Groggy In The Morning

Nothing I say before coffee can be trusted.

Tag: family

Knitting Dinosaurs For Fun and Affection

One Christmas while I was in college, I decided to teach myself to knit. I didn’t do this out of a desire to be crafty (in fact, I considered myself the opposite of crafty), nor was I particularly interested in making all of my own clothing. To me, knitting seemed a bit old-fasioned, but I wanted to give my friends cheap Christmas gifts and so I picked up an instruction book and went to town. Everyone has their motivations, right? Those first gifts were pretty pathetic – I wish I had pictures of the scarf I gave to my friend Hanna. It was made with a pocket knitter that I haven’t used since. The scarf probably only measured a couple of inches wide! Because winter is not something to be trifled with in Michigan, this scarf was probably the least useful item I could have made. Luckily, Hanna loves me and loved the scarf because of all its inadequacies.

Over time however, I’ve taught myself to make a lot more useful items, like scarves, hats and socks. I have really come to love knitting – it’s the perfect activity to keep my hands busy while watching TV or even hanging out with friends. I haven’t bought a winter hat in years and my ever-growing stockpile of yarn is a bit concerning. I still give my friends knitted gifts regularly, even if they are often delivered a few weeks late. I’m not exactly the most timely knitter!

I have also discovered that I can use this skill to befriend the male coworkers in my techy office. I’ve already wormed my way into their hearts through baked goods like pumpkin cheesecake, but sometimes even that isn’t enough. Apparently, the way to win the hearts and minds of a legion of male, techy coworkers is not a pair of homemade socks. Instead, it is knitted and stuffed dinosaurs! Yes, all of my coworkers
are secretly 5 years old.

Knitted Dinosaur Patterns Book

Knitted Dinosaurs are actually pretty awesome.

One particularly fantastic coworker bought a book chock full of dinosaur patterns. You might not have known such a thing existed, and you also might not have known you needed one, but trust me, you do. This book has opened the doors to a series of dinosaur projects that has … well if not enriched my life, than at least made it busier. I’m making dinosaurs for coworkers, my niece and nephew, and various dino-loving friends. I even mentioned my knitted dino projects to a prospective date on and he professed that he would love me forever if I made him a Reptar. What girl can refuse an offer like that?

The instructions in the book are pretty easy to follow, and offer a lot of freedom for creativity. This is key, because my niece has specifically requested a Triceratops that looks like Trixie from Toy Story 3. Also, everyone I have made dinos for has seemed to enjoy the process of picking out the colors of their future stuffed friend.

To date, I have knitted a Velociraptor, an Ankylosaurus, a T-Rex, and am in the process of creating a Triceratops! They turned out pretty awesome, if I do say so myself:

Anyone else want a dinosaur? 😉

Gluttony Is My Favorite Sin

Thanksgiving 5K

We’re ready to run a Turkey Trot 5k in preparation for the gluttony to come.

Ahhh, Thanksgiving. The time of year when family comes from near and far, we all pause and reflect on how great our lives are, and …. oh who am I kidding? I love the food. I love the food so much that this year I ran a 5k the morning of Thanksgiving in order to allow myself to eat even more food.

Don’t get me wrong, the food doesn’t come without the family. If you plopped a traditional Thanksgiving plate in front of me, but didn’t offer me time with my aunts, uncles, or cousins that I only see a couple of times a year, I’d feel robbed. I always eat corn pudding when I visit my aunts and uncles. The two activities are intrinsically tied. (Side note: Corn pudding is actually a lot more delicious than that wikipedia article makes it look. I swear.)

To me, Thanksgiving means two things: a lazy day on the couch while my father cooks a variety of fantastic foods in the kitchen (if he’d let me help I would, but you enter the kitchen at your own risk in my parents’ house), and then later on reconnecting with extended family surrounded by more fantastic foods and copious amounts of wine. You’ll notice fantastic foods is a trend.

Of all the fantastic foods I shovel into my mouth this time of year, potatoes are my favorite. Mashed, fried, baked, raw. (Okay, not raw.) Mhmmmm potatoes. Because my love for potatoes is well documented in my family, my father takes great pleasure is crafting the most delicious mashed potatoes he can and pairing it with homemade gravy. Not having seconds is probably the biggest sin I could commit. In fact, in my family gluttony is not considered a sin and is instead highly encouraged. I’ve mentioned before the weird pleasure my father gets out of feeding people and how he’s passed it on to me. The more helpings you have, the more loved you are. Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving unless the day is ended with you on the couch completely immobilized by food.

To perhaps sound less like a selfish, food-hoarding heathen, I have carefully crafted a list of the things I am most thankful for this year – just as long as everyone really knows that my priorities may not always be in this precise order.

Things I Am Thankful For (Other Than Potatoes)

  1. Family
    All the kooky, sarcastic, frustrating, loud, insane, and loveable members of my family. My family will simultaneously ask me in a rather judging tone if I plan on brushing my hair at all today (answer: no) and also fetch me another blanket for the couch because I just don’t look cozy enough. Gotta love them.
  2. Old Friends
    The kind that you can ignore for days on end – or even weeks or months – and not have any trouble reconnecting. They know you, they get you, they won’t ever mention your unbrushed hair, and they love you unconditionally. Thanks to each of you – you know who you are!
  3. New Friends
    All shiny and new and exciting, these people are the ones you’re still figuring out, but the learning curve is fun. You still brush your hair before you hang out, but they sure can make you laugh. Not to mention, their taste in music is excellent.
  4. Miscellaneous Happy Thoughts
    This one is pretty vague, I’ll admit. But it was either make this list waaaaay too long, or sum it up right here. There are a lot of little things in my life that make me smile, including:

    • Dogs.
    • *whispers* potatoes
    • My garden.
    • Inside jokes.
    • A job well done.
    • Coffee in the morning.
    • A good book.
    • Sleeping.
    • Feeding people.
    • Happy hours.
    • Chocolate, the good kind.
    • Evenings in.
    • Evenings out.
    • Floppy dog ears. (Did I already mention dogs?)
    • Well thought-out plans.
    • A complete lack of plans.
    • A clean house.
    • Finished projects.
    • Finished successful projects.
    • Laughter for no reason at all.
    • The luxury of unabashed goofiness.

… Basically there are a lot of happy thoughts out there. If this were a Disney movie, I wouldn’t even need pixie dust.


Hope your Thanksgiving involved tons of food and more than a few laughs! What are you thankful for?