Wednesday, January 28, 2015

amazing grace

I was so proud of myself today for taking a shower this morning. Low expectations was clearly on my to do list today. I highly recommend days when you offer yourself a hefty portion of grace.

By the time I'm in it-I love taking a shower. As I stand under the hot water cascading down my back I feel at ease. It's really the pre and post that kills me. Before hand a shower always sounds like the worst thing ever in the world. I'd rather sleep (or write, or watch tv, or read, or eat or mostly anything but shower. Or clean). Showering is just so boring. And it's the same every single time. Nothing new or unexpected has ever happened to me in the shower. Not once. And you aren't allowed to eat peanut butter in there. But then I get in and it's quiet and warm and kind and I love it. If I could drink coffee and shower at the same time I probably would still be in there.

But then after. Back to so incredibly boring. And don't even get me started on doing my hair. It feels like a big fat waste. Because the next day- poof- all that hard work is undone and you are supposed to do it all over again. All that arm raising and moving and hot air is gone. Hair and makeup is something I've had to talk myself into lately. It's the same reason I hate eating at expensive fancy restaurants- after you eat what do you have to show for it? NOTHING. I'd much rather have a new pair of shoes than a fancy meal.

This week is flying and crawling...somehow all at the same time. We are smack dab in the midst of regular old life. I haven't written or taken many pictures lately.

 photo _MG_7571_zps3dee0dbb.jpg
We've been making our space feel more like home.

 photo _MG_7566_zps39ad9766.jpg
Doodle is fighting a wicked cold. And he learned he can turn the bath water on and get in. All on his own. With his clothes on.

We are in the middle of having our front yard dug up. We found our plumbing problem--a septic tank no one has known about for years. Weird. Gross. We are doing the paper work to get Greyson into school full time, starting some time in February. We took a tour of the classroom with him and he didn't want to leave. That was the very best sign there is--that and the fact that my gut wasn't screaming at me like it did at his previous school. I know it is right for us and I am so happy. Finding the right school was worth the move. Worth the plumbing. Worth it all. But February is like 5 minutes away. I miss Grey already, despite that he is still with me. I can see myself already, twenty years down the road at the grocery store. Looking at the frazzled momma with littles coming out of her cart like a clown car- longing for the time when mine were that young. That dependent. That squishy. I will bite my tongue and stop myself from telling her to "enjoy every moment". I won't tell her how fast it goes by. Part of her already knows it, and the other part of her doesn't care because she just needs a nap or a shower- TODAY. She will figure all of that out on her own. I'm totally the type that has to figure it out on my own too.

I was the world's worst tired, distracted (yet showered) mom in the world today. I played recorded shows for the kids all day long. I didn't play once. We didn't go outside. But I'm not allowing the guilt to get me. Oh well, we all have off days. Tomorrow is a do-over. (Wow, this grace thing really is amazing.)

It's amazing how the world changes when you remember to take care of yourself. Therapy can look like a great many things. Tonight's therapy came in the form of blaring and singing Culture Club's Do You Really Want To Hurt Me -and solo time at Target. In the midst of life and chaos, today I chose grace. I chose alone time. And I didn't feel an ounce of guilty.

Because my job is important. My happiness is important. Finding out what refuels you- and then doing it is important. 30% off boyfriend cardigans are important too. And I know, I know sister. You feel guilty when it's all about you. You can find a million reasons not to offer yourself that grace.

There's a million things you should be doing.

A million things you should spend your money on instead.

This is time you should be spending with your husband, wife, dog, grandma, kids.

There's a helluva lotsa shouldas we should ourselves with every damn day. But if we aren't happy- aint no one else gonna be happy around us either. I think we need to should less and grace more.

 photo photo23_zpsca6a478b.jpg

The only downside of my Target trip- all the swimsuits hanging up. Yes, I said SWIMSUITS. Target says it's swimsuit season and my ass says it's JANUARY -which in any thesaurus says, "The opposite of swim suit season." Seriously- last weekend I split right up the butt of my jeans when I bent down. And I STILL had to go to another store. And every time I bent down- MORE split. So while at the grocery store I could only buy things on shelves stomach level and higher. When I got home I saw that there were rips in both the left and right butt cheek. Clearly my entire butt can't even be contained. Screw off swimsuit season- let's chat in April. 

