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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 a canvas while thinking the weekend over. I wrote a journal-entry blog post that allowed me to set down events as they happened, not as they might (or might not - some of the stuff my subconscious was coming up with was pretty far out) have happened.

I was already a huge believer in journaling - it allows me to put things in a place where I can refresh my memory on them later, and compare the past to the present - but I hadn't fully grasped its importance to me for simply working through an event. Now I'll know to build in time during/after to process my thoughts and feelings in writing.

Beautiful dwelling is recognizing the systems that help you function, and prioritizing them.


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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…