October 18, 2016

Life Lately: Fall Thinking

making: serving platters with henna designs and samples for my drawing + painting class

cooking: not as much. Brad recently took over a portion of dinners...amazing!

drinking: homemade hot cocoa...mmmmm.

wanting: a pair of comfortable, leather, cute, reasonably priced, wide toe shoe/booties...chupacabra

looking: at the garden slowly fading outside as cool foggy mornings appear

wasting: money...oh car troubles...

enjoying: the drizzly, cloudy, crisp weather

liking: the change of season - fall will always be my favorite

loving: embracing who I was made to be

marveling: at how quickly a clean room can be trashed by one small human

needing: a back massage...baby is getting heavy

smelling: cinnamon, apple cores, nutmeg, and clove simmering on the stove

wearing: scarves and jeans er'day

listening: to the sound of silence

knowing: the days are long and the months are short...um OCTOBER is 1/3 over!

noticing: Canadian geese heading south

thinking: about the upcoming election.  about the refugee crises in the Near East and upcoming close of Dadaab (the largest refugee camp in the world: 300,000 people that's more than pop. of Tacoma).

feeling: baby girl move all the time...she feels ginormous

bookmarking: painted portrait artists and baby girl clothes

October 11, 2016

Little Clark III: 28 weeks

Hello baby,

My goodness you have been feeling extra large and wiggly.  This past week you put on a huge growth spurt - I feel like I've tripled in size.  I even had to go in for an ultrasound to check your growth - a bit ahead- but only another doctor visit will determine if my due date will change (they were talking about moving it up a month!).  You are 3 lbs, 15 inches and head and feet down.  You are completely bend in half with your feet up above your head, Houdini (in the picture your head is facing us with legs and feet shown up above your head).  I passed my 3 hr glucose with flying colors!  But my blood sugar was so low from fasting I almost passed out on the drive home.  Yikes, but thankfully we made it safely.  I'm working to get more prepared for your arrival...your spot in our room is mostly cleared out, a diaper bag (from Auntie Moo) is partially packed, a few baby clothes have been washed.  James is very excited for his "tiny Christmas baby" to get here, and we are too!  I've been wondering about your personality and what you will be like...mentally prepping myself for a small midnight tyrant.  Mama turned 30 this week, and baby it feels good.  We love you little girl!

Hugs and nose kisses,
Mama & Daddy

October 10, 2016

Potato Print DIY: Little Boy T-Shirt

Do you know how hard it is to find boys shirts?  Or at least ones that don't have sayings about being a trouble-maker or are covered in licensed characters?  Its ridiculously hard.  So I decided to try making my own shirt.
The Pattern
Step 1:  I took the pattern (made from a sketch I did of one of James' toys), and cut it out of a large potato.
Step 2:  Spread out your puffy paint or screen printing ink out thinly.  (I watered down white screen printing ink to get a watercolored look) Dip your potato in and go to town.
Step 3:  Set your ink if using screen printing ink by throwing it, once dry, into the dryer for 30 mins.

Step 4:  Wear your new masterpiece!

October 6, 2016

Coriander/Cilantro: Coriandrum sativum

 When thinking about what to plant in the garden this summer...I knew that I wanted to have some herbs & spices.  So I chose one that would be doubly great.  Did you know that the spice coriander has leaves that is cilantro?!  I only grew two plants because I wasn't sure how much I'd use, but these two plants produced 1/4 a cup of coriander minus 3 harvests of the cilantro leaves.  I think I'll be planting this again next season.  

October 3, 2016

Hope: Sometimes God uses four-leaf clovers

I have a collection of four-leaf clovers in my wallet.  They lay pressed in a little beat up white envelope next to old passport photos, sandwiched between appointment cards and my cell phone...I keep them there to remind me that I have hope.

They say that there is something lucky, something special, about finding such a rare little specimen.

I remember when I stumbled across my first one.  It was my first year of college; a difficult year.  I had recently ended a bad relationship, was struggling with depression, and had sunk to a very dark place.  Growing accustomed to life in the city was taking its toll as well since it seemed all of Seattle was covered in cement, with nary a section of wild earth anywhere.  Trudging up those hills, your eyes would be level with the sidewalk a few feet in front of you...nothing but grey concrete and grey sky.  I was having a particularly rough day when walking home, up those steep hills, I saw a clump of wild green.  There nestled among the foliage growing out of a crack in the sidewalk...there grew a four-leaf clover.  It was at the intersection of W Florentia and 1st W.

It was a glimmer of hope.  A ray of wild happiness in the concrete world that was my physical and emotional reality.  In that moment, I felt like God had placed it there for me...like a perfect, rare gift.  The school year went on, and each week I would walk home to four-leaf clover springing up in my path.  Not that I ever looked for one, truly.   It became so common that I stopped saving them or gave them away, but each one was a reminder.  Pointing me to the hope that the clouds of depression, utter grey numbness would break.  And one day, they did.  I laughed.  I don't even remember why, but I remember laughing and it feeling so foreign, so wonderfully strange.  Those dozens of four-leaf clovers...wild earth separate from the cultivated gardens and yards of Seattle greenery...I had no doubt they were from God, a reminder to have hope...such a coincidence to discover one every week?...to see them even when not looking for one at all...I don't believe in coincidences.

Last September, I was processing losing Graham.  James and I were on one of many wanderings through the park, and we settled in the gravel batting cages to chuck rocks at the backstop.  There was a clump of clover, and I briefly glanced through...whispering to God that I could really use some hope that day...whispering that the clutching pain of missing Graham would subside ever so slightly if I just had some sort of sign.  Nothing was there.  Just a little patch of ordinary white clover.  Disappointed, I turned back to throwing rocks, chiding myself for even thinking one could be there.  The voice of my friend, a biology major, came back to me: if a plant with the four-leaf clover mutation is in one area, it is likely to produce more of the same four-leaf clovers - science not God, Susan.  So I mulled that over in my mind thinking, maybe she's right.  Maybe it wasn't God sending me those little specimens all those years ago.  Maybe it was just a scientific phenomenon spreading throughout that neighborhood in Seattle.

Doubt clouding my memories of each surprise clover, I stood up to get James, who had taken his rock throwing to the grass.  As I turned, my toe brushed a patch of clover behind me.  A four-leaf clover peeked out at me.  In utter shock, I bent down to pluck it up.  Yes.  It was what I thought.  A perfect four-leaf clover.  I stood in utter silence.  It had been there the entire time, right behind me.  I had given up finding one; stopped the search for hope that the agony of missing my dead son would ease ever so slightly that day.  It was only then that it found me.  Only then did I see it.  My heart felt like it stopped, and into my mind flickered the thought - I like science, but it was, it is God.  I gently tucked it into my back pocket and let my mind wander - God maybe you can use four-leaf clovers.

So call it what you will: coincidence, science, fate, the universe, I call it God - and each time a four-leaf clover finds me (which is quite rare these days) I see it as a reminder of hope.  It's something we could all use more of in this broken, crazy, twisted world; I know that for a fact.