Giving Thanks

I realize that Thanksgiving has already come and gone.  But I wanted to take the time to put down in words how thankful I am for all the wonderful blessings in my life.  

In no particular order.

I am thankful to have an amazing husband. A friend. A partner.  Some strength when I need it most.  A man who makes me happy to be alive.  I am blessed to walk through this world with him.  I and I don't tell him that nearly enough.

I am thankful for my amazing daughter.  Elena is quietly confident and smarter than hell.  She amazes me in little ways every single day. From singing Beatles songs, to telling me about metamorphosis, to stopping mid play to crawl into my lap and cuddle.  I love being near her.  I love watching her become her own person.  I cannot wait to see what kind of sister she will be.

I am thankful to have a healthy and easy pregnancy.  Although I am the biggest whiner most of you know and I feel like I swallowed a basketball, I truly am blessed by how simple this whole gestation thing has been.  (Now, I just have to get through labor and delivery!)

I am thankful for my Nikon D60 and the lessons I have learned with it over the last year.  The photos I've been able to capture. Of my friends. My family. My child.  

I am thankful for every single one of my friends and family.  You all bring such vibrant color to my life in so many different ways.  I could not would not be the person that I am without each and every one of you.   

I am thankful for the women I have met through the blogosphere over the last year. I have learned so much from your stories, from your lives.  I am a better woman because of you.  A better mother.  A better photographer.  A better friend. 

I am thankful for my iPhone.  Because it's fun.

I am thankful for people who use their blinkers, and for those who merge properly and courteously.  

I am thankful to live in a country where we aren't afraid of Change, yet are still rich in our traditions. 

I am thankful for my knitting needles. For Malabrigo. And for Organic Blue Sky Cotton (thanks, Luc.)

I am thankful for inside voices.  And I hope that Elena will learn what that means.

I am thankful for the special way a 2 year old cuddles.  And gives kisses.  And burrows her head into my shoulder.

I am thankful for the word "Mama."

And last but not least, I am thankful for blogger.  Without which my self-deprecating diatribes would be entirely impossible.

Happy Thanksgiving,


Black Friday

Black Friday has absolutely nothing to do with this post.  

Except that it's black friday today. 

A small part of me wants to go shopping. 
(The impatient, insane, glutton-for-punishment side of me.)

I decided to do this instead:  

Here is a hat for my friend Nadia for her birthday. I tried a new pattern that I found on Ravelry.  It's slouchy. It's pretty. It's made out of Malabrigo.

I should probably also mention that my Aunt Kristy gave me this mannequin head to display my hats on.  

Thank you thank you thank you Auntie K!  This is SOOO much better than a pickle jar.  

Here are a couple photos of the quilt I'm currently working on for Elena.  I don't have a walking foot so I can't free motion quilt.  

Because I'm cheap and didn't feel like buying one, I had to devise a different way to quilt this.  After careful consideration, and helpful input from DRL, I decided to quilt the squares using...well...squares.  

I really like how it's turning out.  Even though it means I'm likely going to have to redecorate the nursery to match the quilts.

It's a small price to pay, really.

Did I mention that the birth of my second daughter is about 6 weeks away?

Talk about CRAZY!

In Disbelief,


A New Project

I have finally selected fabric for the crib and toddler bed quilts for the girls' room. It was a very long and arduous process, and I could not have done it without the help of my friend Rebecca. It doesn't match the bedding that I purchased at Target.

And I'm okay with that.

It matches the colors of the nursery. It's a little polka-dot esque (I did choose polka dot flannel by Amy Butler for the backing), and it's girlie.

I bought a bundle of 18 fat quarters and am using 9 in each quilt top to make sure that each of my girls has a blanket that is as unique as they are.

While still sharing a common thread..

Here's what I picked:

I still have to choose fabric for the binding. I'm thinking of finding something in yellow (the walls in the nursery are painted a creamy, buttery, "post-it note" yellow, and I'd love to somehow tie that in.)

You'll have to wait for photos to see the pattern I've chosen, but I am almost done with the first quilt top already! I'm very excited.
Elena is, too!



This is Elena's version of walking Belle.

She likes to hold onto the leash and walk around the yard with her.

Belle isn't too bothered by it, and Elena gets a kick out of it.

"Mama! I'm walking Belle!" She'll say.

And I nod, and smile, and play along.

"Yes you are! Good job!" I'll say.

And she'll smile.

Then she'll notice a puddle in the driveway...

"Put your puddle boot on and go jump!"

