Year Three: A Letter

Dear Jude,

Today you turn three, and though you are still so small in the world, it seems like such a big number to me.  I play games in my head and think of how fast the past three years have gone and then project forward three more years to when you will be six and in school and it grips my stomach. I am nowhere near ready for you to leave this nest yet.  But slowly and surely, you are taking your little steps toward independence.

Place des Vosges

It’s been such a big year for you, and while I usually write these letters for the purpose of recounting our year together, I’m having a hard time listing the many ways you’ve changed.  You are growing into yourself.  That’s really the best way I can describe it.  Everyday you are learning and growing and developing an understanding of your place in the world and who you want to be.  And it’s a part of parenthood that I wasn’t really prepared for because in those first few months and years, you are really just who I want you to be.  Most of your opinions were mirrored from my own.  But now it’s a whole new way of being together, and it’s been hard to swallow at moments, but we are settling in to ourselves, you and I.  Redefining our relationship as the weeks roll by.  Learning new things everyday about each other and about ourselves.  It’s a journey we’ll still be completing decades from now, I think. Changing in ways and learning to give and take.


This year has brought even more change for you with the introduction of a new person who completely reframed your world.  I worried so much in the first weeks with her that you were not getting the one-on-one attention you deserved and that you’d resent your sister for it.  I couldn’t have been more wrong, and you are the perfect big brother, and I know there will be days when you don’t believe me, but she is my greatest gift to you.  You will grow together and share secrets and commiserate about how crazy your family is, and everyone needs someone who understands where you come from.  She is that someone for you, and I hope you keep the bond I already see between the two of you.

big brother, little sister

And maybe having a newborn in the house is partially responsible for this, but you just seem so big these days.  You speak to me clearly so that I know exactly what you mean, and your interests are shifting to that of a little boy, no longer a baby.  I’ve read once that imagination is the work of childhood, and I see it all the time as I observe you.  Your toy dinosaurs talk to each other.  Your train table hosts a full busy scene.  You guide your legos to specific formations to create just what you had in mind.  It’s a gift to me and a reminder that play and creativity are important for all of us.  When I get a little weepy about how old you are and the baby days we are leaving behind, I just think about the fun years in front of us as you’re really entering such a precious time.  So much play and imagination lie ahead in these next few years.


And like any normal three-year-old boy, all this play and creativity leaves little time for things like brushing your teeth or washing your hands or eating politely or any other boring tasks that adults find important.  This age has its difficulties, no doubt, and though I love you, you frustrate me to no end.  We’ve had some rough patches in these past few months, but growing pains are necessary to come out a bigger and better person on the other end, and I feel like you and I have both come out of those moments to find new capabilities we didn’t have before.  Parenting is growing, too.  One day you will see.  And when I consider how much you’ve changed, you handle these challenges pretty well I guess, when all is said and done.  We’ve taken you around the world and back this year, and you adapt and roll with us in a way that makes me proud to be your mama.

YIP January 2012

There are a million things about your three-year-old self I want to remember.  Your love of food and wide palette are my pride and joy, and the way you ask, “Mama, what – ah- you cooking?” when you offer to lend a hand in the kitchen makes me smile.  Your ability to hug like you mean it has made you famous already among our friends and family, and your little sense of humor surprises me already.  I know your charming mispronunciations will fade soon, and I’ll miss them.  Your ability to get lost in concentration is one that will serve you well in school and in life, and it’s my favorite thing to do, to watch you focus so intently and so quietly on a particular task. You love to read books, and while you sometimes manipulate me a bit by knowing that mama will never deny a request to read, I hope you keep that interest and passion.  You know it’s my life’s work, as a former English teacher, to raise little readers. Your curiosity guides so many moments of our day, and though you don’t fully understand it yet, you’ve seen quite a bit of the world around you.  I pray you keep that love of travel and remember there is a big wide world of people to meet and food to eat and places to see.  Most of all, your joy is contagious, and you put a smile on my face every single day, Jude.  You are going to get some scrapes and callouses along the way in the years ahead; I know that.  But keep an open heart and the smile that resides in you.  It brightens the perspective of so many of us who know and love you.


Three is a big number for a little boy.  You’ve come so far from the days when I first brought you home from the hospital wrapped up in a sleepy little blanket. You’ve changed me in too many ways to count, and that list just keeps getting longer as you teach me more about who I really am and what I’m capable of.  Thank you for those lessons, Jude.  It’s a privilege to be your mama and to watch you become this amazing little person.