We all say we hate perfect. That we want our kids to simply try their best. And then we say something totally different with our actions. We feel guilty for not balancing moming/dading/work/marriage/home/life just right. So we feel guilt when we do-- and angry, overwhelmed, fed up and unappreciated when we don't.

Stop. Just stop. I give you (and me) to focus today on you. Guilt free. Shoulda free. Amazing grace. Happyfull.

Much love AND grace,


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

happy street

Life can be awful. Scary. Confusing. People can be weird and rude and confusing and totally inappropriate. There is traffic. And taxes. And mean bosses. And really bad hair days (or months.) And mistakes. And back fat. And pressure. And major plumbing issues.

 photo _MG_7517_zpsafba26fb.jpg

 photo _MG_7518_zpsebb615ab.jpg
A toilet in the shower allows for major multi-tasking. I'm putting a fridge in there next.

 photo photo16_zpscd58a529.jpg

 photo _MG_7514_zps63419848.jpg

And zits. And gray hair- sometimes both at once. And bills. And you can be happy. It's the darndest thing and I'm not totally sure how it works.

And you can be skinny, and rich, and have a great job. You can have a cleaning lady. And a nicely decorated house. And gray-painted walls that don't look kind of purpleish. Your hair can be all shiny and shampoo commercially. You can have happy kids, a great house, friends, and a fancy car and good plumbing. You can have the husband (check), the house (check), the car, the dog, the kid, the white picket fence. Checkity check check check.

And you can be miserable. I'm not really sure how that works either.

It does tell me one thing. We can't blame our circumstance for our unhappy. We just can't. Circumstance + happy can't be too tightly woven together because circumstance changes constantly. Easy fades. And there's always "one more thing" you have to pick up before you get to happy street.

So many of us are 'one more thing" from happy. We are constantly one street away. Making wrong turns. And so many of us will always need one more thing. We are a -one in every color- society. And the more we get - the more we NEED. Have you ever noticed that? It is clear to me as we settle into our new home. Now that we have freshly painted walls I need a new duvet cover. And why get a new duvet cover if I'm going to just keep the ratty ass blue blanket already the bed? I start to look at my blanket and actually get angry at it. I'm serious. For just sitting there all ratty, mocking me. And that hungry for need just keeps getting bigger.

 photo _MG_7439_zps982f8816.jpg
Greyson works hard to communicate with us. He is great at asking for what he wants ( ie juice, banana, chips, hot dog) but his speech is hard for others to understand. And sometimes he stumps us too which makes us all SO sad. The past week we have been working on using an ipad for communication. We make him verbalize the sentence strip so he can work on articulation- and it also helps him use language more frequently. Saturday he used the pad for the first time independently. You better believe we dropped everything and got ice cream.

Ice cream makes Grey happy. Stuff can make you happy- but it can't be the key to your happy. You have to also be happy without it.

It's okay. From time to time we just need a reminder that life is not about stuff. 


It's not about fickle circumstance. It's not about one more thing. It's certainly not about flawless. No boxes need to be checked before arriving on happy street. 

You just need to take a deep breath in and decide to try. Try to feel enough at this very second. Try to know you have enough at this very second. Focus on what you have that's good on your ride to happy street. You may just find that you've already arrived.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

burdens to blessings

We've lived in our new pad just shy of two weeks, and walking up to the front door already feels like home. We've been been busy discovering, fixing and decorating. Browsing new paint colors (I'm looking for a really good solid gray- do you know of one?)

This week I took the time to pay attention to the details. Like this tree here in our back yard.

 photo _MG_7421_zps60f95e6d.jpg

Isn't she a beaut?! I mean- I've seen it numerous times before, but in the chaos of the move and life I didn't stop to think: Holy cow. There is an actual tree with fruit on it in my very own back yard! Do you want a snack- here let me go get it from MY BACKYARD. 

I found myself looking at this tree and being amazed by it on Wednesday. A fruit tree in my backyard feels like vacation to this Missouri gal. What are they? I wondered referring to the bright yellow citrus hanging from the branches. I asked Michael. He wasn't sure. Grapefruit? He suggested. They smelled mostly like lemons and a tiny little bit like grapefruit. I asked people who came to our house- What do you think these are? Lemons seemed to be the consensus. Really big lemons. Wow! I had no idea they grew that huge. 

