Getting Ready for Book 2 Debut at Open House this weekend.

Every book deserves a birthday party. Five hundred copies of book 2, Discovering Isaac, were delivered to my home last Tuesday. I have already sold nearly 100, but I figured it's time to do it right. This Saturday (Dec 5) will begin my open house at my Studio. I spent the day glazing and am now firing the kiln. I will don another firing on Wednesday so I will have loads of new pots along with copies of both book one and two available. I hope to see you there.
1150 E 800 South in Salt Lake. The open house will continue on December 12 and 19. Cheers, Ben

Two Days Old

Clara Rose...2 days old

Hand Turkeys of the Marvel Universe (Old-School)

I had a dorky notion some time earlier this week. It occurred to me that several comic-book characters would have a hard time drawing the traditional "hand turkey"—you know, where you trace the outline of your paw and draw a beak onto the thumb part of the outline. Some folks' mitts have decidedly non-meleagrine silhouettes.

Having thunk this nerdous thought, I could apparently only exorcise it by drawing (and hamfistedly coloring) a select few "Odd Hand Turkeys of the Marvel Universe." See if you can identify all six.








Dang it! I forgot to draw a hand turkey for Ulysses Klaw! Well, maybe I'll save him for next November. Can you think of anyone else I've forgotten?

A Week of Thanksliving!

Clara Rose
Clara Rose and PopPop


Big Brother Noah and his little sister just 25 hours old

8 grandchildren. EIGHT grandchildren. When Mary and I married, she 21 and I 22, we knew we would have children. Plural. Certainly two, maybe three, or more. Turned out to be more. Three wonderful daughters, then a son. Later, through adoption, another son. Blessings all. But grandchildren? You don't even think about the possibility. Then your children marry and you begin to think...hey, I could be a grandfather. Eight times! Clara Rose took her time coming into the world. 42 weeks in the womb. Then we got the call from Vermont...6 a.m....Wednesday morning, it looked like she would come into the world later that day. I was needed to watch her soon-to-be big brother, Noah. Had to make some quick decisions. Mary was needed to work at the store on Friday morning...5 a.m.
I didn't know how long I would be needed. So decision made, John and I to Vermont. We arrived just before noon. The call announcing Clara Rose's birth came at five p.m. (except she wasn't Clara Rose yet because they hadn't decided on a name). John, Noah, and I piled into the car and made the hour drive over the mountain from Waitsfield to Middlebury. We met this eighth grandchild, all 9lbs 8oz., with a beautiful head of dark curly hair. After a great visit, everyone except Mom and daughter went to McDonald's for a quick meal. Behind the restaurant was a supermarket. I had brought some food with me to cook for Thanksgiving but I didn't have a Turkey. In the market I was able to purchase an unfrozen 3 lb turkey breast. Joshua returned to his wife and daughter at the hospital and we headed back over the mountain.Clara Rose and her parents arrived home at 6:30 pm on Thanksgiving Day, just a little over 24 hours old. I served brussel sprouts, green beans, yams, and turkey for dinner. Mary hosted two of our daughters, Carla and Sarah, and Sarah's son, Sawyer (our 7th grandchild) and our dear friend, Linda, whose husband, Don, had gone into Hospice Care the day before. They had a fine dinner of turkey, green bean cassarole, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatos and gravy, scalloped corn, and pie for dessert.
John and I returned home on Friday. We met Sarah, Sawyer, and Mary in the evening at the Wilton Mall and went to the movies. We saw the film, Blind Side, a wonderful movie based on a true story. It was the perfect film for this holiday weekend as it celebrates the values of family, love, patience, forgiveness, and courage.
This morning I recieved the sad news that Don had died. We prayerfully give thanks for his life, his generosity, his sense of humor, and his friendship.

New Story -- "SOMNIA"



This not the big crazy story I've been working on, just a little vignette to hold you over.

Learning to Dance in the Rain

Just a quick post to let you know that my good friend in "real" life, Susi, started a blog yesterday. You can find it here. Or, to if you'd rather see the link, it is: http://learningtodanceintherainafterthestorm.blogspot.com/

Susi also lives in our same general area. She and I connected this past spring and have been able to connect through the loss of each of our firstborn sons, as well as through our pregnancies (we're 7 weeks apart) afterwards.

