Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Mother Load

I'm really lucky. My friend Shannon spoiled me by sending a huge box of really cute and cozy maternity clothes, and TWO HUGE boxes of hand-me-downs worn by Ro. I still haven't gone through it all, but my mom's coming in February to help me set up baby boy's closet and nursery. What can I say? This is the score of all scores, and I'm sooooooooooo blessed! Thanks, Shannon!

Best dressed,

Monday, December 7, 2009


A couple nights ago, my sister said, "It must be so nice being pregnant, and staying home, and crafting all day." Why, yes. Yes, it is nice. It happened accidentally (my boss left for Europe without telling me), and I'm not sure how much longer it will last...but, currently, I am indeed a stay-at-home pregnant lady. And it is fabulous.

With the last couple weeks of stress, I hadn't had the chance to really relish in my lovely days. But, as you can see from the pics of my new "office", I'm back to my old self, and I'm loving it.

You can see my "secretary" lounging on the sofa above.

New baby bootie pattern my friend Kira taught me. And socks for our own little guy.
Feelin' cozy,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

False Positve Quad Screen for Trisomy 18

John and I have been on a roller coaster ride for the past two weeks. I felt the need to blog about this experience for two reasons: A) it's therapeutic for me B) I survived these long days because of this blog I found called Jason and Amber G. I feel like I should repay the blessing their story was to me by putting our story out there. Jason and Amber have no idea how much strength and peace they gave me, and they may never know. But, at least I can be thankful.

My midwife asked me at our last appointment if we wanted to have the Quad Screen which tests for Downs Syndrome. I didn't think twice about getting this screening because it's a simple blood test that several of our other pregnant friends got without any stress. So, I went to the lab, gave a blood sample, and that was that.

Then, Monday night, I was in the grocery store when my midwife called. She told me that the Quad Screen results showed that our baby was at an "increased risk" for Trisomy 18. I had no idea what Trisomy 18 was, but I knew it was something chromosomal. I left my basket full of produce in the store, walked out the front door, got in my car and said to my midwife, "What is Trisomy 18? What is it about my blood that elevates our risk?" She told me that Trisomy 18 babies have an extra copy of the 18th chromosome, and these babies rarely survive to full term. If they do make it past delivery, the babies rarely live longer than a few days. Basically, this is the worst news you can hear about your baby. To make things even worse, my quad screen gave our baby a one in ten chance of having Tri 18 because of the baby's hormone levels. This is the highest chance our lab diagnoses. Even though the quad screen only tells the chances and does not diagnose the abnormality, this was still the worst news I could have ever imagined.

The midwife gave me a phone number to call. We needed to see specialists, and possibly get an amnio. Unfortunately, it was so late in the day, I was unable to get in touch with the specialist. So, I didn't sleep, and called first thing in the morning. Despite all my begging and pleading, the office still could not see us until Wednesday morning. So, I didn't sleep another night. By the time we actually got in to the genetic counselor, I was going on 48 hours without sleep, and I was a wreck. John kept telling me to be strong for our baby, and I was trying so hard, but these horrible thoughts kept creeping into my mind. I literally felt like I was going to throw up every time I even thought of the word Trisomy.

We met with the genetic counselor named Lara. She was super sweet, and she explained everything to us about our hormone levels, and John and I both had full family genetic analysis and blood tests. Lara told us that lots of babies make the same hormone levels that our baby does, and go on to be perfectly healthy. At the same time, our baby's hormone's resemble Trisomy 18 babies, so we would have to have a level II high-definition ultra-sound to look for "hard and soft" markers (behavior and anatomical indicators of Tri 18), and based on the ultra-sound, we could make the decision to have the diagnostic amnio.

We went in for the ultra-sound, and it was so hard to keep from crying because the pictures were really amazing. Seeing our baby for the first time was emotional! The tech performing the ultra-sound was explaining to us what we were looking at, and we were in awe. Then, she asked us if we wanted to know what the baby's sex was. We said YES! And we found out we're having a BABY BOY!!!! I was bawling, and John was glowing. It was awesome. Then, the tech printed the pictures and we waited for the doctor to analyze and come discuss the results with us.

The doctor came in and explained that with Trisomy 18 babies, there are definite indicators that you can't miss on an ultra-sound. I'll never forget what he said next: "Your baby has none of these indicators."

