7/12/2018

Perfectionism

I am learning how to thrive in a life of imperfection.

For years, I wasn't accomplishing the things that would lead me to be my best self, purely because I was waiting for the perfect time. Some examples?

Writing.
Meditating.
Yoga.

These things were just notions floating around in the air above me, waiting for me to reach up and grab them, but I often didn't because I had a full time job and two young boys and when could I find the time for peace and quiet and ease? WHEN?! Never, that is when, and so I just sat there waiting for those perfect moments. And they came, now and again, so when they came I snatched the notions as I could. That was a lovely yoga session in the quiet! It has been months! Or, I wrote another page in my book! It is coming along like a snail scoots to China but at least I had those twenty minutes of silence just now! Maybe I'll get that again in six more months, and I can write a second page!

Do you see what I mean? Do you see why I was sleepwalking passively through life, waiting for perfection to fall in my lap and only then being proactive because, only then could I live as my best self?

Do you see how silly that sounds?

I stopped that thought process this year. I started doing things like yoga in the living room while my boys were in the next room playing nintendo, loudly calling out every five minutes "MOM COME SEE THIS!" to which I would calmly reply from my downward dog "I have twenty more minutes of yoga and then I will be glad to, please be patient." and they wouldn't be patient, but I would finish my yoga just the same.

I started doing things like writing my book from my front porch while the boys ran in the sprinklers of the front lawn with loud screams of excitement, or writing from the back patio while they watched a tv show in the living room and, heaven forbid, letting them make their own lunches, or while they played on the slide at chick-fil-a and I sucked up the free wifi. And I would be interrupted, inevitably, but I would write and my boys would learn how important it is for me to write, and we would talk later about what I was writing, and about storytelling.

I started doing things like meditating in the morning chaos, shutting down my mind and sitting on my bed or the hardwood floor and closing my eyes to breathe. And when the boys would come in they would sit beside me, and put their hand on their heart, and breathe with me there. They wouldn't last as long but they would get enough in and I would think, well how lovely that because I am mediating with them here, they are learning the art of meditation themselves!

And maybe one day they will remember all of this about me, how I was mindful and how I found moments to breathe and connect throughout the crazy-ness of life and how I would sit beneath the shade of a tall maple tree and write my book (that maybe once they are older will be published, god willing) and how I would stop every now and again to let them tell me a story or get them an apple, and how hard I worked and how invested I was in all of the things I was passionate about.

And maybe one day that will make them want those things for themselves too.

And how sad it would have been if I had only done these things when the boys weren't there, when it was perfectly quiet and easy, how they wouldn't have learned those things for themselves at all.

And how sad it really would have been, because I would have waited for years and years and maybe never accomplished those things at all.

So, goodbye perfection, and hello to this season of a beautiful, messy, chaotic, loud and ever-changing life that is mine.

It is all about the journey, friends. Get out there and get you some.

We are now in the thick of a hot and sticky summer and I took a few pictures of how we are surviving so far! I hope you are doing well for July and drinking a lot of water and staying up late and living in the moment as much as you possibly can! Don't blink, Summer will be over all too soon! Exclamation marks and all!












6/29/2018

Beck turns FOUR

My baby had a Birthday almost THREE weeks ago and I am just now sharing some pictures, but my motto has always been better late than never, so...I'm late, but I'm here!

Also, I didn't take many pictures.

(Also, 95% of my pictures lately are photobombed by a seven year old dabber dabbing. See below.)

Anyhow.

MY BECK. What can I say about my Beck? Oh how I love this boy. He is happy and outgoing and adventurous and brave and quirky and funny. He is all himself in his uniqueness, but also, a lot me when I was four, and a lot his Uncle James, who I miss so terribly and so that makes me very happy. He has the Lewis genes strong, it seems. (Which fits, as Lewis is his middle name!)

For Beck's Birthday this year, we did the same thing we did last year, which was to spend our party just the four of us at the local outdoor pool. (For the sake of recording, the very first thing Beck did upon turning four that morning, was to, while I was in the shower for a minute, run outside with a black permanent marker and draw a large picture on the stucco wall and our garage door. So that was a good start to four, I think.)(Also for future reference, it turns out rubbing alcohol is the trick to removing permanent marker from anything, so even though that was the last thing we tried I was very happy for it.) For the entirety of his Birthday afternoon and evening, we swam and slid and jumped off diving boards and then, as the sun began to dip, we sat on a blue plastic table beneath a pepsi umbrella to sing happy birthday and blow out candles atop a tiny ladybug cake (that beck picked out himself)(tiny because only two out of four of us even like cake).

I think I've said this before (that's sarcasm, because I say it a lot) but simplicity is my jam. Give me a four year old who doesn't need or want for anything other than us together as a family on a warm day with a pool and some pizza. No crazy chaos, nothing fancy. Simple, just us and for that one night, no one else in the world.

It was perfect.

And in honor of his Birthday (three weeks ago, I know!) I have a little story to tell:

One of the most unique and special moments of my life so far was when I was pregnant with Beck, on the day that we found out that he was Beck, on the day of our ultrasound gender reveal. Up until that moment, neither Dan or I had any real instincts as to whether this might be a boy or a girl. But we did know that we would only have two kids, and so we discussed how nice a girl would be, you know, one of each! Perfect!

