14 Months Old (in Bailey Island, ME)

A more organized mom might have recorded milestones monthly, but it’s never too late to carpe diem, right?!

14 months has brought some fun new milestones.

You’ve given up walking for running, in that full-force way only toddlers can. Edges? Stairs? Toys? Mere obstacles to be run right over.

I caught you yesterday trying to skateboard on your toy truck. You looked at me out of the corner of your eye, face shining with excitement as you planted one foot on the truck’s back and pushed off with the other.

This ended badly, as most toddler experiments tend to — but it’s incredible to watch you learn.

When your daddy turns on the radio, it’s like you’re hearing music for the first time. Your face radiates literal joy.

One of the parenting books I read said that toddlers can only feel one feeling at a time (hence the often inexplicable mood swings… “Cucumber! Cucumber! NO, not THAT cucumber!!”) but that’s part of why adults find them so charming…

When you’re happy, you are DELIGHTED.

When you’re upset, you are MAD.

You’ve added a few new words to your 3-word repertoire this week… “up” and “apple” are the clearest new favorites.

Intriguingly, when we ask for a word you don’t know, you reply with “die!”

“Can you say cucumber, Zephyr?” “Die!”

“Beach?” “Die!”

“Tub?” “Die!”

So maybe we’re pushing the new words thing a little too hard 😉

Despite having spent half of your life out of state, you’re definitely a Mainer.

We walk down to the shore and I can’t keep you from wading out into the water. While my tropical-favoring-toes sting from the chilly Atlantic, you’ll happily stand knee-deep, chasing ever-bigger rocks to pick up and throw until mean-mommy drags you back onto the beach to warm up and dry off.

You helped your daddy stack 4-cords of wood.

Sometimes you helped by not running into the road, but often you actually carried full pieces of wood from the pile, gleefully placing your piece on the top of the stack. You’ll be a great second mate yet.

(And we’re giving your daddy extra points for stacking all that wood while Zephyr-wrangling!)

I know people say having a baby changes everything, but I find it interesting how much stays the same, too.

Yes, the make up of our days are different (they start earlier, for one, and revolve around the needs of a 2-1/2′ tall creature for another) but at the core so much stays the same.

I still love hot coffee with my journal, especially in the peaceful moments when the household is asleep.

We still go on adventures (albeit, slower adventures) and I take too many pictures.

I still love to overshare, in the hopes of remembering these days and connecting with others who maybe relate.

We still enjoy each other’s company and we still dream big dreams for the future.

I still take selfies 😉

And I still wonder what kind of mom I’ll be, and what our family will turn out like…

Thanks for sharing this month with us, little Z.


That Gypsy Lifestyle (in Bailey Island, ME)

We’ve been in Maine since the beginning of May. It’s the cliche-est of the cliches, but the days are long and the months are short.

May felt like the month that Maine finally caught up with the rest of the country, and spring full-on arrived. The barren trees suddenly sprouted green buds. The beautiful pear tree in the front yard — my beacon of hope for a summer to come — burst into bloom, and the whole place felt *alive*. Spring is short here — but it’s incredible to watch.

And as all this life blooms around us, we continue to toss around life plans, “like popcorn” as I told a friend. 

We’ve been through most of the options lately — we had someone interested in buying Brio (didn’t happen), we tried to get an offer in on our dream-next-boat (didn’t happen), and we were prequalified and ready to buy a multi-family as an investment here in Maine (also didn’t happen)…

It’s a strange freedom and responsibility to feel like anything is possible — to have so many options and so much blank canvas — and also to not want to screw anything up.

In the end we come back to how good life is right now, with the flexiblity and freedom to chase the sun and really spend time together, with our families and our friends and most importantly with each other.

I keep reminding myself that this won’t last forever either — nothing ever does — so we may as well enjoy it while we can, and quit rushing to give away all of our options and freedom.

Chasing Zephyr around — up and down stairs and through the gorgeous backyard here — just underscores how much we want to focus on simplifying things.

Life will naturally add complication, so we really don’t need to attempt to ourselves 😉

Jon made a trip down to Beaufort to tuck Brio away for the summer. Our 3-week visit to Maine became a luxurious 9-week stay, allowing ample time for afternoons on the shore and roadtrips to friends, and visits to farms, and picnics with our baby friends… and we’re off to Vancouver at the end of the month for an overdue visit with my side of the family.

