Sunday, October 28, 2012

Time after time I understand how many layers our hearts hold.

Our hearts hold layers just as a tree holds leaves. Each one falling slowly. Sometimes not at all welcomed, pushed along with the force of a gusty wind. Renewing our lives as we grow stronger and walk confidently. The roots grow deeper. Seemingly compared to the words we hear along the way. Carving and shaping not only ourselves but each one that we get to share our homes with.

This little pixie in the middle. We celebrate broken fevers, a sleep full night. A dry bed and an inch taller in her height. This almost 5 year old. I close my eyes sometimes and make wishes. One in which we will cherish these seemingly insurmountable accomplishments ~always.

When we travel through months & years of healing. Deep conversations sometimes hold the weight of the world. This moment:

Dear Son, I want to write you a letter. One that has taken a long time to write. I know that sometimes other people, even your friends, don't always have your best interests in mind. In your vulnerability more of your precious innocence has been lost. Your art was found in the wrong place. You are home with us, from school, to really let that sink in. To learn from this occasion. Thank you for your honesty. And for apologizing to all those that were affected. For this I am completely proud of you. We want to direct your art in a more positive direction. One day you'll know that we as your parents were there. And we understand. There are so many things tumbling around in my heart that I want to tell you. But for now let me sum it up: I love you. I appreciate you. I value your life. I believe you will lead an incredible life. An artist you are. You were created perfect by your Artist. Wholly, unconditionally loved. Please know always that you are not alone.

Love, Mom

Friday, October 12, 2012

'For Real' Baby Sling Pattern

This is from a very special request, and a go ahead from one of my dear baby wearing friends. A 'For Real' baby sling pattern has arrived for wee infants. ~Recommended for up to 15lbs.~ Carrying your baby in a sling will help you be hands free for many little tasks throughout the day as a busy mama. Baby slings are often made from woven fabric, such as hemp or fleece. This one is made from 100% wool yarn. The wool I use, especially for patterns, are found locally at the Custom Woolen Mills .

Enjoy a cozy cuddle while baby and you stay toasty during the often chilly months this time of year brings.

Beginners & Knitters everywhere can pick up this pattern with ease. Enjoy!

You will need:
-US size 10.5 (6.5 or 7mm) needles.
-2 skeins of Lopi or bulky weight wool.
-When selecting yarn for your baby sling, find a 100 percent wool yarn that felts well.
-An extra needle for bind off.

Cast on with long tail method -30st
Knit first row
Continue Stst (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) until it measures 8"

RS Kfb1 *K1 M1* cont. to last st Kfb1 (60st)
Purl first row
Cont. Stst for 30"

RS When garment is 37"
K2tog all across (30st)
Purl first row
Cont. Stst until the garment is 47" long.
*Cast off with 3 needle bind off

*Note: another option is to bind-off, then graft ends together, using a mattress stitch method.

Weave in loose yarn.

To give your finished sling more security, and you peace of mind, felt your finished knit sling. This will shrink the size down to give it more structure.

Have you ever felted? I assure you it's yet another hobby that gives satisfaction with the finished project. Plus there are many ways to embellish it to give an original appeal.

Felt the sling:
Place it in an old pillowcase and add it and a few pair of jeans (preferably) to a top-loading washing machine. Wash the sling in hot water with mild detergent. After the laundry cycle is finished, remove the sling from it's pillowcase. Then give it a really good tug into shape, and let it dry on a clean dark bath towel.

Happy knitting (& felting)!

Monday, October 01, 2012

October 1. *Gratitudes

*heartfelt gifts
*golden hue
*learning to dance
*turning over new leaves

*accepting change
*enveloping in warmth

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bucket List

This week has been overflowing with firsts. I am entirely thankful and feel lighter than ever before.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Permission to be ourselves.

I'm standing at the window and the leaves catch my eye. Sunshine through the trees reflecting off the dew on the freshly mowed grass. Ever wonder what's pulling on your heart strings? That somehow in this moment we're witnessing a miracle.

