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October 2011
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December 2011

November 2011

the quiet

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I'm sure some of you have been wondering what's going on with my absense from this space. In emails and comments, some of you have made note of it. Of course, my visit with my Gram was precious - worth every moment of my absence here. But it's been more than just the week's visit, hasn't it? I've struggled for the past few months with writing regularly. Why am I quiet? 

Sometimes I ask myself the same question. I just haven't felt able to lose sleep in order to blog, especially since my days are so full with the boys while Patrick has his head buried in academia. This will change come the end of November, when our lives will return to normal. Normal! I can hardly believe it.

This year has been such an avalanche of stress. It started out with deciding where to treat Lachlan, as we vacillated between temporarily relocating to Philadelphia and staying at home. Then he was born. Whisked away after twenty minutes. Hooked up to monitors and given an IV. Two days later we kissed his perfect chest and, tears pouring down our faces, watched as they wheeled his bassinet to the operating room. A month in the hospital, we arrived home, worked ourselves to exhaustion, trying our best to make up for lost time, coming out with three new patterns, and hoping that the business would take care of itself when we went back to the hospital with our little one twelve short weeks later. Another open-heart surgery. Three weeks in the hospital. Our lease was up. We bought a house and started moving the weekend after Lachlan came home from the hospital. We could only afford a fixer-upper, and that's what we've been doing. Painting, living with subflooring and no handles on any cabinets. Loving it. Trying to spend time in the beautiful outdoors. Helping Finn to heal, helping him work through his anxiety. Worrying about a baby who didn't eat, and rejoicing when he decided he would. Fretting over Patrick's insane work schedule, which would allow him to make up for nearly a year of lost time in a mere three months. When Lachlan's g-tube came out, we hoped the hole would close on its own. Hour after hour, I change his tummy dressing, which is often soaked with milk. So are his clothes, which get changed many times a day. It didn't close.

Which brings us to now. Lachlan has a minor surgery scheduled for November 28th to close the hole in his stomach. He should be in in the morning and out by the afternoon, but you never know with those hospitals. They have a way of keeping you there for longer than you want to be. 

When we bring him home, life will actually be normal. Patrick will be done with his preliminaries. We can return to our pre-Lachlan work schedule, where we share caring for the boys and getting work things done. Lachlan won't be facing another surgery for several years. We are settling in our home. We might even have enough leisure time to put up a fence and start preparations for our garden. Sigh.

There has just been too much going on in my life to be here consistently. Life has been raw this past year. Beautiful moments? Of course. But it has been hard. And it's been hard for me, during the most difficult times, to be a contributing member of this community of inspiration, mindfulness, and beauty, when I feel my own life has been anything but. 

But then again, this community is also about support, about sharing, about kindred spirits. It would have been wrong of me to assume that you all didn't go through similar seasons of difficulty and change in your lives. When I did write here during those hard times, I felt surrounded by all that was good and human - knowing that suffering is universal, natural, and - most importantly - able to be overcome.

I just wanted to take the time today to say thank you again for reading my words - both sunshiny and serious - and for understanding (as I know you do) that this season of my life demanded a more quiet presence on my blog. I have needed the silence in order to grieve, heal, and just get through the days. 

I'll be here soon. I need to do some blog house-cleaning (lots of broken links, I hear) and I'll be experimenting with a new layout. I feel like brushing the dust from my shoulders and starting this December with a new look (and a new outlook.) 

Back to my quiet life for a bit longer. Another small surgery and a few more papers (for Patrick) and this race will be done.

 


a room of one's own

a room of one's own

a room of one's own

a room of one's own

a room of one's own

a room of one's own

a room of one's own

We have a semi-permanent fort set up in the studio. Sometimes it's a house, sometimes it's a grocery store. Sometimes it's a place to go to take a few deep breaths. Sometimes it's full of people. Nearly all the time there's a cat in there (unless, of course, a small boy enters. That's when Amelie exits stage left. My son is not a cat whisperer at this time in his life!)

Ah, to be tucked away in one's own world, giddy with excitement. 

I'll probably be spending most of the week away from my computer, as my Gram is coming to visit from California. I want to relish every moment with her; she'll be meeting Lachlan for the first time.

Be well, my friends.


on the way out the door

on the way out the door

on the way out the door

on the way out the door

on the way out the door

on the way out the door

on the way out the door

on the way out the door

Our entryway. This is a space of transition - from inside to outside, from outside to inside, from home to the big world, from the big world back home. In our home, it is a door on the side of the house, closest to the driveway. The front door "entryway" is for those who haven't visited before - beckoned by the formality of the front porch. Inside that door, they'll find half-painted walls and no place to put shoes. The side door is where it happens. It happens to be located in our studio.

It's often a place of chaos, a place of excitement, a place of passage. Its very existence fortells change, a shift. It is, most certainly, a practical spot. One that often gets overlooked, despite its centrality in the movement of the family.

I've tried to fine-tune its organization, making it a place of more peace than chaos. I've switched things around, adding baskets and hooks, but nothing was quite right until I happened upon these child's desks at a local thrift store. For $30! My ninety-two year-old neighbor claims that she sat in desk just like this when she was in school. 

When I found the eesks, they were attached by wooden rails on the bottom, one in front of the other. I just took a saw to those rails and separated the chairs.

A few specifics:

- "HOME" animal prints are from Martha Stewart, found at Michael's several years back. They are attached with washi tape.

-  Clipboards hold thrifted pages from a 1942 Mother Goose book.

- Wire baskets are from World Market, as well as the mini chalkboards.

- The milk crate (which holds the big people's shoes) is thrifted.

- I keep each boy's outside gear in their respective baskets. Big people keep their gear in the basket to the right of the bench. Baby carriers are in there, too.