I remember being nervous and excited. I remember the small room, and the kind tech who ran the sonography probe back and forth across my belly, telling us all about the healthy baby moving around inside.

And then, at the end, she told us. "It is most definitely a boy." And I can't quite put the feelings that overcame me into words. It was like...coming home after a very long roadtrip. Or, like remembering a memory from a very long time ago, recalling something you had completely forgotten all about and having it hit you so suddenly that it takes your breath away.

Yes of course, a boy! It felt so right, and so silly that I hadn't known that all along. All at once this massive emotion hit me, where I REMEMBERED HIM. I knew him! I had known him before somehow., and I was instantly ecstatic to have him back in my life.

I don't think I will ever forget the magnitude of those feelings in that moment. It was incredible.

And anyway, now he is four. FOUR. I love it so much, the ages of both the boys, how they are growing and independent and no one is in diapers or drinking bottles or waking up all night and we have so much fun together, albeit there is a lot of energy between them so don't fall under any impressions about it being easy or anything. ;)

And as promised, here are the handful of pictures I took on the day Beck turned four! (I didn't post a picture of the permanent marker fiasco, it is still too soon for that.)





6/18/2018

Today we had a little bit of a cold front, which so far this Summer has happened quite often! And by quite often I mean, at least twice that I recall.

When I say cold front, I mean wind and occasional thunderstorms with the highs in the 80's instead of stagnant sitting heat with the highs in the 90's. That is a cold front, isn't it? Anyway, whatever it is it has been lovely. I always enjoy a good windy, scattered showers day to break up the heat of the summer here and there.

Currently, as I write this, I have tilapia baking in the oven and the back screen door is letting in bursts of cool air and I find this all to be very heavenly. The reason we are having fish for dinner tonight (we don't need a reason and it isn't unusual for us to have fish for dinner, but I'll tell you anyway) is that our freezer is in the midst of a crisis! Although that is dramatic, it really isn't a crisis, so much as...a mild malfunction, really. Two days ago we reached in the freezer to grab popsicles for the kids and found them to be slightly slushy juice instead. Nothing is frozen anymore, although it is all cold and so it could be so much worse, couldn't it?! But the point of this not-so-tragic and boring story is, I am cooking up all of the fish tonight so that we don't lose it to the thaw.

Summer so far (even with its cold fronts!) has been a dream. Almost every single weekend since Spring sprung we have towed our second home into the woods somewhere until we are forced to return. If not in the woods, we can be found spending our days first at the skate park, followed by a good cool off at the outdoor aquatic center, and then an evening winding down with some divine meat grilling on the back patio and some divine peach flavored something to wash it down with, and maybe a movie to watch after the kids go to bed!

That all sums up our summer-so-far quite nicely. I am always simmering in bucketloads of nostalgia from long summer days and, my favorite, easy happy country song worthy summer nights.







5/25/2018

Banff National Park



















Banff National Park has been on our bucket list for years, and I am happy to report that we finally checked it off the list! This place is a dream of a place for a mountain girl like me. Everywhere we turned our breath was taken away by magnificent grand towering peaks surrounding us. I am so full of gratitude for this big, bold, beautiful world.


5/18/2018

As it is.

So many things have changed since I started this blog.

That is to say, so much of ME has changed.

We should change, massively, irrevocably, evolving and seeing the world through bigger lenses on a daily, or at the very least a yearly basis, shouldn't we? In my opinion, our ability to continually change, to grow, to not be the same person we were next year as we are now, is possibly the reason for our human existence at all.

This new me is so new, that sometimes I find myself sitting in a daze, as though I were just punched in the face or something equally stunning, when I have to shake that daze off and gather myself, find my bearings, and get back to it! Because even after all the change and growth, I find that I still have so much more changing and growing to do in this period of transition that I find myself in. It's exhausting and exciting all at the same time. How is this possible? Life is a trip, really, it is.

Anyway, you might not have noticed this change in me, or you might have noticed. Either way it feels that I should apologize for it, but I will not because however this has or has not affected you, that isn't why I am here.

(Why am I here, other then to get all of my thoughts into words that ramble on and on until a mighty weight has lifted from my shoulders? Your guess is as good as mine, I suppose.)

The past couple of years has been a massive, huge period of growth. It has been the kind of growing that is really thick and painful and breathtaking and anxious and scary and hard, in a really good and needed way. Kind of like...having a baby. It is all of those same things, painful and breathtaking and anxious and scary and hard. And did I mention painful? Oh, so painful. But then the baby comes, a miraculous breath of fresh dewy heaven that ignites your soul on fire while you hold him/her (in my case, always him) in your arms and you forget all of that horrible heavy pain that you just went through! (For a moment, until the recovery hits. And all of the sleepless nights to come! This analogy may or may not apply, I've just decided.)

