Monday, January 31, 2011

Day Sixteen of Beauty

♥Saying it like it is. Speaking from the heart. Letting the rest fall into place...if it will...and being ready to accept it if it didn't. But it did! :)

♥Walking, walking, walking...starting when it was light and finishing way after dark...walking the thoughts out, walking the day off, walking toward something...I'm sure of it!

♥The Big Dipper positioned like a blooming flower of stars.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day Fifteen of Beauty

♥This morning:

♥This afternoon:

♥Today was tea and warm fuzziness, 6.6 miles of walking with amazing music and spectacular views, movies and cuddles...being fully present but smiling about yesterday and looking forward to tomorrow.

Day Fourteen of Beauty

♥Leaving this place...all 8 seats filled for a day in a magical place...trolley cars, towers, mermaids, chocolate, chicken wings, jager right out of the bottle, shopping, talking, laughing and walking, walking, walking! A secret unmarked speakeasy complete with password and moving book cases, and a ride home full of laughter, silliness and singing.

♥A long hot shower.

♥My fluffy cloud of a bed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day Thirteen of Beauty

♥Blizzard pics sent by my namesake...shrinking the distance a little bit and making me feel part of where they are right now.

♥Reminders...the hard ones even had beauty in them.

♥Putting out into the universe the belief that my needs will be met and it happening. Day 13 of beauty was not unlucky at all!

That last item is so powerful. I completed my Masters Program work a couple of years ago but have left the completion of my thesis just hanging out undone "do" on my "to do" list. I've moved it two years in a row and have set my mind on finishing it this year. I've been motivated and done a LOT of the legwork...each small success making the completion feel so much closer and possible. Late last week I hit a HUGE stumbling block that I was unable to find my way around or over or under and certainly couldn't obliterate it completely. I started to believe that it simply wasn't an obstacle that could easily be managed...and it may actually be enough to stop me in my tracks. I started wondering if I even needed to bother with this damn thesis. I have a great job that treats me as if I had actually gotten the diploma that comes with the thesis completion. Luckily my support system wouldn't let me surrender to that kind of thinking. Instead I surrendered to belief that it would work out and I started acting like it already had, actually. I put forth the effort to do a little asking...just a little...just to get the energy moving. Only yesterday, I planted a seed here and posed a hypothetical there and directly asked for what I needed in one more place today. It worked. The answer was yes. Just like that. Yes. No convincing needed. No explanations or promises. Not only a yes but a yes with promises made to go along with it. I sit here tonight completely humbled, tickled, honored and convinced that belief is one of the most powerful tools we have...and it's so conveniently located tucked into the corner of our heart at all times...all we have to do is use it. My thesis will be completed November 2011. This year.

And a PS. one more beauty~full thing:

♥Being presented with my 15 year pin at work with it's pretty little emerald.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day Twelve of Beauty

♥Sunshine picnic.

♥Mexican mocha.

♥My babygirl's belly laughs.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day Eleven of Beauty

Today was rough emotionally...there were melancholy moments, difficult conversations, tough situations and more tears than I really was prepared for from more places than I ever would have expected...but there was STILL beauty!

♥A super productive morning at work so that I could justify leaving early. An afternoon much needed that was almost totally about connecting.

♥Being confided in...the highest honor ever Ever EVER.

♥Hoodie and Uggs...clothes hugs.

And because today was special, an extra:

♥Inviting myself and then finding myself well-fed and surrounded by amazing~ness...laughter and tears and kids and sharing. Martin-Murrays, you complete me. ;)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day Ten of Beauty

♥Being called a girlfriend...even if it's like wearing a coat that is several sizes too small and too big at the same time, still beauty~full to hear. That coat can be a beauty~full goal and lovely to admire even before it fits. Even if it's not the right coat for the season.

♥Making plans...for tomorrow, for next month, for next August...the smiling anticipation that comes along with that planning. Butterflies, baby. Big ole butterflies.

♥Saying yes to spontaneousness. A great big resounding YES! And a great time coming out of that yes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day Nine of Beauty

♥Banana for breakfast. Banana text response. Bananarama.

♥A work day that sped by. Being two people and doing new things.

♥New droid phone. Oh, help me. Beauty~full but befuddling.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day Eight of Beauty

♥The rhythm of this day...wake too early, fall in love a couple of times over, fall back asleep, wake to an offer I refused to refuse, go the distance in the convertible from sun to fog and back to sun again after a hike at the river to a beauty~full waterfall with a lovely and her twin progeny, slowing down for ♥ on the levee before an evening with a house FULL of lovelies where the energy was brilliant and beauty~full...marinading in it before coming home to share...where my own personal lovelies were waiting for me. It was a re~set rhythm of loveliness that this day had.

