Sunday, November 18, 2012

Connections

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A couple of weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, Clover and I were excited to head down to San Francisco in honor of Mary's birthday weekend! Anne, with lil' Marianne in tow, had arrived earlier that morning to stay for the weekend. Needless to say, I was stoked to get some play time with these two awesome ladies and for our own little ladies to as well.

You may have already read about this visit here or here, and if so, well, here we go again!

We spent the late afternoon lounging in Mary's amazing sunroom, chatting and watching our little ones get reacquainted. While this was Mary and Anne's first time meeting in person, I had had the pleasure of hanging out with each of them on more than one occasion before and was glad to be seeing them again.

Mary, who is quite awesome in the kitchen, as Anne mentioned in her post, fed us well with yummy vegetarian enchiladas (I want that recipe Mary!) and nourishing chicken soup for the littles, before we all headed out into the night to battle our way into the Mission district for the Dia De Los Muertos festivities!

I say battle because of course thousands of people descending upon a common location in San Francisco, the most frustrating city to park in as it is, does not make for a smooth parking experience. Well, unless you are Mary's partner Jeff, apparently ;) Unfortunately, we had to take two cars and weren't all so lucky.

Though, as you can see from the photo above, our group finally did make it out onto the streets, at which point the battle shifted to making our way through crowds with wee ones at bedtime. While not ideal, we persevered!

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We arrived at The Festival of Alters and took in the Letters to the Dead where note cards, pens, and clothespins were available.

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Clover made use of them to leave a little love note to Guinness, our dearly departed kitty.

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There were so many beautiful and lovingly created alters to admire. It was tough with crowds gathered 'round each and tired babes to motivate or carry, to truly appreciate the meaning and uniqueness of each, but we did our best to soak in their beauty.

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One of several pools of floating flowers and candles. I took a moment to light one for my dad.

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After making our way through the alters, we reconvened in preparation for the treck back to the cars.

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Clover and Fern got a kick out of pointing out all the "scary" costumed folks to each other, though they seemed much more delighted by their presence than scared.

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Shall we take a moment to appreciate Mary's gorgeous outfit, gunne, red velvet cape, marigolds, killer boots... I say, we shall :)

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While I barely had time to reach for my camera, let alone try to properly frame a shot, I couldn't resist this juxtaposition of robed mother Marys!

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For the final block or so, we caught up with the tail end of the procession winding its way through the streets. With arms ready to fall off from kid carrying. We would all sleep well that night.

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Clover and I awoke bright and early the next morning in Mary's dream of an old timey bohemian dressing room which I kept meaning to photograph but never got around to. Luckily, Anne did.

Wandering down the hallway, to see if others had yet emerged, we stopped to admire the view of the sunrise lighting up the clouds over the city. I took the photo through a handmade glass window hanging... talk about perfect placement.

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Morning coffee in the sunroom... pink morning light, plants, books, and playthings a'plenty. Clover and Fern filling their wee bellies with "hot winks" :)

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Cheers!

With the kids growing and changing in leaps and bounds at these young ages, it's a surprise as to what the new dynamic will be when we get together after months between visits. With Clover and Fern having recently turned five and three, they seem to have hit a sweet spot in their age gap and were total bff's this time around :)

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I love Fern's library.

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"beautiful food/ beautiful friends/ we give thanks" read another perfectly placed glass wall hanging in the kitchen.

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Mary whipped up a batch of melty chocolate chip muffins. Winging it from scratch without all the called for ingredients, they turned out amazing. Mary the kitchen witch does it again!

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It doesn't get much sweeter than a cheerful little Marianne in the morning.

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Want to know what's even better than fresh from the oven melty chocolate chip muffins? Fresh from the oven melty chocolate chip muffins slathered in butter, that's what. Yeah, these kiddos were stoked. As was I!

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Marianne may very well be the world's most perfectly mellow baby, though even she is not above a game of let's see how many alphabet magnets I can throw onto the floor before mom puts a stop to it. In fact, I think it might even be her favorite game. I was also secretly relieved to learn that she steals wallets every chance she gets ;)

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It turned out to be a gorgeous day, unseasonably warm. Later that morning we walked the girls down to an idyllic little nearby park, set atop a hill and bordering a community garden, the sun was shining and we had the entire playground to ourselves.

By the way, how cute do both ladies look in these outfits? I'm patting myself on the back for uniting that matching handmade wrap skirt and vest ensemble (Goodwill find) with Mary who is clearly its rightful owner and yes, that is an applique roadrunner on the skirt and yes, both the vest and skirt are reversible. It looked even cuter on her than I had imagined it might!

