Archive for the ‘Contemplation’ Category

Snap Pea Rosa 2

My ears aren’t cold outside anymore. Thanks, Amanda!

Snap Pea Rosa 3

I was able to use yarn leftover from other projects. Thanks, thrifty me.

Snap Pea Rosa 1

I took a picture of my face, full frontal view. I never do this. In fact, I like to avoid shots of my face altogether. You might have noticed that in this space. Thanks to my word for 2011, growth. (And thanks to L1, my personal Holly King, for giving me the gift of this word.)


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As a teenager I lusted after Doc Martens, black, preferably the boots that laced up the front and had kick-ass soles.  They were not in my parents’ budget nor really in my realm of being as I just wasn’t cool enough (even then!) to wear them.  But oh! how I wanted to be. Several years ago I found a pair of kids’ Docs at our local GoodWill and bought them on the spot for my girl even though they were several sizes too big for her at the time (we still have almost everything in that picture!).  Today she wears them happily.

Last night I was gifted with a pair of Docs from my cousin. After reading this post recently the gift of them got me thinking as I rode my bike on the trainer this morning.  The shoes are cute-ugly, the kind you either love or hate, I think.  Me, I love them.  They may not be the pair I yearned for as a teenager, but I still am so happy, so full of gratitude to have them.

Gifted Docs

I think I get trapped in looking out at the lives’ of other so often, yearning for what they might have, jealous of it, to the point that I fail to appreciate what I have.  I am so LUCKY that I was able to contemplate all of this while riding my road bike on a trainer in my living room during the day, my daughter playing near by with a fire keeping us warm.  I’m so LUCKY that I have the time to make fresh bread every week for my family and that we eat good meals together at our table, that my husband and I have the TIME and the SKILLS to help with homework.  We don’t have to put off going to the doctor if someone is ill or injured, with have fantastic health insurance, and most of the time we’re all incredibly healthy and well, too.  Things might not be all light and joy in our home all the time, my kids might sometimes prefer digital stimulation to books or crafting, I might not practice my yoga or meditation on a daily basis.  But our lives are full of LIVING and finding joy in the small, the unexpected, the everyday.

Does this mean that from here on out I won’t feel want or jealousy or lack?  Hell no.  But hopefully I’ll keep working on practicing gratitude when I do feel those emotions.

What do you do to practice gratitude?

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Winter Riding

It’s January and my bike is sitting on the trainer in the living room, bike shoes at the ready. I will ride through out the winter without knowing how “far” I go, but I will still get sweaty and breath more heavily and it will feel good. This is part of my winter rhythm.

My winter rhythm also includes more time for my Etsy shop and creating in general as my teaching load always seems to be less in the spring. For instance, that skirt I designed back in November? It will be IS for sale in my shop starting this week. I’ll also be working on a winter version of this dress:

Boatneck Swing Dress

And maybe, just maybe I’ll finally get my web page made and “live.”

This is my winter: contemplate, create, plan for the growing seasons ahead, nourish the bodies and souls of my family and myself through warm comfort food.  I love living in a place with four distinct seasons.

How about you–what does your winter rhythm look like?

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Karate Christmas 2010 4L1 & L4 in a self-defense demo at “Karate Christmas”

As predicted, all of the fun activities of the season have been keeping us busy.

Share the Season 1L3 singing in the “Share the Season” choir at his school.

All of my intentions to slow down because of the cute & fun may be well and good, but they are nothing compared to the intense slowing that happens when the snow finally falls in earnest here.  And keeps falling!  The shoveling, while getting my body going in the cold, slows the chatter in my mind. Back and forth, scoop, lift, toss–a rhythm is built and away I go. I am not always all cheery about the task, but I am thankful that my body is sound enough to be able to do it, especially in the wake of bad health news for several friends’ family members recently.  There’s also happiness in good tunes to enjoy while doing it. A girl and dog thrilled beyond measure by all of the snow help make it all less odious, too. 🙂

First Snow 2010 2

What helps you slow down during the bustle of the winter holiday season?

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Finding Gratitude

Autumn at Big Field

Local-to-me blogger Jessica at Turkeycookies is writing a series of posts this month on gratitude and they are just beautiful and inspiring. Because there are some days when I feel less-than-grateful for these beautiful little faces:

Throwing Leaves

We all feel like that sometimes, right? Like even the things we love most in our lives are burdensome? Maybe it is the very fact that they are so important to us that can lead to that heavy feeling. I am grateful for those feelings that run so deep, and grateful for the recognition that I wouldn’t be me without them.

Hold on to your Hat!

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You know we like to take walks, right?  I surely write about it enough in this space.  Our love of being outdoors is one of the many things that attracted L1 and I to each other over 16 years ago. . .  We are constantly renewing our love of being in the bigger world, though we often lament the fact that it doesn’t happen enough.  Enter in the book Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, which we read awhile ago now.  The take home message for us was the importance of getting kids outside for their own well-being.  He cited research about how kids with ADHD and other issues show much better control/a lessening of symptoms when outside compared to inside.  We have found this to be accurate with L3–sometimes it seems that only the sky can contain him!

Golden Day 3

Golden Day 14

When the weather this weekend was so perfectly golden and my babes were so perfectly stir-crazy, we took ourselves to the Bay near our home.  We chose this walk because we can get there without a car, since L1 was gone with it both days over the weekend.  Kids and dog alike were so happy to be out and about in the world.  Why do I forget this when they’re asking to watch a movie or antagonizing each other? It was a walk full of exploration and exclamation and enjoyment for all of us.  Last we went the kids & the dog were swimming about in the Bay.  This time they had jackets and rain boots on and stayed on shore (mostly).

Unravel 2-3

Golden Day 10

Looking back at the pictures of it all (see more in our photostream!), I am reminded how lucky we are to have such a place to explore so close to home, and how much we always want to share it with those in our lives, kids and adults alike. One minute we’re in the fields behind our local YMCA, pools & playground in site, the next we’re surrounded by trees and rustlings, and the sounds of water flowing. It’s like stepping into another world completely. So dear friends, if you have yet to take this little journey with us, I hope we are able to take it together some day, no matter the season, as we love it year round.  For those of you whom I will probably never meet face-to-face, I hope you, too, have one or more magical places of adventuring near you. 

What is one of your favorite places to be out-of-doors?  Please share what it’s like!  If you can link to a picture of it, all the better!

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Sidewalk Color

It’s gracing the tops of the trees, and we see it here, there, and everywhere on the grass and sidewalks. Despite the fact that the everyday in our home doesn’t feel like it is following the slowing pace of the season, the color is a reminder that it comes, regardless.  So I took a picture to remind myself of the beauty and its message: stop rushing, slow down, sink into the preparation for the darkening season.  I write this, too, as a reminder to myself as I try to finish a long list of tasks over the next few days.  Once again, it’s a practice.

What are you doing to sink into the rhythm of the season where you live?

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