my first instagram account was born around the same time as august, a little less than two years ago. it was a private account i shared with family + friends with the intention of keeping everyone up with our new little family by posting daily photos of august. [#augustdaily for those looking to kill some time, while glossing over adorable baby mugshots] mostly, it was created for august's grandmothers - both of which live too far away to see him on a regular basis - so i made the commitment to take a picture of him every day of his first year of life. i did pretty well too, only missed a handful of days. 

i laugh when i think about how seriously i took this personal project of mine. it began at a time before i had a "real" camera so the image of me standing over my infant son with an ipad, hitting the camera button with rapid-fire succession brings a slightly embarrassed smile to my face. and the time i spent with my nose inches from the screen sliding back and forth between nearly-identical photos to determine the best shot is a pretty funny one too or how i pinned over the *right* caption (i am still SO not good at captions. if only andy and i could combine powers... he's brilliant at one-liners and quips.)

that account has gone abandoned for months now, but i've kept it open and occasionally find myself logging on just to scroll through the past. i'm so grateful for having a visual journal of august's first year, but therein lies the conundrum of modern memory keeping: it's all either online or lost somewhere on a hard drive. nothing necessarily wrong with that, but i've always been a sensitive person in the sense that i prefer using as many of my senses possible (record number of uses of the word "sense" in one sentence! plus all those sssss! i'm on fire!). i like the feel of pages between my fingers, the soft sound of the spine when it cracks open, the sight of vibrant colors from saturated photos, and one day, the sweet musty smell of yellowed pages.

that's when i finally broke out the beautiful baby journal claudin got me and i sent alllll those pictures to print. i'm slowly making my way, documenting the milestones and relieving those precious moments. the book is far from complete and i've missed a lot, but having this collection of anecdotes and images makes me so glad i started that little project all that time ago. august has already asked me to read him the "baby" book, which already kind of just makes it worth every silly effort.
this is part of a linkup with oftreesandhues and taravictoria where you can find other interpretations on nostalgia.

heffalumps, woozles, and nemo


in a welcome turn of events, august has broadened his taste in movies beyond finding nemo. do not be mistaken, the little fish still gets preferential treatment, but now he tolerates a couple of other movies. actually, "tolerate" doesn't give the new additions enough credit because he actually really likes them. i am therefor happy to report that our catalog has expanded to: the toy story trilogy (praise sequels!), the many adventures of winnie the pooh, and soooometimes a scene of two from ice age (mostly the ones with the squirrel and his allusive acorn. august had a thing for ah-corns back in the fall)

we probably let him watch too much tv. 

anyway, my sister and her family came up to visit last weekend and in an effort to do something special with the kids whilst keeping them in from blustery cold, we took them to the museum of natural history. we saw heffalumps and wozzles, [pooh] bears and tiggers, nemo's and dori's, we DID NOT see any buzz's or woody's, but august did just recently get his very own space ranger that talks, karate-chops, and who, by the way, CAN fly. 
for having grown up and lived so near to d.c. most my life, i have been downtown a shamefully few amount of times. the smithsonian institute is incredible. all these gorgeous museums open and available to the public for free?! one day, when i have disposable income pouring out of my ears, i am going to donate a hefty sum to it's foundation. that and npr. i wear my nerd badge proudly.
we have recently started speaking in whale with august, like dori does in the nemo movie? it's the cutest thing. it all started on the drive home from his daycare one night when i was asking him how his day went. to my surprise, he answered back with indistinguishable wails and moans. THEN at the museum, we saw this big guy at the entrance of the marine exhibit and i was like, "mmmoo... auguuuuust, whaaaat is thaaaaat?" and he whispered "ballena" in awe before belting out a shrill "mmmoooooowaaaaah...eeeeyuuu" 

some people might consider such an outing to be like a unusual form of punishment - i'm pretty sure both andy and my brother-in-law felt that way during the thirty minutes my sister and i left them alone with the children while we grabbed a bite to eat at the cafe - but to me, it was almost like taking a trip to another world. sure, there were hundreds of other people and children (ours included) were running around with little regard for anything other than their present whimsy, but to be see it with august - to try and see it through his eyes - was like seeing all his favorite characters come to life.

on making art


we sat on one end of a long farm table huddled over the same sampling of cheeses from hours earlier. the blackened entree that rested in the oven had long been neglected, just like the bottle of champagne, which was uncorked and three quarters empty. we continued to pick, but despite the intermittent bites and sips, conversation never broke.

the house was quiet with the children asleep in their beds and the glow from a strand of lights that adorned the mantle gave off a warmth that matched the sense of security that comes from being with people who know you. it was a night of dreaming with my fellow dreamers: getting lost in all our stories; talking about the past, laughing at all the painful discoveries and failures we made (and still make!); sighing at the memories of our triumphs and joys; sharing our present frustrations + disappointments; and revealing our future hopes + ambitions.

they say whatever it is that you are doing at midnight on new year's is what you will be doing the rest of the year. i was among two of my truest and dearest friends, feeling the most understood and the most inspired as perhaps i ever have.

two of us with new families and the other with a new career, we are living very different lives from the one we shared nearly ten years ago as flighty coeds, but there is at least one point where we still intersect: we are creatives. no matter the circumstance, there is art in what each of us are doing - working full time, parenting overtime, being in a romantic relationship, being in a loving marriage, building a home, building a community, writing blogs, writing books, teaching, coaching, observing, photographing.

the makings of a good friendship comes from people who don't impose limits on your happiness, but from those those who encourage you to test the boundaries. from those who will sit at table with you and simply say "no, you must take everything you do seriously!" when you've just offered the opposite. from those who are earnest in their work and unapologetic about it because futile or not, it's the work they chose and as their friend, it is work you sincerely support. from those who share in your excitement, not necessarily because it is something exciting to them, but because they can relate to your enthusiasm. we derive energy from our surroundings and a night in honest company reminded me that.

minutes before midnight, i jumped up from the table to wash grapes. according to custom, we had to eat twelve - one for every wish for the year - before the clock's final strike. as we frantically choked the fruit and our laughter down, i only managed to make one and it is one that i wish for you: live in it, whatever you are doing. make art of it. let it drive the intention in anything you do because the truth is, at some point we all intersect. we all create.

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