Rolling with Change (and a farewell to the Yarn Along)

Small Things-0105

In the fall of 2010 I had five children, the oldest being a new ten year old. After my children were put to bed each night, I had at least a couple of quiet hours to knit, read, blog, or work on projects. I currently have three teenage sons in addition to five children ages 11 and under. Mabel, my youngest, is 9 months old. My teenagers stay up as late as I do, enjoying time with Jonny and me after the littles are in bed.

Life is quite different these days. I’m different. I’m turning 40 this year, which as clichéd as it is, has me feeling pretty introspective. I am evaluating who I am, where I am, and how I should be, and want to be, spending my time.

I’ve always preferred unstructured days and loose routines to schedules and a full calendar. Too much time out and about can be stressful for my introverted self. I try to aim for simplicity, but nothing is simple anymore. Raising a family isn’t simple. It’s really complicated!

Today I spent an hour at the DMV, returned home and had about 45 five minutes before going back out to piano lessons. While my kids were in their lessons, Mabel and I grocery shopped and went by Lowe’s to check on an appliance order (have I mentioned that we have been somewhat oven-less for awhile now?) After picking everyone up and driving back home, we had less than an hour before it was time for golf. Meanwhile, Jonny had a couple of kids at baseball practice. Most days aren’t quite so crazy, thankfully.

I got away with only two kids in sports for years, with both of them able to play on the same team. No more. Thankfully, I have three in golf, so we are still being “efficient” with our sports scheduling. In a large family, if even a few participate in sports or other activities, it doesn’t take long before you have a full calendar. So that is where I find myself now. It’s been an adjustment, but I am finding ways to make this new reality work.

Yesterday, Seth had a two hour golf class. Somehow everything lined up so that it was just the two of us. I carried some knitting along with a vocabulary workbook that I am studying. I was super excited to sit in the clubhouse, do my lesson, and then do some knitting. Not long after finishing with my vocabulary workbook, I found myself in a very unexpected conversation with a woman about ten years younger than me. We went from friendly small talk to her essentially telling me her life story. I set the shawl I’m working on aside, though her intensity made me want to hide my face in my knitting at times! She seemed to really need someone to listen to her, so I did. I’m not sure that she was looking for advice, but I didn’t hold back! I’m nearly forty. I give advice now. Who am I kidding. I’ve always given advice! Driving home, I kept thinking about how so often I plan things a certain way and they don’t work out. I thought that going to a golf course without any young children would pretty much guarantee a quiet couple of hours to myself. I’m learning again and again, that my time is not truly my own. I’m learning to accept and embrace that. I’m glad for that conversation. My knitting will always be there. I keep thinking about her, and hope I’ll see her again.

And somehow this all brings me to the Yarn Along…

In the fall of 2010 I started the Yarn Along. I can hardly believe that some of us have been doing this for more than six years! I’m so grateful to everyone who has “Yarned Along” and for the friendships that have sprung up surrounding it. However, after much thought, I have decided to stop hosting the Yarn Along here on my blog. Right now, in the stage of life I’m in, I need my blog to be something that is more spontaneous and maybe even unexpected in the same way that my conversation with that young woman was. I’ll continue to talk knitting and books, but I want to share here because I am feeling inspired to do so, not because it’s on the schedule. I hope that makes sense, and I hope you’ll understand. If you enjoy linking up, I would encourage you to join Nicole for her Keep Calm Craft on Tuesday link-up. And if you want to Yarn Along, please do so on Instagram! Just use the #yarnalong hashtag and share whenever you feel like it! Thank you all so much for being here. I truly appreciate you and all that you have shared over the years!

p.s. I have been craving some “desk work” and not of the sort that involves a keyboard. I’m working through this (affiliate links ahead) classical vocabulary workbook (yes, it’s for kids-don’t laugh at me!), and this word power book. I remember using the same word power book when I was a teenager. Don’t worry, I am not going to start throwing a bunch of big, fancy words around. I just need some mental exercise!

p.p.s. Seth is driving, and drove on the way to golf yesterday! He’s been learning to drive for awhile now, but not from me. Yesterday was my first time riding in the passenger seat with him at the wheel. That’s a pretty wild experience, being driven by your baby for the first time, isn’t it? Scary too!

p.p.p.s. I realize that I have offered no explanation for any of the photos in this post! Beatrix is wearing this sweater that I knit for her when she was two–still her favorite though it is too small, and Mabel is wearing another sweater that I knit for Bea, one of my earliest knitting projects. I recently discovered the Indestructibles books, and Mabel loves them. She likes sitting and looking at books now, which is so fun!

And, the little boys didn’t get to paint for much longer after they started painting their faces and bodies. When will they learn?


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  2. Jennifer says:

    Our oldest (of eight) is about to turn 21, and I remember so vividly when he first started driving. Yes, it is SOOOOOO crazy!

    I had to laugh when I looked at the pictures of your two little boys, paint all over their faces. I thought, “I bet those two are the BIGGEST handful for Ginnie!” 🙂 They just look like they are!!

    I’m sure that young, 30-something woman was incredibly blessed by your interaction with her. I have no doubt you shared a lot of wisdom and I pray she heard what the Holy Spirit needed her to hear.