After numerous toilet overflows and strange gurgling noises coming from our Master bathroom (thankfully no more poo flying out of the shower drain) we have discovered we have a structural problem with our plumbing's mainline. That's code for- On Monday they are going to have to rip our master bathroom up. It will probably take all week to fix.

 photo _MG_7434_zpse1aaa9ee.jpg

Oh crap. Literally.

At the beginning of this week we had a plumber with an underground camera who confirm this bad news. When I found out, there was a moment I felt like I could go either way. FREAK OUT or decide to just truly not care about it. At all. Not in a- I need to talk myself out of freaking out- kind of way- but really not caring.

So what?

I thought about it. Really thought about it. Yes, it will be irritating- a construction crew in our bathroom Monday through at least Thursday of next week. Probably early in the morning. We are NOT morning people. We are pajamas as long as we can people. But they will be here all day-every day until it's fixed. No peeing in our toilet in the middle of the night. Actually having now to open my eyes and walk down the hall. No showering in our shower. People at our house constantly- you know in addition to behavior therapists. No rest in my room while Greyson watches TV with me and Parker naps. Of course I could name at least ten awful things about it right this very second. 

I remember with startling clarity how I felt a couple of weeks after Greyson was diagnosed with autism. Way before I had fully processed it --but after the initial horrific pain had gone away.

I felt strong.

I've made me through this, so I can handle anything now, I remember thinking. I felt strength laced with a resilience that easy or perfect never provided. Strength that had changed me forever. I felt a clarity for life I never knew was possible. Like I finally knew what was important in life. I won the golden ticket. I learned how blessed I was, not because of autism, but for all the gifts it opened my eyes too. For all the goodness it all brought into my life. I felt a bleeding compassion for people who were going through hard things. Pain and love are such close companions. I felt connected to something that beats as strong as a heart.

And as I have healed, I've lost some of that raw, gorgeous perspective.

But much of it is still here, I notice when I dig around, and for those things I am grateful. It helps me handle life. It reminds me what matters. Ripping up a bathroom doesn't matter. We have two full other bathrooms in our house- HOW AMAZING. That means that really- there is no problem. We are completely taken care of. Some people would kill for three bathrooms. 

I thought of other things we see as a burden that actually are clues of great riches. As a society I hear us complain about things that are actually quite amazing. 

I can't believe I have to go to the grocery store. 

How lucky are we to need food- and just be able to go buy it?! Almost whenever we want?!!!! Fresh fruit and vegetables and salty and sweet treats. It really is quite amazing. We ran out of bananas yesterday and I got to go to a store that sells bananas and just BUY MORE!!! I didn't have to first plant a tree or work a double to make money to buy bananas. I just went to the store, put them in my cart, and then swiped a little plastic card at the end and I got to keep those bananas to bring home. Abundance.

I love to complain about cleaning my house. Hold on- I OWN A HOUSE!!! Isn't that amazing? How proud I must be to clean it. Ummm, actually no. And I complain about those not one, not two, but THREE bathrooms I have to clean. Could you IMAGINE me having a conversation with a Mother in Africa. She is telling me about her fears for her child with AIDS, or the fact that they don't have running water, or she isn't sure where she will find the next meal for her children...

 photo _MG_7431_zpsb55bee75.jpg

And I will tell her, "I feel ya sister. I get really frustrated by the fact that I have to vacuum every damn day. I have dog hair on all my fancy hard wood floors. I have two dogs that constantly shed and two little kids and it gets so overwhelming!"

It's one of the reasons I will never complain about taking the boys to therapies. I'm so grateful that we have the option and resources available to us. I know many of you live in states and cities that don't. We are grateful. Taking them to schools and therapies does not get in the way of my life-  It is my life and it's what I am here to do. Thank you God for that awesome responsibility. I'm so glad you trusted me with these two little perfect monkeys.

We got a call today that Greyson can officially enroll for school in the Fresno Unified School District. The school we hoped he would get. The school for which we moved to this part of town. We got the call and I held my breath. As soon as I heard them say it, I was relieved, and then I was so gutterly sad. So, so sad. I love him so much that sometimes I miss him even when we are together. He is my constant companion.

 photo _MG_7410_zpsfe7f0802.jpg
He makes a trip to Lowe's a blast. "I waaaaannnn tack-tor".

 photo _MG_7407_zpsa6102cf4.jpg
These two are my little buddies. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember who I am when they aren't around.

 photo _MG_7380_zpsb38f0fe6.jpg
He makes me slow down and enjoy the ride. We sat on this swing for at least 20 minutes. Why not? We had absolutely no where else to be.