Happy birthday, boy!  Keep smiling.  Keep learning.  Keep playing.



Snapshots are from my iPhone or from our trip to Paris this year, and all professional photographs are by Atlanta photographer Andrew Thomas Lee.
If you want to see my previous birthday letters to Jude, see here or here.  Norah has one as well, and you can read that here.

new start.

The past couple of weeks have flown by, and I’ve been busy doing something.  Although I think back on it, and I’m not really sure what I’ve been doing. A couple of playdates and get-togethers with teacher friends who are heading back to school.  A few Pinterest-inspired reorganization projects here at home.  Here and there I’ve somehow managed to be busy all the time.

Weekend before last, I finally did what I’d been saying I wanted to do and got  away for coffee and reading for two hours on a Sunday afternoon.


It was amazing how just a couple of hours refueled me for the week.  I got away for a much-needed hair trim last weekend, so I didn’t feel the need for my coffee-break as much then.  But I fully intend to make it a regular thing.  Time to myself leaves a little more of myself to share with some very special little ones.


The big event on our radar is Jude’s first week at preschool.  He is going two mornings a week at a Lutheran church close to our house, and we had our “Meet the Teacher” appointment and Open House last week.

posing for his name sign

Looking for shapes

Today was his first real day, and he was super excited this morning.  Low light left things a bit blurry on this one, but I love his happy smile.

all smiles!

I just got one quick shot as I dropped him off and he settled in to “table time” with some playdough.

Sitting down for table time.

In typical boy fashion, he won’t tell me much at all about his day.  All I can gather is that it was “fun” and he wants to go again.  Oh, and that he poo’d his pants and his teacher had to change him.  (Sigh.  Potty regression is a whole ‘nother big fat post.)  But he did “tee tee in da potty” in his words, so there is that!

The thing I loved so much about beginning the school year when I was a teacher was the clean slate feeling.  Clean desk, new rosters, often a new curriculum or added texts. I love a fresh start.  This summer has been lovely in that I’ve been with a tiny baby at such a precious time, but it also all feels like a blur, as expected for that first few months with a newbie.  The past two mornings have had the slight, teasing crispness of fall that sometimes happens on lucky August and September mornings in Georgia, and I made baked oatmeal for breakfast this morning.  I can feel a change of seasons coming and I’m ready to begin a new chapter.

separation anxiety. pubic bone pain. and other fun stuff.

A few times in the past weeks I’ve had a number of ideas swirling in my head and wanted to write here.  My days are lacking bigger blocks of time lately it seems.  So I haven’t followed through on these plans.  I hate letting too much time pass without a word here, though.  It seems far less like a journal when I do that.

So the furniture is delivered, and Norah’s room is painted.  Hopefully we can get the crib assembled this weekend, and then I’m going to measure and attempt to sew the curtains and crib skirt myself.  We’ll see how that goes.  Also on the pregnancy front, I have developed some SPD, and it hurts in a way that makes me nervous for the next 13 or more weeks.  I mean if I felt that pain when I was two weeks shy of my due date, I wouldn’t mind, but I just hope it doesn’t get much worse.  Getting out of the car or out of my bed makes me wince.  I found an awesome chiropractor who specializes in pregnancy though, so I’m really hoping it’s something she can help with. I’ve been really consistent with exercise this go-around, but I took a couple of days off this week because thirty minutes on the treadmill sounds like torture when I end up holding my crotch and hobbling every evening anyhow.  This might be my pay-back for a first pregnancy that included little to no discomfort at all.  But you know what?  If a totally different pregnancy means a totally different delivery, I am completely okay with it.

In addition to a shape that changes daily and various new wonders (ha) of pregnancy that show up as these weeks pass, I have a boy who reminds me on a daily basis how much he is growing and changing. We got rid of the beloved pacifier a few weeks ago.  A trip to Build-a-Bear so he could put the paci in a stuffed animal seemed like a good idea.

The first nap sans paci was rough, but he came around and loves on his bunny or special blanket when he’s sleepy now.  Or his mama, which is a whole other post in the realm of separation-anxiety-getting-out-of-control these days.  I’m hoping that this completely normal and expected phase will pass in the months ahead.

We also spent yesterday morning touring a little preschool he’s probably going to attend next year.  They have an “early threes” class that meets only two mornings a week and sounds perfect.  As much as I love learning with him here at home, I understand how different life will be come May.  No more mornings to focus only on Jude the way we are used to it now.

