Remembering what this weekend is about

memorial day 1I saw this picture yesterday and it gutted me.

I think sometimes when we say we oppose war we inadvertently create a comfortable space for ourselves between our lives in our bubbles, and the men and women who give up everything on our behalf.  And it isn’t fair.  War is complicated and involves too many to be so black and white, so distantly privileged and self-centered.

Here’s to remembering who this weekend is really about and what courage truly means, despite our personal stances on war.

Deep gratitude, love and honor to all those who serve and have served our country, including our own Grandpa Vernon.

I am proud and lucky to be an American.

Happy Memorial Weekend.  May our hearts send strength to those who need them this weekend.

3rd Trimester, y’all

28 weeks baby 3

28 weeks and counting…all black everything at this point, folks…

One day…

One day he’ll be so big, he won’t be swallowed by his backpack anymore…

 Kierian backpack

One day he will walk out the door and won’t waive goodbye anymore.

Kierian waive

And I’ll wonder how something so tiny can grow to be so big.

 

One day she’ll roll her eyes when we talk about the Easter Bunny coming to visit…

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One day she’ll be too cool to wear princess clothes to eat dinner and to the grocery store…

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One day, pigtails and pretend pets will be a thing of her past…

Cora n penguin

And when that day comes, I will remember these days and treasure them.

Ode to Mama

Happy Mother’s Day to all this weekend!  I feel so thankful that I get to be a mother to Cora and to Kierian and to Baby #3.  Luke and I actually strongly considered not having kids.  Man, I’m glad we renig’d on that one.

I am one of those lucky women who had an incredibly present mother while growing up.  She and I haven’t always had an easy relationship.  I was a tough teen who, as the eldest daughter, believed I knew it all.  (I still think I do).  And she was there to tell me I didn’t.  We butt heads at times.  This was our song for each other when I was growing up:

She Drives Me Crazy, that’s right.

But looking back now, I am so appreciative of how involved she was in every degree.  I remember some of my friends saying they wished their parents would just play with them more, be around more and have fun with them.  I never once felt this as a child.  My mother gave everything to us kids.

She was a super mom, one that I’m not sure I’ll ever live up to.  She was our classroom mom, our girl scout leader and team mom.  She was always baking and crafting and coming up with fun ideas like the Summer Circus (which became famous in our neighborhood).  I had the kind of house kids always wanted to come to.  We always had yummy food, fun things to do, and someone to help us go after those things.

My mom instilled in me a love of the outdoors.  She took us camping all the time.  She modeled creativity herself in how she decorated our home, the clothes she wore, her paintings and more.  She took us to Shakespeare Festivals and plays starting at a very young age and taught us her coolest dance moves to Tina Turner while she exercised in the living room.

She created traditions, like making Christmas candy while listening to the Muppets Christmas and drinking eggnog.  Like breakfasts in bed for special occasions…like neighborhood talent shows…like renting cabins in the mountains with no TV allowed (there were no cell phones or any of that other crap to have to limit aside from TV then)…like nature walks and Santa neighborhood visits around the holidays.

My mom taught me about the big lessons when I needed them the most, lessons she’d learned as a girl.  She’d rarely indulge me in telling me how beautiful she thought I was when I asked during those really insecure years.  She’d always remind me to focus on the right things–”what’s inside that counts” was beat into my head.  And so I became a woman who learned to appreciate my beauty, but not be obsessed with it.  I learned to dig deeper, to develop who I am as opposed to what I look like.

In middle school at my first pool party I was terrified to be in a suit in front of the boys.  She told me that people will remember how I act more than what I look like.  And she was exactly right, in the pool and otherwise.

And in college, after dating douche bag after douche bag, my mom reminded me to believe that I deserve to be treated like the best there is and I’ll find a man who will be a prince.  Not too long after, I met Luke.  I have yet to meet a better man in the world.  Thank goodness I listened to her advice.

The things my mother gave were immeasurable.  She cooked meals for people who needed them, helped us set up volunteer hours as kids in churches and old folks homes, she watched my friends for mothers who didn’t have time, and created a loving and stable environment in our home.

In my experience, this is one of the hardest parts about being a stay-at-home-mom: what I give is not tangible and measurable as it was when I was working.  And as one of Luke’s friend’s mom’s said “no matter how smart you are, how many volunteer hours you log and how much you do to bolster others, you’ll never get the respect you deserve as a SAHM.”  I no doubt, didn’t appreciate all my mom did for me until I had kids of my own and decided to stay home with them.

Well, this weekend I feel grateful to have the mom that I have.  Love on a mom this weekend, even if it isn’t your own.  She definitely deserves it.  Love you, Mom.

 

Bears in da hood

Last night while taking out the garbage, Manali chased a bear from the yard into our tree.

A little hard to see but notice the glowing eyes!

A little hard to see but notice the glowing eyes!

Here is the hero, himself:

Happy to have this guy around..

Happy to have this guy around..