Yesterday marked the 1 year anniversary of her son, Lucas's, death after having lived for just one month... and yesterday, she started her blog. So, if you have a moment, please swing by and check it out. She has written so beautifully and reflectively about her journey, her love for Lucas, and all that she has learned on this road of grief. I know you will be blessed be getting to "know" her... I certainly have been, and am thankful for her friendship.

Sketchcrawl 11/21/09












here are some of my drawings from sketchcrawl. basically we sat on the highline and in chelsea market during peak hour as people rushed by. you online had a few seconds to get a glimpse of them, i tried to do some much looser drawings, some were nice...some were not. tried something new for a change. ive got some more on the way from sketchcrawl

Daily drawing



Diversity makes life way more interesting. I usually live in baltimore which is a primarily black or white city. coming home to the new york area provides you with way more options of different types of people to draw, i spent yesterday doing a sketchcrawl in chelsea with some other ny area artists. i will be sure to post up all the drawing i did of people in my sketch book. i believe i did 100 drawing of passer-byers so stay tuned for that. and tomorrow is a trip to the culinary institute so that should make for some interesting material



and clearly i need more work on my celebrity likenesses, might finish this one..probably not
Well, after many months of preparation, work and worry, the second volume of my series is officially out. I picked up my first two boxes on Friday on my way home from a book signing at the Murray Costco. Discovering Isaac is amazingly beautiful. The layout is fun with lots of eye candy in the form of sketches and some awesome old woodcuts from historical sources. My graphic designer, my friend Bert Compton is very pleased as well. I dropped him off a copy late Friday night, hoping to shine a glimmer of happiness in his life. After twelve years as an art director for Jacobs, he was laid off on Friday. I hope this will give him the impetous he needs to follow his heart and do what he has been wanting to do for years--own his own business doing graphic design. Spread the word.
I have said it before, but if you enjoyed book one, you are really going to love book 2. 500 books will be delivered to my home on Monday. The rest of the 5000 are being delivered to Brigham Distributing on Monday. With any luck, they will be available in Costco by the first week in December. Hope to see you soon at a Costco near you. For now, I think I will shut off my kiln and finally get to bed. Good night. Ben

Finished!

"CAPTURING KING"
JOHN GOODWIN ON PHOTOGRAPHING DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

Seattle's Greatest Achievement


Seattle has long been thought of as a progressive, forward-thinking city, with high literacy rates, strong emphasis on healthy, green living, and some of the lowest church attendance in the nation. But lucrative tourist attractions like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market often overshadow one of Seattle's greatest environmental achievements: its expansive system of wild hobo preserves.

With literally hundreds of hobo preserves inside city limits, Seattle has made great leaps toward protecting the hobo's natural habitat from the ravages of gentrification, law enforcement, and cleanliness. Wide open grassy areas allow the hobo free range to roam and forage, while ample shrubbery and access to cardboard easily accommodate the hobo's nesting habits. Restroom facilities even allow the shyer, more timid species to defecate in privacy, away from the noise and bright lights of the public sidewalks.

Unlike many other cities, Seattle has refused to fence in its hobo preserves, believing that captivity--even in a very large space--would inhibit the hobo's natural behavioral patterns. This "open range" design results in hobos sometimes wandering out of the preserves and into the city streets, where they face danger of arrest by law enforcement or severe injury from fast-moving traffic. Many hobo experts believe, however, that the additional food sources found in the city--dumpsters, dead pigeons, takeout meals coerced from diners exiting restaurants--more than compensate for these risks, and allow city residents a truer, more intimate experience with Seattle's natural hobo fauna.

Although they play an important role in conserving the northwest's natural hobo ecology, these preserves are not dry, sterile research centers for biologists to study the hobo's fascinating behavior and unique anatomy. (See last week's article, The Pissing Link: How the Mysterious "Hobosapien" Has Left The Scientific Community Scratching Its Balls) On the contrary, hobo preserves are meant to be enjoyed by everyone, providing Seattleites with breathtaking, breathholding encounters with these gentle creatures.

Visit a preserve during daylight hours for a glimpse into the hobo's social structure. Although not considered a pack animal, hobos often congregate in small groups beneath trees or next to fountains, where they exchange food and cigarettes and communicate through a language of loud, slurred grunts. Visit after dark, alone, and you may witness the hobo's mating activity--or even experience it!

