Five For Friday, On Sunday, Because, Well, C'est Moi These Days

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Five For Friday: Bed-Jumping Edition
One morning, one recent day, I made sure to grab my big camera for the shenanigans 
my two little sidekicks were up to. They did not disappoint. 

These two. They fill my days, and my heart. We miss Noah, off being a big first grader at school all day, and if you asked him, he'd choose to be here with us in a heartbeat... But he's doing phenomenal things there at school, so it's all good. 

Meanwhile, here at home, we just muck around and bend the rules, like so:


Perhaps sometime soon I should make Lucy a cape of her own, with her own initial. Maybe I'll make Quinn one, too, while I am at it. 


Post should end here, really. It's complete. But then, I feel like..... listen. This is such a cute set of photos. And I did make that cape for Noah once. And I have been a productive and clever gal in the past. But recently? Not so much. I don't feel like I am that same gal right now, and it is bumming me out. So I feel like we need to talk. Like I need to confess that you're not getting that Emily you might be used to. Like, somewhere in the last couple of years, she's shifted.... And I don't know what it means, exactly, and I don't know why I can't seem to get back to the me I feel like I KNOW really well.... Just a whole lot of "I don't know"s.... But I feel like you deserve to know this about me.

And it's been humbling. And for the most part, I am okay with this "me".... The one who lets things go a lot more, who has become (NOT for better) flakier. Who is, if anything, LESS sure and LESS formed than she was 5 years ago... And I don't have any amazing point to this confession. I just thought you should know. 

I hope one day, some really cool epiphanies will start to flow again, and I might have something more to offer to my readers than these messy, loose-end confessions. That I will have learned some concrete things worth passing on. But right now, I am in the thick of it... Of parenting small kids, of bumbling through owning my own small business and being my own terrible boss, of feeling the weight of time and age and seeing for the first time how disillusionment might actually begin to happen in one's life, of feeling so many wishes and hopes and seeing so many ways in which I fall short.... I am constantly humbled, and working on finding the balance between that humbling being good and rich and spiritual, or just being demeaning and self-crushing.

Basically, I'm a mess. Just a mess of flawed humanity. But I'm a mess that is working on it. Always. Except when I choose to nap instead. But mostly I really am working, striving, yearning, reaching, wishing, watching, waiting, praying, and just trying to hold on as life works on me. 

But I'm not that sassy gal you started reading a while back. Not right this moment. Hopefully what I am right now is still enough. Be patient with me. And I will try to patient with myself, too. There might just be some wisdom and fresh perspective around the corner. 

(And if you're in the thick of this indefinable phase with me, here's a massive, too-tight virtual hug from me. I sometimes feel like that's all I want--- a really long, tight hug and someone telling me I'm okay, just like this, flawed and all. So here's one for you. You need it, too.)

Peace out. Gonna try to get 5ForFri. posted on an actual Friday this week. And gonna try to potty train Lucy this week, too. Ack. That's another post for another day.

"A Spring Issue", by Sarah Dunning Park

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Spring Issue

Standing in line
at the grocery checkout
my eye slides over your glossy cover

and I imagine kicking back
  in a quiet room at home,
  sunlit air from the window
  fluttering your bright pages.

I would quietly feed on
  your inspiring concepts
  for dining al fresco, plus
  one hundred great ways
  to bring back the romance
  (and still get dinner on the table).

Actually dinner
  is burning in the oven
  while I fitfully pore over
  page after page
  of simulated perfection,
  my brain racked by the effort
  of mentally tallying these things
  I surely need:

a battery of skin-care
  potions to charm my face
  into a pristine, even poreless
  surface and a new wardrobe
  that flatters my assets
  while suiting my age
  (as well as resisting stains)
  and that Viking range
  with granite countertops
  where I’ll roast local lamb
  or raptly dice Vidalias
  at the end of each day
  dedicated to meditative yoga,
  to targeting and toning and
  releasing stress and toxins-

not to mention toxic emotions,
  rising to a high boil
  with my ravenous heart,
  now bleating for a taste of the flawless
  (which I think I’ve just beheld
  her within your pages).

