Hello February!

Is it just me, or is everyone else rather glad to say farewell to January?  It was an interesting month and I usually enjoy the month after the holidays as a time to sink in, stay home, and enjoy the quiet of deep winter.  But this year was definitely not the quiet I had hoped for.  Much of it was very good though.

Some really fun things happened.  Maddie auditioned for and was cast in her first ballet. It’s not a main part, but for her first audition and performance it’s a perfect part.  She’s able to get to know the creative director and other dancers, learn more about stage presence and how to tell a story, and perform in front of a larger audience.  I’m so glad she decided to audition even though she was incredibly nervous.   We’re all pretty excited to watch, but the performance won’t be until April.

Zach and Maddie are both back to their college classes – Zach in a degree program and Maddie working towards her high school diploma with dual credits.  They’re both taking online classes this semester.  It’s really nice to be able to see them both a little more often and to not worry about driving to class during the winter months.

Maddie started taking pointe classes and has her first pointe shoes.  She’s beginning pointe later than many dancers, but there aren’t very many classes nearby and the distance was quite a deterrent for a while.  Her teachers all encouraged her to begin pointe lessons this year though, and she really loves dance, so I took her to a fitting (the only place in Maine that fits for pointe shoes is a little over an hour and half away).  Her feet are two different sizes (which we knew, but with pointe shoes it really matters), and two different widths.  So instead of buying one pair of pointe shoes, we had to get two pair.  The good news is that they’re interchangeable, so she can wear both shoes from both pair and lengthen the time until we’ll need to get another pair.  Did you know that pointe shoes are only made for 10-12 hours of hard dancing?  I had no idea!  So professional ballerinas go through 5-10 pair of pointe shoes a week!

I normally do a “no spend” month in January.  Our pantry and freezer is usually rather full from all the leftovers from holiday preparations and the bank account is not, so I limit my grocery shopping to try to only use what’s on hand (except for fresh fruits and vegetables, of course).  It’s a great way for me to reset our budget and use up some things that would otherwise get pushed to the back and forgotten.  We limit all other spending as well and only purchase necessities (and this year, pointe shoes).  It’s always a great way to realize the abundance we have around us and work with supplies on hand rather than buying something.

I finished knitting the last project I had on my needles.  It’s the Cable Lines Hat from Making No. 4. and I used a skein of Peace Fleece yarn that I had on hand.  I love the color, and I really love the pattern. But I don’t think I love the yarn for this pattern.  My hat turned out a little too big for me (guess I should have rechecked my gauge after going down a needle size to make sure it was enough).  I might try to felt it a little to get it to fit better.  Any other suggestions fellow knitters? (Also, taking a picture of yourself to show the hat is SO much harder than I thought it might be, so you get to see half of the hat, because that’s the best I could do.)

I only have one more skein of stash yarn, and then just remnants from previous projects.  But now that my no spend month is over, I can buy more yarn, right?  I have one project in mind to start, but it’s a big one and I’m not sure I’m up to it right now.  And I still have to sew buttons on a sweater I knit for Emma.  And take pictures of one I finished for Maddie. But I really need to get more yarn and a pattern in hand, because I’ll be doing a lot of waiting while Maddie dances.

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