Friday, October 31, 2008

First Halloween

Baby Monarch had a wonderful time trick-or treating with her her big Kessler brothers.
We went to a street that's all spookified for the night.

Then we made our way back to the Team Kess home to watch The Great Pumpkin.

Just the trick, and such a treat.

Oh When Will He Get Here?!?

I can't wait! I can't wait!

I can't wait for him to get here!!!

I'm going crazy waiting for him! My first little buddy!
Oh, when will he get here?!

Did he ever come?


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Slice of Angel Pie

Ok, so maybe it's five slices. I just couldn't help it. Annabelle is 10 lbs now! And it's a special little dress. Both my sister and I wore it, and I LOVE how she looks in it. Sweet sweet sweet.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Double Plaid Dad

Really? This is what you're going with? Hmmmmmm...interesting choice. You know, there may be a time and place for two different plaids, like maybe, on two different people at the St. Patty's Day parade. Or perhaps some hip and quirky, deconstructed, made in France, fabulous dress ( well, this look may not be an improvement for HIM ). But this? No.

A mistake to it's equal was made a while back when he decided on the double denim. Denim shirt with jeans, and then I think where I lost it was when he put a denim jacket over the whole atrocity, and it became the triple denim.
Oh Pops. You gotta love him.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Perfect Introduction

I whole heartedly intend to raise this child up in the arts. Last night was a beautiful beginning as she attended her first opening. The artist of honor was friend David Adey, which made the occasion perfect. We were art students together back in the day, and when you take a gander at his work, you'll see why it was difficult to sit next to him in school. I would encourage you to take a more in depth look at his work as it is multi-faceted and has very complex meaning.

The show was held at contemporary art gallery Luis De Jesus Seminal Projects and was a combination of Adey's work, and that of glass sculptor, Graham Caldwell. We Linden's have a great amount of respect for David, and Caldwell was a wonderful new discovery. I have always had a weakness for glass and it's fascinating relationship with light and shadow.

Annabelle was happy and alert the whole time. She seemed to enjoy the social gathering and stimulating visuals. Our little Annie-Lu is David's newest fan!

Nothin' like a good art show.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Back in Business

It's a whole new world for Miss Belle today as she is now allowed to be on her back! I bought her these happy little overalls yesterday after her appointment with Dr. Goseman ( plastic surgeon ). Yesterday was the first day of her life without any bandages on her little body. The Doctor was so pleased and almost seemed surprised at Annie's healing progress. We are absolutely thrilled, but not surprised. Thanking God over and over. We are so proud of her! She loves her new perspective.

Monday, October 13, 2008

To The Pumpkin Patch!

It was a very grand excursion for the Lindens last Saturday. The biggest outing yet since Lu-Belle was born. We loaded up all things family, and took our pumpkin to the patch. It was a wonderful time with dear friends Hawkins, Keener, Harrington, and Medina. What a festive day! The Bates Nut Farm is worthy of an annual tradition.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


This was Friday night. I couldn't remember the last time I'd done this. Many, many months ago. It used to be a cherished ritual for me. And yes, I was so excited about my bubble bath, that I brought my camera with me, to be able to remind myself: if mad at husband refer back to this evening. This is how cool Pops is. He came home after a tough day at work, took The Belly Bean from me, and ordered the usual Friday night pizza. Excellent. And it set the stage for a WONDERFUL weekend. More on that later. Just want to relive this one for a little while. Happy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Feet

It was decided yesterday that it was high time our little Belly Bean do some art making. So, Scrap Booking Extraordinaire, Auntie Wendy came over with the goods and we put Miss Belle to work!

Oh, so much work!

We had so much fun experimenting with different colors and getting the feets all inky and...pinky.

This blue one is Dad's favorite.

I am pleased with my work.

I think Auntie Wendy is too...

We're so proud of our little artist!

We'll keep you "posted" on future showings of Annabelle Linden's work.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I am two months old today!

And I just love my name.

