"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."

the 52 project: 17/52.

[52 project participants who inspired me last week: maxabella loves, you me and lucy, fields of sage, mummy karmaone claire day, and of course Che and Fidel]


Grace and I spent another week primarily outdoors as we finally reached Spring's seasonal sweet spot here in Vancouver (four days of bluebird skies and warm afternoons, although as I write this the rain is coming down - hard). Monday evening we took a post-dinner family stroll through Queen Elizabeth Park, a former quarry and the highest point in the city (offering stunning views in addition to a safe place for one's almost two year old to run free through the grass). As I reflect on the 52 project at the seventeen week mark it's nice to see that so many of Grace's portraits have been taken outside. I think we're doing a fairly good job of getting our city dwelling babe out and into nature, however there's always room for improvement. Beginning May 1st we will join Canadians across the country in the 30x30 Nature Challenge and pledge to get outdoors for 30 minutes a day on each of the 30 days in May - bring on the pop-up picnics!

Exuberance over going "un-er" the trees, watching Grace enjoy the thrill of the chase with Daddy, an almost full moon, reflective pauses - these are a few of the things I will remember about this lovely evening at Queen Elizabeth Park. 

Chase me... 

happy saturday // last winter market

Fresh organic produce at the Winter Farmers Market.

Happy Saturday, friends!

Last Winter Farmers Market of the season! Hope you find yourself eating something fresh and/or homemade this weekend.

x, Mel


happy saturday // release

On our way to release salmon fry into the Seymour River this morning. 

Happy Saturday, friends!

Hope you are enjoying a little "release" on this lovely Earth Day weekend.

x, Mel



"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."

the 52 project: 16/52.

[52 project participants who inspired me last week: still moving swiftlypicking wild mountain berries, rebekka seale and of course Che and Fidel]


Ever since first watching the trailer for Project Wild Thing a few months ago, I've wondered what steps I can take to help Gracie fall in love with nature (the free wonder product!). "Forest": the place and all that it represents - a word that I ache to hear spontaneously emerge from the mouth of my 22 month old. Last weekend as we were wrapping up a family dinner at Grandpa's (who lives in the heart of the city), I told Gracie we were going out for a short walk before bed. She responded to the news with "forest?", warming my heart. Into the woods we went (a few days later), to explore, gather rocks and pinecones and wear flowers in our hair. Happily venturing off the beaten path, our Grace is becoming quite the little nature lover.

Asking to have her finds tucked safely into a pocket ("zip it"), deviating from the trail on her own for the first time, smelling as many purple flowers as time would allow, the soft glow of late afternoon sun - these are a few of the things I will remember about this day.

A forest frolic in Pacific Spirit Park, Vancouver, B.C. 


fingerling potato + pea salad with cilantro pesto

eating green in 2013: fingerling potato and pea salad with cilantro pesto, recipe found on p. 144 of canadian house and home (may, 2013) 


simply. more. green.

If you need a new side dish to pair with your favourite white wine this is it! The commonplace potato salad gets a verdant makeover by chef Eric Vellend - this herbaceous version is decidedly delicious and our babe loved it. 

A verdant potato salad (a vast improvement over potatoes as usual)! 



"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."

the 52 project: 15/52.

[52 project participants who inspired me last week: curate the day, forever lovely, last day of may and of course Che and Fidel]


Another very full week, leaving me with the sense that I need to renew efforts to slow down, simplify and appreciate the small moments that make me happy in big ways. No further words for this week, except to say that it's the sweetest thing to see G tuck her little hands into her sleeves as she prepares to take off running - both quirky and practical!


[Photo: Approaching the seawall near Yaletown in Vancouver, B.C. for a little sundown run]


happy saturday // the smell of spring

A Saturday stroll along the seawall in Yaletown, Vancouver, B.C.

Happy Saturday, friends!

Hope you are enjoying the smell of spring (what grey skies and frigid winter air?) today and all weekend long.

x, Mel


the moving child

Flow // Lynn Headwaters, North Vancouver, B.C.

Let us look at animals. They move simply, naturally, harmoniously. The deer, the cat, the monkey, as much as the buffalo or the elephant. The biggest, slowest, most sluggish animal is also capable of very quick, abrupt movements... The wish that our children might move beautifully and harmoniously is in no way an unattainable or distant dream. Moving properly is an inborn ability not only in animals, but also in humans. If we give children enough space and possibilities for free movement, they will move as beautifully and gracefully as animals: nimbly, simply, confidently and naturally. // Dr. Emmi Pikler

Is it possible that the flow of a child's early movement can shape the rest of his or her life? This is but one of the questions the documentary film "The Moving Child" seeks to answer. Children learn and communicate through movement, developing the confidence to impact the world around them. Beginning in Grace's sixteenth month, and continuing over the past six months, we have been attending a mama & baby yoga-dance class called Butterfly Feet. The class is led by Lisa Sars, who has devoted herself to a lifelong study of movement. Lisa has a deep knowledge and natural skill surrounding communicating both verbally and non-verbally with children (something I know very little about), and her classes are incredibly fun with a focus on play and encouragement. Lisa emanates a gentle and infectious positivity - responding charmingly when G tries to derail her classes with a stint of peek-a-boo behind the curtains! 

Grace and I are invited to a Butterfly Feet dance party next Sunday where we will engage in dynamic movement while being filmed (possibly footage that will be used in the final iteration of The Moving Child). I'm really looking forward to dancing with Lisa and Grace, and to meeting the filmmakers!



spring // fully consumed

On the cusp of bursting...

I feel like I need to breathe in every minute of the Vancouver spring this year, that every bit of its scent be fully consumed by me, resetting my mind and body. Lately I've become decidedly aware of how quickly life and all its various stages pass, reflecting on how difficult it can be to appreciate a moment or stage when in the thick of it. Last week Magnolia trees were laden with blooms and already they are shedding their petals to make way for leaves - it's all happening too fast. Every break in the rain is an opportunity to notice spring and her resultant remnants. Bundled up and in our rubber boots, G and I have been gathering and exploring, this week at Queen Elizabeth Park, next week somewhere new (or familiar, all that matters is the noticing). 

The blooming // Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, B.C. 


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."

the 52 project: 14/52.

[52 project participants who inspired me last week: Forever Lovely, Crumbbums, The Beetle Shack, milk please mum, and of course Che and Fidel]


A rainy but wonderfully full week... We are back to happy and eating foods other than toast with jam. Sean has been working endlessly and while he normally does the bath/bedtime routine I took over a few times this week. G is now much more able to communicate her preferences ("Sing, Daddy" before bed, "hug you" as a way to worm her way into my lap or have me carry her) saying "Sing, Mommy" before each sleep (What? Sean is the singer in this family!). In addition, it seems hints of the concept of sharing are seeping into her consciousness. While I was swimming on Friday she apparently brought toys to each of the little babies at the childminding centre, an amazing gesture as I've not seen her do this on my watch!

On Thursday it was particularly wet outside, so we coloured with the rock crayons, decorating animal masks. Intense focus, delight over seeing mama wearing a cat on her face, getting "cozy" in the snow leopard sleeping bag, protecting our crayons from Monty - these are a few of the things I will remember about this experience.



happy saturday // remnants

Camellia petals strewn across our morning path at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Happy Saturday, friends!

Hope the path you follow this weekend includes some remnants, randomness and relaxation. 

x, Mel