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Showing posts from September, 2008

Just an example...

of the funny things uttered by Brea today:

"Sometimes I love you, sometimes I don't love you." (Said as I was putting her down for a nap after I told her I loved her.)

"I hear rain! Do you want me to wipe your bottom?" (Said while she was standing in front of me in the bathroom while I went pee.)

That girls and her words. Too cute.


peace

Miss Marie Goes To School...

My dear friend Marie started her new job today after recently relocating to Wisconsin. What's her new job you ask? She's the new recreation specialist (PE teacher for ease of reference) at a pre-school. Let me explain to you why I'm so excited for her new position...

First, as the mother of a child who what lucky enough to have Miss Marie as her pre-school teacher, I can't even begin to explain what an amazing pre-school teacher she is. Marie has this incredible, natural ability to connect with that age group of kids in a way not many people can. She meets them at their level, respectfully, with such enthusiasm and un-intimidating expectations, that the learning environment she creates is incredibly dynamic. She respects the kids as little people, and they in return respect her as their teacher and friend. It's a hard phenomenon to explain, and one you can't truely appreciate until you've seen it first hand.

Second, as a wellness professional in a time wh…

Financial Perspective...

It's Tuesday, which means I'm balancing the checkbook and getting tabs on our financial situation for the week. No, I'm not going to freak out like my post a couple weeks ago that sent my mom and several of my friends into a whirlwind of worry about the stability of my mental health. (No, this is not a statement of denial, I really am ok.) Instead, even though it's only 3 weeks later and things are not any better, I thought I'd share one of the things that has helped me shift my attitude as of late...

Unfortunately our financial situation is not unique these days. Many young families are finding themselves struggling to make ends meet. And obviously middle class families aren't the only one's finding ourselves in a pinch. It seems that those big corporate giants on Wall Street aren't much better at balancing their budgets. I guess at least our situation doesn't require a $700 BILLION bailout plan to find our footing again. We could make do with S…

Seven...

Seven years ago yesterday, at 7:18 pm, the words "It's a girl!" forever changed our lives. What an amazing journey parenting has proven to be. Each year as we celebrate Lexi's birthday, I take pause to be thankful for both the experience and the amazing little lady who came into our lives on that day.

I'll admit, I'm not much of a big birthday party kinda mom. So our birthday celebrations tend to be pretty low key. Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day, not unlike the day Lexi was born. After a morning trip to the coffee shop for chocolate milk and a cinnamon roll with Dad (while I was teaching class), we loaded up the birthday girl (and her silly little sister of course) and made the 30 minute drive to the Hinegardner Orchard near Montour for some apple pickin'. The girls and I had first visited the orchard 2 years ago with Lexi's preschool, and it has since become one of our favorite fall destinations.

The last time Brea visited the orchard she was confin…

Satin pjs, garden art, and 1st grade...

As the girls and I were preparing for story time last night I grabbed the tripod and the camera to get a quick picture of us in our new matching sating Tinker Bell pjs. (Scott was at work, hence the tripod. Thank goodness for the wonder that is Photoshop, because this picture DID NOT look like this when I down loaded it! Apparently I need to work on my white balance/exposure settings when trying to shoot in natural night time light.) You don't get to see the fun shape (WIDE legged bottoms), but you get the general idea of how cute we look.


Brea loves her's so much I can hardly get her out of them if we are not leaving the house right away in the morning. To be fair, it is her first pair of satin pjs...and they do feel nice! As I was trying to grab this shot, she was TOTALLY engrossed in her favorite morning TV show...Super Why!...on IPTV.

On a totally different story line...the little gift shop down the street from the studio where I teach has some of the cutest garden art, mos…

Tuesday's To Do List...

