The Making of a Family: A Retrospective

Photos are posted in the order they were taken, starting 4 summers ago on the first night I met Suuzi (who was visiting Spencer here in Nevada City from her home in Canada at the time, about 2 years before they were married)...

He was born the morning of the 7th. He is beautiful and sweet, and Suuzi and Spencer are amazing. Spencer's dad Allen and Suuzi's mom Maureen are over the moon.

Suuzi and I plan to write up and share her birth story a some point in the future. It was long and challenging and didn't turn out as they had expected, but they are stoked on the outcome and grateful for the experience that made them a family. As you can tell, I adore these folks. I am continually awed with the creativity, equanimity, kindness, and grace with which they live their lives. And I am thrilled that they have made another person out of themselves.

(I will post more photos and the as-yet-undecided name and all that when the time comes...)

Welcome to the world, little one ❤

Earth Mama Suuzi

Now that we're 92% settled in our new home with Adam, I'm ready to start working on the many blog post ideas that have been swirling around in my mind. From herbal adventures to visits from vintage blogging friends to the amazing collaborative (--->) photo shoots I've been doing lately to creating said home & garden, there's a lot to share. First and foremost though, I want to share some pictures of our beloved Suuzi here in her final couple weeks of pregnancy. She is due on June 25th and is ripe and juicy with that beautiful Mama glow.

After a handful of scheduling snafus and communications mix-ups we finally executed a long-planned photo shoot of her around her farm a few evenings ago. The images came out so beautifully that I'm inclined to believe that the earlier mishaps were some sort of divine intervention. Here she is wearing a gorgeously embroidered rainbow vintage dress from yours truly that is just perfect for pregnancy.

Suuzi embodies the spirit of the Bountiful Earth Mama more than any pregnant woman I have ever seen. It's an honor to watch her blossom into motherhood.

This gorgeous dress she scored at the newly opened NEVA CO. Artisan Boutique in downtown Nevada City. My vintage pieces will soon be featured there, and are already hanging on the racks at the also newly opened Kitkitdizzi! Downtown NC is getting a fresh infusion of new shops and cafes lately, and it's exciting and inspiring to see. New energy, growth, and life are everywhere these days.

Crimson & clover.

From planting the seed to assessing the growth, Spencer has been working like a, well, soon-to-be-father and preparing a whole new home on the farm for his budding family.

And now onto the baby shower, which happened the day before the photo shoot:

Suuzi's mother-in-law hosted in her beautiful backyard garden oasis. The ladies were all aglow with the warmth of the summer afternoon and the joy of each other's company.

Two other pregnant beauties were in attendance as well. Samantha, in the middle there, will be having her fourth baby in August, and Christy is due with her second in late October. I love all of these woman and was thrilled to be able to gather them all up for this photo!

Here's Amanda (in the cutest outfit ever) reenacting a hilarious birth scene from the classic natural childbirth video Birth Into Being. Well, the birth itself is awesome, but there are some very funny elements to the whole scene as well. In Russia in the 1980s a 4th time mama is laboring in a glass birthing tub with a sweatband around her head while her kids walk around waving sticks of incense, and she gives birth so easily and seemingly painlessly that you wouldn't know it had happened if you didn't just see through the see-through walls of the tub that a baby just came out of her vagina. Birth Into Being was updated and expanded upon in the early 2000s and is now called Birth As We Know It. You can see the scene I'm talking about (which many of the baby shower guests seemed to be familiar with) on either video. Here is the trailer to Birth As We Know It:

(BTW Nevada County peeps, Elena Tonetti, the film's maker, will be hosting a screening in Grass Valley at Summerthyme's on July 12th.)

The one game we played was a Natural Childbirth Trivia game that Suuzi wrote herself. It's so like her to make sure that not only are we having fun, but we're also learning!

Here a guest looks at the adorable gift basket that Nikiya (unable to attend) sent along with me. Let me state for the record that Grandfather Twilight is one of my all time favorite children's books, and that Barbara Helen Berger is one of my all time favorite children's authors and illustrators. (Thanks to Jen for taking some of these photos!).

I had to snap a quick shot of my gifts. First of all, can you tell I think it's a boy? Secondly, this is the neatest little book with an amazing story behind its inspiration. And thirdly, HOW RAD IS THIS LITTLE PILLOW handmade by my friend Kiya of Kiya's Naturals? Oh and fourthly- total color scheme happening! Oh okay and then fifthly, the pillow says The Winter Aconite Fairy at the bottom, and Suuzi told me about how this herb saved her life many years ago; perhaps she can leave a comment explaining more about how :-)

Next time you see a photo of Suuzi on this blog, that little baby in there will be out here!

sit back and just watch them form from nothing... pregnancy news!

