packin' up and headin' out

Oh how I love spontaneity! We decided (oh so suddenly!) to take a trip out to NM to visit my sister Cassie and I am in the midst of packing...well...doing laundry so that we actually have something to pack...and making snacks for the road...and wracking my brain for everything else that needs to get done before I take my children on a 7 hour road trip! I am excited...and a bit anxious for some reason! I think because my memories of visiting this little town are so full of emotion. I moved away from Farmington when I was in the 9th grade. It was a hard time. My visits back were always so bitter sweet because I was so young and I SO loved my friends there and the comfort of what I knew so well. It is hard to believe that was...gosh...11 years ago (WHAT!!!!!). Wow. Anyway...I like that this trip is so last minute and that it is all working out so perfectly in all of its randomness. We actually were hoping to go with some friends up to their cabin this weekend (Hi Erin!) but thought that Josh was going to have to work, so decided we couldn't do that. And then, in the wonderful ways that life brings about opportunities...it just so happened that Josh got the weekend off...and that Cassie extended an invitation to us...and so, here we are! I really like the fact that Josh will get to venture with me around a place that is so important to me...a place I consider "home". I will probably become a nostalgic mess. And for all the ways that my life often feels planned out and routine...this little bit of spontaneous energy is welcomed with wide open arms. I like that I can see no further into my weekend plans then the open road that lays before me. I thought that this bit of soul excitement deserved some recognition as just another piece in my sacred life. Enjoy your weekend...be it spontaneous or not! And send some good lovin' to Sweet-E if you think about it. I just don't want her thinking she can poop out on us with all the love that is around!:)


hope on wings

As I jumped on here to post this...all of a sudden I became a bit shy about sharing it and putting it "out there"...but I also know that it is proving to be a good thing for me...to share and document and explore and trust. So...here is my first attempt at mixed media art! I have been wanting to take a go at this for quite some time now. Actually, it all started with a desperate visit to the bookstore for some deeply sought after ME time back in June, I believe. I picked up a Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine...and instantly became entranced by the pictures and the idea of tiny bits of everything coming together to form one piece of art that has the capacity to communicate so much. I think I bought a canvas the next day...and put it up on one of the little shelves in my home...so that I would be reminded of my desire to create on it. But, there it sat...for months it seems...and every time I looked at it, I seemed to make another excuse for not getting started on it. I was holding the intention in my heart to create something for my beloved sister, Jamie. I had this in mind when I bought the canvas and it sat in my heart in the days before her birthday and the day of her birthday and the days following her birthday...and yet nothing was created, because deep down I was just afraid that it wouldn't be what I wanted it to be...it wouldn't be what I hoped it would be...it just wouldn't be "good". Ah, the critic within. And with that...I let the canvas add to its dust collection and I wrote almost daily in my journal about wanting to get started on it. At one point...after some words from The Artist's Way ...I did muster up the courage to paint the canvas red. But it didn't get much further than that...besides drawing even more attention from me and my longing creative heart with its bold and loud new color, sitting up on my shelf with boastful enthusiasm.
So...it was much to my surprise that, after so long, I decided that I had enough with my excuses...that I would trust this exploration into mixed media...and that I wouldn't judge what came out of it. I made the effort to start creating and this is what came of it. It was a very, very fulfilling process for me. Not because I think that what is pictured above is anything spectacular in the realm of art...but because of who I made it for...and for who is pictured in the art...and for what all of that means. I made this for my sister...who is so courageously making her way through a tiring and faith-filled journey...with the kind of strength that I only hope to one day possess. I made it out of a picture of my angelic grandma, Juanita, who I so confidently believe is wearing wings in another realm of existence...and who I felt slipping thoughts into my head and objects in my hand at just the right moment as I (or should I say "we") created out of intention. At one point I had added one of my mom's earrings into the piece to serve as a "broach" of sorts for my grandma's blouse. Little did I know that the earring I chose was one that my mom wore on Jamie's wedding day. Stuff like that just gives me goosebumps.
It is a piece that today found it's rightful place in the home of my sweet sister, who received it with the greatest amount of gentleness and love . A piece that brought us both to tears as Jamie's eyes studied it for the first time...a piece that, in my mind, brings forth mounds of hope and comfort...because of the woman whose photo is captured in it...and because of how she encompassed those traits (and so much more) long before she ever had wings.


