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Hello, Spring

Brooklyn's been experimenting with social interactions this week - saying "hi!" to herself in the mirror, giving kisses (complete with "mwah!"), waving a palm branch in (sort of) time with the music during worship on Sunday (to the utter delight of a family sitting behind us), perfecting the crinkled nose to accompany the stuck-out tongue in order to achieve optimal cuteness...

She's also been airing her opinions more - more frequently, and more loudly. "What's in this drawer? I'm going to pull everything out and look at it. Mummy, will you put these shoes on me? What do you mean, They're too small?"

"Daddy, you may touch the shapes, but you cannot stack the shapes or knock them together. If you stack them, I will come from across the room as fast as I can to topple them, and if you knock them together, I'll just have to take them away from you."

She also confirmed that she knows what no means, by dissolving into dramatic tears and sobs when told not to put something in her mouth. Or not to touch the fan. Or to leave the laundry in the laundry basket. And it's not intervention (taking the thing, moving her away from the fan, moving the laundry basket) that causes the melt-down --- it's the word itself. She stops, like she knows she needs to but desperately doesn't want to, and then cries. I can certainly empathize with that!

On the nice days this past week (as opposed to the cold, rainy ones), we walked. She gets excited when I get the stroller out of the car, and she was very pleased to be allowed to carry a pinecone on our last adventure. And she voluntarily did with it as you should do with Nature: observed it carefully for a little while, then returned it to its natural habitat. That was a lesson I never got as a kid - I'd return from walks and hikes having filled everyone's pockets with found treasures.

We're planning a four-day weekend in Fayetteville, and I'm looking forward to reintroducing her to the Farmer's Market (since the last time we went she was a wee little thing and wasn't paying a whole lot of attention), and the chance for the three of us (because Adam managed to get off!) to see family - and to get to knit during the trip instead of having to drive. I'm in the depths of a tiny tunic for Brooklyn that I'm anxious to finish...

In eight more weeks, she'll be a whole year old! It's so amazing how much she's changed and developed in the past ten months, and even in just the past week.


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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…