Monday, April 14, 2014

open hearts and big conversations

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{my girl, doing her thing, totally unprompted 
on the playground with children running all around her...}

We're talking about Easter and favorite parts of the holiday, and he tells us his least favorite part is church. And he asks to stay home. Across the table Lucas and I look at each other knowingly and tell him that we will go to church with his grandparents because it's important to them and it's important to us to be together. And we support those we love. We tell him he can bring a book. "Yeah, mom, but I better not bring the bird one that makes all the sounds. That wouldn't go over too well." We all laugh. 

We've had a lot of spiritual conversations recently. I find them difficult to navigate at times, as I'm on my own spiritual journey that isn't conventional and doesn't follow a path except the one that is perfect for me. It winds and is curvy and has hills and mountains and valleys, and I rest when necessary. But ultimately I walk it willingly. The kids see me meditating, and they are aware of many different beliefs, they read Buddha Bedtime stories and they look at their children's bible when they feel led. My girl, especially, wants to know about what people believe. What I believe. It's hard to say. 

We have conversations about how Grammy believes this, and Grampy believes that, and Grandma and Papa believe this, and their uncle believes in something called humanism... and we accept it all. Daddy might align most with Taoism. Mommy has a hard time with labels, but believes in love and the universe and that we are all connected. We are all one, and part of each other, and we all have this light in us that we each need to honor. To respect. To accept. Mommy calls that Spirit or God {depending on the day}, Daddy might call it something else. And that's okay. It's all okay as long as we love each other.

A modern spiritual family... that's what I feel we are. We have the big conversations and answer questions as best we can and sometimes saying I don't know is the perfect answer. We are all on this journey, separate but together with lines of communication and hearts way open. 

Namaste.

Friday, April 11, 2014

light and happiness

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{my new mantra... Travel light. Live light. Be the light. Spread the light. 
Sweatshirt from SuperLoveTees}

Last night I spoke too soon... and had a very obvious reminder that all were not on the mend... and that parenting gets real as soon as vomit hits the pillow.

This morning I found myself alone at the grocery store, tired and punchy from lack of sleep, anxious to get home to a husband and son under the weather, a daughter dancing for attention. And yet...

And yet I had a smile on my face for the check out lady who commented on the fact that my bill was just under $100... and "not many people get out of the store for less than that!" {I high fived myself, as that never happens in this household these days!} And I had a spring in my step as I pushed the cart back into the stall, knowing my next errand was to the beach for a quick picture to send across the ocean.

As I approached the beach road, the sky darkened. It looked as though storms were rolling in, so I drove up the coast where the light was bright. Pulling into the parking lot of my childhood beach I noticed the merging of light and dark in the sky, abiding together. Almost complementing each other as clouds mixed with the blue sky and light shimmered on the ocean in bits and pieces. I stood in awe of the brilliance. The glittering. My heart felt open and full. Light danced in my eyes as I snapped a few pictures and I took a breath of the first real warm spring air before getting back into the car. If it weren't for the car load of groceries, and the sick family, I would have been tempted to stay.

Driving home songs came on the radio that made my smile grow wide and tears might have stung the corners of my eyes... {Happy and House of Gold}I blared the radio and felt the vibrations in my chest. Spring air and sweet music and hearing my voice sing along... going to home to my loved ones... gratitude for the moment filled me and space opened.

The radio played:

Because I'm happy 
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof 
Because I'm happy 
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth 
Because I'm happy 
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you 
Because I'm happy 
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do 

{lyrics to Happy by Pharrell Williams}


I'm left tonight thinking about these words, the ability to see happiness as truth. Maybe happiness isn't the word you'd use for what I felt today. Maybe spirit. Happy is a tough word because there's so much attached to it. But ultimately, I want to feel happiness even in the dark times. Gratitude. And with that comes opening. That's what I find on my yoga mat. A playfulness. A calmness. And the more I practice with that, the more I can find that feeling out in the big wide world. Even when sleep wasn't an option the night before. Even when clouds come in and when I'd rather have a clear view of the brilliant sky. Even when the unexpected drops in and calm is the farthest thing from my mind... that feeling of happiness. Light. Even in chaos. It's attainable.

I'll clap along to that.


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{My friend Janine and I are declaring Friday's Beach Fridays from now on! We share on our instagram feeds every week - come check us out and particpate if you feel led to! We use the hashtag #mybeachfriday}


Thursday, April 10, 2014

jars of magenta and white...


This week got away from me, big time. We had big plans that changed due to a certain little boys asthma issues... and then a bit of a chest cold... and then today a bit of a stomach bug... Thankfully we've still been able to get some fresh air and sunshine in our lungs, and everyone is on the mend. I have high hopes for the rest of April! I had plans for this little space, but of course tissue gathering and brow wiping took over. Such is life! 

But I wanted to share these pictures. The following are from last weekend. The kids made their birdhouses with friends last week, and then we took them to Home Depot to pick out paint on Saturday. They were so excited and proud of the finished products! The birds that end up in these houses will be quite lucky... 

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Monday, April 7, 2014

soaking in

The light this time of year is deceiving. The wind howls, and yet the sun shines and the cold goes through me and the chill that lingers lasts for hours on end. I find myself standing by the windows, soaking up the warmth of the light, reflecting off of nature that I've brought inside and transparent and fragile glass made of melted sand. The chill of this spring has me bundled up, wanting just a bit more. Waiting just a bit longer. Dreaming from inside of outer warmth and basking in balmy breezes... 

