Friday, April 29, 2011

Festival of the Arts- Our 8th (and first) visit.




In 2004, on the last week of April, Michael and I had our very first date. He took me to the Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City, and we picked a quiet spot in a shady patch of green grass to sit and talk for hours. Every Spring we go back to that same spot, with our wonderful food in hand, and spend time enjoying the beautiful weather, and remembering how many years have passed since our first time there, together. Both shy and 21 years old, trying not to say the wrong thing and hoping we didn't have food in our teeth.

Last night we took Elodie, and it felt like the first time we were there all over again. Through her eyes, I am starting to see the world and the memories we share in a different light. Things that have started to feel routine and ordinary are becoming new and exciting, again. We are starting over with new life, a blank canvas...and showing her the beauty of life through our eyes.

With these realizations, I am also starting to become aware that one day I will also have to teach Elodie about things that are not always easy. She will have to understand change, and how we must all go through it to move through life and keep working forward.
When we went to find our spot, it was gone. All of it. The grass, the hill, and even our tree.



photo from April 2007

Ripped out, and turned into something new for a city project. It was a place I didn't recognize, and for our 8th trip to the Oklahoma City Festival of Arts, it felt like our first time. I was a little disappointed that we never got to show Elodie our spot. The place where we fell in love every year until the first year we brought her to see the shining sun through the trees, herself.

But life changes, whether we like it or not. And on a new hill, with new sod and new memories to be made, we found another spot. One that will hopefully not be ripped out anytime soon, to make way for skyscrapers and sidewalks :)



In our new spot we ate yummy Brazilian food, and candied cashews and pecans - still warm.



Elodie slept, and cried, and ate.



I watched the sunshine and shadows from the trees dancing across her tiny face.



And fell in love with this scruffy face, all over again.





And okay, maybe our new spot isn't so bad. I could probably get used to it.



We walked around the gardens for awhile, looking at all the new changes.



Elodie snoozed through the music, walk by the water, and over bridges.



She even snoozed through her Dad racing her around full speed while making car noises.



I tried to find the most plain things to eat, so she wouldn't be gassy and fussy all night. Thinking I was safe with a chicken and avocado wrap, it turned out to be fried (gassy baby), spicy (gassy baby), and covered in raw cabbage (super gassy baby). It was worth it. Even if she farted all night in her sleep and kept me up.



When the sun went down and the crowd thinned, we went to look at all the photography, paintings, sculptures, and jewelery. We spent so long there that the artists were starting to shut down their booths, and our feet were starting to hurt.

We drove home with one tired baby in the backseat - who didn't make a peep.



And so, life begins with Elodie. A first time for every dozen + times we have followed our same traditions. Life is starting over, through her new (and sleepy) eyes.




If you live in the Oklahoma City Metro, you can find information about the Festival of the Arts here, on their website. It is going on for the rest of this weekend, so stop by and eat some yummy food from all over, look at the art, and find your own shady spot to make new memories.

61 comments:

Elisa said...

what a wonderful family outing. Like you said, a blank canvas to write your own story.

hehe, I chuckled when I read about the plan to eat plain food. Sometimes it's hard not to give in to delicious yummy food, especially spicy food!

Have a wonderful weekend, and I really love the last photo of the three of you!

Ana - Better in Sepia said...

This is such a beautiful post! You and your family are beautiful. The love radiating from all you is seriously palpable in these pictures.

Meg said...

I'm new to the blog, but I have to say that you are so right. Having a baby makes things all new again. :)

Kalei's Best Friend said...

A long time ago, my husband and I did the same.. We took each baby to the park, art fairs, beach,...With the second one we learned she did not like the sand on her feet!. She refused to get off of the blanket..lol What a great day all 3 of you had!. Have a lifetime of those days...

christine said...

beautiful photos as always, Aura! especially love the last one :) gorgeous.

found this website and it made me think of you: http://yardsaletreasuremap.com/

so happy for you & Michael! can't wait to read about this next chapter in your life!

The O'Neills said...

what a beautiful family! and outing together! Congratulations. Elodie is sooo gorgeous and you look so good after having her! Where did you get your dress? Super cute.

An Invitation said...

