Sunday, 25 October 2015

Train Park

We took a drive to the train park in Scottsdale.  My family couldn't get it together to take a picture on or near the actual train (which you can ride and it goes all around the park, pretty much the best thing ever for kids).  This one from standing in line to get on is pretty cute though.

We took turns riding the carousel with Clementine.  I went first and it was her first time.  She was all cool before it started moving.  After a few up and downs on the horse, she threw her arms around my head and said "SKEEEWWWYY!!" (scary) for the rest of the ride.  It is not easy to stand upright with a tiny human on a galloping horse attached to ones head, let me tell you, least not of all while trying to ensure that said tiny human does not fall off of the galloping horse herself.

Even after all that she wanted to go again right away with Dada.

We moseyed over to the most epic complex of playground equipment, where Clem discovered misters and wet sand.  Here she is when we arrived, clean and angelic:

Here's forty seconds later:

My girl loves to play in the water and mud, like a moth to a lightbulb.  Its even better if she can rub it all over her clothes and in her hair.  She could have played this game for hours.

Seth and Bennet are the teenageriest teenagers.  Thankfully they are still perfectly wonderful to hang out with (even if they think that Alec is way more interesting than me now).

So tired on the drive home.

A walk around the neighborhood

Slowly, slowly over the last few years, my Mom's pocket of Arcadia has become hip.  Suddenly everyone is riding bikes everywhere (something that certainly never happened ten years ago).

These houses were built in the 50s which is nearly Medieval by Phoenix standards.  Most of the houses have been remodeled by well-to-do young people, but I think I prefer the original style homes.  They've been around long enough that their style has had time to develop, but you can still see where they all came from.  Everyone is planting their winter lawns this week so the grass is extra green.  

Alec, Bob, Clem and I took a walk around the block.  They jibber jabbered about politics or something and I took pictures.

Love that dusty blue tree with a yellow fence.  

The house across the street from us has converted their yard into a farm.  It's highly unusual for Phoenix but I think its rad.  What I wouldn't give to have as much planting space in our tiny Melbourne garden.

Back home again.  I really don't mind this fall weather at all.


Every morning Clementine requests to go "swomming" in the pool.  The water is a bit chilled for the grown ups but she doesn't mind in the least.  She stands on the steps and pours water around with various cups or does her best to throw rocks in when we aren't looking.  Throwing rocks in water is Clem's current second favorite activity, right after playing in mud.

She refuses 68% of attempts to tie her hair out of her face.  Oh well!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Back in Phoenix

We've been at my Mom's house in Phoenix for a couple days now.  Alec and I have made a concerted effort to relax as much as possible and there has been much eating of the cereal, Mexican food, sushi, bagels, pancakes, bacon, pizza, and tacos, only blemished by a few moments of panic here and there when either of us feels like we should be doing something but then remembers we have no where to be but here.  

We are surrounded by family.  Clementine is loving every minute and has a house full of people to dote on her.  I think maybe because I am achieving full relax mode, I convinced Alec to take a little drive while Clem napped.  

I splurged on this Marni tshirt the other day and I felt it was fully deserving of its own photo adventure.  We are enjoying a rare humid week in Phoenix, we drove up the road from my Mom's toward "Mount Camelback" (Camelback Mountain), parked the car, and creeped on the diversity of desert plants in people's front yards.  The humidity collected on the backs of our necks and the thunder grumbled from the mountains.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Herding Cats

Thornbury on a spring morning. THE AIR SMELLS SO NICE.

Alec texted me this morning marveling that he may make two placements today, and I was so excited I had to write a post about it.  As many of you know, Alec is a technical recruiter (a nice one) and he makes commission based on how many successful placements he makes in a quarter.  He may make ten placements or two.

He spends his days talking to a million people, writing millions of emails, and taking trains all over the city.  He does not make placements every week, or sometimes every month.  I would venture to say that even though he loves his job, Alec sometimes wonders "Why am I even doing this." because it can feel like the payoffs are few and far between.  He's had a string of no-go's this month, so it was looking like he wouldn't make much commission.

