Blog a la Cart

Month: April, 2014

Chicky Babes


To say that Sunny is The Chick Whisperer is the understatement of the century (at least chez Cart).

She is so sweet and gentle and loving with our latest flock. She asked to hold them immediately upon arrival home, and suddenly she went from having one little lady in her lap to all sixteen. They snuggled up and were more than content to just laze in her arms. She was in fluffy, peep peep heaven.

This stage goes by so quickly, and by next week this lot will be a gangly, awkward, semi-feathered bunch, so we’re letting Sunny enjoy it as much as she can. People have asked why we have so many new chickens, and, well, these little ones are not just intended to be egg layers. About half the flock (and potentially more) will become meat for family supper.

Sunny already named two Tenders and Nugget.

Farm Life sure gives a kid a sense of life cycles. Be sure to watch the video below of the sixteen flock chick snuggle in action.









For those interested in where we source our poultry and what breeds we’ve selected:

Our full grown hens are down to four. We have one Buff Orpington, two Plymouth Barred Rocks and one Araucana (that lays blue eggs!). We ordered this latest flock from Murray McMurrary Hatchery. We order three Black Austalops, two Buff Orpingtons, three Araucanas, three Rhode Island Reds, four Blue Cochins, and the hatchery threw in one random exotic (Mohawk Baby) chicken for good measure. We ordered a few males in the hopes of getting at least one friendly-ish rooster to help protect the hens from hawks (our farm’s biggest predator for the chickens thus far). And we’d love to incubate our own eggs, so we need a rooster for fertilization. We’ll see. I’m gunning for one of the Blue Cochins (the poodles of the chicken world) to be a most effeminate, friendly rooster for Cartwheel Farm.

The Sunny Side // 24


“When Ursa died, you buried her in the ground, and now she’s the grass. The green grass is Ursa and it’s raining rainbows, and there are rainbow hearts and rainbow flowers and even a real rainbow to make her happy, the way that she made me happy.”

(And I’m sobbing. This kid’s heart… we don’t know what we did to deserve her. I’m having this one framed to hang forever and ever and eternity. Like our love for Ursa.)

Currently Reading

For anyone parenting. Period. Especially for anyone parenting a toddler/tantrummer. Thanks to my dear friend, Lydia, mama to a fellow 2 year old, for this read.

Acknowledgement isn’t condoning our child’s actions; it’s validating the feelings behind them. It’s a simple, profound way to reflect our child’s experience and inner self. It demonstrates our understanding and acceptance. It sends a powerful, affirming message… Every thought, desire, feeling — every expression of your mind, body and heart — is perfectly acceptable, appropriate and lovable.

(Full post here)

South Carolina // 2014

We arrived home yesterday afternoon to 16 peeping chicks (which had arrived early and were fortunately rescued from the post office on a Sunday afternoon and set up chez Cart by our dear friend Justine) and a laundry room turned jungle thanks to abundant vegetable seedling growth. After unpacking and laundry and groceries, we set to work transplanting seedlings and mulching flower beds and turning compost into the soil and, most importantly, snuggling the brand new baby chicks. It may sound cliché, but I loved getting settled in back home by physically reconnecting with the place and the life that makes it tick.

More on that and our past 10 days of adventure later. I do have this short video of our trip to South Carolina. It’s our first attempt at live video during vacation, but was a fun and different way to capture our time with James’ family. It’s good to be home, but it was nice to get away!




“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Sunny: While packing last week, she called out from the other room, “Mama, I am assuming that Courtland would like you to pack her flamingo bathing suit.” Her use of “assuming” killed me. More and more grown up everyday.
Kaki: So in love with her fancy party dress. It’s all hers – not a hand-me-down – but a Kaki original.

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

Me and My Girls

Upon our return from South Carolina, we gathered my family together for an April birthday celebration (my mom’s birthday is earlier in the month). My sister and her boyfriend and my Fairy Godmother Jayne joined us all for an evening out. The girls dressed up in their fancy party dresses, and we celebrated over champagne and fresh seafood.

James and I are now in Austin, TX for yet another Williams/Williams wedding – and my parents are caring for all of our dependents, saints that they are! While travel was so stupidly easy and carefree yesterday, James and I lazed around our Airbnb airstream (more on that later!) avoiding the crazy Texas heat, missing the heck out of all of them. But enough moping, we’re off to consume our weight in breakfast tacos!






“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Sunny: Enjoying the rather epic zip line in South Carolina. She’s wishing we installed something of this caliber on CWF.
Kaki: A tad overwhelmed by the size of this swing. Covered from head to toe in bug bites. Apparently she is the sweetest of our bunch. Apparently those gnats have yet to see her tantrum!

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

TBT // 4

One year ago…

There is something so liberating about closing the books on that wonderful whirlwind that categorized our 20s and entering a new decade with zero expectations besides a better appreciation and awareness that life is joyfully, heartbreakingly unpredictable. I have no major goals. Or bucket lists. Or any sort of cliché agenda for my 30s. Beyond learning how to make a quilt and witnessing the birth of a child (from another body besides my own), I demand very little from this decade.

Two years ago…

On Saturday, we will become fulltime residents of Vermont.

During the past four weeks of home ownership, we’ve torn out cabinets. Ripped down a wall. Demolished some tile. Removed a toilet. Repurposed a cabinet as a sink vanity. Laid down a hot pink floor. Reinstalled a toilet. Reconstructed a wall. Repainted the entire downstairs living rooms. And, thanks to the urgings of those with better judgement and sense than us, paid someone to remove a very large tree dangling precariously over some power lines and Addison’s new bedroom.

If left to our own devices, James may very well have turned into the Wicked Witch of the East. Flattened by the offending tree in a brazen effort to DIY Tree Removal.

Home ownership suits us (and our idiotic DIY impulses) quite well.

Three years ago…

While she revels in her growth, James and I are left wondering where the hell the time went. Where that mohawked, gurgling infant has gone. And how we have a kid with such independence sleeping in a bed in the room next door.

Four years ago…

I just want to take a moment and address the fact that I find Facebook on my birthday a strange and confusing phenomenon. At no other time would I have old high school classmates who once called me “vain” and now post glamour shots of themselves on a semi-hourly basis interacting with ex-boyfriends, fiances of my biffles, family, co-workers, friends, and acquaintances from near and far. It is the strangest haphazard display of people I have interacted with at one point or another in my life, who just so happen to log in to Facebook on April 22nd and see my name displayed in their “Events” sidebar.

Featured // 2


So completely honored to be interviewed by Gabrielle of Design Mom. The full interview about my perspective on birth photography here.

I’ve seen women speechless, I’ve seen women in tears, I’ve seen women cry out with joy, I’ve seen women humbled with gratitude, I’ve seen women exhausted and overwhelmed – but each and every one of them is so palpably consumed by love and relief.

The Sunny Side // 23


“This is a backwards rainbow. The colors are the wrong way. It’s fun to break the rules sometimes.”