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Lyra, 2.5 years old. Cora, 5 years old.
San Diego, California. July, 2015.
Every Six Months: A Photo Project
The girls are 2.5 years apart and their birthdays fall almost exactly six months apart in a calendar year. My goal is to document the two of them together every six months. You can view all the photos in the series here.
And this GIF because it is just perfect.
I love you, girls!
This sweet girl is five today. Five years ago she joined our family and we have all been having the most fabulous adventures ever since.
Renée gave her a boogie board for her birthday and the kid was smitten. Combine the boogie board with the weekly swim lessons we are taking, and even without a sailboat right now, we'll keep her a water kid as much as we can.
It is bittersweet to write this post today because it is the last birthday post I'll be sharing about Cora. In a few more days I'll be officially retiring Cora from this blog and from social media. I've written about my plan to do this when she turned five for several years now and alas, the time has arrived.
We were lucky to have some wonderful friends join us today.
Estella and Melvin.
Kristine, Alex, and Jack.
Sacha, Monique, Steve, and Ronen.
Ryan and Spencer.
Leo and Renée.
Gray, Miles, and Ella.
This photo below is the only family photo that has Cora looking forward.
Here she is looking back to check the waves.
And here she is riding the wave.
I love seeing in these family photos how clearly Cora has Eric's legs and Lyra has mine.
You can see it here too with Lyra's little legs. We each have our own Mini-me's.
Cora wanted a strawberry cake with pink strawberry frosting in the shape of a heart with sprinkles.
I only had a small heart pan so I made a heart and a star. She loved them.
"We are so lucky. We have TWO cakes!"
Happy birthday, Cora!!
I love these photos below of Cora holding court. First she talks to Sacha.
Then she talks to Xavier.
You're a loveable, and loved, kid, Cora.
After the party we started working on thank you cards. She came up and gave me the first one.
"This one is for you, mom, because you got me everything I wanted for my cake. You get the best stuff."
I'm enjoying so much the simple joy that comes from five year olds.
To the grown ups and kids who came to Cora's party today, thank you.
Cora, it's gonna be a great year.
If you have followed mine or Eric's blogs for even a short time, you'll have noticed that we both like to work out. We also include our kids in our workouts as much as possible.
I've been working out in our car port area and when I head out the girls do too.
That's my girl. Fierce!
Lyra loves the ab wheel.
She also loves the toy garbage truck.
Sometimes I have one of the girls try to take pictures. Lyra tried in this one. Hey, at least you can see me and Cora in the shot.
Mostly the girls just play.
A little post workout snack is lovely outside too.
Cora asked me what these posters said when I hung them up.
She listened intently as I read.
"That's a great poem, mom. Yeah. Good idea to work out."
Hey thanks, buddy.
Lyra did the most adorable videobomb yesterday when I was trying to check my form.
Cora and Lyra, when you read this one day, thanks for being such kick ass little workout buddies.
We had three handmade, gorgeous wooden frames on Rebel Heart. They were each custom designed by our friend Gray, of Small Life Studio.
The frame on the port-side bulkhead contained a painting done for us by our friend, Rick Sakow.
We love this painting. If you have never had someone paint your portrait, let me tell you it is a true honor to receive a gift like that.
Right? RIGHT? He totally nailed it. I plan to share more of his art here one day with you. He doesn't know that, but I plan to!
The two frames on the athwart ship's bulkhead held a photo of me and baby Lyra (top frame) and the other (bottom frame), contained a painting by the artist Kelly Paige Standard.
I first encountered Kelly's artwork years ago when I was walking past an art gallery on Beech Street in South Park and literally paused mid-stride, transfixed by her paintings in the window.
The way Kelly paints light in her work mesmerizes me. And like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who couldn't describe porn, but "knew it when he saw it," I too don't have the words to describe fine art like Kelly's. But I know it when I see it.
I never thought I'd have the means to own one of Kelly's pieces until one day on social media she announced that she would be doing a few small pieces and to contact her if interested. I took the leap and messaged her.
What I wanted to do was get a unique birthday gift for Eric. It is notoriously difficult to get anything for Eric. Perhaps it is just him, or maybe it is a sailor thing. Sailors either want very expensive items (300 feet of chain, anyone?) or the items they want are so technical and specific, that you have to get them to tell you exactly what the item is so you don't get the wrong one by accident. Some cologne and a new sweater won't work either. He doesn't wear cologne and he hates sweaters.
What was a woman to do?
Commission an incredible artist for a one of a kind gift, that's what.
Our friend, photographer Holly Harris, snapped this photo of Eric and Cora one day and it melted my heart. This was the image I proposed Kelly turn into a painting for us. The day the painting was finished I drove over to pick it up, six months pregnant with Lyra, and ever the emotional pregnant lady. I met Kelly at a local Starbucks and she handed me the painting wrapped. I unwrapped it right there in the outdoor courtyard and as I turned it over to see it for the first time, I burst into tears.
Here it is zoomed out in the custom frame made for just this painting by our friend, Gray.
I don't have the words. True perfection.
It was very lovingly hung up in our boat and there we enjoyed looking at it every day.
Before we set sail for the South Pacific, Kelly announced that she was doing another series of small paintings and I approached her about trying to turn this photo into a painting.
Kelly was working on this piece as we sailed across the Pacific. If you know our story, then you'll know we didn't make it all the way across. During the two and a half days we had to await the arrival of the USS Vandegrift, I had time to look around our boat and see what I could possibly take with us. I slipped Rick's painting (featured at the top of this post) and Kelly's painting of Eric and Cora out of their large wooden frames. I put them in a large Ziplock bag and nestled them between our laptops in a bag that I wasn't even sure if we'd be able to bring with us off of the boat.
Luckily, we were able to. And the two pieces of artwork were saved.
When we got back to town, Kelly was thrilled to know the painting had not gone down with the ship. She also presented us with this.
Look at how she has made those Christmas lights GLOW.
I didn't cry this time. I just stared transfixed for a while.
I still stop and stare at this painting. What a thrill to have true art in your home.
Now I had two pieces of art by Kelly Paige Standard, but I needed frames for them. It is not that easy to get quality square frames. I finally found Paisley Couture Frames on Etsy and was able to order exactly what I wanted (by the way, I just noticed that they are having a 10% off sale until the end of July. You can thank me later.)
These paintings hang in our living room along with the painting by Rick, that has its own new frame.
And alongside these we have a few more original pieces of art.
On the top right there is a framed colored pencil piece by Cherry Yarrow who worked from this photo of the girls to create her own composition.
She even got the sweet detail of their holding hands.
This one is my Cora.
And this photo of Lyra, clearly inspired this watercolor by Ella:
As someone who takes great joy in creating something with my own hands, in my case from fabric and thread, I'm honored to be surrounded by these creations in mediums that I don't work in. I marvel at people's talent, skill, and passion for their craft.
As William Morris said, "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
And this art, my friends, is beautiful.
You can contact Kelly Paige Standard at firstname.lastname@example.org and view more of her artwork at her web page