The Results

That’s my man. His goal was to finish in 4-5 hours. He finished in 3 hours, 53 minutes and 54 seconds. Of the 1431 people who skied the Birke classic style, he finished 354th. (There were about 8,000 people in the Birke, but most people ski it using the skating style.) Knut does both, but his newest and nicest skis are classic, so he wanted to use those.

Here’s him racing into the finish line, downtown Hayward. I think you can click on the picture to enlarge it. Yes, Hayward does truck in a bunch of snow and shuts down their downtown roads to host the finish of this race. Isn’t that wild?

What’s even more wild is that in a crowd as large as there was at the finish line, we ran into our friends the Mousers, and I got a picture of Knut and Matt. I believe this was Matt’s 9th Birke.

I took some pictures of the hundreds if not thousands of skis leaned against anything that stands and speared into the snow at the finish line. Knut tells me it is nothing compared to the lines of skis at the start. I was just waiting here, watching people as Knut changed back into street clothes and picked up some soup they were handing out to the racers.

He finished. We are happy.

Race Day!

Today is race day!

We arrived yesterday afternoon, after driving since 6:30 am. We got lost a few times on the way, as apparently Google Map has never been to Wisconsin. The first time we got lost we were driving through woods without any signs or roads in site. This got us both grumbling about how stupid our maps were, which somehow got us going on Packer jokes (don’t ask me how) and we used every opportunity to slam the Packers at ever wrong turn. (What can you expect? Packer fans probably made the roads.)

When we got there, the Packer jokes stopped, as we thought it wise to watch what we said outside the van while in Wisconsin. Telemark was the central hub yesterday, and Knut picked up his bibs, and we walked around at all the exhibits, as there was about every cross country ski vendor you could think of there.

The author of the children’s book about the original Birkebeiner was there, and I got to meet her, and she signed a book for our kids, so that was fun for me! Knut got bought a new Birkebeiner ski hat, and I got some cheerleading equipment. 😉

As soon as you walk in you see this huge fireplace. I told Knut that’s how I wanted him to finish up our new fireplace this year. Here we’ve been pouring over magazines, and pamphlets, trying to figure out how to finish the outside of the fireplace, and it never occurred to put an enormous viking over the mantle. That’s awesome!

Here’s Knut standing along the wall of Birke winners.

Here’s a torch. Kinda like the Olympic torch, but smaller. Kinda like the Birke. Like the Olympics…but smaller.

Freshly groomed snow at the starting line.

Here’s my official American Birkebeiner cow bell. It’s, of course, made in Norway, and has some nice sound. Last time I cheered Knut on an official event like this was at the Metrodome, in the high school football state championships. I was kicking myself that I didn’t bring my old cheerleading windbreaker…but there’s always next year.

Knut wanted to take my picture next to the Birke car that we kept seeing, with the vicious vikings on it. After we took this picture, the President of the American Birkebeiner got ready to get in it and drive away, but he stopped and chatted with Knut and I for awhile, which Knut really got a kick out of.

I’m sorry this picture is so blurry. It’s Knut checking out the starting line yesterday, where he’s going to start this morning.

Here’s Knut before he took off this morning. His bib has brown edging, to show which wave he’s in, and it has a big “C” on it to show he’s doing the race classic style, not skating style. He also has his “skating for MS” pin that he got yesterday, to show his support for MS research. Plus, they randomly pick people wearing the pin throughout the race and give them prizes…one of which is an amazing new set of skis. Now, Knut needs new skis like I need new sewing machines, so yeah, he’d love to get those!

Knut’s uncle just dropped him off at the starting line, and so he’s getting all set up and trying to work out jitters. We’re staying with Knut’s aunt and uncle, who have a great cabin just a few minutes from the finish line. So I’m sitting here on their sofa, in front of a warm fire, overlooking a lake, and I have a huge bear rug in front of me. Lena came with us, and I’m a little afraid that we’ll have to pry her away from Knut’s aunt and uncle who wish for her to never leave.

Silje, David, and Elias I’m sure are having lots of fun with Grandma and Grandpa, and their 2 cousins who are also staying with them. It was my first time leaving Elias overnight, and that dawned on me as we were leaving. Leaving them, I think was the hardest part. On me, that is. They were still sleeping, as Grandpa was staying at our house until they woke up. So there were no tears or tantrums…on their part!

