31 October 2008

28 October 2008

far from ireland...

if you ever hear me second guess our decision to leave our former house with its view of the nashville skyline for the greener pastures of small town kingston springs, just remind me of what it's like here in the fall. oh my goodness. this might be the case in all of nashville really, probably all of tennessee, but i guess i didn't notice the beauty of autumn to this extent until i saw it from my current front porch. the field across the street is breathtaking, especially when the sunlight hits the trees a certain way.

i set out the pumpkins we got last weekend at the farm. a cold front has moved in so i didn't last very long on the swing, even with a coffee cup to warm my hands and two layers of sweater.

surprisingly, the time has moved fairly quickly since jeremy has been in ireland, so i haven't felt inclined to write like i thought i would. i've been missing him, but also happily distracted by my adventures with eli and a few quiet moments in between.

the week has included a marathon of asian eating for myself, as well as substantial amounts of chocolate. i may have mentioned that whenever my asian-food-disliking husband travels, i tend to consume some version of curry or stir-fry for nearly every dinner meal. most of them i prepare myself, but on friday night i fetched some take-out noodles from Pei Wei (and a thick bar of dark chocolate from whole foods), and headed to the cerveny's house to stay for the night. i owed them an evening of babysitting after j's & my recent date to City House before he left for his trip. (by the way, i highly recommend City House in Germantown for dinner...amazing authentic, rustic italian cuisine served in a sleek but intimate warehouse atmosphere. we had the best time.) after emmy & eli were asleep, i settled myself down under a wool throw in the cerveny's cozy new family room to read.

in the morning, charla, eli, and i headed out for breakfast and to explore east nashville for awhile. it's fun to see all the growth of our old neighborhood. new coffee shops, children's bookstore, a deli with a community garden out back. i miss many things about living there, but some i don't, so it was good to arrive back at home again that afternoon.

after dinner, i finished a painting. my inspiration came from a mural at anthropologie, but i ended up with a completely different design. i prefer it when inspiration leads me to create something original, rather than merely an adaptation of something i've already seen.

i decided to accessorize the painting with a frame i'd been saving for my studio upstairs; the living room needed it more. lately, i've been feeling like our living room looks way too pottery barn, so i've been searching for ways to inject some creativity and imperfection into the space. it's still a work in progress, of course.

i also hung a paper cutting i've been working on...it's layered with japanese rice paper and is just a free-flowing abstract design.

as for other adventures with eli (who now has a cold), we have visited the monkey's treehouse, eaten cookies, gone to the library, and purchased a few special toys to remind him of daddy: a child's keyboard and a toy power drill. [his two favorite things to do with jeremy are make music and work on the house. whenever anyone new enters our home, eli immediately rushes to some bit of trim around a doorway and pats it proudly to show what he and his dad did together. it's the sweetest thing.] i also let him pick out a wooden treasure box to paint, though we still need to take a walk in search of treasures to put inside.

meanwhile, jeremy has been having the time of his life in ireland and has been invited to come back again next year (with us!) he said it's beautiful and green and reminds him of Pennsylvania + sheep.

here in tennessee, we have our own little patches of leaf-covered green. i'll be happy for him to return to us tomorrow. we saved him some chocolate.

22 October 2008

the day before...

it was a sweet, rare morning of sleeping in until 9:25. eli had maneuvered his way into bed with us at 5:30, nestled close and squeezed my neck tight with his tiny arm. he breathed into my face and commandeered my pillow. jeremy took him downstairs for a blueberry waffle sometime after 8. i am stocking up on rest to prepare for the next six days while J is away. i am confident i will need the energy.

so with good, strong coffee in hand, i stole five quiet minutes on the front porch. a perfect fall breeze scattered leaves across the pavement and collected them in clumps on the grass. i spent a long time inhaling deeply as i listened to piano notes coming from inside. i pictured two bodies of differing sizes perched side by side on the piano bench... ten fingers gliding along the keys while the other ten waited in eager observation. i love peaceful mornings.

lest you think my life is too norman rockwell, i will tell you that i spent yesterday's naptime cleaning cat urine from inside of a guitar case. [not every moment is fresh air and pianos and porch swings.] actually, i ripped out the entire bottom lining, tossed away the horrifically-pungent foam, cut a new insert using a pattern, wrapped it in a faux sheepskin fabric from one of sam's old dog beds, and attempted to reattach it. i still have a few tweaks to make but the effort reminded me why our cat now permanently resides in Texas with my mother.

after breakfast, we went to the Y, dropped eli in the nursery, and spent thirty blissful minutes in the whirlpool talking without interruption. then it was off to run errands: mini bottles of shaving cream and shampoo for Ireland, new shoes for eli's growing feet, and a trip to the bank.

my brain is overflowing with creative ideas that exceed the house's empty wall space. i want jeremy to come home to an improved space with a few surprises. realistically, i will probably only have time for one painting at most. we'll be busy.

eli and i have plans for:

the monkey's treehouse. playtime with emmy. playtime with ellis. storytime. lunch outings. trips to the park. making a treasure box. seeing mommy's friends. a house concert. pumpkin carving. church on sunday. and hopefully brushing eli's teeth.

though i am envious of this time he'll have in Ireland, i know it will be good for jeremy to lounge in the pub with a frothy pint before him, break out his pipe, read a good book, and see the rolling countryside. granted, he'll be working most of the time, but i'm hoping he'll have some time to rest too.

tomorrow he leaves...

