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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

so, i know I've asked you a time or two what you'd like to have been like as a person when the credits roll...but, lately, as a parent I've really been thinking about this and asking myself the same thing..."when the credits roll, what kind of mom do i want to be remembered as? when the credits roll, what kind of childhood will i have painted for my children?" and sadly, i fear, with each passing moment that all of the important moments have passed...you know what I mean? have you ever felt that way? awakened and realized what a grouchy bear you've been all these years and now there aren't many years left?
this has been my prayer lately...to paint my kids world the way i hope for them to remember it...b/c lets face it, with kids the credits don't roll in our passing...it's something like the teen years maybe! i am trying to remember.
anyhow, the other day, we were trying to shut the garage door and the rain was pouring down and both kids ran out setting off the little sensor, making the garage return to its upright position...initial reaction: come on guys! then i heard a little voice ask "don't you want them to remember feeling the rain? touching and smelling it?"
I'll admit i don't live my life with these precious thoughts most of the time...i so wish i did...instead i grin and bear the tantrums, the bickering, the meltdowns in stores, the arguing...etc etc and sometimes, it really does get the best of me and i forget to stop and make a memory...i forget to jump out of the car and feel the rain too.

lol...tonight, i was sort of feeling disappointed in myself as i let myself be frustrated with first my oldest for throwing a lovely (and i mean lovely) tantrum in the store...she went boneless i tell you, added in some dramatics (lol this is the child who would scream "my mom is hurting me!" at age three in hobby lobby b/c i was holding her hand and she was flinging her body in the opposite direction...and the child whose fave place for a theatrical tear-filled screaming performance is by far TARGET!!) and then for being frustrated with my son for not greeting our Muslim friends and hugging them (hugs are a BIG thing in their culture b/c of what it means) and thanking them when we were guests in their homes.  i put the kids to bed and we read a chapter of our latest book together and they snoozed and i found myself frustrated with myself for not seeing the bigger picture...
then...i clicked on nie's blog (head there by clicking on the cute little blue typewriter to the right) and she told a story of her four year old and i was rolling! so apparently he said "damn" and was tattle-tailed on...and she admitted that she often hears him saying "damn" and "hell" when he plays with his guys by himself and she laughs and records it.  LOL i was rolling...and then I was encouraged.  seriously, the manners thing...the etiquette thing...the making sure no cuss words are uttered are merely for the benefit of others...
yes, i must teach my children to love others...but not to live to impress them with good manners and potty-free talk. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Morning Music: Hank Williams Sr - Long Gone Lonesome Blues

Friday morning music for you: Hank Williams...this reminds me of my dad, and of my cabin, and of his bff Sode...we'd sing Hank Williams around the fire, scooting as close as we could to the heat b/c summer evenings were freezing here...mostly I remember "your cheatin' heart" and "there's a tear in my beer," good ole Hank...and dad and Sode

ramblings on being

I love the Lenten season for the same reasons that I love creating art. I see this beautiful connection in spirituality and creativity...there's something so spiritual about discovering the creation in the paint, in the clay, in the bar of soap...in the ashes...in the sorrow. For when we clear away the clutter in our lives, we begin to simply "be" and there is art in being, there is spirituality is simply being, our simple stories are the best ones when we stop running and see the redemption in them...in the simplest of them...I think we can get wrapped up in living the best life...and it's hard not to, when we are raised to get into the best college, to get the best job, to pay our bills, to drive the best car, to have the biggest house...and then we raise our kids to do the same, we tell them to study hard, to do their best b/c they want to go places...when really, what are we saying? we place no value on simply being, on living, on seeing beauty, and seeing God's hand in everything...are we running as fast as we can toward the wrong things? are we living the wrong stories? finding our self-worth in the wrong places?
I was sitting watching some little fellas (both under the age of 3) play my piano...they had different playing styles: one played a key at a time the other banged with his fists...they both danced, hearing the music in their songs. no one taught them this, it was just in them, this song, this desire to create a song, and the ability to hear it. Of course, this has been pointed out a million times, but, the first thing God did was create...he is our ultimate healer, our ultimate physician, the mad scientist, and our CREATOR. we are his finite creations, we are as fragile as the pieces we create, we are creations.
I find that creating is something so natural to my being, I almost need it to survive, I am a better person when I am creating...so calm and so focused on the right things in life...I find that when i am creating i am not focusing on the stupid crumbs fallen on my floor perfectly visible to everyone...I am not bothered by the toys everywhere or that dinner isn't made...i am simply being as i create. carving soap is the same (see ash wed. photos below), i love the underlying message of this thing was always there (read Rob Bell's Drops like Stars), you just had to shave away some things to see it. isn't it the same in our lives? aren't some of the most painful experiences telling of who we are? aren't they shaping us into a better us? what is the whole purpose of life? is it not to draw closer on our Journey to Christ? to be more like Him? it probably has nothing to do with snowfall, slow drivers, our appearance, children's education, or the size of our house. Have you ever watched someone who is dying? their focuses are so different than ours, I see surrender in their lives and beauty.  I want to live like the credits are going to roll tomorrow, I want to ask myself what it is I'd wished I'd lived for when the credits begin to roll, and I want to live for that.  I wonder how my life might look differently if it were solely focused on living for Him? I wonder what kind of wife and mother and friend and daughter and stranger on the street that I'd be.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