It was so sweet seeing their little backpacks lined up on named pegs and the tiny little classrooms where everything is toddler-height.  There was a music class going on when we were there, and the teacher asked if he’d like to join in.  He obliged her and found himself dancing and playing along with he others for a few minutes.  I felt simultaneously proud and sad watching him.  Ah, motherhood.  We are always being pulled in different directions, it seems.

His emerging independence and capabilities are cause for both joy and heartache.  But that’s the way it goes with most of the good stuff in life, I think.

Hope you are surviving the February doldrums with some fun things in store.  We made Valentine cookies this week, and I froze half the batch of dough.  I’m thinking I’ll probably save it for a dreary day in the coming weeks and we can make them for no reason at all.  After a busy week, my only plan tonight is a huge pot of soup.  Happy weekend!

Year Two: A Letter


Today marks another birthday for you, and it’s hard to believe we are turning the page on another chapter.  The weeks race by at a ridiculous speed these days, and you change constantly.  Knowing I can’t slow time, I feel I should at least reflect on who you are and what you do so that you and I both can know the moments that filled our days.  So here I am again writing you another letter as I did last year.  I hope you will cherish these one day and maybe keep some of your own scribbled notes as you travel through life.

If I had to summarize your year with one idea, it’s sure to be your newfound independence.  We have sailed away from the land of babyhood, Jude.  You run everywhere rather than toddle or crawl.  You enthusiastically communicate what you want.  You never slow from observing and discovering.  Your language changes everyday as you study the details of the world to put them together in a way that makes sense in your little mind.  It’s fascinating to watch, and it makes me see my own world a little brighter.  And for that I’m really grateful.  Watching you watching other things is my favorite thing to do.  I somehow always knew I’d be the mother of a boy, and you are “all boy” no doubt.  Cars and trucks and bugs and bumps and bruises and scrapes and falls.  I’m convinced you take some secret delight in frightening me every single day with your daredevil ways.  Well, it’s not-so-secret delight actually because your eyes give you away.  All mischief.

thehallfamily_color (3 of 120)

There are so many details I want to remember about who you are becoming in these months.  You’ve learned to identify your letters and sing a few little songs.  You’ve learned to imitate those around you and sort things.  You’ve learned to open the baby gate, which is quite inconvenient actually.  You are always learning and discovering.  Your favorite things to play with are rarely the toys that we purchase for you; you’d much prefer random, potentially dangerous objects.  Forts made of sheets, cords that have lost their home, mops that have lost their heads, tiny spots behind the sofa where you like to eat your snacks in peace.  Among your favorite things to do, your most loved these days seems to be cooking up some culinary masterpiece with an old bowl, a plastic spoon, some spices I manage to keep tightly closed, and any stray objects you could pass as pretend food. Your love of food, and the ridiculous amount you manage to consume each day, is a source of  fascination for all who know you.  You’ll try anything from malai kofta to a chopped up sushi roll, and bland food is your greatest disdain in life.  Well done, my boy.


Culinary pursuits aside, we had some fun adventures this year, Jude. You discovered Central America and Canada for the first time and made a visit back to the Pacific Northwest as well. I know there will come a day when you ache to see new things without me and discover the world for yourself, so for now, I’m drinking in every second of this time when you are happy to be my sidekick.  I love seeing new places through your little eyes.


chillin' in the park

I once read that the months between the ages of one and two were all about the child discovering that he is no longer an attached extension of his mother.  After living this year with you, Jude, I am convinced that is true.  You no longer stay right next to me when I walk from one place to another.  You no longer need my touch to fall asleep at night.  You no longer require my help on simple tasks like eating or figuring out most of your playthings.  And I can’t believe I am saying this, but it makes my heart a little heavy to see you growing beyond me.  One year ago, I simply craved a moment when I was free from your grasp so I could do something really fun, like pee alone or shower.  And now here we are with a very different dynamic.  But still, there are times when you’ve had a bad dream.  Or you fall and scrape your knee.  Or you’re feeling sleepy.  Or you wake up bleary-eyed from a long nap.  And you reach up to say, “Mama, hold,” and my heart throbs with a desire to slow time.  Sometimes I catch a little glimpse of your baby face or get a breeze of your post-bath baby scent, and we are back to those first months again when everything was scary and new.

