Thursday, April 30, 2015

winter silence

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, til the summer comes again." 
-Lewis Carroll - Through the Looking Glass 

I miss this space, I really do.

Creativity rarely strikes me in the winters. I am a mama bear who hibernates with a cup of tea and a good book. I would spend the whole winter that way if I could. Wrapped in a blanket with my baby reading books. Ginger tea with almond milk for me and hot cocoa (or as he says, “hot choc-AH-lut”) for him.

I guess it’s not that life is any more busy, it is just that I have so much less energy in the winter. The cold weather is not for me. I thrive in the sunshine. I need it to feed my soul and fill my tank. It is like food to me. Not only sunshine, but warmth on my face. 

So while I still live in a land where the winters are chilly, I will accept my fate and warm myself up with soup from the inside. I will accept that I only have enough energy to get through the work day. I will fuel my creativity with beautiful literature. I will paint. I will cuddle under blankets and drink tea and hot choc-AH-lut.

I will anxiously await spring. When my soul and my body reunite and I am whole again. Every spring it happens and every spring it surprises me

I was moving pictures this week from my computer to an external hard drive. I was weeding through thousands of pictures, thousands of memories. Thousands of experiences that I do not want to forget. They are mine to live and re-live over and over again. During the cold winter months I can remember that. I can pull up the pictures of my little family running on the beach. I can remember that there will always be another spring, another summer, another trip to the beach. Another day with sunshine, another frozen lemonade.

I can remember that the introverted and exhausted person holding a cup of tea in one hand and a tattered copy of Dorian Grey in the other isn’t necessarily me, just a temporary me. The version of me that comes out when the temperatures dip below 60 degrees. I can remember that I will feel whole again. I can remember that there is nothing wrong with drinking tea. That there is nothing wrong with me.

I can remember that I will feel creative again. I will write again.

Blogger Tricks

Monday, January 26, 2015


He started screaming "OH NO" in the bathtub tonight. Over and over. Crying and stomping his feet, saying the same thing over and over again.

"oh no oh no oh no." 

I couldn't get him to tell me what was wrong. Finally, he held his hands out to show me his wrinkled fingers, sucking in air between sobs. 

"HANDS" he said.  

I assured him that they would go back to normal. He won't have permanently wrinkled hands for a very, very long time. 

Later, after he was fast asleep in his bed and the fear of his hands was a far-off memory, I started thinking about hands. 

The reason that, with his small understanding of the world, he would view his broken hands as something devastating. The hands that build trains.  The hands that help stir the pancake batter on Saturday mornings. The hands that run through his mamas hair when he isn't feeling well. Hands that separate the sections of an orange, peel back a banana peel, pick out the chocolate chips from the trail mix. 

His hands are his way to navigate. To explore. To experience the world. 

Then there are my hands. Mother's hands. 

Hands that are gentler than they have ever been before. Hands that are slow to reprimand but fast to pick up a screaming boy when he forgets that his feet don't always move as fast as his body. Hands that can unscrew the lid of the peanut butter jar and hands that can spread that peanut butter on a graham cracker. The hands he grabs for first thing in the morning. Hands that motion to what he needs in leu of a fully-developed vocabulary. 

He cannot express himself without his hands. 

As a hand-talker, I would have a hard time expressing myself without my hands, either. 

We speak with our hands, along with our words. 

our hands. 

Hands that won't be permanently wrinkled for a very, very long time.

Friday, January 2, 2015

SIMPLIFY // 2015

Happy 2015. 

I have officially given up on writing New Years resolutions.

For me, choosing a word at the beginning of the year helps me reflect on the previous year and look forward. Evaluate where I am currently. Use that self reflection to map out where I want to go from here. How I want to grow. 

Last year I chose the word CREATE for my word of the year. Though I did not create in the way that I originally intended, I could not have chosen a better word for last year. 

This year, I have chosen the word SIMPLIFY. 

