And then they…

the things we do to live a better life.

Archive for the tag “friends”

Friday gratitudes 14

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Friday the 4th:  Fridays.  I was really feeling gratitude for having fridays.  It could be because I had worked a full week, and was just very happy to be home for a whole weekend with my family.

Saturday the 5th: Henrys.

Sunday the 6th: Jerry’s.   We started working on our fun shelving project!

Monday the 7th: BBQ.  Yay spring!

Tuesday the 8th: Gram’s House. I know.  Two words.  But one idea.

Wednesday the 9th: Sunshine.

Thursday the 10th: Magic. I had a wonderfully magic day with my students – full of social justice, self advocacy, hijinks, and hilarity.  Then I got to go meet the magic that is baby Ashland.  My sweet and talented friend Evynne and her husband, Peter have a new baby. I was lucky enough to take them dinner, and hold Ashland while they ate.  I was blown away by the positivity that all three of the Hollens were exuding.  And I was blown away with the realization of how fast this flys by.  My baby was Ashland’s size mere months ago.  My oh my.

 

Sarah Guthu – a new painting

I had a friend in high school who was extremely talented, even back then. We spent hours in the theater at school creating sets, listening to music, and painting.  My most favorite memory of Sarah is when we were doing Once Upon a Mattress and she was tasked with painting a huge sheet of plywood, that was supposed to look like a constellation of a dragon, that would be hung in the wizard’s chambers.  I ended up helping her on it quite a bit, and it was amazing.  It ended up being almost a pointillism style dragon.  Sadly, for some reason (maybe she remembers), the director didn’t use it in the staging.  It should have been used.  I still remember the hours spent making little dots on a huge black board, having great conversations with a great friend.

Since graduation I’m not sure if I’ve even seen her, but I’ve kept up with her on Facebook, and on her beautiful blog.  Sarah is the kind of person who, I’m convinced, has more than 24 hours in her day.  She is always posting about her creative endeavors, culinary adventures, academic pursuits, and so much more.  I don’t know how she does so much, but however she does it, and whatever she does, it is sure to be inspiring.  A couple years ago she posted about making sugar plums, and I commented that I didn’t know they were actual things (I thought they were just fairy/ballet related ideas), and she generously and graciously sent me a box to try.  That’s just the kind of person she is – the best kind of person.

I have been eying her paintings for years.  She has a really interesting, original style.  Just a couple months ago, she started selling prints of her paintings on Society6.   I decided that I needed a print, and luckily she posted one of my favorites right around my birthday.Screenshot (2)

“Breath” has always intrigued me.  I love the motion in the girl’s pose.  I love the colors.  I love the mystery.  Since I hung it in my house, I’ve been trying to figure out the story in the painting.  It’s a little creepy, but really, truly beautiful.  When I asked Alma who the girl was, she said, “Mommy.”  I love this, because part of why I chose this painting is because it reminded me of how I picture both of my daughters looking someday.  The girl in the painting looks like she’s on an adventure, and I hope for many adventures for my girls.

And Then They - Breath by Sarah Guthu

We hung it over our front table, in the living room.  I love that, while a print, it is also a great piece of art.  Not just a poster or something.  Having real art makes me feel fancy (this is making me think that I should do posts about all our art, because looking around the house, I’m realizing that we actually have a lot of original, beautiful artwork!).

Breath Closeup

(the weird spots are glares from the glass in the frame, not part of the painting…)

So, if you’re looking for some creative inspiration, check out Sarah’s blog.  And if you’re looking for some beautiful art for your home, check out her Society6 shop.  AND, if you’re looking for an original, one-of-a-kind dress for a little lady in your life, look for her soon to come Etsy shop of literary inspired children clothes (areyoukiddingme?).

Thanks, Sarah, for your wonderful art, your incredible spirit, your constant inspiration, and for the memories.

Novruz 2014, Toddler Style

And Then They - 01 NovruzHappy Novruz, everyone!  It’s spring!  I love spring so much.  The flowers, sunshine, the green.  It’s my second favorite time of year, but every year at this time, it’s my favorite time of year.

And Then They - 02 DyeingThis year we had our playgroup over for a Novruz celebration.  We started by dyeing eggs, which was a wonderfully frantic (and surprisingly mess-free) dash.  We had nine two-year-olds, and various aged babies along for the ride. 

Jesse explained the meaning of Novruz – the toddlers listened very attentively – all the earth, wind, fire, water, rebirth, newness.  Then, we went outside to jump over the fire!

And Then They - 04 Hattie And Then They - 05 AlmaI love this ritual of leaving all our troubles, and worries, and problems in the fire.  I’m always one for a fresh, clean start – especially when spring is springing.

It was an amazingly beautiful day, so we all went to the backyard to play with all of Alma’s bikes, and her slide.  It was perfect.  I love how our kids are old enough to pretty much just play.  We don’t have to hover and help like we did last year at this time.  It gives us grown-ups time to chat and catch up. 

And Then They - 06 PlayingWe are so blessed to be a part of this great group of families.  We all (pretty much) met through the Birth Center, where most of us had our first babies.  After getting to know each other at the weekly Baby Clinics, the idea was born to have a monthly playgroup.  Not only do we all have two-year-olds, but most of us are on the second round these days, too.  It’s wonderful.

After playing for a while, we had to play the egg game.  I think Alma’s friend Beatrix won this year.

And Then They - 07 Egg GameWe were also really lucky to have our authentic Azerbaijani friend, Elvin up for the celebration.  It’s fun having him so close this year (he’s studying in Long Beach, California).  He’s a great dost, and both our girls truly love him.  So do we.

