23 August 2014

Savor. Release. When it is time to send your baby to college.

One last evening together before he leaves for school. Shopping. Dinner.
I wanted to remember every little thing.  
His laugh. The sparkle in his eyes. The crazy freaky sounds he makes. His smile. Everything. 
Not because he will be gone so long or because I won't see him often...but because I know he will change. I know he is stepping into his freedom. His adulthood. The next phase of his life.
Of course he will still need me...for this...for that. And he may even text me about avocados...

But the boy we are sending out will be forever changed. 
Becoming a man.
And although I'm excited for what lies ahead...
I want to imprint the NOW. Savor it for me.

This motherhood thing is strange, really. Think on it.
You spend years  planning for a family. Having babies. Changing diapers. Wiping tears. 
And if overnight...they aren't your "small people" anymore. And we are supposed to release. Let go. Untie. Send off. It's the natural progression. But you don't think about THAT when tiny infant fingers lace around yours. When small feverish heads lay on your chest. When hungry cries wake you from your weary sleep. When you are picking up mess after mess. You don't. Yet the moment arrives. Sneaks up on you. 
It is my now.

So in this moment I'm treasuring my baby. Savoring. Then slowly releasing my grasp....and letting go.

I love you Noah.
Remember Who you belong to.

And don't forget...I'm just a text away. And ones like this...well, the melt my heart...


14 August 2014

Homeschool. Public School. Parenting. Empty Nest. Silent Mornings. Peace.

I sit on the quiet porch. The stillness is wonderful. It is chilly this morning so I gather the fabric of my fleecy robe and pull it high up on my neck, then bury my face in the soft folds. Breathe in. Breathe out. The steam from my breath fogs my glasses. I smell the pumpkin spice lotion on my hands and it reminds me of fall…even though it's barely mid August.
Usually I loathe the cold. But not this morning. Maybe it's because I know it will be 75 degrees this afternoon. I think it's because the cold is invigorating, preparing me for the day ahead.
Day. Alone. No kids. Quiet.

13 August 2014

Why I love my FitBit Flex. An honest review.

Fitness is just part of who I am. I love it. I never dread it. I never feel like I have to. I hate to miss it. I know that makes me strange and somewhat odd…I'm okay with that! Although, I DO think I have become a bit more crazy nutty focused since I hit my 40's. A bit of fear. A bit of "oh no everything is changing". A bit of "I need to stay on top of this". I even recently became a BeachBody coach…but that's for another day :) I told you I was "focused"!

I have wanted craved desired hoped for one of these little trackers for some time. But admittedly, they are expensive. Pretty much a splurge item. When it came up on QVC as Today's Special Value with a flex pay option - yes I pay attention to QVC, don't judge - I snatched one up. Then I waited. Like 3 months waited. But since she has arrived (of course she's a she, duh!) we have been inseparable.

12 August 2014

Depression. Mental Health. The fear.

Depression. Mental Health. Today's buzzwords. Often misused. Frequently misunderstood. Ignored. Mocked. Brushed aside.

Yet today, because of the sad loss of Robin Williams, those words are plastered every where. Once again for a short time people will talk about depression. Get on the band wagon for mental health awareness. Advocate for it. And the outspoken will be heard.

But what about her? Or him? What about the ones without a public voice? What about the ones whose cries will never be heard? The ones whose inner turmoil is so great they often can barely breathe. The ones who don't have an advocate. Who don't know where to turn…how to get help. The ones that feel as if there is no one. The ones being swallowed up. What about them?

What about me?

I laughed to myself last week as I picked up my medication. My antidepressants. My protection drugs. Three dollars and fifty cents. $3.50. Life saving. Life changing. Three hundred and fifty pennies. Yet, it is infinitely more important than the quad grande americano I purchase after I leave the pharmacy. But really. $3.50. Is it really medicine? Is someone playing a trick on me. This tiny little fraction of a cent pill that controls the wild dark beast of depression that lurks inside. Seems "crazy".
Yet each day…at 9am…for the last two years my phone reminds me to "take my medicine". I dare not forget. I've been there…I don't want to go back. Ever. But what if?
If someone like Robin Williams…someone with every avenue of help available to him. With no worries of expense. With rehab and counseling at the ready. If someone like him can be swallowed by the beast of depression. Defenseless. Helpless. Incapable of fighting. If him…what about me…or him…or her?

