Monday, July 25, 2011


  • evie has become a fan of biting things. need i say more? i mean, really, NEED I SAY MORE!?
  • and, i went ahead and dunked her in the pool. she was completely shocked by it and took several minutes to get her bearings, but not a single tear.
  • j bubba and i have been working on our relationship. 
  • the husband has been stressed to the max getting ready for his upcoming trip to china and his new life as a student/employee/dad/husband/son/slave, etc. i think he is just realizing how hard it's going to be (i swear for a while there he was just thinking it was going to be TRIPS!) wish him luck, folks.
  • i have been trying to figure out how i can make him a little study area and provide him with a way to keep all of his shiz organized while he accumulates a million studious things. or in other words, who wants to come to ikea and buy stuff with me?!
  • evs and i are preparing to go stay with the parents for a few weeks.
  • we've been going to weddings, weddings and more weddings.
  • i've been melting into a pile of sweat every afternoon as i carry evie and walk the dogs up and down the aves. but, hey, good workout!
  • toby has been sleeping. seriously, that's all.
  • we've been waging a war against any and all fruit flies in our home. 4 dead so far. 
  • i've been meeting friends for lunch and park time and trying to be a better girlfriend, in general. you here that, ladies!? let's get together!
  • and number one on our list of recent activities: a new nephew born just yesterday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

month six.

to my evie baby,

today, you are six months old.

today, the cherry tree outside my window is glimmering softly in the sunlight, the dogs are sleeping, the hum of the refrigerator is the only sound i can hear and you are sleeping. i just put you down for an afternoon nap and when your body finally slipped into dreaming, i brought myself here, to write you your letter.

you are six months old, my baby. half a year, gone by.

these days you greet nap time with much more anxiety than ever before. i think you used to take me with you when you slept. i was in your dreams, in your crib, lying right beside you. you felt close, felt secure in your surroundings, and you slept-oblivious to the laundry i was folding in the other room or the book i was finally cracking open.

but now, you realize it when i am gone. now, you seem to understand that sleep is a place we don't go to together and even as i set you down your little arms cling tightly to me, reaching fiercely back towards my neck, towards my chest, and the tears flow from your eyes, like rain, the moment your body hits the mattress.

these days, i struggle with that. it is a never-ending battle between my heart and my head. my head tells me that you are coming into your own now, becoming a little person with real goals and intentions and a brain capable of getting what it wants. my mind tells me i must be aware of this. i must continue to teach you the things i want you to know. i must continue to set you down at nap time, even though you don't want me to, because a nap is what you need and to sleep alone is to gain a piece of your independence. my mind tells me all this.

but, my heart.

the day we brought you home from the hospital was the first day that i, alone, set out to be your mother.

our time in the hospital was filled with people to help, guests to hold, nurses to teach and family to calm. i was never alone, it seemed, and you were everywhere. you went to the nursery, to dad, to the bassinet, to doctors, to grandparents, to have your heel pricked, to be weighed, down the hall and back again. it all came and went so quickly, too fast for me to keep up. so when we finally went home- when your dad needed to run my errands and your nana had left and the guests were finished coming- time seemed to stand still as you and i sat together, under that big january sky, and i set out to be your mother.

i held you close to me and wondered about what came next. i worried about your diaper, about dragging my sore body to the next room to change it. i worried about nursing you, about how little and fragile you seemed to be. i worried about falling asleep, about not being awake to watch you breathe, about keeping you safe, about no doctors and no nurses and no nst's for the first time in a long time.

i had reached the end, reached my goal. and here you were, my beautiful baby. looking up at me with bright, gray eyes. looking up at me with wonder. and it was just the beginning.

in that moment, my body felt so sore and broken and my eyes were so heavy and hollow but, my heart.

today, you are six months old.

today, we will sing you are my sunshine and sit in the shade of the cherry tree in our yard. you will chew on sophie the giraffe and laugh when bubba licks your toes. you will roll across the room and back again. you will yell, you will shriek and then you will smile when i notice it. today, you will cough and then look for me. cough, look, cough cough, smile. today you will be bashful. today, you will curl your body tightly against mine and burrow your head into the nape of my neck.

