Our Adventures: New York State of Mind

And... She's back folks.

After an amazing weekend with the ever-amazing Richardson ladies (my super sweet and fun in-laws), I scooted up to New York for a few days for work with some other fabulous ladies/co-workers. Both were whirlwind times, but so much fun!

I didn't have a camera charger for the weekend festivities (boo, me), but you will just have to trust me that I got to have some quality one-on-one time with my sisters and mother-in-law, they got to meet the bump, we shared lots of cheese and pj time... It was very very good for the soul to see their joyful faces.

Sunday morning, I headed out bright and early to head to the NY NOW show in NYC. Traveling with friends that you just happen to work with is seriously no shabby way to spend your time. We arrived with a pretty open day on Sunday, so we got to experience Time Square, walked about 8 thousand miles, met a friend for a delicious lunch at the deliciously Peruvian Pio Pio in Hell's Kitchen, shared a cupcake and champagne at Sweet Revenge in the West Village, and had a BRIGHT and hilarious indian meal at Panna II in the East Village. All in all, we knocked day one out of the park.

Monday we got to work and walked the inspiring aisles of the NY NOW market, where we got to check out what other companies like us are doing in the industry. We also got to stop in on a few favorites that you will definitely know, like Rifle Paper Co., Ban.Do, and Tatly. Well, I guess we never really made it to Tatly, but we were there in spirit. The displays were beautiful, the branding was delicious, and I came back really inspired (for lack of ANY other word that conveys inspiration) at the talent that we saw. 
Later that day we galavanted around Central Park for after sipping coffee at Fika, followed by a seriously banging dinner at The Cannibal

Tuesday, we again worked during the day, ate a light and delicious lunch at GoodRestaurant, checked out of our hotel and flew home.

And now... You guessed it... I am curled up on my couch with my sweatpants, husband, Pirate Macey, and my computer, enjoying every second of it.

I hope if you are headed to NY for a short trip, you check out some of these fun spots! And seriously... If nothing else... Go to Panna II. Trust me.



So here we are at 17 weeks. That still sounds like nothing at all to me, but it's over 4 months. Which now makes me glance at my stack of baby books and long list of baby names and unpainted baby room and think... "You, my friend, are not prepared in the slightest, for what's to come"

But alas. Let's get back to things that matter.

The baby is healthy. We saw him/her move in our ultrasound last week. He/she has a perfectly forming skull and spine. Praise the Lord. He is good.

Things that I expected to happen are happening:
1. My belly is growing. It's really crazy and fun because it changes every day. I feel pretty in awe of that part of things. It just knows what to do and keeps on doing it. I'm officially in maternity pants and am thoroughly enjoying the forgiving nature of these magica pant creations.

2. I am in love with carbs. They are the only thing that sit perfectly well with me all the time, and that always look enticing to eat. I am working on balancing this out, but man. Carbs are sure delicious. Especially in the form of Ezekiel bread toasted with peanut butter, Annie's mac and cheese, and whole wheat pasta with anything on it, as long as it includes sauce and parmesan cheese.

3. Nesting... Ah nesting. It's hard to say whether it is pregnancy, or if it is just the fact that we are in a new home, but man am I have been experiencing a full on nesting attack. It's a pretty lethal combination for anyone who knows anything about me. I am a home maker through and through, so with a baby on the way, and extra room in this home we plan to be in for a minute, I am making plans and putting them into action rather quickly... Or as quick as my wallet will let me. Burley is pretty annoyed impressed when he comes home after 1 bar shift and I have already painted the room that I was discussing the possibility of painting before he left for work.

Things that I didn't expect to happen are happening:
1. There is pretty much constant pressure everywhere in my mid-section. I guess this makes sense when you think about your body stretching and expanding by the minute... But I never really thought about the daily "feeling" of being pregnant. It's a constant reminder to eat well and pray for the little nugget.

2. My husband has been cooking a lot and feeding me all the time. If I had known this was a part of being pregnant, I would have done it a long time ago.

