Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The B Word

Tucked deep in conversation at a local coffee shop, the drink may be different but the topic always feels the same.

Small talk, small talk, small talk...insert something about failed attempts to find balance here.

Moms getting together for book club or a business meeting or an excuse to take a latte time out in the middle of the busy day.

BALANCE. What a B? Why does it feel so hard to attain? Oh, yes, that's why...

Because it's unattainable. 

I can feel every yogi hippie spiritual person's blood pressure rising. I know, I know...balance is ultimate objective for you. That's ok...downward dog on. You're doing great. I want to be you.

But from my almost 4 year experience at this working mom thing, the only time I felt "balanced" is when I accepted balance didn't exist. Something will always give.

Maybe it's the sink that is constantly full of dirty dishes.
Maybe it's an e-mail left un-responded to at 11:45 pm when it was received.
Maybe it's a dirty car or a dirty bedroom or a dirty toilet.  
Maybe it's the dog hair stuck to everything or the dinner and bed you forgot to make.
Maybe the bills are a little late or you're a lot late to the soccer game.
Maybe you forgot the healthy snack when it was YOUR turn for the carrot and celery sticks.
Maybe the maybes are so prevalent in your internal conversation that your head is going to explode and confetti with the word "maybe" will spew out.
Maybe it's ok to not be balanced.
Maybe that makes life more beautiful.
Maybe you are doing a better than you think, Mom.
Maybe it's ok just the way it is.

Nameste, B. You got this.


Friday, December 18, 2015

I Miss You

Myles,

I woke up this morning and remembered you were gone. I pulled the covers over my head as the sadness swallowed me like a wave on the ocean's edge.

I miss you, buddy. Your hair is everywhere. I'm still carrying it with me. There are scratches on the floor from that last awful week with you. Your collar is hanging in the closet next to the leash. Your poop is still in the yard. There are small reminders of you everywhere.

As I moved through this day full of emotion, memories of your face bounced in my brain. Memories of how you lifted your head every morning while I bounced down the stairs or how you snored so loudly at night. I miss that sound. I miss watching you with Jack. I miss you laying on the porch in the sun or next to me by the desk. I even miss that bark when you wanted back inside.

I miss you, but I don't miss the dog you were that last week. I miss the one the 13 years before it. That's the dog I'll always remember not the one at the end.

Rest Easy My Gentle Boy.

Until we meet again...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

It's Ok.

It's been seven long days and seven sleepless nights since this disease took over your body like a vampire in the night.

We have a consultation with the vet today to decide what's next. What's next...incredible how much power that phrase holds in this situation.

You've been a very loyal faithful companion, old boy. You were part of  my blood family and now you're a part of my chosen family. We all love you. We love your quirky personality and your consistency. We love how you expect very little, but give so much. We love how calm and committed you have been to Johnny and how you let him think he rules the show. We love how patient you have been with Jack even though I'm sure it's torture for your old body to have such new life running around you all the time. And we both know I mean ALL the time.

They say your average life expectancy is 13-15 years. Interesting how you're just a few months shy of your 14th birthday.

Myles, it won't be the same without you, but we'll be ok. I won't be the same without you, but I'll be ok.

Sometimes we have to dig deep to make the most difficult decisions. I'm digging deep here, sweet boy. And that place we have to go when we know what's right, that's where I am. I hope you know I'm not doing this for me. I'm doing it for you. Thank you for your companionship, loyalty, trust and most importantly love. I will carry it with me forever.

It's time to let you find that dogsled team in the sky. They're waiting for you to lead the pack.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Christmas Miracle For Myles

Dear Myles,

Right now you're resting peacefully in the sun room. You've rested there 1,000 times before, but this time it's different.

For the past two days I have mourned the possibility of losing you. I cried while building PowerPoint presentations. I sobbed on my commute to work. I swallowed down more lumps in my throat than I can count. I suffered through conversations about the weather and other things that don't matter all while preparing to lose you.

This morning Jack drew you three pictures. On the last picture, in his best 3-year-old penmanship, he wrote: "Get Well Soon, Myles."

And suddenly, this indestructible hope of a 3-year-old hit me.

Through our 13 years together, you never waivered. Your love for me flowed steadily and consistently like a river through the middle of the woods. You were present when we got engaged, married. When we brought our sweet baby boy home, you greeted us with your signature happy dance. You never gave up on me when I traveled after college sometimes for months at a time. You were always there ready to accept me just as I was.

