2018 in Photographs

I posted here twice in 2018. Twice. First in January, when I finished my sabbatical from work and emerged just long enough from blogging silence to post a list of what I did. At the end of that list, I casually slipped in that I was pregnant. That led to the second and only other post from this year, published in the summer, about the birth of my baby.

Since things often come in threes, here’s a third and final post for 2018. I’ve compiled photos taken in the second half of this year, from July to December, during my six-month maternity leave. As you might imagine, the beginning of this period was spent hibernating at home with the little one. But as the months have passed, we’ve spent a lot of time out and about, exploring around Sonoma County where we live. Being busy with the new arrival, sadly there wasn’t much activity in the vegetable garden this year, with the exception of kale, strawberries, and bush beans (which fortunately all produced quite well). We also got to enjoy several of our fruit trees this year, mainly our apples and pears. In the past, my blog has focused on my travels abroad, but as you can see, we’ve stayed close to home this year — and I expect more of the same for much of 2019.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with this site in the new year, so in the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram (@cherilucasrowlands), where I post often, or on my other blogs (Notebook, Where the Gravensteins Are), where I post occasionally. Wishing you well in 2019!

Here’s Emilia at six weeks, when she slept soundly between 6 and 10 am in the mornings. That didn’t last long!
Our tiny homestead in the middle of summer, with lots of empty raised beds this season.
Even with the inactivity in the garden, we still had lots of beans, kale, and strawberries; basil; carrots; and fruits to harvest.
Another shot of our strawberries: sweet, delicious, and great for all the smoothies I made.
My life now revolves around breastfeeding and pumping milk. Before I became a mother, I had no idea how time-consuming it’d be. I generally enjoy it, but lately it’s been challenging with Emilia’s nursing strikes, teething, and with me going back to work.
I tend to put Emilia in onesies, which I find much easier and comfier, so this is a rare moment of her in proper clothes.
A very fitting fortune to receive this year.
In late summer and early fall, our fence was covered in lovely vines.
We’ve spent a lot of time exploring outside, especially around West Sonoma County where we live. Here’s a moment on a stroller walk in the shade of giants at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in nearby Guerneville.
While on maternity leave, it was important for me to get away from the baby during the week. Sometimes, I escaped to a nearby tasting room for wine and laptop time. (My other blog, Where the Gravensteins Are, is on screen.)
I love escaping to the coast. This was a sunny afternoon at Goat Rock State Beach — Emilia’s first time seeing the Pacific Ocean.
Hot chocolate and a selfie during breakfast at Willow Wood, one of the restaurants in Graton, near where we live.
During my maternity leave, I tried numerous times to sit and write. I failed. But I’ll keep trying.
Despite not tending the garden as much this year, it was lush and green in October. Hooray for low-maintenance landscapes! (Minus the falling leaves, of course.)
In mid-November, I began to mentally prepare to go back to work. I didn’t return until mid-December, but it honestly took a while to get excited about it.
Here’s what our house looks like on a typical day, with cats and baby toys and all.
We’ve been making use of our Sonoma Regional Parks pass lately. This is from an afternoon at Steelhead Beach, along the Russian River, in nearby Forestville.
Kaia, one of our cats, has made it known to Emilia that she has claimed the warmest spots in the house.
We spent Thanksgiving this year in Lake Tahoe with my brother’s family — and saw the first snow of the season.
Going back to work this month ended up being smoother than I expected. Having to pump milk every 3-4 hours still keeps me on a leash, though, so sometimes I work in our garden shed, which I’ve set up as an office of sorts. Ideally, I’d work in the tiny house, but our wifi doesn’t reach (yet).
As usual, we didn’t do much holiday shopping this year — just picked up a few presents for gift exchanges.
Emilia loves reading books at bedtime. Here’s a recent favorite, Feminist Baby.
A late December morning at home, quiet and foggy.

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Senior editor at Longreads / Automattic

17 thoughts on “2018 in Photographs

  1. Cheri, you’re a wonderful photographer and so happy for you with the birth of your daughter! Happy New Year to you and Emilia.
    I just followed you on Instagram. Will be nice to keep in touch that way. My username is DebbieForgivingConnects.
    ps – those strawberries look magnificent.

  2. Dear Cheri… your blog was one of the first ones I found when I started blogging back in 2013 which is amazing to me. I have missed you but as Heide said, you have the very best excuse for your time off. Emilia is beautiful and so are the pics of your home and garden. You have indeed had a fruitful year in more ways than one. May 2019 continue to bring you love and blessings! Happy New Year! <3

  3. Congratulatios to a new life and all the responsibility it brings! A lovely young person to be, Emilia – Happy New Year!

  4. Making a whole new person is the best reason I’ve heard yet for taking a blogging sabbatical, Cheri. Congratulations!! Emilia is gorgeous (and also adorable, yawning in her strawberry outfit). And as you’ve shown here, even if there were only three posts you still had a very rich and creative year. I hope 2019 brings even more happiness your way.

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