Like she says

I have a young friend, she’s pretty little, and we have heart to heart conversations from time to time, and when things are extra meaningful to her, when she really wants you to understand that what’s she’s saying is important, or that you’ve come to the significant part, she’ll tell you and then tack on “IN REAL LIFE.”ย  I don’t know if it’s because kids today are so well acquainted with all the ways that something can be not real life, like TV or movies or games or cartoons or that maybe the world is getting strange enough that a little kid could be concerned that you thought that things weren’t really happening to her, but to her avatar, but her choice of words always makes me smile. “And then, Auntie Stephie, the big wave came, and it was so high, and it was coming nearer to me, and then it knocked me down.. IN REAL LIFE.”

I was going to come here and apologize for being gone so long, and explain that it was the holiday and then Joe and I went to Edmonton just before the New Year for his work and then we went skiing at Jasper and that whole time that I wasn’t at home the IP address I was at was blocked and the stupid helpdesk who could fix it had a 4 hour wait (because secretly, I think this was a worldwide plot) and I couldn’t connect to the blog from away, and then when we got back late on Thursday night I had a cold and… I thought about telling you all of that, but the truth is that I probably could have gotten here… except for the IP thing, but for one thing, and that was that things kept happening to me IN REAL LIFE.

I would be walking towards the computer, and something would happen. A person who was present would be in front of me, and they’d ask me to do something with them, or for them, and I’d glance over at my laptop, then at their face, and then I’d think “I’ll get to the blog later. They’ll understand.” and off I’d go. Over and over things like this:


solsticecandles-2017-01-06 luisxmascookies-2017-01-06 samsings-2017-01-06 megalexlou-2017-01-06 santamouse-2017-01-06 frankielight-2017-01-06 erinandco-2017-01-06 lalthekids-2017-01-06

erinandicookies-2017-01-09 louknits-2017-01-06 kidsandlou-2017-01-06 newyears-2017-01-06ย  ice-lanterns-2017-01-09 familyselfie-2017-01-09 thewitches-2017-01-09 megandalexlou-2017-01-09


It was all I could do to keep up. IN REAL LIFE. In any case, I’m back, and my cold’s a lot better and I think I’m mostly caught up on the madness and it’s been about 30 minutes since someone asked me to do something, and I have bags of knitting to show you, and I think I’m finally going to take down the tree before it’s nothing more than a stick with ornaments on it,ย  and can you tell me what happened to you this holiday, IN REAL LIFE?

See you tomorrow. I mean that.

189 thoughts on “Like she says

    • Mine is too. My son is getting married this weekend and all the family is coming into town, so I am using the excuse that none of them have seen our house all done up for Christmas and I want them to see it all. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

    • Mine stayed up ornamentless all last year. I took the ornaments off and waited for DH to take it down. This year, it is still up… the spare room where I dragged it on a blanket after I took the ornaments off. Lol

    • Hello Steph and all, I’ve been looking for a post about a shrug/infinity scarf(it fit snugly over shoulders, a beautiful blue I think))that you posted several years ago( winter 2014/2015?), I believe made from Quince and Company Yarn, I ordered the yarn, the needles and forgot the pattern. Now a couple years later I’d like to make it, been searching and searching but can’t find post.

      Does this ring a bell to you??

      Warmly, Paula in Massachuetts

    • yeah – you always should do everything necessesary IN REAL LIFE
      my everyday life looks similar
      lots of people wants something to look at, to talk at and listen to them
      happy new year and all my best wishes
      lg birgit

  1. Love to see all those smiles. Looks like it was a lovely holiday for you.

    We enjoyed the whole family being present at the same time in the same state – something that hasn’t happened in years. It was a LOT of work – IN REAL LIFE – but well worth the happy memories.

  2. Yay!!! To REAL LIFE! Happy New Year and so glad to see you back, I’ve missed you. All the time you were gone, though, I was hoping you were having a wonderful holiday. It looks like you were. Except for your cold, sorry about. But YAY!!! You’re back!

    • Yup–I think that definitely qualifies as HAVING a real life (in contrast to a primarily virtual one)–a thing to celebrate and actually be fully present for!!

      (Plus, candidly, all that real life of yours eventually spills over into the blog because IRL is where all of your, um, awesome stories happen!!) So we’re glad you’re better than OK, and glad you’ve touched base, and….we’ll wait for whatever craziness overflows from your RL next!

  3. Our tree is up as well. We had a lovely holiday that was equal parts full of family and quiet time at home. And then, on the very last day of vacation (Jan 3rd), my wee baby girl turned fourteen. Then I went to work for three whole days. In. A. Row. Then it was the weekend and we had a snowstorm and shoveled a lot. This morning we woke up to no power. I miss the holidays. Glad to see yours were full of fun & family as well. Happy New Year!

  4. In real life my mom died on Thanksgiving and boy that put it all in perspective. Over the holidays, we were quiet and thankful. I am especially grateful for the best gift my mom ever gave me which was teaching me to knit when I was five. Soon I hope to be able to pick up the needles again. My fingers needed time to mourn.

