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Red, White, and Beautiful

I lived out my word of the year (adventure) pretty well this past weekend, while we were in Fayetteville for the 4th. While we've done Walk for the Waiting (a charity mile that raises funds for fostering/adoption in Arkansas) all-four-together, it was still a new experience to do Four on the Fourth (which supports homeless veterans) with my parents. My dad ran the four miles, and Mum and I walked - we were supposed to turn around at the half mile mark, but we doubled that since we didn't want to hang around the finish line awkwardly waiting for Dad. It rained the whole time, but we shamelessly carried umbrellas and made a grand time together out of what would have been a somewhat dismal experience alone.

My uncle, aunt, and cousins were in town, so one evening while we waited for it to be dark enough for sparklers my cousins and I set about catching a jar of fireflies. As a kid, I always wanted to fill a jar with some many fireflies that they could act as a lantern, but I never succeeded. We didn't manage that this time, either, but it was great fun anyway.

Tobin and Brooklyn discovered swim suits and jumping on the trampoline, and Tobin learned that dirt is not good to eat, but if your hands are covered in dirt it's not possible to clean your mouth out with them after tasting it. He spent several minutes with his muddy tongue hanging out while we scrambled to find something to clean him up with.

We all went out to Terra Studios, and I was able to share that part of my childhood with Adam and Brooklyn and Tobin. It's changed a lot since I was a kid, but they still make "bluebirds of happiness" in a room with a huge window so you can watch them swiftly forming little bird statues out of molten glass, and there are clay creatures tucked away everywhere for people to stumble onto.

To appease the introvert within, I spent one (unexpectedly) early morning going on a mostly solitary coffee run (Tobin is a fairly quiet companion, and he was regretting having woken us up at 5am) and rounded it out with a trip to my favorite farmer's market with a friend who happened to be in town. We talked about things both deep and silly, and it was altogether refreshing.

While I am often aggravated at the way my fellow countrymen behave, I'm grateful for the freedom to pursue reconciliation and co-creation, even in the face of recent tragedies. To be able to speak out against injustice, and to pursue a future where everyone is free.


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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…