First Birthday

San Clemente Family Photographer-1490 San Clemente Family Photographer-3557I can’t even remember what my official due date was, I believe it was the 5th, all I knew is that it came and went and I felt this rush of urgency over a bomb I had no control in the detonation of. Waking each morning and wondering if today was the day; my concentration on minuscule things like the weather or what astrological sign he (though we did not know it was a ‘he’ at the time) would be born under.

All the anxiety and anticipation bounding inside me, like water on the brink of boiling. So that when it did happen, it happened without question, an audible pop from inside me like the cork flying out of a champagne bottle.

Our only planned hospital birth and as irony would have it, he was nearly born in the car. Forty-five minutes of complete surrender to a pain that left no room to even will it’s disappearance. A few minutes collecting things at home, a 25 minute drive, a 10 minute transfer up to a room, and five minutes total in a hospital bed. And there he was, in my arms, all 10 lbs of him. Another boy. But more importantly, another healthy boy.

My sweet Sonny, I fought for you. You are the third I knew I always wanted well before you were even you. I had no hope of who you’d be or what you’d be, I just knew I needed you. And now I know why. You are potentially (I mean, I can always hold onto hope, right?) the last piece to the puzzle. You are so loved and you have protection built in for life by way of two older brothers that adore you but hate when you touch their legos. Happy first birthday, mi amor.

(Sonny’s birth story can be found here).

People Who Knew Me

No matter the size of the audience, I think anyone that posts anything these days does a second peek back to see how it was perceived; to see how it was accepted or liked or if it proved relevant in the lives of others. And that’s just social media. Imagine publishing a novel. I suppose others aren’t privy to the process; the time, dedication, push and pull that is the publishing world. My own knowledge, limited, even as a sister to a published author. But witness, I have. The highs, the lows, the triumphs, the defeats. It’s such a ruthless industry. In any event, I mentioned it here before that my sister is now a published author. Her book has been out for coming up on a year and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. You can read the reviews and purchase it here.

A friend in need…

The house I grew up in backed up to several hills. I remember the FBI was there once because they found some ‘women’s articles’ down one of the trails. I also remember there being an obvious camping spot someone was using down the same trail, at the creek bed, where there was hardly ever any running water because, well, California drought. Up above our house, on another trail, was the foundation of a house that once was; the kind of abandoned land that raised more questions than answers, starting with the fact there was no road that led to it. We had cats, outdoor cats at that, and I’m not quite sure how they survived given the amount of coyotes. At least once there was a bobcat sighting. And I distinctly remember driving home late after a party in high school only to see a bear in the middle of the road. To this day my parents presume I was seeing things and after all these years, maybe they were right.

But the biggest threat of all was the Santa Susana winds. Kinda like the way grey skies from afar paint an ominous scene those winds, on those hot days, brought with them a certain degree of dread, of fear. Because we all knew that with the winds came the threat of fire. We’ve packed up the cars several times. I remember bringing fire fighters powdered donuts. I also remember looking out the window and watching my dad hose things down with water as if a little water here and there would do the trick, lessen the risk. We were kind of in the boonies and for a long time, with not many homes around us, we weren’t really a priority of the fire department. Especially when neighboring hills were so much more populated. In any event, I can still remember the fear of losing our home; the fear of having to reevaluate our lives in the absence of the stuff we’ve collected and built and saved.

All this to say that when my sweet friend Kate shared the story of her friend Sunny (@buffaloargosy), a fellow airstream renovator, my heart sunk. A week or so ago, while Sunny and her sweet boy were away from their home, Sunny’s parents’ home caught fire and it spread to their airstream. Her folks and Sunny’s nieces and nephews barely made it out of the house and a beloved pet was lost. A GoFundMe has been set up by Sunny’s sister and while the goal has been met to fix the actual house, the left over money is being given to Sunny to repair her home, the airstream. Every little bit helps, even the love and prayers. If you feel inclined to donate, you can so by clicking here.

Portrait Series | February

San Clemente Family Photographer-6728 San Clemente Family Photographer-6748 San Clemente Family Photographer-6785A portrait of my family once a month in 2017

Willy: Celebrated another year of life.

Hooper: Asked why eleven isn’t called ‘one-teen’. Also lost his first tooth.

Van: Saw a Marine walk into Staples and asked if he was the president.

Sonny: Managed to open one of his dirty diapers Willy had tossed to the side and was found playing with a nug of poop.

Me: Hid a pair of Willy’s basketball shorts because they’re gross and no man should wear them only to find out he has an identical back up pair. So I hid those too. And instead of asking where they are, I’m pretty sure he just bought a new pair because they never seem to go away.

Jimmie: Politely got called ‘fat’ by our contractor who hasn’t been here for months (and by ‘hasn’t been here for months’ what I mean is hasn’t finished work he started months ago).