they thought they knew....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

when my parents found out that they were going to be grandparents, they were excited, but they did not think that it would be life changing. my parents have a great life, they live in a beautiful part of the country, they travel alot, sometimes for months at a time, they can do what they want when they want. and they like that. i can remember my mom saying that they were excited about having a grandchild, but they were still going to live their life, their world was not going to revolve around my child, and they were just fine living some 2000 miles away from said child. boy were they wrong!

my parents are absolutely over the moon. they think chace is the best thing since sliced bread! they felt the same way about cooper, and i think that his loss affects how they see chace, as well. they love him more, cherish him more, spoil him more, because cooper's loss hurt them deeply, in ways that i hope i will never experience. they grieved for their grandchild, but they also had to watch their first born hurt, something no parent wants to see.

they want to be where chace is, they want to know what he is doing, every little detail is important. my dad shows his patients pictures of chace on his iphone and lights up in a way i have never seen at the very mention of "the boy." i don't think that my parents loved me or my my brothers less, but the love they have for chace is more "pure."with grandchildren there are no expectations, no disappointments, no wondering if you made the right parenting decision, or if  they are going to need years of therapy. it is unconditional love in the purest sense.

now that my parents have been proven wrong about life as a grandparent. they are on a quest to get us to move to santa fe. there are some appealing aspects to this proposition: sun, blue skies, warmer winters, the mountains, skiing, lots of opportunities for ph to make money and the food, but there are some downsides. and there is an inordinate amount of financial risk. we do talk about it, but i think it is only talk.

but then again, i said this to ph as he was getting out of bed this morning ( i was sound asleep), " call me if you go to santa fe."

i wonder what that means....

photo professional

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

i have a nikon.
i try to take pictures.
athena also has a nikon.
it is fancier than mine.
she takes much better pictures than i do.

because she is a "professional."
i let her document the weekend.
these are my favorites.

tuesday tidbits

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

** i am eating grits leftover from last night's dinner.

** i heart grits.

** they are the ultimate comfort food.

** chace has figured out how to stick his finger in his nose.

** he is fond of doing this while eating.

** i have to return the fancy sewing machine we borrowed from the quilt shop.

** i do NOT want to give it back.

** chace is currently sitting up in his crib.

** i am pretending he is not awake, so i can enjoy my grits.

** i think that i got athena addicted to diet coke and pumpkin scones.

** she got me hooked on the word "hot dish"

** sewing sewing sewing for the holiday bazaar.

** the weather man used the word " lake effect" when forecasting the weekend weather.

** i will share pics from the weekend, later in the week.

** they are so cute.

** chace will be ignored no more.

dear cooper

Monday, September 27, 2010

my dear sweet precious cooper.

it has been a while since i have written, but that does not mean that you are not on my mind every day. i feel your presence most often when i am in the quiet of your brother's room, rocking him to sleep.

today is the 27th, two months until your second birthday. i thought this would be a good day to write you and thank you. thank you for the gifts that you gave me in your short life, gifts that will last a lifetime.

one of those gifts, athena, just spent the last four days with us. it was wonderful. we had a great time. it was like we had known each other for all of lives, not just the last year and a half. i have always said that you sent her my way, and after spending time with her i believe that more than ever.  your heart brought two people from different backgrounds together and changed our lives in a profound way. i am very grateful for this gift.  i am certain that she will be a part of my life forever, just as you will be a part of hers.

it was fun to watch stella and chace interact. it was good for him to play with another baby, to have to share his stuff. but two is a lot of work, even with two mama's around. we talked of you often, visited your garden, looked at your pictures, cried over your short life, and thanked you for your gift.

i have said this many times cooper, but i am so grateful that i am your mama. i proud of how you continue to touch lives and am so thankful i had the opportunity to know you and love you, and that i continue to feel your presence.

i love you and miss you so much!

your mama.

good intentions

Thursday, September 23, 2010

do you remember this post? when i thought, before bean, that cloth diapering was the diapering method i wanted to use? and then i realized that cloth diapering wasn't for me?

