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Branching Out

It's been a very 'venturesome week. We spent more time than usual out and about (mostly to stay out of the way of the maintenance guy), but on the whole it was good.

Tobin is starting to be able to sit up, if well propped - he likes it. And the last time I laid him on the Boppy pillow for tummy time, I came back from changing Brooklyn's diaper to find him several feet away from it, happily gnawing on one of her toys which he had clutched in his little fist. He digs his toes and knees into the carpet and shoves himself forward - or skootches along like an adorable, chubby inchworm.

Brooklyn has started "reading" books to herself - reciting the phrases that stand out to her, and singing along with her favorite bedtime toy (a stuffed dog that plays a few lullabies). She's also quite insistent that we count the stairs every time we go up or down, and sometimes just randomly counts things on her own (usually starting with 6 and going through 11 or 12 - if I start her at 1, she can generally hit all of them in order). The past few days, she's been wanting to sing the alphabet song, requesting "ACDC?" (Really now, who came up with an alphabet in which half of the letter names sound the same?)

She's such a big little girl - bent on trying to help with anything she can, and determinedly imitating us as best she can. She also loves having company - sometimes our door will shift from someone else closing theirs too hard, and she'll ask about Adam's brother (he stayed with us a few times), and she was excited about a pair of my sandals that she found that are like a pair that my mum has, until I told her that Mimi was in Fayetteville. A friend from Fayetteville came for a concert last week (Adam's Valentine gift to me - a pair of tickets and coordinating a friend to go with) and Brooklyn was highly interested in her. The morning after she left, Brooklyn went to check the bedroom, hopefully inquiring "Car'lyn?"

She stayed home with Adam, since the concert didn't start until 7 and wouldn't have been her idea of a good time anyway, but Tobin joined us, cozily tucked into a Boba carrier. We were right behind the sound board so the noise level was good, and he did amazingly - he watched Rend Collective over the edge of the Boba with his eyebrows raised (they were loud and decidedly Irish, and warranted observation), fell asleep during Tenth Avenue North (I'm saying they were both his and Brooklyn's first concert, since I was 7 months pregnant with her at one of their concerts and she has a noticeable preference for their music), and then he woke up mad during the quiet between bands. I walked him around in the lobby for Chris Tomlin's first few songs and then came back for the rest of it. It was great getting to spend some time with a friend I hadn't seen in awhile, and to be out late doing something fun - and Tobin's bravery through it all emboldened me to think that further adventures may be nearer in the future than I was originally thinking (also, figuring out how to let him nurse while in the Boba was very freeing).

He's continuing to grow at a ridiculous rate (at least, compared to Brooklyn - it's probably normal, but she's all I have to go off of, for experience) - at his four month wellness check this afternoon he had grown two inches in length and gained almost two pounds in the 5 weeks since our last visit (putting him at 13 pounds, nearing triple his birth weight). At this rate he'll pass Brooklyn, at least in weight (she's a slender little fairy-girl). As long as they're both happy and healthy, though, I'm not worried about them being different than each other.

We've got a fairly typical week ahead (as typical a week as we ever do...), with Walk for the Waiting to look forward to on Saturday (we haven't quite raised our goal amount, if you'd like to further the cause - three Arkansas-local adoption/fostering organizations). Hopefully we can spend some time at the park, maybe paint on the back porch a little... and approach every day as a corner around which some new adventure may be lurking.


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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…