Balance the checkbook and pay bills. Check! (And I'm choosing NOT to freak out about finances today even with the reality of the numbers staring me in the face.)Complete 3 PTO tasks in relationship to the upcoming Fall Festival, the collection of our dues, and the t-shirt project.Get a handle on the dishes!Clean more than just a path through the living room so that I can vacuum.Have a conversation with Lexi about her birthday. (Meaning, trying to find a compromise between what she wants...a full out My Little Pony party with ALL her friends...vs. what I want...something involving a LOT few kids and no cheesy theme for which we have to buy crap.)Hit the grocery store.Watch The Biggest Loser. (Hey, every girl has her vices.)Take a nap. (I know this one isn't going to happen, but it's nice to think that maybe it could.)I think I have a busy afternoon ahead of me considering it's already 1:00!


peace

A Little Girl Time...

I ran off to Nebraska this weekend to resume a bi-annual tradition with my girlfriend Jen. A tradition that started when our oldest girls were just about 18 months old (soon they will both be turning 7). A tradition that that came out of reconnecting after several years out of touch following college. A tradition started based on our love of quilts, our desire to be quilters, and which has become so much more than just uninterrupted time at our sewing machines. (Though we enjoy that as well.) A tradition from which we had to take a short break because...well we both had second kiddos and sometimes life gets in the way. Those babies are older (and not breast feeding any more) and sometimes life has to just be put on hold for sanity's sake. This weekend Ladies Weekend (LW) officially resumed.

Here's the basics of Ladies Weekend. We rent a cabin for 2 nights at one of the Nebraska State Parks located between Omaha and Lincoln. It makes for about a 3 hour trip for each of us..…

Thoughts From The Shower...

I get ideas for posts at the most inconvenient of times. Like:
When I'm driving long distances.
Riding my bike solo.
Taking a walk.
Admittedly, sometimes during final relaxation when I'm teaching yoga.
In the shower. What is it about the shower? I used to plan my day and problem solve in the shower all the time when I had a regular 8-5 job. Maybe it's the nakedness. Humor me for a minute here. What if removal of clothes = removal of mental boundaries? Now there's a thought for your morning. I had a friend email me a thought she had in the shower the other day...so I know I'm not alone with my brilliant shower moments.

Last night (and actually it started with an idea for a different post, only now I can't remember what that train of thought was because I got side tracked onto this one) I was thinking about this whole shower thought process and decided to start having a "regular" feature here called Thoughts From The Shower. I say "regular" becau…

Fun with Politics...

Even the unpolitical like myself can enjoy abc's Presidential Match-o-Matic. You simply click on the quote you agree with most on 13 topics and it tells you which candidate you align with the most. I have to say, as one who does not follow the news and really has NO clue as to what the candidate's platforms actually are, I was a little nervous that maybe I'd find out that I just THINK I am supporting the correct candidate.

My results: 9 to 4. I'd say that's pretty decidely leaning me one direction. Whew!


peace

I blame this on her father...

Me: "Before supper I need you to clean up this area of your room...specifically all the stuffed animals."
Her: Sigh
Me: "I can clean it up instead?!?!?" (Which she knows translates into "If I have to clean it up you give me free rein to dispose of anything I see fit with asking you first.")
Her: "Ooh Kaay, I'll do it."

15 minutes later she walks into the kitchen while I'm starting supper to inform me she's cleaning out the little fabric box that holds her CDs.

Me: "Have you cleaned up the stuffed animals yet?"
Her: "No, I'm organizing my CDs."
Me: "I asked you to clean up your stuffed animals. Finish up with your CDs and focus on the animals."
Her: "Ooh Kaay."

15 minutes later I follow her down the hall and into her room after I discover she has the dusting wand in her hand...a tool not needed for picking up stuffed animals. The scene...no progress AT ALL with the stuffed animal area and now the CD…

So here's the thing...

I've been thinking a lot about finding balance between acknowledging, accepting, and finding some peace with where my life is at the moment and the struggles that we have been facing, with not becoming so resigned to that reality that I don't continue to dream and strive. Yogic texts, Buddhist texts, all sorts of spiritual, philosophical, and self help writings talk about making peace with your struggles, not giving them extra power by focusing attention on them, and ending suffering by letting go of the desires of the ego and finding contentment in the here and now. (You'd think I'm on some vision quest as of late with as much of this type of stuff as I have been reading. No wonder my head swirls!) While I believe in the power of those words and the strength of such a practice, I have a hard time putting the theory to practice at times like this when there is so much to come to terms with. I think I could benefit from a mentor in this area.

