Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yesterday I was taking the scraps out to the compost heap and the snow was crunching under my feet.  It reminded me that I needed to write down some things that have made me happy lately.  I came inside and wrote down a few things on sticky notes so I wouldn't forget. 
  • the sound of snow crunching under my feet.
  • fresh flowers in the bathroom.
  • good sleep.
  • a clean kitchen.
  • snow on the fence.
  • buds on the trees and the promise of spring.
  • seed catalogs.
  • using up the pesto in my freezer.
  • old subtitled godzilla movies.
  • the light coming back to us as spring approaches.
  • my dog.
What's making you happy lately?

Monday, February 27, 2012


I admit it.  That last post was a lame attempt at posting something while the in the midst of a super busy, tiring week.  It all started out last weekend when Jonathan took Solomon to San Francisco for a memorial in honor is his father who passed away last June.   Jonathan came home sick.  And you know how that goes, if someone brings home something good, everyone wants some.

I did pretty well this week holding it all together.

There was a business trip in the middle of the week and then another on Friday.  By the time Sunday rolled around,  I was exhausted doing the nighttime routine all alone for 4 nights.  Later on Sunday when Jonathan came home, I took Amelia to study with a friend and decided what I really needed was quiet time....alone thank you very much.  I went for a hike in the hills and was able to actually think.  You know, really think without trying to think and answer questions at the same time?  I walked deliberately up and down the trail taking in each breath with intention.  I smiled at each passerby and let the dogs smell my hand while keeping my steady pace. My face was red and my legs felt worked by the end. Sometimes the only way I'm really able to work things out is to walk up hills and get quiet in my head.  It's so helpful.

another hike this week on the Carson River
another hike earlier this week

Earlier that day I took Eli grocery shopping with me.  He talks a lot.  I listen and sometimes throw some conversation his way.  But, this time his conversation was just what I needed.

"I talk to God mom,"  Eli says.

"How do you do that?" I ask

"I listen,"  Eli informs me.

"Do you have to quiet your mind?,"  I ask

"Yes and I have to think.  God just said goodbye,"  Eli tells me.

"Wow, that's so cool Eli,"  I say

"Yeah, he's a good friend," Eli says with a smile.

It makes me smile widely too knowing he talks to God.  And I'm glad to be on the receiving end of these conversations, being able to ask the questions for once.

On my mommy alone hike,  I quieted my mind and really tried to listen.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


These personalities of mine.  I find great joy in watching my children unfold into their own uniqueness.  My boys could not be more different.  Eli has brown eyes and blondish hair. He tells me when he grows up he wants to live in the city and drive a monster truck with flames painted on it.  He is extremely confident and he gets very hurt if his sister gets mad at him.

Solomon is my sweet boy, always opening doors for us.  He has deep blue eyes, freckles and thick, strawberry blond hair that I can't stop from rubbing my hands through.  He's shy but warms up and can be very silly.  He loves giving out kisses and will be the first to hug someone or give them a sweet look or smile.

I like to take my kids either one at a time or two at a time, doing something special or sometimes just ordinary things like shopping on the weekends.  I always get more out of my time with them if we're on a "date."  This particular day Amelia was at a friend's house working on a project so I took the boys for a walk.

Solomon likes me to take pictures of him while climbing on rocks.  None of my other kids do this.  Here, he put this dried plant on his head and posed several times very serious like.  He's so funny.

Eli asks questions.  My two other kids asked lots of questions when they were five but I  don't remember them being so persistent.  His favorite phrase is, "Right mom?"  The boy is an expert at asking questions.  Of course I try to answer them all but sometimes I glaze over.

Eli found this rock and ran after me screaming, "I found gold, I found gold!!!!!!"  "Right mom?"  I had to break it to him that it was a very pretty rock but not gold.  "Is is a diamond?"  No, it's not a diamond, I tell him.  It's a rock......daddy will know what it is (ha, poor dad).  "Then is it pure gold?"  This conversation continued all the way home.  Then, he dropped it somewhere in the car.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

lovin' the snow

It's what everyone talks about around here. This winter has been so dry that all I dream about is waking to a bunch of snow. Well, this morning we woke to 3 inches of fluffy white. I was pretty stoked about it. Of course, Wednesdays are the busiest day of the week. So, when the kids got out of bed, they suited up and headed out into the backyard for a few runs before we had to rush out the door.  We are lucky enough to have a small hill for sledding. Just big enough for small thrills.

Now, I'm just praying that we get a bunch more snow before spring.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

on my mind

I've had some things weighing heavy on my heart lately.

