Friday, June 19, 2009

Tryng to make a comeback!

Hi all, sorry I've been gone for so long. Things have been really busy, but amazing, for me these past months.

We moved into our new house on May 4th. Lily loves it here and we are trying to settle into some sort of routine; although with the amount of work I have gong on in the house she is sadly feeling like she doesn't get enough Mommy time.

She is sooo close to conversant talking now. She says about 250 words, signs about 50ish, and knows more than I can guess. She started putting together 3 word sentences a couple of weeks ago. Her first one: "I eat food!" Now she carries on all day in a mixture of English and Lilyish... Hopefully one of us will become fluent in one or the other some day soon :)

We have not gotten to the beach as much as we would have liked to but I do have a few awesome beach pics to share:







And a couple of extremely cute photos of her walking around in my Chucks :)



Monday, June 1, 2009

Lily found a bee :( and update

Wow, it feels like forever since I've had a second to post. Moving is crazy!

Today, while I was watering our flowers, lily found a dead bee in her pool. I shouldhave checked her pool first thing, but I guess it takes a lesson to think of things like that, anyway, she picked it up and found out that bees sting :(

Luckily she seems to not be developing any severe reaction, TG, but is quite unhappy. I told her that some bugs bite and we shouldn't touch them so every time she remembers her finger hurts she is saying "bug! Bug, BUG...WHAAAA" poor baby!

Other than our traumatic bug incident, everything is going quite well. The house is coming along, albeit much slower than I hoped (OF COURSE!) but we are all healthy and happy at the moment.

I hope to get back with pics and a better update sometime soon, but now I have to run. Dishes are calling since Lily has forgotten about the bug for the moment!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We Have a Home!!!

Well, we made our offer, they countered. We countered their counter and they accepted!! We have a new home!!! --well, provisionally.  Now for the sticky details.  We have to get inspections of a few things and whatever else gets done before sales are final, but then it is ours.

I'm currently researching gardening (I hope to turn my black thumb green) and thinking about wall colors and other homey stuff.  I've never been a domestically inclined type of person but Lily has inspired a lot of respect and desire in me to explore and learn proficiency in the "womanly arts."

Yeah, I want to become that mommy who gives her family a beautiful place to live and maybe even bakes cookies or something.  I'm going to save the baking for later and concentrate my current energies on making a home that feels comforting, inspiring, and full of love for everyone who enters.

This is all a part of my quest to live a more beautiful life-- to become the kind of person I admire and have never quite believed myself capable of being.

Enough about me though... Lily will have her own room in our new home and I'm having fun thinking about how to decorate for her.  If any of you have any helpful tips or ideas on making a fun and practical (yet beautiful) child's room, I'd love to hear them!

We hope everyone is great and that we get to see or hear from you soon!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Recent Happenings...

California is turning out to be even more amazing than I thought it would be.  I am currently wavering between disbelief that I actually live in this amazingly beautiful place and disbelief that I didn't move here before now.  I am really starting to believe that this is where I was supposed to have been born :)

Yesterday Lily, Sabi, and I walked about a mile to attempt to get free grand slam breakfast at Denny's.  The line was snaking out the door and down the sidewalk so we chose to have Pizza instead, but on the way to the Pizza joint Sabi complained that she was "getting sweat on her shirt."  I just laughed a little and replied, "It's February! We are walking outside in short sleeves and it's warm enough to break a tiny sweat! There are blooming flowers!"  She laughed too and we went on to thoughoughly enjoy another perfect february day.

Outside, new flowers are begining to bloom.  There are brilliant orange poppies, purple morning glories, roses, my eternal faves-- Puffball trees (mimosas), and many others I cannot begin to identify.  Lily loves picking and eating the pretty ripe lemons off the tree in the backyard and Sabrina and I contemplate ways to get the huge oranges we can't reach in the front yard tree.

The sky is that perfect blue, reserved for hot summer days in Missouri, and the mountains frame the scenery in a distant haze.  Lily calls all the yellow flowers and signs ducks. We walk together and she babbles about what she sees on the way and waves to all the cars.  We rode the bus last night and she happilly repeated "bus" in sign and english the whole way. Everything just seems magical.

