Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Be Thou My Vision?

"To Come to be you must have vision of Being, a Dream, a Purpose, a Principle. You will become what your vision is." Peter Zarlenga As I have written repeatedly, I have a vague notion that my yoga instructor is more like my very own personal unpaid therapist. Her words are just a balm for my soul. And I am learning so much about myself. Also, my super fabulous yoga instructor has become a friend because I picked her up Omaha style. Oh yeah...I just went right up to her and hooked myself up. Julz and Leslie are such an inspiration that way, and they have such fabulously awesome friends, so I figured I would try it out too. I digress. Anyway, super fabulous Yoga instructor Jean has put me into a creative recovery program. Oh yeah, you read that right. I just happened to mention my skills as a writer and how they have pretty much gone down the toilet since marriage and children took over my life and she recommended this whole book/program that I have been following faithfully. This week puts me into a "reading deprivation" and it is killing me! I bang through a book a week! I am not reading things on facebook, emails (well, if they're relative to the kids and other's needs I have to), but I am putting down the newspaper, and NO BOOKS. OUCH! So, instead of reading right now, I'm taking a huge risk and telling you all about my recovery. And writing. Writing. Writing. Back to Jean. Friday Night Ladie's Night Out Yoga may very well be one of my very favorite things to do ever. I mean, ever. And I love to do a lot of things. One of the things from the book and the recovery program I am in says to create a vision board that can be a visual autobiography of your past, present, and futrure, depicting your hearts desires. You just rip pictures and sayings out of magazines that happen to grab your attention, and the idea is, is that eventually, if you keep at it, your heart's desires (if they aren't fully selfish) become your reality. So, following, here are some of my visions and hearts desires. Yea, I LOVE this photo. Mostly because it's how I feel pretty much most or all of the time. This is the whole vision board as it stands now. It made my soul happy to continue working on it Saturday afternoon. Maddie made one too, but her visions and hearts desires included cupcakes and baby kittens and giraffes. It was very cute.
Here is a saying, ripped from a running magazine of all things.

Metaphorically, this is a powerful picture for me. I didn't start running until a few years ago, and now I can't go a week without at least one day of running for an hour or so. The other days I use for 'training' runs, but my long runs clear my head, and it is then when I am most at peace because there is such a sense of clarity and purpose. I'm not fast. I'm not even a good runner. But my heart and my head thank me during and after the run.

This is a photo of kids in Ireland. Rolling down a hill. They looked so free. I loved that.

Here is a cabana in some beautiful tropical place. Apparently most of my hearts desires involve traveling to exotic places.

I just adore the word "Moxie". It makes me think of my daughter. Note the swimmers and the bikers in the background.

I have begun to notice a pattern with my visions. They involve a lot of water (spend time analyzing that you Freudians! Is it the fluidity of change I crave? The beauty of the ocean? The never seeing even one single inch of the ocean the same ever?) My hearts desires also depicted a lot of couple time too. Sans kids. Hmmmm.

It was a great activity. I highly recommend you do it. Don't think it over. Don't plan it out. Just grab a stack of magazines and start ripping and gluing and taping them to a poster board. You will learn a bit about what your heart desires. I promise that.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Down with the Sickness

Things couldn't be better here. John decided to NOT see a doctor for three weeks with some bronchial cough nonsense going on, and so, finally he goes and he has some antibiotics that are so powerful that both the doc AND the pharmacist warned him to get hisself some yogurt.

Jack has strep.

Nate has bronchitis and needs to be nebulized.

Maddie has an ear infection.

I get to take care of everyone and scrub down the house.

