Monday, April 24, 2017

A Sad April

I miss my mother-in-law. She died of a stroke that took out 35% of her brain on April 4, 2017 at 9:20am, a week after being rushed to Memorial Hospital at 9:00am and we buried her on April 12, 2017. Easter Sunday will never be the same or any other holiday for that matter. I have been one of the few lucky ones who actually have a great relationship with their in-laws. In every way, she has become my mother in the past 7 years that I've known her. She may not have been rich, famous or influential but she has taught me how to truly forgive someone, shown me what true strength means and that family — not work — is more important next to God. In my heart, I know she's moved on to a whole different journey where I can't follow (at this time at least), but it appears, my brain still needs to catch up with this new reality. I often find myself grabbing my phone to either call or text her only to realize that she's not physically here anymore and my heart breaks anew. I need to be strong for my husband and my father-in-law and there are days when I don't know where to get the strength from. I'm guessing, take it one day at a time and from the knowledge that she is no longer in pain. 

On the yarn-y side of things, I completely forgot to mention last March that I finally got a shelving unit to hold my small stash of yarn instead of them being stored in a 56 gallon purplish-pink Sterilite plastic box at the bottom of my closet, which is also quite cumbersome to get to as there are things piled up on top of it. I originally thought to get this shelving unit from Target:

 My Dream Yarn Storage

But it's way too expensive and not very portable in the event that we move to a different house. So, for the meantime, I got this hanging sweater organizer instead from Bed, Bath & Beyond and it just fits the amount of yarn that I have and is ultra-portable at a quarter of the price of my original plan. I'm really happy with it because now, when I open my craft room/office closet to get some yarn or a hook, it is right there in front of me and I don't have to dig out the Sterilite bin in order to get to my yarn stash. Yes, I still keep all of my yarn in ziplock bags to keep away dust and moths. And because the shelves are so open, I can clearly see what kinds of yarn I have in my small stash and it also motivates me to keep my stash small since I obviously have no more room (err shelf) to spare. The top shelf contains my test & review kit, a small bottle of wool wash, some felted sheets and the big ball of Bernat Baby Sport in Baby Taupe yarn that couldn't fit in the second shelf reserved for Acrylic and Acrylic blend yarns with side pockets for hooks and needles and notions. The third shelf is reserved for plant-based yarns and the fourth shelf is for animal-based yarns. The fifth shelf is reserved for project bags and the sixth shelf is for the poly-fill that I use for crocheted/knitted toys.

My Actual Yarn Storage

This year's Yarn Along The Rockies yarn crawl goal is to find and purchase a yarn swift and the budget is about $50.00 and maybe a project bag as I already got a yarn bowl last year when one of my favorite LYS closed down. 

Books I've Read Since Last Blog Post

Currently Writing

  • Chapter 4 of Helena and the Dragon

Currently Knitting/Crocheting

  • Ambi Crochet Blanket

Product Reviews


Just in case, I would like to share the blogs and/or podcasts I'm really enjoying which are also listed on the side bar...and these are in the order I discovered them...hope you'll enjoy them too!

Monday, April 17, 2017

[Book Review] The Idea Of You by Amanda Prowse

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
ARC Edition
Genre: Women's Fiction

Disclaimer: As a member of NetGalley, I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

Part 1: From The Book Cover

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn't be more perfect.

But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah's teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn't have. Jonah's love and support  are unquestioning, but Lucy's struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille's presence straining the bonds of Lucy's marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…

This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today's hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

Part 2: Recommendation

The Idea Of You by Amanda Prowse is a well-written, heart-wrenching, piece of fiction that is somewhat close to hitting home on a personal level for me in the sense that being a married woman, I'm expected to pop out children. In the seven years that I've been married to my amazing husband, it hasn't happened and the pressure is still there to the point where I've started avoiding physically attending baby showers (that and because I'm a shy, introvert). I'm on the fence about having children of my own because I honestly feel that I'm selfish and self-centered (to a degree) where I'll be classified as a horrible mother if I ever have children (I already have such a high standard of expectation for my future child's behavior, character, creativity and intellect that it would be impossible and super stressful for said future child to meet). I'm awkward around humans especially kids and I prefer the company of dogs, books and older people. I'd rather not have kids and just be the greatest aunt in the world to my nephews but my husband still hopes for at least one child (or triplets). 

With that said, every month that goes by, I can relate to what Lucy goes through: the disappointment, heart-break, pain and depression that follows every one of her miscarriage. Because of this book, I now know what it feels like to have that home test kit show that you're pregnant only to find out that the baby you've been hoping for does not have a heartbeat and you end up with another miscarriage. I haven't been there and I hope to never know such pain especially the pain that would cause my husband. I would not wish such pain on anyone.

Lucy's tumultuous journey to motherhood and accepting her reality is not exactly a happy one but inspiring nonetheless in the sense that women who can't have children can still have that sense of fulfillment in other ways: by loving the children around you as if they were your own (or you can always adopt a baby). It is definitely a hard lesson to learn and even harder to apply in real life especially when I see how much my husband enjoys being around our little nephew. 

In conclusion, The Idea Of You by Amanda Prowse did have a big twist, which I did enjoy but this book is not for everyone especially for those who like highly satisfyingly good endings. This has a sad but good ending. All the supporting characters are well developed, the plot is a bit slow and sometimes I feel like the tension in the story was added on just for the sake of having a bit of drama. The way the end of the chapters was laid out with a sort of journal entry-ish style was a bit confusing but it does clear up in the end, so that part was okay. Overall, it was a good book and definitely geared towards women (and their loving partners) who are struggling with the pain of miscarriage(s) or their inability to have children of their own.