30 moments of gratitude: thirteen

I am grateful for the season when the footie pajamas are unpacked and washed, and worn on the pollywog. Making her look so yummy and snuggly...and like our little baby.

Happy Halloween

30 moments of gratitude: twelve

I am grateful that I am able to jog again. Something I was not able to do a year ago. I love running in the brisk weather and filling my lungs with cool air. I love how my face gets flushed from the wind. I love listening to the dogs howl and watching the sun set. I am grateful.

inside and out

With autumn here I find myself making warm soups, baking breads, warming my hands around mugs of hot tea and enjoying good books with my little book lamp in bed...of course under lavender scented fleece blankets and flannel p.j.s. I love creating cozy little nooks in my home and watching movies with my family. but this season also draws me outside. This is my favorite hiking and camping season. The earth is awash in colors, the animals busy with purpose, and the air... it awakens something deep within me...I love taking walks after hearty meals, or going for a quick jog as the sun sets all around me. I love the smell of campfire, hay, and hot apple cider. I don't think I could ever live somewhere where seasons pass without notice. These changes offer insight and wisdom for me. Thank you God for your artistry.

30 moments of gratitude: eleven

I am grateful for firsts...

scenes around the house

Today the autumn sun is shining through the crisp, cool air. The house is aglow in sunlight, cozy, and warm with smells of cinnamon. The day started with the four of us sitting around the table sharing stories and laughter while slopping up pancakes with real maple syrup. This afternoon sweet chimes of classical music plays faintly in the background, the gurgling of the cool mist peacefully and slowly softens the dry air and calms my spirit. The boy is reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the pollywog is busying herself.   I am folding warm towels and flannel sheets, concocting recipes to make later and letting contentment make its way back into the creases of my face down my back and into my toes All is well. Like the tree in a storm, I let myself bend and sway so that I would not break...then the clouds opened and the sky cast its glory on my soul.

the blues

The computer is up and running again. We had lost our power chord and searched everywhere for it...well, I thought everywhere. Until yesterday when I opened a drawer and it was sitting right there in plain sight. I have been a bit of a funk lately. As the months pass and the seasons change, the loss of my father sinks in even more. I desperately miss our conversations about politics, current events and sports. I miss his laugh in the very pit of my stomach. I miss his one liners and grumpy disposition that was just a thin cover for the sweet teddy bear he was. I miss his kisses. But mostly I miss having him to talk to. Whenever I was faced with a dilemma or struggling with anything he was my "go to". He was truly the best listener I have ever encountered. He never judged my words or intentions. He would listen and then offer his humble opinion with honesty, and usually humor. The realization of him not being here anymore is very difficult. When I feel sad like this, Murphy's law always seems to be present. Everything "feels" like it is falling apart around me. Everything seems harder. When I take a step back I realize its just life and its normal trials, but in the eye of the sadness it feels like a storm. I feed the sadness with comfort foods that make me feel awful, and I keep myself locked up in my house unwilling to let the warm sunshine comfort me. I wallow in self pity and then feel guilty for doing so. This lasts a day, maybe two, then at some point I look down on myself and realize, "enough is enough"... I stand up and realize my wounds have become new muscles and it's time to buck up. So today I am going to quit feeling sorry for myself. and here are some simple things that I am going to enjoy this week: - feeling accomplishment from cleaning my house - burning lavender and cinnamon incense and enjoying the gentle scents - letting the sunshine dry all of our winter sweaters and woolens recently unpacked - fluffing the fleece blankets that we all snuggle under during the cold months - listening to the adventures CJ had this weekend while at his friend's house - all the kisses and hugs my pollywog showers me with - cups of tea and political conversations with B - bringing more signs of autumn inside the home - yummy and energizing green smoothies - taking a long walk and letting the crisp air fill my lungs and remind me I am alive - gathering items with CJ in the woods for the Huckleberry Finn diorama we're working on - starting my crochet projects for this fall and winter (scarves and each child their first afghan) - finding a new novel to enjoy before bed each night. - giving myself hugs and letting my heavenly Father wipe away my tears and hold me - reading my Bible (any suggestions on a comforting book in the Bible to read?) - and this isn't necessarily a goal for the week but B and I often talk about how we wish we could meet a sweet old man or woman that maybe is lonely and we could be a family to. We love old folks and miss having them in our lives. I have no living grandparents and B has one grandmother who lives in Oregon (who we really miss!) We would love for the kids to have the wonderful gifts of joy, stories and wisdom that the elderly bring. We are praying that God will bring someone special like this into our families life. Maybe I should look into all of us visiting some nursing homes especially around the holidays. Has anyone ever done this? I'd love to hear about it. - looking for a little cafe or something that I can work at in the early mornings before my family wakes up. I have really been missing working outside the home. I love meeting new people and making little paychecks- especially with two birthdays in December and Christmas... - which reminds me: I want to start working on some hand made gifts for the season. and to end on a positive note...here are a couple of snapshots of pollywog's Sunday in the park: Thanks for listening.