And really it’s still scary and new, Jude.  It’s just a different stage and a different set of challenges.  I guess that’s what I signed up for with this parenting gig, though.   And I love it, even when it’s tough.  Looking back at the last letter I wrote to you, I think I learned so much and felt so full in my first year of being your mother that I didn’t realize that it just keeps getting better with the passage of time.  Like cheese and wine.  (And like your own mama, lest you ever think I’m growing uncool in my older days.)  Now I find myself wondering how things could get better, how my heart will stretch even more in the next year to make room for new love and new joy, but I know somehow it will.

365.??  Mother's Day

As much as you’ve grown and changed this year, Jude, you have inspired growth and change in me as well.

I’ve learned that, though we like to go and see and do and travel, the comforts of home are irreplaceable and it’s where real life happens.  Every morning as you rise about an hour earlier than civilized people prefer, I pick you up and bring you to the kitchen to start a new day, and I say a prayer of  gratitude.  You’re here and you’re healthy and you’re mine, and in my completely unbiased opinion, you’re the most perfect boy who ever existed.


I’ve also learned that there are miracles in the everyday.  To you, everything is full and perfect and new: a walk in the woods, a dripping ice cream cone, the shadows of leaves in the sunshine, the feel of cold rain on your hand. So many tiny details passed me by until I saw your love for them.  It’s a treasure to spend my days with someone who finds fascination and beauty in the world around us.

I love you for a million reasons.  Your smile, your infectious laugh, your unwarranted cuddles, your emerging sense of humor, your taste for adventure, but most significantly, I love you just because.  Because you are mine and you grew from a microscopic thumbprint in my belly, and here you are with your own tastes and opinions and your own little self.  You have some great things in store, Jude.  Years filled with more adventures and more love and more discovery and more of everything that makes life worth living.  Drink it in, baby.  That’s mama’s advice.  Happy Birthday!



my dirty south

I’ve lived in the south all my life.  And as much as I love going other places, I also love that I have somewhere to come home to.  And when I say “home,” I mean home of a long, long time. The vast majority of our family lives here in Georgia, and it seems those who scattered chose southern destinations as well.  Texas, Tennessee, The Carolinas, Alabama, Florida.  The last of which is sort of debatably southern to most of us, but there are pockets which would be characterized as such, I guess.

There are southernisms I love that I will never outgrow, regardless of where my path takes me one day.  I like collard greens.  My kitchen usually smells like I’m making something good.  I often catch myself saying I am fixin‘ to do something instead of the far superior about to.  I hate the cold.  I smile at you warmly, even if I don’t really like you.  I love to host a good party.  I say y’all.  I find a strange comfort in rickety church pews and old hymns.  I always handwrite a good thank you note.  I don’t wear white after labor day or before Easter.  The Florida gulf is still my favorite sand in all the world.  We bought our house for the wrap-around porch, and tens of thousands of dollars of repairs and improvements later, I kind of wonder if that was a good decision. But I still burrow in a rocking chair with a drink after dinner sometimes and think it was money well-spent.

But there are other characteristics of my homeland I hate so much.  The lazy inactivity which matches the humid, scorching summers.  The racism that seeps so tangibly in the words of both my peers and my elders, not even shamefully hidden most of the time.  The closed-minded perceptions of so many people here.  The disinterest in education.  The classism that still exists in some old money circles and the resulting sense of entitlement.  I hate to think of my own son coming of age in a place where these are defining characteristics.  But I hate to think of him coming of age in a place of shallow roots instead of old ones, so I really don’t know which is best, and I’m leaving that big question to fate and where we land.

As I’ve thought about this question before in reference to my own home, I’ve always resorted to being happy I’m at least from a colorful place.  I believe it was Flannery O’Connor who once explained, “Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one.”  And with this entry, reader, I am letting my southern freak flag fly proudly.

My family is colorful.  We entertain children with thump bugs.  We turn naked kids loose in the back yard and let them play with a water hose.  My uncle is a beekeeper who swears they are miraculous and stings his own joints when they ache and sprinkles bee pollen on his cereal for daily consumption.  I have a relative who stands in his yard and stops cars if he deems them to be driving too fast on his shaded residential street.  I’m said to be related to the famous Miss Mary Bobo of Jack Daniels Distillery, but church-goin’ folks don’t look kindly on that, so we don’t advertise it much.  And in addition to all this, much to Jude’s delight, my grandparents live just a few minutes from us, and they house laying hens and two goats.  Not just any goats, mind you.  These are authentic Tennessee Fainting Goats.   They are of no use to anyone except that they are pets.  Pet goats who have grown fat and happy in all their peaceful years of strolling their large pen.

