Liz’s Conway Cloche

I just finished making this hat for my sister. I have one in blue; my other sister has one in pink; and we decided that Liz needed one even though she lives in Thailand where its HOT all year long. I started this back in December and finished it up just in time to give her for her birthday.

I absolutely love Gudron’s pattern for the Conway Cloche, and I’m sure I’ll make many more in the years to come.

 

Holiday Break

I have to say that was the most relaxing holiday break we’ve had in a long time. I only worked half days the week leading up to Christmas, so I had plenty of time to get the house clean and get us packed up for Christmas in Spartanburg, SC. It was so nice not to feel stressed and rushed walking out the door, although somehow I was still trying to gather and wrap presents right before we left.

Speaking of things I didn’t get done this year, we didn’t really decorate for Christmas, and somehow I didn’t mind too much. I have really been feeling the need to declutter, and the idea of putting decorations all over the house didn’t thrill me. So we cut down our tree, put on lights, and left it alone! As Christmas cards came in, I did put them in the tree with clothes pins, but that was all we had on the tree. It was refreshing.

We enjoyed spending Christmas with Matt’s family in SC. His mom helped me sew some pajama pants that I was trying to give to my mom and sisters. I often feel like the world’s worst sewer, but I can only get better with practice, right?

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Matt’s dad helped him build a light box for a screen printing press he is setting up.

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They also spent lots of time racing cars!

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As soon as we got home from the Christmas Eve service, we changed into our pjs, ate our Christmas dinner and played games.

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Here is the whole family! It was a nice week – we stayed up late, slept in, ate great food, and had a lovely time with family.

After a nice, long Christmas break, we came back to Boone for a few days. I only worked half a day, so once again, I had plenty of time to get us ready for our trip to Greensboro, NC to ring in the new year with my family. We enjoyed spending a few days with my sister before she went back to Thailand!

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I got a food processor from my parents, and it had a juicing attachment, so of course I made lots of juice!

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I helped my mom cut out some strips for a quilt she is working on.

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I didn’t finish all of the pajama pants I was trying to make, but I did finish my mom’s, and they fit great. I’m encouraged to keep working on the other pairs!

We also spent time with some relatives in Charlotte, did some shopping, and played lots of Settlers of Catan.

We came back to Boone yesterday and now have an entire day to unpack and get settled into the house before we have to work tomorrow. It has been glorious to come back rested with time to get ready for the week!

Diary of a Yeast Roll

In our Thanksgiving tradition, yeast rolls are one of the most important staples. In fact, I might venture to say that they are even more important than the turkey. My grandmother Elese was a caterer, and to this day we use her recipe for yeast rolls.

I think we went through 20 cups of flour making these yeast rolls and cinnamon rolls!

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Thankful

I know Thanksgiving was yesterday, but I needed to sleep off the effects of the turkey before I posted again. All that food was so delicious and it was such a delight to be with all of my family, except for my sister who lives in Thailand. {We missed you Liz!}

We really have so much to be thankful for, and here are the things at the top of my list.

1. My husband. Even though we’ve only been married 2 1/2 years, I cannot imagine life without him. I am so thankful for how patient, loving, and kind he is toward me. He has a great way of helping me mellow out when I get too high strung. He really is my better half.

2. My family. I am so grateful that my family gets along so well and truly loves each other. I’m thankful that we got to spend almost a month with my sister in October since she couldn’t get back to Thailand because of the flooding. I’m thankful that my brother is home from New Hampshire and we get to spend time with him. I’m thankful that my other sister has found someone to spend the rest of her life with. I’m thankful I have such a good relationship with my husband’s family that they have become my family.

3. A new job. I’m incredibly thankful to be in a new position at work. After 6 years working in a position that wasn’t a great fit, I’m now thankful to have a job that I enjoy. A job that I am good at that makes me feel fulfilled at work.

4. Health. I’m thankful that we have a healthy family. 2 years ago my mom was going through chemo and radiation, and I am thankful that is behind us. We aren’t guaranteed life, and we aren’t guaranteed that our family members will always be healthy, so this year I am trying not to take that for granted.

5. Knitting. I am so thankful to have found a hobby that I enjoy so much. I’m also thankful that knitting is a little more popular now than it used to be, so that I don’t always look like a grandma. I still can’t believe that people want to buy things that I knit. It is such an honor.

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Weekending

Weekends don’t get any better than this one.

It started out with a fall party hosted by the best party throwers I know. There was lots of food, warm drinks, and plenty of catching up with friends. Saturday I slept in and spent a leisurely morning at the house by myself, sipping on coffee, catching up on knitting projects for clients, and watching Mansfield Park on Netflix. Those kind of mornings are recharging for me.

