Wanted

summer rainI love the smell of old books and seeing notes on the edges of the page and highlighted areas, words and phrases that meant something to someone else.  The crunch of fall leaves.  I love raw and honest conversations that can catch two people off guard and the intimacy that occurs in those moments.  I love being surprised, spontaneous, risky and feeling safe in someone’s arms.  I love “heat,” the crackling sounds and smells that come from a wood stove.  I love to feel challenged mentally and physically. I love to surprise others! I love blankets.  Soft thick heavy blankets and being buried underneath them.  I love getting dressed up every once in a while.  But I can’t beat my love for yoga pants, Hudson jeans, and perfectly worn out sweatshirts. I love writing. I love words. But I do not like texts because things get complicated,

And nothing comes misinterpreted. I love exploring different environments – places I have never been, farms, fields, cities, and towns. Even more I love the high old growth trees that get lost in the sky, I love how they creak when the wind blows – the rain that drips from the needles… under these trees I would love a secret hideaway. The bottom of those timbers some what primitive.  A ranch-style getaway like the one I grew up in. I love teaching. I love learning. Being inspired and inspiring others.  I love sister trips and the Martin clan trips.  I love watching my boys grow. A new love – watching them play basketball. I love that tipsy feeling where one let’s their walls down and becomes completely raw, they bare themselves naked. I love the way laughing with someone makes me feel.  I love hot showers. I love rearranging furniture. All kinds of music…different cultures.  I would love to take a year and travel with no certainty of where I might end up next.  I love laughing, laughing in an intimate situation, sometimes quietly in inappropriate situations because that is the only way I will get through. I love my family.  I love reconnecting with old friends and connecting with new ones. I love the depth of someone’s eyes. I love a good bottle of wine, lemon drops but my go to is beer. Hot tubs, walking in the rain, I love feeling loved without needing the words, I love looking through someone’s view of the world, their faith, life plan, and listening. Candlelight. Little spoons. Meeting a new person and feeling a connection in the first moments. Confidence but not arrogance. Swimming. Words. Volleyball. Cross-Fit. I love laying between the sheets. I love someone else making me coffee. I love a clean house. I love the smell of hops in August. I love taking life not to seriously – there is a time and place for all things in life but letting go and getting out of my head is indescribable. Being real.  Being who I am and having courage without worrying about what others may think. I love the sound of an acoustic guitar. I love dive bars. I have started piano lessons and I love it!  I love being with someone when I can watch them drift to sleep. I love truly knowing someone. I love living!! I love being surprised but this doesn’t happen anymore.

I think, I got this…

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It’s been awhile.  Harvest is always a terribly busy time.  Every year I tell myself, “I got this” and every year near the end of harvest, I am trying to keep my head just above water for me to breath and the statement “I thought, I had this” always comes rushing back.  After nine years, I still feel this. I write things down every year in my own secret “diary” so to speak, of ways I think I can prepare for the next year, what I could have done different this season, and I honestly have not perfected it yet.  I don’t know if I ever will but I wasn’t raised to be a quitter. There is always hope for next year and I have eight months give or take, to make a new plan.

Inevitably everyone can apply this feeling, this sense of drowning– in their lives, careers, next chapters, finances, and relationships, etc. At some point, I believe most adults have felt this way in their lives. But it is up to each of us to decide whether we will sink or float.  Sometimes it can be an agonizingly long process because the decisions need to be weighed equally, both sides need to be looked at and mentally calculated with precision and the time comes when we have to un-tie the cement blocks around our ankles and kick like hell to get our heads above water.

And as the tip of our nose, lips, chin, eyes open and we gasp for that first breath…that is the moment our decision has been made (take the leap, shit or get off the pot, or whatever reference works for you) is where instinctively, we know which decision we are going with…of course, there will be an adjustment period but moving forward with our gut feelings is what we all should pay a little more attention too.

Once we take that first step, we may be knee deep in the dark unchartered waters pulling those cement blocks forward again but our heads are above water.  We have chosen and in that choice we all begin to create a different and new sense of comfort.

There is an infinite amount of decisions and choices we can make in our lives, they will affect the people around us and that is always something to consider but in my last days I would hope that my decisions were unselfishly chosen, my family always felt love from me, that I never intentionally tried to hurt someone, and most of all, that I was proud of the way I lived. Lots of adventure, risk-taking, and a whole lot of lovin’.

April 1st – 2:30am

Streetlight by J. Radin

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Opportunities circle around my mind like a tornado. Tornados destroy homes, buildings, people and everything they cross paths with, my thoughts are filled with perspective changes, the things I desire in life and the changes I want to make and am currently making.   These tornadoes give me the sense of rebuilding and lifting up my own doubts and dumping them like in the book “Atlas Shrugged”.

