Monday, June 29, 2009

i heart vacations!

last week matt and i went on vacation. so fun. 

the best, really... i mean, seriously, what could beat amazing friends, sunshine, food, no work, long drives (which = long talks with my favorite person), more time with my husband (aka aforementioned favorite person) + kidlet, the beach? 

we started out in san diego, visiting our dear friends kimmie, jeremy, and their bambinos amos and eli. we felt so special because kim and jeremy took a day off of work to hang out with us! 

kim and jeremy's kids were at their preschool, so their/our friend malka, who is amazing (& who knows asl fluently as well as how to delight a child for 8 hours in a row) watched little m for the whole day so that the grown-ups could cavort about san diego. i'd like to think that m learned some new signs. and that malka learned how to wrestle a cloth diaper on a squirming one year old. all i have to say is that one of the best feelings is knowing that the person watching your child likes her almost as much as you do yourself. it was a huge gift to play all day with dear friends minus kiddos!
(ah, sand between my toes)

speaking of favorite people, this is one of my dearest soul friends.
the boys hang by the water while kim and i kick it on the sand
at a certain point we had to return to our little darlings. 
of course, they are such cuties that it wasn't so bad to come home and snuggle them up.
i am determined to arrange a marriage between my daughter and a suitable mate. 
here are two very strong contenders.
(i kid, i kid)
hours of fun on the porch
little m likes being the only girl and hanging with the big kids!
we usually eat a lot on vacay, and this was no exception
yummy breakfast pizza at bread and cie
(so good)

we kind of ate a lot of really good food, so this is just representative of all the yumminess.

and then, to top it off, we talked a lot.
about life.
around a firepit, on the couch, in the kitchen, on walks, 
at coffee shops, in the grocery store, on the beach.

what can i say?
it was glorious.
i want to be on vacation again already.

lucky for you, i have more to recap, 
so we can keep pretending it's vacation for a few more posts!
xo my friends
have a good monday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

the best ever

um, do you remember playing mash when you were growing up? hello- hours of fun. i wonder why i always put down limo as one of my cars of choice? {sidenote: who ever drives around in a limo unless you're going to prom? well, besides me. good thing all of my mash "dreams" came true and i'm driving a limo, living in hawaii, my bridesmaids wore hot pink and i have 12 kids.}

want to relive your middle school days? (or maybe, for some of us, our college days...when maybe we played mash during really boring lectures?)

here you go: mash.

have a good weekend!


one of the things that i learn daily from matt is to 
slow down
be still
soak in the day
enjoy without doing

i have this internal compulsion to 
cross off my to do list
look/be/seem busy
be productive

why is it that we take a certain pleasure in saying
"i am so busy" 
one upping each other in how overworked, overtired, overstressed we are?

i feel like we often verbalize that we want to slow down, 
yet it becomes a badge of honor that we are constantly on the move.
maybe it's just me, but i think our culture rewards us going fast, faster, fastest.

here is to pausing instead of fast forwarding.
have a good weekend!
soak up doing little to nothing.
throw out your to do list, and enjoy the day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


i am so freaking in love with my daughter;
 i can't even handle her awesomeness.

i say this as i am getting her dinner ready and she proceeds to throw herself a personal party at the sight of cherry tomatoes and blueberries. ah, she is a delight, this little one. complete amazing-nosity.
sometimes, when you slow down enough to notice,
beauty and joy sprout up 
when + where 
you least expect it...
{the trick is to pay attention + to savor it}
somehow this determined little poppy made her way 
up through the crack 
in the cement 
in our driveway 
(which happens to be a very dreary, grey spot in our yard)
to bloom.

(thanks matt for spotting this poppy + for looking for points of joy along life's journey)

Monday, June 22, 2009


little m is named after the capital of liberia in west africa, where (along with the ivory coast next door), i spent three summers living about ten years ago. it was a time and a place that marked me forever; i lived and worked with civil war refugees in a country where such intense beauty sits side by side with incredible devastation, and it changed me. 

one summer my dear friend margaret was among the other group of americans working with me. we were both young, in our early twenties, although i felt old and wise (little did i know); i had recently graduated and maggie was still in school. among the work we did, it was a season of long talks, tears, and immersion in a place so unlike our own - one of those experiences that becomes even richer as the years pass. margaret is a poet, and in between working at all hours with liberians, she wrote poems, thoughts, memories every day in her journal. the other day i stumbled upon a stack of some of the poems she wrote that summer. 

this poem in the pile stood out to me. who knew that my own daughter would be deaf, and that i would learn to think about silence and noise in such new ways? that i would wonder what it is to hear, see, discover when you cannot hear? 

while the deaf-mute interpreter
signs out the sermon

What it must be like
to hear the word of God
silently For Moses to see
blue burnings
tracing the words into stone

"Was it Augustine," I heard someone say
"or St. Francis, who said, 'Preach the gospel
at all times; when necessary
use words" and the crowd moved murmuring
around him, closing in their assents,
arguing the source. "Maybe," a preacher
preached once, "Maybe the people come in 
droves every Sunday--not to hear me speak,
but to watch me burn--"
and I wonder with what kind of fire he meant--the kind
that cracks, or the kind that smooths
over unhousing headlands of mustard plants
leaving columns of ash
where the grass had been.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

happy father's day!

happy father's day to my very favorite person in the whole world.
you are a great daddy to my second favorite person in the whole world!
i can't wait for this year's adventures!
from the very beginning, when little m first wiggled her way into your heart,
you have been an amazing papa.