Sadly, despite Seattle's best conservation efforts, the hobo population faces serious threats from drug treatment centers, rising employment rates, and a looming universal health care system. So next time you visit a hobo preserve, do your part for the furry inhabitants of our alleys and street corners. If a hobo asks you for drug money, give whatever you can afford, but don't try to feed them--the hobo can't digest unprocessed food, and it may upset their delicately balanced diet of Doritos and chewing tobacco. Do not attempt to offer them work or direct them to a shelter, either--this can irritate the hobo's highly developed sense of entitlement, and may provoke an attack.

Although the wild hobo maintains a complex and troubled relationship with mankind, they are truly remarkable creatures, and an important addition to the Northwest's rich diversity of wildlife. For a list of all Seattle's hobo preserves, please visit: www.seattle.gov/PARKS





Being Pregnant Does Not Equal Being Over It

I want to preface this post by saying that I am incredibly thankful that my pregnancy with Eliana is going well. I am thankful that things with her look great, that I have been feeling well, and that God has gifted us with the chance to begin to really feel excited and hopeful.

But, being pregnant again and feeling excited about it doesn't equal being over what happened with Isaac.

There's a particular area of my life, where I spend a lot of time, in which I would just love to wear a t-shirt that says this or have it stamped across my forehead. Spencer and I have been talking lately about how many people around us just won't talk to us about Isaac anymore, if they even ever did.

It's hard that people want to know all about Eliana, but never asked about Isaac.

It's hard that people want to tell me how I should "Just wait until she gets here..." and then share all the woes of having a newborn at home, forgetting that I would trade an infinite amount of sleepless nights if it meant that Isaac could still be with us.

It's hard that people have seemingly forgotten... forgotten that I am already a mom, that I have a son, and that I still miss him so deeply... and am far, far from over it. It's as if that part of me has been erased, when nothing could be further from the truth.

These are obviously not people who are closest to us; those who are know how much we deeply miss Isaac and how hard we're trying to learn how to balance the ache of missing him with the excitement of meeting Eliana in March and to do all of that with gratitude and grace.

I think it is easy for others, though, to look at a glowing pregnant mom who has lost a child and to forget that she is just that: a mom who has lost a child... a mom who is so thankful to be pregnant again with a healthy baby and is reminded daily of God's faithfulness and provision in that... but still a mom whose arms and heart ache for the child she lost and loves so much.

There is moving forward. There is waiting with anticipation to meet your second child. There is excitement and joy surrounding a pregnancy that is going well... and for each of those things I am thankful.

But there is no over it... and that's okay.

New computer! new photoshop! new artwork comin at ya!

Healing Hearts

Many of you have commented or emailed to ask about ways that you can help a grieving family who has lost a child. First, thank you for your willingness to want to mourn with those who mourn, as Romans 12:15 admonishes us to do.

I came across a beautiful website that I believe is a tremendous resources in knowing how to help grieving families who have lost a child. It is called Healing Hearts and can be found at http://www.babylosscomfort.com/index.php. If you are someone who has lost a child, are carrying a child who has been given a poor or fatal prenatal diagnosis, or are a friend or loved one of someone who has lost a child, I would highly encourage you to check out this website. It is beautifully and delicately designed, contains some great resources, and will be of great benefit.

Old man

Sarah Palin 6, Ben Behunin 74


I don't why I get a kick out of competing with the big boys and girls, but it's fun. Sarah's book came out this week, I think and from what I've observed, it is not selling very well. Today I signed in Bountiful at the Costco and sold 74 book and met lots of great people. Some of them buy my pots. Most of them, I have never met. It was a strange day--so many people in a big fat hurry that they didnt have much time to stop. I wonder if it has something to do with the phases of the moon.

GOOD NEWS! Book two has been printed and is going to be delivered to my distributor on Friday. I will have books on Friday as well so if anyone can't wait, I will be around all day Saturday, glazing and loading a kiln, but I'll have time to stop and sign a book if you want to stop by. Give me a call first 801-883-0146.

