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Baby, It's Cold Outside

Tobin has been practicing his smile a lot this past week, and occasionally chuckling in an adorable way. Sometimes it's a little hard to tell the different between a laugh and a fuss, but the laughs are becoming more frequent than the fussies (although, there are certainly still some fussy moments).

With all of the cold and ick, I was able to pretty much get his room together. There are still a few empty cork tiles, but at least they're up so it will be easy to add things as I find them.

I also finished his teddy bear! Brooklyn has one, also - I'd like to make one for each kid we have. I wasn't able to find three colors of washable yarn in the same weight that would work, but I did find a self-striping one that had 5 different colors, three of which worked. So I cut the yarn and changed colors manually, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. He's too little for it yet, but Brooklyn keeps getting it out of his toybox and kissing it.

She's such an adorable little person... She's started repeating new words back to us much more clearly (except for "pompoms" - she says "kickups" instead), and actually asked for lunch the other day. I don't know why, but she would much prefer to eat snacks. It took months to convince her that breakfast was a good thing, after I'd gotten her to start eating dinner, and I had settled for breakfast-snack-snack-dinner, so this was a pleasant surprise.

We've both gotten pretty stir-crazy. A friend at church suggested pompoms, so we ventured out one morning before it started snowing again to get some. They've been a big hit - she pokes them into jars and bottles, carries them around in a tiny toy teacup, drops them down the front of her onesie, and brings them to me to blow off the palm of my hand.

As Tobin gets more aware, it's getting harder to do things, but I did manage to send out Monthly Update Letters (a week late, but still) last week. I can't write with him in my lap anymore - my notes from a recent book study meeting are full of randomly placed flourishes from where he kicked my arm as I wrote. :)

And he does want to be held. He doesn't mind napping alone, but if you put him down while he's awake, you'll be met with extreme indignation. That comes with certain hazards (like him accidentally getting bopped on the head with a board book, or Brooklyn trying to feed him pompoms) but he still prefers to be in on the action.

There's more snow predicted for this week, but it looks like highs in the 60s next week - Spring is coming, with walks at the park and arbitrary adventures, and I can't wait!


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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…