today, i will nurse you and feed you rice cereal. i will laugh as it oozes from your mouth, trickles down your chin and drips onto your chubby, naked thigh. i will spoon in more and you will smile in delight. i will dance for you, in the kitchen, under the warmth of sunlight. you love it when i twirl, you love it when i bounce, you love it when we sing.

once you are significantly sticky i will lather your tiny body and shampoo your blond head. your daddy will come home. you will kick and squirm and smile at the sight of him. he will bounce you on his knee, kiss you on your lips, blow raspberries on your tummy.

you will wear footy pajamas. we will nurse quietly in the darkness, under the bright, bursting sky. i will read you your story. i will rock you for a while. i will lay you down and then, after a little while, you will sleep.

the night will grow quiet and time will pulse on. your dad will climb into bed. the pups will curl up together in the living room. the moon will creep it's way in through our windows.
i will wipe the counter and lock the door.
i will make my way down the hall.  i will open your door slowly and find you, asleep.
i will lift your warm body to my chest, i will burrow my face in your soft, wispy hair. i will breathe you in.

i will stay with you, my baby.

at least for a little while.
at least for now.

at least while you are mine.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

finished product.

and without further adieu, i give you a watercolor portrait of my family.

the olsens:

i see about 10 million mistakes, but seeing as this was my first time picking up a paintbrush or sketching in my book for over 5 years, i'm happy with it. it's also a portrait of my favorite people in the world, so for that reason, i absolutely love it.

and once again, i was inspired by this artist's paintings.

to feed a soul.

i've been thinking a lot lately about this role of being a mother.
i had someone ask me the other day, with scrutiny in his eyes,
"now, what do you do?"

immediately i answered, "i'm a mom!" and left it at that.
but later, as i tried to fall asleep, as i tried to calm my mind and slip into dreaming, i found myself dwelling on that statement.

what do i do?

well, i feed my baby. 5 times a day. i hold her close to me and stroke her blond hair and nourish her body with everything i've got.
i change her bum. i vaseline her bum. i dress her up in cute little outfits and take pictures of her.
i feed her rice cereal.
i take her for walks.
i write her letters in the middle of the night under the moon and starlight.
i play peek-a-boo and sing songs and rock her and kiss her and clip her fingernails.
i tell her that i love her (all the time, i tell her this). and that's important, yes?
i put her down for naps and up again, down and up, all day long.
i keep her safe.

and i love her.
so much it makes my chest ache and throb when i think of it.
i love her.

also i clean.
i cook (some days, i cook).
i bake cookies and brownies and soon, a peach pie!
i make the bed every single stinking day of my life (that's something, yes? no?!)
i kiss my husband. i tell him that i love him. i cheer him on. i rub his head and wash his clothes.
i pick his gosh darn shoes up off the floor and i am also the one (the only one!) who vacuums up the dead ants in the living room.

this is what i do.
and most days, i feel it is enough.
most days, my heart tells me what i am doing is so important.

"you are telling her you love her!" my heart says.
"you are playing peek-a-boo!" i hear.

but, other days.
others days someone asks me "what i do?" and i feel a little lame.
i am a mother! yes, but is that all?

so many of you are so talented. you are arranging flowers and running photography businesses and teaching classes online. you are graphic designers, artists, master chefs and piano teachers. you run etsy shops, you sew your children's clothing, you ship off treasures you've made during nap time and make organic baby food.

i do not do those things.
i am just a mother.

last night as i relaxed with my husband and thought about this, i suddenly blurted out "i wish i had talents".
and after we went through the usual run-down he gives me when i blurt out such things (where did that come from? what are you thinking about? what in the world goes on inside that head of yours?! who are you?!! etc) he reminded me that i do have talents (everyone does!) and left it at that. my husband is not one to give you the answers, you see, he is one to let you figure it out yourself.

so i've been praying about it
and i've been thinking about it
and all i've got so far is this:

this morning i woke up with the desire to draw.
i used to consider myself a smidge creative (not crafty, mind you, but creative).
i used to draw. i used to write. i used to fill journals with words and poetry and songs that made my heart break and bleed to re-read them.

and i don't know where i am going with any of this really, except today i decided to draw something.

while my baby naps, while my life as a mother is on pause, while the afternoon gives way to silence,
i am drawing.

