The Sweet

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Oh, the luminous, exquisite loveliness of early March. I tried to capture the riotous beauty of our plum tree day by day as she blossomed, her lacy boughs like garlands against the storm-dark skies. Amelia walks around the house in pink ballet slippers (which I've decided must be the best baby shoes ever, as they're the only thing she's never taken, or wanted taken, off her feet). She carries a model horse in each hand. Back and forth, around the table, to the toys, to the door, to the sofa, to the chair, back and forth. It was the sixteenth anniversary of my accident last week, a day which can alternately feel like it was a thousand years ago and then, occasionally, and only for a few seconds, like it was just yesterday. I remember looking up at the sky out the back windows of the ambulance. I remember the trees as we went up the hill. Amelia stops and kisses the little black horse squarely on its baby-mouth-sized nose and makes her humming-kissing noise, holding it out toward me. I try not to explode with secret joy, a charging froth of pink plum petals shooting straight out of my heart. God, how lucky I am. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, God.

Spring does seem to have truly arrived this week. I spent yesterday morning looking at photos of the gardens of Piet Oudolf and dreaming of new borders for our front yard, inspired by his enchanting meadows. It's time to clean up. Our yard is a swampy disaster. I do rush to the clean up because so much is blooming — it's just buried under piles of dead leaves. My 'Minnow' daffodils and my pink woodland violets. My one little hellebore and a carpet of blue vinca. We walk through the neighborhood and look at everyone's parkways. Things are a mess all over, really, though every once in a while we'll come across someone who has already laid a new carpet of compost and mulch, and I love that earthy, strangely medicinal smell. This is my favorite season, this long, chilly, wistful, anxious, shyly budding month of awakening and hope. At night we keep the bedroom window open and can hear train whistles calling off in the distance, and birds waking and singing at the same time as Amelia. In the big bed she stands and pulls on the shade, falling over and pointing, "Buuurdy?" Eyes bright, inquiring. "Tweet, tweet," I say, pushing her hair out of her face. "He's singing to you."

My to-do list is a million miles long. All I really want to do is build block towers, watch movies, sew hexagons together, and plan perennial borders and future rail vacations to Glacier National Park. But: taxes, patterns, logos, floss winding, bill paying, paperwork, blah. I've really been procrastinating lately. Spring forward. I gotta do that!!!


Love all of this!

It is all so sweet! Jyst love the ebb and fliw of late winter, early spring.

Preview may have helped. That would be, in human language.....just love the ebb and flow of late winter, early spring

Awwwwwwww............I feel like my eyes just took a little outside walk with you and Mimi and it was wonderful........ Xox


It sure does look like Spring where you are....sigh! Enjoy! I just LOVE that photo of her in the pink dress...precious.

Our forsythia also is almost ready to burst. The robins have come back en masse and the pileated woodpecker is calling from the high trees. I, too, love spring and the hope it brings. Enjoy each moment with your precious one. The moments slip by so fast.

I love looking at her face and her sweep of hair -- she's such a person! But, then I see that photo of Andy lifting her into the air and I see how wee she is!

I loved all of it, too. Don't ever say taxes again. I beg of you.

Spring in your neighborhood and home looks rosy
and invigorating... like open windows, and floral breezes blowing in!
I don't think I have ever seen a post of yours that doesn't leave me wanting to sew, cook, eat, twirl, learn to knit, breathe deeper, slower... embrace the day. Thanks for bringing your spring into my home, too.

The expression that a picture is worth a thousand words is almost worn to tatters but it certainly took on a startlingly clear meaning for me as I scrolled down through your pictures. It seemed to me that they were reminding me that you have a perfectly, pinkly beautiful little bud; your Amelia and she will blossom as surely as the cherry tree in spring. And just as a quilt grows piece by piece, small girls; little bits of beauty, grow too, taking on a life of their own.
The candles burning warm and bright remind me of you (and all mothers and friends)
Thanks for the pictures. Inspiration certainly is inspiring. :)

I just finished "The Great Gatsby" and I believe "Howard's End" was from around the same time period. I must put that next on my reading list. Shamefully, I only just read Gatsby (now, finally) because I have recently seen the movie and enjoyed it! But I do love classics, and in particular from that period of time.

My she has such beautiful coloring!

Kristen from MA says: March 10, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Can you please send some of that spring eastward? It snowed again today!


You make me wish time went a little faster here. There's still 18" of snow in my back yard, and not much chance of it melting for a few weeks yet. April is Spring here, and I love those early days too. I'm out in the garden every chance I get, peeling back the piles of leaf mulch as it thaws, hoping for a little green. I planted more snowdrops last fall, just for the chance of a few more early green shoots. And last Fall I moved my herb garden to the front of the house, so I'll be anxiously watching to see if they survived the long Winter.

Your photos are the embodiment of spring. So so lovely!

Thank you for celebrating this time with us, Alicia :) I just got back from a retreat at Twin Rocks, Rockaway Beach, OR, and am feeling euphoric..... You gently brought me back to my "to do" list..... sigh.... I need to spring forward, too! We are in this together!! Life!!!

Your horse-kissing ballerina has quite a cheeky personality! Love that. It really shows in your photos.

The ballet slippers brought back such memories for me-my Mom bought my daughter a pair when daughter was two...and then she started ballet at four and now at twenty-eight has grown into a beautiful dancer/choreographer/artist.

I will always believe that it was those pair of shoes that unlocked something in my then baby-girl's soul.

I can picture those yards with compost and mulch and the budding flowers hiding under the wet leaves. What a beautiful description of spring! It is a breath of fresh air for me here, in upstate NY, with more snow on the way for Wednesday. I keep telling myself yes, spring really is on its way!

Sweet, indeed! One of my favorite posts! Thank you for all that you share with us. xoxo

beautiful post! Thank you for reminding me to take close ups of my little ones' faces.

Please write a novel, Alicia. :) You are such a writer. I know I'm not the only one who savours your posts... positioning the screen so only a few lines of text are visible, so I don't rush, and take in every thought, at least once but sometimes more. I enjoy your crafty books too, but you have a special way with words. Obviously love your photography as well, not to mention your personal style, handiwork, and home decor (and book selections!). And sweet Amelia and Andy. Sigh. You are all so wonderful, I could just cry over every post. :)

Your photos and words never fail to make me smile or take my breath away. Thank you for sharing the spring blooms, as we're still buried under a lot of snow here in the Chicago suburbs. And your beautiful Amelia...she just gets more and more precious every time you post photos of her. xoxo

I am so so happy each time I see that you've posted something new. Always your words make me smile and your joy shines right through.

I love the juxtaposition of Amelia below the E.M.Forester book. I adore E.M. Forester and re-read those books yearly but they do put me to sleep like that. Not out of boredom, but from the rhythm of the language.

Plus, is there anything more beautiful than her eyelid in that last picture? The perfect line along the lashes? Oh the cosmetics I go through trying to get that on my eyelid!

We took a rail vacation to Glacier last summer - highly recommended! A bonus is the knitting and reading time along the way! I'd love to see your pictures from this kind of trip.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.