Jumpy jump jump jump jump.
Jumpy jump jump jump!
*courtesy of Yo! Gabba Gabba!*

Santa's getting her a new pair of puddle boots for next spring when she outgrows these leopard ones.

Afterall...there will be plenty more puddles in the spring.

They will NEED to be jumped in.
And the dog will need to be walked.



This is what I've been doing at night.

And in the morning.

And on my lunch break.

And while sleeping...

I've been making hats.

Brown hats:

Blue hats:
Fuzzy Maroon hats:
Green Stripey hats:
Earflap Ski hats:
Soft, Teal Malabrigo Hats:
Creamy Organic Cotton and Superwash Wool hats:
Little Boy Earflap hats:
Oh, and a cabled scarf.


Sneak Peek

I told you I've been busy....



Bullet Points

Here's what happened this week...in rapid fire format:

*By Tuesday evening I had already logged 22 hours at work. Things are crazy at the EMPIre.

*I finished my cabled scarf. Now I need to block it. Any advice on how to do this?

*Reviewed Open Enrollment information for my benefits plan at work. Premiums are up again this year, and coverage is down. I'm glad we're a healthy family, though I really wish Empi would offer a HSA option. The Pelton Family would really benefit from that setup.

*I finished two more hats...for no one in particular. Though, I made one out of Teal Malabrigo that I think I have to keep. I love that yarn more 'n my luggage (as P-Dub would say).

*Elena had her first ever fever on Thursday...complete with a blazing hot forehead and chilly body. Doctor said all is well and the fever responded to Motrin, so we kept close watch on her through yesterday and she's back to her cheery, healthy self today. Seeing a toddler turn purple with the chills will give you quite a fright though. I'm happy she's feeling better now!

*Nearly 32 weeks gestation and wondering how I'm going to get through the next two months. I'm SOOOO full feeling already. And this baby moves nonstop! I can't wait to meet her.

*I can't wait to name her, either.

*And take her picture. Something like this (*Editor's Note: GROSS! If you're not accustomed to the whole "birth" thing. And I don't know how I'd get these photos seeing as how I'm going to be busy ejecting the kid. I think they're wonderful, though.)

*I'm ready for snow. White, flaky, downy, fluffy snow. Coating everything. Making it look like Christmas. I love this time of year. It's unseasonably warm, though, so I might have to wait a little while for a blanket of the white stuff.

*I recieved Elena's two year photos from White House Custom Color and I could not be happier. I love press printing. I love WHCC. I can't wait to "need" more photos so I can place another order.

*DRL has Bronchitis which is keeping him from working tonight. I'm sad that he's not going to be making money...but that is grossly overshadowed by my glee at getting to spend another Saturday evening with him. We don't get near enough time together, the two of us, and I still get butterflies at the thought of some quiet time together. I guess that's a good thing!

That's the news for now, friends. I'm hoping to get some good photos of my hat creations this weekend and then get them uploaded for all to see.

'til then,


Tina and Brian: The Details

This is my girlfriend Tina. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding 5.5 years ago.
She was this stunning then, too.
She got married on Saturday to her best friend.
A man that makes her smile like this.
All day long.
Her dress was magnificent.

Lace up back.
Crystal details.

Yards and yards of creamy satin.

Her flowers:

I love the Rosary tied to the boquet stem.
A tiny detail.
Transforming a standard Nosegay boquet into something more.

There was a gorgeous sunlight patio just outside one of the rooms of the church.
I'm so happy to have spotted it
(and extremely bummed the PAID photographer didn't find it!)
This shot would not have worked without the sunlight.
But in this light it's...

More gown detailing:

And who could forget the bling?

White satin.
Fall colors.
A splendid combination.

My girl. Amazing. Flawless.
Beauty: Defined.
A vision in white.

The Groomsmen:

The Bridesmaids:

Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Janeshek for allowing me to capture a few elements of your day. Enjoy your forever. Work at it. Laugh in it. Revel in your love for one another. And remember this kiss. The moment when all you have ever dreamed forever would be...Began.
I think Ben Harper said it best:
I'm not talking 'bout a year
No not three or four
I don't want that kind of forever in my life anymore..

...so give me your forever
please your forever
not a day less will do
from you.

Many Blessings,


Sunday Photography

Over on my other blog, I was doing a "Sunday Photography" post each week.  Since I'm neglecting that blog I thought I would bring that tradition right here to TFP.  

In between shots of Elena yesterday, I had some fun with depth of field.