I also have the schedule for book signings for the next month. It is as follows;

*Friday Nov 20th--Murray Costco 12-5

*Friday Nov 20th--Art Access Gallery- Gallery Stroll 6-9pm

*Tuesday Nov 24--SLC Costco 12-6

*Friday and Saturday Nov 27-28 Clay Arts Utah Holiday Sale--I will be showing my pots and signing books, both volume one and two. Sugarhouse Garden Center 2100 South 1600 East 10-5pm

* Tuesday Dec 1 Lehi Costco

* Thursday Dec 3- Orem Costco

*Friday Dec 4-Sandy Costco

*Saturday December 5- Wild Rooster Artworks Studio Open House 1150 E 800 South SLC- come see my pots and both books available

*Tuesday Dec 8 Bountiful Costco

*Wednesday Dec 9 Murray Costco

*Thursday Dec 10 Ogden Costco

*Friday Dec 11 Orem Costco

*Saturday Dec 12 Wild Rooster Artworks Studio Open House 1150 E 800 South-pottery and books

*Tuesday Dec 15 Sandy Costco

*Wednesday Dec 16 Lehi Costco

*Thursday Dec 17 Sandy Costco

*Friday Dec 18 Orem Costco

Saturday Dec 19 Wild Rooster Artworks Studio Open House-Pottery and books

Monday Dec 21 Sandy Costco

Tuesday Dec 22 Orem Costco

Wednesday Dec 23 Sandy

Thursday Dec 24 Bountiful

Tuesday Dec 29 Murray

Wednesday Dec 30 Bountiful

This is going to be a grueling schedule, but I guess that is what this business is all about. I will sleep when I am dead. But first, I have a lot of pots to make. Cheers. Ben

*

Simple Gifts

My friend Holly was kind enough to take this picture and send it to me. What a gift to see our sweet Isaac's name and to know that someone else was thinking of him, too.

Also

The new batch of Warm Bodies is sold out. All my book are belong to you. If you missed out, start checking bookstores next summer.

Also:

Sugar. Gelatin. Food color. In a shapeless blob shape. DOTS have to be the most uninspired candy ever made.
What candymaker looked at gum drops and thought, "These are too complicated"?

Also:

I'm moving back to Seattle December 5th. Finally taking the plunge into Capitol Hill. Wish me luck and fortitude.

Also:




















Fuck rollercoasters.


Your Questions Answered... again

How is Carly??? I've been thinking of her so much.

I got an email from Carly on Thursday, and things are going well! Finn has been moved down a level in terms of his incubator, and they are hoping he can move to an open air incubator soon. Carly spends most of the afternoon and evening with him in the NICU every day, so I haven't gotten a chance to actually talk to her, but I was glad to hear that things are still progressing well.

What's your hope for the foundation (what will it do)?

The purpose of the Isaac Delisle Foundation is to provide support for parents who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. Locally, we hope to provide support for families facing a poor/fatal prenatal diagnosis for their child and help get them connected with some of the "right people"... in hospitals, with local Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographers, etc. I also hope that as a foundation, obstetricians will have a place to which they can direct patients who have been given a poor/fatal prenatal diagnosis. So often, the suggestion is to terminate a pregnancy, and I want doctors to have something else to say... somewhere else they can direct patients when giving the option of either terminating or continuing the pregnancy. I think it would be so much for them to be able to say, "If you do choose to continue your pregnancy, there's a great resource in the area to help support you in that." This line of thinking is sort of along the lines of the perinatal hospice movement.

More broadly, I hope to be able to connect with other women who have walked this road and be an encouraging source of Christian support for them. Lastly, in addition to having financial means to provide resources to bereaved families, we hope to be able to also financially support other ministries and organizations both locally and more broadly who also seek to provide support for bereaved families... such as the perinatal loss units at local hospitals, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Sufficient Grace Ministries, and String of Pearls.

When your baby girl is born, will you be able to stay at home with her, or do you have to go back to work full time? If your original plan was to work have you changed your mind after experiencing the loss of a child?

Unfortunately, I will not be able to stay home full-time. We made the decision to move into the community in which we did before I was pregnant with Isaac, and I was totally okay with being a working mom. Obviously, our experience with Isaac has changed my heart on that significantly, but we're not in a position right now for me to not work at all. My hope is to be able to work part-time, but that will greatly depend on the teaching positions available in the county next year. Many of the part time positions are being cut as budget cuts are occurring, but we'll see. I trust that God will work that out as He sees fit.

How scared were you this time around and what did you do to try and calm the the fear??

