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Showing posts from July, 2014

Finish - and Begin Again

It's Five Minute Friday! A weekly gathering of bloggers, all 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. She's no longer hosting FMF after this week, but it will be picked up and lovingly carried on by Kate. For more details, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!
As a side note, this is last week's prompt combined with this week's prompt, because I was otherwise occupied over last weekend.

[This picture is from my summer with Vogue Knitting. I had designed a blanket for Knit Simpleand it ate my September. I locked myself in my room to work on it (because my roommate had cats that shed as all cats do) and when I came out at the beginning of August she was so happy to see me that she took me to dinner and then lent me an enormous tote bag so I could get it safely to work, by way of the crowded subway.]
I am a dogged Finisher of Things (my mother…

A Friend Indeed

This week's gifts...
710. Roadtripping to Hot Springs for an Army-funded "marriage weekend"
711. Chick-Fil-A's updated grilled chicken - an extreme improvement! (still not as good as the original stuff, but that's sadly not gluten free)
712. Gelato and an evening walk with my Bear before we picked Brooklyn up from childcare
713. A 2am drive down a winding country road - stars!
714. Adam's sacrifice in taking Brooklyn for a walk so that I could get a few more hours of sleep
715. and his supportiveness (even through exhaustion) and tireless devotion to lifting me up after I was reduced to a puddle of tears by some audible comments on my inadequacies as a wife and mother from a neighboring table at dinner
716. Church together as a family
717. Confession, forgiveness, healing, redemption, and a renewed bond
718. Adam pausing in his cooking process to measure ingredients so I could share one of his amazing recipes
719. An entire day at home with Brooklyn - she com…

Reclaiming the Note

Even an ordinary handwritten note is better than the best email, and a good handwritten note on the right occasion is a work of art. It says to the reader, "You matter to me, I thought of you, I took trouble on your behalf, here's who I am, I've been thinking of you in the days since this was mailed, I want to share with you the textures and colors and images that I like." And that's just the unspoken messages, the pleasure anticipated before before the reader even reads the words that the pen and paper have inspired you to choose. The reader can reread what you sent and think good thoughts about you. A note can deliver all this for less than a dollar's worth of materials and ten minutes of your time.  [from The Art of the Handwritten Note: a guide to reclaiming civilized communication by Margaret Shepherd]
Yes, yes, yes! I don't know why even I own this book - it's not so much something that I need to read, as something I'd like to give everyone I…

All's Well that Ends Well

We had an adventure over the weekend. It didn't go as planned (one of us had a mental ideal - the other was cautiously optimistic) but it was lovely nonetheless.
On Friday afternoon, we packed our bags and drove the hour to Hot Springs for a military marriage retreat. Brooklyn promptly won the heart of one of the childcare girls, who made it her especial task to carry her around and look after her, the first session was enlightening, and they let out early so we were able to go for a walk through the old, pretty part of the town and get gelato (to be eaten by the flickering light of fireflies on a park bench) before we picked up Brooklyn. We tucked her into her pack 'n' play with her fuzziest pink blanket for comfort and snuggled up under a down comforter...

...for two hours, until Brooklyn woke us (and everyone else in our wing, and probably the floors above and below us) with bloodcurdling, hysterical screams. She wasn't hungry, she wasn't wet, she didn't se…

The End It Project: let's all be brave [an update!]

Inspired by the End It Movement to live a life free of slave-made goods, the End It Project is my journey toward that goal. I try to post an update on the 27th of each month to commemorate the 27 million slaves in our world today - but if we join together in small acts of bravery, I'm confident we can lower that number! _______________
I acquired a copy of Annie Downs' new book Let's All Be Brave last week (more on that later). It's sort of an expansion of the "saying yes in your mess" concept that Kristen Welch introduced in her book Rhinestone Jesus (which I studiously did not read last month, even though I said I was going to) - but apparently it's a concept that I need to think about (drat). As I was reading it, I was feeling somewhat convicted about not having written an End It post last month - I was busy, research takes more time than I have, no one responds to my emails, is anyone even reading these posts? I bet nobody actually cares about this be…

Acting on the Faith I Didn't Feel

The weekly reckoning...
686. Living in an apartment - when the dishwasher breaks, I can call the office with a maintenance request and then go run errands while they fix it (that's more than worth not being to paint the walls whatever color I want)
687. Tiny Brie - exactly the amount (and the price) that I needed!
688. That every day ends
689. Brooklyn's chair collection - everywhere we go, she wants to see the chair backs. Because they're all different (oh, to be so easily amused!)
690. Getting a delayed response from a company on their supply ethics - delayed, not because they were stalling, but because they were researching
691. Sitting in Adam's chair while Brooklyn brought me books to read together
692. The yarn I needed being half-off (those particular colors have been discontinued - but they're still pretty!)
693. Getting to try a new Mexican restaurant (with gluten-free options!) with Adam, and both thoroughly enjoying it
694. Three handwritten letters in t…

Sharing the Beauty [a blog hop]

Before Rebekah contacted me last week asking if I wanted to be a part of a blog hop, I had never even heard of one (yes, I am a terrible networker when it comes to blogging). But, even though I just met her a few months ago (and we've never met in real life) I already know that she's full of grace and kindly willing to explain things. So she 'splained and I agreed (I did not know she was going to expand on the bio I sent and call me "a beautiful, authentic spirit" - blush - but that's just the sweet sort of person that she is).
So it seems that at times this wonderful online community will get together to answer a few questions in common with each other, and spread some love about other bloggers. Sharing the beauty - what's not to love about that? I'm glad that Rebekah invited me to join in - you should definitely check out Three Bees in a Blue Bonnet for thoughtful posts on finding joy and grace in life's deserts (also, she just kicked off a new…

