fiddlehead.....every changing, ever growing

fiddlehead....ever changing, ever growing

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The moment a child is born,
the mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed, but the mother, never.
A mother is something absolutely new.

Eleanor Leona
Born November 28, 2010
7 lbs, 4 oz.

Every child begins the world again.... ~Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to the world sweet Eleanor Leona.  
Congratulations Krissy and Steve!  You have entered the wonderous world of parenthood....your heart will never be the same for now it will only grow and grow with your sweet girl.  love you all.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Over due!

This is my beautifully pregnant sister, Krissy.  
She is overdue....I thought for sure her little bundle would be here for her Auntie to snuggle with for the  Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  To Krissy's dismay, this did not happen.  If you have never been "over due", let me just tell you the anticipation is emotionally exhausting and your body is so uncomfortable that you just want to get that baby OUT, OUT, OUT.  Well, it was like that for me anyway....and my sister is no different.  The selfish bonus for me is that now I am in MN while she is about to have her first baby!  The other bonus is I was able to see her at full-term and twisted her arm to get these beautiful photos of her in full blossom.  I love them and know someday she will too.  But as I type this she is in the hospital working on bring this precious new life into the world....she really is.   She is about to be a mother.   Isn't that so incredibly amazing and beautiful!?  


my I have so very much to be thankful for....

the kid table, which was right next to

the grown up table, where everyone was too busy eating and talking to look at me and my camera.  Seems about right! 

This is my nephew....seriously adorable.
gobble, gobble.

Last Thanksgiving I was so thankful for our sweet girl's referral.  
This Thanksgiving I give thanks for so many blessing in our lives, 
and being able to hold her in our arms is one of the greatest of all.

Hope your heart is full of thanks...and your belly too.

ET girl meets MN snow

After a 5 hour drive we arrive to Minnesota to be greeted with winter....and snow for Thanksgiving.  Here, our little Ethiopian girl meets Minnesota snow.  Though for now, it is through Nana and Pops' big window.  Actually getting bundled up and getting out there and experiencing snow photos to come.

Monday, November 22, 2010

i heart faces- paper!

My entry:
Paper....the i heart faces challenge! I Heart Faces - Photo Challenges, Tutorials and Tips
I love love of paper started with the letters from my grandfather with "fivers for fun" aka...$5. bill.  As I think about it I love books ( I want to write a children's book desperately), printed photos, stationery, the hand written note, magazines, card board boxes....paper is wonderful isn't it?  And so I share my paper moment with the boys.

 I have been waiting for the perfect challenge to enter this photo in of my cardboard-loving boys.  Last summer they tackled an ever-so-large box, where they played all day. ..all day... yep, all day!  Paper can just be so blissful! Of course, I speak for all of us. Notice the windows and the mailbox in their new paper home.  To further support the paper theme, the boys declared this box was made into a paper store where neighbors were subjected to their paper "sales".    I used picnik's "reverse process"to create this vintage feel....I just love that effect.

I am entering the photo up top....the one below is just for fun.  It was a hard choice because I love the glow on the boys in the box below (did I make the right choice? hmm).
Enjoy more great entries at i heart faces!

Just for fun....not my entry

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Full circle moment

Tessa caught me off guard yesterday while we were in the art studio.  I was working on a new piece specifically for a silent auction benefiting Seeds of Africa (whom work in Ethiopia!).  There she was....admiring the "Message from Swaziland" series.  The paintings are right at her level (because of the angle of my studio wall space), which really seems perfect now that I think about it.  

There she was looking into the eyes of the children that had touched me so deeply in Swaziland.  I can remember clearly while in Swaziland that when I looked into the eyes of those beautiful children that I was thinking of our daughter who was on her way to us.  I had so many questions...had she even been conceived?  Was her birth family living in similar circumstances to what I was seeing?  I thought about her and asked myself questions that were unanswered around every corner.  I looked into those eyes and wondered....  and now I have the answers.  full circle.  And here I was creating a new piece of art specifically with images of those very eyes I had looked into 2 years ago and at the same time our sweet girl was looking back with wonder and curiosity.  full circle moment.

