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Beyond All Mountains Steep

1403. Adam helping me run errands in the rain - dropping me off at the door and staying the truck with Brooklyn and Tobin so I could just run in
1404. The bedtime yoga routine I found in a magazine
1405. Tobin sleeping til a semi-reasonable time (since he went to bed so early...)
1406. Midday morale from Adam, in the form of a hug and a cupcake
1407. Getting all of Brooklyn's clothes organized
1408. Taking a bath while Brooklyn and Tobin napped
1409. Erranding before the rain really started
1410. Spontaneous tea with Heath and Kristin
1411. Watching a movie in its entirety while putting away laundry
1412. Groceries and chai before church, so we didn't have to go after
1413. A walk at the park, just-us-three
1414. Brooklyn giving Adam a kiss goodnight, after putting her toys away with only verbal prompting
1415. 15 minutes of solitude in the sun on the back porch
1416. A snail mail letter that I had totally forgotten about (after I sent my last one, some part of my sleep-deprived brain thought it was over)
1417. My first pair of Fair Trade Friday earrings, from the Refugee Project
1418. Noticing that Brooklyn had messed up the timer in time to rescue the muffins
1419. It being almost (but not quite) too warm to walk at the park - we took a swinging break midway to cool off
1420. Journaling on the balcony with a cup of tea
1421. Salvaging the stained cushion of a chair (with some sale fabric and a roll of ribbon) rather than buying a new one or just living with the stains
1422. A tiny box of morale, brought to the door by the postman
1423. Tobin sleeping a 9 hour stretch, during a time when I could also sleep
1424. Adam home in time to help get everyone ready to go
1425. New Community

1426. Tobin's 2 month check-up going well - he's more than doubled his birthweight!
1427. Inexpensive flip flops for Brooklyn - she needed a pair of sandals, and she was between sizes on her regular shoes
1428. Finding a double stroller that should work for a long time
1429. A spontaneous drive to Dallas
1430. Relatives who invite us to stay with them, even on just a few hours' notice
1431. Good conversation and lots of knitting time
1432. My cousins happily entertaining/wearing Brooklyn out at the mall
1433. Safe arrival home
1434. Taking a shower and testing a good-smelling new hair treatment
1435. Adam making me breakfast, since Brooklyn had the last muffin for hers
1436. A solitary trip to Whole Foods
1437. The new carton of eggs not smashing all over the floor when Brooklyn pulled it off the counter
1438. Getting sufficiently caught up on rest that a one hour nap was refreshing, instead of demoralizing 
1439. Adam picking up the pictures I forgot about while I was running errands earlier 
1440. Two working vehicles, so he can drive mine to work while his is in the shop for A/C repairs 
1441. Finishing the grey yarn and starting the green on my current project
1442. Our friend/downstairs neighbor going by Dempsey Bakery and getting us cookies
1443. Getting the back porch cleaned and tidied (and not being wasp-stung in the process)
1444. Writing letters on the balcony in the sun
1445. Surprise notes in the mail (as well as Brooklyn's "sleepy doggie" that we accidentally left in Texas and my aunt sent to us)
1446. A three mile walk to Big Dam Bridge all-four-together

Sometimes I count gifts because it's wonderful - and sometimes I count them to remind myself that all is a gift, even when it doesn't feel like it. The past few weeks have been the latter. Some pretty awesome things have happened, but everything's been shrouded in a dreary sort of fog that deadens the joys and amplifies the negative... but I still count on. Because even when I'm in darkness buried deep (whether that darkness be figurative or literal), I cling to the reminder that above all shadows rides the sun, and stars forever dwell. The sun will rise again - and because the Son has risen (the greatest gift of all!), I already know how the Story ends; that Good will triumph and Darkness will be banished for eternity.


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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…