Archive for the ‘my family’ Category
Last week, my dear friend from college called me up to say she was going to be in town for just the day and that she had one more slot left for a family photo shoot. It was totally last minute, and I tried to make every excuse under the sun not to go…It had been a full weekend, I had had a really hard day, and I knew it would be a scramble to get everyone ready, I would most likely have wild hair, messy kids and who knows if they’d be fed!
But we haven’t had family portraits in years…and I always seem to be putting it off! No more.
Tara is amazing. I met Tara the same day I met my husband. We were in the same freshman year at BYU studying musical theater, and became fast friends. When it came time to create our senior projects, I wouldn’t have wanted to pair up with anyone but her. I went on to perform for a bit, and teach voice, and she went on to tour and then to New York to get her master’s at NYU. She is one of the most driven people I know! But after years of all that, she settled down and started a (booming) photography business a little after I settled down and started my illustration work. Funny how two girls who had eyes set for broadway so long ago, both ended up starting businesses that could support our families at home. She looks through lenses and captures moments. I draw mine on paper.
So, these are the first pictures we’ve taken as a family since before Ella was born. And it’s about time.
She does such a wonderful job just capturing the moments that count. No fluff. We just played in the meadow in the mountains, and she took pictures. My kind of evening.
Moments. Real moments. No posing. No fake-y stuff. Ask my kids to pose, and you get Charlie Chaplin.Well, that’s cute too.
And PS: (cause I know you will ask me!) Yes, she travels. It’s so worth it. So glad we scrambled in the car and made it happen. We drove home singing the whole way and had a pizza night afterwards. Perfect day.
Every year that we’ve had a garden, we’ve grown a giant pumpkin. If you’ve ever grown a giant pumpkin, you know the risks involved. I mean, this is really risky stuff.
How get a pumpkin to be as big as possible has been the subject of many books and websites. And then, of course, there are secrets. Deep dark secrets.
None of which we know actually.
But…basically, you have to cut off all the pumpkins that grow on the vine, except for one. And you water and nurture and care for ONLY that one.
This is serious stuff.
(The joke is, that the summer Kenneth and I backpacked through Europe B.C. (before children), Kenneth grew his first ever giant pumpkin. We were gone for 6 weeks, and we asked my college aged brother to care for the garden, and pick any squash for himself. Well, he thought that the pumpkin was squash for picking. Kenneth had taken 4 months to care for that one pumpkin. But miraculously, a late bloomer appeared that was growing between 2 loose fence beams, and we actually had to alter the fence to let it grow. It of course never had time to get much bigger than any normal pumpkin, but that didn’t matter. The pumpkin even had a name. Halloween came, and we took a road trip, in which this pumpkin was buckled in a seat belt and traveled with us. This is how we feel about our giant pumpkins, folks. In our house, it’s as serious as growing children. Um….ok, maybe not that serious…but you get the point!)
Last year, Ian’s giant pumpkin was rather small. Too shady. This year, it was Addie’s turn for bad luck (although she grew a watermelon nearly that weighed nearly as much as she does!)
Ian has been caring for this big guy since April. Seven months has watered, tended to and checked on his pumpkin. If you have been a house guest in the past 7 months, you haven’t been able to walk in the door without him grabbing your hand and dragging you to the garden to show off his pumpkin. It’s almost become a pet!
I have no idea how we are even going to get it inside. He’s determined to carve it, but right now, we’re not even sure if it will fit in the wheel barrel without denting a side.
But I don’t think he really cares about that. Can you tell?
Ok. You have to indulge me today. But this week is Ella’s birthday, and I just can’t get over how much I am in love with this girl.
She is my sunshine. And even though her favorite words right now are “NO!” and “I NOT!” she is one of those toddlers that is adorable even when having a fit.
She’s been a beauty ever since she first came. And I don’t just mean her darling face and smiling eyes. But her soul is pure sunshine. I just can’t get enough of her!
This week I’m rather sentimental. She’s my baby, but is she really 2 years old? I was in a really interesting place two years ago. We were between moves, I was between big illustration projects. I spent several months with post-partum depression…trying to work through a lot of emotions and life plans. But Ella, even when I was pregnant with her, has been my light. Just seeing that smile makes it all melt away. And now that I am in a much better place than I was 2 years ago, I realize even more how much that big person inside that little body is capable of. She’s my joy!
“Sure. No Biggie”
“Oh, and can you do dinner & bedtime? xoxoxo?”
“You got it.”
My husband is a school teacher, and is always home before dinner, which is so nice! He leaves at the break of dawn however, and so I’m hardly alive to even mention the usual reminders.
But he is so good about coming home and playing with the kids for an hour while I play catch up in the studio. I work at night when the kids go to bed, and I don’t do the late-nighter thing very well (although that’s what usually happens.)
Let me preface this by saying that the past few times I asked him to watch the kids and have him make dinner and do bedtime, this is what happened:
He ended up going to the thrift store and purchasing an original 1970′s-ish Clip Clop for the back patio. He started small.
And then it was the tree swing, complete with climbing 50 feet into our backyard locust and sawing down branches while the kids waited for their cue to yell, “TIMBER!!”
Then it was the teeter-totter that was built in the empty space in our deck supports made with a palette, a left over fence board, and some cut up branches from said tree swing.
Most of the time, it’s working on a new project in the garden. Which is always a huge hit.
And then last week, it was a zip line from our mostly-dead cherry tree at the top of the hill, to a locust beneath.
Remember: this is all in response to “Can you watch the kids, make dinner and put them to bed?”
And today’s babysitting activity?