Little can I do
  but dish up our lenten meal
  (peas and potatoes)

and then I will sacrifice you,
  sham of the perfect,
  to the trash, sprinkling you
  with the crumbs of tonight’s
  charred fish sticks.

(Found while enjoying the new-ish blog my friend Jodie Byrne is a contributor to, The Sham of the Perfect. Check it out. Soak it in. Let it go. I love this. Gonna treat myself to the poet's book, "What It Is Is Beautiful".)

Five For Friday: How I Fill My Empty Minutes

Friday, March 6, 2015

Someone clearly in tune with the universe the other day sent me this link, at a time I *really* needed it. (Love to you, Cindy!)

by Carmella Rayone on The Art of the Simple blog

She opens with this quote from her own journal:

 "And in between, my mind kept wandering to those creative projects that keep calling to me, hopping along with me from moment to moment throughout my day, waving. Not nagging, not impatient, but simply there and smiling, not wanting me to forget.
I won’t forget. I’ll make room and time. If only for a few minutes here, 
a few minutes there …”

It's a short little meditation, and it is lovely, for it is something I am always trying to re-teach myself: That we don't need grand chunks of time to make progress... even doing a little bit at a time, in the empty minutes, will eventually yield results. And in the meantime, the mindfulness of letting myself do work I love, even just a few stitches, pages, photos at a time, is something that fills my well throughout the day.... the week... the years of being a mama here at home. 

Take a minute to click the link and go read. Then give yourself permission to begin (get back to?) a project that may only get worked on a few minutes at a time. And then let that project NOT nag, but make you smile when you think of it waiting for you to visit it, here and there. 

My Five For Friday this week (after missing two Fridays in a row, due to end-of-winter-life-is-grey-blah-why-bother-maybe-I'll-just-nap-or-stitch-or-watch-Dr.-Phil-February-ennui. Forgive me. forgive yourself if you were/are there, too.) is a set of cell phone snaps of the five things I am most likely to turn to these days when I have some empty minutes.

1. Recently revisiting cross-stitch, after not doing anything with it since THIS project. Cross-stitch is something I will do, then take several years off, then do again, then stop... Except this time it's taken hold and has become a REAL addiction. I blame The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery for their insanely darling stitch-along samplers that cry out to be created.

2. Taking a scrapbooking pen and writing captions into my personal photo books. Years ago I gave myself permission, after a long and arduous book-creating ordeal, to NOT tediously type in captions to my photo books, and instead hand-write them at my leisure another day. Serves two purposes: A. It keeps me coming back to make more books because I don't have to type captions. B. My posterity gets some of my handwriting to enjoy. It's, like, historical, or something. 

3. Kindle books. I am a bibliophile, I promise, and I will never stop loving paper books. Ever. But for now, in a life where reading in the dark and portability trump couch/quilt/actual page turning moments, I am in love with devouring books on my phone when I can grab some minutes. It's been a renaissance of reading for almost a year now, and I am giddy about it. Thank you, Bree and Michelle/Allison and Meghan for all having a hand in ushering in this reading era in my life again. 

4. Ever the personal photo backlog. Always. If I get some time, I try to remind myself that even working for 15 minutes here and there, the work WILL get done. Shown below, thumbnails from March 2014.

5. I am an unapologetic napper. Lifelong member. SARK gave me official permission years ago (though I was already in the practice of it before reading her book), and I am a disciple. Not daily, sadly... But at least 2-4 times a week. Well-filling, healing, lovely naps. Pictured, a photo of a photo of a nap long ago, before I ever had kids. Taken by Joe. Mmm.... Wish I was napping right now. 


What are your treats/indulgences/minute-fillers? I'd love to know! Blog yours, list a few in the comments, something. I would love to hear from you!

And it's not too late to do a Five For Friday today! I mean, *I* managed it!! Woot! Let me know in the comments or via FB that you did it, and a link to yours, and I'll add it to this post, right here ---->
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