Homestretch…

That’s where I am!! Tomorrow is my last day at school with students. Technically if my room and everything is ready to go then it’s my last day period. Students or not…of course, I’ve procrastinated some and am not entirely ready to walk out and not come back til August…mentally I’m done. 8th grade had their last day of classes last Friday, making this week relatively stress free. I miss those kids though. It’s crazy…all the prep and work that went in to all of those classes and some of the interactions and discussions that happened were the highlight of my day 🙂 But it is nice to have some quiet time in school to get things done.

***This got lost in my drafts from Thursday…it’s Sunday now. And I’m officially finished with my first year back in the classroom. The first year where I am a married teacher…answering to a different name. It was very strange at first, but now that’s who I see myself as. It’s a good feeling. I also have ONE BILLION things to work on this summer to make sure next year is better.

I’m looking forward to a productive summer. I hope it will be. I keep planning and thinking of all the things to get done and I feel it filling up!! Not in a bad way, but in a productive busy way.

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I’m sitting at my dining room table and I can see my yarn cabinet. It’s calling my name!! I’ve also found out recently that several of my friends are expecting near the end of the year…so knitting mojo needs to be in full swing so I can help welcome their little ones with knitted goodness 🙂 I’ve got this cute little hat going…

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It’s a Simple Baby Cap by Susan B. Anderson out of some Adriafil Knitcol that does all the work for me! I’ve got several balls of this just for baby hats. It’s awesome.

I’ve also almost gotten one sleeve of Nora’s sweater almost complete.

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I’m also inspired to knit my own sweater!! I’d like to fix up the Turia and get it to a place so I can wear it.

I’d also like to rip out my Whispers top that I knit a few years ago…I don’t know why I knit a short sleeve wool “sweater” but it’s too warm for my torso while my arms are cold. I’m not one to wear a vest…I like sleeves!!! I’ve got another skein…maybe I can make it into something wearable 🙂

I could sit here all day and wax poetic about all the yarn that I’m staring at and all the things it could be…but then I’d get absolutely nothing done! Not even any knitting!

I’ll update again soon 🙂

Jenna

That Day When You Can Run Again…

It’s Thursday again! It has been a tough week. I woke up on Saturday with a scratchy throat and no voice…Sunday was the same….Monday I felt like absolute garbage…Tuesday I felt better because I went to bed at 7:00pm Monday night…Wednesday I bought and took some Mucinex MAX…and today…the meds are still going but I feel more like myself. I went for a run. The first time since last Tuesday I’ve run and last Wednesday was the last time I went to the gym…

It is 7:08pm…it would be nice to be in bed but it’s not vital to my survival like it was on Monday. Instead, this is my set up:

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I’m knitting on a white baby hat…it’s a baby size, not a newborn. Their heads don’t stay that small for that long. One of my favorite people has just found out that a tiny human is growing inside and it will be a bit of time before we all find out boy or girl…so I’m knitting a white hat. Plus it will look timeless.

Also there is beer. This is the first time since Sunday I’ve felt good enough to drink beer. that is so sad. Beer is one of my favorite beverages…its on the list of 5 things I drink: coffee, water, tea, beer, sparkling water…sometimes rootbeer in a rootbeer float or perhaps a gin & tonic…but mostly beer if I’m feeling like alcohol. And it’s basically water-beer tonight. But it’s a beer. That’s a step.

School is drawing to a close. Just tomorrow. And 2 more weeks. We need summer. This group of girls I have…it’s like tiptoeing through a mine field! One sideways glance or a gentle scolding for not meeting expectations and suddenly “The teacher HATES me” and “The teacher is SO MAD at me!” I will tell you one thing, it takes a hell of a lot more than what these kids are doing to make me “hate” a person…and for that matter a whole lot more for me to be “mad.” I need to remember…middle school hormones are the worst! Try not to take it personally…but I don’t like being perceived in a way that I don’t mean to be.

Just like here. I want to be real. My life is not all rosy but it isn’t all bad either. I’m by no means living a life without. I’m very grateful. I need to do more to give back.

Sidenote. I’ve been racking my brain trying to come across the instance when I could have portrayed that I “hated” and was “so mad” at this one student…but then I realize I’m sifting through HUNDREDS of interactions I’ve had today with kids!!!!! My day started by taking attendance and greeting students and asking them to get ready and be quiet for the prayer and sending students to the office to turn things in…this just happened between 7:45 and 8:00!!! Then we had mass…then I had a 7th grade math class where I interacted with at least 28 students…then I went to the computer lab to help with a Kindergarten tech class with 28 more kids that I only see once a week…then back for planning period, thank the Lord…then back for more Kindergarten tech with 27 kids I only see once a week…then to 8th grade math with 15 kids…then lunch, finally…then 6th grade math with 14 kids…and 6th grade math with 9 kids…and then finally homeroom with my 21…

In between that I am in the hall, talking with students and teachers…popping into other classrooms…without all of that 163 students have passed before me. I’ve probably spoken directly to most of the kindergarteners at least 4 or 5 times…this generation of littles struggles with using a mouse…couple that with the fact that they are just learning to read, there is a lot of questions!!! My brain is fried! I can’t even begin to think of when I would have said anything to a student to make them feel upset.