♥Taco salad...reminding me of good times with good loves. Taco salad~ed out but still smiling about the times and the loves.

♥Leggings and sheepskin lined boots, flowers in my hair and a twirly dress. There really aren't words adequate enough to describe how feminine I feel at times like these...twirly times.

Yuba River hike

Mini Niagra Falls

♥ on the levee

Warm fuzzy, twirly~ness

Trifecta Effecta Perfecta

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day Seven of Beauty

♥Amends. There is something so hopeful and uplifting about letting go and allowing greatness an opportunity to emerge...and even more so in believing that greatness is still possible, despite...despite...despite.

♥Hitting the mall with my best boy for some momma/son time and actually having fun shopping. Again. That's progress of the nth degree for me! Then finishing it off with a chunky strawberry milkshake. Bliss. Blissed out!

♥A new Victoria's Secret sleepshirt...that Victoria lady really knows how to pick the softest silkiest feeling's like a caress and that makes me smile a little bashfully to say. Add a little Love Spell lotion and we're talking magical.

Day Six of Beauty

I'm a little late with this one...sometimes the living of life gets in the way of writing about it. YAY!

♥Friday. Payday. Bonus!

♥Making dinner for a house~full of the most amazing people on the planet...and a cat too. Taco night. Quarters. Conversation.

♥A skirt that twirls and how it feels like skipping and hopscotch and endless summer break days every time I do.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day Five of Beauty

♥Acceptance...while I spent a whole day angry, blotchy, seething and looking for a fight. Love and light sent from near and far until I simply caved into it...surrendered and wept...a cleansing weeping that didn't fix anything except the angry blotchy seething~ness. There can be beauty in even the ugliest of moments when love and light are the victors.

♥Polish comfort food. Potato and cheese Pierogies with sour cream and carmelized onions. While watching SNL.

♥The moon all dressed up like the sun

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day Four of Beauty

♥Time spent with my two best girls, with one on my lap and one on my left. Awww yeahhhh!

♥Kisses that leave me tingly & wanting more...more kisses, more tingles, more...

♥Missing my momma who is visiting family in Jersey...realizing how far we've come so that at this point in life I've been lucky enough to get used to her presence and enjoy it to the point that I miss her.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day Three of Beauty

♥A 15 minute belly laugh at work with a crazy co-worker about Mirena IUD...the warning label seriously said "keep away from children and pets" IUD...INTRA UTERINE DEVICE. goes INSIDE THE UTERUS. I had visions of swatting Fido away..."no, Fido" and I pantomimed this in our office. Good times.

♥The sunset in every shade of orange right out our front door with the Sutter Buttes perfectly outlined against it. Beauty~full.

♥A swiss roll style birthday dinner with my seriously dysFUNctional extended family where who is who to who and why is constantly a source of laughter and silliness.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day Two of Beauty

♥Of my many traditional/untraditional roles, I am divorced, a single girl, a husband, a work wife and also affianced to another. I'm a mother of two and father of twins. I'm versatile and not confused in the least. It's beauty~full to be able to fill a role that needs filling.

♥Hugs. They simply can't be listed often enough as a beauty~full thing. Today there was a happy hug, a sad hug, a lingering hug, a hug where I drew a smile on her back during it, a sideways half hug, a hold~me~longer hug full of please let everything be okayness, a quick hug, a long distance hug, too many hugs in my heart to count and a hand hug that lasted 90ish minutes. That's a lot of hugging in just one day.

♥Saying aloud the worst thing I've done to the one person who I can handle judgment from the least, knowing I have to look him in the eye every day and expect professional as well as personal trust and belief from...and to know in my heart when he said "it's okay" that it really was. It really is. It really will be, always.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day One of Beauty

Today begins 30 days during which I fully intend to consistently post my Three Beauty~full Things daily.

♥An unexpected Sunday morning and the kids on a morning I fully expected to wake up to an empty house. Flaky biscuits with butter and honey and jam and marmalade...conversation and planning and putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.

♥42" LED PS3 COD. Oooooh, yeah!

♥Lucia. Parallel. Perfect. Lovely. Gracious. Gorgeous...and still mine.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Twenty~eleven amazingness already...

Where IS it??? Who moved the front door???

Dirty pirate hooker in my bedroom...

THE BEST sweatshirt in the whole entire world.

THE BEST bumper sticker...and I hate bumper stickers...

Love left on the asphalt:

Someone really loved their morning drink...

and I would NOT carry this cup around, no how.

Too awesome.

Un chapeau:

Et un autre:

Kitty on the prowl...

...and fairy play day ;)

Just a peek. ;) Life is sweet.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Oh, what a night...