I am scared. I'm not ready to let him go after our awful school experience a couple of years ago- but the truth is I'll never be ready to let him go. I'm certain my umbilical cord was never cut with him-  only stretched. I remind myself that he needs this. He needs us to try it out. He's 5 1/2 and he's ready. He needs me to be hopeful for him. He needs me to let him fly. So I will stand back and watch him soar. This may even be a big fat blessing. 

I thought about it and realized I'm was doing it again--turning a blessing into a burden. I took a moment to have a chat with God: Please God- Let my problems always steer me to my blessings. Let me focus on the right part.

And you know what? I cut open one of those huge lemons last night. 

 photo _MG_7422_zps0286684d.jpg

 photo _MG_7424_zps2e85fe02.jpg

Turns out it's a pomelo (one of the largest citrus fruits, resembling a grapefruit but not as bitter). It was sweet and delicious. I realized it's the theme to this whole post. 

When life gives you pomelos, don't turn them into lemons. 

Much Love,


If you enjoyed what you read and have a moment, I would love for you to share it with a friend. And while you're at it- come and say hello on Facebook

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

good enough


My name is Chrissy and I'm a perfectionist. A really awful perfectionist because pretty much absolutely nothing I do is perfect. I guess you could say I am a recovering perfectionist, I just wish they had meetings for it. I no longer actively seek out my next opportunity to be totally flawless, whereas I end up being not-even-close, and therefore, end up hating myself to some degree, depending on the enormity of the task. And I always claim that it just want to do right by you or my children or some outside source, but it's really just ME that ends up disappointed. I learned others usually don't expect as much from me as I expect from myself. So I think a lot about my imperfection. I judge it. I get mad at myself. I feel sorry for myself. I feel angry or defeated. Notice the pattern? Me, me, me, me, me. It's all about me. Which is really quite vain if you ask imperfect me.

Much like an alcoholic never stops wanting a drink, there are still parts of me that ache to be perfect. Painfully so in some moments. I just want more time to focus more on others and less on me. I actively seek out opportunities for good enough- which I am learning to simply call "good". I talk myself off ledges. I focus on what matters in the silver lining of my soul. It's pretty hard to unstripe this zebra sometimes. 

Sometimes I look at the perfect-perfectionists and I judge them. Their perfectly fixed hair. Their every single day shower. Their outfit - yes OUTFIT complete with accessories- not a mom uniform of tshirt and jeans when I am DRESSED UP. I'm mad at them for being SO much better at perfect than I am. I'm mad at them for always being so put together when I feel so darn scattered. I'm mad at them for always showing up on time, for the pristine inside of their car that does NOT look like the crime scene of a CSI show, for the bottom of their purse that does NOT have mystery goo crusted on it, and for the fact that their children eat vegetables. I don't know the last one for a fact, but I'm assuming.

But then I also feel sadness for them. Because they don't get the opportunity to name the three-- yes THREE huge rudolph zits on their nose they woke up with yesterday morning.

 photo _MG_7328_zpsfb0fe7a9.jpg
Edited bigger to prove my point. Tony, Roberta and Jude Law by the way.That's their names. Why Jude? I just feel like he's kind of a zitty guy.

Perfect people either don't get zits at all or they aren't allowed to leave the house when they get them. That must be so exhausting scheduling your entire life around your cycle like that. They can't complain to their friend if they haven't pooped for 4 days. Perfect people are extremely regular AND they do not talk about bowel movements. Gross. Perfect people have a perfect reputation to uphold, and I imagine that is EXHAUSTING-everyone always assuming you can do it- and do it perfectly at that. I feel like I don't have nearly enough time each day to do all the things I need to do good enough,  I can't imagine how much time it takes to do it all perfect.

Perfect people can't lay in the mulch with their children and laugh over how HILARIOUS fake sneezes are. They would get their cute pants dirty. They would never eat tortilla chips and ice cream for dinner because that's unhealthy.

 photo _MG_7321_zpsa2cac394.jpg

They would never think that a 3 year old walking around wearing a too big beer hat is the funniest thing ever. They may even call it "inappropriate."