And then of course he maybe, probably, has made two placements two days before the end of the quarter (because nothing he does is ever final until its actually final). 

Success does not come every day.  No one sends us a certificate with a gold star that says "Congratulations, you functioned like an adult, today you were successful!"  Sometimes we work really hard at things that don't make a lot of sense in the moment, and then in a sudden burst, we are rewarded and we see that the path made sense all along.  

Sunday, 27 September 2015


This weekend we attended a party hosted by my friend Kitty.  She throws genius theatre/dance parties where everyone dresses up based on a theme, with actors and performers and DANCING.  This Saturday night the year was 1939 and all the men were leaving for WW2.  Everyone felt so fancy, ladies in high waists, pin curls, and red lips and the men in "military" outfits (Alec will be better prepared for the next one.) It took place in an old Masonic Temple which felt like it hadn't been renovated since WW2.  It was a perfect fantasy.

I reflected with friends that as ladies in our late 20s/early 30s, we'd all have at least five babies by now.  I'm really glad I was born in 1986 and that I can make the decision on how many kids I want to have.  I'm also really glad we are safe from war.  We are so lucky.

The whole thing was so Melbourne.  I love it here.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Happy Birthday ode to Dada

You may have known, this weekend was Alec's 29th birthday. In an attempt to make him blush a little, I am going to tell you some special things about him.

The night before his bday (which was also Friday, prime sleeping time for a dude with a 9-5 weekday job), Clem woke up spewing. This time, like all the others (and we've had quite a bit of baby vom since she started daycare), he jumped out of bed and right into action.  He doesn't *exactly* elbow me out of the way with sick times, but that's pretty much what happens.  He is instantly ready to hold her when she's throwing up, put that girl in the shower, watch late night cartoons on the couch, and do it three more times throughout the night. The best I could do without getting in the way was throw all the sheets in the wash and go back to bed. 

I woke up the next morning to discover that he'd piled all the couch blankets onto Clem's bedroom floor and slept in there with her after she finally fell asleep at 3 AM.  Then he made everyone pancakes for breakfast!

Alec also does the dishes every day, or rather 60% of the time every time.  He's doing more than his fair share of house work these days, and when Anders moves back to America next month, we'll be splitting childcare 50/50. 
All this is to say that I am very proud of the Dada and partner that Alec has become.  It doesn't go unnoticed.  Happy Birthday Alec!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

Oh, and here's a bonus selfie from our short visit to the beach in Somers this weekend.  <3

Saturday, 12 September 2015

$54 day

Here I am, sitting in the shop.  It's the first weekend of the year when one could conceivably leave the house in a t-shirt. The sky is vast and blue and the air is ripe with possibilities and the smell of jasmine.  It's impossible to be in a bad mood.

Where are the customers?  Oh, they are probably milling around the park, drinking beers on picnic blankets with their friends, beaming at their partners and reveling in the sun on parts of their body that have been covered all winter long.  They are strolling down High Street, noticing things that have popped up unbeknownst to them during the winter's hibernation.

Sometimes my days of business ownership are like this.  I can't control what anyone does, but I can show up every day and consistently be my amazing self.  I will sit and people watch, I've already seen three outfits that I sold walk by the shop.  I will get a rush at 2:45 (I close at 3 on Sundays), someone will bring in a giant bag bursting with treasures to sell, or I will meet a new customer who raves about Mutual Muse and how excited she was to happen upon the store.  If I had given up earlier in the afternoon, I would miss these things.  The collection of these small wins is what builds a business.
Sundays are a bit of an enigma; sometimes they are very busy and sometimes they are very slow.  The last time I thought, maybe I'll just close the shop on Sundays (which is totally normal here), I had a record-breaking day.

Every one of my friends (and myself) are currently in transition periods. There's nothing anyone can do about it other than to hold on to your loved ones, learn what you can from your experiences, and hopefully turn the chaos into positive actions and outcomes.  Journalling is just about the only habit I've been able to maintain through the craziness of opening the shop; I reflect on what works and doesn't, how I felt, what I did about it.  I write down compliments from people I admire so I have evidence when I'm feeling down that everything really does have a forward motion.

My view from the shop: