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Showing posts from June, 2014

Going and Doing, and Being Yourself

Ah, the weekend! All of the weekends (and weeks) that Adam's been gone or working make me appreciate when we get a weekend at home together. We made the most of it, visiting the zoo, trying a new restaurant (J Gumbo's is apparently a chain - and they have both gluten-free and vegan options!), going to church together, grilling out, going for a walk at the park (and sno-cones after because it was hot), and making up for the rarity of theatre movies (and the viewing restrictions of 17" TV screen) by borrowing a projector for a 2-night watching of The Hobbit (part 1, extended). Adventures were had and it was wonderful.
Among other wonderfulnesses, we made a delightful discovery: Freschetta has a gluten-free pizza. It is a pet peeve of mine that gluten-free variations of common foods are, as a rule, smaller, more expensive, and in no way comparable to the original. This was the same size and price as their other pizzas, and while I can't remember the last nonGF Freschett…

Lost...

It's Five Minute Friday! An internet-wide flashmob of bloggers, joining together to write for five minutes flat (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo, then linking up and sharing a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!

I never fitted into cliques well - every girl who was forced by some more thoughtful parent to "befriend" me soon abandoned her polite facade when it became apparent that I wasn't going to conform to whatever commonality her particular circle was bound by. Unhurt, I would find the outcasts who were forced to accept each other as they were. That's something I've always loved about knitters - the only thing a group of people can have in common is knitting (a range of ages, occupations, genders, cultures, religions, politics, and personal lifestyle preferences can be represented) and yet they still manage to have an enjoyable time together.
But somewhere along this journey, I…

Cropped

The weekly reckoning...
605. Knitting time in the car
606. A good ride with Brooklyn
607. A little birthday Bliss {cupcake!}
608. Getting to meet Carolyn at the Farmer's Market
609. and the spending a few hours walking around by myself
610. Adam's extreme sweetness in making a huge effort to organize a surprise party for me
611. Brooklyn not starting a riot in the UBC nursery (which she did last time)
612. Owning a vehicle with a bench seat - it's so nice to be able to sit next to Adam on drives!
613. The travel stop in Ozark that has every possible kind of candy and plays Casting Crowns
614. Sleeping on my own pillow (I forgot to take it with us over the weekend)
615. Whole Foods having all of the ingredients I needed to try a recipe from the cookbook Morgan gave me
616. Brooklyn not poisoning or injuring herself (despite her best efforts)
617. Meeting her new pediatrician while at the Air Force base for something else (but they needed a baby for a photoshoot)
618. Experi…

Sweet

Mommy fashion! Can I just say (not that I quite need them yet, but it won't be much longer...) that I really intensely dislike maternity clothes? Very little of them look like anything I would normally wear - but an exception to my dislike is Liz Lange maternity tank tops from Target. They're comfortable and not unattractive (to the extent that I just kept wearing the ones I had even after I had Brooklyn) and stretchy-all-over so they don't look like maternity/nursing wear. I've also been loving the skirt my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday - a slinky stretchy delight with a yoga-pant waistband, from The Mustache.

And the scarf. Let me tell you about that scarf. It's a nursing scarf from Itzy Ritzy, and when Terra Tots posted a photo of them I immediately wanted one - I love cute, soft scarves (they won't break like a necklace will if pulled on, and they can eke out a meager clothing selection when you get to the point of only having three shirts that sti…

Art in Her Life: Q&A with The Nester

It is with extreme excitement that I post this, a Q&A with Myquillyn Smith, aka The Nester. (Seriously. I've had her responses for several days, and I've nearly burst from waiting to publish this post.) While the questions came from myself and the members of the (in)courager community group that I'm privileged to co-lead, I believe that her responses can serve to inspire us all!

