Finding The Silver Lining

2011 has not disappointed us. It has been just as nuts as we thought it would be. Two little kids, Matt’s job, and a new business has meant very little sleep in our home and moments when Matt and I barely recognize one another. We tell ourselves constantly, “It won’t always be like this”. But then there are times where I morn the same idea – It won’t always be like this. Carson will never be this little again, Autumn may not wonder at the world the same way she does today, and we may never again accomplish as much as we do right now.

Today we seized the rainy day and sought out the biggest puddles we could find. Autumn knew just what to do. We celebrated being home with one another, even if it was only a few short hours before Matt had to head out for a Saturday’s worth of work. Crissy Field didn’t disappoint and it was such a pleasure seeing smiles on our little girl’s face after so many days of life with a two year old. If you have kids over two – you know what I mean.

Even as I write this with an evening to myself I think, “Wow, I should really finish that presentation due Monday, or the plans I’m soposed to call the Architect about tomorrow, or maybe even take advantage of the moment to grab the Soft Scrub and remember what it was like to have a clean bathroom. All this before I hear Carson cry on the monitor and I have to go in and…
and well hold my little boy in the dark and enjoy snuggling away from the world. That my friends, is the silver lining. A pause in the dark to realize how precious the moment is – just before you fall asleep and miss it.

More photos from the day can be found here on Jody’s Flickr site.

Christmas Time Lapse 2010 – Short Film

Can we call this a tradition yet? Last year we decided to shoot a time lapse film of Christmas morning so that we could enjoy the morning in front of the lens, rather than behind it. It was a lot of fun, and we gave it another shot this year.

Of course, our family grew this year, with Carson arriving just two weeks before Christmas day. Navigating the holiday season with a newborn and a little girl with boundless energy brought some new challenges, but the smiles persisted and Santa delivered. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

From our family to yours: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

If you get these updates via email, click through this link to watch the movie.

One Week With Two


We made it a week. It was a true team effort. I honestly don’t know how families get through those first few days with a new baby and a toddler at home with husbands lesser than mine. Matt has become the ultimate caretaker in every way. He is Mr. Mom to Autumn, keeps the kitchen spotless, feeds us all delicious home cooked food, and delivers me extra hot, decaf, non-fat peppermint mochas after giving me time to take a nap. If there was a medal of honor for most wonderful husband, Matt has earned it over and over.

Did I mention I’m in the middle of a nasty cold too? It just seems mean spirited of Mother Nature. As if recovering from giving birth and caring for a newborn all night wasn’t exhausting already. I like to think of it as an “Oh Holy Rabbi” moment. (A reference to a story my mom used to tell us about a family that asked their Rabbi for help dealing with their crowded family quarters. The Rabbi asked them to bring each of their farm animals inside one by one despite their desperate pleas. After life was nearly unbearable, the Rabbi asked them to send the animals back outside and their home felt spacious and comfortable again.) I’m hoping once I feel better, being a new mom all over again with a toddler still in diapers and not sleeping through the night yet consistently will just feel that much easier.

I’m sleep deprived, and doing my best to make sure Autumn gets one-on-one time with Mom every day. She’s adjusting surprisingly well, but clearly misses having our undivided attention. We’ve tried to make life as fun as possible over the holidays including a trip with Dad to the zoo last Monday and a trip to the Children’s Museum scheduled for the whole family tomorrow. Carson and I will spend the entire time sitting down and nursing, but I’m really looking forward to getting out of the house!

Adjusting to the “New Normal” hasn’t been without its hiccups. Life is a blur, but a happy one. Carson is absolutely precious and puts smiles on our faces everyday. And yes, for those that remember from Autumn’s first weeks – we celebrated this special anniversary tonight with cupcakes. We deserve them.

Carson Grant Pritchard

All the Details
Name: Carson Grant Pritchard
Born: December 9, 2010 at 11:40 a.m.
Weight: 8 lbs. 15 oz.
Length: 20 in.

Somebody call Santa Claus and give him our thanks. We’re very happy to introduce our son, Carson Grant Pritchard. He was born this morning at 11:40 a.m. at Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco. The labor was relatively short, but intense. Everyone is happy, healthy and exhausted.

He was born naturally, just like his big sister. Speaking of Autumn, she met her brother tonight and concluded that he is “…a little bit scary.” Fair enough.

