Had an amazing infant session with Sophia last week. She arrived so tiny – half the size of my own newborns. In the 2 hours we spent together I was able to capture not only her picture but a glimpse at motherhood from the outside. How precious is the interaction between a mother and her first baby.
See a larger gallery on my photography page.
We have an awesome Momma in our neighborhood who opens her doors for periodic art camps. This was the first year I was lucky enough to get Axel in! She has a theme, provides quality supplies and instruction on REAL art techniques (none of this kindergarten noodle junk).
Honestly the first project he brought home I thought someone else had done it. When I watched him nearly duplicate it in front of my eyes I was shocked that he actually retained the process.
Last week Axel came home talking about Monet, Paul Klee, the new hit book "The Day the Crayons Quit" and a building inspired by "McFlea and McFly" (this one I have yet to figure out where it comes from). He spoke of their techniques, requested his own "oil pastels" and decided his favorite artist was Monet because they both like to garden.
Are you an artist at heart? You might consider starting your own neighborhood art camp. A writer? The same concept could apply. What an awesome experience to go to camp down the street from your house. What a lucky mom I am to have new art for my walls – costing only the price of camp tuition!
Whether you're looking to kill an entire morning or move to a spectacular Minneapolis neighborhood, Linden Hills is a fantastic destination for families.
This morning the boys and I spent some time at Upton and 43rd. We played with bubbles, held a chicken, read a few stories and ate ice cream for lunch. Sound like a concrete jungle to you? If you look hard enough you will find that 'urban' is often rural at heart.
Thanks @LHVillage, @CreativeKidstuf and @WildRumpusBooks.
I bought a new camera this week. It's an early birthday present for me/for our family. I'll dish on the details of the camera later but for now I wanted to share my first project. 15 minutes of filming and 30 minutes in iMovie. The results are stunning.
I encourage you to make a silent film today. Don't worry if your porch isn't clean or you only have a Halloween tablecloth in July. Don't think twice about what your kids have on or if their hair is combed. When you focus on the details you notice the little things that make your children special – the way their mouth forms words, the way they hold a paintbrush, how they work with intention.
You may notice an extra page on my website today – Photography. I'm already booked for a newborn, engagement and wedding session this summer because folks like what I do behind a lens. I guess I've finally got the confidence to put it out there – I'll take your pictures! Last minute calls always welcome.
Enjoy your weekend,
Are you tired of my infatuation with downtowns yet? Have I mentioned that what I love about a city is that no matter the population you can find a spot where you feel like the only person on the planet.
One of our favorite cheap dates (and by date I mean the 4 of is) is Gold Medal Park in downtown Minneapolis. Tonight we brought Axels bike, the stroller and of course the camera.
Here's the plan Twin-Citians – 6pm – 35W to Washington – turn right, take a right at the first light and park by Izzy's.
- Donate $2 to a Minneapolis Parking Meter and unload your gear.
- Take a 30 minute walk to the Stone Arch Bridge and admire the Mill City Ruins and St. Anthony Falls.
- Take a goofy face picture (we need more practice).
- Grab your ice cream at Izzy's ($16 will feed a family of 4). Kids order "Kiddie + Izzy."
- Eat it on the top floor (Axel's recommendation).
- Fill up your water bottle (ice cream makes you thirsty).
- Head for the spiral hill across the street to wear off your bedtime jitters.
Home in time for 8pm bedtime.
Tonight we watched as a group of conspirators giggled and snickered while setting up a proposal for their soon-to-be-engaged friends. Candles, flowers, two guys and a gal...sitting on a bench with lighters...waiting for the text message to arrive. It was magical to be apart of their excitement.
Need a inner-city date on the cheap? Doesn't get any better than this.
Thinking of writing a book? I certainly thought about it...a lot! Four years ago while I sat in our rented apartment amidst the handful of furnishings we didn't sell on Craigslist I thought all the time...and then some.
Whether you're psyche transports you to a more fictional world – or whether you believe your truth of picking up dropped coins in the McDonalds drive thru to buy groceries might be inspiring – your brain won't let you sleep at night and your hands grasp for any piece of paper/napkin on which to write your words. You are a writer and perhaps need the validation of becoming an author.
For 2 years I wrote my story. My "narrator," as I call her, was speaking the truth. Truth about my crash landing into motherhood, truth about being "grad school poor" and the truth about where my mind would wander. I thought all the time about publishing, about writing the next "Eat, Pray, Love," and about validating my story. I imagined myself standing in front of a crowd and reading pages from my bound and polished manuscript. It was so real I could taste it.
I found a connection with the editor of the Sartell Newsleader whom I trusted to read my book (which I knew to be wonderful and horrific at the same time). I paid $16 to MinuteMan press to have it all printed on paper and the weight of it was powerful. I handed the 300 pages over to Dennis – who would be the first person to read my words.
"Anything is better than NOT publishing this," he said. Despite the copious amounts of red pen I believed his words were true – because that's the kind of man he is.
Thus the seed was planted and the possibility became real.
I became a desperate seeker of information from local authors who inspired me. I asked Mary Ludington who has a successful coffee table book "The Nature of Dogs," I asked Kent Nerburn and William Kent Krueger – both of whom I considered famous.
I asked them the tough questions: Would you do it the same way if you were to start over? What were you surprised about the publishing world?
I asked them questions that had no answers: Do you think I'll make it? Will anyone read my book besides my mother? Will they let me design my own cover? Will they change my title?
I asked them tacky questions: How much money did you make? What were your publishing contracts like?
They all had answers for me. I was shocked how available these professional authors made themselves.
In an effort to practice brevity in my posts I will end it here...a cliff-hanger if you will...
Tune in to Part 2 to hear their advice and about where I turned next.
Manuscript photo credit: Elizabeth Compton Hegemann's Navaho Trading Days
My sweet challenge of a boy turns 2 next week. I always have a really difficult time coming up with birthday gifts that are practical and "just enough" for my kids. Because kids receive gifts all year long – i.e. Oliver needed a new bike and I bought it for him in the spring because he could get more use out of it this summer – there really isn't a need for an over-the-top Birthday surprise.
Instead of a big party this year (which my kids usually behave famously poor for) we are going to celebrate by the lake this weekend and hopefully host a small dinner on Wednesday (his actual day).
Oliver loves The Lorax. I'm embarrassed to say that he doesn't even know it's a book. One of the only decent movies on Netflix he eats every meal in front of that show. EVERY MEAL. While he is strapped in affront the computer it is the ONLY time I can accomplish anything around the house. I feel no shame in the frequency – only that I sing "Thneedville" accidentally in front of grownups.
For his birthday he'll be getting the paper copy of The Lorax and I made him 2 pillowcases from the most adorable Lorax fabric – found on Etsy.
Really? Pillowcases for a 2-year-old birthday? Here's my response to that: While finishing the french seams and pressing them one final time, Axel walked downstairs to "help" and was jumping out of his skin wanting pillowcases for his birthday.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better it's not." – The Lorax
NEW - I'm searchable!
Grab my button: