hey, guys. i’m swimming in the daily work and unpacking mess (yes, still! how fast do most people get this stuff done!?) but wanted to pop in to wish my sweet lola happy birthday. she’s six today, the most darling six. she has the prettiest hair, the sweetest, most thoughtful disposition, loves her sister, her dad, keeping up with her brothers, playing wii, drawing and making all things, helping mama, dancing, pups, snuggling in my bed, learning to read and all things schoolish, friends, family, getting dirty outside, playing mermaid in the bath, riding her scooter, and running like the wind. she’s the first sister to me, one of my best friends, and i love her to the golden sun and back to this spinning globe and then way out beyond the previous planet pluto and into the starry universe beyond.
i can’t believe it’s been six years since you looked into my face and i looked into your eyes and fell in love. thanks for being exactly you, my sweet.
oh, today, you’re so pretty. the house is (kind of) quiet, the pup is lolling in the sunny place on the floor, church was good, shrimp tacos were good, and now i’ve a moment for the computer. the week ahead will be a busy one and it may be a few days before we have internet again, so i’m off to an unprecedented early blogging start. i really don’t like forgetting to pop in here, but it is what it is.
we close on our new home tomorrow! if you follow me on instagram or twitter, you will, no doubt, get little phone updates there. we are thankful and excited and so glad for more elbow room, a gentle, completely un-busy street, the perfect grass in a yard meant for frolicking, studio space and school space and more than we ever thought we could find. there’s a community pool, to boot. closed for the year, but there nonetheless.
in the meantime, you all need to pop over to read these newsworthy happenings of my great husband. his beautiful photography has gotten some recent recognition and i’m so proud of him. i know you’re going to want to read all about it. check it:
pdn photo annual winner
interview with rangefinder magazine
interview with shutterlove
hot enough to swim, cool enough to close the pools
lola calling the porch full of packed boxes “the packer”
dot and a few faltering first steps
science, it’s amazing
henry: the kid goes to youth group
saturday morning and her hot, dark pools of coffee
windows and shadows and breeze pushing, pulling
losing at mario cart
sweet teeth stash from the recent indie craft parade
coconut oil on and in everything
moving next week
next year’s garden dreams with jude
apple crisp, with extra crisp
staying up too late, pup waking up too early
taking time to do nothing
photo by little dot’s pop, aaron greene
oh, my sweet little sallie dot. how it is that you are a one year old, i know not. time, pretty time in one of her summer dresses, she goes flying through fall and winter and christmas, a daffodilled spring, a soggy summer, taking us all with her whether we bought tickets or not.
little dot, you have done the first things: the first cry, the first gaze, the first long hours in a rocking chair, the first road trip, the first snow, the first crawl and step and laugh and cry and smile and twinkle and shy turning your face into my shoulder. you are my little dot, my sweetest surprise, exactly what i never knew i always needed.
this weekend we made that paneer and ate it in a thai green curry (my life: forever changed). i love having kids that are up to eating anything (it helps to have dessert waiting on more adventuresome dinner nights). on saturday we tried to sleep late, but the pup doesn’t know that it’s saturday, nor does the joyous baby. or the beautiful five year old. the windows were thrown open first thing and the cold breeze came up and over grandma’s quilt and the clean sheets and we didn’t want to do anything but loll about. instead, we tidied up, aaron cut the grass and the clover and the wind brought the summer in through the screens. there were also some good cookies at some point in the day. later, we stayed up late with long talks about what we will do to the house that we should be moving to next month (hooray!). i don’t know why we talk so long about what to do: white paint, indian rugs, large houseplants: these are my key ingredients to a pretty house. but the talks are fun and we can’t wait.
on sunday, breezy sunday, we went to church, came home and got the pup, picked up some snacks, and drove out to the lake. there were lots of people out because it was the first sunny weekend in a long while, and the rain had taken up most of the beach places, but we met some nice people, watched a standard poodle float around on a floating bed (!), sat in the sun and shade, and tried to catch the silvery minnows flitting about. it was good. it will be better on a weekday, when school and work obligations take over most schedules and the place can be just ours. maybe next time we go dot will be walking? will she? oh, no, baby. later in the evening, we had a bonfire at the house of some old friends. it was a good night, the kind of night with real talk and community, exactly as it should be. there were twinkle lights and tall okra and fried okra and kids with glow sticks and jude in a hammock with a chicken.
