Happy first day of May. It’s an overcast morning here, but the sun is starting to peak through.
We did a lot of spring cleaning this weekend. We are trying to get the nursery ready and that means tearing apart our current office. We are also cleaning out our basement/bonus room to turn into the new office. Between that, being pregnant, and herding a toddler, I’m pretty tired.
I have revised my picture book “Elsie Goes To Work” so much it’s hardly recognizable. I think it’s almost ready to be pitched to editors and agents. I just need to send it and stop messing with it, but I also want it to be as perfect as I can make it. I think this is a constant battle for artists, the ever-present question of: when is your project (baby) ready to leave your hands?
I’m a few pages away from finishing “Masters and Beginners” (Volume 1 of The Order of the Twelve Tribes) by Daley Downing – book review coming soon. *Spoiler alert: I highly recommend it.* If you would like to purchase a copy to participate in the discussion you may do so here.
Other than that I’m just looking forward to the farmer’s market opening this Thursday and watching my garden and my family flourish.
Miles and I typically visit the tulip fields every year in La Conner, Washington. We got a late start this year and it was the first sunny day in weeks. Which meant sheer and utter tourist chaos. We waited on a side street for 45 minutes before I said, “Let’s skip the tulips.”
I was sad to miss seeing them, but my son in the backseat was losing every ounce of toddler patience. (Which isn’t a lot to begin with.)
These are two of my favorites that Miles took back in 2010:
Anyway, back to last Friday…
We decided to skip the tulips and go straight to the town of La Conner.
La Conner is a MUST SEE, if you are ever visiting Washington state. If you are a historical home junkie like myself, you will get your fix. The historical farms will take your breath away and the tiny town oozes charm.
You get a lovely mixture of farm and maritime life.
Oh hello there, Great Blue Heron!
Look at my handsome travel companions. I’m a lucky gal! (Miles is really much happier than he appears. Ha!)
Sorry I didn’t capture more of the farm life and the tulips in La Conner, but there is always next year.
I’ve been a little absent lately. Not just from this blog, but in many social aspects of my life.
I’m excited to tell you guys why…
We are expecting a baby girl in August! I’m so thrilled and excited, but nothing turns me into an introvert like pregnancy. My mind has been filled with family and preparation – I’ve really just been enjoying this time.
Thank you all for your friendship and patience with my attendance of this blog.
Today Miles, myself, and our son are going to a friend’s house to enjoy corned-beef and cabbage.
I’m a quarter Irish, mostly on my father’s side. (Although we have Irish ancestors on my mother’s side too.) My maiden name is Carroll.
Carroll Name Meaning
Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Cearbhaill or Ó Cearbhaill ‘son (or descendant) of Cearbhall’, a personal name of uncertain origin, perhaps from cearbh ‘hacking’ and hence a byname for a butcher or nickname for a fierce warrior. (ancestry.com)
Now my married name is McKee.
McKee (derived from McKay) Name Meaning
Scottish and northern Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Aodha ‘son of Aodh’, an ancient personal name meaning ‘fire’. Etymologically, this is the same name as McCoy. (ancestry.com)
I hope you have a lovely weekend. I want to leave you with my favorite Celtic prayer. A few fun personal facts about this prayer. I wrote it in Miles’ travel journal when we first met, he was leaving for a long road trip. The first line is inscribed in his wedding band. This prayer hangs above the hand towel in our bathroom so we can see it every day.
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
This year we participated in the luminary walk that our little town sponsors. People walk the candle-lit path and reflect on their year and gaze at the festivities, the river, and listen to a band play Christmas carols.
until their newly weighted hands clasp for the first time.
Happy anniversary Miles. In three years we have made a house a home, and created our own little family. When there are no words to express the depth of my love, I hope you feel everything in my embrace.
This is the private residence where Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated into presidency in Buffalo, New York 1901.
President William McKinley was shot at Buffalo’s Pan-American Exposition on September 6th, 1901. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took the “oath of office” in this exact spot September 14th, 1901—the same day McKinley died from his wounds. The private residence belonged to Roosevelt’s good friend Ansley Wilcox.
Another photo of the same library from the Roosevelt inaugural site.
Books from the Wilcox library.
Mr. Roosevelt kindly took a selfie with myself and my sister-in-law Jen (on the left).
It’s hard being President…
Love & Cheers,
Note: The cover image and the picture of the outside of the Wilcox home were found on the TR Inaugural Site.
Rising shakily until you are up on all paws, you hobble to the top of the stairs. Your front paws descend the first step, but your eyes beg for me to do the rest.
I lift your sixty pounds, bending at the knees to save my back.
Leaning against my chest, you shake because you fear the pain of being set down.
I place you in front of the door, you need go no further, the sun is waiting for you on the porch. I run my hands over your glossy black coat and words of love cram in my throat.
I bury my face in your neck. Remembering everything I will miss about you one day when you are gone. How you kiss my tears when motherhood is overwhelming, and the way you lean on me when I need support.
My heart breaks because I snap at you, more than you deserve. My patience level is low, and most of it goes to the toddler.
You were so tolerant when our son arrived.
You gently remind us when we forget your dinner or breakfast—the cat is not so subtle.
I whisper, “I’m sorry.”
Looking up at me and smiling into the sun as if to say, “Being sad is a waste of this day.” I realize dogs don’t want apologies for the past nor promises for the future. They just want to share the moment with you.
Have you ever been shopping for a baby shower or a first birthday and thought to yourself, I want to buy the little one a book, but which one? Fortunately there are thousands of baby books out there, but my son will tell you, not all children’s books are created equal. Children are fickle, but no with their literature. My son is loyal to his favorite titles. He carries them around with him, and flips through their pages repetitiously. He implores me to read these books over and over again.
A toddler will also let you know quickly if the book is not his cup of milk. Mine will turn on his diapered bum and ignore me if I read him a story that is not from his “favorite” list.
Here are ten children’s books that have been proven tried and true by my toddler.
“A Baby Is Born” by Melanie Zanoza bartelme (Author), Steve Whitlow (Illustrator)
“Little Owl’s 1 2 3” by Divya Srinivasan (Author, Illustrator)
“Red Truck” by Kersten Hamilton (Author) Valeria Petrone (Illustrator)
Moby Dick: A BabyLit® Ocean Primer (BabyLit Books) by Jennifer Adams (Author) Alison Oliver (Illustrator)
“On The Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman (Author, Illustrator)
“Barnyard Dance” by Sandra Boynton (Author, Illustrator)
“How Do I Love You?” by P. K. Hallinan (Author, Illustrator)
“Little Blue Truck” Alice Schertle (Author)Jill McElmurry (Illustrator)
“In My Jungle” Sara Gillingham (Author)Lorena Siminovich (Illustrator)
“I Love You Through and Through” by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak (Author) and Caroline Jayne Church (Illustrator)
The best part about this list, is that you can find all of these books on Amazon. I hope this makes baby shopping a little easier for you.