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The girls putting the slides to good use.

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Mary, letting loose her inner child...

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... who I imagine to look a little something like this.

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These two were sweet to watch together.

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As were these two.

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It was so warm that Clover decided she needed to lose the long-sleeved dress she was wearing over her jeans. Of course, Fern then had to lose her top as well, only she had already lost her bottoms after they got wet on the slide. Next thing we knew...

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Free as birds, jaybirds that is.

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Details, details... Mary has some really beautiful tattoos and I so love her Milla-made hair feather (hint hint, Milla ;)

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After coaxing Clover and Fern back into their dresses, we wandered over by the adjacent community garden.

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Fern is such a cutie, I love this coy little look.

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I did manage to get Clover to stop frolicking long enough to snap the one and only shot of the three of us together...

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A bit blurry and off-center, but there we are :)

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Heading back to Mary's house for a quick pit stop before loading the girls into the wagon for a walk to a nearby cafe for lunch.

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The girls were pretty stinkin' cute all squished into the wagon together. We took turns pulling and while one mama pulled, you can bet the other two were snappin' pictures :)

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After navigating our way through coffees and lunch in a crowded cafe with yummy food and slightly unruly children, it was back into the wagon and off to the nearest thrift store, of course! After some minor lunch shenanigans we were a bit hesitant to take the girls shopping, but decided to give it a go anyway.

It ended up working out really well actually, with Marianne being her usual mellow self and hanging with mama, Clover and Fern teamed up and each grabbed a shopping basket to start filling with the most random of things as they flitted about the shop. Luckily the shop was pretty small so they were fairly easy to keep track of as we scoured the racks for ourselves and each other. We were even able to concentrate enough while shopping to all ended up with something, success!

Clover and Fern each got to choose one item from their baskets to take home. Clover's find of the day was a small stuffed animal version of Punxsutawney Phil... Groundhog Day! Though she was convinced he was a beaver.

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Here's Fern arriving home with her prized find of the day, a little bucket with heart shaped holes, perfect for foraging adventures with mom. Did you know that young Fern is a "bucket connoisseur"?

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Marianne was asleep in Anne's arms by the time we made it back to Mary's. What a little sweetheart.

Clover and I stayed and hung out late into the afternoon, before heading back up to Santa Rosa, it being Lucas' birthday the next day.

It was such a treat spending time with Mary and Anne and their girls. Chatting as best we could between mama distractions. The three of us being self-proclaimed introverts/quiet types, made for plenty of quiet moments, and while I do wish I was better at striking up meaningful conversation, I did feel a kinship with them because of it, a sense of being with my people. Haha. I hope they did too.

I admire so many things about each of them, both as mamas and as individuals. I was happy for the chance to squeeze in some real life hangout time and definitely look forward to more chances in the future :)

If only Elizabeth, whose travel plans had to change at the last minute, could have been there as planned! I was so looking forward to meeting her, especially after having received such an amazing bioregional swap package from her earlier that week...

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Treasures from Ireland, with wonderful items to delight all the senses: textures, colors, aromas, and flavors. Cute and cozy things to wear, an ADORABLE soft calico corduroy dress handed down from Elizabeth's daughter for Clover and a little fair-isle cardigan complete with elbow pads for me. This package calls up images of Fiona from The Secret of Roan Inish for me, which is a very good thing :)

That green jar is was :) full of super tasty homemade pesto.

If you've seen Elizabeth's beautiful paintings, you already know that she has a dreamy way with color and I love how her cheerful color sense found its way in amongst all the earthy goodness.

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Especially in the form of this painting, which I LOVE. I had so been hoping for one!

I love it even more after reading her description of the inspiration behind it:

"I was reading Roger Deakin's book wild wood, when I came across this beautiful part where he described sticking his out of his tent one Spring morning, in the the middle of a forest. He was laying on his back looking up at the trees. He described it as looking up the "skirts of trees". I loved the Idea, and this was my first attempt to describe that."

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The contents of a sweet little package within a package.