Oh, you know. Just building a platform for them to zip from. No biggie.
Just some power tools that he always seems to have in his back pocket. I mean, don’t you?
Some oh-so-coveted-snacks for the Princess to keep her occupied away from said power tools.
And Voila! A safe place for feet with nothing fancy…but left overs in the garage after building the booth for Quilt Market.
So there you go. All my worrying that having to work on my “art” while the kids are with Dad somedays is all in vain. They got so excited this afternoon…and when they get excited, they get super cuddly.
But you know, who’s taking all these pictures? Me. How am I supposed to get any work done when they get to have all the fun? I still don’t know.
Pretty soon our backyard will be Disneyland made from scraps around the yard. Just you watch. Man…if I stopped designing in the afternoons, these kids would have a pretty boring back yard.
Actually, no. Instead, the new tree platform would just have curtains, floor pillows, and be painted turquoise. Hmm……
We’ve wanted to get chickens since we’ve moved to our new house, but my husband and I are VERY good (well a lot better than we used to be) about putting off projects until we can do them properly. Ok, so we’re not VERY good, but we’re getting better. We really wanted to get chickens for the summer, but with Quilt Market just weeks away, and other projects we want to do this summer, we decided to hold off.
Our Renaissance-man next door neighbor told us he’s been wanting to get chickens too, and offered to build the coop himself right between our two fences, and we’d just take turns tending to them. We both have been wanting to have our kids learn a little work, and so we told the neighbors that we’d be selling our extra eggs. We started out with 12 chicks, but once the neighbors found out ,they all wanted fresh eggs too. So now we have 18.
And they are all, as I type this, inside my living room sleeping all snuggled in a ball inside a clear bin. With fresh worms from our garden and a special stick from Ian so they have a toy to play with.
This one is called Lemon. Don’t be fooled, he actually likes being held like this, and is quite fond of Ian. He loves being snuggled next to his cheek, and will stay in his hands nice and calm, for minutes. Ian has taken to quite a few of them. He even named his favorite one ‘Sweetie’.
My husband and I have been learning how to care for the chickens, and lucky for us, our neighbor is quite the expert too. I hate to see them grow though….aren’t they just adorable? We’ve had them 4 days now, and they’ve already gotten so much bigger! By the end of the week, they’ll be able to fly out of the box we’ve made for them. But it’s still too cold to let them sleep outside, and frankly, my 3 kids are tickled to have 18 chickens sleeping over in the front room right now.
Just look how darling! And honestly? Constant entertainment.
And possibly my favorite photo of the weekend:
Growing babies, and growing birdies. And a growing garden. Heaven.
Whew! What a weekend. We’ve been picking up the pieces after having a booth at the Bijou Market, and now getting ready for our booth at Quilt Market in 4 weeks. And then there have been a few hiccups like having our mini-van in the shop for 2 weeks after a terrible car crash (did you see that one on my twitter?) and oh….did I mention that my brother is getting married this week? Mix in a few colds and normal life with kids and a house and yard, and this is what the house has been looking like:
The one thing that goes first when things get crazy are the normal: dishes and laundry…and floors, and well….it all just seems a blur sometimes. So, lest you think that life behind the screen is as pretty as my blog facade, please take notice: running a full-time shop & business with freelancing books and designs while mothering 3 kids who are home most of the day isn’t always roses.
Like these clothes at the bottom of the stairs? I think they’ve been there for at least 3 days now.
And I’m not even showing you my car or laundry room!
Sometimes, I think we’re so used to seeing things with such a pretty spin on blogs these days (and for good reason–it’s important for me to focus on the positive when I blog…it keeps me motivated to see the beautiful during every day life…which is oh so needed when life is less than pretty)….it’s important for you to know that as glamourous as it sounds to be a book illustrator, blogger, fabric designer, home owner….things aren’t necessarily pretty around here! It takes a lot of focus to keep it all in check.
I still don’t have it figured out! But since I am the housekeeper AND everything else….the role of housekeeper does take a back seat when things get overly busy. I don’t like it at all. I hate a messy house! But….it’s the sacrifice you make for running an at home business and being an artist. It just is.
And it goes along perfectly with my all time favorite motto (poem):
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
-by Ruth Hamilton, 1958
And so there you have it. Real life today. I just went around my house clicking the camera today…no edits here.
But with that, I will say that the combination of your AMAZING responses on the survey (which ends today, FYI), and the need to make some changes around here to let this growing business suit our family a bit better, you will be seeing some changes around the shop. And soon. So stay tuned! It’s always hard to make changes, but since I’ve been in this for my family from the very beginning, changes are inevitable. I’ll talk more about that later…
I am a new woman!!!!!
Ok, maybe a little dramatic. But, really? I feel like my old self again.
I have mentioned a few times that my old DSLR camera decided it was done. But its untimely death left me with no suitable alternative (we were gifted a point and shoot to get us through…but honetsly…I don’t even know how to use those any more!)
So…6 months later, my pennies added up to this.
And I can’t tell you how happy I am! I am not a professional photographer by any means. But somehow my camera was like my second pair of eyes. And I didn’t even realize it until my first one broke. The past 2 days I’ve been walking around the house documenting everything. I’m back in business folks.
But even better….what this means for the blog is that I finally can start posting more of the projects I’ve been working on! Horray! Cause I’ve been a busy woman and haven’t been able to show you what’s going on behind this screen.
I have big plans. Just you wait.
P.S. If you are wondering if this is going to turn into a “look how cute my baby is” blog, don’t you worry. It won’t. But come on folks…. Look how cute that baby is!