Saturday, August 30, 2008

music making

I promised to tell you of the latest musical happenings in our household,and our attic has been bursting with sound as of late, so here it is. A little while back a good friend and songwriter, Jade asked if I wanted to record some with him. Since then we have slowly but surely been plugging away at reworking some of his songs and covering some other old, nostalgic type songs,and writing some new songs as well. Josh is recording it, which he has never done before, and is figuring it out quickly as we go. It kind of amazes me how my husband is good at most things he tries, all those buttons and wires and switches look so daunting to me. Josh is playing the drums and a little accordion and we are working with a few other friends. Some of you may not even know it yet, but we may come knocking on your door.

It is so nice to finally be able to work on music with Josh, something I have long wanted to do. Working through this whole creative process has been so very good for my soul. A little outlet from my mommy days, to fulfill this inherent need to create, to share, to sing. If you know me, you know I can't stand the spot-light. I've never been one to look for a stage. I don't care about making money or having a "commercially successful" album. I have no illusions of grandeur, there is nothing incredible or unique about my voice.With my feet firmly planted in my thirties I don't care about being hip. Sometimes we laugh at our own quirkiness and that our tastes sometimes might reflect more of our grandparents than our peers on songs like Edel'veis. Now if that hasn't sold you on making sure you get your hands on this album, then I don't know what will.
In all honesty though, it has been so very freeing to create without any pressure or expectation or even a clear picture of what it will take shape into by the end. I want it to be true, to be soulful and so far I think we have been successful at that. It has been an honor to be working with Jade, who in my opinion is a stellar musician. I want it to be something to give to my kids and friends, a gift to us that you might listen.
I just love, love, love to sing. I always have, my mom said I was like a little songbird in the house singing or humming through everything I did. Once when I was around six I serenaded my captive audience family, trapped in the station wagon, with one song the entire way from NJ to Chicago. Just like music was for me as a little girl, it is now, worship, comfort, a voice to things that can't come out any other way. I can in no way parallel myself to this melodic genius except to say I like how she put the need for music in this peculiarly charming interview. She said that language alone is like trying to fit an ocean through a straw... but with music... it doesn't feel like that.

I was going to end this post with a sneak preview of our work in progress but I am not a techie girl and have no idea how to put an MP3 on a blog.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

photo shoot

I have been wanting to practice with my new camera on things other than my most favorite subjects, my three bambinos. Aimee indulged me and let me take some pictures of her. It was very refreshing to shoot someone who doesn't require bribes and tickling to capture them. It doesn't hurt any that my brother married a girl who looks like a Greek goddess. Isn't she lovely?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

my mom

I can't go to bed without wishing my mama some birthday love today. My days meld together in a blur of cooking, laundry, diapers, breaking up fights, endless hugs and conversations that make my heart melt. Being a mom is such an amazing thing. The continual process of little steps of letting go from the moment they leave the safety of our body. The endless sacrifices, nurture, exhaustion and indescribable joy in the midst of it all. My heart gets heavy at the thought of Juden starting Pre-K and soccer and the growing independence of this little fellow who has spent almost every minute of his life by my side. This thing of motherhood is a strange,scary and beautiful thing, being given these precious and fleeting lives. It has all deepened my appreciation for the one who watched my first breath and has nurtured and given of herself to me for all my 30 years. I'm sure it doesn't seem like that long ago that she had five little people to feed and nurture, and listen to, and worry over, and she did it well.

Tonight I read Ella a book my mom used to read to me and I found myself lost in the whimsical pictures and the sound of my moms' voice. She helped me to love words and reading; she filled our house with music and helped me be passionate about it. She taught me how to treat people and not to be selfish. She seemed to have faith in me when I'd lost it in myself. I just really love her and I hope I can be half the mother she was to me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

this week

I joined in on 31 days of photos over here a while back. I know I'm pretty camera happy but I definitely don't usually take pictures every day. I got a late start but I'm trying to keep up with it. I have always searched out beauty in things; my eyes always scanning the horizon for those bright spots in the mundane. What's amazing is that when you are attuned to light and color and shadows, fewer sights seem prosaic. I like looking at things through a lens and I often see events and encounters in a series of frozen frames of light, color, angles and textures. Most of these are shots I didn't end up using at the photo blog. Here's some glimpses of the last week through my eyes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

tea time

If you know anyone from England you probably know that those Brits are serious about their tea. I think I mentioned how my dad would try to urge me and my brothers and sisters to join him for his afternoon, (or morning, evening, or nightcap for that matter)cup of tea. To him it was more than just a little caffeine fix. It was part of what was his home, a few minutes to slow down in a hectic day and sip a hot cupful. Most of time, when the kettle blew, we'd dash back to playing but sometimes we would sit with him and he'd scoop an extra spoon of sugar and milk so we'd like it.

When the girls are resting in the afternoon I have a habit of sitting down with a cup of tea. Lately Juden has been wanting to join me, which seems like a great excuse to make more of an affair out of it. I brew a whole pot and set out some tea biscuits and we chat away in fake British accents which, mind you, Juden is pretty good at. I make his extra sweet and think to myself how it would make my dad smile. And I get it... it is much better than drinking tea alone.

Oh, and if you really want to do tea time right, go visit this place.

Monday, August 11, 2008

my friend

Here she is; the girl at who's house I should have paid rent. She's been my best friend since third grade. We were the kind of friends that were inseparable. We spent many summer days at Nana's pool, most weekends were spent together and we could make each other laugh till one of us wet our pants (not me). I was often the only non-family member at birthday parties. I was nervous and proud as I watched her piano recitals. She willingly helped tutor me in math. There was a deep and abiding loyalty between us even as children. If there was ever tension between us it never lasted long. We were quite a pair.
Once we went to her families beach house and stole away down to the beach just before sunset, much to the dismay of her very cautious mother. We went from girls to women by each other's side. Once we spent a summer living in Wildwood New Jersey serving on a mission team there. Sometimes we would sit in the lifeguard stands at night when the beach was wide and empty with the lights and noise of the bustling boardwalk behind us. We'd talk and pray and wade in the oil black night ocean. We went to college together and married a couple of good friends. I thought we'd always live life by each other. She moved back to Philly and I stayed here. She had five children in eight years and I had three in three years. And so our story goes, our daily lives have become quite separate, but the miles have not come between our bond and kindredness.

We recently had the pleasure of having her family of seven come visit, which was wonderful, bittersweet, and too brief. At their arrival my eyes immediately fell upon the nine month old little bundle in her arms whom I had never met before. I tried to breath him in and memorize this adorable little stranger as much as I could. It made me happy to watch our kids laugh and play together even if Juden did refer to them most of the visit as "that boy" and "that girl."

At night when all the kids were peaceful I went to fix our tea and called to Vanessa," How do you take your tea?" I felt a little lump in my throat. Funny how such a little thing could get to you. But it brought to mind how difficult the miles make it to stay in tune with our daily lives. I don't like that our children don't know each other. I don't like that I don't know how she takes her tea. But, such is this journey of seasons and chapters. And honestly I feel like such a lucky girl to have had, and to always have, such a treasure of a friend.

our little girls