But somehow I have. I even talked with the parent and she couldn’t give me specifics. I’m hoping its just pre-teen angst. But I don’t like that I’m at the end of it. I’m hoping to fix it tomorrow. I’ll probably come off like a huge dork.

Best job in the world. Hardest one I’ve had 🙂

I’m going to knit on that hat. That baby is growing!!


Jenna

Wanting

I want to write. I don’t know what to write.

There was a social media presentation today at school for the kids. One thing that struck me about the presenter is how she said that so many people try to paint a perfect picture of their lives online. This creates the “Compare & Despair” thing that we have going on when we check out their pictures, posts, whatever. I try to not engage in that…I try to just look for ideas I can implement for myself. I know that everyone’s lives have their challenges and that no matter the pretty picture painted on the internet, it’s often not entirely true. I try to put out my best foot…while being authentic.

It’s how I try to live my life. I try not to get bogged down with the bad…try to not complain…or compare…or whatever. But I too get sucked in. Some days are easier than others to pass on the bitch session…I’d like to think lack of sleep contributes…but some days, you just feel like you get the short end of everything…like I’ve said before on here…everything just keeps coming in a steady stream.

I’ve signed my contract. I’m employed for another year. I’m praying my partner teacher signs her’s too…I’m not sure she will, I know this year has been hard for her…I’m hoping that her connection with the current 7th grade will keep her here…I need one more year for my own learning and sanity. I feel like I actually have someone on the same wavelength as me…someone I can talk to and I’m not worried about all the crazy social games that 36 teachers play like middle school girls. I was hoping that as an adult we would have outgrown that stuff, but maybe being around kids brings it all back out? I’m not sure, but some days the people on my team feel pretty slim…like me and my partner…maybe another bystander teacher or two…I’m not sure. I’m hoping that summer break will bring us all some healing and insight…maybe we can drop the ridiculous middle school girl drama pretense. I have a hard enough time keeping my students out of that shit, I don’t want to devote any time to keeping myself out of it!

Thankfully, I’ve had a good amount of knitting time lately. I also had the opportunity to try the Harvest Cardigan on my niece…it fits and she loves it! Only one tiny problem…she would like it finished yesterday 🙂 That’s not exactly a problem, except I haven’t finished it. I’m hoping that I will soon.

I also spent some time over the last week adding my new-ish stash to Ravelry…my friend Korey loves to call me out when I’m browsing my online stash for something to new to cast on…I try to keep it updated so I can frequent the LYS less frequently…and knit down my stash…

I’ve got yarn for 5 sweaters. For me. I need to just knit the damn things. I’m not shrinking. I need to knit the sweater to fit the body I have.

I am being active. I signed up to run a 5k in a few weeks and I’ve been “running” every other day…I put running in quotes because its so slow…but it is the effort.

I’m holding off on starting the Whole30 until the summer…the website talks about feeling crabby and a lack of patience….things I cannot afford as a luxury until the school year ends. I don’t need to feel like crap these last few weeks if I can help it!

That’s better.

Glad I could share 🙂


Jenna

7:00pm…

And I’m ready for bed! How is it so? I’m months from 30, I don’t have any children of my own to wear me out…but I do spend my days with almost 100 students entering and exiting my classroom throughout the day. I’ve been working hard to plan and be prepared for my classes…but some days are better than others. I think that’s just the nature of working with students! They are the variable and so much depends on them…if they are having a good day, what time it is, how close are we to lunch or snack or the end of the day, what happened in the class before, what’s happening after school…if the calculator looks like a cell phone 🙂

All of these are distractions and factor into how things go each day in my classroom. I can only try to be constant myself, being prepared and happy to see them. I was reminded today how much I do love my kiddos…I’ve only known them for about a month, maybe 7 weeks…so almost 2, but I think we are starting to understand each other. It’s hard to remember that I have to get to know these people at a new place…they don’t know me and I don’t know them from a prior life, we have to find our groove…I think we are on our way. This doesn’t make any of this less hard.

It doesn’t change the fact that I’m seriously considering hitting publish and then going to bed.

My knitting has been pretty monogamous…just the baby blanket. Like I said before, Baby Joe is here and the weather is starting to change…I need to get this thing off the needles! I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow in the daylight and upload it…maybe Instagram. It’s coming along. I find comfort in the stockinette and the springy yarn. It’s nice to turn my brain off for a while but keep my hands productive.

Just a thought 🙂


Jenna

I Knit Because…

I love it! It’s simple really. I love making with my hands. That’s what knitting is to me, creating with my hands…I know, there are sticks and string and a few “fancy” movements, but its something I make. With my hands.

Got it?

