Catching time

It goes by without notice,

So slowly that it hurts,

Then all the sudden it’s gone with rapid bursts.

We always find a reason,

An excuse to say we will,

But when the world falls apart you’ll only wish you could be still.

Look at their faces with wonder,

See the magic in their eyes,

Cling to childhood before the luxury of time dies.

_____________

Our sweet Shrimpresses have grown into beautiful little girls, and our family has been blessed with our delicious baby boy.

Falk made his grand entrance on June 4, 2018, on what would have been his Grandma Irene’s 80th birthday. As the first boy, he did things his own way. Deciding to hold out until June for his very own birthday month. Keeping mama guessing with the false contractions for weeks up to delivery. And instead of arriving early like his big sisters, he was content to stay in his little pool until Bapa decided it was time to pull the plug.

We went to the hospital at 3 pm expecting a rushed delivery, but I had a nice relaxing evening with the epidural while he slowly built the anticipation (and contractions) for his birth day. Then just 3 minutes after 9 pm our little Falcon came into the world.

His head a mess of black hair, he was the first baby I was able to actually reach down to help hold into this world. When the doctors had cleared the extra fluids from his little newborn body, he and I snuggled skin-to-skin and I savored the seconds and minutes of getting to know my little boy.

He didn’t immediately look like anyone in the family, though perhaps the most like me since he was the most Asian looking of any of the shrimps. But he would come to be a carbon copy of big sissy Ella.

I immediately felt like we were enveloped in our own little love cocoon, and I was completely peace listening to his sweet suckling sounds against my breast.

Another special moment that only he got, was skin-to-skin with his Bapa. It’s perhaps one of the sweetest memories to have had my minutes old mini man resting on the bare chest of my favorite main man. The two of them together were the perfect fit to something I didn’t even know I’d been missing.

As daunting as it was to find out we were having a boy. As much as I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to bond as closely as with the girls. If I’d be able to share the same interests, or whether I’d know how to care for him. Any doubts and fears melted away when I looked into the big brown depths of his eyes. His is a soul I’ve known before. One I’ve been waiting for all my life. He is my true love. And the source of much humor for Zee Hubs, who teases me about becoming that mom for our baby boy.

As I lie here cuddled with my sleeping bundle of love, I can’t deny it even if I wanted to. Nothing in the world can tear me from his side. Forever my baby boy.

From the Love Nest.

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Pocket full of sunshine

If dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago,

Who’s to say mermaids don’t live in oceans far below?

When the sun sinks below the hills we know it’ll rise again,

So why’s it crazy to think legs could be replaced with a fin?

Ask me not of the many things one knows but cannot see,

Ask instead what lights the way toward endless possibilities.

Is it the heart that beats to a drum only it knows how to hear?

Or the voice that whispers comfort when you’re full of fear.

Miracles happen every day, everywhere.

You only have to seek to find the magic in the air.

______________

Today we took the Shrimpresses to their first puppet show at Bob Baker Marionette with Oh Joy! It was basically as if a Mom Blogger’s Instagram came to life. Everyone had their kids dressed in the cutest little outfits, and every where you looked there was a colorful setting staged for selfies.

Then there was Zee Shrimpress, hair tangled, shirt from last night, mismatched shorts we just barely convinced her she needed to wear to “see puppets”, and the biggest, most joyful look on her face. She has a way of forcing us to remember that nothing in the world matters more than family.

As she chased kids around roaring like a dinosaur, with her baby sister looking on in admiration, we couldn’t help but be wrapped into her world.

Her world where you can be a dinosaur looking for your next meal (friends), only to turn into a bird and fly away (because Mama gave ya some introvert genes for good measure), then off on your unicorn as a warrior princess to save your baby sister from attacks (said friends who are excited to have found someone smaller than themselves). And that is all under five minutes.

Her world where mermaids, unicorns, dragons, princesses, “octopuses”, whales, cowboys, and of course dinosaurs, all coexist in harmony.