This is a great questions. Truthfully, I have been dealing with a lot more fear than I would like to have been, particularly up until my 12 week ultrasound. At this point, I just know of so many ways things can go wrong, and we have been the ones who have found the narrow odds. On the flip side, I also know that should something happen again, I would be devastated... but I know that God has faithfully carried us through our experience with Isaac, and He would carry us again. Lately, that truth has brought a lot of peace to my heart. In the day to day, I don't tend to really worry too much. When I have an appointment coming up I find myself a little more anxious, but I try to just give myself grace.. knowing that given the fact that with my first pregnancy and early on with Isaac ultrasounds were pretty traumatic for us, feeling some anxiety around this is normal.

As far as calming the fear, some of it has just been sheer distraction to be honest... staying busy with work, friends, setting up the Foundation. Much of it, though, has been acknowledging the fear, bringing it before God as well as our close friends, and asking people to pray. In my humanness, it is natural to fear, worry, doubt, and consider all of the "what-ifs." It's God's graciousness, though, that allows me to guard my heart and mind against those things as much as possible, to cherish the time we do have with baby girl right now, just as I did with Isaac, and to commit her life to God and trust Him to do what He sees best... and believing that it is for our good and His glory. Certainly not an easy task... but one that I am working on.

How has Spencer handled both your loss of Isaac as well as the wonderful news of baby sister, and has it differed from you a lot?

Spencer and I have handled things differently, and similarly. He is a lot more introverted than I am, and is also a lot more compartmentalized. So, he tends to have certain times that he thinks about Isaac and processes all of that, while for me it's all a bit more intertwined. But, we both share the same fundamental views about seeing ourselves as parents, about wanting Isaac to be acknowledged as our son and our parents' grandson, and about wanting his little sister to know who he is. We both feel that it is important that he is incorporated into the fabric of our family, and that he is "known" to the greatest extent possible.

With regard to the news of baby sister, I'd say we are pretty similar in how we're handling it. Of course there is some fear (as I mentioned earlier), but I can sense the hopefulness in both of us growing. Our conversations lately focus more on preparing for her and what it will be like when she is here.

Really, God has just been good in having us really walk in tandem through all of this. Of course there are some difference in how Spencer and I process, but God has also been gracious in helping us to understand each other well.

Do you find yourself ever wondering about the first baby you lost? I know that was an entirely different experience than Isaac; and I am just curious if that is something you still grieve over.

I do. During my pregnancy with Isaac, I didn't think about it a ton. But a few months after losing Isaac, I really began thinking about that first baby a lot, too. I am not sure I still grieve over it, but I do often wonder what he (our first baby) would be like now as an 18-month old.

What plans do you have for sharing Isaac with "little sister?" In what ways will you make him a part of her life?

We plan on her knowing about Isaac from the get-go. I plan on making one of those Snapfish or Kodak books with photographs of him that tells the story of her big brother in "kid language." That way I can read it to her in order to help her understand. We'll bring her to the cemetery, honor his birthday, and continue with the other sorts of traditions that Spencer and I have started and will just include her. We have pictures of Isaac around the house, and I can definitely envision both Spencer and I holding her, pointing to his picture and saying "Isaac... that's your big brother!" I am not sure I will get through that without tear-filled eyes at first, but it is important to me that she knows she has a big brother, and that he is part of her schema of who we are as a family.

What colors are you planning to do her nursery?

Mostly pink :) Light pink walls. The bedding we picked is very delicate and light... white, light pink, some light blue, peach, sage. So, with our cream colored carpeting, white furniture, and pink walls, I think it will look nice. It's a really small room.

Have you decided on your daughter's name yet?

We have. In fact the idea for her name came from one of YOU blog readers!! It was a name neither of us had heard of before, but loved it when it was brought to our attention.

Baby sister's name will be Eliana Jane. We may end up calling her Ellie for short, but will try to get Eliana to stick.

Eliana means "God has answered" and Jane means "God is gracious." Jane also happens to be a family name on my side (my paternal grandmother) and is my mother-in-law's name. So, we sort of think of her name as meaning "God has answered with graciousness."

I am wondering how your blog readers affect your life...has anyone ever written anything that really touched you, eased your pain, or made you think again about something? Or is it just the overall feeling of support that helps?

It's both. The general feeling of support is wonderful; and I do read over every comment that is written. There have been many times that blog readers have written words that have really touched me... usually surrounding how Isaac's life has had an impact on them. Hearing that never gets old, and it deeply touches my heart.

On a more practical note, I'm wondering if you have support for when Baby Girl is here. I know you are really looking forward to her, but I found becoming a new mom both tremendously rewarding and very tough, in a way that no one had ever told me. I was so grateful for both of my new mom support groups. Do you have any support like this or groups you belong to?

