Friday, August 29, 2014

good things friday

:: fresh, local peaches.
One of my favorite things about summer,
one of my favorite things about life,

except maybe...

:: Corn on the cob.
Ernie's gift of two big bags.
The best we've ever, ever tasted.

:: new found curls.

:: receiving his first email from Mexico.
That he's smiling and happy.

:: birthday lunch dates.
Happy Birthday, Phyll!

:: their trip together to California.
Both of them wanting to share
 all the details (and laughter) with me.

:: August thunderstorms (cozy!) and spying that glorious after-dinner rainbow filling the sky.

:: time alone in a quiet house.

:: Jane and her friends inviting me to go with them to see a movie tonight. 

(The Giver)
That they consider me "one of the girls".

:: coming home to a beautiful doorstep surprise, her welcoming tour of that inspiring garden and sewing room, and finding her kind
and cheery handwritten note in the mailbox.
What a dear friend and kindred spirit you are, Melanie!

:: Autumn is coming! My favorite!

:: Sharon's kind offer to come over and pick blackberries this weekend.

:: swimming under a sky full of stars.

:: the opportunity this has given me to experience many, many ways of healing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


 When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are."

~Ram Dass

Friday, August 22, 2014

good things friday

:: My foot has been giving me grief. Worse than ever. I was feeling so desperate the other night. Pleading with God to help me to know what I should do. I want to walk. I want to start my practice up soon. This whole ordeal has been incapacitating, to say the least. Well, yesterday the thought of trying acupuncture kept coming into my mind. Intuition, Spirit, inspiration that I felt so deeply, to the core of me. So I went this morning for my first ever experience. I never imagined I would overcome my fear of needles and be so willing (even excited) to try this treatment. Easier after the deeper understanding and appreciation I gained in massage school of Chinese medicine/philosophy/acupressure.

I'm telling you, I've never before felt so relaxed, so calm throughout this amazing experience. Its effects on me even now. It wasn't at all what you'd expect. These needles were as thin as a strand of hair. I had them on my face, on top of my head, five of them on the fleshy area beneath my thumb, and several on both legs. I had them in for about 45 minutes, laying on the table, eyes closed-- that place where you aren't quite asleep, (I didn't feel sleepy)-- but like I was in a state of deep meditation and stillness. I'm very anxious to see what happens in these coming weeks, and so grateful for another opportunity to try to heal my foot.

:: You should have seen the cabbage I picked the other night. I'm not kidding you, it was a foot (or more) in diameter and I'm sure, weighed over 5 pounds. After two meals, I've still got half of it left in the fridge.

Oh, and the ongoing tomato harvest has been grand. Salsa making, of course, but the bruschetta, or just some slices (with little slivers of basil) on top of a hummus smeared piece of toast has been so good. 

:: Thankful to have received a brief email Wednesday night from Sam. Safe and sound at the Mexico City Missionary Training Center where he'll be for the next six weeks before flying to Arizona, Extremely tired after not getting any sleep the night before and the long flight, but meeting lots of nice people and happy to be there. My heart continues to ache, but hearing from him makes it a little easier. 

::Wonderful news yesterday. Gary got hired on working as a teaching assistant/office receptionist in the religion department (ancient scripture) at the university. A dream job while he's in school. Amazing that the professor he'll be working with is the aunt of a good friend of his (a fellow Finnish missionary. Her husband served a mission in Finland, too. What a coincidence!), and without even knowing these things, as well as the fact that this professor has an interest and specialty in Middle East studies which is Gary's own major. Wow!

So happy that the apartment Gary is in the process of moving into is so nice. He called me when I was at the bookstore yesterday and wanted me to come check it out. Too good to be true. It's been wonderful having him here this summer, but I know that living near campus and his friends will make it nicer for him. And I must say that I'm looking forward to having my "creating"room/office space back again.

We'll be doing some rearranging of bedrooms this weekend. Packing up Sam's bedroom, too. I'll get my massage studio back and all put together again, and maybe even paint the bedroom Isaac and Jane will be moving into this next week. It will be so good to have things put back into order around here.

:: Speaking of jobs, Jane couldn't be happier getting a full-time job at doTERRA (essential oils, wellness products). Her plan is to work, save money, and possibly go back to school in January. This job has so many perks; the beautiful, brand new campus is within walking distance and gives their employees a generous 70% discount on all products.

:: Isn't it great when just the right book turns up? That's what happened to me yesterday at the bookstore and the thrift store. Not one, but several. Sure looking forward to my new stack of goodies!

Happy Friday, friends!
As always, it's so good of you to stop by.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

a missionary

The day that you've long anticipated has finally come. Days, months, and years of preparation and hard work all coming down to this moment. 

And I sit here trying to feel, process, and express it all. 

This mother-heart aching. A warm lump in my throat. Tears welling each time I start thinking of you. A dull, hollow, longing pang in my chest. Utter and complete exhaustion-- both the physical and the emotional -- that's come with these stress-filled months of comings and goings and shopping and forms to fill out and doctor appointments and packing. (A total miracle we got everything to fit and the to-do lists all crossed off.) Leaving at 2:30 am in the pouring rain this morning (all of us filling two cars) to get to the airport in time for your early morning flight.  

But even in all the difficulty and stress, there have been so many moments of joy. The gift of being totally focused on you and your needs. The precious time we've spent together...

Having dinner all together as a family last night. Fixing your requested jambalaya for our last meal together. (The joy I felt in watching you enjoying that so much.) Seeing the devotion, love, and support of your friends. (You are adored by so many, Samuel.)  Your coming up to my bedroom late the other night, sharing and shedding all those tender tears. 

