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After trying to take the picture herself, I managed to distract Brooklyn this morning with her Taggie-bear. She's getting more interested in Things, and more capable of grabbing them - sometimes it's a bad combination. Especially around hair... and jewelry... and noses... and bags of Doritos in the grocery store...

She enjoys helping hold the book while we read, especially. Even if I give her a toy to hold, it usually gets flung across the room within a few minutes in favor of her helping keep the book from escaping. If imaginations can run wild, why not the books themselves? Perhaps a "page of prancing poetry" is more literal than Emily Dickinson thought...

But she's interested in the words, too - not just in gripping the pages. She'll sit for quite awhile and let you read to her - her books, with few words and many pictures, or whatever grown-up book we're reading (even if it's all words and no pictures). In any book, she's more interested in the words than the pictures, anyway.

 With that in mind, we've added "memorizing poetry" to the bathtime routine. I got a pretty reporter-style notebook from Shindig, and each week I'm copying a poem into it. We can prop it up on the edge of the tub and go over it while she has her nightly bath. And, when she's finished, she'll have her own hand-picked poetry collection. We began with Bilbo's Bath Song (Tolkien - can't beat Tolkien), and this week we've got Milton.

'Tis the season for Christmas knitting, and it's nice to know that others have begun theirs, as well. [On a side note, anyone that wants to bring me a caffeinated beverage at any time is welcome to, and, actually, if you knock on my door without one, I probably won't open it.] I keep thinking of gifts to knit... most recently added to the list are a couple of pairs of fingerless gloves for the two co-workers that we've befriended at a nearby gas station. I'll start those after I finished this cowl - which is about half-way complete.

I've also been practicing holiday hair (I want to get it cut... it's more than long enough to donate. But I keep forgetting to call and make an appointment.) I found a fun wire wrap at The Four-Legged Bird that wraps nicely around the base of a bun, and wrestles all of my fine, slick hairs into submission for a little longer than just a hair tie will. And it's pretty.

It's fun to witness the sense of wonder that Brooklyn still has - it's helping me rekindle mine. Reminding me to notice the moments of art and beauty that surround me --- to stop and enjoy the barista's skill in visual design before tasting the goodness of their handicraft - to admire the remarkable things some people can draw with Sharpies - to thank God for the watercolor array of changing leaves, as the mountainsides shift from green to gold to brown... because wonder is a gateway to thankfulness, and I could definitely use more of that in my life.


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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…