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Going, Growing, Giving, Gratitude

Brooklyn is becoming a determined explorer, and I've finally given up on keeping her out of things. I moved things that are fragile or emotionally important, and now her favorite game is to deconstruct every shelf she can reach, then run-crawl laps in the kitchen with a box of playing cards (taped closed) while I reset everything (that way, she just gets into the same stuff again, instead of finding something new to get into).

Did I say the box of playing cards was taped closed? Yeah... they weren't like that originally. Until I got to play 52 Card Pickup while also trying to keep her from choking on a tiny plastic person (since I took the cards, she had to have something to play with. I am so unreasonable). After that I devised a baby-proofing system that wouldn't keep us from being to open the boxes when we want to, and it's worked great so far.

I've also been having to keep the bathroom doors closed, because she likes to go visit her little bathtub (we keep it in the main bathroom, propped up to drain against the spout) and try to weigh herself in our bathroom. Thankfully, she's not really interested in the toilet, but I'd still rather she didn't touch it, or the floor. Ew. She's about to turn me into a compulsive cleaner --- or, she would, if she didn't scream bloody murder at a volume that I'm sure half the building can hear every time I put her in the pack 'n' play so I can vacuum...

She has started being able to sit contentedly for awhile (that's 20 minutes, as opposed to her prior record of 2 minutes) and play with things. She'll "read" a book, or see what sounds things make when she hits them together, and the entire time she keeps up an animated monologue - I really wish I knew what she saying...

On Saturday we did a charity walk that started in War Memorial Stadium. She really liked the astroturf, and had a grand time walking up and down the little slope at the end of the end zone - so much fun was had, in fact, that she was completely worn out by the time the walk actually started and slept through it.

She did not sleep through the tornado the next day, though. I had just put her to bed and she was still chatting with the Sandman when the sirens started going off, so when I got her up and took her downstairs (we have friends who live below us, and called to invite us over) she thought it was a spectacular adventure. Sitting in the bathtub (with no water, and pillows, and a toy, and Mummy, and a friend, and a couple of funny dogs!) was also amazing, and she was very brave when the lights went out (thankfully - I think that an upset baby would not have improved the stress-level of the situation...)

With all of the damage that was done nearby, it is a tremendous blessing that we weren't affected. So the next day we went through all of her things and mine, looking for things to donate - since we had things to donate, and weren't trying to salvage our things from the wreckage. I tend to use things until they can't be used anymore, so the someone-like-me bag had to be supplemented with a trip to Wal*Mart (Brooklyn helped hold things, and we discussed why we were buying what we were buying), but so much generosity has been poured out on us for Brooklyn that it wasn't hard to fill a bag with unused and barely used baby things. She helped by either grabbing or completely ignoring things that I held out to her (as a determining method for keep or give), and then we had an adventure finding the drop-off point in Bryant (I had written down directions... and then left them on the counter :/ But we found it!) It will be so fun when she's old enough to really understand and participate in things like this...

It feels like she's grown and matured, just in the past week. I know she's grown - I don't have to bend over now in order for her to hold my fingers and walk. And in six weeks (six weeks?!) she'll be one... unbelievable!

How do you (or do you?) include your kid[s] in giving, volunteering and outreach?


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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…