Monday, November 28, 2011

The Faces of Me

I see bits and pieces of myself in each of my children on a daily basis. Some good, some not.

Thoughtful; half-smiling with a slightly furrowed brow. His kindness shows through; his feelings he wears on his sleeve; no hiding; pure honesty; the joy, the sadness, the tears brought by anger. This is often times me; worrying about what is yet to be; thinking of tomorrows and the day after that; the unknowns no one controls.

Happy, smiling, eyes lit up with joy; her insides are sometimes in turmoil; her smile a cover; much the same as I was as a six year old. Seeking comfort in home; I hope I am her soft place to land after her hard days of hiding her true self; not yet finding her confidence within; not yet comfortable in her own skin. How is it that this is the trait I passed on to her?

When the world closes in; when the chaos becomes too much; when all I can do is throw up my hands and throw in the towel...I feel like my five year old, frustrations bubbling over; shrieking out, yelling "NO!"; wanting time to slow down and thoughts to stop swirling; wishing I had my blanket, my thumb, and a soft spot to crash.

How fearless she is; living life in the pure joy of the moment. Her flyaway curls; her pure reckless abandon running straight at you with giant bear hugs; wild, carefree, becoming ever-so independent; eyes always light up when they come to rest upon you. This is how I wish to be; living life to the fullest; so happy in the small things; so easy with her smiles, her laughs.

These tiny, little people, who won't be little for long, inspire me to be better every day. They inspire me to love more; love harder; love stronger; love with reckless abandon and pure joy; love the moment; live in the moment; and leave the worry behind.

Write on Edge: RemembeRED   
Some say a photograph steals the soul. This week, show us yours: take us into the moment that photograph was taken. Show us who you were then and what the photograph means.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Favorite Photos

There is beauty in everything...sometimes you just need to look for it.

Looking at things through the lens of a camera has taught me that.

I used to simply snap a picture and call it fine.

Now, with the help of an online photography class, and a truly amazing photographer, I have learned to search for beauty in the simple things...such as a weeping willow.

And an autumn landscape...

Or even a hay field in the middle of nowhere...

I have learned that beauty can't always be seen with the naked eye.

Sometimes, the beauty is in the moment.

Captured forever in a memory...

Held forever in my heart.

Never would I have thought there was beauty in this...

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

1. Waiting-the kids were waiting so patiently for those two ducks to come over to them.

2. Foliage-My favorite weeping willow

3. Candid

4. Knife, Fork, or Spoon

5. Rule of Thirds

I have come to love Scavenger Hunt Sundays. There truly is beauty in everything...sometimes you just have to "hunt" for it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

So much to be thankful for...

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

For other news around the blogosphere:


What is the 2011 Review Extravaganza? It is your chance to write up some posts and recap what happened throughout the year. You can put your favorite pictures, tell your favorite stories, link back to your favorite posts, really however you want to do it. And just in case you had some slow months, we will be reviewing three months at a time.

This will begin Friday, December 9th.
Friday the 9th, you will link up your recap about January, February, and March.
Friday the 16th-link up your recap of April, May, and June.
Friday the 23rd-link up your recap of July, August, and September.
Friday the 30th-link up your recap of October, November, and December.

I have to tell you the best part-- there are prizes involved-- 8 prizes in fact! 

A personal prize will be picked by each of our hosts for the winner.

And how do you win? Every week that you link up with your review you get a point- and the more points you have, the more times your name is thrown into the hat.

If you want to see an example, you can visit Emmy's blog, and see the review she did here. Emmy is the mastermind behind this, and I hope you join us! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Quiet Place

How different things can be in only a week.

The trail covered with leaves only seven short days ago, now covered with freshly fallen snow; snow that sparkled from the sun on a bitterly cold, 14 degree day.

The browns of the trees, gently covered in white against a backdrop of the purest blue sky only seen in storybooks; and I was running straight down the middle of it.

My favorite running trail, completely deserted except for me, the only sounds to be heard were the crunch of my shoes on the glittering snow, and the inhales and exhales of my warm, deep breaths.

