Landscape as life

LiveOak.2We so often find that the beauty about living in Texas is the time we spend outdoors. We live outside roughly 10 months of the year, taking time always to enjoy dining al fresco whenever possible and going on long, meandering walks. Here in Austin, the landscape acts as yet another character playing out our everyday lives. The trees are craggy and undulating, they unfurl their branches towards the ground and draw us in. The live oaks are concurrently haunting and enchanting, filled with such great personality that you wish to stop and listen, for surely they must have stories to tell. We have lived all over, yet each time we find that it is the trees and plants that ground you and, for lack of a better explanation, literally root you in a place. Sometimes soaring and majestic, othertimes colourful and crisp, still all the while budding or green or bare. Ever-changing, ever-adapting, ever full of life…

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Two for the afternoon

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Just me and our teeniest guy this afternoon, taking in the sunshine and eating madeleines. There was a moment today when he looked directly into my eyes, and I could see how close he is to becoming a proper toddler. I got choked up (as I do so often) and held him a little tighter in my arms.

It’s funny how we laugh about Reed clinging to me like a baby koala, but the truth is that I cling to him just as much. I take in every giggle and splash in the bathtub, the scent of his baby hair and skin… the distinctions between the babbling language which has started to emerge and a burgeoning sense of independence. I know that one day he’ll be older like Alina and Finnlagh (and might not enjoy his mama sniffing his hair!) but I also know a secret: that the baby smell never quite goes away, and all those moments of him we take in now just multiply as he grows up.

Thousands and thousands of kisses for you, my sweet boy. Thank-you for spending a lovely afternoon, just you and me. I adore so very much being your mama.

Wishing a happy week-end to all! See you back here on Tuesday.

XO,

N&N

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Love loving you

It goes without saying that this has been an emotional week. I was going to do a Friday Favourites post, but I thought it better to hold off for this week. As a parent, I have been faced with some very real questions from my children, some I really wish I didn’t have to answer, others I answer in the very best age-appropriate way that I can. We explain how everyone comes into this world naked and screaming, but that somehow, there are shadows in people’s hearts that cause them to hurt others, to wound them – the need for some to shut out the light so that darkness can reign, however temporarily. But in the midst of all of this, we talk about love and light, laughter and compassion for our fellow citizens, and at the core of it, common dignity and humanity. We speak about civil servants and bravery, and yes, even modern day superheroes.

We needed some cheering up so we did a little impromptu photo shoot in our place today. Thankfully for our family, we are never short on love in our hearts and in our home. We have all the (big) little personalities in our house to thank for this. They live in the moment and they live out loud. I love loving you, and I always, always will.

In the days and moments that lie ahead, count all of the magnificent blessings in your lives my friends…big or small, short or tall (as my Alina always says). They are various, they are plentiful, and they are yours.

XO,

N&N

 

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Let’s play!

Reed's playspace.8I recently had the small challenge of putting together a play space for Reed. Our new apartment is a bright, airy, open plan space – loads of room to move freely about, especially if you are a little one constantly on the move. We wanted to create a designated area for Reed all his own, tucked away yet still part of the action.  This nook area beside our fireplace provided the perfect spot.

To begin, I ordered some wonderful maplewood veneer prints from a very favourite children’s design shop, Petit Collage. Alina chose a mixture of safari animals, Finnlagh chose an elephant in suspenders holding a flower, and we picked out some fishies for Reed. Petit Collage has been having a fabulous sale, and I was lucky to get two of the prints (matted and ready to frame) for half-price. The apple mirror is from there as well, and is made of acrylic so it’s unbreakable and very safe for baby (it even comes with stickies for wall-mounting). We picked up three 8×10″ frames from Bed, Bath & Beyond and the large and smaller baskets at World Market. The sheepskin rug and little sorting house are from Ikea and the wooden walker (Reed’s absolute favourite!) is by Janod. Alina was sweet enough to make the little sun and cloud bunting from some construction paper and twine she had in her craft box. The bulk of Reed’s toys are either wooden or soft, usually from Haba, Maileg, Manhattan Toy, Lamaze, or from my shop (of course!)

Happy week-end, happy decorating!

XO,

N&N

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9 months in, 9 months out

Reed_newhouse.4July 8th hardly seems like that long ago, and yet here we are: nine months later. It’s difficult to grasp that our littlest koala is now an emphatic not-so-teeny person who insists on trying everything you are eating (and helping himself to second and third portions). Reed watches Alina and Finnlagh with wide-eyed admiration, often cruising, crawling and stomping his way into the action. In the past month there has been his very first tooth, Easter celebration and a move into his second abode. You’ll have to get used to that last one, little Reed – we certainly do move around a great deal.

We are already in the stages of thinking about his first birthday, so I have started pinning a few inspirations here and there. I must admit, I hope it will be the longest three more months to get there…please slow down, sweet lad!

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