I set my camera to Aperture priority, cranked the dial to the largest opening my lens allows (3.5) and played around with a very shallow depth of field.

I love bokeh. 

Sharp, focused foreground and fuzzy, blurry everything else.

Birch Tree.


Birch Bark
I'm having so much fun learning about photography.

I hope you enjoy looking at my photos as much as I enjoy taking them.

Happy Autumn, friends.


65 Degrees.

DRL and I took Elena to the park this morning.

It was already 55 degrees.

It's November 7th.  

In Minnesota.  

Our Purpose: To finally take Elena's "Two Year Milestone Photos."    

We got a few really great photos. 
 Like this one of her examining a ladybug.

And this one: She's actually smiling.

She likes to climb trees. 

And another one of a real, genuine smile!

But wait!  
There it is! 
There's my serious, stoic little girl.
Is it weird that this is one of my favorites?

You know what, I don't care if it's weird. I like being weird. 

It's kind of who I am.

Did I mention it was 65 degrees and sunny today?  In November? In Minnesota? 

Can I get a "Hallelujah?"



Barenaked Ladies

"If I had a million dollars...

(If I had a million doll-ars)

I would buy you a ..."
If I had unlimited resources this is the camera I would buy. If I had the million dollars that the Barenaked Ladies sing about in their once often-played hit this camera would be mine.

But I don't have unlimited resources.
In fact...they are very very limited.

So I use my D60 proudly. And instead of coveting the D700 that I will likely never afford, I set my sights on this puppy:

The D300 is a perfectly affordable camera.

If I can sell my D60.

And about 100 hats.

Give or take 20.

Happy Dreaming!


Fuzzy Math (Updated)

I had a flu shot recently. Not the H1N1 quite yet, but my normal seasonal flu vaccine. I stopped into my normal clinic, sat down in a nurse's office, and got a needle in the deltoid.

Then I asked for a sticker.

And a lollipop, seeing as how I was so brave and all.

Then I went on my way.

DRL and Elena went to the quick clinic in our local Target store and also got a shot to the arm. I'm pretty sure DRL didn't get a lollipop though.

Budget cuts.

DRL paid $12 each for the flu shots at the Target Clinic. My bill just came in the mail. Here's what it said:

Flu Vaccine Age 3+: $16.00
Amount Paid by Insurance: $15.00
Patient Responsible: $25.00

Wait. What?

Patient Responsible: $25.00

I was assessed an "Office Visit Copay" for a sit down in a nurses chair. For a flu shot. And a lollipop.

I think I have to call Aetna and ask them about this. Or I need to find out just how much my clinic charges for stickers and candy. No wonder Target doesn't give them out!

Silly lollipop.


My doctor called me moments after I posted this and told me that I could "come on down" for a H1N1 shot. I hopped in my CR-V and flitted over to the clinic for another shot in the arm. I did not ask for a sticker this time. Or a lollipop.

I am hoping the billing will reflect this change.

However, I did get a band-aid...so you never know.

Furthermore! Elena is going to Park Nicollet tonight to get her H1N1 shot and she will definately need a lollipop and sticker. Maybe even two stickers. Not to mention another booster of the same shot in 28 days. Oi!

Anyone want to buy a hat?


"Mama Made You Slippers."

She said as she saw me place the slippers on the floor to take their photo.

(she still refers to herself largely as "you" or "Elena." There is no "I" in her vocabulary. Or in Team.)

This is before I put the slippers in the washing machine to felt:

I have not taken the "after" shot yet. But they look basically the same.

Once dry, I will sew leather bottoms so Elena doesn't slip and fall when she wears them.

Felted wool + hardwood floors + two year old = disaster.

Grip will be miraculously helpful.



Bumblebees and Tea Parties

Elena received a Tea Set from Grandma MaryAnne for her birthday.  She LOVES to play with it.

She also got fingerpaints from Will, Rebecca, and Audrey, and would not let me put away the drop cloth.  We had to use it for our tea party.

My girl is a stickler for detail...

The drop cloth turned out to be insufficient in the end, and Elena brought in reinforcements.  

In the form of her doll quilt.  Also from Rebecca.

This is her as a bumblebee last night for Halloween. It was her first experience with Trick or Treating and she did really well.  She said "trick or treat" AND "thank you," and made out with quite a haul (for a two year old. Who only went to three houses).

I am also very excited to announce that I have just completed knitting slippers for Elena.  I just have to throw them in the washing machine and felt them up nice. 

Before and after photos will be up tomorrow.

Happy November!