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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Puttin' Up; a story of love in a mason jar


For as long as I can remember, we have left Mama and Papa's house (that's Ma-maw and Pa-paw for those who spell it correctly) with mason jars and freezer bags of things they have put up that year; fig preserves, pears,sweet pickles, pink lady peas, black eyed peas, butter beans, pecans and peanuts (oh the peanuts..).

A few weeks ago after a visit, I came home with figs, a bag of pecans that Papa had already shelled, and peas. My freezer and pantry were stocked and everyone is happy when Momma says on a Sunday we'll be having "Mama and Papa" Peas for dinner or Figs wrapped in prosciutto with goat cheese(okay...so the adults are happy about that one but have you tried it? Game changer.)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Happiness Crisis

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” ~Brother David Steindl-Rast
Photo courtesy of Tiny Buddah

In the past month I have read at least three books with a similar message...about living abundantly where you are, savoring small moments, finding pockets of time for yourself to enjoy the small things in life. Really great reads. Really uplifting. In that time, I have also had countless conversations with friends about similar topics as well as came across a few blog posts and many podcasts speaking the same message. This conversation is literally everywhere I turn. Coincidence? Uh, I don't think so.

Certainly if I am reading/hearing so much of this need and desire to seek happiness in the tiny moments and to just plain enjoy the life that is happening right in front of us that this is some sort of real problem with folks. A Pain Point. It feels like a Happiness Crisis... a problem that people are struggling with day to day. Why are we seeking these small moments and trying to learn to really appreciate what we have and where we are in life when we should be doing that without even thinking about it? What can I do to make sure this is no longer a struggle for me but just the way I live?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

All good things are wild & free...

As the teacher handed out the tambourines and egg shakers I watched her eyes light up with excitement. We had our first day of music class together and it was everything I hoped it would be. As I sat there shaking the eggs and singing Old MacDonald I flash backed to attending a similar class with Aiden when we lived in Chicago. I loved that time that we had together. I loved watching him play and interact with other little ones, picking up the rhythm of the songs and tapping along. He still loves music and I believe that those classes helped build what will hopefully be a lifetime of appreciation.

I'm so grateful to have the chance to do this with Piper as well. She will be one tomorrow. One year since she came into our lives and changed it forever. One year of adjusting to life with two children and navigating the ways to make sure they both feel attended to and loved no matter what. One year of many sleepless and disrupted nights as we realized she wasn't going to be quite the sleeper that her brother was at this stage. One year of recognizing the differences between the two of them but loving all of those little differences. One year of watching her interact and adore her big brother and feeling proud that he has such a loving heart of gold.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Forever Young Part 2

A few months ago, I wrote a post about how the song "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan is sort of my love letter to my children. The words perfectly sum up how I want them to live. I am drawn back to that song today. Today is my oldest son's first day of Kindergarten. Big kid school.

As we walked home from dropping him off on his first day that song popped into my head. The words filling my soul as they do each time. "May God bless you and keep you always...may your wishes all come true..." I know so many Mom's who will shed a tear or two today as they make that same walk home. For me, this day marks him becoming a big kid. That baby'ish ness is soon to fade and I know that. It hurts my heart. This day is hard for me because I know that some of his innocence will soon be lost. Soon he'll have to learn that not everyone is a 'friend'. He'll see a kid being cruel to another kid (hopefully not to him). He'll have to REALLY follow some rules. Have expectations placed upon him. Report cards. Eventually he may get his feelings hurt. His heart broken. Up until this point we have been able to protect him from these things. Give him a hug. Comfort him always.

This day also is exciting. I know the fun that awaits. The life long friendships to be made. The silly games. The happiness of playing at recess. His school career will be long and I look forward to seeing what he does with it.

I do hope he stays forever young. Keeps his spunk and spirit and individuality no matter what. "May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung.." We'll be waiting at that bus stop at 2:20 every day still ready to give hugs, give comfort and hi-five!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Through the Woods We Ran.....

I know it's almost time. The sitter arrives. I know  I have a list a mile long to accomplish for work in a short time, but the days have felt long. I have felt needed every moment of every day. It's okay. This season of Motherhood is temporary. I know that. Filled with magical little moments but also tiring to those in charge of small mouths. Seeking peace only for a few moments I know will fill me up. The coffee shop and my computer can wait...even 30 minutes. I run to you. Entering your cavernous shelter of greenery I almost immediately relax. You provide a slight relief from this sweltering Southern heat.