Drop whatever you are doing right now and head over to Heather's most recent post Beyond My Wildest Dreams to read all about her exciting news, and what a long journey she's been on to get here! It will absolutely fill your heart with joy. That's right, Heather & Darin are soon to grace the world with a dear little baby. And guess who else is pregnant!? Our very own Suuzi! She and Spencer are every bit as thrilled as our neighbors to the south. I took this video last month at the Bizarre, and have been very anxiously biding my time until I could post it!! (All of these exclamation marks are totally called for!!)

How lovely and amazing are these mamas?

Jen and I were lucky enough to be there when Suuzi took her test a few months ago (Spencer was out of town!). I cried and smiled and smiled and cried. I usually only have that cockamamie grin on my face when I'm a little tipsy. (Speaking of, Suuzi was drinking homemade kombucha in that fancy crystal goblet). I still sometimes cry just telling someone about her pregnancy! She was already, as you can see, deliciously round and soft and glowing with the little light inside her. Some people, like both of these couples, were just meant to be parents. And are at the exact right moment in their lives to do it.

Jen took these wonderful photos, Suuzi and I loved how she laid the test on a giant rose quartz to get this image.

I was also lucky enough to hear from Heather pretty early on. I got her message when I was with my family in Tahoe, and so Adam and Mycie and I decided to drive back home through Placerville instead of our usual route through Truckee and surprise Heather at The Bookery! I had to keep my excitement kind of hush-hush because she hadn't told her co-workers yet. But I was beaming just as much as I had been with Suuzi (and, it appears, wearing the same dress).

Here's to the world going 'round, beginnings and endings and laughter and tears and love from one generation to the next.

And here's to Mariee Sioux, a friend of all of ours, for writing the beautiful lyrics quoted in the title...

Hella Hello!

Hi friends! Geez, I've had a number of blogs set up to work on and post lately, but life is so full I just haven't found the time. Kindergarten started today though, so hopefully the time will find me soon. So this is just a quick hello!

Today Suuzi's husband Spencer Seim's band Hella is featured on NPR's Song of the Day! Pretty rad deal! If you like what you hear, keep your ears peeled for his latest project with Aaron Ross, Aamaranth. Their album, produced by Guy Massey (who won a Grammy this year for remastering The Beatles' box set), will be out soon.

Yes, our darling Suuzi- who loves vintage peasant dresses, tends her chickens, goats, and garden every day, and keeps an immaculate house- is married to a hard core rock n' roller. In fat, they met when she interviewed him for a Canadian music magazine.

Hope you all are busy bees gathering up the last of the sweet summer nectar!

Bunnies & Beards, Husbands & Hens

This fantastic short film, which recently debuted at the Nevada City Film Festival, was made by Spencer Seim. Some of you may know him from his career as a musician, but I know him mostly as the husband of one of my best friends and most fabulous models...

Jasbir, also known as Suuzie. And probably from here on out in her Violet Folklore "career" referred to as the latter.

In early summer Suuzie and I needed a place to take some photos. She suggested we shoot at the home of her sister-in-law Jennifer while Suuzie babysat her 9 year old niece Taylor. I was immediately struck by Taylor's beauty and effervescence, and ended up taking almost as many pictures of her as of us in our clothes that evening. I've been wanting to share these beautiful pictures I took of this budding actress ever since, and so here they are...

Snuggling up with Bun Bun.

Helping me with an unfortunate snag :-)

And I just found out a few minutes ago that today is, totally coincidentally, Taylor's 10th birthday! I am thrilled to be able to give her a little birthday tribute with this post for such a special day. Happiest Birthday to you Taylor!

A slightly humorous story to close this post: Last week Suuzie invited Graham, Mycelia, and I, along with our friends Tom and Alela, over for dinner. The avian star of the film, Gray Beard, joined us. Seems she is constantly picked on by the other hens in her coop, and Suuzie oftentimes removes her and gives her special attention. On this evening she was treated to her own chair at our outdoor picnic table and a heap of freshly caught salmon. The funny thing was that Alela and I, the entire night, thought that Suuzie was calling the chicken "Graveyard". We were kind of like, "Yeah no wonder she's an outcast!"

Although I must say "Grave Expectations" would be a pretty cool name....