Monday, October 16, 2017

The Restorative Power of the Woods

:: The Restorative Power of the Woods ::

The clouds are beginning to hang low in the sky making the air cool and crisp, it is a sure sign that autumn is here. We have been waiting for these days all year long. Those afternoons when the sun hangs lows in the western sky casting long shadows onto the ground. The leaves begin their last dance to the ground in bright colors of red, orange, yellow, and deep purple. Squirrels and chipmunks run to complete the Herculean task of storing enough the winter months ahead. We set a path in the woods while talking, watching, and searching for all the beauty that autumn holds in our woods. 

While we are there it occurred to me how peaceful a place it is and my heart began to lift. The world is a place with so much tragedy, heartache, and sadness. It can become an overwhelming merry -go -round of bad news. We try and shield our children from a large portion of it on a daily basis because we do not want their innocence completely lost. We don't want them to grow up too fast. But the sadness we carry as adults can be too much at times. Where can we go and what can we do to feel the release if only for a short time? The woods. 

Our walks in the woods is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children these days. It is uninterrupted time together. We can release our adult worries and distractions while focusing solely on our kids. It reminds us that the most important work we do is loving our children and teaching them to love others. The woods gives us a glimpse into the natural cycle of life and death. That every season is a gift. 

On this particular walk we came to an area on the trail that held beautifully slender trees with no undergrowth. The ground beneath our feet was a blanket of pine needles and leaves. The sun shone through casting tiny dancing shadows onto our faces. My oldest daughter said it felt a lot like church. I couldn't agree more. This holy space where we stand and witness the awesome beauty of the natural world. 

On our drive home, my husband commented on how refreshed he felt. The walk restored his body and mind. I agreed. The restorative power of the woods had lifted the cloudiness of worry and stress allowing me to see the blessings of my life. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017


:: Weekends ::

In a great effort to get back into blogging on a regular basis I am going to start writing about weekends and joining up with one of my favorite blogger's (Pumpkin Sunrise) and her weekend post. 
But as you can see we are at Tuesday night and creeping ever closer to the next weekend before I can even get up the last weekend. I will get back into the swing of things once these temperatures drop, the time changes, and I get my fall rhythm into full swing. You can't feel magical or witchy when the weather is still nearing 80's. 

We had a jam packed weekend hence the late post....

*Friday night dinner with long time friends who are now only 10 minutes away opposed to hundreds of miles. 

*laughs over old yearbooks and talking about Korean Pop Bands with their teenage daughter

*Saturday morning yard work. The mulching is done! Onto digging the gardens for spring.

*my parents were here to visit for the weekend 

*late afternoon walks through the local environmental center and a windy stroll on the beach 

*pizza night and college football. 

*Sunday morning Mass and Sunday school for the girls

*afternoon apple picking at an apple orchard ( I went a little crazy and we have lots of apples now)

*Sunday dinner and relaxing with kids and grandparents

* the girls didn't have school on Monday so it was a lazy day of making fairy wands for the local fairyfest and a near perfect walk in the woods.

joining Karen from Pumpkin Sunrise

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Thank goodness for 25 other alphabet letters....

We have finally landed. It has been almost a month since we moved into our new home. It has been a long long long month. A month that felt like it would never get here. A month that would drag on some days and keep me up some nights. A month that seems will stretch on to eternity. But thankfully, we have finally crossed the threshold of that first month in a new town. 

The first week was merely the big events like closing and settlement, moving all our earthly possessions from one place to another and unpacking. So much unpacking. The move itself was a task that I never care to repeat. In our wisdom, we decided to DIY this move. We packed all the things, we rented the truck, and we loaded it. However, at about the half way point we realized that the U-Haul truck was not going to be big enough. You can imagine what happened to next. So after some wailing and gnashing of teeth about how many things we had, we gave in and rented a second smaller truck to load the rest of the things. We took a bunch of trips over the Bay Bridge and the state of Maryland thanks us for all our toll fees. Plan "A" didn't work so Plan "B" was enacted. 

The second week was unpacking. Each day a room of our home became more than just a dumping ground for boxes and bags. This house began to look like a home. Each time a room was finished it was a a tiny triumph in our battles against boxes. We all began to feel a bit more at home. 

The third week was a very short lived venture into homeschooling. Long story short, we decided to home-school because we thought it would be the best path forward with our children. We thought that they would be happy and carefree. What we failed to notice was that our children are social beings who thrive in school. (we never home-schooled before this time except their little years when we do preschool at home) We failed to see that our oldest needs to go to school feel a part of something bigger than herself. We failed to see that our middle girl really loves getting on the bus and being around her peers. We failed to see the forest for the trees.  Plan "A" didn't work so onto Plan "B". We went to the schools and enrolled the girls. They welcomed us with open arms and honestly, I could not be happier with what is happening each day. I drive them to school and they each go into the building ready for the day. We had a few sad moments along the way but everyone is beginning to feel settled in. Small town schools are really so wonderful. 

