Friday, July 29, 2011

her happy place

Months before she was in my arms, she was trying to get there, scooting and twirling her way up in utero.  It wasn’t until that first day, gazing into her enchanting dark reservoirs of blue, oozing over all 10 pounds 3 ounces of her, that I realized what she was doing.  As I brought her close, she would nuzzle and scoot and scrunch her way up to that spot between my chest and shoulder.

And then sweet Selah, rest. 

When that little boy was baby, he found contentment being near, close by, and while he loved falling asleep to the rhythm of my beating heart on my chest, he’d fall asleep just about anywhere, really.  He’s pretty chill like that. 

But this girl baby, this wonder of a whirlwind of a child, she needs me, as in the most desperate state of needing, nothing else will do.  Not just near, but with me wholly and completely.   I’m quite certain she wakes up half way through the night, just so she can spend the remainder nuzzled into my armpit, because there is no personal space between us. As far as she is concerned, I am her personal space. 

Often, this is exhausting. I think, can’t you just play over there for a while, kid.

But that’s the thing about one’s happy place.  There is no counterfeit replacement.  Gas station “gourmet” will never take the place of a well brewed French press.  None of these 10,000 lakes will never compare to the roaring spray of the salty ocean.  Wal-Mart will never be Anthropologie, for obvious reasons.  And as hard as those designers might try, the swing will never be a mother’s arms.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, all those clich├ęs about cherishing and moments and the speed at which they grow, give me a break already… we get it. It’s true.

But I suppose, it’s pretty special, it is kind of a big deal, to be able to be just what someone needs and for that to be enough for them.  Isn’t that the whole point of this parenting deal?  That we are capable, equipped, and able to be what these little noisy creatures need, which is mostly love.

and so…

My arms are tired. Tired and full,  but I get to be her happy place.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

coming soon…

A collaboration between my favorite husband and I.  We’re pretty excited about it.  For now a sneak peek.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

from the pages: Anne Shirley on prayer

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“Why must people kneel down to pray?” If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do.  I’d go out into a great big field all alone or into the deep, deep woods, and I’d look up into the sky- up- up- up- into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.”

makes sense, huh?

Monday, July 25, 2011

 

  

The lamp and wind conspired for a moment of privacy between the bride and groom.

New art in the living room, details coming soon.

guardian of the plants and eater of the cheerios.

An unpleasant time out at the beach.

the most lovely breeze is keeping up company right now. I  hope she stays for dinner.

right now.

 

This weekend, we saw Midnight in Paris, which swept me up heart and soul in the first five minutes. After we enjoyed cheesecake, strong black coffee, and magazines. Perfect date.  I read more from Anne of Green Gables. I enjoyed pulled pork, cornbread, strawberry rhubarb pie, and sweet tea at a birthday party in the park, pulled pork is my love language. Also, my little lovely turned 6 months old.

Oh, Louis and Ella on Pandora.

Sweet, crazy life.

Friday, July 22, 2011

New in shop: photos

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Grey Flower Clip

 

Grey Felt Kindle Sleeve with Yellow Lace Detail

Yellow and Grey Padded Kindle sleeve

 

Click the images and you’ll be sent on your way to the shop. 

a good daddy

 

“By the time she is three months old, I will be her favorite,” he said.  By the time, she was 1 minute old, he probably already bought her three ponies.  He couldn’t stop gazing at her, he was mesmerized. 

At night, when she’s next to us in our bed, refusing sleep, happily kicking and grabbing at anything in her reach, she watches him.  And when he’s not watching her, she squeals, a spunky, dramatic sort of squeal.  She does this until he looks.  She smiles.

It’s my favorite.

When a girl has a good daddy, it’s special, powerful, and important.  It’s a gift. I know, because I have a good one too.    He’s far away and we don’t talk that often, but he’s the one who said I could be anything I wanted.  He taught me that I was valuable and to stay away from loser boys.  He taught us to take chances and to dream.  I remember that.

Her daddy will teach her those things too.

 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

for the team.

He walks in the door from a long day of work, the little boy rushes to greet him at the door and show his whatever toy he is playing with as if it is the most magical toy of all.  Her little eyes sparkle and a smile covers her face.  And you know, I love that moment, that game changing moment when the 2:1 ratio is evened out.  Two more hands, another person for them to love on, read: climb all over. 

It’s so easy to forget that he got up at least four hours earlier than the rest of us, working all day for the man.  It’s easy to forget because I’ve been changing diapers and reminding a little boy that his baby sister is not a jungle gym.  But it’s dangerous, when you start keeping points, “Well I did this all day and you…”  It will never ends well, my friends.  And here’s the thing we must remember, we’re on the same team.  We’re in this together, completely, always, both of us doing our share for each other, for our family.  Isn’t this the first thing we forget?

