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Found in my drafts, from January 17, 2014.

January 17, 2014

I love swimming!!!

Hugs are delicious.

Books, glorious books!

Cats: thankful.

It is the simple things. Saying yes to the now and to this.

GAPS and healing.

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This moment

December 21, 2013

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Simply picking one photo from our week. No words, simply savoring this moment.

What’s the one thing you can’t not do?

December 9, 2013

(Ahem, feeling a little sheepish some of you email subscribers received so many posts/emails from me today.) I finally hit publish on some drafts that’ve been hanging out for far too long on my blog.

What’s the one thing you can’t not do?
I am compelled to write, and share my heart. I deeply love others, and long to encourage, support, uplift, and connect precious women/friends with one another.

I feel nervous and vulnerable sharing my heart, and a bit exposed; and yet it feels like that one thing I can’t not do. Often I fight this, and I don’t write. Or I write but keep a blog post a draft, for far too long. I wrestle with what to share, how much to say, from which angle to write; the superfluous details, or the heart issues underneath the differentiating facts that get at what it means to be Human and are aspects of Life many of us struggle with. Our lives are different, yet our Lives are far more similar: we wrestle with different challenges and obstacles, and we celebrate with different joys and gifts.

And so, I’m stepping out on a limb, writing down what is on my heart, and sharing it with you.

And now, time to put this screen away, as I have two precious lads I need to fully BE with today.

For you, what’s the one thing you can’t not do?

Ramblings

December 8, 2013

Ten minutes: go! There’s much I’ve been pondering, and much I want to remember. So, I’m striving to pause and write down some of my thoughts.

– I am so deeply thankful for pausing, noticing, and connecting with my boys!!!! It is profound the difference it is making for us.
– S has really been opening up: talking so so so much, giving me hugs, kisses, and so much affection, and really responding to what I say and do. I’m striving to honor him and respond well, so he knows he can continue to open and share.
– silly boys were struggling, bickering over the duplos. From the kitchen, I told them go get more, then I stood over them and told them to listen to each other and figure it out; then exasperated I bent down and started silently picking up the blocks and clicking them together (intending to put them away), lime green gloves on, still dripping soapy water. S merrily exclaimed, “Look what Mama’s building!” SF asked to add a block. SF still grumbled and seemed out of sorts, but then he calmed and added a block, too. I quietly kept building. Both were pleased with how my structure looked. And then, I quietly walked away, back to the kitchen and dishes and dinner prep. S exclaimed, “I’m the racer, SF is the builder!” and they delegated out their work, each working hard and contributing to what the other was doing. I was amazed: they needed me to connect with them. And I did. And once I peacefully held the space and bridged their struggle, they worked together, they kept playing, and they enjoyed being together while I finished getting dinner ready.

– I am meditating on “good enough”. I’ve struggled for years with longing to do everything “right” or “perfectly”, and it is so freeing to simply be striving for “good enough”. Doing something good enough, being good enough: it’s applying to everything these days.
– we decorated our Christmas tree today. It’s a beautiful glorious mess, fully showcasing the realness of our life right now. Half of the ornaments are shimmering golden balls, and the other half are constructed by a three, four, or five year old: resplendent in construction paper, googly eyes, yarn, foam figures, glitter, finger paint; being paper chains, toilet paper crowns, tissue paper “stained glass” images of candles, and clothes-pinned dolls of scrap cloth and hair made of yarn.
– assimilate. I’ve been learning and growing in many ways, it’s time to pause, ruminate, and take in these changes. I’m working on this.
– I am discovering I love baths!! I never thought I had time to take a bath nor did I enjoy them, but oh how relaxing they are! I’m relishing that I am learning to slow down, pause, and breathe. And even say no to things.
– my phone fell into the sink when I was doing dishes. S sweetly comforted me, “it’s okay, it’s just a phone, and we’ve got each other.” Indeed precious son, we do. And that is enough. And I keep being struck by how these phones/computers/screens can suck us/me in, and ohhhh what I miss, and how beautiful Life is when I put them down and embrace what is in front of me. I was reading a picture book by Shirley Hughes, and on one page, children were at a park. The children were playing. Adults were talking with one another, walking, playing with the children, and swinging them on the swings. Not a single adult was looking at a screen. What a change that is. So yes, I am marveling and striving to use it less. And yet, I am also striving to give myself and others grace, for far better for me to take my kids to a park and check out for a moment on my phone, than simply let their energy build inside and be checked out at home. Balance. Balance. And good enough. Saying no to guilt, and yes to grace.
– I’m striving to multi-task less.
– and I’m striving to follow through with what my boys ask of me, either when they ask me or once I finish what I’m doing, rather than forgetting or simply moving on. So yes, I will come to you, I will listen, I will read, I want to see what you’ve made and what you’re doing.
– I loved our spontaneous trip up the mountain to snowshoe together. It was lovely, just me and my boys and our dog. With a broken phone so no pictures to document the day. Simply being present with them.