And Lily is thriving:  She has decided that objects can all have "ie" added to the end and now regularly requests and thinks about her "bookies!!"  We have started fixing her hair on a daily basis, mostly because it now hangs over her eyes, and she seems to love wearing it in a pony or two (though she hates the process of getting them done).  She is obsessed with ducks and calls most birds (except chickens) and anything yellow, excitedly, a duck wherever she sees them.  She loves shoes and is often seen carrying ours around, putting them randomly on the coffee table, and trying them on.  She now brings us any of her clothes she can find; presumably when she's ready to get dressed for the day.  She plays with her stock of diapers when she needs to be changed.  Lily is still an amazing extrovert-- she loves to say hello to everyone she sees, and seems to live for making other people smile (and they seem to love her too!).  We wonder where she gets it from since Eric and I tend to be more reserved.  Most of all, Lily is becoming very much her own person.  She has her own mind and is not afraid to prove it.  She is begining to have opinions on what she eats, what she plays with, what we are doing, and what she wants.  When she doesn't get her way her little hands sometimes shake with frustration just before she screams to let us know she's not pleased.  This  is sometimes embarrassing in public but she is still amazingly well-behaved and easy to take wherever we want to go.

I don't know what Eric and I did to earn such a wonderful child, but I cannot thank life enough for blessing us with the joy and continuing amazement of Lily.

As for me-- I am also thriving in California.  The sunshine through the lace curtains, the magnolia leaves accross the street, the slightly imperfect orbs of delicious orangeness that gently wave hello each morning, waking up to Eric's beautiful long eyelashes fluttering peacefully in the early glow of sunrise, hearing Lily say hi to her mousie and tell it her morning babble, seeing the deep green of healthy trees covering the mountains just beyond the city, dreaming of transforming a house into "our home," tasting the amazing freshness and crispness of food as a nonsmoking Californian, having the certainty that this is a new life and I can be whoever I choose to become, knowing the beach is only 30 minutes away from me, seeing people smile without obvious provocation.... All of this and a million other things add up to a me I never even dreamed I could become.  I am so full of creativity that I find it hard to pick one idea out and work, I am so full of hope that I want to sing and dance in the street, I am so full of confidence that I can once again talk to strangers and not even think to worry that they won't like me.  I am free once again; I'm so happy to be able to be this person for me and for my family.

I can't speak for Eric but he also seems to be very happy here. He has a great job that is challenging and rewarding on a daily basis.  Everything is almost too beautiful and Lily becomes a greater joy every day.  He is close to putting in an offer on a house (http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Jose/1260-FRUITDALE-Ave-95126/home/712990) has a much happier girlfriend and is busy resuming and making new friendships at work and all over the place.

In all, life is amazing and we know we are very lucky.  We miss everyone we had to leave to come here but are happy to give you all an amazing place to visit as often as you can.  We love you and hope that you are having as much of a wonderful year as we are.  Keep in touch and I will try to post more pictures very soon!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Designing My Beach

My good friend Sabi and I have decided that this time and place in our lives affords each of us the somewhat unique opportunity to decide not only who we are but also who we want to be tomorrow.  So a large part of my mental time has been spent, for the last week or so, thinking about who I have been and who I would like to be.  We developed a code for this process... we're thinking about our beaches.

So the idea is that we are to design our perfect life (our individual beaches) in our minds so that we have a clear idea of what destination we want to head toward... until we know where we're going we can't know which direction to go in to get there.  Anyway, today I discovered a lot about myself and where I want to go.

Today we drove to Santa Cruz. Today I found a place that resonates within my soul. 

Santa Cruz is bounded by mountains and the ocean.  There are storeys high redwoods shaking hands with delicate palms. Pelicans glide inches from the water. The wind carries salty brine, hippy's happy-hash, fresh grilled veggies, and unspoiled mountain air.  The water shimmers.  The mountains stand like stout guardians you can trust.  People smile to themselves, in unison, as they stroll down the sidewalk-- maybe it's the happy-hash.  It's beautiful.

