Feb 11, 2015

Jim is speaking at GMOA tomorrow! (plus a history of "A Year on The Hill" series)

Athens! Jim will be speaking tomorrow evening at The Georgia Museum of Art about his series, "A Year on The Hill," that he recently donated to the museum's permanent collection. Along with Asen Kirin, the show's curator and associate director of Lamar Dodd, he'll talk about what went into this series of art created in late 2010 along with Chris Bilheimer. You can find details here. Hope to see you there:)

Early 2011 marked a year of Jim living on The Hill, a beautiful piece of property where he landed after his separation the year prior. The Hill is Lee Epting's masterpiece, his own Monticello brought to life. The land of roughly 50 acres was in Lee's family years ago; he lived here in college and over time, slowly bought it back. He's since manicured (I use that word loosely) the land and also moved endangered historic homes from all over the South to the property, restoring them to their former glory before selling them to families, creating a wonderful place of history and an even better community of people. We are lucky to live here, in a Federal home Lee moved from Watkinsville in 1985. 

Back to 2010. As the year progressed, so did Jim's evolvement from one self to another. He regained his footing and reshifted his priorities, and at the end emerged a happier, more grounded man. To commemorate this, and also his new surroundings, he and Chris Bilheimer set out to create the series of photos that now hang in GMOA. The works were originally showcased in 2011, and they're being presented anew as they come into their permanent collection.

It was the early days of our relationship and I was lucky to see part of the process- a new world to me. Below are a few photos I took of that time. Hope to see you tomorrow!

top photo via GMOA

Jan 26, 2015

Sundays are for FAMILY

As a kid, Sundays to me meant FAMILY. We'd see all our cousins at church, have a home-cooked meal at my Grandma & Papa's house, then play for hours with my aunt's family. This is one of those things from my childhood that made it special, and that I want for my own kids. My parents often spend time with us on Sundays, which I LOVE. They brought the makings for a lunch of lasagna, salad, and corn yesterday. I cooked while they played with the kids, and after lunch we went for a walk in the bright winter sunshine. Ellis threw lots of football, we visited with Lee, Luca mostly stayed in Grandma's arms all day, and Stella played with my sister's new dog Emmylou like they were long-lost sisters.

Look how happy my girl looks to be spending her 21-month birthday with her favorite people! <3

Jim, Luca and I were planning to spend this week in New York, but our plans have changed due to the crazy snowstorm that's hitting the Northeast right now. Jim was going to work while Luca and I explored, but there is always next time... besides, I can think of worse places to be stuck besides home!

Sep 5, 2014

sixteen months with luca byrd

I find myself at this age struggling to stay present with you. In my mind you're still a baby but when I pause to look at you I see a full toddler. Here we are and while I love it I already miss your baby days.

Your hair is long, we often style it into pigtails - your daddy's favorite - and always with a clip in your hair. When you wake without your hair pulled back (you always pull clips and rubberbands out in your sleep), you swipe your forearm across your head impatiently. We long the length, though, and don't plan to cut it anytime soon. It is part of you. Your expressive eyes are as blue as ever and I'm starting to see the reemergence of dimples in your round face, which laughter and smiles come easily to. Your legs are longer but the beloved rolls are still there, and that sweet belly still sticks out as your toddle to meet the world.

Words are garbled but I understand your multitude of them: dog, up, down, a light, dado, ball, mama, baba, LeeAnn, wawa, milk, no, bye bye, hello, lake. We are constantly amazed by how observant you are. you run the hair buzzer across your head like daddy, try to pull on Ellis's socks, and run away with my underwear and necklaces to the other room where I find you doing your best to put them on. And you've figured out how to take your pj's off - uh oh! Bunny Bear is your little bedtime lovey.

Teething has thrown us for a loop again lately. You stalled out with 12 teeth for months, but your eye teeth seem to be pushing through and giving you a hard time now. I hate to see you like this but always welcome the extra nursing and neediness that comes with it.

We can now make it through reading whole books to you. I can't tell you how happy this makes me! Before, you'd get impatient with them but now you're into it. Favorites include Goodnight Moon, Puppy Boo, Where is Baby's Belly Button, and the Highlights books from Grandma.

You delight in Ellis so much - you two are often running circles around the kitchen or diving onto the bean bag, laughing hysterically. The adoration is mutual. You are happiest when you're well-rested and when we spend time outside. Lots of shovels, buckets, and baby-pool play lately.

I take deep breaths at night when you've gone to sleep - our days are busy and you want to be held a lot lately. A moment passes though, and I begin to anticipate the next day with you. You're so smart and fun and a little person. I love life with you and I'm excited at where it's going to take us this month (Lake Burton last weekend and Santa Monica next week!), and all those that follow.  xx

Aug 25, 2014

let your light shine

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." -Marianne Williamson