Friday, April 1, 2016

2015 Family Pictures

When did we take these? October? I don't even remember. Thanks to my wonderful friend Miriam for taking these. She really is the best.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Lately it seems like everyone on the internet is obsessed with traveling.  Like, it's everybody's "passion". Even my husband recently described himself as having a bit of wanderlust.

We travel a lot. We live far from our families so we travel to see them in various locations, often. We also go on vacations- both with out families and with just our little family. It's fun. Abe has been on 10 flights at the ripe age of one.

And there's so many--this will sound cliché but it's true--AMAZING places to travel to. (Does the word amazing always sound cliché to anyone else?) We want to go everywhere. New Zealand, Europe, San Francisco. My current travel dream is to bicycle tour around Iceland. I don't think that's even a thing. A few months ago I saw a Ted Talk by a travel writer and had this epiphany: I want to be a travel writer! Okay, but who doesn't? You love to travel, I love to travel, he and she both love to travel, oh yeah, and your grandma also loves to travel. Traveling is AMAZING. But really. The world is beautiful.


Despite all the beauty and amazement and exoticness of travel, every time we leave our home, I start to feel this sense of sadness. No matter where we're going. All of a sudden, I don't want to leave. It's a little premature homesickness as I set the thermostat, lock the windows, leave one light on.

As this whole scenario occurred before a recent weekend trip, I realized something. Traveling is not my passion. Traveling is wonderful. It's fun, interesting, eye-opening, worthwhile, exciting, very very important. But it's not my passion. My passion is my home.

My home is the most important place on the planet for me and just as wonderful as any vacation spot. Not (usually) as exciting. Much more mundane. But home is where I live with my family and it's where we build our family. We watch our baby turn into a person and feel deep love and appreciation for our daily life. Most of my living, loving, growing, writing, parenting, and learning happens at my home. These things are sacred to me. These things are turning my home into a sacred place for me. Shouldn't we all live on ground hallowed by the best efforts of our own lives?

It's kind of ironic that I am thinking about this right now, because we don't own a home. We rent a condo. We like the Phoenix but this won't be our home forever. In a few years our condo will turn into someone else's home. (Or, I don't know, maybe it will just turn into their house, their residence. Maybe it won't be home to them the way it is to us). But for now this little 1100 square foot condo contains the most important part of our world.

It's also ironic for me to be writing about this because we are going on a very exciting vacation to Hawaii in under two weeks. (I wrote this in May. Vacation has come and gone and it was awesome). We have been planning on this for a year and a half, not even exaggerating a little bit. That's longer than Abe has even been alive. We have the guide books, we have the swimsuits, we're gonna buy a go-pro, I mean we are going all out. We are so excited. It is going to be a complete and utter delight.

But what will happen the morning we leave? I already know. I'll set the thermostat, lock the windows, leave on light on, and all of a sudden, I won't want to go. Once we get there, the blue ocean and perfect whether and green jungle will suck me in and I'll never want to leave. But we will leave, and what I've realized is, that upon returning home I'll find that where we are is just as wonderful as where we were.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Maker of Home: At Home with Madame Chic

I have a lot of thoughts about the word homemaker. Maybe someday I'll share more of these thoughts,  but basically, I love this word and I think it shouldn't get a bad rap.

I also am really bad at cleaning and if you ask me I will tell you I hate cleaning. But I love my house to be clean. So having a cleaning lady is basically my idea of heaven.

A few weeks ago I was reading the book At Home with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott and the homemaker inside me was inspired. The book isn't break through ideas or incredibly beautiful writing, it's just one woman talking about learning to love homemaking. It was the beginning of the book that I really appreciated (I kind of skimmed the end). I take notes when I'm reading books, so here are a few notes from this book:

      There was this whole section on falling in love with your home again. Which is what I need to work on feeling. "We must hold on to these dreams [of a new home], but in the meantime we must not wish away the life we currently have." So, learn to thrive where you are now.

She says, "the more you can love your home, the more you'll want to take care of it." Enjoy the process of taking care of your home. She also says, "This is where simple pleasures are born. It's the small things that can bring so much joy into your day. You will never feel bored or restless when doing housework if you take pleasure and pride in the details of how it's done." She says that details are the key to connoisseurship. 