I can see myself an old woman here.  I will wear red velvet pants and a pink tshirt with my flowered hat while I walk my monkey or iguana down the boardwalk.  I will hum to myself as I smile at the bare-chested boys and gracefully unshod girls playing volleyball in the sand or drumming and strumming their tunes into the healthy breeze.  The sun will kiss my face and I won't worry about my wrinkles. I can breathe.  I can simply be.

And I imagine myself in a few years, maybe a decade, living my perfect life.  I will live in town but only blocks from the beach.  I will own a building with a storefront and an apartment.  I will live upstairs in bright blue rooms with sari curtains and lush paintings.  I will drink coffee and tea on a balcony while Lily reads to me in the morning.  I will wear my hair messily on top of my head and smile.  I will paint. In the store downstairs I will sell beautiful things; books, jewelery, homemade clothing, things I find elsewhere, upcycled stuff... things that are beautiful, that I made beautiful, or things I made from scratch.  I will tend the store on odd days and travel when I'm feeling even.  I'll be who I am, not be afraid to say hello (and I am strangely unshy in Santa Cruz!!!), and create create create...

For Santa Cruz stirs my blood and makes me remember that creative passion I've sometimes forgotten.  To me, the waves and the people and the dreams and even the culture of drugs has more color and whimsy than I'm used to; has the right amount of color and whimsy to make me feel at home. When I look around words flow, colors glide, images burn into me.  Everything is inspiration.  Here I could create.... here I could not not create.

My beach lies somewhere along this coastline... so close I can almost smell the sheets.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Our first California Sunday


It seems that California wakes me up early. Today I woke at 6am (Pacific time) and I guess I'm happy enough about it.

More interestingly, today we plan to go to the Campbell farmers market (2 blocks from our place!!!) which is supposed to be one of the best around. I think we're supposed to try for breakfast there as well as some yummy produce. Yesterday we stopped by the santa clara farmers market and I have to say that the fruit really does taste better here (and homemade samoosaa!!!!). I'm looking forward to getting used to better and fresher produce.

After the farmers market we plan to explore some open houses in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale. Yesterday we drove around quite a bit. I think I have fallen in love with Willow Glen, in terms of personality, the most. I really like downtown Santa Clara as well. I think it will be tough deciding where to settle :)

Yesterday we stopped by a walmart when we were driving around. As I was talking to Lily and putting the car away I was pointing out all of the birds we saw. It was so beautiful to see that in addition to pigeons and blackbirds I also got to talk to her about seagulls and others that I couldn't quite identify.

It is going to be amazing for both of us to learn the names and types of plants and animals we see here. OH! We saw the cutest squirrel yesterday in Santa Clara!!! It was nearly black with a short tail. Its fur was longish and it was just super cute!
Example
I didn't take this photo but it is perhaps the same squirrel!

I can't really tell you how beautiful it is here.  I don't know where to begin.  I feel almost like I am drowning in an ocean of newness and beauty.. It almost becomes uncomfortable to attempt to take in all of the stimulus and convince myself that I now belong here; I am home.

Well... it could also be the trauma of day 3 without smoking :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Move to California

The morning light is brighter here; it streams through my living room window like summer in Missouri. On its path it touches the nearly ripe oranges on the tree between nearly awake me and the street. I've always wanted fruit trees.

Our new home, our temporary home, is a place of bright sunshine. White walls that could feel cold are warmed and made homey by lace curtains and leaded glass windows from other Victorian buildings somewhere. Floral rugs and paintings feel right in this space. I wonder how long it will take me to realize this is now my home.

I feel lucky to live here. This home is wonderful. You can tell it was prepared with love and care, from the multitude of mirrors in the bath to the hand laid mosaic that winds paths into the backyard. There are ripe lemons back there too.

But as wonderful as it is, I still feel asleep. I cannot quite believe that I no longer live in the city that has always been my home. I'm almost sad to think of no more gray winters... until I remember how sad they soon become.

Lily... Lily doesn't realize that we moved. She seems to like our new home though.