So today I find myself stuck in my head. Thoughts spinning. Heart racing. I panic…human. Then I don't…faith. Maybe this is why I continue to tattoo myself with messages of hope…reassurance…guidance. Verses that point out my path, seeking God's direction. Maybe.

I know me. I won't publicly cry out for help or seek attention for myself when I'm sinking. I look up. I trust my faith. My relationship. My God.
But what about the others? What about Robin?

Living with mental illness is a dance. A lifelong dance. I will forever be peeking around corners of my mind. Because the beast lurks in dark corners. Ready to pounce. Seeking weakness. Exhaustion. Disappointment. Fear. It feeds on those emotions.

I am not given cause to write this because Robin Williams was my favorite actor. I loved him as many loved him. The very thought of him causes me to smile. It is the tragic fact that he was overcome by the darkness. He could no longer fight. The pit swallowed him up and he gave in to the sinking. He wasn't weak. The siren of depression is so strong. He wasn't incapable…but the weight of the world is just too much to bear on your own. I know this. And my heart hurts. For the ones he left behind.

Again. I'm terrified.

Earlier this month a dear friend lost her father in a similar inner turmoil. A man I remember for his smile…his wit…his compassion. A man who would speak about art and his whole being came alive. But when pain is too much. When life seems too hard. The voices….

I can generally feel the icy fingers of depression when they begin to emerge. First they grab your hand. They comfort you as you feel sorry for yourself. But somewhere the deception creeps in. The cold fingers tighten their grasp, they fog your vision, the cloud your thoughts. They no longer grab your hand, but clasp your throat, press against your chest, cover your eyes. 

Evil. A beast. Uncontrollable.

Depression is real. Mental illness is not our fault.

In light of the loss of a brilliant, funny, joyful human being I shudder with fear. Then I look at my tattoos…
Who do I belong to?
Who holds my hand in the darkest pit?
Who directs MY paths?
Grounded. Stable. Strong. Not. My. Own.
And for now…I wander in the kitchen and pull out my tiny-fraction-of-a-cent-pill. Lift. Drink. Swallow. My routine. I am okay. Protected. Today.

06 August 2014

Smokey Roasted Chicken Tacos with Spicy Goat Cheese Queso from How Sweet it Is

I'll admit it. I love food. Good food. Delicious full of mouth watering flavor food. And I love to be in the kitchen. Therefore I cook. None of this is rocket science right? I also use online recipe sites to research fun things to make…as well as the reviews…always read the reviews! But…I only subscribe to a few cooking blogs. Not everyone resonates with me. Except Jessica.

When I first read How Sweet It Is…I thought…this girl and I…we could totally be BFF's. Okay, I probably could just be her big sister…yes, her much older sister…but regardless there's a connection. For me. Not her. She doesn't know I exist. Anyway…digressing. I love the way Jessica writes. It's my style. Conversational. Fun. Quirky. But her recipes? Amazing. Her photography? Perfect. She even has a cookbook coming out in September called Seriously Delish - preorder it…I did!
And this meal? Well, just trust me and go get the ingredients and make it. Like tonight. I mean I didn't even have time to take a photo of my own. Meal devoured. Man happy. Small people happy. Mama happy. See how that works? Man child came home from work yesterday and inhaled three more tacos just for lunch! We will have food again when he leaves for college…right?
photo from

05 August 2014

In search of the perfect jeans a Big Star review for fashion tip Tuesday

I'll admit it, next to my slight boot problem, I have a denim issue. But we all do…don't we? Jean shopping rates right up there with bras and bathing suits. It can be torture. Terribly damaging to ones self esteem. A nightmare. 
And then there's that whole price point thing. I HATE spending too much money on jeans. I see all these expensive jeans, and I wonder…and ponder…are they really better? What about style? Skinny. Baggy. Boyfriend. So.many.decisions.
Well I am here to tell you I ventured out of my norm for denim. Norm being Gap, Old Navy, Levi's and Target. I jumped away from my typical skinnies. I found a bit of a splurge item..on sale of course…many months ago…and I'm never going back. Big Star Joey Slouchy Boyfriend Jeans.

04 August 2014

A weekend recap in photos

I haven't done a weekend recap in forever! And this weekend was almost blissfully perfect. How was yours?
Many of these photos were on Instagram…you can follow here in "real time"!
My guy is feeling a bit better - at least enough to get out and hit the farmers market for a bit. Isn't he the cutest? (dress is from Golden Tote…see last weeks post!)