Saturday, December 31, 2011

the story of the year

at our house
the story of 2011
was love.
there was a whole lot of love
given and received.
family connections grew stronger
extended family became closer
frienships battled and won.

love was delivered in
the shape of snail mail,
encouraging emails, soups, friendship, laughter,
 money, prayers, petititons,
grace, forgiveness, and acceptance of each other
just as we are.
love was delivered
through immense heartaches, sickness, loss and devestation.

love was demonstrated
every day in our immediate family
as we grew stronger and closer than ever before.
love is continuing to flow with us as we
anticipate a marvelous 2012.

love becomes stronger
and more steadfast
when we practice vulnerablility
and there was more openness and brokeness
and truth spoken
in our family than ever before.
oh there have been tough days.
heartbreaking days and with those
an amazing strength and solidity
that comes only after being faced with adversity.

love follows us.
it follows us as we struggle with the monumental changes that are coming.
love covers us as we have challenging conversations around
teenagers and money and health and careers and roles
and hopes and dreams.

2011 has been a challenging year.
we had a choice.
 we have a choice still
as to how we embrace those challenges.
we choose love.
we choose relationships
we choose forgiveness
we choose selfless giving to one another

we are pretty proud of how we made it through
still standing.
and more in love with each other
with life than ever before.

2011 has been full of so many gifts.
happy new year's everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2011

my word.

every year i pick a word
here is my post from last year
about my 2011 word
when i read this older post today
i was suprised and yet,
 not at all surprised
all in the same breath
so much of what
i was hoping for and aware of
and struggling with
in january 2011
i am still working through
in december 2011.
and as i have been pondering my
word for 2012
there has been a feeling
that i might still be needing to
embrace and learn from the word
of 2011.
this has been a challenging
yet also
 a year full of so much goodness and grace.
this has been a year of
 heartache and sorrow.
it feels as if
sickness and monumental change
have  followed our every footstep.

 I have taken some enormous steps towards living
a more balanced life
but also some baby steps
that have the potential to become much stronger
and purposful in their daily walking.
I have more to learn
about this word
and what i wrote about almost a year ago
this year
this new year that is shiny and new
and full of optimism
my word
is going to continue to be

Thursday, December 29, 2011

the start of new beginnings...

i love the new year
and all the potential
that seems to be waiting for
i love making lists
of projects
and plans
and i bubble
with the enthusiasm of fresh starts.

yesterday we packed up the daycare
there were moments where i found myself
staggering under the sadness
that i felt
but slowly as the day progressed
i was able to see beyond
the undoing
and begin
to imagine
the possibilites!

today there is patching
and painting
and sorting
taking place all around me
and my mind is full of ideas
full of wishes and hopes for the new spaces
we are creating
in our home.

i have a
 crisp new notebook
just waiting for the janaury lists to arrive
new ideas
new dreams
and so many
possibilites are awaiting me!

Monday, December 26, 2011

did you hear it?

did you hear it?
the big happy sigh at the end of the day yesterday?
the deep, love filled, relaxed exhale of  happiness
occured around 11 pm
and was preceeded by a most wonderful day.

the day would perhaps have looked boring to some
being most of it was spent on the couch.
in fact
i didn't get out of my pj's all day long.
not once.
the big happy sigh was the direct result
of spending the entire day
entire day
in the company of my children.

it is true
that saying
you hear
about not really appreciating what you have
until you don't have it.
i didn't really understand that until now.
(even if i thought i might have- i really didn't)
it's only been
during these past few difficult months
of not having what we had taken for granted
or at the very least thought we would always have
that has brought me a little bit closer to understanding
the importance of making every moment count.

for in
 these moments and days
when we are all together and happy and content to just be
in each others presence
i am so aware.
so blessed.
so willing to just sit and let it all happen.
i don't need to force an activity or keep busy
or concern myself with what isn't happening
i am now able to just be.
just be with my kids
relaxed and free from expectations and demands.

so at the end of a quiet and peaceful day
we rolled into bed
  looked at each other
and said
"it has been a very good christmas"

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas

christmas looks like this:

being woken up by giggling teenagers at 7:01
being bounced upon by giggling teenagers at 7:02
four children and one very happy mama all day long
lots and lots of lying around on couches
watching the sound of music
trying to order chinese food but not finding any that were open
cooking christmas dinner with caleb
presents under the tree that brought wide smiles and happy thankyou's
sleeping girl on couch
too much chocolate
afternoon naps
visits from our favorite Shawn
candles and christmas lights

this has been a most awesome day!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry and bright

may our next few days
merry and bright.
might we
soak up the goodness, the noisy chatter
the piles of paper and bows
the sugar and sweets
the turkey and whatever else graces our tables.
let us be
aware that this time is a gift
and it comes but once a year

please be in the moment
whatever that moment may be
wherever we may find ourselves these next few days
and take the gift that is offered us.

may we
hug often and freely
say i love you more than we might normally do.
sing with gusto and dare to be silly
might we
wrap ourselves
 with garlands of generosity and joy
catch some of the magic
that sparkles in young eyes.
lets all
smile broadly
and let some of the weariness of the past year go

bless and be blessed.
merry christmas dear family and friends of mine.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Love is patient
(that includes with myself)

Love is kind
(always kind. sometimes being silent is kind)

love is not jealous
(of other people and their apparent successess)
it is not boastful or proud

or rude
(not even when surrounded by boastful,proud or rude behaviours)
Love does not demand its own way.

