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HomeCharmingly Modern ShopFreelance writing, birthdays, a giant cinnamon roll and rhinos – Looking Back, Looking Ahead #10

Freelance writing, birthdays, a giant cinnamon roll and rhinos – Looking Back, Looking Ahead #10

Wow, I have not posted a Looking Back, Looking Ahead since August 25, 2014.

I know you probably don’t find them too incredibly interesting, but they are some of my favorite posts to go back and read (all 9 of them, haha….). I think this is because my specialization for my history degree was cultural history, because I am fascinated by people’s day to day lives and what they value (or don’t value).

Andplusalso it makes me look through my photos, instead of them just stacking up in iPhoto and six months later I have hundreds of photos to sort and I don’t know where to begin. Because that’s what has happened… Anyway.

Looking Back

Mondays and Wednesdays are my work days, meaning my little guy spends time with his grandma – aka “gammy” – and I get some distraction-free writing time. Or knitting. Or whatever needs done.

Lately, my work has been all writing.

Meagan Francis of The Happiest Home recently did an e-course on freelance writing and getting published by magazines/blogs and I took that class so I have been finishing up the homework. I have a lot of ideas for queries to send and I’m getting pretty excited about this, to jump in with something I’ve been dreaming of doing for a long time.

I started 2014 with a lot of goals and I ended 2014 with not much progress on those goals, but a clear picture of what I did not want. I spent the better part of November and December working on a gigantic knitting order of wool soakers. I’ve done an order larger than that one before, but at that time I wasn’t pregnant (and just coming out of the fog of the first trimester) and I didn’t have a very active 2.5 year old (Ezra was only 1.5 at the time). It’s funny how those two things drastically impacted my productivity, which was difficult for me to admit but it turned out to be a good thing because I learned something very important.

I don’t want to knit for profit anymore.

I really only recently came to this conclusion, after I realized I was dragging my feet on any kind of goal setting for 2015 – and it’s March now, people, so the newness of the year has pretty much worn away. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoy knitting for others but what I don’t enjoy is monotony. And, on a more practical note, I am only one person who is a mom to almost two littles and that means my time is precious and limited. When I have free time, I want to be able to choose knitting because I want to, not because I have to.

So, for now, I am shuttering the shop. But you know what? This is a great thing. I have so many ideas and projects I’ve wanted to work on, and I actually do think I will eventually sell one-off things I’ve made.

All of this to say that for the last three years, I’ve felt torn between pursuing professional knitting – as professional as I could be with limits on time, money and manpower – and professional writing. My goals always reflect this, with me trying to figure out how to divide my time between the two or somehow combine them. Well, after three years I see I can’t make that work. It has to be one or the other, and right now, writing wins. And it’s very exciting to me to have a clear focus, finally.

I want to go into more detail about this thought process when I share my 2015 goals so, for now, I’ll leave it at that and get back to what I was originally talking about…what happened this past week. This happened –

servatii cinnamon roll

That is a gigantic cinnamon roll from Servatii. I actually don’t like cinnamon rolls, at all, but Ezra insisted on grabbing this thing when we ran into the bakery to pick up some donuts for some special people.

Being the good mom that I am, I got him the cinnamon roll which he proceeded to not eat. This is a thing we are dealing with around here – asking to eat something, then suddenly no longer being interested once said something is purchased/made. But in the case of this cinnamon roll, Ezra’s aunt saved the day and decided to eat it so it wouldn’t go to waste. A big sacrifice for her, I’m sure.

2015 birthday flowers

Tuesday was my birthday! I turned 31, and for some reason 31 seems way more serious than turning 30. I feel like 31 needs to be written out like thirty-one, as in woah I am thirty-one?? Maybe that’s just me.

Those flowers are from my parents and sister (and the dogs, too!) and they are so beautiful.

The older I get, the more simplicity I crave in my life and I didn’t want my birthday to be any different. Ezra and I hit up the grocery store and afterwards we grabbed a sweet treat at one of my favorite coffee places. I have been craving burgers lately, so I wanted to go to Smashburger for dinner and that is what we did. Don’t tell Smashburger, but I kind of feel like Five Guys might have a better fast food burger. You can’t beat the Smashburger fries, though. The best part of my birthday meal? My sister made her famous brownies. I cannot get enough of those things!

birthday candles

And there’s an awkward photo of me blowing out my birthday candles, but looking like I’m blocking my child from getting any brownies. Because I was.

Anyway, later that week I tried my hand at some chalkboard art to put in the living room in this little area I’ve set up by the windows.

chalkboard art

I will have to take some updated photos of the living room because I’ve changed things here and there. It’s definitely feeling more like a home in our home and less like a beige box.

Thursday and Friday were pretty normal days for Ezra and I. We played a lot, and we headed over to the knit shop on Friday – which was a day full of rain, as in it literally rained all.day.long. – to drop off a sample I had made. Yesterday, Saturday, we ran up to the mall to make some returns and spent the rest of the day hanging out at home.

I have been breaking out my “big” camera – aka, not my iPhone – to take some photos and I grabbed these –

white roses

Some more birthday flowers (these were from Alex and Ezra)

And a closeup of my little boy and his wild hair.

Ezra has been telling me that his hair is “so mean” and that he needs a haircut. I had these dreams of Ezra pulling off gorgeous, long locks until …well… forever? But, I can’t abide mean hair so we’ve scheduled a haircut for this upcoming week.

That bring us to today. Spring is here in Cincinnati and the weather is so perfect. We went to the zoo this morning, and so many animals were out and about. My favorite was seeing the bearcat (but I didn’t get a very good picture) because I have not once seen that guy move, and my second favorite was the snow leopards. One was literally against the barrier; I’ve never seen them so close up.

Snow Leopard Cincinnati zoo

Pretty cool!

Ezra loves – and I cannot emphasize it enough – animals. Every time we visit the zoo, it seems like he has a different favorite. This time was the rhino. He picked out a rhino stuffed animal and had to hang out for a bit on the giant rhino statue in front of the main gate –

Looking Ahead

This upcoming week is going to be pretty busy, but I’m looking forward to it. I hope to finish up my queries and get them sent out, as well as take care of some last minute finishing touches on the playroom and Ezra’s big boy room – both of which I cannot wait to share with you. I think the teepee is set to arrive Tuesday or Wednesday, yay!

When I was in the swing of Looking Back, Looking Ahead, I shared a roundup of links at the very end. I don’t have any links for this week, so next week I’ll get back to that so there’s something interesting to check out. Until then, as always, thanks for reading 🙂