When you hear the words: well done. You are the exception. What does that look like? Hello world. Let me share myself with the corners that are hidden away. Waiting for someone to hold out their hand and to hold theirs. God's grace. Right here. Right on this path, where I stand. I'm not going to ask.. where now? I'm ready. Now show me the way.

What does it look like to flow through life, with a family at home? Permission to be ourselves is the most generous sort of self love around.

It is a process, and a struggle to push through the untangling of what you are 'supposed to' do. Isn't that how life always shows us. Are you ready? This spot reserved right where you are on earth was given to us. A gift. I want to give back where my heart strings lead.

Rain writes the perspective.. Let your life be a poem. Something stirs that has been buried. Hidden now with dust. This key has unlocked truths. "when I say be creative, I don't mean you should all go and become great painters and great poets. I simply mean let your life be a painting, let your life be a poem." -Osho

To give back is how I want to live unafraid. To write without abandon, knit, bead, sew.. and giveaway. To hold the hands and listen to the ones without a voice. To give them an identity, offer compassion, and write their stories. To place shoes on their feet, watch them dance and join in. Music :: poetry of movement throughout the earth. Connections. Meeting ones who cry out ((Notice me)). Electrifying feelings of emotion.

We all have a story to tell. Really. Here in this space I am unfolding mine.

I remember the choosing, before the questions of why? The choice to follow a hidden journey. Its still there. But the difference is He made me, knowing all of who I am in the constant changing of the tides in life. He chose to set out a light that rises and sets. This sun that gloriously shines. Right here in my chest He set this heart that is beating. A pulse that is full of the knowledge that He is always for me. When at times I have been blind, there has always been a Truth. You are not just chosen to live this life, you are fully loved. Every single speck. I will do this.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guest Post. Happy Birthday!

Dear Alicia,

I know you like numbers, so on your birthday, I worked some out for you.

Today marks three and a half decades since you were born.
When you were born, there were four point two billion people on earth.
Now there are seven billion.
You've seen seven leap years.
You've experienced four hundred and twenty full moons.
You've been around for twelve thousand, seven hundred and eighty four sunrises and sunsets.
The minute hand has traveled around the clock three hundred six thousand, eight hundred and sixteen times since you were born
Thirty five times, you've circled the sun.
That's a travel distance of twenty billion, four hundred twenty million, forty nine thousand, six hundred and seventy miles.
A journey that has lasted eighteen million, four hundred eight thousand, nine hundred and sixty minutes.

Just surviving all that is a cause worth celebrating, I mean, those are some pretty impressive statistics. But that's nowhere near the whole story. On this, your thirty fifth time around the sun, there are other numbers that begin to tell other stories about you. Such as...

One Hundred and Sixty - the distance in feet that you survived in a truck, tumbling over a cliff in the Rockies.
Eleven fingers and thumbs (well, now ten).
One mother.
No father.
One Sister, one brother.
Thirty (or more) relocations.
One husband.
One marriage.
Fourteen Years.
Seven pregnancies.
Four children.

The story begins to unfold here, but even still, there's so much more that the numbers can't tell. The countless meals, diaper changes, arguments, tears, laughs, sorrows, losses, gains dreams, nightmares, fears, friends, births, deaths and every experience in between can't be understood by quantifying them as statistics. Your journey is such a unique combination of everything that it can only be understood in the context of story.

Every good story has chapters where the main character experiences hardship. If there's no difficulty, hurt, pain or trials, the story gets dull and we end up not caring to find out what happens in the last chapters. But in a truly great story, when the main character overcomes against the odds (as they alsways do in the best stories) the stark contrast between the adversity and the triumph is what makes our hearts leap. We want to come back and read that story again and again because it becomes an anchor of hope to everyone else who identifies.

This is a year of milestones for you. A year of breakthrough. A year of conquering. A year of taking back territory, of tearing down walls, facing fears, storming past inhibitions, saying goodbye to chains, locks and lies and taking claim of what is rightfully yours - your life. Your freedom to live, to be healthy, to have joy, to celebrate, to wear bright colors, to dance, to sing, to walk a hundred miles, to absorb love, to share love, to speak boldly, to live the width.