I've been a momma for 919 Mondays, 919 Fridays, 919 Saturdays and 919 Sundays. 918 Tuesdays, 918 Wednesdays and 918 Thursdays. That's 6430 days total and 385800 in minutes. That's almost half of my living days on this planet.

When my babygirl came along, my purpose in life shifted. Immediately...and not subtly. I instantly had a new role, a job to do with no breaks or vacations and guaranteed heartache. There were so many new things to be aware of, alert for and sometimes terrified of. The flip side was that I was born again into a world of wonder...where magic was a part of every day and a single smile could change everything. And I mean EVERYTHING.

I've spent the majority of those 385800 minutes completely enthralled. And I really mean it when I say majority. Ashleigh went through her evil bloodthirsty baby phase and threw a single tantrum when she was two. She snuck boys over the fence when she was 13 and got into a fist fight that same year. Devin wouldn't let me put him down the entire first year of his life and learned way too quickly to be the instigator to his sister's easy to light fuse.

I've always known that I was doing a good job as a mom. I knew that my kids had great inner strength, kindness and integrity...hunger for life, for fun and for stimulation. Even when we've differed so vastly, I knew that we were from the same mold and I could trust them to be right where they were supposed to be. I'm a great advocate for making mistakes. I think that mistakes are life's only true teachers and in the making of them, we learn our boundaries...what our consciences will allow us to do and how we are willing to make other people feel.

I love being a mom more than anything else.

The June before last, I started to lose my footing. Ashleigh started to drive and all of the sudden my role changed without warning. There was new freedom for her to explore and her friends became paramount. She drove her brother wherever he needed to go and they became a tight little unit that I admired and frankly, yearned to be part of still. I would come home from work with a head full of evening plans only to find that there already were plans...and I wasn't part of them. My confidence as a parent stumbled. I grappled with how to ensure the family was nurtured as a whole while respecting their independence and giving them room to grow. This was the time frame when I made the majority of my mistakes as a parent...but I learned from those mistakes and I used them to in turn teach them. We survived. We thrived.

A year later, this past July, we hit stumbling block #2. My kids were lying to me. Consistently. At 17 and 15 1/2 I was completely unprepared and dumbstruck. I could feel every beat of my heart for five of the worst, most painful days of my life. I thought I knew them and here we a complete impasse. On day six I put the power into their hands to stop lying, show me who they really were and promised nothing short of unconditional love in return for nothing less than unconditional truth. There have been times since then that I've been terribly horribly sorry for that deal. I'm sure they have been just as sorry...but I think that it was the greatest lesson of all. I believe that knowing they were accountable for telling me their truth has on more occasion than one helped them to make better choices knowing they would have to speak words about it later. Unconditional love does not mean that my job of nurturing, guiding and advising has stopped. Neither has rewarding or punishing. Sometimes even talking loudly to get my point across. But all the while, they know that in the end, they can count on my love...and I know that I know them.

My role has morphed slowly and surely as the kids grew up and continues to morph as they continue to grow. It has changed from all parent to mostly parent with the other part equally consisting of friend, mentor and confidante. A lovely, lovely mixture that makes me tear up just thinking about it. We don't have to be perfect, we just have to be authentic with one another and always respectful.

Somewhere around November, with my son approaching 16 and a 7 day cruise in our near future, I tried to loosen the role even further. I tried on a 50%/50% role. I let more behaviors go than I had before. I turned a blind eye. I joined in on things that shocked my kids. I felt so lost doing these things...even when they were fun! I felt so adrift from that strong confidence I had as a parent and I tried to wait it out. I tried to push down the discomfort and pretend that this new role was a better fit than it actually was. I was rewarded. I was called cool. I was confided in even more and all of the sudden, the kids wanted to be around me an awful lot more. I had tried to compete with their absolutely cool dad and I had held my own...hung with the big dogs.


I didn't bring these precious little beings into this world to be their buddy during their adolescence. I brought them into this world to love and nurture them, to teach them and to instill love and truth and faith and trust and adventure into them. I brought them into this world to grow and attract their people to create friendships and develop relationships with other people and the world around them. I brought them into the world to go out into it always knowing that they have a momma in their corner, rooting them on and dependable in her values and unconditional love and support.

I sat them down and told them that. One balked. One rejoiced. In the end, they both expressed gratitude, understanding, acceptance and in turn they each showed me in their own unique ways that they get it...they get me...they get us. We are back.

As with all great parenting moments, there is a small tingle of doubt and it's only time that reveals if your tactic and belief were as right on as you thought they were. That day was today. My kids are in big trouble with their dad for an array of offenses. They are confused. They are struggling with why their bff and drinking buddy is punishing them for breaking rules. They are bereft and railing against what feels to them like such injustice and like being stabbed in the back by their best friend.

