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Friday, July 24, 2015

One morning

One morning we went to Scuffletown park.  It was glorious.  

It's funny I got these sent to me today, since earlier this morning when I went to drop off Winnie with my mom, my dad had a bunch of old family photographs spread out on the dining room table.  It was a family-photo centric day.  We don't have a particularly detailed family history -- I know there was Ellis Island in the not-too-distant past.  A few other random things.  Not much, really.  But I've seen so few photographs so when I saw a great-grandparent wedding photo, I was struck to see someone with features that resembled my own, because I've never seen a glimpse that far back before.  

This is why I love family photos.  Because they mean something now.  And they will mean something later, too (I hope) to people I may never even see.  We are but a blip.  A wonderful, wonderful blip.











A huge thanks to the lovely Sara Jones for taking these photos for us so very early in the morning, and for being so wonderful.  She was kind enough to auction off her talents for my brother to go to Tanzania.  (I would link to her work, but she's teaching instead of doing pro-photography right now.  We got so very lucky to pull her out of retirement!)   <3

Friday, July 17, 2015

That thing

That thing where you write an honest post about marriage and finances and how it's no fun to be the family fun police/nag, and then you realize it's probably too personal for a public blog, but you wrote all these pithy asides and what's the point of being so CHARMINGLY WITTY if it's just going into the paper journal?

So I guess my point here is that if when I die Google Drive is still a thing, that's where the real juicy stuff is.  Ignore that paper journal, y'all.  Yawnsville.

[Insert commentary about the nature of the public vs private self and the age of instant digital sharing, etc.]


Thursday, July 9, 2015

One.





Sometimes, I look at her and I see a baby.  Sometimes, I look at her and I see a toddler.  Other times, I see a young woman, hiding in there -- who will that young woman be?  Will I meet her in the blink of an eye?  Who is my daughter now, who is my daughter becoming?  





We celebrated her first birthday at Scuffletown Park.  It is one of our/my favorite places in Richmond, and one of the places I missed most when we left (thankfully) briefly.  I love that I can share this place with her.  That I can share all my loves with her.  Pocket parks.  Green grassy places for bare feet.  Chimes that aren't too insistent, just chimey enough.  Hidden places not immediately knowable -- secret spots known only to people who have discovered them, or people who have asked.

I wore rabbits.  I remember wearing a different rabbit shirt when we went to the clinic.  I wore rabbits because I wanted every shred of luck I could conjure up.  Now I wear rabbits to celebrate.  She fills my heart with springing joy.  A whole bunny warren lives in my heart now.



I want to help her become the best version of herself.  I know she's helping me become a better version of myself, that's for sure.  Parenthood has made me more direct.  More grateful.  More open, more honest.  I have fewer figs to give.  Is that a good life lesson to learn?  To give fewer figs?  It feels grand.

So, my sugar plum, my ginger snap, you are one.  You love when Patrick or I take off our glasses -- perhaps you can see our eyes better?  You love rubber ducks.  You love risotto.  You are a discerning giggler.  You think dogs are funny.  You are gentle.  You like being surprised.  You are a wiggler, never still, not for a moment.



Who will you be next year?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Muumuu madness!

who wore it better?


Oh hai, blog-I-haven't-updated-in-over-a-month.

Reasons:

I took over project management of the library's summer reading/learning program.  INSANITY.  I basically do that all day (back-end website stuff -- it's The Great Reading Adventure open-source stuff if you're nosy) then come home, and write 2,000 words or so of freelance/eBook material, watch some OITNB, then go to sleep, rinse, repeat.  The good news is I am being super productive, hustling at work and rocking at it (*preen*).  The bad news is, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz lol blogging nope!  I'm still writing the Wee Morning Tea updates on Thursday mornings when I can, but I'll admit that the summer reading program has basically sucked up all of my headspace.  

And yet.

I really like digging into huge projects like this.  I feel so ALIVE when I'm doing them and Making It Happen. 

Am I seeing Winnie as often as I would like?  No.  And the days I'm home with her longer than an hour, I'm often trying to figure out how to spend that time as wisely as possible.  But that will change as she gets older and bedtime isn't at 7pm.  Summertime is bliss because we can sit outside on the lawn for 15 minutes before bed with bubbles.

Life is so good.  EXHAUSTING.  But good.  

