March six | 3.6

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

I thought I would set myself a challenge: select a photo seemingly at "random," and create a post about it. Today being March 6th - 3/6 - I decided to head into the third folder of my Pictures album on my hard drive and select the 6th photo in it. (Thank you, sticky Facebook posts, for this inspiration from awhile back.)

Here it is:

My mom is known for being festive. She puts on a party with flare, and the table settings take center stage. My sister and I receive text messages from my Mom on occasion, filled with stunning photos of her latest centerpieces and themed decor for a party thrown for friends or the latest holiday celebration.

This setting was for an occasion very special to me personally: my baby shower. February 2017. Mom went all out, planning for weeks so that her many friends, and a few of my local friends, would have the chance to bless the socks off Ted and me and our growing family. The back patio was filled with gifts for our little one. The white board in the hallway replete with name suggestions for the yet-to-be-born munchkin. And the tables were set with precision, color, and care.

Mom had at least four tables decked with bursts of blues and sweet polka dot and chevron patterns. Tasty cakes and berries mounted peoples' plates, and dozens of friends chattered and shared their advice and well wishes for my forthcoming foray into motherhood. I reconnected with many family friends that day, in a way that was akin to my wedding reception 7 years earlier.

A fun-filled day; a truly festive occasion. And it all started with a picturesque table setting. (Photo credits: Erica Oswald.)

So that you can see some more fun from that day:


Friday, February 8, 2019

I am not one to keep many plants alive at once, so I appreciate these accents of flora in our home all the more!

These have proven pretty hard to kill, mercifully. I love house plants. :) 


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Behold! A boy on the brink of some epic puddle splashing. 

He's got his boots on; he is ready. 

(Effie Yeaw Nature Center, 2019.)

A few of my favorite things

Saturday, February 2, 2019

I found this list I began over a year ago of some of my recent "favorites" (t.v. shows, books, activities.) I updated it and thought I would share it now:

The Renovaré podcast with Nathan Foster

The Enneagram. (Reading Cron and Stabile's book now, The Road Back to You; enjoyed Jen Hatmaker's interview with Ian Cron, too)

Parks & Rec (we skimmed Season 1 and then got into Season 2)

The Bodyguard (British thriller miniseries, available on Netflix)

American History Teller's "Cold War" podcast series

Ushpizin movie (try your local library; description here.) video series and Bible study tools

On Being podcast interview with Eugene Peterson, "The Bible, Poetry, and Active Imagination"

Abstract series produced by Netflix (Episodes 1 & 2 are highlights.)

James leaning in for butterfly kisses ;)

Fresh Thanks

Friday, February 1, 2019

An orange tree in the yard is something beautiful to share. I often forget about the row of citrus trees that line the walkway to our backyard - orange, mandarin, grapefruit. They are hidden by a gate, and in the rainy months our muddy yard sees fewer visits from me and my watering can. In the coolness of these winter months, fresh fruit is often the farthest thing from my mind. Yet, behold! My yard contains sweet gifts: trees laden with ripe citrus.

I served some up for a guest yesterday.

Our citrus trees are one of the first things that caught my eye when we moved into our rental in Carmichael two years ago. They reminded me of our home in Haiti that was situated in a compound well-populated by tropical delights: soursop, breadfruit, limes, grapes, and coconuts. The bursts of flavor that accented our life in the Caribbean, matched with the bright colors that dotted the landscapes, clothing and art, are among the chief aspects I miss about life in Haiti.

When I encountered the fruit trees in our new home, it felt like receiving a warm smile and embrace from God. He was saying, "this is your home now." He had delivered us from the doorstep of one beloved dwelling to a new home where we could welcome and begin to raise our son.

All of this - from citrus!

On having fun

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Lately I've noticed that my activities with James comprise a new element - he's been playing and interacting, goofing around in such a way that it's just fun to watch him have fun.

I can say now, "James, we're going to the park!" and see something click in his head. Going for his shoes, he knows he's in for a good time. Once he sees the playground, another light goes on in his little head. It's play time!

He's playing much more with "big kid" equipment. Climbing the steps in the tots play area, and going down the tiny slide. But it's all still completely novel, and he approaches it all with some awe and reticence.

He's also just a goofball. He likes to stand and stomp his feet in place, doing a little dance. When he sees something he's really excited about - a truck, or another kid maybe - he babbles some gibberish in an authoritative squawk and points to the sky with his right arm thrust up in the air, and keeps it there while walking toward the object of interest. He also prances around the kitchen now with his hands clasped behind his back, or just one tucked behind there - our little Napoleon.

It's a whole new thing to watch him having fun like this, and our activities are much more geared toward getting him out and letting him explore. No longer content with the limited movement the indoors' provide, he's a boy on the move. And, I suspect, the adventuring will only continue, reaching heights for which I'm not ready!

James "chasing birds" at the school field.

Our sweet boy

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Well it's hard to believe; he's here! And he's changed our world completely. James Oswald was born May 1, 2017 at 12:59 a.m.

James Benedict Oswald, weighed 7 lbs 10 oz at birth, 21 inches long

Yesterday he turned 10 weeks old, and we commemorated this with an early photo shoot by Ted's brother P.J. who owns his own photography business.

Our sweet boy, who has gone by the epithet "Sweet Baby James" (from James Taylor's famous song) since birth, is smiling and changing a little all the time. It's amazing that the wild news we learned on a Friday night in Haiti 11 months ago has now been realized in the form of this beautiful guy.

Meet James!

(All photos by P.J. Oswald of Fits and Stops Photography)