it's all sacred

After reading this post from the lovely and inspiring Jen Lemen, I decided to start being a little proactive about challenging myself with various projects to get some energy flowing in a positive direction within. It never fails when I put that kind of intention out there, opportunities show up by the truckload. I love that. I really get excited (sometimes overwhelmed) by the communities that are formed here in blogosphere. I think it is something quite telling of our hunger for connection and inspiration. I am truly inspired, each day that I read over amazing words, or take in beautiful photographs, or soak in the amazement of someones fabulous artwork...I am deeply touched. I am also moved beyond words when my own experiences that have created certain emotions within can be met with acceptance because someone, somewhere has lived their own life, full of their individual experiences and decided to write about it in their own personal way which, upon my reading it, leaves me feeling so fully supported and embraced and cocooned by some kind of universal understanding and connection. yum. It also amazes me when I can be searching around and fall upon something like this...which is always so easy to devour in the "it-is-just-nice-to-be-reminded" sort of way.
So...when searching for some type of creative challenge that could stir up my enthusiasm in a way that leads me towards fuller experience (and acceptance) of my daily rituals...I came across this lusciousness! And so, I am jumping in. It is a challenge (of sorts) to document and write about the precious parts of my life that are completely mine...that bring me hope or courage or rest or delight. Whatever it may be, I like the idea of mindfully examining the pieces of my existence that bring me sanctity and fulfillment.
And after a day that included a great amount of longing for stillness and quiet...a day that was full of moments where I just wanted to run away and be ALONE...a day in which I felt not-so-patient in my role as mama...I started deeply wishing to be scooped up in some inspiration. Usually, in those moments, I start to dream of some bits of solitude with a really good book. There are always about three or four in rotation that I turn to...and the escape that it gives me, if only for ten minutes, is something that I truly treasure...usually bringing me to a space of clarity and enough perspective to bring me into the present moment...where I can become available to the gifts that await me. And for that bit of sanctuary, I am very grateful.



she expresses her fatigue. her need to fall down in arms of security, to be wrapped up in warmth and safety...she gives off cues. i need rest. i need to be held close...to drink in your scent and to flourish in your protection. i become who she needs me to be. i keep her afloat...using my body as her cradle and my voice to soften the brightness of her world...the energy that pulls at her to keep eyes open and senses alert...the constant truth that beckons her to keep watch, for there is always something new to learn. i become rhythm and stillness, finding a steady beat among the thoughts that tug each other in my mind. i become her night and i dip her down into the nest of my arms so that she may hear my beating heart and be kissed by the depth of my love. i walk and she fights. she pulls at my skin and twists about with determination as if i am forcing the dreams to come upon her and overcome her will to be present. i follow her lead. i make room in my arms for her body to position itself however she desires. i allow for her hands to squeeze my flesh and for her small frame to climb mine...searching for some kind of sanctuary...for a break in the exhaustion...for something just to take over and allow her to relax. she falls into my cradled limbs and pushes hard against me...finding comfort in the first small moments and then wishing for change, discovering her discomfort and everything that lacks in her present situation. it leads her to a new position, only to hold it for a solitary flash of a second, and then sends herself back to her prior existence...and the cycle continues, as if she were returning to a habit too hard to break...holding on to its familiarity and comfort, only to realize how truly uncomfortable it really is...her entire being aching for something different, for something new and fresh and possible. reaching for something that brings her more...that takes her into the peace of her soul...and brings about the beautiful slumber of finding herself amidst her calling dreams. and i notice that i grow uncomfortable and restless watching her in her journey towards acceptance. i feel the rise of frustration and the desire to hold tight so that she isn't allowed to dip back down into the truth of what doesn't "fit" her well...i want to sprinkle magic dust on her forehead and bring her into calm and tranquility...and i notice...that she parallels my own journey...wanting to press hard against the pillars of life to know who i am and where i stand...aching for change and the stillness of comfort with my being...reaching a place of rest where i dance in the realm of my dreams with bright colors and vivid truth...and finally accepting that it is a journey, that it takes time...and that i am held close by the love that is found around and within.


women's equality day

I only have a minute, but I didn't want this day to float by without mentioning it's importance on this space. Today marks a day that I know I often take for granted. It took 72 years of ceaseless campaigning for women to win the right to vote in 1920. 72 years that included ridicule, ostracism, abuse and imprisonment for some involved. I thought I should honor that good fight with a brief mention of how grateful and empowered I am by those women who came before me and for their perseverance in the face of injustice. I also think it is important to mention the ways in which there is still room to grow in this journey towards equality for men and women. I borrowed these facts from NOW (National Organization for Women). Just a few more reasons to keep the vitality of this human rights campaign at the forefront of my mind...no matter what situation I may find myself in.

-On average, women only make $.77 to a man's dollar. Could you use the extra 23 cents?

