Monday, March 29, 2010

Beauty in every moment

I'm trying lately to live in each present moment.  Because no matter the stresses of the future or some negative thing happening in my life before now, or after now, today still brings beautiful moments.  What a shame it would be to miss these moments because I'm too busy thinking about the past or stressing or planning for the future.  This especially is true when thinking about my life as a parent, as I've written before.  Right now though, as much as about my life as a parent I'm really wanting to adopt the ability to see and Live the beautiful moments in every area of my life every day.
When I'm truly living every moment there are less regrets, no feeling like I missed out on life.  When this phase of life is done I'm going to miss it.  Looking back on each part of my life I see that there are things (beautiful moments) that I miss and long for all along the way.  Instead of this being a mournful feeling I am embracing it as proof that my life has and will be full of wonderful things, wonderful people, wonderful experiences that make wonderful memories. 

Here is a quote I found recently that I loved.  It makes me a little teary thinking about how fast Spencer's baby days went by and how fast his childhood is passing too:

"Parents usually mark their children's  firsts-first food, first words, first steps-but lasts often slip by unnoticed.  I don't remember the last time I carried my son up the stairs in the crook of my arm.  Or the last time I read him a bedtime story, closing the cover of Goodnight Moon when I was done.  Or the last time he and I kissed on the lips or crossed the street hand in hand.  Or the last time he called me "Daddy".  I don't remember because I didn't know it was the last time.  Had I known I would have cherished it more.  I would have held on tighter."
~Edward Warner

This same sentiment is easily transfered to many other things in life.  At least if I'm making an effort to live in the present I'll know I at least lived the moments, even if they were the lasts and I didn't know it.

And here is a song we love around here.  It has long been a car or kitchen concert song and my niece Emmy loves it so much that hearing it often makes me think of her.  I'm finding it resonates with me even more lately now that I'm really listening to the lyrics.  (~I had trouble posting it with just the song and no music video, so if you hate having the visual of the video mess up what the song already means to you as much as I do, then look away!)  But enjoy this beautiful song today!

***On a separate note...comments are activated again.  I was getting some negative messages elsewhere and know that the person leaving them also reads this blog so I disabled comments for a while because I didn't have a need to have those kind of things show up here. then I realized how easy the delete button is to use:) So I'd love to read your comments again!~~Happy day everyone!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Mother-In-Law of mine!

More about last weekend, we had a party!  It was John's mom's birthday so after we got back into town on Sunday we made some bright cupcakes and went over to celebrate with her.
I love this picture of Cannon enjoying a cupcake.  He was so excited about the cupcakes!  He was also so excited about the candles, he couldn't control himself (you could tell he was trying so hard) he blew out the candles twice as John lit them before we could even make it into the next room where Grandma was! 
The gift list was impressive too, kid art, a Monkees album, hand lotion.......and cupcakes!  (I have another great picture of my goofy mother-in-law showing off her cd but I don't have permission to post it, you'll just have to trust me that it is as hilarious as she is......wonder where her sons get their goofiness from :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy World

I came across this book when going through shelf after shelf to clear out books I'm ready to let go of (this is not one I'm willing to part with just yet). I realize it may not be a totally thrilling story line or any thing but the pictures make me so happy!
And I just wanted to share a little bit of happy today. 

This past weekend...a.k.a. Jen and Dena go on a date

It is almost weekend time again, how did it take me so long to post this!? Sorry for the wait Jen!
It was time for new tires on the car so that meant a trip to somewhere to get tires, so we decided an overnight family date would be fun and we went to stay with A.J. and Jen.
We all know how John feels about theaters, and about people (not much fondness for them) so when Jen suggested the boys go to a movie and we stay in and watch movies they wouldn't like John reversed the plan to be that he and A.J. could watch zombie movies at home, kids in bed and Jen and I could go out.  
It was almost as big of a deal as prom! So exciting to go to a movie, no kiddos.  Laughing is always fun, it is my favorite after all, and there was much laughing so I enjoyed the weekend!  
The girls were pretty excited to see Spencer too.  The first night we were there Spencer was playing one of the video games on the T.V. and Karissa was dancing in front of him and every minute or so would touch her nose to his and say "hi, hi, hi".  So cute!  And he was so patient, just kept pausing the game to tell her hi too.  On the way home he said that even though the girls always wanted to be right next to him and he barely was alone all weekend he thinks they're cute and it made him happy that they were so excited to see him.
Thanks for having us over guys!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Race time!

This is something that happened last week that was a pretty big deal!  The Annual Pine Wood Derby for the scouts.  The level of excitement in this room was crazy high! Spencer and all the other boys had a great time racing their cars and Spencer has ideas he is excited to try for his car next year.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My current reading list~March 2010

I find myself going through a creative ebb and flow cycle.  Right now I'm feeling a little on the down swing of things.  So many ideas and a bit of excitement to get projects underway but not as much motivation for follow through.  I think that is coming from a place of stress and emotional waves of highs and lows.  Too much cortisol in the system is leaving me a little too drained for art-ing yet I know that if I just let myself go with the creative flow good would come out of it both in the form of art and stress relief.  Funny how 'stuck' happens.

