Hello

April is almost over. I got my nose pierced last weekend–a milestone of sorts. I’ve wanted a nostril piercing since I was a teen, but never thought my nose or face were “good enough” for such a thing. And then suddenly, I just did it–because I wanted to. And, I love it.

A few days ago, Anna told me that when she grows up, she wants to be like me. And I thought, “wow, what a compliment and a huge responsibility.” Then a couple of days later, Mia told me that we are boring adults and she is going to be different than that when she’s an adult. And the pendulum in my mind swung in the complete other direction.

Life is so weird. It changes all the time. One moment, your kid thinks you are the world, and the next, she’s planning her escape and realizing how much she doesn’t want to be like you.

What will life be like after the kids are grown? It’s hard to imagine a life that doesn’t revolve around the care of children. Who am I if I am not a mother? Of course, I am always going to be a mother. But it will not always be my most defining characteristic in the way it is now.

I think this is what Mia meant when she said that we are boring adults. Having parenting as a defining characteristic is not particularly interesting.

Mia has no idea the sacrifice or the commitment one makes when becoming a parent. And, she shouldn’t. The gift of childhood is being free from that knowledge–free from the knowledge that life is hard work once you’re not a kid anymore.

My sister has 4 dogs and no children. She calls the dogs her kids and calls herself a mother. She celebrates Mother’s Day for herself. And, rightfully so. She’s a mother in the best way she can be. I think often what I would be like if I’d never had kids. What would I be doing now? Would I be happier or less happy? Would I have a bunch of pets and call them my kids?

Those are my thoughts for today. Happy spring, my friends.

Here is a photo showing my new nostril piercing.

Birthdays!

Pisces birthday month is in full swing! Anna turned ten on the 14th and Alan turns 41 today. Happy birthday to Allison and Ocean and all the other March birthdays out there, too.

We’re in the middle of a Mercury retrograde period in Pisces, which has made for some emotionally draining events for some of us. But in the midst of that, there has been loveliness, too.

We revealed to Anna her birthday surprise: a ballet studio in the downstairs spare bedroom. Alan worked very hard on making it happen, and it looks so great. We received help from our families to pull it together, and we are grateful for that. Alan had a challenging month at work on top of being sick and rushing to get the room finished in time for Anna’s birthday. He did it all with the easygoing attitude and loving nature that he always has.

Anna has been exploring spirituality and healing. She is interested in learning “space clearing”, so for her birthday, we gave her an old cigar box filled with space cleaning items like essential oils, incense, lemon grass, and smudge sticks. She was very happy about it and we fully expect to have our home cleared of negative energies on a regular basis ūüėČ

Love to all and thanks for reading.

xo

Happy 10th birthday, Anna!
Anna’s ballet studio
Anna opening her “space clearing kit” that she received for her birthday. Shelly was very interested in it, too!
And an extra bonus: a lost tooth! The tooth fairy paid a visit on Anna’s birthday. What a day!
Alan enjoying a little book that Mia and Anna made for him.
It’s a little “fill-in-the-blank” book about daddy.
Candles need a little help to stand upright in a banana cream pie.

Valentine’s Day and other things

Tonight I arrived home to a special dinner, flowers, cards, and dessert made my sweet family. I did not take pictures, but I think I just might remember it forever, anyway. This is the recipe that Anna used to make the super yummy chocolate mousse we had for dessert. We also watched a cheesy, romantic movie tonight (I loved it and I think the rest of them did, too) and went to bed really late. Clearly, I am still awake but the rest of my loves are asleep, including the dog and cat.

Mia recorded two songs at a recording studio that will be included on her first album that we hope to complete this year. We are working on making a website for her so she can promote herself. It’s slow going for us on that front; none of us are particularly gifted in the area of website design and self-promotion. I’ll share it here once it’s up and running.

A work opportunity presented itself in recent weeks that required a lot of thought and decision making. Ultimately, I decided not to join a private practice that would involve working with children and families in the areas of trauma and attachment. For various reasons, I decided to turn down the opportunity and keep the stability, legal protection, flexibility, and independence that my current job provides. It was not easy saying no, explaining why, and dealing with the disappointment of the team who wanted me on board. The experience provided a refreshed appreciation and commitment to my current job– which has had me a bit bored and uninspired lately. While this was a somewhat distressing experience, the practice in setting boundaries and following my intuition seem to be another trial on my journey. It seems this same situation has repeated so many times in my life now that it’s almost ridiculous. I should be well versed in it by now. This time, I was less impulsive and more cordial than usual. So, that is probably a good thing.

Texas: Fort Worth Stockyards

We had our first family trip on an airplane and spent a week in Texas. The first three days we were in Dallas for Alan’s educators conference and the last three days we stayed in Fort Worth.

The highlight of our trip was a visit to the Forth Worth Stockyards. ¬†The Stockyards is a historic part of town with cobblestone streets, horses, daily cattle drives, and more steakhouses, cowboy boots, and saloons than you’ve ever seen in a two-block radius.

Our favorite part of the day was watching the cattle drive. ¬†Texas longhorns are an amazing sight! We thought they were so sweet and cute, with their big brown eyes and their super long horns. ¬†Each animal has horns that are a different shape and length. Some of the horns are so big that it’s hard to believe the animal can hold up its head! ¬†Sometimes the horns are asymmetrical, which was especially cute. ¬†They are gentle giants that move slowly and have a peacefulness about them.

We had rain the last two days of our trip, including our day at the Stockyards. Luckily there was plenty of opportunity for shelter and we still managed to have a great time.

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November

November is almost done and here are some things I’d like to remember:

Both girls are playing guitar and enjoying their lessons with their teacher, Will King, who has been teaching Mia since she was eight years old and is truly the best teacher we we could ask for.  Mia has been playing piano and writing songs with piano accompaniment.  She fills the house with her beautiful music.

Mia finished her fall term of Acting I at the Children’s Theatre Company (she loved it!) and Anna took (and loved!) ballet and modern dance at her new ballet company. ¬†Saturday mornings during Mia’s acting class, Alan and I had special date time with Anna. ¬†We usually ended up going to the Wedge for groceries or the Wedge table to hang out with a chai and a treat. ¬†Anna dances ballet beautifully and with ease. ¬†It is a joy to watch her.

Alan went hunting two weekends this month with his brother at their family cabin. ¬†Luckily he did not kill anything but he did have a nice time out in the woods. On one of those weekends, my two sisters came over for a night of karaoke and other fun things (adult-sized sleeper pajamas included). ¬†Over another weekend, I attended a silent retreat–the same that I attended last year. ¬†It was restorative and gave me some space to process some inner turmoil I’ve been carrying around for a while.

I added more clients to my caseload to increase my income and this has me working 3 solid days per week.  Though I was skeptical about how this would work, Mia and Anna have been very happy with their lack of supervision.

Both sets of grandparents are enjoying visiting Mia and Anna when Alan and I are at work, and this has become a special bonding time for all of them. ¬†It’s incredibly wonderful to witness the relationships between all of them. We are so grateful.

We’re working on finding a recording studio for Mia to record an album of her songs and hope to start this in the new year. ¬†We’re super excited about this.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family this year in my hometown. It was extra special because of my dad’s journey this past year. ¬†We are thankful for each day we have my special dad in this world–and of course, thankful for all of our family and friends, too.