Monday, October 31, 2016
We spent an afternoon in Wonderland this past weekend! I will post more photos later this week, but I wanted to share this video. Sloane and I just finished reading the book a few weeks ago and we were so excited to dress up as characters with friends who also love doing this sort of thing. It really felt like we were in Wonderland.
Friday, October 28, 2016
These past few Mondays have been particularly harsh.
If you know me, you know that this statement alone carries the depths of despair for me.
The cold, and the very hectic work days, and my baby-weaning body is making me feel pretty fragile. I wake up on Monday morning, and it's a tiger swipe to my face. Everything feels raw. There are least 15 things that need to get done before I even head out the door and even the smallest things feel hard.
This past Monday was like that. On the way to work, I listened to a song about relinquishing control and I teared up. Then I listened to a song with a great drum beat, and I don't even know what the words were, but the bass reverberated through my body and gave me a massage. Throughout the day, I had a couple of interactions that made me feel hopeful. I had a couple of conversations that totally bummed me out. And then we were done, my girls tumbled into my arms, I tumbled into Ken's arms, and Monday was over.
Last weekend, I was alone with the girls and although we missed Ken very much, there is a peace that comes from relaxed expectations. I know that not as much will get done without him around and that things might take a little longer, so we take things slow and there is an ease and comfort to that.
My favorite moments during that weekend were the mornings when we took our time getting ready and out the door, and the hours we got to spend outdoors. The girls are content to play together in their pajamas, they are content with the simple experience of the wind on their face and the freedom to run around and the discovery of a special acorn or leaf. I am content with the slower pace.
In the spirit of sharing the small days, I'm putting a batch of photos up here starting with these photos from almost a month ago. On the left is from when we went to go see the Richmond symphony and experienced the instrument petting-zoo beforehand. Sloane got to try all the instruments and this is the one photo I got of her, while she was trying the cello. On the right is her first watercolor that she did on her own (with her new haircut!) that I love so much. I framed it this past weekend and it's hanging on our dining room wall now.
I probably have a hundred photos now in my phone of these munchkins bundled up wandering around the yard. Logan is usually carrying a stuffed animal.
This is officially both Ken and my favorite cocktail these days: the Danville Rattlesnake (lemon, mezal, bourbon, simple syrup). It was our favorite drink at our favorite restaurant here, and then our friend figured out how to make it and showed us how and we never looked back. We went on sort of a bender the first week, exclaiming to each other how much money we were saving by making these at home, until we realized we were overdoing it and probably not saving any money at all. We've toned it down to return it to its once-in-a-while special cocktail status, and really, it tastes better that way anyways.
During the first few days of fall (when it wasn't so cold), we spent a lot of time outdoors in our hats...
...and we made a lot of fires. Sloane got really good at gathering the perfect sticks for fire stroking and marshmallow roasting. Here she is showing Logan the art of the perfect stick.
One weekend morning Sloane asked to put put into Logan's crib, and they lay here like this, trying to make each other laugh, and giggling together.
We put Logan in the Robin costume (remember Sloane in it?!?!!) and she stayed in it all day.
This past weekend, some friends came over for party preparations and all the kids brought their bikes so that they could ride around. It was pretty epic to see all these kids (all of whom I held as newborns!!) zoom around on their bikes.
That's 10 sets of wheels there ! including logan in the little car.
They are incredible.
This situation works out pretty well: Logan loves being chased and Sloane loves chasing.
Have a good weekend, all! Slow or fast, may you find peace in the small moments.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Sunday, October 23, 2016
1. I love everything about this house!! If this is "modern, midcentury and bohemian", that is likely the closest description to what I consider my inspirations these days.
2. Also home-related: the design and styling of this baby boy nursery blew my mind. It's so good.
3. This is a pretty close to how we meal prep these days.
4. Also meal-prep related, I am ALL about the sheet pan.
5. Okay one more, because newborn babies and meal trains should always go hand-in-hand, but also these are helpful meal ideas for yourself.
6. How rad are these metallic fringed sneakers?? They are for kids and definitely don't have them in my size, but I feel like my winter life would be all the better with these.
7. Adding all of these amazing places to my bucket list.
8. A fun site to browse through if you are fond of books.
Taking a big & shaky breath....I'm coming for you, Monday!
Friday, October 21, 2016
We have this friend that we love very much named Mignon - not only because she's strong and steady, smart and funny, no-nonsense and sweet...but because she is incredibly generous with her time and talents and has taught me a thing or two about showing love through these things. Long story short, after all the parties and events she has done for other people, it was about time she had a party thrown in her honor, and so for her birthday we went all out and did up a murder mystery dinner party set in the 1920s.
My friend Martha and I were gearing up to start planning when Ken surprised me by speaking up and declaring (very excitedly) that he wanted in, ALL IN, as is his style. He logged in many hours and master minded the whole script - the background story, the characters, each of their stories, secrets and objectives for the night. It was a big guest list for a dinner party -20 playing characters - so it was no easy feat but he made it happen. After weeks of thinking and talking about it, it was so fun to see the stories and characters come to life.
Martha did such a good job with the details, the Ha's were great enough to open their home, and everyone involved did an amazing job dressing up and playing their parts! See what I mean by the awesomeness that is practicing creativity in community?
How creepy is that butler photo of Ken! I love it especially for its creepiness. This second photo is us getting ready for that night. Ken and I played the butler and the maid to do some of the behind the scenes facilitating, which was great fun, but next time (if there is a next time) I definitely want to play!
Here are just a few of the photos from that evening:
A very pleased butler
All the ladies with the birthday girl! (And also Brandon)
All the men with the birthday girl!
And then each of the mob families:
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
The concept of creativity being valued and nurtured within community is so very exciting to me.
More so now than ever before because I've realized as much as I enjoy the creating, where I really shine might be in the gathering, the connecting, and the editing.
Creativity in community is exciting to me because:
First, it means that you have found a group of people who are like-minded and passionate about pursuing creativity and a creative life. (This is also why books and even podcasts are so valuable to me...they provide me the sense that I have even a bigger community of like-minded people).
Second, I have seen the immense benefits of working with like-minded people for accomplishing a project. The process of brainstorming to gather ideas, delegating tasks, and the accountability and encouragement to get it done, are all invaluable. It doesn't always work but once you experience the lightning strike, it's easy to want to come back to it again and again. Especially as a person who is an external processor, having people around to brainstorm with has been a big part of enjoying the process.
Thirdly, there is a relational aspect that is practiced here that I find valuable for the creative endeavor. For me, the newness of an idea is less important to me than the relatability of the idea. Getting someone to connect with your story is what makes it worthwhile to create something (which is not always the case for everyone! More on this next time!) so the fluid and complex nature of a relationship is endlessly fascinating and inspiring for me.
The two photos here are from when I took the girls to the Richmond Symphony a few weeks ago. We went to something called "Magic at the Symphony" where they had a "petting zoo" before the performance for the kids to 'pet' and play all the instruments, which Sloane loved (especially the trumpet!). Afterwards, the performance was a collaboration between the Richmond symphony orchestra and Lyn Dillies, female illusionist, and it was such an amazing show and concert.
Other posts about creativity: Thinking About....Creativity, & Creating Invigorates
The Liturgist Podcast, a podcast that discusses topics through the lens of art, faith and science, which my friend Lisa told me about, has been particularly inspiring these days.
Monday, October 17, 2016
We almost didn't make it to apple picking this year. Our October is so very packed and there were some scheduling conflicts that made us think it could be too hard to make the trip. But I was adamant; this is my favorite thing to do in the fall, I look forward to it all year, and it's a tradition that marks the beginning of the colder months for me in a way that allows me to brace myself and buck up. It turned out to be the coldest day it had been so far and it was also extremely windy, which made for the coldest apple picking experience we've had to date, but it was absolutely worth it and we came down the mountain feeling refreshed and excited for fall.
This is Sloane's 5th year! She's four years old, but she first went when she was 9 weeks old, then at age 1, 2, 3 and now 4...for a total of 5 times. I was also excited that Logan was old enough this year to hold and eat an apple all on her own - I considered this her official induction into the apple lovers club.
I love that Logan is wearing that hat Sloane wore when she was a one year old. It makes me feel all sorts of feelings.
The wind was really strong when we first got to the orchard, so we immediately got hot apple ciders to cup in our hands as we made our way up to the fuji apples. The wind was blowing so hard that Sloane would get swayed and pushed every which way and she kept shrieking with delighted laughter at the wind's attempts. Her face was like this the whole way up the mountain.
Watching these two together make my heart feel like it is bursting...especially seeing Sloane watching out for Logan and Logan trying copy everything Sloane does.
I came down the mountain full of love, wind and apples.