On that note, I'm reading some great books right now, these are the ones I'm still in the midst of...

'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron.  I'm reading this with a group of people from the Inside Out class I recently took.  The first bit is talking a lot about becoming unblocked as an artist.  I think it is a little funny and ironic that I didn't feel very blocked until I started into this book.   What does that say?  Maybe I'm a little more aware?   One of the things this book introduces is morning pages, which is similar to part of  how I've journaled for years with the exception that you are not supposed to look back on morning pages right away and I've had a tendency to re-read journal pages not too long after I write. Even though free form writing finds its way into my journaling before I've had fun with this 'no thinking' writing with the morning pages.

I'm finding a bit of happy and inspiration in all the books I'm reading right now.  I'm going through a bit of a philosophy kick lately so when visiting with friends last night and one mentioned her favorite book and  offered me a copy of  'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' by Robert M. Pirsig, I happily accepted it and started reading it this morning.  I think books have a way of finding the people that need them and always say yes when someone offers me a book, for maybe I need to read it!  Who knows what it'll bring into my life?  And then I get to be a tool to pass it on further where the universe wants to take it. How great is that?  Only a few chapters in but enjoying it so far.  This may be one I decide should be a slow read as it already is one I am tempted to jot little notes on.

'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin is a book I would recommend anyone read.  It is a quick easy read but with great reminders, insight and ideas to cultivate happiness in any life. 

'The Pig that Wants to be Eaten' by Julian Baggini is one I'm loving!  It is full of seeds to spur lengthy conversation.  Good stuff.
'Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie' by Alan Bradley is a fictional mystery story that is kind of fun and 'Why Men never Remember and Women never Forget' by Marianne J. Legato is a relationship book looking at differences between the genders, so far interesting. 

So tonight we're headed out of town and I'm so tempted to take this whole stack with me because who knows what I'll be in the mood to read in the car, in bed, waiting for tires to be put on my car in the morning??  But I suppose I'll narrow it down to one or 2 in hopes of packing 'light'.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Things that made me smile last week, an incomplete list

~I have been blog hopping and found my 'breathe' show up here, on this post.  It is kind of fun to see my stuff pop up somewhere and I wanted to share.
~This was left on my porch for me one day when I was at work.  It really did brighten my day, and make me very thankful for the wonderful people who've come into my life!

~Talking books with my son.  He has read some books he loves loves loves and wanted me to read them so we can talk about them.  So early in the week I read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and have had so much fun talking with Spencer about what he liked and didn't about the book.
~The beauty in spending time with people I love.
~My new phone!  Finally got around to getting my phone replaced (I think John has been trying to talk me into doing this since, oh, October or so and I finally did it, and am so happy with a RED phone that works well!)
~Turning said phone of for long spans of time each day.  It makes me feel free!  And NOT getting messages is sometimes just a great thing!
~Snow is melting!  It makes me so hopeful that it'll be all melted someday!  Do you think the second weekend in April is too soon to hope for spring here?  I want to have a yard sale and get rid of more more more stuff.
~A sign I saw that resonated with me that said "If you love life Life will love you back".
~People Ice Fishing that had written in ten foot letters on the snow "NO FISH"  Oh, how I wish I'd had my camera with me! 
~Just kissing, because it is pretty wonderful.
~A phone call from my niece Danica, just because she misses us.  We miss her too!  So much.
~The time change!  One of my favorite days of the year!  I love the longer days this change brings.  John did remind me though, that back in high school we were more fond of the other time change, in the fall, when days would get shorter and dark would come earlier so it was easier to find a place to 'park'.  Silly memories.

Simple Happiness

I was tagged a while back by Shannon to list ten simple things that make me happy.  I'm finally getting around to making my list.  I found it really hard to keep to ten, I was finding many more!  I also found that thinking about my happiness today is helping lift my mood a bit.  Thanks Shannon!
Here goes:
1) This boy, his laughter, his company, my amazement at my luck at being his mom!

2) Gray, rainy days.  I can't put into words how much I love these days!  They truly lift my spirits and make me happier!

3) The mountains.

4) Connections, soul mate connections.  Being known, unconditional love, giving it and receiving it, true joy.  Feeling like Oregon.

5) Friends.  Support, laughter, understanding, conversation, adventure.  Good stuff, friendship.

6) Books!  (usually in less disarray)

7) My family, and this crazy wonderful family I married into,  laughter is my favorite!  There's always much of that when we're together.

8) My journals, many many many over the years.  Bring peace and clarity and later nostalgia and memories.

9) Funky mugs, with or without tea or coffee, for building or for drinking out of.

10) Little bits of time I take for me, the meditation, quiet and creating I allow into my day.