Earlier this year I realized that I was purchasing things I didn't need -- using money I didn't have -- in an attempt to fill a void inside of myself. The world online was full of things to buy. Things you NEED. Between Pinterest and fashion blogs I was sure that the right pair of ankle boots (or skinny jeans or leather jacket) for me was out there and that I needed it. Needed it to be happy. I couldn't afford one pair of designer boots so I would buy three pairs of cheap boots instead. I was buying clothes on a weekly basis. Cheap and poorly made clothes. All to fill a void that I didn't even know I had and that I still can't completely explain. I easily could fill baskets full of clothes at Forever21. Clothes that I knew would shrink after one washing... but I didn't care. Shopping became a mild form of self medication. 

Partway through the year I became transfixed with the tiny house movement. I became almost obsessed with the idea of scaling down. Of living a minimalist lifestyle. I realized that I had been filling my life with things. Things I didn't need and didn't have room for in my small townhouse. The things around me began to feel heavy. I was able to step outside of myself and see what I was doing. I felt alone and surrounded by things. 

However, I wasn't able to stop buying things right away. But I started buying less. I started being more conscious of my purchases. I began searching out higher quality items. I tried to not shop out of boredom. It's a slow change. 

Now, in 2015, I intend to sift through what I have. I want to cut down on the things that I have collected over the years. Keep what I need and donate what I don't. I want the things around me to stop being a weight. I want the focus on be on the people in my life rather than the things. The time I spend and the relationships with those people.

"Time is a non-renewable resource."
-Tiny: A Story About Living Small

I want to SIMPLIFY. 
Unload. Mentally and physically. Push back on the consumerist world. Slow down. Breathe. 

I know that I also want to simplify other aspects of my life. I'm not sure what specifically that looks like right now, but 2014 was able to surprise me so I know 2015 will too. 

I probably won't ever be able to simplify how wordy these posts tend to be, but that's probably okay. I'll start with simplifying my closets. 

Conquer one mountain at a time. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

later, 2014

Farewell, 2014

You were a fantastic year. A wonderful chapter in my journey. One I will never forget and one I hope to look back on when I start to feel lost. 

Last year, in lieu of writing resolutions, I chose a word for 2014. The word I chose was CREATE

Though I did not create as much as I had hoped in terms of art and writing, I cannot think of a better word to describe my year. Create was the essence -- the underlying theme of my year. 

I created a life that I am so content with. So happy with. A life built on faith. 

I have created a confidence in myself. In my choices. I have stopped comparing my faults against others' strengths. I have stopped using "likes" and "followers" to gauge my worth. I have stopped tearing apart my blog analytics to post only what gets views. I have found the confidence to only share what and when I choose. The confidence to have my blog as a creative outlet for myself that connects me to kindred spirits.  

This year I created a circle full of positive people. I have worked to keep those who inspire me close. I have created a thick skin against those who do not agree with me. With my choices. With who I have chosen to be. 

In 2014 I finally found the person I have been looking for. I have stopped trying to use others to feel complete. I have become a person I can be proud of. It took 27 years of exploring the world in all of its darkness and all of its beauty. I have created a lens to the world where I am able to see the beauty in all things. 

I have created myself. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

cutting down a christmas tree

Another 27 for 27 item done: cutting down a Christmas tree (insert three evergreen emojis here).

Last weekend we ate our turkey, partook in the most mild Black Friday shopping I have ever been a part of, and headed back to Apple Hill to cut down a Christmas Tree. Now, I have to admit that I don't give Thanksgiving enough credit. I can't really get that into it, and this year I especially saw it as the checkered flag that waved and gave me permission to start celebrating Christmas (finally). Actually, Thanksgiving was kind of getting in my way when it came to Christmas. I mean, I know you're not supposed to decorate for Christmas before the turkey has been made into sandwiches and the football games and dog shows have been watched. I knew this, yet I put out my "BE MERRY" doormat. I left my fall wreath up, and in my mind this was a valid justification for the Christmas decorations that were sneaking their way in. Now I'm taking no prisoners with my Christmas spirit. Give me all the Santas and snowmen! All the Christmas books! All of the Thomas the Tank Engine and Curious George Christmas movies. We may or may not have watched Shrek the Halls last night. We have a serious festive problem.