boys get all the breaks

those boys, they really get all the breaks, don't they? my brother could pee STANDING up, seriously, SO fast...and I had to wait until we found a rest station or i could squat & deal with pee running down my ankles and pooling inside the cuff of my left sock (every time)...for this reason, i thought it would be much nicer to be a boy when I was small...C on the other hand has other reasons for thinking it'd be nice to be a boy:

last night C, in exasperation, exclaimed that she just wished she were a boy.
 I asked why, and she said because she needed to be the boss...this came up because she wanted to write her name first on a card to our neighbors and it flowed better to start with her dad's name..."why does HIS name always have to go first? why can't mine?" and I jokingly said "because he's the BOSS!" to which she replied "Why can't I be the boss? I never get to be the boss, I wish I was the boss of everything," LOL I was rolling b/c this is SO her personality, but, she's never actually verbalized that! when she was little she would draw family pix making herself huge and the other family members (in order of how she felt about them that day) much smaller and colorless.

here's C's new cropped do...very short...but SO cute (and ps she did not cut it to look like a boy...she saw some celebrity and had to have it chopped, I love her boldness)


Monday, April 11, 2011

my creative outlets


I've been filling an order or two...I haven't made these guys for anyone for about two years...and seriously, this is when I need a better camera and for the mister to whip me up a cute little white shadow box...
but, we all know of my track record with cameras...so, it wouldn't be a wise investment.

In the next couple of weeks I'll get to go and lead a soap carving workshop at this really neat school for special needs kids transitioning out of high school into the next season of their lives...these kids are amazing artists! I am SO not kidding, I cannot wait to post pix of their collages from our last workshop...I was literally floored at how awesome each of these kids was at using the sewing machine and how very differently each of their collages turned out.
Anyhow, my babes have just returned home from their school day and I am itching to hang out with them...and get homework started...so, more on all of this later.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

weezer baby!

it's a beautiful thing when two pretty awesome things combine...like ringo + me...or WEEZER and COLDPLAY!!! check out weezer playing viva la vida here
and while your'e at it check out weezer with some of my fave childhood characters here how sad that my kids have never experienced the muppets! looks like I'll need to download an old muppets show from the '80's today!!
we heart weezer.  the mister and I have decided that maybe we should head to a weezer show for our big ten year wedding anniversary...lol, what a great way to celebrate ten great years?! no, not a relaxing beach vacation...a weezer show...but, then much of our early years of marriage were spent heading to fun shows in little venues in Denver.  Denver has an awesome music scene and a great station that we stream where ever we are living, check it out here this station introduced us to tickle me pink, meese, airborne toxic event, the fray (they are a denver band...one member graduated from one of my daughter's sixteen million schools), phoenix, neon trees...and so many more. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

guest starring on my blog today...

Liam Burns.
handsome little lady killer...seriously SO precious...
seriously Amy and Orrin how is he here and this big already??
We finally got to meet sweet Liam last month...I am sure he's already bigger...probably walking and speaking in sentences...and it feels so wrong that we aren't there to be a part of this chapter in your lives as you've been there for so many chapters of ours! Congratulations guys...you made a cute little guy...what a sweet little family you are.
xoxo




and here we are pre-baby and pre-elementary school years


pre-baby...or maybe just barely pre-conception (last summer)



 M & O last summer...why didn't i take any pix from your trip south the summer before?
 

Monday, April 4, 2011

ashes

No matter how hard I try, all of my efforts can never draw me closer to God, nor can they make me more like Him... I think that's why I love ash Wednesday so much, it's a reminder that someone else paid the price for us so that we might have life...it's a season of reflecting and remembering the true true meaning to our lives.  we are reminded during the Lenten season that we must let go in order for God to come in and create a better story for us, better than any of our efforts ever could.
giving something up isn't my effort to draw closer to God, it's simply an act to create room for Him to come in and work...it's allowing the sculptor to sculpt, possibly removing large chunks of clay, in order that I might be a beautiful sculpture when all is said and done.  If I, the lump of clay, never allow the uncomfortable removal of possibly large chunks of my being, what will I be when I am through? merely a large lump of clay?
Some days I try to imagine my life as a book...of course this is due in part to Don and his book "A Million Miles in One Thousand Years" (if you haven't read it, I suggest picking up a copy today, it will totally change how you view your life)...And when I see my life as something small and finite like a book in hand, I realize how small and finite it is. I also realize that it could be a classic, it could make a difference in the life of one or a few, or it could be a total flop...wasted words on wasted paper.

