Does It Get Any Better?

They say good news comes in threes.  Also tickets and babies.  So far I know of two bits of great news and one happens to be a baby, so let’s see where number three comes from.  (Don’t worry, I’ll be driving the speed limit for the foreseeable future.)

My critique partner, Hope Ramsay, just sold a 4-book series to a major NY publisher!  I’m still over the moon for her because I know how hard she’s worked to get to this point, and she finally made it!  She was very close to hanging up her pen and keyboard when The Call came in, so she’s the very epitome of perseverence.  Yay Hope!  Be on the lookout for the Last Chance series, premiering in Spring 2011.  I’ll bring my copies with me to the next Phillies/Nats game so she can sign it for me at the ballpark. 

This morning my friend (and regular blog commenter) Laura delivered to the world a beautiful baby girl!  Laura’s water broke yesterday and I spent the rest of the day hanging by the computer, waiting for word of progress.  Which she did send.  What a great time we live in when you can actually email from the delivery room.  (I spent close to an hour BSing on the phone while I was in labor with Alex, and my mom and family came to visit while I waited for Ryan to arrive, but emailing wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye yet.  NOW look at me.)  I had a picture of beautiful baby Maelle on my computer an hour after she entered the world, and I’m SO looking forward to the fun stories Laura will tell about her baby girl’s delivery!  Of course, I also have to get my butt in gear finishing up the sweaters I’ve knitted for Maelle, but it’ll happen.  I promise. 

There were some interesting moments during Laura’s pregnancy, and she didn’t always have an easy time of it, but Laura hung in there and did everything she had to do to make sure Maelle arrived safe and sound and healthy.  As they say, she’s just another ordinary miracle.  🙂

Hope sold her series two weeks ago, and Maelle arrived today.  I can only wonder what great things will happen two weeks from now!  Welcome to the world, Maelle!  Oh, the places you’ll go!!

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Hallelujah

I had every intention of blogging on my birthday.  I even had this cool idea that I’d draft it early so I could hit “publish” at the stroke of 9:07 in the morning, which is exactly when I was born.  Sadly, I got distracted and completely forgot until 9:23.  The last minute of my 43rd year came and went, and I missed it.  Probably a lot like the end of my very first minute.  (Hey, I was a minute old; I couldn’t tell time then.  So sue me.)

I woke up feeling great.  When I came downstairs, it got even better because I saw that John hadn’t just gotten me the tiger-striped yarn I asked for (and would be fondling right now if I didn’t need my hands on the keyboard; maybe I’ll just stuff it down my bra, it’s that awesome) but also a pair of those awesome Sketchers sneakers that, with exercise, will make your butt and legs look that much better.  I’m not a name-brand person but I thought that was a fantastic idea so I’d started putting my pennies away to get a pair.  Now I’m not sure what to do with the pennies, but I’m sure I’ll find something.  🙂  That and a cup of coffee, and my day was already looking fabulous.

I go to work and the first words out of my manager’s mouth is a thank-you.  Does it get any better than that?  Of course it does, because a ton of people on Facebook wished me a happy birthday.  Gotta tell ya, I’ve been looking forward to THAT since I signed on for Facebook.  I don’t think the smile came off my face all morning long, especially since I knew we were going for lunch at Applebee’s because they sent me a “Happy Birthday; have an entree on us!” coupon.  I had steak and shrimp.  Life is good.

I mentioned I signed up for the KnitOlympics last week.  Friday night, I came home from dropping the boys in NJ with my ex, and I immediately came home (well, after a stop at the wine store) and waited for the Opening Ceremonies.  And waited.  And waited.  It seems they light the flame at the END of the opening ceremonies, not the beginning.  I sat on the couch, watching the TV like a hawk, needles in one hand, yarn in the other, pattern at my side with the cast-on numbers circled in pencil.  I was READY. 

