Ben made this video of our trip to norcal. I can't watch it without crying, and I'm not sure why.
I'm listening to the new Michael Jackson album and really loving it. I know that sounds weird.
I can explain.
I've loved Michael Jackson since I was a kid, and in high school his music and weirdness became something that emodied, or at least eased my own awkwardness. I was an introvert. Creative. Misunderstood...There's this emotional underbelly of myself that I could never communicate. So for a while, I lived in my room, sewing and creating things and listening to Off The Wall.
Thank heaven I went to a liberal hippie college with TONS of weird kids. Different shapes, strengths, and varying levels of weirdness. Things are different now: strangeness is a commodity. And I am adjusted just enough to have a job and a tiny fan club (they're both asleep in the other room).
(this is totally off-topic, and I should be more focused. please send me all your comments)
Here is my feeble attempt to write what I've learned about motherhood. It will fill in the gaps of restlessness between working on my real job and other projects. To connect with readers, and to validate my obsession with being a mother. To procrastinate between art projects, to keep me awake while I'm waiting for my oil change or for my inspiration to kick in.
ME: 30-something with a baby. Not a mommy expert in any way. Absolutely in LOVE with my little girl and my partner. Life is hard, life is really rewarding.
Here are a few things I've learned.
I'll start with a list, and I promise to eventually expand and offer something more in the way of anecdotes.
1. I can't do everything. I've been a runner most of my life. Now, at this current juncture in life, I am not a runner. I am prioritizing other things. I still feel a jealous sting when other people post pictures of their running, and at some point I'll get back into the habit, because I'm a born runner (not in a braggy way, more in a hyperative dog sort of way) BUT I chose this path - I am working on other things now, I don't have time for everything. Finding time was really hard at first, and I didn't get anything done while I was on maternity leave. I bitched about how I could only seem to accomplish laundry. But that's how life is for most people. You either get ALL of the laundry done all the time, or you enjoy your life and family while you can. And I'm getting better at doing 10% of about 5 things and then calling it a success.
It's also really important now that I write down goals and achieve them. This isn't so much about motherhood, but about accepting time management into my life. I'm forced to accept help every day, from a nanny or a family member or Ben. I wouldn't be able to go to work, or breathe, or feel myself without them.
The other day Ben saw me reading in bed, and asked 'what are you doing!?' --but in a VOLUME that suggested surprise, like seeing a cheetah in the wild. I think I should prioritize reading more.
2. I love my partner. Ben and I are better when we consciously appreciate everything we do for each other. And when we plan things for us to do, outside of the house, and sometimes without the babe. Having a tiny disaster-toddler makes a LOT of work for everyone. It will always feel like you're doing more work than anyone. But we have so much time and so much potential to fall in love with each other every day, which is really special.
3. The simple life is amazing. We read books, snuggle, play, and go for walks. I love the time spent at the grocery store with my munchkin. Ordinary things become extraordinary when you have a really cute baby assistant. Luna has learned to spin this week -- she throws off her clothes and spins in circles until she falls down giggling. It's HILARIOUS. I'm sure every mother or father or aunt or uncle or grandma in the history of babies has also found this human development to their delight, I'm really gracious to join their ranks.
4. I have so much ability to love. I get full body chills when Luna does something funny, and she can't even talk yet.
That's all for now. More to come.
Here are some photos of Lu's 1st birthday, which was wildly successful (in that I didn't have a meltdown and everyone had food and beer).
I love watching these two together so much. girls. Making each other laugh. Luna entirely captivated by India's big-kid abilities. You can see the love in their eyes.
Today I'm all daydreams, inspired by Spring's late onset rain storms.
I dream of Christmas all year long, I have since I was a kid. The Danes call it Hygge, a sense of closeness and family and cozy.
Here are some shots of a dinner Courtney and I infused with our Scandinavian hearts. It's never too late or early for Christmas, right? I'm heading home to snuggle my family.
WELL I definitely DON'T know how to plan a 1yr old birthday party. I don't think I've been to more than two of them in my life. I can't seem to get beyond food and house cleaning, both of which kids don't really care about.
I'm going to try and do this without letting it take over my life AND still invite everyone we know.
Here are some things probably not on the list, but flowing out of my head: Dance party, craft party, candy bar, free yoga for everyone. WHAT.
But really, here's my mood board. I'm a visual person.
by Courtney and Ally
HELLO! We are the main contributors to Scout Folks (for now), still learning to navigate our voices on this forum. Here's a little intro to our dynamic.
Ally: You can read more in the About Us. But for now: Courtney and I live too far apart, but spend a lot of time together. We've been through a few life changes together, and WAY too many hair changes. We're the kind of people that will send each other the exact same photo at the exact same moment. We are hatching a secret plan to spend every family vacation together.
Courtney: We were lucky enough to find our tribe in Venice this past weekend. It was a rainy weekend, so we cozied up at Wurstkuche with some heavy German food.
Ally: I pretty much suggest Wurstkuche every time we set foot in LA.
Courtney: We met up with the folks over at Girl and The Abode and Styled by Katie. I am blessed to be able to call these girls family; as the years have gone by those lines have blurred between family and friendship. It has evolved into something quite rare and beautiful. The friendship is raw, and we can share our deepest thoughts amongst each other, as well as design ideas.
Courtney: I also love Wurstkuche. They have vegetarian smoked apple sage to crocodile to pork andouille to...every flavor of sausage. My mouth is watering just dreaming about it.
Courtney: Our conversation over exotic sausages and crisp cider is exciting. To think we are sitting at a table of so many creatives; photographers, interior designers, chefs, fashion stylists, illustrators, and graphic designers. It takes my breath away. Ideas bounce off the walls with fierceness; and all I can do is smile because these are my folks.
Ally: I've been longing for this little artist community for a while, and it's so exciting to be around so many energized people. We walked to the Venice General Store, which is fast becoming the inspiration for my being.
Courtney: Wandering around Venice we naturally group ourselves into pairs. I listen to passing conversations and it fills me with warmth. Life can be hard enough as it is, even just with daily routine. I am thankful for the people I am surrounded by. They are my rocks.
Ally: We finally got into Gjelina!! OMG their panna cotta. I think I'm hungry because my portion of this blog is centered on food. I'm really in love with all my friends right now. They're moving and shaking, and inspiring me to do the same.
by Ally and Courtney
Last March, I was 8 months pregnant. I never believe that time flies, not until I set markers to compare. How has a year already passed? I feel like these past few weeks have brought us such enormous gifts - our little one is walking, talking, waving bye, sleeping through the night, sassing, so many things. I want to just EAT IT UP. Last March, I was organizing teeny tiny clothes with the biggest belly in the world. This year, I'm chasing this crazy (sometimes insane) baby around and trying to keep the house from absolutely falling apart.
I try to make myself aware of the moments I'll look back on fondly. Next March, Luna babe will be almost two, and I'll warmly recall how she screamed with glee every time the swing went up, down, and crashed into mama.
And the time will keep on flying.