John and I now had a difficult decision to make because the doctor told us that our ultra-sound results significantly decreased our risk. However, in order to be 100% positive, we would have to have an amnio. In the end, John and I decided to get the amnio. We wanted all the information we could have, and the medical team assured us that our risk of miscarriage was about 1 in 500. Also, my placenta and baby were low in my uterus, so the needle did not have to cross through the placenta. The ultra-sound tech watched the baby the whole time so that the needle didn't hit the baby, and the whole process was over and done in about a minute. The hard part was waiting for the takes TWO WEEKS!

Some family and friends have asked if the amnio hurt. I hate needles and I can honestly say NO! It did not hurt at all, it was just weird because you feel the stick of the needle twice. Once through your belly, and then again through your uterine wall. It's the strangest sensation I've ever felt. Afterward, I was tender like a booster shot. But I just rested and took it easy for a couple days.

The next week was easy to get through because we flew to Texas for a wedding and Thanksgiving. I just refused to think about it. When we got back to Philly, though, it was tough. John had a big presentation to get ready for, so he was working a lot. I tried to distract myself with shopping with Alexis, knitting with Kira, and cooking A LOT. But, sometimes even sweet domesticity can't sway the mind.

It was easy to think positive because we had such a perfect ultra-sound. But, you still have a little pang of nagging worry in the back of your mind that grows and grows the closer you get to the phone call from the genetic counselor.

Finally, Lara called today! She said that they lab isn't done growing all 20 of the cells they are testing, but they have tested 17 of the 20....AND THEY'RE NORMAL!! 46 chromosomes! Lara said this is "very reassuring", and I am breathing easy!

All in all, I can't tell people whether or not to get the Quad Screen. All I can say is remember that the false positive rate is very high. I learned a lot through this experience, and I feel that John and I have both gained a huge amount of strength.

I have this image I want to leave you with: A Clay Pot. Remember that a clay pot has to sit in the fiery kiln before it is strong enough to serve it's purpose. I had to be "fired" to be strengthened. And I can tell you this: I'm gonna be one strong momma!

Peace and Strength,

PS: If you or a loved one are ever going through this, or something similar, and you need to talk:

I understand how hard it is to talk to your friends and family when you don't really know what is going on, and you don't really want to worry anyone. If talking to a total stranger helps, let me be that helper for you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Zoo York

I realize that this post may encourage ridicule from my New York-loving friends, and I fully support comments bereaving my opinion. In fact, I will most likely see these comments as evidence supporting my theory.

Background information:
We drove to New York City on Sunday because Alexis and Justin were cool enough to share Cirque du Soleil tickets. This was a last minute day trip, and everyone was super stoked to show off New York to John. He had never been, and he was excited about Central Park, Time Square, and the Statue of Liberty. So, we set off on our mini-journey. We decided to drive because Alexis had a reserved parking spot a couple blocks from Madison Square Garden.

Now, in my younger day, I have been known to have some seriously fun times in NYC. Getting on the plane in Texas and arriving in the Big Apple always made my heart skip a beat or two. There was no place like New York; the shows, the hotels, the food, the drinks, the cabs, the architecture, the art. It was all so amazing to me. But (yes BUT), moving to another big city (Philadelphia) and also visiting several cool big cities over the past few years (Seattle, San Diego, Las Vegas, Miami, Boston, Tokyo, Chicago) has made me change my opinion of NYC.

First of all, where's the grid, people??!! I'm talking about the oh-so-user-friendly street system that makes navigating your way through an unfamiliar city easy. In Philly, we have numbered streets, lettered streets, and "tree streets". That's it! The tree streets run east to west, the numbers run north to south. If you need to find someone or something, all you need are the coordinates. Rocket science. New York is QUITE the opposite. You have numbered streets, and numbered avenues, and oh, what's this!?! NUMBERED Ways!! Hell. And you have lettered avenues, and street names in no particular alphabetical sequence or pattern. How did anyone ever find their destinations before GPS??

So, while attempting to navigate your way through the maze of streets, watch out for the mass of pedestrians that DO NOT FOLLOW cross walk signs. We were shocked at the complete disregard for WALK or DON'T WALK lights. If New Yorkers have some where to be, there is NOTHING that is going to stop them from getting there, including on-coming vehicles.