Guess those guys are coming out of hibernation!

It’s the little things

Sometimes having wee ones makes my heart melt….

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  • This is what happens when I ask Kierian to put his shoes away.  He always places them right on top of mine.

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  • Sometimes when I go to bed at night, Cora leaves a special piece of artwork on my pillow as a surprise.

It’s the little things that make this journey so sweet…

The Giving Trails

Yesterday, I got lost on the trails around our house.  It’s crazy really, to get lost up here.  Luke and I have lived in our house for 8 years, I grew up in this same part of town, on these same trails.  But I managed to get lost yesterday.

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My initial reaction was “shit, I gotta get home.  I have such a short time, I was supposed to hit the store, and I wanted to run a quick errand,” and on and on…you know the drill.

But thankfully, I was lost for long enough that I was forced to get over it.  You see, the past many years, we haven’t been hiking all that much, per se.  Though I know about the benefits of walking for creativity, for problem solving, for my relationship, I’m hard pressed to do it lately unless forced to.  With two small kids, I do something like go running because I gotta “use my time” and use it wisely.  Luke and I don’t have the endless time on weekends we did before kids to go hike for two or three hours like we used to.

I have a babysitter come twice a week and lately I’ve been using that time to hike.  The beauty of being pregnant again is that it forces me to slow down.  And it’s teaching me so much.

I’m realizing that I’ve missed these trails.  I’ve missed the quiet time by myself thinking about whatever I need to think about.  I’ve missed my relationship with my dog and hiking is renewing that again.  I need the time to leave my phone and my worries at home.  Running up there just doesn’t offer the same kind of solace.  It’s too….rushed, too, intense.

These trails remind me of the wonderful book, THE GIVING TREE.  I used to come up here and walk by myself or with friends when I was young.  We had a field trip up here in kindergarten that I still remember–we got to eat cactus.  I had a first kiss up here, drank my first beer on these trails.

Throughout my life, I’ve always come back to this circuit and realized both how the trails have changed, and how I, too, have changed.  And each time I hike alone, I am always offered something different.  A new insight about myself or about life, a reminder of someone or something I want to appreciate.  These are my giving trails.

When Luke and I first moved back to Boulder from NYC, we made a promise to each other that we’d never live farther than a three minute walk from the mountain trails.  It’s tempting at times.  Huge closets, a newer house and a massive yard sound more enticing with every kid we have.  But to us, it’s worth the trade off.  The trails are endless, yet interconnected.  There is something incredibly symbolic and sacred in that.

So, by the end of my time wandering I felt refreshed.  Amazing that after 33 years of coming back to the same place, I can still find myself by getting lost up here.  May you find yourself lost sometime soon too…

 

 

 

A Poem: Farewell Vajay-jay

Well, we had our big ultrasound today.  It looks like there’s a real baby in there, folks.  And my belly be a-growin’.  Nope, we didn’t find out gender if you can believe it.  Totally not our style, but we’re sticking’ to it for this last go round.  I thought I’d be able to tell from the facial profile (which Luke pointed out is ridiculous).  So I have no idea which camp our family will more heavily live in: Princess Pond or Firetruck Fraternity.  TBD.

And I’m not one of those people who just has these feelings and knows.  I’ve been wrong twice now, so I don’t trust myself here.

At any rate, here’s a really beautiful poem I wrote when I was pregs with Kierian (Bear-Bear) that really resonates right now.  I hope you enjoy the dazzling language and imagery, along with the enticingly subtle allusions.  Really, it’s awe-inspiring.

Farewell, goodbye, Vajay-jay my friend,

It looks like our time together has come to an end.

My tummy, it’s a growin’, a mountain so strong,

You should see how my booty now swallows a thong.

**

‘Bout two years I paid you so much attention, you know?

Alas, waxing and grooming and laser hair removal no mo’.

**

Out of sight out of mind, or so they say,

It seems I didn’t shave for yet another day.

I’ll see you in full length mirrors, and post-baby, perhaps.

Our dear, poor, sweet Luker, that unlucky chap.

**

It isn’t my fault, I promise, I swear,

I’ve got a wee-human that’s living in there.

So Dear Husband, if you can, forgive me please,

if it appears you can no longer see the forest through the trees.

**

Home again, home again..

Jiggety-jig!

Well, we just returned from a little 3 week hiatus in Oahu, Hawaii.  There is nothing more refreshing than stepping out of routine back home and reconnecting with good friends.  We are fired up to be back home and getting settled.

We’ve been jet-setting pretty hard this year and it’s been awesome.  We could easily blow every dime we have on travel, we love it so.  Alas, that’s it for a while.  More than half way through this pregnancy and we are now homebound for the long haul.  It was a great last hoorah for a stint.

Here are some of the highlights from our trip…

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I just feel so incredibly naked without my…

CROWN…

Kierian crown

He hasn’t taken this sucker off since his 1/2 birthday celebration at school on Monday