3. I have found that in a time that I anticipated being full of fear, anxiety, and anticipation of what's to come, I am actually more laid back than my usual self. Burley and I are experiencing so much joy and humor and rejuvination in our relationship... I think this is probably what they call the "calm before the storm," but I will take it!

Overall, I am really enjoying being pregnant thus far. There is a lot of joy surrounding even the most mundane of days. Always something/someone to look forward to and anticipate. A real gift.

And now... To the mandolin.

My 2nd trimester has also made me buzz with excitement of new things and "just going for it."
Queue last week's goat plans.

So... I bought a mandolin.
I have been wanting one for years, and though the next season of my life won't have hours and hours of practice time built in, I think that it is good to keep my mind expanding and experiencing newness.

I have been learning a few chords, and singing a long.
It was the best money I have spent in a long time.

What are you up to these days? Have you discovered any new talents/skills/hobbies that you want to look into? Any interest in goats or another fun home addition? I would love to hear about it! I need more ideas... :)


Our Adventures: South of Nashville Getaway

This past weekend, Burley and I took a long weekend in a little town south of Nashville, to visit my brother, sister in love, and favorite oldest niece. With our opposite schedules, Burley man and I often go 3-4 days in a row without getting to see each other outside of a 2am hello and goodnight kiss, so we decided that some time to recharge was needed, and that the best place to do that is with family. So we headed to Tennessee.

The weekend with this clan was mind blowingly relaxing. I wore a bra once, and that was only to leave the house to go get Sonic Blasts. I didn't pack my makeup case. I started a new book. I got to cuddle with my niece every morning. I got to snuggle her to sleep while watching TV. My sister taught me how to throw a ceramic pot in her garage studio. We played countless hours of cards. We indulged in the most delicious pizza delivery of my life. We watched old movies. All in all... I don't know if it gets any better.

On the way home, I got to think and pray through a lot of questions and unrestful worries that I realized I had been carrying without even knowing it. I got to re-align my heart with things that matter. I listened to talk radio as the sun went down over the Tennessee mountains and thanked Jesus for the massive and invaluable gift that is a family that loves and grounds each other. I got to sit with the growing life inside of me and wonder what it will be like to create a family unit like the one I know and hold so close. The drive was perfection.

The weekend was balm to my busy soul.

Here is a very small snapshot into our time together. My camera has been broken for about 2 months now, and I actually fixed it myself while in Tennessee (that is a whole other long story that I definitely need to share with you soon). So, I was excited to exercise my photog muscles after a long hiatus... But still chose laughing, talking, and cuddling as my first priorities. A few of these shots were captured by my brother and Burley as well. A family affair. Enjoy, friends! 



Do you guys remember when we had Richardson Farms?
Goodness Gracious. I do too.
I miss the ladies of the farm. I miss our veggies. That was a huge part of life satisfaction for me that I not only momentarily gave up when we moved home from Denver, but also when I stopped working from home.

But that momentary lapse of time is now over. Dead and goooooone y'all. 
And this time, Richardson farms is going to be bigger and better than ever.
Not really bigger in size, but in heart. And livestock population.

So are you ready to hear the plan?
OOOOO good I am so glad you said that. 
Because I sketched it out for you.


Q.  My dear Maddie... Why do you want to invest in having goats and chickens, when eggs and milk are relatively inexpensive items to buy at the market?
A. Short answer... I am terrified of hormones. I am pretty sure that everything gives me cancer. I love to do as much as I can to know that I have done as much as I can to keep myself and my family healthy. Also, the process of taking care of farm animals and keeping a garden alive are really rewarding to me. It just feels like how it should be.

Q. Does your drawing above suggest that chickens and goats can roam together? 
A. Oh. My. Gosh. I am so glad you noticed! That is right, my friends. They can! How freakin' cute are these little animals going to be?! Jumping off of each other. High fiving. Cuddling. Coming up with dance routines. I can't wait!