21 October 2008

a day at the farm.

photos from Gentry's Farm. Franklin, TN.

[more images here.]

17 October 2008

a few scattered thoughts...

i anticipate more blogging time when Jeremy heads to Ireland next week for six days. usually we spend our evenings together, eating dinner after Eli's tucked in bed, and then watching a movie or something on tv. during my lonesome evenings while he's away, i plan to work on house projects, art projects, spend time with friends, and document my week's events by blogging. the days will be filled with embracing autumn, Eli and me together. i can't wait for that... (though i do wish i was going to Ireland too!)

until then, there will be a full weekend following a full week.

jeremy's cousin jason visited us from florida this week, and we enjoyed showing him around our little town, scooting into Nashville for a trip to Crema, a bit of thrifting to stock up on wooly things for Jeremy's trip, and watching a good film called The Visitor.

the main character in the film reminded me a lot of my dad. something about the way he looked, his mannerisms, and his conservative plainness met with a kid-like curiosity and layer of humor just beneath the surface. jeremy saw my dad in him too without my saying so.

this led to a good little sob-session on jeremy's chest as we settled down for bed. he told me i could wipe my nose on his t-shirt if i wanted to. it felt good to remember, and to be sad and also laugh over some memories, quietly in the dark on tuesday.

wednesday marked three years to the day since i have seen my dad, and though it gets easier with each season, i also hate that the passing time takes him farther and farther away.

today i took Eli to the park and just enjoyed being with him. lately he is the most fun person in the world to be around. tonight some friends are coming for dinner. tomorrow afternoon we're taking a family outing to a pumpkin patch and might find some leaf-covered ground to crunch through. fall is our favorite time of year, hands down.

on sunday we'll go to Kentucky again for church. jeremy has been doing music for a new church plant since last january. we miss our church here in Nashville and seeing many of those friends, but we are really enjoying being a part of this new church for the moment, and it's great to see how Jeremy's gifts are being used. the pastor also asked me to help dream up some aesthetic ideas since we are currently borrowing space in another church's bare little fellowship hall. i hope to lend some of my creative input where i can.

monday, we'll sneak away for a date night. our nights out have been less consistent lately, so when we have them i always have these grand notions of romantic dinners in quiet corners with wine and elegant plating. but at Margot Cafe for our anniversary last month, we almost fell asleep in our little plates of amuse bouche. [we suspect we might be getting old without realizing it.] this time, i suggested we just do something fun...so we're going to try a restaurant that's a little more lively. still with good food & conversation, of course. we're considering City House in Germantown, or Mad Donna's in our old neighborhood.

well readers, the chicken is soaking in its poaching bath, so before it gets too tough to shred, i better go make these enchiladas for our dinner guests.

enjoy your weekend. may there be good friends involved, and good leaf-crunching too.

08 October 2008

07 October 2008

black & white night

Our friend Billy turned 40 29 this past weekend and his wife Charla threw him an amazing party at a best-loved spot in town, Crema. it was such a fun night to celebrate one of our favorite people.

a gathering of friends, an italian feast, good wine, and the richest chocolate cake lit up like a july 4th sky. after dinner, Billy's friends took turns paying tribute to his songwriting talent by each performing one of his songs. it was a back and forth of laughter and beauty. also, everyone wore black, except for the guest of honor.

such a memorable evening that made us thankful for the richness of friendships...

andy & jeremy admiring matthew's iphone.

b & c

jeremy playing "heaven knows"

jeremy & kevin


the gifts



kevin mann, justin rosolino, mandy mann

charla, jeremy, billy, moi

03 October 2008

what the day holds.

i awoke to big squeezes and hugs from little arms today. Eli's soft cheeks were cold from this brisk fall air that has seeped into our house through century old crevices. he tugged at me to come downstairs, but socks for both of us were needed first.

the house is still and quiet this morning; it feels like a cozy blanket. i hear the faintest chirps from an upstairs bedroom as Eli attempts his morning rest. sam the dog softly snores on his pale green blanket. it sounds like a motor humming in the far far distance.

there is sunlight everywhere beyond two big picture windows. the view is deceptive, appearing more like the last days of summer than the entrance of autumn. on our walk yesterday, we noticed patches of crumpled orange leaves on the ground. others spiraled downward as we walked among the trees.

i have yet to form a plan for today. fridays always feel like nebulous days to me...moving toward the limitless freedom of saturday. i feel like baking something. definitely a walk to the park is in order. croissants with strawberry jam. dragging out the first lightweight sweater of the season. and a birthday party tonight.

these quiet minutes are being broken up by louder calls from overhead so i'll go up and fetch my little sock-footed monkey now. there's some sort of adventure awaiting us i'm sure. we have to go and find it.

02 October 2008