-The US has no guaranteed medical leave for childbirth; we're trailing 168 countries in the company of only Lesotho, Liberia, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland.

-In 107 countries working women's right to breastfeed is protected by law. In the US, no protection.

-The US is near the bottom of the list -- again -- in our public support for quality childcare for children of working parents

-And finally, women only make up 16 percent of our representatives in Congress!

I think of this day in terms of human rights as well...and that gets me thinking on a global scale. So, if you are interested in learning about and supporting efforts towards equality and greater opportunity for women WORLDWIDE, you can visit here.

And, if you need/want to be reminded of some of the key events and women in the history of the suffrage movement, you can read about that here!

Most likely, there is some information there that we never knew about but are enjoying the repercussions of!

Happy Equality Day!!!


this may just be all over the place...and i am ok with that

When I re-read over my last post...I thought to myself "geeze, I must have been really hungry when I wrote that."...more than half of the randomness is about food. really now, how impersonal. maybe someday, someone will tag me again and i can come up with some more juicy material.
On a deeper level...I think perhaps that mirrors a perpetual habit of keeping most people at a distance. you may never guess that about me, but i fear it is true. there is only so much i like to divulge...but if you catch me in a vulnerable mood, than perhaps you might get more than you were looking for. i can be quite a contradiction at times.
we got a new computer...an "old" new computer. i still have to figure out how to get all of my "stuff" off of the old hard drive and onto the new one. oh the thought of losing some of the pictures or the only written memory of my birth with Jo Jo...makes me feel a bit queasy. i am trying to be more aware of my attachments to "things". and OH...those are things that i am sorely attached to. but never-the-less...we have a computer again...which means i am back in blogging action. a little overwhelming at the moment...have you ever noticed that? when you haven't done something in what seems like a looooooooong time (or perhaps you just have NEVER done it)...it is a bit intimidating to get started. but, I am learning that in order for my life to be what i think it is supposed to be... I just have to start doing the things that seem intimidating. one time i got student of the month in high school (isn't that whole idea kind of funny?)...the teacher who nominated me gave me the characteristics of being "noble" and "bold". i would like to live up to those some day.
my blogging break became somewhat of a revelation period for me in several areas. it has been a contemplative few weeks...sometimes peaceful and at other times it felt a explosive and uncomfortable. i figure that is kind of the way that truth shows up in your life...so i am trying to make room for it all....trying to sit with it all....and feeling really excited in some ways about uncovering more of who I am made to be and really coming to know my strengths, my truths, my ideals, my values, and my dreams...oh my dreams.
and somehow, ya know, this is all connected with this little place here...because i started wondering about why i blog...and the answers came out as soon as the questions were asked. it really does serve as a form of therapy for me. it is a place to explore, a place to share thoughts and ideas about things that don't always come up in conversation, it is a space that I have created...where I can create...and where I can express myself in ways that feel right and good. And it is all very connective...and I really like that aspect of all of this. there are tiny threads of empathy being woven into this single blog, just because of what i decide to share and because of how you decide to respond. that...in all reality...is something really quite beautiful...especially for someone like me, who owns an aching pair of wings and who often times feels a bit too "boxed" for her liking. it expands me.
so, I've been doing a lot of thinking...a LOT of journaling...and a good amount of reading. i have spent the better part of these past few weeks just giving space to all that has surfaced in my heart and mind. i haven't recorded much, other than my very personal morning pages. i have gone without taking pictures...without "creating" much...without writing things down here. in essence, i have just been gathered up in the moments that life brings...some of them good...some of them leaving me feeling painfully exposed....but i have only been interested in noticing it all and letting it all wash over me.
i have also been making steps. steps that start aligning, centering, my life with what i value...because when one is discovering more of what she values...it is only natural to want to take some steps. so...i have been sorting through our "things", downsizing...getting rid of stuff. i am trying to hold my ideals in my heart while i go about my days. i am trying to gravitate towards what makes me feel whole. it all kind of circles around this motivation of doing good. and that can encompass a whole lot of things...so maybe i will start dishing them out in future posts. that seems shockingly long for this post, right now.
you know...basically...i just want to be a luminous human being. i want to do good...for myself, for my children, for my community, for human kind, for the earth...
sometimes i fail miserably at it...and sometimes, with divine synchronicity, i catch these rare and fantastic glimpses of my true nature...of the source...of all that is good and wise and healthy and wonderful.
so , for me, right now....it is all about MORE of those moments. and despite my hesitations in sometimes sharing myself here...i think this is a place that brings me into that realm more often than not. so...i think i will continue down this road...allowing the sundry pieces of "me" to hold ground and exist peacefully and anticipating the unique ways that i find inspiration and comfort from being here.
it's good to be back.


