Waiting on Halloween (& a Skirt Giveaway)

It’s a beautiful thing when the fever that held hands and raged with a cough for days finally breaks.
Asleep, sweaty and still. The gurgling breath that accompanied the first true cough of Fall has faded. The house sleeps tight in relief from an incessant stretch of cry, cry, cough, cough, cough.
Outside, the wind gusts to 50 mph while inside, Olive holds my braided hair in a half asleep half closed tiny palm. Not sure if we got a combined four hours of sleep a night all week. Makes for a dizzy ditzy head, bags under eyes, around-the-corner chocolate binges and a deep, deep longing for a chrome espresso machine that’s not currently broken and packing its bags for Italy.
Whole nights spent swaying, re-inserting pacifiers and standing, staying where ever sleep comes. In a place beyond overtired we pause, still, to recognize the beauty in a fever’s sleep.


Or in dandelion’s last stance while on a much needed espresso fetch down the street.


It takes an island to raise a garage, a killer master bedroom and a sunny sewing room. It takes, at least, some very good friends and a determined grandpa.
The walls are a haven for the imagination while the mud and dirt piles are a shrine for the avid (albeit muddy) mountain climber.


Progress is measured in tar paper and plywood. Some days I might wish I had the skills to frame a wall or build a doorway. But, let’s be honest.


There’s a pumpkin patch I went to a year ago and the sheep farmer there accused me of stealing a pumpkin after I’d heard the line that ended up in my new play:

Listen Mama, I’ve been around breadin’ sheep long enough to know when a girl’s about to go. And honey, you’re about to go. There’s no cell service, you know, out here. Just give a holler when your babe starts a-comin.’

Really. Really. Ol’ Guard of the pumpkin patch meant it in the nicest possible way. I’m just glad life leads to fiction. While I received the line there, I didn’t have baby Olive there.
Just the other day, my play was chosen to be a part of the Islands Playwrights Festival where that line and a pregnant character will live on in High Seas Infants. Celebrations in such a time of sleeplessness are often subdued.
We left our plywood-sheathing work party to pose behind plywood at the pumpkin patch.
I’m glad I lack the skills to hang plywood. Taking pictures of it is much, much better.


At the pumpkin patch I wanted the perfect patch photo. What I’ve taken with me intrigues me, for they so intently looked beyond the camera at the valley, towards the Straight of Juan de Fuca and up to the Olympic Mountains. And making that memory with a best girl friend is all the better. Sometimes the perfect holiday photo is found in the laughter exposed before the camera clicks.


I’ve been sewing like crazy for Halloween. I think Lucy’s Red Riding Hood cape will become a staple in her wardrobe. She loves it at the Farmer’s Market and loves it at the dinner table.


Our Montana family came for a quick visit. Long enough to taste the salt air, climb driftwood’s jungle and hold a meeting in a beach-built fort. Long enough to play for hours on end, giggle past bedtime and share the latest knock-knock jokes. Oh, how we enjoy our time together. Sometimes I think it’s too bad Idaho had to be in the middle of our states – creating a long, long drive to family who are our best friends. It would make driving expansive distances to stay for less than 48 hours so much better. But here, we take what we can get especially when the gettin’ is this good.



We stayed on sand until the sun set and tried to perfect the art of driftwood baseball.


In this light I saw more similarities between Betty and her Aunt Rose.


