The Results

Well, obviously we made it.  Believe me, there is more than on Norsky here!

Knut realized about 4 hours into our drive that he forgot his energy pouches and water bottle and the hip pack he uses to carry extra wax.  So we had to make a stop at a ski shop, which in Birkie land on the day before the Birkie is like going to a jewelry store on Christmas Eve.  He got most of what he needed, but not as nice as the things that were left home.  During the race, however, his new water bottle froze, which his other one wouldn’t have.  I’m sure that carrying around a hunk of ice like that wasn’t fun, but he rationalized with me that it wasn’t any heavier than water!

So, it was a very chilly morning for the race.  Knut’s uncle was nice enough to drop Knut off at the starting line so I got to sleep in for the beginning of the race, and of course, checked out the yarn store here before heading to the finish line.  I cannot help it.

Solveig and I bundled up and it started to lightly snow by the time we got to the finish line.  I was worried that I had already missed him because he didn’t come for awhile, but he wasn’t at our meeting spot.  I couldn’t remember the bib edging color for his wave, but the lady next to me assured me that the wave we were seeing was mostly wave 2, and he was in wave 3.  I knew what he was wearing though, and since he does the classic version of skiing, I knew which lane he would be skiing in downtown. 

After waiting in the cold for about 20 minutes, I saw someone who was wearing the exact racing suit as Knut, and in the right lane, but he was an old man.  It couldn’t be him.  However, as the skier sped 3 feet in front of me as I was standing on the sidelines, my jaw dropped as I realized it was Knut.  So I snapped a picture quick.

Although, I don’t think you can see him in this picture.  He’s way past the finish on the left, but I think I’m the only one who sees him.  He had a navy top and gray pants.

Aaaaaand this is why I thought he was an old man:

He would drink the warm water they give at the checkpoints so fast that they would drip down his goatee and by the time the race was done, it was one big chunk of ice.  It didn’t take long to melt, and he had a couple bowls of soup before we headed out to lunch together.  For those curious, he was wearing his heart rate monitor for the race, and he supposedly burned just under 5000 calories during the race.

He made the 25th percentile this time, which was one goal of his.  He finished in 3 hours and 25 minutes, shaving 30 minutes off of last year’s race.  He was 13th in his age group and 177th overall.  He’s very pleased with his time.  So besides a few blisters and a very sore body, he’s feeling good.  Right now he and Solveig are snuggling on the couch.  She has fallen asleep, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tipped over any minute now…

Race Weekend

The skis are waxed and waiting.  
This weekend it’s time to see if all of Knut’s training has paid off.  This will be his second year doing the American Birkebeiner.  What’s the Birke?
The Race of the BirkebeinersAccording to the birkie website, the Birkebeiner race was created to: “honor and re-create a historic Norwegian event when in 1206, two warrior soldiers, called “Birkebeiners” because of the birch-bark leggings they wore, skied infant Prince Haakon to safety during the Norwegian civil war. Prince Haakon subsequently became King of Norway, and the Birkebeiner soldiers became a Norwegian symbol of courage, perseverance and character in the face of adversity.”
You can read the story in this children’s book. The author of the book was at the race last year so I got to talk with her and get her to sign a copy for the kids, which was fun.
Every year they have a couple of people who do the race dressed in 1200 AD garb and recreate the event alongside all of the modern skiers.  There’s an essay contest every year that determines who gets to do the official re-creation each year.  Last year was the first time the people who did the re-creation actually wore a real live baby during the entire distance.  All on handmade wooden skis too! 
It’s a 54km (34mi) cross country ski race.  Well, it’s not just a race.  It’s the largest cross country ski marathon in North America with something like 11,000 skiers this year.   All I know is that they had to close registration months ago.  It’s a huge event!
Last year, since it was Knut’s first time he was placed in the 8th wave starting, which is the last wave in the classic category.  With over 10,000 skiers, you’re assigned a wave of course!  His goal last year was to finish the race in 4-5 hours.  He finished in 3 hours and 58 minutes.  That time got him a spot in wave 3 this year.
Since he’s in a faster wave this year, he said he most likely won’t spend nearly as much time waiting at the bottom of hills for slower skiers in front of him to get to the top.  He’ll have people at his skiing level to “chase down” during the race.  As he’s been checking the daily trail reports of the Birkie trail, and it’s predicted to be very fast on the snow this year, he’s aiming for a 3 hour race this year.  We’ll see if the snow conditions and a different wave can shave a whole hour off of last year’s time.
He says that if he earns a spot into the elite wave 1 next year, he’ll do the race in the classic category one more year.  Otherwise he’ll do the race in the skating style category next year.
One of these years maybe we’ll take the kids to do their own race in the “Prince Haakon” (children’s version of the race).  For now, though, only Lena and Solveig are coming with and we’re calling it our getaway.  Knut’s aunt and uncle have a very dog friendly cabin near the race that we get to stay at.  Lena had a great time at the cabin last year.  Solveig is still too young for me to leave her, so she and I will be greeting Knut at the finish line.

