Friday, November 21, 2014

Have a good weekend + links.

I got these in the mail earlier this week and just yesterday I began to knit a scarf for a little boy who is turning two in a few months. I'm also learning a new pattern and hopefully I'll be able to knit up a hat with little ear flaps for a little one year old girl. Both are presents for friends' little ones.

This weekend I'm probably setting us up for a crazy busy weekend, but there are a few projects I hope to get out of the way -- I want to at least get plans written down to build a few things like our floating shelves and also a wood backdrop I hope to have for my photography adventures. I also want to put up a couple gallery walls, get started on crocheting a few ornaments and make mandoo. I have been craving this stuff to no end and instead of buying the frozen bag that can be a little expensive, I told Yangkyu I think we should make some. So it's looking like a busy weekend of making and cooking. 

What do you all have planned? 
Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Some links to get you started -- 

 // I just loved this story. It got me all crying too. A dog's loyalty is truly immeasurable. 

 // New eyewear crush. 

 // Wreath ideas for the holidays. 

 // Because we need to keep track of all these holidays!

 // Homemade gifts to bring out the crafty side of all of us. 

 // Be brave

 // Thanksgiving recipes across the United States {Virginia is corn pudding. What is your state?}

 // A 1950 Chevy inside Old Navy in San Francisco gets yarnbombed

 // Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" syncs perfectly with this 80s aerobics video

Some months are harder than others...

Earlier this week I had a hard time emotionally when I found out again that I wasn't pregnant. Then for the next couple of days I walked around the house like a zombie. I had no energy or motivation to do anything and felt so hopeless. 

Some months I'm perfectly fine. Other months I feel like I'm in a bottomless pit. 

I go through the same ritual. It almost feels like I'm killing half of my heart -- I tell it to stop having hope or have any sort of expectations. It's easier to handle negative news this way. 

But this month my heart went there again. It had hope. It had expectation. It had an inkling; a positive "feeling". But it was wrong. And I felt so dumb for having hope. 

Perhaps because it's almost the end of the year and my birthday is right around the corner... Maybe that is why I'm feeling more desperate because another year is ending and we're still trying. 

I recently shared on Facebook to my friends and acquaintances about my journey with infertility and also the act of giving advice. One of the hardest things for me in talking about infertility with friends was the unsolicited advice they gave. We as humans are wired to give advice - to bestow knowledge on to others because we don't think they already know. I gave passes in the beginning because I knew everyone was coming from a good place {even though hearing "you'll get pregnant if you stop thinking about it" about 20 times drove me insane and "you can always adopt" always seemed insensitive and didn't really address the heartache of infertility}. But then I realized something. I never asked for their advice. I was opening up, being vulnerable and sharing my pain and experience, and all I was asking was for that person to listen. I didn't want to give passes anymore and so I stopped talking about it to friends and instead turned to my blog.  

A lot of folks think they are great listeners. I think listening is such a hard thing to do. I don't think many people know how to do it. 

This whole experience has also made me realize how much I must have overstepped boundaries as well because this act of giving advice vs. listening doesn't just pertain to women and couples going through infertility. It really goes toward all struggles people go through, most of the time, silently and quietly. 

When I get messages or emails from other women going through infertility, or when I read stories online, I sometimes weep. Harder than other times. It's because I feel like they are taking the words right out of my mouth. I feel like my feelings are validated. I feel like what I'm going through is legit. I'm not the only one who feels a little overwhelmed but also feels bad at not wanting to look at every single picture of friends' babies being sent to me and hear about their first milestones. This has been the hardest to grapple with -- wanting to be happy for friends but feeling miserable at the same time and then wondering deep down if I'm just a rotten person. 

Just yesterday I began to get back to my usual routine. Yangkyu and I held hands and smiled and said to each other, "we're try again next month, ok?" I picked up my knitting needles and began a couple of projects for little toddlers. I began to look at pictures again. I began to be happy again. 

PS -- 25 things to say (and not to say) to someone living with infertility. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Letters to Piri // 04

Dear Piri, 

 // I went on and on and on about why I love you and this senior stage of your life to help raise awareness during this month, which is Adopt a Senior Pet month, but I never asked you.. what do you like most about being a senior? 

 // Some days I just don't want to do anything. No energy, no motivation. Yesterday was one of those days and I absentmindedly fell asleep on your spot on the couch and didn't bother ironing Yangkyu's shirts. Did you mean to help me? I woke up to find that you had scratched your way on top of those clean shirts. Maybe you were trying to iron them for me. I know you want Yangkyu to know what a good boy you are for doing that, but maybe we'll just keep this one between us. 

