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This is day 27 in my 31 Days series on sustainable dwelling. For an introduction and more posts, head here!

Saturday evening, after Brooklyn and Tobin were safely tucked in, Adam and I did something that we've never done before: we went on a double date with a recently married couple that we're friends with. It was absolutely lovely - meeting at a local creperie and spending two very short hours talking and laughing and getting to know each other better. I love sharing things I love (tea, and local restaurants, and fun-filled evenings) with good people. I think it makes the experience so much richer, introvert though I am.

Tea and macarons at Alchemy, just off the Fayetteville Square, with Mum

I think that's part of why I write, and why I take pictures and post them on social media - the act of sharing. I scroll through my own Instagram feed - not to count "likes," but to remember the moments thus captured, a digital photo album of sorts, squared.

There are still pictures that I keep to myself - journal entries that are never published - even conversations that are preserved only in my often-faulty memory. I have one friend that I've never managed to get a picture with, because we're always so engrossed in the time that we're spending together that we forget to document it - and I try to be candid with my shots, not ruining a moment for the mere sake of capturing it, and taking pictures of Places and Things with the desire of raising awareness about a business or cause, not a desire of raising awareness about my own travels or material possessions.

Sometimes I slip my camera out at what might be considered a sacred moment (it helps that cameras keep getting smaller without an appreciable loss of quality, for my purposes...) but it's as much for the sake of my own memory as for someone else's. Shared joy, and joy held onto longer than my mind's eye can store it - honestly, I'm just grateful that social media has made it somehow acceptable to post photographs of anything and everything, especially the trivial, because it's what I've always taken pictures of anyway. The little things that bring me joy.

There are so many times when I step back - needing space to process, to think, to breathe - but sometimes I forget to step back in again. I try to keep myself going by myself, and that only lasts for so long (self-produced renewable energy isn't a Thing, as much as I might wish that it was sometimes). I need to be reminded that it's nice to be not-alone sometimes, preferably before I reach the point of self-inflicted loneliness - to scroll back through and see smiling faces and multiple drinks sitting on the same table, to see board games and movie tickets, and the benefit and necessity of community.

Beautiful dwelling is seeking community and sharing experiences - first and foremost in person, but also fostering relationships across broader spaces.


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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…