Monday, April 30

camping at 30 weeks

mt. palomar
mt. palomar
canon camera, kodak 400 film



squirrel-proof
squirrel-proof
canon camera, kodak 400 film



Untitled
canon camera, kodak 400 film
taken by tim



30 weeks
canon camera, kodak 400 film
taken by tim





san mateo campground
san mateo campground
canon camera, kodak 400 film
taken by tim



The only time it was tricky while camping 30 weeks pregnant was at night, when my hips hurt as I flipped from side to side on my awesome little mat. We went to bed early, as we always do camping, and awoke (well, I awoke a lot more than that) when the tent glowing with morning sun and we could hear the birds again. The solitude, fresh air, picnicking, exploring and good companionship more than made up for the little hip issue. Tim was mightily impressed with how agiley I scooted in and out of the tent. I was appreciative that he took over all setting-up-and-taking-down tent duties (usually my thing) while I would go about laying out our meals on the picnic tables.


On our first night in california we had stayed with a dear friend who sent us off the next day with a full picnic basket ~ including a cotton tablecloth, cloth napkins and beautiful cups and plates. Each night we spread a feast with these things, and we brought them all home to use in our future camping forays, imbued with great memories.






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Sunday, April 29

cacti and hummingbirds, can you think of a better combination?

30 weeks
sx-70, polaroid 600 expired film
taken by tim



Untitled

sx-70, polaroid 600 expired film


The cactus gardens at balboa park in san diego drew us back more than once. The cacti were blooming and little winding paths beckoned over hills and down tiny valleys, with hummingbirds visiting blooms and calling out with their saucy cries.



Untitled
hummingbird
canon camera, 35mm 400 film 



Untitled
canon camera, 35mm 400 film
taken by tim 



Untitled
canon camera, 35mm 400 film
taken by tim 







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Saturday, April 28

the finding of mt. palomar

Untitled
mt. palomar, campground, california
sx-70, polaroid 600 expired film



Since we didn't have much of a plan to go by on our trip, except that tim wanted to see the Phillies play in san diego, I did some research while there, picking out likely camping spots at random off the map and looking them up online on the hotel computer in the lobby. The night before last, I had found us a campground with very little information ~ I knew it was on a mountain in coniferous forests, it was a mile high, and it was small.


We set off, not knowing what we would find, or if it would be open. We drove through miles of southern california countryside following our directions past huge nurseries with acres of potted cacti, farms which reminded me of our costa rican trip, little taquerias, small grocery stores. We stopped at one and bought frozen fruit bars ~ the choices included flavors like lime, coconut, rice pudding, rum raisin and cucumber with chile. When we reached the base of Mt. Palomar, we were high up with thousands of feet in elevation yet to gain, and the clouds were rolling in. We wound up a snaking road through opaque white clouds which obscured the road. We could see nothing around us but the occasional tree and finally burst through the cloudcover to see fields, trees and cunning little chalets scattered along the mountainside, all lit by brilliant sun and a perfectly clear blue sky. We were there only minutes before a turn in the road plunged us into the fog again and we arrived at the campground.


The place was wonderfully deserted, and we took our pick of sites, choosing one underneath a magnificent tree. All had little wooden cupboards to protect our food from the ravens and the ground squirrels, which are a worse nuisance than bear. (Earlier in the week the squirrels had bitten a hole in the tent and entered to eat the croissants we were saving for breakfast. They must have spread the word since many tried to enter even when we blocked the hole and were inside napping.)


Above flew a chattering group of at least a dozen woodpeckers, and below on the leaves were their bold black and white feathers. It was heaven.


the woodpecker tree


Tim set the tent up and we strolled, watching for the bright blue of the stellar's jays and bluebirds, listening to the unceasing talk of the woodpeckers and seeing the ancient massive trees and how they laid their fleshy limbs over the immense rocks.


That evening we sat by the fire for a long time, talking and not talking, then tucked ourselves away from the unexpected cold into the tent under a sky fuzzy and sparkling with stars, a teal blue Venus and a bright sharp sliver moon, small at a mile high, cupped around the soft gray of the old moon.



Untitled
sx-70, polaroid 600 expired film


We spent a long time there the next morning, breakfasting at the pond and going for a little hike, and our drive down revealed the surrounding views which had been hidden by the clouds the day before. Satiated, triumphant, we stopped often to gaze and when we finally reached the main road, we bought sweet mangoes and went on our way.