Q. Rooftop garden you say? Please explain!
A. Well... The goal is to hopefully (still working out details) create the animals' shelter to be sturdy enough, well placed enough, and sheltered from the animals enough, that we can actually create raised beds ON TOP of the shelter, vs taking up more space in the yard to do so. Here's hoping! 

Q. You are going to build your husband a shed/man cave? That's nice of you!
A. The shed already exists my friends. Happy Birthday Burley.

Q. When are you guys going to start building out?
A. ASAP. We have a lot of projects going on inside the house right now, but we have a potential couple of Nigerian Dwarf kids, headed to our yard in late August (that's right... BABY GOATS!!! AAAAH!!!). Therefore, we would need to have the shelter and pen all ready to go by the end of next month. Here's to making miracles happen!! And if anyone deserves a miracle... It's baby goats.

GREAT questions today, guys! I am so impressed with your eloquence and depth. I hope I answered you well. Stay tuned for more tales from the resurgence of Richardson Farms. 



Wow - Today, I read the most beautiful, heart wrenching, honest, and oh-my-heavens-oh-so-true article. Man. I just can't get over it. It so perfectly and poetically voiced the exact thoughts I have had a zillion times, as I think about what it looks like to have a growing family. What the details... The day to day will be. What it could be. What I want it to be. Even before this whole baby condition happened to me... They were there. These thoughts... "Why don't we do it like that anymore?"

I have never really been one to just see how it is done and do it that way. I like to think that the steps I have taken thus far in my life have been... not profoundly unique... and not outrageously off the grid... But just "off" enough that I can trust it's not the "norm" that lead me here, but Something bigger, and Someone wiser. I'd like to hope that even if all the fish are swimming downstream, I'm the kind of fish that can handle picking up my fins, grabbing my guppies, and walking right on out of that river and over to a different stream.

All of this explode my next. big. thought... What does it look like to have children and raise a family today? In this world? In this time? In this city? For this not profoundly unique but kind of "off" fish?

My mom set such an equally poetic and eloquent example of raising children her own way, and I wonder, do I have the courage to do the same? Could I?

I adore how Bunmi so powerfully puts it...

"I miss the village I never had. The one with mothers doing the washing side by side, clucking and laughing hysterically, tired in body but quick in spirit. We'd know each other so well: annoying one other from time to time, but never staying mad long because the truth is, we need each other... I miss that village of mothers that I've never had. The one we traded for homes that, despite being a stone's throw, feel miles apart from each other. The one we traded for locked front doors, blinking devices and afternoons alone on the floor playing one-on-one with our little ones."

No wonder we are all so terrified of having children. The unknown. The "giving up" of our only familiarity. Because we no longer live in villages. We are in our own parts of town, where families don't go. We are in our own evening church services, so late that the children can't stay awake for them. We are in our own bars and restaurants, where smoking is still allowed, so the babies aren't. We are in small groups, designated for the single, the child-less, the "young." We only see a piece of the puzzle. We have forfeited the gift of the big picture. We have torn down the village, and built subdivisions.

What happened to the village?

When did it happen?

Is it possible to get there again?

Well. I have to tell you. I believe with every inch of my heart that the answer is yes. And for me, I think it is my only hope. My only option. When I think on the next few years of my life... Nothing really makes sense. Nothing seems even close to possible. But, with a village? Yes. I think I can. Maybe we can?

So here's to not knowing what that looks like... How to get there... Or where to start...

... But I think that after our next door neighbors picked my husband up off the side of the road with a flat tire today, and they borrowed cheese from us for dinner yesterday, and I am daily eating tomato sandwiches from which half the ingredients are from their garden...

... And BJ and her daughter down the street invited me to join their evening walks around the park later this week because "that's what pregnant ladies gotta do. They just gotta walk and walk and keep walkin', ya know?"

... And my dear friend and neighbor down the block is about to come over and bring me stuffed zucchini for dinner, after which we will eat my home made butter pecan ice cream that just finished setting in the freezer...

I may not have too far to go to start building.