I can’t quite believe that we’re a week away, more or less, from meeting our little Sprout. Nine months certainly fly by before you know it… three seasons of gardening, three trimesters of baking, and soon a third human appearing in the house. I almost can’t wrap my mind around that, though I’m exceptionally eager to meet her.
In spite of all the hype surrounding El Niño this winter (Godzilla El Niño, no less), it’s been a disappointing season for Los Angeles weather-wise. We’ve had rain, but not as much as the weather models predicted. And so it looks like California will be heading into its fifth year of drought.
For Angelenos, keeping a garden green has been a challenge these last few years, but it’s even more disheartening to see people rip up their lawns, only to replace them with a rocky landscape. Rocks, while water-conscious, do nothing to support the local ecosystem that depends on plants for food and habitat. But plants need water, so we’re caught in a catch-22.
Or are we?
I think it’s safe to say that mistakes in the garden happen to even the most seasoned growers among us. We think we know better, right? But even after six years and thousands of plants under my belt, I still find myself taking shortcuts I sometimes wish I hadn’t.
I’ve learned a lot since my very first season of gardening, and most of it has been through trial and error. Gardening blogs weren’t as prevalent as they are now (or perhaps I didn’t know where to find them) and even then, the gardening books I turned to didn’t emphasize the common mistakes (and common-sense advice) novice gardeners need to know.
Whether you’re new at this or you’ve already got it down, we can all use a little reminder as a new season of growing gets underway!
I really can’t express it enough. Will and I are ridiculously lucky to have the people in our lives that we do. We’re not the first ones in our group to have a baby on the way, and we certainly won’t be the last, but the outpouring of support we’ve received from all our friends and all the parents before us have been mind-blowing.
Offers to cook, offers to babysit, offers of hand-me-downs and hilariously honest advice have made our impending entrance into parenthood an exciting one. For that reason, as I’m winding down in the final weeks of pregnancy, I’ve been feeling calm and centered, despite the number of birthing videos I’ve watched on YouTube. (As an aside, have you ever searched for birthing videos online? It’s nutty how many there are! Home births to hospital births, bathtubs to birthing bars… I’ve seen just about every iteration of a baby emerging from a vagina. Many more than I’d like to admit.)
When my mother-in-law hosted our shower in Northern California last month, it was mostly for family and for Will’s childhood friends.
The following weekend, three of my girlfriends (Robyn, Jenn, and Kim, all of whom have been by my side for more than 15 years) threw a shower in Southern California for the rest of our friends, and it was just as wild and awesome as we’d envisioned it to be.
With less than a month before mini Garden Betty makes her debut, the countdown has begun. I’ve made a list of chores to tackle in the coming weeks, from laundering all the baby clothes to decluttering the house top to bottom. One might say I’m beginning to nest, but I would counter that’s hardly the case; I’m cleaning because I have to, unfortunately, not because I want to!
But before all of that’s checked off, Will and I decided to take one last getaway as a family of two (four, if you count the furbabies) to our local resort of Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains.
A popular destination for Angelenos, Big Bear has a lot going on for a small community. In summer, there’s boating on Big Bear Lake, climbing in Holcomb Valley Pinnacles, and hiking and biking throughout Big Bear Valley. In winter, there’s snow tubing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and skiing at several resorts, including the quaint little resort of Snow Valley where we were married three years ago.
We actually hadn’t been up to Big Bear in a few years because of lack of snow; the drought really took a toll on our local mountains. But with El Niño bringing some big storms this winter, we were happy to see the return of snowcaps from our house on the coast.
We’d been itching to make the drive and spend a mellow weekend up there as a little breather after our baby showers. Around the same time, Big Bear Boarding House kindly offered us a complimentary stay in their vacation rental, so we turned it into a mini babymoon!
When I found out I was pregnant last summer, my first thoughts immediately flashed to what life would be like for the next nine months. A cursory browse around my blog paints an accurate picture of what life usually looks like with my husband: week-long road trips, backpacking adventures, snowboarding off summits, powering through whitewater.
And after hearing many a sad story from my mom friends about what they couldn’t do during their pregnancies, I’d sort of accepted that these types of adventures would have to take a backseat to more moderate activities like walking and swimming.
But much to my delight, I found myself rafting, hiking, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing well into my third trimester. I’m now eight months pregnant, and just returned from a weekend of cross-country skiing that included my favorite part of cross-country skiing, the downhill trails!