And that's why I'm not giving up on you.

Sweet boy, if you want to fight, I'll fight with you. If you want to go, I will support that too. I'm here to wrap my 33-year-old arms around your 13-year-old body and hold you when you're anxious. I'm here clean up your accidents, feed you by hand and take this one day at a time with you.

And if you decide you're ready, I'll be ready too.

But if you want to fight, I'll fight with you.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

3 SIMPLE Holiday Crafts Under $5

1. Paint some ornaments

Supplies:

  • Q-tips for paint brushes
  • Acrylic paint-white and red
This was a hit for a 3 year old, 7 year old and 11 year old on Thanksgiving. It kept them entertained for 45 minutes. The 3 year old rolled his ornaments in the paint which turned out pretty cool. He hung them on the tree right beside each other.

2. A "snow globe"

Supplies:
  • Small ball jar
  • Olive oil
  • Two photographs
  • Glitter
Cut pictures to fit in jar. Place photos back to back and slide in jar. Add glitter. The more the better. Fill jar with olive oil. Screw lid on.

3. Give, save, spend jars


No description needed. These jars sit in our living room as a constant reminder of what really matters. 



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

To the Mother of Three

To the Mother and Father of Three,

I'm sure it isn't always easy to be constantly needed...to have one tugging at your pants while the other lifts your shirt while the third cries somewhere about feeling "left out." I'm sure it isn't always easy to load three kids into one bright red grocery cart while anxiously deciding which one will lose it the quickest and what will cause that melt down.

And dinner time...how do you do it? Prepare a hot meal while three little minds take over every corner of the house with primary colored crayons and white walls? How do you work 9 hours and still manage to do it all? The piles of laundry, the dog hair from the dog you got (against your better judgement) because all your 7-year-old dreamed of was a dog for her birthday? I'm sure you ended up with the dud of the litter too, huh? The one who barks all night long and can't be trained.

How do you do it? The math homework that challenges every brain cell, the english papers and science projects? How do you pack all the lunches and write tiny notes every day on yellow post-its and keep the cabinets fully stocked? How do you make sure each kid feels equally loved and equally cared for and equally special? How do you educate and build up and keep in line all at the same time?

How do you get them all to bed without falling asleep yourself in some twin bed or beside some toddler bed?

How did you do it mom and dad?

Love,
Me

Friday, August 28, 2015

Free


Have you seen a person at Costco and you already know everything about them so you don’t have to ask them a simple question like, “How are you?”

Have you sat on a couch with your spouse and tweeted them?

Have you hiked a mountain not for the journey but to get the Instagram shot at the top?

Have you taken a walk just to take a walk not to talk loudly on your phone about things that don’t matter?

Have you stopped to admire the way the setting sun hits the top of a tree and resisted the urge to snap chat your selfie?

Have you sat with your five childhood friends lately or is a group text enough to cure that desire?

Have you gone to a record store and gotten to know the pioneers or is the $1.29 itunes deal to good to resist?

Have you sat with the sun in your face?

Have you tried to slow your pace?

Have you visited an art museum or space museum or children’s museum?

Have you sat of a bank of a river and admired the flow, the way life moves slow?

Have you powered down your lifeline to truly take a vacation or staycation, have you felt the sensation of a hug lately?

Have you told the ones you love you appreciate them lately?

Have you sat with your aging parents and gotten to know them as they are right now in this moment?

Have you told your kid no…you can’t take that trip to the park because this e-mail is too important?

Have you laid on a blanket in a wide open field and talked about all that you feared?

Have you witnessed a moment when a man or woman drops to one knee and lays down their life?

Have you experienced the miracle of a life without asking if there is wi-fi?

Have you rolled down your car windows and disconnected your blue tooth and watched a neighborhood come to life?

Have you sat at the bottom of a tree in the middle of the woods and admired its journey and all that it gives?

Have you embraced your kids? A fully connected, undistracted, uninterrupted hug?

Have you dropped a collection of real, hold it in your hands pictures in the mail for Grandma?

Do you know how good it feels to see the sunrise before picking up your device?

To read a real book by the lake without an electronic vice?

Do you know how it feels to be free?

To open your distracted eyes and truly see? 

Do you know how it feels to be free?