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Showing posts from September, 2014

Words Matter

No Ordinary Days. I wrote it golden on the corner of a dark brown corkboard that's almost completely covered with mementos and photos of the daily moments that keep our life together from being "normal" (in the best of ways). There are markers of stand-out events, like going on a five mile hike but not getting started until 9pm, our attempt at a weekend away with Brooklyn that didn't happen as planned but brought us closer anyway, you testing your iced-over-roads driving skills because there was a one-day event that I wanted to go to... but there are also relics of more common events, like board game sprees, you making dinner, Brooklyn desperately wanting to be Big Enough to participate in whatever we're doing, walks and hikes and sipping tea in the evenings...

So many pictures and snippets of paper (and other mostly-flat things). But while a picture may be worth a thousand words, the words matter, too. Prayers spoken over us and by us as we pledged our futures t…


I am not much of a baby person. By "baby" I mean the sleepy inert beginning months that so many girls adore, envisioning snuggling a tiny animate doll and cooing over their cuteness while they sleep, and dressing them in itty-bitty outfits.
Except that the reality of spit-up, diaper malfunctions, and a child who is frustrated because the mind is willing but the motor control just isn't there (which was the case with Brooklyn) made that my least favorite point on the circle we're all a part of.
But as she begins to learn to walk and talk and practice social interaction, I applaud. She's becoming a Tiny Person - which is what I've been patiently waiting for. Each day she becomes more aware, more interactive, and more able to do.

Introverted by nature, I'm most comfortable and most familiar with first-person interaction - if I'm going to be drained by the presence of another human being, please let it be because we're actually doing something togeth…


It's Five Minute Friday! Bloggers joining together internet-wide to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate. then linking up and sharing a little comment love. For more posts, more info, and/or to join in, head here!

As I fall asleep each night, I create a to-do list for the following day. Not out of worry or concern, but so that I know what I'm aiming at when I get up. Each task affects the others... if I'm doing laundry, that determines what I'll wear that day. If we're going to the grocery store, I'll need to make a list while our breakfast cooks. If there isn't really anything that needs to be done, then we can sit at the table and read for awhile after we finish eating. And that's just in the first hour of the day.
Even if it's a small thing or a fun thing (I think we should go swing at the park before dinner tonight, since it's so lovely outside) I still like to have a goal - a reason to continu…

All That Glitters

This week’s gifts...
875. Having a quiet time after breakfast while Brooklyn practiced patience in her highchair
876. Outdoor blogging with a cup of tea
877. The Five Minute Friday prompt going perfectly with a post I’d already written in my head
878. Brooklyn practicing her social skills (waving, saying hi) and being extra-sweet today
879. Going to a card-making party at church and meeting some lovely ladies
880. and Adam using the time I was gone to do laundry, deep clean, and leave me a sweet note on the bathroom mirror
881. A morning adventure to the River Market with Adam and Brooklyn, and a successful photoshoot
882. Brooklyn’s increasing ability to sit patiently while everyone else finishes eating
883. Happening to be in Fayetteville at the same time as few cousins I hadn’t seen in awhile
884. A coffee date with Adam
885. Reading and discussing Scripture together, and walking at the park
886. Bible study at Kaitlin’s - a source of unexpected encouragement
887. A raspberry cafĂ© …

In the Quiet of the World

I've been rereading 7 this month, trying to write a few posts ahead for 31 Days in October (because the whole point of 7 is that it's a mutiny against excess, and worrying about trying to write a blog post every day while battling our spotty internet and attending to Brooklyn seems excessive to me), and I'm currently on the chapter about stress. It's gotten me thinking about Sabbath, and peace, and rest, and quiet.

(The square cube on top of my iced vanilla mocha is a handmade marshmallow - I savored nibbles between sips)
Part of what makes Autumn so appealing to me is its invitation to rest with walks outside and cups of tea and sitting socially around campfires. Inside and out alike become more congenial as warm sun lures you outside during the day and cool air makes blankets indoors a cozy evening prospect, and it feels like there's less noise in general.

