they come to life when you aren’t looking

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Happy Monday! It’s hot here so I am busy hiding under a rock. 😉

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monday thoughts on a tuesday

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Hello Tuesday. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. It was unbelievably beautiful here. So beautiful that for most of the weekend I forgot to miss winter. It was hot yesterday, so I am back to missing it again.

Saturday was about as close to perfect as a day can get for me. Birthday brunch for my bestie on a shady garden patio with Edith Piaf playing in the background, moving to a sidewalk table of a nearby corner café with French macaroons and sparkling water to pass the time before getting a tattoo with the birthday girl that evening, followed by more café sitting. Yeah, I like hanging out in café’s and I can’t tell you how lucky I feel that Abby does too. It was the sort of day that is good for my soul.

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Sunday was all about Abby spending time with her bestie and a nice sushi dinner with the bestie’s family – Abby’s first sushi boat experience.

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I kind of forgot all about Earth Day and didn’t do anything special. I saw a march go by my office but I don’t think that counts. What did you do for Earth Day?

magic door

fairydoor1 fairydoor2

Look what Abby found in the park last week. A tiny door on one random tree amongst many trees, so easy to miss. But Abby did not miss it and we went over to examine it. It is beautifully made and it fits the hole perfectly. It’s even hinged to the tree! Children have been leaving little notes and acorns for the fairy who must certainly live here.

This sort of thing is so good for my soul. It just makes me happy to know that there is a person out there who thought make a beautiful fairy door for a random tree in the park. Or maybe it wasn’t a person at all…maybe it was a fairy…

Have you spotted any magic lately?

red ball

red ball

The red ball project was in San Francisco yesterday! I had no idea. I was waiting at the bus stop after work and looked across the street and there it was, wedged above the BART station entrance. I follow the facebook page but somehow missed that it was coming. I feel so lucky that I didn’t miss it. What a surprise to see it across the street after seeing so many pictures of it.

What nice surprises have you had lately?

 

 

behind the scenes

Are you tired of kimonos yet?

Good! Me either! Here are a few scenes from before the festival while the girls were getting ready.  I was so enchanted with the whole process. It is so involved. It took almost 3 hours to get 3 girls ready. Abby loved being fussed over. The girl will definitely love spa days when she is older.

The hair was so intricate, it was an architectural feat. It was fascinating to watch its creation.  

Then there was the makeup. I was feeling vaguely “toddlers and tiaras” seeing my perfect little girl made up. But it’s tradition. And it’s very theatrical, so I likened it to make up for a play.

They even recruited me, “the professional”. Ha! It’s true that I know a lot about makeup, but I don’t often apply it on others and certainly not liquid liner on a twitchy 5 year old. But it worked out.

I think my favorite was watching all the fuss that goes into the kimono. It takes at least 30 minutes to put one on properly with all the adjustments that are necessary. I’m trying to learn so I can help there too, but it is really complicated.

All the girls looked darling and enjoyed all the attention. But because I am a mom, I worry. They got A LOT of attention. And I started to worry that Abby would start to equate the hair and makeup and dress with being special and beautiful. She commented on how much she liked the makeup several times over the course of a few days, especially the eyes. I was quick to remind her that 5 year olds can only wear the black stuff that is usually just for mamas (I wear black eyeliner every.single.day) for performances.

But now that some time has passed, she hasn’t mentioned the make up in a while. And I guess my job now is to pay attention and look for opportunities to remind her that she is special and beautiful every day. To look for opportunities to take the focus off appearance and place it on kindness and character and teach her about what true beauty is.

She is true beauty.

open house

Hello and Happy Friday! I have some behind the scenes photos from the cherry blossom festival to show you, but I thought I’d break it up a little today and show you some scenes from our visit to open studios at the Headlands Center for the Arts on Sunday.

This was the day after Abby’s performance so we were a little tired. We live close to the bridge so the Headlands are only about a 15 minute drive.

And it is such a beautiful place. The Center provides residencies to artists in rehabilitated military buildings.

There was a lot of art to see, but truth be told, we spent more time looking for friends that Abby was eager to see than we did looking at the art. We sped through a lot of the studios. But here are some pieces I enjoyed.

The image of Popeye was done in needlepoint. I am always drawn to the sort of instilation that mimics living space.

Abby thought this looked like Wall-E.

I also love wire sculptures. This piece looked so fragile in person.

I have no idea who the artists are. Like I said, we sped through. I’m lucky I got these photos. I didn’t really mind though. Once we found our friends, we took the kids out on the grounds to play. I love this area, especially in the fog. It was such a contrast to the sunshine and cherry blossoms of the day before. I feel so far from home here.

Markus showed the kids how to make birds nests and that is how we spent the rest of the afternoon.

Leaving nests around for for all the birds to find.

Have a great weekend! What are your plans?

cherry blossom festival – the performance

The day was like a dream. It was hot, more summer than spring. But when we got to the holding area, we were relieved by the shade from the cherry blossom trees and a slight breeze that caused the petals from the trees to rain down on us as more onlookers than I can count clamored to get pictures of the tiny living dolls.

She did look like a doll, that girl of mine. She looked so different, so unreal.

Then as the approached the stage, the breeze picked up some more and, as Abby noted, “made her kimono look really pretty”. And my once shy girl got up on a stage in front of hundreds of people and without the slightest bit of hesitation…

brought the house down.  

The crowd loved them. They ate them up with a spoon. They applauded. They cheered.  They rushed the stage like a mad pack of paparazzi in a photographic frenzy. That last bit may be an exaggeration.

But only a slight one.

I asked if she had been nervous and she said “not at all”. And I couldn’t help marvel at her ability to get up in front of hundreds of people and remain present in the moment enough to notice the breeze that ruffled her kimono.

And when we got home, me exhausted, her energized, she wished aloud that she had a performance every day.

Every day? I have a performer on my hands.

What about you? Are you a performer? Were you when you were a child?