Before we begin, an introduction:
Myquillyn Smith, The Nester, is a full time home blogger and design school drop-out. Her last home (a rental) was featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Cottages & Bungalows, Ladies' Home Journal and in her #1 Best Selling Design philosphy book, The Nesting Place: It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. She and her husband and their three boys have moved 14 times in 18 years of marriage. They just bought a little fixer-upper on 12 acres. Myquillyn's favorite place to be is home and you can usually catch her there moving furniture. _______…

Write it Out

This week's gifts...
586. Coaxing Brooklyn into sitting reasonably still so I could take pictures of her
587. An afternoon at the zoo with Adam's parents
588. Brooklyn's bravery in facing the zoo, dinner out afterwards, and an hour stuck in traffic, all without a fuss
589. Someone's thoughtfulness in stepping outside of her culture and into mine, successfully
590. Everyone finding our apartment without any trouble
591. Going grocery-shopping and cake-fetching with Mum
592. Meeting nice new people at church
593. who remembered our names the next day!
594. Adam going to wash and fill up my car while I (and Brooklyn) took a much-needed three hour nap
595. That he had leave so we could have a 3 day weekend together
596. A 2pm doctor's appointment for Brooklyn so we didn't have to rush to get ready and drive to Fayetteville
597. A good check-up (she didn't even cry when they pricked her toe!)
598. Adam's extreme sweetness and sacrifice in taking care of me w…

Shindiggin'

Birthday party success! (I guess - everyone seemed to have an enjoyable time, and Brooklyn was a very brave little girl and managed not to be overwhelmed with all the goings-on, so I'm going to call it a success.)

Adam's parents came down on Friday, and took us to the zoo. We hadn't been yet - it's a really good (I say that as someone who has visited quite a few and has many fond childhood memories centered around zoos) and since they generously got us a membership, we plan on returning often!

Afterwards we took them to Big Orange, one of our favorite local places - they have great burgers, and get gluten-free buns from the local allergy-friendly bakery. We also learned something: tired babies are much more patient when sitting outside.

(Cake also from Dempsey Bakery, enjoyed by gluten-free and gluten-eaters alike!) She wasn't really sure what to think about having everyone sing to her, but she thought that blowing out the candle was hilarious (maybe next year she…

Messenger...

It's Five Minute Friday! An internet-wide blogging flashmob, writing for five minutes flat (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo, then linking up and sharing a little comment love. For more details, more posts, and/or to join in, head over here!

Messenger bags are my very favorite - I own several, one purchased and several of my own design. I like them because I am a Lugger of Stuff and even a large purse doesn't have the capacity I need (or the organization - messenger bags usually have dividers and pockets that girly-bags don't). When I arrive as a guest and the host shows me where I can put my bag, I politely decline - my knitting, a notebook, at least one book book, a snack, pens, my camera, my phone, my wallet, (a bunch of baby-related things, now) and sundry other items are all neatly packed into it, and I have no intention of letting it get out of reach. If I don't need something out of it, someone else may. Adam asked me at chur…

A Picture Worth 1000 Gifts

The weekly reckoning...
563. Fedoras for the days when my hair needs washed but Brooklyn isn't interested in napping
564. Adam shooing me out of the apartment after she was in bed to go write and drink coffee
565. and then wanting to sit on the couch and talk once I got back
566. Brooklyn only eating one corner off of her Goodnight, Gorilla board book before I caught her
567. The most extraordinary thunder I've ever heard
568. and the storm ending in time for us to run to the grocery store
569. Finding a Father's Day card that I bought at Shindig Paperie last year - I was sad because I won't be in Fayetteville before then, and neither of the paper shops here do specialized holiday cards
570. Finishing the quilt block I was piecing at the kitchen table before Brooklyn noticed what I was doing and came over to play with the foot pedal
571. That she didn't choke on the pull-string for the blinds while I was trapped on the balcony by a large striped stinging insect, wa…

A Noun [is a person, place, or thing]

Sometimes, something will come along that you didn't see coming --- something unexpected, yet wonderful in a way that makes it clear that it's definitely a God Thing.
It will be amazing, but also challenging --- sanctifying and reshaping your life in ways that you could never have imagined.
You will walk into the open arms of a new community and find wonderful new friends --- and maybe discover that some you thought were friends were really just acquaintances, as they quietly fade out of your life.
There will be adventures --- stay up late even though you still have to get up early the next morning, doing things you've never done before, finding a new joy in tasks previously considered mundane - adventures.
Your mind will be blown to bits --- and when you get it put back together again, you'll find that some pieces were lost and new ones were added, and the way you think and act and react and view the world and the people around you has completely changed.
What you can

Saving [Tasks] for a Rainy Day

Between stifling humid heat and sudden, sweeping storms, we stayed in for most of last week (except for necessity grocery runs - neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of night can keep us in when we run out of diapers and almond milk!)

