tobin and star wars

Dear Mommy of Littles…

tobin and caroline  halloweenDear Mommy of Littles,

My youngest is almost 6, and my oldest is 13.  I’m not in the trenches of diaper changes, temper tantrums, schedules, naps and cutting up baby food.  Gone are the days of monotonous schedules broken up by the big event — grocery shopping which turns into how quickly can I navigate the store before we destroy the place venture!

I had forgotten that life. Those older moms who come up to you and so kindly remind you to “enjoy every minute” — they mean well, they are waxing in nostalgia.  Time really does move that fast.  You will blink and the diapers will be gone, I promise.

For now, I get how you want to slug them one across the face when you hear “enjoy every minute” because all you want to enjoy is going to the bathroom by yourself, a hot shower and maybe a 5 hour stretch of sleep.

tobin and desta on horseI had forgotten the mundane drudgery of each day repeating itself; living life in 3 hour stretches between feedings.  For your educated, free loving self, the boredom can seem endless.  There are only so many episodes of PBS Kids you can watch before you’ve gone braindead.

The moments you look forward to the most–nap time.  I’ve forgotten how I’d endure 1 hour of pure tantrum, overtired hell in order to get all three kids down for a nap at the same time.  If it worked I was in heaven.

tobin and star warsYou know what I also forgot?  The sweet little newborn noises as they eat blissfully.  The tender hugs and kisses from a toddler’s chubby lips.  I’d forgotten the joy of playdough and the excitement over seeing a pile of blocks stack.

Please know that this stage of life is such a rich state of hard and amazing all at the same time.  Don’t beat yourself up for not getting it perfect.  Take great pride in getting the kids up, dressed and just one accident in the big boy pants, not 4.  Don’t worry about perfectly folded clothes or beds made.

Those days of teaching will come.  Those times of doing will happen.  But give yourself a  break–cut yourself some slack.  Have that glass of wine at noon and that cup of coffee while nursing.  Don’t worry about dieting and fitting into your prematernity jeans right away.

You know why? (and you’re welcome to slap me across the face) Because you’ll blink and it will be over.  You’ll wake up one day and say, My God, how much I miss that stage!

You are a woman who created life in you! Now go and enjoy those babies–breath in and out and take one mundane moment at a time.  Time will travel at warp speed and you’ll be glad you did!

Love, Melodie

PS  Thank you my dear Liz for opening your home so I could be part of the Littles lives for a brief moment.  You are a gift!

My Lists

As I say often on this blog, I’m a lover of lists.  I’m drawn to those silly quizzes in magazines that tell me who I am through answering a list of questions.  I carry a small but attractive notebook in my purse for my lists.

I have a grocery list, a work list, a list of my list.  At work I have legal pads bound on the top. Each day before closing up work and starting life, I make a list for the next day.

Lists make me feel effective and efficient.  I can cross things off and feel accomplished.

I’ve been thinking about a lot of stuff lately.  I’ve had time, at this lovely home in Boston holding a 2 week old baby and playing with a 3 year old little boy while listening to a 7 year old Scottish accented girl to think.

One of my thoughts is about this next season of life; the dawn of the second half of my life.  See, in my 20s and 30s I was focused on preparing and starting.  Seeing 40 just around the corner, I’m realizing that the starting has started and the movement to the end is approaching.

Oh sure, we don’t know when we’ll die. We aren’t able to predict what our life will bring. BUT if I follow the trajectory of statistics, I have about 40 years, give or take, left to live.  40 down, 40 to go.

It’s weird to sit in that thought for a quick moment–halfway through life.

My lists need to change, I think.  Instead of marking off all the things I need to do, I need to begin marking people I need to be with.  Instead of listing the tasks to accomplish, I need to write out the conversations to have.

Lists are neither good or bad. They just simple are.

Sometimes jumping out of the life I’m in and living in another person’s life for a bit awakes new thoughts, new ideas and most importantly highlights what needs to be removed and what needs to remain.

 

 

 

 

cornmeal pancakes

the BEST GF cornmeal pancakes

The snow is falling and I’ve got a hankering for pancakes.

I remembered a great GF blog years ago and searched and searched. FINALLY.  I found it!

cornmeal pancakes

*Picture from Hey That Taste Good blog.

These cornmeal pancakes will be making a comeback at our house starting tonight!