well, despite my good intentions, i have recently had another parenting revelation. you see, before bean, i thought that without a doubt i would make my own baby food. we eat alot of vegetables. i would just buy extra and puree them for bean. i mean how hard could it be? and besides i wanted to set a good food example for the beginning. ph and i love food, good food, so of course our offspring will follow in our foodie footsteps. i somehow thought that making baby food would make me a better parent or justify being a stay at home mom.

and then it hit me. while it is noble to make your own baby food. and i applaud those who do..... it is not how i want to spend my free time. i would rather spend my free time creating, not in the kitchen. and that is ok.  it doesn't mean i am less of a mother or invalidate my role as stay at home mom. it doesn't really mean anything, other than i do not want to do it. and besides gerber baby food is just fine. they have been nourishing babies for years. babies don't eat mushy food for long and they do make organic. so bean, will be just fine eating the version i can buy at wegman's

i am learning that much of parenthood is about what works for you and your family. i entered motherhood with a lot of ideas of how i thought it was supposed to be and am learning that there is no right or wrong way to parent ( as long as you are not harming your child, obviously). and that freedom is one of the best things about this role. i am slowly learning to embrace it and trusting my gut more and more.

 well at least for today.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

tomorrow evening, 6:50 to be precise
athena and stella arrive in rochester.
they will be staying at our house
for four whole days.

to say that i am excited is an understatement.
i am beyond excited,
over the moon
giddy with anticipation.

but i am also a little nervous.
we have never met.
we talk every day,
thanks to technology.

but i do not know the
sound of her voice
or the sound of her laugh.

i know that she drinks coffee
and pinot.
but what does she drink in between?

is she a morning person?
a night owl?
will she think i am boring?
or too regimented with my schedule?
will she hate our house?

i wonder if we will cry
or laugh
or hug
when we greet each other at the airport.

there is a lot we don't know
about each other.
but in the big picture those
things don't matter.

who we were when we were 13,
doesn't matter
what matters,
is who we are now.

my sweet precious cooper
brought us together.
it is because of him
that our children will know
each other.

she is part of my tribe.
the people who helped
mend my broken heart
after cooper died.

the people who help me
navigate parenthood.
who laugh with me
when there is nothing else to do.

the people who i want
to have a presence in
chace's life.
to help shape the
person he becomes.

i know this weekend
is only the beginning
of a friendship
that will span
miles and years.

and i can not wait to
see where the journey takes

tuesday tidbits

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

** i got my flu shot today.

** this afternoon, i am heading to scott miller to have my hair cut and hi-lighted.

** i can not tell you how much i am looking forward to 3 hours of silence, reading magazines and being still.

** bean loves vegetables, not such a fan of fruit.

** last night, he ate an entire 2.5 oz container of squash.

** he would take a spoonful, say "mmmmm" and open his mouth for more.

** it was very cute.

**the leaves on the trees are starting to change colors.

**i am looking forward to watching ncis and ncis los angeles tonight.

**athena and stella arrive thursday evening.

** i am very excited about their visit.

** my "one woman sweatshop" is working hard, cranky out crafty goodness for the holiday bazaar.

** i am knitting chace a sweater.

** it is burnt orange.

** chace is steps away from crawling.

** he is trying so hard to figure it out.

** i had a pumpkin scone at starbucks this morning.

** it made me happy.

he sings, again

Sunday, September 19, 2010

b used to sing alot. 
he had favorite songs.
sang to a couple of commercials on tv.
he enjoyed singing. 
he even taught s to sing,
to be his back up singer.

and then he stopped singing.
it was shortly after bean was born.
this made us sad.

and then this weekend.
we played his favorite song,
just to see if he would sing.
and he did.

this makes us so happy.
and hopefully it will make you happy too.

college game day

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Thursday, September 16, 2010

now that we have recovered from jet lag and re-entry into our life in new york, i can share some of the thoughts about our trip with you. they have been bouncing around in my head for a few days now.

** i packed WAY more formula and diapers than i needed.  i was certain that the bean was not going to go hungry or be short on diapers. when i say too much, i mean 3 cans too much.

**people are not nice when they realize they have to sit near a baby. but are very nice when the flight is over and said baby was well behaved.

** there is nothing more irritating than having someone else's screaming child wake up your sleeping child.

**i understand why my parents took "children free" vacations. vacation with a child is not really a vacation, your life just moved to another location.

** being flexible with the schedule is ok when  away from home, as long as you keep the bed time the same, everything else falls in place.