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Thankful.

November 30, 2013

Ten minutes to write, and on my phone, too!

I am deeply thankful for yesterday. Not quite a traditional thanksgiving; yet by noticing and appreciating precisely what IS, I am richly blessed and filled with gratitude.

Stopping to listen as each lad needed me, and we did some emotional scrubbing. Listening as the tears and anger flowed, so healing for all of us. Making a delicious lunch for my husband and our boys: turkey, cheese, avocado, and spinach sandwiches, carrots and sugar snap peas and hummus, and on thanksgiving paper plates, a cheerful silly paper tablecloth, and a beautiful flower bouquet. More listening more tears, more love. Piling in a heap on our bed together, peacefully and happily flipping through a catalogue together: all four of us. A yummy snack of egg and bacon burritos, with mango juice. More chicken soup for me. Healing my body. The gaps diet helping. Saying yes to hand in hand, and parenting by connection. It helps all of us, far more than anything else I’ve tried. Reading with S&S. Counting together: practicing by twos, fives, and tens (tens are easy, they say!!). Boys being so proud they’re “so good at math”. S reading so much. Being together. Going for a short walk in the crisp night air, crunching on snow, and seeing the stars together. So, so, so much I am deeply thankful for: it simply takes me shifting my focus and choosing what I focus my heart and eyes on.

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So much grace

June 30, 2013

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Aching just a bit: our cat is missing, and likely gone.

June 24, 2013

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Our beloved little cat is gone. We haven’t seen him for several days. And we live out in the country–we see the stars at night, we hear coyotes yipping and howling, our boys bike for hours up and down our dirt driveway, our yard is filled with sagebrush, chamisa, high alpine desert grasses, rabbits, little birds; and currently our cactus and wildflowers are blooming. He has been an outdoor/indoor cat, and losing him is a risk we have known we are taking. And yet, he has been so HAPPY. He has loved BEING outside. We did make a point to keep him inside every night, but lately he has not been too keen on coming in, and how he has LOVED being outside at the night.

After I couldn’t find him two nights, I wept. For him, for the ways we have loved him, for how my boys will grieve, for the sting of death, and for all that is hard. I held this space. I allowed myself to grieve, and to cry. And I prayed. I was aching with the ways we are aching and things are hard. And I was thankful. That I am not alone. That I can pray. And that I do. My mother shared with me, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam 3:22-23) and I remembered, “The Lord gave, and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) We had no idea how much time we would be blessed with the gift of Golly’s life. And what a gift, what a gift little Golly has been.

And I knew, when there is nothing I can do, when it is hard (and when it is so good), I longed to give thanks. And so I did:

