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Riley and Me...and Lacey Makes Three
stories of knitting, karate, and life with two terriers
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riley 15 months

The third day was the biggest sightseeing day. Carla had to leave early the next day, so we had to get everything in before she left.

It was a beautiful day, so we did lots of walking to get where we needed to go. We walked through Boston Public Garden, where we were greeted by George Washington.

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15th-Apr-2010 10:41 pm - Boston, Day 2!
riley 15 months

During our Duck tour, one of the things that our guide mentioned was a free organ concert at Trinity Church. So, on Friday morning we headed out to Trinity Church...

to listen to Christian Lane perform on the organ. During the first song I really thought I was going to see the Phantom jump out from somewhere, but (unfortunately?) that didn't happen. He played a lullaby that I really liked, and showed that the organ can be more than just the heavy, loud instrument that I'm used to hearing.
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14th-Apr-2010 10:44 pm - Boston!
riley 15 months

Firstly, I need to say a tremendous thanks to Sula, Tom, and Gracie for putting up with me and showing me around the city. It is always so nice to spend time with "old" friends. (Um, somehow I've known Carla and Sula for almost 10 years? Craaaazy.)

I got to Boston around 1pm, which left us plenty of time to get started seeing the sights. One of the first things I saw was a knitted fencepost! I saw a couple of these at various places in the city, which I think is pretty neat.

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14th-Apr-2010 10:14 am - Chicago Day 2
riley 15 months

One thing that Becca and I have in common is that we both enjoy our sleep time, and get worn out with too much activity. After the big city day on the first day, we decided to spend the second day hanging around the suburbs. We slept in, and I uploaded photos and worked on my blog post. We went to see Dustin at work briefly, and then went by a yarn store called Knit Happens. I didn't initially plan to go to two yarn stores, but we saw this one as we were driving back from getting pizza. It's down the road from Becca, which is pretty cool. It's a newly opened store, and you can tell that she's still getting stock in. It was laid out *very* nicely, and the owner shared that she used to design marketing layouts for big companies. It would definitely be a great place to sit and knit, with a big table and nice chairs right when you walk in, and plenty of open space. There are some good solid wool yarn lines, but the sock yarn was mostly self-striping. (This was actually a good thing, cause I'd already bought yarn the day before!) If you're in the suburbs and need a good store, I'd encourage you to check it out.

After the yarn store I made my first ever trip to...

IKEA. That sound you heard on Wednesday mid-day? That was my head exploding. It had THREE stories, and was all around amazing. I saw some cube bookshelves that I really want for work, and I even knew where I would put them. I will definitely have to look into that when I have a little extra money. We wandered around there for a good while, and I really wish there was one in Nashville.

On the way home Becca showed me one of the places they had lived, and pointed out other things along the way. We decided to go home and eat leftover pizza, which I correctly predicted was already eaten by Dustin. :) We went to an Italian pick your pasta place, which was really good. We sat and talked before heading back home.

We took naps (I know, we're exciting), then sat around and had discussions until Dustin went to bed. I realized at this point that I hadn't taught Becca to knit yet, so we pulled out all the stuff. She caught on very quickly, which was awesome. It's so fun to see others learning and enjoying something that I enjoy so much!

I left early the next morning to head to Boston. The exciting thing about this flight is that they sent my boarding slip to my phone! It was pretty cool.

My trip to Chicago was fantastic, and I'm so glad that I was able to make it part of my spring break. Becca and Dustin are awesome, and I really hope that I get to visit them again soon.

14th-Apr-2010 10:10 am - Chicago Day 1
riley 15 months

It's Spring Break time! This year we are lucky enough to get 2 weeks for spring break, so I decided to plan a vacation. I'm spending two days in Chicago with my cousin Becca (and husband Dustin), and 5 days in Boston with college friends Carla and Sula (and baby Gracie!).

First up was Chicago!

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LJ cut finally worked! Yay! :)
8th-Mar-2010 08:03 pm - Zamboni Madness!
riley 15 months
I attempted to post this here, but it's not working. If you want to read my post about riding the zamboni at the Preds game, you can go to http://julieanne.wordpress.com.
18th-Oct-2009 12:28 pm - Sweet April
riley 15 months

On September 12 (hey, I'm only behind a little over a month on this one) I became a 3 dog household. April-dog has been in my family since I was 11 (I believe), and she's obviously getting pretty old. My parents' other dog started attacking April every time they were together, so we had to figure something out. I offered to take April, because it seemed to be the best option. She could hang out in my yard, and I figured that she wouldn't feel threatened by the little dogs.

Since the move, she seems to be doing really well. The little dogs pretty much ignore her, and she doesn't seem too concerned by them either. It think it's working well for all of us. :)

Here's a video from the first day they were all together. April tried to chase Lacey for about 3 steps, which was pretty good for her.

14th-Oct-2009 08:39 pm - Aja got married (two months ago)!
riley 15 months

(Yeah, so I'm behind. I'm on vacation in Nebraska, so I'm hoping to post a few various updates while I'm here.)

I could probably make this post extremely long, but I've decided to try to hit the highlights...and even then, it still might be really long.

1. This is the first wedding where everything was done before the night before. There was no midnight flower arranging, or program folding, or anything. I got there a day early to help, and everything was done! I was very impressed.

2. Friday was the big "Getting Ready for the Wedding" day. We walked to Starbucks for breakfast, complete with bling.

We continued on to the nail salon, where everyone in the wedding party (as well as any moms that were around) got their fingers and toes done. We also talked to the Mary Kay lady about our makeup for the next day. This whole process took way longer than I expected. We had a little bit of time before rehearsal dinner, so Rachel (my cousin), my aunt, and I ran over to Nordstrom.

