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Art and Exploration

A week of exploration and conversation - Tobin has increased his amount of talking back when you talk to him, making sweet little noises in his throat and waving his hands excitedly.

He loves tummy time, and enjoys watching Brooklyn doing her thing. He desperately wants to join in - sometimes he attempts (by kicking vigorously) to get over to where she is, but he usually ends up going backwards, instead.

It must be hard to be surrounded by people who can move of their own volition, while you yourself are totally dependent on their whim as to when they'll help you move. Brooklyn has been exercising her ability to walk a lot of late, and is beginning to master stairs (she goes up them sideways, holding onto the railing and half-pulling herself up).

I got her an inexpensive set of paintbrushes and we've been "painting" the back porch with water in the afternoons. We're on the east side of the building, so after-nap the sun has moved to the other side of building but the pavement is warm enough that it dries quickly. We've been practicing numbers and letters (I paint, she identifies) and she's been perfecting her dots and stripes. By the end, it almost always devolves into just pouring water onto each other. I've been amazed at how freeing it is to paint something that will almost instantly disappear - not having to worry about messing something up or "wasting" paper actually produces better work, I'm finding.

It rained quite a bit last week, but we were able to go to the park a few times. Whenever we pass the swings, Brooklyn asks to stop and swing for awhile - it's a nice break for both of us, after she's been sitting in the stroller examining whatever bits of nature I've handed her to look at, and I've been pushing her up hill and down dale while wearing Tobin.

We're in the depths of a season of family dates, all-four-together, each of us attending to a little one and not spending much time looking into each other's eyes... of parking in the shade after a nap-inducing drive in order to Get Things Done... but it's such a delight to watch them growing and developing each into their own unique person.


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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…