Jun 9, 2015

The Small, Happy Life

I can't stop thinking about a NYTimes Op-Ed that I read recently, "The Small, Happy Life" by David Brooks. The writer, curious about people's purpose in life, was surprised by the commonality of many of the thousands of essays he read on the subject. Rather than big, ambitious goals, a "surprising number of people found their purpose by going the other way, by pursuing the small, happy life."

This part in particular was what caught my attention:

I have always wanted to be effortlessly kind. I wanted to raise children who were kind ... Perhaps, she concludes, the mission is not a mission at all. ... Everywhere there are tiny, seemingly inconsequential circumstances that, if explored, provide meaning and chances to be generous and kind. Spiritual and emotional growth happens in microscopic increments.

Kindness counts. To me, it's one of the most important qualities we can pass to our children and is certainly worthy of a life's purpose.

May 28, 2015

memorial day, 2015

there is something so special about being on a lake, time slows down and so do our lives. instead of go-go-go, I spent most of my weekend on lake burton chasing the sunlight. watching the morning light crawl across the dock and finally hit the water in a way that makes getting in seem like a good idea, finding shade in the brightness of the afternoon (or, as the case may be, cuddling with Luca in a cool, dark room for nap-time), and watching the evening light first through the cabin windows facing the water, then filtered beautifully in the grill smoke.

here's to hoping for more of these slow, summer weekends. 

Mar 27, 2015

Luca Byrd at 23 months

You are now 23 months old, just a month from being TWO. You bring so much joy to me on a daily basis and I love you more and more all the time. As your mama I am really treasuring this time with you before your baby brother comes into our lives.

Life with you lately is like this: you wake up around 7:30/8 and I either bring you in our bed or snuggle with you in the "big chair" in your room. You ask for "neukum" and get a little sad that the milk is gone, saying "mo-woe" or "that one," wanting to switch sides. I sing songs and tell you we're going to have a good day, then I hear your belly rumble and we make our way downstairs for breakfast, usually milk and "woffles" or eggs and oatmeal. On slow mornings you want to be held or sit on the counter and watch me, but other times you like to run around and cover Stella with towels (she likes the attention). We always look at the weather, and you'll comment on if it's "bwight" or "waining," and often we spend time "aht-side" if it's nice after breakfast, or run errands or do storytime at the library if it's not.

At lunch, you usually want tacos, so we'll meet "Dado" for guacamole and chicken tacos, and after is naptime, which can be a battle if I've let you get too tired. You sleep with lots of stuffed animals, a flat pillow, an old blanket made by Big Mama (my great-grandmother), your favorite blanket, a bottle of water, and Baby Bob, a plastic doll you've grown attached to. I nurse you and sing songs first- you  request either "tinkle" (twinkle twinkle little star) or "Luca's song," and you especially like it when I sub in your friend's name for yours in the song.

Afternoons tend to be busy, and go by fast. You play in the house a lot during this time, or happily go along with whatever Ellis is doing. Dinner is still hit or miss - food isn't something you're into - but bathtime is a favorite, especially when you can convince someone to get in the water with you. Bedtime involves putting on lotion, brushing teeth, pjs, lots of tickling, reading books, then nursing and another request for "luca's song."

At times you seem so very independent, but I am still your homebase and I love that so much. Gigi and Papa kept you overnight for the first time this past month, and you were such a good girl. Ellis still delights you endlessly, and you've finally grown close with Dado...the tickle parties at night are something you love. You declared, "Luca do it" for the first time this week, trying to put your shoe on, and then a proud "I DID IT!" when you succeeded. As you grow separate, though, you are also becoming more cuddly, giving sweet hugs or laying your head on my shoulder when I hold you.

these are the things you enjoy....

swings and slides at the playground, moving chairs around the house- especially ones your size, eating at Taqueria del Sol, your friend Lena's new baby brother, reading books, counting "7, 8, 9," paw patrol, Gigi and Papa!, answering questions I ask (you're getting good at names), pushing the kid-sized shopping carts at Trader Joe's, blowing raspberries on my growing belly, jumping in water puddles, tickling people (especially Jim), talking about and identifying animals, and dancing before bathtime.

Mar 26, 2015

behind the scenes // Jim on the set of Penny Dreadful

Showtime recently released a behind-the-scenes video of the Penny Dreadful photo shoot, which Jim shot on location in Dublin last December. These glimpses into Jim's work world are fun to see- I love this side of him, focused and in his element. It's a little wild to see my husband rubbing elbows with Josh Hartnett and former Bond girl, Eva Green... but here you go.

p.s. here is the behind-the-scenes video of Jim's Homeland shoot from last May, if you missed it.