They don't ever get to sleep in because they are too busy blowing their hair straight and smooth and perfect. They can only be friends with other perfect people and perfect people are in short supply. It all sounds so exhausting. 

So I'm starting to realize that being imperfect is kind of a luxury.

And I'm also starting to realize that I don't know what's going on under the hood of ANYONE else's car. I bet perfect people are more like me than I realize. Maybe no one ever told them about the theory of good enough. Someone might have even let them think that in order to be loved they must be perfect. So I'm trying to extend the same grace and kindness to the perfects, as well as the imperfects like me. I'm tired of being an awful perfectionist. The truth is- I'd rather just be a decent human. Sometimes that's more than enough.

I also want to share these words I put on Facebook earlier today. They remind me that judging is never the option and none of us are ever alone...

 photo _MG_9258_zps028a0d5e.jpg

I am that mom.

The mom I judged before I was even a mom at all. The mom who made me think- why are you out in public sister? You need to take that crazy mess of a child home and feed them or put them down for a nap or something. The mom I knew must ignore her kid, or at least deliver a hefty void of discipline. 

Now I am that mom. I am the mom at Home Goods store with a child screaming so piercingly that you turn your head and can't help but mutter JEEZ. I don't blame you, his most intense of screams still make me jolt. I am the mom not yelling at her child, not disciplining in this moment, not instantly gathering our mess of a family to run home. We are past the point of all of that. I am the mom who gathers her screaming son, set off because I said he couldn't have the saxophone toy. Sometimes I buy him something to prevent this moment that I don't always have the strength to weather. We sit for a minute on the floor and I hold him so tight that my love penetrates through to some of his pain. We rock back and forth for a minute while I shoosh in his ear to calm him. It's a Saturday and the crowd of people move so fast all I see are feet in a blur. There are so many moments in parenting that I have no idea what the hell I am doing. Moments that I wish someone could tell me the right thing to do. This moment is not one of them. 

I was born to do this.

We sit and rock for a few seconds, until the screaming falls in intensity. His face is purple and covered in tears and sweat. His hands shake in frustration and anger. He is certain if he doesn't get this toy he simply won't survive. I pick up his screaming, bucking body to carry him outside. He is getting so big and it's getting harder to do. I gather us up while my husband goes up to the register to pay. We sit out front where the cool January breeze cuts through the sound of his screams. Toy! Toy!! TOOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! Greyson yells at me in a voice filled with rage and frustration. He gets louder, hoping it will make me understand. Not being able to really talk leaves you constantly feeling misunderstood. He's sick and tired of feeling misunderstood. Sometimes having autism really sucks.

And some look over in alarm. But most look with the kindest of eyes that love and support. Some with a sympathetic smile that says, "I've been there too." However my focus is on my son in my arms. He is beginning to calm. His sobbing transforms into exhausted shuddering. 

It hits me. I am that mom.

I am that mom, and these are strangely some of the most sacred moments of parenting. When it isn't easy- but it's still so good. When God reveals himself to me through my boys. I think back to that mom that I judged from years ago, and I understand important things about life I didn't know then. I'm grateful for the shift in perspective. 

I am that mom, and I am so lucky.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

different awesome

We've been falling in love with our house in pieces. Soaking up the details of it all. Remembering to pay attention to all the little things that make it special.

 photo _MG_7192_zps0be1789e.jpg

I love the shapes everywhere and the shadows they create with the light.

 photo _MG_7194_zps7ebdbe79.jpg
Greyson LOVES that we have our very own mail box. It's his own personal toy.

 photo _MG_7201_zpsb2153011.jpg
I love the palm trees that make me feel like I'm on vacation, even on Mondays.

 photo _MG_7188_zps6bf37b12.jpg
Parker loves the fact that he can go out our back door whenever his little heart desires. WHERE IS PARKER?! We would exclaim, and sigh in relief as we saw his little blond head bobbing around in the back yard.  Until today when Michael finally installed a second hidden lock so he can't leave alldaylong anymore. Shew.

I was washing the dinner dishes this evening, appreciating the fact that the hot water gets so dang hot. Like crazy hot. That's how I like to do dishes- scalding to instantly melt the stuff off. That's how I like to take a bath too- you know- when you get out and your skin is electric red. Our old house had some kind of safety thermostat set up so the water never really got painfully hot.