** there is such joy in watching grandparents with their grandchildren. truly magical

** chace loved the water. i do not think that next year we will be able to keep him out of it.

** he is much like his mom and doesnt like to go to bathroom on travel days.

** no matter how prepared you think you are, you always forget something. i forgot burp cloths and suppositories for chace.

** this resulted in using the greek version which was like trying to put a gummy worm up chace's rear. not pretty.

** there were moments at the beach, when it was calm and still, that i missed cooper, felt his presence, shed tears and my heart ached for him.

**i am happy to report that chace is a good traveller. it is a must in my family.

** the need to get as tan as human possibly disappears when you have children with you at the beach.

** next year we are staying longer. like 3 weeks longer. even if we have to go with out ph for a while.

** the red tape that exists in greece never ceases to amaze me, however i was able to get my knitting needles through security this year.

** i feel incredibly blessed that we get to spend time in such a magical place every summer.

tuesday tidbits on wednesday

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

** we are finally settling back into our normal routine.

**it is great to go away, but always so good to be home.

** fall is in the air and i love it so.

** i created a sewing schedule for the next 9 weeks, so that i can get ready for the rmsc holiday bazaar.

** now only if the bean will cooperate and nap.

** i am so happy that football is in full swing.

** and am looking forward to watching college football on saturday.

** bean has started with solid foods.

** why do they call them solid, when clearly they are not?

** he is not entirely sure how he feels about them.

** bean suddenly has no clothes.

** ok he does, but he has outgrown a lot of them so his closet looks empty.

** i realize that the degree of fullness was obscene for a child so small.

** needless to say, we are going shopping today for some new threads.

**8 days until athena and stella arrive.

** must go sew.

** i am a one woman sweat shop for the next 9 weeks.

** have a good day.

dear chace

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

dear chace,

it dawned on me this morning, as i was going through your closet, taking out clothes that you have out grown, that time has flown by, that you have grown so quickly and that you will not stay little forever. people tell me all the time, how fast babies grow, but it never really sunk in until this morning. and my how you have grown.

today, you are 7 months old and you have hit some major milestones in the past month. you made your first trip to greece. you were so good. your papa and i were so proud of our little traveler. it was like you had been waiting for that trip your entire life. you loved the sea. i am certain that you could have spent all day in the water if we let you. you did not miss one beat. and on our epic trip home you were so good. even when we spent two hours sitting on the runway in jfk, you slept. bravo!

while we were in greece, you got your first tooth, sat up in your crib by yourself, ate lemon potatoes, had a growth spurt and charmed everyone you met. it was very clear that you are an extrovert. when you knew you had an audience you put on a show. i have a feeling that you will be crawling soon. it is clear that you want to move. you can get up on your hands and knees. but you can not figure out how to move. i think it is only a matter of time.

this month you will meet a new friend, actually next week, stella. i can not wait to see you two interact. i think that watching her crawl for 4 days will inspire you to do the same. that is after all, how your mama decided she wanted to walk.

everyday continues to be an adventure. you continue to amaze me. i fall more in love with motherhood each day. ( ok who am i kidding. only when you are being fun, cute and silly. not when you are fussy, grumpy or refusing to sleep). i look forward to seeing what lies ahead for you in your 7th month.


guest post: sam: "art and craft in the snyder family"

Monday, September 13, 2010

last but not least, my youngest brother, sam from headwaters.

A fondness for art and craft runs in our immediate family. Starting with our mother, whose pottery graces tables and appetites.  Our father is as skilled a writer as he is a doctor.  In an unconventional sense our brother is the ultimate artist. A strategist, schemer, one who sees the grand plan, pulls it together, and makes it happen.

We share a fondness for artisanal cuisine.  Growing, harvesting, and of course cooking.  This is one reason we love Greece, the food.  And a major reason I am jealous I am not there right now -  Feta, small fishes, flat bread, tzatziki, olives, and capers.

We prefer those arts with purpose.  We appreciate the painting on the wall, but would prefer a ceramic mug, made with love, filled with warm coffee or two fingers of bourbon.

You know, from this blog - Lucy touches fabric, and it defines functional art.  A quilt to keep you warm on a frosty winter night or a wooly hat to protect my ears from the wind off Alaska’s Chugach mountains.

