February 24, 2014

Ravellenic Games Wrap Up.

So.  The Olympics are over.  As are the Ravellenic Games.  And I did not achieve glory:

Ravellenic Tomten

I couldn't even see the podium:

Ravellenic Tomten
It was clear pretty early into the competition that I am not the competitor that I used to be.  That while a former Olympic champion this time I would fall pitifully short:

Ravellenic Tomten
Like a couple inches of sleeve 1, all of sleeve 2, the button band, and all of the finishing short.

Ravellenic Tomten

 But.  Here's the thing about the Olympics.  Just to participate is an honor.  And this year I was not a favorite.  I was not at the top of my game.  I did not have the focus, drive, determination, or (AHEM) time I needed to achieve gold.  But I"m still proud of my accomplishment.

Ravellenic Tomten

I knit more over these games than I have in the last 6 months.  And that is thrilling.  It shows me that I CAN make time for myself.  Even if it's just brief moments.  I CAN DO IT.  And when I do the results are pretty impressive:

Ravellenic Tomten
Two weeks ago this was a couple skeins of yarn buried in my stash.

Ravellenic Tomten

I was the country with one competitor who was just happy to be there.

Ravellenic Tomten
The Land of 3 kids under 5 is not one who brings home many golds.

So I'll keep going with this sweater.  I have some new yarn coming to me on Thursday thanks to my knitting group's influence and my hope is to have this finished by then.

Ravellenic Tomten
Dream Big, right?

February 21, 2014

Ice Dam on the Rocky River.

Before I get to my story here's the Cleveland.com story on this:  Rocky River Ice Dam 

So.  This morning after the preschool drop off I wanted to take the new car (more on that later) for a little spin.  Stretch her legs a bit.  See what she was capable of.  So instead of my normal route home I drove through the Metroparks.  And happened upon this:

Rocky River Ice Dam
What the what?

The Rocky River was completely blocked with ice this morning:

Rocky River Ice Dam
Basically what happened was that over this crazy cold we've had the whole thing froze.  And then over the last couple days of "warm" weather it has melted enough to break up the ice.  Those big chunks moved downstream and formed this big blockage:

Rocky River Ice Dam

The whole area by the marina in Lakewood - our ROCKS WATER place - was closed off because of concerns with flooding.

Rocky River Ice Dam

It was pretty amazing to see.

I immediately called my dad b/c I knew he'd want to take pictures of it.  If he braved the polar vortex to get pictures of the lake he'd have no problem risking a flood.  Here's some of his shots:

We ended up driving through the park between the dog park in Lakewood and Hogsback Lane.  I've never seen the river moving that quickly.  Or with big chunks of ice and debris floating in it:

The dude thought it was pretty neat:

Rocky River Ice Dam

As soon as he saw his sister he was all "WE WENT TO SEE THE ICE!  IT WAS REALLY REALLY COOL!  ICE!"  So of course we had to make a second lap so she could see it:

Rocky River Ice Dam
That bench is usually right at the edge of the river.
We didn't drive all the way back down to the ice dam, though, since by then the Metroparks officials were telling people to stay away.  But they posted a couple of amazing videos of the ice jam on the Cleveland Metroparks Facebook Page.

Such an interesting event.  And honestly I'm pretty excited to be thinking about things thawing out in any form.  This has been a long and ridiculous winter.  Hopefully this is the first sign of spring!

February 19, 2014

Besties Weekend.

So!  This weekend one of my bestest friends came into town.  And we spent the time... schlepping my kids around.  Oh how glamorous my life is.  But you know that someone is a good, good friend when they are fine with just rolling with your posse.  We celebrated Valentines Day:

Her daddy sent us roses for Valentines Day!  Thanks @verozarc that was a really nice surprise to come home to today!

 Took the boys to the library:


And the girl to ballet:

And then spent the afternoon getting my flat tire fixed.  This week we've had 2 flat tires and a car straight up die.  Seriously.  I'm trying to think positive thoughts.  The flat (and subsequent other flat b/c the shop messed something up) was because I missed a gate on the slalom course of potholes that is Munn Road.  I bitched about it on twitter and since then they've thrown a cone into the center of the biggest one.  Way to get things done, Cleveland!


