Christmas, Poetry & Words

Published in Babiekins Magazine!

Christmas Underwraps by Gina Munsey Illustrated by Munieca in Babiekins Magazine Issue 7

November started off with a bang — getting published in Babiekins Magazine! I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of such an amazing issue. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? The blog was recently named to Babble.com’s Top 50 Best Design Blogs for Moms, in the fashion category.

The newest issue is full of wintery goodness. My story, which is on pages 221-224, (Click on Table of Contents, then choose “Christmas Underwraps” from the third column) was delightfully illustrated by the talented Andrea Sardo of Munieca.

I hope you’ll check out this issue — it’s so fun!

November Photo a Day - Monthly Photography Challenge - Pear

Another fun thing this November — the Monthly Photo Challenge is in full swing again! Here’s the full list of November’s photography topics so you can jump in. During the last two challenges — June and August — I only managed 16 and 22 pictures. So maybe the third time’s a charm?

Life in Photos

‘Buvoo zhh zhh ma mumm’ to you (August Photo Challenge: Day 4)

Wow, readers, you are truly wonderful. I was overwhelmed by your sweet words — and your prayers! — yesterday when I was feeling small and far away.

Aveline standing on couch in the morning - art in background is by Josiah Munsey 26pm.com

Today has been a blessed and peaceful day. How could it not be when it involved crepes, new striped fabric (different than what’s pictured above), and this little sweet pea giving me slobbery kisses while saying over and over “buvoo zhh zhh ma mummm”.

Pretty much perfect if you ask me.

Interesting Litter - August Photo Challenge - Day 4 - The August Break - Photo a Day - Broken Cracked Egg Shells in Soft Light

Image of eggshells, i.e., crepe aftermath: Day Four (Interesting Litter) of the August Photo Challenge.

Life in Photos

Feeling small and far away (August Photo Challenge: Day 3)

It was too much, yesterday, this sense of being so far away. I went out with Aveline, out to air-conditioned shops and pushed her around in her stroller while I looked at pretty things. And everywhere I walked, I saw friends shopping and laughing together. And I walked around, alone.

I felt small and very far away from home.

Later that night, I cried. I try not to, I really do. But sometimes, when everyone you know is either 46 hours to the west or 25 hours to the north, you just can’t help feeling a little sad.

Friendship - August Photo Challenge - the August Break - Day 3 - empty wooden chair with white cushion in corner near window with white curtains

Image: Day Three (Friendship) of the August Photo Challenge.

Life in Photos

Staying Cool in the Heat (August Photo Challenge: Day 2)

Aveline knows there’s no better way to beat the heat than with a midday siesta. While the noon sun burns hot, wilting the leaves and muting the birds’ song, she snoozes away in her bright little diaper.

Her days are spent mostly shirtless, at least while we’re indoors. When we go out,she wears a cotton hat and a sundress, and sometimes a pair of shoes from her adorable collection of mary janes.

Once papa gets home, she’ll beg him for a sip of ice water. He can’t ever resist, and lets her wet lips slobber all over the rim of his glass. I love the tiny slurping sound she makes as she gulps down little mouthfuls of water.

It doesn’t cool down at night, here. When it’s dark, the wispy hair around her ears will still be damp from sweat, and she’ll fall asleep again sprawled out atop her blankets.

Aveline in orange FuzziBunz diaper, sleeping in green IKEA Somnat crib - Staying Cool - August Photo Challenge - Day 2 - The August Break

Image: Day Two (Staying Cool) of the August Photo Challenge.

Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

God led us to this oasis (August Photo Challenge: Day 1)

It’s AUGUST. I don’t know how something like that could have happened. Funny, the chatter today about Fall being just around the corner. It sure doesn’t feel that way here. The crickets’ dusk song hasn’t slowed; one chirp blends into the next with scarcely any time at all elapsed in between. The humid air is thick and unforgiving, holding up so much water it’s a wonder the clouds don’t come crashing down around our feet. My toenails are brightly painted orange – neon, not autumnal; more like sherbet than like maple leaves. The inside of the car is scorching, and the seats burn our summer legs as we climb in.

This is not the crunchy and dry California summer. This is not the verdant green, sweatshirt-clad Midwest summer. But this is our summer. Our summer, and we are peaceful. God led us to this oasis, this palm-tree laden land where our table is filled with food, where the pool is clean and refreshing and ours to enjoy, where the row of windows in the living room look out over roads and into the sky, and not into other windows.