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

a girl, a gluegun, and some sea glass

She gets these ideas... these crafty ideas. She didn't ask to learn, but I knew it was time. A quick lesson on gluegun safety and my little collector was on her way to making art with her treasures. I'll be honest, this time of year our enthusiasm for "school" drifts and we have to be creative in our learning... 

This time of year we {mostly I...} have to remember that learning happens in many forms, in many ways, and is a constant in our lives if we simply in a way that we are open to experiences as they present themselves. 


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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

a bit of sunshine...

Blogging has undoubtedly changed over the years. Every once and a while I think my style of blogging is outdated... that the days of writing to connect are over and we are all out for ourselves and are all narcissistic...

And then I'm reminded that that's simply not the case. That there are still bloggers who write from the heart, for connection, and there are some that have hearts that can reach across miles to make you feel like you are sitting across from them, sipping on tea and diving into life together. Jess over at One Wild and Precious Life is one of those people. I love her honest, from the heart writing style, and I wish that we were closer to have a big ol' playdate with our kids to make art and life and laughter. 

In an old school blogging move, Jess has bestowed upon me a bit of sunshine. Of course, there are rules to follow {and I might change a few of them...} But here goes nothing :)





Here are the rules:
~ Acknowledge the nominating bloggers
~ Share 11 random facts about yourself
~ Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger creates for you
~ List 11 bloggers
~Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they've been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

So... some random facts...
1. I love sleeping in. LOVE it. I think everyone has an internal wake up time, and mine is 8am. If I wake up any earlier I feel completely off. Any later and it's a pleasant surprise!

2. I was homeschooled through 8th grade, and I swore I wouldn't homeschool my own children. My how things change ;)

3. I'm a big introvert. And I'm not a huge fan of spending gigantic amounts of time with people... I end up feeling claustrophobic. So the real reason I know my marriage is going to last is because {other than my children} my husband is the one person I never get tired of being with. Truly. I'm not sure that I believe in soul mates, but I believe in souls complimenting each other... and ours do.

4. My first job was at a teeny tiny fish and chips shack. I haven't been able to look at tartar sauce the same way since.

5. I have never been career oriented. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

6. Along those lines, I wrote a novel in November as part of NaNoWriMo. It was something I always wanted to do, and held out hope that "one day, I'll write novels! That'll be my thing!" Let's just say I'm glad I tried before I got much older. I'm glad I did it, but I don't think it's my thing.

7. I recently started using essential oils, and it's a huge life style change for the better. I can't say enough good things... more to come on this eventually!

8. My favorite books from childhood are Mandy, by Julie Edwards and Anne of Green Gables.

9. I could listen to Jack Johnson's Home on repeat for hours on end. "So I try to understand what I can't hold in my hand, and whatever I find, I find my way back to you..."

10. The kids and I want to learn how to surf.... the only thing holding me back is my fear of sharks and fish... which is funny considering my love of the beach and ocean! Don't laugh though.. fish seriously freak me out. It's only been recently that I've been able to walk up to the fish counter at the supermarket... This is all pretty funny considering fact #4!

11. I love writing. I love seeing my words on the page. The fact that I don't know what I want to do with my writing often stops me from writing at all. I'm trying to overcome that...

My answers to Jess's questions... 
1. If you could travel anywhere where would it be? Iceland. No doubt. I feel like I'm being called there, and have been for the past year or so!

2. What is one thing just right about right now? My family is safe and cozy and warm and happy.

3. What is one thing you wish you could change about right now? I wish I had some chocolate... I'd definitely change my lack of chocolate.

4. Describe a good Friday night. A walk on the beach, then getting cozy on the couch with some ice cream, my hunky husband, and a good movie.

5. What is a favorite family meal at your house? Tacos or homemade pizza.

6. Share something you have learned recently. That I have a lot to learn along with my children on our homeschooling journey... that's something I'm constantly reminded of and relearning!

7. Best hour of the day? 10am.

8. Something you love about your home. The awesome wide wooden floor boards :) And there's this little dragon fly hanger in the pantry...  

9. What are three of your talents, gifts, or strengths? I asked my son to name my three talents {because my mind went a bit blank!} and he said they were: 1. being a mommy 2. snuggling 3. giving good hugs... I think I'll go with his answers!

10. One thing you are hoping to learn or improve? Patience. And a love for cooking... one can learn that, right?

11. I am looking forward to . . . Warm summer breezes and early mornings at the beach!

List 11 bloggers...
I hate this part... really! I hate picking and then leaving someone out... so... if anyone would like to participate, consider yourself tagged! I know a few of you love filling out questionnaires and coming up with questions for folks, so please please play along! Let me know in the comments if you've participated and I'll be sure to come check our your random facts and answers to the questions below!

11 Questions for fellow bloggers... 
1. What is the song you could listen to on repeat for hours?
2. What was your first job?
3. What are three of your passions?
4. When and where do you feel most at peace?
5. What do you love to do that stretches you out of your comfort zone?
6. As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
7. What was the last concert you went to?
8. How would you spend a day free of commitments and have to's and should do's?
9. Favorite holiday and why?
10.  What's on your wish list right now?
11. What actor will you watch in anything, no matter the quality of the movie?

Jess, thank you so much!! Like you said, this took a bit of time, but was really fun to put together! Again, if anyone would like to participate, consider yourself tagged :) Please comment and let me know that you've played along!