Thursday, November 22, 2012

images of thanksgiving 2012.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” 
― Eckhart Tolle, 

we had a perfect day.

and not because it was actually perfect, but because we spent time together recognizing again all that we have to be thankful for.  it's just a matter of perspective, even through the hard things.  there is always something to be grateful for, even in those moments--especially in those moments...and that is what defines our character.

the good, the bad, the beautiful, the messy, the difficult, the miracles, the ordinary, the heartbreaking, the joy, the tears, the smiles, the laughter, and most importantly...the love.  i am thankful for it all, every day.

Friday, November 9, 2012

i love this babygirl.

even when she's up at midnight because she's getting some new bottom teeth & fighting off an ear infection & i'm exhausted & to keep her entertained i let her turn on the supersonic toothbrush {ben's to be exact} and we make little videos like this one:

i love her jabber, and her puffy undereye-up-too-late circles that she inherited from me.  and i love that she wanted to watch the video of herself no less than 20 times after we filmed it, and then out of nowhere laid her head down on my shoulder and finally went to sleep.

oh, and have i mentioned that she thinks she's totally grown up?  climbing all over everything {my first real climber, soooo fun!  oy.}

and feeds herself?  blows my mind.

june is more like me than in just the looks department....i've realized recently that she's a homebody and an introvert like i am.  she likes her space, with anyone except ben and i.  with us she is amazing, so sweet and cuddly.  but when we went on the family vacation to utah for ben's mom's wedding, she was acting nuts.

here i was, telling everyone, "oh yes, she's the sweetest little girl.  so calm and gentle..."

cut to her, whenever anyone would even come up next to her and look like they might touch her, she let out an ear-piercing shriek.  and as much as i love her, i couldn't hold her non-stop, but putting her down would result in the same ear-piercing shriek.  my eardrums grew weary very quickly.  she kind of was a monster that weekend, you know....that kid {dun dun dunnnnnn}.

as we were driving home, ben and i were talking about it:

maybe she's getting sick?
maybe she's hit her terrible 2's prematurely because she's such a prodigy?
maybe she was just saving up all of her demon-like qualities for when there were more witnesses?

but then, we walked through the doors of our home at almost 2 a.m. and the second her little feet hit the tile floor, she turned back into herself.  no kidding, she was laughing, and jabbering again, and happy and content.  she was no longer clingy or whiny or scream...y.

and the funny thing was, i felt exactly as she did.  i love being out, but i love being home more.

and i've noticed that with her, when we're out too long, or around too many kids or strangers, the clinging and shrieking begin again.  luckily, i'm exactly the same way, so i get it.  i don't know if this is how i was a baby, but it's how i am now, re-energizing when i am alone and quiet instead of surrounded by others.  i can take my space and then re-enter the fun, but i need some downtime.  and i can't imagine being a baby and feeling like this, having no control over the situation, you know?  so it's just about finding a way to make sure her needs are being met in this busy life of ours.

oh i love this little june, she's teaching me again more about me just like my other kids have.  and to think, when i became a mother, all i considered were the things i was going to be teaching them...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

swinging and bending, part 1.

{image found here}

i was walking up to the parking lot, when i spotted him.  i could immediately tell something was wrong from his posture; his head down, his shoulders slumped, his eyes staring at the cracks in the pavement.  

when i reached him i stopped, and wrapped an arm around him as i crouched to his eye level.

"everything okay, buddy?"  i asked softly so that others standing close wouldn't hear if he didn't want them to. i know my son, and he is easily embarrassed when something is wrong.

with my touch, his face crumpled.  

"we were playing ball and i accidentally hit him in the face!  i said i was sorry but he told me he didn't forgive me and that he was telling on me!"  tears streamed down his face as he choked out the words.

"well if it was an accident, and you said you were sorry, then that's all you can do.  it's okay if he needs some space for a while, and time to calm down. he'll come back, he knows you love him and he loves you.  you did the best you can do,"  i wrapped my arm tighter around his small frame as i spoke.

then i heard him whisper,

"but my best isn't good enough."

at that comment, i raised his face to mine and stared straight into his beautiful, 7-year-old hazel eyes.

