~ A mothers journey ~

The first time I held my newborn baby boy, it was dream like. Overwhelmed with love I wasn't sure it was real. Both exhausted from the whole experience - it was a place I had never been- yet it felt so familiar. Instinctively I knew this had changed my life forever and a new journey lie ahead.
He was my universe and I was levitating.
I gazed into his steel blue eyes and held his little hand, his eyes opened ever so often as if to check I was there- he was mine and I was his.

Days , weeks past I soon realized how challenging being a new mother was, up all night without much sleep and nursing every 2 hours really tested my patience. I wasn't sure of my self and I wasn't sure of him...was I doing this right?
3 months later we moved to the opposite coast- Hudson Valley, New York. Pierre was off to attend the Culinary inst. and become a chef. We rented a charming 200 year old colonial and settled in. Rhinebeck became our home for the next 6 years.
I had no family, no friends- everything was new...and I loved it.
Mr. Julian facing forward in the Baby Bjorn was how we walked for hours everyday, enjoying this historic and beautiful tree lined town. One crisp fall morning on one of our daily walks a woman came towards me with a baby boy same age-ish as Jules, in a front pack facing forward too. We stopped and giggled at our reflection. Kelly introduced herself and suggested I join the weekly mothers group that met at the local hospital-  a place where little ones could play and interact and where moms could chat.
I did.

The next few years were some of my fondest- I hold them close to my heart. This clan, this tribe of mothers had a huge impact on who I am today as a parent. I learned "strength in numbers".
It felt comforting and empowering - we were there for each other helping our growing families along the way- always someone to laugh with or lean on, baby sitting, play dates, birthday parties- a shoulder to cry on and always someone who was a year or two  ahead of you available for a little advise. So much fun - we were so close.
I get the whole "It takes a village".
Soon #2 arrived, Ms. Sophia, a beautiful a baby girl. It was easier, I was relaxed- life was perfect. Being a mom made me blossom- I found my calling, never had I experienced so much joy in raising my children. Nothing else mattered.
I came out of my shell and opened my heart.

Then....a fork in the road.
The teen years.

I folded like a cheap umbrella.

I am completely serious when I say this was never expected!
Trying to be brave....however "brave" is also polite for crazy!!!
Yes, Crazy.

Loved the filaments of routine we had as a family- but now I stood in a torrent of emotions. Sometimes ending my days in a blaze of tears. Where did my child go?
The sweet, fun, cuddly kid years made a quiet departure.

I yearned for the familiar days when Mr. Julian would have a tantrum on isle 5 in the local super market...or even having to nurse Sophia in a stall in the ladies restroom because it was not accepted in the restaurant we were dining in.
I was a pro at wiping noses, puke and diarrhea all in a beautiful symphony for days on end when flu season hit. With ruthless efficiency I would wash blankets, sheets, pillows, " woobies "all night long as they rolled in, drenched in stomach acid all while in a state of 24 hour gag mode.
All this.....E.A.S.Y

The teen years lie ahead a startling realization that this period was not to end any time soon- at this moment I had 4 children.
3 of them now who are teens.

Perplexed and  dumbfounded, but mostly baffled is how I feel most of the time.

Parenting teens is confusing, sometimes heart breaking and just plain hard. One minute I am awesome, the next minute lame.
Their mood swings are like a Montana Winter...Unavoidable, unpredictable and usually unpleasant.
How do I deal with these monsters...I mean angels?

"There are few situations that are more difficult to cope with than adolescent daughter or son during the time to liberate themselves"
- Anna Freud

Talking to a few of my friends that are in the same boat or ready to "board the boat" of pre teen years are also searching for answers, wondering how to "upgrade" their parenting skills as well. Not finding much support in groups or books...

Why does subject seem so mysterious?

Are we part of some secret society that no one wants to talk about- or are we all so exhausted as  parents, that we are too tired to pass on our experiences and good solid advise to the next batch of parents that is trying to navigate thru these stormy waters.

I love my kids and that's why I am willing to go the extra mile- I don't do " parenting- lite"- I want to be that rock they can swim to and grab onto when the waters get rough.

