Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Literary events with Evelyn and Mommy and Kevin Brockmeier

Last night I went to see Kevin Brockmeier give a reading at the Laman Library as part of their Adult Summer Reading Series.

I stinking love Kevin Brockmeier.  And yes, I always use both names when I talk about him.

I have not attended one of his readings since 2009.

I skipped his session at the Arkansas Literary Festival in 2010, because I am an idiot.

Then his session at this year's festival was ticket-only.  I did not know this and did not buy a ticket, and did not really have a chance to buy a ticket because the organizers accidentally sold too many tickets.

So instead I bought stamps for Evelyn's birth announcements at the post office, ate sandwiches with Mom and Dad, and tried not to cry even though postpartum book nerd disappointment can be very, very acute.

Cody and I took Evelyn to the library for the first time ever the very next day so we could attend a Kevin Brockmeier-moderated session for Peter S. Beagle.  It wasn't quite the same, but it was still fun and I hoped we'd have better luck next year.

But then I saw a poster last week for this event and became very excited.  Then very fearful I'd forget.  Then concerned that something would somehow prohibit me from attending.

But nothing bad happened and I went!

I came home.  I fed Evelyn.  I changed my clothes.  I changed her clothes.  I tried to comb her hair.  I took her to the library.

And then we listened to Kevin Brockmeier read from his new book and talk with the audience!

Evelyn made it through with a minimum of fussing.  It was around 80° in the room, so she was extra squirmy and unhappy.  Me, too.

She slept a little, but woke up during some applause.

Cody gave me The Illumination for Valentine's Day this year, but I haven't finished it because it's just so sad.  He read one section that I'd already read, then another section I hadn't read, and then he took questions from the audience.

I love when he takes questions from the audience.  He's updated his Top 50 Favorite Books list, and created a Top 50 Favorite Movies list, so when people asked him about that he was all set.  Yes, I took home copies of both.  He told stories of how he accidentally wound up with a literary agent, how he stopped someone from stealing his lunch out of his locker in junior high, and what he does during the day. He even talked about 2 unpublished children's books he has sitting around that need to be published so I can buy them and read them with Evelyn.

I can never think of anything to ask him.  Oh well.

Then it was time for book signing and I was still on the back row, nursing Evelyn without a cover.  I had spent the last part of his talk walking and bouncing her in the back of the lecture room and praying that no one was bothered by her little grunts and squeaks.  Then she really started fussing and I sat down in the nearest chair and fed her. 


An old lady came up to me while I was feeding her and I got nervous because I've been told older people hate boobs.  Or something.  But the woman just wanted to let me know that my baby was very "good" (as far as I can tell, when people say this they actually mean "quiet") and very pretty ("the most amazing baby in the world").  I was incredibly relieved, and this was when I remembered none of these people had her 2" away from their ears.  And that the night's demographic was... well, older.  Yay for diminished hearing!  We discretely finished up and joined the line, where people talked to Evelyn and she smiled back at them.  When it was our turn, Kevin Brockmeier remembered me! 

He has remembered me since 2007. Awesome.

No, really.  See?

This is not my standard literary-matters post.  This is not my standard adventures-with-Evelyn post.  This is a post about me wanting to do something really, really badly for myself and actually pulling it off and feeling like I rocked it (instead of survived) and being completely excited.  Mom offered to watch Evelyn while I went to the reading, but I wanted to take her with me.  I wanted to hear my favorite author read from his work.  I wanted my daughter to go to this.  I wanted her with me after being away from her all day.  I kind of wanted to make up for her first book signing event being for the Duggars' new paycheck.

I know I won't be able to take Evelyn, or babies that may come after her, to everything.  And I know I won't be able to go out and do everything like I did before having Evelyn.  Things are different now.  I don't read as much.  I don't take as many pictures of things when I'm out and about.  My time for knitting is nearly non-existent (which actually made me want to make the most of my time and start knitting things other than scarves.  And that's cool).  It's the new normal for now and I'm fine with it, except that I really maybe needed to go to the reading last night.  And it went just fine.  It was better than fine. 

It was great

Evelyn's awake more at night now and more vocal, but she wasn't disruptive. 

I made it to the event on time, after work. 

I kept a three-month-old occupied and relatively quiet for nearly 2 hours. Someone pin a medal on me!

I nursed without a cover, and even though it doesn't seem like something you should do in a library, no one was outraged or ugly about it.

Even though I don't recognize myself sometimes, Kevin Brockmeier remembered me and signed my book. 

I actually remembered to take my book.  I remembered a pacifier.  I remembered my camera.

Oh yes, my camera. 

You know, for pictures.

Like this one:

I think they're friends now.
See?  Proof that my evening was great.

I like to think Kevin Brockmeier had a good time, too.

Evelyn was fine.  Promise. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

I want you to know this

Kevin Brockmeier

Laman Main Library Lecture Hall

Tuesday evening, 6:30 PM

He will be reading from his newest novel,  
The Illumination
and signing copies.


an anniversary post for kelly(and john)

Dear Kelly,

Remember when you had a wedding last year?

And you asked me to take pictures?

And I did?

And that I left the wedding with half of a roll of black and white film left in my camera?  Oh, I didn't mention that?  Well.

