Tuesday, November 20, 2012


My Etsy shop is live!  This is the big project I've been working on for the last several weeks: Toadfrog, featuring custom illustrated storybooks starring a special child in your life!

The process is simple: you give me basic details about your child (first name, hometown, hair and skin color, etc.) and I tweak the illustrations and text to make your child the main character!

These books make fantastic gifts and help inspire a love of reading by making your child the star of their own adventure.

I have three books available right now (Fairy for a Day, Superhero for a Day, and [Your Child's] Christmas.  I have several more in the works and would have them posted except that time moves at Lucy's pace and not mine.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Your Eyes... Use Them

It's so weird!  And I've talked to other friends with girl babies, and they see similar things... people just automatically assume their pink-ruffled, be-jeweled baby is a boy.  What's with this?  Do we have some sort of infant gender-bias?  Do we have social research on this??  GRADUATE STUDENTS, I'M LOOKING AT YOU.  Dissertations.  Go. 

I am working on opening up my Etsy shop with an exciting new project, which is one reason I haven't been able to post here as much as I'd like.  More news will be coming soon!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Online Portfolio

I decided I needed a more professional online portfolio to send to people interested in my work, rather than making them wade through the oddities and scrap pieces in my DeviantArt account.  Here is me trying to find quality pieces to display on my website:
So, ta da!  Here is Emily's Desk, my online portfolio.  I am currently open for commissions and am happy to discuss projects and pricing with you. 

Monday, August 20, 2012


When we first brought Lucy home, she started sleeping up to eight hours at a time by her two-month birthday.  Alas, it was not to last.  In the last month, those increments have gotten smaller and smaller.  We reached a point last week where she was nursing just about every two hours around the clock.  This accompanied by her watching us as we eat, being able to sit up in her high chair, and having two little teeth buds made us deem her ready for solid foods.  We skipped the infant cereals since she's been 100% breastfed and got her started with some avocado.

The process was, predictably, messy and mostly futile.  Very little actually got down the hatch, but she did like chewing on the spoon.  So in the meantime we're just letting her get used to sitting down with us as we eat with a spoon and sippy cup, which usually end up multiple times on the floor.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Lucy is nearly six months old, which means I have been inactive here for far too long.  I could give you a dozen different reasons, but we'll just move on, because here's a new comic.

The Olympics are on!  Will and I love the Olympics, and it's nice having something to stream while I'm nursing Lucy. 

Another friend of mine with a young baby was sharing similar sentiments--- there are huge milestones!  But only moms seem to understand how amazing it is to see your baby put her thumb in her mouth instead of her whole fist.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And Then There Was Baby

One year ago today, June 12, in the Quality Inn in Page, Arizona, Will and I found out I was pregnant.  After a week of keeping it to ourselves, we started spreading the news.

Here's sort of how things went:

(I had other great reactions from friends and family, but for some reason these are the ones that have stuck with me.  To be fair to my dad, he had just received really bad news earlier that week, so the fact that he could smile at all says something.)

This blog doesn't have a very far reach, but I want to speak to those young moms who were like me--- surprised and crushed.  That's right, I spent the better part of an hour on the floor while Will tried to comfort me, and that night chalks up as probably the worst night's sleep I've ever had.  I did not want to be pregnant.  I had lots of things to do and places to go.  I wanted to be one of those cool young 20-somethings who traveled the world working on organic farms and riding elephants.  After I had lots of stories and experiences racked up and was ready to settle down, then I would think about having kids.

Finding out miles and miles from home in the middle of my masters' data collection was a traumatic experience.  That week that we kept the news just to ourselves (and my research partner, hey Jenn!!), I felt like a balloon about to burst on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean.  With sharks.  When I timidly Googled "I'm pregnant" the next morning, the search results were swamped with "Congratulations!"  "You're finally pregnant!"  "You're going to have a baby!"  I remember feeling so alien--- how could these people expect me to be so ludicrously happy over this thing that was about to ruin my life?

Then we started telling people--- starting with my parents and brother on Skype, then Will's family when he went back home, then our other friends and extended family over the phone.  And slowly, bit by bit, I began to think beyond just myself.  Little by little, I started realizing how truly blessed we are.  We were surrounded by friends and family who were stoked beyond belief that we were expecting.  We were actually married---nice!--- and had a house that we owned and steady jobs (sort of).

The definite turning point was our first ultrasound.  This was before being able to determine whether it was a boy or a girl, it was just a fuzzy screen with various nebulae that the nurse said was a baby.  But there it was--- a visible heartbeat, 168 bpm.  That's when I felt the first stirrings of affection for this Orb. 

Funny how sometimes the thing you think is worst for you is really the best for you.  Did my life change?  Drastically.  But guess what?  Turns out being a mom is more sweet, more exciting, and more fun than I ever could have thought.

Lucy has taught me so much that I could never have learned on my own--- giving all of yourself for another person.  The joy of laying aside your own wants and realizing that what lays beyond is so much better.  The organic farms and elephants can only teach you so much about your own strength and depth of affection. 