The Babies

 When did my little Elias get so big?  This little boy likes his boots on all. the. time.  We normally don’t wear shoes in the house.  However, Elias doesn’t function well without these boots to stomp around in.  It’s the only thing that calms him down with the big kids go out to play and he can’t go because he needs more of a watchful eye outside.  His speech is getting more refined every day, and he’s adding more words more often now.  We knew it would only be a matter of time before he realized that using actual words is important.  He still prefers to explain life to us through sound effects, though.

 This baby of ours is so so close to rolling over.  We haven’t spent a lot of time getting her to do it, and I’m sure if she were our firstborn and we didn’t worry about her getting trampled by 3 kids and a dog, and had more time to be on the floor with her that she may have it by now.  I cannot begin to tell you how pleasant this little girl’s personality is.  She flashes that dimple at us whenever we make eye contact, so pretty much all the time.  Although no one can get smiles and excitement from her as well as Elias.  She loves it when his face gets right up to hers and they talk.  This, of course, needs constant watching as he loves her to the point of smothering. 

She gets me in trouble because often I have to get some chore done.  If I’m working on something and happen to make eye contact with her, I’m completely drawn in and have to stare and coo back at her.  Once our eyes are locked I’m a goner.  She coos and squeals at me, and flails her arms and legs in excitement.  I’m spending way too much time having little baby conversations with her, and not nearly enough time getting the laundry folded.  Then again, maybe I have it just right.  I haven’t decided yet.

Yarn Along

I’m participating once again at the Yarn Along over at Small Things.  I love to knit.  I love to read.  I love to find other people who love to knit and read as well.  Ironically, several of the people over there are homeschooling moms as well.  Who knew?  At any rate, I’ve enjoyed getting to know them and participating in this weekly party.

Well, let’s see.  I’ve worked hard on getting my Annie Dress pattern ready for release next week.  I finally settled on offering sizes from newborn to 24 mos, with bonus instructions for an 18″ doll dress.  It’s my first pattern, and I’m trying to be meticulous about proofing it.  I’ve been putting off the last bit (the boring part) of developing and selling a pattern.  Just like everything, I save the most unpleasant parts for last and drag my feet.  It’s the automatic PDF file distribution after payment that is giving me problems.  I’m not that computer savvy, and the whole time I’m working on proofing, installing alien looking script on websites, setting up descriptions and delivery systems I’m thinking to myself “I’d rather be knitting.”  
So of course, I pick up my needles and knit.  I’ve been working more on what I’m starting to call the “Jane Dress” pattern.  In fact, the bodice, after 3 tries, is the way I like it.  I nearly finished the entire skirt to it this last week, but ended up ripping back.  Honestly, if it were just for Solveig, I would have left it.  It wasn’t bad.  But if I’m putting my name on the design, I want it to be perfect.  So back to the waist I go.  I’m soooooo in love with how this is turning out.  In fact, if I were to play favorites, I like it better than the Annie Dress.  It’s taking longer because I’m making the prototype in size 18 months, instead of 3 months like other times.  I figured Solveig could wear it this next winter and spring.  
I’ve spoken with my sister, because I do intend on the pattern being ready before this winter and spring and I need a model.  Either of her twin girls would be the perfect size and we’re going to see them in a couple of weeks.  So my goal is to be ready for a photo shoot with this dress by the time we see them.  
I am still double checking my stitch count on one of the sizes in the Annie Dress and that’s what you also see in the picture with the “teaberry” colored yarn.  Honestly, I can’t wait to get that pattern done so I can focus on the Jane Dress.  Who am I kidding, though.  I’ll have another project started by then.

I’ve been reading snippets from 2 old friends, Jane Eyre and The Hidden Art of Homemaking.  I wrote about them here recently, and now that they’re out, I’m just sneaking in a quick tea with Jane, or some inspiration from Edith.  I just don’t have the heart to put the 2 old friends back on the bookshelf quite yet.