(this picture is super blurry-
but here is little m signing "daddy" on the day her implants got turned on!
it is no surprise that the first word she understood was also daddy.
someone loves her papa!)

(you are a good dad even on hard and scary days)
we love you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

happy friday!

i couldn't resist!

have a great weekend!

Monday, June 15, 2009

confession: i have been a lazy blogger as of late. but i miss this little space, so promises for more + more often.

little m is now rocking 14 months! (well, as of a week ago, but since we are on vacation i have been a little slow about blogging.) meanwhile, in her version of reality, she thinks she is 14 years old. she does not seem to lack spunk, independence or feistiness; i swear i don't know where she gets those attributes from, since matt and i are such passive and unopinionated souls.

so much of a journey since last april: learning, perservering, figuring out how to go with the flow, laughing, discovering our daughter's personality and temperament, memorizing m's pain cry, her tired cry and her hungry cry... and the journey continues. 

i honestly feel like for the first time since little m was born, life is back to normal. this may sound dramatic (and you know, i have been known to be dramatic once in a long while), but really, truly, life is easing back into a place of rhythm and normalcy. 

life since last april has felt like one curveball after another: newborn; newborn who has hearing loss; ok, make that newborn who is deaf; lots of wading through appointments, fighting insurance & the school district for little m to get her implants and services; the craziness of hearing aids; very painful dissolution of my parent's marriage & the continuing aftermath; cochlear implant surgery; recovery from surgery, activation of implants and learning how to do the daily routine; estrangement from my dad; essentially gutting my parents' house and redoing it for sale....and now, here we are. 

14 months later. 

i love my daughter. life is good. and the past year has been a reminder of truly just how much joy can push in and squash darkness. my daughter makes me laugh. a lot. and i love watching her develop into this silly, quirky, headstrong little person. 

one of my favorite things this past month has been watching her play with my friends' kiddos. ah, the next generation, already wreaking havoc. it's pretty fun to watch, although we may all rue the day that we let these kids bond. i feel like they will be plotting secret and above the law adventures for years to come. letting them become friends now just hastens the craziness, but it is too much fun to watch them play. 

here she is with judah and micah. 
she looks bored, but that's just to throw me off.
let the mayhem begin!
here's to the next 14 months!
here's to life being normal.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


as most of you know, i am a painter. 
here is my studio, where i am right this minute:

this week i am super thankful that i have had ample time in the studio (a luxury these days), thanks to my amazing mother-in-law coming up to take care of and play with little m all week long! it has been such a wonderful gift to have this time to come into my studio and to think, make, undo, redo, paint, erase, read, and just marinate in this space. engaging art, whether you are looking at it or making it, operates differently than most of daily life; it is meant to be an active dialogue.

a lot of times people say to me (especially when talking about contemporary or modern art), "but i just don't get it." i understand that sentiment, sometimes i feel even like i am missing something when i look at my own work! but just because you don't get all of the hidden nuance in the latest episode of lost doesn't keep you from watching it...right? (disclaimer: i never watch lost, but i know lots of people do, and that sometimes it is sort of mind-bending, but y'all keep on coming back for more...)

here's what i'm saying:
go look at art. in a museum or gallery or in your daily life.
and make art.
it doesn't have to be fancypants; get out your crayons:

i think the drive to make things of beauty and meaning is inherent to human beings. 
so, turn off your tv or computer monitor (note to self) and engage some art already. 
need a primer? 
this is what you should do:

having a bambino doesn't have to stop you. 
even babies love art; 
little m has been going to art shows since she was a few weeks old!
if you have a kiddo, 
bundle them up or strap them into their stroller and find someplace to look at art.
go to a student art show. 
a few weeks ago we took little m to the final show of where i went to grad school. 
she loved it.
we took her to sfmoma last week and she was all about the art: 
video, installations, paintings, you name it.
(sidebar: this show, which is now closed, by south african artist william kentridge was amazing)
then we headed up for snacks at moma's new rooftop garden, 
which also has a blue bottle coffee cafe
little m snacked on a banana.
art, sunshine, snacks, coffee: really what could be better?
the baker makes these amazing treats based on works of art in sfmoma's collection. 
here's a thiebaud cake, based on a wayne thiebaud painting.
(and it was super delish) 
so creative, so fanciful, so yummy. edible art!
the 5th floor of sfmoma is my favorite because it has the most contemporary works in their collection and the new rooftop garden.
happy art-filled kiddo, happy art-filled mama and papa, happy art-filled tummies.
now, go get out your crayons and glitter.
{or, what have you.} 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

old school vs. new school

old school:this is how little m used to wear her cochlear implants, with little rubber snugfits to keep them on her ear, and with the battery pack part of the processor pinned to the shoulder of her clothes. it seemed complicated and she hated when we would tighten the snugfits on her ears. she has tiny ears, so we'd have to squeeze them hard for the implant to stay on. (who wouldn't be irritated by that?)

new school:
in the last couple of months we've streamlined and simplified. (well, that's my opinion...matt was fine with the old school version.) we ditched the snugfits, made the processor into one larger unit (kind of like snapping legos together), slapped some wig tape on the inside of the processor so it would stay on her ears, and viola!
they stay on soooo much better, and she fights it less when we put them on her. little m is happy, and mama is happy too.

berry berry good

with pictures like this, who needs captions?
little m discovers the glories of

love it.