It's also a knittier time of year - the concept of working with fuzzy fibers is more appealing, as is th…


It's Five Minute Friday! A weekly flashmob of bloggers gathering internet-wide to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then linking up and sharing a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!

If "hope is the thing with feathers," then my allotment flew South long ago. Because I've been trapped in the icy grip of a spiritual drift for some time - plodding numbly along, wondering why it felt like it was always Winter but never Christmas, alternating between trying to Do It Myself and crying out to God, admitting that I can't do anything on my own, and begging Him to either change my circumstances or give me the peace and strength to make it through them.
But neither seemed to happen. Whatever phase was wearing on my last nerve would pass, only to be replaced by something worse. I counted gifts. I prayed (desperately). I read my Bible when I could. I tried to make the best choice for…


The weekly reckoning...
854. Brooklyn bringing me the little piece that broke off of her toy wagon, instead of putting it in her mouth
855. Adam coming home early and taking her and the grocery list so that I could Practice Peace in solitude
856. A new issue of Mary Jane's Farm and a beautiful evening on which to enjoy it on the balcony
857. A mentally distracting song coming on the radio and derailing my train of worry-thought about Brooklyn's visit to the pediatrician
858. Sitting on the living room floor, playing Uno with Adam
859. Tea-drinking weather with delicious tea and pretty mugs to enjoy it with
860. Exploring the River Market district with Adam and Brooklyn
861. Her delight at holding his hand and walking with us
862. Discovering the perfect spot for a design photo shoot
863. Baby capybaras at the zoo - so cute!
864. A family dinner date at Big Orange, and a waitress who always stopped to talk to Brooklyn (but also kept an eye on us grownups)

865. Neither Brooklyn n…

Cool Air and a Clear Head

The cycle of seasons continues to spin, and it's almost Autumn's turn. While I would love to celebrate that with camping, hiking, and sitting-by-a-fire, I'll content myself in this lifestage with walks at the park and hot tea on the balcony in the evenings.

We've been taking advantage of the decrease in temperature by opening our windows at night (three cheers for living on the second floor!) and doing some on-foot exploring that we didn't really have time for last Spring. It's such a blessing that Adam's current job allows for weekends off (except Drill once a month) without the worry of being called in at random.

Last weekend we took a few pieces of furniture back to Adam's parents in Fayetteville, one of which was an upholstered arm chair. It had been the landing place for a square pillow that accompanied our couch and the pillow became homeless in the chair's absence. Because pillow forms are expensive and even my mediocre sewing skills can han…


It's Five Minute Friday! A weekly internet flashmob, where bloggers gather to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more posts, more info, and or/to join in, head here!

Two days ago, I broke a sweat carrying Brooklyn from my car (parked in one of the closest spots) up the stairs to our apartment - even under the shelter of the building, it was hot. Yesterday, it rained all day and when I finally ventured forth I immediately went back in for jeans and a cardi. It felt like fall. I sat on the balcony with my coffee and marshmallow dream bar and an appropriate magazine that coincidentally arrived in the mail that afternoon and relished the fact that it was almost too cool to be sitting outside.
I really try not to complain about specific seasons... I recognize that each one serves a purpose and all together they're a wonderful reminder of a God who keeps His promises. But that doesn&…


This week's gifts... 836. Not setting the microwave on fire (there is a limit to how long a damp dishtowel can endure radiation before it starts to burn) 837. and a wasp (or other stinging insect) not flying in the door I left open so that the smoke and fumes could clear 838. A surprise date night in with my Bear (pizza and Moms' Night Out - he chose the movie!) 839. Enough time to run errands and pack before Adam got home from his work event 840. Stocking up on supplies before visiting Fayetteville, instead of the other way around - Little Rock is starting to be home 841. Brooklyn's contentedness for the entire drive, despite only sleeping for 30 minutes of it