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Friday, April 27

polaroid polar bears


my favorite polaroid from the trip.
polar bear, san diego
sx-70, polaroid 600 expired film


One morning we went to the san diego zoo, of which I had heard many accolades (I'm not much of a zoo person.) The polar bears captured my fancy as always. Their jumping, frolicking and playing only a few feet away on the other side of the glass was awe-inspiring. Do you see the carrot on the bottom left? At times the water was sprinkled with minced, chewed carrot bits.


Untitled
sx-70, polaroid 600 expired film


I brought only my sx-70 polaroid camera and a 35mm film camera. My photography last week seemed so much simpler and richer and deliberate because of it. We're busy gently packing now for our move on tuesday, but I will drop the film off soon (3 rolls, I think?) and can't wait to see what I captured. I also have lots of stories to share.



Untitled
sx-70, polaroid 600 expired film


I've taken all the framed works and sculptures off of our walls, spackling holes as I go, and everything seems so clean and bright. I generally enjoy the first days home after traveling ~ touching and caring for all our things again, getting back into rhythm. The scent of fresh laundry and the tidiness of our possessions going neatly into stacked boxes to the tune of our most recent netflix, Rear Window.


xo brooke




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Thursday, April 26

home from the babymoon

santa monica pier
santa monica pier photobooth



One week of camping, exploring, laughing, finding the best tacos, and eating the sweetest mangos with a spoon. California. Babymooning at 30 weeks along.


It's good to be home again. Polaroids and film to follow soon.


xo brooke




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Monday, April 16

one week's worth, please

29.5 weeks

29.5 weeks


Heading out early tomorrow for our trip to california. We'll be leaving while the stars are still sparkling, toting our tent and sleeping bags for camping, and excited to be catching the train to the airport and the other side of the country. I think our minds will be a lot lighter the moment we step foot from our house tomorrow ~ that's what I love about travel. The alert senses. The missing of home. The curiosity. How things seem more special than usual. I'm bringing one film camera and one polaroid camera, and lots of film for both. A few paperbacks, a good appetite, my journal, and some drawstring bags for collecting rocks and other natural finds. Our travel plans are to see what comes our way!


xo brooke




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Saturday, April 14

good omens

good omens

expired polaroid 600 film, sx 70 polaroid land camera



We found these on thursday, the day we bought the house, fallen from far far above and twirled into the pine needles on the lawn.






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Friday, April 13

today, and tomorrow

today, and tomorrow



Lots happening at our new house. I raked out the gardens all afternoon after handing over the paints to my mom and my aunt. More painting tomorrow with more volunteers. It's 8 o'clock now and about all I can do is take a warm bath and then crawl into bed. Yoga in the morning and then off again, to the house.


It's fun to see the rooms shaping up after weeks of wanting to get in there and do just this.


Do you have any delayed gratification in your life that you have finally gotten satisfied? I highly recommend it.





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Thursday, April 12

ours, all ours. our very own.

the new place




the new place




the new place




the new place




the new place




toast




the new place




the new place




a 6 salamander day




the new place




the new place




the new place




the new place




the new place



We are so, so happy!


xo brooke






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Wednesday, April 11

sundries

Untitled




She spends a lot of time trying to nap on me these days. I sleep better when she's not in the bed, but each night I awake and there she is, nestled between my ankles again. Tim's her dear friend but I'm her person.


Tomorrow we sign the mortgage on the new house. Then we plan to drive up there with the dogs and a full car of boxes, and moon about and watch the woodpeckers and unpack a bit and start gardening. I'll have pictures to share very soon. It's been such a busy week, I was hoping to share more here but each day has been so full of errands, last-minute rememberings and the restings in-between that I hardly picked up my camera. Tomorrow ought to be much more relaxed. There will be s p a c e for a while, from everything that isn't giving us space right now.


xo brooke






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Sunday, April 8

happy anniversary, mimi

mimi



Eight years ago today, mimi came home with me, already fully grown, from the spca. I'm so happy that she did. She keeps us smitten each day with her sweetness, inquisitiveness, and humor. I can't wait till she sees how many more sunbeams there are in the new house.





