on loss and yarn

i’m sitting here, knitting and thinking and praying. i thought back to the sweater i was knitting three years ago, a tiny little sweater. made from tan yarn, with brown and grey flecks. i never finished that sweater, the little boy it was meant for never made it earthside to meet us.

i put the start of that sweater in the little box of treasures we’d collected for him, and couldn’t figure out what to do with the rest of the yarn…i certainly couldn’t use it for any other project, it became special, sacred. i braided an anklet from it, i wore it until it came off, on the day my harper came earthside, the cycles and signs of life are funny like that.

so many of my memories, tied to yarn, to hats and sweaters and trinkets i’ve made and collected over years. i think the green sweater i am making now, it will always remind me of sitting in a hospital room with my family, listening to all of our stories about my grandpa. laughing and crying at the same time, and facing my own fears of death and loss, of grief and sadness.

someone should write a rule book, how to lose the ones you love, what to do in the days and years after. how to keep on laughing, cooking and singing songs, while not forgetting. how to keep your heart from hardening and to stay with the folks you love, not severing the ties that connect you (in hopes of not feeling the sting of loss again). some day, i hope to figure it all out.




and you see, friends, i tried.

i tried to be small, to be quiet. to embody all of those feminine traits that are so admired. but really, all i’m wanting to do is go out and ruin my clothes in the mud, to dig until my fingernails are filled with dirt. to fill my pockets with flower petals and stones, to lay on the ground and watch the clouds change shapes and to thank brother sun and sister moon for lighting our ways. 

you can find me in the garden, your effie. ❤ 

Christmas 2012


Dear friends and family,

Wishing each of you a happy holiday season, hoping it is rich in love and in joy.

2012 was a wonderful year for our little tribe.  We welcomed Harper into our family, had a successful first year of starting a business, and had lots of our typical Crandall clan adventures to the park and the zoo and having brunch on Sundays.

Brady and Effie celebrated ten years together in October. Brady continued building up Crandall Lawn and Tree and started refereeing basketball games for the winter. Effie stayed busy homeschooling the kids and attempting to keep some semblance of order in the home and family. There were a lot of dance parties, “ten minute tidy’s” and everyone learning how to make room for another little person here. We’ve learned a lot about forgiveness and making amends this year!

Emma is in second grade. She likes to draw pictures, listen to music, write stories and play with Barbies. Her favorite part of 2012 so far has been going to Amarillo for Thanksgiving. She has lost six teeth this year. This summer was fun because we went swimming and played outside in the hose. She looks forward to celebrating her favorite holiday: her birthday.

Violette is in first grade. She enjoys reading books, coloring pictures, working puzzles and holding Harper. She also likes her latin class and making art projects. Her favorite part of 2012 was riding a train and going to museums. She looks forward to turning seven and working on learning to cook for when she grows up to be a chef.

Theodore is three, he loves mischief and making people laugh. He is doing great learning how to be a big brother. He likes to play with trucks and dinosaurs and having adventures outside. He is learning his numbers and colors and letters, and likes to write his name. His favorite part of 2012 was holding Harper and taking baths. His plans for 2013 include having a birthday party and playing with his cousin Cadyn.

Harper Dell joined us July 30th. We chose “Harper” because it’s pretty, and “Dell” after my mama, whose middle name is also Dell. She is sweet, easy-going and very content. She loves her Daddy and grins whenever he walks in the room. She rolls over, laughs out loud, babbles frequently and loves to play with her sisters and brother.

We have decided to make 2013 the year of friendship. We want to learn how to connect with our family and friends on a more personal level and put into practice some of the beliefs we hold dear. So let us know when you’d like to come over for dinner, or feel free to invite our clan over anytime! (This goes for all of you.)

Merry Christmas! Much love and peace to you,
The Crandall Clan


+apples and oranges, the perfect snacks.

+garage sale goodies: antique quilts and little tables.

+knowing that i am safe in the center of the Divine.

+waiting patiently for things to work out, to see what gigantic, creative miracle is in store.


+healthy, happy and non-vomiting children.

+our lovely home, and the work involved in keeping it in order.

+healthy communication, and forgiveness when toxicity creeps in.

+the joyful parenting manifesto.

some things i love this morning.

+ the weather right now! having the windows open and the curtains swaying in the breeze, delightful.

+ me and teddy’s morning cuddles and giggles before anyone else is up. how he says ‘mommmm’ and crawls in my lap, kisses my cheek, makes silly noises and giggles his head off.

+ joy! and music that releases joy and laughter

+ me and my brother’s x-files marathon

+ that i’m finally off of coffee and on tea.

+ funny dreams that have me laughing when i wake up.

+ pots & pans as drums, and the boisterous concerts the littles have been putting on.

+ google reader and all the inspiration from the blogs i follow.

+ establishing our housekeeping routine & waking up to a tidy house!

+ every new day, every new mercy.

what is time?

yesterday was the ‘anniversary’ of the most awful day of my life. my mantra in the days and weeks that followed was “someday it will be ten years from now”. yesterday marked ten years, and i cried. i cried for my younger self at the time: scared, confused, hurt, and feeling like no there was no one hearing or believing her. i cried for brokenness of families and the hurt of so many others just like me. i cried happy tears, happy because ten years down the road is beautiful, full of love and goodness. i cried because the grace of God is a tangible, real and very rich thing. and i cried because it is finished.

my greatest gifts…

today i am overwhelmed with love and gratitude for these little characters. i love their unique personalities and their overwhelming similarities. i love how they are like their daddy, and their mommy and then completely all their own. what sweet treasures i am blessed with.


IHOP and their generous webstream(the prayer room, not the pancake place)
-my husband and his wisdom+kindness+understanding+support
-emma’s curiosity, violette’s sweetness, theodore’s energy
-the sanctuary of our home
-yummy food
-singing+making music

the simple woman’s daybook

Outside my window… the morning, with it’s crisp & tart autumn air.
I am thinking… this teaching i am listening to is pretty right on.
I am thankful for…new mercies, every morning.
From the kitchen…coffee, coffee, coffee!
I am wearing…new purplish hippie pants, a red tanktop & my yellow cardigan.
I am creating...new music, new paintings
I am going...to throw a birthday party tonite!
I am reading…the Bible, homeschooling books, c.s.lewis, a book on prayer
I am hoping… always.
I am hearing...a teaching
Around the house...tidiness! as the children are still sleeping 🙂
One of my favorite things…rest.
A few plans for the rest of the week...birthday parties, family time, football games, much excitement.

(from http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com)