Twilight 

This time of day, 

after the shoulds, the musts and the have to dos are done.

The kids are tucked.

The dishes are running and the laundry is drying. 

This time of day is for me. 

I open the bedroom window, 

to a chorus of frog song. 

I feel like a queen on her balcony saying goodnight to her adoring subjects. 

I turn on the bedside lamp, choose a book from the 23 in the pile, 

and flop down on my queen bed. 

I fluff and snuggle until all the pillows and blankets are just so, 

and then, 

I exhale. 

And read. And revel in today’s beauty. 

And give thanks for the blessing of today. 

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Thank you for letting me love you… 

  I always knew I had a lot of love to give, 

but until you, 

I didn’t know how much.

My daughter, your tiny toes, auburn ringlets, and natural curiousity melted my heart from the start. 

Thank you for letting me love you, my heart has grown bigger because of you. 

Then along came a little brother, plump like a berry. You came out snugly, with strong sense of justice, and a laugh that lights up the world.

Thank you for letting me love you, I have grown as a Mother because of you.

And then you came baby boy, my angel. Such a gentle spirit, community surrounds you because of your kindness. 

Thank you for letting me love you, you have shown me peace and helped me build resilience I did not know I had.

They say the heart expands because there is always enough love to share. 

My family, my heart. 

There are not enough words to say how much I love you all. 

But I promise I will keep trying to show you, 

Everyday. 

Magic in relationship

healthy-relationshipsIt starts off with a blind date or a glance across a crowded room… you meet someone. Someone you know is going to be special in your life. In romantic comedies and Disney movies they hero helps the princess (or occasionally the in the feminist version the gal helps the fella – booyah!), they have true love’s kiss and live happily ever after.

Well, in my life, it hasn’t quite gone that way. It’s been more of a journey on the less traveled road with beautiful scenery and a hint of magic.

goal-map1

Eight years ago I met someone. It was a blind date. It was summer, he was wearing a blue shirt that matched his eyes and I was wearing a light purple scarf, so he could find me in the crowd. He talked a lot. My friend that set us up told me he would do that if he was nervous. I’m thankful she told me because it made it very cute. We drank beer and ate french fries and then went outside for a walk. I don’t know idea where we walked but he said turn left and right, always walking on the outside of the sidewalk so I wouldn’t be close to the cars. He toured me around our city, showing me things I had never seen before. It was surprising, fun, and well, surprising. I didn’t see that coming.

Before I got home, I received a sweet email saying he had a great time and would like to see me again. Cue: butterflies in tummy.

In this love story, the heroine had three small kids and the hero had one. The summer was filled with long walks, sweet kisses and kid adventures in nature. As it turns out our main characters also brought some history and baggage with them that make the road a little bumpy. They traveled together off and one for several years. Each time they reconnected after a bump, it was like no time had passed. They cared for each other and it was evident. They were the moon and the sun, always rotating in the same space and needing each other, but somehow never seeing the light the other would shine on a consistent basis.

They even lived in the same universe for awhile. It was a small universe in her opinion with a lot of small moving planets. He made it beautiful but it still was too much for her. They parted ways, each to their own universe but thinking often of the space they shared together.

Fast forward two years, new jobs, new houses and still the same universal connection. The world as they knew it was changing, the big bad wolf had been elected to the United States Presidency. She tossed and turned that night, looking for safe space. Finally, she reached out, searching for a home that was comfortable and safe and found him. Right were he always was, just like magic.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned in this love story is to appreciate the moment. Right now, my heart is warm from the sun shining my direction, the stars twinkle just a little more knowing the sun and moon are in the same space. The snowflakes softly falling surround us as if to say, we see you two, and we wish you magic in relationship. And so the story continues. The path unknown but this moment? Spectacularly beautiful. 

Adventurers in the Sun

It’s been a long time since I have written! I took the summer off to play.

IMG_2562So, let’s bring you up to speed.

The kids and I had a great summer. My daughter was a camp counselor at a farm all summer and the boys did kayak camp, were involved in shenanigans of varying sorts.

As the summer came to a close, we realized although we had been having a ton of fun, we hadn’t been on a camping trip yet. So I popped them in the and we headed to the ocean.

We have done quite a bit of camping with friends but last year was our first mama plus three kids solo trip. After I got over my original anxiety of “what if we get eaten by bears”, we had a blast. So,this summer we went to visit our friend who is a Park Ranger on the Olympic Peninsula.

We packed snacks, sleeping bags and drove a couple of hours to the Lake Quinault. Stopping of course and the largest Spruce tree in the United States.

When we reached the beach, I feel in love with Kalaloch Beach. We walked for miles. We collected shells and wrote messages in the sand. 9E37A231-1ECC-4210-B3FB-61D732D84BB3

We roasted marshmallows in multiple hues from light brown to black. We took turns swinging in the hammock, we sang so many songs and laughed until we eventually fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves.

I say this often but I really mean it, I love these kids so much. Not only that, I actually like them. They are so much fun. While our life isn’t perfect or even easy some days, I am grateful every day to be the mama to three of the coolest humans I know.

As summer comes to a close and we get out the soup pots and wool socks, I find myself humming gently and remembering these adventures in the sun.