Fat and happy and peaceful until they met my Jude who thinks that anything with wheels or four legs is for riding.  Our chocolate lab?  Can I ride him, Mama?  The cows we pass on the side of the road?  Cow go moo, mama.  I wanna ride!  No joke that he once asked to ride the bird that flew overhead in a parking lot.  So it’s really no surprise that he made the logical connection to goat riding, and now it’s all he wants to do.  And being a practical mama who tends to explain these things (No, Jude, you cannot ride the birds.), I’d ignore his pleading attempts, but his Great-Grandaddy thinks it’s hilarious to indulge him, and they’re his goats anyway so who am I to intervene?  So we end up with a goat rodeo around here about once a week.


And taking photos of a goat rodeo is very difficult, but you can almost see him smiling from ear to ear.


Children have a way of humbling you, it seems.  I swear that every time I find myself thinking I’m reasonably intelligent or well-spoken, I end up fishing shit out of a bathtub or singing some obnoxious toddler song or catching myself giving Jude a cracker that has fallen on the kitchen floor at least three times.  This goat scenario is no exception.  Jude has a way of saying “I wanna riiiiiiiide da GOATS!” in a shrill command that can get anyone’s attention, and he usually saves that statement for when we are nowhere near goats.  Like to another kid at a playdate with someone we might not know very thoroughly.  Or to a random server at a restaurant.  Or to other patrons in the organic foods aisle who look far more hipster than I do to begin with.  If you combine this with his tendency to leave the last syllable off of “mama” these days and yell Maaaaaaaw, we are regular hillbillies.

But these quirks are becoming deep-seated memories for Jude, and I love that.  I have my own images filed in the back of my mind from so many years spent here: Barefoot and eating slices of watermelon with my slew of cousins, all aged like stair steps one after another.  The whirl of an electric fan plugged in the corner of my grandmother’s home as July stretched in to August.  Fireflies in mason jars.  Beach trips to the gulf.  College memories thick with porch sittin’ and rocking chair gossip and arbitrary rules about what a girl should and shouldn’t do.

And roam where I might, this thick file of memories remains always in the same place in my imagination.  And it’s culture.  It’s flavor and foundation and family and all the things that somehow combined to give me the me I eventually became.  I forget that sometimes.  “Culture” has more than one definition.  Yes, in ways it is a result of a cultivated mind that sees and experiences new things and finds its way out of ignorance.  But the other kind of culture seems just as important to me.  Goat riding won’t give my boy a repertoire of big thick classics, a palette for caviar, or wide cluster of pins on a travel map.  But it gives him those glowing memories seared in the back of his own mind, and for a moment, my barefoot runnin’, watermelon eatin’, porch sittin’ childhood and his are the same. And that brings a happiness all its own.

in a funk

It’s been eight days since I posted anything here, and my usual schedule of writing a few times a week and taking a few daily snapshots hasn’t held up lately.  I’m a morning person, and I set my alarm for 6:30 everyday, but I usually climb out of bed earlier.  The rhythm I was accustomed to gave me an hour or even two hours in a quiet house with coffee and a solo shower.  It was my time to write or to plan my day or my week.  I loved my time.  I say loved past tense because we’ve had a disruption in our usual rhythm.

We moved Jude out of the crib.

Jude's new bed

Last Friday, I heard him wake up from his nap and talk happily to himself as he usually does, and as I opened the door to get him, I found him hanging his entire torso over the edge of his crib, and he dove headfirst (if that’s what you call it when you don’t even put your arms out) to what my paranoid self would assume is a sudden death or at least paralysis.  I caught him as he grazed the carpet.  As he stood upright, he looked back at the crib and then at me and then grinned.  He figured out how to work a doorknob that afternoon, and we dismantled the crib and got a toddler rail the very next day.

