Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Birthday Card Illustration


A card for my little brother's 11th birthday, inspired by this party invitation.

It can be a great learning experience to mimic another artist's work.
When I haven't painted in a while, I like to dip my toe back in the water by copying a piece I like, as a sort of exercise.

The sun is shining so brightly here, and my belly is so round and full, like a ripe melon.
81 days til we reach my due date.

xoxo country girl

Saturday, June 25, 2011

28 Weeks


This photograph was taken a week ago, but I haven't taken a new one since. (Can you see little Kiki?) I'm a little sad that Ramon and I don't have any photographs of both of us with my pregnancy bump, but there is still time.

Today wasn't the best day, I have to admit. I was woken by a phone call about my aunt's poor condition after an operation, and then walked into the nursery to find that Boston had peed on a few things. Luckily they were washable. But I was in a strange mood for the rest of the day. Very low energy, and with growing pains in my ever-stretching belly. I tried taking a bubble bath, which did help a little. But some days are just like that, aren't they...you don't mind going to bed at the end of them because you are hoping that tomorrow will be better!

Last night I had a burst of energy and a surge of nesting syndrome, and cooked up three different soups to freeze for after Raffi's birth: Chicken Wild Rice, Cream of Pumpkin, and Potato Leek. I will try to do this a few times before the baby is born. Also planning on baking and freezing muffins and cookies. I just have this itch, and feel like I need to be preparing!

It's crazy to say this at the beginning of the third trimester, but I already feel like I have been and will be pregnant forever. I am getting so impatient to welcome Rafael, to see his face and hold him in my arms. For him to be really, really real!

Here's the latest pregnancy survey. :)



  • How far along?: 28 weeks.


  • Total weight gain: 18 lbs (haven't gained anything in the past couple of weeks...just the baby!)


  • How big is baby?: Approx 2 1/2 lbs


  • Maternity clothes?: Sporting stretchy yoga pants, tank tops, and airy cotton cardigans.


  • Stretch marks?: Unfortunately on my breasts; none on the belly, though.


  • Sleep?: Have been sleeping pretty well, besides having very bizarre dreams.


  • Best moment this week?: The best times have been napping at midday with the doggies. I love how, when I plop on the couch, they rush in to join me.


  • Movement?: Yes, a lot of movement. And Rafael loves to bunch up on the left side of my belly, making it lop-sided. 


  • Food cravings?: Peanut butter, butter, butterfingers.


  • Labor signs?: Thank goodness NO. Have been experiencing plenty of Braxton-Hicks contractions, though.


  • Belly button in or out?: It's getting flatter every day.


  • What I miss: I miss my husband! He has been in Holland on business and I am so glad that he's coming home tomorrow, even though it's just for two days and then he's off to Italy!


  • What I'm looking forward to: I'm always looking forward to another week passing, so that I am one more week closer to meeting Rafael.


  • Milestone: I've begun the third and final trimester



  • xoxo country girl
  • Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Welcome, Summer!

    Happy summer everyone!

    I gathered all sorts of wild plants and pods on the first walk of the summer this morning, combining them to make a tiny nature table to welcome the new season. The sun is shining bright and strong, raspberries and cherries are ripe, and roses are spilling over fences all over the neighborhood. Bees buzzing and birds singing...the sounds of summer!






    It was so much fun to search the forest floor for nature's treasures. I know it's been many months since my last tiny nature table; I hope to keep it up now, and hope you will share your nature treasures, too!

    The arrival of a new season is always something exciting. It reminds us of the earth's cycles, which we are a part of, even today in this modern time. No one can stop the weather, no one can manipulate the seasons. It's something eternal for us to hold onto in these times when we are surrounded by the finite.

    Wishing you all a most beautiful summer....warm, colorful, fragrant, and laden with many happy memories.

    xoxo country girl

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    For Fellow Pin-dred Spirits!

    Here's a little something I made for all you Pinterest addicts!



    Add it to your blog sidebar and link it up to your Pinterest pinboard.

    See you around the boards!


    xoxo country girl

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Oh, June!





    Happy June everyone!

    This home is in a peony frenzy. My mother-in-law brings me arm-fulls from her garden, so just as one arrangement is fading, I can replace them with fresh bunches of flowers that seem almost too gorgeous and fragrant to be true.

    Lucky for me, it hasn't stayed hot for long stretches; sweltering days are, more often than not, broken by wild storms which cool off the land and bring relief. The dogs and I are becoming experts at taking walks just when there is a pause in rain. Then we make our way to the damp, dripping forest, and smell the wet soil, and hear the birds singing cheerily.

    Today, on our morning walk, it hit me so strong that these are the last few months of life as I know it. My life will be changed forever with the arrival of our son. It's something so exciting and mysterious on the horizon, and it really struck me that I am on the edge of so many new experiences.

    Pregnancy itself is such a unique experience. At times it feels so natural that I almost forget. Other times it's so uncomfortable and all-comsuming that I seem to be defined by pregnancy.

    My favorite thing about being pregnant is definitely feeling Rafael kick and move. He is already so alive, living the very beginnings of his life inside of me as I go about my day. Growing....listening....sharing this body with me and needing me so much already. At the ultrasound on Tuesday (with my new wonderful doctor!!) we all could hardly believe it when Rafael began smacking him lips and then sucking on his fingers as we watched the screen in awe. He is a little over 800 grams now, the average size and weight for his gestational age. The doctor said she is 'very happy with the baby.' And then added that she is happy with me, too. I love my new doctor!



    I am going to love Rafael so much. I am going to learn so much because of him. His birth and existence will transform us, will transform our lives.

    I try not to think about it too much because it's almost too big and profound to handle!

    xoxo country girl

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