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Friday, April 6

the final weeks

we showed the house three times yesterday



We showed the house three times yesterday; by the end I was really tired. We're drawing good people who get the vibe and love of the house, and how much we've put into it. Slowly things are drawing together to get the place in good order before we move out and turn it over to our renters.





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Wednesday, April 4

Pregnant = advice.

28 weeks
28 weeks


I keep struggling with this post since, now I've written it, it doesn't seem to be bugging me so much anymore. I think out loud/in words, so to write it out is to say things I didn't even know I was thinking sometimes. But I still want to share it, because it seems to be a common thread for most pregnant women I've talked to.


Pregnant = advice.


I'm all for great advice. Problem is, I'm not sure if it's going to be great advice until it's already said. Obviously we all need to hear different things. Some people tell me stories and discoveries and it unlocks something inside of me, bolsters me up, clarifies my uncertainty. And others, well...it's hard to stop them sometimes.  Those resolute convictions given with an earnest lock of the eyes ~ the sense that they think I'm about to make some terrible mistakes, and I must be saved from my ignorance. The disturbing or scary stories shared with such macabre relish. The drama gotten off of heaving chests about potential hazards. The dangers the baby will be in which I must not have realized. Plain as day, the fear is palpable and the thought tendril reaches out to me from them ~ You don't know what you're doing and you are not to be trusted.


It's hard not to internalize those mantras. To be needled by them. I feel like a snail wanting to tuck back into its shell. I am not blindly confident and I have a healthy knowledge that the future is not yet written. It makes me want to lash out and defend myself ~ to come up with brilliant repartee so they fully comprehend the amount of work, research and effort I've put into every aspect of this pregnancy. That I've read the reports, studies and statistics: have they? That the bottom line is, this is what I'm doing ~ like it or lump it. Back off. Hold your tongue. It's not up for discussion. I am not on trial.


I'd love to feel the space generously held for me and not filled. Just held with lots of room for me to be me, for the baby to be himself, for events to happen in the way they will for me. Without those fear-based assumptions and projections which are so hard to let go of. I'm not a great letter-goer. My mind soaks up details like fresh clay, the imprints of words left long after their sting is gone. One of the things I've kind of enjoyed about this big shift in my life is needing to reinforce my boundaries. What I'm comfortable and uncomfortable with. Speaking up firmly on the spur of the moment. Choosing to steer clear of the small clouded fraction and gravitate to the overwhelming wonderfulness that is to be found in the circle of humanity surrounding me. Letting go of my tendency to stop and stare when I sense something disturbing coming my way, and giving it less attention if it makes an unexpected arrival.


How do you deal with the naysayers?






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Monday, April 2

room to do, room to be

tiberio



The days are long and full of tactile things ~ the quiet of studio work, yoga twice a week, homemade bread, neighborhood strolls by myself, good books*, sunshine, yellow tulips. (And, as always the familiar cadences of the daily challenges: dirty dishes, spilled coffee, vacuuming again, walking the dogs again, lost tempers, fatigue, wood stove mess, ants in the cat food, the mysterious something smelly in the fridge. You know. The balances of Normal Life.)


Collecting empty boxes for the move, answering calls from strangers who might end up being our tenants in our present house, planning for the new house (we sign next thursday). Visions of what furniture goes where in the new place float through my head. The yellow velvet couch in the great room, in front of the fireplace? The enamel-topped table in the kitchen corner as a journal/coffee spot? A few extra loveseats to be thrifted for special out-of-the-way nooks, for reading and writing and sipping tea and chatting and thinking and staring out the windows. White walls, lots of white walls to reflect sunshine. Mirrors to hang. Rugs to unroll. Fiestaware to unpack. Two dogs and a cat to introduce to their new stomping grounds. Watermelon seeds and grape tomatoes to plant. Garden plants to move, herbs to divide, bulbs to tuck in. Mystery sprouts to identify and delight in. Bat boxes to build. Vines and pricker tendrils to clear. A path to trim through eleven acres of trees. All my terra cotta mint pots to edge the wooden porch. A baby belly to sun. A new library to explore. A lake with whom to make an acquaintance.


We are beyond excited, in the realm of happy contentment. There is nothing to do but wait.


What do you love about your house? What makes it feel like home?






*Currently, The country of the pointed firs, by sarah orne jewett