Wednesday, February 26, 2014

So....THIS is 40!

Hello little blog!  How have you been?  It's been SO long since I've paid you a visit - how neglectful I've been.  
If there was ever a reason to post - I'd say turning 40 is a good one.  I've been thinking about how strange it feels to really own the age of 40.  It's that age I remember my parents being and thinking - "Yeah, they're old."  But more than that, it's the age I always assumed I'd have my shit together.  You know, officially be an adult with all that "adultness" entails.  For me, I think it used to mean knowing all the answers, being stable and serious.  And so here I am, and while I can say with certainty - I know some things more than I did 20 years ago, I certainly am nowhere close to having ALL the answers.  In fact in many ways the more I know, the more I realize I don't know.  As far as stable and serious?  Well those ideas are entirely overrated in my opinion.  One of my favorite things about being me at this age is the freedom I feel to be a complete silly goofball if the mood strikes.  
And so here I am where I'm supposed to be.  40.  This is it - here I am.  Here is a good place to be.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Gift of Parenthood

Children are a gift.
 By Henri Nouwen
Being a parent is like being a good host to a stranger. While we may think that our children are like us, we are continually surprised at how different they are. We can be gladdened by their intelligence, their artistic gifts, or their athletic prowess, or saddened by their slowness in learning, their lack of coordination, or their “odd” interests. In many way we don’t know our children.
We didn’t create our own children, nor do we own them. This is good news. We don’t need to blame ourselves for their problems, nor should we claim ourselves their successes.
Children are a gift from God. They are given to us so that we can offer them a safe, loving place to grow to inner and outer freedom. They are like strangers who ask for hospitality, become good friends, and then leave again to continue their journey. They bring immense joy and immense sorrow precisely because they are gifts. And a good gift, as a proverb says, is “twice given.”
The gift we receive, we have to give again. When our children leave us to study, to look for work, to marry, to join a community, or simply to become independent, sorrow and joy touch each other. Because it is then that we feel deeply that “our” child isn’t really “ours” but given to us to become a true gift to others.
It is so hard to give our children their freedom- especially in this violent and exploitative world. We so much want to protect them from all possible dangers. But we cannot. They do not belong to us. They belong to God, and one of the greatest acts of trust in God is letting our children make their own choices and find their own way.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Drive

Yesterday I had the rare pleasure of enjoying a Sunday afternoon drive with my people.  It was one of those spring days where the clouds are white and fluffy, the sun is shining, and the green grass is almost fluorescent bright.  One of those moments where everything felt light, kids weren't fighting, mama wasn't grouchy, and dad wasn't tired.  It was simple, fun and fleeting.  We went to The Bread Board in Falls City (of all places!!) and let me just say I will be dreaming about this pizza until I get a chance to return.  Yes, it was that good.  

To cap things off we had a lip sync to Taylor Swift on the way back home.  Why you might wonder?  Because it's fun and we can.  And yes, we are awesome.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mental Health Monday

Last Monday Mr. Veen and I escaped.  Well, that sounds a bit more dramatic than it actually was, but truly it felt like a jail break of sorts.  You see, it's been a rough winter.  I've been so busy and stressed with school and life.  So when Mr. Veen suggested we sneak away for a Monday lunch at the beach I fell in love with him all over again!  It's amazing how just a few hours with the roar of the ocean and the call of the seagulls helps me breathe.  What an amazing place we get to call home....

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hello 39!

What I know at 39.....

 1.  Age - it really does creep up on you.
 2.  A number is just a number.
 3.  Wine, chocolate, and a bubble bath can soothe the most horrible of days.
 4.  Painted toenails and lips help me feel like a lady.
 5.  Never apologize for being feminine.
 6.  Classy trumps trampy any day of the week -- leave something to the imagination.
 7.  There is something sacred about early morning hours and a quiet house.
 8.  Having a furry friend with a big wet nose and wagging tail greet you at the door is a
      surefire way to decrease anxiety.
 9.  Breathe
10.  Laugh as much as possible - every chance you get.
11.  Good jeans are essential.
12.  Movie stars are paid to look that way and they get more help than we will ever  know.
13.  "Perfect girls aren't real, real girls aren't perfect."
14.  Be real.
15.  "Do what you feel in your heart to be right -for you'll be criticized anyway."
        -Eleanor Roosevelt
16.  Good music, poetry, and art are like a balm to the world weary soul.
17.  Life experience and memory making last longer than buying the latest "toys".
18.  Sometimes it's worth it to spend a lot of money on a really good bottle of wine.
19.  Sally at Nordstrom is a mean bra fitting machine.
20.  Being a mother is heart wrenching.  It hurts your heart in good ways and hard ways.
21.  Date nights are essential.
22.  Small talk is the bane of my existence.
23.  True friends are life giving and oh so precious.
24.  To be truly known and seen for who you are and loved unconditionally is the definition of
25.  Mad Men, Downton Abby, The New Girl = my favorite shows.
26.  Green = my favorite color.
27.  Food Pairings that make me happy = Chips and Salsa.  Chocolate and Red Wine.
       Coffe and Scone.
28.  The laughter of my kids is a perfect sound.
29.  The ocean clears my head so I can listen to my soul.
30.  Grit, curiosity, and persistence = three things I aspire to have more of this year.
31.  Fresh flowers and yummy smelling candles can change the mood of a space.
32.  It's o.k. to say no.
33.  The people worth having in your life will honor and respect your boundaries.
34.  It's o.k. to say yes.
35.  "People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of"
       - Paulo Coalho
36.  Dancing is the funnest workout ever.
37.  Exercise is over rated.
38.  I am enough.
39.  I truly do believe the best is yet to come.

For the past few years I've been taking photos of myself or "selfies" on my birthday.  I want to remember my life as it is as each year goes by.  For me this is just another aspect of getting to know myself and understand how I experience the world.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Label Jars Not People

Introvert.  I've been labeled an introvert for as long as I can remember.  This label has not been one I've felt proud of.  For me the word introvert has conjured up a dull, anti-social wallflower who has no social skills.
Since beginning the journey of making peace with myself and honoring the truth of who I am,  I've dug into this word introvert and tried to figure out what it really means and how it applies to me.  I've discovered a huge spectrum within the realm of introverts and extroverts.  For example - some friends I know would be thought of as extroverted because they're pretty social and chatty when out with people.  These same folks also NEED space and quiet time to function at their best.  In other words, they are energized by time alone.  Others may seem more reserved socially, yet they don't need time alone to recharge and instead are energized by being with others.
All this to say I've been struggling with the concept of labeling people as introverted or extroverted.  I'm not sure if it's still because I feel being introverted is less valued or what.  I really do believe the culture at large is set up for extroverts and I feel often that as an introvert I have to work so much harder to keep up.  Also, I've found introverts are LABELED more than extroverts.  Or maybe it just seems that way to me.
So to contradict my dislike of being labeled, here are some quotes that resonate with my experience in the world.  Call it introvert if you must, it's just life for me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back at it!

After three weeks of lovely winter break we are back at it today.  When my alarm went off at 6:10 this morning I was shocked and disturbed and proceeded to flail my arms around in a torrent of disbelief, knocking the alarm off it's shelf and kicking off my day.  I find it cruel and unusual punnishment to subject humans to this hour of productivity at dark o thirty in the dead of winter.  It's just plain wrong.  In fact it may be some of the reason we are so messed up as a culture.  Let us sleep!  Let us listen and obey the natural rhythms of our bodies and the seasons.  And just for the record I AM a morning person, but even I have my limits.