I am slowly learning that life is what you make of it.  You can either step up and tackle shit, or you can...not.  I choose to say yes, I will tackle this.  And this, and this, and this, and that, and this.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spring cleaning, KonMari-style (cuz we're trendy like that)


My house has become embarrassingly messy.  All except for the nursery, which I'm rather proud of, because it's orderly.  Orderly!  As for the rest of the house, I have photos to motivate myself into some sort of before-after transformaaaaation.


I'm trying the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book that everyone's been raving about, partly because we need to tidy and I don't like having a lot of STUFF that has no reason for being in my house, and partly because the doctor told me I'm not healing well from my surgery and they think I'm dealing with some major allergy of some kind, so it's time to SERIOUSLY assess what we can do because I am not going through that surgery again.  Throwing out stuff that gathers dust is a good place to start.  

Kondo was a quick read, and I appreciated that its approach is very minimalist, and argues firmly against merely organizing stuff (all those life-hacks for sorting your shoes, keeping your collection of scarves in order, etc are No Good in KonMari world) and more for the drastic reduction in the amount of stuff.  The problem with the KonMari method of cleaning is that (LIKE ALL OF LIFE) it works better if you have money.  Getting rid of stuff and saying if you really need it again later, just buy another is fine and dandy if you have money to spare.  It's probably easy to pare down clothes to only the things that "spark joy" if you have a fair amount of clothes from which to choose.  That said, I still managed to cull a ton, so that probably speaks in favor of the KonMari method in that even though I don't have a knee-deep pile of tops to choose from, I still weeded and felt refreshed for doing it.  Point Marie.

I appreciate the concept of acknowledging that things can bring us a certain kind of pleasure, and that happiness things brought us doesn't have to be stretched through infinity until we die with a house full of stuff that at one time brought us a spark of joy.  Things can be enjoyed fully and deeply, and then gently let go once they've completed the job they came to do.  You don't have to drag everything out.  It seems very pragmatic and practical to assess things not by what they have given us, or might give us in the future, but by what they're contributing to our lives now.  The practical nature of this type of assessment speaks to my sensibilities.  

Of course, we're nowhere near done.  



Clearly.  Ugh.  The bedroom became the dumping ground for all the little things without homes in the house post-baby, AND we took down some stuff from the walls because when we had the crib in the room, it was up against that wall there.  So now the crib is in the nursery and the dresser is back where it belongs but the walls are bare and sad.  And since we don't own, we aren't investing in painting the ick walls.  D:

Here, have some pictures of a cute out-of-focus baby instead.




So many socks have been found.  So many socks, so few mates.  Sorry socks.



Wrist chub!

Friday, May 1, 2015

May 1, 2010



5 years later, and I've got less hair on my head, and I'm pretty sure he's got more.

(I was so happy.  And so, so allergic to those flowers!  But so happy.)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Book review: Bow Wow Orders Lunch

When it comes to the great literature I've been reading lately, nothing compares to the book Bow Wow Orders Lunch.  In the history of literature, right there alongside Moby Dick and À la recherche du temps perdu, sits this unparalleled tome.



In its sophisticated plot the reader finds an intricate pattern that weaves its metaphors back and forth.  The plot and sandwich thicken and we are led through a veritable maze of materialistic metaphor, in which the sandwich represents the rise and fall of the bourgeoisie.  First it builds itself steadily.  The cheese of hope, the bread of a good, plentiful economy -- together they form the perfect equation for attaining the American Dream, building and building, rising and rising...



But then, ah, a twist!  And what a twist is is.  The pattern of wealth and plenty comes to an abrupt halt when there is too much bread.  Bow Wow thought that his cheese/bread back and forth would continue on as it always had, but then, things changed, right out of nowhere.  Bow Wow sees this happen and as he breathes the single, solitary word "No" in horror (the horror, the horror) the bread bubble bursts.  The pattern has changed.  Nothing will ever be the same.


What is a dog to do when things change?  How can Bow Wow adapt to his new situation?  There is less hope in this new sandwich economy -- less cheese, you might say.  The cheese and bread are no longer equal, which is a clear metaphor for how the classes were driven further apart and further inequality was highlighted during the housing crisis. 

What I found really fascinating though was the abrupt ending.  Much like the final slam of a door to a house someone is fleeing in the dead of night due to foreclosure, Bow Wow slams his story shut.



It feels abrupt, but right, too, a final act of defiance against the sandwich economy given to Bow Wow.  He refuses to play.  The denouement is the finest part of the book as it leaves the reader not merely satisfied but achingly full, as though they too have consumed the sandwich with Bow Wow.