Thursday, November 22, 2012

Grat*i*tude

Thanksgiving is, by far, my favorite holiday. And it has nothing to do with the food. Seriously.

I love this holiday, not because I'm given permission to be excited about those things for which I'm thankful, but because, for whatever reason, our family s.l.o.w.s. down during this time. Vacation days are taken from work. Vacation days are taken from school. And we go slow. And we go together. Meals are planned by the condition of our tummies, not that of a clock. Bedtimes are flexible. Sunrise wakings are optional. Coffee flows almost all day, along with continuous jugs of water. We do it right, during this time of year. And by doing so, I easily get enough 'fuel' to continue on this spectrum (as best I can) until our Summer holiday, when we'll do it all again!

Don't get me wrong. I love !LOVE! the vibration of a thankful community. I appreciate the difficulty in remaining in a state of gratitude, so hearing words of thankfulness from friends, families, my neighbors, these are wonderful ways to feel connected. Nurturing a sense of gratitude in my young children is almost more important to me than teaching them to read. I'm not sure how to do this, exactly, in this age of instant-gratification, toy shelves bulging at eye level, Disney characters on the packaging of sliced apples sold at the grocery store. My successes & failures in this regard are often shaded by unmitigated quantity of children in this place (four isn't really that many, honest) and their own successes and stumbles in understanding and celebrating their riches. But they'll get it. I'm sure of it.

This year we are starting a new tradition - I love this aspect of having a young family....we are still deciding our traditions - I took an old tablecloth and wrote on it a meaningful quote about gratitude, and having enough. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving and those of years to come, I hope to fill this tablecloth with the art and words of my children. I can't wait for the conversations that will grow around the table from this annual tradition. It's these moments, surrounded by the life and voices of my children, across the table from my husband, that I find most filling.

May this holiday leave you feeling nurtured. Nurtured and full of life, and full of appreciation for the simple.


Friday, November 16, 2012

#fridayfaves

Friday is about being grateful
seeing the little things
remembering to breathe
finding joy

  

dear homeschooling
i never intended to know you 
yet now can't imagine life without you.
thank you for giving me the permission
to celebrate these children, 
and protect their childhoods -
as these years are fleeting, 
and i don't plan on regretting them.


dear farm-fresh milk
i waited on you for two years.
your rich, cold, delicious cream swirls
in my morning coffee,
and freezes into a velvety delight.
we thank the Jerseys each week,
as we pass them, milking in the shed.
my children WILL know from where their food derives.

 

dear independence
what a tangled web you weave.
you're exactly what a mother yearns for, yet fears.
if i knew it would be the last time my child would crawl into bed with me, 
i would savor the moment - wrap my body around him, 
stay awake,
listen to him breath,
smell his hair.
we are often unaware of these 'lasts...'
but creating opportunities for autonomy -
workmanship, 
action,
self-governance,
responsibility -
this is what a parent does.
even if it's just something little, 
like putting the kid dishes, at kid height.


dear oliver & drew
my twins.
my surprises.
my 'cherries on top.' 
my babies.
my middle and last.
my 'badge of honor.' 
my best example of what a healthy body can do.
my 6lb & 7lb, healthy, to-term multiples.
my forgiveness.
thank you for choosing me (us),
i hope to not let you down.


dear colors 
oh how i love you so.
you are everywhere - the colors of my world.
whether its your markers sprawled across my floor,
or your socks mismatched on the feet of my kids,
i so love seeing these colors - bold, bright, happy.
now...if i could just be ignorant to  the amount of chemical required
to make the colors of this fantastic
jellybean salad...


dear uprooted tree
actually...dear mother-nature would be a better beginning...
nonetheless -
dear uprooted tree,
thank you for catching our attention. 
your hand-hold roots
your smooth, long pieces of shale
your cracks & crevices
your newly designed habitat for critters of the small sort
all of you -
from deep in the earth to the highest roots high above -
all of you created this wonderful awareness for my Calum.
quiet in his exploration. confident in his climbing.
what a joy to watch this boy, in your element.  
        
