at the center

my mom took this picture of me and my sister cory just about an hour ago...right after we ran and leaped and twisted through the rain. i seriously love these storms. i can't get enough of that cleansing rain on my skin.
this picture turned out a bit funky...i know that she didn't mean to take it this way...and yet, i am really loving it right now. it kind of feels parallel to my inner workings. there is a circle of disorganization whirling around me. everything feels a bit of a blur. there are moments of great clarity and then they disappear when my eyes adjust to a new angle. everything can sometimes feel so hazy. i have been feeling a little quiet lately...some internal processing and some realizations of the hardest kind...the ones that show you where you need to grow. i suppose transition is supposed to be that way.
the picture kind of spoke to me of all of that. that there are seasons in life that seem a bit blurry...when you are being born into new things in your life...(a great post about that here, you must read)...but at the center of it all...their is intense JOY for all of us...there is enough for all of us.
There was more than enough for me and Cory this evening...and there was an insane amount of rain to help it sink down deep within.
those are the kind of moments that bring me back to that center...right where the joy is...and the hope.


a day in the sun

while she ate leaves... sucked on rocks... and claimed his fishies as her own... he immersed himself in the coolness of the hose water... drank A LOT of it... and was all around a happier boy because of it! All the while I was clutching a glass of sun-brewed sweet green tea ( a little piece of antioxidant heaven!). Hope you are staying cool...and hydrated!


being enough

Me and Asher (and Journey in utero) November 2006
magnificent mystery
incredible life
you open my eyes to magic
already- I am transformed.
you are my perfect creation
the thrill of my soul
most intimate communion
and, yet, a perfect stranger.
I love you
what I can even imagine
what will it be...to look into your eyes
after all this time
what sweetness
abounding dreams
endless love
the most beautiful of all blessings
I wrote this for Asher before he was born. Before I met him face to face...before I smelt him and held him and kissed the slope of his nose. I came across this writing as I was trying to update the journals that I keep for the children.
I've been thinking a lot about this boy. This boy with slender limbs and tiny frame that is seemingly too small for his spirit...that builds tight muscles around the energy that constantly tries to fly away and reach out, in order to keep it contained. I am thinking about how he moves about recklessly and with wild abandon...sometimes stumbling around awkwardly while other times appearing to have the agility of a cat. I am thinking about this boy...about how his love of being rescued drives his play...about his hesitation in trusting in the moments that his heart wants to be brave. I think about his eyes and the way they reflect the constant noise in his mind...how when there is a moment of stillness...his eyes focus and peace rains through. I am thinking of the frequency of his being...the way he wakes me up without having to say a word...just walking in the room. I am thinking of what I knew of his soul during pregnancy...and how I talked with him and what I wished for him. I am thinking of how I became a college graduate, a new student, a woman with child, a wife, and a mother all within the same year. I am thinking of how much that all was for me. I am thinking of the times where there was stillness and security...and the times where my world felt like it was drowning in a sea of uncertainty. I am thinking of how unavailable I must have been to him in his early years...of drowning every once in a while in that sea and feeling like I was bringing him down with me. I am thinking of the complexity of it all and how I resisted my reality and the social connotations of being a wife and mother. I am thinking of how when I just released myself from that hold and looked at him...it all became very simple. I am thinking of the memories that stay with me of his infancy and toddler hood...of how he would get an entire room clapping just by doing it himself...how he would kiss with a wide open mouth and how he wants to press his head tightly up against yours when he hugs. I am thinking of how he likes to touch my neck while he sleeps...wrapping his little hand as far around as possible...like he is afraid he might fly away if he isn't grounded in something.
My mind won't stop...but my typing will. I'll keep on thinking...wondering if I am enough...wishing I could be more for this magnificent mystery.



His love for bugs just keeps on growing.
It has reached the point where he is starting to resemble one. (I could just squeeze him all day long.)


what i've been aching for...

These summer months are really tough for me. The heat, the exhaustion, the unbearable fact that we are incapable of being outside for more than 30 minutes at a time without growing very weary of the triple digit temps...it all just weighs on me. My dear Asher seems to acquire some form of cabin fever...as do I...once we have nearly driven each other to madness each and every day. Today I was just talking to my sister Cory about how we exhausted our resources inside the house. We played outside at 7 in the morning...we cooked and ate breakfast...we built things from play dough...we lined up our bugs in a row...we listened to CD's of music and stories...we read books...we played with our bugs in the dishwasher...we finger painted...and then I think it was about 9 am. What were we supposed to do now???? There are just some days during the summer where all I want to do is....ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. So...today after complaining enough to her...she invited us over to do just that. Nothing but lie around on her couch...reading books, watching animal planet, eating Annie's mac and cheese and drinking chocolate milk (asher) and caffeine free coke (me). aaaaauuugggghhhhh...it was just what we needed on a Monday. And then... the perfection just kept on coming. After dinner...after putting Journey down to sleep...I felt the storm coming. Monsoon season is upon us.

