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The past year has flown by! But, somehow, we have a one year old and a two-and-a-half year old (who acts like a 5 year old sometimes).

Tobin was delighted by his birthday party - a houseful of people who all want to pay attention to him is his idea of a good time. He would have enjoyed getting into the frosting if I'd let him, but I'm not an adherent to the smash cake tradition, so he had a few tidy bites - and then got to destroy wrapping paper after, which I think made up for it. He got the concept surprisingly quickly.

A houseful of people is not Brooklyn's idea of a good time (my poor little fellow introvert), so she kept to the edges of the room, with occasional sallies to bring people cups of pretend tea. She was extremely brave the entire time, but afterwards anxious lest the house suddenly be filled again and she be pressured to give hugs. It's going to be interesting, balancing the two of them, as they get older.

She and I both need space (in the moment, and afterwards for processing) but Adam and Tobin require a lot more to be overstimulated. Not that we don't like doing things - we'd just like to do less, more quietly, be finished sooner, and then go think about it alone afterwards.

So the first thing she did with a new doll was serve her tea and teach her how to shake hands - and the new toy Tobin is most excited about it a firetruck that talks and lights up and propels itself across the floor while shooting out colored plastic balls. I feel like that pretty much describes both of them, in a nutshell.

But now we're home for the foreseeable future, with a good balance (I hope) of excitement and quietness planned for the next week or two.

2237. Everyone's laundry done and everyone's bags packed
2238. Tobin delightedly eating meatloaf
2239. and that he can drink out of Brooklyn's Camelbak water bottle (not something we taught him...)
2240. Brooklyn gathering eggs with her Papa
2241. A Christmas-light-and-coffee date with Adam (and Tobin)
2242. Local businesses that love you back
2243. Brooklyn's (and Tobin's, but it was more of a stretch for her) grace over a houseful of people for his birthday party
2244. Thoughtful gifts, well received (you never know how a baby is going to react...)
2245. A few hours' conversation and knitting time with Morgan
2246. Trauma-free lunch and peaceful peace practicing, after a long drive home
2247. A whole year with Tobin
2248. An awesome evening Christmas service at church


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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…