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andrew bird poster

Poster design by Noa Emberson. (You can see lots more like it if you follow the link.)

P and I were out for a walk with Stella the dog a couple of days ago, and I asked P if he ever worried that the upcoming baby would make us miserable. He looked at me with surprise and said, Honestly, that thought had never even crossed my mind. I love the way he thinks. And I can’t believe that I hadn’t asked him that before. (We’ve had other baby doubt conversations – money, time, our parenting abilities. But not plain old misery.)


bathroom interior design

I really like white interiors with splashes of color. This morsel is via the style files.

I went to a conference for small business owners today. One presenter talked a lot about the importance of defining one’s personal and business core values. Here are mine (order is not significant):

Personal: adventure, happiness, compassion, simplicity, health/fitness, honesty

Business: competence, knowledge, money/wealth, integrity, quality, respect

I love making lists like this. Hopefully I can do something useful with the information. I’d be curious to hear about your core values if you feel like sharing in the comments.

yellow and white cut flowers

Reverb prompt: Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be.

It’s not a shot of me, but it does capture something that I strive to do… The photo is of a little bouquet that I made from clippings from our yard this summer. I tried to keep fresh cut flowers in our house throughout the season, and, when I was good about it, it really made me happy. I’m not usually good with the small, special things. I think there’s some part of my brain that feels like they’re a waste of time. But they’re not! I want to be better with the small specials – do more kind and gentle things for myself and for other people.

glasses and vase of parsley

Photo by Roland Bello.

I didn’t quite keep up with my December of wild blogging, did I? I’m going to keep hacking at the Reverb prompts through this month.

For now, though, I just want to check in… Today we got back from a little more than three weeks on the road, exploring state parks with our dogs and camper and hanging with friends and family in Florida. During this trip, my belly suddenly popped out. Pop! One day, I took off a sweatshirt as we were driving down the road, and P and I looked at the suddenly large belly and both started hollering excitedly. I’m happy to report that I’m finally enjoying pregnancy.

P and I have both started having strange baby dreams. Here’s what the scenario would look like if all our dreams were to come true: The baby would be extremely hairy, and we would name her Linden Hill. Whenever people asked me her name, though, I would find myself in a moment of shy paralysis and be unable to remember it. So I would tell them that she was named Sophia. P and I would totally forget about her the first day after she was born. On the second day, we’d remember her in a moment of panic, and then I would sit and breastfeed her. Right as I was thinking that I enjoyed breastfeeding, the baby would look up and ask me, If I bit into that pillow there, would it feel like biting into someone’s arm?

red slide yellow wall

Photo by Matthias Heiderich (via Ffffound!).

Reverb prompt: This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

I need to be physically active to feel like a cohesive me. This summer, P got me a Groupon gift for one month of free hot yoga. For the month of September, I decided to go every day. I ended up having to miss a few days, but it was a awesome month. All the sweat, the stretching, the exertion – oh, I felt great.

September seems very far away now.

zeppelin collage

Collage by Valero Doval.

Reverb prompt: Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Our softball team has been a great source of community for us for the past couple of years. P and I joined the team in 2009. Our team is made up of people we’d be friends with anyway, but having a weekly date really helps solidify relationships. Especially when the weekly date involves being outside, physical, and a little bit competitive. And beer!

Even though I won’t be able to play next year, I still hope to be part of our beloved softball community. A community that I may want to become part of in 2011 is one of office sharing. (Here’s an example.) I’m in the process of making some career decisions. If I decide to focus more fully on my freelance business, I need to do it in a way that gets me out of the house more often.

trees in the fog

Photo by Kim Holtermand (via Ffffound!).

The Reverb prompt that I want to respond to today is: What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

Pregnancy has forced me to let go of a lot. My lack of energy has meant that I feel up for fewer things and get less done each day. While this letting go is temporary (I hope), it’s been hard. And I think I’ve made it harder than it needs to be. Lots of people have told me how they loved being pregnant. I’m sad to report that I have yet to even kind of like being pregnant. I always imagined that I would love it, and it’s a bit crushing not to find love where you expect to find it. I know I’m still early on and that there’s still lots of time for me to enjoy pregnancy (especially since I’m out of the dreaded first trimester now). But I think that these pregnancy lovers may have better at embracing pregnancy than I have been.

I get tired at 8:00 or 9:00 at night now, and, instead of thinking of this as a unique time in my life when I can enjoy the opportunity to snuggle up early, I’ve made it into a nightly battle. I tell myself that I’m being lazy and that I must fight it. Almost every night, the tiredness wins, but I never let myself feel good about it. Part of this urge to battle comes from the fact that I’m a depressive person, and, for me, depression presents itself as very low energy. I’m just used to fighting the dreaded low energy. But what I’m experiencing now is different. It’s real tiredness. I’m working on letting go of the inner battle.


Succulent plant.

Today’s Reverb prompt: How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Plants! They amaze me – looking at them, touching them, knowing about them. One of my two careers is that of working at a nursery. I’m obsessive about taking home the half dead plants that we would otherwise throw away. We have lots of plants at our house, many half dead, but all amazing.

grass and oak

Grass and oak.

Oops – missed the second day of writing every day for a month. Today’s Reverb prompt: Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

One of the moments when I felt most alive this year was at the wedding celebration of our friends Alexis and Levi. It was a camp out kind of celebration. The light was beautiful on this crisp September evening. We had just set up our tents and gone swimming. P and I decided to go for a walk in the glowing prairie grass. The grass was chest-high, and the ground was uneven; it was the kind of walking where your arms are both held high to help you keep your balance and avoid obstacles. We gravitated towards a big oak tree. Once there, we sat on a log and looked back to see our red, green, and blue tents scattered atop a rolling hill. I felt clean and fresh from our recent swim, and I could smell that people were starting a campfire. All seemed promising in the golden light.

group of kumquats

Kumquats in our kitchen.

It’s been a while. The past couple of months have been tough for me (more on this later), but I’m hoping to be back big time starting today. I’m participating in Reverb 10, an exercise in reflection and manifestation. You should do it too, whether by blog or personal journal or twitter or in your head. I hope to blog most days this month. We’ll see how it goes.

The first Reverb prompt is, Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

Beginnings. That’s my word for 2010. In January, P and I moved into our first home. It’s been our first full year married. The year was full of weddings, including those of two of my dearest friends. And we found out that we’re pregnant! (Pregnancy has not been easy so far. I’ll probably write more about this as the month goes on.)

The baby is due in June – smack dab in the middle of the year. For 2011, I choose enveloping as my word, as in enveloping this new being into our lives. I fear that my life will be taken over by the baby, by toys and drool and Cheerios. When I think of the baby, I don’t think of a precious being that I want to cherish and dedicate my life to. Not at all. And I feel bad and nervous about this. When I think of the baby, I think of an awesome little partner in adventure. I think of a fellow trooper to join Patrick, the dogs, and me in this crazy life. And I want that to be enough.


I'm Andrea, one of the two people behind Some Things I Know Design. Check us out!