A few years ago I had never read a blog.  My friend had one and so I started reading her stuff and then I stumbled upon a whole community of moms out there that I could really relate to.  To be honest, I didn't have a bunch of close friends (just a few) that I could talk with about the environment or wholesome parenting or cooking with organic, local foods.  I felt so isolated.  So, when I found blogging, I was hungry for connection and validation for how I wanted to live and raise my family.

Then about three years ago this February I started my own blog.  I didn't really know what to expect but I was eager for the challenge. I've met so many wonderful people.  I felt connected and the amount of creative inspiration was endless.  I was equally overwhelmed and motivated by all of you.  I ate it all up.

As you may know, the honeymoon phase lasts only so long and I began to feel like blogging was my proverbial ball and chain.  Not that I didn't love to have you all in my life.  I'm an introvert and need my down time really.  In order to really be successful I would have to go 110% at the blog thing or slink away into the shadows?  I realized very quickly that I wasn't going to be a Soulemama.  Or maybe I just don't believe in myself.  I don't know but most of the inspiration I get from the internet are from little bloggers like me, not the bloggers that have a book deal waiting in the wings (No offense meant here. I love Amanda's blog, she's amazing).  But, most blogs I read are the ones written by normal moms that I find something in common with.

I'm also insanely busy.  How can I only put half of my heart into this when I have so many things vying for my time?  (I was just called outside because the boys wanted to show me their volcano they made in the sand.)  Since September when, as a family, we decided to try an on-line school and the work really began.  I just started feeling like I had no room to breathe.  My son has learning disabilities and I've been driving everywhere to get him tested and back and forth to speech therapy.  (Eli just wanted me to get him some new clothes so that he can go back outside to get muddy again. Oh gosh, they just came inside and are in the bath.)  It really never stops.  I have come to really accept that my job as a full time mom is a legitimate endeavor.  I've sometimes fallen into believing that mothers who choose to stay home (me being one, ouch) are not being fulfilled.  Maybe that's because someone very close to me asked why I was wasting my college degree by being a stay home mom.  That was a huge blow but I'm strong and I have strong opinions.  Work is work is work and this staying home business is really important work.  But, I'm straying from the real topic here. Blogging.

There's the part about blogging that makes me feel uneasy like exposing my children to anyone who has a computer.  It's pretty freaky to think about.  It's like inviting total strangers into my home and into my personal thoughts.  I have more than once thought about my creepy neighbors being able to google my name and find my blog.  I wrote about vulnerability a while back and that's what I was really talking about.  I don't like feeling vulnerable like that.  It's when I feel exposed that I want to pull away and quit. 

It's been time to weigh the pros and cons.  Do I continue, sporadically to blog?  Do I just quit altogether?  It happens to the best of us.  I started thinking about how challenging writing is for me.  I'm not a writer although I can write a sentence.  Being able to write a sentence does not make one a writer!  Do I take amazing pictures?  I like them.  Is my life inspiring?  Should I really care whether someone likes what I write or the pictures I take?  I don't think so.  But, it's sure nice to be loved.  I'm feeling very exposed right now.

Just when I think this is the end, I'll find my daughter on her computer looking through old posts of mine.  I think, "I can't stop documenting my mundane, real life here."  Which brings me to the real reason why I should be blogging. It's not only for my kids but it's for me.  I want to challenge myself.  I like being able to write my thoughts down and send them out into the universe.  No matter who may be looking.  This has felt good to get out.  I think what it boils down to is balance.  Like for instance, making sad looking, out of season, conventional chocolate dipped strawberries for valentines day.  Balance.

Love to you all!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

sunny winter

It's been a while, I know.  There's been so much to say and not much at all really.  When I'm asked what I've been up to, most days it's just nothing really but the every day stuff, you know?  Our computer died back a few weeks ago though and we replaced it with a used job.  That's the main reason I've taken a break. But, it's taken us this much time to put all our programs back on the computer.  And still more time again to sit down and want to upload pictures and write something down.  So, here I am again.  At least for today.

I'm pretty sure I love taking pictures of the kids doing art.  Some in their pajamas and some not.  We homeschool after all.  It's quiet in the house.  The only sounds I can hear are the washing machine and dryer clanking and swishing down the hall and the kids intently working with paint.  The chairs creak and the paint brushes flow from paint to paper to water and back again quietly.....peacefully.  Our kitchen table is the hub for so much of our activities.  It's really the heart of our home.  But our home is pretty small.  Just the way I like it.  If I had a million bucks, I would still have a little place, all cozy and intimate.

The glob paint we're using today smells delicious:  berries, pomegranate and lemon verbena.  The colors are pretty awesome too.

Happy sunny, I think it's winter day to you!