It’s no secret the fast-approaching spooky holiday is my favorite. Lucy has an orange ghost fleece blanket on her bed all year long. And, since Olive delivered herself to us on dandelion wishes on Halloween, our spooky wardrobe has grown.
Olive’s drawers are bursting at the seams with black and orange so delicious sometimes decisions take a long time to make. Each early and foggy morning the girls dress accordingly to what’s in reach or what’s the perfect display of mood, whatever is easier. Outfits are such an expression of who they are I try to never intervene with what’s hip in their eyes, trying to only step in when it’s a swimsuit in January or ski pants at the beach.
When Olive’s cool skirt arrived in the mail, we were smitten. It’s reversible, adorably spooky and highly fashionable. As soon as it’s back on laundry hamper’s clean top, one of her big sisters insists it for her.
Boo-themed clothing is plentiful in our home. Every once and a while an item of clothing comes along and we know it’ll repeat, season after season. As a seamstress, I can’t help but inspect the seams and, let me just say, the craftsmanship is flawless.
I believe Studio Emma Reese is on the edge of taking the world over with toddler skirts. Who is Studio Emma Reese? Well, she’s a crafty mama:
What inspired you to start your own business?
My daughter became obsessed with skirts around her first birthday while I became obsessed with fabric. I was an art major in college and felt inspired to get back in my creative groove.
Had you been doing this sort of work before?
I was an account manager for an internet bill pay company – pure corporate America! I quit after my son was born and this was the perfect opportunity to stay home and do a little something on the side.
When did you learn to sew?
I taught myself. My husband bought me a sewing machine and I stayed awake for days on end until I figured out the basics.
Tell me about your family and how they fit into your design life.
My kids constantly inspire me. I was making skirts for Emma and felt bad for Jake so I started doing the tie skirts (Duds for Dudes) so he’d feel included. Now I think of them when I’m picking out fabrics and creating new designs. They always tell me the honest truth. I showed Emma some new fabric I got the other day and she told me it was terrible!
What is your favorite word(s)? When are you happiest?
My favorite words have to be “good morning.” It’s the first thing I always say to my kids and I always mean it. I am NOT a morning person, but no matter how much I want to sleep in, there is nothing like seeing your kids for the first time each day. So while many people who know me may find it hard to believe, I think the very start of each day is when I am happiest.
Studio Emma Reese is offering readers a 10% discount with the code babybythesea2010.
Giveaway! One lucky reader will receive a skirt in size’s choice (6m-6t).
To enter, become a follower (if you aren’t already) and please leave a comment about where this skirt would twirl by October 28th, 7 PM Pacific Standard Time.
And it there’s a special little man in your days check out her stylin’ tie t-shirts here.
Wishing you happy Fall walks and Halloween preparations!



  • Marlis says:

    If I win a skirt, it will twirl attached to chubby legs adorned in mismatched tights and rubber galoshes. It will flutter in fall winds while attempting to outrun mud-clad older brothers. It will see beaches both sandy and full of rocks and beachwood (a child's truest playground), and it will hike up the unexplored mountains of a new island. It will dance with a Daddy who's new to the whims of his own little girl (having had only boys up til now), and it will march down the streets of our quiet village proclaiming itself thebestestskirtindaworld! At night it will cling stubbornly to jammies (she won't want to put it away…no way) and it will wake up to another morning to twirl and twirl again!

  • Ha! Love the quote that landed in a play. And WHOAH, those skirts (I checked out her website), AWESOME! Thanks for an opportunity at a giveaway!!

  • That dandelion photo…I love it! I've been photographing Theo with dandelions this summer every chance I get. It's been this silly little photo project that I've fallen in love with.

    Olive in those first photos with her fever-pink cheeks. So sad to see the little ones that way, but then to see her in that precious skirt~oh, heavens!
    It's probably best that I had two boys. 🙂

    The new house addition looks like fantastic so far. Very exciting~a new space.

    Happy Halloween week and Olive's birthday week.


  • monamiga says:

    Lovely blog! So much going on! I can relate to so many things… the baby fevers, the driftwood… and, well, no skirts around here but mine! If ONLY I could get my little guy to wear a skirt…. (my husband would keel over!) Any how, it looks like you love the pacific northwest as much as me, and I'm happy to have found your musings here!

  • I love coming here.

    Well. That skirt would sit perfectly over tights and inside the bike trailer on our way to the carousel. It's ride a pony and return home to be paired with the sole-less elmo slippers while Margot danced to her favorite Feist song.

    Oh, but wait. Maybe instead my littlest will don it…she rarely gets anything just for her. Yes. A skirt for my wee Ruby to pull up on the coffee table, climb around pumpkins and, mostly, sit on my hip.

  • nanda says:

    One of those skirts would perfectly cover up Miss Norah's amazingly round, dimply thighs… not that I would really want to. I am amazed by her and her every day accomplishments. I don't think anyone would guess that she weighed just under 2 lbs, 15 long months ago. Someday soon she will take her first step and hopefully will be twirling in no time at all.

  • nanda says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Skirt! Skirt! Yes! I love it!

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *