Monday, December 26, 2011

Reflecting on 2011 and Counting Down to 2012

Knitting Madness
I never really cared for this time of year.  In spite of the family gatherings and all the parties, I always felt so small and alone.  What I didn't realize was that I was spending the time reflecting in my own space, rather than reaching out and making others happy.  
Baby Buddy came out of hiding and went
right back to the tree on Christmas Eve!

And now, I can't believe Christmas is over!  I've been running around, knitting like crazy, baking, Christmas shopping, and taking care of a sick cat.  With all of the incredibly bad things that have happened this year, I had so much to be thankful for once I sat down and thought about it.  When you look at all of it, I still have my wonderful family and many opportunities ahead of me.  I even got my own Christmas miracle when I found out that we did not have to put Baby Buddy to sleep!  They did not find cancer but we will have to have more tests run to see if his growth is affecting anything.  He even started to act like his old self again and came to sleep next to me on Christmas morning (something he has not done in a few months because he didn't have the energy to get upstairs).

In between the regular Christmas-time running around, I managed to make a few gifts for the people in my family who have been admiring some of the things I've made so far this year.  There was:
    My two sisters-in-law were really excited about their hats:
    Slouchy Beanie in Peacock Colors (left) and
    Simply Elegant Beanie (right)
  • A pair of socks for my aunt in Arizona
  • A pair of socks for my grandmother
  • A hat for two of my sisters-in-law
  • A pair of slippers with suede soles for another grandmother (husband's side)
  • A custom-made sweater vest as my first Etsy sale
  • Finishing the hats that my brother-in-law ordered
*sigh*  My husband and I also decorated the house and built Peanut's larger gifts.  We also took turns baking: I made sugar cookies and oatmeal cookes (with dark chocolate and toffee chips) and hubby made three different kinds of cheese cake (peppermint, eggnog and apple).  When it finally came down to it, we spent Christmas Eve at my father-in-law's house, Christmas morning at our house opening gifts, and Christmas evening watching football at The Royal Victorian Manor, my parents' Bed and Breakfast. 

Peanut models in front of the Christmas tree.

So much love, so many smiling faces.  Now I remember why I do what I do.  I love helping people and making them happy.  If I can do something well enough to brighten another person's day, I know I have a purpose and something to look forward to.  Working in health care did give me that opportunity, I mean, I managed a clinic for people who would have no other access to health care if it wasn't for our little clinic.  And speaking Spanish allowed me to be a representative for women's health education to a rural Hispanic community, giving those women a chance to learn more about important women's health issues.

With Peanut around, I want to spend every minute with him, watching him grow and learn.  He's helped me to realize that there are many things that I love to do, but if I must help my family succeed.  Why not do that while doing something you love?  And this is why I knit.  I love the arts, I love my family, and I love making people happy by making something that keeps them warm or warms their heart.

I am looking forward to see what 2012 will bring for my own personal growth and the growth of Cherished Moments.  I'll be:
  • Frantically working on my business plan
  • Designing knit clothes for babies and children that have a timeless style
  • Writing patterns
and enjoying every little part of the process.  I promise, you won't be disappointed!
Christmas at the Royal Victorian Manor.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fur Baby Christmas

Baby Buddy loved watching over newborn Peanut.
He would peek into his bassinet and watch him sleep for
hours at a time.  He's a good big brother.
If there was anything I could learn this holiday season, it is humility, because you may have so many things to be thankful for, but you could lose them at any time.  Today, I am thankful for my four fur babies.  Especially now that one of them, whom we lovingly call Baby Buddy, has been diagnosed with a tennis ball-sized growth in his abdomen.

Although his growth may be benign, he has lost a significant amount of weight for a cat.  To put it another way, it'd be like a human losing 50 pounds.  His illness could be cystic kidneys or a carcinoma according to the vet, but we have to wait for the biopsy results before we take a course of action.  In the mean time, I'm spoiling him rotten and celebrating all the fun times we had together.

Baby Buddy finds the funniest places to sleep.
His favorite two places: under the Christmas tree and curled up
next to the cable router.
He came to our home as a rescue pet back in 2006 at age one and a half.  He's a kitten at heart and is always in a good mood, no matter what.  When I got pregnant with Peanut, Baby Buddy stayed by my side while I was on strict bed rest.  He even massaged my belly and aching bones during my rough pregnancy.  Once Peanut arrived, he took on the role of big brother.  He was the first to examine the new baby and would always stay perched over Peanut's crib and would come get me if Peanut started crying. 

We got our kitten, Q, because he looked just like Baby Buddy and had a very similar personality.  Baby Buddy and Q act like they were litter mates.  Q doles out loving kisses and Baby Buddy runs around the house happily, knowing that he has another cat who loves to play with him.

Underneath the Christmas tree, waiting for Santa.
Please send loving thoughts and prayers to Baby Buddy during this holiday season.  Although it could be his last holiday with us, he will have a permanent place in my heart.  He's taken great care of me and my family during some life changing events and I will always love him like a child.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Holidays!

With all the holiday craziness going on, I just want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday!

Current Projects
I am happy to report that my first sale took place this past week.  It was a custom order sweater vest, much like the one on the left.  It was in a solid forest green rather than with white trim, made from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino  The vest was made and shipped within 3 days and I actually got some other stuff done in the process.

I finished 6 out of the 10 hats that my brother-in-law ordered from me.  I gave him the hats on Saturday so that he could have a few to give away at a concert that took place that evening.  He was really happy that the hats turned out well.  So I guess that means that I can get over my fail isle phobia.

Tonight, I was able to finish up a pair of socks that I made for my aunt.  I don't have any pictures right now because I happened to spill some red soda on the foot of the sock (as I was finishing the sock!).  It's soaking in OxyClean to get rid of the stain.  I will dry it out tonight, take photos and ship them out tomorrow.  If they don't get there by Christmas, they'll double as a birthday present for her (which is on New Year's Eve).  I'll be working on a few other gifts for family before Christmas, so I'll definitely be busy.

I've been putting together ideas for my business plan as well, thinking about which yarns I'd like to carry if I open a yarn shop and figuring out logistics such as location, online vs. actual shop, etc.  I won't officially get started on the business plan until after the holidays, but the excitement has been overwhelming.  I really want to get this craft business going, but I know I'm going to take it easy and do this on a schedule that is good for me and my family.  Wish me luck!

Coming soon
New Year's brings new opportunities for us, seize the day!