Eight is Great

comments: 45
























We went walking at the Sandy River Delta last weekend and it was so perfect and flat and gorgeous and quiet and beautiful that when I came off Thousand Acres Road and turned into the meadow I just broke down and started to weep. I couldn't take it. Andy stood there with me while I cried. It was so perfect and the world is so hard and I never wanted to leave. I hope to soon be back.


Our glorious daughter turned eight years old yesterday. The three of us went up to the woods at the end of our street and sat on the hill and ate Burgerville burgers and fries (her choice). She called chickadees with her bird stuffed animal (that sings; it's from Audubon) and they actually answered (it was amazing). She played for over an hour among the fallen logs and lichen patches with her many new LOL dolls, quietly talking in all of the voices of all of her dolls. She had Zoom calls with her family and opened all of her sweet presents and had chicken paprika (also her choice) for dinner. Last night before she went up to bed she said it was the best birthday ever. I'm so proud of my girl and I just love her so so so very much.

P.S. Thank you for every single Things of Autumn kit orders! They are now sold out, but we are planning to make 100 each of many of my older kits, including this one, over the next several months so stay tuned if you are interested. XO


Marcia L Love says: October 15, 2020 at 01:44 PM

You take wonderful photos.
Almost as good as my being there myself!
thanks much, Marcia

Linda McCorkle says: October 15, 2020 at 01:54 PM

I know what you mean about nature (especially now). It is what keeps me sane. I can't believe your sweet daughter is already 8, time flies. She seems like a gem.

Jeni Barbas says: October 15, 2020 at 02:36 PM

Check out the Merlin Bird ID app. it has bird calls and you can choose birds that are in your area. We have a Barred Owl that lives in the woods behind our house. We heard him one day and then played his call on the app...and he flew to us!! He stayed around us for 30 minutes flying from tree to tree over our heads.

Your photos are always so lovely, but the last image—the portrait of Amelia blowing out her birthday candles—in her new crown and gauzy pink dress is amazing! Happy belated birthday and may this next year be full of lots of happy surprises and laughter.

*H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* to Amelia from your friend in Corbett, OR! You were just 8 minutes from our house at 1,000 acres. Did you know that it used to be a huge cow pasture? A local rancher ran probably 100 head of purebred Black Angus there. They kept the blackberries down. :-) He also leased the property across from us where they grow flowers now. I used to love seeing all the baby cows across the road each Spring. Lovely photos you captured! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

It's amazing how that connection with nature can just make us weep with relief and gratitude.

Happy birthday to your beautiful, sweet Amelia...eight years old already, I can't believe it. She is growing up so quickly.


Laura Sudderth says: October 15, 2020 at 03:47 PM

I cannot believe she is EIGHT! I have been reading your blog since Amelia was an infant. Goodness time flies by the seat of her pants at times. Then other times, it slows down when you need her to speed up. Lovely pictures! Happy 8 Amelia!

Happy birthday to a lovely girl. Eight is absolutely great. I agree.
So glad to hear about the kits. I must get one of autumn. Thanks!!

I am definitely interested in this autumn kit as I somehow missed it this time :(

What a wonderful way to spend a birthday! So happy for all of you to be able to be outside and enjoy some smoke-free air and the beauty of creation!

Before you know it, Amelia will be double digits and that is when you realize that she is growing up way too fast! It will hurt to see a young child become a young adult, but it is so worth it when she embarks on so many wonderful and exciting adventures...picked by her.

Barb Huffman says: October 15, 2020 at 05:58 PM

dear Folks , I must have been reading your blog for 8 years because I remember when Amelia was born ! I love reading you , love seeing all those wonderful photos . I live on the other side of the USA but enjoy seeing how different it is there . I totally agree on the miserable state of what's going on . But it will get better . Knowing there are wonderful families like yours and watching Amelia grow . Happy Birthday , Dear Amelia !

A fan in PA !

Nicole James says: October 15, 2020 at 06:38 PM

Happy birthday to Amelia! Thank you for sharing her with us here on your beautiful blog. I have been reading your blog since you were mentioned in Mothering magazine, so many years ago. Maybe12? I remember when suddenly, your blog went quiet for a while and then you came back with the amazing news that you had become a mother at last, after all those hard years of waiting. And I cried a little for you, a perfect stranger! So much joy. It’s bittersweet watching them grow up but it’s so beautiful the life your family lives and I’m so thankful you continue to bring it and share it here with us.

You are such a wonderful mother. I can’t believe it’s been more than 8 years since I’ve been reading your blog. I really look forward to reading everything you write. This is my first time commenting.

She’s still so cute. :) And your family is so lovely. Also, re: Eight is Great as a title— are you referring to the song by The Count in Sesame Street? :) I’m planning on blasting that at our second-grader when he turns eight in April.

Gorgeous photos, I'm glad it was such a good birthday. I know what you mean about the beauty of somewhere being overwhelming, I felt the same the other day at the wetlands place we go to. It's just so moving right now. I love the image of the chickadees calling back. We used to have a couple of little stuffed British birds that did the same. CJ xx

Happy Birthday to your Amelia from the UK. Long time reader and so fond of your blog, one of the few that I regularly visit in the hope and expectation of lovely pictures and happy news. Hanging on to moments of beauty and tranquility here too. Xx

Kristen from MA says: October 16, 2020 at 06:48 AM

Happy Birthday, sweet Amelia!

I have been reading for 10 years. Like the previous commenter I also cried a little when you announced the arrival of dear Amelia. It was difficult for us to have our glorious son and we were struggling as you were trying to adopt. He was 8 in August, and isn’t it just so amazing? This age is great, the little flashes of maturity are so cute. These times are hard. But it is amazing that kids can appreciate the good in what is. We had a very different birthday for my son than usual, no party. But he said he had the best day. So at least there is that. They are SO resilient. It hurts my heart to think about what the kids are missing right now, but they are mostly ok. Mostly. Just takes a little creativity! And lots of love. :) Hugs to you all!

Susan from Tsawwassen, BC says: October 16, 2020 at 10:37 AM

I can't think of a better birthday celebration! Happy Birthday Amelia! I also love that last photo. It says it all! I love everything about your posts, Alicia. I have been enjoying your blog for many years and I full-on credit you for inspiring my photography way back then and still now. I fancy the thought that we are kindred spirits and I relate very much to your outlook on life. What you notice. How you pay attention. Much love to you and yours!

Happy birthday to your sweet girl! 8 is a wonderful age.

Eight is such a magical age :-) Oh, I am so happy for you, these lovely days with your girl... I well remember when you shared here that she had become yours, that you had become hers. What a glorious day that was.

Hugs to you and your family Alicia. Thank you for letting us all be a part of your life. xo

Florence Rabusseau says: October 16, 2020 at 12:51 PM

No, no, no, no, no. Amelia cannot be eight, this cannot be. Really?

Happy Birthday Mimi.


Loved reading sliding through those
yummy photos of fall, with soft golds,
bronze and browns . . .
and your beautiful girl of eight years
looking more like a pre teen than little girl.
My oh my, she is so charmingly beautiful.
Sounds like she loved HER day!
Happy Birthday!

Julie Smith says: October 16, 2020 at 06:17 PM

Sweetest thing ever. Xoxo.

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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 aliciapaulson.com