and i still don't have this thing figured out. i will still wonder if i am enough.
but i do know that, in this moment, drawing is feeding my soul.
and in some small way, it is reminding me of things i have forgotten about myself.

i hope i run into that man again soon.
i will smile and be polite and shake his hand and if he happens to ask me, once again, what it is that i "do"
and will hold my head up high and say,

"well, i am a mother.
and also today, i drew a picture."

that's something. right?
for now, that's something.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

park city, utah.

most days , i strapped my baby to my chest and walked up and down main street exploring shops and stores and park benches. i bought carameled apples and dog bones dipped in chocolate and brought home chocolate covered caramels. i pushed my baby in her stroller until she fell asleep and then soaked my body in the cool pool under the warm mountain sky while she slept.

we went shopping, we went to dinner, we rode horses, we watched men with ski's strapped to their feet fly through the sky. they went bobsledding, i fed my baby rice cereal and watched the bachelor. my husband only stayed for a little while, so i slept with my baby in my arms and missed him. i took pictures of the clouds and the flowers and the big utah sky.

Friday, July 15, 2011

g to the j to the o.

this is a post about my husband.

this is a post about that guy with that teeny tiny little blond on his lap
and those annoying little pups at his feet
and the needy wife resting against his shoulder.

this is a post about that guy who checks slcdeals and ksl all night long
but absolutely refuses facebook or twitter (social networking can kiss his).

this is a post about that guy who really doesn't like swimming
but sun-screened the baby, put on the swimming suit, got the sun-hat and took her all by himself the other day while her mama got a pedicure and then brought her back and proclaimed "she didn't even do anything" with confusion.

this is a post about that guy who stays up late (too late) laughing and talking with his wife even though work comes early (too early) because she's a night owl and does all her best hanging after the stars come out.

this is a post about how i love him.

love the shoes he leaves all over my kitchen (not really)
love the pieces of paper on the desk (not at all)
love the humidifier he requires next to the bed (that's actually quite lovely).

i love the way he smiles and his scruffy beard and how he made the bed the morning evie & i came home from our vacation because he knew it would make me happy.
i love his perfectly folded clothes in the closet and the crisp white socks on his always-freezing feet and the dedication he displays while administering j bubba's ear medication nightly (barf).

this is a post about that guy.

he looks forward to mowing the lawn and worships fox news and regularly makes me omelets for dinner.
he tickles the baby and changes her bum and says he wants another (immediately even!)

this is a post about that guy.
i really love him.

and now, a love letter.

dear g:

i wrote this post because i am missing you tonight (romantic!). also, because i want you to bring me home a grasshopper shake from hires. and maybe some fries, but don't forget the fry sauce or i might stab myself in the arm (the drama!) because we are out of mayo. also, there is laundry in the dryer downstairs and would you pretty please bring it up when you get home and then we can chill and watch dateline nbc like you like to do on friday nights. heck, maybe even some "to catch a predator"- we are young and wild and free, so dream big baby!

love, your wife

ps. don't go to china. i mean, what's there to do and see in china anyway (china!?) (the chinese?!!?) i bet it's suuuppperrr lame. nothing could be as fun as rice cereal/bath/bed time around here, AM I RIGHT? don't go. we will miss you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


{i know, i know, blog about something BESIDES your baby! listen up. people...i can't.}

anyways, milestones. 
we've reached a few.

exhibit a: rice cereal (as per our earlier discussions)

the food went in, the food came back out. the tongue was hilarious. the father couldn't handle the mess (let's turn back, he cried!), the mother loved every minute of it. and we forgot to take her clothes off first (rookie mistake!). a week later, she is eating the stuff like a professional, licking the tray for more and screaming when we are done. oh, boy.

exhibit b: the pool 

she la la loved it. we've been 3 times since. i spent every summer of my childhood in the pool, so i'm sure evie's childhood will be the same. get ready, girlfriend because i am going to teach you the art of multiple underwater flips, learning to dive, handstand contents and marco polo (naturally).

exhibit c: i cannot think of an exhibit c.

stay tuned for upcoming milestones!

exhibit d: sitting up (we are oh so very close)
exhibit e: vegetables (get excited)
exhibit f: getting dunked in the pool. yes, you read that right. 
i plan to dunk my baby in the pool.
exhibit g: i cannot think of an exhibit g!