A friend has been looking at my laptop, to see what is wrong with it and I have been deficient in the computer arena for the past few days. The verdict? My hard drive is bad, which is kind of like the blown gasket of the computer world, I guess. Not good.

But how can I complain about hard drives when I am in Santa Cruz, where the weather is amazing, and when yesterday I was at the beach, with my little crazy kids and some old friends, watching Leaf wriggle his toes in the sand and play with his newly-found shadow?

The nice thing about living in the woods is that forays into civilization feel so fresh. I am in awe over the simple grace of walking to town to shop, or taking a little jaunt to the coffee shop to read for a little while. The speed of the internet is almost frightening, and the wide sky is beautiful, although I don't mind going back to the shelter of our forest.

I love life today, watching my kids bounce on the trampoline in their undies, drinking coffee and reading a book, cleaning out my road-trip van. Tomorrow I turn twenty-seven, and I can't help thinking that this has been a beautiful year. I learned to knit, which has become a new obsession, I wrote some more in my long drawn out novel, I sat by the river, I traveled to Colorado, I moved into a new home, I heard many whispers of love, many times, from the firs, from the grasses, from the sky.

It is good to look back on trials and feel formed by them, rather than embittered. God has been with us. I feel glad to meet what the next year has in store.