I took painting lessons as a child; I always loved to draw. I play music with my friends, yet never sing a song. Growing food, while hard in Alaska, is a passion for sure, but the preparation is the best part, crafting meals for all to enjoy.

These days, my crafting is a different sort, yet functional all the same.  With a bit of deer hair, colored wool, rooster tail or chenille I make small “flies” – Fake bugs, tiny fish, or nothing in particular at all. Their function - to catch fish.  Big fish, small fish, elegant fish, and edible fish (such as salmon).

For each of us, despite our differences, we all find a bit of healing in artistic ways. Lucy found community through knitting and her blog, our mother finds strength in the spin of the pottery wheel. Art, indeed, can heal. It can also lead us to fight for things important to us: family, friends, or endangered spaces.

My passion for fish has led me into the middle of the biggest environmental fight in Alaskan history – protecting Bristol Bay, the world’s largest sockeye ecosystem from the ravages of a proposed open pit mine – North America’s largest. It is a greedy quest for gold versus the red gold of salmon.

Art or craft steadies our nerves, gives us a focus, and most importantly puts us into action – whether contemplative or engaged. To all you artists out there how has art led you toward healing, or drawn you to fight for your passions, things important to you? 

the journey home

Saturday, September 11, 2010

i am currently sitting in a hotel in the dark, with internet access on my own computer, while the bean is sleeping away, and ph went out to get some bottled water.

we are on the first leg of our journey home. there is not an early morning ferry tomorrow, so we had to leave kea tonight. we will fly out tomorrow around 11:25 athens time and should arrive back in rochester around 9:30 tomorrow night. a long day for sure. the flight home seems epic. plus we have a five hour layover in new york city.

we had a great trip. i can not wait to share photos and stories with you. there were a lot of firsts, some were funny, some were milestones, some were joyous and some made our heart ache. 

i have one final guest blogger on monday and will resume my regular blogging duties. until then, i will leave you with some pictures.

guest post: mary. "dear jane"

Friday, September 10, 2010

meet mary from disney princess recovery

An old college friend called one day. We tried to have a conversation. But then her daughter woke up early from a nap. And then my daughter started asking to go to outside. Then her other daughter started crying that she was hungry. And then my dog, who is prone to suddenly throwing up, threw up. Then my friend felt kind of sick because she was pregnant with her third daughter, and she needed to go throw up. Then we said, Good talking to you, take care, good-bye.

We met as undergrads in Rhode Island, where we were both majoring in psychology. She had a gift for Statistical Analysis. I had a knack for Psych of the Abnormal. When I met her she was pre-engaged to a high school boyfriend. I had no idea what pre-engaged meant. “You mean, engaged?”

“No,” she corrected, “Pre-engaged.” Which I learned was engaged to be engaged. I wondered if there was a pre-pre-engagement state, in which one could talk about getting engaged to get pre-engaged. “You know, I would just rack up as many rings as you could with this whole situation. You could end up with each finger adorned.” Despite my lack of knowledge about this type of commitment, and despite my inability to filter impulsive comments, she laughed. And a friendship was born.

There are friendships born of circumstance. And there are friendships born of soul. The ones born of soul, of kindred spirits connecting, are the ones that last. Jane and I didn’t have oodles in common. But we shared a sense of humor. And we were both idealists. Through four years in and out of classes, in and out of dorm life and parties, figuring out rent and jobs and boys and career paths, I found her to be rock solid, incredibly trustworthy. And I knew we’d be the kind of friends who stayed connected long after we’d thrown off the tassels of graduation and started down paths not marked by tuition payments and term papers.

I was right too. We kept in touch across states, attended each others weddings, kept pulse on the status of each others romances, relocations and roommate catastrophes. The last good conversation we had was the winter we both discovered we were pregnant. Months later I birthed a healthy girl, and 8 weeks after me, she birthed 2 healthy girls, twins. (Because people who are good at Statistical Analysis tend to be efficient. And there’s nothing more efficient than birthing two babies at once. )

Then, we lost touch. The minutiae of motherhood took over. She was feeding, diapering and tending to two babies, and I was inefficiently doing the same for one. She went back to work as a teacher. I started working evenings as a therapist. Our schedules never synchronized. And if they did, I was probably napping.

