May 22, 2013

...and some change

I was just looking at my calendar and there is just two weeks and some change until this little guy hits that big milestone.

Some mamas are feeling a bit sad and I suppose I can say the same, however mostly I'm excited. So excited. When the boy was in elementary school one kind teacher, who saw me struggling each day to leave this guy, kindly said to me, "We raise them to be awesome people and we raise them to leave us." I have carried these words around with me ever since. (By the way, I've done what she said...He is an awesome person. One of the most awesome people I know!)

I suppose I am lucky. My boy isn't "leaving" me. He'll be staying home, for awhile at least, attending the local community college and remaining a fixture in our home. So, yeah, it's easier than knowing he'd leave.

I am so excited though. For the next part of the journey. New chapters yet to be written. Not just for Archer but for all of us. So, when I was thinking "two weeks and some change," I really meant some change. I feel like maybe I should decide what I want to be when I grow up! Loving it! LET'S GO! 

May 9, 2013

everything. everyone.

make your own card
Today, right now, this quote spoke to me with such a feeling of "YES! True. True. True." That I had to keep it as a reminder to myself........
Everything matters. Everyone can teach me. Everyone is worth "it" (whatever "it" may be). Look through the lens of love and life is truth.
So far this has been a whirlwind year. Mostly an awesome whirlwind, however even all that good stuff can be exhausting. No complaints here just supreme gratitude that I can be exhausted with awesomeness.

May 5, 2013

Month in Numbers - April 2013

April was awesome. Crazy, busy, full. It seems like I barely had time to breathe but enjoyed every moment.

Here we go...Let's see if I can break it down in numbers.

On April 3 I tured a glorious 39 years old. I, for one, love my birthday and cherish every new year and love the numbers as they get bigger. Maybe this love of aging will end one day, but I hope not.

I spent my birthday with 2 amazing family members. 1 cousin, 1 brother (and I met 1 "new" nephew). Gotta love a day like that.

1 birthday dinner made by my most amazing husband. 1 birthday lunch with a wonderful friend.

On April 6 my boy came home from 14 days away (in Palau with his grandparents). I hugged him at least 20 50 times.

The boy decided to go to prom. Tux = $119; dinner = $50; a stuffed owl for his date (since he was going to be late due to a rugby game, oops) = $15.

My friend came back to Western Washington which meant lots of visiting. 1 trip to Port Townsend (which also means 2 ferry rides - love); 3 trips to Monroe; 1 trip to Everett; and countless phone calls and texts.

Celebrated a 40th birthday for an amazing lady with some great friends!

3 Rugby games (undefeated and headed for state in May).

1 going away party for a friend headed to the Coast Guard.

30 days of Q&A a Day completed.
5 lists completed via Moorea Seal (well on my way to completed all 52!).

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April 5, 2013

Month in Numbers - March 2013

A little late but here nonetheless...

Spent 3 days in Seattle with Troy for our first visit to Emerald City Comic-con. We had 3 day passes and visited the convention at least once each day.

 While in Seattle visited the Seattle Public Library 3 times. Took Troy there for his 1st time.

 And met, for the very 1st time(!), my big brother (outside of the library at 1000 4th Avenue). Brother number 2 out of 3. I am very blessed in the brother department (and I don't want to leave out that I have 1 pretty amazing sister as well).

 Had my 1st pedicure of the year on all 10 of my toes! :)

Watched 8 amazing seniors (and many other wonderful boys) be honored for their time spent wrestling. Archer made 24 little Key Lime pies for the event. Proud mama moment.

Took 1 more trip to Seattle to visit with my brother again(!) and had 1 piece of the best pie ever (!) at High 5 Pie.

Worked for 6 days at Cheeks so Laura could go on vacation. Now have 2 new pair of jeans for myself, 1 for my sister, and several shirts as well...(and a reminder of what it is like to work in retail).
wearing 1 pair of Merrells from the shoe store that previously was in Cheeks' location!

2 family gatherings, 1 for Paula's 57th birthday in Lynden and 1 for Easter in Marysville.

...and finally, sent my 1 boy off for 10 days in Palau (6440 miles away) with his grandparents. (The photo has nothing to do with it, I just think it's hilarious! haha)

March was awesomely busy...loved the craziness of it all!

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March 26, 2013

The Invitation.

During this year of what seems to be divine self-exploration, love for myself and the world, and opening up I've been coming upon words (there are always so many words) that just speak to me. This poem grabbed me and hasn't let me go.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Oriah, Mountain Dreamer

March 22, 2013

10 (more) things.