I would hope so. So that brings me to the blog. I enjoy writing here because I like sharing what I’m working on. I like connecting with other knitters. This is a nice, clean place. I don’t share the hard things going on in life, just what I make with my hands.

So I’ve been away. Life is hard. It’s hard to balance the things I want to do, the things I need to do, the things I’m doing…Relatively speaking, my life is wonderful. I am happy, I have the most wonderful partner, all the people I love are healthy…life is just hard in the way of making choices and prioritizing for the future. This should be read as, “this girl has to spend time working on job applications, cover letters, resumes, philosophies of teaching, laundry, general cleaning, working, etc. when she’d like to be knitting.”

I know the future will hold time for knitting, but I’m trying to sneak in as much as I can while I do other things. So my space here has been quiet. And I’m probably 1000 entries behind on my blog roll…I don’t think I’ll have the time, eye sight, or brain space to go all the way back.

Not to fret or worry. Just knit.

Just thought I’d say hello and I will be back. With pictures 🙂

Until then…


Jenna

 

#MarshmallowFluffKAL

What is better on a super cold day than all the woolly goodness you can manage snuggled up around your neck??

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Shame to say that as a knitter, I have plenty of cozy neck wear…however, nothing that I would count as “Marshmallow Fluff-like Clouds” of wool. This had to be remedied immediately!

Enter Bonny at bonnyknits.com…with the wonderful idea to do a Mini Knit-Along 🙂

Here’s her post about it: Bulky Cowl Knit-Along

We’ve decided on the Marshmallow Fluff pattern by Sarah Kraly. It’s a super cute free pattern on Ravelry. It’s cast on using a provisional cast-on, knit flat, then seamed using a 3-needle bind off. Sounds like a great way to practice some useful skills I don’t use as often as I would like…plus I think I’d like to Kitchener the piece together…I’m imagining it as one giant toe of the sock!

I’m trying to decided between 2 skeins of Malabrigo Rasta I picked up at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago in 2013…that was a crazy, 1-day adventure that included riding the Mega-Bus at all hours of the night and day, trekking through Chicago from Union Station to Millennium Park and back…stopping to buy yarn & take a class…Deep Dish Pizza at Giordano’s and finally another trip and daylight savings time to arrive back in Louisville, Kentucky at maybe 4:00am???? Truly a 24 hour adventure that my wonderful husband accompanied me on…and with a fantastic haul of yarny treasures.

Back to the Rasta…I’ve got a skein of Natural…

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And a skein of Leguna Negra…

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What do you think? Maybe a little of both??

Anyway…I do hope you’ll join in the fun! You can keep up with our progress right here on the blog or at Bonny’s blog (here) or on our Instagram accounts (@hardknitlife & @bonnyknitsforyou)…if you’d like to play along, be sure to tag your post with #MarshmallowKAL or #MarshmallowFluffKAL


Jenna

Days of Doubt

Let me start first with a little knitting…

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The blanket is passing the halfway point…I’m not sure how many more stripes I’ll put on.

And I started an Antler Toque for a friend’s dad who was recently diagnosed with Lymph node cancer and has started chemo. He’s nervous to lose his hair and I though a hat made out of some soft Inca Gold would be a cozy gift.

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The cables are fun…just crossing 2 stitches by 2 stitches and great practice for cabling without a cable needle…I used this tutorial on Ysolda’s blog. Easier with pointy needles for sure 🙂

When I knit, my brain seems to slip into a meditative state…rolling thoughts over, good or bad and here is where I’ve landed lately.

Funny how these days of doubt come in waves. I’ve wrestled a bit with actually writing about something beyond just knitting. And this is the internet. Do I really want to go there?

Maybe I’ll just dip my toe a bit. Doubt. Something I think everyone wrestles with. I think it’s part of being human. Lives ebb and flow as does happiness, productivity, and doubt. I like to think of these things all as different colored liquids in a big jar…being sloshed around and as one rises the others may fall a bit. For instance when happiness and productivity wane, doubt has a tendency to bubble up to the top.

When it bubbles too high and the thoughts reach the conscious part of my brain and leak from my lips, it’s devastating. No one wants to hear that little mean voice I hear about how I can’t do one thing or I’m not good enough to do another. Part of the process of pushing the doubt back to the bottom is acknowledging it. Then I have to form a plan of action to really sink it back down. Remind myself that I can do something when I put the work in…tackling the task.

At least that’s what I tell myself. I think in the last couple of years, even when I make a plan and start to work the plan, I lose the oomph to finish and the doubt returns more quickly and with even more of a punch…”see, you can’t do this.”

So here is where I rest. On the cusp of formulating a plan to tackle a thought of “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t do this” and “I’m not supposed to be this.” The plan is going to involve some accountability and effort…and not just half way. That’s scary. Putting all of it into it and what if…what if it doesn’t work out? Then here we are again with a little more of a sting…

I think this is part of being human. Thoughts? I’d love to hear what you think, how you deal…


Jenna