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All is Calm, All is Bright

The weekly reckoning...
1150. Handwriting a blog post in a hot bath
1151. Sharing a fresh chocolate chip muffin with Brooklyn - the dairy freedom has begun!
1152. Noticing the stain on the scarf I wanted to wear the next day in time to wash it
1153. Adam's mom being able to come and stay with Brooklyn
1154. Peace - only from God
1155. Sprout's strong heartbeat and occasional kicks
1156. Tobin Henry's safe arrival
1157. Adam's support and encouragement, especially during the last hour when the epidural stopped working
1158. His mom scrubbing our bathtub, microwave, and toaster oven (seriously. who does that?!)
1159. Both passing our 24-hour check ups
1160. and being allowed to go home - 48 hours was a long time to be away from Brooklyn
1161. Her acceptance of Tobin, and her delight at returning to her normal routine
1162. Six hours of sleep (divided into two chunks), and Adam making me breakfast
1163. He and Brooklyn going on an adventure while Tobin and I napped
1164. Finding onesies small enough to fit tiny T
1165. Him passing his newborn check up
1166. Getting treats from Dempsey Bakery while we were out and nearby
1167. Brooklyn cutting two more teeth (it's been awhile)
1168. A visit from my parents
1169. Online ordering and curbside takeaway from Outback - that's a gluten free/dairy free meal that we didn't have to cook, and that Adam and Brooklyn could pick up without having to get out of the truck
1170. A Christmas with no "markers" - an excellent opportunity to reexamine what and why we celebrate, and what's important to us in terms of ritual and tradition

Friday night I made myself as comfortable as is possible when you're sitting on a hospital bed with needles and wires and straps and monitors tangling around you and asked Adam to hand me the notebook in my bag. I coaxed him into a round of the Dot Game, then starting jotting gifts as he sat in a chair nearby and waited. "That's some dedicated listing," he commented. "I feel like writing them down - that's going on the list," I replied.

So much about this past week (Tobin's arrival, in particular) could have been traumatic - but it wasn't. 
None of the many monitoring sessions and ultrasounds showed anything abnormal, other than his size. 
We had a scheduled inducement, so we were able to calmly pack and get ready (clean, finish up Christmas stuff, precook a little, find someone who could come and stay with Brooklyn...), then say goodbye to Brooklyn and head to the hospital, where they were expecting us (I was scheduled to be induced with Brooklyn but went into labor the night before. When we turned up at the hospital, they tried to get me to go home and come back at my appointment time). 
All of the doctors and nurses were amazing - observant and prepared, without being alarmist. 
I was left alone for a two hour nap after the epidural kicked in, and woken gently only when it became necessary - and then (by the grace of God) wrestled through when it malfunctioned and all the numbness wore off (except in my right leg...) - I have a deepened respect for you ladies who choose to go natural. 
Tobin was/is completely healthy, sans a few hours of low glucose which was corrected with less than an ounce of formula, and he went right back to nursing - he's also a much calmer, quieter babe than Brooklyn was (thus far). 
We didn't have to spend any extra time at the hospital, and so far everyone's adjusting beautifully to the new normal (that may possibly fall apart when Adam goes back to work next week, but we'll see). 
And I'm recovering well and feel almost back to normal (small babies ftw!), which is very much a blessing since we have not only Tobin but also Brooklyn to look after.

There were so many ways that that could have gone differently, and it would have been to God's glory if it had. I wasn't expecting a "perfect" outcome, and certainly didn't feel entitled to one - because often He chooses to shine out the brightest in our darker moments. But this year He chose to give us this gift, wrapped in a striped receiving blanket; a quiet Christmas at home, celebrating the birth of His Son while snuggling ours.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will trust in Him.
[Lamentations 3:22-24]

Won't you join us in counting (and recounting!) His mercies anew? Just grab a journal or notebook (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us each week to encourage each other by sharing all of the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts and if you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!

Check out these #NewEveryMorning hosts, as well, and don't forget to use the hashtag on Twitter so that we can find each other:
   Kayla [at] Renown and Crowned
   Kelsey [at] Faith Fun and the Fergusons

Sometimes the best gifts can't be wrapped - but they can be counted! Even though I'm past 1000, I plan to keep counting, to keep myself in a grateful mindset.


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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
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Graffiti for Humanity
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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?
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