this week i’m making some garlands, baking cupcakes for dot’s first birthday on sunday (STOP BABY, STOP), having aaron’s mom and brother stay for a couple of days and at least one good dinner of swedish meatballs, and maybe we’ll squeeze in a couple of thrift shop situations along the way.
so, my new leica is making some beautiful images. exciting!
steaming an artichoke
black beans, again
mown grass and clover
sleepy pup eyes
pup gaining weight
nests kids make to sleep inside
cool temperatures in august
busting out the vintage izod green rain jacket
evening light from room to room
lamplight through windows with undrawn curtains
traffic in rain
dot, outgrowing her moccasins
lola, almost reading
jude, his buzz growing out
henry, legs longer than mine
living and dying
learning something new
a couple of new houseplants
new leaves on old houseplants
plans for the orchard, the lake, a date night, dot’s birthday
deciding what to do about the gray that is overtaking my hair
a few naps
a blueberry crisp
while aaron was shooting a wedding in illinois, we hunkered down this weekend and watched netflix, ate cereal and popcorn, watched it rain, took the unwilling puppy for walks in the rain, and gave dot lots of post-avocado eating baths. weekends are the pits when dad is gone.
on sunday we celebrated 12 years of being married. i couldn’t ask for a better person with whom to spend my life and days. he inspires me to be a better person, respects and supports me in my work, is full of ideas and dreams, i love him.
this week we are keeping on keeping on. the weather is hot again, but rainy every day. there are palmetto bugs that creep into the house at night, scuttle around the damp back porch. i’m going to try my hand at making paneer, start working on a paper elephant sculpture, shoot a little with my new camera, and try not to pin all the pins in the world on pinterest.
it’s august. we are taking summer in our hands and refusing to let her go. while the school kids sport their new shoes and haircuts, we are in our pajamas, making many coffees, and pulling summer slow and long like a pink ball of taffy. we are not going to school, no, we are not doing that yet.
it’s august, the month for the dogs, for last swims and last fast-melting ice creams and the last of the leggy zinnas and bug-eaten morning glories. i love her. i love her more than june this year. i love her almost as much as i love to smash avocados and garlic and limes and cilantro and salt into a guacamole oblivion. this year i love august as much as i love the carousels and the bowls of rinsed cherries and the ripe peaches and the warm breeze at dusk and the firefly fire and the new freckles.
it’s august, the month of the long, sweet goodbye to summer. oh, august. she’s tall and lanky and she’s leaning on the porch railing and she’s not wearing sleeves, or shoes and it’s early evening and she’s taking one last drag on her sultry cigarette and she’s telling us not to hurry off, to sit a spell, to kick back and look at the sky go into night, to wait just a bit before tucking another day away, before letting summer hang her pretty white dress on a hook until the next time she comes around.
this is ace, a little boston/pug mix that we adopted last week. he’s 9 weeks old, as cute as possible, well on his way to being house trained, has the softest ears, looks like he’s smiling at all times, is about the size of a frisky kitten, likes rawhides, lap naps, rolling the grass, scamping about in the kitchen, and being a pup in general. he’s super fun, we’re really enjoying him. i’m thankful that i’m home a lot, have a pretty relaxed schedule for the rest of the summer, and have a husband that said, “we have four wild kids in a too small house, why not get a puppy?”
if you missed the sad story about our sweet max, you can find it here. we’ve all learned some hard life lessons throughout this whole experience, but a silver lining is getting to know another dog, a brindled puppy, full of life. of course, there’s no one like max and no dog could ever replace him. he had the prettiest little swirling cowlick on his neck and he was the best late-night companion a girl could ask for. ace has a lot to live up to but i think he’ll fit in just right.
so, this summer, my husband loaned me a leica. and, oh boy, it’s really fun. i’ve only shot two rolls and only one has been sent and returned from the lab. forgetting about the pictures (like these kids on the deck with popsicles and mosquitos) and rediscovering them when the film comes back is probably my new favorite thing.
and, so, when he gave me an early anniversary present (coming up on a handsome 12 years of marital bliss), he gave me a beautiful leica of my own. you guys. i don’t deserve him and i certainly don’t deserve a camera this amazing. i’m looking forward to shooting up and sharing them here.