Saturday, December 24, 2011

it was a silent night...

i've been thinking a lot about what i wanted to write in this blog post, all of which was to be quite profound, but it's just time to put pen to paper (so to speak) and break my blog hiatus. this has been a beautiful and magical and tender and tragic and heartbreaking year. i cannot begin to express my gratitude for the many blessings bestowed on me and my family, the most precious of which is our beautiful baby, david. but i also cannot consider the joys of this year without remembering the loss.

although "the little drummer boy," is my favorite holiday song, "silent night" has been speaking to me this season. i've always heard the line "round yon virgin, mother and child" and assumed it referred to both mary (mother) and jesus (child), but this year it struck me that both mother and child are in reference to mary; jesus gets the next line to himself. why is it that seemingly opposite things so often go together inseparably? parenthood and love and joy and loss have a way of reminding me that while i am powerful and fierce and brave (i gave birth), i am also quite fragile, as are we all. i am both mother and child; both nurturer and one who requires nurturing. these qualities are not separate or independent from one another - they are ever present in all that i do and am. and i have to wonder, in what ways, if any, should this knowledge change the way i understand myself? and because i'm asking the question of me, i'll take a stab at an answer - it should make me more confident and more willing to be interdependent. or maybe some other things. i guess i'm not sure yet.

a couple of weeks ago was the annual christmas hoot (which is my favorite holiday event due to the cathartic nature of joyful group singing). the hoot closes each year with "silent night" and this year a sweet little girl took to the stage for "rudolf the red nosed reindeer" and stayed for the duration. and as she was singing "silent night" and got to the "sleep in heavenly peace" line, my eyes watered up rather unexpectedly. all i could think of was sweet baby martin jones and my dear aunt judy, both of whom passed this year. and my heart is just so heavy. i'm not very religious, but i am somewhat faithful and i do believe that the dead are in heavenly peace. i believe that they are in the arms of a higher power and that they are surrounded by the love and light of their ancestors and my own. and i'm grateful for that faith, but my god, the sadness takes my breath away. and i have so many questions, like how does life move forward? what does healthy grief look like? when is it time for joy?

i suppose the answer is that life moves forward one moment at a time. healthy grief looks like one foot moving in front of the other with lots of breaks for memories and tears. and joy happens whether i mean for it to or not.

i've always been susceptible to grief in times of great joy and i think it's just because, like mary as the mother and child, great joy reminds me that there is also great sadness. my aunt jackie who lost her love and partner, my aunt judy, posted the following to facebook last night and i just want to say, ditto....

However you celebrate the holidays, I am wishing for each of you one that is filled with joy, laughter, peace, and blessings of every sort imaginable. So...imagine away! May you be with friends and family and may your memories of those no longer with you on this Earth be filled with love and gentleness.

and with that i send my love to you and yours, and offer you a lovely rendition of "silent night."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

in loving memory

helen to mom: i know it's not about me, but i can't stop crying.
mom to helen: the death of a child is about us all.

morgan and doug and martin, you are in my every thought and even my dreams. i love you.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

per the parent's request:  in lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to children's healthcare of atlanta at egleston or the ronald mcdonald house. you can access a donation page set up just for martin at

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

to the winery and beyond

jesse and the kids
some of my favorite sadie memories are of taking her to the tiger mountain winery, a treasure of north greorgia. after having a healthy sampling of their yummy wines and purchasing a bottle or two for good measure we would go outside and bask in the fall sun, watching sadie running free over the green fields, her ample jowels flopping in the wind. all the while we are enjoying another glass with a fine picnic lunch. it's been a few years since we've made the trip and sadie is a much older girl now with many grey whiskers and a limp-ridden, but highly spirited gait. and you could see her years in the way she behaved, running, but not as much. preferring to make new friends with other picnickers eager to scratch her belly, and laying down on a blanket  in the shade with david. i have been avoiding facing sadie's years with a comical, but persistent denial. comments made about her changing muzzle are generally greeted with something like, "you shut your mouth. she's just a baby." a joke, but not really. 

