Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sneak Peak Photo Session

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to work with our favorite photographer Hollin Brodeur. Lucky because Hollin and her hubby moved to Montreal for school and they happened to be travelling through Portland this summer. Hollin shot our fantastic maternity photos when we were expecting Cora. Now, almost two years later she met up with us and captured Cora as well as some candid shots of my belly. The full session will not be done for a few more weeks but she gave us a lovely sneak peak. Click on this link if you would like to see them.

We also received an email from a photographer who took a few photos of Cora and Scott at Pickathon. I had completely forgotten about that so it was a pleasant surprise to open an email with these lovely shots.






Things are moving right along here, we are now four weeks away from the due date. I am huge and exhausted, humbled by my current physical limitations. Cora and I spend lots of time at home since chasing her around in public is a bit like torture to me and my painful body. I can not shake the feeling that this baby will be arriving early so if my hunch is correct we will be meeting her in less then a month. I have been working through some pretty extreme anxiety about this impending birth. Cora's delivery was very, very difficult and exhausting. I have chosen to attempt a home birth once again and am hoping it goes very differently (ie: faster, easier). One thing I have learned is to not expect/hope for any one outcome except a healthy baby and healthy mama.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

For The Love of Glacier

Glacier National Park in NW Montana is a sacred place to me. My first time visiting was on a great American Road trip my parents dreamed up.  Being from upstate New York I had never imagined that such wonders existed in the world. Mountains with snow on them in the middle of summer, mountain goats and their babies balancing on rocky ledges, grizzly bears bounding off through the huckleberry patches. Thanks mom and dad, It was life changing in ways I am still discovering.

Since those early days I have had the privilege of playing in this park countless times. Montana became my home in 1995 and Glacier was right out my back door for several summers.  I even managed to  summit a few mountains before leaving my left posterior cruciary ligament's full function on the descent of Mount Gould (that means I blew my knee out on this lovely rock pictured below).

Very special to my heart is East Glacier Lodge where Scott and I honeymooned. We took the train up through the mountains, it stops right in front of the lodge as it has done for the better part of the last century. It was a lovely week without cars, hiking through the mountains and drinking champagne in the 6 foot long claw foot bathtub that was part of our room.

This year my beloved park marks it centennial birthday. 100 years of belonging to every single one of us. 100 years of acting as a window into the magnificent for those who seek it.  This milestone has me looking around the Internet at some great Glacier Park finds. Below are some of my favorites, both aesthetic and cerebral.

Pendelton Wool Company has recreated national park trading blankets to commemorate the 100 year mark. They are all exceptionally beautiful but I especially love Glacier's.

From the Pendelton website:

Since the early 1900s, Pendleton Woolen Mills has honored America’s National Parks with a collection of distinctive park blankets. Glacier Park National Park Blanket was one of the first. Its historic markings and colors date back to the frontier trading posts. Traders would indicate the weight of the blanket offered in exchange for furs by holding up one finger for each pound. The original blankets incorporated three, four or five black stripes in the design, which indicated the value of the blanket. Colors and variations of the original striped theme have been adapted to reflect distinguishing characteristics of each park and blanket in the collection. National Park Blankets are still woven at the original Pendleton Woolen Mill in the foothills of Oregon’s Blue Mountains, just as they were more than 100 years ago.

Glacier was the first national park honored with a Pendleton blanket back in the early 1900s. To celebrate the park's 100th anniversary, we have created a special edition of that famous Glacier Park Blanket featuring the iconic stripes plus traditional park icons. A leather commemorative centennial label certifies authenticity. Like the original Glacier Park Blanket, this centennial edition is woven on our jacquard looms in Pendleton, Oregon.

I stumbled upon this Amazing hand Embroidered Pillow, I really, really love it, it melts my heart. This website has pillows for several travel destinations and each one is unique.

Ken Burn's National Parks, if you haven't watched this you do not know what you are missing. Head to the library and check it out or better yet, add it to your collection, you wont be sorry.

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America.  This book is an absolutely fascinating detail of the creation of the Park Service and just how hard certain people had to fight to create and protect the parks we know and enjoy today. 

So there you have it, a tiny taste of Glacier. How many of you utilize our National Parks? They are treasures waiting to be explored, and as Ken Burn's puts it, America's Best Idea.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Hold onto your hats, it's Pickathon!

 This is the Main stage, I could not get over the architectural beauty of the sun covers.

This is our sixth summer here in Oregon and the first time we managed to make it to the Pickathon Music Festival just outside of Portland. Many years have been spent pining over it and not being able to attend for one reason or another. This year we threw all the excuses aside and bought tickets, not for the entire weekend but for Sunday which seemed like a good way to dip our toes in.

Scott and I were both a bit nervous packing Cora up and heading out there. Sure the weather was lovely but this heat can be a bit much for a toddler and a very pregnant mama. It didn't help that the last time we attended a music festival I dropped from heat stroke and we left feeling very old and incapable of handling the rigors of summer festival going, and that was before kids.

Pickathon, however, rolled out the welcome mat, warmed our souls and soothed any fears that we could not enjoy ourselves. I have never had the pleasure of attending such a well organized, beautiful and family friendly music event.  The shade was plentiful, the water was free, the music amazing and the setting on Pendarvis farm simply stunning. Everyone was so friendly and there were lots of families in attendance. We ran into many people we know (from Portland and Montana) and I kept looking around me and thinking "here they are, this is my tribe". The sheer volume of lovely summer dresses paired with cowboy boots was enough to keep me people watching all day. The organizers of the event also made sure there was a constantly open area designated for children which had a rotation of circus activities, flint knapping, hula hooping, and jewelry making. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Oh yeah, and the kids area is visible from the beer garden. Did I mention how brilliant it was?

So we spent a lovely Sunday catching up with friends who were in town for the festival and wandering between stages absorbing fantastic music. And the food, it was stunning. We are definitely going back next year, with two kiddos in tow. Pickathon has turned us back into festival goers.

More of the main stage, lovely blue sky and shade.

Cora and daddy wandering off into the crowd for some dancing.

Cora just waking up from her nap in the stroller.

Sun Covers in the children's area.

My tired, puffy pregnant feet happily covered in dirt, straw and dry grass.

Our sweet pea with a perma-smile, listening to music and climbing on everything.

I know, I took lots of photos of these, but seriously, the modern pop of color against the aging barns and green trees? Gorgeous.

Circling the spring horse.

...and, she's off!

Big time smiles.

At the end of the day this felt like some of the most fun we have had as a family. It is deeply satisfying to get Cora out into a setting where she thrives and we enjoy adult time. There is nothing quite like the deep contentment of driving home after a day spent together like this, warmed by the sun and hearts full of good memories. Someday we will be able to tell both of the girls that they were there.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Please Consider Helping

This newborn baby and his father need your help. I do not know them personally but my heart goes out to them and our community in Missoula. I can not imagine the long road ahead for them. If you can help, please, please do.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Crazy Summer Love

Holy cow this summer is flying by! After six years here in Portland we are suddenly surrounded by old and close friends and family. It is such a blessing and such a change to adjust to the new pace of life. I keep pinching myself to make sure I am not dreaming when my patio fills up with friends, and the sounds of easy conversation and laughter float in to me where I am rocking Cora to sleep.

A few quick photos and I'll be back soon. This baby is growing huge (I'm at 33 weeks) and it feels like her birth is just around the corner.