One week deep into resolutions, I have come up with some seriously wonderful conclusions.  Or beginnings.  Too early to determine I suppose.  One week ago I began a nightly meditation.  Short and sweet, something doable; Ten minutes.  But, I found I have a “busy” mind and ten minutes soon turned into twenty.  Twenty minutes of no obligations; Of clouds of thoughts passing through, in and out, quickly at first and then slowing down until I can deliberately let them leave, no judgements. Just gone.

I have discovered a bit of resistance, I have uncovered a bit of faith.  And alas, I feel a bit of relief.  Mindfulness is such a settling feeling.  Impossibly short-lived in my life, but one I hope to bring forth a bit more often in the year to come.  My life is worth this at least.  Everyone’s is in fact.  Mindfulness is euphoric.

I envision it as living precisely as a child does.

I remember eating Oreos as a little girl.  Each one required several minutes.  I would carefully unscrew them so as not to ruin the perfect circle, then scrape the frosting off with my two front teeth until there was nothing left but tiny stripes.  Then I would lick the frosting side clean.  Finally I would take the first half and tiny bite by tiny bit I would suck all the flavor out, feeling the chocolate just melt away and swallow.  This whole process took quite a bit of time I am sure!

Oh, how things have changed.  First of all, I know better than to eat the hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup laden product most likely strewn with gmo’s.  But luckily, with a decent replacement (Newman’s Own makes a pretty good knock off, that while isn’t  exactly healthy, it does hit the spot!), but also I can down a whole slew of them without even a thought about it.  Oh, how true.  How very true and very sad.  They days when one Oreo was all that existed in the world have passed, and I would like to reclaim them.  Not for my waistlines sake (exactly), but for equanimity’s sake.

There is just this moment.  Your future is dictated by it.  Your past is fast asleep.  Initially I began my resolution to find a piece of true calm in my day.  To give me an evening ritual to wind down and find solace in my own mind.  Already I see it as much more.  It is a deliberate pause where I am set on clearing my mind of unnecessary clutter that interferes with any mindfulness.  Of course I will not get to worked up about my progress, because that would not be very equanimous of me now would it!

I am more lively.  I am more creative.  I am more present; For my husband, for my children, for this life.   


So try it out!  Your inner buddha is waiting for you I hear.  We just have to stop interfering. 

ps- I have run out of space on this blog!  So until I can figure out what to do next, good-bye!  Hopefully not for long, I will miss this space dearly!

new years me

Yes, New Years Eve has changed its face a bit over the last few years.

But yes, I love it just the same.

It seems that even minus a cocktail overload, the wonderment (or plotting…) of who I may kiss when the clock strikes twelve and a dazzling outfit, the new year can be rung in quite merrily and sufficiently.

A bonfire with a home-made lantern to light our meal (by little crafter in the making), an early evening (making for a joyous early morning rather than a dreaded one), a plunge in some warmer waters (you southerners really thought that was cold?!  It was luke warm at best.  I tell you…), and the company of my lovely boys and some beautiful friends, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

(for the lantern its just tissue paper, elmers, and a mason jar… and lots of patience- that is a sticky combo)

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My resolutions this spin around are not quite so exciting.  I want to meditate nightly, I want to donate my hair, and of course, I want to move to that little rocky shoreline up north where we belong.  But that is not exactly a resolution now is it.

But most of all, I just want to cherish these little boys, because damn it, turns out everyone is right.  They do grow up right before your eyes.

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Those nights of no sleep are short-lived.  The arguments about whose truck is whose will probably be a conversation I will forget (which quite frankly seems unbelievable since the majority of the talking I do is about just that… but none the less…).  And one day, a cuddle and a hug and a kiss and a “mama, I love you.” for no reason at all, will be something I am sure I will miss with an ache in my heart.


Oh, for that, I will add-  Mama- I love you!  There.  If I haven’t said it enough.

Love love love to you and yours in the new year

Tidings of comfort and Joy

The rain is coming down here in the southland.  A December rain floods the yard.  Ant hills are under water, chickens are in the coop, and we safely watch from the covered porch.

Rain in December.  Not freezing rain or sleet or snow.  A warm rain.  A t-shirt, puddle jumping kind of rain.

It is not what I am use to.  But, so is the way this year.  While two little ones scurrying under feet, ecstatic about the days happenings, surely make for a noisy and always busy day, somehow holidays minus a big gathering is just lonely.  

We did make up for it with a weekend rich in tradition and outdoors and food.  Laughter and cuddling and reminiscing.

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Tales of old were passed on.  Sparkling eyes listened contentedly.  Searching our foggy brains for christmas morning surprises we remembered a drawing table, a bike, a guitar…  but most of all we remembered our families.  We remembered the joys we shared with them.

These days are good.  Oh so good, I promise you.  But the joy of a shared meal, the light of a flickering candle, the sound of tearing paper, these things are all done best when you can gather up all those you hold near and dear and plop them into the same room.

Soon we will pack up our (ahem…  newly sewed) backpacks, a picnic suitable for a long journey, and take the trip up north.  But I am tired of these trips.  I am ready for some permanence.  We are a family on the go.  We have learned so much of the details of friendship and the importance of gentle behaviors.  And for this I am glad.  But now I am ready for the lessons that are brought when you spread your roots out.  Not so far and wide, but right in one little place.


“Look mama, the tree is all bundled up!  It looks like it is ready to go outside!”  The sounds of christmas morning.

