Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Peace and Relaxation Day

Happy Peace and Relaxation Day Everyone! How are you celebrating?

At our house we are having a quiet morning, enjoying everyone being home for the few days this summer Ry is in town as well as the last weeks with Krista before she heads off to college in the Fall.

The birds are chattering in the trees, singing and talking. The sky is that forever blue unique to summer days, where you feel like you could fall upwards into the forever of it.

We watched a young squirrel out the kitchen window this morning eating the flowers off a lantana bush. So adorable, until they eat all my peaches, then I wish they would get the concept of sharing.

The dogs are lounging, it seems they celebrate Peace and Relaxation Day everyday. We are all puttering around, enjoying the freedom of spare time, relishing this time together, with no agenda.

Okay, so I know it is not really Peace and Relaxation Day, but a girl can dream, can't she? My friend Amy Wise posted this on Facebook today, and it got me thinking about how very important it is to honor taking time for ourselves, and that we do not have a national holiday dedicated to that. So find your way to enjoy peace and relaxation, and pass it on. It is important for our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well being.

It has been a busy year so far, with more energies heating up with the summer. We are all being called upon in many ways. Look around, most everyone is feeling it. It is important that we find our own version of Peace and Relaxation Day to rest and rejuvenate so that we are able to continue to do all we are being called upon to do. There is more to come, so it is a good idea for us to take the time we can to rest and relax, and be in peace!

Sending you all love and blessings, and my warmest wishes for a Happy Peace and Relaxation Day whenever you can celebrate!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day: Dad I Love You, Let Me Count The Ways

Happy Father's Day to all the Father's out there.

When it comes to Father's I am lucky enough to hit the proverbial jackpot. I have a wonderful Father, I have a great Father-in-law, I married a man who is a loving husband and Father. My relationship with each of my brothers (who are also loving Father's) is great, I even have a brother-in-law who is a new Father, rocking the Father role quite well too.

I couldn't have asked for a better Dad. He has always been my champion, and the champion of our family. He has been there at every stage of my life, offering encouragement, advice and support in any way he can.

I walk each morning with my Dad. It is a ritual we began after my parents moved closer to us about two and a half years ago. During our time together each morning, we get caught up on the comings and goings of our lives. I think I do more of the talking. It is easy to do, since he is a great listener. Which is sometimes comical, since he is quite hard of hearing.

On our walks we talk about the weather, we notice the local wildlife, especially the birds, though we are by no means bird watchers. We check on "our" harvester ant colony each morning, and make note of their changes and activities. We greet the neighbors out walking and always pet the furry neighbors who brighten our walk. We sometimes discuss politics. We don't always agree, but we always listen to one another and respect the other persons point of view. We always find common ground even when we disagree, we are more alike than different. We both love to read and share books. Our most recent favorite was "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. Though we have both loved "Open" by Andre Agassi, "Pillars of the Earth" and "A World Without End" both by Ken Follett. When we read "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" we both loved it, but the ending made him sad and ruined the experience for him. His heart is wide open at this point in his life. He loves Westerns, both movies and books, because he knows the guys in the white hats always win, and the "bad" guys are obviously "bad". Somehow this all harkens back to a simpler time and is far more comforting than so much of what is going on out in the greater world today. We almost always find something to laugh about, and that is the best part. If we can laugh until we cry, all the better. I am lucky. I know each and every morning is precious. I cherish our time together.

When I was a little girl I danced on my Father's toes, he was the tallest most handsome and loving man I knew. He was my super hero. He is the first man I ever loved, and taught me about being loved, which laid the groundwork for me finding a wonderful husband. As I grew older, and the real world challenged my childish thoughts and opinions, many of my beliefs changed in the face of a greater world view. One constant which stood up to the whole wide world was the love for and from my family of origin, and most notably, the constant of the love from my Mom and Dad. I am blessed and honored to have a loving relationship with both of my parents.

It makes sense to me that my life started in the cocoon of my family of origin. There were a lot of gifts which came to me through that, but none more precious than being loved. Thank you to both of my parents for loving us all. Almost every day, my day starts with the warm embrace of my Father, sometimes my Mom joins us too. It is a harkening back to the beginning of my life, only better. He is no longer working full time to provide for our family and worried about the type of people we would each grow up to be. I am no longer growing up, trying to figure out who I am in this world and making my mark. We are able to just be together, in a very relaxed, comfortable and loving way. We are all made better by such love. The world is a better place in the face of such love and by such love. These are no small things. I do not take them lightly. I am blessed beyond measure in so many ways in my life. This is one in a long list of gifts I treasure.

This is one we can all pay forward. Who do you love? Do you spend time regularly in their presence? Do you tell one another not only that you love one another, but take the time to count the ways? This is how we change the world, one heart at a time. I know I am a better person for it.

I love you Dad. These are just some of the ways. Thank you. Happy Father's Day.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Until We Meet Again

The washing machine, dryer and dishwasher are all humming in the background. The sky is blue, the breeze is blowing, the dogs are lounging. The family is in varying stages of regrouping. The kids are moving back into their rooms after having moved out for their grandparents and their Aunt and Uncle and niece. We are taking down the temporary beds, folding clothes, putting away laundry and dishes, putting the house back together, returning to normalcy and calm. It is the hush after the family has left. It is quiet, calm, and a bit empty.

