Blogging

Parting Thought(s)

I come to this nearly abandoned space without apology.  This election has been too big to remain a silent participant.

I have been sitting with my thoughts for two days.  I have so many it’s hard to make sense of them.  But I process with words.  These are just a few.

There is so much grief.


For the nearly 9 years I’ve been present in this space, I have yet to overtly voice my political opinion.  I seem to be able to wax on and on about design, dinners, and days in the sun.  I’ve alluded to my political leanings with quotes and hints at how I volunteer my time.  I can say the same for my religious affiliation.  I believe this quote; but now is the time for words. Words matter; they have weight and meaning. In this space I’ve not wanted to offend nor seem intolerant, never wanting to be lumped into one group or category and labeled just a demographic box.  But every day millions of my fellow citizens who are anything other than “white” wake up to such a reality — a demographic box.  And they are terrified…. as am I.

In recent weeks I heard someone say “liberals take Trump literally but not seriously and conservatives take Trump seriously but not literally.”  I’m still processing this pithy summary.  But how are we NOT supposed to take him literally when he seemed to repeat the same horrible things?  History will be the final judge; however, that is little comfort for those of us here and now.

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The First Year

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How do you put into words the first year?  Nearly impossible.

Heston’s pediatrician danced with me in her office as I said, “It’s not Happy Birthday, baby! But CONGRATULATIONS Mamma & Papa!” She vigorously agreed and added, “the banner should end with, ‘and we’re still married — sort of!'” #truth #preach

Right now our little monkey has 3 teeth, but according to his 1 year check up yesterday, he has FOUR more sprouting any second!  His weight is in the 64th percentile, his length the 57th percentile and his gigantic, watermelon head is in the 93rd percentile!  Ha, ha! But for a baby that was once ONE OUNCE away from being labeled “failure to thrive” (at 16 weeks old) this is basically a miracle.

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Greetings From 9 Months

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I’ve been searching for my words in others’. I know they won’t be there; but somehow my thoughts are still a jumbled mess of syllables inside my mind. Much like my little monkey learning to babble, it’s how I feel about trying to articulate just what exactly has happened over these last 9 months.

The overwhelming love and joy that I have begun to experience since Heston turned 7 months is white-washing the nightmare that was my daily routine from day 1 – month 7. Everyone says you’ll forget the hard times, and maybe they are right. But it’s not that I’ve forgotten…but I can’t quite remember it, rather articulate it… it’s still so foggy and yet I can’t believe that I actually have “hindsight”.  We were in the trenches.  And then we weren’t.   I may not have the words for it, but I feel that I’ve been marked, branded, in some unique way.  And I’m talking about more than the permanent dark circles under my eyes and the severe postpartum hair loss (how did I not know this was a thing?!); nor is it the mark of general motherhood — but it is the mark of mothering an un-well baby, battling the demons of expectations and comparison, and digging down to a very deep, personal place to find the strength to get up again and again — for 7 months straight.

Color 9.21.05 PM

There are things I spontaneously remember that I’ve clearly already forgotten about…. My mantra for so long was “don’t forget about this,” but the way PTSD works, you’re supposed to forget, to be able to move on.  So while my pen had no fortitude and my memory no energy, nothing is more telling than my google search history; my digital legacy paints quite the picture.

  • what’s wrong with my baby
  • newborn won’t stop crying
  • newborn choking
  • what to do with a newborn
  • does my baby hate me
  • baby poop by color
  • how do i know if I’m going crazy
  • how long can I go without sleep
  • sleep deprivation as torture

And let’s not even go down the google rabbit hole of the breastfeeding problems I was having.  Oh Lawdy.

But I keep waiting to be able to articulate my experience to write in this space, but I think what’s needed is a fresh page, starting now.  So I’ll start with the present.

At 9 months, my little monkey is finally mobile.  He still breastfeeds, so eating is more about trial and error and tactile experience rather than nutrition.  But he loves almost any flavor food I’ve tried, spices and all.  But things with texture… not so much.  Because I’ve never been around babies I’m not sure what is unique to his personality, but I’m picking up on what others say about him. One of the most common comments I hear when we’re out and about is, “he’s so serious!”  And he is.  Whilst out in the world, he likes to be worn in my ring sling.  And he’s SO contemplative.  He sits straight-faced, soaking it all in.  But when we’re at home, he’s all squeals and giggles.  He’s definitely my kid.