I was just taking a moment to appreciate this change. I frequently think- Oh no, God, I can't do this. WHAT!? God- you have got to be joking, I can't handle that. I SO OFTEN forget to take a moment on the flip to say, GOD! You are BRILLIANT. It's just perfect. THANK YOU!!! 

Let's both take a moment and think about something awesome in our life.

I remember walking through this home before we decided to buy it. I scanned the kitchen and adjoining areas and quickly noticed there was no pantry. WHAT?! No pantry? It would be one thing if I had never had a pantry before- but the pantry at our previous home is as big as some apartments in New York. (only slightly exaggerating). I actually let this thought take up residence in my noggin over the past month of preparing to move. I was mourning our pantry like it was a person. Yes, it IS a great house, I would think- but there is no pantry. (Unhappy emoji face).  I was once again so busy noticing different bad that I didn't get the opportunity to fully appreciate different awesome.

Why do we do that? Notice the bad, think about the bad, focus on the bad? I think it actually goes back to caveman times or whatever that era is called. It's all part of evolution- We had to recognize different in order to simply stay alive. We had to constantly monitor our environment and see if there was anything different- anything that stood out. Anything that might interfere with our safety. If you focused on different in a good way- Oh wow, look at that sunset TOO LATE- YOU WERE JUST EATEN BY AN ANKYLOSAURUS. So often times unexpected and different was dangerous and bad. So here we are hardwired to stay alive all while recognizing different. We all notice different. A person in a wheel chair. A little person. A person with Down syndrome or autism. We notice the square peg, the green in a sea of blue.

And oftentimes we notice bad different. Loss different. Isolated different. And forget to remember that there is also plain old different-different,  height different, color different, mind different, religion different, race different, intellectual different, income different, water-temperature different.

And different isn't always bad. Not even CLOSE. It's beautiful. Different makes a rainbow. Different gives way to choice. Different breeds options. I'm sure it would have been so much easier for God to just take a cookie cutter and make us all the same, but he took the time to create each one of us by design. Each a custom creation.

 photo _MG_7237_zpseacdf2f8.jpg
Sometimes the same is good too though. Grey and I going down the slide today, exploring a new playground.

 photo _MG_7221_zps119de9c3.jpg

I sit here with these words and with you amazed at the meaning of life. The full circle of stories that bring us back around to who we were always meant to be. I wonder if you can feel my heart and my gratitude for my two little amazing boys who taught me to embrace the beauty of different. 

Go get your Monday friend. It's got nothing on us.



Friday, January 9, 2015

high on spray paint and life

Just a few thoughts to share with you today as we embark on the weekend.

 photo _MG_7165_zps94883fd8.jpg
I'm having so much fun nesting in our new home and making it feel like us. Like me. Pictures everywhere and splashes of color. Lately my favorites have been crimson red, golden yellow, and aqua. And I'm a little high on spray paint now.

 photo _MG_7168_zpsdcdb6512.jpg
Looking at this picture on my monitor blew my mind a little. I had no idea that Palm trees flapped when they are happy too. Maybe they have autism. I love them even more now.

Ever since Parker learned to say chocolate he has called it circle. No amount of modeling worked to fix it. His Speech Therapist came up with this plan Monday and yesterday was the first time he finally caught on all his own.

I've watched this forty-million-trillion times.

And I want to share a vintage Life with Greyson + Parker post called Come As You Are where you can read the following:

Where can I just come exactly as I am?!!! And I was reminded that for the major aspects of Life and in parenting- we already know the answers. Our gut tells us, and the more confident we get in ourselves, the easier it is to listen to those true and honest words. We don't need to do ten more things, or three things, or 5 things to be a better person/mother/wife or Friend. We just need to do one- find our one true voice. It's a beautiful thing.


Happy Friday. XOXO


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

your words

As I've mentioned at least eleventy-million-trillion other times here on this blog- I mostly rarely never (hardly ever) feel like a grown up. I often feel inadequate, wildly immature and like a kid being forced into these crazy adult sized settings. 

Like y'all shop for furniture at Ethan Allen and we shop at IKEA.  And your holiday decorations are nice and fancy and ours are like garage sale outcasts found in the dollar bin at Target. And you make fancy dinners like Coq Au Vin- and I make hot dogs...and laugh when you say "coq". Sometimes it feels like I'm waiting for the REAL adults to get here to figure out what we are supposed to do.

