Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Invitation

I went to a yoga class yesterday and at the end of savasana, the instructor read The Invitation by Oriah. I was really inspired by it and have been reading it over and over, thinking and processing. I just had to share it because I think it is so beautiful and gives us all something to think about.

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own,
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy,
mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure,
yours and mine,
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Audrey - 34 months


You are growing leaps and bounds and it is hard to know where to begin! You started school at the beginning of September and adjusted like it was nothing. You love your teachers and your classmates and you are learning so much! After only six days of school you already had the pledge of allegiance memorized! You fell off the jungle gym at school a couple weeks ago and dislocated your elbow. It is the first time you've gotten hurt without me there and you looked so sad when I picked you up. But the next school day you were ready to go back and not afraid at all.

Since starting school, you've basically decided that you don't need to nap anymore. This has been a struggle between us because Mommy knows you still need the sleep. Some nights dinner and bath time is a nightmare because you're just so overtired. But I'm trying not to push the issue because I can't deal with you screaming for an hour every afternoon until I let you out of your room.

Fall is in the air now and we've done lots of playing in the leaves and rolling down the hill! We took a ride up to the top of Mt. Greylock, went apple and pumpkin picking, went to the annual fall foliage parade, went through a corn maze and on a hay ride, even went to a hot air balloon festival.

We just got back from a weekend trip to Titi's house and you had so much fun with your cousins. You miss them so much and I wish you could see them more often. Skype is an amazing gift to us though and I'm grateful we have that at least.

As we approach your 3rd birthday, your defiance grows. You are strong-willed and full of fire and energy. I try to reign that in enough that I teach you to respect others, but not so much that you submit to any and everything others tell you. This is certainly a struggle for me and I hope I do you justice in my parenting. I know that in your teen years and as you approach adulthood, it may be frustrating for me, but that I will be grateful for your desire to forge your own path. I hope to cultivate in you the desire to think and form your own opinions, to respect authority, but to test it when appropriate.

Your love of reading continues to grow. You have 3 different children's bibles and you love to have them read to you. You open a book and tell your own crazy, rambling stories that are so fun to listen to, and you like to sing in conversation instead of talking.

You are a ray of sunshine when you want to be and a force to be reckoned with! Your are smart, thoughtful, clever and full of life! Mommy loves you with all of her heart, and watching you grow makes me incredibly proud.

I love you "big much," my sweet girl!

Love always,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

L L F M D: Trust your instincts.

14. Trust your instincts.

Two weeks ago, you fell off the jungle gym at school. I took you to the doctor and you had your first x-ray. Five long hours later, the doctor's office called back and said your elbow was not fractured or dislocated. I knew they were wrong. You suffered all night long and in the morning I called them back. I took you in again, they reduced your elbow and we heard the "pop!" Within 30 seconds you were 100% better. Your elbow was dislocated for 24 hours. And I knew. I knew it wasn't just a bruise.

We all have instincts. Our gut talks to us, whether it is about our children, other people, places or situations. Many things try to talk over our instincts. Our peers, authority figures, society's expectations, even love make this voice hard to hear. But it is incredibly important that we listen hard. This voice, our instincts, tells us what we need to know, whether we want to hear it or not. The sooner we learn to listen and trust this voice, the better off we are. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013


I've never been a potato chip fan, but every once in awhile I crave something crunchy and salty. We grew kale in our garden this year, and there has been so much of it that I've been making kale chips like crazy. I recently tried making sweet potato chips too.

I just toss both in a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. The sweet potato chips bake at 400 degrees until they're crispy. A mandolin slicer has been my best friend making these. I've experimented with different thicknesses and cooking times since buying it, and 1/16" for about 21 minutes is the winner in my book! I flip them with a fork halfway through.

The kale chips bake at 300 degrees for about 12 minutes. You really need to watch them closely though. There is a fine line for them between crispy and burnt. I've found you don't need to flip these and the fresher the kale, the better they come out!

My biggest problem? I can't make a batch of either without eating the whole pan of them as soon as they come out of the oven!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Monsters have been a big topic in our house lately. Audrey has developed a little fear of monsters in her room at nap time. It's funny because she never mentions them at bedtime, just nap. Anyway, we did a water bottle full of "monster spray" for a little while, but the effectiveness of that eventually wore off, so we tried a different approach.

We got this book to read at our local library.
This book tackles behavior (which we're also working on) but basically let's the child tell the monsters what to do. I felt like it gave her a little control over her fear, and she really liked the book!

Since she liked the book so much, we also did a monster project.
Anything with paint and glue is a hit with with Audrey! She's totally into monsters with either 1 or 3 eyes too!

And right around the same time, I had to figure out something to make and donate to sell at the craft table at my daughter's school's bazaar that is coming up. Lots of people make quilts or knit and everything ends up being for adults. Since the bazaar is close to Christmas, I thought it would be fun to make something for them to sell for kids.

So that's where my friendly monsters came from! I have all kinds of felt and thread and a hot glue gun, so it didn't cost me anything to make them. They just took some time because they are all hand sewn. Audrey even helped me with the sewing. This, of course, made them take longer, but it was fun to show her how to sew and let her have a hand in making something that will go to support her school.
As you can see, they all have smiles and look friendly in an attempt to help ease the fear of monsters and make them into something that can be fun! And with Halloween coming up, all the monsters in our house are pretty appropriate if you ask me!