The strange thing about this losing touch was that we still made the effort. Each summer we took turns visiting each other. She and her hubby and twin 7 month olds drove in to Rochester and stayed for a weekend. The following year, my hubby and I and our 1.9 year old drove to her home in New England. The following year, she and her crew, now 2.9 year old toddlers, were back on our turf. But, it wasn’t the same. Because something about catching up over 3 maniacal toddlers is that it tends to be a lot of talking about the kids. And talking with our husbands. Which is awesome, and important, and funny.
But the once a year visit followed by a few futile phone calls felt essentially as though we hadn’t really talked in years.

After the last of these phone calls, I dropped her an email. It read:
“Hey. You will probably think this is absurd. But. Would you consider a correspondence that follows these guidelines: Each month one of us writes the other a letter. Length is not important. All that is required is for the writer to state the truths of her life at that moment. And, total confidentiality. Sound crazy?”

I expected her to write back, “Truth? Who has time for truth?? I have twin toddlers for Pete’s sake!”
But she wrote back, “I love it.”

So, I wrote the first letter. And as I sealed up the 7 page missive and posted it, something shifted in my soul. When was the last time I’d written the truths of my life? These were not the things we talked about on our annual visits.

Her response arrived on a particularly harried and snowy day. I was late for work, my husband handed me three items: a birthday party invitation, a bill, and her letter. I tucked it into my briefcase, and after finishing my sessions for the evening, and paperwork, I savored opening and quietly reading the truths of her life. Her validation and support of my truths, and her bravely stating her own, filled me with a calm relief that I’ve often heard attributed to Wellbutrin.

The correspondence continued over that summer, into the fall, through the winter. Sometimes I was late (really late) in writing. Sometimes she was late (not as late). Sometimes the letters were a manifesto, characteristic of an idealistic person making sense of work and family and marriage and God while surviving another tundra like winter (me). Sometimes they were short and succinct, 2 pages, signed and delivered. But always, always, they were truthful.

There was a freedom in stating the deepest truths of one’s life at that moment. Because we didn’t see each other in our daily lives, we weren’t checking up on how we were resolving any disparities between our ideal life and our actual life. And the most incredible thing that I learned, am still learning, is that my truths change, sometimes drastically. What feels earth shattering and permanent in February is sometimes a distant memory by May. But the letters gave me documentation of that process, a sort of evidence that time is efficient after all, and that momentary truths, when given enough breathing room, will reveal something else if you let them.

I saw Jane again last month, it was our turn to visit her in New England. We had fun with the kids, caught up with our husbands, and relaxed, knowing that if anything wasn’t touched upon on the visit, there would be a letter to follow up. Which reminds me, it’s my turn to write. Even if I am a bit late.

guest post: alli."camping"

Thursday, September 9, 2010

next up: allison from the adventures of bean and goobs.

Friday afternoon Mommy came up with a really great idea. Bean had been asking about camping lately, and Mommy thought it would be great if Bean and Daddy camped out in the backyard. When Daddy came home from work on Friday, she ran the idea past him.

Mommy: "So, I was thinking, maybe you and Bean want to camp out in the backyard on Saturday night. He would love it."

Daddy: (Thinks for a moment) "Sure, I guess that would be fun. Do you think he'll actually do it?"

Mommy: "We'll just tire him out really well. As long as you are out there, I think he will be fine."

Daddy: (Looking a little skeptical) "OK. Sure. I guess."

Mommy and Daddy run the idea past Bean and he very, very excited. So excited that he asks to make a list of all of the things that are needed for camping. He doesn't want to forget anything seeing is how he is so far away in the back yard and all.

Saturday evening arrives. Bean and Daddy get the tent set up, sleeping bags unrolled and pillows set. Bean's usual bed time is 7:00. They let him stay up until 8:00. It is still light outside.

Daddy: (As he gets into the tent with Bean, the thought is just now occurring to him that he is going to have to go to sleep at 8:00 p.m.) "Hey, it's still light out. What am I going to do out here? I don't think I can go to sleep this early."

Mommy: (Zips up the tent super quick as if that could keep them both in there) "I'll run and get you a book. You can read with the flashlight on."

