We've had a very full week (at times, it felt overly full). But it's been a good one. We needed some time to talk and heal and be with friends, and we've had all of that. And these blessings helped, too:
One night, we went shopping for a birthday present for a friend (he'd asked me how to crochet at the park one day, and sat there on a park bench, crocheting away, so I'd hoped to find a good men's crochet book and supplies). When we arrived at the yarn shop, we saw that they were having a book signing. Cool! I'd heard about the book online, and always love to meet an author. It hadn't started yet, so we went over to the crochet books (where the men's selections were horrible!) and I fell in love with a pattern in this beautiful book. It was for a sweet baby dress; just what I'd been wanting to make for Lucy. But the pattern was for 9-12 months, too small. I was so disappointed! But I kept picking up the book and admiring all the wonderful patterns. We have a friend who works in the store. She saw me admiring the book and said "wait a minute," and wandered up to the front. I wondered if she might be getting me some insider deal. But then she returned with both Simple Crochet for Cherished Babies and Handmade Marketplace in her hands and said "happy belated birthday!" (She also told me she'd help me size up the pattern.) Seriously? Wow. What a treat! So I met the author and she signed my book (and gave me a lovely little bonus gift of twine and clothespins for an inspiration line; what a nice touch!).
We spent Saturday afternoon with my sister's family. Her 5-year-old was in a daddy-daughter dance recital (so sweet I got all teary-eyed) and we went to watch and then hung out at their house for a while. Lucy had a great time playing with her cousins in the back yard, and it was lovely to see; she's getting to a point where she really plays with them (instead of simply being their plaything...). I think she's so lucky to grow up near her cousins, something my sisters and I didn't have as children.
Sunday, we took a trip with friends to the Garden in the Woods. Our friend Eric, an awesome gardener, goes there to celebrate his birthday. We walked through all their gardens, admiring and trying to identify the native plants, gathering ideas for our own gardens. We watched a snake swim through a pond and it was such a thrill to be able to show Lucy an animal she'd only seen in books (now, when we read about a snake and say "do you remember the snake we saw at Garden in the Woods?" and she lights up and says "yeah!") Here we are taking one of many breaks (it was hot hot hot and it was that time of the month that I'm just not really up to hiking, if you know what I mean!)
And then yesterday, I got a gift in the mail from a reader. Ruby often comments on my blog (thanks! I love love love comments!), and when she heard I was having a rough time, she asked for my address. Look what arrived in the mail yesterday:
a reusable snack bag, filled with...
an adorable embroidered panda bear. (Lucy adopted this immediately. She thinks it's a drum, but also loves to feel the textures. I plan to hang it in her room.)
I can't even begin to say how amazing it is to be pampered by someone you've never even met. Ruby, what an incredibly sweet thing to do. I feel so blessed.
And then, of course, there's this baby:
(Remember this sweater? It's all well and good to take pose-for-the-blog photos, but this is how it looks in real life.) As I write this, she's sleeping (for the very first time) alone on her mattress on the floor in her own room (she'll come to bed with us when she wakes to nurse). We're downstairs, missing her! My so-big, wonderful, joyful, brilliant baby. She brings joy to my every moment.
Well, now, that was wordy! Aren't you glad I don't normally disappear for a week? My posts would get unbearably long! I'll tell you later about all the great reading I did this week...