his gentle wisdom…

January 4, 2014

jackie boy love

jack, age 11

His entrance to the world was not an easy one…it was my hardest birth, giving birth to a deep bond between us- only the other knowing just how deeply we loved and worked.

He walks through life much the same, a quiet persistence and wisdom. Both with a very matter-of-fact delivery but somehow with  ancient roots.

He asks me how I am with sincerity every single day and thanks me for every meal.

He watches too closely over his sisters and is frustrated by the lack of respect he receives from them for this careful eye.

He is forever loyal to his brother, like a twin who is bound beyond even blood.

His charm is unconnected, he is unknowing of the power it possesses.

He works towards his dreams methodically, catching them, holding tight.

His mind forever curious, his heart tender and kind.

Some days, to me as his mother, he doesn’t seem of this world- I have no idea where he came from…almost an enigma to me.

Without trying to understand why or how, I land in a place of deep gratitude that we are in a family together.

…that I am his mother.


Happy Birthday Jackie-boy! We love you so…


this week…

June 23, 2012

well, last week, but you know…

this week…

April 5, 2012

well, last week, but you know…

a tree fell (everyone was okay, except my best friend’s bedroom :(), a new ukulele, a baby born, a birthday full of 12 year old gaming and nerf battles, and lots more notes written (more are coming slowly but surely)…

a place all my own…

February 2, 2012

I shared a room (and usually a bed) with my sister for my entire childhood. The only time I ever had my very own room was for the one year when my little sister left for college and I still lived at home right before I got married. I was a child bride at 21 (well, almost 22) and have shared a room with my man and often 2-3 children at any given time for the last 14 years.

There was that stint where all 5 of us had what we affectionately called the “MTV Cribs bed”, it was two queen beds on platforms pushed together with pillows with each of our names on them. It was so cheesy, sweet and so weird. We ran somewhat of a toddler frat house where kids stayed up all hours; we all laid in bed and talked in the dark until we fell asleep every night. And then school happened and the party was over, we resigned to a routine and became responsible parents. Even through all this over the years, we usually all end up in the same room, no matter how much space we have.

This may explain why everyone was so disturbed 2 days after Christmas when I climbed up into the loft to clean.

“Mom! What are you doing up there?” someone small said from the bottom of the stairs.

“I’m cleaning this place out so I can have a studio!” I shouted down.

“What’s that?” she shouted back.

“A studio is a place of your own just for your art and work.” I replied.

“Mom, you don’t need a place of your own, you have us! …and your bed.” she said.

“Exactly! That’s exactly why I need a place of my own!” I said.

And the rest of the day, I cleaned and organized, dragged an old door out of the shed, found some old sheets and blankets. I asked Jorge to help me get the dusty door up to the loft.

“You’re gonna do what?” he said.

He laughed when my next request was for him to carry up an old tree stump two flights of stairs.

2 days later and 2 strands of twinkle lights, I had the prettiest little studio you ever did see. It doesn’t matter that you can barely stand up in the attic, it’s just perfect. And I spent a whopping $6 to make it all happen.

After all was said and done, I climbed up into my nest and the full out family revolt started. Every 10 minutes for the first 48 hours, some one came in to plead their case. Each with their own strategy.

“How’s it goin’ up there?”

“I miss seeing you mom, are you coming down?” (this was 20 minutes in)

“Mom, do you think we should have some girly time all together up there, because I can come up, no problem.”

“Mom, I made a picture to celebrate your studio! Want me to come up?”

“Are you gonna stay up there all day?”

“MOOOOOMMM! I neeeeed a drink!”

“Don’t you wanna watch a movie with me?” (the largest member of our family, who shall go unnamed)

And I held strong, and I kinda missed them (like the tiniest bit), and I realized how productive I am, and remembered I am a clean person, and I sat in awe of the silence when everyone finally settled in…and two weeks later I was working in bed again, but just a little, because it’s just nice to know you can have a place all your own, family revolt and all.