Having missed the opening ceremonies for Beijing (and still disappointed because the clips I saw were amazing), I can say I loved the Vancouver opening ceremonies.  The opera singer doing the Olympic pledge was breathtaking; the giant light-up bear, the aurora glowing indoors, the performers, the athletes.  Sigh!  Having signed up for the KnitOlympics, I almost felt like a participant myself.  But what truly knocked me on my butt was k.d. lang’s version of  “Hallelujah“.  I’d like to think that even though I don’t participate with any local, organized churches, I’m pretty spiritual in my own right.  I try to teach my kids right from wrong, the importance of charity, and how to be good people.  I want to lead by example, not by telling you your belief system is wrong and mine is the only way.  We’re all created to be different for a very good reason that none of us truly understands.  It’s always good to practice random acts of kindness.  I wear my gold cross and my amethyst heart all the time (except when I’m sleeping, because rolling over on a gold cross is not a pleasant experience).  I feel my faith in my heart every day, and I believe.

k.d. lang’s version of that song transcended belief.  For a moment, listening to her belt that song out with every fiber of her being, I felt a connection I’d never felt before in my life.  It left me in uncontrollable tears, but it was such a wonderful feeling that I didn’t care that I was crying for reasons I couldn’t explain.  It was like being baptized again. 

Yesterday it finally hit me—okay yeah, sometimes I’m slow on the uptake—that iTunes probably has that song available for download, so when I got home, I checked.  Sure enough, there it was.  I put aside everything else and bought it, put it on the iPod, plugged in the headphones, and went to my bliss.  I’m sure lots of people out there are critical of k.d. lang for her lifestyle choices, but let’s face one fact:  the lady has one incredible set of pipes.

So this morning as I drove to work, I played “Hallelujah” back to back to back, just because it felt so good.  Like today was the perfect gift God had in store for me, and it was up to me to share that gift with everybody.  Heck, I could be the next Queen Midas because the lady I walked in with this morning received a dozen long-stem roses later in the day, and my critique partner just sold to a major NY publisher.  Anybody else want to share this great day with me?  🙂 

Before I forget, thank you to my Mom and Dad for bringing me here 43 years ago and putting everything you have into making me who I am.  I know it wasn’t always easy (let’s be honest, I was SO much easier than Pete!), but I hope I make you proud.  I know you make me proud.

Hallelujah.

The Challenge

Considering I didn’t write more than 2K words for NaNoWriMo, this could be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but as of Friday I’m taking on the Knit Olympics.  (Look for the post on 2/10/10.)  I’m challenging myself to make this sweater:

Of course, I’m not this thin so I’m making a larger size, but still, this sweater represents something.  It’s a chance for me to make something for myself.  Most times the things I make go to someone else, be it a baby gift, an afghan or socks for the boys or John, or a baby blanket for Project Linus.  I don’t remember the last time I made something just for me.  (I’ve tried, and I have a 2nd sock waiting for a heel.)  Even the scrap worsted weight socks I made for myelf wound up going to Alex because his feet were cold and his room was cold and I wasn’t about to let that happen. 

So this is going to be MY sweater.  Given that I’m using Red Heart–the bane of the purist knitter because (gasp!) it’s acrylic–I suspect the finished product will be nothing short of bulletproof, but I chose Buff Fleck for the color so there’ll be a little color in it from the flecks, and the lighter shades will make the cables more noticeable.  Also, using wool for this sweater would entail very specific washing instructions (unless I want a Barbie sweater) and a whole lot more money.  Not that I’m not worth it, but I’m not that high maintenance.  🙂

This does NOT mean I’m putting writing on the back burner.  It just means when the Muse decides to take some time off, I’ll go pick up my needles and work on the sweater.  We plan on watching lots of the Winter Olympics anyway, and the challenge is to start it during the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night, and get it done in 17 days when the Closing Ceremonies take place. 

The sad thing is that I started this sweater already, before I knew of the Knitting Olympics.  I was 17 inches into the back panel, and thrilled with my progress, when I realized the color I’d chosen was discontinued years ago.  <BIG sigh here>  Now I get to frog all that yarn–I love my yarn ball winder–and put it into something else.  What, I know not, but I’ll do my best not to cry when I frog it. 

Knitting Olympics, here I come.  It’d be really nice if I get to wear this sweater in the spring…some time when all this blankety-blank snow melts!