Just for review: That's 4 sick people.
5 different medications.
4 doctors appointments in one week (I got Jack and Maddie in at the same time today)
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fasting and Feasting

I was reminded on Sunday that we are now in the Lenten Season. I learned Sunday that Lent really is some old word which really means, "spring". How nice. Be Gone Snow...Tis Lenten!
Some people and religions 'give something up' for lent. Formally, that notion is very odd to me. I'm not very indulgent to begin with, for one thing. I don't drink soda, I'm pretty restrictive on my alcohol consumption (one weekend night, unless it's a special occasion) and I don't regularly imbibe in sweets. Not to mention, my particular branch of faith doesn't really ask me to give up cookies and chocolate. It almost is like Lent is your last big push to renew your New Year's Resolution. "This year I will lose ten pounds when I give up BEER for Lent!" Can't help but think we are missing the point a bit.
I really do understand the need for sacrifice, especially as a metaphoric initiative. And so, there are several things I would like to fast on that I will share with you. I didn't write this, I don't know who did, but I liked it so much I thought I'd share.
"Whether fasting as individuals or with others, it is important that we not do it for "show". So during this Lenten season, move beyond chocolate to declare our own fast:
Fast from judgment, Feast on compassion
Fast from worry, Feast on divine order
Fast from criticism, Feast on appreciation
Fast from sin, Feast on holiness of heart
Fast from gossip, Feast on praise
Fast from anxiety, Feast on patience
Fast from hatred, Feast on love
Fast from evil, Feast on kindness
Fast from apathy, Feast on engagement
Fast from pessimism, Feast on optimism.
Fast from greed, Feast on sharing
Fast from scarcity, Feast on abundance
Fast from fear, Feast on peace
Fast from lies, Feast on truth
Fast from discontent, Feast on gratitude
Fast from noise, Feast on silence
Fast from discouragement, Feast on hope
Fast from thoughts of illness, Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from hostility, Feast on non-resistance.
Fast from bitterness, Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from unrelenting pressures, Feast on unceasing prayer."
What can you live without? What do you need? What are you fasting and feasting on right now? The power of intentional living is so inviting, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Life Really Is Delicious

Saturday, I had the pleasure of being invited along with some of my lady friends from church to an event sponsored by the Rockford Women's Club. The event was titled, "Life is Delicious", and featured keynote speaker Sarah Copeland.
Sarah just happens to be the sister of one of my close friends from my church group. She has done amazing things with her life. And I mean "AhMayZing". I was so in awe of the command she could take of the room and she reeled me in like a fish on a hook with the story of her life, and her relationship with food.
What I found so profound was not all the opportunities she has had in her life, but really, rather, the risks she took to grab a hold of those opportunities and go all out to achieve her dream. She realized pretty much every dream she had, because she had the faith to take the leap, believe in herself, and just do it. As she so poignantly pointed out, she would question, "Who am I to do this?" With the rhetorically answered, "Who am I NOT to?"
Of course, I had a few questions for the q&a part of the address, but I held back. Apparently, while rapt with attention at what she was saying, I didn't quite absorb it fully. I mean, Who was I to have all these questions for her? And then later, as I wrote them all down in my notebook, Who am I NOT to ask these questions? Someday, I'd love a sit down, honest to goodness, heart to heart, 'interview" of sorts. Someday. Right now she's writing her very first cookbook, out in 2012 and as such, I'm pretty sure she's pretty busy.
But, as of late I've become a believer in serendipity. She was brought to my attention at this point in my life for a reason. I am not yet sure why. Maybe simply to inspire me to do things that I have been dreaming of doing. Maybe to soothe my soul with the balm of her encouragement. Who knows. I do know that her words have had a lasting impression on my ability to move forward on a few projects I've been cooking on the back burner at a very low simmer for years. Maybe now it's time.
Check out her blog. Be inspired.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Five Fun Friday Facts

...about things that have been happening around here. Really, just some funny stories.

