A Gratuitous Post All About LOVE and THE FUTURE

Today marks our one-year wedding anniversary. What a wonderful, insane year it has been.

20130907. Our wedding!

20130907. Our wedding!

20130907. Our Wedding!

20130907. Our Wedding!

20130907. Our Wedding!

For instance, we now have some new residents: tens of thousands of bees and an adorable almost-seven-month-old.

Willem adores his BFF Crosby:

Homies and their chew toys.

As always, we are looking to the future. I think that’s one of the coolest things about us as a couple: we push each other and support each other and egg each other on with whatever latest hairbrained scheme one of us has until it doesn’t seem so hairbrained anymore and we actually do it.

Today’s discussion (during lunch at La Margarita, our fave Mexican restaurant, which I hadn’t visited since my due date) centered around finding some land/buying a farm so Chris could start raising nucs and building top bar hives (the latter he could do here; the former, not so much). I also had a really freaking amazing idea last night centered around food deserts and a new way of getting produce to communities who would maybe love to eat fresh produce if only they had access…. And that’s all I want to say about THAT because I might actually want to try to do it at some point.

I’m also exploring new ways to spread art into the world (and maybe make a little cash on the side so we can maybe, possibly, actually get us some land one of these days) and have re-opened my Etsy shop! Visit me at www.etsy.com/shop/famousthecat and get yourself a custom “home sweet home” print to display your own family love all year round.

Here’s ours:
20140712. Updated Home Sweet Home.

What. A. Year.

This year has been, without a doubt, one of my favorites so far. Perhaps my favorite. Like, of my whole entire life. It has been life changing and perspective shifting. On January 1 last year, I could never have imagined where I would be today in so many aspects of life.

I feel like it’s been one constant positive feedback loop, which is a pretty amazing place to be living. And I can’t wait for 2014.

So without further ado, let’s take a walk through memory lane and hit just a few of the many highlights:

January – Birdie’s first hotel room and snowy, cold day snuggles.

February – Surprise Valentine’s Day trip to Chicago with this guy and Birdie (the first one was from Revolution – amazing beer, amazing food, amazing beer bottle chandelier).

March – Dreams of summer gardens and our famous chickens.

20130309. Peppers and tomatoes.

20130330. Indianapolis Monthly collage.

April – Upping the ante with our new garden fence (backyard time lapse, 2011 to 2013).

20130415. The backyard - year 1, year 2, and year 3.

May – Celebrating my parents’ 40th anniversary with the whole fam-damily. What a great weekend.

20130511. Mom and Dad's 40th wedding anniversary.

20130512. The whole clan.

Oh – and we’re engaged!
20130517. Engaged!

June – Pregnant! Garden is growing. Apprenticeship starts. So many new, really fantastic things all at once.

20130608. Pregnant!

20130607. Garden jungle.

20130530. The sexiest top shelf of a fridge ever - completely local or homemade items.

20130530. What ever could be hiding in that over-stuffed bag?

July – Apprenticeship with Growing Places Indy is in full swing, and my world is shaping up to be a pretty fantastic place to be.

20130709. Front page of the Indianapolis Star! Er, well... the D section.

20130709. Sky Farm at Eskenazi Health.

20130613. Asparagus dreams at the Near Eastside Legacy Center.

August – It’s official – we let people know we’re having a baby! And summertime is in full swing, as evidenced by a trip to the state fair and our garden.

20130807. First baby gift!

20130807. I got every kid to try a husk cherry, and only one spit it out. Success!

20130810. Indiana State Fair. Deep fried Oreo.

20130810. Indiana State Fair. Ferris wheel.

September – Our wedding at South Circle Farm.

20130907. Our wedding!

20130907. Our wedding!

20130907. Our wedding!

October – Honeymoon/babymoon to Jamaica!

20131028. Amazing storm clouds.

20131028. First time in the water.

20131028. Chris and his thematic reading matter.

November – Our wonderful baby shower, thrown by my mom.

20131130. Our baby shower.

20131130. Our baby shower.

20131128. Me and Chris. Our amazing baby shower!

December – Just a whole lot of thankfulness and happiness going on. I started working with the amazing team at Growing Places Indy, doing operations stuff for them. My parents came to visit for Christmas. We’ve got some ambitious house projects before the baby comes. And Chris and I both took two full weeks off work over the holidays. Life is sweet.