Here in our fourth week, I feel like we have finally arrived. The school routines are down,  the house is unpacked, and everyone is beginning to feel comfortable with our schedule. The little guy and I went off to our first nature school session at the local Arboretum. The dust has finally settled and I feel like I can breathe. 

Here we stand with the first month and hardest month behind us. I am feeling extremely blessed and content these days. I am also happy to know that when plan "A" doesn't work out there are 25 other alphabet letters waiting their turn. 

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

New Beginnings

:: New Beginnings ::

On Sunday afternoon we went on a long walk in the woods. While walking along the path we came to a place where you could not see where the path was leading because the undergrowth was thick with trees and plants. I felt like we were meant to walk this way since we beginning a new journey in our family life. Just as the path was unclear so is the path that lay before us. We willing take each step as we enter a new chapter. 

The last eleven years we have traveled and lived in many states as a part of my husband's military commitment. We have been renting homes in many places and seeing different parts of the country. It has been exciting, stressful, and all together crazy at times. It has shaped who we are as a couple and family. I am much stronger at the end of this path than I was at the beginning. I learned so much about myself, others, and the sacrifices all of us as military families are asked to make on a daily basis. I met some truly wonderful people along the way and they have enriched my life. 

But now comes the time when those years of transition are over. Later this month, we will be closing on a beautiful home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. On a whim, we drove to a little area that both my husband and I have ties to and we went to look at a home. It was a kind of lark. One of those things where you look at each other and say, "well, what the heck! Let's do it!". As it turns out this little lark was something bigger and when we stepped onto the property and into the house we knew that this would be our home. It is going to be a big change. We are leaving one town and becoming the part of another town. The home is beautiful and the property is tranquil. We will have room to spread out and live. We can have big vegetable and flower gardens and even chickens! I can't tell you how long I have waited for chickens. It is rural, flat, coastal, and beautiful. A place where I hope we can make many happy memories as a family. 

So with two big feet, two medium feet, six little feet, some dog paws and soon some chicken feet firmly planted on the path before us, we slowly begin to walk. 

Monday, January 02, 2017

Resolutions in 2017

:: Resolutions in 2017 ::

                       The new year is finally here after a roller coaster of a year for many including myself. The past year in many respects has felt like round after round of whirling drama, anger, sadness, and general meanness in our country. I know my soul is weary from the past year for many reasons. I know the souls of family  and friends are tired from their own trials and tribulations. It was a year of difficulties for many but I cannot help but think that this past year may have made me stronger in my soul and mind. The tough situations that I face are brought to me to make me stronger. My husband uses the phrase "adapt and overcome". Adapt to the changes in my home and life by growing in who I am as an individual. And then, overcome the fears and difficulties of the past year so that this year can be used for doing good in my home, community, and world. 

I love the new year. I love the freshness of beginning again and trying to be a better version of myself than last year. I love making resolutions and seeing if throughout this new year I can achieve my goals. I love making a list of little projects and milestones I hope to achieve. Each year on this earth is a gift that I am given and I do not want to squander that gift to achieve my goals for the new year. I love to make and share my resolutions for the year as it will hold me accountable. 

My 5 Resolutions for 2017: 

Resolution #1: find our home.

This year will be our biggest year yet. The prospect of buying a home is around the corner and that comes with very big decisions to be made. Decisions about where to buy, what to buy, and the schooling of the children. We thought that last year would be the year and it just wasn't the right time. It was hard to accept the fact that we just were not finding the right home for our family especially when everyone you know owns a home. It took me a while to realize that we are not like anyone we know in our small town. We were a newly separated military family who has lived in many places and moved many times. We had moved and made sacrifices in our life that many don't know anything about.  So, this year I am taking off the comparison "glasses" and not worry about keeping up with everyone else. The right home is out there and we will find it. 

Resolution #2: time in mediation and prayer. 

It goes without saying that I do not spend as much time as I would like just sitting and being present in my body and mind. I do not sit down and really pray to God as much as I would like. I do not meditate on life as much as I would like. I will do more of this in the new year because when it does happen I walk away from it feeling refreshed and renewed. A very cheap way to give my soul a facelift. 

Resolutions # 3 through 5: Read, Create, and Travel

Read more books. 
Write on this blog. 
Share my talents and work with others. 
Get stuff made. 
Get writing published. 
Go see the country ( I would say the world but with three children we might just stick to the country for the next couple years). 

I like to choose a word or words to carry me through the year. This year I chose "Love".

A pure, unbiased, unflinching love for others. The kind that carries those who stumble and embolden those who waiver. The kind that gives you courage and ignites your heart. Choosing to love others instead of fearing or disliking them. The love that you have to sometimes work at to get right.