I am so thankful for work that is flexible (“and where are you working from today??” is a favorite question of my coworkers) and family that don’t mind us crashing in their homes… the key to this gypsy lifestyle really is the people who support and embrace us and love us all even when we do (over)extend our stays… 😉

Honestly, I kept imagining what it might be like to write the blog post announcing the big new life plan… Brio is for sale! We bought a new boat! We bought a house! All the excitement and energy. It’s been challenging to lay the future-focus aside and be honest about the messy middle instead. I don’t have a big exciting update, and I’m working on embracing that.

Lots and lots of pictures of the small child that I absolutely adore help 🙂

We chose “equilibrium” as our theme for 2019, and in the end — despite some serious efforts to the contrary — we seem to be doing a half-decent job of embracing it.


New Teak & Holly Cabinsole – Project Update (in Beaufort, SC)

We took the quick route (aka: an airplane) back to Maine for a few weeks of work, leaving Brio safely tucked away at Lady’s Island Marina. There are so many reasons that this marina is quickly rising to the top of our favorite list, not least of which is the workshop (!!!) that’s available for cruisers to use.

So it felt like time for a little update on the project front, starting with my latest favorite — the cabinsole!

Jon and dad started this about a year ago, when Zephyr was 2 weeks old… we camped out in my parents’ hotel for the couple nights it took to install and varnish the flooring, and mom and I went on lots of baby-dates while the guys sweated the complex details involved in removing the old floor, patterning the new, and installing the beast.

The roadtrip down to Boulter Plywood (near Boston, MA), where we bought the teak & holly ply, was the first major roadtrip Zephyr ever did, at 10 days old… and our introduction to how much he (does not) love car trips 🙂 Who knew having a baby wouldn’t make boat projects easier??

Cabinsole replacement with teak and holly plywood in a Nor'West 33 cruising liveaboard sailboat

We commented a few times on how thankful we were that Brio’s floor isn’t any bigger… although there are a few super tricky compound curves that were even more fun in the smaller spaces! The forward curve especially required some serious kerf-cuts to get the plywood to make the bend.

Anyways, now that the project is done, we can’t stop commenting on how huge of a difference it’s made to the overall feeling of the boat, and especially how much easier it is to keep the floor feeling clean. “Why didn’t we do this sooner?!?” is the most common refrain 🙂

Here’s a before and after (mid-adding-storage-to-the-port-settee-project for the “before”, so excuse the slight mess haha)…

Teak and Holly Cabinsole Before and After Nor'West 33

In case you’re interested in the details, here are a few progress pics…

Teak and Holly Cabinsole Before Picture

(Most of the “before” pics I could find involved some level of ever-burgeoning belly 😛 )

Teak and Holly Cabinsole Before Nor'West 33

We’d already replaced the biggest hatch board, after the teak veneer had deteriorated beyond repair… the sink cupboard used to leak onto the floor, causing the most water-damage in this area, so it was a complete rebuild…

Cabinsole replacement with teak and holly plywood in a Nor'West 33 cruising liveaboard sailboat

Stripping & starting the pattern for the forward area…

Patterning to replace the teak and holly plywood cabinsole in our sailboat

Patterning the new floor (using super flexible door skins)

Patterning the teak and holly cabinsole replacement sailboat project

Cutting out the patterned piece… we were REALLY worried this wouldn’t fit down the companionway. It *just* made it!!

The cut out patterned cabinesole teak and holly ready to be moved into the boat

Epoxying the teak and holly plywood down using screws to hold everything tightly in place…

Screwing down the floor while the epoxy sets

Starting the many coats of varnish on the main floor piece (semi-gloss for build coats, followed by satin rubbed effect for a nicer final lustre on the finish)…

The guys finished the main floor, dad went home, and we proceeded to procrastinate the forward section for about a year (while carrying the sheet of teak and holly plywood around with us as we cruised south :P)

Babies don't make cabinsole replacement projects any easier

The workshop at Lady’s Island Marina, in Beaufort, SC made the forward section much more possible to tackle while living aboard…

Zephyr likes to be as close as possible to everything his daddy is working on…

Test fitting the forward piece, before epoxying it in place… note the tiny little sliver missing on the starboard side. Oops! We thought we’d cut a huge piece to bring with us for the forward section, but once we lined up the holly stripes, it turned out the piece was literally *just* big enough, minus about a 1/2″ slice that we had to sister in afterwards!

Test fitting the teak and holly plywood before epoxying it down

Wedging the plywood in place while the epoxy sets…

Wedging the teak and holly plywood while the epoxy sets

Jon hand-chiseled out each of the latches — we chose these for their low-profile, baby-friendly design and couldn’t be happier with them!

So nice to get to enjoy the back-side of this project, especially now that the little guy is so mobile!




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