Friday, January 30, 2015

[2015] 2/52 + 3/52

Avienne with two of her favorite baristas.

Week 2: Avienne and Sam

Week 3: Avienne and Ryan

About two years ago, while grabbing tacos one day, we stumbled upon a cozy, little coffeeshop that we soon discovered offered comfy couch seating and made perfect cappuccinos. We eventually made it our second home and have begun the majority of our mornings ever since with a coffee and a smile at Houndstooth

It didn't take us long to realize that besides the promise of a cup of stellar coffee, seeing some really friendly and incredibly sweet faces every day was the real reason we kept going back. "Cossee shop" as Avienne calls our favorite coffee spot, is where we go to start our day, have a few moments of calm or to share a bit of news. It's our go-to when we need to regroup or meet up with loved ones. And it's a place we'll miss dearly when we're no longer a short (or long) drive away. These two faces (along with a few others) are already missed!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

[2015] 1/52

2014 was such a hazy year for me. So much changed, so many tears ran and frustrations sprouted; so many nights were filled with brutal thoughts and painful sobs - days filled with puffy eyes and coffee overdoses. I floated through most of last year, pushed through the days and sheltered myself from reality. 

If there's any resolution to be made for 2015, it's a hope to regain a bit of normalcy and calm. To gather my thoughts and reset my goals. To stay focused and aware. To find the silver lining of it all and take only the good from the bad. Let myself go, relax and enjoy my life and family and all the love that blooms there.

So, I'm hopping back in the saddle with one of my old favorites that went wayward when things turned upside down last year - my 52 Project. This year, I want to capture Avienne again, but not alone. I think she would love to look back some day to see portraits of herself with someone she appreciates, loves or admires. As much as she enjoys her independence, she is a fierce friend to those she has time to know and happily makes new friends wherever she goes. Plus, she's got a pretty large extended family who could fill a 52 project at least threefold. 

> > > > > 

1/52: Avienne with Papa | taken 1/3/15

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Faux New Yorkers

We love New York. Really love it. I wish we could live there, but things like preschool and toddler soccer are forever wait-listed and just too dang expensive for us to even seriously consider living there. So, we go when we have a good excuse and let ourselves pretend like we live there for those few precious days. 

Last weekend, Gui's mom and sister were visiting his aunt and uncle who live in the city, so we decided to meet up with them for a few days of their stay. We hadn't seen them in person since January, which feels like a lifetime ago. They Skype with Avienne nearly every weekend, so it wasn't a huge surprise when she saw them in New York and went a little crazy-happy with the hugs and smiles. It's the first time she's really been old enough to get excited about traveling and seeing relatives. 

It was really cold for the first 2 days and rained cats and dogs on our last day, but the weather is part of what I love about New York, and for me, cold and rain just mean more time spent at our favorite restaurants and coffee shops. We stayed in a different area than usual and discovered some new great restaurants and neighborhoods. As creatures of habit, it's hard to get us to move out of our comfort zone, but we managed and succeeded in falling in love even more with our favorite Stateside city.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mini pain au chocolat for our mini

When I left off from posting, back in February, we had just returned from a trip to Paris. As I was going through my camera's SD card earlier today, I stumbled upon this sweet video from a very tiny Avienne in Paris. She is 5 months older now and talks much more, no longer relies on sign language to get her point across, and has about 5 more inches of hair. Time is breezing by.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Still breathing

I've had the urge to come back here for a few weeks now. I miss archiving my thoughts, snippets of my day, moments in my life in this one little corner of the world.

My dad passed away on March 10th. Doctors seemed about as baffled as we were for his abrupt and severe decline in health over a few days, and we eventually settled on a diagnosis and cause that seemed the most logical.

Losing him turned my world upside-down. Perhaps, one day, I'll write down the details of the days just before and after losing him, but I'm not ready to relive my feelings during that time. I never ever believed that emotions could do so much physical damage to a person until mine overtook my life. I am on the path back to good health, though, and I see the strength of my emotions now and work around the clock not to let them spiral out of control. My family have been my saving grace and I surely could not have made it through the thick of it so easily without them.

But, life is good, if not very emotional, and I carry my dad's memory along with me everywhere and in everything I do. Avienne mentions him at every familiar phrase or sound, and she often asks to see his picture when she's upset. I like to think he consoles her somehow, even if just by his memory.

We have a lot going on right now - some really big plans coming up and some expansion on the horizon for my business. Avienne is still enjoying a few hours at preschool, and we're hoping to extend her time there soon. She has turned TWO and lights up our lives with her equal parts silly and sweet self. I'm so grateful for her.

There is much to write and I'm glad to be back here again to make sure I get it all out.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Everything all at once

It has been a crazy year. There is so much happening in my life that my emotions are riding a continuous set of waves, striking me with constant pangs of sea-like sickness and nervousness. I've been neglecting all the extras, like this blog, my 52 project, time with friends, date nights, emails and social media in general to focus on both the good and bad going on. But, I need to gather my thoughts and get them out before my mind explodes, and I know I'll be glad for it later.

There are so many things for me to be happy about right now. I had the honor of being a part of my best friend's wedding this past weekend. It was a remarkable day and a beautiful ceremony that I'll forever treasure in my memory.

I've been working on starting my own business, too, and finally, tomorrow morning, I'll launch Petit Fauve, an online children's clothing boutique. It's been months and months in the making and I'll still be working out all the kinks and adding to it in the next few months, but I'm really excited to get things rolling. It's been consuming every bit of free time I have, but being busy always gives me a bit of fulfillment.

We took a quick trip to Paris in late-January that was simply way too short and way too busy. I so love that city and hope to be back there again in the summertime to enjoy it a little more. Despite the chaos of running around town from morning to midnight, we had so much fun and I still want to share the pictures from that trip. I will soon.

I have so much to be happy about and grateful for, but there is a lingering and constant sadness despite it all. My dad has been in the hospital for three weeks now. He's been sick since the beginning of the year, and his health has been rapidly declining since then. The most frustrating part of it all is that there is still no definitive diagnosis, and with every treatment, a new symptom or ailment crops up and we're back to square one.

Most recently, they've had to anesthetize him to the point of complete sedation in an effort to "reset" his brain and stop the persisting seizures that seemed to materialize out of nowhere. It's the scariest and saddest thing to witness someone you love deteriorate so quickly. Not knowing if he'll wake up, or if he'll be able to function normally if he wakes up has been the most nervewracking and emotionally-trying part of it all. I wish I could say he's "recovering", but he's really just "maintaining" now until we see how the sedation treatment affects him over the next few days.

Everything I do, I do it with him and his situation in the back of my mind. I can't shake it and I won't stop thinking about it until there are answers. My relationship with my dad is not perfect, but he is my dad and I love him and I know he loves me. Seeing him become so ill has made me feel grateful for the good times and hopeful for more.

I know that more emotional tidal waves are ahead, so I'm just doing my best to focus on the calm and prepare for the chaos.