Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Climbing Back Up

I have random happiness tonight. I'm not sure why it's surfacing, but we don't question brilliance now, do we? I am in awe of the weather, though I know rain is coming. I am in love with my children. I am making peace with my job. I am so blessed with amazing girlfriends, incredible relatives, a community I am proud to call home.

But wait. There's more. I played volleyball tonight, just saw the righteous season finale of "Parenthood," and I'm 2/3 through Mockingjay, book 3 of The Hunger Games trilogy. Oh man, oh man! Am I Team Peeta or Team Gale? Well, I'm Team Katniss. I want her to win.

And today I looked up the coordinates of my heart. True story. I now know the coordinates of Lake Tweet, which isn't just a place, but a living thing comprised of family, history, memories, fun. The best of times. The place I think of when I need a haven, a hope.

And I've needed that lately. These past few months have been a little trying for me. I'm still sorting through the reasons why. But my life has ebbed, my flow crippled a bit. It wasn't just work, or winter, or wanderings. It might have been all three or none of them. It just was.

I'm not going to try to explain it. But I am going to keep propelling myself forward, keeping my priorities in mind, my heart in armor when it needs to be and blazing like the sun when it doesn't.

Someday, I'm going to write a book, I think. Maybe more than one. And maybe I won't. That's hard to admit, but it's an option. I might never get my mind around it, but getting anywhere is the journey. And I'm having such a good trip.

My crowning glory in this life might be my children. They're beautiful.

And they are learning how to be aware of others, how to be grateful. How to live well. 

I took the older two and the baby to the fairgrounds to ride bikes, scooters, and strollers while Colby napped with Daddy on Sunday. At one point, Lily wanted a drink and then kept riding her bike. She was across the track from me, and we kept missing each other near the water station. I finally left the bottle on the ground and borrowed rocks from a slag pile to spell out her name where she would see it. 

I knew my girl would love this trick. What I didn't know is that she'd be smart and patient enough to return the gesture. When I came back around, I was touched to see her response. Where her name and the water bottle had been, I found this:

Raising her and her siblings up right. That is the goal, the struggle, and the reward. Most of all, it's a blessing. And I'm back up, ready to soldier on.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Surely, I have something to say. Some cute pictures to post. Some wit or fire or feat to share with you.

(How about just one cute photo of Colby and Ava's adorable new puppy, Faith?) 

A feat? Oh yes. How about this? I keep forgetting to tell anyone that Max ate an American cheese single that was sitting on the table a couple of days ago. It had been in the diaper bag with another piece for ... oh, say... a week? I was cleaning out the diaper bag when I found them, put them in a 'trash' pile and then got distracted. When I turned around, only one slice remained.

Well, he's fine. Said it tasted fine, and what was I to do?

There are other things going on around here too. Luke is a full-fledged toddler now, toddling all around with one, sometimes two, arms in the air for balance. Totally adorable. He is a happy guy with an infectious laugh. One of his tricks is to attack his big brother Colby, grab on to his shirt and hang on for the ride while both of them giggle. Good stuff!

Tonight I got to do about ten minutes of yoga with Lily before the babies tore me down. But man, it felt fabulous. A good reminder to me that I need to take care of myself. I love yoga. It loves me. We should be together.

Marriage is kicking along just fine too. Hubs surprised me by hitting Valentine's Day right on the head this year. We went on a little date last night, and we're sharing some kind of sinus ailment. The kids get bathed, the laundry and dishes get done. We work together. And we still kiss several times a day. True love. It's all good.

I am feeling a bit lighter the past four or five days. And that's a good thing too.

And it's late. The merry-go-round starts again around 5:45 a.m. (And, in truth, it never stops.) So I guess that's all for now.

Good night, loves.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Grows Everywhere

So I know Valentine's Day gets a bad rap. It's certainly commercialized, and I remember it not being the best in my single days. But it's kind of sweet too.

Because love grows everywhere. On so many trees and in so many different ways. It's the friend you call after you get a promotion or a pink slip. It's the person you want to hold on to when you are feeling as though you're spiraling out of control in this crazy world. It's that bowl of chicken noodle soup someone brings by when you're sick and single or away from your family or the only one in your family left in this world.

It's someone having your back, your history, your standing invitation for that Thanksgiving meal. It's showing your kids that you love them bunches and that they'll always be your Valentine. And later, when they're in high school and single (hopefully at least one year, if not always,) they'll remember that  it's okay to not have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, because that's not what Valentine's Day is all about. 

Because love grows everywhere, on so many trees..... in so many different ways. 

{Watch out, Elvis... Luke, a.k.a Bedroom Eyes, can't seem to keep his eyes open in photos.}

Thursday, February 9, 2012

This Camel's Back

I won't deny I've had trouble stringing a post together this week. I am all right, but I am in a bit of a personal struggle. There's a lot on my plate, as is usual. But I think I've reached a place where every new dilemma feels like the straw that breaks this camel's back.