Sorry to hear your hill is gone, but glad you found a new one :)

What a beautiful shot of the three of you!

Lis said...

That was definitely such an awesome part about becoming a mommy--all the "firsts" we got to have again.

Lauren H. said...

Your little girl is precious. You and my sister-in-law had the same due date. My nephew was born on April 2nd with a similar head full of dark hair. Truly a joy.

katy {of} katy loves. said...

This is gorgeous. Beautiful pictures, as always. Thank you for opening a little window into life with your gorgeous new baby. What a wonderful night with your sweet family. :)

Melissa said...

Bautiful photos (as always)! Glad you are making some exciting memories as a newly minted party of 3! :)

Nikole Taylor said...

This post made me so happy. Thanks for sharing a little bit of your life with the world.
Elodie's dress is darling too!

Urban Wife said...

As always, lovely pictures and beautiful storytelling.

Kathleen said...

this is a great reminder that sometimes remembering the past starts with new beginnings

Darcie said...

You have a beautiful family :)

Kristina said...

My dad takes us there every year and I am so sad to miss it this year - what could have also been Charlie's first time. I'm glad you guys found a new spot though. :)

Hannah Elisabeth said...

oh my gosh, ya'll are beautiful!!!

Mel said...

Beautiful images as usual! Your family is adorable!

Can't wait to check you the festival. I'm going tomorrow!

jresko said...

your baby girl is beautiful. i don't normally tell people this. her hair and those cheeks (!) just melt my heart. my husband and i have been trying for almost a year. these photos bring a SMILE to my face.

Arianna said...

Your family is so incredibly beautiful. So excited for you and all of your amazing memories to come.

Gaby said...

You look so beautiful Aura! Motherhood obviously suits you. And Michael looks like a very proud papa as well :) x

christine donee said...

that last photo took my breath away. like for real.

Victoria said...

I know you get so many questions about your photos, but I would so love to know how you photograph your family with that sunflare. Do you use a tripod or ask someone to shoot it for you? What setting do you use? Congratulations on a beautiful new chapter of life... I gave birth to my first (a son, Henry) on March 31, so I can relate to your every word.

Morgan said...

so cute!
i love the tradition of you guys going every year! it's special

Michelle said...

Wonderful post. How do you get great pictures of the 3 of you? Do you ask someone to take them or use a tripod?

AE said...

So beautiful! I'll have to go see, I'm suppose to meet my husband in OKC for dinner tomorrow night...I'm studying for finals here and he's at home. Two more and I'm home for good!! Elodie looks so sweet and sleepy! I guess that's because I'm not living with a baby, I've been told they can keep you up all night. It'll be a few more years before I'm ready for a baby (being 25), but you make it look so wonderful, can't wait. Thanks for the post, it's always so much fun to read and look at your pictures.

Sini said...

Lovely day! Elodie just amazes me, so beautiful little girl. As it will be hard to teach the down sides of life, there will be plenty of happy things to tell too. She will be amazing, just like her mom and dad. Happy weekend! :)

Marisa said...

What a beautiful family. You look great Aura. Arts Festival makes me homesick, but glad I got to see it through the blog.

Nelly said...

Just gorgeous. It's like she's been a part of you all along, huh? :)

You look beautiful, mama. Scruffy papa, too <3.

Jello said...

what a beautiful post... what a beautiful family you have... i adore reading your posts.
love,
Jello

Kelli said...

OH I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. It makes me all the more excited to be a new mommy myself! Your little one is breathtaking.

alles is anders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jen laceda said...

Awww...these pictures are sooooo sweet! Congratulations on the baby! It's gonna be a crazy awesome ride from here onwards! Enjoy!

Jaymi said...

Her little outfit is so cute! Have you had a chance to garden? I've been sneaking away and taking the baby monitor with me outside while Eli sleeps. I've gotten all of the seeds planted, at least. For Mother's Day all I asked for was to spend the day outside, getting the garden ready.

Bobbi said...

Elodie is such a beautiful little baby. It is good to teach her the lesson of change so early, because even though I am 28...I still struggle with that one.

Megan said...

I looooove your photos!! Curious which stroller you ended up buying?