    • I’m so sorry.

      In real life, we also had a death in the family a few days before Christmas.
      Which meant my husband was travelling over new years and burying his dad on our 20th wedding anniversary.
      I took the tree down a lot earlier than usual, because it was not holiday season in this house any more.

      My fingers also mourned, in their own way, by knitting a couple of surprise gifts for people I was seeing IN REAL LIFE.

        • Condolences to you both. Losing someone we love is always awful…but moreso, somehow, during the holidays. From experience, I can only offer that knitting brought me some small solace in similar circumstances. Quiet, peaceful, and Normal when everything else was askew. Kindest thoughts to you…

          • My condolences to you both for your loss. We lost a good friend, as well, during the season; the 4th in 5 years. Holidays are bittersweet, but all the more appreciative of what truly matters.

        • Yes Emily and Jofran please take bug hugs and cuddles from Australia and take special extra care of yourself. Your loved ones you lost would prob want that (the special care of yourself not random cuddles from strangers!) I hope you get everything you need to get thru this.

      • My daughter’s boyfriend succumbed to long term depression and took his own life on Christmas Day. So our season was one of sorrow and forgiveness and trying to be as gentle with my dear girl as we could. She’s been incredibly brave but expressed relief at being able to take down the decorations yesterday. Both she and her sister have amazed me by the wisdom they have both displayed over the past two weeks. My heart aches for the young man’s family.

    • I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my Grandfather at Thanksgiving my first year of college. It does change your whole perspective for the holiday season. Hugs.

    • So sorry to hear of your loss. The year after my mom died all I could knit were simple small things, washcloths in other words.

  5. One look at those faces confirms that IN REAL LIFE should ALWAYS come before stuff on the internet.

    To answer your question: A night of singing carols badly off key, a walk down Christmas Tree Lane (2 miles!) with a niece and nephew, sharing with family on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and fireworks at midnight New Years Eve on the front lawn with family and friends (the police drove by but didn’t stop, so we must have looked like we new what we were doing).

  6. I got to fly 3700 to go home to so many people who I love, listen to a 17 month old say, “KK!” and give me sloppy, open mouth kisses on the cheek IN REAL LIFE! I spent a whole day with a seven year old, eating disgusting buffet pizza while he played arcade games, taking him to get his hair cut and praying I wasn’t messing it up too badly for Christmas, and buying him a belt because I was tired of seeing the top of his bottom IN REAL LIFE. I got to take an eight year old and her mommy, who might just be my sister, out to eat pancakes and then had said eight year old balance a tiny toy alpaca on her head at the restaurant IN REAL LIFE. Real life rocks and I currently feel approximately 3700 miles too far from it.

  7. Real life seems to have been slightly overrated in these latitudes lately — when you’re rereading Hunger Games for the food and the clothes you have some issues. Just finished the second Shedir for my sister’s chemo (your sister looks great — how’s she doing?) and will rip it out right after this — needs one more repeat before the crown. Show us some knitting. It’s about as real as we can stand.

  8. We understand that your REAL LIFE must always come before the blogesphere. Your family is beautiful and their smiles tell the whole story.
    We had Christmas with almost all the kids and grandkids – 18 of the 21 were with us. We snuggled up inside when it was cold outside since we’re not as brave as you and Joe. Of course there was knitting. I just took the tree down today since little Christmas has gone by.
    Thanks for sharing your lif with us. I feel like you’re a distant cousin or something!
    Happy new year – and I can’t wait until your grandson makes his appearance!

  9. Things that happen IN REAL LIFE are always so much more important, and shouldn’t be put on hold. 2016 has taught me that if you can do it today, don’t wait for the tomorrow that might never come. The blog is just icing on the cake of my day, so to speak. It (we) will always understand the need to live your real life to the fullest (and thank you for sharing it with all of us as openly as you do!)

  10. Thanks for sharing Steph, good to see you back! We had everyone together, beautiful. It was a good year with the great news that another grandchild is on the way. I am knitting already ๐Ÿ™‚ I am glad that your holidays were beautiful with all your loved ones.

  11. We didn’t put up a tree this year for the first time, and I felt a bit like Scrooge. But we were in Texas for the holiday (that part was great), and our fully decorated 15′ tree fell over TWO RECENT YEARS IN A ROW, and I’m dealing with a teenager who is the expert on EVERYTHING, so it was just easier to . . . not.

    • Ouch. My brother and I ended up under the fallen Christmas tree as kids one year, so we’re all really good about tying them up to walls now with guy-wires. But I’m guessing that with trees that tall that you are, too. =(

  12. “In real life” should always — ALWAYS! — trump blogs. And your photos show that “real life” was beautiful, magical, love-filled. Thank you so much for letting me have a peek into your joy.

  13. IN REAL LIFE, took the train from the Vancouver to Toronto and back again (almost a week of knitting time; may never fly again!!!) for first Christmas as an orphan and a granny. Amazing vistas, wonderful grandie, poignant memories. Also: thanks for the temperature heads up as ViaRail was arriving in Jasper. The Aussies were particularly “pleased”/stunned!!