(even when i really, really, really want my own way!)

It is not irritable
(not even on the inside where one can't hear the grumbling outloud except ourselves)
and it keeps no record of wrongs
( there is no place for a nasty list of "you said" "i said" in love)

It does not rejoice about injustice
(but perhaps instead is broken hearted and compelled to make a difference?)

Love rejoices in the truth
(the truth is sometimes not pretty but much more soul building than lies)

Love never gives up
(but remembers that hope springs eternal)

Love never loses faith
(but holds onto what we cannot see!)

love is always hopeful
(oh how i love that word-perhaps it will be my word of 2012)
and endures through every circumstance
(we are stronger than we think thanks to love)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

sweet christmas words...

(from Tracy's christmas card)

What Is Christmas?
It is tenderness for the past,
courage for the present,
hope for the future.

It is a fervent wish that every cup
may overflow with blessings rich
and eternal,
and that every path
may lead to peace.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

the post i really wanted to write but didn't. until now.

the post that talks about
how hard it is to have her home.
even though it is so wonderful and right
it is still so hard.
even though her laughter fills up the dark corners of the halls
it is still so hard.
the post that has words that speak
of struggle and heartbreak
 and disappointment.

not at her. but at me.
it is important to make that clear.

i have
impossible standards of myself.
i know this to be true
yet i can't seem to change them.
(not yet anyways. i am trying)
i am
in this stage of life
as mother to teenage girl
am unable to
 apply and use the skills and talents
and gifts and wisdom that i possess and have often
practiced and shared.
this is frustrating and scary and oh so disappointing to me.
it is harder than i ever thought possible.

i may very well be the worst mother
to teenage girl ever.

now, i logically know that this is not true.
this is not true
(but it feels true)

there is no yelling. there are no threats.
there are reasonable expectations and consequences.
there is grace and forgiveness and affection.
there are times of communication
  of laughter and joy.
we finish each others sentences and pick up the same items in stores
without reilizing the other is holding and wanting it.


i want our lives to be how they were before.
that is truly what i am grieving for
and i can't have that
i don't even
in the big picture want that.
but oh how i miss the old days..
and they are so close still that i remember
them so fondly
and i can't yet see past this spot we are in.
this hard and mucky and painful spot.
and that not seeing, not having forward vision
prevents me from moving on
with hope and optimism.

i feel stuck.
wanting the curly haired girl and i to be as we were
but knowing that we can't.
i feel stuck
relinquishing my hopes and dreams so that she
can find her own.
i feel stuck.
stuck in an age that is not personal, not about me and not long lasting
but oh it feels like all those things.
it really, truly does.

this is not her fault.
it is not my fault.
it is what it is.
and it comes with great sorrow and great uncertainty
and a battle cry to live in the moment,
take it one day, one segment of time,
really seeing and being and seeking
and letting go.
constantly letting go.

i feel raw. vulnerable. split wide open
cut in half so to speak.
and i know she feels it too.
i know that we both love with a fierce love
and this is a painful process we are walking through.
i can't wait to be done.
you have no idea
(or maybe you do)
how i want to be done with these hard hard years.

so that is the post i really wanted to write these past few days but didn't
after all it's Christmas and such
but this is my life.
this is life.
messy and split wide open
 regardless of the season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

today has looked like this...

i woke up with a deep feeling of sadness
i hid under the covers for a while
while owen chatted with his lovely sister
on the phone

 then i
staggered somewhat awake
downstairs and in an attempt
to jolly things up
put on our christmas playlist.
after a few songs and a cup of tea
it occured to me
that either we don't have the greatest
playlist or there are alot of sad christmas songs out there.

i turned the music off.
it wasn't helping much.

my mornings are particulary
lovely because i am greeted
by a very cheerful little mister
at my door
and when he drops his stuffed dog at my feet
and chats away about the newest thing
it is hard to feel sad for very long.

sorrow can be persistant
and really,
it probably is a mix of sorrow
and just feeling sorry for myself
which i have no reason to be doing
but hey,
it happens.
my glum mood continued

my lovely friend stopped by and after
a rousing chat about the reality of life
and another cup of tea
i was feeling much better
because really,
how long can i afford to stay sad?
i miss alot when I am gloomy.
and i didn't want to miss out on anymore goodness from today.

i really don't!

and of course
 a constant stream
of hugs and kisses
from little people
is the greatest mood booster i know

Monday, December 19, 2011

shadows across the joy

i'm not suprised
to have them arrive.

the shadows that like to
steal the joy
the optimism,
the gratitude

it is my last week of work
and there are deadlines looming ahead
what with christmas and appointments and such.