 // It feels like just yesterday when we went about our days eating what we wanted and being playful and energetic. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that you were sick with kidney disease. Sorry that we caught it so late. Sorry that you had such a rough time with all those medications. Sorry that your food tastes so bland now. Sorry that your entire schedule seems like it's turned upside down. Nothing works like clockwork now. It must've felt a little overwhelming. I hope you still feel a small bit of comfort knowing that we still love you to no end.. and that we can still share apples, too. Not as much as we used to, but we still can. 

 // I still feel guilty you know. Sometimes I can't be vocal. Sometimes I can't just say what I want to say because I feel like I'll hurt people's feelings. I wish I did though because I end up feeling bad because I feel like I didn't stick up for you. I wish I was a bit tougher, questioned more and set my foot down harder at the first feeling I had in my gut when I knew something wasn't quite right with the medications you were on. I know I said it before, but I'm so sorry Piri. I'm so sorry for putting you through that. 

 // Piri, it's right around the corner! The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner! But we can start watching those cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies now. Remember the ones we watched last year? What was it called? Oh I forget. But they were so bad. 

 // Yes. You're wearing your Christmas jammies again this year. 

 // Yes. I'm taking a picture and posting on Instagram. 

 // You know, sometimes when you sleep, you wiggle your nose quite excitedly. Are you dreaming of eating something good? Is it like you're sniffing it, ready to take a big bite and then you wake up? I had those kind of dreams too. So cruel. At least let us have one small bite before waking up, right? 

 // Sometimes I wish it was just you and me and Yangkyu. And a bunch of other dogs and farm animals. On a farm somewhere near the mountains of Vermont. We can go collect eggs together and huddle around the fire to keep warm. We can grow our own produce, get some milk from our cow and goat friends and make our own adventures with the animals and people we like. Wouldn't that be nice? Sometimes I just want to be away from everything I know now and start new. 

 // Okay, you can be in charge of collecting the eggs. As long as you don't bother the chickens. That wasn't really my point of the story but ok. You love chickens. I get it. 

 // I found an amigurumi cocker spaniel pattern. The little doll looks exactly like you. I'm still learning how to read patterns but I'm going to crochet it. You just wait and see. And I might put it on your head. I hope you don't mind. Thanks for always being such a good sport about it. 

 // Is it selfish of me to want everything? My biggest fear is not being able to start a family with you. Yangkyu always scolds me and tells me to take it day by day.. but you know, sometimes I feel so desperate like I don't have enough time. Or that we don't have enough time. But i know.. while I worry about all this, the only thing that is happening is losing time. 

 // Thanks for giving me a pass though during my times of desperation. That's why I like that you and Yangkyu are always in my corner. 

 // They said that if we fold 1000 cranes, we'll be granted one wish. I'm gonna fold 1000 cranes. And we're going to get that wish. 

 // What are you going to wish for, Piri? 

The human girl who loves you to infinity and beyond. 

Read other Letters to Piri here

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What is the one dish you must have on your Thanksgiving table?

Thanksgiving is next week and usually about a week and a half leading up to it, Yangkyu and I swap recipes, new and old, to make - everything from the turkey, side dishes, drinks, rolls and pies. But this year we decided to spend a low key Thanksgiving. We have a Dogvacay guest staying with us and going through the large amounts of leftovers between the two of us gets pretty tiring usually at the second and third day after. So this year we decided to cook only one of our favorite side dishes each and pick up the rest, portioned out for two people, at the grocery store.

For me, I can't do without creamy fluffy chives and garlic mashed potatoes and gravy. For Yangkyu {while he loves mashed potatoes, too} it's the stuffing with sausages apples. As for pies, I think we'll  pick up a slice each of pumpkin pie and coconut pie and also cheesecake too just for heck of it. 

What is the one dish you can't do without on Thanksgiving? 

PS -- How to have a sustainable Thanksgiving holiday

PPS -- These hamsters are having the most adorable sit down feast.

PPPS -- Don't forget about shelter animals this holiday season. 

Infographic via The Splendid Table. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November wishing.

01 // 02 {cat lover version here} // 03 // 04 // 05 // 06 // 07

Some things I'm dreaming and wishing for the month of November -- it includes knitwears, jumbo knitting needles, some nice boots, relaxing candles and soap, a book to inspire the sewing side of me and a doggy tote to carry my knitting things, Piri's things and maybe some of Yangkyu's things, too. All these items would be perfect. 

What are some things your wish list this month?