"no caleb, that's not true.  your best is good enough, and if he chooses not to forgive you when you've sincerely asked for it, then the mistake is now his.  you can't control his reaction, or his forgiveness.  so if he wants to stay angry with you, the only way to feel peace in your heart in this situation is to walk away and let it go.  it is now his to carry."

i knew then that what i was telling him was heavy, and had a moment of wondering if i was speaking too far above his level of comprehension.  but he said, "okay," wiped his eyes and a couple of minutes later was smiling and laughing again, free from his previous burden.


i have been asked several times, what happened after the beginning of seeing my Truth.  the Truth that involved abuse, which in turn created a girl who didn't know who she was.  just how does someone change after that realization, and after three decades of being one way--how do i tear down most of who i used to be and rebuild who i wanted to become?

i was something different, to almost everyone i suspect.  i wanted to be, because i ached to be the person that everyone liked--that everyone trusted--that everyone felt close to--that everyone thought was, well...good enough.

codependency sprang easily from my personality, who was born a lover not a fighter.  i shriveled around contention, could not confront another to save my life, lived with constant guilt about all of the things i was not and had not done enough of, felt absolutely internally tortured if i ever found out i had offended anyone, and grew up believing i had been created for the purpose of being one who could always put another's needs above my own--even if those needs inflicted pain upon me.  many times i felt that those who were searching for another person to take advantage of only had to simply put their nose up in the air, inhale deeply, and sniff me out.  

growing up, i had a very clear idea of who i did not want to be. the road had been paved before me with characteristics that not only terrified me, but caused the internal pendulum of my personality to swing as far to the other side of those characteristics as i possibly could. but the swinging pendulum is such a dangerous game.  by being victorious in not becoming that person, it caused me to end up in relationships with those who possessed the very characteristics i feared.  they sniffed the air, and called, and i followed.

3 years ago i wrote about the time when ben came along, in the midst of the realization that my swinging pendulum was only continuing the cycle that had been set before me.  i was in a very lonely, self-loathing place, where i knew that something was wrong....and wrong enough to take a serious break from dating anyone, though i was at the peak of the dating period of my life.

so when he walked into my path, with his easygoing, fun personality and kind heart, i felt the concerns fade, though i was wary and careful.  here was someone who was more like me than anyone i had met.  we talked about how we shared similar weaknesses and strengths, and considered it a bond we had both been searching for.  i knew that he was safe for me in the way that he would not take advantage of the soft pieces of me.  i knew deep down that he was the place i could heal my previous wounds, and felt my pendulum swing more to where, years later, it would eventually find its middle; its balance.

but finding someone who is so similar to yourself can also be tricky.  if there are two explosive tempers, it can be deadly.  two addictive personalities and it can be destructive.  fortunately, neither ben nor myself had much of either one of those; in fact, we had the opposite.  we were so concerned with confrontation or contention, we each learned to stuff any of those "unattractive" feelings down, hoping they would never resurface.  our marriage was a peaceful one, right from the start.  we couldn't relate to friends who spoke of those "rough, first couple of years" as a married couple.  we got along so well, didn't argue, loved spending every waking minute together.  in a way, i think we were each other's respite from the choppy waves of our own rocky and tumultuous oceans of the past.

our individual pendulums had not yet found their balance. during those first two years, were we truly happy?  yes, we were.  but we were also two naive codependents, trying to brave a storm full of circumstances beyond our control, circumstances that would threaten to break apart our interlocking fingers with its whiplash.

looking back now, i can see the dark and heavy clouds gathering around us.

{think it's probably a bad idea for my randomly-blogging self to post a part 1?  based on my past history of struggling to finish these part-blogs, i do too.  but it's too long to write all in one night, so i'm going with it anyway.  fingers crossed i finish it before 5 years has passed!}

Sunday, November 4, 2012

"there are 3 things you must never discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin." {halloween 2012}

"A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality. "
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

my kids have been loving charlie brown & his friends for a couple of years now, so when we asked caleb if he wanted to dress up as the grumpy main character and he jumped on the idea, we went for it.   we're thinking this will probably be one of the last years we can do a family theme, without having to dress up like transformers or something caleb's into, or princess cupcake fairy my little ponies like leah will want us to, so we made the most of our last "themed" halloween.  

since i am not even a tiny bit of a seamstress, we bought leah & june's costumes, and caleb's shirt.  so much easier on me, especially since we were out of town until october 22nd and didn't have a lot of time to pull {or hot glue}  it together.  ben and i went to the goodwill for our parts of the costume, except for my wig.  last year i wore a wig and had fun with it, i think i'm going to search for a costume each year that i can wear a new one.  

we went to 4 different halloween parties, so at least i felt like the money we spent on the purchased costumes wasn't a complete waste.

here we are, in all of our glory:
woodstock {missing her head by this point}, sally, linus {minus his blankie he left in the car} snoopy and charlie brown

i'd say it was a hit, especially little woodstock.  june has shoes that squeak when she walks around, which was everybody's favorite part of our costumes.  she absolutely loved trick or treating, and even though she didn't get to eat any of the candy she earned {i kind of have a thing about my young kids eating sugar}, she didn't seem to mind.

and now, for more pictures:

ben and i decided that we'd dress up as a famous couple each year and let the kids do their own thing....we've already got plans in the works for halloween 2013!