Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


Retro Baby Blanket {On the Hook}

Retro Baby Blanket {Living Outside the Stacks}

Retro Baby Blanket {Living Outside the Stacks}

I’ve spent the last few months working on this baby blanket. Not steady work, just off and on when I haven’t felt like doing much of anything else. You know those days, when you need to do something but you don’t want to think too much or too hard?

The blanket is for a young couple at our church who are having a baby boy in the next few months. They have two of the most adorable little girls, all bubbly and bouncy and full of giggles, ribbons and bows. That poor little boy is going to have a hard way to go. Smile.

I selected the colors:

  • Aran
  • Turquoise
  • Latte
  • Coffee

Because I thought they were appropriately boy but not traditionally boy. The parents are a young and hip couple with a Christian rock edge to them. And, well, I like coffee so any colors that evoke images of my beloved beverage can’t be wrong, right? Right.

I still have the vest from a few months back that I need to finish, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Maybe I’ll try my hand at something new like boot socks. Or leg warmers. Or fingerless gloves. Or a hat.

What are you working on this week?


Day 20: My Hobby

Hand Crocheted ScarvesI have two hobbies:

  1. I love to take pictures but I haven’t had a chance to go out in a while so I don’t have any recent shots.  If you’d like to see some of my pictures, you can check them out on Facebook.
  2. I also enjoying crocheting.  Unfortunately, the only things I can make are scarves and blankets.  I already have enough scarves, so I was thinking about seeing if I can donate the new ones to a women’s shelter.  I also have several baby blankets that I’ve made (and no baby) that I’d like to donate too.  To see some of my scarves, check me out on Flickr.

What do you do to unwind?


We’re Having a Baby!

Shontel and Daenel

Actually, I’m not having a baby but my twin sister is pregnant with her third son.  So it’s like I’m having a baby too.  With each of my sister’s pregnancies, I knew she was pregnant before she did (except this time).  With her first son, I was in Korea when she had him but I knew when the labor started and ended because I had incredible back pains that day.  My mother was stunned when I talked to her and said “I know Shontel had the baby today, I just don’t know what she had.”  Many years later, when she was pregnant with her second son, the doctors told her he would be born at the end of May.  I told her he’d be born between 8 and 12 April, he was born 9 April.  But this baby?  He was a complete and total surprise.  For the both of us…

I’ve always been more the sympathetic of the two of us.  And also the more dramatic, but I’ll save that for another day.  When my sister hurts, I hurt and when she laughs, I laugh.  But what makes us truly unique is how incredibly different we are.  I always tell people that if we weren’t sisters we’d probably hate each other.  We are that different.  I’m tall, she’s short.  I’m light~skinned and she’s brown~skinned.  She excelled at athletics, I spent my free time in the library (a bit of foreshadowing, perhaps).  But it’s more than the physical differences, there’s the emotional/social stuff.  She’s outgoing and personable, my kids swear I don’t like people.  She’s a follow~the~rules sort, while I go wherever the wind blows.  My sister has classic urban style but she tells people I look like I just drifted off some hippie commune.  Yet, we’ve become more similar as we’ve aged.

Often times we’ll get frustrated because we can’t reach other on the phone, only to find out that we were calling each other at the same time.  Or we’ll call my mother at the same time and force her to choose who she’s going to speak to at that moment.  Usually, I’ll defer to Shontel.  After all, she is my older sister.  Now those 45 minutes make a big difference but when we were kids I swore we were equal!

My sister’s pregnancy has been full of drama and suspense.  During the first trimester, the doctors were unable to find Caleb’s heartbeat for nearly 2 days.  Helplessly, I listened as my sister cried into the phone, wondering what she should do…  Being in Pennsylvania while she’s in Tennessee doesn’t help.  But I knew everything would be ok ~ it’s an amazing thing, the power of prayer.  Into her second trimester, my sister started passing out.  Yet again, we were concerned and worried about Caleb.  Once again, he pulled through.  This boy’s a fighter!  Now we’re entering the third trimester, it’s almost over.

When my sister first told me that she was having a boy, I started crocheting a blanket for him.  With each scare, I’d add a prayer to the stitch.  Now when I look at the brown, tan and blue stitches, I see more than just a blanket.  I see love, prayers, hope and faith, neatly bound together like family.

I eagerly await Caleb’s arrival, fully prepared to love him and take my place as favorite aunt (sorry, Jacqui).  Until then, I will continue to text Shontel in the middle of the night when the baby is bothering me with some strange craving…

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