So.......worn out by self doubting my parenting skills, it finally gave way to curiosity. I started searching for answers and found a few blogs, books and news articles helpful with this phenomena.

 This is a fantastic article:
The Collateral damage of a teenager

Really put some perspective on how other parents feel and react to their new circumstances.

Here are few blogs that I am currently reading, that are insightful, for anyone who is interested.

1. Motherlode
2. Parentfurther
3. Jen Hatmaker

They offer some ammo and also very uplifting for parents.
Happily I found that a few of these blogs recommend books which I have ordered at the library-

This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today
This is ridiculous, this is amazing : parenthood in 71 lists
Got teens? : the doctor moms' guide to sexuality, social media and other adolescent realities
Good enough is the new perfect : finding happiness and success in modern motherhood
The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity
When Did I Get Like This?: The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I'd Never Be
Boundaries with teens : when to say yes, how to say no

I have not read these yet- but they will be in my summer reading arsenal-hoping for some helpful information.

Feeling the sting right now and aware that it takes time to get used to this new chaos of emotions and period of life they are in...I am learning how to live out the storm.
Baby steps.
The times we laugh, love and are together as a family (usually on vacation these days) are so precious...I just want to filter in a little bit more of that beautiful light in our lives.

This is my journey and I will encounter bumps in the road and surely stumble, cry at times and be humbled. But also in this wilderness there will be way finding where I seek courage, calm and confidence and hopefully find some answers.

...and one day I am hopeful I will bloom again.

*To all you parents of teens that feel lost and bewildered- I wish you peace and love on your journey
this is a hard time but as they say...this too shall pass, cross my fingers.



and the winner is........

The winner of Mountain Girl Yarns giveaway is
lucky # 17
(excluding my comment)
The Gabenator picked this number because it's
 on his soccer jersey!
Please contact me
with your shipping address so I can send the "Provence" skein to you.

~ To all that participated ~
Thank you for all your kind and informative words it really was helpful!

I will let you all know when My shop opens
 check back again for more giveaways down the pike.

Have a lovely day.



The lake effect

Each summer the lake draws me in, I count down the months, the days till the weather and water warms so I can return. This peaceful place that sits tucked away amongst mountains and glaciers- a prize of sorts for enduring the grey, the storms and the winter. Much anticipated is the first day of "hot" Montana summer and I dip my toes in....only to test my patience again, too cold this glacier water- I will have to come back for a swim.

The sun has been shining and warming, once again I follow the little winding path covered by large pines and shady Aspen trees, a few roots and rocks easily stumbled on lies on the forest floor. Small brush and huckleberry bushes scratch the side of my legs- this path sometimes hard to navigate - but it leads you thru. Dappled sunlight shines gently along the pebbled ground...as if lighting the way, you just sense something good is up ahead. And there, a thin sliver of silvery blue, the lake, still soft and silent.
Lovely blue- she awaits the days adventure- who will enjoy her cool company today?
A perfect spot on the beach is immediately located half sun, half shade, the sun hasn't past over the tall stretched trees just yet. Towels are layed out and my bag packed with only a water bottle and a magazine- that never gets read, nature is entrainment enough.

Sigh...I lay down on my towel- satisfaction. I must be closer to heaven today or at least cloud 9.

I see an elderly man in a canvas sun hat approach in a lovely smooth wood kayak. Perhaps he has toiled over it all winter and took it for it's first little voyage. Gracefully it glides thru the smooth water and on to shore where he hops out an pulls it up onto land. He nods to me and smiles- he seems satisfied as well.

The lake is clear and surrounded with lovely rocks of earthy tones - the ones in the water always more beautiful than on the shore, the colors seem more vibrant. I notice a fish decomposing in the deeper end- doesn't bother me a bit, the lake must have been a beautiful place to have lived. A scrawny deer peeks thru the brush grazing on leaves with it's mouthful it stares out towards the blue- generously, sharing the lake with us too.