Your story is worth reading. And this is the day that you became unafraid to tell it.

I'm proud of you.

I love you.

Happy Birthday.

P.S. There's one last number to take note of... it's the balance of our bank account and it's not a very big number right about now, so I hope you don't mind that I haven't bought you a present yet. I want to take/send you shoe shopping or bra shopping or well, just shopping in general, so gimme a couple days and a few pianos to tune, and we'll make it happen.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

April 1

I hear your words before you say them. "Come on in!" The way you greet us, with a grand smile. For years I wondered in awe.. How you knew, just how to welcome my heart.

Through the door I watch as children scurry around, throwing their coats at us, their selves at the familiar. And you can't wait until we all gather together, within your home.

You watch each of your grandchildren with an articulate heart. You are one who learns their quirks, their needs, the way they open up in new circumstances. Thank you for sharing your own thoughts from your heart.

Thank you for being my Mom.

We know each other on another level. One where I was afraid of rejection, and held you at arms length. One where 15 years has taught us that there is beauty in perseverance in the eyes of both beholders.

This is a monumental year. The year we celebrate all that you have travelled through to get here.

Happy Birthday, Celebrating 60 years!!

I love you, Mom.


Friday, March 09, 2012

I am a Woman, hear me.. Aspire.

When I was home from school as a kid, I watched a show in which the happy 3 used to wave goodbye to the children watching: “Bye-bye!” “See you soon!" They never invited me over to play. I guess at the time, in the ‘80s, I wasn’t very popular. Thousands of dollars and years of therapy later, I am over it.

That said, I have that same feeling whenever I have heard some talk show host speaking passionately about the importance of having goals and milestones that you can check off after having achieved them. The camera always pans to the audience, heads bobbing with understanding and recognition of this essential truth. Once again, I feel like the speaker is not addressing me, or people like me, who need to resolve to aspire to something else: dialing it down a little.

Don’t get me wrong—there’s plenty of room for improvement over here. I’m a constant tidier, leave projects undone and get way too anxious when plans change abruptly. I’ve yet to send out any birth announcements (they are now twelve, ten, seven & four) and I can’t tell you how many times a week -one of my friends stop in for a minute -and I scour the walls for a moment looking for just an inkling of inspiration to finally decorate because they all have more ideas than I. They're probably ones who also remember to dust.

I could aspire to improve those things, and I suppose I do. Goals are useful and important, and without them we’d all be sitting in a pile of dirty laundry, and spilled meal leftovers, on our sofas.

But I have a twisted history with self-improvement, one that has included an eating disorder and a highly vocal internal critic who is like Kip in the Napoleon movie—no matter how much she gets, she’s never satisfied. For a long time, I felt that I was never thin enough, easy-going enough or perky enough, and if I didn’t improve in all those areas, I could add lazy and ineffective to my list of faults. Even though I’ve learned to think differently and go easier on myself, perfectionism is my default. I sometimes have to consciously remind myself to cut myself the same slack I cut others without even thinking about it.

I know too many women who use self-improvement as a bludgeon, and aspirations (which on the surface seem positive) as an excuse to be unkind to themselves. I’d like to see people like me resolve to aspire toward aspiring a little less, or at least a little more gently. At the very least, keep your aspirations attainable, and don’t always move the bar a few inches (a few pounds, a few dollars, a few whatevers) out of your reach.

I made a goal 12 years ago to lose those first 55 lbs. Today, I finally achieved this goal.

This year, I’m aspiring to appreciate what I have and what I’m good at (which, happily, is more than things I fail at) even if I don’t always have an effective duster when I need one. I’ll leave that for someone else to achieve.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Snow-day Gratitudes

Today, I am...

:. enjoying blackberry & yoghurt cake (made without sugar) fresh from the oven.

:. watching the growing piles of snow out there, sparkling & blowing by, through our windows.