This section is gross, so if you have a weak stomach, skip it. I'm sure people (especially the homeless) find creative spaces to relieve themselves in Philly, I just have never seen or smelled it, so I like to think that Philadelphians are a tad more discreet. I'm sure you know where this is going... The sidewalk on Broadway was under construction (like all of Manhattan), so were forced to take a creepy detour through a dark tunnel. The entire tunnel was a pool of pee!!!!!! It smelled sooooooooooooooo horrible, and we found ourselves ankle-deep in urine. I'm NOT exaggerating. I almost threw up.

We went to a brew pub for lunch, the guys had a couple beers, Alexis had a beer, and we each had a small appetizer instead of an entree. The tab came: $126!!!! Whoa. That's all I can say. People pay obscene amounts of money to live in this zoo. Not only are the restaurants and bars expensive, but people pay $3600/mnth to share one bedroom apartments. (We asked.)

My final icing on the NYC cake: a guy in a fur-lined hoodie sweatshirt CUT us in line to pick up the car. In my pregnant state, I gruffed, "hey dude, we were here first!" He turned and acknowledged our presence, then handed the guy his ticket, got in his brand new Audi sports car, and sped off without a blink of an eye. I've always assumed money and manners go hand-in-hand...ha! Not so.

All-in-all, the show was amazing, and we had a lot of laughs on our adventure. But, why someone would pay three times what we pay to live in Crazy Town, USA, I will never understand! NYC is fun to visit, but at the end of the day, I want to lay my head down and get some peaceful sleep in a quiet Italian neighborhood next to a park :)

I get it now,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Crafting...never too early!

Using my new sewing machine (thanks, Mom) and some patience, I crafted new Christmas stockings for John and I. I bought enough fabric to make matching ones for the baby and future babies that come along, and I think that these stockings will bring about a little bit of tradition to our new family. John grew up with a stocking tradition on Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve, Peggy and Steve let the boys open their presents, but on Christmas morning, they did stockings. The stockings were always jam-packed with treasures, and this tradition has carried through the years and is still strong today. I love Christmas at the Noel house, and I want to bring this tradition into our home. So, without further ado, I give you our homemade stockings that will hopefully last for the next twenty years:

Here's a couple close-ups of the lining. The fabric is so so cute, I have to show it off.

This was pretty much my first sewing project, but there will be more. Oh yes! There will be more.

Ahhh, sweet domesticity!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Welcome, November

Our friend, Bryan, from College Station came to visit us this weekend. We took him to Fairmount Park because he used to play disc with John, and John wanted to show him the "oldest course" in the US. I had actually never been out there before, and I'm SO glad I brought the camera along because this was a beautiful walk.
Also, here is a look at my first quilting attempt. I'm making matching Christmas stockings for John, Baby Noel, and I. Since I've never been a big red and green Christmas color fan, I'm quilting with blue and orange (our wedding colors). I'm using my new sewing machine, and having too much fun :)

Stay warm,

PS: I'm fifteen weeks pregnant.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall colors

It's really lovely up here. I'm obsessed with the park view across the street. Enjoy the hues!
In colors red and gold, they set us on fire,

Monday, October 26, 2009

When company comes to town...

My friend, Leigh Anne, came for a visit from Chicago today. It was her first time in Philly, and I wanted to make a good impression of this city. When John and I went to Chicago a couple weekends ago, we got such amazing vibes from the place, and I wanted Leigh Anne to have the same kind of experience.

I've had lots of practice scoping out the perfect "tour de Philly" because my parents came a couple weeks ago for a visit, and then Katie Kelly came right after Mom and Al left. So, I've gathered plenty of ideas as to what is cool in Philly, and what doesn't sit well with visitors ( ie: dog walking in China Town is NOT that fun for tourists).

But, I think I've perfected the tour:
Leigh Anne and I drove through Center City and down Broad Street through Ave. of the Arts to get to Morning Glory (brunch place extraordinaire) in the Italian Market District. Then, we took Broad to South Philly, and L.A. got to experience first hand what makes South Philly...well...South Philly (double parking "hey doll-face" "how yous doin" Row Home style). I gave her the tour of mi casa, she met Malcolm, and we strolled through the park across the street and marveled at the changing leaves. Then, we hopped back in the car, drove through the ship yard to get to Old City. Leigh Anne told me historical tales about William Penn (what a hippie! I had NO IDEA) and I showed off Philly's really old architecture.

