Wednesday, April 28, 2010

enjoy this newborn picture

because if I give myself any new pictures to edit today, I will have to die.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I love you.
And this picture.
So far, thirty-year-old you is awesome.
(Although a little cranky when tired.)
(But that's just same as 29-year-old you, so I can live with it.)
(happy birthday.)

Friday, April 23, 2010


confession: I always spell color 'colour' the first time, ever since I was little, I think because I read a lot of British children's books?, but I try to remember to change it on my blog because I don't want you to make fun of me.
(and you totally would, don't pretend otherwise.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

roll out those lazy hazy crazy days

oh Missouri weather, I miss you so.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


My cousin-in-law called* yesterday to say the orchards by her house were in bloom, and did I want to come shoot with her?
As a matter of fact, I did.

*texted. I know.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my mom and I mentioned in passing that I'd been looking for navy sandals for Ivy, but hadn't seen in any in stores. Less than thirty minutes later she called back to ask for Ivy's size and if I was sure blue was the way to go? Less than a week and a half later, these arrived:

Monday, April 19, 2010


we're home from Missouri, a round-trip total of 40 hours in the car (with three kids!) to see this little thing get baptized:

It was wonderful.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I usually have two piles of books on my nightstand, one Recently Read, and one To Be Read.

as you can see, my To Be Read pile has recently spiraled out of control.
(and that's just the literal pile.)

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Ivy is in the tub first thing in the morning.

Okay, that's not actually the suprise. or A suprise at all, really.

the surpising part is that she's in her own tub because I actually finished painting the bathroom. (or close enough. Whatever.)


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

one more thing

I know I've posted about Grandma twice recently, but my mother pointed out that Grandma never really liked the picture she's holding here, so I thought it only fair to use the picture of Grandma my Grandpa had sitting on the dresser in their bedroom:

doesn't she look lovely? I adore this picture. (Also, I want to do my hair like that.) I believe it was taken right before (or after? maybe around?) their marriage in 1942. Or 1943*. It's currently in a double frame with a picture of my Grandpa taken at the same time:

Such good-looking people. I sometimes wish for more Snedaker genes.

*as you can see, my background in journalism made me an excellent fact-checker.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

conversation with my grandma

The room is dim and warm, and the sleeping form of my Grandma is just a small vertical lump on a bed full-piled with pillows and blankets. I cross to her side and sit down next to her, curve closely over her body with my hand on her back and my mouth close to her ear. "Grandma," I murmur. "Grandma, it's time to wake up."

Her eyes open reluctantly. "Oh," she whispers, "oh." Her eyes slide back down, her mouth still holding that small round shape.

I pat her back gently. "Grandma. Grandma, it's time to get up. It's dinner time."

When her eyes open this time she asks, "What time is it?"

"A little after four," I answer, "and we're almost ready for dinner."

We can hear the noise from downstairs, all the kids being gathered for Easter dinner, the table being set and the doors being carelessly hurled shut.

"This is a nice place," she says, and I can see she's looking at the wallpaper in a distant, unfamiliar manner.

"Yes, it is. You picked out everything in here, I think, Grandma, and you've always had very good taste."

She processes my information slowly. "Well, I've been...told before...that that's so," she says, starting to drift again, "by some ..."

Her sentence never finishes, so I rub her back again and say, "Are you just too tired for dinner, Grandma? We need to get up, or everyone will be waiting for us."

Her eyes open, "Oh, no, no," she mumbles, and is silent for a minute. Then she asks, "Is my mother downstairs?"

"No, Grandma. Your mother is ... in heaven." I can never quite bring myself to say 'dead' to my Grandma, not about her mom and not about my grandpa. "But...your daughter Jeanne is downstairs."

She nods as if this is what she meant all along, which it might be. Or it might not.

She turns and looks at me for the first time. "Where did you come from?" she asks. Her voice is still slow and confused, and I can see she's trying and failing to place me.

Just then Chris puts his head around the corner. He sees us talking and is about to turn away, but I raise my eyebrows and he answers the unspoken question.

"Is Ivy up here?"

"No, downstairs. I just checked on her, she was still sleeping."

He walks off quickly, and I look down to find Grandma watching me, her brow furrowed.

"I was talking to my husband," I explain. "He was looking for our little girl, and I told him our little girl is still sleeping."

Her brow furrows further. She says, "Am I ... your little girl?"

"No," I reassure her. "No. I'm your granddaughter Elizabeth. My mom is your daughter Jeanne. She's downstairs right now finishing dinner. And my daughter is Ivy, your great-granddaughter. The house is full of your great-grandchildren. Eight of them. Can you believe that?"

She turns slightly and her eyes unfocus. "How time flies," she murmurs, and I nod slowly.

I wonder, briefly, what this must be like for her, and I wonder if her dreams seem more like real life than waking. Because in sleep, I know, she becomes a little girl again. In her dreams she helps her mother in the house in Plain City, she runs across the farm and relives her childhood fears of snakes and Indians; sometimes when she wakes the memories are so alive they can't be shaken. And it must, it must, seem more substantial than these wakings full of people you only half-recognize, strangers who act like your parents, vaguely familiar faces walking in and out of your bedroom; only your bedroom isn't your bedroom, not the one you remember. I wonder if she's relieved to fall asleep the way I am relieved to wake-up--a return to normalcy, a return to the natural order. A return to life. What is real for her, now?

I pat her back again, and remind her about dinner. "We've got to get dressed, Grandma, or Jeanne will come up here looking for us." That makes her smile.

So I help her get dressed, and explain who I am again, and explain about her great-granchildren again, and tell her how happy they will be to see her. It's true, too. She will hover over them, and call them "Sweet Darling," and exclaim enthusiatically over any trick or story, no matter how small. They, in turn, will bring her small stories and small tricks and be delighted by her attention.

And by the end of the night, she will look at me and know my name is Elizabeth.
And when I leave she will say, "Must you go? We miss you terribly while you're gone."
And I'll hug her and tell her yes, I must go, but I will miss her terribly, too.

The truth is, sometimes when we're together I miss her even more.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

april fool's