset of the cover. Now, I just need to come up with some green thread….

And that’s all I’m working on at the moment in that department 🙂

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For reading: At the end of the December, I got a little over excited about reserving books at the library and then a few that I have had holds on for the last few months became available and I’ve been trying to getallthebooksreadbeforethey’redue…….

And I have this thing about finishing library books that I check out, especially if they have months long holds on them.

In fact last week I purposely let a book get late because I had a few chapters left and I couldn’t renew it because there were two holds on it… Two could turn into two months before it comes back around to me. So…. I paid $0.15 to keep it an extra day. Just couldn’t bear to wait two months to finish the book)

This week:
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (am loving this one so far, I just wish the chapters weren’t quite so long)
Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage (The Crosswicks Journal, Book 4) by Madeline L’Engle

I’m also reading (daily), Les Mis, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Bible.

Happy crocheting (or knitting!) and reading

~Ruth Anne

Links may be Amazon Affiliates, thanks for supporting HollowayFamilyNorth

Yarn Along {1}

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So, one of my “Goals” this year is to finish an afgan I started crocheting for Jared…. ummmm…… ahem….. *clears throat*…. well, nearly two years ago to the. Yes. Two. As is 730 days ago.

And it is high time I finish it.

I’m hoping that by joining in the Yarn Along fun hosted by Ginny @ Small Things, that’ll keep me motivated to keep working on it.

Ultimately: I’d like to be done by the end of the year.
Ideally: I’d like to be done by Jared’s birthday (end of March). Two months.

I have just over 100 rows left. (Every single one of them is a single crochet…)

This really shouldn’t take me that long……………………………..

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And yes, it’s a tad bit misshapen.. been folded up and pulled and rolled a few times.

~~~~~

As for reading: Too many things. I am attempting to finish up all my library books that I have checked out. Which currently include:
Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford
Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider
(there is one more already at my house waiting to be read as soon as these are done, then I have one that I started but the download expired – oops – so I’ll redo it once those are done… Then: No more library books unless they’re on the Dream Reading List!)

I’m also reading (daily), Les Mis, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Bible.

Happy crocheting (or knitting!) and reading

~Ruth Anne

Links may be Amazon Affiliates, thanks for supporting HollowayFamilyNorth