of bell jars and laurel wreaths.

I’m inordinately excited about my new stationery. People like to do nice things for me and I like to thank them via snail mail, so now I have note cards on which to do this task, like a proper human adult. If only my 21-year-old self could see me now. Spending all my Christmas money not on clothes and whiskey, but on design work for a new personal logo, then letterpressed notecards and a tiny keychain stamp featuring said logo. The future is wild, 16-year-old Tess. Simply wild.

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we come from the land of the ice and snow.

I can’t believe our girl is nine months old. Look at her! She’s nearly an adult. The milestones are coming fast and often. She pulls up on anything she can grab and stands up for pretty long periods of time. She turns the pages in her favorite books. Today she brushed her teeth for the first time, and yesterday she stacked the rings for the first time ever! I’ve been trying to get her to do it for months and usually all she wants to do is eat them. But yesterday she just put them on the little pike and we both clapped after she got each one on. She only does it in order if I hand her the rings in order, though. Come on, give her a break. She’s a baby.

So, it’s been a little while since I last updated. I usually take the opportunity to update blogs whenever I’m on evening rotation and have a free morning, and Morella’s at daycare. But it’s just worked out that the last several evening shifts I was on, it snowed and daycare was closed, so I had to spend the hours I would normally spend on this and other household stuff on taking care of Morella.

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long walks, drives, and plans.

Yesterday morning we walked along the western floodwall, with the baby in her carrier. The river was raging, so full and fast and noisy. It’s amazing how much wind and sound the floodwall blocks out. It was nice to get out and get some exercise, and also to test out how the baby would do on a short hike. I think we’re down to continue taking her on short hikes, but maybe we’ll get a better / more comfortable carrier for her.

Later she was having a nice nap in the car so we just drove around, way down Staples Mill into more rural areas. We talked a bit about what it would be like to live in the country some day, and the idea is not unpleasant to either of us. We just detest long commutes. But generally we have the same philosophy: we’d live in the city or the country, but not the sprawly in-between. I love Church Hill and would have a difficult time leaving it, and yet I would love to have a massive rose garden again.

The family is doing an Outer Banks vacation again this year, and I’m really excited about it. I haven’t been on a family beach vacation in five years! It seems wrong. It feels wrong. And everything in me has been craving the smell of salty air for many months now. We kept getting foiled by things like Mom and Dad going elsewhere for vacation, or stupid hurricanes clobbering the coast so that we couldn’t even make it there. Keeping my fingers crossed that no natural disasters will prevent me from seafood buffets and hiding under a beach umbrella this year. And I can’t wait to dip Morella’s toes in the Atlantic.