Matt rode in a 36 mile mountain bike race Saturday afternoon, so after my leisurely morning, I headed down the mountain to see him finish. Of course, I stopped to capture the last of the fall color on my way down.

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I got to the race in time to see Matt and his dad finish together. They rode 36 miles in 4 hours and 20 minutes. I am so proud of them for riding and finishing!

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After the race we decided to venture a little farther down the mountain and visit my family to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Happy birthday mom! My sister is visiting from Thailand, so we have been spending as much family time together as possible. We probably won’t see her again until April.

Oh, and I forgot the best part of my weekend: I was supposed to be leaving yesterday for Thailand for two weeks. I was going to be at a conference in a resort hotel, and as much as I was looking forward to the trip, it is much better timing wise for me to stay home. I was actually a little relieved when I got the email that the conference was cancelled due to all of the flooding. Now I feel like I have two glorious weeks of “extra time” to get ready for Thanksgiving and get caught up on some things!

Weekending – Liz’s Surprise

If you have been wondering why the posts have been a little less frequent lately, it’s because we have been contemplating some rather important personal decisions around here, and I haven’t been spending as much time online. We have reached one decision but not the other, however we both feel at peace with things right now.

Since I can’t really get into the details of those on here, let me share with you the highlights of our weekend instead.

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First of all, let me just remind you of where we live. I took this picture on the way to dinner the other night. I try really hard not to take it for granted that we live in such a beautiful area.

The real highlight of the weekend however was seeing my sister and helping her surprise my mom. My sister lives in Thailand and only gets to come home once a year, usually in April. She had a two week break from work in October and thought it would be nice to come home and surprise our mom. She bought her ticket in August and we have been keeping the surprise ever since! My dad picked her up at the airport in Charlotte, and Matt and I drove up from a wedding in Florence, South Carolina. Dad told mom that he wanted to meet her and my other sister at Olive Garden, and when they got there, Liz jumped out of the back of dad’s trunk.

Liz Surprises Mom from Ashley Wagoner on Vimeo.

Mom really had no idea.

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Weekending

Oh what a beautiful weekend. Days like yesterday and today only come around once every few years. The temperatures were perfect, the skies were blue, and the leaves were beautiful! My in-laws came to visit this weekend, and we spent as much time outside as possible. We drove down the parkway and hiked at Rough Ridge. Even though it was absolutely packed with people, the views were worth it.

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Since we were already halfway there, we decided to go visit the apple orchard. It was absolutely packed! They had several live bands, people we’re dancing, apples were being picked, and the apple butter was cooking!

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I’m pretty sure my my mom would be in heaven if she could get my dad to dress just like her. This couple seriously had on the exact same outfit!

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My Favorite Wedding

I must tell you that the wedding I went to this weekend was the most enjoyable wedding I have ever attended. My cousin got married on a beautiful beach and the reception was classy, delicious, and fun! It felt authentic, was completely low stress, and I knew at least 90% of the people there, which means I could actually talk to them instead of asking them how about the weather!

Let me apologize in advance for the awkward photo sizing. We recently updated the OS on my Mac but my adobe licenses have all screwed up, so I am having to use photoshop express on my iPad until I figure out the problem.

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This is the house they rented for the wedding weekend, and I must say that it was one of the most beautiful beach houses I have ever seen. It was perfect for hosting a wedding reception.

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Kelly did a fantastic job with simple and elegant decorating touches around the house.

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I want this table.

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Seriously, how perfect is this hydrangea for marking the aisle on the beach?

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My parents.

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Sorry for the wind blown look. That’s what happens at a beach wedding.

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Kathryn and I enjoyed spending time with our other cousin, Dana.

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Here comes the bride!

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I have to tell you that the food at this wedding was fantastic! My cousin is a chef, so I knew the food wouldn’t be sub-par, but it was even better than I expected. These are tomato pies with homemade pimento cheese on top. In my opinion, it was the most delicious thing they served, and I will certainly try to recreate them!

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Tuna shooters.

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Charcuterie bar.

Congratulations Jamie and Kelly! We wish you a lifetime of happiness together. Thanks for the awesome wedding celebration!

Starfish

Labor Day Weekend was supposed to be our final (and only) beach vacation of the year, but we had a wedding in Charleston on Saturday and managed to squeeze in a few more glorious hours on the beach. Now I am completely and fully ready for fall. I am even wearing my tall brown leather boots today – how is that for embracing the change in seasons?!

I have never seen a live starfish before, but we found tons of them on Saturday!

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I was pretty much enamored and spent a lot of time collecting them with my cousin’s little girl.