I wish I could slow life down. Taking a deeper harder look at what to dump in my life that causes me to doubt myself, worry, stress about, anxiety that causes painful migraines. But instead I have been listening to my gut!

I really desire relationships that fulfill me, give me a new outlook on my life, remind me of how much I have and that it takes nothing to give back and I have made this a major focus in my life. I do want someone who respects me enough to give and to take, the world goes round and one just can’t be alone all the times. Whoever I am building a relationship with; new friend, rebuilding an old one, meeting a stranger and simply be moved by their energy and outlook on life. Whether new friends or old friends I have had a chance to figure out I love being spontaneous, surprising others, I like plans but most days I like to fly by the seat of my pants. I think there is a clear distinction of someone always doing the reaching out and then someone showing up when it is convenient.  I love this excitement and I continue to discover it.  This is something I am trying to figure out, it is not something I want to dump from my life I want to keep it but I try to keep my mind from its own torturous wanderings.  The thrill of excitement…and the unknown really spark a fire deep inside me. I want to go skydiving, bungee jumping and read my writing out loud along side the person who helped me find my voice. I just started my Masters in Creative Writing.

I am changing the way I see everything in my life as an opportunity.  I am making this change and continue too.  Certain days I am very aware and sometimes when I get off track, I need about five minutes to re-center and figure out what I am actually wanting to fight for that day. I find a way to change my perspective. I believe we all need to change our perspectives to see something new or to give something back. Even when I feel I have nothing to give it is my intention give more.

On occasion my mind can take over and I constantly have to remind my heart and head to stay moving ahead – looking toward the things ahead of me. Simply to enjoy the day I am in, the moments in that day. I want to feel challenged-the things that I have been struggling through– many people have decided the quit be content with an average life but for what?? There is only this one chance we have to live this life, 5 more years with my children at home, the days are numbered until I hit the big 40.  I am not afraid.  But I do know what people I want to be around, what people I want to share my life with, the getaways I want to go on, and what to do with my moments of freedom filled with spontaneity, excitement, playtime, a calm retreat in the thick of the mossy old growth trees.

Can we heal our scars?

img_how_to_get_rid_of_burn_marks_on_the_skin_with_home_remedies_1630_origI have scars that remind me of old stories.  Some happened so long again I can barely remember; I know if I asked my parents about them, they would surely know some of the answers of where my external scars came from.

I have two scars on my right hand from trying to do hand stands. She challenged me to how many we could do each and when we collapsed to the ground, she scratched me.

Another scar, on the inside of my right knee where the corner of the screen door ripped through my skin after my Dad had repeatedly told me that was going to happen if I didn’t move from where I was sitting.  I didn’t move and I now have a six-inch scar on the inside of my knee from the screen door tearing through.

I have a scar just under my belly button about 10 inches long from a C-section horizontally just beneath this scar…there is an internal scar I can’t see, running vertically about 10 inches an emergency to save one of my sons. I have a scar from my first love – shattered and broken.  It is now just a memory.

I am sure if we all thought about our scars we could list them.  I have created scars on my body…self expression…designs and patterns that I want to be remembered.  They are all apart of my body now and on my skin for all to see.  I chose each of them for a very specific reason and they will forever be on me.  Would I do this again…yes.

Scars are easy to spot or see on most of our bodies. There is an entirely different type of scar that may be so deep that no one knows it’s there. One has buried it and only a few will ever know it’s there. These scars can change you; redefine you.  These scars strip us down to the core, make us define our ourselves and create an entirely new way of looking at the world.

These scars turn our lives inside out. They break our hearts, tear us apart, and make us wonder if we will survive.  These scars, I believe are more than one sided…there is a cause and effect to everything and there are always two different ways to look at any given situation.  I believe that these scars require conscious decisions…guided by our individual faith.

I have made a handful of these types of scars inside of myself and because I have made them, they in turn have affected others around me…and scarred them as well. We cannot change any of our scars but we all can make the conscious decision as to how they will effect the rest of our lives and how we look at them in our current lives.  We can change how we react to them in the here and now. If they happened years ago, we can still learn from them. We can allow ourselves to keep them close but at bay as long as we keep moving forward.

Do not dwell on things of the past, we will never get those moments back and who wants to move forward constantly looking over their shoulders? If people look beyond what is rooted within them; their children for example…one can never get that time back and the children will change and evolve as they get older. Someday, one will get that knock on the door, hear the ring of their phone, an email and that child will reach for them.  The children will want to know why, where, how; they will want to know you – the biological parent.  At this point, the parent and child will have lost so much time….and the building may begin but there will be so much lost time.  This indescribable scar can never be the most difficult to heal.

 

 

 

 

For Cole

“Love you babe, Love you, Mom”

For Cole:

You are 13 today! The unconditional love you have for others is amazing, take that with you as you get older.  Your kindness will change everyone who comes to know you.