And Then They - Azeri

Happy Novruz!

 

And Then They - 03 Samani and Eggs

Harriet’s Baptism

And Then They - WaterHarriet was Baptized today at our wonderful church.  We are so blessed to have a lovely church to attend.  We couldn’t ask for a better priest than Bingham, and are so glad that he was able to baptize both Alma and Harriet. And Then They - OilHarriet did really well.  You can see in the photo above that Alma was a little concerned about what Father Bingham was putting on her forehead.  It was oil, and part of my favorite part of the baptism ceremony.  The priest puts oil on her forehead, eyes, ears, mouth, hands, and feet and says:

I bless your eyes that you may see God’s image in everyone.
I bless your ears that you may hear the cry of the poor.
I bless your lips that you speak nothing but the gospel of Jesus.
I bless your hands that everything you receive and everything you give may be a sacrament.
I bless your feet that you may run to those who need you.

And Then They - LightOur dear friends Stu and Jacque are Harriet’s Godparents, and we are so lucky to have them.  Their son Edison is just 9 days older than Harriet, so it is extra special to have them be such an important part of her life.

And Then They - CelebratingNot only do we love Father Bingham, but we also were blessed to have a retired priest be the Celebrant at the service.  Father Ted was my priest all growing up, and even married us.  It was really special to have him be a part of the service for Harriet.

And Then They - Harriet's Godparents

Photo by Katrina Henry!

And Then They - Alma's GodparentsI realized that we never got a photo of Father Bingham, Alma, and her Godparents, so we took this as an opportunity to correct this oversight.  Just a couple years after the baptism.  We love Kenton and Katrina and are so blessed to have them in our lives.  They are beautiful Godparents to Alma.

And Then They - PartyAfter the service, we had lots of friends and family over to celebrate.  I love when our house is filled with so many loved ones.  Alma and Harriet are so lucky to have so many great friends who love them so much.

And Then They - Best FriendsThese are Alma’s best friends, above.  Rach was her nanny last year, and is her best friend now.  Rory is her best similarly-aged friend, who also had the pleasure of having Rach as his nanny.  This threesome is pretty great.  They are so bonded in such a fun, lovely way.  Rach’s mom came up and was able to help Rach baby sit Alma, Harriet, and their cousins on Saturday night so we could go to a concert.  They came to the baptism, also.

And Then They - In a FortRach is a pretty talented fort builder.  All the kids loved playing in it, and Alma’s cousins even got to sleep in it on Saturday night.

And Then They - Video GamesOf course, video games are always a big draw.  These guys deserved it since they had just done a wonderful job at church during the baptism.

And Then They - Sweet HarrietCongratulations, Sweet Harriet.  Your enthusiasm and joy is so wonderful.  You are so, so loved.

* All photos (unless otherwise indicated) were taken by my mother-in-law, and edited by me.  Thanks for being our photographer!

A Little Moment 5

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Alma and Harriet are at home asleep.

I am grateful to be able to help out a friend who is a very special mama. 

She just came home from Africa where she spent 8 months with her son adopting two daughters.

Boots all lined up are a beautiful thing because they represent a whole family finally at home, together. 

From Sisters to Friends

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When we brought Harriet home from the hospital, I wasn’t sure how Alma would react.  When I was pregnant with Harriet, whenever anyone asked me how I was preparing Alma, I would feel the tears very close to the surface.  I was so sad for her.  I was mourning the fact that she would be losing some of our love and attention. 

I would picture her little heart breaking as our hearts transitioned from loving just her, to loving another.  I asked everyone if it was really, truly possible to love another baby as much, and still love Alma as much as I always had.  I couldn’t understand that it was possible.  I couldn’t understand how Alma would deal with losing some of my love – because that was the only way I could fathom the transfer of love onto the second child. 

It was confusing to me, so I imagined it was undecipherable to Alma’s 20 month old mind.  How could we prepare my baby to understand that there was another baby growing in my belly, and soon she would come out and be real?  There was no way.

I totally cried as we left Alma with my parents, and headed to the hospital.  I felt like I was losing something – losing her

But, as with all things concerning love, I was wildly mistaken.  I was over-thinking it. I had Harriet, and instantly loved her as much as I have ever loved Alma – just like I was told I would.  When I saw Alma again, I still loved her just as much as ever.  Somehow, despite all my ideas to the contrary, my heart had enough room for both my girls.

And Alma?  Alma got a sister.  She came in, saw Harriet in her swing, and didn’t seem at all confused about the situation.  She went right up to her and seemed to welcome her.  Somehow she knew – she knew – this was her sister. 

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Now Harriet is three months old and I am constantly amazed at their evolving relationship.  While we certainly have our moments when I think Alma would rather have all our attention – or, rather that Harriet not get much of our attention – she is generally a very good big sister.  If Harriet is crying, Alma will run over and try to help her.  She will give her her pacifier, or her blanket, or just touch her cheek.  Harriet’s eyes are on Alma if she is anywhere near by, and Alma gets a lot of Harriet’s sweet smiles.

I think Alma is figuring out that Harriet will be a playmate someday.  She will crawl up next to Harriet when she is playing on the floor.  She will try to show Harriet how to use the toys on her playmat. She will share her toys with Harriet (I often find toys tucked into Harriet’s swing and carseat).  She gets it. 

I was so busy worrying about how Alma would react to losing our love, that I forgot to imagine how she would react to gaining the love of her sister.  I am just starting to see glimmers of their sweet friendship developing, and I am so excited to see how strong it will grow.

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