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Plotting Plots

Brooklyn's been working on mastering the art of adorable plotting lately. Because, you know, if you're cute enough, you might get away with something (at least, that's the theory. It hasn't really worked yet.)

She knows what "no" means, and is amazingly responsive to it (that being dependent on me catching her before she gets into something, instead of after). Yesterday it occurred to her that if she has to stop what she's doing when I say no, then surely it must work the other way around. So she said, "Nah! Nah!" firmly as I put her down for a nap. I explained why naps are necessary, and she had one anyway. It was worth a shot.

While she still won't wave at people, she will clap - because the world is in need of a little more positive affirmation. Between clapping and smiling and sticking out her tongue, going shopping with her is a slow process - we continually have to stop so that people can talk to her. But they walk away happy, so her mission is accomplished.

These. Best board books ever. Each one is a revision of a classic - for example, Sense and Sensibility is opposites, using examples from the book. Alice in Wonderland is colors. Wuthering Heights is weather. And Jabberwocky is... Jabberwocky. Because that's one that you can't really improve upon, and doesn't need to be altered. They're very sturdy, and along with being a modified version of a longer story that I'll introduce Brooklyn to one day, they also have lovely illustrations. We sat down and read the whole stack through this morning.

I've been trying, with dubious success, to get her interested in solid food as something besides finger paint. We discovered puffs this week, and while she won't feed them to herself (she either feeds them to me, or hands one to me and opens her mouth like a little bird so that I can put it in), I discovered that putting one on the spoon with her food is a Good Thing. It's also getting her used to chewing - she still only has two teeth, but there are soft, squishable things, and at some point she's going to have to start feeding herself (preferably before she's three).

Spreading joy, and spreading anything that's on a reachable shelf all over the floor - Brooklyn's keeping herself (and me!) busy. :)

Any suggestions for solid foods that might tempt a tiny person?


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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…