30 days of happiness :: 2

The people who are right here holding me together.

I am having a hard time with day two of happiness. It has been a very hard day today. I had a prenatal apt. with my midwives today; I am 13 weeks 3 days pregnant. They have a nice corner of toys in the waiting room that Lili was having fun with. So when it came time to go into the office room for my apt. Lili didn't want to come in. My midwife said it would be fine if she went back and forth between the waiting room and the exam room. So, Jan and I talked for a minute or two with the door open and then I peeked out to see how Lili was doing.
She was gone. I started looking in all the obvious places and then Jan and the receptionist started looking too. The receptionist found her out in the parking lot about 10 feet from the busy road. Somehow she had opened the heavy solid wood door and closed it behind her, and was headed toward the road. When we got back to the exam room to continue with my prenatal (and Jan had double locked the door) I was already shaking and holding back a flood of tears. The adrenaline that came with picturing what could have been was so intense...

A couple minutes after that Jan went to listen to the baby's heartbeat with the doppler... and she couldn't find it. We had easily heard it 3 weeks ago, but today there was only the swish of my pulse filling up the room. She tried twice and still nothing. At this stage you should be able to hear the heartbeat. I have an ultrasound first thing in the morning to see what is going on; but in the meantime while I wait, this day has been one of limbo and heavy thoughts...
So either our baby is gone, or I have two little Houdinis.

Alex and Lili have been bringing me as much joy and stability as is possible today.


30 days of happiness :: 1

The last couple months have been a very introverted time for me. I have done very little art, barely kept the house at an acceptable level of cleanliness, and have been out of touch with some of my closest friends. Although I am harboring this incredible joy at growing a life inside me, the dark side of this time has been a lingering sadness and a lot of self reflection.
As if on cue, as I have officially stepped into my 2nd trimester I feel some of this inactivity, sadness, and tiredness slip from my shoulders. I have found myself desiring to blog again, scrubbing the kitchen sink to a sparkling state, and looking up interesting recipes to cook for dinner. I have been thinking about my art supplies longingly again too...
So in celebration of this change I will be following in one of my dear friend's footsteps by blogging each day for 30 days about something that brings joy to my daily life.
Here is #1.
The many crayon drawings that now hang on our fridge make me so happy. Oftentimes our little left handed artist collaborates with her dad as you can see in the picture to the left. I have always been in love with the inhibition of children creating art... and now I am lucky enought to experience it daily!



We went for a family walk yesterday and found all of these amazing mushrooms within a couple of miles from our house. I wish I knew more about them, they are so beautiful and mysterious...


recipe box

I don't know why I don't have a recipe box.
I have loose recipes stuffed in every cookbook and all over the place. This is a perfect example of how I should have gotten my life organized long ago~ I could have just gone out and gotton a cheap box and some index cards to go inside. But instead, I have this image of making a hand crafted box with special illustrated recipe cards... and this holds me back from just making the practical choice.
But, I found THIS recipe box with letter pressed cards created by 1canoe2 on Esty and I thought it was super cute.
Of course, I will probably still hold out for making my own box, but this would make me happy too...


and another...

3.5" x 5"

Do you see the brown, patterned paper below the bird in this piece? I found it in an old decaying trunk in the small barn at the end of our road. I will have to take a picture of this falling down out building sometime soon to show you. This is where the postal workers drop off any packages for anyone living on our dirt road. It is very Appalachian style... And right in front of where they leave our packages is the trunk. It is exposed to the weather, and caving in on one side. Technically it is stealing I guess to take some of the paper that lined it, but this trunk is waaay beyond repair. I think most people would think I was crazy for how excited I was after I peeled a little section away. I don't know, I just have this deep love for old wallpaper and anything that shows the layers and wear and tear of life. I can always "weather" something new to look layered and old~ but it is never half as good as the real thing.


Welcomes and Farewells...

First off, I want to say thanks for all of the well wishes on being pregnant. The reason I was hinting at it instead of being upfront was that I wasn't supposed to tell the world yet exactly... Alex still hadn't told some of his closest friends from his hometown, and we had hypothetically said we would wait until the end of the first trimester to make it public (I am still only 10 weeks along). One of Alex's friends did find out via the blog (sorry Michelle!) ~ whoops. :)
Although quite a few friends have, I have never experienced a miscarriage first hand, so I don't have that life experience to make me want to hold my tongue I guess... And at this point if I did miscarry it would be traumatic for me, and I am sure I would share it with you anyways. Sooo.... I just want to state for the record that I CAN be trusted to keep a secret. Just not this one. I am just too excited to be welcoming this little being in.

And this weekend was one of farewells. We said see-you-later today to my Mom who has been visiting us for the last 2 weeks. She has been helping with Lili (much to her delight) and keeping my house in order as I do important things like nap and lay around feeling sick. Lilikoi really reaped the benefits too. She got completely 100% spoiled. Meme let her do ALL sorts of things that she normally isn't allowed to do. Things like: bringing the pebbles form our front step inside the house to play with, extra amounts of sweets and juice, drinking the pool water, and listening to the Elmo song on repeat... Here they are getting some lemonade at the farmers market because Lili was hot:It is hard to see her go...

Something that wasn't hard to let go of was the 89 chickens we processed this weekend. They were starting to smell, and we were all ready for the big day. I actually got the easy job of being the babysitter (b/c I am pregnant) while Alex, David, Ema, and Brandon spent 13 hours killing and dressing the birds. They were exhausted at the end of the day, but it went smoothly and it is so awesome to have a freezer full of chickens. They averaged about 4lbs a chicken. We have learned a lot since they were cute little chicks, and overall it was a good experience. I think next time we will rotate them on a pasture instead of having one permanent area. And we will do less birds at once.
I said goodbye to them that morning, but I didn't feel nearly as sad or as torn as I thought I might feel. The smell is already improving around our house. Farewell and thank you chickens!


Pick of the Week- Lauren Nassef

My friend Lucy told me about an awful thing that happened to a wonderful artist named Lauren Nassef. A woman in the UK blatantly copied her artwork and passed it off as her own. She was selling prints and even won a big award for one of the plagiarized illustrations. I was touched by Lauren's artwork and thought maybe I could pass the story along (a good description and disscusion about this here) as a heads up (not sure how to prevent this other than hiding in a hole) and also to share Lauren Nassef's work. Maybe the publicity from this will be the silver lining to a dark and disturbing week for this talented artist.
Check out her website here.
Sock puppets ~ Lauren Nassef


a tour of the garden.

Our garden is in a very chaotic, weedy state, but it is still providing us with some love:


a trip down memory lane...

Just for fun.
Did you all know that I was on a unicycling team grades 6-8? We were called the
Andover One Wheelers
This shot was taken right after we taped our Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade audition tape. We did go on to go to Macys, and we those were rented tuxes that you see. Our typical get up at that point was black padded biker shorts and floresent green tee-shirts. This photo was taken around 1991 I am guessing~ 8th grade. Our hit routine was to the song "Locomotion" blaring from a boombox...