Friday night we had a movie night with the kids:

Haven't gotten much Ravellenic knitting done bc my Olympic watching today has looked like this. I'm ok with it. Not pictured? The dog snuggled at all of our feet. #loved

I continued my Introduction to Julie Andrews with Mary Poppins.  My friend and I loved it because Nostalgia!  Childhood Memories!  But, dude, DO NOT PULL THREADS.  There are so many things I didn't notice as a child.  First of all Bert is a drifter at best.  Also there's a guy in a ship that he built on top of his house shooting cannons into London.  WHAT?

Then more schlepping.  This time to the Cleveland Museum of Art:

Cleveland Museum of Art

 But we did take her to Prestis for Cannoli and Cookies.  So that's something:


We also did a brief cooking experiment.  Have you guys seen all of those "one pot wonder" meals all over the pintrest?  Yup:

one pot wonder

That night we actually ventured out to some bars for a bit.  Before coming home so that Matt could go to Brite Winter Festival.  It looked like funtimes and also COLD:

Meanwhile we fixed figure skating.  Tell me this is not an amazing new event:  Figure Skating Best Trick.  A 1 minute run of whatever the skaters want to throw down.  They can flip, twist, land however they want, twizzle, spin, etc.  All bets off, X-games style.  They can even still wear costumes / do it to showtunes if they want.  YES.

Anyways with all of these distractions I'm very behind on my Ravellenic Games project.  There might be an all nighter in my future.  How about you guys?  How was your weekend?

February 9, 2014

Ravellenic Games 2014 - Opening Ceremonies.

So!  The Olympics are underway!!!

Just an FYI: m&m's come in Olympic Rings colors. #olympics #sochi #m&m #cake #yum
Cake I made for our opening ceremonies gathering.  It's super handy that M&M's come in the colors of the Olympic Rings...
And I don't know about you guys but basically all I want to do is watch the games.  Especially with the new commentators:

Johnny Wier!  Love.  Tara Lipinski!  Hate.  But mainly because she stole the gold from Michelle Kwan and I"m still a bit bitter.  16 years later. WHATEVER.  And I"m still waiting for Sal Masakala to make his big appearance.  He's my fav ever and when I found out that he was no longer doing Xgames it was sadness, indeed.  Until he got the Olympic gig. 

So how are your Ravellenic Games projects going?  Thanks so much for all of the input on mine!  I finally decided on this:

Let's hope that title holds throughout the Ravellenic Games! #knit #knitting #ravellenicgames #ravelry #olympics #tomten
A Tomten for the Dude.  I listened to all of your advice but when Pam said that if I can knit guys socks I can knit a sweater it kindof clicked.  Because man socks are about as many stitches as a guy sweater.  And that's way more than I can commit to for these games.  Plus we have a big, BIG roadtrip coming up so socks in The Road Ahead colorway will be all too perfect.

A sweater for this little dude, though:

Looking good headed into the second day of competition. #ravellenicgames #ravelry #knit #knitting #tomten
Progress headed into day 2 of the competition.
Tough but not impossible.

I am also planning on taking the advice of Angela who told me to finish up the little guy's sweater so that I have a clean start.  YES.  Good idea.  So my Olympic events are as follows:

Knit the Dude a Tomten in the Sweaterboard Cross.

Finish the Little Guy's Tomten in the WIP's Dancing.

Although I might pull a Sean White and punk out on my secondary event.

Also I thought it would be fun to do a Link Up like I did for the last Ravellenic Games.  I love following everyone's projects on all of the social media!  Especially Instagram it seems.  I keep clicking on the #RavellenicGames hashtag and ooohing and aaahing over all of the amazing proejcts people are working on.  So much talent out there!