  14. So lovely to have you back, but so glad you’ve been having such a wonderful time. So many pictures I want to comment on and say “aawwwww”. Louis on the couch laughing himself silly surrounded by your girls – so cute. Meg and Alex ‘practising’ being parents at story time – beautiful. Denny and Jen looking so happy – lovely.

    My almost-4-year-old says “in real life” too. I think it’s because my kids are FOREVER making things up and telling stories, so we mere grown ups often need clarification.

    Much love to you and your family Steph.

  15. It was our year to have the family all together for Christmas. We learned our youngest is having a girl in May and our middle daughter announced she is having a baby in July! In addition her sister-in-law is due 2 weeks after her. So the baby knitting is in full swing here. It’s all so special and overwhelming.
    Those of us who read you really missed you but we are thankful you were having fun travels and holiday time. Now please keep blogging because it’s going to help me to complete all this baby knitting! Happy New Year! XO

  16. It was our year to have the family all together for Christmas. We learned our youngest is having a girl in May and our middle daughter announced she is having a baby in July! In addition her sister-in-law is due 2 weeks after her. So the baby knitting is in full swing here. It’s all so special and overwhelming.
    Those of us who read you really missed you but we are thankful you were having fun travels and holiday time. Now please keep blogging because it’s going to help me to complete all this baby knitting!

  17. Wonderful photos! As I checked my feeds for a post to pick me up whilst I am buried in tedious work I kept thinking you must me having a fabulous time. I am so glad I was right. IRL with family and friends is not to be passed up.

  18. I’m so glad you are back! What lovely pictures. One of the highlights of my season was that my 14 year old son asked me to teach him how to knit. In real life !

  19. You were only gone for a couple of weeks, so why did it feel like forever? So very glad you were having great adventures. You have to be one of the crazy-busiest people I know, so I’m very glad you got to enjoy your holidays and some time off.

    Had to move Christmas with our kids to the Friday after because son & girlfriend were at her family. Different, but everyone is here & healthy, so no complaints.

    I had just come up from the basement where I was putting all the boxes back into storage, so the holidays are definitely over here. Now to finish tidying up.

  20. I’m just so relieved that you and your family are all okay. In all the time I’ve been following you I’ve never known you to be gone so long so I was imagining the worst. Just like a mother. Glad you had a wonderful holiday!

  21. I join with those who say, “whew! glad all looks well.” While REAL LIFE is often not all it’s cracked up to be, fun times with loved ones need no apology. I’m grateful that you take the time to share with us. My REAL LIFE included spending time with a new grandson, having all of my adult children in the same house on the same day (never all awake at the same time) and enjoying my blessings. I also had the joy to coordinate with my siblings and cousins wrangling my parents (88 & 90) and my aunt (89) as we celebrated the graduation of my sister-in-law. It was a lot like herding cats but so much better than a funeral. Fun times!

  22. Not much knitting here from the 23rd to 28th, as our 15-month-old granddaughter was here for her first Christmas at Grammy and Grandpa’s house. Last year we were remodeling and everything was torn up or in storage so they didn’t come visit (and it was their year to be here for Thanksgiving and couldn’t do that, either). Having a child in the house at Christmas makes it all so special again. I’m making up for lost time with knitting, and just planned the next sweater for my sweet Samantha.

  23. I like that a four-year-old distinguishes between the real and the fake (thus doing better than a huge chunk of the voting public). In my blogging life my kids model my knits, looking poised and beautiful. In REAL LIFE, (when they’re home with us) they sleep in until noon, eat all the leftovers meant for tomorrow’s dinner, and use up all the clean towels. But we’re still happy to have them.

  24. It’s lovely to see you and the family so happy together. That always puts a smile on my face.
    Our holidays were a little crazy, and made crazier by the fact that my dissertation clock isn’t stopping for “time spent with family,” oddly enough. So, exhausting on multiple counts!
    I’m looking forward to seeing your “bags of knitting!”

  25. I’m I glad you had such a lovely time IN REAL LIFE. I have decided that my recovery time from the fog a number of Annus Horribilus’ is over and I need to get a lot more of a life. Christmas was lovely with enough company, cheer, quiet and pyjamas and now I need to start achieving things IN REAL LIFE myself. This may involve curtailing my internet life a bit, although not all the way because a single parent often can’t leave the house and find an actual adult person to talk to IN REAL LIFE.

    Also, my daughter’s list for Santa went something like ‘a piece of REAL rainbow, a rocket that REALLY goes into space, a chocolate machine that makes REAL chocolate in any flavour you ask it to and a REAL puppy that never grows up. Clearly, we have this REAL LIFE thing nailed around here (PS. I love the ice lanterns, but I naively assumed you always made them outside, and that’s why we don’t see them in this grey, soggy, only-cold-enough-to-be-miserable-and-not pretty country!)