I wasn't planning on joining any new mom groups or anything. Our church has a MOPS group, and most of our close friends have young children, and I know that they will be a huge support to me... they already have been! I am not sure I feel like I need a formal support group in that area, but am glad to know that they exist!

How is your husband? Sometimes I think they get overlooked. How does he feel about having a girl?

He is hanging in there. He is quite busy right now with work and grad school, but he is doing well. I appreciate you asking about him... he does sometimes get overlooked. For him, the grief of missing Isaac still really comes and goes. Some days are really hard, other days he is sort of in "auto pilot" in order to get done all that he needs to do.

I think he feels good about having a girl. He actually thought we were having a girl from the very beginning! I know it is a mind shift for him to go from the idea of raising a son to the idea of raising a daughter, just as it has been for me; but I know that he is glad we're having a girl this time around. More on that in my response to the next question.

I was wondering if you think you would have had a harder time emotionally with this pregnancy if it was a boy. Were you hoping for a boy or a girl or did you not have a preference?

Yes, I do think it would be even harder emotionally. At first, I was hoping for a boy. When you lose a child, there are so many losses wrapped up into it... the loss of the child, the loss of raising a son, the loss of the "proof" of your motherhood. So, when we were told we'd be having a girl, I was caught a little off guard.

Over the past several weeks, though, I have really come to realize that God clearly knows what's best for me, much better than I think what's best for me. The fact that we'll have a baby girl will help make her distinctly different from Isaac, that they will very clearly have their own identities, and that there will be a lot that is different and unique in the way we care for her as a girl. Truthfully, I think that having another boy right now would be extremely difficult for me. Most of all, I am just thankful that she's healthy and things with her are looking great.

How will you balance remembering Isaac yet not overshadowing baby girl?

This is a great question, and truthfully the answer is: I don't know. It is something that weighs heavily on my heart... what it means to be the mom of two children, one of whom isn't here. The planner in my wants to have this figured out; but I think it's something that we're going to just have to take one step at a time as we get there and just do our best with it.

Were you actively trying to conceive or was your pregnancy a surprise?? What words of advice would you give to moms who are trying to conceive after loss?

This is another good question, and the answer would be neither. Basically, we just wanted to lay this in God's hands, and let things happen in His time.

As far as advice goes, there are really only two things I can think of. First, it's really hard and scary. Once you have lost a child, you realize that the unthinkable really can happen to you... and it is hard not to wonder whether it will happen again. Certainly, one tragedy doesn't preclude you from experiencing another, unfortunately. So, I think it is really important to acknowledge that it is really scary, and to just daily lay that at God's feet. It's also hard to balance the hopefulness of a new baby with the ache of so deeply longing for the child you've lost. I have talked a lot about that before, but it has been one of the most prominent things with this pregnancy... just the tension between those two emotions that is constantly changing as you seek to balance it. It's important to realize that it is hard, it is scary, but that God really does desire to faithfully meet you in the midst of all of that... and He will.

Secondly, I feel like it is best to try to approach it from as relaxed of a standpoint as possible. It can be so easy, especially for women, to get so wrapped up in the trying to conceive process... myself included. Particularly after a loss, though, I think it's really important to guard your heart against that and to really just daily lay that process before God and ask Him to work in His time, and for a heart to trust His timing.

I was wondering how long you waited before you started trying for your baby.

My doctor recommended waiting 6 months from strictly a medical perspective. Spencer and I talked a lot about this, and where we landed on it was that we didn't think we'd every really feel READY to try to have another child. Like I mentioned in responses to other questions, there is just so much fear... and you don't really get over losing your child. So in knowing that, we decided around 8 months to just see what happened, trusting that the Lord would work things out in His time, and that He would work things out in our hearts to emotionally prepare us.

Even before Isaac was born, I was wondering if you think baby sister will look like her big brother? Do you see any resemblances in the ultrasound photos?

I don't know... I wonder this as well. It has been a little early to see any resemblances in ultrasound photos, but I am hoping that maybe the next time we go we'll get more than a profile shot of her face and then I might be able to tell better. Her nose will be a dead giveaway... Isaac had my nose (mine and Spencer's are shaped very differently), so I am thinking that feature will be easy to tell. Once she's born, though, I really don't know if they will look alike or not. I guess we'll see!