Anonymous said...

A New Joy.

As Life Changes so does the world.
Sometimes slowly, sometimes as quick as a glance. The Joy is found in receiving these changes ... together.


~ A Wise Mom of Four.

tsumik said...

Wonderful wonderful! Congratulations on so many levels! It's been soooo long since I've seen anything here. Possibly even years! So good to see everything going so well for you! Miss reading your brilliant words and seeing your story painting photos! Use Facebook at all? Say hello if you do :) (Erich Claxton/Tsumik)

nikaela marie said...

oh! that last photo couldn't be more perfect! xx

Fashionably Learning To Be said...

That's so amazing that the nature of food can be passed on through the milk of mothers! I knew that avoiding caffeine etc was important. I guess it makes sense that all aspects of food could get passed on. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely festival and your experiences with it!

Monica Robinson said...

once again, your words and images inspire and make me feel like there is hope in this world for love and peace. From one mother to another, thank you

Anonymous said...

I go to the Arts Festival every year and it is more beautiful through your lens than in person. Great photos. Great post.

Carolina said...

Oh my. That last picture is seriously so freakin precious.

Elizabeth said...

love this post. i love them all really. You're a beautiful family. so happy for you three!

A Lost Feather said...

your family is so beautiful! so glad i just stumbled onto your blog.. i love your photography :)

Julie said...

What a little love bug she is! It's so nice to have those sparks of love..falling into it with a new, fresh feeling. Love.

MelissaOklahoma said...

I missed the festival this year, but would love to go with my husband sometime. We were busy with house stuff and work so I missed the Norman Music Festival too. Hopefully next year.

Congrats on your gorgeous family and all the lovely new first memories you are making together.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is beautiful.

Joanna Goddard said...

what a beautiful family you have :) i love these gorgeous photos. elodie is perfect xoxo joanna

Kristin H said...

What a gorgeous family!

Girly Notes said...

found your blog through cup of jo and I love it so much :))

http://girlynote.blogspot.com

Tracey said...

What a perfect collection of photos. They are beautiful! x I'm excited to do all those 'firsts' again with my...probably last child soon. No 3 due July. I think your last child has a whole baby moon phase too. But i hope i get some photos of our family together as beautiful as yours.

Jen said...

I found out my sister was pregnant in early May--it was unexpected but we were all excited! I happened upon your blog when I was poking around online looking for inspiring ideas about pregnancy and bookmarked it to show her the lovely way you documented yours. In April, we found out that my sister had lost the baby. They will try again and they grew through the experience, to be sure. I am still drawn to your pictures and writing though, and thank you for sharing it. Your daughter (your family) is beautiful. I check back every so often and take a few quiet moments to enjoy your experience.
I have gone back a few times to look at one of the first pictures you posted of your babe, with the peacock feather blanket and paisley blanket(?) and am in love with them. Might you be able to tell me where they (or the fabric) is from?
Thank you.
peace-
jen

K said...

Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl! She is truly precious!

I stumbled upon your blog a couple of months ago, and while looking under your travel section, I became interested in your colorado trip! =) I recently moved to colorado and love to camp, and am actually planning to visit the leadville yurts with my husband this August. I was wondering if you have any tips or suggestions on things to expect or bring along to the yurts. =)

Sacha....xoxo said...

what a Beautiful, Adorable, and a princess girl you has. she’s gorgeous. you guys look so beautiful family together.

i’m your follow. hope you will follow me too please :-D

Candy said...

Happy Mother's day Aura!

leslie.conner said...

happy mother's day!
I love the arts festival... I'm an oklahoman too :)

Rachael said...

What beautiful pictures! Love the quality of them! They are awesome.
And love your post! It was so great to read. I'm glad your family found another 'spot' in the grass.

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

Happy Mother's day!

Adie Andrews said...

Great pictures it seems that you really enjoy photography :) and what most important is you are shots are taken with passion. You've got a lovely family :)

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LeAnna said...

I know that grassy hill you speak of. Hubby and I had our picture taken there in 2008 I believe. Brings back sad memories, as we used to go to the art's festival with his little brother...he committed suicide a year ago. Life changes, indeed.