Then, I drove her back to her hotel in Center City so she could get some work done.

All in all, I'd say this was a lovely way to experience Philly in about three hours.

Come see us, and I'll customize a tour for you, too :)
All Aboard!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


My dear friend, Lucy from one of my favorite blogs A Modern Day Ricky and Lucy honored me with the One Lovely Blog Award!! I'm especially excited about this award because Lucy has been blogging A LOT longer than I, and she has developed this following of completely amazing, intelligent, "snarky" women, and she mentioned ME!!!!! (Perhaps it was my last post, injected with a little attitude, no?!?)

So, to repay the favor, I'm to pass the award on to my favorite bloggers.
And the award goes to:

Shannon of Paperwhites and Daffodil
Jodie of Where's the Bubbler?
Rob of Caminar
and (this is a motivational award to get her to post MORE) Alexis of Our Philadelphia Phamily

My Top Fantastic Reader's Fave All-Time Awesome Blogger Award goes to
Katie of Katiedid!!!!!
I have to tell you, from the moment I started reading this blog, I couldn't wait to be a mommy someday. Katie can write. Katie can sew. Katie can mother. Katie can do. I love her.

Thanks to Lucy for the smile :) Happy blogging!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


So, remember that upbeat Babydelphia blog post filled with enough positive vibes and sunshine that one would ever need? Like a year's supply of Vitamin D? Today's post has a change in tone.

Pregnancy is so hard! I never in a million years anticipated this complete physical, mental, and emotional breakdown of all things I knew to be normal. Speaking of normal, I normally like to stay happy and cheery in my blog posts. But, today's honesty trumps cheer.

I was walking Roxie today, and I got this wave of a combination of exhaustion/ nausea/ hunger. And all I was doing was DOG WALKING! I literally had to sit down on a park bench and eat an apple and a handful of salted almonds to get my steam up again to complete the walk. This is coming from the dance teacher! Remember? The one who could command a room full of unruly 6-year-olds to plie and jete. I used to be able to go several hours without anything to eat or even drink while I was teaching. Now, I literally eat every hour or I get super sick.

Insomnia. How dare it visit me while I'm in this exhausted state! Alas, insomnia strikes because I can't get comfortable to save my life. And I'm only eleven weeks. Imagine my comfort level when I'm 38 weeks! Last night, despite heavy eyelids, I tossed and turned from 2AM to 6AM. Not joking. I can't sleep on my (preferred) back because I get this weird tingle in my stomach and lower back. So, I'm forced on my sides. I try to squish a pillow between my legs, but then I get hot. This war goes on all night.

Smells drive me nuts. Everything smells so different and weird. I no longer want Thai and Indian food. Instead, all I want is pineapple and Macaroni n Cheese. Not the good homemade kind of Mac n Cheese, but the salty kind that comes in a box.

Call me Madame Moody-pants. Now, I've always been a little sensitive because I'm a Libra. But, lately, I'm SUPER annoyed. If someone blows cigarette smoke into the sidewalk I'm crossing through, they're getting a look from this lady! If someone honks at me in Center City, I'm honking right back...only LOUDER! Oh, and my sweet husband! I might as well get him some special thick-soled shoes, 'cause he's walking on eggshells. Bless his heart.

So, I'm ending this rant with a reminder (to myself): I am blessed by this gift I've been given, and it is my responsibility to enjoy my pregnancy and recognize the beauty during this time.

Yeah yeah, whatever. Bring on the 2nd trimester. I hear things get A LOT better!
Tossing (my cookies) and Turning (on the AC),

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Go Flyers!

First, nothing beats a FIRST. Like attending my first NHL game. Hockey is so cool, and I never thought I'd say that.

The story goes like this: Neighb Alexis calls and says that another teacher at her school gave her five free tickets to see the Philadelphia Flyers game on Tuesday. John begged me, so we went...and had so much fun!

Reasons I loved this event:
-Flyers' color is ORANGE
-The fans get up out of their seats and dance (not just a tiny dance, but a REALLY active dance).
-Hockey players are HOTTIES sans teeth :) Seriously, they don't have teeth.

Awesome, and so entertaining.
Keep 'em coming, Firsts!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tis the season...for some crafting!