I am pretty certain that I would have kept him in the crib for at least another ten years if given the chance, but if my options are toddler bed or terrible injury, I choose the former.  It’s no secret that Jude took quite a while to get the hang of sleeping through the night, but the past four months have been blissful.  Like 13 solid hours of sleep every single night without a fight or a peep kind of blissful.  And here we are with a new set of problems now.  The staying asleep thing he was never great about hasn’t regressed too much, but he doesn’t particularly want to go to sleep in the first place when he can easily get out of bed and play with the toys in his room.  Or as he was demonstrating today – run around his room and scream “night night!” while laughing hysterically instead of napping like he has every single day of his little life.  His old schedule had him sleeping until 8:00am or so, but now he also opens his eyes at something like 6:45 every morning and silently grabs his favorite blanket, opens his door, and steps into the hallway.  And when I say silently, I mean you seriously have no idea how quiet he is. A kid who can’t be quiet in a restaurant or a library or a moment when mama wants to hear what’s on NPR somehow acquires the stealth, sly nature of a Navy SEAL when he wants to arise from nap or nighttime.  I walked out of the bathroom in my robe yesterday morning at 6:25  to see him just staring silently at me.  It’s unsettling really.

So I’ve spent the past four evenings camping outside of his room Supernanny-style and silently plopping him back in his bed every single time he gets up and walks out.  All 127 times.  Every night.  And every naptime.  And I haven’t had my alone time and coffee solitude since last week.  And family business is somewhat improved but still weighing heavily on me.  And I’ve been helping my sister with childcare for part of this week and spending all day alone with a seven-year-old, a three-year-old, and my nineteen-month-old who all together aren’t as terrible as it probably sounds, but I am outnumbered three to one nevertheless.  And my husband is gone for work for part of this week.

Help. Me.

So today I was trying to get Jude down for a nap and we were on something like minute thirty-eight of the Supernanny routine, and I totally lost my cool.  I yelled and I couldn’t take it anymore, and I totally exploded. Poor Jude was confused at my response since nap time normally isn’t a punishment of any kind.  And the fighting over staying in the bed didn’t really get any better by the yelling because we were still arguing about it twenty minutes later.  He finally gave up and I came downstairs to regain lost sanity by browsing eye candy on Pinterest and listening to my usual Joni Mitchell Pandora mix.  And it hit me how ridiculous it all was that I was feeling so overwhelmed and full of self-pity when here I am in my air-conditioned home with my healthy child and healthy spouse and the time and money for occasional hobbies.  I feel so stupid for complaining when there are families with far greater problems than my current stresses.  There are women around the world for whom the idea of an uniterrupted hour of solace and fresh-ground coffee is absurd rather than expected.

But still.  I feel overwhelmed, stressed, and in need of some inspiration just the same.  It’s hard sometimes to find a balance between understanding that there are far worse things in the world, but still recognizing your own life and your own issues as valid and real, you know?

I don’t really know where I am going with all of this except to say that I am a lucky girl and I love my life, but there are still long days sometimes.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, and I decided to take some photos of Jude in his new bed tonight.  The result is not what I was going for but hilarious indeed.  I took him upstairs in just a diaper since we were headed for the bath, and I tried to get a few shots in the bed, but he decided to show you that he can jump headfirst out of his crib, he can work a doorknob, and he can also remove his own diaper.


removing the diaper

And he’d like to demonstrate that he can even climb out while naked.

demonstrating how he gets down

And while we are at it, let’s run around the room naked and point to our business in case you didn’t see it.

Crazy Man

So I’m a little blah lately.  I’m a little stressed.  I’m running on fumes with some really frazzled nerves, and I need some inspiration.  But despite all of this, life keeps me laughing.

An [almost] Wordless Wednesday

It’s been a long week around here, and it’s only Wednesday, so I’m distracting myself by catching up online for a minute and looking at some photos of our weekend.  I planted my herbs for the summer season.  Basil, parsley, mint, sage, and thyme this year.

Mother’s Day was really laid back which was perfect for what I wanted.  Scott and Jude got me a tortilla press, so I’m officially in the business of making our own tortillas with fresh-ground flour!  They also got me an awesome Jane Austen card (kinda hilarious, no?) and the new Billy Collins poetry volume.

Then we spent the afternoon at the park, and Scott took some pictures of Jude and me.

Sometimes I think it feels a little surreal that he’s looking like such a big boy now.  At times, I almost want another one, but then my brain goes to two in diapers and the inevitable chaos, and it seems a little scary.  Maybe that feeling never leaves, and no matter what it’s chaos.  Who knows?  Nevertheless, he seems so old these days.

The times they are a changin’ for sure.  I hope all of you had a lovely weekend and are enjoying some spring weather.  Long week or not, I have fun things to look forward to like Indian food with friends on Friday night and a Fleet Foxes concert on Saturday.  I’ve been doing lots of freezer cooking lately, so I hope to drop back in later this week with some recipes.