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Weaving in Ends

It's hard to believe we've had this little guy for a whole week! He's already grown (back up to birthweight, as of his weight check Friday, and the newborn sized onesies aren't as baggy as they were at first) and he's spending more and more time "quietly alert" in an adorable way. He also passed both his newborn check-up and his weight check, so we don't have to go back until he's 2 months old (a refreshing change from Brooklyn's monthly weight checks).

We were able to spend the whole week all-four-together, resting. We all needed it - Tobin slept sweetly in someone's arms most of the time; Brooklyn loved spending time with Daddy, reading and playing and going on errandy adventures; Adam had a lower-stress environment than he would have at work, and enjoyed getting to actually bond with Tobin and be a part of Brooklyn's normal routine; and I liked spending that much consecutive time with Adam and having help with Brooklyn (and Tobin).

Brooklyn has gracefully risen to big sisterhood by maturing noticeably over the past week. She's stopped scattering toys everywhere, contentedly playing with a single thing for long periods of time. Her ability to bring things when prompted has dramatically improved. She's started saying "Daddy!" excitedly and "Mommy" in a sweet, loving tone, giving snuggles and nose boops. Her interest in Tobin is fairly low, although he did get one foot out of his blanket a few days ago and she gently tickled it for several minutes, with interjections of "Toes!"

Last week was refreshing, but Adam went back to work today so now we're finding a new normal. I'm also trying to finish up current projects so I can start the new year with a clean slate and a clear conscience. To that end, I got Tobin's room reorganized and arranged how I'd like (all that remains is art) and got up-to-date on holiday cards, birth announcements, and thank-you notes.

In November, I got a couple of quilt blocks from Piecemakers that have been weighing on my mind ever since. We all went to church yesterday, so I sat down Saturday night and pieced them so I could turn them in. They don't take long to do - but I think getting out/setting up/putting away the ironing board and sewing machine at least doubles the amount of time they do take (hence the delay. And it must be done while Brooklyn's asleep, otherwise she messes with the presser foot).

Mid-October, I ran out of one of my blues that I was knitting the sky with, so I had to put it on hold. But Mum brought the yarn I needed when they visited last week, and I'm attempting to finish it with the year... I have 3 days to do all of December (which isn't a terribly unreasonable goal). I can't wait to wear it! And once it's finished I can focus on the hat I'm making for Tobin (whose head is less than the 14" circumference of most baby hats) with some of the leftover blues.

Something that I've discovered about myself over this past year is that I do not connect well to words on a screen. Blog posts are fine, but Bible studies? no. If : Equip is great because I could watch the video but read out of the journaling Bible that Adam gave me for our first Valentine's Day and journal my thoughts by hand... and then the old iPhone I was using for it perished, and I discovered that having to be sitting at my desk put a halt to my momentum (I was doing them over breakfast with Brooklyn), and then the videos stopped playing and I couldn't figure out why (dratted Adobe updates). I also explored She Reads Truth, but I had gotten out of the journaling habit and usually had more that I wanted to take note of than the margin of my Bible would allow.

But they work with a handlettering artist to make gorgeous study packs for each of their studies - art prints of the memory verses, and a lovely journal laid out specifically for each study. When they announced that their January study was going to be through the book of John (which has been calling to me lately), I couldn't resist. I want to savor it, maybe take more than one day for each day's study, and hopefully reestablish the discipline of read-study-memorize (pretty paper is a motivator for me - also tea. I may need to include tea in the routine).

It's growing, it's growing! At a visible rate, on a daily basis!

This year has brought so much change, most of it unanticipated. At the beginning of the year, Adam and I chose a word together to focus on for the year (in the same fit of pessimism that kept me from writing myself a letter on New Year's Eve, I never blogged about it), but harmony did end up rising from discord. For 2015, we settled on grow - in grace, with each other, as a family, and however else it decides to manifest itself (harmony was funny that way - it would come up unexpectedly).

2014 is drawing to a close, but for once I'm not in a panic of last-minute finishing. I don't want the fresh start of a new year to be overshadowed by the stress of trying to End Things - because it's not the end of everything. It's turning the page and starting a new chapter.

On the blank page of the upcoming year, I hope you'll write (and find) an extension of the joy and peace this season is meant to bring!


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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…