  26. In Real Life, my two oldest have been home for Christmas and still are, which makes the dishwasher very full very often. And we had quiet holidays but now the youngest is back to school and hubby is back to work and the older two are …. still sleeping until noon. And I haven’t worked since before Christmas (I’m a substitute teacher, so I get to pick and choose somewhat) but am missing any semblance of routine, while still enjoying my big ones. And I’ve been knitting lots of pussy hats for the March on Washington. And the fridge died but we managed to get it replaced the next day. Whew!

    Glad to hear you put Real Life ahead of blog life. Paying attention to those people in front of you is always more important.

  27. I knit like a madwoman for gifts for friends/family up to 12/23, then I kicked back and knit for myself. Had a nice quiet week of between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and then it was back to work and REAL LIFE. But, that real life enables my knitting, so that makes it OK.

    Happy New Year! Glad you’re back and getting healthy.

  28. Enjoy the moments, they never last (and think of the good stories for your future grandkids…. when your girls call to complain about something their kids have done you can remind them about their indoor water balloon fight LOL).

    My holiday season has been a little crazy… kids christmas eve, Drove 7+ hours (one way) to Pittsburgh to meet the boyfriend’s family and spend the week and new years with them, knitting (I was so busy I only knit two slouch hats, one for each of my boys), baking… and being sick. I think everyone has something…

    I also have to say, Your audio book “At Knit’s End” also made the boyfriend laugh quite a bit, and he’s a non-knitter (but a brave enough soul to have taken me to Rhinebeck and bought me lots of yarn…. without knowing there was a cheese and wine tent, we found that after lunch LOL)….

  29. Never say no to good company, good books, or candlelit wine.
    IN REAL LIFE, we’ve been taking it slow, which makes it that much harder to get back to work!
    Also I’ve (finally!) made a list of all my handwork projects, current and intended, and prioritized them. After classifying them as portable or non-portable and rating their focus requirements, naturally ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Never apologize for participating in real life, as it is much more important than anything else! I, too, have a cold that I’m trying to kick before next week when I go back to grad school. Take your time getting back to us! We all know how demanding the holidays are, including the post-holiday clean-up.
    Peace to you and your family!

  31. Welcome back! You were missed! I must admit that I actually gasped when I saw the new post!

    LOVELY pictures!! Thanks for sharing them with us!
    I am a bi-vocational pastor and one of our church members gave me some beautiful Knit Picks Stroll fingering (Gumball Hand Painted) yarn for Christmas – 2 skeins of it!!!!!! So, I have been knitting a scarf with it (when I am not teaching second graders). We have had a couple of snow days so that means MORE KNITTING!!!

  32. I got a grandson. My daughter made him for us. She gets to keep him most of the time, but once in a while, we will get to have him.

  33. Glad to see your real life has been wonderful over the holidays! Sorry to be selfish, but we all missed you and I bet most of us checked in almost every day.
    We must know: how is the baby cooking up? How is your sister? And hurry up and show us that knitting! Please ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Good for you, Stephanie! I play an MMORPG and our guild motto is “Real Life Comes First”. Not to imply that the people on the other side of the computer screen from you aren’t real but the stuff that happens away from the computer screen takes priority. Always.

  35. Your family seems to have had a beautiful holiday and now that it’s over and winter is really truly here…..there is still knitting! Real live people in front of us must always trump a device but thanks not only for sharing your people but also for asking us to share ours.

    My parents came to town to be with us like almost always. My mom, who had a huge spine surgery this summer, is completely out of pain and getting better all the time. My kid is 18 and the youngest so a relaxed grownup holiday was had.

  36. Over Christmas break I taught my 9-yr old nephew how to knit. IN REAL LIFE. He got four inches of a scarf done before I had to leave to visit the next batch of family. Sitting with his tongue poking out of the side of his mouth, propping the needle on his leg so he could wrap the yarn for the stitch. It was the most adorable thing I’ve seen in a long time. IN REAL LIFE!

  37. I’m delighted to see a new post today! And to see what a lovely family-filled Christmas you enjoyed. We attended a beautiful mass Christmas Eve and were alone Christmas Day. It was peaceful and knitful and just us. Boxing Day we spent in T.O. with three of four sons and their families. Lots of food and fun and family. And all these days were Real Life for us.

  38. Because of your many beautifully documented trips to Mexico, I said yes to a trip to Baja and in real life it’s amazing and so warm that I hope to live through winter now. Thank you!!!!

    • Good for you! Warm sounds wonderful.

      I wonder if Stephanie realizes the impact she has on people she’s never met and likely never will meet. I’m sure she’s inspired many readers of the blog in various ways.

