Tuesday, December 28, 2010


(Sorry, Matilda, to expose you this way.)

Seriously, is it just me, or is she the most pristine creation ever photographed? I really should have gotten her a silk blanket for her little seat of fat, that carpet just isn't soft enough.

I love my baby, yes I do.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Photos and Christmastime.

Tired faces on Christmas morning.

My most delicious baby's first Christmas!!!

I die over that face on a daily basis.
Lillie, with a new dress and baby doll. In pure heaven.
Creating with play-dough.
Watching Daddy make waffles.

On Christmas Eve the girls opened a present they had picked out for each other. This is my favorite kind of exchange. They were so excited to receive and SO excited to give!

On Christmas morning Jake and I wielded our cameras and took it all in. Shopping and thinking through each and every gift all came down to the look on their faces when they unwrapped them. It was beautiful and so magical for the girls!

Christmas night we had my siblings and family over. We had soup, breadsticks, cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate, snacks, candy, treats, pie... and games. That's when it really started to feel like Christmas-- when your belly is distended and you laugh for hours with people you've known your entire life.

I drove down the street this morning. Everything so still, the winter emerged past Christmas Day and seemed colder and bleaker. I anticipated the coming year. Such a bright future, with hopes and dreams waiting to be realized.

There will be hard times, too, but I look forward to the good stuff!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Food Art and Realizing.

Today, I realized more than ever, I can go from one end to the other. From thinking specifically, "I have it all", to wanting to bang my head against a hard, flat surface.

Lillie screamed for hours at a time, Ruby played with Tada so well their faces lit up like Christmas trees, Grace told jokes and threw fits, Lillie gave me the funniest belly laughs in full-on joke mode, all four girls cried long and hard at bedtime, I wanted to leave the chaos but having nowhere more important to be I stayed here, cleaning-cleaning-cleaning-cleaning, Grace played Noel on the piano perfectly, I couldn't talk on the phone because of all the noise, watched Lillie wash her hands and change her clothes a million times, wanted so badly to be close to the girls today tomorrow and always, thought of a thousand ways I could be doing better, tried to be "fun" and ended up being annoyed, realized-really realized how blessed I am, and at the very end of today-- wanted peace.

The girls are all asleep now in their beds, eyelashes fluttering against their cheeks, their small red robin chests rising and falling. Safe, warm, resting. Another day is gone and I can hardly believe it's late December.

What will become of us? Our tiny little family, the six of us lost in this big, huge world. Will we stay close, arms locked together, us against the world? Hopefully. What kind of opportunities will we be afforded, which ones will we deserve?

Jake and I grow and change with each new hurdle the girls put in front of us, that life puts in front of us. We grow together, closer, more understanding of each other, and for that I feel incredibly lucky.

I hope everyone out there (hi!) has a really great Christmas.    

Breathe -- Smile -- Laugh.

And for now and always, do the best you can.

Tea Time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday Photos

Behold! Lillie's hair has been touched! And stayed that way!

It's one of my favorite times of night. The lights are all dimmed, I am burning a few candles. My Pandora station is massaging my shoulders, Ray LaMontagne loving me with his wondrous voice.

Today I wore a yellow thermal shirt with tiny flowers all over it. Jake mentioned it reminded him of when I was younger, of when he first met me. I told him that's why I bought it, because it reminded me of home.

Then I cried.

You see, I really miss home sometimes. I miss Mom and Dad and Humboldt County. The green, the redwoods, even the homeless people. I miss the Co-op and the fog and the cold cold salty pacific. I miss Crescent City and the Smith river. I miss Grandma Dotty's creaky house and the donuts at Eureka Baking Company. I miss my Dad's junky shoes and Mom's paraphernalia on the windowsill. I miss the stinky cars and Grandpa's beautiful place and I even miss when it rained so badly it flooded the house. I miss Old Town and the Plaza and the way all the old book stores smell.

I am in love with my life and where I am, but sometimes, in the calm of the evening, I really really miss where I came from.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beautiful Boy.

A week and a half ago my neighbors directly across the street experienced a huge tragedy. Their 13 year old son passed away in his sleep. He told his friend he had a headache and he was going to take something for it. No one is sure what he took, but the next day he was gone. Beautiful boy, with jet black hair. Always skateboarding or snowboarding. Looked like Jake when he was little. His name was Connor.

He left behind a brother, 9, who I'm sure doesn't know how to live life without his protective older brother.

What a blow to their quaint existence. I'm not sure how you would go on.

Pray for his mother. Think of her. I don't know what else to do...

UPDATE: Here's the link to his story.