His head is finally becoming more proportionate to his body and is in the 71st percentile (down from 92nd!), while height is 47th percentile and weight is 24th.  Watermelon on a toothpick.  And he’s wonderful.

 

It’s A Boy

Eight weeks.  We’ve survived EIGHT WEEKS!  And I’m still in “survival” mode.  So many things I want to blog about.  My (great) birthing experience, my declining health in the first week of postpartum, my difficulty breastfeeding, colic, tongue tie, and mostly how much I love this little boy.  I cannot believe I have a little BOY.  Bananas.  The only time I seem to have is when I’m sitting at the pump, and hopefully I’ll soon get to process this whole thing with words, but in the mean time you can see me process visually on Instagram.

Baby Heston Birth Announcement

Finally

Let’s all take a minute to deeply exhale… we made it through another summer! Fall is officially here today as the high was only 85.  I love the metaphor my friend used — “the fever broke”.

It was an interesting and full summer and I’m glad I took a break from this space.  But also, I missed it.  And my sabbatical allowed me to miss it.  While I was away I worked (and worked and worked) and spent a lot of time thinking (it’s kind of what I do) about everything that is life.  I read books, watched movies, went on (not enough) walks, took a few photos, visited family and flexed other creative parts of my brain.

But I’m ready to be back…. so let’s do this internet!

Fall 2014

Summer Sabbatical

I thought I would pop into this space to say life has happened and gotten in the way of my little electronic creative outlet (i.e. my blog).  I’m trying to strike a balance and want to make sure I’m not ever posting anything because I feel compelled rather than because I want to.  (I don’t know why I feel that pressure…it’s not like I make money doing this…)  Anyway… I may not be in this space right now, but you can find me on Instagram.  Happy Summer… I’ll be back soon!

Summer Sabbatical

The hubs snapped this last summer when we were in The DR.  I want to go back!

Documenting My Travels

Despite my wishy-washy feelings about blogging, there is a part of me that is glad that I have this particular form of documentation of the last 5+ years of my life.  I’ve tried to maintain a balanced approach to my on-line presence.  I don’t really do social media (my 10 instagram followers don’t count!) And really, I only post part of what’s going on in my life at any given time.   As I’ve said before, this is just some sort of a creative outlet and thus a record of how I have stretched my “digital art” skills.  Some of the early stuff I really want to take down in shame but I leave it all there as a reminder of how I’ve changed and to hear my voice throughout the process.

Despite my journeying from a DIY-holly-hobbie-crafter to a wanna-be-design-snob, one consistency is prevalent throughout: adventures — great and small.  And I figured it was time I dusted off the archives of this digital time capsule and actually organize my travel photos.  What I found to be most interesting of all is two-fold really: 1.) In my earlier travels I didn’t post a lot of photos after the trip — despite having snapped literally hundreds.  And 2.) I don’t always document trips with photos.  I can think of at least 2 major cross-country roadtrips that didn’t even end up archived here in any way.  My sister even commented whilst in Spain that I didn’t take very many photos even though I lugged my DSLR with me all around the country.  It’s weird — I know.  But I want to have pure motivation while snapping… and thinking about what would be good on the blog before I snap always makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t want to capture something just to put it here — I want to capture it because I want to remember something authentic.

So… all of that qualifier to say that 1.) I’m glad I finally organized my adventures and 2.) they are what they are.  Sometimes I post about the details, sometimes it’s just been the mood.  I would love nothing more than to be a travel writer: documenting customer service, secret back-alley shops, and the best local food.  But… I’m not.  I often like to pretend that I don’t actually have an audience in this space.  (This is all just for me, right?!)  So, I’ve captured what I’ve captured and it means something to me.  But if someone else connected with it visually or verbally, then that’s just the cherry on top.  But, I must admit that it’s been pretty fun to share details of my adventures and the more I share, the more it motivates me to do it again.

If you click on the little tab up there that says Adventures, you’ll see all the places I’ve been (since 2008)…that I’ve actually posted about.

Travel Tags

a late start

This does not bode well for new resolutions.  It’s the first week in January and I’m already behind!  It doesn’t help that we spent two full days trying to escape the snowy, icy tundra that was the state of Michigan.  But according to Mrs. Glass-Half-Full (*she’s only a teeny-tiny portion of my alter-ego not eaten by Mrs. What-The-Hell-Happened-Half-Empty) it means that I got to start the year with a bit of an adventure.  I think getting stuck in Minnesota on a record cold night counts.