  39. When you said you were skiing, I was thinking Gatineau Hills, not Jasper! So excited for you because Jasper has fantastic energy.
    In real life I discovered this Christmas that I worry a lot more about my siblings who are sick than my siblings who are sick do. And I discovered that I actually weigh 40 pounds more than I thought I did. And I discovered that doesn’t bother me very much, which is a very nice thing to find out.
    And I discovered that the big family Christmas I used to have is in the past, and I’m content with that, and I discovered that when you put up your Christmas decorations in 20 minutes on December 24th, it only takes 20 minutes to take them down again on January 6th. Just sayin’

  40. REAL LIFE here involved board games and knitting, fireworks and snowmen, holding a wee baby for an evening with dear friends, eating candy canes and ice wine truffles, and going to a taping of a CBC show downtown. We had a second Christmas (Ukrainian) on the weekend, with more knitting, and lots of movie and series watching, not to forget the enjoyment of reading a chapter a night of your latest book. The tree didn’t come down until today, and it isn’t even being picked up by the town until next week, so I’m thinking that I’m ahead of the game. Last year, they wouldn’t take it, so it lived on my driveway and once the snow melted, I cut a few branches off every few weeks, to bundled separately. Finally, in October, they took the trunk that was left. Can’t wait to see your knitting. I finally finished the ZickZack scarf that’s been on the needles for over a year.

  41. We don’t have to be with you every step of the way…we know you’ll hit the highlights with us when you get back. And a VACATION!!!! About time you took one! All those lovely faces are perfect reasons to be with them instead of us. Can’t believe how much little Lou is less little and his baby bro is now toddler bro.
    Can’t wait to hear if the last 2 items on the checklist were wrapped with the needles in them or not!

  42. Oh, so you mean the important things that happen with the people you love! I’ve been dying to know if you finished the cowl and sweater before Christmas, but I’m so glad to know you were missing because you were having fun. IN REAL LIFE.

  43. I’ve been dying to know if you finished the sweater and cowl by Christmas??!!! In real life, I’m knitting hot pink pussyhats for the women’s march while still praying Trump doesn’t actually take office in a few weeks.

  44. My son and sister and brother(and his girlfriend) rotated through our mountain cabin. Said cabin showed a few ugly glitches (basement toilet overflowed, garbage disposal stopped and dishwasher flooded). However, we hiked, played games, and ate…a lot.

    Glad that you had a wonderful holiday with family and travel. Have you ever thought of just taking the time off from solstice until at least January 1st? The Blog would worry less if we knew in advance you would be silent for a period…and wouldn’t be thinking you might be reallllly sick or something.

  45. ok, 1) I’m glad you’re back Steph, i missed you and looked either many times per day or every day and checked old messages to see if other people were wondering where you were etc. And then I said, Steph is probably having a wonderful time and she will tell us when she gets around to it. I don’t have to worry. She is there.
    2) I can’t believe as i scrolled through the pictures that i recognized so many people (and said out loud to myself, oh look, there’s Joe, there’s Pato, there’s the new baby, there’s Steph’s riding buddy). It felt like i was looking at my friends and family. It felt very good!

  46. Welcome back! I’m dying to know about the purple cowl. Always enjoy your family photos. It’s nice when families get along IN REAL LIFE.

  47. Just so glad you’re back. Makes us appreciate you even more. The Squam page makes it sound like they are closing down after fall 2017. What do you know?

  48. I missed your blog – big time. I must admit I did check most days. BUT I think everyone would agree that family comes first – ALWAYS. I am just glad that you had a great festive break with the people that are the most important things in your life.
    family first
    Blog second
    Welcome back

  49. I’m glad you took time to be with your family. We were just worried that something bad had happened.


    Your extended internet family.

  50. IN REAL LIFE I had a rather magical holiday season. We traveled and saw scads of people and yet didn’t get stressed; we cooked and ate delicious food in excellent company; I got to be happily pregnant while surrounded by joyful family (we live far away from everyone, so this was new); and (miracle of miracles), I somehow got an unusually large amount of knitting done in time without any heroic efforts. It was raucous and peaceful and friends-and-family-filled, and I only wish any of us were photographers enough to have captured it like you did!

    Thanks for attending to your REAL LIFE, and thanks ever so much for sharing it with us. Nowadays it seems that I’m more likely to read blogs (and peruse instagrams) that take a very business-minded approach, with schedules, and curation, and shaping a brand. I don’t mind this โ€” seems like a natural part of the medium growing up. But I treasure those, like yours, that still feel like a particular individual human sharing stories, even when sometimes that means REAL LIFE intervenes.

  51. Lovely pictures! Happy you had all this time with family and friends. As has been said Erin looks wonderful and Megan and Alex, glowing.

    We cherished our time with our son, home from University for what seemed like a very brief visit. So good to have our little family together.

  52. Well, what happened to me was that I still followed your posts on Instagram and enjoyed those, and I was very happy for you that you were enjoying whoever you were present with, and enjoying your REAL LIFE for an uninterrupted spell. Good for you!
    Will be very excited when we start seeing grandma posts, too. Enjoy it all, as you go along, in your real life.

  53. All those pictures and the chatty post made me feel like I had a cuppa with my good friend and a catch up. So thank you!

    • Oh, Petra, that’s a bummer–I hope everyone’s recovered. On the bright side, the odds are good you’ll be well next Christmas.

  54. I went to England, in real life. Though it seems like another world; we’ve been back almost a week. I did a bit of real-life knitting and watched the English food channel, which was pretty exciting, since we don’t have a TV in real life.

  55. Small kids, eh? My 5-year old, when he wants to borrow something or ask a favour, always begins with, “this is *really* important!” Said in his most serious voice.