Ravellenic Games Social Media Link Up:  

1.)  You can link to any social media site except for Ravelry.  So your blog, twitter feed, a podcast, facebook page, vlog, instagram, whatever.

2.)  You can link up THREE of your social media sites! 

3.)  Please follow/like/subscribe to at least a few other participants in the list.

Also I plan on posting this link up at least one more - possibly two more times before the games are over.  I'd love to have a co-host.  Let me know if you have a blog and are interested!

Let the Games begin!!!!

February 5, 2014

Ravellenic Games 2014.

So! Olympics!  Aka Ravellenic Games!  Aka that time when I go crazy trying to knit something in a ridiculous amount of time while watching the Olympics!

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about the Ravellenic Games are described as this:

Challenge yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the 2014 Winter Olympics.

It's a Giant Knit Along.  It's happening.  It's now.  And once again I have no idea what to do.  Help?

Some backstory... here's my entry from 2010.  I rocked it.  I knit an entire traditional stranded sweater in the time between the opening and closing ceremonies.  I knit for gold:

Olympics 2012

Here's 2012.  I knit a shawl.  It was less epic than a sweater but still quite Olympic worthy.  Especially since the picot bindoff and the beads made the whole thing take ALOT longer than I had anticipated:

2012 Olympics
And if you really want to go back further here's 2008 (I failed b/c I was newly pregnant with my daughter and very, VERY sick), and here's 2006 (I failed because I was cocky and partied too much.  But then I later redeemed myself.)

So... 2014?  I'm... well... I started thinking that I would knit Matt a sweater.  I pinned and I googled and I narrowed it down to these:
Guy Sweaters
Cobblestone, Guston, Devon
And then I realized that there was a slight problem with this plan:

"What?  I'm just playing with the big kids. NBD". #7months #stevensonpartyof5 #armycrawl
Slightly more kids than I was responsible for in 2006.  And a younger kid than I have ever had during an Olympics.
See... and I hate to admit this... There is no way I can knit a sweater in 16 days anymore. Even for the Olympics.  It's just not possible with my life right now.  I did the math and on a good day - a REALLY good day - I maybe have 30 min to an hour to knit?  And that's assuming that no one is sick or teething or working really late.  And that I got a decent amount of sleep the night before and have the energy to stay up and knit instead of collapsing in a heap shortly after all of the kids are down.  I know the Olympics are about dreaming big but I have to find a balance between reaching for success and setting myself up for failure.


So... I don't know what to do.  I've stashdived and I've pondered and I'm just lost.  I think I've narrowed things down to 2 possibilities that will be insane but just barely possible.

Option 1:  The Tomtems.  Ok the tomtem is a kid's sweater/jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman.  The tomtem is a type of Swedish Elf and kids are supposed to resemble them when wearing this jacket.  I knit one for the little guy over the fall:

Seaming this was going TERRIBLY. until I remembered the whole block BEFORE seaming thing... #doh #knit #knitting #tomtem #garterstitch
But I never finished it.  I need to seam it all and add in a zipper.  Not a small feat.  I also have the yarn to knit one for the dude.  So the plan would be to knit the dude a sweater (size 3T on size 9 needles.  not impossible in 2 weeks) as well as finish up the one for the little guy.  At the end I'd have two little boys in matching tomtem jackets.  NOTHING COULD BE CUTER.

seriously these two.
I love that it's an Elizabeth Zimmerman project - something about that screams knitting purity and the spirit of knitting and the Olympics and all of that.  Plus I knit an EZ sweater in 2010 for myself so this feels a bit like the same event only on a "I have three kids now" scale.  And what could be more classic than gray wool?

Option 2:  Matt Socks.  I knit Matt a pair of socks out of this:

Destination Yarn in The Road Ahead.
A pair of socks in 2 weeks would be alot.  And I haven't knit socks in awhile.  But... I have promised him Destination Yarn socks for years now.  Literally.  And after I gave up on Rick (never.  never will that pair be finished.)  and wandered off on the Earl Gray Socks it still hasn't happened.  I love that these colors are so very current - Yellow and Gray is crazy popular right now.  With the winter we've been having he's lived in the 2 pairs of socks I actually have finished for him.  He deserves a new pair and this might be just the time to do it.  I just don't know what pattern I'd go for...

