Inspired By Roxy Marj

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Once upon a time I had a magical friend named Roxy. She was my neighbor when I lived in a secret studio apartment next to a smokey, stinky bar in Provo, Utah, and even back then, when she was not even 19, she was an incredibly inspired artist. It was a sparkly, surreal, marvelous season of my life-- those months I spent time with Roxana, aka Roxy Marj. 

I lost her for many years... occasionally scouring the web for any sign of her, using her given name, using clues from our time together. I never could find her until one day, through some especially clever googling, THERE SHE WAS--her style still unmistakable, even as it had evolved. She'd since gone on to Parsons School of Design, and was now a wonderful designer artist with a wonderful brand, designing for Land of Nod and running her own online store as well. I cannot tell you how excited I felt to find her again. 

Since then, we keep in touch lightly via Instagram. She is so lovely-- inside and out-- and doing so well with her art, currently working on cultivating some children's stories and illustrations, and it's a joy to see her journey online. 

So one day in the dead of winter, this past January, she posted an illustrated digital quilt square of a bonneted baby among white hydrangeas, and I fell instantly in love, and vowed to recreate the concept in a photograph, with my Larkin. She also instagrammed two more versions of this wonderful image, here and here.

And I waited for Larkin to sit up and for summer to bring hydrangea bushes to full bloom; and I commissioned a red pixie bonnet from another amazing Instagram artist, Cynthia from Simply Wilde Knitting. I borrowed a beautiful spot in my friend Tina's yard (thank you, Tina!!) and in spite of my stinker baby who tried to tear her sweet bonnet off at EVERY chance (thank you, Tina, also, for helping me wrangle my baby and for helping keep her bonnet straight!), I managed, on a sticky humid summer evening, to make my little project a reality. Check out my little Roxy Marj baby! 

Sweet baby in a red bonnet, surrounded by blooms on a summer evening.... I am in love. 

Thank you, Roxy. Thanks for inspiring my own artist soul once upon a time, and for inspiring me anew with the art you continue to make. You're one of a kind and I cherish you! 


Our Days These Days- Summer 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Larkin: 10 Months Old

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

 If you've followed Larkin's milestone photos, you'll know that by eight months, she was DONE with laying flat on her back contentedly. So last month I did it with her sitting up. This month, even that was tricky. Just see for yourself!! 

Becoming a PokeMom: Pokemon Go's One-Year Anniversary

Monday, July 10, 2017

One year ago today, as we were driving home from the wild west back to St. Louis, Missouri, I finally gave in to the online frenzy of the previous few days and caved to my then-8-year-old's begging, and I downloaded the Pokemon Go app. 

And life has never been quite the same since. 

 Ha! Okay, that was a little dramatic. I mean, for the most part, life has carried on as usual, and it was really the introduction of Larkin into our family seven weeks later that REALLY shook up our life as we knew it. But Pokemon Go, man. Who knew?!! 

It was an app that needed to be on a phone, so of course I had to host the game for Noah, since he doesn't have his own phone. In the first few days, I had NO IDEA who all these Pokemon were. I mean, I'd been forced to pretend to listen to Noah ramble on and on (and on and on and on) about Pokemon for over two years already at this point, so this wasn't a new realm of geekdom for him. But I'd mostly tuned it all out until this game. And because I was the steward of the game, I slowly began learning how to play it. And to learn how to play it, you really have to start learning the Pokemon names. And evolutions. And which ones are awesome and which ones are lame. 

And before I knew it, I was more addicted than Noah. I played more than him. I got territorial over MY Pokemon and when to evolve and when to save up candy and whether or not we should waste our time fighting at Pokemon gyms (pro tip: I should've wasted more time fighting at Pokemon gyms. I disregarded that whole half of the game for a whole 11 months, and in the 12th month they've changed it up and gym skills are suddenly REALLY important for "catching them all". Argh.) 

I just.... slowly but surely, I became obsessed with "catching them all." 

You can laugh. I am laughing at myself. 

But the truth is, it's been a super fun year. SO FUN. I've loved becoming a PokeMom, a PokeGeek... I love piling the kids in the car to go hunting. I love the friendships that have blossomed around this pastime. I love seeing my littler kiddos get good at catching Pokemon and rattling off the names and the evolutions. We've seen art and gardens in St. Louis we'd have never found otherwise. We've found countless new parks and playgrounds. I have ZERO regrets over the time and gas mileage I've wasted playing this ridiculous(ly fun) game. 

So Happy 1-Year Anniversary, Pokemon Go. Thanks for giving us a chance to be "the very best, like no one ever was." We have completely enjoyed the ride. 

(Now back to the grind. Current "Bucket List" items for us, at nearly level-32: Working on finding an unown, walking our larvitar to get enough candy to evolve a Tyranitar, and praying they finally release some Legendaries into the game. I mean, a YEAR? It's time.)

Change Is Good

Friday, July 7, 2017

Well, I turned 40. I'm still not quite sure how it happened, since my perception of "40" and the reality of actually BEING 40 are so totally different. It's really kind of crazy how it feels-- to face my perception of who is "supposed" to be 40, and what 40 is "supposed" to look like, and to realize that I have had it all wrong. Which means:
A. People younger than me probably have it all wrong, too, and I am suddenly "40" to them. 
B. I was wrong about everyone older than me. 

Gosh, so mind-bending. 

Anyway. Here we are. And in honor of this weird, unsettling, exciting, mind-bending milestone, my dear friend Julia helped me commemorate the occasion with some rainbow-haired self-portraits. Why not? 

And since change is the name of the game this summer, I also gave my trusty old blog a makeover-- a cleaner, more current, simpler vibe over here. Easy. Fresh. 

I'd love your feedback! What do you think of the look/feel of this blog redo? How does it navigate? Do you miss anything? Love anything? 

*Be forewarned: from June 2013 back to the beginning, in 2006, there are MANY photos that have been "blocked" by Photobucket, who I used to use to host my images. They have made a really unpleasant change in their Terms of Use and now insist on a major monthly payment to allow me to use their site to host the images. And NO THANK YOU. So for now, my archives from 2006 to 2013 are not awesome. 

And I'd also love your thoughts/experiences on turning 40. 35. 30. 60? Whatever age felt like a weird milestone for you, I'd love to hear about it. I try to reply to comments here on Blogger, but never know if Blogger notifies the commenter... I don't know. *shrug* You'd think after doing this for ELEVEN YEARS (holy crap that's the first time I calculated that number. ELEVEN years of blogging. Wow.) I'd know more about some of the features. 

Anyway. Here's to fun changes and rainbow hair at 40. Carpe diem!
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