I've been reading (as in I've read and am rereading) Susannah Conway's book This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart. I don't have words for how much I love it so I won't even try. I just think everyone should read it...and so I recommended it to several people and one friend in particular who I KNEW needed it. As she was reading through it she'd text me and we'd meet and we had some of the best conversations. Last time we met she asked me about my 10 things (an exercise Susannah included at the end of one of the chapters).

So, I tried to come up with things I haven't already listed here.

Here you go Teresa. This list is for you. And me. And whoever.

 1. I'm a hugger. It's true. I love to hug. Sometimes.
 2. I love solitude.
 3. Until I need my people, then I NEED my people.
 4. My idea of heaven is big water and big trees.
 5. Music is necessary. Absolute must have.
 6. Quiet is golden. It's important to have both and know when each is needed. I suppose that kinda goes along with number 2, so I should add a number 11.
 7. I over use commas (a lot, lot, lot) and exclamation points (I'm so not sorry about this!) and ellipsis(ses...)...oh and (parentheses). I guess I just overuse punctuation. It's ok.
 8. I don't like clocks. Some people think this is weird. But. Whatever.
 9. I like to underline my books. Which is is why I need to buy non-fiction.
10. I swear. A lot. My child reprimands me and I try to keep it appropriate (like in public and such) but I do swear and I don't apologize for it.
11. I have a fourth sibling. On my other list I said I love all three of my siblings. But now I have four and I love him too...I love all FOUR of my siblings. And I think that is the perfect way to end this list!

March 14, 2013

Grandma's wall.

Growing up my grandmother had a wall of grandchildren. Photos covering a small space next to the loveseat. I wish I had a photo of that wall. A photo of the photos. I would be so happy with that right now.

The focal point were two long, vertical frames that housed school pictures of all the grand kids. Every year those photos changed out, a ritual grandma saved until all the pictures were collected. She would take the frames down from their place on the wall and we'd take out the old pictures one by one comparing them to the new. Noticing things, longer hair, same color shirt, goofy grins, someone who obviously needs retakes...The handwriting on the back, either mom's or the child's, if no one wrote grandma would jot down the year and into the frames the new pictures would go.

One always knew their place on the wall. It didn't change. Those pictures were hung in age order and that certainly was set in stone. Tracy, John, Shaun, Lorinda, Jerrie, Jennifer, Scot, Jeremy, Gina. Always.

six of the nine kids on the wall.
I loved this ritual. I loved being a part of this tribe. Except, oh of course there is an "except," a couple photos were mystery kids. Boys on the wall, but not one of "us." Faces that changed every year without fail but faces none of us had ever seen in person. Occasionally we'd ask a question of grandma, "Who are those boys?" "Why are they on our wall?" "Where do they live?" "Are they are cousins?" The answers were vague and grandma, being grandma, would shut down discussion and move onto something new. Funny, it was as if she satisfied our questions, until we realized that she hadn't answered us at all. She had that way.

I was fascinated with these boys on the wall. Watching their pictures change every year. They grew up right along with me. I imagined walking into grandma and grandpa's house one day an having them sitting there on the loveseat. I imagined a family reunion where I'd be in line for potato salad and I'd glance up and the boys would be getting a drink from the cooler. I imagined them showing up in Glacier and joining our kickball team. These things could happen, I thought, since they were part of us, part of the tribe.

However, these things never happened. We all grew up. Our pictures froze in time. Perpetually 18 years old on the wall. Our faces quit aging, our clothes remained the same, we were all just there, in order forever. The boys on the wall never showed up. They remained mysteries, secrets locked in the vault that was grandma.

Until. Until 2009. Until grandma left us on a chilly January morning with a few of those kids at her bedside. Until we were tasked with the inevitable of clearing out the home that grandma and grandpa had shared our entire lives. Until we had to sift through belongings that we'd always wanted access to but then felt too invasive to actually be doing. Until the end of life as we knew it.

2009. I officially had a new brother. And he had a half-brother who grandma added to her grandchildren. A card, a few more pictures, a notation in grandma's well preserved Bible.

One of those boys on the wall was mine. The first words to escape my lips were, "I've always wanted a brother." Of course this brought a strange look from my aunt and a laugh from my cousin. My aunt who says, "You have two." And my cousin who knew exactly what I was talking about. I had a new brother.

February 28, 2013

Month in Numbers - February 2013

February was a little month that held a lot! As to not delay, here's my month in numbers...