I will not forget this Christmas morning, one which was glorious in its solitude.  One which we focused on the four of us only.  But I will most certainly cherish future years a little more now that I see how good it is to be with all the ones you love.


winter solstice celebration

The first annual solstice party.

There were a lot of pieces of the evening I envisioned happening that… well… didn’t.  Perhaps my expectations are always too high.  Perhaps my imagination is so vivid it borders plain old silly.  Either way, the truth is- no one swooned under the mistletoe hung (and hung again when they dried out) in each doorway.  No one smashed open the pinata with a puff of glittery sparkles and certainly no one dove on top the scratch tickets that came out of it.  No one even won big (classy) money.  No one held an apple candle holder by the fire singing kumbaya or any other little tune.  And no one played by the earth candle deep in the land of imagination.

I did not mind all these little comic strips in my mind not getting drawn up.  Not one bit.  Even though I did spend a bit of time creating a poem, felting a bowl, practicing a little speech, and teaching Miles to carry the bowl around to each person, for a releasing ceremony, I still had a smile pinned on my face at the end of the night.

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For regardless of my expectations, the night-time is always magical.  The moon is always silver.  Children always run wild in the dark world.  Candles are always romantic, even if you have to light them and relight them and relight them again.  Conversation is always wonderful and full of laughter.  Bread and beer and shrimp and shepherds pie are the heart of a truly comforting meal.  Always.  And it turns out that yes, I am silly.  I repeated some of my scenarios to Lee of the way I thought the celebration would have looked in my mind on the days leading up to the darkest night of the year, and not only did I burst out laughing (I am ridiculous!), but I realized some things.

Some things happened that I didn’t expect at all.  Our chickens are so friendly.  Our dog is not terrible.  Our cats love other people’s cars.  My children can share.  Fire’s are mesmerizing for people of all ages.  Food can be enjoyed in pitch black sky, so dark you hardly know what you are eating.  Pinatas work just fine if you have to wail on them like your teeing off.

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After my fit of laughter, I realized even further details of the evening.  

All these people, showing up at our doorstep which happens to be well off the beaten path, are amazing.  We have truly lovely friendships that we value and cherish with all our hearts.



My son has turned into an independent child.  Not a baby at all.  A boy.  A boy who can feed himself, stoke the fire, take himself to the restroom (or the forest) despite layer upon layer of clothing, be a host all without the helping hand of a mama or daddy.  It broke my heart as much as it filled it.


I saw that what I planned on “releasing” in my detailed thought out ceremony actually happened anyways.  I wanted to let go of the expectations of motherhood.  And even sans ceremony, solstice celebration number one did just that for me.  All this planning, all these thoughts, were just that.  Thoughts.  It turns out that becuase the evening lacked a moving ceremony, I was given the opportunity to let go of my expectations.  I lived well into each moment, and each moment was just icy goodness.  The evening was nothing short of perfection.


Me + Winter Solstice 4 eva.

And if you are reading this, and you were here last night, and wish we had in fact done the ceremony after all, then this is the poem you would have heard, you could do it yourself if you wanted!

On winter solstice there is a chance,

to rid yourself of a bit of resistance.

Of obstacles, traps and excuses,

to free up all your creative juices.


From this evening onward the sun will grow brighter

Release your troubles, make your load lighter.


To carry on this practice as an extended community,

your filling yourself with extra immunity.

For together we raise the energy level so high,

we will burn our troubles,

they will smolder in the sky.





I shop too.

This year is our first year at home with just the four of us, all by our lonesome.  I must say, it feels sort of surreal.  Somehow it has become a culminating point in my life.  One that states so very clearly-  you, you my friend, are officially an adult.  Yes, that is it.  I so do feel like a true grown up.

All our childhood we dream up the moment we will be grown ups, wearing our work boots, cooking our meals, paying our bills, maybe having some children… and it feels like it  is supposed to be just that.  Some precise moment.  But now I see.  I see it is just a stream I am floating down.  A little journey that I am on.  And well, it turns out, I actually love being a grown up.


Yesterday, after I put my boys down for an afternoon nap, and a bit of mama bliss time, I went straight to work.  Our own holiday traditions have begun with sincerity on this solo year.  Between a new one; a (giant) solstice celebration and a (relatively speaking) old one; homemade gifts for all, I thought I just might squeeze one more thing in.

We wanted to spread some of that old-fashioned spirit around.  I looked far and wide for some charitable opportunity a reckless three-year old, a slobbering one year old, a gigantic man and a more often than not frazzled mama could participate in, and it turns out, the pickings are slim.  So, I chose a more traditional route and we “adopted” a tiny family for the big day.  We get to be old St. Nick.

And let me inform you.  It was awesome.  With the help of my amazing mama donating to the cause, I was able to shop for not only a little girl (yes a little GIRL), but a mama who loves jewelry.  Both things I am in no way well versed in.  But, it turns out I am a quick learner.

Once those little men of mine had eyelids heavy with sand, I creeped into the kitchen and wrapped and taped and stamped and tied all the while humming some little christmas tune.  It is enough to make you puke.  I know.


But try not to get sick, because it put an enormous grin on my face.

They say every act is a selfish act.  When I first heard this it bothered me.  I wanted to be doing something only because it would help someone else.  But, I knew it was true.

It doesn’t feel bad anymore though.  Now, I see it more as a way to stay inspired and awake.  To keep yourself from becoming stagnant and creaky.  When you help others, I think your insides just change.  I think something honest to goodness happens inside that is so wonderfully permanent.