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Wordless Week

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Braids and Basketball

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Walks and runs in the rain because Colorado has decided it prefers to be called ColoradoNorthWest

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Great conversations with amazing work partners!

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo field trip with 12 extra special kindergartners

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Badly sprained ankle = boot, physical therapy and no soccer

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Matt inspiring kids in the Philippines

20150519_155610Yummy homemade granola!

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Emily McDowell Cards.  Seriously the BEST ever.

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Is it age or social media?

drdseussyoullmissthebestthingsI’ve discovered something interesting in my old age.

The people I didn’t really hang out with much in high school are the coolest adults out there!  The boarding school I attended was big and with the layout of dorms, roommates and class size, it wasn’t possible to really get to know everyone.

As with any teenager on the planet, you find what works and you stick with it.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve discovered that the people I didn’t know well in high school are pretty amazing.  I mean really amazing.  They live in other countries, take their kids on international adventures. They take care of the poor and refugees.  These people do some amazing jobs–lawyers, photographers, and teachers.

And I wish I’d know them better — because I think I missed out on a lot. I missed out on learning other ways of thinking and acting.  I missed out on seeing the world through their lens.

The good news is, since Facebook is apparently “the” thing for 30-40 somethings (if you want to be in fashion, get an Instagram account!), I can at least learn a bit through their posts.  And sometimes, I even get a chance to visit them.

So is this an age thing–you know, the older you get, the more you learn that we are really all the same? OR is this social media helping us discover things we wouldn’t have ever seen?

Rewind 20 years, take away social media, would I have the same revelations without seeing their posts?  Perhaps.

What I know is this–to quote a famous doctor,

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

#BringBackOurGirls

20150507_092014This morning Matt and I headed to Caroline’s school for the 7th grade history project presentations.  As we walked through the gym doors, the place was buzzing with 12 and 13 year olds.  Milling around, they were grading each other’s projects, talking about the important things in their lives, waiting to present–being kids.

Right before the fair, I read this article about the kidnapped girls from Nigeria. Remember the #bring back our girls campaign?  For many in the US, it was a brief moment of solidarity with women from another land. After a brief hurrah, we went back to our normal lives. BBOG-Logo21But for those young girls from Nigeria–many 13 years old — their captivity continued in the most horrific and terrible conditions.  The Nigerian government recently rescued many of these girls.  Good right?  Yes, good.  Except that out of the 234 girls rescued, 214 came back pregnant. _82752749_82751118Can you just stop and let that sink in for just one minute?

214 out of 234 pregnant

Can you imagine what these young girls–the same age as the 7th grade middle schoolers milling around at a history fair at school–had to endure?  And now, to have a tangible, present living reminder of that hell?

My heart is grieving because it’s not fair.   I read the banners, saw the online appeals for justice and still wonder, “We didn’t do enough!”  It is my prayer that these young women living in this land of my birth will have help and hope brought to them.

May we not forget the lives of women around the world! May we not forget that we are among the richest, most blessed people living in this land of freedom.

Dear God, come quickly. Come quickly!

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Why do we live at 80 mph?

image letting goYou know why yoga works for me?  Because it forces me to SLOW down.  This American culture is run at a frantic brake-necked speed. For some of us, our calendars for the year have ink from one end to the other by January 2.

In our town, the speed limit is 75 mph–plenty fast but apparently, for most people, not fast enough.

We multitask– folding laundry while watching the news, writing texts while sitting at stop lights, just getting one more email in while “helping” our kids with their homework.

Even when exercising, we have our smartphones with us; catching up a show we missed last night or reading that article we have to discuss at work the next day.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired.

This pace, this type of life, this is not what I believe we were called to live.

We are told to be still and know that He is God. How can we do that when our minds are full of to do lists and tasks not yet marked out?

In my quest to figure out how I want my life to look–as a wife, a mother, a friend, a coworker, I have begun reading.  And I’ve been back on my mat more.