But that's made it perfect weather for guiltless crafting. I got a quilt block to sew together from our church's "Piece Makers" ministry at the beginning of last month, and finally dragged my sewing machine out and spent 5 minutes doing the three straight seams the project required. I left the machine out, and did the two I got in exchange for turning in my completed one as soon as we got home from church. (Those took a bit longer, but only because I ran into user-generated technical difficulties - why on earth would they make the little cover over the bobbin clear if whatever you're sewing covers it up?!) I still wish they had something knitting-related...



 Brooklyn has been creating new games for herself of late, and one of her favor…

Art in Your Life: a challenge

When I'm creating, one of the places that I go for inspiration is... YouTube. The Piano Guys, Pentatonix, Lindsey Stirling... watching people who are passionate about what they're doing helps me in my passion for what I'm doing. I happened onto this one a few weeks ago, and was struck by the creative freedom of mind needed to even think up such a thing:

When you're ready to start creating, where is the first place that you go for supplies? First to your supply drawer or closet or room, then to the nearest specialty store? As a knitter, I head for the nearest yarn shop. If I'm doing a handlettering or calligraphy project, then I seek out a pen shop or an art supply store. Before buying something, I will usually initially try to use something that I already have - and sometimes it leads to creative breakthroughs that I might not have made if I'd just gone and gotten the "right" thing.
But what if we take that a step further - instead of just using thin…

Hands...

It's Five Minute Friday! An internet-wide flashmob of bloggers, writing for five minutes flat (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo, then linking up and sharing a little comment love. Head over here for more details, more posts, and to join in!

There's a hand I always reach for - when I'm walking and want to share the adventure, when I feel alone and need comfort, when I'm afraid and need a tether, when something is just too beautiful to express in words and just needs to be conveyed with a squeeze - and I'm comforted in knowing that when I reach for a hand, that hand will reach back. 

Those hands are strong - keeping me steady when I stumble over a root on a hiking trip, and holding me together when it feels like everything is falling apart. They're skilled - building, working, creating (ok, it's not entirely fair that I used a pic of him knitting because that is the only time he's done it, but I didn't have a good …

A Prayer

The weekly reckoning...
542. Quiet alone time (with coffee!) to get some blogging done
543. Watching Brooklyn experiment in order to create a perfect percussion instrument out of mixing bowls
544. and her simple delight at a large toy blueberry
545. An encouraging #fmfparty and an inspiring prompt
546. Gluten free pizza from US Pizza
547. and the way that Brooklyn charmed everyone while we were waiting by giving me kisses and smiling
548. Finally being able to photoshoot my current design - Adam took some amazing pictures, and Brooklyn modeled adorably!
549. A long drive - we both needed the time together after a rough night/morning
550. That Brooklyn likes vanilla extract (tired mama is willing to try crazy internet remedies, as long as they don't sound harmful!)
551. After over a month not, going to church all together as a family
552. An adventure to Conway in quest of a Dairy Queen, for spontaneous blizzards
553. Brooklyn deciding, quite of her own accord, that she only needs …

Somewhere to Go, Something to Say

Over the weekend, Brooklyn spontaneously decided (quite of her own accord) that water from a sippy cup is a fabulous thing, as is breakfast. I'm not sure what sparked the change, but I'm grateful for it because I was beginning to despair of her ever being interesting in solid food.

She's been looking at her books more thoughtfully of late (perhaps studying up for a birthday trip to the zoo?) She knows when they're upsidedown, because if she wants me to read to her she'll turn the book right way up, but she likes looking at them the other way. She also keeps up a pretty constant commentary - not sure if she's "reading" or just discussing it.

This afternoon we went to order her cake - she enjoys helping with errands (especially there, because the ladies like and recognize her, so they come to talk and admire... actually, that pretty much happens everywhere that we go with any consistency...) especially if there's something that she can carry. For t…