The warmth of the sun and the heat of the rocks beneath envelopes me- as a lizard I slowly heat up- I feel lazy, there is in an intensity to the heat that I remember vaguely from last summer, familiar. Above I hear the birds- it's an odd but interesting sound as if they sing in a tin can- unusual I only hear this at the lake, still beautiful and unique this bird song calling to each other. Off in the distant man with a "very" British accent talking rather loud to his kids, holding his baby girl she squeals with delight each times he lowers her and her little chubby feet dips in the cool water. I slap an occasional mosquito although bothersome, I don't care too much.
"Manny, Manny" there is much splashing and whining, the Brit calls out to his dog to fetch the damn Frisbee again. Manny swims obediently out to fetch, but whines along the way. The dog is most likely in disbelief that he has to do this retrieving maneuver over again and again in the chilly lake.
A low hum of a puttering skiff passes close by it's motoring towards the voices and laughter on the other side of the beach. My son skips rocks on the water, plop, plop, he counts how many times it skips..

Time for a dip too warm for me, slow as a water lily I inch my self in, then I submerge myself in this cool blue.
Eventually my head goes under and I am part of the lake. All my worries sink to the bottom.
I feel baptized.
Everything that is hard in life, simply washed away.
For a while I stay in the cool lake- weightless, floating.

The scent of Hawaii lingers as I slather suntan lotion on my son, feels strange smelling of coconut as we enjoy our day amongst the mountains and glacier 3150 ft above sea level- not so tropical in these neck of the woods. Still cooled from the water it's just a matter of minutes before I go in again, this routine repeats itself thru out the day - in out, in out, till it's time to go home, so suntan lotion is a must.

 My son complains about being eaten alive by the mosquitos while picking unripe huckleberries in the forest along the shore- mustn't be pleasant to be eaten alive I think, nor finding only a smattering of unripe huckleberries. So we go swim again together" his bites don't itch as much" in the water he confesses - the cool liquid feels refreshing on my warm skin too.
Such an easy way to spend the day- just as mother nature invited us too do.

The sun doesn't set until the late hours in Montana, but our bellies remind us that after this long while, it must be close to supper time. We dry off and walk up the lingering path back thru the brush and the shady trees with a sprinkling of sunlight still on the path, my hair still wet from all the swimming, sits in a huge heavy bun on my head- later this evening I will let it fall down and cool my neck. My son still talking about the perfect drift wood he found and made into boats. Rejuvenated we both head out. Feeling very fortunate today being so closely connected to nature and grateful for it's offerings. Mother natures way of giving us a bear hug when we need it the most.

We will be back soon back to enjoy the beautiful lake effect.


Summer knitting

Still working on DEVLAN
taking my time
it's summer
so everything is on the easy.
A new book has been found
by Ruth Reichl
it looks really good- something I can sink my teeth into
 I love reading cookbooks and about chefs etc. so this should be right up my alley
 I did eventually ditch
it just wasn't for me.
I am also offering a GIVE AWAY!!!
 A lovely hand painted skein is up for grabs with my new line of yarns
Mountain Girl Yarns
( the post prior to this one)


Mountain Girl Yarns Give Away!

Hello dear friends

Today I am offering
a give away
A skein of Mountain Girl Yarn from my new hand dyed yarn collection

this glorious skein

" Provence"
 soft and yummy

 100%   Super Wash Ultra Merino
 3 ply
 3.5 oz
490 yds

" Provence"
hand dyed in
 tones of lavender, saffron, periwinkle, sky blue and purple.

and also a little peak
 of what soon is to come

There will be a wide variety of fibers

Merino- what's not to love?
 BFL it dyes so nicely and knits up beautifully
Silk- for the smoothness and sheen
Cashmere- buttery goodness
SW Merino - for easy care
 Nylon- for strength

2 & 4 ply
I am also dying up some single twists
pretty excited about that

...and colors galore!

Mountain Girl Yarn will be available late summer /fall 2014
new yarns & fresh colorscapes
 ...anything but ordinary 

If you would like to win "Provence"
please answer the 4 following questions
leave your name - blog in the comments so I can get a hold of you if your the winner

 it's that simple!