SOOOO... after the Turkey had been eaten and the cheap memory cards had been purchased on Black Friday, we moved on to picking out a Christmas tree.

This tree farm was the cutest of all the tree farms in the land. Rows and rows of trees that begged to be touched and sized up. Trees that beg for you to run your fingers through their branches and smell their sap on your hands. Trees that were not much taller than Sage to trees that Sage could probably hollow out and live in. Then, there were the trees that were not much taller than my boot and were at risk of being stepped on.  These were the chihuahuas  of the tree lot -- you're sure someone probably wants them, but you just can't really picture who.

It had been sprinkling rain, and the trees were damp and smelled even better than I could have imagined. By the end of the trip Sage's pants were soaked from brushing the branches as he walked through the lot. Soggy pants and muddy boots. I think that just might be the recipe for a happy two-year-old boy right there.

After scaling up the trees and narrowing it down to a couple of possible trees, we came upon a tree that stood out and could not be compared with any other tree around it. It was a tree that was perfectly full, perfectly shaped, and didn't have one weird bare spot that would have to go against the wall. This tree was perfect from every angle. Clearly the owners of the tree farm knew this one was one of a kind, because they had placed a tag on the tree informing us that it was more than the other trees in the lot. It was instant tree love and I just did the dang thing. I bought one of the most expensive trees in the lot. The signs had told us to yell "CUTTER!!" at the top of our voice when we had found the tree of our dreams and a 20-year-old would come over and chop the tree down for us. We did not choose to follow the rules, and instead the tree cutter was fetched on foot using our inside voices. Yelling to him felt too much like whistling to a waitress in a restaurant. We just couldn't do it.

And thus begins the story of our Christmas tree, whose name is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and whose description will be saved for another day. She is lighting up our front room and giving us all kinds of Christmas spirit.

^^ This is the picture of my dreams that is too blurry to post but I am posting anyway. My blog, my rules. :)

^^ Green on green on green on green.

^^ The girls working gave Sage a candy cane to eat while we watched them wrap the tree, and I think Sage could sit there all day eating their candy canes and watching trees go through that tube. Add sticky fingers to the recipe for a happy two-year-old boy.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Two-and-a-half is a different kind of wild. A kind of wild that I never expected, never could have prepared myself for. An exhausting and completely fulfilling kind of wild. Frustration with the world -- with trees for being too high and shelves for being out of reach. With bike peddles that are just past his toes when pointed, or maybe with legs for not growing fast enough.

I marvel at his two-year-old body that falls hard and bounces back at lightning speed. The times my breath stops as I see him jump from a high ledge and can't reach him fast enough. Can't save him.

Just as quickly as it happens his body hits the ground. He pops up, brushes off his knees, and laughs while I try to remember how to breath again.

The nights he says "mean mommy" through tears and gritted teeth when I won't let him do something on his own. He is fiercely independent. Independent with no concept of fear. Of how terrifying this world really is.

This world is his to explore.

The locks I had to put on his bedroom door out of fear that he would wake up and want to experience the world at night. See the street, the lights, the cars.

"He is so wild," I tell people.

"He has a wild spirit like his mom." someone once replied.

And at that moment I realized why he is mine. Why we were put on this Earth together.

We are one in the same.

Friday, October 31, 2014

happy HOOlloween

So the first time you hear the concept of Halloween when you're a kid your brain can't even process the information. You're like: "What is this? What did you say?" "What did you say about giving out candy? Who's giving out candy?" "Everyone that we know is just giving out candy!
Jerry Seinfeld

I know OWL be eating all the Butterfingers and Reese's peanut butter cups that I can shove into my face today. HOO the heck doesn't love all this candy? Okay, that's probably enough. haha
Sage has been loving all things "spoooooooky" that have been popping up around us. Who would have thought I, the person who (HOO) could barely handle Hocus Pocus growing up, would have a child who giggles with delight at the sight of every skeleton and zombie he sees. It's a trip, this having kids thing. 
Have a safe and wonderful Halloween.

And watch out for all those Elsas who will be out in full force tonight :)