My friend Toby illustrated the new Fleet Foxes album cover. Everything that she illustrates is so incredibly beautiful. The time, the detail, the love and passion manifested in her art is amazing. Her gifts seem otherworldly to me. What's even more important, though, is that she is a beautiful woman inside (and out). She has a golden heart and the kindest spirit.
(Forgot camera at Mom & Dad's house - but I couldn't resist photographing this process.
The plums were so pretty! If only the pictures accurately reflected that.)
The colors of eggs, sugar and cream together in a bowl, rolling out pastry dough and then using my fingers to press it into a little tart pan, the birth of delicious little plum and custard tartlets, afternoon tea and conversation with a lovely lady, and the anticipation of a date night with Dad. These are the elements of a happy friday.
Based off of your comments, these are the three I've narrowed it down to. My favorites are the white with the black cottonwood and the circle, so for now I am using the third option. I think it looks pretty nice! What do you think?
option no. 1
option no. 2
option no. 3
Thank you all for your thoughts!
Ps. I love a little touch of pink too much to exclude it. So, when you hover over a link, there is a flash of pink!
After giving some thought to a conversation with Caitlin last weekend, I've decided to give this blog a bit of a facelift. I have been happy and comfortable with it's simplicity, but I think she was right about giving it a little more of a personal touch. In a way, it is kind of funny that this blog has looked the same ever since I started writing in it a few years ago; especially considering how not too long before that, I was changing the design and layout of my livejournal every week. Those of you who read it are bound to remember a few, I'm sure. Some of them were pretty difficult to look past.
I quickly designed some simple ideas and then passed them along to a friend of mine who is a professional designer. I have consulted him for various things over the years, and I trust his judgment - but I thought I'd check to see what everyone else thinks. For the record, his favorites are the black rule with the cottonwood, and the circle also with the cottonwood across it.
(Best viewed at enlarged version.)
I've already made a few small changes to the layout and such. Take a peek if you're reading from a reader like Feedly, or something.
Ps. Another thing I'm wondering is; would anyone prefer that I post my photos at a larger size?
I don't last very long in the winter. I cannot stand the cold, the grey skies and the short, dark days. It greatly affects my mood - especially when I'm already struggling and feeling down on occasion. It's usually about this time that I start to feel completely restless and ache for summer weather. I entertain my idle mind with dreams of sandy beaches, warm breezes against my skin and linen dresses. Stephanie of Dores has been filling up her blog with images from her travels around India, which have been the perfect mental escape for me. This week, as Asher laid in my arms sucking on his bottle, fervently kicking his fat baby legs, I was possessed by her photographs and, completely in awe, wondered aloud, "I really want to go there - right now."
I also would really like to be able to wear much of Steven Alan's spring collectionright now. Everybody in bloggy world is blogging about it, so I should probably spare my own of the repetitiveness - but evidently, I don't want to. They're nice to look at and dream about being able to wear in later months.
The sunshine will come again! I will remind my heart and mind of this until it returns.
This is my little friend, Naima - brought to you by her beautiful parents, Maya and Rio.
Naima and I spent Saturday afternoon together, romping around Capitol Hill and playing at the park. From her mama's lovely apartment on the top floor, we people and puppy watched through the window above the couch, and read books as we basked in the sunspots that spill through the big windows. When I brought my camera out, she so proudly ran to one of her toy boxes to show me that she had a camera of her own. We took some pictures of each other taking pictures of each other and then went on to play with trains, baby dolls and blocks.
I feel very lucky to have such lovely children in my life right now. It is my greatest desire to have a few of my own someday, but since I cannot have them for an indefinite time, I am grateful that other mothers are so happy to share theirs with me.
Several months ago, I would have found staying at home alone on a Friday evening to be devastating. I would have felt incredibly depressed, knowing that all of my friends were out having a good time together while I was probably very bored and lonely. I would have had a very hard time finding a way to snap out of my terrible mood. I confess, I would have pouted, childishly, and thought silly thoughts and felt sorry for myself. Ugh, how very unattractive... I am not proud of this.
This evening, I contemplated going out (with who, I don't know - the previously mentioned friends from those times are, sadly, no longer my friends) but decided I would be happy to stay home. There were some bananas that had accumulated in my freezer, so I found my favorite recipe and made some whole wheat banana bread. While it was baking I whipped up some english double cream to dollop on top. It was delicious (I only had a little bit - I have to be careful with all of this baking I've been doing). Then I realized, It's 9 o'clock on a Friday night. I can hear the happenings of Capitol Hill from my apartment - clusters of friends laughing and happy couples on their way out to enjoy an evening of socializing and (probably) drinking - and here I am, all alone at home without a desire to call anyone for company or conversation, and I feel okay. I feel glad to be enjoying my own company, and I don't mind one bit that I'll probably go to bed before midnight.