 1. Does it matter where yarn is offered
ETSY, Big Cartel or Shopify?

2. What makes you buy yarn online
Fiber content (luxe or simple)
Ease of purchase

3. Favorite yarn weight that you "mostly" knit with

4. What inspires your purchase

I need to find a home for my shop and am unsure if I should use ETSY or Big Cartel
 so a little feedback from you would be awesome
Please feel free to participate!
I appreciate your comments
 open for entries 7/21- 7/27
The "Gabernator" pick a random number
 and I will announce the winner
 Monday 28th July

Good Luck

My the "fiber"force be with you.


Change & curiosity

 Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches,
letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights. 
~Pauline R. Kezer
 My whole body aches for change often
 I am curious
Most of my friends stayed in Oslo after graduation
 a pretty grounded bunch
 me.....I was chomping at the bit to get the heck outta there
 explore new territory
 new space
 new place
 I think I inherited this gene from dad
 he was a mover
 spent most of his life up in the air
traveling all the world for his line of work
 at home in California he spent as much time as he could on the ocean
 the constant need for movement
He was never worried by it
 it encouraged him to see new things
 and passed that down to me
I moved around a lot when I was little - which continued when I got married.
Anywhere can be " home"- if you let it.
 Sometimes when I got so bored with my situation I would move
 embrace the newness of new state, new town a new environment
free things up
free my mind

 It's the curiosity in me
 the never ending wanderlust

eventually I found my spot in the world
my roots are deep
 Montana has my heart
 I still get restless
and all I want to do is flee
the need for change is still there

I wrote a post here recently how I was pretty down because I couldn't find my mojo

being creative can be a curse
It scares me
 when I am un inspired
 loose my creative energy
  when traveling
I step out of my "normal"
my comfort zone
and let go

when I return home
 The same seems new.
I view life with fresh eyes
 A light that  inspires me to do new things that me feel like I am moving forward
 Change is darn good
 makes you also appreciate routine
 to come back to what you know
 I cast out my fishing rod
 see what it might bring in
 but still stand firmly on shore
 just testing the waters
 and of course just I end up  loosing the dang rod
and jump in with both feet

There is a change in the air again
 inspiration slowly seeping in
 it's a good feeling
willing to take some unexpected risks
 throw it all out there
 what do I have to loose?
To heck with fear
I read an awesome quote:
If your dreams don't scare you
 they aren't BIG enough.

my mantra these days

Surrounding myself with new places,
 cleaning out my house from top to bottom,
 new music, books
a list of places I want to explore
more travel
 painting my living room,
painting furniture
exploring more saturated colors 
new curtains, new rugs
 new energy
hauling "stuff " to the local thrift or the dump
it feels amazing to get rid of old crap
more empty space
to fill with
just space to breathe

This fall I am traveling to New Mexico
 Santa Fe and Taos
 I hear the energy there is something special
ready to be awestruck by the landscape
 visit dear Georgia whom I love with all my heart
curious to immerse myself in the art & culture
curious about the food
I want to make it to the Taos wool festival
 New Mexico has been on my bucket list for 12 years
 I think about it every day
Hubby is used to it and just goes with it- he's pretty neat like that

 it's in my nature
 to be curious
 to embrace change
 and I do it with all my heart
what about you
what fuels your fire?


Summer socks

 Summer " beach "knitting has always been a favorite of mine.
 Something easy to bring along to the waters edge.
 As well something fun to read.
  Reading  Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx and well into the 3d chapter
not so crazy about it.
Mostly about how her French Canadian father did everything he could to become more of a Yankee.
Endless details about her building an extravagant house in Wyoming
I am giving it a few more chapters before I throw in the towel.
Knitting with my own hand dyed yarn a simple sock
oh, let me also say one more thing...
 Next week there will be some news on
Mountain Girl Yarns
 and a give away
 stay tuned


Some good things are for free

A trip to the library and summer reading is in full swing for me
 these are on my night stand.

I also picked this dvd up at the library- it looks interesting?

My 2 favorite catalogs came in the mail today
 What's not love?

this might be on my horizon
 I am obsessed with silver smithing

More socks
 when I knit a lot it is usually because I am stressed
 I would be lying if I said summer time is relaxing around here....
but you do what you do
 keep calm and knit on
and enjoy that
 some good things are for free.