randomness is fun

So...I just realized that I got tagged by another sweet blogger out there...Andrea! And I have no good reason not to play...so here goes.
7 Random bits of me.
1. I took a scuba diving class in college...and I am now only ONE open water dive away from being certified. I couldn't make the trip to Rocky Point with the class because I had some severe sinus issues going on the weekend of said trip. What is a scuba diving diva to do?
2. I can't tolerate the taste of melon. I am not even too fond of watermelon (although in this summer heat I did find myself taking a bite of watermelon at one of our family BBQ's...and was reminded of how little I like it). I do, however, LOVE the smell of watermelon. Specifically, watermelon flavored Extra gum.
3. I could eat homemade guacamole and tortilla chips ALL day, every day. LOVE IT!
4. I was a vegetarian for almost two years...but then I got pregnant and my body craved more iron and protein....and I got lazy and gave up.
5. I cannot share my milk with anyone...under any circumstances. And I never trust milk that is ordered at a restaurant.
6. I used to write on everything! My walls, under my bed, my closet doors....you name it. Everything seemed to need a bit more decoration in my opinion.
7. I was a cheerleader in high school. I actually cheered from 4th grade up until my senior year. I actually could, at one point in my life, do a back handspring. Maybe I still have it in me! ha ha ha.
Ok now my turn to tag.
Cory, Jamie, Mom, Sara and Karyn...you're it!!!

sharing the love

It really was a wonderful weekend. Wet, yes, but that can now be considered part of the wonder. I really do love falling asleep to the sound of rain on a tent. And my babies didn't do half bad sleeping in the tent. Well...maybe the folks sharing our camp might have something different to say about that! Never the less...it was a terrific weekend, with amazing people and some of the most beautiful country as our backyard. What more could I ask for? On top of all that, we got a chance to go out on the lake in Papa's handmade canoe (that would be the beauty above). I am so thankful that he is so eager to share it with his family and his grandchildren. Asher actually gets pretty captivated by the rhythm of the rowing and the scenery to soak in...although, this year he was a bit more eager to place his arms in the water to feel the current wash over his skin. Good thing we have such a patient and calm captain on board. Journey would have been in the boat as well, had there been an opportune time to take her between feedings, rain fall, and nap times. She can't wait for next year!!!
Asher found a few new loves. One of those being worms. He couldn't get enough of these creatures and built up quite a collection by the last day. It was a bit hard to leave them behind...but he did well...promising to visit again as soon as he can.
Another favorite activity this trip was hunting for crawdads...or LOBSTERS as Asher preferred to call them. There wasn't a moment that went by that Asher wasn't trying to persuade someone to go down to the water to catch some fishies and lobsters. His persuasion resulted in quite a collection of these as well. And again, as hard as it was for him, he set them all back into the water to find their families once he was done admiring them and fearing them all at the same time.

I love seeing Asher in nature. This picture kind of caught that spirit that I see so often in him. The kind of spirit that is quite contagious and filling. Being out in the wilderness always lends itself to feeling that kind of freedom.

Looks like Journey feels it too.

Hoping you all had a beautiful weekend as well...I'll be checking in as often as I can over the next week!



gone fishing
We are heading up to the White Mountains tomorrow for a camping trip with my family. I have not been this excited about getting out of town for a long time. This trip couldn't come soon enough. The cool air...exploring the woods with my littles...fishing and catching crawdads (catch and release of course!)...sleeping in a sleeping bag, cuddled up with my loves...enjoying the promised afternoon thunder showers...getting nice and dirty...canoe-ing on the lake...and gaining the kind of fresh perspective that always comes with spending a few long days with mother nature. I am full of longing.
I have had to be patient with the fact that our computer has been on the outs. I was excited to be getting into a nice steady rhythm with my time here...and so the abrupt defiance from our computer was not sitting well with me...but, at the same time, a little blogging deprivation is probably just what was supposed to be. I have been working through this book and it really is amazing and tiring and heavy (the work...not the book). So...using my journal as the main outlet of my written expression seems to be just perfect for the time being. Very quiet and personal. I am very anxious to get back into the swing here...just as soon as we get a new motherboard!!
Until then, I will be posting here and there...whenever I have access to a computer and whenever time lends itself to me freely (like now....when there is packing to be done, laundry to be washed, and dinner to be made...you know, that kind of free time!). You can guarantee that I will be back next week with pictures from the mountains...lake water...forest treasures...happy smiles...and proof of the kind of natural play that leaves sweet memories to carry into the future.
Oh! I can hear the camping stillness already!
...enjoy your week...