this weekend we took our first vacation as a changing family, new baby and aging pup. as daddy played with david, i stole a few moments to lie in the grass under the fall sun and spy on my sweet sadie. i didn't have my camera but made a conscious effort to take a photograph with my mind, watching her, the changing her, enjoying freedom, enjoying company, enjoying life. it was a rare moment for me to be fully present, fully engaged, fully accepting. i am a doer, always on the move, trying to change something or make something. i cloud moments by trying to alter them, just a little this way or that, but in this moment, everything just simply was, and it was beautiful.

Monday, October 3, 2011

put a bird on it, thank you very much

first things first -- a HUGE thank you to the wonderfully talented kim for my new look! i love it! and you know me so well. "put a bird on it" is totally me, probably right down to the part where they freak out (thank you vicki mcmaken, for introducing me to the like-minded others of portlandia).

so in tribute to my predictable like of birds, david and i went on a scavenger hunt around the house and this is what we came up with...

stole from lee

made by kate for david - so sweet

xmas gift from aunt cindy

charlie harper post card mobile

knitting bag

david's medicine bucket (thank god for little noses)

hole in the wall? put a bird in it

thanks mom

mom, again

oh, mom

aloe needs a bird

don't like brass? spray paint 'em

birdies watching over david's crib

and every baby needs a dream bird

how many birds can you find? (many of them were brought to you by kim)

it's a magnet

and we didn't even get into toys....
and here is a reward if you happened to make it to the end....

Sunday, October 2, 2011

craft it forward: chocolate chip, honey dipped, can i get a scoop

let the games begin! my  craft-it-forward gift has arrived from allybuilt!! these chocolate chip ceramic push-pins are going to make me smile every day i work! allison is not only incredibly talented, but super creative to boot. i guess those things often go hand-in-hand, but i am still constantly awed.

and this means that i am officially open for crafting it forward. to clarify (i had it a bit wrong before), the first 5 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a special hand made something from me. in return, they must post a picture of my offering on their blog when it arrives and agree to send something to the first 5 who comment (and on and on).

i hope to hear from some folks soon. with my very limited readership, i'll consider this a win if i just get a comment or two, but 5 would be awesome as well... because i'm an optimist, i have already started working on my first little something. :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

letting the days go by, water flowing underground

david is 5 months old today. i just can't believe there was ever a time when he wasn't here. in that same breath, i can't believe he's already 5 months old. at this moment 5 months ago i was laboring in my bed with madrona petting my hair asking jesse very calmly and very quietly what else needed to be packed up. we were preparing for the journey which would take us 12 houses down the road and a million miles away from life as we knew it.

for me, there was no such thing as time - there were only contractions coming and going. there was no such thing as a baby on it's way - just the ebb and flow of comfort and discomfort. and as is so often the case in my life, there was fear. but there was also peace and grace in the love of my caregivers, in the knowledge that the bodies of so many women before me had moved through this exact same process, and in the prayers and energy of my family.

and in so many ways as a result of giving birth to new life i am a new person myself, having been reborn into motherhood and into the joy and light of this amazing adventure. but i am also the same old me and i carry all the good and bad that i carried before. i lose perspective, i have a sense of humor, i care about my job and career, i am competitive, i am jealous, i am compassionate - sometimes to a fault. i am nervous, i am optimistic, i am self-critical, i am creative, i am overly honest about myself. and it's only lately that all of this is really surfacing. i have been surprised to find that in the midst of this new phase of life, the old me is still alive and well and i am faced with the challenge of acceptance and integration. as athens area artist "chub" puts it, i am "a little good, a little bad - like most folk..."

p.s. we let david lick on some cantaloupe. i think he liked it. and then again, he seems to like everything he can put in his mouth. :-)

