Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Family Pictures at Foothills Park


Last night, an old friend asked if my life is "as magical as documented." And, I don't know, I don't want to be the tool who humblebrags her life, but when I told Chris about the conversation he said, "Did you respond, 'It's even better'?" That's why I love him.

We did a family photo session with Cassie Green a month ago, and the results are indeed magical captures of real moments and real emotions. Someday we'll have family pictures that make our life look better than it really is, but I look at these and see exactly how our life feels right now: golden, filled with light, and soft around the edges. 

britt









Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On Nourishing


Tyler and Aly by Nirav Patel

AMAZING mini tacos photo by Nirav Patel

photo of pregnant me, eating those mini tacos, also by Nirav Patel

This summer we went up to Healdsburg for Aly and Tyler’s wedding. As you can see above, it was a seriously beautiful day.  What you can't see is the warm, squishy love I felt the entire time. Those guys are solid gold, and they know how to make a girl feel loved - even at their own wedding. As I ate The Most Delicious Mini-Tacos Ever Made, I thought of this article by the fine people at roomforty, which Aly and I talked about a few months before her wedding.
So many aspects of an event serve to elevate the host or guest of honor, but food is the one aspect that truly nourishes the guest. Food is where you return the favor. Food is where you nurture those that came to celebrate you. 
Aly and Tyler totally nailed it. Those tacos made me feel SUPER loved. I wish I were eating fifteen of those babies right now. Omg.

britt

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cuddle Club


Everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps. Newborns sleep for like seventeen hours a day; not even I need that much sleep. Not to mention, I am so much more relaxed when Chris is home, and we’re all together, within arm’s length. So virtually all of our family time is now spent in Cuddle Club. If this were a glamorous How To on the Ultimate Cuddle Club (like this), membership would include cuddly cashmere sweaters, toasty tartan blankets, vintage vinyl playing in the background, and cider mulling in the kitchen, candlelight, donuts… But our Cuddle Club is just three people who love each other, being snuggly.

britt

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Jack's Birthday



 



A few years ago I started working with people under conservatorship. These are usually elderly people who can no longer care for themselves, and so the court appoints a conservator who ensures that their needs are met. Every two years their conservatorship comes under review, and it was my job to read the notes of a court investigator and provide a recommendation for the judge on whether their conservatorship should continue.

I reviewed hundreds of these cases, but a handful of conservatees were especially memorable. In particular I remember a woman close to ninety years old who was alert and communicative, but she had forgotten almost everything about her life and the world around her. I was totally shocked when the court investigator asked if the conservatee was married (she was), and she responded, “I don’t know. Maybe. I think I might be.” She had forgotten who her husband was, if she had children, what her career had been, where she lived. Everything was gone. She knew her name, but the only details she remembered about her life were her birthday and the name of the small French village where she was born.

Do you ever worry that your birthday isn’t on the “right day”? No, you don’t, because only a crazy person would do that. But I thought about our baby’s birthday almost every day for the past year, even before I was pregnant, because I wanted our baby’s birthday to be on a good day, the right day. I don’t even know what the “right day” means, but I wanted it still. I didn’t care if he came early or late or smack on his due date, but someday ninety years from now, that day may be the only thing he knows about himself. He might not remember who we are, or how much we love him; but he may remember his name, his birthday, and where he was born – and last week, that was something we gave him.

britt

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Family Pictures


Every Thanksgiving my grandpa Stokes brings out old pictures of our relatives, and he tells us a few stories. It’s a tradition I look forward to every year. Lately I’ve been thinking about Thanksgiving during my first year of law school in the context of this amazing article. Waiting for dinner to start, I picked up one of the photo albums and flipped through pictures of my grandparents camping with their siblings, my uncles in the bathtub, my parents’ wedding. I was overwhelmed by a feeling of belonging in a family narrative, even though I was only in a handful pictures (in which I always seemed to be wearing baggy overalls and acne).

I’ve been thinking about how I can teach our wee babe what it means to be part of our Perry Family. I want him to see that his life is tied to a much bigger heritage, filled with farmers, explorers, and good, kind people. Family pictures, I hope, will be a big part of that education. So, to that end:
  • A few weeks ago I ordered a book through Artifact Uprising. We picked our favorite pictures from the last big vacation that Chris and I took before we become a family of three. The pictures above are from our hike to the top of Mount Slemish. The book itself is nothing special, but I hope it will be a good little book for little hands. 
  • This week I narrowed down pictures from our wedding for a small wedding album, and I'm planning to order a Kolo album when their 11x14 albums get back into stock. We also got an 8x10 of my favorite picture from our wedding to hang up in the house. 
  • Since we’ll have a little more time with our families this Christmas (yay for paternity leave), I’m hoping to spend time going through our family scrapbooks so that I can bring back copies of my favorite pictures of our siblings, our parents, and our grandparents. Hopefully we'll have enough to put together a simple photo album and frame a few for around the house.
britt

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Casual Baby Shower


This month my friends Meredith and Julie threw us a baby shower. We decided to bypass the traditional baby shower for, oh, several hundred reasons. First, I’m not great at opening presents in front of other people; it’s awkward and stressful – like wearing swim fins while running away from a family of grizzly bears. I also wanted Chris to be there too, but who wants to be a lone man in the Garden of Estrogen? No one.




So Meredith and Julie were the MOST thoughtful and planned a casual afternoon in the park. It was a “whole family” kind of party, and we spent a few hours surrounded by friends, eating hamburgers and talking about babies. Sometimes I worry about living so far away from my family as a brand new mom, but that day there was one moment where I looked around the park and saw people who already love the Perry household. It was a comforting moment for me to know we wouldn’t be alone when the baby comes in a few weeks.

britt

p.s. Julie took all these pictures. And Google+ auto awesomed this gif for me, and look! You can see how happy I am! I didn't break out into stress hives at all!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stanford Theatre


This weekend we went to see the Sound of Music at the Stanford Theatre. We haven’t had a traditional “date night” in a while, (words that have never been used to describe this pregnancy: predictable, adventuresome, outdoorsy) and this was a great plan for our night because it was 1) air conditioned and sitting down 2) a movie we love and 3) at a fun new place together.






Some of my all-time favorite nights out have been at silent film festivals or watching classic movies on the big screen. Everywhere else I’ve lived you had to be proactive about attending events like these, but we are lucky to live in an area with many theatres that specialize in showing silent films and classic Hollywood movies every day of the week. The Stanford Theatre uses real film for the movies it shows, and they have professional organists who accompany the silent films and perform before the show and during intermission. Plus we got a giant bucket of popcorn for $2.50. I can’t wait to go back.

britt

p.s. Another one of my favorite theatres in the Bay Area for silent films, classic movies, and even current box office hits.
p.p.s  And my favorite McSweeney's essay on this subject.