Just curious, do you have to have a repeat c-section, or are you allowed to try to let baby girl come on her own?

Because I had a classical (vertical) incision when I had Isaac, I have to have a repeat c-section. No option for a VBAC.

Thanks for your questions... I always enjoy reading them and responding to them!

more in progresss...a revisit

In progress




Beeen working on this in my spare time at work. I like the looseness, i may leave it very loose. but the border of loose and unfinished is very tight. anyone have any opinions?

frank-o

Faces





Its amazing the difference in quality between a b ad scanner and a good scanner. thank god i have access to decent scanners.

I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy

I am having a lot of fun thinking through responses to your questions... keep those questions coming! In the meantime, definitely head to Amazon and check out Angie Smith's new book...


I am so excited for her and can't wait to get my hands on this and read it. The title just captured my heart... this whole thing is such a dance, such a balance, of grief and joy. And it is sacred, that's for sure. I obviously haven't read this book yet, but would say with confidence that it is going to be incredible. Hop on over to Amazon and pre-order it... for yourself, for someone you know who has lost a child... I know you won't be disappointed.

We're off the the Presses

Well, somehow we made the deadline for the second book, Discovering Isaac. The book will be printed this weekend and be delivered to my distributor in ten days for delivery to Costco. I am holding back 500 copies for my open houses and pottery shows. I have said it before, but if you liked book one, you are going to love book two. I know I am biased, but it is really good. I am exhausted. I need a break, but I have too many pots to make and too many books to sign. I will be in the Sandy, West Valley and Lehi Costcos in the next three days.
I am also busy working on my annual newsletter. If you would like to recieve it, send me an email with your address. This newsletter includes an announcement for my studio openhouse on December 5th, 12th and 19th. This is a great time to pick up treasures for Christmas gifts. While you're here, you can pick up book two. Goodnight

Horrible scan quality... ill repost tomorrow

November Walking

West Coast Chuck, a fellow blogger, got me thinking about the joy of walking in November here in the great northeast. We have experienced an unusual run of sunny and warm weather this November, ideal for raking leaves, biking, walking and hiking. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote; I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.

These are photos I took while on a recent walk in Saratoga State Park.
I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape-the lonliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.
Andrew Wyeth







Ask Away... again

It's been just about four months since I wrote this post opening up the comments for questions from you all... and I found that to be quite fun! Life has been crazy lately... Spencer's grad school, lots of details to attend to at work, finishing up the paperwork to submit to the IRS for the (hopeful) establishment of the Isaac Delisle Foundation, and starting to plan and prep for our baby girl. I wish I had the time to sit, think, and reflect as much as I have in the past, but truthfully this just seems to be a busy season of life right now.


So, being that we're now in a new part of our journey, I would love to open the comments up for more questions! In addition to having fun answering them, maybe I'll even find some inspiration for a whole new post!

Go ahead... ask away, again!
VOICES FROM COP-15 PART I:
TUMUSIIME RHODA PEACE, U.N. DELEGATE

Outlaw

Seesaw

These past few months, and in particular last few days, my life has felt like it is taken me on endless seesaw ride. Up for a while, down the next moment... trying to find this balance between the anticipation of hopefully welcoming our baby girl in March, with the ache of still longing for Isaac to be here. Sometimes it's a moment-to-moment adjustment, trying to find that equilibrium... other times, things will feel balanced for a few days, only to have it upset again.

Yesterday I was out for my run (well.. not it's more like a trot with some periods of walking in between!). It was a beautiful morning... crisp, cold... and I love the feeling of being bundled up and exercising in 35 degree weather. My iPod was set on random, and on came a song I hadn't listened to since I was in the hospital with Isaac. There's this great CD of instrumental versions of songs we've sung in church for years. Actually, the only instrument is a piano and there's something soothing about it. We listened to this pretty frequently during my hospital stay, mostly in an effort to drown out the noise of other babies on the mother-baby floor. As we were leaving the hospital that day, I was wheeled out, holding a picture of Isaac rather than Isaac himself, listening to the song "I Cry Out/For You Are Good" (it seems to have several different titles). As I said, I haven't been able to listen to that song since that day.

So as I was running, I was really enjoying my time being outside... envisioning this time next year running with a jog stroller in front of me carrying our little baby girl. The seesaw was up... and as this song randomly came on my iPod, the seesaw came crashing down. The tears just started pouring out (which I am sure was quite a site for anyone passing by), and the ache of missing Isaac took over.