On one hand I'm thankfu…

Out for a walk...

Tonight after teaching yoga on campus I was walking back to my car which was parked about a block away from the building in which we have class. Ahead of me of the sidewalk, coming my way, was a dog. He was just trotting along, casually looking side to side taking in the scenery. As we met he looked up at me as if to say "Hello," and then he just kept on going. Not missing a step in his quest.

I don't know why, but the humanness of his demeanor and our passing hit me funny. I smiled and possibly even let out a little laugh. It's like he was just out on his nightly walk, seeing what was going down on campus, headed back home to curl up with a hot cup of tea and a good book before turning in for the night.

At least those are my plans!

peace

Puppy Pony...

We decided to see if Tilde would let us make a pony out of her head poof. She did AND totally left it alone until I took it out 6 hours later when we went to bed. She is such a funny mutt.

peace

The Power of Love...

This week, this month, this year, this life has been full of emotional ups and downs. I don't think any one can say their life, beginning to end, has been a perfectly smooth road. And what purpose would that type of life serve our spirit any way? Where's the adventure in an easy life? Where are the lessons?

Through all the trials of the past year I have wondered, WHY? Why are we dealing with this right now? What are we suppose to be learning from this experience? Where did I go wrong? What happened to good Karma IN, good Karma OUT?

This week has been an interesting emotional roller coaster for me and following some events of the morning, I think I'm really starting to see a pattern, a lesson, and a realization that is bringing so much peace and love and warmth to my heart it feels like it could explode.

Yes, we (Scott and I and eventually our girls) need to learn financial balance and how to live WITH IN our means where they are NOW, regardless of where those means were a ye…

I (heart) Cumming...

Today Laura, Carlos and myself loaded the bikes up and headed to Des Moines to ride with Kim and Karolyn, two very fine ladies we've met through our RAGBRAI adventures. The day started out a bit over cast, but we decided nothing could keep us from Cumming. Actually, the weather turned out great...the sun even peeked through the clouds for us. After a short ride through the city streets (to stop at Gateway Market where I had SUSHI for lunch, YUM) we hit the trail heading south...straight into a LOVELY headwind. We were reassured that it's always worth the effort to get to Cumming...so we pedaled on. The Cumming Tap isn't much, but the beer was cold and went down easy after our 15 mile (give or take) push into the wind. (A few novelty koozies and t-shirts were purchased for those who couldn't be there with us. Next summer...we're all getting to Cumming!) Wouldn't you know by the time we finished our drinks and saddled back up to head back to DSM...the wind STO…

Turn it up...

Growing up I remember my mom stacking up her old vinyl records in the big chest style stereo in the living room and turning up the volume. It was the soundtrack of our lives as we cleaned house, cooked meals...tackling whatever the day had in store. In those days it was often Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Kenny Rogers, and Willie Nelson(to name just a few) who filled our air waves. We owned that old stereo for a long time...well after cassette tapes became the norm. (If I remember right it played 8-tack tapes in addition to having a tuner for listening to just the radio. But for some reason playing our vinyl sticks out the most.) I used to love the richness of the sound it produced. The deep heavy base. I even had a small collection of records...the soundtracks to Grease and Saturday Night Fever(which is actually in my basement now...though I have nothing to play it on), and an album by the 80s heart throb Shaun Cassidy.

I write about this because it helps to explain why even now I'…

Angels...

If I had to venture a guess, I'd say this is what angels look like...maybe without the peanut butter.


peace

Ups and Downs...