It's so easy to forget that our lives do not go on forever, they don't continue...the stories we live stop...in a few generations I will just be someone's ancestor.  Will I have cluttered my life with wasted moments, or will I pause and allow it to be shaped and written by a Creator much better than I?
We all have the potential to be a beautiful sculpture, to be a story that has meaning and purpose, to find art in just being who we were created to be...
This year's ash Wednesday we held a service at our house, it was absolutely lovely...I found myself missing our creative Lenten traditions...so I decided that our casa would be the venue for ash Wednesday 2011.  Anyhow, words cannot describe the beauty I found in the gathering of people we had here in our home...so, let me allow my beautiful friend, Stephanie's photos tell the story for you...of course I cannot post them in the adorable way she did (I am technologically challenged...and very obviously not so up on punctuation nor proper grammar either if you couldn't tell by my constant dot dot dotting)...so, after you've looked through her pix here, you must check out steph's website here and be sure and take a looksie at her blog if you want to see her compilation of our ash wed evening or if you just like to read the blogs of random strangers here .






















photos courtesy of Stephanie Cooley, SC Photography: www.scphotography.zenfolio.com/

Friday, April 1, 2011

oh sweet sweet dsl

       C & I on our way to my brother's art show where he won the presidential purchase award and another...can't remember the name, way to go Dan!! I took C as my plus one.

My two boys decorating Christmas cookies...seriously, has it been THAT long since I've posted from MY computer?!

ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness! I feel like I have come out of the dark ages...or returned from a long retreat in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere...wait, I am taking a retreat in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere!

I have DSL again! hooray hooray for DSL day!
and while I should be in bed recouping from my flu, I just can't keep my hands off of the keyboard...

it has been so long since I've been able to walk to my fave borders, hop on over to urban outfitters, MAC, and anthropologie...waltz into whole foods...and SO long since I've had an actual ISP...it has been even longer since we've had cable or land lines...but once you cut the ISP out of your diet, I promise you, you are living in the dark ages. 

I want to peruse etsy, post pix from our ash wed. service, give you my latest reading list, share what's on my playlist this month, or even share what we made for dinner tonight...just because I can.

SO, since I've been away for awhile...and seriously, it has been awhile...
let me fill you in on the latest in my life:

for dinner tonight, we whipped up a lovely oven-grilled pizza (we are used to using our outdoor grill by now...maybe even hopping into our lovely pool while our food grills...but not this year...this year, we are retreating in snow-land where, I must've forgotten, it snows 11.5 months of the year) topped with grilled tomatoes (I achieved this little treasure on my panini press...grill function, mind you), salami, and a lovely pile of feta mixed with s&p and basil...
on the side we devoured a fabulous balsamic salad made of parsley, tomatoes, mozzarella, onions and a homemade balsamic dressing...and when I say devoured...I don't actually mean me...I really am recovering from the flu...it's been passed through our house one person at a time each week for three weeks...my turn! and, since I work at my kids school...I'm bound to catch the three other lovely bugs also making their rounds concurrently!!

Oh yes, I did promise my reading and playlists!!!
So, my current reading list:
1)Walking on Water by Madeleine L'engle
2)Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
3)Art & Fear (I can't remember the authors...and it's dark in my house...and I'm too lazy to go searching)
4)Abba's Child by Brennan Manning
5)and the book of Esther

My latest music choices have been sort of slow...the most current playlist was created for our ash wed. service and consists of a combination of coldplay, counting crows, patti griffin, drew & elly, BoB, classic crime, david crowder band, and a few others....but of course I am always listening to weezer...man I love them....oh and I can't forget modest mouse from tonight on our pajama clad venture to redbox since blockbuster is slowly dwindling across America!

And what else did I say I wanted to share with you? Oh yeah, Ash Wed pix...I will definitely post those...but those pix deserve a post of their own because the service was so fun and because I'm featuring one of my favorite photogs, her pixies are to die for and you'll want to book a shoot with her when you see her work!

other news from our fourteenth chateau:
my baby cut her hair...OFF...literally...this time with the assistance of a hairdresser (someday I'll locate pix of the time my three year old chopped her own waist-length hair to her chin on one side only and her baby bro's hair to the scalp with pinking shears without the assistance of a hairdresser)...
I've been creating again...for (meager) pay (and lots of pro bono)...which is crazy...I swore it off over a year ago...and somehow it's landed in my lap...actually it's been chasing me down...and, I find that I just can't get enough of it (which reminds me of one of C's fave songs by Rooney...check it out here and ps I don't let her watch music videos), anyhow, I'll post pix of the newborn tees that were ordered and my collage workshop days with two different classrooms...one that really touched my heart...and I'll probably post all about how I find such connection between art and spirituality...but, I'll save that for then, because I am literally rambling from my tired and flu-inflicted body and my bed and sleeping husband are calling my name...so for news from our chateau, that's pretty much it...since many of my readers don't actually know my kids, I'll spare you the mushy mommy rants about all of the activities they are in and how cute and smart and funny I think they both are...but I do...they say the funniest things...and seriously, I'll stop here b/c I almost started on a tangent about all of the funny things they've said lately.  My love to all of you my dear readers, thanks for reading my post-less blog while I was in the dark ages!!