And I think about my childhood and laugh because I never really felt like I was doing childhood the right way either. I felt too anxious for a kid. I worried a lot about money and if my family had enough. We always had food and a roof- but we were not rich. I thought big and hard about things kids don't usually think about- like death and cancer and if God is real and how do I really know that the earth is real and what if none of this is real and I don't even exist? I didn't talk to anyone about any of this, so I created this thinking place inside my head. I felt like everyone else was normal, and I most certainly was absolutely NOT. As I grew up I often focused on the places I didn't feel like I fit in and I guess it became a pattern. I wished I didn't think so much. In college I didn't like to go out drinking every night. I didn't want to be around big groups. Yet I still was in a sorority and felt like I was missing out when I didn't go out. I didn't know who the hell I was because I was trying so hard to be someone I decidedly wasn't.

And I'm frequently still a mixed up ball of confusion and contradiction- but I am finally connecting with who I really am. I am assessing myself with love- and attempting to make less room for judgement and more room for understanding. I'm editing things, people and ideals that no longer have room in my life.

I am working on me. Not in a -boy are you broken and screwed up- way but in a kind and growing way.

I've talked a few times about coming up with new words each year to help guide me. Here are some words from a post from January 2014...

I refuse to wait to be happy. The answer is not finally getting organized or losing 5 pounds or joining a gym, or landing my dream job. There are no questions that must be answered before you find your happiness. Happiness is already inside you, waiting to be uncovered and nurtured. Name three adjectives that bring you joy- grow those bigger. Mine are adventure, learning and giving. 

I don't do resolutions but I am good with intentions. Written intentions that help me remember what is important to me. They help me remember who I want to be. Today I had some precious friends over and we worked on our word intentions together. 

Here were the instructions I gave- pick three words you want to guide you in 2015. Words that are important to you. Words whose pillows may need a little fluffing to make a happier you. They must be affirming. There is no room for "lose weight", "get organized" or anything of the like. It's not that I think those things aren't important- but I think those things get so much of our attention that they end up distracting us from what really matters in life. 

 photo _MG_7143_zps9664761e.jpg

At the end of it ALL we won't care about our weight or our perfectly labeled boxes- but we will care out this one precious gift of life that we have been given. We want to say yes if asked-  did I love enough? Did I play enough? Did I take time to figure out what is important to me? Did I contribute to THOSE things- the things that really matter in my heart?

I'm certain God WON'T be asking- Was your house always clean? Did you always do everything perfectly? Did you make a ton of money? Did you always look totally put together? Did you beat yourself up plenty to keep things in check?

If you want to be happy...really and truly happy- please answer no to most of the above.

And it was so hard for all of us to decide on the words we would choose. We took turns talking about our possible choices. "Yes! Me too", and "Yes- I love that" and "I want that too" was said over and over again. It was quite soul-affirming. And finally after some thought and discussion we chose our words.  It was hard! You would have thought I was tattooing them on my forehead. And then we took our words and made them pretty.

 photo _MG_7156_zpsa246bad8.jpg

My words- Marriage, Versatility, and Friendship. (I totally reserve the right to change them at any time.) Things I need to strengthen and focus on. We had so much fun playing and doing kid art. Which I realized can also be adult art too. Who says you must stop exploring the things that made you happy as a child? Not me. No siree.

And I still want to add a few more things- but when I'm done-it's going up in my closet. That way I will see it every morning as I get ready for the day.

 photo _MG_7158_zps1a954e06.jpg

Tonight as I was organizing my pictures for this post I started to look back at old pictures from January of 2012 and I was of course blown away by how quickly the past few years have passed... 

 photo IMG_1532_zpsa7280569.jpg

 photo IMG_0516_zps8a8027c1.jpg

 photo IMG_1372_zpsea1e3d75.jpg

 photo IMG_2311_zpsc51efcdf.jpg

And it hit me... We can't control time- but we can control HOW we spend it and WHAT we focus on.

Let's make them good things. 



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

letting go and moving on

God LOVES change. Clearly as it's woven throughout many of his designs. It's like his go to color while painting our lives. Yes, he says stepping back a little while squinting his eyes to take in the full picture, change will be perfect, right here, he says and he paints with wild, poignant and gorgeous brush strokes And when he is finished he sighs at the glory of his creation.

He is hopeful that we will love his perfect creation so he only gives us a tiny eye roll and mildly sympathetic smile when we stomp our feet and yell that we like things exactly the way they are- much like a toddler declares I NOT TIRED.

