Thursday, February 28, 2008
I love old pictures. I love the mystery they hold of another time and another place. Even old pictures of strangers are intriguing but even more so when they are of my family. I could get lost in the untold stories behind these moments frozen in time in stacks of yellowing photographs.
This one is my dad at about 4 years old I think. I was always enchanted by his stories. He was evacuated to Wales during World War II. When they returned home to London, their house and the pub were the only things on their block not hit by the bombers. What was, I'm sure, a nightmare for his parents, seemed like a delightful adventure in his memories of the beauty of Wales, seeing fighter planes in the London sky, romping around damaged buildings and collecting shrapnel with his brother. His family didn't have much. All five kids slept in one bed for a time with boys on one end, girls on the other, feet in the middle. But the stories of his childhood were nothing less than magical.
This one is of my Aunt Vigee. I think this photo is darling right down to her delicate dress and her coy expression. Her name is Kathleen after my grandmother. Her family noticed she looked like a child in one of Vigee Lebrun's paintings, and she has been affectionately called Vigee ever since. Vigee LeBrun was a French painter from the eighteenth century. I'm not sure which portrait was the one that gave my Aunt her nickname, maybe one of these.
This last one is of my grandmother, Kathleen. I never met her. Both of my dad's parents died before he married my mom. I think there is a peacefulness and strength in her face. I don't know much about her. I don't have anything that was once hers. I don't know how she met my grandfather or if they were in love. What I do know is that both she and my grandfather exhibited their artwork in London. She played the piano, her favorite wildflowers were Indian blankets and she loved to laugh. Sometimes I wonder what she would think of me. Do I have her eyes or her hands? I don't know, but I do know I have much more from her than this little box of curious photos. She is part of the roots of my family tree.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Suffice it to say I've gushed just a little about Naya on this blog, but the baby girl turned one this past weekend. I can't believe she's one already. She's walking all over the place, and the cutest words in her vocabulary are "tickle,tickle". She has been a delight to my heart every day of her first year.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
While the kids were immersed in Valentine craftinesss I put together some heart chains inspired by Katie over at, http://neweyes.atlblogs.com/archives/010208.html
We never do much for Valentine's day. It's kind of a strange over-commercialized holiday when drugstore aisles ooze with too much sugar and weird stuffed bears holding satin hearts. But the kids enjoyed the mess of color, glue and paper hearts, and I like having these pretty little chains dangling around the house.
I'm a fan of love. Aren't we all drawn into those great love stories?... Anna Karenina and Vronsky, Salvador Dali and Gala, C.S.Lewis and Joy, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, and of course Romeo and Juliet. The list could go on and on.
I can't do a Valentine post without posting some pictures of my own love. Here he is in our dating days looking like a record cover of romantic hits from the 70's, which always makes me laugh a little. Sorry for the lovey-dovey cheese but what can I say I am a girl in love.
By the way my very own husband, Carl Cadwell, the awesome Higgins sisters and a few others will be playing an Anti-Valentine's party at the Loose Cannon Gallery tonight in the Southside. There is a $10 cover and an open bar. I'm not sure what makes it anti-Valentine's but they will play songs from LCD Sound System, Postal Service, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone, and it is sure to be a good time. If you read being green but don't comment often or ever, leave me one and I'll send the first three commenters Infradig's last CD, Ecstatic Everywhere. Happy Valentine's Day all, and go hug someone you love.
Monday, February 11, 2008
( illustration of Cicely Mary Barker)
"Then there were harebells, tiny lanterns, cream white and almost sinful looking, and these were so rare and magical that a child ,finding one, felt singled out and and special all day long."
This weekend on my birthday, I felt like the child.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Here's a few shots from the quadruple birthday party. Juden said he wanted a pirate ship cake so I thought, I can do that. I am no Martha Stewart and I have a new respect for those that make it look easy. Creative cake-baking is harder than it looks. Jen watched with encouraging words while I made a ship wreck out of my first attempt. The whole thing broke in half but the second time it worked a little better and as you can see Juden's face says it all!
When it was time for the pinata I noticed Juden was missing and found him tucked away with his favorite ballerina, Lulu.
Friday, February 01, 2008
In a couple hours my little boy turns four. Any of the hints of toddler have been replaced with full-fledged little boy energy and curiosity. It is hard to fathom how much this little boy has changed my world. The night before he arrived Josh was undertaking one of the many projects on our house. He decided to remove the non- working chimney which left a large hole in our roof so he and his dad worked quickly as rain was expected the next day. A cloud of soot puffed out from the fire place and as I sealed it up and was scrubbing the black film off the floor I thought,"Maybe this will send me into labor." But I brushed it off since my due date was a couple of days away. I had a restless, uncomfortable night wondering if what I was feeling might be the real thing. I felt a little better in the morning but as I was getting out of the shower my water broke. I got a glimpse of how much I loved my son already when things got frantic toward the end of my labor. He seemed to be stuck after 2 and 1/2 hours of pushing, and I realized that I didn't care if someone cut me in half with a sword as long as my son was okay. Almost 24 hours after my water broke on February 2, I met Juden Blaze. The love of a mother is beyond words, so different from other relationships. Friendships grow from common bonds and a lover charms and woos you but this baby did absolutely nothing to gain such unconditional and selfless love. It was simply that they he was mine.
His birthday just makes me think about how very much I love this little boy. I think about his accident and am reminded of what a gift every day is. He is a hundred percent boy with his endless energy and a strong will at times. He tells me he loves me several times a day and makes me laugh all the time. He likes to spend most days wearing a snug pirate suit and imagining pirate adventures and making Ella walk the plank, which she seems happy to do as long as she's dressed like Tinkerbell. His absolute favorite toy is a little wooden sword Josh made for him and drew designs on. It is in his hand or shoved down his pants at all times, except for during Sunday school and church when it sits in his car-seat. Every night when I tuck him in, it's tight in his arms. I must admit I'm a little sad to see three go, we've had lots of happy days this year. Three has had it's moments for sure of grocery store scenes, mischief and tantrums. But some months ago Juden started adding in his bedtime prayers, "God please help me to obey," and it has been part of his prayers ever since. No matter how naughty he may have been in a day this always melts my heart. Such a picture of all of us really. Wanting to do good, always trying and failing much of the time, asking for God's grace to help us obey. Most nights I sneak in his room when he's fast asleep and lay there with him, hold him, pray for him and watch him sleep ,one of the few times he's still. I love this habit and it allows me consistent time to pray for him. Today we gave him a fully costumed birthday bash. I'm usually not a huge party kind of person but it's so fun to celebrate the people we love and his huge smile made it all worth it. So good bye three, to all those sunny days and willing hugs, those hilarious questions and your curious innocence and hello four and a whole new year to love you.