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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't been in town for the annual cookout at my parents' little country church for several years, but we were glad to make it to this one. It was nice to catch up with old friends, to watch Brooklyn run around in the grass, and see Tobin's delight at being handed around and made much of.

All together it was a nice weekend of visiting with friends and family (and local shop owners...) The reason for our visit was Adam's birthday, which wasn't until Tuesday, but we extended the celebration to the actual day with a spontaneous lunch date after my women's Bible study meeting that morning.

Today we reveled in the advent of fall, spending the morning peacefully at home and the afternoon venturing forth for cookies and a book to keep (instead of library books, which always have to be returned. I thought it was about time for a keeper). The highs are still in the 80s and 90s, but the cooler weather is coming --- I'm thinking Brooklyn's first pumpkin patch may be in order for the upcoming weekend...


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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…