Sometimes

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Sometimes the afternoon calls for the last slice of apple pie and a hot cup of tea.  Sometimes, when your husband gets a ticket for an overdue car inspection {on the car you usually drive} and you’re second-guessing yourself about this and that – and the other thing too – the afternoon calls for putting everything on hold.  Sometimes the afternoon calls you back just when you were about to get away from yourself.  Sometimes an afternoon isn’t good or bad; it just is.

And always the afternoon will move into evening.  And then night will wrap her arms around you and invite you to snuggle in close. Tomorrow, she will whisper, you will begin again.  And it isn’t good or bad.  It just is.  It just is

Sending  a little love your way, m

 

 

:: Noticing the Moments ::

Taking some time to reflect upon my week…

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::  snow…which means shoveling…but also means playing

:: getting on the treadmill even though I didn’t really feel like it

:: cookies…Tuesday definitely called for cookies

:: watching my daughter with her extreme dot to dot {about 1,000 dots each puzzle!}…she loves it, and I love that

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:: crossing things off the to-do list…adding more items…but feeling okay with the pace

:: the sun, the wind, the snow, the cold, the flames of a fire dancing in our fireplace

:: a surprise package in the mail from a dear, dear friend…she sent me the best mittens everclick here because i know you want a pair {they are super warm} {and super cute}
{and they’re made from recycled wool sweaters}

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And how was your week?

Sending a little love your way, m

P.S.  A reminder that registration for 28 Moments is open.  In class, we’ll explore the moments filling your life and we’ll share in community.  I’m feeling excited about the class gathering. I’d love to have you too…

 

 

Forgetting…and Then Remembering

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I forget sometimes.

I feel so good when I stitch something.  Baking never fails to lift my spirits.  A walk outside brings new air {literally and figuratively} into my body.  Every time I do one of these activities {and various other} I am somehow amazed…like I have this aha moment which really isn’t an aha moment at all.  Because I already knew it.

Still, it’s fresh every time.  And it surprises me.  Delights me.  I catch myself asking really, how do you keep forgetting this? but I steer myself towards the acceptance and delight.  Beautiful oblivion meets the busyness of lists and schedules.

The image above is a garland of wool stars I’m stitching for myself.  I made a few garlands as gifts this Christmas and loved them so much I cut stars for myself.  Weeks have passed and these stars were almost forgotten.  But then I remembered. And I began stitching over the weekend.

Yes, I forget sometimes.  We all do.  But then I remember.  And that’s the part that counts.

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

Oh, the Possibility

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I took this photo two weeks ago, but if you looked into our dining room, you would have this very same view.  The pen and feather are no longer there; undoubtedly they’re sitting in some other unlikely {and perhaps annoying-to-me} spot.  But the puzzle pieces are still laid out upon our dining room table {which is really a puzzle table}.  My daughter asked for a puzzle for Christmas, 500 pieces.  She began in earnest, but is now stalling.  The frame is in place with a few inside pieces placed, but the other 460-ish remain loose and scattered.

She wants to do it, I know she does.  But she gets overwhelmed.  And my son has offered to help her, but I understand why she turns him down…he’s crazy good at puzzles and she ends up feeling less than.  He’s tried to help her without doing too many pieces, but after one session together, she has refused him at each successive offering.  She’s overwhelmed…and maybe a tad stubborn.  {ahem}

Oh, the life lessons in a puzzle!  One piece at a time…one or two this morning, and then another one or two this afternoon. Build slowly.  But poor thing, all she sees are all those loose pieces {460-ish is a big number}.  I’m trying to encourage without nagging, offering my help as well.  But patience is wearing thin around here.  Her brother has three puzzles from Christmas that he’s waiting to lay upon that dining puzzle room table.

I want my daughter to finish her puzzle, and I know she will.  She must.  It’s a simple – yet powerful – lesson in perseverance, in putting one foot in front of another, in showing up.  She doesn’t have to think of it in those terms, of course.  But I want her to feel it.  Oh, I want her to feel it…want her to know it in her body.