Cornmeal Pancakes
Based on a recipe in the Joy of Cooking
1/2 c cornmeal
1 T honey
a pinch of salt
1/2 c boiling water
1 t baking powder
1/4 c milk
1 T oil or melted butter
1 egg
1/2 c flour mix
1/4 t xanthan gum
scant 1/4 c brown sugar
Combine cornmeal, honey and salt in a bowl, stir in boiling water, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. In aseparate bowl, combine milk, oil or butter, baking powder and egg. Once the cornmeal mix has rested, add the egg mixture. Stir in the flour mix, xanthan gum, and brown sugar, stir until combined, and let rest another 15 minutes. Cook in a hot pan until lightly browned on each side. Makes enough for 2 or 3 people.

 

Thank you, Hey That Taste’s Good, for such a yummlicious food!

 

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Why I keep blogging

While running on the trail in my tanktop and capris this 63 degree January day in Colorado (yes–I am just a tad excited about the weather), I got to thinking about this dear old blog of mine.

According to WordPress’ statistics, most of my readers live in China and want to advertise on my blog.  Had this been 4 years ago, I would have felt defeated, wondering why no one wanted to read my highly inspiring words.

My freshman year of college I took a mandatory creative writing class.  While I understand the intent of the class, to get 20, 19 year olds to think “outside the box” I was put off by someone grading my writing.  As the semester wore on, I found myself sinking into a stunning reality–my writing sucked. At least in terms of grades.  I think I got a B+ by the end of the semester.

That experience permeated my heart and for several years I chose not to write.  I didn’t want to face criticism again for my personal thoughts and stories.

In 2008 I found myself facing a dilemma.  I needed a support system for the next step we were headed into–adopting our third child. I needed to find community. Full Circle was born–a safe and warm place to speak all my feelings.

It’s now 2015, 9 years later and I’m still blogging.  The topics and look have changed.  My blog roll has changed from adoption blogs to mostly clean eating sources.  I post fewer and fewer pictures of my kids–as they’ve grown older, I’ve realized they have their own story to tell.

Ultimately why I keep this blog is for legacy.  Back in the “good old days” there was the family Bible.  Marriages, death, births all recorded and handed down.  We human beings want to know that after we’re gone, our memory still remains.  We want to believe that our lives, a tiny blip in this graph of eternity, matters.

For each of us, that can look different. Some of us draw, some of create amazing music (Thank you Handel for The MESSIAH!).  There are so many ways we can express ourselves-share ourselves.

20150118_155901 (2)In our house we have two paintings from my grandmother Patricia.  She died of breast cancer my sophomore year of college.  Whenever I see her paintings, I think of her–vivid images of who she was.  I’d sit in the backseat of their gigantic Oldsmobile and watch as she gently stroked my grandfather’s hand as he drove us to church.  She’d take an hour to make her breakfast of oatmeal and a hard boiled egg each morning; her artistic personality constantly distracted.  She’d carry her breakfast tray to the sun porch, sitting and reading “Our Daily Bread” while eating.  To someone who didn’t know my Grandma Pat, seeing the painting only tells them about the color and picture.  To me, her paintings remind me of her presence in my life.

20150118_155931 (2)That’s what this blog is to me.  Maybe my great grandchildren will one day Google my name and find my blog.  If they do, I hope they can see the way I lead my life.  I hope they will see the legacy their great grandfather and I desired for our family; a new legacy born of great intention and hard work.

I’ll carry on this blog; statistics no longer matter to me.  I don’t care about grades anymore.  No, what matters is telling our story in the ways we were created to do so.  Living this life is a privilege–the span of our lives is so very short on this earth.  I want to let my children’s children and beyond know not only the what’s of our lives but the why’s too!

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Fire Breathing Sky

Have I mentioned that Desta is an early riser?  I know I’ll be thankful for this inherent trait in her come high school and early school hours BUT for now, past 6 am would be great!

20150118_065333But as is often heard, “the early bird gets the worm” or in this case, the sunrise.

20150118_065937We sat on her window bench watching the sun come up this Sunday morning.  As the sky continued to breath fire,  I thought about how the sun comes up every morning.  It just does. I do nothing to cause it to appear, neither can I make it disappear.  It’s a constant.

20150118_070223In the midst of this minute by minute changing schedule; attending to kid’s needs, shuttling to and from sports, fitting in work and meals I forget that I am living in a world that is filled with order and constancy.

20150118_070358Sometimes it takes a 6 am sunrise to get my attention.  This Sunday morning, a fire breathing sky reminded me that I’m not alone, that today, I get to be in this life and I get to breath each moment.

 

m4s0n501