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Elizabeth's daughter even decorated the outside of the package with this adorable drawing :)

Thank you so much Elizabeth for your thoughtful creativity! This package was such a joy to receive. With yours now finally on its way, I'm thankful to have the chance to connect with you in this wonderful way. Getting to know each other by sharing bits of home. Thanks also to Mary for her brilliant swap idea and for hosting each year :)

Also in the spirit of giving thanks, from written posts and comments, to package exchanges, to in person meet-ups, I'm so thankful for all the ways in which this little corner of cyberspace allows me to forge connections with so many of you lovely people! THANK YOU for reading, whether you make your presence known or not, I do so appreciate it :)

10 comments:

sally said...

hi missa! seeing clover's little sign for guinness made my heart ache -- so sweet! i'm happy you made it for dia de los muertos! it's pretty lame that i have never gone to that celebration myself, seeing as i've lived here for nearly 10 yrs and love mexican everything. ugh. there's always next year. also, i actually made new posts on my blog -- unheard of, i know! hope you get to see whenever you have a chance. happy thanksgiving to you and your family!

moonshinejunkyard said...

oh you mamas are so adorable; i could read on and on about this visit you three had together. you got some great photos that seem to capture personalities, like the one of anne kissing her darling baby's head, or clover angelically sipping her cocoa, and the one of coy fern in the foreground and the mamas in the back. it's fun to see outfit details from your perspective too, like mary's tattoo and the close up of her amazing vest, and the back of anne's hair and her bare feet at the park. what a rad group you three are, if i saw you moseying along with those blondies in the wagon i would just about pee my pants with adoration. i love the detailed way you tell the story. it's fun to come along for a little while.

and your package! good golly that is some nice irish bounty. i am drooling over your new cardigan with elbow patches. and how utterly perfectly sweet is clover's little package within a package?

i totally agree with your giving thanks sentiment. i was just thinking, how rad is the word "THANKSGIVING"? not only giving thanks, but just like mary's swap, it also includes both thanks (gratitude for what is received) and giving. i feel like i am a big dork about it, but i feel thanks welling up in my heart all too frequently these days. being a mom makes gratitude even more heart achingly real.

anne said...

it was so great to get to hang out with you again missa! i had a lot of fun that weekend and was once again grateful for all the friendships i've made through blogland. and even though we may tend to be on the quieter side, we get to read many inner thoughts and beliefs about each other through our posts. you are a beautiful person inside and out and i feel privileged to call you a friend!

your package from elizabeth is awesome! i love the painting! she is one talented lady, i so wish we could have met her in person!

hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving!

xoxo

Janet said...

missa, oh my... this post is so lovely... everything about it!! what a wonderful visit you all had... so amazing.. the pictures look so full of fun and adventure.. and your swap package is so great!!!! happy thanksgiving to you too, missa!!

Elizabeth Carrington said...

I realize I couldn't have possibly come without Madeleine, I would have pined for her all wknd seeing your little blondies. I am so glad you guys all made it and were able to share Mary's special days. I was so torn about it. I will fill you in a little further in a mail. Si glad you like your goodies, I had to take some books out at the post office, it was so heavy it went over the limit and went into a much bigger price range, I had them with in in GA to bring out to you, they will come along to you before too long: )

Lots a love gorgeous lass. xx E

Teeny said...

hey Missa Moo, I love your stories of Mary's 40th days. And also your package delights....I won a giveaway from Elizabeth of this very same print, hope you don't mind I'm stealing your quote of Elizabeth's explanation of how the print came to be....glad you've had so many good moments lately.
xx

terrallectualism said...

i keep coming by to comment and then feel speechless! i so loved this time with you and thank you for sharing about it in such a warm and beautiful way. your photos are fantastic, especially of the parade (you got my outfit! hurrah!) and i adore that you captured the glass art in the hallway...that was made a lifetime ago by another me. :)

i think i've already sung your praises quite a bit, but at the risk of embarassing you, i'll do it a little more...i've thought you were the bees knees ever since we started our little online friendship, but the more i get to know you, the more i am delighted and astonished. grace, magic, mystery, wisdom...you got it in spades.

i missed elizabeth too, but i'm actually glad she didn't come, based on what she said up there. i would have missed maddy right along with her. thanks for sharing the swap package and i'm so happy to get a glimpse. she's magical too...a perfect partner for you. :)

happy thanksgiving and tell clover fern says hi!

Milla said...

I too keep coming around meaning to comment and not quite finding the words. It's been an exhausting week and this post is like balm to my soul-so much sweetness packed into pictures and words. That shot of the three girls in the wagon gets me. Imagine how cool it will be for them to see these shots when we're all old(ish;) ladies?! They'll be so stoked on how cool their mamas were (and still are, my time machine tells me) and demand some Gunne frocks.

You three girls together is just my dream scene, so mellow and sweet with all those blond bebes in tow.

I love Mary's roadrunner skirt so much. Hot Darn it went right to the right address.

Oh and hint taken.

Milla said...

Oh hey Charlie (who btw was very confused by all the little blond people) saw that picture of Cloverkin on the slide and was like "Dude, she looks like such a big kid now!" And she does. Time. Flies.

Nichole said...

i love the way you capture your adventures! you all look so sweet together. thanks for posting!