She wakes up to the sound of Tibetan bells (on her alarm clock). Doesn't that sound amazing?

"Whatever you do, do something to remind yourself that you are alive."

Okay those are my notes.

It's kind of amazing how much my attitude about cleaning changed from reading this. It's been easier for me to focus on how good I'm going to feel about my home and how good I'm going to feel about myself for cleaning. It's been easier for me to see cleaning not as a chore but as something...pleasant? (Who am I???). Not that I clean THAT much more. Baby steps. 


Three peach festivals in a row! Our family is so new that we don't have many traditions yet, but this has sort of become one. Unfortunately is was so crowded this year and the peaches weren't quite crazy sweet ripe enough and I found out you can come pick peaches at Schnepf Farms anytime, not just during the Peach Festival, so next year we will probably forgo the official Peach Festival and just come pick peaches some morning. Also this year you had to BUY tastes at the tasting booth, which was so lame. And all the lines were too long to even get ice cream/cinnamon rolls/pie. Etc. Okay despite that it was still fun. But next year, we are tweaking the tradition.

And as you can tell from the bottom picture, Abe LOVES peaches. Oh that face.


Abe and I went to a local sand castle festival. The sand castles were cool but Abe was a little too little to admire them. So we booked it over to the shady booths where we found this bucket full of water and water toys, aka, Abe heaven.

And then, my sleeping boy. I always get very tender feelings when I sneak a peek at him in his crib.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Happiness Grows in the Mountains

Well hello. It's been a while.
Right now Abe's napping and I'm supposed to be doing some stuff for young women's (so many emails!) but even though I've read Gretchen Rubin's book on habits and even though Terry bought me a planner sometimes I just don't want to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Sometimes I want to be doing what I want to be doing. Which is looking at our lovely photos from camping this weekend and admiring how cute Abe is and trying to use my minimal photoshop skills to fix the pictures I way underexposed. Gretchen Rubin, does that make me a Rebel? Because, by the way, I seriously can't figure out which of the four tendencies I fit into. I'm all and none of them. And I've asked multiple people's opinions with different answers. But I digress.

So even though it was only a 24 hour camping trip, it was wonderful. Just what we needed. It rained and it was dirty and beautiful and by the end we all smelled like campfire and were so wonderfully happy and in awe of mother earth. Driving up, Terry and I kept commenting how it looked like the part of Oregon he is from. All the big pine trees. It's amazing that such an Oregon-like place is a mere 2 hours 15 minutes north of Phoenix, Arizona. 

We went with some great friends who have two little boys Abe loves. So between being outside and having older kids to play with, he was in heaven. Most of the really beautiful shots were taken by my friend Miriam.
Earlier this morning Abe and I had gone shopping for rain coats because neither of us owned anything waterproof. While we were trying raincoats on, Abe totally face planted and was crying a lot harder than normal. 20 minutes later as we leave the store I realize it's because he had skinned his nose. Ouch. So of course, as soon as we get to our campsite, one of the first things he does is faceplate into the dirt. Which was sad and adorable and believe it or not it was not that fun to clean the dirt off his skinned nose.
You can see his skinned nose and scratched forehead real good in this one. This is one of my all-time favorite pictures (thanks Miriam!).

We went to the nearby fish hatchery the next day. This was one of those way over-exposed photos but I think you still get the idea of the type of heaven this was for Abe. Like, please Dad, let me jump in heaven.

Abe just learned how to do this. The whoop. It kills me.
 Stealing the Andes mints at the end. If you haven't made chocolate graham cracker-marshmallow-andes mint s'mores you probably should.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Long-Awaited Newborn Photos

Over a year ago when Abe was 10 days old we hired a photographer to take some beautiful newborn pictures. We've had these back for almost a year, and I always meant to put them up in case anyone wanted to see them, but never got around to it. Today I made a photo book of them on Artifact Uprising, so I thought I would put some favorites up while I'm thinking about it.

Our photographer was the lovely Ashley Nielson. Not sure if she's still taking photos since she recently had a baby herself, but she did such a wonderful job and was ridiculously inexpensive.
She did such a beautiful job. I am over the moon for these photos.