The Holiday Season: Joys and Heartaches

Hi friends,

This is a tender time for me because as many of you know, we recently lost our sweet dog Dorothy to a tumor. It was extremely sudden, and my husband and I have been missing her terribly. I've been sharing our story on my Instagram feed, and it feels comforting to get support from people there, in an informal space.

I'm not sure if I'll ever write a formal blog post about Dorothy. She was a complicated and curious little creature.. but she was one in a million, and our love for her ran so deep..

In the meantime, I wanted to do my monthly recap, to honor the work I did in the month of November. There were some fantastic self-care lessons I learned leading up to Dorothy's departure. And I'm so thankful for this blog, which helps me be more mindful and treat myself kindly. 

Thanks as always for following along with my journey, and I hope some of these posts will bring you inspiration!

xx, Beth


First Birthday Traditions: Love Notes, Crowns, and Wildflowers.

Violet turned 18-months-old this November! It's been so exciting to see her blossom, and to reflect on how far she's come. In fact, I was inspired to share a bit about her birthday traditions because I can't wait to celebrate her again when she turns two! Read all about it here.

How to Do Self-Care When You’re Overwhelmed.

I'm so thankful that I wrote this post in early November, because I really needed to rely on these tips after Dorothy passed away. This is a list of very practical places to start when you're feeling too exhausted to even think of what you want or need to move forward. Read more here.

How My Mom Modeled Joyful Homemaking.

I wrote this post in honor of my Mom's birthday! She's been such an inspiration to me as a SAHM, and I've always admired the joy she finds in "acts of service." It's her love language, and I wrote a lighthearted and practical list of ways she taught me to find joy in caring for my home and family. Read more here.

How to Make Low-Expectation Ornaments With Your Toddler.

A humorous confession of how I try (but often fail) to "follow the child" in art activities as a Type A Mom. ...At the end, I share tips for setting up your toddler for success when you make crafts this season! Read all about it here.

How to Plan Simpler Handmade Gifts This Christmas.

Okay, technically I published this in December, but I want to include it in the November recap in case it helps any crafters out there! This is a post that I wrote for the FibreShare blog. It's a fun post with tips on paring down your handmade gifts so you can craft with joy and intention. Read more here.

I turned my "Community is Queen" design into a free printable notecard (or art print)! You can find the PDF downloads on my blog here. :)
A fun little portrait of Violet that didn't turn out perfect, but you know what? I still like it, haha!
My sweet husband inspired this new design! I love how he takes such an active role in parenting, even though he works outside the home. Just like emperor penguins, we're truly a team! :)
Just have to share this gem of a photo... we brought Violet into the voting booth with us for the first time!! Felt like such a sweet, significant moment. :)
November was a big baking month for us! Every year we bake a TON of treats and freeze them for my Dad's birthday present. He looks forward to it, and I really enjoy the labor of love, because he's hard to shop for! This year, we added an extra-cute touch... every time Violet helped me with a baked good, she'd put sprinkles on top. It was like her calling card, haha. My Dad loved it, and he kept rooting through his big freezer bag of treats, exclaiming "Sprinkles!!! Violet, did YOU make this one?!" ..It was adorable and I recommend trying this with your family! 
A sweet pair of mittens I knitted for Violet! Featuring handspun yarn from two of my FibreShare friends: @missknitsyarn and @loom_denim :)
Fingerless gloves I knit for my Mom's birthday present!

I really enjoyed this pattern: "pika gloves"

And the yarn was hand dyed by @macheteshoppe!
I've been slowly learning to crochet so that I can make play food for Violet!

Here's a look at what I've learned so far. You can see my ravelry notes here if you're interested in making these, too!
I've also been knitting little treats for Violet, and saving them for Christmas. Here's one of my favorites so far: a tiny "petite four" cake! You can find my project on Ravelry here. :)
I've been delving into colorwork recently, and am LOVING the little ornament patterns by Arne and Carlos! How sweet is this little heart pattern?!
Okay, last one, I promise, LOL. This little pattern is called "A Little Kindness Monster" and I knitted it for Violet when she was teething one day. It's so sweet. We named him "Pip" and she loves taking his hat on and off!! Highly recommend this little guy! Here's a link to my project page if you wanna make one :)
I really appreciate everyone who reads my monthly recaps and sends me encouragement. Thanks for following along!

November was a lot of things, but Dorothy's loss will be the main memory I carry in my heart... we're so very sad to have lost our girl, but at the same time, it's giving me new clarity. I feel extra thankful for my daughter and husband. Impermanence is painful, but you know what?'s what makes life worth savoring.

If you're also missing someone this holiday, I hope we can both find a way to channel the deep love of our grief into the life that's available and waiting with open arms. Hug your family tight today. Especially your little dog, if you have one. <3

Hope you all have a sweet Christmas. Love to you all.
xx, Beth
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