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Showing posts from September, 2015

31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling

Sustainable:able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed; involving methods that do not completely destroy or use up natural resources; able to last or continue for a long time. Dwelling: [noun] a shelter in which people may live; [verb] to remain for a time; to keep the attention directed; to speak or write insistently.
Tomorrow is October first, which means that it's time for the Write 31 Days challenge - to choose a topic and post about it every. single. day. for the month of October. Last year I did a mini-version of Jen Hatmaker's book 7 - this year I'm combining a few things that are near and dear to my heart: global fair trade and supporting local businesses (I believe that those two points are related). Coincidentally, it's also Fair Trade Awareness Month, which I did not know when I chose my topic.
So I hope you'll join me for a month of fair trade fashion and local love, of exploring new horizons and learning to see familiar places with ne…

In Short

Having mastered Sitting, Tobin is now working on his Climbing and Standing. Watching him makes me wonder if he has a mental goals list that he's checking off the steps of - ultimately leading, I suspect, to Walking.

He's so desperate to People with the rest of us. He watches Brooklyn and tries his best to imitate her - sometimes successfully, sometimes comically, and sometimes traumatically (for him, if it results in a bumped head, or for her, if he does manage to get ahold of something she thinks he shouldn't).

Adam was out of town for the weekend, so I hunted down a local pumpkin patch for we three to go to. It turned out that there's a lovely one just south of Little Rock that's also a Christmas tree farm. We fed goats and patted a donkey, they raced adorable little pigs, we trekked out to the pumpkin patch and chose a pumpkin (by hug - apparently, that's Brooklyn's parameter) and hauled it back in a wagon. It was a glorious day for it (yay, Fall!) and …


The weekly reckoning...
1970. Time to do laundry and pack while Adam worked in the morning, before leaving for Fayetteville in the afternoon
1971. The extended knitting time provided by a three hour car trip
1972. Good local coffee, with plenty of easy parking, that's open late (four requirements that not a single cafe in Little Rock meets)
1973. Brooklyn and Tobin's bravery during a longer-than-usual visit to Adam's parents'
1974. Errands and introvert-time for me and a car-nap for Tobin
1975. Visiting local businesses, and having a relationship with the owners that makes it "visiting" rather than "shopping"
1976. A rainy Sunday morning and an excellent church service
1977. Brooklyn eating marshmallows and watching the fire
1978. The annual cookout at my parents' church, and that we were able to go
1979. Tobin taking a good morning nap before our trip
1980. Lunch with Adam's family on our way out of town
1981. Relatively peaceful travels ho…

Joie de Vivre

Tobin has finally begun perfecting Sitting Up (a welcome development - he utterly refused up to this point), and with it has expressed a little more interest in food, which is also exciting. He's not super-excited about eating, but he at least accepts a few bites before fending them off with indignation and little karate-motions.

He got to show off for great/grandparents over a long weekend in Fayetteville. It had been awhile - the last time we visited, he couldn't even crawl and could be safely put down and walked away from. This time he industriously explored everything.

Brooklyn got to do some exploring, as well - swinging and sliding and chasing chickens. They outmaneuvered her but my Dad kindly captured one for her to pet. They're very sweet Buff Orpingtons - and she got to actually hear a rooster crow, which was initially startling but ultimately magical.

They also got to experience a campfire and in Brooklyn's case, marshmallows, for the first time. We haven…


The weekly reckoning...
1952. Morning adventures with Brooklyn and Tobin
1953. Sitting on a park bench and sharing a food truck breakfast
1954. Finding just what I was looking for for a housewarming basket, made by a local artist
1955. Brooklyn's excitement over going to church and seeing Rosie (a girl her age)
1956. Boot weather
1957. Knitting Ephesians
1958. Tobin taking the book out of his mouth after I told him it wasn't a mouth toy, and going to chew on something else
1959. Early morning overdue letter writing
1960. Brooklyn and Tobin playing together
1961. A lovely get-to-know-you meeting for The Gathering
1962. An awesome co-leader
1963. Encouragement and commendation
1964. New Community, and a church that values community and baptism and communion
1965. An uplifting meeting with a friend/mentor
1966. People wanting things I'd knitted
1967. Getting an outline written for my 31 Days topic
1968. Tiny squares of chocolate on a pretty plate
1969. Going to bed early



Knitting is an important ritual to me - it's not only a creative outlet, but also a way to make a gift for someone I care about, and to allow my hands to do repetitive work while my mind deals with other tangles. It's a beautiful journey - as long as I remember to keep it a journey, and not it become a destination.

I can always tell when one of my rituals (and I have many) is becoming unhealthy - I start to become anxious and irritable when I don't get it. That's when I know that I've started to rely on the thing itself to center me, instead of using it as a tool to bring me closer to God.

A friend read these verses over me yesterday, and they really aligned with my examination of rituals... The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and my foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army camp against me, my heart shall …

Sugar and Spice

Tobin's mobility took a sudden leap over the past few weeks - he still thinks that sitting up is completely pointless and refuses to even try, but his crawling speed has improved and he can confidently pull up and stand next to things. During church on Sunday, he repeatedly escaped to far corners of the room whenever he was put down momentarily.

