fiddlehead.....every changing, ever growing

fiddlehead....ever changing, ever growing

Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Jack-o-lantern

Dear Jack Jack, our Halloween baby,
It was Halloween 5 years ago.  I was a week overdue, miserably pregnant and sooooo ready for you to enter our family!

You arrived at 5:32p.m. (I will always remember the exact time because it was the same as our address in military time 1732)  
Your birth was such a wonderful birth....
Since I was a week overdue we scheduled your induction for Halloween morning.   I knew what to expect, the laboring started slowly throughout the day.  Daddy, Nana and Omie were all there waiting with me, excited to see you enter the world.  In the afternoon I had asked for the epidural right at the point when I couldn't tolerate the pain any longer.  I remember the relief of that wonderful epidural (what a sweet thing), being able to rest and relax until the action really started.   As things were gearing up for your entrance in the world Daddy ordered a pizza, but by the time it was delivered it was also that time to push.  So, the room smelled like Daddy's favorite pizza for you to enter the world!

Daddy had delivered your brothers (at a different hospital) but when it was time for those last couple pushes he and the OB/GYN were being overly polite saying "you go ahead", "its o.k., you".   While I was waiting for those last couple pushes, that can hardly be held back,  I said something to the effect of "Andy! you delivered the other boys, get down there NOW!"   That ended their politeness and Daddy got into position to deliver you.  Daddy was the first person to hold you, our third son.  It was wonderful and blissful.  We were all overwhelmed by your sweetness, our love for you and the miracle of that moment.  I will never forget that feeling. 

About an hour later the big brothers came in with Pops from trick-or-treating to meet you,  Drew was dressed up as Superman and Juddy was a race-car driver.  They were so excited and even offered you some of their candy.
Jack, your name did not come to us immediately.  We had a list we were talking about but became distracted when your jaundice became very severe.  You had been born with a high billirubin level and it only increased in your first day.  They took you from us and sent you to St. Mary's hospital in Madison to try and get the blood levels under control.  It was scary and sad that they wouldn't let us ride with you in the ambulance to the hospital.  We met you there.  I was so sad when I saw your incubator and it said, "Baby Boy Rikkers".   You looked so large compared to the other babies in the NICU....the nurses said you were a giant there being born overdue.   But you were very sick.  They poked and proded at you  with needles and it made us incredibly sad, but we knew they were doing exactly what your little body needed. 

On your 3rd day, while you were in the NICU and we stayed at the Ronald McDonald house, we thought about your name more.  One of the nurses said you were a little Jack-o-latern because you were born on Halloween and were glowing a yellow-orange color from your jaundice.   That comment along with the fact that we just loved the name Jack sealed your name.  When you were born your face looked like an old man and reminded me of my grandfather.  Right after you were born Nana said you reminded her of her father Poppy just as I was about to say the same thing.   Which is why your middle name is Anderson after that side of the family.

We came home from the hospital on the 5th day.

So incredibly grateful that the NICU had been able to treat your jaundice and prevent any damage.  We are so grateful for your health.

And look at you today at 5 years old. Equal parts spunk and sweetness.  You give the best hugs and snuggles.  So spirited, mischievious and at times stubborn...know what you want and don't want.   With a laugh that is so absolutely contagious.  You feel things deeply and love big.   
We feel so honored to be guiding you in this world 
We love you sweet boy...
Happy Birthday Jack Jack!

Friday, October 21, 2011

one of a kind

"One of a Kind"
Mixed media acrylic painting

One day I was taking photos of a friends land out in the country.  Their land is beautiful, full of different landscapes and textures.  
This was a project in which I would come out and take photos at the peak of  each season.
   It was the spring photo shoot and I was "out of my mind excited" 
to see a hillside full of beautiful white flowers.  
I was literally laying on the ground in the woods getting awesome macro shots.
That wonderful, in the moment of beauty- feeling came over me.  I loved it!
That is until I realized that my keys had fallen out of the my pocket.
Yep.  In the woods.   keys. gone. 
They were gone.  So, I called a friend to rescue me and then continued taking photos.
There among those little white flowers on the hill was a gorgeous white flower standing tall.  
Different from all the rest. 
One of a kind.
Beautifully simple, but almost seemed out of place.  
But the beauty of this story is that out of that bummer moment came a beautiful photograph,
which I just recently painted and felt that "out of my mind excited" feeling once again.

I love art.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

19 years ago...

October 16th is a special day because....
19 years ago I met this guy and fell madly in love with him.
I was 19 when I met him.  Half my life has been with him in it.  

I am so grateful that our paths crossed on this day 19 years ago.   I love you and our life that we have created together....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

over the bridge

3 out of our 4 little people  went over the bridge....  how I wish Jud had been here!   I was just checking out the new bridge in town that is connected to a trail.  Checking the light, the possibilities....
....which are many!
There is something so easy about shooting here....
I even like how the shadows are creating this pattern.

There are fences to hang on to.
And I just love how the bridge frame actually frames the shot....ahhhh.

 Drew is so darn photogenic...."gap", "boden" do you see this kid?

And then the trail just creates this natural background to play it!

Gosh...I wish Jud had been here for this walk over the bridge!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

art show.....

Ah....I am feeling a sense of relief.   I just hung up my art show at the Prairie Cafe & Bakery in Middleton, WI (outside of Madison)   and it looks great.

I have been working on a number of new paintings for months.  It has been consuming me on many levels.  There is nothing like that last minute adrenaline to kick my creative juices into high gear!  The night before the show I completed the series "The Art of Hope".    Thankfully these pieces came together at the last minute.  My process is often very messy and disorganized as I jump from piece to piece in my studio.   I usually have about 8-10 pieces in process.  I find I enjoy working on them all simultaneously....there is a cohesiveness that occurs, and it is when I feel my most creative.

This series of paintings was created with the intention to express the hope I held onto after returning from AIDS Walk Africa and while we continued on our adoption journey to bring our daughter home.   Hope was at the core of these journeys for me, and continues to me.   So much so that even the universe acknowledged this hope by giving Tessa her Ethiopian name "Tesfanesh", literally meaning "you are hope".

A little info....they are all mixed-media acrylic paintings.  
"Perch of Hope"

"Born of my Hope"

"Hope Blossoms"

"Hope Lives"

"Mask of Hope"

"Messenger of Hope"

"Symbol of Change"

"Listening for Hope"

These paintings hung together in the space...

And they accompanied the work from the "Message from Swaziland" series...

It is always such an interesting process to show your works.  It leaves me feeling excited, proud and down right vulnerable.   And while I find I have a new appreciation for the older works, I also feel a profound attachment to the newer pieces.  That is always the way for me.   If I could I would like to know where each piece ends up.  So, we shall see who connects to what....but mostly my hope is that these works will stir people in some way.  Maybe the issue of the AIDS pandemic in Swaziland, or that hope lives all around us in nature, in ourselves...we just have to look for it.  

If you are in the area do try and visit the Prairie Cafe and Bakery, which is a fantastic cafe.

Thank you for visiting the fiddlehead report!