  • for our cat, for his soft fur, for his meows and happy demeanor,
  • for how he tolerated little people–who poked his eyes (proudly declaring, “Eye!”), attempted to carry him (and almost dropped him), who pounced on him (the moment they walked in the door) to pet and love him, and no matter who the young children were, he would let them pet him, and he would sometimes offer up “meow?” to ask for help, saying that had been enough.
  • for how he loved S and SF, and truly enjoyed being with them. For how S and SF have loved him. How they would pause to pet him, seek him out to pet him, or simply to sit beside him wherever he was. And how he would sleep near them, when they were reading, playing with legos, or working busily on our floor.
  • for how he LOVED to go on walks with us! If he realized we were halfway down our driveway, he would coming running and meowing!! “You’ve left me! Wait up!” And then once he realized we were watching him, he would saunter down to a stroll…”Oh, I wasn’t in any hurry. I’ll come if I want to.” Ha!
  • for the ways his fur would blow in the breeze, as he galloped down the driveway with joy. Our BEAUTIFUL setting New Mexican sun–such glorious sunsets we have!!!–would color his orange fur such a splendid shade of orange and pink and tan and gray.
  • for how he would see Rusty (our dog) across the yard, come dashing up, gently box or pounce on his face or ear, and bound away. Such love shared by these two.
  • for how Rusty and Golly would frequently be found dozing together: Golly on the couch, Rusty next to him asleep on the floor; both laying side by side sharing the patch of sunlight on our living room floor on a winter morning or afternoon, and simply sleeping peacefully side by side, regardless the time of year.
  • for how Golly would push my phone aside, or plop down on my computer on my lap, meowing, telling me it’s time for him to have some love and attention.
  • for how proudly and happily he had recently discovered how to pounce on and capture lizards.
  • for how he’d sleep under our back porch stairs, while the boys happily jumped on our trampoline. He loved to be WITH us.
  • for how he’d come running, the moment we turned off the shower, to hop into the shower and drink the water and lick the drain/shower floor. Weird silly cat.
  • that he and my beloved were friends. Golly would sleep on our bed if I was out of town. Golly would simply be with him, when he woke at 4am on school mornings. Golly knew he could wrestle and pounce and bite his hand, in ways he wouldn’t do with the rest of us. And my beloved enjoyed playing with him, and simply being with him.
  • and for so, so, so much more.

This is the first day we had our little kitten! Oh we are smitten.

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I texted my husband something along these lines, “We found a cat; err, this cat found us. May we keep him?” 🙂 He said yes.

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He’s growing, and this is his home. We are thankful for him.

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Hmmm, this snow thing… He always watched, surveyed, and kept an alert eye over our surroundings.

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Such dear friends.

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Always WITH us, so content to nap right beside–or on–our books as we read together.

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GLORIOUS sunset, indeed.

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And he glowed in this light. Here he is, just after galloping across the yard to me.

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So alert, eyes and head darting this way and that, watching his three favorite cyclists pedal back and forth on our driveway.

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Dreadfully late one evening: I was having trouble sleeping, so I sat down and continued recording my thanks list. Golly snuggled in close, and slept beside me while I wrote. Such a gift, to have his warm presence and receive his gentle love.

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How our dear friend has loved our sweet cat. With squeals of delight after her nap, she gently pet and pat dear Golly.

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And here he is, asleep under Rusty’s ramp/next to our stairs in our backyard.He was sleeping, while we jumped on our trampoline. S is gently petting him with his toe.

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What a gift he has been. Last summer we discovered our new home used to have a slight rodent problem, I prayed and started to entertain the idea of getting a cat, and then lo and behold, one day we went here and there was a stray kitten in the parking lot! My friend hearing meowing, his paw was filled with cactus spines, and he was tiny, only three months old or so. She wanted to keep him, but her son was allergic to cats. She sadly declined, and we uncertainly said yes. Were we really ready for a cat?? Was this the right cat for us?? My mom, and sweet friends, are allergic to cats! What would Rusty think?? Could it keep rodents at bay? Did that matter? Oh my, how sweet the last ten months have been. He’s grown from a little kitten, to a silly and playful and ENERGETIC older kitten who dashed madly across our home (always at or just after our boys had gone to bed), to a beloved, patient, and content cat and companion. We had hoped this day would not come quite so soon.

Yesterday I shared with my boys that Golly has been missing for several days. S’s voice dropped to a whisper, “He might be lost, or dead. I hope he’s just lost.” I whispered back, “Me too. Me too. We don’t know. He might be lost. He might be dead.” S said, “yeah.” And then they went off to play. This morning, SF has been carrying around a stuffed cat. I asked, “Is that because you miss Golly?” SF said yes. I asked if they wanted to see pictures of Golly. I said it might be hard. They said they wanted to see pictures, and oh how they smiled and laughed with such joy at these pictures.

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Dear Golly, thank you for the love and joy you have brought into our home. If you are not gone, with such joy we will celebrate your return. And if you are indeed gone, we will–and do–miss you dearly.