Saturday, November 12, 2016

The one about making beautiful things...

It's been a hard week. We had a bit of dust-up, election wise. Can't honestly say that anyone Won, really.  Our little city has managed to not-so-peacefully assemble and protest.   

I'm supposed to be on my way back from Turkey right now. Actually, I should have arrived home this morning. But our trip was canceled just over two weeks before departure. Because reasons. 

But, because of the change, when a friend asked if I could create a cake to celebrate her mom's 70th birthday, I was able to oblige. Her mother just so happens to be obsessed with all things British royalty


I'm a firm believer in Be The Change You Want To See. Today? I made art. Not that anyone will hang these up for admiration...sugar doesn't keep that well. But, my gift is in creating. And I'll continue to create beautiful things and sharing them with others. 

I can't recall the names of politicians and rulers throughout history. Or all whys and reasons for the countless wars. But I remember the names of artists. And I vividly recall their greatest, and not so greatest, works. Art has always had healing powers for me. Today was no exception. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The one about being firmly planted in grace…

Life is messy. And Hard. And beautiful. And, most days, all at the same time.

This week was particularly messy. And hard. 

I sat in the room with the wee girl as she talked to her therapist for the first time. I sat. And I listened. I watched. I watched as she started to fidget. Started to pace. Started to do her silly faces and hand motions she does when the situation gets too Big. Too awkward. I watched. For the first time in nine years, I didn’t reach out and touch her, ground her. Calm her. I plant my feet, and watch. Because the councilor needed to see. Needed to witness. 

I’ve dealt with parents all week who believe that, somehow, their child’s feelings are not being taken seriously, validated. Their child is 2. Everything single feeling is Huge. I’ve had to reassure them that, yes, we listen. We engage. We keep her safe. And she is happy. And still, they sit there wanting me to do More. Be more. They are upset because I don’t answer work emails at home. Because they don’t have my phone number. I plant my feet, and I stand my ground. Because my time is sacred. My home is sacred. 

A text from my nephew earlier in the week, simply asking if he could leave his car at our house over the weekend, brought up all of the times his brother would text to ask if we were home and could he stop by. I’ve stopped expecting it to get easier. Better. I think I’m prepared for the pain, but I never am. Grief is messy. So very messy. It seeps into everything and anything. I love that he’s close, and comfortable with just dropping in. But I miss his brother. So much. And one reminds me of the other. But I’m not going to withdraw from the one just because it hurts and it’s messy. So I plant my feet, and I welcome him and I hold him. So tight. He knows I don’t want to let go. And he lets me hug him. 

Yesterday I came home from work Done. The girl came home from school weary. She wanted to bake. I wanted Rest. So she waited. And then she baked. But we all forgot we needed the oven for an early supper because the boy and I had a Thing. Fridays here aren’t celebrated by everyone. Because it’s also chemo day. Messy, ugly, painful chemo day. But he was still going to insure the boy and I had supper before we left. It ended up not being ready. The boy ate in the car. I ate when we got home—much later. And he was stressed, and frustrated, and in loads of pain. But he was doing his best to control the situation. And I was only making it worse. In my own frustration and messiness, I wasn’t able to get the right words out. The ones that told him how much I appreciated him trying to take care of us, and to fix this thing that didn’t need to be fixed. I needed to tell him I saw him. I see him. I see the things he does. All of what he does for this family. For me. I see him. But it was messy and it all came out wrong. And so I plant my feet, and I stand. I stand in his storm. His body and brain are hijacked by forces he cannot always control. It’s not an excuse. But the knowledge enables me to stand in that storm. And to walk out on the other side. 

Today, I sat down to work on a cake order. I have a couple of weeks, but there are components that need to be completed early so they can dry, be painted, and dry some more. I sat at the kitchen island, my own music softly playing, and I created. I let my hands do what they know to do. Delicate yellow roses sculpted out of sugar. And I let it all go. 

Because, sometimes? We need to create our own peace. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

The one about anxiety and a toy purge...

The girl child's current method of separating the Rational from the Irrational is to remove the physical source of her anxiety, if applicable.  For example...she brought one of her American Girl dolls (hand-me-down, not purchased) down to us late one night because it was scaring her. A few nights later, Curious George joined the doll. Huge steps from the screaming and hours of talking her down!

Tomorrow? We will be conducting a full purge of dolls, including Barbies.

But not the stuffed animals, because those only fart and snore.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I should probably sum up...

Almost an entire year of dead least blog wise. Certainly not dead air in real life. Far from it!

It was a year filled with adventure, new things, old things, comfort stretching things, lovely things, and hard things.

Both kiddos finished up challenging school years on high notes. Summer shenanigans were well deserved!

The summer was spent teaching our children how to cook, how to work the washing machine...

The girl's room underwent a complete make-over. I only teared up for the first bit--painting over the mural I had previously painted...

There was a week spent between a massive water park and an even more massive amusement park. Both kiddos rode their first roller coasters! The boy hit the height limit on every single one--so he rode every single one. Multiple times. Never have I been more grateful for friends who love roller coasters so he never rode alone!