All these things-- the difficult and the painful, the beautiful and the joyful-- this is what it means to love.

Sam, I will miss you so very much.

Not being able to receive your tight, tight hugs. You are the best hugger I know.

Missing your humor in our family. You are the one who gets us laughing. You have a gift that way. You have filled this need in my life that has been so essential to my personal happiness and joy.

Not being able to receive a random text from you. And me not texting "I'm here." to you anymore.

For those times you've asked for a massage when your back or head aches, or just plopping your body down next to mine on the couch, needing my touch. This has brought healing and a special bonding to both of us.

It's hard to believe, but I really am going to miss tortilla chip crumbs all over the counter. Taking in your cereal spoon and bowl you left in the car on the way to school or work. Picking up your dirty socks under the couch. Those physical reminders that you are my big, strong boy.

Our Costa Vida lunch dates.

Watching you play basketball. Being inspired by your intensity, your drive, and your never- giving- up- attitude. 

Not being able to have your wonderful, devoted friends in our home and around our dinner table.

And oh, how I'll miss your smile. 

As you will not be in our home for the next two years, not under my own close, daily watch care, please know and always remember that I will be with you. It's not really a goodbye, Sam! My heart will be with your heart. My spirit will be with your spirit. This will never change, even as I now turn and trust you over to God. 

I'm so happy for you, Sam. For this opportunity you've been given to grow, to serve and love others, and to understand more deeply about yourself and God. You are leaving a boy, and will come home a man. You will never know how much your sacrifice, your determination, your hard work, and your commitment to God means to me. 

You are loved. You are supported. You are good. You will be dearly missed.

Until the day when we will again hold and hug each other so tightly...

Your Mom xoxo

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back-To-School 2014

11th grade
5th grade

Here we go.
Another school year for us.
A return to rhythm and routine. 
New beginnings. Fresh starts.
Book learnin' and life learnin'.
Uniforms, backpacks, and homework for you.
Love-notes on napkins, "Make it a great day!" hugs, 
and afternoon carpool runs for me. 
All these things and so much more.
Let's make it awesome, guys!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

images of a sunday

I wish you could have joined with us today.
That you could have sat among the congregation and heard 
Sam bare his sweet heart.
And soon after, experienced the absolute beauty of Jane on her violin and Averi accompanying her to "I Need Thee Every Hour".
That you could have parked your car on the street where we live and walked on into this blue house for a bite to eat.
Packed like sardines (someone guessed over sixty, easily) 
we would be.
Plates piled high, a Mexican feast (of course) 
and maybe a treat or two.
And as usual, there'd be some friendly chitchat, 
many smiles and much laughter.
So much support, so much love 
from all these family, friends, and neighbors.
And to you, like them, I'd send you off
with a warm, tight hug.
Until that next special occasion where we'll 
gather and meet again.

Hoping your Sunday was filled with beautiful moments, too...


Saturday, August 16, 2014


10 things I love about you:

:: those sweet freckles scattered across your face.

:: the twinkle in your eyes and the way your bright smile lights up the world.

:: your clever witticisms. You keep us laughing (and on our toes) all the time.

:: all the endearing nicknames we've given you: Bodger, Bodge, Bodgerino, LeafBud, Hud, Lishousness, Hodge, Reno... all these funny nicknames because we adore you so.

:: your head massages are the best I've ever experienced. You have such strong, knowing hands.

:: our special outings, just you and I, to the library and a stop for sushi. Speaking of your interest in ethnic foods, it's so fun that you chose Bombay House for tonight's family party.

:: the way you so easily make and keep friends. You are everyone's best friend and each of the kid's best beloved sibling.

:: how you still hold my hand and want me to hold you on my lap.

:: your insatiable love of reading and your curiosity about this world.

:: the lightness, joy, fun, and laughter you bring to our family. Your life and presence is a precious gift, and we can't imagine how it would be without you in each of our lives.


Monday, August 11, 2014


enjoying:: this morning's 10 mile bike ride. my old "long run" route. go me.

feeling:: it's starting to hit me that sam is really leaving. these waves of emptiness and longing coming and going since yesterday. a real physical, aching pain in my chest. warm tears on the verge. with this being a yearly thing now with these kids (three years straight) you'd think it would get easier. it doesn't.

going:: to give isaac his promised massage. it's his birthday week.

eating:: last night's dinner was my breakfast. taco-style quinoa, black beans, tomato, onions and garlic over lettuce greens. fresh mango salsa and sliced avocado over top.

working:: so grateful that after not doing any client massages since march, i can still do this work. that i still have what it takes. that i still have it in me. i was afraid i'd be rusty after all this time. wondering if i would still enjoy and find fulfillment in my work as a massage therapist. friday's appointment calmed all my worries and insecurities. again, i realized that i love what i do. i love being able to make a real, tangible difference in other's lives. i missed, so much, the quiet, calm, and total focus that comes over me in a session.  giving a good massage, for me, is like performing a meditation; a beautiful dance, if you will. this aspect of the work provides me with an incredible sense of peace.

making:: the other night i sat down to the sewing machine. sam's pants to hem. "i love it when you sew, mom," isaac said. "it's just so cozy here when you do." and then with a smile on his face, he asked if i could make him a new pillowcase for his birthday. 

kitchen wise, i've been having fun experimenting in the gluten-free baking world. (oh, by the way, the tests came back negative for keith and the kids. a big sigh of relief.) this afternoon i made a plum crumble and some crackers. sunday, some really good chocolate chip cookies. everything, so far, has been really delicious.

i'll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen this week. another house full on sunday in honor of sam leaving next wednesday for mexico. 

the swallows of kabul. 
something more: excavating your authentic self

listening:: bob marley