Alexis and I busted out our craftiness in preparation for the upcoming Halloween Carnival Block Party on the 23rd of October.

We strung up some cute construction paper pumpkins, and we made a spooky wreath out of a hanger and a trash bag. Brilliant, in my humble opinion!

Our block is starting to look like a fun house :) I still can't get over how festive South Philadelphians matter what the holiday.


Monday, September 21, 2009

My new boss

Meet Roxie. Every day, we spend a few hours together walking around Center City. This is the perfect job because I get to explore my still-new city, and Roxie gets to tour with me. We are really getting to know each other, and I'm feeling lucky to have her. I never realized how many chicken bones are all over Philadelphia until I started walking with Roxie. She can find a chicken bone ANYWHERE!

Malcolm isn't even jealous. He's too grown up for jealousy. This past week (Sept. 15th) Malc turned 4 years old!!

I made the party hat, and Malc wore it for a total of two seconds. Oh well.

Happy Birthday Malcadorius Glorious McMore-ious!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


As you already know, John and I moved to Philadelphia about two months ago. Lo and behold, I'm SEVEN WEEKS PREGNANT!! There is something in the water here. I'm not the only pregnant lady in this urban setting. Oh no! I'm one of about a million of us, all waddling around to catch the subway.

Being pregnant thus far has been a lot of fun. And a little scary, but I'm working on not letting any thing freak me out. I want to enjoy this new adventure in my (our) journey. However, I do have a teeny tiny tendency to over-dramatize things, so let's see if I can chill out and let my body do it's thing.

So far, pregnancy symptoms I've proudly experienced include:
-peeing all the freakin' time
-Fatigue (with a capital F) seriously, this one has knocked me over!!
-a couple headaches
-HUNGER (I'm the big hungry bear) from morning to night
-Fatigue (did I mention this already?)
-metal mouth: this is REAL...a metallic taste in your weird

By the way, I'm not complaining. I'll take fatigue and metal mouth ANY DAY over nausea and vomiting!

YAY for BABIES...what a turn our lives have taken! Can't wait to meet this person who will steal our hearts :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Malcolm gives it TWO PAWS!

There is something deeply satisfying about creating your own effective cleaning products. I have been using this book: Make Your Place by Raliegh Briggs, and for the past six months, our home has been transformed from a hazardous, toxic, chemical-friendly zone to a now safe, non-toxic, spic and span nest. I have slowly swapped out our chemical cleaning products for homemade remedies that really do the trick, and everyone (including our pup, Malcolm) is reaping the healthy benefits.

I started by opting out vinegar for bleach. I'm currently only using bleach for one tiny corner in our bathtub that is mold-prone. I love the smell of vinegar, as well as the effective cleaning power it displays.

When something was eating my basil in our tiny herb garden, I used simple castille soap mixed with water in a spray bottle. Worked like magic.

But, my proudest cleaning moment thus far is the Dog Shampoo. When I noticed fleas on Malc, I consulted my Briggs book for tips on natural flea repellent. The following concoction is a sure-fire, tried and true shampoo that REALLY works:

2 T Castille Soap
1.5 cups of warm water
about 5 drops of lavendar essential oil
about 5 drops of geranium essential oil

mix well, pour over pet's damp fur, and massage into a surprisingly rich lather.
rinse thoroughly, and say buh-bye to those pesky fleas. Plus, your furry friend will smell like herb salad! Delish :)

Hurray for healthy homes!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Think about your life, Pippin"

I Netflixed the 1977 movie Pippin this week because John had never seen it. Every time I see this movie, two things happen: a) I notice something new about the production design b) I cry.

Originally a Broadway musical directed by Bob Fosse, Pippin stars William Katt, Chita Rivera, and Ben Vereen. I can't imagine the original cast being better than this revival cast, and I can't imagine any other director taking this play by storm the way Fosse did. Pippin is disguised as this fluffy, fantastical, whimsical fairy tale about a boy who seeks an extraordinary life. But, hidden behind the costumes and choreography and fabulous seventies music is this incredibly deep morality tale that always leaves me speechless.

When Pippin finally recongnizes that the only time he was ever truly happy was when he was with Catherine, living under her roof and loving her son, and he sings "I'm not a river, or a giant bird that flies to the sea. But, if I'm never tied to anything, then I'll never be free" I get goosebumps.