Prayer on the wind 

I saw you today,
writing in your favorite coffee shop, 
eyes focused on the keyboard,
you craft a message to the world. 

My insides melt, 
even after all this time.

I wish I could tell you.
I wish you could hear. 

But words cannot exit these lips, 
Too much history,
too much hurt.

And so I say this prayer and hope it finds you.

I pray you are happy,
that joy and prosperity surround you,
your garden blooms, 
your vision of hope becomes reality, 
And your daughter knows what an incredible man you are. 

I say this as I pass the coffee shop
hoping it will travel on the wind 
to you. 
 

Love yourself dearly 

Wisdom throughout the ages has shared with us many truths. Certainly there is “be kind to one another”, “be honest”, “share your bounty” and many others.

Tonight I would like to focus on the truth “love yourself dearly”. I heard once that you should treat yourself the way you would treat a dear loved one. Would you bring tea to warm the soul, hugs to bandage the hurt, or laugher to spread the joy? Would you give yourself the benefit of the doubt? Would you listen intently to the pain that wants to be heard?

These are tough questions when I put myself to the task of answering them. There are certain things I do well to show myself I care, and other areas that have room for improvement.

How do you show yourself kindness and compassion? If you were a car, would your tires be worn down, your gas tank empty and trash all over the car? If this is the case, it’s time to give yourself some attention. What is it you need to restore your strength? A bath, some chocolate, a visit with a friend, a walk? Today for me has been about self-compassion. I have a lot going on and it is time to slow it down. I have been wearing my pajamas all day, I have written 4 blog posts because sometimes I just need to get it all out. I drank coffee and ate cold pizza for lunch which was fabulous. I cleaned the house, found a couple of books I want to read and just let go. I let go of expectations, and welcomed peace. I noticed the birdsong and the raindrops on the vibrant greenery outside. I cleaned my desk instead of one of the kids. I just breathed and then breathed some more. It was magic.

Whatever your life looks like at the moment, and whatever your life comes to hold, remember you must always love yourself dearly. You are the only you that you have. Yes some people might have partners that show them tenderness with flowers or kindness and that is so wonderful. If you are flying solo at the moment like me, bring yourself flowers, take yourself to the movies and be the best date in the world to yourself. Then you will feel the same sense of love surrounding you.

So as this pajama day continues, I give thanks for those who care about me and remind me to take sometime just to be. This day, may you be kind to yourself and love yourself dearly.

The loves of my life 

These people are my heart. They make me laugh, cry, and they are a big reason why I work to make the world a better place.

Life as a single mom has its challenges. I’m the plumber, handywoman, chef, nurse and chauffeur. There are a variety of benefits that go along with these jobs.

1. Handywoman- it turns out I can fix the garbage disposal, hang christmas lights on the  roof, and dislodge lego pieces from anywhere.

2. Chef- I make some seriously cheese mac n cheese (from a box), I puréed veggies in it when they were young enough not to notice. I can make 4 meals for 1 dinner time, but these days my kids eat most things. I credit the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box and the variety of veggies we were able to enjoy every week last summer.

3. Nurse – oh the fevers I have snuggled through, the band-aids I buy in bulk and the middle of the night “I don’t feel good” moments.

4. Chauffeur- there are days when I feel like I live in the car. The other day I did 85 miles in the city via baseball games, playdates, work, school and home. I own a minivan, and I am not afraid to use it!

5. Plumber – oh the poop I have plunged. It seems like it is usually when I come home in a fancy dress from a community fundraiser. There, like a little welcome home present, is a little project for mom. Yes, you can plunge the toilet in heels I have discovered.

I have listed a few of the challenges of life as a single mom, but truly the gifts and opportunities outweigh these struggles by leaps and bounds. The adventure, laughter and closeness we experience together is without a doubt one of the richest parts of my life.

1. Adventure – From the time they were little, we have been campers. Usually we go with a big group of mamas to both spread the work around and to build community. I have changed many a diaper in the woods before swimming, kayaking or hiking in our beautiful Pacific Northwest. Last year for the first time we went on a camping trip just the four of us. I was nervous but it was out of this world fun. We swam, hiked, made campfires, roasted marshmallows. My mom drove out to go on a hike with us. It was fantastic and brought us even closer together as a little family.

2. Laughter- These kids make me laugh so hard I cry – all the time. Yesterday, something happened and the 4 of us were rolling around on the ground laughing. Someone asked me if I remembered what started it all and I don’t, but boy was it awesome. Sometimes it starts from a joke someone tells, or some silly thing one of us does but often we just crack up and then laugh till the laughter is streaming out of our eyes. It’s the best.

3.  Closeness – We have been a team for almost 10 years now, a single mama and her three sweeties. I am so grateful for the closeness we have developed. We sing together, play games, watch movies all in this cozy space we have co-created.Sure there are moments when I am tired or someone is driving the other one crazy but mostly, we are a close little family who care about each other. As we speak, my 2 boys are doing magic tricks on the floor after we all ate cold pizza at the table and watched the rain outside.

If you haven’t noticed by now, in my opinion, my cup is very full. Full of love, from this life I share, with the loves of my life.