Sometimes, it’s hard to see that this is an oasis. Our families are thousands of miles away. I do not have friends here to laugh with, friends to share a summer afternoon with. I get lost trying to find simple places like the post office. The street signs are all unfamiliar. It is hard, sometimes. Hard to be so far away from what used to be home.

But mostly, somehow, I am peaceful.

God saw what was going on with Israel. God understood. (Exodus 2:25 MSG)

Self portrait - leather couch, sheepskin, sitting on floor - Photo a Day - August Photo Challenge

Image: Day One (Self Portrait) of the August Photo Challenge.

Life in Photos

A Photo a Day in August – Monthly Photo Challenge

[UPDATE: Many of you have found this page through Googling “photo a day August” — my guess is you’re likely either looking for Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day August 2013 or Susannah Conway’s August Break 2013. :)]

So, who’s going to join me in taking a photograph each day during the month of August? I had so much fun earlier this summer during the June Photo Challenge — although I disappeared to visit my family part-way through the month and didn’t complete the list. This time, I want to stick to it, rain or shine. (We get a lot of both here in Florida).

The Monthly Photo Challenge’s facebook page will be the central hub for August’s event, so be sure to hop on over to get in on the action, or check out the list of topics here. And, if you’ll be sharing your photos on Twitter, use the hashtag #augustphoto.

Close up photo of baby girl sleeping on blue and white stars crib sheet - cute chubby baby cheeks and cherub lips

Poetry & Words

Letters to Aveline: Thoughts While You’re Asleep (30 Day June Photo Challenge – Day 23 – Black and White)

Black and white photo of Aveline wearing hat with lace flower while chewing on Sophie the Giraffe
 [Click photo to view a larger version.]

Dear Aveline,

You’re quite a character. You’ve discovered grunting, and while it may not be very ladylike, it makes me laugh. You look so seriously at your toys, swat your little hands at them, and grunt as if to warn them that they’re about to be devoured by your nomming little mouth.

You have a beautiful voice. You love to talk, and daddy and I love to listen to you. You look at us, gently reach out your hands to touch our face, and speak delicate words in a language which only you understand.  What will we hear, when we can finally understand you? What of the world around you will you reinterpret to us through your words? Will you tell us of the way the light dances across your quilt in the afternoon, leaving those diamonds of sunshine you’re always trying to pick up?  What names will you give to your favorite stuffed toys?

Black and white photo of plush baby toy and rattle on sheepskin in the sunlight

You enjoy your mealtimes so very much. I tell you God gives food to the little birdies outside, and God paints the pretty colors onto all the flowers. I tell you God gives us the food we have, and we thank him for everything He’s given us. You kick your legs excitedly when I lift you into the highchair — unless you’re feeling impatient, in which case you stiffen your legs, arch your back and let out a squawk or two or ten. Avocado is your favorite, without a doubt.  Yesterday you branched out and happily ate some sweet potato, but made horrible faces at the green beans. Today was a different story. Today, you launched an all-out war against the sweet potato. As if yelling and smacking your palms against the highchair tray wasn’t dramatic enough, you pursed your lips and sprayed me with sweet potato puree. I had to laugh. You looked so indignant.

You’re always moving, always reaching for something. You’ve just discovered you can lift yourself up on your hands and knees and rock. This doesn’t satisfy you for long; you want to go places. Usually you default to your favorite method of locomotion, continuous rolling. Nothing is safe from your curiosity, really. You can roll across the living room floor at an alarming rate. Much to daddy’s chagrin, you unplug the xbox controllers on what seems to be a daily basis. The curtains have all been shortened as you can’t resist the tempting, billowing fabric. Figuring out ways to pull your books off the lowest shelf seems to be a favorite.

Lately, you and I have been going to the pool in the afternoon. I stand in the water and hold you, and you grin from ear to ear and splash the water with your feet. Sometimes you stop, your feet still and your fingers gripping me. You peek out from under your lacey sunhat hesitantly, trying to understand what the other pool-goers are doing.  If someone accidentally splashes you, you scrunch your face into a wrinkly grimace and hold on to me more tightly. Today, you fell asleep on my shoulder on the walk back to the house.

You’re a treasure, beautiful girl, a gift from God. Daddy and I love you so very much.

Love,

Your Mama