It is so perfectly timed...this natural nourishment. It is always around this time of the summer season where I am literally crawling out of my skin...aching for moisture...longing for change...needing some kind of break in the miserable consistency of our "sunny and hot" forecast. I always think fondly of these storms...that cause every living thing in the valley to reach up to the skies with arms open. I was so eager for this one...and after laying Journey down for her slumber...I couldn't resist walking outside...feeling the drops of rain drenching my thirsty skin and feeding this kind of hunger that only comes from spending a summer in the valley. The storms come with such severe passion...they don't come gently. They come thundering and blowing with the same kind of ferocious intensity they were called forth with. They come with loud confidence in their importance. They are proud...courageous...and richly beautiful.

I managed to take these pictures while I danced in the rain and let the wind whip around me. I was really so elated to capture a few strikes of lightening...a first for me. They aren't anything profound...yet they really hold a moment for me. They speak of confidence and strength and certainty...and they are treasured pictures because of the experience of taking them. After being out there by myself for a length of time...I ventured inside to find Asher, who was, of course, so curious as to why I was so WET. I took him outside and convinced him to run in the rain with me. He wanted to show his bugs the rain...and so he put them all in their "house" and held them up to the sky..."SEE...rain!". Oh my sweet boy. I would still be out there with him if it weren't for the fact that he was desperately tired...and for my husband reminding me about the fact that our camera is indeed NOT waterproof. Oh yes. I guess a gal needs to come in from the rain eventually. I'm still just holding deep gratitude for the fact that I was OUT in the rain at all...and for the truth that in those moments when I was...I didn't want to be anywhere else in the world.


a new dress...

...for my little gal. I ended up finishing this dress this past weekend after MUCH help from my mom (again). I am just bewildered at how some people manage to be so darned amazing at sewing (and so much more!) while at the same time creating such a safe, healthy, nurturing and engaging environment for their children to be raised in. I had a hard time imagining that kind of balance while feeling the guilt of sitting Asher in front of a TV for nearly TWO hours while I finished this little dress for Journey. It looks so simple to make in appearance...oh but don't be fooled...making clothes is no easy task. I only hope that it will become easier as time goes on and as knowledge grows. I don't know how many times I muttered phrases like "I don't even know what that means"...or "I have no idea what you are talking about."...or "Oh well...it doesn't have to be perfect, I am still really new at this."...or a very simple "huh??" which was a great word to wrap up the great amount of sewing ignorance I was feeling throughout the experience. Nevertheless...it is complete. And while I know that I need to work on having patience with the entire process of sewing clothing (I'm dying to get my hands on this book)...I really truly enjoy the process of making things...particularly the process of making things for my little ones. There is something really beautiful about holding intention for someone while creating something with your hands. Love that. And I ended up having quite an attraction to this dress. It is still a bit big in places...but I think it is something that can follow her into toddler hood where it may serve as a great summer shirt! The possibilities for wearing it out and getting it really good and used make me smile. And hopefully once I have mastered (can one really master anything?) the art of reading patterns and sewing with ease...it will become something that is hugely economical for my family. That is my hope. I would love for this to become something that helps bring me into greater simplicity. Until then, I have a lot of learning to do, a lot of mistakes are yet to be made...and getting better acquainted with the art of sewing through the only way that I know how...practice, practice, practice.
So be on the lookout for a few more attempts at becoming the seamstress I never knew I was. I only have a few requests when viewing this and any other sewing project of mine that may find their way here...only because they are my own guidelines that I use for myself when viewing something I have created. No judging is allowed. And....don't look too closely. Sound good?
Isn't she beautiful? (the gal...not the dress)


very, very sneaky

Because there is always broccoli left on his plate.
And because I know that it requires a lot of good nutrition to be this crazy...