Thanks for the cute duds Uncle J. and Aunt Kristi!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


My husband is an "early to bed, early to rise" sort of guy. He likes to read, sip coffee, listen to soothing music, and once in a while smoke a pipe. He often refers to women as "gals." "Oh, she's a great gal." I gave up feeling guilty when he conks out early at a gathering, ( including when we are hosting ) because he can't hold his head up anymore. Other poeple have gotten used to it too. He's a bit of a grandpa man. Years ago I started calling him "Pops." This caught on with some of our friends who also lovingly call him that.

Now that we have Lil' Lucy Belle ( speaking of nick names ), his nick name has a double meaning, and he's really living up to the new aspect of it. What a wonderful Daddy. I can't think of very many people who work harder than my husband, and still he shares the dawn patrol duties every night with wee one, gives Mom lots of breaks, and is already teaching Annie the glory of good music and literature.

The other morning I got up to this.

He's always been a big Winnie -the-Pooh fan. He'll say things like "tut-tut, it looks like rain!" , "oh, bother." and my all time favorite, "sometimes I just sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits."

A good while back, we were visiting our dear friends, the Mercer family,

and Pops saw this book on the bookshelf at their house.

He pulled it off the shelf and in a sacred whisper he said "all parents should have this book." My girlfriend Heather Mercer has pretty much the best memory of anyone I know, and she logged this declaration good and tight in the bank. Sure enough, not long after we found out that Annabelle was on her way, we recieved a copy in the mail from our Mercers. And all was well in the land of Linden.
I love when Daddy reads to me . . . .

Aaahhh, sweet success . . .


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Here Not There

Vision Expo West is this weekend in Las Vegas, and I am at home being a Mom instead of there being an Optician/Buyer. It's happy and strange. Uncle Doc ( the coolest Optometrist in town/ my boss ) and my Kristy ( dear friend and work mate who has taken over my desk for me ) are there and I am receiving phone calls about all the shenanigans they are enjoying there without me. They are probably at some sparkly cocktail party right about now, while I am happily feeding Annie a leche cocktail. There is at least a very sincere disclaimer when we've spoken, that I am missed and asked after . It's good to hear. These are two people who pretty much saw a play by play of all this little family has been through in 2008 and have been an amazing support through it all. Truly...

Almost a year ago now, the Doc and I started designing an optical boutique together, and opened the doors of Urban Optiks in January. February is when Pops and I found out we were pregnant. We had our grand opening party at the op-shop in March, and March 31st is the day we found out that Annabelle has Spina Bifida. In April the Annabelly actually went with me to Expo East in Manhattan.

This is Ralph of ic! berlin ( eye wear line we carry ) in NY making fun of me and my Annabelly.

On this same trip, she went with me to stay in Brooklyn and in the Berkshires ( that was the expo post party! ). Oh, the Places She's Been! She's just not quite ready for Las Vegas. Not this year anyhow.

Happy Expo Doc and Kristy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Joie de Vivre

It is no secret to those that know me that I enjoy fashion. Wearable art, if you will. And now, to have a little GIRL to adorn? Really? Oh the GLORY!! It's just too good. All dramatics aside, my friend Mary Francis sent me the most adorable little outfit for Annie made by her friend, Kathleen Buchanan of Seattle. Kathleen's whimsical clothing line for little girls is called Joie de Vivre ( Joy of Living ), and I have added it to my "culture" links. I'm delighted to have some of her lovely work for Miss Lu-Belle to wear.

Thanks Mary!

Bubbley Toes

I just spent about an hour in a trance staring at my daughter's toes as she wiggled the ones on her right foot, with slight movements of that foot as well. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's huge. We have not seen her move her legs yet. We have seen glimpses of her moving her toes on her little clubbed feet in working with the Physical Therapist in the NICU, and some very slight responses to pressuring touches. Little grabs when you put your finger underneath them that I'm praying wasn't just my hopeful imagination, but this was without any coaxing. Very obvious and very consistent. Lots of wiggles. I was transfixed with joy and gratitude.

Be still my beating heart.