:. inspired by a good friend! With minutes to spare, that lent a gracious helping hand & drive home, after my walk uptown.

:. looking at a basketful of wool & trying to decide who to give some of it away to.

:. wishing I could finish a beading project.

:. busy folding laundry and planning the 100th (cooked) evening meal of 2012.

:. hearing stories of silly dreams (or nightmares) of me as a dancing clown.

:. feeling grateful for prayer & growth through a difficult time in all of our boys life.

:. reminding myself that this quality time I spend with all of them (or one to one) is the continuing growing steps as we move on.

:: remembering to look for new homes both here & there for these books we find, everywhere.

:. laughing, as the kids listen to stories of pet pigs
& chickens named Rooster.

:. listening to them recant the stories to each other with logic
& reason.

:. happy, Azaelea is doing well
& her surgery (2 months ago now) was a success.

:. knocking on wood that she stays free & clear from any previous health concerns.

:. noticing, how tall Asher has become.

:. remembering, when he could fit soundly fast asleep, on the forearm of his Dad.

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

Monday, February 20, 2012

On Submission

Let me refrain for a moment, as you are thoughtfully provoked. Please write freely with no hesitation, & may I share? These close fragments are being pieced together as we keep diving in.

I feel the need to share my view on the subject of women and submission within the marriage. I believe there are a lot of misconceptions about what was truly meant and how it's supposed to look. I'm constantly shocked at what the church in general seems to say about women and submission, and to be perfectly honest, hearing the word "submission" conjures up an image of not a wife, not a partner, not a romance, but a servant.

The quote is "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord." Read that carefully, because how you respond to that sentence says more about your image of who God is than it does about marriage. How do you submit to the Lord? Does he say "I want a sandwich and a backrub" and you say "okay". Or does he demand three meals a day on the table and quiet children upon his return from work? Does it mean that you must give up all desires of your heart because of this one verse? Is that really what it looks like to submit to Christ? Does God give you free choice as a non-believer but then demand your freedom back the moment you decide to become a Christian? Is that what Christ asks the church to do? Some people say yes, absolutely it does. I disagree.

For just a moment, forget everything you think you know about submission. Allow me to challenge the system, and try a different approach.
The fact is that Jesus loves you more than you can possibly fathom.
He desires you. He aches for you. He swam the ocean of death and tore down the gates of Hell to win your heart and as he suffers every imaginable pain to save you from endless imprisonment, this shining warrior knight who mysteriously loves you asks, "Will you submit yourself to me? Will you give yourself to me? Will you love me in return? Will you let me into your innermost places?"

Submitting is giving in to his relentless love, letting it into all the cracks. Allowing his love to pour over and through you filling every dark place with light.
The reason every girl loves princess stories of rescue and romance is because truthfully that's a lot closer to what God designed you for. To be romanced. You're not a slave, you're a bride. He didn't come to domesticate you, He came to rescue you from slavery.

To Women, please stop talking about the rules and methods of being submissive and just follow your heart. Give yourself to your husband. Trust him. Let him love you - that is, after all Pauls words to the husband, to love his wife as Christ loved the church. Be vulnerable to him. If you are a dominating kind of woman, understand that you are dominating because you are trying to protect your heart, but in doing so, it's nearly impossible for you to receive love. No wonder it's not working! Let go of the need to control everything and everyone in your sphere and you will find that love pours in. Receive it! Responding warmly to your husbands love brings him alive because you are helping him fulfill a purpose he was created for - to love.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

A pattern: Baby-Love Sling

You will need:
US 15 10mm needles
An extra needle for bind off

Cast on 24st
Knit first row
Cont. Stst until it measures 7"

RS Kfb1 *K1 M1* cont. to last st Kfb1 (48st)
Purl first row
Cont. Stst for 8"

RS When garment is 15"
K2tog all across (24st)
Purl first row
Cont. Stst until its 25" long.
Cast off with 3 needle bind off

Perfect for dolls, trucks or any treasures your little one may carry around as their baby.