Friday, September 23, 2011


i completed a super cute and very functional soaker for david! for those of you unfamiliar, a soaker is just a wool diaper cover. i have tried a couple of different patterns and i finally found one that i really like. it came from a book called "the expectant knitter" that i picked up from tuesday morning on a trip with ellen and safia. it's the same book that has the awesome leg warmers (which are completed, btw - picture to follow soon).

i am now in between projects. i started a pair of fingerless gloves, but i'm just not feeling motivated to work on them. instead, i think i'm going to make some more gnome hats in preparation for the christmas hoot (coming up on decemebr 12 at the wonderful little kings shuffle club!!!). i made enough last january for the regular hoot crew, but it dawned on me today that ellen, rube, and safia will need hats, too. i'll keep you updated on my progress...

so updates on my knitting are not that exciting, i know, but i'm having a bit of writer's block. i think a lot about blog topics but at the present moment, none are coming to mind. :-)

Monday, September 19, 2011

a little bit more

david has begun to grow into some of the things i made before he was even conceived! it's interesting to look back prebaby and even prepregnancy and realize how different things are now than they were then. as i told my sister, being a mom is the hardest and easiest thing i have ever done. she accused me of being inarticulate, but i think that's the best i can do for now.

as david has been growing and changing, so have i. it seems that every day is a renegotiation of what it means to be me. one of the hottest mommy topics seems to be the balance of work, motherhood, family, and self, and i am finding myself facing these challenges more intensely as of late. and really, it may be more accurate to say that i am working on the integration of all of these rather than each one individually. i think by themselves, each thing is fine, but for some reason or another i am struggling with an increasingly overwhelming feeling that things are going to begin to unravel. and it's cyclical, but building.

so often i feel as if i am the only one. i know i am not, but when you spend most of your time with yourself, in your own world, in your own mind and body, it is easy to forget that you are not the only one who questions herself. i am not the only one who makes mistakes. i am not the only one learning as they go. so in the spirit of honesty, here is something i'm not feeling great about and a smidgen of the thoughts that go along....

i kept david in the sun and crowd and noise so that we could be in a parade on saturday. i thought the weather would be cooler and more overcast  and was very unprepared for the heat and sunshine. also, and perhaps more importantly, i wanted to go with the flow (like all the other folk sans baby) and felt uncomfortable disrupting the rest of the gang. so while i was able to keep my baby safe and fed, was he as comfortable as he should have been? was the experience worth the heat and noise? did i choose to keep other people comfortable at the expense of taking the best care of david? i like being the cool mom that's able to be out and about and i'm angry?, disappointed?, sad?, scared? that on this occasion my anxiety level rose to the point that i still haven't quite recovered.

so what is the lesson here? i'm not ready to make any hard and fast rules about what i will and won't do, especially given the fact that every day is new and different. david is never, never the same thing twice. but i think i need to be more conscious of the costs and benefits of my pursuits. the only way that i seem to be able to bring down my anxiety and this feeling of impending doom is by reminding myself that i can make different choices. i can adjust. i can move from one feeding to the next to the next.

and i can knit, sometimes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

craft it forward

allison, my beautiful and talented sister in law, introduced me to this awesome idea through her blog, here's the deal....

I will send something handmade (by me) to the FIRST FIVE people who leave a comment on this post.
They must then post what I have sent them on their own blogs and pass it on (send something handmade to the first five people to comment) and so on. It can be anything, as long as it is handmade by you, and must be sent out by the end of 2011.
What do you think?
Want to Play?
I know, it's so exciting!

brand new blogger

besides a wedding blog, i'm a first timer and although i'm quite sure this will be read by an extremely limited number of folk, i am nervous. my motivation for beginning this blog is to participate in "craft it forward" but i'm thinking it just might be fun to showcase the crafts that i make and especially to showcase the crafts that i make being worn by my babe. nothing better than a baby in a craft.... just sayin'.

at this moment, however, the baby is fast asleep and, being that i am not crazy, i have chosen not to wake him up for a photo shoot, so you'll just have to imagine how awesome these leg warmers will look when they are finished and he is wearing them....

sleeping baby
Leg Warmers