Mommy knows that Beans obsession with flashlights is going to be a problem and will probably only keep Bean awake longer, but, as she goes into the house to get Daddy his book, she listens to the sound of absolute quiet. Goobs is fast asleep upstairs in his crib. Daddy and Bean are outside. Everything is so still and peaceful. Mommy decides that she has to make this campout work.

Mommy: (Back outside she gives Daddy his book and also hands him a beer) “Here, drink this. You better not come back in because it will upset the dog and wake up Goobs. Here is your phone. If you need anything, call me. But don't come in, unless it is an emergency. If anyone has to tinkle, you can just go behind the shed."

Daddy: (Looks at Mommy very suspiciously) "Am I being played here? Was this a set up?"

Mommy: (Hoping he is buying it) "No! Bean wanted to camp out. Really. Now, have fun.”

Mommy kisses everyone and says goodnight. She goes inside, loads a chick flick on the Roku and watches the entire thing, uninterrupted. Then she takes a bath, reads her book and goes to sleep. Alone.
The next morning, Mommy comes downstairs at 7 am. Daddy and Bean have just come in.

Mommy: "How was it? Did he sleep well?"

Daddy: "He slept fine. Like a rock. Which is about how comfortable the ground is out there. I hope you enjoyed the bed last night."

Mommy: "I did. Very much. Thank you."

Daddy: "So, you can tell me now, did I get played?"

Mommy: "Maybe a little. But you had fun right?"

Daddy: (Not wanting to admit it because then he can't hold anything over Mommy's head) "Yeah, we had a great time actually. He was really cute and kept saying that he loved me and that I was the best Daddy in the world."

Mommy: "Yep, you definitely got played."

the sl....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

meet ashley. she does not have a blog. although i think she should. she is my forever bff. my oldest friend. 
for a b.o.i ( born on the island, galveston island texas that is) and a want-to-be beach bum, there was never a question that when our lives became separated by more than a thousand miles that the San Luis was exactly half-way between Texas and New York...(although literally it is not)
i cannot say exactly how many memories we have shared on the patio or by the pool... but i do kow that they are all precious and they are all priceless...
from boys to bridesmaid dresses, beers to babies, and all topics in between...
it is a blessing in life to have such a special friend, and a special place to share that always brings a smile...
so thanks for all of the memories luc....and heres to the next "SL weekend" soon......

tuesday tidbits

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

** we just returned from a day full of family, food, wine, sun, sand and the sea.

** this morning ph and i were on a walk while the bean was napping and we saw a guy texting while driving a motorcycle.

** this was frightening.

** if you knew how the greeks drive, it would frighten you even more.

**bean has been a great little traveler.

** going with the flow.

** has even slept through the night a couple of nights in a row.

** i am still having technological issues, so i wont be uploading pics until i get back.

** but i do have some good ones.

** i have been making hexagons and knitting.

** but i do miss my sewing machine.

** and will be glad to get  to work  on stuff for the craft show when i get home.

** and see the dogs.

** they were very sad when we left.

** off to rest and finish my book.

live from kea greece

Sunday, September 5, 2010

 for some reason my technology doesnt work in greece. so i am blogging from my mother's computer. this means i can not  post photos. but my brother arrives today, so i am hoping that he will be able to figure out why the hell i can not get on the internet with my computer, despite the fact it says i am connected. so for now, you only get words.....

** bean was AWESOME on the plane ride over. let me repeat that a again. bean was AWESOME on the plane ride over.  he slept most of the way and when he was awake was very happy. 

** what a relief this was for ph and i. so many people commented on how wonderful he was on the flight. and believe me they were skeptical when they realized they were sitting near a baby.

** in fact the woman in front of us was such a bitch, despite the fact she has 3 children of her own, i am quite certain she will never fly coach again.

** we did not get the bulk head seats. hopefully, we will on the way home.

** bean has adjusted to the time change, is napping and sleeping well at night.

** he loves the sea. loves it. and has charmed everyone on the island.

** he is however, teething. i am quite certain he will have one if not two teeth when we return home.

** i am taking lots of pictures, drinking lots of wine and working on my tan

** it is warm, but there is a nice breeze, so it is not unbearable heat.

** ph and i are enjoying watching yaya and pappous with chace. they get the biggest kick out of him.

** that is all for now, i am off to take a nap.

guest post: athena p. "cooper's block"

Friday, September 3, 2010

introducing athena from the family pelton.

As you all know
Luc and I have been making ourselves
a friendship quilt
using Heather Ross's
Far Far Away II fabric collection.

This is my first quilting bee.
And, to be honest, every single block I made for our quilt
was a new endeavor for me.
I tried my hand at triangles
dresden plates
log cabin
and I even gave block design a try.

Lucinda loves stars.
Friendship stars, wonky stars, 8-pointed stars.
You name it, she'll block it.

So I decided, 
if I am going to attempt to design my own block
you know, make one from scratch and all
a star would be most a propos.
And...since all of the blocks we've chosen for our friendship quilt
have a name
I decided to name her block

I guessing I need not explain why.

You'll have to forgive me
this is my first ever attempt at a tutorial.

You'll have to forgive me
this is my first ever attempt at a tutorial.

And I worry I didn't take enough photos along the way.

But as you'll see, this block is REALLY straightforward.

(This block measures 12" finished size. You'll need about 1/8 yard for the main part of the star, and the rest can be pieced using up your scrap collection!)

I started by cutting a 6.5" square piece of paper that I used to make the template for the star, and a 6.5" cardboard template for trimming/shaping. Here's a pdf version of the template I used. 

I then drew the center of the star on the sheet of paper, and added a 1/4" seam allowance on either side.  I cut this free from the paper and used it as a template for cutting my fabric.  

I used the same fabric in each of the four 6.5" blocks. You can do the same, OR get wild and crazy and use a different fabric in each quadrant

Once I had all the center pieces cut, I started adding strips of paper until I had a finished square.

I pressed ALL seams open and trimmed off the excess after each strip was added.
So as to make the most economical/efficient use of my fabric scraps.

I did this until I had all four quadrants made.  
Originally I was going to have the small end of each center piece meet in the middle

but after careful consideration
and some much needed input from my husband,
I went the other way.

And the end result is much more of a wonky star.
Which happens to be much more up Luc's alley!

Once all your quadrants are assembled, 
press all seams open
and trim the block to measure 12" square. 

Easy peasy!


guest post: marta. "the summer of.."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

the summer of 2010.

hello. i'm marta from and i am super thrilled to be guest blogging in lucinda's pretty space here in blogland. now that august is officially over, i thought i ought to write a little list of what this summer was all about for me. i hope you too will be motivated to jot down your own feelings about summer 2010. all you need is a few minutes to jot down the first few thoughts that come as you look back on these last sunny months. what places, foods, people, vacations come to mind? what were your days filled with? document the details. here we go. a glance at my list...

2010 // it was the summer of..

splitting baskets of fresh fruit with friends.
free samples & fresh flowers at the farmer's market.
discovering that rainier cherries are better than bing.

the 'cars' movie and scattered wooden railroad tracks.
going to the zoo and going to zumba class.
hot griddle pancakes, saturday smoothies and reading The Help.

happiness, excitement & anticipation.
worry, grief, disappointment, loss. heartbreak.
holding close, wondering about the future.

kindness, hope & friendship.
strength, prayer & more hope.
long walks, naps and sudden craft projects.

house guests & homemade pizzas & healing.
handcranked ice cream with experimental ingredients.
huckleberry picking, birthday parties & camp outs.

carsten's bakery cream cheese brownies.
storytime, road construction & sidewalk chalk.
sun valley road trip & the Blue Angels air show  

sunshine & thunderclouds, matching my own moods.
drive-by photo shoots, a new camera and favorite flip flops.
loads of good mail, keeping in touch with friends (old and new).

thank you, lucinda! 
xo. marta

we are off....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

our bags are packed.
packed full of clothes, swimsuits and sunscreen.
full of books, formula, and toys.
full of sea kayaks, strollers and backpacks.
if we forgot it, well we don't need it.

this is our first family vacation.
ph and i have talked about this moment
for a long time.
before we were married,
before cooper,
before chace,
before we were a family.

i am so looking forward to our time away.
to seeing the journey through my son's eyes.
to watching him discover this new place
that is so dear to our hearts.

i will post pictures along the way
so that you feel like you are with us.
until then.....