But the child that yells that they aren't tired- is always exhausted, and sleep is EXACTLY what we need.  Just like we need change.

As human beings we need change to survive, and to grow into the people we were created to be. So it's happening. Always. Change. And often times it's not the change itself that gets us- but our very resistance to it. What are we so afraid of? I guess it's loss. Loss of stability. Loss of happiness. Loss of money, time or peace of mind. But the very resistance itself is what has the ability to rob us of those vital things.

Repeat the following:
I will let go.
I resist nothing.
There is unfathomable greatness in my future.
I have strength beyond measure.

Cut and paste that baby. Put it on your mirror, on your laptop, on a post it in your car. Because you deserve to be happy simply because you are you.

Inside every one of us is a voice that says I'm not worthy. I'm not good enough. I'm not cut out for this. I'm not a real grown up. I am damaged goods. I have nothing important to give to the world. And then on top of that we think everyone else IS worthy, IS good enough, IS cut out for this.

I want to remind you that the mean voice is a liar. Not an ounce of it is true. Sometimes we go so far as to make it true. Because that asshole voice loves to be right. Then we find false evidence that supports our own claims. It's awful really. And we create all of this. Which is so weird- right? Why would we ever want to create this? Sometimes the key to change is simply being aware. One of the things I want to let go of in 2015 is that voice. It's outstayed it's welcome. It's stopped me from going for things I want and things I deserve.

What do you want to let go of?

 photo _MG_7061_zps5ec24fef.jpg

Over the weekend we moved. A few months ago we decided that we wanted our boys to be in the neighboring school district. Boom. Just like that- one day after years of praying and asking around and hoping- we just listed our house. And it felt like the potential for loss. It felt like a worst case scenario. We had wonderful neighbors. We even had a perfect little neighborhood park. We lived in a brand new home that we loved. I could tell you a million things I didn't want to lose. But the funny thing is- when we are focusing on what we are letting go of- it's impossible to focus on what we will gain.

I felt like a grown up. Grown ups move. They label boxes. They unpack.

 photo _MG_7079_zps0c7118e3.jpg

They get excited by things like their current utensil holder fitting into their new drawer. Excited by the fact that hanging a few pictures can instantly make the place feel like home.

 photo _MG_7082_zps8324fc03.jpg

And there was so much to gain. The boys have probably had an easier time with the transition than I even did. They blew me away. They have all their comforts from our old house: toys/furniture/tv- and they are completely at peace here. They have a way of focusing on the good. Like a big back yard.

 photo _MG_7084_zps3c514bd9.jpg

 photo _MG_7089_zps42d9d30f.jpg

As soon as Parker wakes up he runs outside. It's like he's lived here all his life.

 photo _MG_7093_zps76a49fce.jpg
The house was built in the 1950's and has some of the cutest quirkiest designs elements.

 photo _MG_7096_zpscf7520a4.jpg
We even have an orange tree in the back and some grape vines in the front. I can't believe it's all real.

And huge calming palm trees welcoming us home, every single day.

And we are blessed. Blessed, blessed, blessed. Not with perfection, but with reality. For example, although the house was completely gutted and redone we have still had to work through some kinks. Like POO that was squirting out of our shower drain. I'm serious. Luckily we had our pipes- cleaned? I don't know- whatever plumbers come and do to make the poo stop coming out.

You guys- I saw that shit in the shower and I just laughed. A good, deep belly laugh. It made me realize that usually I don't sweat the big stuff. It's the small stuff that gets me. I'm gonna work on laughing at the small stuff somehow too.

And today this happened and I could feel the glow of God's paint strokes in our life.

 photo _MG_7135_zpsd3c2d8c1.jpg
Trash Truck Tuesdays.

Of course we will miss Frank's weekly Wednesday visits. Frank is now a dear friend and we will still see him outside of his route. His route goes about a block away from our home and he will also come visit. Greyson and I have been enjoying the trash truck for a long time- a couple of years before we met Frank. We can't let the show stop now.

 photo _MG_7138_zps482c4f4d.jpg

 photo _MG_7101_zps2077f127.jpg
Welcome Change. Stay as long as you would like. 
Sometimes at first glance a gift can look like a burden. It's amazing the gifts that you see if you just take a moment to look for them. 

So much love,