Here is a quick shot taken while we were watching the crazy parade at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival on Saturday. Jerry and I took turns holding Brynne on our shoulders for the parade, and she loved it!
We picked up an old Kodak EZ 200 digital camera at the flea market the other day for 25 cents, figuring that this would be a great toy camera for Brynne to play with. The resolution is pretty bad (and it has scratches on the lens that appears in every photo), but it stores about 90 photos - great for a little one who snaps non-stop! We shot the first one and the rest is a series she shot while getting ready for bed the other night - we're getting her diaper changed and into pajamas while she shoots away.
Like many of you out there, I too am feeling out of sorts and blue because of the terrible news still emerging from the Gulf Coast. I've been feeling physically and emotionally weak; as if to commiserate, my body succumbed to the latest virus du jour and Brynne and I have annyoying head colds. I was away for the weekend and so am just catching up with all the news from blog land. I'm thrilled to hear about the Quilts for Katrina flickr group set up by Shanna. I will try to contribute if I'm not too late... I thought I would also point the quilters out there to these organizations that are accepting donations of quilts for Katrina victims:
Quilters Comfort America is a project set up by the folks who organize the International Quilt Festivals. They will match, dollar per dollar, financial contributions to The Red Cross up to $10,000. They are also requesting donations of quilts and clean bedding that will be distributed to the many refugees in Houston.
The American Quilter's Society is also accepting donations of quilts, and the have developed a special quilt label that you can download and print on fabric for your donated quilts.
In reading a few of these sites, I learned they would rather not have baby/crib sized quilts as these are not as needed or as versatile for setting up emergency bedding. Please consider at least a twin size quilt for your donation. It was also recommended that donated quilts not directly reference the hurricane because they don't necessarily need any more reminders of that horror. I have a lot of fabric sitting here that was either given to me, or came in a big bag of thrifted fabric and isn't my style. Rather than just donating the fabric back to the thrift stores, I'm thinking I'll get busy making some quilts. Since the need is urgent, I probably won't be doing anything fancy, but at least I can make something warm and homemade for a few of these displaced folks.
Although it's hard to feel celebratory, I can't let today go by without mentioning that today is our 7th wedding anniversary. It is truly amazing how finding one's life partner can really make you value life and love. The family that we have been building these 7 years (and will continue to build) is so special to me... I can't begin to imagine being forced to live this life without Jerry, and I am so thankful that we have each other and our beautiful little girl. We had a beautiful Labor Day weekend, filled with love, adventure and family. I'll post more about it when I'm feeling a bit better. In the meantime, here's more of the face I introduced last week... this is a self-portrait Jerry and I took this past weekend just before heading out to a nice dinner.
In case you were wondering, I have been intentionally avoiding self-portrait Tuesdays. I've never liked the camera - probably since birth - and having photos taken of me is torture enough, let alone voluntarily taking photos of myself. So, although I'm posting something today, I may never post another self-portrait... we'll see. This was taken during a quiet moment during Brynne's nap this afternoon; I don't pretend to think this is a particularly good or artistic photo - it is what it is.
Hmmmm, maybe I should pluck those eyebrows more than once every three months!
I really related to Stephanie's self-portrait post today - motherhood has probably never been what I expected. Maybe it was the season finale of Six Feet Under, but I've been thinking about *big* topics lately. I was a little blue the other night because I realized that when Jerry and I are old and Brynne is long grown up leading her own life, we will long to re-live the days we're living now - days where she scampers across the grass hunting for sticks and nuts - days where an honest, gut-busting laugh is as easy as a little tickle - days where all she wants is for mommy and daddy to sit with her and read books, color, and play games. And yet, while we are living these moments, our minds are distracted with work, the house, bills, our own hobbies, what's for dinner, and our own silly gripes with each other. I've heard the phrase that youth is wasted on the young, and now I feel that the joys of parenthood are sometimes wasted on parents in their twenties and thirties.
Grandparents have it made; they have much more experience and perspective under their belts, they have usually reached a more comfortable place with their finances and life situation, and upon retirement they are able to focus completely on what is truly important to them. When my mom was here a couple of weeks ago to help with Brynne, I watched Brynne thriving with the constant attention and stimulation - always something new and fun to do with Grandma. Each day she went to bed exhausted and happy, her mind filled with all the wonderful things she had learned and experienced with Grandma. It's much the same now that she's back in preschool two mornings a week - new activities, new friends, and new lessons await her with every class. I'm frustrated that I can't keep up with her interests and activities, but at the same time I don't want to ignore my own needs and goals. The worst part is that the biggest victim in all of this has been my relationship with my husband. As we approach our seventh anniversary next week, I realize how little time we have with each other. During the week we're lucky to get two hours together in the evening, and by that time we are so mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted that all we want to do is vegetate in front of the tv, read a magazine, surf the computer, or play computer games (Jerry!). Since we don't have any family nearby, it's nearly impossible to schedule a "date night" except on the rare occasions when family is visiting. How does everyone else handle this? I'm sure my current less-than-happy state is temporary, but I'm definitely pondering life, priorities, and family - so many things (work, the driveway, our ailing car, etc.) seem to be fading fast into the background.