30 moments of gratitude: ten

I am grateful for special times with just us girls... painting toe nails, dancing and singing and giggling to our secret jokes.

30 moments of gratitude: nine

I am grateful for grandmothers who sew beautiful items for their grandchildren. Dresses and quilts made with love to be treasured. Twirled in and snuggled under ... (Thanks Gamma...perfect fit!)

what the boy has been up too

On Sunday CJ decided he wanted to make dinner for the family. I should preface it by saying he had been in experimental mode all week. Making home-made sodas, tinkering for hours with tools and bike and scooter parts in the garage, and learning that one can cook salmon in the dishwasher...(um, thankfully that was not our dinner)...this was my last cooked meal as I am trying a raw diet, (more on that another time). So he worked his little heart out in the kitchen and set a beautiful table. Here are two pictures from our lovely course. Here is the main course. The noodles were boiled with lemons, limes, and apple cider vinegar...(interesting) And in our personal bowls, the pasta was garnished with apple slices and bell pepper. There was also a lovely red sauce and a yummy salad complete with apple cider vinegar dressing, (B helped me finished my salad). He asked us to rate on a scale from 1, being yucky, to 10, being great, on presentation then taste. For presentation he got a 10 and taste a 9...just a bit too much vinegar. :) Maybe a future chef...although still tweaking the garnishes and condiments. And in other news of the boy...he is an official orange belt!!!! Can you feel me beaming though the screen?

30 moments of gratitude: eight

I am grateful for moments of complete immersion in the small and precious events in the day. Ones that might seem insignificant at first glance, but so important in the instant. Fleeting connections...times my inner child emerges, and all is well.

30 moments of gratitude: seven

I am so grateful for the visual changes of the season. As I get older the purpose of seasons becomes so poignant. Knowing there are specific times for specific things. Balance, moderation, acknowledgement, starting over. The earth renews and revives for each changing season giving us beautiful lessons if we take the time to learn.

30 moments of gratitude: six

I am grateful for the peaceful afternoons. When the little one is napping to the sound of the breeze outside and the birds singing her lullabies...when the boy is off making adventures...and I have the sun patches all to myself.

30 moments of gratitude: five

grateful for a day at the park


Feeling a bit down today. Gamma and Papa are going to have to reschedule their visit with us. Papa is not feeling well, but he is on the mend. We were all so excited about seeing them. Last night was a rough night. Pollywog, as I mentioned yesterday, is going through something...which is causing her to be particularly clingly, whining, grumpy and wanting to be nursed constantly- which is becoming painful. She also has been getting exzema around her hands and wrists which I am thinking is either dairy related, egg related or white sugars. I have been particularly tired the past few days, which I believe is also diet related, not exercising...( I did manage 3 1/2 workouts last week!!!)...oh and Aunt Martha's recent visit ;) (UGH) We all have just been dragging around a bit. Feeling restless, and missing Oregon. It is so easy to let these "down in the dumps" emotions rule...so I am letting myself have a moment, then I have to snap out of it. Right now the sun just popped out after much needed rain- that is nice! Right now B is taking pollywog with him on an errand- that is great! Right now CJ just came in from playing in a puddle of water and mud (yuck, laundry) and exclaimed, "that is what I like about being a kid, you get to do exciting stuff like ride your bike into huge puddles of water" - that is excellent! Right now I realize I need to make some long awaited dietary changes for not only me, but the whole family. I have being doing a lot of research and found some inspiring and well informed people who got me kick started and I am excited to read the book, "Green for Life"- that will be really great! Right now my house is near being completely cleaned- awesome! Today CJ wrote his first letter to his new pen-pal in Oregon- cool! Right now I can look forward to my meeting with a gal Thursday about taking some classes to become an Exercise Specialist- brilliant! This week I am meeting a young home school girl who might be watching pollywog occassionally so B and I can go on actually dates- wow! Tonight I have plans to do some crocheting (that is if pollywog sleeps)- that will be fun! Right now I have much to be thankful for...even when the day feels blah. The important thing is all the things that have gotten me down are fixable, I just have to be disciplined to make the needed changes, this is a character trait I am working on, as it is not one of my strengths. Seaons..