I've decided to get sneaky. This book is helping me get that way. I know that Asher will eventually love all the green things on his plate BECAUSE they are full of wonderful, life prolonging things, but in the mean time, I am feeling ok about sneaking. He really is quite a healthy eater...and the boy LOVES his fruit...but he does have an inclination to ward off any food that happens to be leafy. I wanted to feel more confident in the fact that he isn't going heavily deficient in any one area concerning his nutrition, so I saw this book and thought I would give it a go. Talk about being creative with meals! I tried a recipe out for the first time last night. Basically, you make these purees of all different types of food that are PACKED with healthy goodness...and then you add them to foods that your children gravitate towards. Basically you make a healthy version of something that usually is lacking a bit in that department. I don't want to teach him to think that these foods are ok to eat without educating him on WHAT I am putting in there...so believe me...I will NOT be misleading once he begins to understand food concepts a little bit more. I am all about being honest and educating children about healthy eating habits. I am still talking to him about all of the good things I give him and how they help him grow. No worries.

I like to think of this approach as being resourceful...and FUN..and even a bit adventurous. You'll never believe what we had in our tacos last night. Pureed blueberries and spinach. YUM. I wasn't a huge fan...but Asher INHALED an entire taco and even told me that he "yiked" the yummy. Josh came home late and helped himself to one without me letting him in on the sneakiness of it all. He ate one and said..."this is really good...what is in here?". I told him and then he helped himself to seconds.

Success. Except for the whole part about me not really liking it. I am sure it was just because it reminded me of a sweet salsa...and I don't really have an appreciation for that. So...tomorrow I am thinking of Baked Ziti with a bit of pureed sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, and tofu added in.

Shhhhh...don't let Asher know... or Josh...although he is already suspicious about the tofu being in the fridge. One of those things that I know he will love (okay, okay...he won't MIND it)...once he tries it.

Did I really just post a picture of a dirty plate? Sorry about that one.


bits of beauty

trees caught mid-dance Heavy with the day...the babes and I decided to head out on a "relaxation ride" after lunch, in hopes of catching some beauty around us. I like what that motive does for me. Looking for beauty makes everything a bit more beautiful. We ended up taking a jaunt out to lower salt river and came across a little picnic area near the water. By this time the babes were sound asleep...so I couldn't resist turning it into an opportunity to read my daily comfort from Simple Abundance...a book that my treasured friend Karyn gave to me for mother's day this year, while I sat and watched the beauty (and took a few pictures). I loved that the entry was about approaching things, such as making dinner, with great creative intent to help discover more authenticity in my life. mmmmm...you can bet I put that lesson to use while I made dinner this evening. I loved holding that in my heart while creating a meal. There was something very mindful about it...and fun. I think that kind of truth can be used in any aspect of life...with whatever one may be doing. Today it was the kind of truth that helped turn an ordinary drive into something quite spectacular, really.

a window to earth.air.water


bear with me

a girl and her mama
I got a glorious massage about 5 hours ago (thank you dear Abby...do you read this?)...just being in the office made me want to start practicing again...anyone need a massage? Anyway...if I am talking in circles, just go with it. It will be over quickly (ya right, huh!).
Change is good. I made a few changes on the blog. Brightened things up a bit. It seems to be just what I need. I only wish I had the computer comprehension to download a more original backdrop...or better yet...create my own! Wouldn't that be ideal. Anyone out there willing to teach me? I love that I don't know who all drops in here. Several times over the last few months I have received random e-mails from people I know, who I didn't realize visited us here, just encouraging me and lifting me up with kindness. I've had face to face conversations or phone conversations with others who also mention this place and what they think of it. Or, I am surprised by a comment or two from people that leave a little trace of their visit in the comment section. I love it all...and it makes me so happy to think that a tiny little community takes place here. I started this whole blogging biz with little intention. I knew of a few (two to be exact) other people who used blogs as places to share pictures and stories with family and friends. So...that is how I started it and just intended to post pictures every once in a while with a blurb here and there about the chilis. It hasn't morphed into anything grand or beyond that on the screen by any means...but it HAS done a whole lot more for me "behind" the screen, if you will. After stumbling upon a few mommy blogs that linked to other blogs...I discovered these really wonderful, creative and SUPPORTIVE communities of bloggers. You can see what blogging has done for a LOT of people out there just by reading their posts and viewing their transformations. I think that is really awesome! I got inspired and am still inspired to use this space as a creative outlet...a place to write and dream and share bits of myself with others. A place to record moments in time with my babes. A place to just...be. A source of creative energy. I look forward to coming here when I can. I look forward to sharing myself here, and, although it isn't ALL of me...just a few bits and pieces that I FEEL like sharing in this space...it feels great to be here and I LOVE the possibilities it brings. I like the fact that I don't know how long I will be blogging here or what this space will "become"...but I know that it will evolve and change, just as I do, for as long as it exists. I like knowing that some family and friends that don't see us often get a peek into a few of our days. I like the surprise visitors that come here and the times that conversations are engaged in and those that I don't even know who visit now and again. I am happy for all of it.
Through my own cha-change...my own transformation...I have been thinking about some of that stuff. About my voice, about being heard, about friendships and communities of people and what it means to nurture who I am. For some reason, this place has been coming to mind as a kind of "meditation room" for me. Sometimes I just come here to write...and sort through something...or I come to "record" moments in time for me and my loves. In any regard...I kind of reach a point of goodness while being here. I have been noticing that when I can create something, I feel more whole. It is like having those relationships in life where the energy exchange is equal...where you walk away from a conversation feeling more FULL and alive than before. I want to foster more of that. Not only in choosing to nurture the relationships in my life that bring me that kind of love...but also through creating. It is all a part of aligning my energy and values with what is good and positive in this world.
All of this means a few things to me. Turning my energy towards the positive. Lending my strengths to the things that set me free and make me whole. At this point in my life it has something to do with using my creative capacity. It means FINDING beauty in this environment I am living in and taking pictures so that I can remember that it is beautiful. It means trying to create something on a daily basis. It means quieting myself more and giving myself the permission to be nurtured by loving people. It means being the best I can be...and opening myself up to growth. It also means that I want to come here more often. I am resisting writing that because I know that it would require some discipline and organization on my part. Two things that don't come "easy" for me. The thing is...I think it would be good for me...and if I state it here...I am held a little bit more accountable than if I just kept it to myself because I know that a few people are "hearing" me.
So...a few thoughts that needed to be purged... nurturing the yummy friendships in my life...putting greater intention into "creating" (this can mean oh so many things!)...being more consistent with my visits here...yada yada yada. Massage always does this to me. It gets things moving...and these "things" just happened to want out right here....in this space.
If you are having the urge...feel free to purge in the comments below.
Or better yet...start a blog...it's good for the soul!


