Friday, January 27, 2012


I think there is no more fitting example of what life is like as a working parent than the fact that it has taken me three full years to produce and publish the movie you'll see below.

I started it just after Bella's first birthday and I set what I thought at the time was a ridiculously generous goal for myself; to have it completed by the time she turned two. I thought it would be a nice, sweet gift to her (and me) and we could snuggle up together and watch it and marvel at just how much she, we, had grown and changed in just one year.

On Monday my baby, the one that you'll watch transform from tiny blob to pretty babe in the movie below, is going to turn four years old.


I've always said that at four I would stop taking her 'white chair' birthday photos that I took once per month for her first two years and then every six months after that. When I made the decision that four years would be long enough I honestly believed we had an eternity until then.

But I blinked and here we are.

Once we take her final pictures I want to make a movie showing all the chair shots in sequence from first to last and today when I went to source out some of the early photos I came across an unfinished movie from her first year. It was almost done, so close, yet somehow I never found the spare, quiet moments I required to give it the finishing touches.

Until today. Home sick with Bella, laptop with me on the couch, I finally got the chance. It's not perfect and you'll have to forgive my singing at the end, but it's done.

She and I had our moment together this morning, snuggled up and watching it after all. I cried a lot and indeed I marveled at how much she, we, have both grown and changed.

Music Credit: Lullaby; The Dixie Chicks

This weekend Bella and I will shoot her last chair photos. I hope it won't be another four years before I can put together the complete sequence. But I'm not holding myself to any goals this time. Because it all happens. Like it or not, it all just keeps on happening.

PS. The song this video is set to was played at the end of every single prenatal yoga class I went to while I was pregnant with Bella. To this day
I can't hear it without being flooded by the memories of what it felt like to lie still in that dark room, holding my growing belly and dreaming about the days to come. Four years of those days have passed already but I'm still dreaming. And I still love this song.

Monday, January 02, 2012

And So This Is (Was) Christmas

I've been describing 2011 as a worthy adversary. Every one of the incredible highs that my family and I experienced this year was met and matched with a difficult low. We were challenged on just about every level in 2011. Emotionally, physically, financially.

I can't say I've ever lived a year that hasn't been a mix of ups and downs. That's just the nature of this life, isn't it? But in 2011 the lows were just a little lower, the tears came from slightly deeper in the soul. Then again the laughs? They came from a little deeper in the belly. Sighs of relief were breathed a little louder. Hugs were held a little longer, a little tighter. Because you know what? For every time I was knocked down, I managed to get up again. Stronger somehow with the knowledge of just how much we can survive, my awesome family and I.

We closed out the year with a month of celebrating. The Christmas season arrived with its fair share of the usual holiday stresses but our home was full of joy. Even the last few days of the year, spent shut in and nursing my beautiful girl through a terrible illness, were warm and lovely and safe. We hunkered down, snuggled in and plowed through it together, all the while reminded again and again just how lucky, how blessed, we really are.

Yes, a worthy adversary indeed, 2011. I believe we'll call it a draw.

Here are the snapshots from Christmas 2011, a fitting celebration to end this wild ride of a year. It was the perfect way to say farewell, to clear the palate and move forward with eyes and hearts open wide, ready to take on whatever may come in 2012.

These two handsome creatures lived on my mantle and made me smile every day.

Also on the mantle, how jolly is this little trio?
Put a berry on it.
Nobody loved our tree this year more than Moet.
Even the doorknobs were in on the festivities. 

More presents!
More snuggles!
Feasting continues on boxing day - our first Christmas dinner in the new house.
Beautiful even after being horribly sick for five straight days. We spent our last day of 2011 hunkered down at the hospital.
But this one's got a fighter's spirit like the rest of us. Bounced back enough to enjoy tacos and giggles on NYE.

Happy New Year from me and mine to all of you and yours.