      
 
       
 

 

 

Friday, November 9, 2012

#fridayfaves

There's this wonderful blog I follow...written by a mother, a mother to many. She might homeschool? I'm not really sure. What I love about her is this...her perspective is refreshing. Her encouragement is spot-on. Only a mother knows how to encourage another mother - on that emotional, insecure, sometimes irrational, deeply in love with our children, just doing our best, level. Here's the link if you'd like to check her out - http://rachelmariemartin.blogspot.com/

Every Friday, Rachel writes and shares a post called '#fridayfaves. It seems to be a practice in finding the beauty and gratitude in the little things. I used to post similar snippets on my Facebook page but since our divorce is official (mine and Facebook,) I'll try to use my Friday posts in a similar way. This is awesome in a few ways (mostly selfish to me but if you like reading this blog, perhaps you'll enjoy it too!) First, it sets my writing/blogging as a priority. I love to write; it fills that little cup inside my soul labeled 'peace.' So - the more I can commit to writing, the better. Second, seeing the beauty in the little things just makes for a better world. It makes for a better afternoon, evening, overnight... Just like smiling is contagious, being in a place of gratitude is contagious. If you can see a situation, not for its hardship but for its gift, whew! Can you imagine the shift in thought? Change your thoughts, change your world...

So - here goes:

Friday is about being grateful
seeing the little things
remembering to breathe

finding joy

dear ella
i am trying so hard to follow your interests;
thank you , my sweet girl, for being patient.
your enthusiasm for all things creative is an inspiration and
i need to do more things on a whim, like my writing...
and sewing with you.


dear homemade chicken soup
  even in the dregs of the batch,
you are divine and helping my body heal.
clean eating - farm to table -
doesn't get much more basic than you.


dear growing bodies
keep up the good work! and though
my back continually protests the changing 
weight of the children, please  don't slow down. 
there is no clearer sign of health than
a child sprouting out of her clothes.


dear mid-day dishes
through trial & error we've come 
to an understanding -
i keep the mess to an organized minimum,
and you continually remind me that
dirty dishes show the wealth of my day. 
a sink full of dishes means i was home,
with my children,
with enough food to feed them,
and sharing their day.
 

dear laundry
no matter how quickly you multiply,
i will always look at you as a blessing.
for it is you that i get to tug over my children's heads, 
while i steal a kiss on their cheeks.
it's your softness that i tuck underneath their chins at night,
and rely on to keep them warm when i'm not close.
how lucky am i to have enough towels, sheets, socks, blankets,
tshirts, pants, and incidentals to provide for my crew.
and oh how i love my favorite sweatshirt.
we ALL have one of those, right?


dear coffee supplies
i'm a mother to four young kids, 
first year homeschooler,
potty-trainer to twins...
i am forever grateful!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hurricanes and Halloween

It's been a busy few weeks over here. In actuality, it feels like we've been in a time warp. Ten days ago we were preparing for Hurricane Sandy, tying things down outside and getting schooled on how to use a generator. Adam always heads to work during any major weather event, leaving me to prove to my children that I, too, can manage keeping the house in one piece and the natives safe. Thankfully, I didn't need that generator. We never lost power. Simply amazing.

What we did lose, easily, was a week in time. On the heels of Sandy, Halloween arrived. On the heels of Halloween, mommy gets toppled by Vicki Virus! Some heavy-duty funk moved its way through this body and I am only now (Tuesday, Nov. 6) getting back into the swing of things. Since Adam has been working so much with storm cleanup and election prep, my mom came out to help and stayed, STAYED! for days. Thanks, Mom! I promise to pay it forward at some point!! I've been able to rest and closely monitor the progression of this illness. Life sorda stops when Mommy gets sick. I could spend a college semester researching the dynamics that interplay in a house when the stay-at-home parents falls ill. It's really no fun for anyone.

So, in an effort to remember what the last ten days looked like, here is our week in review. Enjoy. And go wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, and drink some hot tea!


Vote



Don't take your right to vote for granted. 
Men fought. 
Women fought. 
We vote.