Comic Con came to our city once again...this time we attended as Time Lords and their TARDIS. I had an epic run-in (my face colliding with his chest epicness) with John Schneider. Twice. My inner 15-year-old was all a twitter.

I was able to accompany himself to the annual Scary Guy convention in Colorado Springs. I fell in love with the mountains. I didn't think I could love any mountain as much as my Kilimanjaro, but I did truly fall in love...

Quiet moments...

New ocean adventures...

Someone turned double digits...

Someone else blew out eight candles...

The boy was suspended for two days due to a knee-jerk reaction from school administrators. Once the whole, un-edited story was in, the suspension was overturned. But not without eggy faces and lost trust.  And a renewed knowledge that We are our children's greatest advocates.

Epic costumes were created. Lights on the helmet provided by our very own wiring expert...

Kiddos got to meet one of their favorite internet people.  And they baked her cookies...

The girl spent six months as the face of juvenile arthritis, rounding out her year as the National Arthritis Foundation's 2015 Jingle Bell Run's youth honoree...

Helix T. Bombdog retired. And is enjoying his brand new life as a family doggie.  As are we all!

17 years of weddedness was celebrated. Quietly, and not in the hospital! Because, for while there, it looked like we might be doing just that.

I soaked in our unseasonably warm Christmas. Ahhh....

44 years of my own life on this planet was celebrated by three generations watching The Force Awakens. And a gluten free brownie cake created by my mom and my daughter...

And, for the first time in 13 years, New Year's Eve with my love. At home, with our children, but still together.

Then we survived the 100 year storm...Jonas 2016!

So now, my lovelies...onwards.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Waiting. Breathing.

Kyleigh has a new favorite movie--Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium. We were watching it again tonight and there's a part in it where Mr. Magorium and Molly (his assistant) change all of the clocks in a clock shop to just before 12...

Mr. Magorium: 37 seconds.
Molly: Great. Well done. Now we wait.
Mr. Magorium: No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.

Decisions have been made. Forward steps put into motion. But now there's Waiting.  And what do we do in the Waiting? We can wait. Or we can breath. Pulse. Regenerate. Create. I'm choosing to breath.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Should haves...and plugging back in...

There's a video currently going around social media--a large black board set up in New York City asking people to write their Biggest Regrets. At the end of the video they focus on how so many regrets include "Not". The motivational conclusion being, don't let your passion/dreams not followed being your ending story. Cue moving, rising music.

But here's the thing. My regrets aren't my Nots. My regrets are my Should Haves. I should have been more Kind. I should have been more Particular. I should have thought that one through just a little more. I should have listened, and followed through when a friend needed a friend. But I remember those Should Haves. And I stand on them, grow from them. Become a Better Person because of them.

Our little family is facing Big Change. Change that is way ahead of schedule. I'm not prepared for this. I'm completely fine with change. I happen to thrive in the chaos. What I'm not fine with is the Unsettlement of the Unknown. Because I don't even know where to start with that.

I've recently started gathering with a very small, close group of amazing women. Coming together once a month to talk, to encourage, to build up, and to support. Earlier this week we were talking about the things we're Waiting for, and what do we do in the Waiting.

I have just enough British in my upbringing that has trained me to lace up my boots and Carry On. Because in the midst of the Waiting? Life continues. Children still need to get to school in the morning. I have an employer who still assumes I'll show up every day. Groceries still need to be purchased. Lunches made. Life carries on. Oddly enough.

Earlier in December, Himself was in the hospital for a week recovering from surgery. Before heading out to spend the morning with him, I found myself at the grocery store. I had to check to make sure the store was open that early--because I'd never had reason to be there at that time, and I didn't know. My mom called to check on me, asking if I was at the hospital. I told her I was wandering around the grocery store. Because we were out of milk. Because, somehow, in the midst of our chaos, life was Carrying On.

A sweet friend sat with me this weekend and just talked. We talked about her stuff. And we talked about my stuff. Most of our friendship has been based on the fact that our boys are besties. Sometimes we dig deeper. This was one of those times. She listened. Then she said that maybe this was my chance to do things I always wanted to do. Change jobs. Be More. She knows some of my past. Bits. But I explained that I was already doing exactly what I wanted to do. I was what I wanted to Be when I grew up. And she looked kind of shocked. How could I not want More?

From the outside, it may look like I'm just biding my time. Waiting until the kids are more independent. But I'm not. No, my one job isn't perfect. But I enjoy it. Sure, I have co-workers I avoid. I shut my classroom door to close off everyone else. But I love my kiddos. The thing about being a preschool teacher is, I can clock out. And I get to be home with my own children when they're home. And I have creativity and energy left for my other jobs where I get to Create and Do. I'm content. I'm right where I want to Be. And, more importantly, I'm right where I know I'm supposed to Be. This is who I am.

But it's getting all shaken up. And everything may stay the same, or nothing may stay the same. I have no idea and that is what's tying my insides up in knots.

I should have had a back up plan.

And also? I should have kept up with writing. But in the past year? Life carried on. I'm determined to do better with documenting it.