Saturday, December 31, 2011

"lost letters" is what the email said...

My mother sent me the cutest email today.

"I get it. Let Alan read your christmas letter and he'll get it too. I was trying to reduce the excess clothing in my drawers and came across every mother's day card you ever created in grades 1-5. I am truly a PackRat. But these were the highlights of your creations. We do share a special connection. Hopefully there will be some insight for Alan that kids can argue with you but still love you. and yes you have been drawing on your body forever. You are my most colorful child...."

In the email she included the following:

(see, even at an early age I was preparing for my 1st tattoos!)

It was a lovely little gift. It came on the heals of a conversation we had while she was here for the holidays. I was trying to explain how my husband and I have different ways of viewing and handling holidays. I understand his reasoning and respect where he comes from.

I tend to run on full speed into November. Being a November baby it means my birthday (and now my husbands too!), Thanksgiving, several friends birthdays, Solstice, nephew's birthday, then Christmas and now my stepson's birthday. It's weeks of plotting, planning, gathering and celebrating. All of which also includes surrounding myself with good friends and family and as you can see above, I have always been this way.

I especially enjoyed the birthday card I made for her. By my hand writing, I am guessing I was in middle school then - I was really into writing my "a" differently. I love that I lay it out there, "even though we fight a lot, I still love you dearly." Some of my friends (and husband!) might agree that I haven't changed much. Less fighting, and lots of loving is how I try to live in the world now. And it still rings true, she is my best friend - always has been, always will be. I know I am a very lucky girl that way.

Anyways, it was a fun way to end the year. It's nice to recognize that caring, loving little girl is still alive inside of me, know matter how many challenges or heart breaks and how I have grown and changed. Thanks Mom & Dad, I owe you.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Nice job, Liv & Alan...

Apparently the kiddo's birthday party yesterday was well received...

We are still working on the "Thank-you," part of being a kid. He get's it about 1/2 the time, unprompted. This sticky note on his bedroom door was pretty awesome when I went to wake him up this morning.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Solstice!

Today, about an hour ago Solstice began! From here until Summer Solstice the days will be getting longer - woohooo. I love winter. I love this time of year. I wasn't always a solstice celebrator. I have Stacy Bias to thank for that.

Five years ago she hosted a Solstice party and invited me along. She asked us all to come prepared with the things we wanted to manifest into our lives and the things we wanted to let go of. I took her suggestion very seriously and for weeks leading up to the party spent time collecting my thoughts, narrowing down what I wanted and becoming very specific about what I was asking for.

When I arrived that night, Stacy had a collection of beautiful stationary and pens for us to write our desires on. I remember pulling out my little list from my pocket and writing everything down in two columns. I was very proud of what I had come up with and felt very hopeful for the upcoming year.

Around midnight, we all gathered in the very cold and clear new winter air around a campfire. A friend of Stacy's sang a prayer and then Stacy led us through a mindfulness exercise to open our hearts and mind to the changes we were hoping for.

Writing this, I can smell the campfire and feel the coldness in my limbs. I can feel the tears running down my cheeks and taste their saltiness on my lips. Slowly, one by one we tossed our beautiful lists into the flames and let our hopes and dreams catch fire and be carried on smokey tendrils into the universe. It was a power night for me. I do believe that I manifested many of the changes that came that year. I tell Alan all the time that I manifested him into my life that night.

Sadly, I have never celebrated Solstice quite so intentionally as I did that night, yet every year I still have a short list that I meditate on as fall asleep. So, Happy Solstices, friends and may this year bring you many wonderful experiences, growth and change.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shifting Gears

I have been thinking about doing this for a while. I have decided to extract myself from Facebook. At first I thought I would take myself off all together, but now I realize that I don't think I can do that. It's become an important tool to connect with resources, if nothing else.

I did decide to take the application off my phone last week, and I am feeling good about that decision. That being said, I still pick up my phone expecting to see some sort of notification from FB. I felt like I was going through withdrawls earlier this week, and now less so.

I was talking with my bestie Kelly this weekend and I was sharing how disconnected I am feeling from people. I spend all day with my colleagues, who are lovely individuals, and they are not my people (barring a small handful I have known since grad school). I am not playing kickball or bowling, so those folks are no longer around. I am not cheerleading or active in what remains of the Fat Activism community. I am not in grad school anymore, so that community is out as well. It's like there is a big void in my connection with people. I was grateful that Dexter has been on the last few months as it brought another bestie, Moop to me weekly.

I have tried to organize monthly (or there abouts) gatherings of friends, and that has helped. And I completely miss connecting with people. Some might argue that leaving/reducing FB time would be counter intuitive to those feelings, but I find that to be exactly opposite of my truth. I found myself being a passive friend via the FB medium. I could surf the pages of friends and know just about everything going on at a surface level (and sometimes deeper) with them and have no connection to them. I don't like that void.

If you are my friend, I want you here with me. I want to sit at a dinner table and laugh until we hurt together. I want to snuggle on a couch and watch movies. I want to check out all the restaurants and coffee shops in my new neighborhood together. I want to ride the Spring Water corridor trail to Gresham (and beyond!) with you. What I want is connection, real human connection.

So let's do this! Who's with me? I am taking names on my list of (mis)adventures and I would love to add you to it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Somewhere in the middle...

So, I did cut it. It's somewhere between the two pictures I posted earlier. I call it my "Inner Amy Williams." A-Dubs, as she is known, has the best hair all the time. Slightly shaggy and always stylish. I hope I can rock it as well as she can. I'll have to take some pics this weekend and post them. I also want to write a real update. Lots of changes around here. I'm diggin' life right now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Itchin for a change.

This happens to me all the time. I spend two years growing my hair out and they I want to cut it off. I know that I am low maintenance girl. I like a wash and go look. When I grow it out, I end up pulling it up everyday. I am thinking I want to go back to something I have had before. Not too short, and not long. Here are two styles that I liked a lot. Thoughts?

My hair is dark red and my bangs are currently a bit shorter than either one of these photos and will look good with either style.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I am trying a post from my cell phone!  Let's see how this works...