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Four more weeks until he's one... Soon begins the yearly challenge of celebrating a birthday and Christmas, separately, but very close together - soon, but not just yet.

We've spent the past week fairly quietly, at home as much as possible - both because of cold, wet weather, and also so that some of us {coughmecough} could emotionally prepare for time spent around a lot of people in an environment outside of my control, also known as Thanksgiving. I've never really struggled with my own expectations - I'm not Pinterest-driven enough to torture my husband and kids with unrealistic visions of saccharine perfection - but sometimes I run afoul of other's expectations of me. I've been drinking tea and making space and reading up (Modern Mrs Darcy and Quiet Revolution have some helpful thoughts), to get ready.

I love my family. And I love Thanksgiving - the history behind it, the traditions and rituals and potential for reflection. It's very appealing. What's less appealing is the clash of dynamics, backgrounds, opinions, and beliefs that leaves me feeling like I'm the only person in the room who's different, as well as the only one who's trying to get along (an illusion created by hyper-analysis and over-observation).

But for now, we're relishing our warm sanctuary from the cold outdoors, finding new ways to stay busy (stacks of books, piano practice, teaching Brooklyn new songs to sing), and counting gifts. Soon I'll start on the pre-trip laundry and packing, but until then, I'll be grateful for the moment that I'm in.

2159. A jammy day, after a series of busy, errand-y ones
2160. A consecutive chunk of time spent reading and knitting - both restful and productive
2161. Quietly watching a quiet movie, together
2162. Upstairs vacuuming at 8am - I'd overslept my alarm and needed to be up
2163. A perfect knitting class
2164. Spending the afternoon/evening all together as a family
2165. Sweet Sunday school teachers
2166. An hour spent laying on the couch, reading, since I couldn't nap
2167. Community group leaders who are willing to arrange trustworthy childcare, despite not having kids in need of watching
2168. Encouraging words from someone whose commendation (especially in the commended area) means a lot to me
2169. Brooklyn "playing" the piano while Tobin accompanied on the maracas
2170. Space to be still at the end of a long, emotionally draining day


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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…