This movie inspired me today to remember that the simplicity in life is golden, and even the most mundane, ordinary tasks can be beautiful if you have someone to share them with. Also (to add more cheese to an already cheesy post), love is all you need.

Cheers to Broadway's finer moments,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Washington...a lovely place to camp

We just got back from our Seattle adventure, and I'm really missing the Washington weather. Apparently, the temps can get pretty hot there, but we only experienced pleasant 65-85 degrees.

Enough about the weather.

We were there with our "family": a group of friends so dear and near to our hearts, they'll be our friends for forty years. Once a year, we come together to do something outrageous and fun. This year, we camped at The Gorge concert venue to hear Phish (John's favorite band of all time, and one of my new favorites) play for about 50,000 dancing fans.

John and I gave each other the trip for our one year wedding anniversary, with the disclosure that each year we will see a new show to celebrate our marriage. We also brought along our brand new tent that we got as a wedding present. This was our first time to use it, and we've fallen in love with the sweet little shelter.

Enjoy some Washington pics!

And here are a couple pics of some knitting I finished for the babies in my life:
One is an backpack for Ro (complete with elephant button from Loop)

and one is a newborn sweater with matching pants (not pictured because I finished them on the plane on the way to WA) for Baby Boy Barnes. He's due in November. Yay Scorpio!


Friday, July 31, 2009


I finished my first knitting project that uses no one else's pattern.  This pattern is mine!!  It's a shrug made with recycled yarn.  The pattern is as follows:
Cast on 35 stiches with size 15 US 10 needles.
In Garter stitch, knit 10 rows (1 row=two knit).
Cast off, and repeat two more times.  
You will have three blocks all he same size.  
Using a darning needle, sew two blocks into sleeves.  Attach to the third block.  Easy.

I'd like to thank the Academy, Cash & Jennifer, and Alexis (for her hot photography skills...with the spot light).

More Shrugs!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Luring my sister to Philly (dangling the bait)

Ever since we got here, I've had this feeling that my sister (who lives in Tiny Town, Oregon) would really love it in Philly. No, more than love it...she would THRIVE here. I've only been here four weeks, and I already feel more like myself than I have in years. But, for Natalie, I'm seeing her all over this city.

So, for this post, I wanted to show off some of the coolness that reminds me of her. Maybe she'll take the bait, eh?

This is Blick Art Supplies: they have everything an artist could ever dream of. It's like a painter's Nirvana in the middle of Center City. I took some pictures of their canvas sizes--1 inch x 1 inch up to 4ft x 6ft.

I saw these Obama paperdolls, and I missed my sister soooooo much.

Daisies everywhere!
And what about this tequila bar?? Serves over fifty different kinds :)


Friday, July 24, 2009

The Neighbs

We're over at our friends' row home, laughing about how we text each other even though we live approximately 14 ft apart.

Alexis made dessert while the rest of us hung out in their basement listening to vinyls: the best was Surfin' Safari by (do I really have to say this?) The Beach Boys. You know this album is awesome.

These people are good! We like them.

Alexis is a teacher/goddess of domestic deliciousness
Justin is a postman/film maker/musician

Last night, we had some of their friends over for dinner (I guess you can say they are our friends now). There was a lot of music, and I hope we didn't keep the other neighbors awake. What are you supposed to do when six musicians come together over creamy soy-chorizo pasta and beer?!

Feeling lucky to have found people who get us,

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A transient beauty, and a beautiful space

John is reading a lot about micro-biology these days, and over dinner the other night, he coined this weekly catch phrase. He used "a transient beauty" to describe how perfect and efficient every part of our anatomy works, but only for a certain number of years.

I, however, am stealing this phrase and applying it to summer in the city. The transient beauty of my surroundings will fade into a new beauty come fall. But, for now, I am relishing in the daily reminders that I am experiencing July like I never have before.

John's photography skills capture fireflies (or as Philadelphians call them: glow bugs).

And now, for a delightful shot of my "creative space" where I can meditate, knit, cut paper, write, BLOG, whatever. It's a bright, sunny space, and it's all mine because John has his Man Cave in the basement where all his wires and sound equipment and tools belong. Heaven...I'm in heaven.

Slip, sliding away through these sweet summer days,