My magical little Shrimpress, please don’t ever lose that sparkle.

xx

This thing called love

“Mama, hand. Hand, Mama”

Lili reaches for me blindly in the night and grasps onto my hand tightly. She’s supposed to be sleeping. We’re supposed to be sleeping. And from the strength of her grip I know she’s still awake.

I listen to the hushed breathing of Ella suckling me, while I savor the small, but mighty grip of my firstborn.

She’s so independent these days. She’s fierce and funny. She’s trying her boundaries…testing ours. She’s exercising her voice and mastering her will.

She pushes us.

She teaches us.

She teaches me to stop. That life isn’t so busy and nothing is more important than pretending to be horseys or dinosaurs with a toddler. 

She teaches me money is nice, but imagination is priceless.

She teaches me there’s nothing more beautiful in the world than joy. Joy bursting through a roar of laughter. Joy twinkling through the crinkle of scrunched up eyes. Joy heard through the excitement of a tiny human calling you over to “Here! Sit Down!”  

She clutches me as she falls to sleep. If I make a move to reposition she’s instantly grasping to keep my hand wrapped around hers. In her tiny fingers I feel the love of a million hearts.

As my brain runs through all the things I need to do at work. All they ways we need to balance finances. All the ways life would be better if just…

Her little hand wraps itself around my distracted thoughts. “Here Mama, sit down. Hand Mama.”

And my three year old does what I still can’t seem to master after thirty years. She quiets my wayward inner dialog. She teaches me there is nothing more perfect than this. A little hand. A little voice.

“Hand, Mama. Hand.”

On Purpose

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These faces. They are my purpose.

Every year, as part of Stratejoy’s Holiday Council – even when unofficially ghosting – I’ve reflected on the past year and set my intentions for the coming year. Less like resolutions and more like core values. Guiding principles in ways of being for the year. A mission statement for my life.

I’ve been rotating between years focused on stretching, reaching, doing the big scary things – or at least making myself admit when I’m avoiding the big and scary – and years savoring, relishing, playing. This balance has helped make small steps toward “my thing” with room to course correct in the forgiving framework of the year’s purpose.

But it hasn’t been enough.

Life is never enough.

As I lie in my husband’s arms this morning reunited from our week apart, I thought, “I will never get enough of this.”

As I drank in the delicious milk breath of my babiest girl, I sighed, “I will never get enough of this.

As I lay eye to twinkling eye with my first baby girl, whispering in toddler gibberish so not to wake her sister, I knew, “I will never get enough of this.

This family. Our family.

Your family. This is it.

This is life. This connection. The beautiful, messy, painful, joyful bliss of it. The fragility that quietly walks alongside the feeling of invincibility. This is the purpose.

Finding center 

  
I never wanted to be one of those moms who lost her individual identity to the co-mingled existence of “mom”. A mishmash of desires, callings, fears and dreams – one  richocheting off another faster than my mind had time to process whether they were catapulted from my desire to be a free creative soul or deep, primal need to create the best life for my child.

I didn’t expect to question my friends in secret shame when they said they didn’t want children. While I absolutely don’t judge their decision, an uncontrollable part of me reacts. It tries to voice the indescribable. Tries to explain the undefinable. One part acknowledges how sappy this voice sounds, pleading there’s no way to decide on something your mind can’t yet comprehend. The other part logically acknowledges that this argument has no place, no right and no business being voiced. 

But I’ve become that person. I am that mom. I am a mom. 

I don’t feel like a defined entity the way I did before kids. 20-something, ambitious, type-A, creative, inspiration junkie, and on and on. But a person with a description. Even if that description went on at length. The point was there was a word for every facet of who I felt I was.

I feel like a cosmic ball of energy points held together in a cloud of light and some magnetic force. I feel a white space filled with lights and emotion. I feel this cloud weave within and around the definable entity I used to associate with my identity. 

I feel whole and at the same time shattered into a puzzle that can never be solved.

I float without definition, yet instead of freedom I feel pressure. The pressure from external forces that undoubtedly hold these orbiting balls of energy into a somewhat discernible shape.

There’s no way to fully describe it to satisfaction, so I won’t try.

