A Handful of Happy Things

IMG_2022Thank you all so much for your sweet comments on the farm post! They really make a girl’s day. I want to write about our giant road trip, but I don’t want to pass these sweet summer days by. So I thought I’d put together a little slice of life post. There are all kinds of happy gems lurking in my Picasa albums. Like this one! Today is Hillary’s birthday (hurray! ok, technically it will be yesterday by the time this post publishes), and for one of her presents I embroidered her this map of the Pacific Crest Trail. It was an experiment, really, and I was so pumped that my slapdash method ended up working so well. Said method: 1) print an image and resize it with a copier to fit your embroidery hoop, 2) trace the image on tissue paper, 3) clamp the tissue paper down right on top of the fabric in the hoop, 4) stitch, and 5) rip away the tissue paper. Tada! I am now embroidery-emboldened! It was probably more fun for me to give this present to her than for to receive it, but she is such a sweet and gracious friend that she probably didn’t mind. I hope! (Supporting role played by my iPad, on which I was listening to the Undisclosed podcast: aaahhhh! Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend it your ears!)

IMG_2036Here is the lovely lady herself on a lunch date with me and my little tiger. Happiness! This was a historic day: the first time I ever had fish tacos. Now I shall have many more.

IMG_2078This is one of my favorite parts of the morning routine. Micah gets up about 6:00 (or 5:30 if I am very unlucky), and he is very happy to be reunited with his beloved toys. He is no longer scared of the sound of the coffeemaker, so I brew a small pot and then climb into my little barricade at the end of the couch, where an end table pushed up against the coffee table blocks the access of tiny fingers. I rest my coffee on the bookcase while I FaceTime with my mom and then catch up on blogs. It is a truly lovely 20 minutes, punctuated by all kinds of shrieks and giggles and the sounds of little garbage trucks and bouncing balls. This is the kind of picture that will probably make me cry five years from now. And there may be a few more tears before then because…someone has figured out how to shimmy his way under the coffee table to reach the delicious but forbidden power cords that hide beyond his grasp.

IMG_2492Here is the barricade from another angle, just so I don’t forget what it looks like. (All those bookcases are bolted and strapped to the wall, which gives me so much mommy peace of mind.)

IMG_2394Our sweet angel turned one on Friday, and it was the happiest weekend of celebrating our happy and hilarious boy. I made these invitations for his little birthday party, based on his favorite toy, pictured below.

IMG_2569I like putting these little things in here because sometimes I feel like it’s been ages since I made anything. It’s good to remind myself of the little projects I can squeeze in during naptime. (However! Sometimes I imagine life with two, and then I think I will absolutely look back on this one-baby-time and laugh myself silly that I thought I was busy!)

IMG_2395Library books! There are some real gems in this stack. The Bar Tartine one is lovely, but I do not think I will be making anything in it anytime soon. (Mom! Let’s go there in September!) I am struggling with Panic in a Suitcase. Anyone care to convince me to carry on? In non-library news, I just started Marilynne Robinson’s Lila last night for the Hillary and Cameron Book Club, and holy wow, it’s beautiful.

IMG_2402I go to the post office across from Eric’s building a fair bit (I shall never again have such easy access to a post office, I am sure), and on this day I was struck by the beauty of the rust-colored metal against the pale and ivory-like trunks of the eucalyptus trees. California, you’re pretty.

IMG_2410I bought Micah these tiny neon orange flip flops. He hates them. I love them.

IMG_2434We got these California flashcards for Micah at Kidspace, and…I think so far we like them even more than he does. Avocados and palm trees forever!

IMG_2451This is rather a poor picture, but I was excited to color in Utah and Nevada on my state map. I have a standing invitation to Montana, and a dear friend who is moving to Delaware, so…time to sharpen those colored pencils!

IMG_2453I realized last week that I was back in the elevator where I took a few of my bump shots when I was pregnant, and even wearing a dress that carried me through those last few months (not maternity, but stretchy enough), so I took this picture: one year later. Sob. I miss feeling those little kicks and wiggles and wondering about who might be making them. It’s the most wonderful thing in the world to look into the eyes of your newborn and know them instantly and think, “Of course! It was you all along!”

IMG_2513I’m going to write a whole post about Micah’s birthday party and his adorable antics on his baby blog, but here is a picture of his cake. Well, this was the grown-up cake–his was an unfrosted little banana cake, but still, I was proud that this one did not turn into a leaning tower because I finally listened to Smitten Kitchen’s advice and froze the layers and trimmed them before putting on the frosting. Magic!

IMG_2517Ok, fine, I’ll show you his little cake too. He loved it! And only threw half of it on the floor, a true sign of deliciousness. I realize it looks like a doughnut, but it’s actually a mini-bundt.

IMG_2548We were the recipients of some mighty fine liquor for our first birthday as parents, so we had a drink after we got everything all cleaned up and the little tiger in bed. This gin is so delicious. Thank you, Hillary and Danny!

IMG_2562-001And, because there is no real rhyme or reason to this post, here is the card I made for Hillary’s birthday. Yay for cute stamps! And for the awesome ink she gave me for my birthday last year. Synchronicity!

IMG_2566And finally, a few words about walks. Every afternoon between Micah’s naps, we walk for about an hour. We usually take the same route, passing business people headed to lunch, dogs trotting along the sidewalk, and catching up on openings and closings of stores and restaurants in our neighborhood. We’re so lucky to have such a walkable area near us. I love to get out and stretch my legs, but no one loves walks more than Micah. Often the first words he will say when I get him out of his crib at 6am are, “…bye bye?” Our stroller is truly awesome, and we have added our own little accoutrements. I keep a bottle of bubbles in the cupholder so I can entertain Micah while we’re waiting for lights to change so we can cross the street.

IMG_2567In the evenings we walk over to pick up daddy from work. These two boys are always so adorably happy to see each other.

IMG_2564My favorite stroller addition is Mary. My awesome aunt Ellen sent us these tiny saints a few months ago, and we love them. St. Christopher and St. Joseph are on our suitcases, and Mary keeps watch over us as we trek through the city. At the risk of sounding repetitive…these are the happiest, happiest days.

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