We spent our perfect early Sunday morning drinking coffee and pouring over our newly acquired copy of The Original Watercolor Paintings by John James Audubon for The Birds of America. It was published in 1966 and is a 2 volume set. It is mind blowing, like getting the very special opportunity to step inside a secret world.
The paintings are so incredible, and we had fun finding all the birds that live near us. Just being able to see every single detail up close, and in large format, felt so special. Doug and I share a love for animals and art, and being able to read the notes that go along with each painting is so special. I know this thrift store find will be cherished and loved for a lifetime.
We also recently watched this old film on the art of making marbled book paper. It is 100% worth watching, and I was so stoked to see that this book set still had the beautiful marbled paper intact!
You can also check out our steller story for more photos of the book - I couldn't help taking advantage of the early morning light coming in through the window and the rich colors of the book! I could take a million more photos of this book and it still wouldn't be enough.
On a semi-related note...It's so strange how triggering certain things can be sometimes. I definitely inherited my love for birds from my mother, and even something this simple, finding an amazing book at a thrift store about birds, can make me feel like I am drowning - especially today, one of the hardest days of the year for me; Mother's Day. I feel like I am pretty open and up front about our life, and the behind the scenes of our business, but it's not easy for me to talk about my life before Doug - I am so disconnected from it, even with wounds so fresh and raw. I am estranged from the woman who made me, and no matter how much time passes, or how comfortable I am with the incredibly hard and painful choices I had to make in order to take care of myself, one day a year my iPhone beeps and reminds me of that gaping hole in my heart.
A friend shared an article about what not to say to adults who are estranged from their parent, and even though it certainly brought up some unwanted feelings for me, it also reminded me that I am not alone (because let me be the first to tell you how incredibly lonely it can feel to not have your mother in your life...)
Being estranged from your mother is like mourning a person who is still alive. Even the simplest things can feel like a punch in the gut. A bird book from a thrift store, watching Game of Thrones, taking a photo of a beautiful blooming flower. The feelings sneak up on you and no matter how OK you feel that day, a hot poker sticks you in the heart and you have to regroup. I miss my mom, more than words can describe, I reach for my phone to call her more often than I care to admit and it hurts every time. But we all make choices, and I've learned after years of therapy and healing and growing that nobody is perfect. We are all humans navigating through a complex and scary world, and the choices we make may be hard but allowing toxicity into your life isn't an option. It seemed appropriate to talk about this today, because sometimes with social media, it can feel real lonesome to be on the other side of a happy celebration. And I don't want anyone to feel alone.
I am so lucky to have a village of strong, loving women who have become mother figures to me - my grandmothers, my mother-in-law, my eldest cousin, aunts and friends. I celebrate their roles in my life as often as I can, because they have made a choice also, and that choice includes me. So if your mother's day isn't a traditional one, if your mother isn't really your mother or vice versus, it's okay. It may not feel like it, but it will be ok. And those little reminders, like the book of bird paintings, sneak up and get you, try to be thankful for them. I may not have a relationship with the woman who gave me life, but the things that she did give me will always be a part of me - my love of birds, reading, work ethic and the strength to walk away, even if it was her that I had to walk away from.