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Saturday, October 3, 2015

aging gracefully

Is it possible? I wonder when I am 60 if it will be easy to look 60. I am in my thirties and expecting my 5th. It shows.

Varicose Veins on back of Woman's Legs

I always thought I would be ok with aging. It doesn't make rational sense not to be, after all. But even with some of the negative consequences, the choices I've made have had many positive consequences that more firmly set me on the path I have chosen. My legs are still strong, but one is now tie-dyed purple. Some moms see me coming with my four kids and after polite conversation and ready to escape my chaotic existence. I can't keep up with fashion because I have to keep up with the bills. But none of this makes me sad.

In fact, I am very very happy. Maybe happy is not the word. Maybe content is the word. I am growing more into who I am, with my feet more firmly placed on the ground. I am making real, true friendships with women I admire and who see something in me as well. My kids make me look at how I can be a better person each day. And they make me laugh watching them enjoy each other in what a doctor admiringly called "the truly creative process."

So my house is a long way from where I'd like it to be, the messy chaos showing children at work/play; you'll often find us running/driving through the neighborhood looking for my dog that gleefully escapes through an slightly opened door; I'll never finish putting the laundry away. But I am living the life I have always dreamed. It looks different on the outside than I thought it would, but its what's on the inside that really matters.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

celebrating life as it is

Lovely kids room, particularly the map:
( via pinterest)

There are so many beautiful images out there aren't there? Between blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram ( which I am too lazy to try to get into), we are bombarded by inspiration from other people's life. Or is it really?

I read one of my daily blogs this am and she admitted she wished her life looked like the images she posted for the day. What's funny is that her life DOES look like those images, at least to those of us not living it.

So that, my friends, is the "danger" of beautiful images. We are indeed inspired by beauty, so that is the good side. But the down side is that we can also turn on our present lives because it doesn't always look like a fabulous image snapped in 10 seconds. And that is where we are no longer inspired by beauty but are jealous of it.

Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

on beauty



( - love her!

Beauty is an attitude. And not the kind of attitude that says, "I'm awesome, I'm beautiful, look at
Me, don't you wish you were me?" The kind of attitude that culturally speaking, most American women are conditioned to think of as beauty. 

In contrast, when I say beauty is an attitude, the attitude is one of loving yourself as you are. And stepping out with confidence that comes from this. Knowing you have great traits, not just seeing the flaws, and getting ready, liking what you see, and forgetting about it.  I see this kind of beauty daily and it is so much more striking and attractive than perfect stylists. These women are not the ones with "perfect" faces and bodies. But they are beautiful, nonetheless, because they accept themselves. The Spanish are particularly good at this. I wish I could put a finger on what it is about their culture that makes this so wide spread. This kind of attitude is intangible, but oh so real and palpable.

So, figure out what holds you back from having an attitude of knowing you are beautiful, strike it down, and get down with your bad self.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

summer musings

How much free time is too much free time? I know there is a push back against over-scheduling in the states. I try to be open-minded about ideas with parenting as long as they don't outright offend my beliefs and values. And this is one of those gray areas. Now that summer is upon me with the kids at home ( camp is $$$ for 3 camp-aged kids) for the most part, I have to reevaluate my game plan.

I've had summers past where besides fixed activities, I've let the kids have hours of free time. Living in an apartment and without the free use of space that would greatly complement this philosophy, these times always ended up in a chaotic environment and fighting. It was hard to shift gears, clean up, and go anywhere! That was frustrating, to say the least.

Limiting technological play ( doesn't that always make your kids cranky, anyway?!) already lends itself to more
creative endeavors. And while I can't say I will have a strict schedule because I can't function that way with a baby who is on the verge of walking, I will embrace some sort of discipline this summer. Here's why:

I read somewhere way back that order is the first virtue. And that it safeguards against impurity. I don't have a fear of impurity at the moment for my kids. Although some of you may have. It's a very real struggle now days with easy access. All the more reason to think on these things! But I can see where having responsibilities in life and having to care for your things- your room, your clothes, your siblings, makes life simple and clear. There isn't a black hole of time that is all for ME, MINE OWN, and therefore, what will please me and give me the most pleasure? As in anything, both virtue and vice grow according to how much it is fed! And pleasures become boring and we find ourselves pursuing more and more until we put our toes in dangerous water. Maybe we don't even know it's dangerous water at that point. The whole slippery slope thing. ( see Screwtape Letters by c s Lewis for more on this) It happens to adults all the time, why not to kids? And besides, childhood should
have some foreshadowing of adulthood so that its not completely separate, and shunned and rejected when it comes, ahem, current culture.

It sounds like a tirade, I know. But it's really not. It's spending time in silence, contemplating reality as the philosopher Joseph Pieper puts it, so as to be prudent, or right judging.

And part of prudence is realizing where I need help. And I do need help! Excuse me while I go and call my babysitter to see if she can help me in the morning! ;)

Monday, May 18, 2015


No, not that Hook. LOL! But that is still a favorite. 

But, my family and I are moving to a new house in the same town. And despite the pain of separating from fabulous neighbors that don't require a drive to hang out with, I have to say I am rather tickled

Last move, I was pregnant, and it was the middle of the school year. I was leaving Miami, which I love desperately, and going to an unknown city... again. It was a wise choice and the right move for our family, but a tough one at a tough time, nonetheless.

This time, I am surprised at how happy I am to purge and pair down; to only keep clothes I will absolutely wear, furniture that fits our lifestyle and is ascetically pleasing and promotes balance in each space (I'd rather have empty space than a room crowded with things I don't like to look at!), and to buy HOOKS! I couldn't keep it serious for long. But I am serious! HA! 

Closets and especially hooks are what make a house with kids WORK HAPPIER. I see this move as a chance to think smarter and very practically about each space and how it functions. Drop zones for after school are key. So are hooks for the pool we are going to have in our linai ( YAYs!). And same goes for hooks in the kids rooms. 

I like this very simple and creative use of hooks for an entire wall. Those button hooks are playful and non-committal. You can keep adding and adding, and nothing has to match. Genius! THIS may be my laundry/mudroom soon...

How I organized my ENTIRE Life - a total must read!

Check out that bright red on those cool animals! Some people are so darn creative.

Neon Nursery Wall Hooks - 15 Unusual and Creative Repurposed Wall Hooks

And these colors are not my fav, but I actually think I could do something like this for my girls who will soon share a room and closet. Inspiration enough!


I used to love the show Friends as a teenager. I loved the witty interactions and the way Chandler Bing and Ross Gellar phrased their comments. We won't mention that it wasn't a wholesome show!!

But I have to say that our culture has become obsessed with witticisms since that time. Everything has become cocktail chatter, and I find it so limiting and in the way of real, honest conversations and even friendships. 

Why should we package our statements into tidy 2 second sound-bytes?

Next time you have a conversation, test it out. See if you are comfortable not knowing where it is going or what the next topic will be. You just might find it is too uncomfortable, too vulnerable. Or, you may just find someone else who is interested in more than a sound-byte, too!

Good luck!!