I finished another cropped fair isle sweater. I will make many many more. These sweaters are like a hug times a thousand and so stinkin’ cute. My next one will be a green forest of trees and I can’t wait to get started.

August has some exciting things going on! She gets to go on her first train ride this weekend, she got a new coat and boots to wear at Grandma’s house and she starts a puppy manners class in February.

Gussy girl isn’t being left out of the fun knitwear shenanigans either! I will be working on a cowl for her shortly too, but it is my goal this year to have only one project (and a sock for portability) cast on at a time. Right now I’m mending a dishcloth and making a couple more for my birthday twin at church. 💛

A Mini Christmas Break

I got two whole days off work so I started a sweater. I love this pattern and wish I had more time off so I could finish and wear it for New Years. You can find pattern information here.

August had a wonderful first Christmas! She loved running through wrapping paper and playing with her new toys! I still can’t put into words how much we love having this snuggly ball of sunshine in our home and as a part of our family. It is nearly impossible to be sad when she is licking your face and bunny hop running around in the living room.

Christmas was good, Brad and I kept gifts pretty simple following the four gift rule something to read and something to wear, one thing you want and one thing you need. The kids had lots to unwrap from family and had a lot of fun.

Ellie received a lot of fun things to wear and decorate their own room with. E is living their best life, doing really well in school, has a significant other, and is writing a novel.

Emily was gifted a keyboard so she can take her music mobil, this will be fun when our extended family has jam sessions. She is getting better and better all the time. Em is also doing great in school and doesn’t have or want a significant other!

My Privilege

I grew up in the way most white people do from small towns. Our family lived a simple life not dirt poor, but sort of at the bottom of middle class when true middle class existed. My dad worked a blue collar job and my mom had two teaching jobs to put my sister through college.

My parents took us to church and we were taught from a very early age that we were to be kind to all people. My maternal grandmother had adopted two African America daughters and before we were ever taught about adoption was and how we came to have two aunts that didn’t look the same as any of our other aunts and uncles, we never thought a single thing was out step with all of our other white friends’ families. People were people and we loved every single one of our aunts equally. I like to say I was color blind for a long time.

While I am grateful to have grown up in an era of colorblindness not learning hate based on skin color, I think we were done a disservice. It’s not the fault of the adults around me, but I wish that I would have asked more questions as I got older. I wish I wouldn’t have just sat quietly by when I started to notice pain and hurt in the black community.

I am ashamed by my prolonged period of quiet while pretending to understand, especially since I have an incredibly open aunt who is willing to discus any topic with me “Aunt Style” (you aunties know what I am talking about…talking to nieces about the important stuff and imparting wisdom without being like a “Mom“). Asking now just seems like an empty shell of an effort. But I did. I am going to share a few thoughts.

My Aunt shared this video, I know your have probably seen it, it’s been floating around for quite a while. She shares that it isn’t just the white kids being ahead but that some don’t feel guilty about it even once they realize what is happening. That is me. I have seen how she was treated my whole life. I know what is going on. I know how hard it is for the black people in this nation to get ahead. One of her comments though was “It’s not about feeling guilty for your privilege…it’s about how you use it.”

So while I see a lot of my white friend putting up black screens across social media and “muting” themselves until June 7th in a show of support while listening, I will not sit silent. I will lift up the voice of my loved ones who I pray for daily. I have worried too many times after reading a headline of a black man dying at the hands of the police, or a black woman being killed by a white mass shooter, I worry about the names I would read once clicking though all while praying it isn’t someone I love.

I have never once been scared for my life while being pulled over. I have never been scared of a police officer. I have never once been judged by the color of my skin. I won’t stop amplifying the voices of those who have, until they feel as though justice has been done. I pray it will be in my lifetime.

Enjoying the wait

In this time of bustle and hurry, I have been playing this Advent Affirmation we were introduced to at church on repeat. It is a great reminder to slow down and enjoy the wait. To enjoy the small things, the everyday things, the ordinary things. It is a reminder to slow down and remember why we are here and who we are. It is a reminder to have patience, to listen, and to pray. Not just now in this season of waiting, but all year long.

Advent Affirmation:

We believe in God the Father, creator of heaven and earth.
The one who is full of patience,
who is not afraid of silence,
who does not need to fill each moment with activity and noise.
The one who is beyond bluster and flurry,
and who does not jostle for attention.

We believe in God the Son, Savior of creation,
who slipped into Bethlehem one night, mostly unnoticed,
who lived thirty years without headlines or hurry,
who frequently took time alone with his patient Father,
who waited for the right time to become the suffering servant,
who stood quietly before the noise of his accusers,
whose silence overpowered their words,
who died, then rose again on a quiet Sunday morning.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens, empowers, renews and refreshes,
sometimes arriving with obvious power,
sometimes with the quiet breath of a whisper.

We believe in one God
who patiently waits for us,
and who longs for us to do the same.

Dave Hopwood, Engage Worship

How was your day? What did you do?

Are you met with grunts after school when you ask what did you do today? I have been lately. I don’t know whether it is because I no longer have the little girls in this photo, they are all grown up and in the teenage years…but since I have been asking different questions I have been move beyond the “fine” and “nothing” answers. I have also been starting the conversation with an anecdote from my day. Here are a few of my favorite conversation-starters:

  1. Tell me about the best part of your day.
  2. What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
  3. Did any of your classmates do anything funny?
  4. Tell me about what you read in class.
  5. Who did you play with today? What did you play?
  6. Do you think math [or any subject] is too easy or too hard?
  7. What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?
  8. What rules are different at school than our rules at home? Do you think they’re fair?
  9. Who did you sit with at lunch?
  10. Can you show me something you did today?