I started thinking, though, about the actual lyrics to that song and just how true they are...

I cry out for Your hand of mercy to heal me
I am weak and I need Your love to free me
Oh, Lord my Rock
My strength in weakness
Come rescue me, Oh Lord

You are my hope
And Your promise never fails me
And my desire is to follow You forever

For You are good
For You are good
For You are good to me (x2)

I need to be reminded of those truths... truths that I believe in all the way to the core, but in those moments of grief and sadness, or in fear and doubt, can escape me if I am not careful. And at the end of the day, it's many of these truths that help to keep the seesaw in that careful balance.

Another rhodes van note ad

Warm Bodies ---- PUBLISHED!

Well friends, the moment I've been waiting for since I turned 16 and started banging out my first piece of fiction--a cosmically overblown, 1000 page fantasy epic called THE BIRTH OF DARKNESS--has finally arrived.

Warm Bodies is being published!!!

Not self-published.
Not indie-press published.
REALLY published, by a major publishing house, Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Yes, you will see it at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Powells, etc. Yes I will be doing readings, interviews, promotion, etc.

In the words of the venerable Young Jeezy, it's goin' down.

But wait, it gets better.
It's not just being published in the U.S. It's already been bought in the U.K, Italy, Brazil, and Russia, with offers pending in Germany and France. So the book is going to exist in 7 countries, 6 languages, with possibly more to come.

In the words of the venerable Ludacris, I've got hos in different area codes.

As to when this will be happening, I can't say for sure yet, but Atria's tentative plan is to try and get it released by June 2010, which is considered fast. In the mean time, I'll be gearing up to promote the hell out of it, and since the publishing industry doesn't really know what promotion is, this will be mostly a DIY effort by me and my agent. So keep spreading the book around, tell your friends, etc... In the words of the venerable Sign-Holding Freeway Onramp Hobo, anything helps!


UPDATE: All the self-printed copies I made are sold out. Thanks guys!

Normal

What does normal really mean, anyway? A few weekends ago I was with our church's youth group at our fall retreat and the theme was "Redefining Normal...." a theme that has certainly been ever-present in our lives over the last year and a half. Normally when you give birth you get to bring your baby home; we did not. Normally you're considered a mother by the fact you have children you are raising; I am not. Normally you get to rock your child to sleep, help them learn to walk, and clean up a skinned knee. I did not. "Normal" has taken on a whole new meaning for us, and I have come to the place where I am not too sure that there really even is such a thing as "normal." Still thinking through that, though.

But if there is such a thing as normal, then yesterday we got to experience it. A normal 20-week ultrasound where we were told that everything looks normal with our baby girl. And the funny thing is, it felt incredibly abnormal to be sitting in the exam room getting such good news. But, we are so incredibly thankful.

I didn't sleep to well the night before, but yesterday prior to the appointment I really did feel at peace. Driving there, though, I felt the nervousness creep in.

I have this weird habit of sort of seeing things in life in metaphors. So as I was driving to the perinatologist's office, I left work under a blue sky with puffy white clouds, and drove into a dark sky where the rain began to pour. Behind me, the sun was still shining. I started to wonder, "Is this indicative of how things are going today? Leaving the hopeful, sunny place only to drive into another storm?" And then, I found myself looking around for a rainbow... for some reminder of God's faithfulness. I would love to tell you I saw one, but I didn't. Nevertheless, even the thought to look for one reminded me that God is indeed faithful... that so far with our baby girl, things have looked great. And even though things didn't look so great with Isaac, God is still incredibly faithful. It is just so important, particularly when life feels so uncertain and it's like you're waiting for the other shoe to drop, to look back at God's past faithfulness and to know that He is indeed God... that nothing escapes His gaze, and the He truly will work all things for our good and His glory.

So yesterday, we had a normal, fun, regular 20 week ultrasound. We learned that baby girl is still a baby girl, and that she looks great. We are thankful for that, and for the many of you who are praying for her (and for us!).

And without further adieu, here are a few pictures of our little lady...


This next one cracked us all up!! "Ugh! No one knows how hard it is to be in here!"

And this last one was bittersweet for us, and truthfully I started crying on the exam table. Our baby girl showing us how she is like her sweet big brother...


Thumbs up!