I know this has been a theme lately - so I apologize for any redundancy. However this has not been an easy ability for me to acquire, and I haven't even nearly perfected it yet. I still often feel sad and lonely (like last weekend, for example) and get caught up in recalling people and places that I miss, or have other various feelings (anger, hurt, confusion) of a certain kind for. I know that is okay, though. What I've been going through is not a linear process - so I can promise that I'll be reflecting on it quite a bit. It certainly isn't easy, but I am grateful that I am learning important things right now. I am learning how to be alone - and that is good, because I think I probably will be - and should be - for a while.
The House is so bad for me! It makes me feel like I need a lot more than I actually do (I don't need anything).
Although, a desk would be really nice... And a chest of drawers to put my underpinnings in could be considered necessary. For the past two years they've been in various boxes and baskets, which are a bit frustrating to dig through early in the morning in my dark closet. A bedside table with a drawer and some space for organizing the piles that accumulate on the floor would be useful, too.
So I suppose what I actually need is to stop looking at craigslist.
Today I said to Kai, "All I really want to do, is go somewhere warm - like Mexico or Hawaii or the Caribbean - and stay in a grass cabana with a big bed all to myself, and take all of the best books in the world and lay on the beach and read and eat really good food and swim and nap. That's what I want to do. What do you want to do?"
He replied, "I want to watch Elmo on youtube. I really, really want to do that."
If only paradise were that easily attainable at the age of 26.
I am spreading out, taking care of me, treating my tongue to good homemade meals and tasty desserts. I am reading a lot and making plans. I am investing in my relationships with friends, family, and with myself. I am stretching myself, bit by bit. I am treasuring the little things in my every day. I am finding contentedness and hoping I am on my way to happiness once again.
I took these pictures in August with the disappointing camera on my
phone. I should take better ones.
This is the house that my father and grandfathers built. I was five years old when we moved in, with barely enough furniture or bodies to fill it. My dad designed it to feel like a tree house, using big windows to capture the trees and the views of the Cascades to the east. We didn't have a backyard, but we had a forest and a tree swing, dirt to dig in and toads and salamanders to make our pets. Under the deck behind the house I made-believe I was Sleeping Beauty or a brave explorer. My siblings and I forged trails through the woods and with our young imaginations believed there was an old witch living in a shed at the other side, so we never went too far in. When I left for school early in the morning, wild bunnies hopped through our front lawn and deer briefly emerged from the trees. On summer evenings, our back deck BBQs were often accompanied by the sound of loud choruses of coyotes. During wind storms, my mom would rush around the house lighting candles and my dad would uncover every misplaced flashlight (usually only one of the bunch had working batteries). All six of us would crowd onto the couch by the big windows and watch the tall trees sway, holding our breath. We were lucky to never have a tree fall on our home, but unfortunately, our neighbors were not always spared. Birthdays were celebrated long after the special day; mom hung streamers and balloons all throughout the kitchen and dining room and dad never failed to draw a unique, personalized birthday banner every year. I grew up sitting on the kitchen counters, helping my mama with birthday cakes and christmas cookies. There are so many memories - and I have an uncanny ability to remember many of them - so if I were to recall them all I'd end up writing a book. Needless to say, I love my home and feel so lucky to have spent such a happy childhood growing up there.
There have been a few financial blunders over the past several years, and so this series of unfortunate events have led to today. My parents had no other choice but to put our home of 21 years on the market. It has been waiting for another family to snatch it up since August. I, of course, cannot believe that an offer wasn't made at the first viewing (all of you fools are missing out on a gem, a treasure!) but finally, it sounds like a few people are going to make some offers.
I've been trying to prepare myself for the day that it sells and is no longer ours. It will be really, really difficult to give it up. In fact, I will be heartbroken. I plan to spend as much time there as I can over whatever time there is left and document in photos and writing all of the special details, all of the memories.
The end is nearing us, my dear sweet home! I'll (reluctantly) get ready to say goodbye.
As I was writing the previous entry, it started to snow. I decided to sit in the kitchen and watch the snow fall while enjoying a midnight snack, a small glass of milk and a pistachio cupcake with vanilla honey buttercream frosting (speaking of allergies...). Sarah and I made them on Sunday.