Thursday, May 26, 2011

Here Lately

Life is a swirling, whirling dervish as of late.  Things are changing, growing and shifting and there are so many more changes on the horizon.  While all of these changes are very positive, it does seem like the seconds on the clock are ticking off way too quickly to be fully present.  I haven't been getting the camera out much and now here we are and Cora is two months away from her second...that's right SECOND birthday.  Does that officially mean she won't be a baby anymore or has that already happened and I refuse to see it?

Rob changed jobs a few weeks ago after a tenure of over seven years with the same company.  This new opportunity has offered him the chance to transition back into the passion that led the two of us together - cycling.  He has been working so hard with very little time off for the last few weeks and I am so proud of him.  We'll get through this little adjustment period just fine and then I'm sure things will settle down.

And speaking of major life changes, this baby girl is growing so quickly she'll be here before we know it.

 So here are snippets that I have managed to capture with the camera in the last few weeks.
Mother's Day Walk

It was absolutely so hot and humid this day.  We did see tons of butterflies, birds and even a snake on our walk. 

Who needs a bathtub when you have a big silver bucket???  Just kidding, we don't really bathe Cora in this although she'd probably be all for it. 

The garden is really taking off.  I've been plucking lettuce out of this box since March and it doesn't look like it is going to slow down anytime soon.  I'm hoping to be able to shade this little section in the hot, hot weeks so it will keep producing.  Nothing like just walking outside when you want some crisp romaine for a sandwich. 

Precious little baby squash!  My plants are littered with them and I can't wait to make some squash casserole.  I really can't believe I just typed that last sentence, that stuff used to make me gag when I was younger.  Cora plucked one of these little dudes off the vine the other day.  She was so excited about it that I really couldn't get mad.  I'll just keep directing her back to the lettuce. 

This little jewel of a blossom will soon be a japanese eggplant.  The growth alone in the last few days is impressive.  This will roast up nicely for some asian eggplant dip.  

These two are thick as thieves these days.  The following pics were taken on different days ( day no pants, the next day no shirt....she is getting into the naked phase and especially loves taking her diaper off).  This dog will melt your heart one second and have you seething with anger the next.   Too bad the book "Marley and Me" has already been written because "Yeti and Me" could have rivaled it.  A few weekends ago I made some sourdough garlic and parmesan croutons to top off a salad with lettuce grown from the garden.  It was going to be an epic, beautiful salad that I was carrying to a potluck down the street.  I turned my head for a nano second and the dog had the bag off the counter, on the floor and consumed.  Ugh!

For the last few years my mother-in-law has graciously loaned me her 1970's Singer.  I treated myself to a new Singer machine the other day and have since been sewing up a storm.  Below is Cora's big girl bed quilt I am working on (there will be a baby quilt to match).  It isn't even finished and she loves it!  She likes to dance on all the squares and roll around on it.  Of course I dream of her taking this to college with her one day but there is no telling what will be cool by then.  

Last Sunday we celebrated our seventh anniversary with a wonderful date night.  The evening started out a little shaky with our waiter breaking my water glass right in front of me (we were romantically sitting on the same side of the booth so we both got pretty wet).  We both joked that we hope that wasn't some sort of sign of the year to come.  Number seven is lucky though, right?  I certainly feel lucky to have such a wonderful husband that is an awesome partner and dad.  

FINALLY!  A triumphant carrot!  Not sure how many we'll get but they sure are tasty.  Oh, and see those bamboo poles in the background?  Those started out as 30 foot pieces of bamboo on the side of the road.  How we acquired them and got them home is a whole different blog post.  This year we're going to try training the tomatoes up a string.  

See?  I told you she was into taking her clothes off these days.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

For Mom

Mother's Day 2010

Dear Mom, 

Even though 239 miles separates us on this Mother's Day, I think we are closer than we've ever been.  In the last two years, my child's heart has transformed into that of a mother's and I feel deeply what surely you've felt for me - undying, unrelenting, unconditional love.   I now share the care and concern for Cora and the little sweet pea on the way that you've carried with you for Wes and me these past thirty-three years.  What an amazing gift maternal love is, both to receive and give.   

I'm lucky that you are but a phone call away when I need more than my motherly instincts to rely on.  I'm lucky that I get to see you love my child in the same ways you loved me.  I'm lucky that you shaped my life so greatly and selflessly poured your time and energy into your children.  

Now I am more aware of the clash of joy and heartache that comes with seeing your child grow into her own life.  Motherhood seems to be one long exercise in letting go, even from the start.  I feel like I've already had to let go of so much in these short 22 months:  downy baby hair that tickled my nose as I breathed her heavenly scent in, carrying her everywhere she goes and cradling her as I fed her numerous times per day.  I can't even fathom the things that I'll have to let go of in the next 22 years. 

But I suppose there is also much to be gained in all the letting go, like hopefully seeing my own daughter lose her child's heart to motherhood and having you by my side to share in the joy of a new generation.  I miss you and love you on this Mother's Day.  Thank you for all that you have been, and all that you will be. 


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Toes in the Sand

Admittedly, a post about an adventure more than 8 weeks after it has happened will be lacking in vivid details.  So, for my own remembrances, here's a picture post.
Cora is checking out the banner outside of a museum documenting Katrina destruction.  This was on our brief overnight through New Orleans.  Her innocence clutching her little bear is quite the contrast from this heavy picture.  I do love that  this photo captures the work of a rescue/recovery worker at the intersection of Humanity St.  Wonder if this was a coincidence?
Taking in the beauty of Jackson Square.  I think she is pointing at the green striped awning ahead which is Cafe du Monde.  She must have seen all the powdered sugar on the floor as we walked by.

A long drive the day before and an iffy night's sleep on the floor of church Sunday school room led to one tuckered out little lady. 

Ahhh, toes in the sand at last.  This beach/island is simply brilliant.  It offers a view of the Gulf of Mexico sans all the offshore drilling rigs you'll see to the west.  Camping here for a week was wonderful. 

Exploring historic Ft. Pickens with Dad.  We had an amazing view of the Blue Angels practicing from here.  When the planes would roar overhead Cora was excited but would also duck down as if they were going to graze the top of her head.  

Even though we were at the beach, temps were still a little chilly.  Nothing like a Grammy-made sweater to keep the cold  away.

This kiddo has finally taken to wearing sunglasses, although she calls them "cool girl glasses".  She had fun lounging with our youth group at the beach and joining in their play.

So much to explore with eyes and hands.   Right near our campsite were two HUGE heron nests.  Watching them swoop in and out was magnificent.

We drove back to the mainland to do some hiking among towering live oaks (we were thwarted by a controlled burn).  After a directional change we stumbled upon the bay side of things where there just happened to be a large rope swing calling all of us to do acrobatics.  Even the pregnant lady had a very small swing.  The bay side was calm and shallow which Cora enjoyed.

NIght after night we got to snuggle with this sweet lady.  Pretty soon she is going to need her own sleeping bag.

I wish life was this simple all the time....sigh.

This is definitely a place everyone should visit.  Nothing like a few miles of undeveloped beach and a gentle tide to ground you to the earth. 

Beach Walk from Courtney Green on Vimeo.