842. Being able to witness a knitter, coworker, friend, and now-sister's baptism 843. and the entire pew full of people that she invited
In the past, I have done evangelism very, very wrong - I've been arrogant and superior and hypocritical and probably the target of those "Lord, protect me from your fol…

The Road Goes Ever On

Brooklyn began a thorough exploration of walking last week - it's magical. You can carry things and move at the same time, and sometimes she's so excited by the wonder of it that she just has to sit down for a minute. She spent an entire day mastering Going Around Corners - for a few hours, she could only go the direction that she was facing so when she came to a turn she would walk sideways. It was absolutely adorable. Unfortunately, she walks silently (when she crawls she makes a loud galloping noise with her hands on the floor) which means that she can vanish quickly and get into things before I know what she's up to.

It's also made taking her picture a bit harder - she doesn't want to be made to sit still for a picture, and if she's on her feet then she's going to be moving (unless you switch to video, in which case she will instantly sit down). We managed to get a few moments of peaceful-ish sitting over the weekend so my mom-in-law could have some pi…


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

There's a lot of shouting in our lives. Not so much that we're the ones shouting (although, that's sometimes true...) but more that everything is shouting at us. The protest of a child who doesn't think that breakfast is happening quickly enough, the emails and phone calls and deadlines of work or school, the pinging alerts of social media, the nagging of a long to-do list... each voice rises above the others in turn, competing for our attention, conspiring together to drown out the softer tones.
Sometimes it takes an involuntary fast to quiet our lives enough to listen for the whispers - trying to get away from the noise can feel like trying to get far enough away from light pollution …

Peace Maker

The weekly reckoning...
815. Living on the back of the building - more privacy, a prettier view, morning sun in the winter, and evening shade with a breeze in the summer
816. Adam grilling dinner - better than any restaurant!
817. A wild, spontaneous race to the thermostat after we forgot to turn it down before bed
818. Sitting on the balcony reading while a storm blows in, bringing with it cooler air and the scent of charcoal
819. Picnicking at the park - Brooklyn enjoyed swinging and trying to climb up the slide
820. Leftover steak, cut up and used as quiche filling
821. Church with Adam and lunch together afterwards
822. He and our downstairs neighbor/friend going on a grocery run while Brooklyn and their daughter napped
823. An epiphany for making some inadequately sauced pasta not only edible, but better
824. A Federal holiday that extended Adam's time off
825. Brooklyn's utter delight at touching a snake and holding a feather at the zoo
826. Gluten-free "marshmallow…

Routine, Refreshed

It was wonderful having Adam home, but he's back at work now and my week is utterly messed up. All morning I've thought it was Monday - and I'll probably keep being off until next weekend, which will hopefully get me back on track. Except we're going to Fayetteville for the weekend... no, it'll probably still help... I hope.

We did have a grand time with him here, though. We picnicked at the park one day with treats from Dempsey Bakery and drinks from Mugs (which we just discovered, thanks to Adam having a meeting there) and Brooklyn discovered the delight of climbing up slides, and then sliding back down them. Also, swinging is fabulously fun when someone gets your nose or your knee or your toes every time you swing toward them. ;)

Besides doing some other cooking, Adam also grilled one night - which is always a treat. It's nice when he's home in time to do something like that, that's a little more involved and takes more time, and still getting to ha…

First Things First: August/September 2014

I know people who post their goals at regular intervals, and others who write about what they learned each month... this is kind of a combination of the two. It's a monthly Sabbath of sorts, reevaluating current goals and projects in light of building God's kingdom instead of my own - and for the sake of consistency and thoroughness, I'm dividing it into three categories:

Have you ever noticed the way that our lives tend to fall into patterns - like, always getting bad news on Saturdays or the way God-moments collect on Tuesdays? Something that's been a consistent cycle in my life for at least the past 5 years is that August is terrible. That's actually something that I tend to forget from year to year and then remember about two-thirds of the way through the month, as I look back over the past few weeks and wonder why on earth everything suddenly fell apart at once.
Maybe it's a shift in my own perspective (possibly sparked by counting gifts, beginning to …