But at the core I feel centered in a way I never had before. I feel a calm powerful enough to shut out the chaos and hold back the pressure. It’s a center I can find anywhere, any time without struggle. This was never the case before. Before when I was a list of descriptions my center would shift. It would feel questionable at times and be completely missing at others. But now I only have to focus on one thing. It doesn’t magically unravel the tangled web of fears, excitement, anxieties and desires. But it brings me back to peace for as long as I need.

Back to my daughter. She is my core. And thinking of her brings me back to center every time.

In pursuit of feeling

  
At the end of the year I usually join hearts and thoughts with women all over the world in reflection of the year past and intention for the year to come. This ritual is part of a holiday council led by a dear friend, and wonderful life coach. 

But in 2015 I did not end the year with my tribe of  soul sisters. 

In business we are constantly creating new goals and “scoring” ourselves on how well we achieved the goals. Our scores are used in ranking us across the organization where there are clear winners and losers in the pursuit of recognition, promotion and pay.

I did end my 2015 with this.

Imbalance.

There was a definitive, dissatisfying, ickniness to this imbalance. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to join my sisters in the council, but more that I was looking for another expression of this process as a challenge to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone. But as with many things in life, without the formality, this goal was pushed in the back of my mind as day-to-day, “more pressing” matters arose. Matters like my 2015 annual review that was due the week before Christmas.

While logically I know such structures are important to the corporate world and the rules that govern it, I can’t help thinking that we’re doing it all wrong. It can’t be assumed that those making up our corporations are taking time to also assess how they feel. Taking time to see if their actions aligned with their core values and how to improve that alignment. Or even if they know what their core values are. 

All we can know is that we’re setting arbitrary goals used to then assign a precise value to ourselves. And while it’s not meant to be personal in business, it seems hard to believe that the constant scoring doesn’t impact us as humans. And that this constant feedback loop may be negative to our personal perceptions, and ultimately and actions in and interactions with the world. Maybe it’s all too Polly Anna to think there could be so much more success in business by regaining some of the humanity, insisting on it of our leaders. But it’s something I still feel compelled to chase.

Because I want to feel like I’m more than a number. I want to feel that my leaders see me for more than a cog. I want to feel valued. I want to feel good about the contributions and the time I spend away from my family to serve my company.

But in lieu of any mass corporate upheaval, I’ll continue to chase the balance even if it’s just a one person pursuit. In 2016 I’ve already decided this will need to start by exploring new philosphies and systems in introspection and intention setting. It will need to mean aiming to break out of the paralysis of fear – to instead celebrate it, and recognize good fear as an indication I’m on the right path. That I could be about to make a major breakthrough. That my ego may be scared out of its mind to be lost in evolution on the path to feel more. Feel better. Feel connected.

And the first step has been diving headfirst into The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. Headfirst into the pursuit of feeling more and judging less. Straight into the power of desire.

Wish me luck!

Now is a time for dreamers…

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I am a believer in our own innate ability to create magic.

A baby’s first word.

Magic.

Falling in love.

Magic.

Giving life to a perfect, tiny human.

Magic baby, Magic.

And especially on nights like tonight, when the moon rises full in all its shining-silver-glory, I’m reminded that we are magic. Recently I fell in love with Amy Poehler’s story about going on Moon Hunts with her boys. She sweetly told of how they get dressed up in pajamas, moon bait (M&Ms) in hand and venture out to catch the stunning view of the full moon where they share their wishes to her gazing glow.

It was beautiful. It was magic. It was the kind of ritual that I can’t wait to craft and share with Zee Shrimpress.

So tonight on this magical, full moon of the Archer, what are you calling to? What is calling you?

Based on this great write-up by Mystic Mama the Sagittarius Moon is for the dreamers and the doers. The magic makers. This moon’s for you.

FULL MOON in Sagittarius is here calling us to see through the fog of illusion to pierce the truth within. There is lots of electric and creative energy stirring but we must meet it with grounded discernment. So let’s find some time to be still and just Be, as we allow the Light of the Full Moon to bring her illumination.
Source: Mystic Mama