Here is the piece 

It is loaded with symbols....the postage stamps are a literal symbol of sending you a message "postcard" from Africa.  "See Hope" is scratched in by the butterflies, which have fiddleheads painted on favorite symbol of hope.  (As fiddleheads bloom early in the spring after the winter...I also named my website fiddlehead art for this reason).  Then "see us" is scratched into the boys forehead....and "see Africa" is scratched in next to the antique map of Africa. This piece is all acrylic and mixed media with paper, clay imprints (in the corner) and photo image transfers of the eyes.   

I am so incredibly grateful to be able to create art I love and be able to give back through it.  
Heres hoping it generates some $$$ for Seeds of Africa this weekend!  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

i heart faces- orange!

i heart faces- orange   photo contest
I Heart Faces - Photography Challenges, Tutorials and Tips
I love orange....I even have an orange guest room in my house!
Here is Jack from last spring making bubbles with his tiger.  
He was so excited to have a matching Tigger hat to boot! Can you see his Jack Jack spunk?!
The second photo  below is just for was a hard decision!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

8 months & 8 months

8 months in Ethiopia....

Tessa was 8 months old when we brought her home and into our family's life forever.  For 8 months she had a journey without us....there was loss, changes and her ability to thrive in her environment.  We didn't even know of her until she was 10 weeks old.  I wish I had more to give her from those first 8 months.  I do know she was loved and cared for well at the care center.  I also know that in that time she was resilient and left as healthy as possible.  She hadn't bonded to any one person, but she was loved and cared for.

8 months home....she has been loved and care for by us for 8 months.  At first I was a nanny to her.  I am sure of it.  But really, it was her only frame of reference "People care for me, but I don't have one person".  I felt her emotional distance in many ways, it was intense and painful. I was so ready to love her and be loved.  But it was going to take time.   I knew it would be different than my experiences with my birth sons, but you never know what it will feel like until you are in it.  With time, consistency and lots of love, touch and care the bond started.  It grew, and grew.  She began to reach for me, want to be comforted by me.  All beautiful signs of such an important developmental and lifelong skill....attachment.  It is complicated, but aren't all things that are this important!?  Being able to trust, to love and be loved.  We are there is growing everyday.  I still look for the signs that she is giving me that say "I need you" and look for the moments when she seems distant.  Those distant moments seem fewer.

Our sweet girl is growing, changing all too quickly.  Babyhood with Tessa went so fast, she is a full on toddler now who loves to explore.  Actually, that basically all she does when she isn't restrained in a car seat or high chair now that I think about it.  I have emptied drawers to prevent some of her messes and moved dangers out of the way.  She has the most infectious little smile and laugh.  Her beauty is really stunning.  Tessa feels things intensely....yep, she has a temper!   She is a wonderful little soul, who we feel blessed to be guiding in this world.

8 & 8....Tessa, you have been with us now for as long as you we were without you in our arms.  Look how far we have come in just 8!  Here's to a lifetime.  We love you.



love. peace. hope.

(piece from an artist's outdoor art display in Sausalito, CA- artist unknown)

Halloween trailer style

Why not start a Halloween post with our very own Halloween cat....
this is Felix, one of the 2 black cats that live at our house!  Here he was freaked out by a neighbor's dog. Now onto Halloween at the Rikkers!...trailer style!

Halloween 2010
Mario (aka Judson), Rex from Toy Story (Jack), Swampfire form Ben 10 (Drew), 
Purple People Eater (Tessa) & Andy as Best Daddy
Our silly cat...who is rather dog-like, followed the kids to the neighbors for trick-or-treating

In Monroe, you can go to "town" and hit all kinds of houses door to door.  We live just outside of town in the country, so we go trailer style.  (I hate to admit it, but this trailer does come in handy from time to time)   The kids loved being able to jump out at houses in our neighborhood.  Amazingly, the kids did awfully well with candy.  Since people out here don't have lots of trick or treaters the boys come away with loads of candy people don't want to keep!  
(Hence, I have way to much candy tempting me at all hours of the day!)
Rolling through the streets on Halloween in the trailer is all kinds of fun...making memories!

Thank you for visiting the fiddlehead report!