Monday, December 13, 2010


{Photo by Hannah}

The girl behind those eyes is calling. Pleading with me to be patient, to try to understand. Inside, tears of frustration roll down her grown up cheeks. She doesn't know how to be anything else but an emotional wind tunnel. She's a tumbleweed, bouncing from one thing to the next, the toddler who's never satisfied. But she wants to be. Inside there is someone who wants to be realized. Someone who doesn't mean to cause so much harm. Someone who's lost sometimes but wants her mama to know she's not so far away. A thousand wants and wishes and hardships boil down to one thing.

And I know what it is.

She is a gift.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Photos

This photo attempt was ridiculous in its entirety. But its my life. Half are listening, Lillie's disrupting it all, and in the end, four cherubic babies...

The weekend turns into such a blur by Sunday night.

The things I can remember are Lillie fighting for the following: to wear her skin tight Christmas dress for the third week in a row, to not get her hair done/touched whatsoever (we won, if only for a few moments!), to wear her cheapy-handmedown princess boots with backwards tights (adding no compliment to Christmas dress), and to bring her entire zip-bag full of ponies into nursery. Score: Lillie won 117-1.

Grace gets longer and prettier every day. She organizes everyone. She has a real sense of humor. Like, a real one. I love it. My little best friend. She always wants to know what's for dinner. When I tell her I have no idea she is usually dismayed. Let's channel her need to organize and plan! Maybe she'll take over cooking the meals. A mom can dream...

Ruby is a nut. I tell her to buckle her seat belt fifty times daily, every time we get in the car. She doesn't hear me or doesn't listen... and a few seconds later says, "Mom, do we need to buckle?" Maybe there's a swimming pool nearby of which I'm not aware. Maybe when I ask her to do something she slips under the water and swims around... the bubbles transforming my voice into an incomprehensible mush. Metaphorically, it happens every day!

And Tads... the most wonderful lady. She's my mistletoe, my cinnamon stick, my caribbean vacation. If only she'd sleep through the night like she used to. Mama's in her thirties, be kind!!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Food art and famousness.

A peanut butter sandwich snowman with a carrot nose, candy eyes, pretzel arms and powdered sugar snow.
Tonight while we rounded up the girls in Cafe Rio (who were on the floor, in the bathroom and on the table), someone came up to me and told me she read my blog and so did all her friends in Washington. She then proceeded to give me 1.2 billion compliments. All from someone I had never met! (You are fantastic Alisa!!!) That's the first time this sort of thing has ever happened and Gracie told me in the car that she was glad that I'm famous and that she really would like to be famous someday.

When we got home I told Jake I couldn't do any more house work since I was so famous. Then I needed someone to take the baby so I could get busy being famous. 

But really, what a fabulous person, to go out of her way in public, come up to me and say all those nice things to me. To someone she had never actually met in person! I look up to her and she so totally made my night!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Channeled Intensity.

Toothpaste on her eyebrow... 
Now you see it... 

Now you don't...

Mrs. Pants.

She does confound (see yesterday), but should her intensity be channeled correctly, she will become one of the greats (or at least that's what your comments tell me! I believe you!).

Here are a few photos of her playing ponies with me. It's her favorite thing ever. I can see the wheels turning in her gray eyes as we "take the ponies to the movies", or when the "ponies fight" and especially when the ponies "disobey their parents".

My pony-playing attention span is short, but I try!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


I love her, I do. She's two. She screams on the way to school. In the morning, when I want to take the last few minutes of morning peace and talk to my older girls and tell them to have a good day and remind them to be kind and stand up for themselves. That's when she screams. So loudly that I can't hear Ruby talk. All the way there, all the way back.

It's not that I'm ungrateful or disenchanted or any less in love.

It's just that she surprises me and shocks me. She pounds the normal right out of me and replaces it with unconvention, deviation and strength. She leaves me wide-eyed, speechless.

Did she choose me? Did I choose her? Did we not choose each other and we're meant to muddle through until we come out the other side, changed, refreshed, stronger people?

I feel guilty about my fear of her. I feel guilty about the way she disrupts my conscious and the way I sometimes deal with it. My first instinct isn't to fight her. It's to run away. So sometimes I do. I just walk away. Because I don't exactly know what else to do. I put that job away for a few minutes so I can come back to it and start fresh.

She's a wild one. That's all mine. And I better figure her out.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday Photos

Our girls! They confound the wise...

That last shot... is our day in a still frame. Freeze it. Hit repeat. That's our day.

I was flustered at one point today... mess everywhere, everyone was hungry, I was wearing uncomfortable clothes and needed to change. I was holding Matilda on my hip. Her arm outstretched. The light fell into each groove of her plump arm. One crease at her bicep, one in the crook of her arm, one on her forearm. Her hand's knuckles had grooves of their own, tiny shadows resting inside.

I could have eaten that arm like a drumstick. I stopped and looked at it and marveled that I have had four of these miraculous babies.

And then I made lunch.