This isn't about how superior I am or how terrible he is...but it's definitely pertinent information when it comes to what happens next...and it's super important in that it is currently sending me the message that my parenting instincts were right on.

The punishment at my house will match his. I believe in that consistency and I know without a doubt that for the lesson to stick, it has to be lived 24/7 and not wishy washy by some court ordered custody/visitation schedule. But what I believe and know with all of my heart is that my role as MOSTLY parent with the other part equally consisting of friend, mentor and confidante has assured these precious little beings of mine that the punishment is consistent with the crime and it's their momma punishing them, not their best buddy who promised during a mutual drunk to "keep it real."

I've made my mistakes, fessed up to them and fixed things when I've broken them. It's their turn...and I can't wait to see how beauty~full it's going to be. They've got a hell of an example to live up to...and I'm proud to say that the example is me!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Beauty~full things this week about BEING.

♥Being willing...willing to take a risk, take a chance, take the bull by the horns, take what I want...willing to let people give when I was ready to take...give butterflies, give assistance, give love and light, give acceptance and words and hugs and smiles and laughter and wit and camaraderie.

♥Being brave...posting that picture and to hell with being judged...only to find admiration, support, being laughed WITH and so much bonding.

♥Being still for a day. Just still.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Possibility and Brilliance in twenty~eleven

As 2009 ended,

I labeled 2010 the year of Carpe Diem and Moxie.

I declare success.

In 2010, I…

fell for: TV’s Nancy Botwin, Dexter, Earl and Tara. The internet’s Claudia, Mccabe, Allison, Erin D. and Danielle. Touchable humans Nicole, Rachel B, Tj & tj, my wife’s husband, my minis over and over again, Kat and Z. Weetzie Bat and Witch Baby.

made: curry, chapatti bread, tom kha gai, sangria, a million heart shaped waffles, marinated portabella mushrooms on the grill, veggie drawer cleanout soup in the crock pot, an entire raw meal down to the flax crackers made in the dehydrator, a cake in the shape of Gossamer, fresh spring rolls, s’mores and first kiss martinis.

went to: an Italian Masque, Texas, Monterey, Elverta, Caribou, Berkeley, Six Flags, San Francisco, Wilbur Road, an Outlaws game, the Gallagher’s July Party, my baby momma's wedding, Miami, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Seattle…finally…Seattle.

saw: Floater, Counting Crows, Augustana, Ma Muse, The Weepies, Dave Matthews Band, Tainted Love while dressed in full on 80’s duds and last but not least Tony Swanson in the living room…best show of all.

tried: special rice crispy treats, gardening (not for special baking), being off work and a caregiver for 30 whole days, 7 months of living vegan then vegetarian then pescatarian then pollo-vegetarian then semi-vegetarian then just fucking eating what I’m comfortable with and to hell with labels, quitting my job but was promoted instead, saving money then spent it all, being more like that guy but decided I like me just fine.

heralded: chickens in a coop, daffodils, sailboatlessness, the 16th as the first of the month and my bday as the beginning of a new year, the rental dog, Devin’s driving permit, energy efficient windows on the house, a great big fridge, Netflix live streaming and babygirl’s senior year of high school.

decided to: change up the rules, push the boundaries, define my integrity, stop at one kiss, give give give and give some more, smile and believe in possibilities.

2009 was brutal and made turning inward so very tempting…to be safe and to avoid the hurt that comes with taking chances. 2010 needed to be all about taking chances…and it was. 2010 was cut the cords to the safety net, pull down the walls, live out loud and trust that the hurt will be worth the eventual loveliness. And it was. Moxie and Carpe Diem, balls-to-the-wall laughter, adventure and smiles that went on for days on end. It was about chances…some that paid off and some that fell flat with a resounding thud that echoed and seriously made me giggle. Failure was redefined in 2010.

2011, your name is Possibility and your middle name is Brilliance. You are going to be all about newness and solutions to any possible obstacle…real or imaginary. You will embody creativity and love and doing and being present. You are going to take what 2010 started and blow it up in Technicolor rays of light that can’t be ignored or suppressed. You are going to change it all, shake it all up and be smug when it settles and I look around with an amazed expression and a sotto voce “yesss…” You will deserve to be smug…and I’m looking forward to chaos and light and love and laughter and learning and challenge and catharsis.

Be brilliant, 2011…blind me.

I can hardly wait.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Three beauty~full quotes +1...about family...

♥The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. ~Richard Bach

♥We must take care of our families, wherever we find them. ~Elizabeth Gilbert

♥The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

♥ ♥ ♥ On a few occasions in life, I have fallen into family that I was not born into and have been blessed beyond measure by this...changed and lifted and oh so grateful. ~me ♥ ♥ ♥