1 awesome tattoo! I'm in love.
 1  trip to Gig Harbor to celebrate my father-in-law's 70th birthday!
 4.5 mile walk with 7 of my mother-in-laws friends. This was my absolute favorite part of the trip...listening to their conversations, watching their interactions, seeing the different personalities shine through...I felt like it was one of those know the ones, where there are the older ladies and one younger lady who just absorbs it all. Like, How to Make an American Quilt or Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood...It was an amazing walk.

9  books I picked up at the library
1  book I actually read, in its entirety, from the library
6 cups of green tea that I drank in about 3 days. I had forgotten how much I love it!

1 dog that I dog sat for a total of 6 hours before she drove me batty with her whining so I dropped her off with my aunt. I love this princess so much but without her mama she's a sad girl.

In other news:
1  rugby match watched in the bitter cold with sprinkles and a not-so pleasant breeze.  (Watching our boys win? Well worth the cold.)
18 years of wedded bliss celebrated with my husband.
1 long-lost brother reconnected with (the coolest part of the month, but a story in the making so not a lot of details there, yet...)
1 ladies night out with 5 amazing women
28 days of Q&A a day completed

February 13, 2013

"I am one of the searchers.

There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach; we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.

We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.

For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves."
James Kavanaugh

January 31, 2013

Month in Numbers - January 2013

January didn't happen quite according to plan. Which is the point of plans, right? Plans aren't fool proof and changing is what keeps us on our toes.

I've followed Julie Kirk's Month in Numbers for awhile now and thought I'd try to do them in 2013. Let's see what happens. I tend to start out great and fall flat when I attempt to do regular-type-anything...(like photo a day, don't ask!)

So here I go. My month in numbers:

1 - the number of cousins I reconnected with! This is why I love facebook.
my little cousin Jeremy & I who reconnected this month! Love it!
3 - number of Stampadoodle/Cousin Wednesdays we were able to do! Yay!

4 - number of wrestling matches I attended
1 - number of wrestling tournaments I not only attended but also volunteered at!
1000 - number of pieces of plastic cutlery I purchased for said tournament

1 - number of trips to Seattle to send off a dear friend for three months.
1 - number of trips to see my mom & dad.
3 - number of trips mom & dad came here. 

16(ish) - the number of days I was sick (or recovering from sick).
44 - the number of Gossip Girl episodes I've watched. Don't judge. I finished Grey's Anatomy and this popped up and I was sick and not quite in my right mind. Now I'm stuck. It's a real (REAL) problem.

31 - number of days I completed Q & A a day! Woohoo!

January 21, 2013


make your own card

"And I say to you, I have also decided to stick to love. For I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind's problems. And I'm going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn't popular to talk about it in some circles today. I'm not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love, I'm talking about a strong, demanding love. And I have seen too much hate. I've seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I've seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who has love has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality." 

I was ready to write about the word I selected for the year, but then realizing it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day I thought he could say it more eloquently than I could. My one little word? Love.  

Love. Kind and tender. Fierce and fearless. Love for family, friends, strangers. Let love find a place in me everyday, let me show love everyday, let love find its way in the world. 
Sounds a bit...gushy, yes? But it's what is in my heart right now. December was filled with me trying to find a word and the word that kept pressing on my heart was love. Just love.

I am pretty excited to see what happens this year. I'm open and ready for a love-filled year.  

January 5, 2013

I love life in the Puget Sound.
there really isn't a way of getting around the "new year looking forward, looking back" thing that seems to inhabit individuals at this time of year. 
of course I get caught up in it too.
it's not a huge farewell and a glorious hello.
more like a gentle turning of a page.
I've spent the last week in quiet reflection and will probably spend the next week about the same. 
writing. planning. reviewing. dreaming. 
2012 was good. of course I am generally a glass-half-full kind of girl. there were some hard times but in general I can say I'm glad 2012 happened.
and...I'm looking forward to 2013.

 with the help of 
Susannah Conway, I've begun Unravelling the Year Ahead
and Carolyn Rubenstein, I've thrown a little Reverb Remix 2012 in...
it's felt pretty good to be a little more focused on the reflection of the past, the living in the right now, and the looking forward to what may come. 

welcome 2013

January 1, 2013

today was about:
slippers and jammies  
coffee and Grey's Anatomy on Netflix
looking back and looking ahead
welcoming a new year gently
saying goodbye to last year with a smile.