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Month: July, 2013

August 2013

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After the July I’ve had, I’m more than happy to welcome the month of August. Here’s to a far less dramatic and overwhelming thirty days. These fruits are kicking things off on the right note, eh? Thanks, Chloe, for the cheerful desktop calendar! Click on the calendar above to grab the full res version for your desktop.

Currently Reading

I wish I had written this, because I agree with every single word:

Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Read the full post here.

Welcoming Elias

James has done it again, my friends. The man sure knows how to marry image and song.

What an honor to bear witness to such an event and be trusted to capture, tell, and share the story of the start of a family.

I love watching this day unfold. Such wonderful, happy memories. I feel so lucky to have played even a marginal role in the experience.

Olivia

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It was a baby bonanza on my trip south. En route home to Vermont, I stopped in Baltimore to see the new diggs of my sweet friend Ann Mae and her adorable daughter, Olivia.

I met both Devita and Ann Mae during my first job after Williams in Baltimore at Goucher College. I am so grateful for that experience, most especially because I have some of the most inspiring, meaningful female friendships due to the women I met while working at that school. And more than ever I’m realizing that relationships are the stuff of life. Sure, it sounds trite and is the biggest cliché on Earth, but these people? They are what carry me through the day to day, and they are what matter when I look back on it all. How lucky am I to have these loving and loyal women in my life during both the happiest and toughest of times?

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And I love this meta photo of Livvy posing in front of the portraits that I took of her earlier this year when they were visiting us in Vermont. It’s very cool to see my work on display!

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Ethan

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This is my beautiful and incredible friend, Devita, and her beautiful and incredible nephew, Ethan. I got to spend some time with their family while I was down in the District for Elias’ birth. Just check out that kid’s lashes?! Swoon City.

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Her mama is equally gorgeous, yes? Far too young to be a grandmother… ;)

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30/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.”

Sunny: It would seem that this summer has a theme. Water water everywhere!
Kaki: Goggles are the newest and most exciting addition to the swimming routine.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here.

My Mother’s Attic // 7

This month’s My Mother’s Attic is different from all previous posts. After everything that’s happened this month, I decided to go through my collection of clothing handed down from my mother and showcase some pieces that are representative of four different generations of women in my family. Timeless pieces that don’t require any changes or alterations. Head on over to New Dress a Day to see the full ensembles and the histories of each here.

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Baby Quilt

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Since moving to the Berkshires, I have befriended two positively amazing women who both happen to be positively amazing quilters. I am in awe of the quilts they have made and was intrigued to give it a try myself, but despite my crafty tendencies, have always felt intimidated by quilting. I’m an instant gratification kind of gal. Quilting seemed far too time-consuming and meticulous a hobby for my impulsive personality. But then Sunny’s FGM was expecting a baby, and my favorite gift following Sunny’s birth was a handmade quilt from Dellie for Sunny. And Kaki’s FGM, one of the aforementioned Berkshire quilters, made a quilt for Courtland’s birth. And, dang it, it was time for me to make one, too.

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So I emailed the most important lasses in Dellie’s life and asked that they contribute a piece of fabric to my inaugural quilting project. They each sent me a variety of fabrics and patterns, all partnered with letters to be gifted to Dellie and Jeremy and baby boy upon his arrival.

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It was quite the puzzle to figure out how I wanted to weave all the pieces together, but thanks to some serious handholding, guidance, and moral support from Laura, we figured out a pattern and she taught me how to turn scraps of fabric into a beautiful handmade quilt.

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The afternoon of Elias’ birth, I went home to Dellie’s house and embroidered around the date of his arrival, a special reminder of when he entered our lives. I so hope he treasures this piece for years to come the way my own daughters adore their quilts.

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Fortunately, the blanket is small so it wasn’t nearly as time-consuming as I’d envisioned to create. And while quilting is certainly a meticulous process (as I’d imagined), it is also an entirely addictive one. I felt so thrilled with the final result and was beyond excited to gift this to Baby Elias after his birth, and bring words of love and support to his parents through the letters of all their friends that participated. I totally get the quilting compulsion. We’ll see if I have the patience to now make one for my own household…

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In the meantime, I’ll delight in Elias’ creation, the ideal recepient of my inaugural quilting project.

The “Weakest” Link

Auntie Kimmy lived with me, James, and Ursa for a year and a half on the beaches of Southern California over five years ago. It was totally as awesome as it sounds. Learning to surf, locating the best carne asada tacos in the neighborhood (RIP Tacos & Beer), developing a fondness for wheat grass, and maximizing use of our outdoor fireplace were life’s top priorities. Ursa recognized from an early stage that Kimmy was the “weakest” link in the house. While James and I would stubbornly ignore her whines and pleas to romp in the surf the moment the sun broke the horizon, Kimmy could be counted on to cave at the slightest hand lick or nuzzle. They have been kindred spirits ever since. The greeting Kimmy receives from this dog whenever she visits is second only to Doda, who is the Dog Whisperer in disguise. I’d bet you can hear her whinnies of delight in all the surrounding states. New York and Massachusetts must think we’re tormenting a baby horse, but that’s just how Ursa shows her affection, through sounds akin to torture.

Ursa, the Queen of JUST KIDDING!, has been doing remarkably well since last Wednesday’s incident. While the tumor had once again split open, it has now healed, and we’re trying to live day-to-day and enjoy her effervescent personality. The highs and lows and knowing that it’s coming have been challenging to ignore, but Ursa just wants us to pick up that damn tennis ball, PEOPLE, so she has been helping to keep us focused on the present moment. Kimmy’s reunion with Urs during my mom’s emergency was one of the few bright spots during an otherwise scary week. This image will forever put a smile on my face.

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Before

We had the most delightful weekend. We gardened. We slipped. We slided. We quarry jumped. We swam. We ate. We were, truly, merry. I am looking forward to the day when we can have a similarly carefree weekend with Momar, who is now safely home from the hospital and, while still healing from pneumonia, doing very well.

On Sunday evening, hours before the emergency Monday morning, my mother handed me her credit card and sent me and James off on an adults-only dinner date. She stayed with the girls, cooking dinner, doing the bedtime routine, cleaning up the house. That is who my mother is. A person who always puts her family and those she loves before herself. Who thinks nothing of going out of her way to make my life, my siblings’ lives, a little bit easier, a little bit brighter, a little bit more wonderful. I love you, mum. I need you around. We all do.

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