sleepy, busy, painting leaves, Monday

Boy am I zonked...last night the hubby and I were up till around 2 a.m., working on some chores we had procrastinated on all weekend. (FYI: sometimes having two procrastinators in the home equals, nothing gets done)- B's parents are flying in from Oregon tomorrow and we wanted to tidy up a bit. Not to mention, knowing that the "indoor" months are coming I wanted to do some fall cleaning and decorating... (although, I must admit fall and winter are actually my favorite seasons to play outside). So while he went around the house with a can of white (ugh) paint and puddy covering old smudge marks and nail holes, I painted our new "garage sale find" chairs and re-arranged the house. I love rearranging and finding new ways to use furniture. It all turned out great... -but boy have I been tired all day. Not to mention that the little one has been cutting a top molar or going through some developmental spurt, b/c she has been wanting mommy and na na's all day. For a few moments today I was wallowing in my sleepiness and I could feel it swallowing me up. So I decided I better change gears. Yesterday we took the kids on a little hike to gather some "signs of fall" for a craft today... It was sunny and warm (unlike today) and we got plenty hot and sweaty exploring: Pollywog found acorn tops and they made her think of a hat...didn't seem to fit CJ wanted to show me two special spots that he found last time he was on this trail. He pointed to this explaining that it looked like a magical place. It reminded me of myself, as I always imagine little magical worlds in the woods. Special eyes that boy has. Then he took me to a place he discovered that he aptly named "Peace Tree" Today, once I passed through my sleepy self, the kids and I gathered our collections from yesterday's hike, went out into the garage and made our Fall decorations for the house. Now are house will be filled with loveliness...and tomorrow, with gamma and papa!

30 moments of gratitude: three

I am grateful for weekend indulgences... ( Vegetable Stew with Gouda potato pancakes and Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprints)

30 moments of gratitude: two

I am grateful for these quiet moments, exploring in the yard with my little one. It is amazing just how meaningful these times are, when I fully immerse myself . Little patches of clover that entice the little one's eyes. Leaves that make sounds never heard before. A sky full of birds in flight, and buckets of water to splash in.


In this quiet moment, with the sun set and well past my bedtime...I remember my daddy. Tears fall freely as the memories of him flood my senses. Although there is great sadness, I enjoy remembering him and imagining him as a little boy with scrapped knees. A cool "James Dean" teenager, and a proud soldier. I squeeze my eyes tightly and try to imagine his voice and his hands that I loved to hold. I think of him every time the news is on. I miss our daily conversations and me thinking of questions that he could always answer. His life I deeply miss.

30 moments of gratitude: one

I am so grateful for each special moment I spend cuddling and nursing my little one... Knowing that these moments will be over before I know it, I am mindful and present. I cannot believe this little girl will be two in just a few short months. I am so thankful for the gift of my daughter.

wow...two post in one day

It's just one of those days...the winds of change are blowing in. I can feel it in the air. Summer is slowly becoming a memory and the energy of Fall is breezing through. I've been in a funk of sorts lately. This happens to me when I forget to be in the moment and my head is somewhere else. I find myself in tomorrow, or a moment ahead. When I am not present and forget to appreciate the now. In these moments I feel frustrated and don't always enjoy being home all day with the kids. I long for time alone and find myself impatient when I don't get this. This is a season we are all susceptible too. When I acknowledge how I am feeling I can give myself a hug and a dash of grace and then I have to pull myself up by my "boot straps" and make some changes. My children deserve a mommy who is happy and contented. My husband deserves a joyful wife and I deserve to feel happy and in the moment. When I get like this, I find that the best remedy is to be very aware of being present. I can do this by journaling at night, doing a photographic series on my blog (this really helps), Planning special days with the kids, making things, being mindful, and grateful every day. What also helps is only getting on the computer at night when the kids are not fighting for my attention, and scheduling times for myself. So I am going to start a photo series called, "30 days of grateful". These will just be moments in my day that I am choosing to recognize and be thankful for. The toughest part will be choosing only one a day. :) Also, I will be sharing activities, ideas, and daily musings that keep me present in these "long days and short years" of mothering. I would love to hear feedback from your days and ways that you stay present and enjoy being a mom or dad. Happy Blessings to all

back to normal

Yesterday's quiet and restful day must have given the kids added energy, because they were wild last night. Realizing around eleven P.M. that we would only frustrate ourselves if we kept pressing and hoping for them to sleep...we threw our hands in the air and opted for spontaneity and flexibility...thus declaring it cookie night. so... we put on our old standby favorite movie, "Beethoven"   snuggled under blankets (inbetween pollywog running around the living room making dog noises) we ate cookies and drank glasses of milk and laughed and watched our movie Come 12:30 we were finally all settled down and ready for bed... And in keeping with this energy, I can tell today is going to be the opposite of a peaceful day... back to normal...