Sunday, January 4, 2015

A New Year, Birthdays to Celebrate, and News to Share !!

New Years Day 2015. What a day it was here at Chez Donnelly. I have a few photos from my phone that I took and a few from Dilshani's camera so I'll share those with you. Not only was it New Years Day, it was Anika's 13th birthday. Dilshani's' 40th is on the 6th so we celebrated them together today. I will tell you what we did but it is more to tell you what it meant to all of us. I knew, just knew, that this Holiday Season, the inaugural Holiday Season of our two families spending them together, would be something really special. Having the kids here, every time someone yelled "Aunt Claudia!" or "Granny Kay!" just melted me. We are as cemented as two families could possibly be. I love each one of those kids so much. And my adoptive brother Dan. Just like my brother Dennis, a great smile, silly jokes, funny sense of humor and a wicked laugh to top it all off. And Dilshani. I don't know that I am able to write how much I love her in a single blog post so that it comes off authentic enough to really mean something so I wont try. Suffice to say she is the best friend I have ever had. She allows me to be me, there  is no judgement, there is only pure acceptance for who each one of us is. I pause between writing these sentences, think about the day and the entire family, and I just smile. I smiled the smile of someone who is the only person in the world that knows the punch line. With that being said, let me get to the details of the day...

Dan, Dilshani and the kids got here to our place around 9:30 this morning. She had most of the food already done, just one of the dishes needed to be cooked. We ate a late breakfast of traditional Sri Lankan food around 11am. I don't know the names of the dishes we had so I will simply describe them....we had milk rice (rice cooked with coconut milk) and sprinkled with sugar..VERY GOOD. Along side that we had onions that had been cooked in a chili paste and spices of I have no idea. To this was added whole hard boiled eggs. This too was very, very good. Although spicy, very good! We loved it all. The house smelled so good because on the stove simmering was a huge pot of Dal (lentils) and chicken curry which was all for later. We had a chance to relax for a few before it was time to take pictures. Every time the younger kids are here there are pictures taken. No one wants to miss a moment. And we captured a lot of them. The best ones were taken outside against the wall of our house. They all came out so good. Lets start with a Momma and her kids...



There is another one in here like this with Michael but it just hasn't been processed yet. Dan and Dilshani are one of the most photogenic couples I know...


I took this from the side when Dilshani was behind the lens. I love this picture...left to right is Kamal, Nate, Dan, Anika and Michael...


 Somewhere, somehow, Kamal got this next one which will be a treasured picture for everyone for a very long time...


Along with it being New Years Day, Anika's birthday, Dilshani's celebrated birthday, it was also the day of the Sugar Bowl....Ohio State Buckeyes were taking on the Alabama Crimson Tide for a spot in the first ever playoff to the BCS Championship Game. We all had on Buckeye gear (except for when the Tyson clan took their photos). We played around and got some fun shots and some fun selfies too...


It was such a fun afternoon! Doug, Debbie, and Shanlynn came over to celebrate the birthdays with us. They are wonderful people and good friends of Dan and Dilshani's. I look forward to getting to know them all better!! They are a lot of fun to have around!!


Soon it was time to cut the cake and open presents! The fabulous cake was done by ABC Cake Company. If you are local, give them a call for your next event. Their cakes are not to be missed!



I wish there were more pictures processed of the opening of the presents, but I have a few. There was one gift that waited patiently on the table, I knew it was there. Mom knew it was there. No one else knew about it. It was for Anika. I felt that Anika's 13th birthday....she was old enough to appreciate it and have her very own. This whole time I'd been writing about how it was going to be given away as an RAK through Ravelry. It wasn't. I knew EXACTLY what I was doing with this shawl and I wanted it to be just as much as of surprise for Dilshani as it was for Anika. The shawl was going to Anika for her landmark 13th birthday. She knows and understands the value of knitted things...after all, she keeps appropriating Dilshani's things! She was so excited when she opened it....and Dilshani's jaw hit the floor. The look on Dilshani's face was just as good as the one on Anika's. The one thing I do know? She never took it off. She wore it constantly from the time she got it and everyday afterward. I love it. That's the best compliment a knitter can knit...



She got many other things too. A knitting bag from my Mom, We also gave her an embroidered pouch and inside the pouch was an Amazon Gift Certificate (she had just gotten a Kindle from her Dad)...and a shawl pin for her shawl.


Here is a closeup of the shawl I gave her....its Cinnamon Stone by VeryBusyMonkey on Ravelry...


I don't know how many other pics were processed of Dilshani opening her gifts but this is one of my favs...


Reflecting on the Holidays and all they meant to us, it couldn't have gotten any closer to perfection than it was. This family, our family, it is a good one. We are all so blessed to have one another.

I know I showed you a picture of the coffee cuff my Mom made for all of us, but here it is in action....


I love it! Everyone loves their cuffs. I wish I had thought to get a picture of all the fingerless mitts together but I forgot. I did finish another pair for my Mom....gorgeous yarn...


I am knitting another pair just like the ones above for myself. As soon as I finish its on to my plans for 2015. I am happy to share news with you now that I didn't want to share until a few more things were firmed up. I have 2 shawls that simply need their borders put on then I can release those. My hopes for 2015 were to do more collaborations with different yarn companies. So far I have 4 collaborations lined up making a 6 shawl commitment for the year. I don't want to commit to anymore than 8, I may not make it! I don't have contract knitters, I do all my own work. That makes it very time intensive. So far, Skein Yarn, MJ Yarns (whose site appears to be either down or going through an upgrade so I cannot link it), Crave Yarn, and Yarn Hollow have all committed to collaborating and we are now talking yarn. I am so excited about this I can barely stand it. I have received yarn from MJ Yarns, and Crave already. I will be working with MJ's Opulent fingering, their merino/cashmere/nylon blend in a colorway called Fire Dragon...


The Crave Yarn I will be working with is their Summit which is also a MCN blend in a gorgeous colorway called Stargazing from the Mesa....


Both of these yarns are so beautiful. I will be starting with the Fire Dragon from MJ Yarns. I'm not sure what I will be doing with it just yet, there is so much running through my mind about designs. I think there may be a couple rectangular shawls in the bunch to do!

I think good things will happen in 2015. I will finally get my knitting tattoo. That was what I wanted and ask for from my folks for Christmas. But I cant get it till April. This is a serious test of patience. APRIL PEOPLE. COME ON ORLANDO! Those of you who've stuck by me know what happened last May. I had surgery and ended up in the hospital for almost a month from severe pneumonia and pleural effusion. It was awful. The worst part was requiring a thoracentisis. I wont explain it all again. Suffice it to say, I am praying that I can stay out of the hospital and not miss my tattoo date. I cannot wait another 4 months on top of it. I know it sounds funny guys, but having Multicentric Castleman's Disease, my lymph nodes could go at anytime. They've been quiet for a couple of years now. Almost too quiet if you know what I mean. At any rate, I don't wanna miss my date. I'm hoping for some way to get in sooner while I'm still free from hospitals and IV's. Send good vibes my way!

Audrey Grace allowed me to get a couple of good pictures of her. She doesn't like having her picture taken and its hard to get shots like this with her actually looking at me...


Wherever you are, whatever you did this Holiday Season, cherish the memories. And make a few more every moment you can. A good friend of mine said "Happy New Year and while you're at it, Carpe that Diem!" I love it. Its so true. Until next time....Knit On!!!!

2 comments:

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    1. We are blessed in return! The holidays have been so special for us all ;-)

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