1.) Jack informed us at dinner the other night that poison dart frogs spit their babies out their mouths. He knows this is the absolute truth because he read it somewhere. He also saw in a movie called "Milo and Otis" that cats poop their babies out their butts. Either we are very urbanized here, or Disney needs to do a better job depicting the human life cycle.
2.) Nate made a racist comment/gesture last night after dinner. I was befuddled. I was horrified. Where did he hear this? School. Of course. Now, before you all get all "you should homeschool" on me, I used this as an opportunity to teach him right vs. wrong. Those are hurtful things to say, and we just don't say them. Or think them. EVER. I had to be careful not to be punitive because he didn't know he was doing anything wrong, but this was a toughie. And I told him that just because so and so at school did it didn't make it okay, and he should really tell the teacher. Repeating the behaviour is NOT an option.
3.) I made a new recipe straight from this month's Clean Eating magazine and got ingredients for 2 more culinary experiments. So far my kids think they are being poisoned by healthy food, but I can only handle the same old same old so many times. My goal is to try and introduce one new meal a week. This week I am making up for lost time. If you follow this link you will see a photo of the mag cover and that is essentially what I made for dinner. Only I did it dairy free, which may slightly alter the flavor, but it wasn't too bad. John liked it, and he is really my biggest critic. He will be honest. I don't trust those kids in the least, mostly because if it isn't peanut butter and jelly, or if the food doesn't end in -ocolate they protest.
4.) This morning I caught Nathan hiding under his comforter playing his DS. I draw the line at 6 a.m. when I can hear the stupid Mario Karting in my room and it wakes me up. This kid has a very serious addiction to screen time and I absolutely LOVE having to go all Commie Mommy on him and cut him off. I have rules. I have parameters. Apparently I speak in a language my children do not understand because my rules were made to be broken...or so they think. They ds has been confiscated for the duration of the weekend. I'm pretty sure the kid is borderline having tremors right now....
5.) I got my official USAT member sticker. I think it would look pretty hot on my mom minivan. My dad thought he was funny and told me to stick it next to my 'soccer mom' sticker. I don't have a soccer mom sticker, but he thinks it's funny that I drive a minivan and take my kids to soccer. I suppose I would cry if I wasn't laughing.....

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

And an AMEN! to That!

Some say Amen ends prayers. I say AMEN! as an final salute to the end of the basketball season. We have been going strong EVERY weekend since December, sometimes both Saturdays and Sundays were locked up, because of course one boy would play at 9 in the morning and the other would play at something like 3, or 4. Good times. The upsides are that their dad was their super awesomest coach and that all their friends were in bball too, so it was a fun social gathering for me.

Saturday was their final all star jam games. So well run, so cute, really, a good time. Every kid got a trophy, and why do it if not for the trophy? It's sort of like me doing my races, it's all about the accessories and the goody bag.

So here we are getting ready to go. Can we ever NOT be touching, punching, hitting, choking, or poking each other? I think not. Nate receives his trophy.

Look. There is NO ONE around him. Check out that dribbling action. He's a natural.

At half time, the kids could pay a dollar and try for a half court free throw. Well, the really little ones weren't really at half court. Nate missed. Jack made the shot and won $10, which he promptly spent on crap at the candy concession stand. The kid is like my father. If he has money in his pocket it burns a hole in it until spent. I didn't care. Wasn't my money, and he won it, so no big deal.

Hands up guarding. Nate wasn't letting anyone past him. Really.

"Anything you can do I can do better...." This is Mads at the free throw line, which was about 2 inches in front of the 6ft basket. She didn't make it, but she tried, and she looked super cute doing it too. She's tough nuggets this one. Throwing free throws in a pink cupcake outfit which matches the American Girl Doll she got from Tante Jen for Christmas.....sweetness.
He was very serious about this free throw deal.

On to Super Cosmo. He got a basket, which was pretty awesome. John thinks though that Jack is so gangly and wiry that he resembles a 'baby giraffe being born' when he participates in athletics which require him to run. I can only hope he grows into himself. He enjoys sports but he isn't so natural. Plus he's a lefty, which makes things just a little more difficult.

Poor Maddie...can't hardly wait until next year when she finally gets to play in all these sports she's been sidelined for up until her 5th birthday!