05 July 2018

It has been so long since I have frequented this space, yet the stories continue in my head. From time to time I manage to write them down on paper, though I long to match the words to photos to remind myself of this time in years to come.

Until life calms down a bit, I will be trying out this Instagram thing to share recent adventures with friends and family.

21 August 2017

Today it is gray and rainy, and tonight we are supposed to get gale force winds. We hope that our little house on the hill will hold fast and shelter us through the storm. We have had a few tempestads already this winter, and when the wind is really howling I am reminded of times at sea.

Waves lapping against the sides, the sky darkens, on the horizon you can see the wall of weather coming near. The ship starts to roll. At first you feel exhilarated. The wind pushes life into your lungs. You hold onto the side and feel the energy of the boiling ocean. Up and down you move, keeping an eye to where the sea meets the sky. 

Right now it is like that. The wind is picking up. The view of the valley below has gone dark. We light the candles and chimney for comfort. But this ship is new to us. We are are still getting used to the the weight of her tiller. We hope that the mast will hold. We have patched her sails and given her a new coat of paint, but when the big swell comes, we hope that she will stay upright.

 More photos of the house after the break

20 August 2017

Now having a child makes me think an awful lot about family.

What is family? How do we define it? How do our children recognize it? How does something as random as biology compare to the other bonds that we share by choice? For me and mine, I think that all are important. Maybe the ones that we share the most quality time with have the most effect on us, but then again, the lady in the check-out line at the grocery might also wield her influence. Every little interaction makes a ripple, and like they say, it takes a village.

Raising a child is not easy. In fact, I think that if we did not have a biological urge to procreate, far less of us would do it. It takes a certain selflessness that I have not encountered in any other occupation. This being said, like any difficult task at hand, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. The love we give to Ana comes back to us ten-fold. But on the days when she is sick, or we are sick, or work is busy, or life is busy, it is imperative that we have family to fall back on. And while our nearest genetically related relatives are several thousand miles away, we are fortunate for our family of friends, colleagues, Ana's Tias and Tios, caretakers, and even the lady at the grocery that provokes a toothless smile.

...a few photos enjoying time with family at the IMA.

10 August 2017

"Winter is great to stay in and cuddle, but put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!"

It has been awhile since I have posted anything, but that does not mean that I have left for good. My time for creative pursuits is more often spent inventing dances to disney songs and ways to get all manner of gooey foods to be eaten. Baby girl is just a few weeks past seven months, and while she takes a great deal of my time, energy, and sleep, life with her couldn't be more wonderful. I have very little experience with other babies, but Ana seems particularly happy and calm. Her laughing brightens any dark winter day. She is our whole world. 

Recently, we escaped the southern winter to soak up some Indiana summer. It was a glorious respite that we all very much enjoyed. Ana loved swimming, and she got to be the center of attention both with the family and when we took her for her first visit to camp. The eight year olds crowded around and cooed "oh a little baby, she's so cute" as I thought the same about them. But it seems it makes no difference if you are eight months, eight years, or 80 years old, camp is always fun. We splashed in the lake and sat on the pier. We said hi to the horses and took in the stillness of the trees. There are few other ways that I'd want to spend a summer day. 

28 March 2017

The last three months...

As we nestle into Fall, we look back on our first sweet summer with baby girl. We were graced with many visitors that were just as eager to meet Ana as we were. We battled out the hottest days under the shade of the roble trees and baby girl splashed in her new bath tub. We tried out new sunglasses and took many walks, getting to know all of the plants and animals in our neighborhood. 

Time seems to have flown by and now our little lovey is no longer a newborn. She grew like a weed in the summer sunshine; now many little too-tight clothes are stored away. As Ana moves into her third month of life, we see her personality starting to show, shining bright like her still-blue eyes. We are loving this phase of goos and gaas and toothless smiles, yet we know that it too will pass before we fully cherish it. We wonder what the next season will bring. 

03 March 2017

Its apple season around here. 

For those of you on the northern side of the globe, think September. The kids have recently gone back to school. The morning breeze is crisp, but the afternoon sun is still warm. The evenings glow, warm and golden, and the sleeping is good on cool nights. 

It is the perfect season for apples. Around where I live there are tens, maybe even hundreds of apple trees all brimming with green, yellow, and red treasures. Some of the trees are old forgotten relics of previous homesteaders, likely German immigrants nostalgic for a proper kuchen or strudel. Other trees have been recently planted by neighbors eager for a certain variety. Not all of the apples are pretty. Some are prone to pests, others to mold. Some apples are very small and sour, others are plump and sweet. Regardless, this year I can't get enough of the fruits that can be harvested from around the house. Spending more time at home with baby girl has encouraged me to be observant and creative. A trip to the supermarket is not as easy as it was, so why not make an apple crisp rather than go out for the missing cocoa for that cake? Even better, my mother-in-law helped me to capture this sweet season by starting a batch of fresh apple cider vinegar. Months to come we will be reminded of hopping old farm fences to sample apple trees. We will remember long slow walks with two month old Ana just starting to focus on the red orbs in front of her. 

Vinegar fermentation has the whole house smelling sweet!

26 February 2017

We bought a house!

Rather, the bank bought a house and is letting us live in it... but we are really excited! As with all things in Chile, the process has been a long one, and we still won't move in for another month or two, but finally the paperwork is complete and the house is ours. 

So now with a two month old baby, a new house, on-going renovation work, and dreaming up garden and chicken coop designs, we are really busy! Even still, this moment in our lives feels impossibly sweet. Summer here might be turning to Fall, but we are entering Spring with all of the fresh new additions blossoming in our life.