Going mobile...and other bits of randomness

Journey is crawling! Yikes. I was hoping she would put it off for as long as possible...but it looks like we are venturing into a new stage in our lives. I say "lives" because not only is it an AMAZING new thing for her...but it also changes things for me...and Asher. She can now easily gravitate toward the toys that he just moved out of her reach, and this my friends, is incredibly disturbing for him. My life is changed forever as well. Because she is now able to move to anything she wants to...and what does she want, you ask?? Well, it seems that every small piece of "something" that is lying on the ground is a treasure that pulls her in and causes her to place in her mouth where she then, more likely than not, chokes on it. A splintered piece of wood...in the mouth. An old band aid...in the mouth (I'm not joking). A handful of faux horse tail...in the mouth. Any piece of leftover granola or crumb of anything really that has made it's way to the floor...why yes, in the mouth. You can see the problem here. The poor little one has no idea how to swallow these things when she tries and we end up in a situation that is really quite stressful for me and I am sure less than ideal for her as well. This has whipped me into mama bear mode and my life hasn't been the same. No really...I am happy for her. And this gives me one more reason to kick myself in the pants and vacuum the floor more often than usual (as if there really needed to be ONE more reason). And although I am extremely confident in the fact that she knows HOW to crawl to wherever she would like to go...no matter how shaky or stumbly she may be...she still mostly prefers to sit and pivot and stare at her hand in wonder while she twists her wrist in the air (it really is amazing if you think about it). She also knows that it is more efficient to sit in place and yell for someone to come get her rather than crawling over to them. But...don't let her fool you...she is crawling...I am protecting and Asher is desperately trying to "teach" her what is ok to play with and what is not. Oh my. She's gone mobile. And I have...done the opposite, actually. Somehow I managed to toss my cell phone into my cup of iced tea on fourth of July while I was driving. The kicker is that I didn't just toss it in and then pull it out after noticing. I tossed it in...let it marinate in there because of the LACK of noticing and then pulled it out in horror after, oh, I'd say a good thirty minutes or so. So if you were thinking of trying me on my cell phone...don't bother. I don't think I was meant to have a cell phone. I am really no good at them anyway. Either that, or I need to stop drinking iced tea...which in 115 degree weather...is not going to be happening anytime soon. Which brings me to my next bit of randomness. I think I drink way too much iced tea. Southern sweet iced tea to be exact. I can't get enough of this goodness. But I am afraid that it has not only been the reason for my life with a cell phone to be cut much too short ( I just got that cell phone for my birthday...with a LOCAL number, nonetheless!)...but I am quietly contemplating if it might also be the reason Journey is just saying NO...to sleep. I will remind you...I am quietly contemplating this...as in I am not saying anything out loud...because I don't think I would be ready to admit this and give up my sweet iced tea. Does anyone know how much caffeine is in this stuff? I guess I could do a trial and error. You know, give up the tea and see if she sleeps better? Oh...that sounds so painful. But it might give her (and me) a few more hours of shut eye...and THAT right there....that just might be worth it...maybe.


