belgium/france part 2

after a few days in belgium we packed ourselves into a car and made our way to the south of france. apparently the rest of europe was doing the same thing...holy traffic! 

we stopped over for a night in Beaune, France and I acquainted myself with local bourgogne wine. 

Stijn's family rented a chateau in the village of Nans les Pins, France and we spent most of our days relaxing poolside. I managed to read 2 whole books and discovered how much I like Pastis.

we wandered around the market where I drooled over turkish bath towels and baskets and bought more food than we could carry because, France! a few takeaways: why is dairy so much better here and why don't I live somewhere where dairy tastes this good? 

magic hour and sunset love

we spent an afternoon in Cassis, France. took a boat tour of the calanques (saw where the stone was harvested for the statue of liberty), ate fresh caught fish at a restaurant alongside the port of Cassis, dug our toes in the rocky sand of the beach, and walked the terra cotta lined streets.

Nans les Pins is a tiny village in the south of France. I had never heard of it though it turns out it's home to a vineyard whose rosé I have been drinking for a few years. Naturally I had to take a little tour.

our final night, final sunset at this beautiful home. thank you to my in laws for giving us the gift of such a wonderful holiday allowing me to see a part of the world I hadn't yet seen.

belgium/france part 1

we returned sunday evening from two weeks in belgium and france with family. our first 5 days were spent in lier, where stijn's family is and antwerp, one of my very favorite cities. the kids had such an amazing time. trips to the zoo and an amusement park and days spent just playing with cousins. here are some photos of our time in belgium. 

days spent in oma and opa's garden, relaxing, and playing with cousins

an afternoon at the antwerp zoo including the kids each catching an falcon.

an evening in antwerp. strolling the streets with my love, drinks in a quintessential flemish bar and dinner with friends at the amazing graanmarkt 13.

an afternoon in the city of lier, playing in the park, and a girls movie date with oma. 

lunch date, just me and my boys, in my favorite café in lier, brood en bloemen. this spot has my heart as a little flower, plant, and gift shop with beautiful textiles and delicious food. 

on our last day in belgium before heading to the south of france we went to the most idyllic little ice cream shop. nestled on a beautiful piece of land, the kids ran through the garden, practiced cartwheels, and visited the small farm animals (including the chickens whose eggs are used to make the ice cream). it was perfect!

stay tuned for photos from france tomorrow.

9/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016"


8/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

gladys

my great grandmother, gladys, was a fiber queen. she crocheted sweaters, hats, and purses for me as a child and even a few for the woman that I would become though she wouldn't be there to see me wearing them. when I first discovered that I was pregnant with a daughter, though I would have been happy either way, I was over the moon with excitement knowing that I could pull those sweaters out of their storage bin and that another generation would be wearing something that was made by hand with so much love. 

during a snowstorm a decade ago in the coffee shop where I worked, when all the customers were hiding out under their covers, a coworker taught me to knit. I promptly went out and bought all the yarn. I've always loved tactile matter and was all too happy to be in a yarn shop running my hands over every skein and quickly became a fool for the hand dyed varieties of real wool. I started slow, hats mostly. I made a few scarves and cowls but was terrified of any larger projects. 

pregnant with my first child, I decided I would conquer the fear and knit her a blanket. I made Jared Flood's shale baby blanket. it was my first blanket and my first foray into lace. I loved every minute of the making of that piece for my baby. belly growing i would sit there daily and quietly knit away dreaming of who the little girl I was making it for would be. 

I'm now obsessed with the idea of clothes made by hand for my children that could become heirlooms to be passed down to another generation in the same way gladys made them for me. so I decided to knit my first sweater! I chose Madder Made's Camilla using my favorite, quince and co. yarn in a beautiful soft pink. it's not perfect but eleanor and I both love it and I cannot wait to make more. no really, I've already bought an insane amount of yarn for many more projects. 

I am so thankful to gladys for creating for me and for passing on her fiber love. I wish we could sit together drinking tea or wine and knit away, instead I will tip my cup to her before each new project. 

7/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

6/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

hawaii

You could say that my life changed in Hawaii. I lived on The Big Island for a few months in 2007, living and working on an organic coffee farm. It was there, spending my days working the coffee fields with nothing but my headphones and thoughts to keep me company, my nights reading, knitting, and writing, and my weekends hitching to explore the island that I found myself. I learned to rumba from a 70 something year old man. I learned to surf from the son of the first governor of the state of Hawaii. I woke before the sun every Sunday to swim with the dolphins at a local hidden gem of a beach. I woke up on my 27th birthday in a tent on that beach. I camped in Volcano and ate the best thai food of my life in Hilo. I spent countless hours hand sorting green coffee beans and learned to roast using a drum roaster. I wrote to my future husband from my studio there and never would have imagined that I would later walk the fields with him and our children. 

Last April we were lucky enough to take a trip back there with Stijn's family for his mother's retirement. There really aren't words that could do the beauty of the island justice. In trying to describe it I've always said, "it's like you've never seen color before." I am so very grateful to my in laws for making this trip happen, for giving me the opportunity to share this magical place with my family. 

5/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

4/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

3/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

2/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

1/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Field Trip

Eleanor's class went on a field trip to Benton Family Farms and I was able to go with them. The kids got to learn about bees, brush goats, and shear a sheep. They took a tractor ride to pick out pumpkins, and played in a hay bale maze. I loved being able to watch Eleanor interact with her friends and teachers as she confidently led me through her world. 

first day of school 2015

eleanor woke up this morning and ran into our room with the biggest smile on her face. it's back to school! her first day of the second year of pre-k and this year her best friend goes there with her!

first day of school '15
Untitled-1

i'm so proud of my big girl.

Eleanor Faye turns 4

For Eleanor's 4th birthday we mailed August and Luna, her cousin in Belgium, princess pajamas and an invitation to a royal sleepover. The morning of her birthday she had a virtual party with Luna, both of them wearing their nightgowns while giggling at each other over Skype. We had our traditional birthday pancakes and a dance party in the living room before Eleanor and August got dressed up for a tea party at the Bonbonerie. It was the perfect day for my little lady.

the birth of arthur lee

"soon it will be time for the baby to become it's own separate person. one cycle is ending and, immediately, another is beginning. what has been called 'labor' is that in-between experience...the fulcrum...that small, short period of time and space between the baby's two worlds." -hypnobirthing

i cannot adequately put into words what an amazing and spiritual experience it was to be present for that fulcrum, the space in between the two worlds of arthur lee. i have labored twice myself and those experiences alone have changed me but it is an experience entirely different to witness a woman birthing.

IMG_7315
IMG_7349
IMG_7357
IMG_7458
IMG_7483
IMG_7507
IMG_7611
IMG_7643
IMG_7718
IMG_7911
IMG_8035
IMG_8100
IMG_8244

i am beyond grateful to my brother and sister in law for allowing me to be present in their most intimate moments to document the birth of their son. it was an honor.

on the farm

fourth of july fourth of july fourth of july fourth of july fourth of july fourth of july fourth of july fourth of july fourth of july fourth of july

this is the childhood i always dreamed of for my children. weekends spent on my grandparents farm. this weekend was perfect, full of hammock swings, creek exploring, learning to fish, and just play. there's something about the pace at the farm and the freedom my children feel here that makes us all the best version of ourselves.