Two kids. Two jobs. Two art shops. This is our reality.  Our exhaustion was leaving us less creative and less than ideal versions of ourselves.  So, this summer in desperation, we created a system.  We’re not big on systems, yuck, but this one we love.

One day a week, when Matt come home from work, he walks in the door and we all get hugs and kisses. Then he gathers his sketchbook and computer and gets back in the car and goes where ever he pleases.  He draws, he sits, he thinks uninterrupted thoughts.  He works on his newest print.  When he comes home, he’s refreshed and ready to jump into the beautiful madness.

Truthfully, the moments leading up to this can be rough, because most of those days, the kids are on their absolute BEST behavior and he returns home to crying babies and a wife who is hoping…eeekk, take me with you!!.  Yet, I know he needs this and a refreshed husband is the best kind. Those hours might be long for me, but it’s about our family,  the wellbeing of all. 

And later in the week, on one glorious day, this girl gets herself ready and carries the very smallest purse possible (this is key), kisses her lovely family and walks out the door.  My friends, I do anything, whatever in the world I want, alone, with a small purse.  It makes you feel all kinds of amazing, you know, to just be one with yourself.  I walk through the rows of fabric, feeling the textiles between my fingers, I drink a coffee while sitting at a table, being needed by none.  No way is this time for errands, no freaking way.  Don’t even think about it.

Yesterday, I found myself in the cozy chair, eating a slice of almond peach bread and drinking a cold press coffee.  I started reading Anne of Green Gables.  I am sad to confess that I have never read this before, I mean, how can I live with myself.  It’s amazing, delightful, witty, funny, brilliant.  I want to get lost in the pages.  It was magical.  When was the last time you just sat and read a book?

After, my family needed food, but happily I walked into my local Trader Joe’s.  I wandered aimlessly, slower than ever, child-free and as I stood in front the most lovely selection of cheeses, starring into the stacks of brie, bleu, and chevre, two different associates approached me, “Can I help you find something, you look lost.”  I chuckled and responded with a calm smile, “Oh no, I’m absolutely fine, just fine. Thank you.” 

You know, sometimes I return home to a disaster of a mess, sheer wildness, and a husband who thinks, don’t ever leave again, but he never complains.

It’s about the team.

---

I’m no expert, but I think this has done wonders for us.  Do you have your own system?  Tell me about it. And guys, if it’s been a while, you should probably kick your wife out for a few hours, just her and a small purse.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

a great loss

My heart is heavy tonight as I learned the news that a high school classmate was killed in a car accident this morning.  That makes two this week.  It’s only Wednesday. Two separate accidents on opposite coasts of the country. Two remarkable lives cut short on this earth.

I can’t say I was very close to either of them, but when you spent four years walking the same halls, attending the same football games, and participating in the worlds’ longest graduation ceremony, with all 600+ of us, a part of our stories will always be connected. 

Upon graduating, we were launched into a world of possibilities, waiting for us to make our mark.  There were athletes, political minds, teachers, heroes, and more. 

Earlier this week, the world lost a military surgeon, a hero.  I barely knew him, but someone who devotes their own life to saving the lives of others, what a beautiful, noble story.

Today, I was shocked to hear news of another classmates’ death.  In high school, he survived a nearly fatal crash.  I remember how we all waited and prayed and waited and his recovery was miraculous.  Earlier this year, he and his beautiful wife welcomed their second baby, a girl, into their family.  Anyone who knew him would speak to the kindness and the warmth of his character.

In my newsfeed on Facebook, a few posts caught my eye and lead me to his page. Post after post filled with regards and prayers and love for him and his family.  It struck me and I couldn’t shake that nearly 10 years ago, we were all signing each other’s yearbooks with memories and wishes for the future.  And tonight, messages of a different sort.

As I enjoyed the evening with my little family tonight, watching my kids be silly, laughing with my husband, my heart also aches. I hugged them all a little longer. I thanked God for them a few extra times.  I can’t begin to imagine the feelings, the loss, and the journey ahead for the loved ones of these two guys. 

I suppose all I can do is offer my prayers for love and comfort.  And I can make sure to love like crazy today and tomorrow and for all the time we have left on this earth.  The thing about love is that it never runs dry, and from the source of endless love flows more and more.  So, use it all up, every little drop.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Introducing…

There’s a new little shop around.  A place for all things art beyond the walls.  Stop by if you will.

shop banner copy

Sunday, July 17, 2011

this is easy as lovers go.

Last night around 10pm, the father of my children and I rearranged the entire living room.  We got rid of the very last piece of furniture that he had from his bachelor days, I think he almost cried, but probably not. Meaning that our entire home is full of things that we have acquired together, in our almost four years of marriage and three moves.  Is that romantic or what? 

All of this happened because that son of ours was getting a new bed, a real live (not really living) twin bed, since we are attempting the merger of our offspring into the same room.  Little did he know that last night was his very last night in his crib turned toddler bed forever! And to think that he won’t even remember. Ha. 

Anyways, I love staying up late and working on things when those children are sleeping, mainly because we can actually accomplish something, but it’s fun to have uninterrupted hours of just us, sans the whole parenthood bit.    Let me tell you, that boy of ours, he’s a heavy duty sleeper, we cleared out and moved two major pieces of furniture from his room, while he was sleeping… he didn’t even flinch.  That girl baby needs to learn a few things about sleep from her brother.  We’d all be happier for it.

And since this merger is starting, I finally get to set up her crib bedding and do lots of fun little projects to make their room equally boy/girl awesome-sauce. 

Here’s a little preview.

 

 

P.S. I’m kind of into using song lyrics as my post titles lately, so if you feel confused, don’t.

Friday, July 15, 2011

a deliciously grey rain

Today it is deliciously grey, windows are open, and the sweet aroma of renewing rain is filling the air.  Thunder and lightning conversing back and forth.  I’ve got a thing for rain.

The way it beckons us to be still, to slow down.  The way it pours out upon the earth, all our trees and flowers, refilling all the lakes and rivers, feeding all the gardens, creating all the puddles simultaneously; just as God is with all of us, always, refreshing and refilling and creating. 

Being in the middle of this first year of mothering two little wonders,   even my most caffeinated words could not express the range of emotions and the depth of my exhaustion.  It’s something, isn’t it?  Something fierce, difficult, and wonderful. This motherhood gig is not for the faint of heart. 

Thankfully, the only time we actually have to do it on our own is when we neglect to remember the one who is always with us.  If we were smarter and less tragically human, we’d never forget. But, we do. All the time.

So, as the rain steadily falls, as the rhythm of boom and crash echoes throughout the air, I drink in my own downpour of renewal, I breathe deeper, and I stop forgetting.

“I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20

a deliciously grey rain.

 

Monday, July 11, 2011

to me you are the sea, as vast as can be, the deepest shade of blue

 

 

  1. Drawing fun.
  2. Doll baby in one of my old dresses.
  3. Packages ready to ship and gadget cases ready to sew.
  4. Cleaning brushes.
  5. A very tiny sneak peek of a new painting.

Friday, July 8, 2011

the sewing report: sleeves

These have been in the works for a while and last week during my weekly “solo escape,” I found the perfect fabrics.  Surprise, surprise, they are grey, but no one is actually surprised.  Grey with an “e” is much more mysterious than gray with an “a.”  That is my complete and professional opinion. And I like mysterious.

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I made this one for my lovely Sara, for her laptop.  It’s mostly reversible, but not completely. Oh what, mustard yellow, I’m know you’re shocked. Remain calm.

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Kindle sleeves.  I suppose Nooks could use them too, but you know, I’m partial.  More politically correct, E-Reader sleeves. This orange fabric was love at first sight.  I made one with the lace detail and one without.

I do plan on making some more and adding them to the shop, in the next few weeks, so if that excites you, stay tuned.

Here comes that weekend, good ole reliable weekend.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

We know what we are, but know not what we may be

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It feels weird to me to not be thinking about moving or the possibility of moving.  Since 2005, I’ve been in Florida, Michigan, California, traveling the country for work, Tennessee, and now here. My heart remains in California, with a small piece in Tennessee.

It feels so strange to have signed another lease, another willing commitment to stay in a place for set amount of time?  It kind of makes me feel gross.

But, for some reason, we felt stay, so we stay.

I know better than to ask why.

Staying is harder for us than going, it absolutely is, my husband dreams about the west coast daily, wondering when he will return.  I crave the ocean like a caffeine addict admirer and I know all about that.

For now, we pause the on-going search, full of the questions, and we must try to make this home and be completely here. Although, it’s never felt that way, only a fleeting transition, one short chapter in our story.  Alas, we must give the author the control to write it his way, he tells the best stories.

This place of staying is foreign to me. Some don’t adapt well to change,  I’m not sure how exactly one stays.

This is where I am.

 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

blue.

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive.” –Eleanora Duse

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

To have never taken a solitary road trip across country? I mean everybody's got to take a road trip, at least once in their lives. Just you and some music.

 

A little weekend trip to Kansas to visit the in-laws and friends. The open road. New places. A change of scenery Fried pickles. Other people entertaining my kids. Just what I needed to shake this little creative standstill.  

 

 

Now I’m home, happily making my own coffee and sorting through a dozen or so creative projects that are mingling in my head.

Trips are good for the soul.

Did you travel for the weekend?  If you could pack your bags and go anywhere, where would it be?  I’d find myself along the shores of California courtesy of the Pacific Coast Highway.