December has begun. A prime time to reflect on the year. This quote is definitely one I appreciate the intention of, and think I could do a better job with. Like my boss says, "being right doesn't really change a situation."
The best holiday of the year has arrived. This year is the first for me hosting in our home, and while the guest list was short, I'm so grateful we could gather together.
We try to cultivate gratitude everyday of the year, especially for our sons, but is is great to have a specific day to express our thanks. My tradition is to have each person at the table write a physical list (on my handlettered form, of course.) It was great to see what my 5 year old came up with all on his own.
I am truly thankful I was able to prepare this special meal for my family. I hope that hosting this day of gratitude can become a tradition in my home.
One of the great things about working at Maharam is that we have a gathering every two years focused on design inspiration and company values. In addition to a great location, there are guest speakers at the forefront of their industries. This year was exceptional in that we gathered at the Parker in Palm Springs, and one of my design idols spoke - Ilse Crawford.
I've been a fan of Ilse Crawford since high school when her book Sensual Home was published. I brought my copy along and was lucky to have her sign it. (And had a great aside with her and her husband, Oscar Pena, about handwriting and the power of a good signature.)
In addition to her giving a great presentation to the entire group, I was able to have a meaningful conversation privately. I was enamored as she and I discussed gender politics in architecture versus interiors, and her experience doing business in Asia. And thankfully my boss took a photo of us, so I didn’t have to resort to asking for a selfie.
Luckily last month I was able to enjoy one of her spaces in person, with one of my best friends and some coworkers. I was in Hong Kong and had a delicious drink at Duddell’s Art Club.
Still working my way through her latest book, which is beyond good. It is a set of profiles of her recent projects, highlighting the human focus, and making all spaces more comfortable and inhabitable for the users. Her elaborations on their design process and priorities are invaluable for formulating a project, in design or in life.
She continues to be an inspiration, and I’m so lucky to have met her in person.
Having a couple kiddos really allows some real-world lettering opportunities. Certainly more chalk around than I ever had before children. I really enjoy using handlettering in my day to day life.
At the Navy Pier Kid's Museum new exhibit on fort building.
Labeling school supplies.
And lots more.
More from Nariyyah Waheed. She has such a way with words.
Really enjoying our time in California. Tonight we took an impromptu hike, and were rewarded with great views of Simi Valley. The little dudes led us up the highest peak they could find. We got a good workout, and a nice memory.
As I have more time to think this weekend than usual ("vacation" for me means a trip to the in-laws who graciously provide so much childcare), I'm trying to figure out my priorities. While I don't have time to formally volunteer or do much for organizations I value besides monetarily support them, I can make more of an effort in daily life. Buying a coffee and providing conversation to the homeless man on my commute, reaching out to new mom friends with a word of support and maybe a snack, and simply asking those around me how things are and what they might need. I don't have copious amounts of free time, but I do have chances to help others. And that provides value to all of our lives. And an small opportunity of resistance.
Was happy to finally have a reason to get this quote of resistance on paper, and also, glass. This commission was on an old window, used as artwork in a bedroom gallery. Glass is never easy, but I've had great luck with these Zig Posterman pens.
Aliums are some of my favorite spring bloomers. Watching them emerge is always so fascinating.
And even Isaac knows not to touch. "Mama, dese are berry delicat."
That resonated with me, as I'm at a place in my life where it is time to, and I am really able to, step up. I'm learning I can do this working yet engaged mom, equal yet adoring partner, dedicated yet balanced professional. And when you impress yourself, you have to celebrate that.
Here's to finding and impressing myself in my 34th year.
This is a reminder, while I try to find the body of the woman before, the energy level of the woman before, the diverse interests of the woman before, that I have to remember my life is richer now. I'm also a better person now; more empathetic, more patient, more driven.
So to all you other mothers out there, this is a reminder too. Celebrate your now.