There is the sweet echo of our time together co-mingled with the melancholy awareness that we won't get to see one another again for some time. It is easy to get swept up into our day to day lives and allow time to slip away from us. We have been consumed by the activities of our lives, our children's lives and their interests as well as the demands of Karl's work and the various priorities, the comings and goings of our friends, local family, the maintenance of our home, my work and, and, and... the list goes on. All this is not an excuse, rather an awareness of the fleeting nature of time, and the limits placed upon us with family that live so many miles apart. All that said, the times we do come together are made that much more precious and these past two weeks were no exception. In fact, these past two weeks brought us all closer, with more understanding of who we are and how important we are to one another and of course the affirmation that we would like to make our visits more regular.

We are all in major transition. Krista is done with high school and heading off to school in the Fall. Ryan and Dakota are a relatively new couple and negotiating college life out in the world by themselves. My brother-in-law, sister-in-law and Niece are learning how to be a new family and getting ready to move, my Father-in-law and his wife will be adjusting to retired life, and Karl and I will be empty nesters so fast our heads will spin. Much change ahead for all of us. It seems a fitting time to come together and remind one another what is truly important in life: to love and be loved, to follow our path and purpose, to treat one another with kindness, love and respect, to be present for one another, to remember all we are grateful for. We cracked hearts wide open, shared hopes, dreams, laughter, even hurts and always love. I am deeply grateful to each and every person for their willing spirit, time and attention, as well as love, honor and respect for one and all. This is no small thing. Thank you all. My heart is filled to overflowing. Until we meet again.

This is a "we" thing. So long as "we" are willing participants, miracles will abound as "we" come together in love. Any "we" will do! In-joy your "we" time, we sure are!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pomp and Circumstance

I wrote this on Krista's graduation day, last Monday before the ceremony. Congratulations to our sweet, amazing, beautiful, accomplished daughter. We are so proud:

Today is the day. Our daughter is graduating from High School. She will be valedictorian of her class. We are so impressed by her. Both our children continue to amaze us. To complete high school is an accomplishment, to do so with honors is impressive, to be valedictorian in a population of peers all attending high school and college concurrently, fulfilling internship requirements in their future fields of study, along with community service is extra-ordinary. This is a proud day. We are watching our baby grow up. Don her cap and gown and receive her diploma. She is heading into her bright future and it is a joy to behold.

We have family in town for this momentous occasion, as I wrote about last week. It has been a blessing. Watching our adorable little niece, nearly 9 months old, and the awe and wonder, joys and duties surrounding a wee human remind me of just how fleeting it all is. It reminds me that the next generation are already knocking on the door waiting to come in, and will be here in the blink of an eye. Our children are both in loving relationships with wonderful partners. We couldn't imagine better matches for them. It touches me deep in the heart to see our grown children doting on their partners and being doted upon, and all getting together and enjoying one another.

It is the season of graduations. It is time to be moving on into newer landscapes, into the next phase. It is normal I suppose to be nostalgic about the past, and understandable to be excited about the future, but for right now, this moment, I am breathing this in. Our youngest is graduating today. Most of our family will be here to bear witness. Breathe in. Smile through the tears. She is an amazing young woman. We are filled with joy at all she has accomplished thus far, the woman she is inside as well as outside is beautiful, her future is bright and shining with possibilities. This is what it is all about. Joy, re-union, connectedness, love, evolving, growing. Breathe it in, let it move through your heart, breathe it out with gratitude. Pass it on.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Come Together

Come and go, ebb and flow. We really are truly blessed. There are so many reasons to be thankful. Our daughter is graduating from high school next week. She is at the top of her class and headed to University in the Fall. She is dating a very nice young man who we all adore. Our son is coming home from University for the summer this week and bringing his adorable girlfriend with him for a visit. My in-laws are in town and my brother-in-law and his wife and baby will be here in a few days as well. Our house will be full to bursting with people and love. With the hustle and bustle of shopping and preparing food together, and the communion with one another, it is a busy time.

It has been a wonderful few days of catching up with my mother and father-in-law before the rest of the family arrives. We are showered with the blessings of a loving family.

I couldn't ask for a more loving mother and father-in-law or for better grandparents to our children. They are thoughtful, generous, kind, respectful and considerate. They are here to celebrate the highs in our lives and to commiserate during those more challenging times. When we come together we share thoughts and ideas, recipes, advice and love. It didn't start out this way. I was a young bride, who really didn't know herself completely, let alone how to be a graceful daughter-in-law. We were the first of our generation to marry in my husband's family of origin. It was a bumpy road as we learned to appreciate one another's differences and celebrate what we love about one another, not for me and my husband - that has always been easy, rather for me and my husband's family. It is no easy task bringing two families together. We had many differences, and it didn't help that my husband was not especially connected to his family at the time. I took it upon myself to try and bring us all together into one happy family. That was my first mistake, in a long line to follow. Today I can see based upon false assumptions, misunderstandings and hurt feelings, the mine field grew. I can see some of the reactions to one another's actions which could have been handled more smoothly, on both sides, but we have long since mended those fences. We have come together in love, taking responsibility for our actions each asking for and granting forgiveness. It has been many years ago now, but at some point our relationship made a sharp turn, changing the course completely and we were able to begin anew. Seeing one another for who we all are, with all our human imperfections, and loving and appreciating one another even more for it.

There is so much to celebrate and be thankful for, and I am celebrating and thankful! Events such as graduations and weddings are great milestones in our lives. It feels like we could benefit from more opportunities to come together and celebrate one another. There will be more to report about the revelry, the coming together and getting to celebrate one another and this time together.

Blessings to you all, may we all come together and celebrate in love more often!