3. The rehearsal itself went well, and there was lots of spontaneous picture taking.

I would like to thank the lady at Dress Barn for picking out my dress. It was one of those situations where she said, "Oh, I know something on the sale rack in your size! Try it on!" It was something like 80% off, which is always nice.

4. Our transportation to the dinner site? Limos. There was lots of dancing going on in this particular limo.

5. We ate at Maggiano's, which was *amazing.* We made Kareem take a picture with us.

I wore my shawl, too! Here's an action shot.

6. Saturday was wedding day! We spent the day getting hair and makeup done, and taking lots of photos. We also found time to look for Dave Mathews, who was staying at the Conrad that weekend. I invited his bodyguard to the wedding, but they didn't show up. S-dogg (one of the photographers) became our paparazzi, and followed us around during this process. I'll talk more about the photographers later.

7. Finally, it was time for the ceremony. My uncle walked Aja down the aisle.

Their ceremony was really nice, and it was really neat seeing the way they blended cultures and faiths during the ceremony.

8. After the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour while Aja and Kareem signed the marriage certificate. This is traditional in Egyptian culture. As the maid of honor, I got to see this ceremony, but didn't take any pictures. As Aja was signing the certificate, she was required to cover her shoulders. The cool part? Aja asked to use my shawl during this part of the ceremony. :)

9. At the reception, we were served a 5 course meal. The meal ended with chocolate and vanilla wedding cake, and a white chocolate dipped strawberry dusted in gold.

10. At some point, I gave a toast. I'm not a fan of large groups of people, so I was a bit nervous. Mine was funny, while the best man's was more serious, so I think it was a good balance. Note the iphone that I'm using for my notes. :)

11. The coolest part about the wedding was the belly dancer. At the beginning of the reception, she led Kareem and Aja around the room while Kareem's mother threw coins at them. After they got to the front of the room, she did a short dance and left. After we ate, she came back for a longer dance. Partway through, Kareem's best man (who is also Egyptian) got up and started dropping one dollar bills on her as she danced. I don't think any of the guests expected this part, but it was really entertaining. The other groomsmen did this as well. You can see the bills scattered on the floor in this picture, as well as some falling through the air.

12. The night ended with lots of dancing. One of my favorite parts of the night was when the DJ played "Walk Like an Egyptian." (Aja said it was on their "must play" list.) I ran over to Kareem and said, "Kareem, you're so good at this!" He looked at me all confused and said, "What? I'm just walking." (he said this as he was doing the stereotypical Egyptian hands that everyone does when they hear that song) We danced until about midnight, and I really didn't want the night to end. Here's one of the photos that the photographers took close to the end of the night.

The photographers (Captured Art Photography) were absolutely amazing. The three of them stayed all day (over 12 hours) and took so many amazing photos. I've been in weddings before where you did the typical group shots, a few by yourself, etc. These guys? I felt like I was all of a sudden thrown into an episode of Next Top Model or something. I was sitting on staircases (with people around!), climbing into windows and boxes, and doing all sorts of crazy stuff that I had not expected. I hope to get copies of some of the photos, because they are fabulous. I won the award as the "least photogenic bridesmaid," (and I'm also really critical of my photos) but they managed to get some of me that I absolutely love. They were great fun, and I really enjoyed spending the day with them.

All in all, it was a great night, and the most fun that I've ever had at a wedding. I love Aja and Kareem, and was so glad that I was a part of their wedding.

28th-Jul-2009 11:56 am - Shawl and Socks
riley 15 months

Thanks to the Neighborhood Knit Shop, I have a photo of the back of my shawl while I'm wearing it. They took this for their Name It and Knit It gallery, and I borrowed it. :)

The wedding is this weekend, so hopefully I'll have more action shots.

It is also the Summer of Socks. For some reason, I tend to stop knitting socks in the summer. I think it's because I feel that I have time to tackle larger projects, and because I'm home more. I think I do socks more during the school year because I can carry them around with me. Anyway, I have finished two pairs of socks lately.

First up are my generic black socks. I bought this yarn for $1 a skein out of someone's garage, and just made some basic socks to wear to work.

Started: April 10, 2009
Finished: July 13, 2009
Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote in Elderberry (black with blue and purple)
Pattern: Top Down with Heel Flap from Sensational Knitted Socks
Notes: These were my traveling socks, so they took a bit longer to finish than normal.

Next up is my June package from the Fiber Baristas Sock Club. June's dyer was Catherine from Knitting Notions, who is local to the Nashville area. (On a side note, I bought one of her cherry swifts awhile ago. I love it.) The yarn was inspired by Tennessee's mountains and streams.

The color of the yarn is pretty accurate in this picture above. I realized after I painted my living room that I also got rid of my neutral wall where I was photographing my socks. Oops. I'll have to find another place, I guess. Here are the socks.

Started: June 17, 2009
Finished: July 14, 2009
Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.
Yarn: Classic Merino Superwash Sock in Misty Mountain Hop
Notes: This is my second time to do this sock pattern, and I think it works well with this yarn. It's a bit hard to tell in the picture, because of the color of the wall. Anyway, I'm very pleased with this colorway and the socks. The only modification that I made was to do an eye of the partridge heel flap instead of what was specified in the pattern.

I've been working on some Super Sekret projects, and will have those to post once they get to the recipient. I'm using some awesome patterns that I've wanted to try, and I'm very excited to see how they turn out. :)

17th-Jul-2009 03:32 pm - What's a dog got to do...
riley 15 months

...to be able to jump up and sleep on the couch in peace?

You'll notice that I had to move my leg a few times during this video. That's because they were all but sitting on top of me. Crazy dogs. :)

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