To other surprised, scared, and devastated new moms--- lean on your family and friends.  Think long and hard about the changes coming in your life and trust that they'll bring joy along with the challenges.  Don't worry about putting your dreams on hold for a little while.  Delight in the new life you carry with you--- it is precious beyond belief. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

How Writing a Thesis is Like Having a Child

Today I turned in my thesis draft to my committee and I defend it next week!  It has been a long and cyclical process, but I'm nearing the finish line!  This comic idea has been floating around in my head ever since I started running analyses back in the fall.  After running my first frequencies and getting some of my first results, I remember emailing my mom and saying, "this is what I imagine holding Lucy for the first time will be like."  But I was wrong--- it was totally different, mostly because I wasn't on morphine while running my analyses. 

So many things are happening with Lucy!  She's sitting up in her baby seat  and starting to roll over.  She giggles and talks to us constantly and loves going outside and watching the trees go by in her stroller.  She's so much fun to be with.  But dang if she doesn't take up huge quantities of thesis-writing time.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mother's Day

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!  My first one was wonderful.  I got a dozen pink roses from Will, and we had a nice brunch with my family after church.  And then there was this:
Yes, Will momentarily forgot he was a Keeper of the Orb and left Lucy in the car.  I had gone in to brunch, with my whole family at the table.  My grandmother asked where Lucy was, and I told her Will was parking the car and would bring her in.  A few minutes later, Will appeared, but... no Lucy.  I barely even got words out of my mouth; just looked at him with a look that can only be described as fierce incredulity.  He pivoted on his heel and ran out of the restaurant, returning a few minutes later with a no-worse-for-the-wear Lucy. 

Also, for some reason Google has reformatted Blogger and now all my pictures show up like 25% smaller than their original size... I'm trying to figure out how to change that.  But for now, maybe it will help to hide the fact that I can't render perspective or machinery of any kind.

Friday, May 4, 2012


I don't have a smart phone, but if I did, this is what I would use it for.  We have apps for this kind of thing now, right?

Life with Lucy is great!  She's almost three months old now and has gotten so big.  Thanks for sticking with this blog!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Moves

I love being Lucy's mommy.  It's demanding, yes, but it's so fulfilling and rewarding that it more than makes up for the stress. 

It is hard to try and function one- or no-handed much of the time.  Here are some of the new moves I've acquired.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Our Orb is finally here!

I was planning on writing a journal about my labor experience, but it seems like I've been lucky if I can just respond to a few emails in the last week and a half, so I figured this would be far more succinct (and entertaining).

Lucy Marie Martin, born February 10 at 7:42 pm; 6 pounds, 6 ounces.

I read a lot during my pregnancy about women feeling cheated out of their "ideal birth" if they had to have a cesarean or feeling like they weren't strong enough if they decided to get an epidural.  I have not felt either of these things.  I had hoped to go as unmedicated as I could, and I did that.  Sometimes being strong enough means actually giving in to what you're trying to avoid (wish someone had told me that when I was trying to summit Dean Skyline back in '08).  After twelve hours of labor with little Lucy not descending and me not dilating any more, it started to get silly to continue the way I was-- because I had to be induced, I was already confined to my IV, so I couldn't walk around like I had wanted to to try to make labor progress.  And once I got the epidural, I was exclusively in bed.  We could have continued as we were all night and still not have progressed any further.  The cesarean itself was wildly surreal and scary amidst all the lights and drugs, but Lucy was born healthy and robust, and that's what matters.

When they started me on Pitocin, Will remarked, "Can you imagine what this would have been like 100 years ago?"  Having had contractions just start ramping up, I replied "Um, yes" quite vehemently.  But he was right-- they induced me because my water had already broken but my contractions had stalled out.  I got the epidural because I could barely relax enough in between contractions for them to check my dilation.  And I had the cesarean because Lucy couldn't descend past my tailbone.  These things wouldn't have been possible just a few decades ago (or at least would have been riskier or more painful), and both Lucy and I could have been in trouble.  While I am no more of a fan of heavy drugs or surgery than I was before, I am grateful to the nurses and doctors who helped guide us to make informed and logical decisions.

So, what becomes of this blog?  I started it because I had no shortage of comic material centered around this new life-changing thing.  I daresay I will continue to be blessed with comic material, though I may be a little short on time (I drew this post's comic while nursing Lucy in my lap).  I'll still be posting as life allows.

Thanks for following us through to the birth of our beautiful healthy daughter Lucy!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Being pregnant is hard.  Some parts of it are nice, and some parts of it are fun.  I am actively trying to enjoy as much of it as I can, because there are few things I hate more than getting to the other side of an experience and realizing I wasted most of it being unhappy about it.  But the fact remains that I weigh more than I ever have in my life, the skin of my stomach resembles Craters of the Moon National Park, and I have a hiccuping energy vacuum encroaching on most of my internal organs.  All these factors and more can combine to make the simplest dang tasks seem like the most difficult and daunting feats in the whole world.

That being said, I walked across campus, made dinner, and drew a comic today!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Boy, I had big plans for posting comics over Christmas break, but it seemed like when I wasn't with family, baby-prepping, or working on my thesis I was too physically tired to pick up my tablet and pen. We are in the home stretch now--- at the end of this week I'm officially full-term, so even though our due date is February 8, it could almost be any day. 


Luckily we've got an arsenal of wonderful people around us to help, including my brother:

...when he remembers, that is.