I’m drawn to this puzzle scene. It feels so quiet.  And I think, as I pass by and see the light illuminating all those tender and tiny pieces, I feel possibility.  There’s possibility laying right there in front of us.  It’s ours to harness.  If only…

Sending a little love your way, m

In writing about this puzzle, I now want to share something with you…a collaborative project I’ve begun with a dear friend of mine.  I didn’t intend to link the two, but as I began writing about this puzzle, it came to mind.  Clearly this puzzle is on my mind a lot lately. You’ll see why if you click here.

 

 

Killer Toes {and a giveaway}

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Her toes kill me.  There’s snow on the ground and she wears no socks…I don’t get it.  But they’re still tiny, and that kills me too.  Sometimes I wonder if, in some way, she knows just how much I love her toes and that’s why she runs about the house year round without socks. Do you think?  Yes, me too.

Someday her toes will be the size of mine and not nearly so cute.  But I’ll have shots like this to remember.  I’ll have shots like this to remember the cold January day when she sat reading in the big chair by the window with the morning light streaming in. I’ll remember the way my heart was tugged.  I’ll remember how she humored me as I took this shot.  I’ll remember the love and the calm I felt.

Because photography does that for me.  It slows me down, helps me notice…day after day. After day.  You know I love this. And you know I love to share what I love.  In honor of that, I’m offering two free spots in my next run of 28 Moments.  Class will run February 9 – March 8, 2015 and registration is officially open.  Click here for more information.

I’ll be picking two winners randomly.  To enter, leave a comment sharing whatever comes to mind…no matter how random.  Might be something you did over the weekend, might be something about the drink you’re sipping right now. Might be your current state of emotions. Don’t overthink it.  First thing that pops into your head.  Type it in.  Comments will remain open until Thursday, January 15 at 12 midnight PST.  Winners will be announced here in this post Friday, January 16.
Comments are now closed.

The winners are Tracey and Deborah!  Congrats, you two…I’ll be sending an email your way.
And thanks to all of you for playing along.  There was quite the discussion on toes and bare feet ;)

Ready, set, go.

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

What One Does

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My son wants to know why the verbal thank-yous he gave while visiting family over the holidays aren’t enough.  And then he wants to know why he can’t just email.  I tell him it’s good manners to send a handwritten thank-you note.  He doesn’t like my answer.  But I insist he and his sister write them anyway.  Because that’s just what one does.  When someone cares enough to give a gift, I think the recipient can care enough in return to send a little note the giver’s way.

I know it’s a dwindling practice. There are people in my life {whom I love} who don’t write such notes.  And I don’t hold it against them.  But I believe in thank-you notes.  And, as long as my kids are living in this house, I’m going to insist that they write them.

The colors of the paper are so pretty.  The lines of the handwritten letters are full of life.  And it’s just what one does.

And while I’m writing about thank-yous, I want to say thank you to each of you who come to this space.  Thank you for looking at my photographs and reading my words; thank you for the comments some of you leave; thank you for the emails some of you send.  I appreciate each and every one of you.  And, if my son were to read this, perhaps he’d ask why I don’t have to write handwritten notes to each of you.  Because he would be right in assuming that your presence here is a gift to me.  I might come up with some clever response as to how this is different…though I’m not sure it really is.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.  All of you.  I want to say thank you.  Because that’s just what one does.

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

Ten Things {and Happy New Year}

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I wasn’t sure how to jump back in here.  With the start of the new year, I was feeling like I should do something, you know, special to begin again in this space.  But what I really feel like doing right now is writing a list.  When I worry too much about what someone else might be thinking {and when they’re most like not thinking anything of the sort}, I’ve learned to return to my now.  And so here is my now.  In ten.

1.  Listening to Sean Hayes
2.  Looking at the sun shining on the grass and trees and crows
3.  Thinking I must get outside {it’s so cold so maybe not} {but that’s what winter coats and hats and mittens are for, yes?}
4.  Sipping Earl Grey tea
5.  Feeling relieved that there are leftovers for dinner {homemade stuffed shells}
6.  Feeling grateful that schoolwork is finished for today and now we will just play
7.  Not loving that the kids are playing video games {but everything in moderation, I remind myself}
8.  Knowing that transitions beg patience {our winter break was so nice and I wish it hadn’t ended quite yet}
9.  Wondering what all those crows out back are thinking right now
10. Admitting that raising my voice earlier was not the best choice and forgiving myself and intending to open my heart just a little bit wider next time

