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Heart Spotting

In the February/March issue of Mary Jane's Farm (which arrived in my postbox at the end of December, for whatever reason), there was an article about "heart spotting" - the idea of intentionally seeking heart shapes, particularly in nature but really anywhere they turned up.

The article presented it as a sort of mindfulness exercise, and the concept appealed to me. But if it's just practice of paying attention, why not stars or a letter of the alphabet or something else? I especially liked the idea of it being hearts, specifically - like a love note, left for you to find.

So that's how I saw it. I've been keeping an eye out, when I remember, for "notes" left scattered throughout my day - and I've been trying to take those moments and turn them to gratitude, whenever they happen.

What's especially struck me is that the moment a heart is called to my attention (often by Brooklyn, who is more passionate about the project than I even am) is generally a moment in which I am struggling and need a reminder to be grateful, or at least a reminder of Who I'm grateful to. It really has turned into a quest for love notes, from Love Himself - and it's a search I'd like to continue, at least through the end of the year. After that, who knows?

2336. Tobin taking two naps (he really needs to, but rarely does)
2337. Quiche for breakfast - much better than not eating because I'm so busy feeding everyone else
2338. Having already worked through my own pregnancy-related overthinking so I can alleviate someone else's
2339. Moments of laughter, to balance the moments of hysteria
2340. Another jammy day (just running to the post box was bad enough - definitely glad we didn't have to go anywhere!)
2341. Morale-boosting pizza


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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…