I've never been able to run in my life. Not 'really' run. I don't do 5k's. I don't buy special shoes or clothes for running. I have no desire to have those marathon stickers on my car. I could rarely run a mile without numerous stops. Not around tracks. Not on pavement. I hate running on pavement. Yet when I enter your magical forest my legs move swiftly. As if they want to run. They need to.  My mind clears. I'm present. I run. I breathe in the pine and exhale all of that tension I was feeling just moments ago. Do your lush tree tops just fill my lungs with the extra oxygen I have needed? Is that how and why I do it?

Am I running from something? Towards something? Simply clearing the noise and mess in my head? It doesn't even matter. It's a brief but magical escape from the duties of the day. It's not about the running. Yes. The sweat feels good. I love feeling like I've accomplished something and am doing something good for my body. Knocking out a mile, two miles in a brief time feels like I'm making the best use of my day.

If I were told I had to move away from here tomorrow I'd mourn you like losing a childhood best friend. I'd be looking back at you out the car window with longing. Your many winding trails. The easy ones I walk along with my family. The challenging ones I find on my own. The really challenging one I did with my husband one Saturday morning on a 'date'.  You have shown me so much.  You have shown me peace, grace, beauty, and that I am but a small piece of a greater puzzle. You have given me new dreams and goals. Shifted my priorities. Given me a chance to think. Taught me what things are important to me.  When you cool in the Fall we see each other more often. That is the real season of our time together. That and the Spring. The humidity dissipates and I can run even further....taking on greater challenges.

Thank for your today. For allowing me to breathe in and breathe out and reset my soul.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Motherhood '15

I didn't expect to love you guys so much. Honest. I knew I'd love you...of course I knew that. Mothers love their children. It's a given. Forever. No matter what. However, the love I feel as a Mom some days takes even me by surprise at times. The depth. The level of love that wants to explode from my chest just by looking at you in certain moments. You do or say something so cute or intelligent. You simply smile. The way you chat with us. It blows my mind. Yesterday was Mother's Day. Aiden is 5. Piper is 8 months old. I've been a Mom for almost 6 years!!! SIX YEARS!!!  (child's play for those with older children). However, if I just sit and think about it..it is still hard to comprehend. That I'm a Mother. That time is flying by so quickly. I've said it before, but being a Mom wasn't something that I necessarily daydreamed about when I was young (if you read back to the start of this blog you'll see what I was daydreaming about) like many young girls do. Dreaming of names, nurseries and so on. I wish I would have in many ways because what delicious day dreams they'd be. If I knew then what I knew now right? If I knew how incredible you'd be or how much fun we have as a family together. I would have sat around with a giddy smiling daydreaming about you both.


Some days it's hard. I can't lie. My patience gets tested. I'm tired. I'm dealing with my own "stuff" and so it's hard to just focus on you guys solely.We're all human and have daily things we deal with or struggle to get done.  And I kind of hate myself a little for writing this but motherhood does indeed change you. I can say that it has changed me in ways I never knew possible. Ways that are hard to write or describe in this moment. I detest the endless blog posts or articles telling women (those who aren't mothers yet or maybe don't want to be frankly) that they haven't lived until they have children. It's not fair. It's not for everyone. Like coffee or seared tuna. Sometimes you get what you didn't know you wanted and POOF...it's awesome. That's me. I didn't know I wanted it but am oh so glad that it happened. I'm a proud member of the Mom's Club. Now I get to indulge in those daydreams but I picture you older (20's) and us sitting around laughing with a bottle of wine. I see you both with 'someone' and us loving that person like family (like our in-laws love us). I cant wait. I don't want to rush either though. I've learned to savor those sweet moments. When you call me "Mommy" and hug me for no reason I realize that may not last forever. When I walk in and see that little baby face looking up at me with a smile. Always happy to see me.  I hope we do a good job. I hope you learn what it means to be authentic and yourself. That you are reading this and are happy and doing your thing. If you're not. If you don't know what your 'thing' is yet..then just know it's NEVER too late to find what it is that makes you soar. No matter what though...thank you. Thank you for making me a Mom.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Pictures

Let's all give a hand for that wonderous season called Spring!  We were up in Illinois last week for Easter and I forgot how glorious those first signs of spring are up in the Midwest. The grass is a bright and fresh shade of green, everything smells new and is coming to life again. It was so great to spend some real time back home with family and friends.

I feel like I didn't get told about a special secret. The Mini Session! Whoever came up with that concept is a genius.  Holy Heck. I wish I had known about them when Aiden was little because he'd have many more portraits from his baby days.