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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 can actually help with that, instead of just observing...) And she was offended by the icing, and positively refused to taste more than an initial bite.

There were lots and lots of pictures taken, and Brooklyn was (and still is) very excited about All The Things. I stashed about half of them to be rotated in once the other things lose their luster, but what was left out has been integrated into her Scattering routine, with great relish.

I got a new box of thank-you notes for the occasion (isn't the confetti cute? It's a great motivator, too), and I've been working my way through the little stack of envelopes I saved. I had a new idea this time - list gifts on the envelope of the card that came with them. Then I know who they're from, I can toss the envelope once the note is written thereby getting a wonderful sense of accomplishment, and if I lose one then it's only one and not a master list (not that I've done anything like ever...)

A slightly Calvin after-party family photo, but fairly accurate for us - we're none of us really the matching-outfits barefoot-on-the-beach type. I'm already looking forward to planning a party next year - even if there will be four of us to wrangle by that point!

I made an effort to embrace The Nester's motto of "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" this past weekend - it certainly helped keep my stress level down, and I think made the time more enjoyable for everyone involved. For more of her wisdom and inspiration, please check back on Friday!


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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…