It's a beautiful fall day here in Iowa. Tuesdays are my day off...no classes. I woke with the conviction to get things accomplished today. Cookies baked for a PTO commitment. Dishes washed. Carpets vacuumed. Laundry washed and hung to dry. And then somewhere along the way the reality of life got in my way and reared it's ugly head. Cookies are baked...and that's where the accomplishments for the day end.

The truth of the matter is, we as a family are struggling to financially hang on following the events of the past year. We're in a bit of a hole. And right now it's taking all we've got not to let that hole get any deeper. It's hard and frustrating and on days like today is the reason I suddenly and unexpectedly find myself in tears...more than once.

I struggle with how much of the situation to share here. On one hand I don't want to whine and complain. On the other I can no longer avoid the facts of where we currently stand. I can't pretend that it…

Wide Open Spaces...

My friend Marie recently visited a good friend at her family's ranch in northeastern Colorado. (Marie, I hope you don't mind I borrowed a photo from your trip for this post!) From the joy in her voice and the comfort in her being following the trip, I think I'm safe to say she had a great, relaxing time in all that wide open space.

Upon her return to Iowa (on her way to Wisconsin) Marie came to town for a couple days visit. As we were sitting around with Laura one evening, listening to the tales of her adventures and looking at photos I started to feel a little homesick. And then I realized there is this part of my life story that involves sage brush and cows and "one-room" school houses and horses and LOTS of wide open spaces, that very few of my current friends know about. Nor do they know that a part of me will always be lost to that time and place and to those memories...well, I guess now they will know.

When I was in third grade, my Dad took a position as a …

Perfection...

It is simple moments like this that make me stop and realize that despite all the bumps in the road, all the trials and frustrations, all the heart ache and stress that has been a part of my reality of this past year...my life...is perfect.


peace

Amen Sister...

Those of you who know me well know I normally steer totally clear of political discussions. It's not that I don't care, or don't understand (no, I don't need you to use small, easy to understand words to help me "get it") ..it's that I have very little faith in what I have witnessed in my life that is "the political process". Talk, talk, talk, and more talk with very little action...in my opinion. I have better things to DO than listen to the same crap roll around and around in the same old, dirty, dented, rusty barrel.

That being said, I think the upcoming election is going to be a pivotal moment in US history. A chance for us to turn around our current misguided direction.

Read this, cuz Heather says it with more flair than I ever could...and then vote Obama!


peace

The Power of Pink...

I used to HATE pink. I mean sure, as most girls who grew up in the 80's, I went through that time when I thought pink, lavender, and turquoise were about the coolest 3 colors in the world. But for the most part as I matured, pink was NOT a color you'd find in my room, in my wardrobe, or as part of my vocabulary. Pink was girlie and high maintenance and weak. I was none of those things. Pink was out.

Then 7 years ago came along...
Pink was suddenly thrust into our household at an alarming and obnoxious rate! It got worse when Lexi grew old enough to have an opinion about the color of things. You could almost ALWAYS (and still can) be sure she'd choose pink if it was an option.

I don't know if it's a result of me giving up the fight OR if I actually had a change of heart, but some where along the way I found myself ACCEPTING pink...and actually LIKING pink...and realizing that it doesn't always have to mean all those negative girlie things I had always associated w…

Birthday Boy...

This is my boy.

Yesterday he turned 35. (Happy Birthday Honey.)

It's funny to think of him being in his mid-thirties, because I so often see him as the 18 year old I feel in love with all those years ago. (Maybe that's part of the reason I love this silly picture of him so much...it brings out the boy.) Being that his birthday usually falls on/around the Labor Day weekend, we usually head down to KC for a visit at the in-laws. This year, various factors considered, we decided to stay home. The in-laws made the trip instead and we enjoyed a long weekend of activities. So much so the girls are BOTH zonked out for naps as I write this, trying to catch up on a little sleep following all the excitement. Even the dogs seem lazy today.

Scott's birthday started out quiet. We took our time getting up and around. Breakfast, laundry, dishes, play time outside, lunch...pretty much a normal Sunday. Then Scott's parents offered their grand parenting services for the afternoon/ev…