Brooklyn has been Peopling adorably. She calls Mimi and Papa, and Cici and Papa Alan, and Aunt-Kaytie-Uncle-Robert-Hannah on her toy phone, helps me with Tobin (bringing fresh diapers, throwing the dirty ones away, trading him toys that he can't have for toys that he can...), and takes very good care of her doll - Brianna gets read to, buckled into Tobin's car seat, worn, put to bed, and carried around and shown things.

Between the stomach bug and the round of sniffles a week later, we've still managed quite a few adventures. Walks and Farmers Marketing and a visit from Adam's parents... We're soaking up the last bit o…


Last week's gifts...
1931. Parody poetry
1932. Tea - beautiful tea
1933. A kidless coffee date - an unexpected and very pleasant surprise!
1934. An enjoyable visit with Adam's parents
1935. Getting to share a restaurant we love with people we love
1936. Board games with more than two people
1937. Tobin blowing fierceberries
1938. Confirmation that I'm headed the right direction
1939. Encouragement to use my passion in a new way
1940. The chance to collaborate with other small business owners for refugee relief
1941. Left overs to eat and not having to leave the apartment for a whole day (it was a long long weekend)
1942. Moving the couch and discovering later that it's now in the Morning Sunny Spot
1943. A pause in the rain, long enough for errands
1944. The cool front that brought the rain
1945. Sale chocolate and a new magazine in the mail
1946. An inspiring and productive meeting at church
1947. Aligned naps, so that I had a good block of solitude in the middle of t…


A few weeks ago, I was in a wedding. It was beautiful, and I'm so glad that she chose to include me as a bridesmaid, and Adam even planned ahead and had a few extra days off afterwards for recovery time (which was brilliant thinking on his part).

I got quite a bit of sleep afterwards - naps, early bedtimes, convincing Tobin that we should go back to bed after his 5am feeding - but not a lot of rest. My dreams were surreal replays of the past few days' events - a kind of apocalyptic retelling of specific details. I was confused by the horror-esque tinge that tainted the memories, because I'd had an enjoyable time.

Then I noticed that after each dream had run its course, my mind would move on to another point. The only solitary time I had to process was while I was asleep. With that realization, I sprang into action. I used a few flowers from her bouquet (she divided her bouquet among the bridesmaids, giving each of a sweet speech on the significance of the flower) to paint…


The weekly reckoning...
1907. Mum coming to stay with Brooklyn so we didn't have to take her to a rehearsal/wedding
1908. Being able to give one of the bridesmaids a ride, and that she was on our way
1909. Tobin's patience with spending an afternoon with Adam, and his delight at hanging out at the rehearsal dinner
1910. Brooklyn waking up in time for us to see her before we left, since we got back after she went to bed
1911. Adam bravely entertaining Tobin with drives and hikes and adventures
1912. A beautiful, Gospel-centered wedding
1913. Not falling asleep in church (it was too good a sermon to miss)
1914. Afternoon naps for all (except Adam, who chose to clean the kitchen instead)
1915. Hearing the laughter in Adam's voice as he reads her bedtime stories
1916. Sleeping in and breakfast in bed
1917. A morning spent exploring the Heifer International headquarters
1918. Adam hearing Brooklyn laughing and coming to put her to bed back to bed at 2am - which is apparently wh…

Outgoing and Incoming

We had an eventful (and exhausting, but in a good way) long weekend. Tobin exercised lots of patience and sweet sociability, but spent a lot of time in a carseat or the Boba so he didn't really get to do much.

Adam had Thursday through Monday off, so we were able to take him with us on our weekly library adventure (with cookies afterwards). It was nice to share it with him, and since he was there I was able to look around a little more than I've been able to up to this point and rediscovered some childhood favorites (that I shamelessly checked out for my own enjoyment).

Friday and Saturday were wholly occupied with a rehearsal and a wedding. My Mum came down to stay with Brooklyn, while Adam and Tobin accompanied me to Hot Springs (about an hour away) since I'm the Food Source and all. They went for drives and hikes and had their own adventures while I hung out with 4 other bridesmaids and the adorable bride for two days. It was gloriously exhausting, and I am so happy fo…

Small Joys

Over the past year-ish, I've been beginning to own my introversion. Before, I just wrote myself off as socially awkward, but that's a narrow and not {always} accurate definition. The aspect of introversion that I've most fought is that of parenting and the idea that some of us need the ability to step away from the noise and just breathe occasionally. I at least recognized enough of myself in Brooklyn to grant her that ability (she practices peace every afternoon, more if circumstances call for it, spending time playing quietly alone that sometimes turns into a nap). Without her decompression time, she becomes a delicate and easily-triggered mess, and she knows it, sometimes actually asking to practice peace. The same thing happens to me, I'm just a little more emotionally mature than she is and generally manage to (unhealthily) internalize everything for awhile.

One place that I've found a lot of affirmation and validation is Quiet Revolution (glorious day, there…