  56. We had a good, if quiet, holiday season. Friends, family, stupid amounts of food, excellent conversation. And had to pull out the body of the only sweater I made this year for the 3rd time. It’s currently in time out while I make things for the new babies coming up in Feb and March. We’ll have 3 babies in 3 weeks if all are close to being on time. A great-nephew, a cousin, and a friend. Woo hoo!

  57. Actually, I’m surprised you’re back so soon.
    Why? Because, IN REAL LIFE, the cat wants attention (or not), there was snow to be shoveled, there were/are meetings to attend, the dust buffaloes are mating, etc.

    Yes, my tree is still up. IN REAL LIFE, a nephew and his wife moved to a nearby state and needed help, a niece baked and dirtied every dish/pan/utensil in the kitchen (who uses a gelatin mold for cookies???), the oven went bonkers,another nephew had a tournament, a neighbor’s dog visited a skunk in our yard, etc., etc., etc.

  58. Is that Frankie in the snowflake sweater/jammies(hard to tell from the photo)? He looks like he’s almost big enough for his own calendar ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. Much as I enjoy reading The Blog, Real Life definitely comes before Blog Life. I’m glad you had a splendid time though it sucks the cold viruses caught you. Thank you for sharing the cheery pics full of love and smiles.

    My holiday was spent catching up with my book and movie queues between Christmas and New Year’s. It was lovely.

  60. Glad to hear that your holidays went so well In Real Life. Until I figured out the Instagram, I was a bit worried.

    New topic–are people knitting Pussy Hats for the Women’s Marches on Jan. 21?

  61. Phew!! I’m just glad you didn’t get trapped under your stash or something! We figured you were on vacation but….it was pretty long stretch of quiet. I remembered about Madrona LONG after all the classes got full :/

  62. Good for you Stephanie for taking the time to enjoy the presence of “IN REAL LIFE”. You are one awesome and talented woman! Happy healthy, prosperous and peacefully joyful 2017 to you and your family. I look forward to catching up with your “goings on” when it works.

  63. My husband helped me take the lights off. It was a brittle sticker bush. I said, if you’re careful not to bump it on anything it wont make as big of a mess. He nodded in agreement then promptly stuck it into the ceiling fan.

  64. I love that you have your priorities straight! Our boys came home to spend Christmas Eve at our new house, to help make it home. As long as they stayed, I wasn’t on my computer. Moments (in real life) with people you love are precious. Thanks for having confidence in us, that we would understand…IN REAL LIFE.

  65. Most wonderful reasons ever to not blog!!
    And IN REAL LIFE it’s almost show season here so it’s late nights, too much caffeine and frantic needles in every direction. Every year it’s I’ll do this earlier, lol.

  66. Really, really missed you and the Blog.
    Where does one purchase Tom Smith Christmas Crackers. Are they all over the place in stores in Canada? (Short trip for me). On the internet you have to purchase 10 boxes. I only need 9 individual crackers.
    Can anyone help? Thanks.

  67. Happy new year! Welcome back, I’ve missed you!
    Our tree and decorations are still up. I really should take them down, but I’m only getting the chance to sit and knit after the holidays so it can wait a bit. I don’t mind. Tree collection is next Monday. Plenty of time.
    I really really REALLY enjoy your blog and just wanted to pop in to say thanks for keeping this mama company during my kids bed time ๐Ÿ™‚

  68. Sounds like a wonderful holiday. Family comes before everything.

    IN REAL LIFE….my holiday was quiet. Spent it with my Mommy ๐Ÿ™‚ just the two of us and the two resident cats. I had quiet merriment. And I casted on a pair of Christmas socks….on Christmas.

    Started Winter Camp 2017–my first year–competition for Ravelry. I’m gearing up for my second year of Sock Madness in March but pre-madness fun starts in February (also on Ravelry. And I’ll be doing a year-long afghan Swap on Ravelry. And I’m a quidditch ref in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry so lots of work brainstorming, fleshing out ideas and also there’s the grading submissions.

  69. Glad to hear you are fine, just enjoying yourself with family. In real life I had a wonderful holiday. My daughter had to work on the 25th, so she called Santa (her I-phone has everyone’s number) and explained that we needed to do everything a day earlier. He said, “Fine.” So we had Christmas Eve on the 23rd and Christmas Day on the 24th. She lives in Clairmont CA, at the foot of the San Bernardino mountains, and on the 23rd the snow in the mountains came almost all the way down to her house. Way cool! Then she made Latkes for my husband who is Jewish, and they came out great. He was so happy.
    All my knitting was done in time (I start way early) and I had a grand time. When my daughter was a teen and I was trying to teach her to cook, she was not ready. Well, she is ready now and has turned into an excellent cook, thanks to youtube videos. All I had to do was eat it. I love it. New years was quiet, a little bubbly with the hubs. I knit things for me. Don’t cha love it! Come see us in SoCal in Feb, some guild will host you and you can warm up.
    Julie in San Diego

  70. I have been missing your blog posts but I am truly glad that you chose “real life” instead. Just reading that made my day a little happier ๐Ÿ™‚

  71. IN REAL LIFE, our daughter, her husband, and their newly adopted 17-year-old son (yes, year-old) came for Christmas so we finally got to meet our new big grandson. We love him. He’s funny and snarky and loves to read and loved the little things I knit for him for Christmas. Our little grandson decided that the gifts and tree were so attractive that he went from being a swiffer, rolling all over collecting lint, to crawling. We made snow angels and snow cream because the new big grandson grew up in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky so a Wisconsin Christmas was time for playing in the snow and learning to tromp around the yard on snowshoes. AND they’re in the process of getting us a new, 16-year-old granddaughter in 2017. We can’t wait.