  3. A belated thank you for the happy years of the Yarn Along. It really was a lifeline for me and my knitting life a few years ago when I needed something to keep my mind and hands busy with a purpose in order to fight anxiety. There were times when it was the highlight of my week to just post and peruse what others were knitting. Thank you! I will continue to enjoy your spontaneous posts 🙂

  4. Thank you for running it for so long! It has been fun to participate in! And I understand needing the flexibility. We only have one kid (two boys on the way) and I struggle with blogging big time! I love it, which is why I do it. But I am still quite often inconsistent at best. Thank you for sharing so many of your passions and most of all your life with us. 🙂

  5. i’ll be turning 50 this year, so I’m 10 years behind schedule on being introspective about what I want to do, be, and where my time should go:) in the next 12 months one will be graduating college, one will remain in college, one will be graduating high school taking a gap year abroad before college, and one will be starting high school. I feel the shift in needs and I am trying to decide how to take this time and be “better” at life and listen to God – I’m afraid my listening skills have deteriorated.

    I wish you the best in your 40th year – I enjoyed mine.

  6. Eleanor Cavin says:

    Happy Birthday!

  7. Any yarn shop updates soon?! I’m trying to wait patiently;)

  8. Debi Miller says:

    Thank you Ginny for all these years of Yarn Along! I will miss it sorely. You created something so beautiful and filled such a need in my life. I’m glad you are still blogging, I rarely miss a post. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing and beautiful photos!

  9. Totally understand, but this still feels sad! I will so miss your Yarn Along. It was a huge inspiration for me in learning how to knit. But I’m also encouraged and challenged by your receiving the “interruptions” of your life and the change of your season and going with it, rather than fighting it. Good for you. <3 Much love and blessings to you and so happy you will still blog!

  10. I think your blog is my favorite. You know, I read so many blogs … (when I can, in between all the chaos)… and they all show these perfect lives/pictures/wording. Which is really fun to read. But sometimes I feel like such an outcast because my life is full of kids, chaos, homeschooling, running an Etsy shop, running a Bible ministry, praying for a new homestead … you know, LIFE. I feel like I’m not part of the perfect blog group. ha, ha. It’s so nice to come here and read that someone else is enjoying life not-so-perfect, too. Heck, I barely even have time to blog anymore! And my blog is rather plain, these days. I’m home most of the time, but…kids. 🙂 Thanks for the honesty and sharing the not-so-pretty parts of life through the years. It’s quite refreshing.

  11. Thank you Ginny for the Yarn Along, it’s a great initiative.
    I wish a lot of good in life, love Bella, Czech Republic ♥

  12. With 7 kids from 18 down to 3 years, I too struggle with time alone, time with husband, time one-on-one with each child. All the teams, lessons and activities! I just turned 42 and am learning it is more important than ever for me to get my sleep, get a little quiet time, go on dates with my husband and say no to so many things! Saying “no” has never come easy to me- I just want to make everyone happy!

    My oldest is in her first year of college, away, this year and I miss her! I’ve been very reflective since she left in the fall about what I wish I had done differently with her (mainly just spent more deliberate time with her, occasionally away from the craziness of the very demanding toddlers, doing things the two of us love, together) and make positive changes at home now for the rest of us rather than dwell in the melancholy of her being so grown up.

    Ever since I had 4 kids in 5 years in mid twenties, I’ve been saying “40s are going to be great!” And I think they will be. I have some freedom now that I haven’t had in many years. But I am definitely aware that I have lots of people to love and myself to take better care of and some of my time consuming habits need to go.

  13. I recently gave up -last week in fact! – my link up each week for similar although not children relatedvreasons. The need to be spontaneous and to spend less time on the computer. Thank you for hosting and know that moving on will be all good!

  14. It will be great to have your spontaneous spirit to check in on, Ginny! Cute bangs, BTW.

  15. I’m sorry to see Yarn Along go, but times change.

    I think you will miss it almost as much as we will 🙂 xx

  16. Ginny, I am 40 1/2 and may I just say 40 is a great year. So many good changes this year!
    May God richly bless you. I truly enjoyed the yarn along even though all I ever made were wonky granny dishcloths. Now my son wants a knitted coat of Mithriel for next halloween….I just hope it doesn’t turn out wonky, of he will look like a poor little hobbit.

  17. Well, Bea is just the one to “help” the little boys get paint on their faces – she’s an expert! I remember how often you’d post photos of her all marked up. This picture today just struck me funny. 🙂
    I didn’t participate in yarnalong very much, but you really managed to hit on something which brought so many different people together, from many places and languages. It was a good thing that you did.

  18. I am so sorry to hear Yarn Along ending, though I totally understand. Your life has gotten so busy, WoW , what a spread-teenagers down to a 7 month old. I think I have been following you since you started Yarn Along, and have read some great books recommended by Yarn Along participants, not to mention picking up wonderful knitting ideas and patterns. I also check your blog for all children toy ideas. Glad to hear you will continue your blog, I check it everyday, even though I know you do not have time to post daily…silly me! Take care of yourself and your beautiful family. Thank you for all the wonderful Yarn Along years.

  19. Thank you for hosting the yarn along for so long. It has been a pleasure to meet and connect with so many women via yarn! I feel that I”ve made some great friends.

I love to hear from you!