There are some photos posted on Flickr, with many more to come.

Rest

We don’t idle well. Most of our trips involve weeks of planning, bags full of gear and curious destinations. Even the weekend jaunts to Tahoe are an exercise in tactical recreation. But we love it. We take advantage of the time we have to explore. Since we’ve been together, I can remember few vacations that were totally dedicated to rest and relaxation. There was just a week in Belize (our honeymoon) and another in St. John that were genuinely slothful.

So it was with mild amusement that we found ourselves planning a short vacation with no plans beyond relaxing as a family. We aimed for somewhere we hadn’t been, and a friend suggested Avila Beach on the Central Coast. It’s a damn quaint place with a pier and a promenade, a farmer’s market and a petting zoo. The ice cream selection is fine and crowds are limited. We rented a house, spent time at the beach and generally took it easy.

A side trip to Santa Maria to sample the famous Tri-Tip was well worth the drive. Another to San Luis Obispo made us wonder why it had taken so long to visit. Serendipity drove me an hour south to check an item off my life list: the night launch of an Atlas V from Vandenberg AFB.

Five days of rest. Where next?

More photos from the trip on Flickr.

A Little Spring Hike – Short Film

The other day I was pulling some recent video off the camera and came across this hike we did sometime last spring. At the time, we thought the sour weather was a just a late-season squall passing through. So much for that theory.

Nonetheless, I thought this was too cute not to share. It also shows just how beautiful the Marin Headlands are in the spring.

We All Scream for Ice Cream

We take our ice cream pretty seriously around here. I’m a purist: vanilla, chocolate, a limited palette of toppings and stir-ins. In a dish; always in a dish. Jody thinks I’m boring. She’d rather be elbow deep in a waffle bowl of toasted coconut almond fudge-bunny truffle surprise (recipe forthcoming). It’s these little differences of opinion that keep our marriage passionate.

Our last field trip before Jody went into labor with Autumn was a visit to Bi-Rite Creamery on a sunny September day. An auspicious beginning? Not wanting to spoil our dear child before she could appreciate this frozen splendor and glory, we waited nearly two years to introduce her to ice cream. Part of the delay was my insistence that we offer her the best ice cream I know.

Now this may reek of conceit, but I know of no better ice cream than the dark chocolate I make a few times each year. It’s not my recipe. That honor belongs to Mr. David Lebovitz, or D-Leb as I call him. His chocolate ice cream recipe from The Perfect Scoop is simply the most indulgent thing to ever grace our freezer. Not the best chocolate ice cream or the best homemade ice cream. It’s simply the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Period. Hyperbole be damned.

I wanted to wait for a perfect summer day. Maybe a backyard dinner on a late summer evening. But this summer has been anything but. Foggy, misty, and just damned cold. Mark Twain was right. We couldn’t wait forever. Last week, I made a batch with the best ingredients I know: Straus cream, Scharffen Berger chocolate, extra-dark Dutch cocoa, fresh Petaluma eggs.

Autumn can be particular about what she’ll eat. But after tonight I can say with confidence that she is absolutely a Pritchard. She’s got the face to prove it.


A few more photos can be found over here. Video over here.

Life’s a Beach

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Our new digs are in the fog. I mean really deep into it. Summertime in San Francisco requires an open mind about what summer means. We wear fleece jackets, beanies and scarves in July as often as we would in January. That’s why when we get a weekend in the summer with no other plans – we head north, south, or east in search of a mystical summer that only appears in ads for hot dogs, mayonnaise, and Country Time lemonade. Head west – there’s only 25 blocks to the edge of the continent – and you’ll just find yourself deeper in the clouds.

We jumped on the day today and headed south to our favorite summer lunch spot in the small hamlet of Pescadero to be followed by some quality family beach time. Duarte’s Tavern has, and I’m not kidding here, the best soup on the planet. It’s a mix of green chili and cream of artichoke and is served with piping hot homemade bread. I could eat four bowls, even if I wasn’t pregnant. I look forward to this lunch a year in advance.

Once we stuffed ourselves so full it hurt a little bit (okay, a lot), we hit the beach and enjoyed some quality summertime fun. Autumn loves her sand toys almost as much as Elmo these days and had a ball. It wasn’t “warm” per se, but we were on a beach with nothing to do but hang out together and that’s a bit of summer that weather can’t touch. For more photos from the day, click here.