  72. IN REAL LIFE – just finished my 5th pussyhat for the January 21 Women’s March on Washington DC. It’s not too late to knit one to donate, or one for yourself, especially using a bulky yarn! Check out
    I recommend listening to Joan Baez Pandora station- perfect while knitting for the cause. “Action is the antidote to despair.” ~Joan Baez

    • OK, I’m in! I cannot be in Washington, but I can knit a hat to wear on the 21st in solidarity! Going to go buy some pink yarn this morning . . .

      Thanks for the info!

      • You are welcome! Hoping these hats become a continuing symbol of action and solidarity long after the January 21st march. Knit on!

  73. After all that you do for everyone else, it’s great to see that you are taking vacations to be with your family “in real life.” Goodness, two ski trips within a month of each other; you’ve become a real snow bunny! In the past few years you’ve conquered long-distance biking and skiing big mountains, both of which were quite challenging. Bravo!

    To thaw out, perhaps you’ll next be heading south to spend some time with your mother or Joe’s parents “in real life,” soak up some warm sun, and knit items for your wee grandson-to-be.

  74. No explanation needed – but I did miss you! Beautiful pictures and that gorgeous baby in the Fair Isle onesie – is killing me!! So cute.

    Can’t wait to see the pictures of all the Christmas gifts. I’m starting my Christmas knitting NOW for next year and taking December OFF to do all the fun stuff you’ve shown in your pictures. I’ve finally realized that December is too busy to knit gifts.

    (I’m taking my tree down tomorrow too!)

  75. In real life. I flitted through the blog, a tiny bit concerned. I hoped you were having lots of REAL LIFE, just like I was. It brings me joy to see that you were doing exactly that, enjoying your family a d assorted loved ones. Me too. A bit quieter, as there are not as many of us at the moment, but tons of love, all the same.

  76. I kind of want to steal this phrase. Seems like when stuff is serious, it’s much easier to convey the seriousness of the matter by adding “IN REAL LIFE” to the end — your little friend is on to something!

  77. We got to spend time together at my son’s house and play with our first grandchild Felix who was just over three wks old! When I left all I could smell was Felix! His scent was all over my neck and hands, and it wafted gently through the air and into my heart, it was wonderful in real life!

  78. This past weekend I saw and heard (twice!) a modern jazz quartet called Nolatet. They’re prepping to record their second album, and the music was amazing! In real life!

    And I’ve been to three meetings of my Carnival Krewe. We parade in New Orleans February 11th, and between now and then we have to build our float and coordinate costumes for 50. In real life!

  79. To quote John Lennon, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” Lovely to have quality time with family and friends though — and to see your blog back in action. Welcome home.

  80. No need to apologize or explain. Our family had a REAL LIFE Christmas we will never forget. We were thrilled that our family was able to be all together for Christmas, including our grandson’s girlfriend and our middle daughter’s boyfriend and his daughter. It was going to be a wonderful celebration. But then one grandson’s “carsickness” was caught by his sister. And then on Christmas day our oldest daughter who is a Type 1 diabetic woke up very sick and we had to take her to the hospital. And within a couple more days, 20 out of 22 of us had the nasty, nasty stomach “flu.”

  81. whew! I have this terrible personality flaw called automatic-obsessive-worrying disorder. And when you are maintaining radio silence, the little voice says, “oh no! I hope nothing’s wrong…” Luckily, there’s Instagram and a quick click assures me that all is well. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year!

  82. Glad to have you back! Missed you, but the pictures are just wonderful and you deserved a break!! Happy New year! It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas with your family!

  83. We had a quiet couple of Christmases with the usual moments of hysteria and confusion. We celebrated with our usual Christmas Eve party with extended family, slept in Christmas Day, then wandered across the street to our daughters house to open presents and laugh together. Our older grandson was home from college. We have missed him, and he is still the same wonderful person. Everyone got a knitted gift, though the two grandsons each got only one sock – they got the other one after the new year.
    On the 28th our son and his family arrived to celebrate with everyone, and we got Thai take out.

    We didn’t have a tree because our daughter had one, we had cedar garlands everywhere, and the lovely crรจche scene that my husband made when he was 4! It is made of dried (not fired) clay painted with tempera, which has rubbed a little thin in the 72 years that Mary,Joseph, Jesus in the manger, the cow and the pond to drink from have been celebrating. They are accompanied with various other ceramic animals ranging from dinosaurs to mushrooms and a small tent that our children made when they were small.

    Bless you for REAL LIFE. Happy New year!

  84. Real life definitely takes precedence over the blog. The photos are stunning as always and lovely to see your smiling face in them too. I love the group photo and Lou’s super serious expression.

    I agree that help desks are all in on something.

    Can’t wait to see the knitting and thankfully our tree just has the lights to come down before it goes out, but in our defense they didn’t start collecting til recently. Yup, that’s my story.

  85. That is the best reason ever to be gone from here!!! IN REAL LIFE!!! Thank you for the continued inspiration <3

    Do your kids all knit? I am just being nebby. I have three teens, and I have successfully taught two of them to knit, but the third, who happens to be my most intelligent (crazy high IQ) simply could not grasp it. No matter how many times, ways, and whatevers, I tried!

    Am I alone in this failure???

  86. very grateful you took time for REAL LIFE. not that the blog isn’t real, but living life is good. loved the pix and i like those paper hats. I am going to invest in some paper hats for future happy times.

    My niece was married in Newburg Oregon and beautiful time for all. We had a big road trip with heavy weather and beautiful scenery to boot and stayed in an old IOOF Hall that reinvented itself into flats to rent. Had a ball with the sweetest peeps ever.

    A new year of goodness to all knitters. (no matter what)

  87. Jacqueline, Emily, Jofran: I’m so sorry for your losses this season. Two things I’ve found helpful are knitting and prayer, so I’ll pray for you all while I knit this week.
    As to what we did IN REAL LIFE, we got all kitschy and touristy in our home town, and went to Jellystone Campground for the “Dancing Lights of Christmas”. We all grumbled about the price ($25.00 / car!) but in the end decided it was so impressive we’ll do it again next Christmas! And we shopped, and ate too much, and just relaxed. A lovely time was had by all.

  88. Those are the BEST kind of distractions from the blog! And really, as much as we love to follow your escapades, REAL LIFE is so much more important than uploading a blog post. (Glad your cold is better!) IN REAL LIFE at our house, a few things decided they were not coming with us into the new year. We got a new car battery, a new pipe from the shut-off valve to the toilet tank, and a new heating element for the dryer. All in less than 36 hours from the start of 2017. We laughed about all of it and were grateful things were as minor as they were! We figure the rest of the year is gonna be smooooooth sailing, after such an eventful start.

  89. Our tree went out yesterday, only because I was starting to get paranoid about starting a fire. Thanks for sharing all of your photos. Your family is SO beautiful. Happy new year, Stephanie. I hope you feel better soon. xo

  90. Real Life keeps me busy too! Solstice, All 12 Days of Christmas, New Years and now Birthdays and … the list just keeps getting longer. That is a good thing!

    Peace and Happy New Year!

  91. IN REAL LIFE, my mom, sister, 4 yr son, and I went to see the Nutcracker ballet because my 4 yr old son wanted to see it! Magical Christmas morning followed by said 4 yr old son vomiting throughout the family afternoon gift exchange and dinner. Me squashing myself between two car seats to catch his vomit on the way home while he asks me to rub his head as it makes him feel better. <3 Fortunately he recovered well. I then got sick with a different illness and missed my first day back to work in the middle of the following week. But we had a super successful New Year's family get together on New Year's day and we're hoping for a good year (politics notwithstanding)! That's REAL LIFE in a nutshell! Thank you for sharing!

  92. “In Real Life” is what feeds the blog, right? So never apologize and know that we’re here with our own “In real life” situations and looking forward to whenever you’re back! Thanks for all you do. Happy New Year!

  93. Like everyone else, I missed the blog but am thrilled that you had such fun with your family. I spent the holidays with my brother & co. since my fiance was working – we had a traditional English dinner including crackers and paper hats. Very fun and I got lots of knitting done while catching up with everyone. Glad you’re back safe and sound from all the skiing…

  94. In Real Life; I’m knitting Pussy Hats as fast as I can for the Women’s March in Washington D.C. My almost 93 y.o. Mom developed pneumonia went to hospital but now is in rehab and showing progress!!! I recently became a Grandma of twins….can’t wait for you to join the Grandma club!!!! <3

  95. I wish you an amazing 2017 for you & your family! I cannot express in words how much your blog means to me. I moved and lost touch with my knit night group and haven’t been able to create a new circle of knitting friends in my new town. I keep in touch with all things knitting by reading your blog. I don’t post often but I read all the time. Thank you for being YOU, and keeping me connected to the knitting community. Your family is amazing, too.

  96. Hey, you go right on and do that IN REAL LIFE stuff, please. We can all knit while we wait, because it just gives more for you to share with us. And we love that you share, and seeing all those smiles, yours especially, makes it worth the wait.

  97. Looks like you had an exquisite time. My Christmas was good–relaxing in the end. Ran around like a madwoman the two days before Christmas getting everything finalized. Put up the tree on Christmas Eve. Santa got husband latest Star Wars movie, then we went to see Rogue One a few days later. On Christmas I cleaned, cooked, maybe did s little knitting.

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