There's something so pure and cleansing and new about the change of the seasons; a change I'm trying to embrace instead of challenge.

There is something so freeing in taking the path less traveled; a path with hills and valleys; a path that winds for miles and miles; seeing that only a handful of others had run this path before me gave me incentive to keep going; to see where their footprints ended and only mine were left to be seen.

How could I not see the beauty of the first snow in my favorite running trail? This trail that I've only run in three of the four seasons; always taking the treadmill route in winter instead of this trail, my trail; the trail I know with every dip, bend, and twist; the trail that serves as my therapy, my peace, my solace in a world filled with chaos, and noise, and turbulence.

This is my peace.

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

Where is your quiet place? What does it look like? What happens there?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Wonders in My Life

Remember the pure joy and celebration that comes with the delivery of your baby? The astonishment of newborn hands and tiny toes. The contented sighs signaling a full tummy. Tears of amazement and unbridled happiness streaming down your cheeks at this precious, new creation.

Softest skin; warm, sweet breath; snuggling close in the wee hours of the morning when everyone else is still  asleep.

Baby sighs; powder-fresh smells; swaddled in love; wrapped up in kisses.

Long eyelashes; perfect, rosy red lips; tiny pug noses; porcelain skin.

The wonders in my life are to be celebrated; celebrated like on the day of their births and the days immediately following.

Sometimes I forget this, though. While I'm battling in the trenches of the latest war of the siblings; the "He hit me!", and the "She started it!".

Sometimes I forget to celebrate the little things; things like my 5 year old learning to zip his own coat; things like remembering to clear the dirty plates and glasses without a reminder; things like seeing my one year old putting her books back in the bookshelf.

I'm trying to remember to praise them for the simple things; cheer them on when they do a little good; clap my hands when they learn something new.

I'm trying to catch them doing the right things, instead of the wrong...

So that a few years down the road I don't ask myself, Where did I go wrong?

In answer to the Monday Listicle...

I'd love to have more kids...

If I would have a started at a younger age...

But you can't get much more right than two boys and two girls.

       Mama's Losin' It   List your life’s Seven Wonders.   
I really can count...I know there aren't seven wonders listed...but I'm feeling a bit like a rebel. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Beautiful, Sweaty Mess

When I run, that's often how I feel, even though on the outside I'm a dripping, red-faced, no-make-up-wearing, sweaty, hot mess.

When I run...

I am confident. I will chat with another runner, and I will be the first to strike up a conversation; something that is normally hard for me to do.

When I run...

I feel beautiful. A term that is not usually used to describe me.

When I run...

I am strong. My leg muscles carry my body for miles and miles at a time.

When I run...

My often cluttered mind becomes suddenly clear; with a clarity only a good runner's high can achieve.

When I run...

The guilt of past days not-so-great mom moments I sometimes have are gently released with each breath in and out.

When I run...

I feel like anything is possible.

When I run...

I smile.

And when I walk in the door to meet the chaos and clutter and four little kids begging for my attention...

I'm still smiling...

Because the beautiful, sweaty mess that is me is truly blessed.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

When You Need a Vacation

When the laundry is piled up higher than my children are tall...

It's time for a vacation.

When the sound of my voice nagging about who-knows-what irritates even me...

It's time for a vacation.

When the kids are fighting and screaming and yelling and tattling...

It's time for a vacation.

When I've cleaned up spilled Kool-Aid for the 9th time in one day...

It's time for a vacation.

When my thoughts are a swirling mess in my already cluttered head...

When the house is in a state of chaos...

When I just want to play outside...

And take pictures of beautiful kids, calming water, unique bridges, and gorgeous scenery...

It's time for a vacation.

Although these aren't REAL vacations, they are much needed breaks in the everyday chores and messes and chaos and clutter in our life.

When I come back from our outdoor breaks...

I'm ready to tackle the mountain of laundry...

Clean up the sticky floor...

Break up the fights...

And plan for our next "vacation".

It's know the drill, right?