I had half of a roll of black and white film left in my camera.  I intended to use it up right away, develop it, and send the pictures to you as soon as I could.  But then work picked up and I became easily distracted by being pregnant.  I would take some pictures here and there and invariably have my attention directed....somewhere... by..... something.

This went on for while.  How long?  Well, the last 2 pictures I took were of my bare 39-weeks-pregnant belly.  I developed the film, but we didn't have Internet.  Then we finally got Internet, but I had a baby 3 days after that.  That kept me busy for a while, and when things started to slow down a tree fell on my house.  Which naturally kept me busy once again for quite a while and then I went back to work and every time I'd think of the pictures they weren't on my work computer.

But now!  I finally uploaded the pictures!  You are celebrating a full year of marriage!  I'm pretty sure (hoping) you've been too busy with all the adventures a first year of marriage will bring to even notice that I'm really, really, really behind (even for me) with giving you the very last part of your wedding present.


Please accept my sincerest apologies with my most enthused congratulations.  You've been married a full year!  I am so happy you are linked to someone with whom you enjoy sharing your life.  Thank you for letting me see you getting ready for your special day.  Please enjoy the pictures and your anniversary post.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Happy anniversary, Mrs. Kelly (Bisby) Peterson.  We love you so much.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

This and that, then and now

Last weekend, I was here:

Buying this:

Maybe this weekend I'll get to play with some of it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jessi and Evelyn are friends

In the interest of keeping you apprised of all things pertaining to Evelyn and her fascinating life, I thought I should let you know that she hit another big milestone yesterday.

No, not rolling over from her back to her belly.  But she's getting there.  She works at it tirelessly and gets angry when she can't do it.

We haven't told her that once she rolls over she'll be on her belly, because that's something that also makes her angry because when she's on her belly she realizes she can't crawl.

I'll be sure to let you know how that works out.

But yesterday, her big milestone was this: she was babysat by her first non-relative!

So far we've been incredibly blessed/lucky/awesome enough to have just my parents watch Evelyn in the afternoons.  Dicy has covered any other babysitting needs when they've popped up, and we've been pretty set in our schedules.  But we needed a sitter for Thursday and we knew who to ask.


Evelyn likes Jessi.  Really.

Jessi has about a decade and a half of professional childcare experience.  She's also the friend who organized a schedule for our friends to bring us food the first week Evelyn was born.  And she's also been begging to play with Evelyn.  So when I asked her last week if she wanted to spend some time with one of her favorite babies, she really did jump a little at the chance.  Like, she started in her seat and said "Really?!" like I was inviting her to Dollywood.

Her schedule was clear, and so she watched Evelyn on Thursday.  They had bottles and read books and played.  Jessi told me that Evelyn was a happy girl and that they had a great time together.

I knew they would, but now I'm required to believe her because she heavily documented the afternoon and emailed me these photos.  Please take note that Evelyn is wearing 3 different outfits in these pictures.  She's a messy girl.  Or Reba.  You take a look at that hair and be the judge.

Thinking her deep thoughts.  It's an important part of her day.

Napping.  Also important.

Evelyn really did enjoy her afternoon.  Really.

Eating.  Also important to her.

Hanging out.

Playing in the floor with her owl.

Kicking off the best socks ever.

Playing with the caterpillar, which is probably her best friend.

And this is what I came home to: a baby girl with a Pebbles hairdo.  The bow fell out after Jessi left and I couldn't quite recreate the look, but Evelyn seemed to like her pretty new hairstyle.

"I feel pretty!  Oh so pretty!"

Thanks again, Aunt Jessi!  Maybe someday we'll repay the favor by taking a picture of you and Evelyn enjoying each other's company.  Goodness, Evelyn!  She's so sneaky with her smiles sometimes...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Laine threw the perfect garden party!

Laine had a garden party this weekend!

She's been wanting to have one for a while.  They always look really fun on the blogs we read, with people wearing their pretty party outfits and having fun.  
And Laine's party was just like that, 
except we weren't beautifully photographed laughing casually because I was in charge of taking pictures.

But it was still a fabulous party and Laine's been wanting to throw a summer/belated birthday party for a while.

This was a big reason she was ready to really have a celebration in her back yard:

Laine and Robert have been doing some serious yardwork lately.  They have a glorious back yard that was just a little cluttered.  But no more!  Things have been pruned, cut back, or uprooted.

And decorated!

And they set up games!



And they had food and drink!

And we dressed up!

I wearing Laine's dress.  Dad tied my great bow.

This was a garden party, after all.
Dad briefly borrowed Laine's party hat.

We took pictures of our pretty outfits, but not nearly enough.
(We were hungry and ready to eat all the beautiful food.)
Dad and Evelyn wore pretty green bows.
Lovely parents!  Mom is wearing her dress from my wedding!  And pearls!  Party attire, y'all.
Party family portrait.  Evelyn is thrilled.
Host and hostess!

They were so happy to have us all over.
Laine and Robert with Leah.  It's a family portrait.
Sara and Chad.  I can't believe Evelyn wasn't staring at Chad's shirt the entire night.  Evelyn loves Chad's shirts.
Then Sara felt the need to model.

And Leah tried to recreate the look.

And Levi laughed at them both.

Then we went out into the night and ate with one another.

And there were banners.

And there were lanterns.

And there were fire pit.

And there was a baggo game.

We wore our pretty clothes and talked and ate and laughed into the night.

And it was the perfect garden party.