Maybe just plain old socks?  I dunno....

Ok.  So yeah.  What do you guys think?  I have less than 48 hours to decide.  GULP.

February 4, 2014


So! Friday night my wonderful parents offered to babysit ... which means DATE NIGHT!!! (said with the same tone and inflection as one would say SPRING BREAK!!!!)  Starting with dinner just the two of us at Parallax in Tremont.  I had never been there before but had heard good things.  We didn't have reservations so we sat at the bar and had sushi and martinis.  It was lovely:

Date night!  @verozarc
Also is there a better way to scream out from the social media mountain tops I AM NOT PREGNANT than posting a picture of liquor and sushi?  I think not.
Then we met some friends out at the new Porco Lounge and Tiki Room. I've been wanting to try this place since they opened.  Craft drinks with lots of fruit and booze?  YES.  Tropical feel in the dead of a Cleveland Winter?  YES.  Kitschy theme with awesome drink stirrers that include mermaids and monkeys?  DOUBLE YES. 

Date Night
Um... my drink is smoking.
Everyone said to order the zombie so I went for it.  It was good.  Super boozy and passionfruity.  I wanted to try something different for round 2 so I went for a Hurricane.  It was good but not blow my socks off amazing.  I ended up stealing Matt's drink which was a foggy something?  I don't remember the name unfortunately because it was INSANELY GOOD.  Seriously so almondy and delicious.  He wins the night with his drink order.  I definitely want to go back sometime and have one of my own along with some tacos.  They have tacos and fruity drinks!  It might be my new jam.

Date Night

Then we moved on to a place without $14 drinks - and the best drunk pizza in Cleveland:


And took a nice, not selfie, picture of the group:

Date Night
I believe I was about to go on a rant and then took off because I saw someone I thought I knew.  So that was my level.  I also ordered a Vodka tonic because for whatever reason when I'm drinking I tend to think of those as the same thing as water.  Which has never gotten me in trouble before, ever.  HEH. The group dispersed a bit after that...

And then we bought an RV full of MBA's on their way to see Punxatony Phil a pizza.

Yup.  I love a good random Odyssey.    Like ending up in a vanagon on the way to the Kentucky Derby because YES.  Unfortunately of that group not a single one was on the instagram or the twitter so I had no way of sharing this photo with them (or so was my rational at that moment):

Date Night
I know exactly 3 people in this picture.  Including Matt and myself.
Then at one point someone bought me a scotch because I was out!  And last time they saw "us" it was just Matt since I was watching the kids!  Yay!  And Matt tried to talk them out of it because the last thing in the world I needed was a scotch.  Seriously.   And it got real awkward bc then he was the husband not letting his wife have fun and how come he gets to have all of the fun and so I took the scotch even though I didn't really want the scotch because I didn't want him to look like the bad guy and... not good.  Let's just say if it weren't for some leftover anti-nausea medicine I have kicking around from pregnancy Saturday would have been ROUGH.

Date Night
Pictured:  The Caravaggio at the CMA where I took my daughter for her art class.  Exactly where you want to be when bright lights are your mortal enemy.  I took a picture of this because it's about to go on tour and then we won't get to see it for awhile and... then I went and sat in the cafe wishing I could lie down.

I feel like next time we go out I need a medical bracelet that states that after midnight Matt is in charge of all of my decisions.  Seems like it would be simpler.  I'm sure they make those, right?

Anyways!  It was a super fun night out.  We haven't partied like that out on the town in awhile.  New restaurants!  New bars!  Random Odysseys!  Drunk Pizza!  Hangovers!  Almost like it was 2006 again.  Only in 2006 we didn't have to take our kids to swimming and art the day after....

Date Night
Pictured:  2 people who surprisingly really rocked the parenting thing the next day.
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