The idea of a tag is to tag others too, so I'm going to tag Mary Lynn, Emily, Corie, Brittney, Candice, Nicole and Stephanie, Amy and Yvonne.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My mother in law... the master of all knowledge

How cool is this?  My mother-in-law taught me last weekend to knit with 5, yes 5 needles.  Socks!  Think of all the great socks I can make now!!  Before this I only knew how to knit with 2 needles.  Ah, to gain knowledge... priceless.  Thanks Linda!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Get the mess out!


The other day I decided it was perhaps time to dig through my little console compartment between the front seats of my car.  (because I was waiting in the car and boredom struck, how I got out of the house WITHOUT a book to entertain me is beyond me).  So, while on the phone with a friend I emptied the whole thing.  It was much like Mary Poppin's bag.  I couldn't believe all the stuff jammed in there.  More than pictured, much more (that pile is deeper than it looks).  I found so many treasures!  Not my missing pair of sunglasses though, that would have made me so giddy, but no, they're still gone. Where oh where could they be?
I thought it would be a great idea to clean the compartment out and be more organized.  I threw away some stuff, returned some to their rightful homes and the rest (in my mind) was SUPPOSED to live in the console.  So, still quite full but now I have a little more room to stash stuff as the need arises.
This little start made me decide I'm motivated motivated motivated to tackle the task of de-cluttering the house and getting rid of all the stuff we don't need.  And think about organization in the house too.  Wish me luck!  

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My One Small Change Updates

Let's play catch up about my One Small Change for January, February and now March.  I realize that I've started posts about them then not gone back to publish them because of lack of good photos.  I know, silly right?  I should have good photos of everything since my camera averages 100 shots taken per week. But no, no good photos.  Today I decided to post anyway.

So here in January I started my changes with the resolve to take my own bags to the store.  No more accumulating plastic and paper disposable ones from shopping.  How'd I do?  Fair.  Actually pretty good, not great but pretty good.  I did succeed in making 5 more bags and that has helped much, but still they have the habit of getting filled with other goodies around the house and seem too full to grab for every shopping adventure.  I've realized this needs some organization and attention.

In February I decided that my change would be to not buy any more paper towels or napkins.  I decided to go ahead and use the rest of what we had (which was very very little because I already didn't like the idea of them) and we made the switch to cloth napkins and using cloth towels for any cleaning and cleaning up we had to do.  How'd we do?  Very good.  Even John likes this one, because it cuts costs, even if just by a little.  We are often a house with many guests.  I'm sure there will be napkins and paper towels occasionally in our future for some of these times. (at the most last summer our house held 14 adults and 18 kids for meals, with 6 of said adults and 15 of said kids sleeping over.~we have a 2 bedroom house~luckily it was summer and we put tents in the yard!) Anyway, like I said, when we have many guests I'm not opposed to napkins!

Now March, my One Small Change for March is definitely small.  I decided to spend this month going out of my way to 'use what I have'.  And to donate no less than 2 garbage bags a week of 'stuff'.  I'm letting this reach into all the corners of our lives.  We're going to use up soaps, lotions, toiletries, art supplies etc before buying any more.  I also have supplies on hand to make natural soaps and lotions so instead of buying more of that after we run out I'll just make some.
Spencer has decided he'll part with 2 garbage bags full of toys and clothes over the course of the month (not each week as I'm aspiring to!) And he has gathered a large pile of his books that he is ready to go trade in at the used bookstore.  We may wait a few weeks until we can make a trip to Utah for this, as a couple of the used bookstores there are ones we love!
I also have a few gifts I need to give in the next couple of months and I'm going to use fabric that I already have stashed to make them.  We've started to go through closets and fill bags of stuff to get rid of.  Right now my car is full of boxes and bags of clothes, toys, books and kitchen gizmos that need to be dropped off at a donation site.  And no new stuff is going to come in to replace it!  I feel lighter and freer just thinking of how lovely it'll be to be rid of so much clutter!  And how free I'll feel not spending more money on things we don't really need right now.  Wish me luck!
And good luck to you as you take on your small change this month!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Happy Birthday to my mom!

We had a birthday party for my mom tonight.  It was a lot of fun!  Can't tell you how old she turned.  Because I'm not sure.  She's a little unsure about the year she was born! :)

I made Chicken Marsala for dinner and a little cupcake cake for her.  We gave her flowers and books for her birthday.  After dinner and singing and cake we played a bit of Blackjack.  Because Grandma wanted to, and it was her birthday!  So, we taught the 9 year old how to gamble.  Funny.  It was such a good time!  I found that I am much like my dad, an eternal optimist.  Always so sure I'm going to win.  "I have a nineteen, do I want another card....sure~!!! The next card MUST be a 2!!"  And tonight, I found that my dad plays the same way! 
We did hear a funny story tonight about my parent's honeymoon to Jackpot years ago that pertains to gambling.  I'll get around to sharing that story soon.  Its a funny one!  But for tonight I just want to say Happy Birthday to my Mom!  We love you!