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!!!


I read your story about your accident. Oh poor thing. KUDO's to your hubby for helping you so much. Just married and relying on him for help with the bedpan etc. That is true love. I hope you don't have any lingering pain and that it has healed nicely. Love your pics as always....keep it up.

Are you familiar with the children's book illustrator Eloise Wilkin? Her little girls look so much like your little one. Just beautiful.

Wonderful post.

Melody A. says: March 13, 2014 at 12:19 AM

Such beautiful writing, so expressive of most of our thoughts of spring and such a lovely little girl to give you and Andy such, such JOY!! God Bless you and yours! Thank you for graciously allowing all your readers to share a bit of your life. WE are very blessed!

so Lovely! and this little girl is so beautiful and cute!

thanks for the joy your images bring

Spring is there as well in your heart for sure

I really wish you would write a novel, or a collection of essays. Your writing is so beautiful & reminds me of the very best literature I love (usually British): lush, evocative, thoughtful...linguistic beauty. Your words & images make me pause to see the loveliness all around me...such a gift! Thank you!

Your gray granny square blanket is beautiful. Did you make that, and if you did, do you have the pattern? The yarn looks super soft; the colors are perfect for chilly spring days!

Amelia looks so grown up all of a sudden. Your pictures make me miss Portland so much.

oh alicia, you never cease to amaze me... and reading about what happened to you... goodness, i'm amazed even more. you and andy are such beautiful people... so full of love. i haven't cried that much in quite a while... the way he cared for you... and you... the way you slowly became somewhat of a new you... and so full of beauty. the way you describe your heart blossoming like that... sigh... i am just so glad that you three have each other. i know it's a bit weird to say... buy i have so much love for your little family... even though i don't truly "know" you. you have such a talent for seeing the beauty in the ordinary everyday things... you always inspire me to look at my own life in that way... thank you so much... for teaching me to see the world the way you do :) -jenny

Oh how I love this post! Six years ago we were in a horrible car accident and my husband shattered a part of his spine. I was pregnant with our first son at the time. The doctors said that he would never walk again and that we would not be able to have any more children. After a long year of therapy, pain, hard work, and sometimes so much laughter at the awkwardness of it all, he was able to walk again. And, six years later, here I am sitting at a computer reading your blog with two handsome, sticky little boys asleep in the other room; the baby boy that I was pregnant with is now sounding out words and reading to me (CCCC-AAAA-TT!!!); and a precious baby girl (3 1/2 months old!) softly sighing as she sleeps in my arms. Oh what precious, precious joy! I completely loved and understood this post so much. Thank you, wonderful God, for my precious little ones! Thank you Alicia for always reminding me of the joy of life and the precious blessings I have! I love your blog and read it often. And I must confess, I love your taste and hope I make my home as cozy as yours although mine is scattered with more toys!

Oh! I forgot to ask where you get those sweet little hair clips! Do you make them or find them somewhere? My little girly has so much hair already that I could see that I am going to need some clips like these soon.

mary holden says: March 14, 2014 at 02:43 PM

Hi, way way back i read that you purchased a Pfaff ambition machine.. i am thinking of doing the same... are you pleased with it? i dont know of anyone else who has one... any downside? thanks, Mary

Such beautiful photos. I love your new header too :-)

Leslie J. Moran says: March 15, 2014 at 09:39 AM

Oh my goodness. Look how far you've come over those past 16 years. All your accomplishments far outstrip that one horrible moment. Kudos to you for not letting it define who you are or will be. That is so totally inspirational! Amelia is one lucky child and you have such an adorable, creative, loving and caring family. Wishing you more and more and more gentle spring days to come. You are a star.

I am just discovering your delightful blog and am completely enchanted with the beautiful photography. Ahhh. I feel like I just took a mini vacation. Thank you! :)

Oh, cherry blossoms, the MOON, Amelia, a quilt on the floor by the open front door with the lovely screen door with Amelia and Daddy playing, gardens, candles. As I read this and look at the beautiful photos, the birds are singing like crazy. Its very early and not much sleep cool and rainy, saturated. Saturated in loveliness. Thank you as always, so grateful for what you do for us! Thank you.

You are blessed my darling dear and you have blessed us.
Thank you thank you.

xxxooo eugenia

Goodness Amelia is growing up so fast!

I am officially convinced that Spring HAS to be on the way here in Ohio - every year you share photos of trees in bloom while we're still dealing with snow. If your spring is starting to bloom, then our spring should certainly be here shortly!

Why do your words always bring sweet tears to my eyes? They are such a gift.

Such a lovely post! You are able to inspire and delight with each post that you put up. The magnificent photos and the thoughtful observations make for an unbeatable combination. I look forward to each post and go back and look for inspiration in past ones. Love your quilts, I want to try one soon, they are so full of the feeling of spring.

I've always said, two spoons are better then one!

I have been following your blog for a while -,I so love your photos, the way you put fabric together your choice of patterns and colours . I love the way you are taking the time to watch and enjoy your little girl grow up . I so wish I had had the foresight to stop and enjoy the time more when mine were little. Following you has reminded me of lots of little moments with my children were small - its a pleasure to follow you !

That photo of Amelia in the peach dress - you can see what she will look like as a ten year old in that shot. I love those glimpses. I remember a photo of my eldest aged 10, gazing at it in fascination as you could clearly see into the future somehow to see what he would look like as a young man.

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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.