Graceful Arts

Remember when I introduced Jamberry Nail Wraps a few weeks ago? They appreciated the write-up, and sent me a couple of sheets of wraps to try, so I've been able to test them out for myself. The application process was fiddly but not difficult, and I had the hang of it by the end. I really liked that the backing is clear, and the wraps are thin enough to cut with regular scissors, so I could trim them to fit the nails that were weird in-between sizes. I do think that if I continue wearing them regularly, it would be worth investing in the little heater - the hairdryer (although definitely possible) was pretty awkward.

That was a week ago. I've spent the past 7 days doing what I normally do, and they've definitely held up better than polish would have. Even when I've turned the edges up by prying up at something (like the superglued circle of paper on top of a spice jar) I've been able to reheat and reseal them without apparent consequence. The rave reviews that oth…

Bloom...

It's Five Minute Friday! An internet-wide flashmob of bloggers, all getting together to write on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo, then linking up and sharing a little comment love. Head here for more info, more posts, and/or to join in!

A few miles away from our apartment complex, there is a small lake with a park and a trail around it. Brooklyn and I go walk there whenever the weather permits (not too hot, not too wet) because it's a lovely little thing and because it makes concentric loops so you can walk for as long as you feel like without being trapped by a certain distance.
At one point along the trail, there is a verdant overgrowth of wildflowers with two signs: Do not mow, and Do not pick the flowers. On the other side of the trail is the backside of a subdivision. The yards come right up to the trail's edge, and as we rounded the corner, I saw a big plastic bag full of bags hanging on the outside of a dear little picket fence. It initially confused me (som…

Putting a Stamp on Gratitude

Last week's gifts...
668. Outdoor seating for a lunchdate with Brooklyn - she was sufficiently distracted by all the nature and the line of people that I was able to eat
669. Naps all 'round
670. The toaster oven not catching on fire when I accidentally broiled the slice of quiche I was trying to reheat for lunch
671. Having two cars so that on the weekends that Adam works, Brooklyn and I can still go have adventures
672. Local ice cream with a reasonable sense of portion (and corresponding price - seriously, all I really want is the kiddie scoop!)
673. The nice upcycled vintage jewelry vendor who held Brooklyn's fingers and walked around with her so I could take pictures
674. A church that has two identical services, one after the other, so that we can go whenever Brooklyn wakes up and we get ready (that meant the early service this week)
675. A Farmer's Market. It was refreshing - and even though we didn't spend long there (too hot!), we both really enjoyed it
67…

Create and Cultivate

Adam's been extra-busy with work this past week (by "extra-busy" I mean that Brooklyn hasn't seen him at all because he's been getting home between 8 and 11 every night and since it was Drill he worked over the weekend). We did get to spend one evening playing a few hands of Bananagrams - otherwise, we've pretty much gone straight to bed.

That is not my favorite arrangement (it's worse than him being gone - at least that way, we both prioritize spending at least 15 minutes each evening talking) but it can't be helped. Brooklyn and I decided to seize the opportunity for a three-part adventure, photographing another South Main Street location.


No, The Root wasn't our spot, but it was across the street from it so we tried it out on Friday. They serve fresh, local food, and get their regular bread from Boulevard (also across the street) and gluten-free buns and bread from Dempsey Bakery. I enjoyed my sandwich, and Brooklyn enjoyed the bit of cucumber…

Moonrise {a poem, because I am part elf}

The moon is full tonight. It's also a "super moon," so it's closer than usual. And since it was a cloudless night, I decided to sit out on our balcony and watch it rise. This is the sort of thing that comes of such pastimes...

Sun fades. Our building casts a shadow on the treeline, the sky darkened but still a greyish-blue. Hush falls.
I wait. An orange orb peeks coyly through the trees, her passage marked by passing branches. I watch.
Steady she climbs, her rising draws the naked eye - she will not harm the gazer, ladylike.
Night falls. Denizens arise - bats and owls fly, on silent wings awake.
Fireflies rise from the grass, each one mirrored by a rising star, they glow.
Circlet of light appears above the trees, jet trails rendered paths of pixie dust - moonglow.
I stand in anticipation as she nears the darkly silhouetted crest of trees.
Behold! She-who-shares-the-sky appears, her glory full yet gentle - beauty.
Jarflies drown the city sounds, it is only the Moon an…

Belong... {the post I didn't want to write}

It's Five Minute Friday! Usually the lovely Lisa-Jo posts a prompt that starts a blogging flashmob, everyone writing for 5 minutes (no stopping, no editing), then linking up and sharing a little comment love. She's offline this week, so we're gathering over at Crystal's place. Head here for more info, more posts, and/or to join in!
An aside - this took a bit longer than five minutes to write, but it's something I've felt led to share for some time. I finally grudgingly told God that if it worked with tonight's FMF prompt, then I would post it. Note to self: don't test God.

God has been prodding me for some time to come out with a piece of my past, to share my story so that He can be glorified and others encouraged, but I’ve been pushing back in fear and telling Him that applying the perspective I gained is surely enough, that I’ll just drop hints here and there and the people who need my story will catch on and ask, saving me the mess of everyone else kno…