I have so many thoughts — about this space, my other space, goals, hopes, attempts, and a new word for the year.  All of course to be shared in the days, weeks, and months ahead.  If I can get it together.  I can’t believe that this little space turned 6 years old on Jan 1 and that I’m still at it (as embarrassing as it may be).

Here’s to another fresh start (albeit a late one)!

Minnesota from airplane

we are not the poem

Putting Thoughts To Paper Graphic

Whilst lounging under a cabana a couple of weeks ago, I re-read a go-to writing book, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.  This time one particular chapter left the page and has been stuck somewhere in the back of my mind ever since.  It reads as follows:

…We think our words are permanent and solid and stamp us forever.  That’s not true.  We write in the moment.  Sometimes when I read poems at a reading to strangers, I realize they think those poems are me.  They are not me, even if I speak in the “I” person.  They were my thoughts and my hand and the space and the emotions at that time of writing.  Watch yourself.  Every minute we change.  It is a great opportunity.  At any point, we can step out of our frozen selves and our ideas and begin fresh.  That is how writing is.  Instead of freezing us, it frees us.  …It is important to remember that we are not the poem.  People will react however they want; and if you write poetry, get used to no reaction at all.  But that’s okay.  The power is always in the act of writing.  Come back to that again and again and again.  …Don’t identify too strongly with your work.  Stay fluid behind those black-and-white words.  They are not you.  They were a great moment going through you.  A moment you were awake enough to write down and capture.  [Emphasis mine.]

As I reflect again on her words, I think about how much I hold back from this space… for fear of being frozen by my words.  I avoid talking about my experiences with religion, social justice, politics, and other things because I don’t want to be put in a box and have someone say… “but you said…!!!”  I feel so much more fluid than my words or photos might suggest.  I am constantly learning and growing and I don’t ever want to be in a position that I have become so cemented that I can’t gain a fresh perspective.  Just because I have articulated an experience about x,y,or z doesn’t mean that a new experience couldn’t make me think/feel very differently.

And a huge fear of mine is to appear flaky (i.e. changing my mind on things), and flaky = stupid and (according to my therapist) I value competence A LOT (in others and the way others perceive me).

But I guess I shouldn’t be making decision out of fear in the first place.  And I need to remember that I am not the poem… I am not my essay on x,y, & z and I am not my photography, etc.  And if others don’t understand that, maybe it’s not my issue, but theirs.

i’m back!

The Dominican Republic Vacation

I can’t believe that today is the first day of the “real world.”  It has been quite an exciting four+ weeks and I’m bursting with creative energy and a desire for routine again.  (Granted my routine of wake up, eat, lay on the beach, nap, eat, lay on the beach, eat, sleep, repeat…. was a pretty good routine!)  I’m sure I’ll still be processing it all for while, but I cannot explain how wonderful it has been to have a bit of a sabbatical.  I feel refreshed and energized to tackle what’s coming next.  And I have some exciting things on the horizon — personally and vocationally.  I’m full of fear and anticipation as we settle into our *somewhat* new life together.

One of the biggest highlights of our time off was that we celebrated our 9-year anniversary.  Gosh, that makes me feel so old.  But I also realize that I was just a baby when we got married (26!).  As is tradition around here, we did another photo-shoot.  This one just so happened to be in The Dominican Republic where we were having a good rest.  In years past we’ve taken lots of photos and made a bit of a montage, but this year, a single photo summed it up.  Sitting under that cabana for 9 days… reading, drawing, painting, thinking, staring at the ocean…. was beyond perfect.  And it feels like it’s just where were are in our relationship too: deep, deep peace.  We know we are at the right place a the right time.

So in the next few weeks, I hope to return to a regular blogging schedule again as this platforms provides some sort of outlet that I still (after 5 years) can’t quite put my finger on.  I hope to share more about the places we’ve visited (including The D.R.), books I’ve read, our updated and newly re-arranged apartment, and new business ventures.  Although B mentioned that he felt like it was the middle or end of summer already since we were just on vacation, I actually feel like we are just starting summer… and the rest of our lives.

It’s good to be back.