Can you tell how super excited I am to be part of the amazing Growing Places Indy team? #whatayear

Boombox wishes you a Merry Christmas Eve.

20131214. Chris made a snowman.

20131214. Nursery "mobile."

20131207. Birdie hugs.

Giving Thanks, Days 13, 14, and 15: I Love YOU and YOU and YOU

I am a lucky, lucky girl in lots of different ways. I’m so thankful to so many people, most of all my parents, who will get their own extensive entry one of these days. I’m thankful for my circumstances and, in general, luck. Things have not always been fantastic, but when I think about how many opportunities I have had, thanks to the help of others, dumb luck, and my own efforts, it’s staggering.

So this post is going to be all about three amazing people in my life.

DAY (LUCKY NUMBER) 13: THANKS TO MY LOVE, MY COMPADRE, MY PARTNER IN CRIME, MY DUDE, CHRIS, FOR… WELL, FOR EVERYTHING. I’m so glad you decided you wanted to marry me. You bring out the good parts of me and make me want to be a better person. Maybe it’s the hormones speaking, but I am just overwhelmed lately with all the feels re: you. And me. And you and me together. And that’s a very nice thing.

20130907. Our wedding!

20130907. Our wedding!

DAY 14: SHOUT OUT TO THE INSPIRATIONS IN MY LIFE. I had dinner with one of my favorite inspiring lassies, Sally, on Tuesday, and I love that I have a Sally in my life. It is amazing to grow with your friends, to be inspired by them (see: the Sally Project), to share the awesomeness that can happen when you decide what you want in life and just start DOING it. It is intoxicating when you start seeing positive results just from focusing yourself and making small, simple step after small, simple step, and even more inspiring when you get to hang out with cool people living through similar realizations.

100703. me and sally.

DAY 15: THANKS FOR BOXES OF BABY GOODIES FROM LOVED ONES FROM AFAR. My friend, Nikki, made my week – she sent what she had said would be “a few things” for the baby and turned out to be a box absolutely loaded with pretty much all the clothes I think we’ll need for the kid for at least the first several months. Seriously, this is amazing on so many levels – I no longer have to worry that my baby will have no clothes, I don’t have to go out and be a dirty consumer, the stuff she sent is beyond adorable, AND I’ll think of her and her little one every time the kid wears something from her. We’re talking a GIRAFFE CARDIGAN, sweet little rattles and teethers, the most amazing fleece lined baby parka thingie I’ve ever seen, and so many onesies and sleepers to make you swoon.

20131120. Baby clothes from Nikki.

20131120. Baby clothes from Nikki - GIRAFFE CARDIGAN.

20131120. Baby clothes from Nikki - you've got to be kidding me with the cute.

Like I said, I am a damn lucky girl. Thanks, universe, for being so good to me and bringing these wonderful people into my little world.

And Now Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Bump Watch

Our wedding photographers (Bowersock Photographers) are not only awesome, sweet, kind people, they are also ridiculously talented professionals who deliver sheer beauty in their shots. I cannot get over our “sneak preview” photo slideshow they put together. It completely captures our day, and it makes me teary-eyed every time I re-watch it (which has been a lot):

Not only did we get married on Saturday, we also rang in week 17 of our future-parenthood-waiting-period (aka pregnancy). Which means we have another four-week belly comparison shot to share with the world!

I think at this point it’s safe to say there’s a baby in there:

Bump Watch, 2013: Weeks 14-17.

It’s Official… We Are MARRIED!

I have a husband, and I couldn’t be happier! On Saturday, September 7 at 4 pm, Chris and I got married at South Circle Farm, with our reception on the patio of Creation Cafe, overlooking the canal, downtown Indianapolis, and the capitol building off in the distance. Our wedding ceremony was what I thought would be my favorite part – and it was – but there were so many other wonderful moments, too.

I am so glad we did everything just the way we did. It was perfect, and I don’t use that word lightly: getting married at the farm, the ceremony, seeing my friends and family, the officiant, the photographers, the dinner and reception site, the decorations, the rings, the wholesale flowers, the weather, my bouquet, the barbecue and open house on Sunday, the hotel, and especially the guy. Weirdly, perfectly perfect.