there is the beautiful blog that i discovered this morning
perfectly composed and beautiful
and it intimidated me
rather than washing over me with beauty.

there is also the sorting and packing up
of the daycare that is beginning
to overwhelm me
what to do with all that stuff
(don't worry mom-i am keeping it)

there's that glimpse in the mirror
that reminds me
that i've been a bit neglectful of myself these days.

what does one do once they no longer
have a job to hide their identity in?

how do i walk through this
transition gracefully, with confidence
and a sense of hope and optimism?

one day at a time.
staying in the moment.
recognizing the anxiety
and giving it space but not power.

making to do lists and crossing things off
one by one.

trusting that i am exactly where i am meant to be
at this moment.

believing that  i have a
bright and shiny future
just as i believe others do

it was strange
to not blog for the past three
and it felt odd returning here
as if
the daily habit
had been broken
and wouldn't come back easily.
my words don't flow as easily as they did last week.
it is comforting to return to this space.

Friday, December 16, 2011

birthday blessings...

To my dear friend,

Thank you for being born!

I am so delighted you appeared here,
to frolic and revel in life
at the same time as me.

May your year be lovingly filled
with expansive thinking,
deep loving,
intuitive adventuring
and unfolding of every description.

My you fullly know and feel
the pure value of your being
without performance, proof or resistance.

Mya you receive fully and completely,
each day and night,
all that fills you.

May you give spontaneously without measure.

May you stand (or lie down)
in the center of your life,
without explanation or apology for who you are
in your essence,
for the lessons that come as gifts,
and for your acceptance of those lessons.

May you go inside yourself first
for love and then
receive and accept love from others.

May candles leap high and wild
at the sight of your sweet face.

Happiest Birthday Blessing to you
my endering friend

Thursday, December 15, 2011

he's a sharer..

i love
the fact
that whenever i ask caleb
a question about cooking
he doesn't even hesitate
in his response.
i love that he
starts rummaging through
the cupboards,
talking all the while
and he
doesn't just answer my question
but he
right then and there
starts to make it.
he chatters away
moving with
confidence and joy
around the kitchen
and before you know it
whatever it was
that i was curious
is sitting on my counter

i asked about
homemade truffles
yummy chocolate bites
of goodness.
my fridge now has
a plate of them
waiting to be
savoured by whoever
can't resist the
lure of deep rich creamy chocolate.

i love this
 about caleb
i love his enthusiasm
for his craft.
i love that he is a
a sharer of what he has learned
and is learning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

when the flu comes to visit...

as i am re reading Ann Voskamp' s
One Thousand Gifts
i am
in a heightened state of awareness
around gratitude.

so last night when owen arrived
home from work
very sick
and when i arose from
not a wink of sleep
feeling a little under the weather
i was
careful to look for the good.

owen has a job where he can
stay home if necessary and not be made to feel guilty

we have a big stack of afghans to cuddle under

there are people in our lives willing to bring us whatever we might need
(we don't need anything, which is also a blessing)

as i
have felt less and less well
as the hours are passing by
here is what i am grateful for

thaddeus and his willingness to play with the little ones

carter's amazing interventionsist who feel so at home here
and are so helpful
(my kitchen just became super clean while i read stories)


it is hard practice
always looking for ways to be thankful
and it is
a practice that in my own life
brings abundance
the more grateful i am
the more i see to be grateful for
and the smaller those big problems become
the little problems almost dissapear entirely.

this does not mean that
i am a pro at this.
obviously i am not
that's why it's called a practice.
a habit.
a daily intention.

and the little gratitude book
becomes thick with entries
and the blog gratitude lists
keep on coming
and i
count my blessings
one by one
before we know it
the flu will be gone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

(gratitude list for today)

the beautiful light that pours through my windows

four year olds who ask to go to bed

the little spots of "pretty" in my house right now

anticipation for our company tomorrow night

the ability to seperate actions from love

the paper chain decorating the bumble bee house in the back yard

warm afghans

a great book to read


i have men/boys in my life that can cry when they need to


super friendly co-op gas attendants

and of course,
my kefir and honey jar

Monday, December 12, 2011

we went to the creek

this boy and i
summer, fall, winter, and spring
almost every day
for over two years

we strung a tree
with a paper chain
that we made together.

the tree had a small flock
of blue birds that decided to nest there.
they look quite lovely
i think
and i
 at the though of who might
stumble upon them
and hopefully
be blessed by their messages
stamped on the back.

perhaps tomorrow
we will add a few
rolled in bird seed.

i see this daily decorating
 as a way
of gifting the trail
thanking it for
all of the secrets and delights
that have been shared
with us.
the wonders and adventures
and splashings and runnings.
the milestones of being tall enough
to get up on the stump
and the
when the log was dragged away.

the flora and fauna
that we have encountered

deer, squirrels, fungi, wild flowers, snakes, berries, rosehips
ducks, chicadees, slugs
 our beloved and curiosity provoking slugs

a whole family of woodpeckers all in one tree!

we will continue to decorate
the tree
until the end of the week
and leave it
to suprise and delight
those who also love our trail.