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Twenty weeks - wow! Brooklyn's been making this face for awhile, but this is the first time I've managed to capture it (she usually makes it looking straight at the camera, then turns her head at the last second). It's a happy silly face that's usually followed by a giggle and sometimes an I-just-don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself wave of hands.

Her motor skills are improving on a daily basis, and when Terra Tots posted a picture of this I thought she would enjoy it. The beads shift and move, and I find it entertaining, at least. ;) We are so blessed to have parents and grandparents who focus on more necessary things like diapers and clothes, which allows me to carefully curate her toy collection, researching and questing and not feeling bad when I find something I think she'll like because we already have a huge basket full.

This is also for her, in a way. I resorted to Pinterest in an attempt to find something for Brooklyn to do with her hands while she's nursing besides pull my hair, and turned up this. I already had the fabric, and the 1" wooden balls are $3.99 for a package of 20 (plus, Mum had a 40% off coupon - yay!), and I only used 6 so that leaves enough of the balls to make two more necklaces. Even with my mediocre sewing skills it wasn't difficult, and I love how it turned out! I may dig up some more fabric and go ahead and make a couple more to have on hand - I know several ladies right now who are expecting, and they might make good gifts.

Adam's dad was moved to a rehab/physical therapy facility, after less than a week in the hospital (a definite God thing, especially since people don't usually survive the type of stroke that he had). Adam's been visiting every day, and he and Brooklyn spent some time on a mission of cheer (babies make everything better, right?) on Saturday while I met with some friends for a Bible study --- the prayers have been deeply appreciated. That's the only way to explain the extraordinary progress he's making!

In an attempt to end the Napping Wars (that is, 45 minutes of screaming and 20 minutes of sleeping. I doubt she even recoups the energy she spent protesting in that short a time), I'm cutting caffeine out of my diet for a week to see what happens. I wouldn't mind her not taking naps if she didn't need them - but she gets tired and cranky and starts rubbing her eyes and sucking her thumb around 11am and 3pm every day, and she's much happier when she actually does take a nap. If this doesn't work, I may talk to the ladies at Terra Tots to see if there's something I can do or some sort of tea I can drink, or if they've heard anything from anyone that might help. Because the way she fights it leaves me drained and needing a nap!

Despite her furious resistance to sleeping during the day (thankfully, she sleeps fairly well at night), I've gotten a surprising amount of knitting done. I am positively delighted with how Junco turned out - the baby alpaca yarn was wonderful to work with, and feels soft and warm around my neck, and there's enough of the yarn left to make another one as a Christmas gift (yarn bought at Handheld, so it counts as Local Christmas - and I count as a local artist/artisan, right?)

I also published Gem, a free PSP (Public Service Pattern). Every year around this time, I try to publish a few free patterns for giftable items, especially ones that use stash yarn. Christmas shouldn't be stressful, and I hope that this helps someone in some way. It at least helped me, providing cute packaging for some of the beautiful local jewelry I've collected as gifts (and it's stashed leftovers from previous designs, also purchased from Handheld.)

I'm not the only one thinking in a Christmassy direction: I walked onto the balcony a few days ago to find the house leader of the apartment next to us meticulously stringing lights around the railing. He also brightly told me that he was going to put out a tree, and we were welcome to contribute to the decoration of it if we so chose. His enthusiasm was adorable.

Despite the fact that I chose a jingle belled wreath for our front door in solidarity, I'm still clinging to autumn. It fell quickly - it seemed like one moment the big maple tree by our building was green, and the next it was an explosion of glowing reds. And, though I'm not a celebrant of Hallowe'en, there's still Thanksgiving to look forward to! The evenings are still warm enough to walk if you're dressed for it, boots and skirts are still a viable combination, and the mornings may be frosty but the afternoons are delicious. Autumn may have fallen, but it's not winter yet!


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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…