So keep Knut in your prayers today, that he will be sustained, and race hard, and finish with no injuries. His starting time I think is around 9am, and it should take him about 5 hours, he’s guessing. He’s never done this trail before, though, so who knows how his time here will compare to how fast he skis at home. Some good friends have given him some fast racing wax, and he spent the night before we left waxing his skis to perfection. He said he’s a little nervous that his skis will be the fastest he’s ever been on them, and hopes he gets the hang if it quickly!

Favorite Things

Today is picture taking day. All my work is going under the lens, and I’m busy typing things up. The internet has been spotty today. (Of course it has, on the day I’ve set aside to work on it.) That’s been slowing me up, but I’m still getting things done.

I didn’t get all of the wool finished yesterday, so some of it might have to be photographed when we get back, and I’ll just finish it up while we’re driving. I mean to only stock the store with items on the first of the month, but I might make an exception and stock on the 2nd with the wool. Maybe late on the 1st. We’ll see.

As I’m going through pictures though, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite things.

Sock monkey longies. These is a diaper cover/pants combo. Seriously, sock monkey longies are “all the rage” in the cloth diapering world right now.

The back: monkey butt
The front:

Another “Hot Mama” diaper bag like Carolyn’s. Except instead of an appliqued elephant, I used designer Alexander Henry fabric. I’m so in love with this, and I hope someone buys it before I change my mind and keep it.

Some embellished All-in-one diapers:


As always, I’m keeping busy with this. This is just a peek of the 30+ items that will start off my grand opening. Tonight we have parent/teacher conferences, and tomorrow we head into race country…and I guess I’ll be sewing buttons on wool wraps along the way. Thank you all so much for all of everybody’s encouragement. It has really been a lot of fun.

Finishing Up

Well, we’re getting down to the wire here. Knut has his big race on Saturday, and I have my grand opening on Monday. If I were to have thought it through more, I would have not planned it that way. I know nothing is making me open the store on Monday, but that’s the goal I set, and once I push something back once, it seems to have a tough time getting priority. So I’m sticking to it.

Yesterday was my last sewing/knitting day. Today I’m finishing the fussy work on all the wool knit items like sewing on buttons and weaving in loose ends. I hate this part of knitting, and I keep telling myself I’m going to finish the fussy work after I finish the item and BEFORE I start the next one, but here I am…sewing buttons on 6 wool wraps in a row.

So, I decided to take a break and blog. Because I’m a procrastinator.

I did one final wash of the diapers going up for sale yesterday, to insure that all of the holes put in the waterproof fabric from the sewing needle are sealed up, thus becoming waterproof again. This morning, as I was sorting through them, I noticed that several of them have bleed marks from my fabric marker (where I mark my snap placements.) It’s supposed to just wash out, and I’ve used it several times before and it’s always washed out just fine. I guess it knew I was selling these diapers, and therefore wanted to make it more difficult.

What’s worse, is some of the diapers mentioned were made with all organic fabrics. Not only is it expensive fabric, but it’s not like I can just bleach it out, you know? So today I’m working on using all natural stain removal methods to get the washable marker out of my brand new–been working on them for months diapers. I’ll admit…I’m nervous. Could use a prayer or two.

So I’m hoping to have all the items finished and picture ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow I’m planning on taking pictures of everything for the website, and then finishing up my descriptions of each item. I probably should not have packed all the tedious things into 2 days, but that’s the way I planned it, and now it just has to get done.

Tomorrow night I’m packing bags, and Friday, we’re headed to Knut’s race. I’ll be blogging from there, I hope, and promise many good pictures of Knut in his professional looking racing suit, with bibs and all. (Did I mention that he was skiing at a lodge an hour or two from here a few days ago, and some Bengali guy was there and asked if Knut was a professional? Totally made his day.)

So Knut is already talking about other races he wants to do both this year and next year, and I’m already thinking of what I want to stock the store with next month. I’m thinking more aprons (I have some awesome fabrics that I’m dying to cut into for this), and if my bamboo fleece gets in, several more fitted diapers. The bamboo fleece I had shrunk much more than I thought it would in the pre-wash and I didn’t get nearly as many diapers from it then I had planned for.

It’s been a struggle for Knut and I to put our hobbies aside and get work done, but it does happen from time to time. He’s almost done with framing up the new window in the kitchen, and I’m still holding on to some of the housework. It’s not all getting done, but at least some of it is. That’s kinda good, right? Lena still gets her bath, the floor still gets swept. Bills are getting paid and dishes get done. I’m still making meals too, so that’s good. My family is thankful for that.

OK…enough rambling and procrastinating. Time to finish the tedious work.