happy day

Auntie "MiMi" and Asher boy (2 months old)
I can remember being a little girl and always getting so excited when you would ask me if i wanted to go somewhere with you. It didn't matter where we were going...I just remember feeling so special that I got to hang out with you for a little while...alone. If we would go to the grocery store I always pretended that you were my mom and I always wanted people to think that you were my mom (as if they even thought about it or cared!)...but I totally remember thinking about how COOL that would be. The dynamics of our relationship as the oldest and the youngest created something within my life that has always been very special to me. When I was younger, your life was always somewhat mysterious to me. You went through things that I had no clue of understanding at such a young age...but I always knew that you were my big sister and that I loved you and that you were all kinds of "cool" in this world. I remember getting a bit jealous if your attention went to anyone else at family gatherings and Oregon beach trips. You were MY big sister...not theirs! I hold close those moments when you would share yourself with me. When you whispered my christmas gift to me and I whispered yours to you one christmas eve slumber party in the basement. I hold close the memories of you doing my hair for family pictures because, God help me, I had no idea how to do anything of the sort! I remember being in the mall with you in Farmington and us visiting one of your friends at the Peanut shack and you telling me the secret crushes you had. I felt so important for you sharing that all with me. I held a special position as the "approver" of the boys that came around...and just because I was the youngest...I got to get a closer look at what you and your friends would do than my other sisters did, I think. I thought that was all pretty wonderful.
As the years have passed, you have become so much more to me than my "older" sister. You have become a very dear friend...a confidante...a person who deeply and consistently cares about my well being...a fellow dreamer. I love the relationship that we all share and I love the fact that I have four really incredible best friends in my life...my sisters.
I know that I can ALWAYS turn to you for support, encouragement, advice...or just for a place to be heard. That is so very important to me and I am so thankful for that safety with you. Thank you for being the amazing woman that you are and for giving me so many precious memories.
Today, my hope for you is that you can catch a glimpse (however fleeting it may be) of what the significance of your life is in this world. I hope that your heart can wrap itself around the fabulousness of YOU. I hope that your spirit opens up to that self-love and that you are able to experience the freedom that comes from accepting the beautiful creature that you are.
Happy Birthday Jamie!
With a great amount of love and thankfulness,



Move over padnah! There's some new sheriffs in town! Oh...and check this out. Journey's face while looking at me in the get-up.
"Who ARE you, exactly???"

i'm a dreamer

My dream car. A Volkswagen "bus". I don't know how long I have wanted one of these things. I think it started in junior high when I had a good friend who got one to fix up. I think he only had it for a few years and then decided to get a Toyota truck! But...oh how fun it was when he did have it around. I fell in love. I have been telling Josh that we WILL have one of these within the next few years...I just gotta. My vision is to have a family painting party and go to town on the thing. Hopefully it will run...but if not I think it would make a really great camp out for the kids when they have friends come over for sleepovers. I know I would have loved one.
This specific one I took a picture of up in Oregon in one of my favorite little beach towns. It was always parked by the Herb store and I loved seeing it on our trips to the coast with family. I think I took these pictures (sorry for the image...I scanned these and didn't know how to enlarge them...hmmmm) in High School...but I remember it still being there when I moved up to Oregon in college and would take bi-weekly trips to this little town. I got to live vicariously through my sightings! Isn't it fun? I know that the van we have now is no VW Bus...but I like to think that even purchasing an "older" van makes us one step closer to my dream. And this here is my dream dog. Can you see what it is? A Siberian Husky. This picture was taken in another little beach town up in Oregon. I wonder why all my dreams appear in that state?! Perhaps because it is my dream dwelling place? Anyway...I love these dogs. Something about their demeanor...and their markings! Oh my...they are beautiful creatures. I would want mine to be named "Stormy"...and I think she would love being our dog. And this? This here is what I am dreaming of doing right now. On our way to lunch at Wildflower this afternoon, I asked Josh if he wanted to head on over to the west coast...you know, just to dip our toes in the Pacific, grab a bite to eat, catch the sunset and then be on our way back home. He wasn't in the mood. So...we decided to go to my folks house and dip our toes (well more than that actually) in their pool. Doing lots of dreaming over here. What about you?