I want so badly now, after all of this time off, and say something terribly profound. But the fact of the matter is that I have too many things to say, and I truly can't say them all. Not in one lump sum. It just isn't possible. (It just isn't probable.) However, journaling and documenting my life and writing are such massively important parts of who I am, and because of that I have to have this space.

I still do a lot of writing, in a lot of avenues. But not a lot of posting of the writing. Which is fine and all, of course, but I was thinking about why I come here, to this particular space to write. (Or why I used to, at least.) And here it is: the reason I come back here is purely to record. I am not here for an audience, I am here for my future self, and for my posterity. I think that life is more than I know it is. I think that life is so damned awful and heavy and also such a magnificent masterpiece, in a way that I can't really even comprehend. And so, I crave documenting my life. Perhaps it is because I am acutely aware of how short life is. I am aware of my mortality every single day, and what will be left when I'm gone?

I want my life to be recorded in all of the places that I can find. And this! The internet! A website! This is such an easily accessible outlet for all parties. Like  my biggest fans, Hey Mom! Wondering about life lately since I haven't called you in two weeks? Here you go! And for myself, Hey future self! Remember Beck's alf-alfa when he was three and Jace's love for that old game called Minecraft and Rockie when she had barely any gray hair yet and Dan's long sexy beard face that you begged him to never shave?? And remember when our life together was a transition of beauty and grace and messy perfection and lows and highs and memories that we crave to hold forever??

THEREFORE, I DECLARE: my official return!

If you are interested (I know my future self is), here is somewhat of an attempt at an update, and some things that have drastically changed me for the better since I have been MIA here:



- Deleting facebook! Good grief, I could practically dedicate an entire post to the complications of life with social media and iPhones. (Rest assured, I won't.) Almost one whole year ago now I deleted my facebook and in doing so I decluttered my social media drastically. My only form of social media has since been Instagram, the place I keep as my journal and creative outlet for photographs and poems and trips. Overall, I truly enjoy Instagram. It is something that does add some value to my life. (CHATBOOKS, amirite?!) But this decision, the decision to only use one form of social media, was one of the best decisions I could have made at this time in my life.

I can't fully explain why facebook brought me down so. It was a lot of things. It was an extra distraction in a busy world where I was trying so hard to remain quiet and still and spiritual, where I was trying to connect with my dead brother, where I was trying to be present in my own life. But also, it was a bit of a downer. It brought me pain, it brought me anxiety, it brought me...that feeling you get in your dreams sometimes, when you are trying so hard to run but you just. can't. move. your. legs. And none of those things it brought me were doing me any good at all, so I did a mental pros and cons list, in which the cons far outweighed the pros. I said "good bye" to that facebook world and I haven't looked back.

As it is, I am still continually working on the balance between social media and actually living in the thick of real life, with real people, not distracted behind a screen. My ideal balance is 95/5, being 95% LIVING and 5% relaxing and scrolling/posting on Instagram (because we all deserve some mind numbing distractions occasionally, yes?). I'm not there yet, but I am close. (Should I change that to 97/3? 98/2? Time will tell.)

Also, a side note for future posterity reading this: how is the future? You can't answer that, obviously. (Can you answer that? Has time travel been invented?!) I am truly dying to know how we survive this crazy apocalyptic-feeling phase in which the majority of people spending the majority of their lives behind a screen instead of having real genuine authentic human interaction. Watching the generation of iphones coming into the world full force constantly makes me cringe. I hope the human race survives.



-Meditation and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)! I can not sing enough praises to meditation and tapping. These have single-handedly been the best healing mechanisms I have used to fully love myself, to forgive myself, and to rise above and overcome my many broken parts.

When I first started I felt a bit loony tunes, just really very out of my comfort zone. But even amidst that discomfort, even that very first time I tried it, I really felt something. The way you feel something when you first listen to a new song that rocks your core and speaks to your heart, or when you walk into an old tall white church house with stained glass windows, or when you watch the sunset from the vast plains of the desert. That feeling that flows like warm water through cracks inside of you that you didn't know were there at all.




-Recent events! As it always is, the winter was long and filled with rest. It is the season for rest, without much sunshine, that is what they say. And it turns out rest is hard. But we made it! As soon as Spring began to show we hit the road running. We camped in Moab (see previous post!) and we spent Spring break in Las Vegas (and again! see previous post!) and both of those trips lifted us tremendously.

Some exciting news: we bought a brand spanking new camper which we have completely fallen in love with! We affectionately named him Harry, like Harry and the Hendersons, only it's Harry and The Crofts. (Jace likes to call him Harry Armpits.) We are spending all of our free time in the woods with Harry and it has been a worthy investment, a second home to take with us to all of our happy places any chance we get.

OH and of course, we just got home from CANADA, of all places, to check Banff National Park off our bucketlist (finally) and it was just a dream. Just a real slap-you-in-the-face-beautiful kind of place! (more pictures soon!)



Together, as a family, we are learning, and growing, and changing, and doing the best we can. Isn't everyone? I can breathe easier these days and I am greeting all of the hardest things that do come with more patience and compassion and I'm trying to document it all better, so here I am.



Thanks for being here.


Las Vegas
















(Spring Break 2018)