 

And what about you?  What does your now look like?
Also, Happy New Year to you…

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

an invitation

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so many are on the hunt for joy and happiness and balance and just-rightness.  and i can’t say i never look for that too.  but less so, as these days and weeks and years pass by.  i’m less for the hunt and more for the celebration of what is, which borders on sounding cliché, maybe…there’s much talk about what is.  the now.  but it’s good talk, i think.  it’s not to say we don’t hold fond memories of what has passed or that we don’t dream of the future. because we do…we’re human.  but there’s richness to be found in our present.

bear in mind that someone else’s joy or balance may look very different from yours.  and someone else’s just-rightness may be a half attempt for you.   they come in all guises.  as i type this, my daughter sits next to me, stitching a felt star.  she used a blue marker to trace the star pattern onto white felt and, after cutting the stars out, a little of the blue marker is visible.  i can tell it feels good for her, blue marker and all. she’s not searching or seeking…she’s stitching.  i learn from this.

the deep living happens quietly and consistently, in the little pockets.  don’t let anyone tell you where to find your life or your happiness or your joy or your accomplishment.  i invite you to find that for yourself.  in truth, i invite you to feel it.  forget about the finding-looking-hunting. feel it.  life will be in the usual places; it will be in the less-usual places.  you may feel things deeply in the light; it may be in the darker times and moments that you feel and understand. feel where and when you’re able to feel.  this life thing can be on your terms, not that of cultural norm.

as we move toward winter solstice {december 21} and as we close out this calendar year – both transitions that encourage reflection – know that whatever you’re feeling and whatever you’re doing is as it should be.  this is easier said than done, i know.  i really do know.  i’m not intending to paint a rosy picture.  rather, i extend an invitation.

you are invited to this life.  in all your messy glory.
come as you are.
but please come now.

sending you so much love, m
and happy holidays!

p.s. this will be my last post for 2014, as i’m taking a little break from this space for the next two weeks.  i’ll catch you on the flip side.  xo

 

 

what am i thinking?

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honestly, i have the strangest priorities sometimes.  because what am i thinking, breaking out the blackboard paint to finally make the blackboard wall i’ve been planning for the last – oh, i don’t know – three months?!  seriously, all of a sudden, there’s this urge to get.it.done.  never mind the gifts i’ve yet to make and the cookies we want to bake and the bathrooms i must clean. there’s a wall that needs painting!

i think the urge is in response to a behavior of mine that i don’t like…that i start projects and get distracted by the other.  it isn’t behavior i want to model for my kids, and that’s on my mind a lot lately.  but it’s easy to get distracted {tell me if i’m wrong}…the family responsibilities, the cleaning, the job, the self-care {what?  what’s that?}.  i had the best intentions when i began this project back in the fall. wood, check. blackboard paint, check. stain for the boards, check.  but, oops, if you stain pine, you need to prepare the wood first or else you end up with splotches {i ended up with splotches}. that was my first setback. it meant another trip to home depot for more wood, or figuring out a way to work with the boards i’d already screwed up.  i decided to work with what i had…but that meant a new stain with a new technique {which required research}, a trip to home depot for a certain grade steel wool. and then another trip to home depot for an additional grade steel wool {because, oops, i didn’t read all the instructions} {and various grades of steel wool? who knew?}.

so, you get the idea…i got sidetracked.  because in and around all that was, well, the rest of life.  i don’t really understand why i get so sidetracked in my projects, but i do.  i get excited, i get overwhelmed, i procrastinate, i change my mind, i screw up, i get overwhelmed…then there’s the laundry and a list of ten million {so it seems} things that need doing.  and here we are months later.  oy.  but i’m going to get this done.  first coat of paint is up as i type this; second coat to follow today; boards are stained and ready to go.  this project may have dragged out longer than necessary {i fully admit that}, but i’m doing it.

and then i’m going to start stitching and baking.  none of it crazy, mind you…i am holding to what i wrote here and here.  somehow it’s all getting done.  and crazy as it seems to be painting this wall just before christmas, it also feels like {almost} perfect timing.  it really does.

sending a little love your way, m

 

p.s. if you’re curious, i’m making a chalkboard like this one.  and i made my frame look {sort of} like this.