And  you know what kills me?  I struggle saying the mat is enough for today.  It’s okay to JUST do yoga; to not add a run or a walk.  It’s okay to JUST sit and breath for a minute.  It’s okay to JUST focus on my kids and what words are coming out of their mouths.

Last night in the kitchen, while cleaning up for dinner, my son turned to me and asked me, “Mama, are you tired?”  My answer,  “No but why did you ask?”

True to his sweet heart, he simply said, “Mama, you just seem not yourself these past few weeks.”

And a dagger went into my heart.

My first response was to be defensive.  Hell yes, I haven’t been myself. I’m overwhelmed and tired. I’m working A LOT while your Dad is gone on trips for work.  I’m busy trying to make healthy meals for your bottomless stomachs. I’m driving all over kingdom come to make sure you have positive experiences in your lives.  I’m trying to use my “two eyes, two hands” with your little sister despite the fact that I just want to run away and say, “Hell with it!” Yes little man, I am sure tired.

Then I grew sad.  So very sad. Because the one thing I wanted to do, to be my kid’s mom, I’m not doing well.  Instead I’m busy doing everything for everyone and not doing any of it well. I’m moving at such crazy speeds that I can’t do anything well.

Then I read this article today from a friend.  While this is about overeating and why we do that; what I was struck with is this sentence…

“Gradually, I began (and am still learning) to appreciate my body for showing up for me. If I want to stand up, my legs work. If I want to eat, my insides digest my food. If I wanted to see, I open my eyes. For me, acknowledging my feelings is the key to loving my body.”

See, if I cannot appreciate me, the very nature of what makes me a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter–then I cannot serve those people well.

And back to yoga I come again.  Because when I’m on that mat, breathing and holding a pose, it’s about that moment..just me, my breath and my legs–it’s about me saying, “I surrender.  I will move slow.  I will focus just for this minute on being attuned to my heart’s needs.”

“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” ~Leo F. Buscaglia

Here’s the article.  Like I said, the title says The Most Common Cause for Overeating and How to Overcome It BUT the core of this article is about understanding who we are and why we are here.

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Snapshots of the week

There seems to be a lot of busyness and work swirling around here these days. The gray April skies we’ve had lately haven’t helped.  As this blog is a loose journal of sorts for those “remember when” moments ahead, I thought I’d chronicle some blue skies in this season.

Desta is officially 6 years old.  I cannot believe we’ve officially moved from pre-elementary years.  She’ll start first grade in the fall and I’m trying to figure out how time just flew by me.

20150418_160014Caroline was in charge of her birthday party this year and did an excellent job. Fancy Nancy Tea Party take 2–filled with pink, paint, pictures, and stickers.

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After battling my hair a few too many times, I said to heck with it and cut it.  I love the wash and go nature of my hair now!

20150422_115513 (1)With all the travel lately, I’ve found making dinner particularly challenging.  Matt is my biggest food fan and when he’s not around, I’m not too excited to make a meal to the critical crowd.  That said, we still need to eat.  Lately it’s been carnitas with rice or quinoa.  It’s amazing how many meals you can get out of one pork roast.

20150419_173040(0)Despite the early hour, this crew did a great job celebrating Desta’s 6th birthday.  We even managed to fit in a cake celebration with my parents that night.  Pictures forthcoming.

20150422_065515Matt took Friday off and we hit the mountains.  It started out sunny and we managed to hike for 2 hours before the rain clouds came in.

20150424_113801I remind myself during the week that life can just happen unless I make sure I’m intentional with it.  Our May calendar is already packed to the brim.  I can focus on the blue ink spattered across the days OR I can focus on this day, this moment.

Today, as I work I am thankful for the buzz of my space heater, the steaming cup of tea next to my laptop. I love the big picture window that looks out over a pine tree.  When I go upstairs I see Lego creations all over the house, forts propped with pillows and sheets.  I see creativity and a love for life from each of our kids.   Yes, life is so very busy and full.  I am so thankful that I have this life to live.