There is also no way we could have pulled it off (and been allowed to just enjoy ourselves so thoroughly) without my parents, who handled so very many of the details and not-so-fun stuff. I am so full of gratitude for them.

Here’s a little sneak peek of what we’ve had going on the last couple of days. On Friday, my mom and I made flower arrangements while the boys bought food for the Sunday open house barbecue. I was rather in love with all of the flowers. 20130906. Our beautiful wedding flowers.
20130906. Hulk green hydrangeas!

My mom is the bomb.
20130906. Wedding flowers.

Then we got married:
20130907. Us! Married! At South Circle Farm.

20130907. I might like him just a little bit.

That one time we got married.

Chris and I stayed at a swanky downtown art hotel Saturday night, had a lovely, coffee-filled brunch on Sunday morning, then headed home to set up for the open house.20130908. My mom was beautifully color coordinated!

My dad made his famous guacamole. I’ll have to tell you about when he almost made me cry walking me out to the ceremony and how I almost made him cry with all the nice things the officiant said about the two of them.
20130908. Dad and his famous guacamole.

I’m even in love with my ring, which belonged to my dad’s aunt, my Great-Aunt Mildred, who served in WWII and the Korean War, had an amazing little house in Studio City, California, with a lemon tree in the backyard, fed all of the neighborhood cats, and was healthy and spry well into her 90s.
20130907. My wedding ring, which belonged to my great-aunt Mildred.

Long story short… we got hitched, y’all!

Sing Me a Lullaby, Sing Me the Alphabet. Sing Me a Story I Haven’t Heard Yet.

Tomorrow! Tomorrow, barring some unforeseen calamity, I will be someone’s wife. And I will have a husband. I think that’s pretty cool.

I should be doing things right now: cleaning the bathroom, showering, picking up dog poop in the backyard, cutting the stems on buckets of flowers in the basement. You get the idea.

Instead, I am listening to our wedding playlist, which I kind of love. Want to listen?


“Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space,” Spiritualized.

“I Send My Love to You,” Palace Brothers.

“I Dig You,” Boss Hog.

“Asleep and Dreaming,” The Magnetic Fields.

“Found a Reason,” Cat Power.

“Island Garden Song,” The Mountain Goats.

“Home,” Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (yup, still a sucker for this song).

And the processional: “Pitter Patter Goes My Heart,” Broken Social Scene.

And recessional! “One Day Like This,” Elbow.

Okay. Time for a shower. And, you know, to go get married and whatnot.

Wedding Prep, Space-Farm Style

In one week, we’re getting married! Our final wedding prep this weekend has me laughing just a little. Our to do list:

  • Cleaning out the chicken coop and run
  • Shopping spree at Goodwill, followed by spray painting of Goodwill vases
  • Re-stringing errant tomato plants
  • Buying a new collar for Birdie and pine shavings, oyster shell, and grit for the chickens
  • Doing a rain dance and/or actually watering our sad, dried up plants
  • Putting away our many, many piles of reading materials, including Brew Your Own magazine, Seed Savers Exchange fall seed catalog, pregnancy books (Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad; Bringing Up Bebe; Pregnancy, Child Birth, and the Newborn), and various things-that-have-needed-to-be-filed-for-months
  • Pickling more hot peppers from the garden
  • Cleaning the house (last and certainly least – favorite, that is)

Tomorrow, I can’t wait to break all this work stuff up by hanging with my knitting friends out at Triton. I know how to rage on my last weekend being a single woman.

20130829. Do tell, Birdie. Do tell.

Me and Birdie, TOTALLY RAGING!

The Most Perfect Ring Bearer (and Not in That “Mt. Doom” Sort of Way)

I scoured the shelves of Goodwill yesterday for a fitting book to hold our wedding bands for the big day. I was thinking of Great Expectations or some lovey-dovey title… or even a cheesy romance novel.

What did I find instead? A David Sedaris book I haven’t read yet! Score! Oh, wait. I couldn’t possibly cut that thing up just to hold our rings for one day, so I did what I should have done first: went shopping on our own book shelves.