Please tell me in the comments if you have a studio (give us link to a picture) or if you don’t, what dreamy space are you planning in your head? It can even be a Pinterest dream studio- it all counts. I’d love to hear all about it.

this week…

December 26, 2011

well, last week, but you know…

this week…

November 30, 2011

well, last week, but you know…

I am so looking forward to RVA Remembers tomorrow…hope to see you there.

creating kind spaces…

October 2, 2011

Fall found her way to us this weekend so I pulled a folding table out onto the front porch, well, that and the laundry has been folded so nicely on the dining room table (thank you Jorge) for over 2 weeks now. Who knows when the clothes will find their way to the drawers?

So our family is about to take on a new adventure. It’s the kind that will require a bit of sacrifice from each one of us. I have to be honest and say I’ve been dwelling on the sacrifice part all weekend long, with a touch of worry thrown in. I find when I get stuck and need to be in a new head and heart space, the best place to start is my home. Maybe it’s because hope is cultivated in the places we find rest in, our haven.

A dear friend brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the farmer’s market, I carved pumpkin and gourd votive candle holders, we made homemade pizza with pepperoni stars and I wrote messages left on each plate.

The kids took turns reading their messages, the energy shifting little by little, someone made a toast and then Lucy decided we should all make a wish on our pizza stars. Most members wished for more pizza and voila!- more appeared. We talked about all the things that would suck about the changes ahead and all the parts that would be great.

My message said- Our LOVE is BIG and can hold and fuel our dreams!

Boy, is it true. I wonder why I don’t do this more. Invite our worry and uncertainty to a giant beautiful table of humanity and love, with space to voice our concerns but meet them with intentional hope and goodness. I think this may be the way to do hard and great things, along with some pepperoni wishing, of course.

What helps you when you are worried or facing something big? I usually start with a freak out and end some where in something beautiful, eventually.

this week…

August 5, 2011

lazy, lazy summer days…

when you finally lose track of the days, you know it’s summer because…

you lean in a little closer…

you start making pies with things you actually grew, food never tasted so good…

you can’t believe you finally beat that level…

you wonder why you didn’t cut the wild flowers sooner, they are pure delight…

you remember you bought those paints forever ago, and do watercolors with neighborhood kids…

you decide every meal should be breakfast.

how do you know it’s summer over there?

this kindness life…

February 5, 2011

Things are shifting and evolving for me…I’m thinking so much more about kindness as a way of life. Missions, projects, random acts invite us to try on kindness in the most beautiful ways, they help to shift our perspective, sometimes even ignite deeper thought about how we want to live our lives.

Even still, the last few years kindness has pulled me further down the rabbit hole, sometimes showing me her silly side, her strength, her dark, her play, her reflection, her grace, her truth…all of it has revealed my own stumbling heart, my brokenness, my determination, my passion, my resilience, my power,  my despair, my hope, my truth…this kindness life.

SO once a week, I want to share with you what unfolded…and invite you to join me.

in this kindness life:

::mud pies and sand cakes returned

::her first tooth came out, then another

::this required 1/2 hour shrink session/crying/letting go of the beloved teeth (her, not me)

::discovery of tooth fairy joy

::outside bliss moments of warmer air which made kids a crazy kind of happy

::came up with one AWESOME commune neighborhood kindness idea

:: which said idea carried me through lots of work struggles and teary moments

::thoughts about corporate kindness

::thinking about managing people vs. building relationships

::trying to figure out a way to turn problems on their side

:: sweet bread deliciousness

::a full pantry once again

::a reminder that kindness is magic

::finding connection and mending hearts through pure girlieness

::the excitement of being “styled”

::feeling pretty again after a long time

::being pulled completely out of my comfort zone at Zumba

::having enormous fun being terrible at Zumba, laughing so very hard

::trying hard to believe/remember that grace and kindness can find me, no matter what

Do tell me, what happened this week in your kindness life? The comment section is waiting, just for you. (or leave us a link to your blog post)