Today, a couple of things pulled me from my rumination. The first is a sight I always welcome on my long walk up the hill to my office from where I park. You have to look closely to see it here....

"Don't Freak Out."

This is good advice. It's the graffiti version of one of my most simple mottos: Keep Calm and Carry On. But this works. Especially when I'm making that transition from long solo commute full of million-detail thought up the hill to office and email inbox and colleagues and work.

Another item that shook me emotionally and slapped some sense in to me was this beautiful post, this beautiful mission from my new favorite blog to follow: Momastery. Blogger Glennon has my admiration, my attention, my utter astonishment. And just now, as I surfed over there to search for the post link to add here, I found a new post from Glennon about just how successful today's mission was. And as I read and marveled, I had that wonderful sensation of every pore on my body, from my toes up, giving me chills because, yes, we all matter. Each one of us can make a difference. And I know that $10 I sent to the cause is the best $10 I've spent all week, maybe all month.

I am thankful for these things that pull me out of my silent reverie of worry, of misery, of uncertainty. Tonight, after we got the kids settled into bed, Shrek came down for his ultimate trifecta: popcorn/loveseat/TV, but I stayed upstairs to think, to clean, to shower, to regroup.

And my brain started working a little better. While I really don't think I need to be adding even the tiniest thing to my To Do list, I have decided there are some things I need to do, pronto! Here, in no certain order, are things I MUST do soon:

  • I must schedule and keep an appointment to see an old, dear girlfriend. Rector, you know who you are. I need you. 
  • I must connect with Shrek. There must be a date and heels and aftershave. Just us. Soon.
  • I must help others every chance I get. I must step out of myself and my worries. I must alleviate those of someone else. 
And that's enough for now. Because I am really looking at the kids. I am really enjoying these days of mothering. I really do know what is important. But sometimes the burden of keeping all of it running, my whole life, under duress, knocks me into mental paralysis. And the worst thing I can do is what is most natural to me: to be my own worst critic. 

So, I see you, self. You're OK. You're doing fine. Don't freak out. We'll make it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I feel as if I am enjoying a new lease on life tonight. I have traveled a valley of darkness in a sector of my life over the past few days, but today, I emerge. I am inspired to continue doing my best, being true to myself, being interested and interesting and believing, as always, that good will triumph over evil in every house of my being.

That said, I'm exercising my need to multitask this evening. I have no less than five tabs open on my laptop. I'm on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as I type. I also believed (ambitiously, note past tense) that I would have the time and fire to sort through photos on the couch beside me to find shots of Luke at every month of age from birth to one year for his baby book. It goes without saying that I have long since given up on following the complex movie Shrek is watching. It's nothing but noise and annoyance to me now, but this is how we roll.

I am but a speck of sand on this glorious planet. My problems are so small and my blessings so great. My children grow like weeds. They are becoming good little citizens of the human race, and that is so important to me.

I am feeling humbled tonight, but empowered and in flight as well. Inspiration is that hand that reaches down and says, "Yes, you, now. Let's go!"

And who, in their right mind, would say no?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Icing on the Cake

Not sure why, but this phrase has been coming to mind a lot lately. It could be that I have cake on the mind--specifically, leftover Frances Tornes cake from Luke's birthday bash. This is available only here in my small town, and I tell all who do not have ready access to this woman's magical cake: I am so sorry. You are missing out.

It's kind of a double entendre, this phrase in my mind. If the cake is good enough, it doesn't need the icing. And, if I think of my physical self, that would mean that the many things I just don't have time for right now (plucking eyebrows, painting nails, and a couple of other things I don't care to share,) don't matter. They are the icing on the cake, yes, but this cake is fine for now.

But I think it's the other way of thinking about "icing on the cake" that tells the true story of my life right now.

It's nice that my body got an awesome workout yesterday when I joined my league volleyball team for a double-header, but the icing on the cake was the mental workout it provided.

It was so wonderful to spend the afternoon and evening with a mature, tantrum-free, well-behaved Lily at the dentist office and running errands today, but the icing on the cake was the "date" it became, the laughter and conversation we shared, the reminder that, oh yes, God gave me a daughter, and I am ever grateful.

And finally, it's so nice that I got to see my girlfriends and drink some fabulous moscato on Monday night, but the icing on the cake was seeing one of those girlfriends let down her burden to laugh and relax for three beautiful hours while all of us poured love on her sweet daughter, who has shown us all what it means to want something so bad, it hurts.

It might be enough to live your life, but the icing on the cake is gratitude, service and humility.

Godspeed, fellow humans. Don't just be good, do good.


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