I am so pleased with what I found: a book I got from my grandparents, all about the Indiana of old. The title and subject matter are perfect, and I absolutely love the cover (there’s even a little honey bee on the binding). Couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out!

20130818. Ring book - from my grandparents.

20130818. Ring book - from my grandparents.

Oh, It’s Such a Perfect Day

If my day had a theme song, it would be this:

Today, I got to plant the first fall crop of seeds in Fall Creek Gardens’ new Stone Soup Kitchen Garden. I somehow lucked into being the “garden manager intern” for this awesome new project, funded in part by the Indy Food Fund, which awarded for the first time ever nearly $50,000 in grants to 11 organizations in Indianapolis. Now that the Growing Places Indy summer farming apprenticeship is over, I am able to fully jump in and start dreaming and scheming what we can do with the space. And I LOVE it!

And, oh, is there ever space. I should know the exact square footage, but I don’t have that committed to memory just yet. I would estimate we have about 175′ of 4′-wide beds – and that’s with only HALF of the entire project completed!

20130806. Fall Creek Gardens' kitchen demonstration beds.

During the last week of our apprenticeship, we helped out in filling up most of the kitchen garden beds. This gives a little bit of a sense of scale!

The coolest part of all this is where the produce will go. The garden itself will be used as part of interactive, hands on gardening skill and technique classes, which is awesome on its own. But the produce from the garden will go to three main places:

  • To volunteers or others in the community who help out in growing and maintaining the beds (tentatively 5lbs. of organically grown produce for each hour of work)
  • To the Mid-North Food Pantry, which is a major provider to residents of Mapleton-Fall Creek
  • And anything left will be used in Fall Creek Gardens’ cooking, preserving, and other hands on classes

Today was picture-perfect, thus the inspiration for my day’s theme music. There was a large group working on the gardens’ new sunflower mural, it was beautifully sunny and breezy, and I was armed with friends, helpers, and many, many seed packets. Looking out from the kitchen garden, across the community gardeners beds, so full and vibrant and buzzing with life, and watching the mural grow increasingly more colorful, I couldn’t help but think, “THIS is what it’s all about. Right here with these people on this single corner of Indianapolis on this particular day. THIS.”

20130806. Fall Creek Gardens' kitchen demonstration beds.

Seriously, how did I get to be so lucky? In other news, my baby-related stress dreams have officially been replaced by wedding stress dreams. The wedding is three weeks from today OHHOLYCRAP.

20130817. Wedding mix.

Wedding mixes for our guests.

20130817. Wedding jam. That's a thing, right?

Wedding cinnamon blueberry jam for the guests.

20130817. Birdie has an interest in artichokes.

Our first artichoke! Birdie agrees that it would look fab in a bridal bouquet.

20130816. Baby's first gifts.

And totally unrelated, here are the baby’s very first gifts. Thanks, Sue and Passion!


Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy the Ride

I keep telling people that Chris and I are trying to pack all of our big life events in at once.

  • I spent a transformative summer at the urban farming apprenticeship, and I feel like a more balanced, happy, and just BETTER human being coming out of it. I will be forever grateful for this experience.
  • We are getting married in less than a month.
  • And drum roll please… we will be welcoming a new little one into our little lives next February.

No, really. Did you read that last bullet? Take a closer look. That’s right (second drum roll, please)… WE ARE HAVING A BABY!

20130728. It's official!There is a ton to say on this subject, but the long and short of it is:

  • I’m feeling pretty good.
  • I’ve started getting used to this whole idea/not being totally freaked out and worried at every pang that something is wrong.
  • I’m meeting a new midwife tomorrow and hopefully switching practices.
  • Chris is an awesome daddy-to-be, buying me candied ginger when I was in the throes of first trimester nausea, coming to my doctor appointments (even if it’s just for moral support when dealing with idiots), and peeling me off the couch every night after I’ve fallen asleep in the middle of yet another movie or episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I also seem to have popped out somewhere around 11 weeks, although I think to everyone else I probably still look like I just ate a few too many cookies. Which I have, but that’s besides the point.

Bump Watch, 2013: Weeks 6-9.

Bump Watch, 2013: Weeks 10-13.