When I wake you each morning, I slowly creak the door open and literally you fly up from laying flat in bed with a gasp.  You are always quick to wake as if the house is on fire.  I am sorry because I have said this to you and like lighting you start flying around trying to figure out what you need to take but when you look up at me I just can’t contain my laughter. You always walk to me for a hug, I stay in the doorway just to get that hug from you. I love the way you hug and I love the way you hug everyone in the family, (really everyone) – at holidays, that is a lot of hugging.  Don’t ever stop doing that. Each any everyone you hug notices, by this you show them your heart.  You take the time for each and everyone of them, showing them they are special to you. You always vocalize your love. And it matters!

Babe, you need to start eating!  There are so many flavors…just try! As a baby you were always very picky but if I have to smell pedisure one more time in my life I will throw up.  Yes, you stopped drinking that a long time ago.  But you can’t live on carbs, pizza, grilled cheese, lasagna, nachos and or any other of the processing foods you love.  There are so many amazing foods, tastes, crazy or not, but food can give you a feeling, it can create a memory.  (Just as your pedisure did for me.) Try something I BEG you, you are hating me at every meal right now because I make you try one thing new every meal. We have figured out that canned green beans, mashed potatoes and steak make you gag.  As you grow you WILL need more food and all different kinds of food to fuel your body, to keep you growing, healthy, and active! Just give it a try!

You are 5 ft. tall, you may be the smallest in our family but son, you are mighty!  Don’t ever let anyone tell you, you can’t do anything, YOU CAN do anything you want! Never feel defeated, QUIT the self doubt: believe you are amazing!  You may learn in your own unique way, you may get the correct answer to a math problem that was not the way you were taught and you may encounter teacher’s who don’t take the time to understand the way you learn. Fight for yourself, speak up, if you need to stay after school or come to school early make that happen even if you’d rather sleep in.  It shows great character and strength.

You have had and will continue to have teachers notice you.  If you do the work, you will be noticed and teachers will notice your efforts. I believe I am a good teacher and I am confident I am, just as I am a writer. Far-away Grandpa was an exceptional teacher.  You have people all around you that can help and what is so amazing about you is that you are becoming your best advocate. I have been your advocate since your birth, I will continue to be. In the last two years, teachers continuously tell me you know how to ask the tough questions, you advocate for yourself, you are patient, and you don’t give up. I know you get frustrated, Bud. And I do too, trying to figure out how to solve two-step equations (fractions and mixed numbers) with the homework you bring home, seems impossible to me.  Then, once you work it through you are required to show your work backwards to prove it and write it out in sentences and don’t forget to write “yes” next to the problem and the “I can” statement (oh, and each answer stands for a letter which then solves a word puzzle at the bottom of the page).  Seriously honey, I’m baffled by this. I will learn to help you (although hopefully it will not take an hour like this most recent math assignment). I am in fact, learning with you and from you. I am just as excited as you are when we get to that last problem. In all honesty, I understand why teachers are teaching in this “new” way, I understand they are required by the state but there is always an acceptation to everything. If they are great teachers they will take the time to pay attention to how you learn the best and provide to you what you need to be successful and feel success even if testing says something else. There aren’t two pupils alike in a classroom.  Not everyone, can be taught inside the confines of a cookie cutter.  You have the tools to succeed in school. If you need to pave your way, you have those “dedicated” teachers around you – teach them as they teach you!

You have a wonderful sense of humor, your quick-witted, and bright.  You often say things that make us all laugh in any situation because of your wit and humor.  This is a great trait. You have already figured out how to lift the spirit of an entire room of people with your sense of humor and infectious smile and laughter.  You have great character. I am told by many people in your life that you lift their spirits everyday. I don’t think you even know it but this will take you far in life. You are grateful, happy, you draw other people to you, you do not judge, you love deeply and are empathetic.

Your empathy is something beautiful and you share it.  You would give away your lunch (which you have done), you take snacks/lunch for kids you tell me that aren’t eating), the clothes on your back, you make me tea when I am sick, you cover up your brother when he is sleeping, when I have a rough day you always surprise me with something that makes me gasp inside. If I take shower and have been sick you often take the time to lay out an entire “comfy” pile of clothes along with soft socks, a pillow, blanket and ice water. You sit with me when I am sick which is something I will never forget. I have never told you but I hate to be alone when I am sick. These things you do make me speechless.

There is ONLY one unique you and you need to open up at bit more and because you have so many life skills that other kids your age are completely unaware of.  Show this off! Be confident!

Cole, I know when you are down, you come to me and sometimes in tears, you like hugs and you fight through those tears and you have so much to say.  I wish I could take away your fears, your self doubt but when you are down and you don’t know why, please come to me and keep talking don’t hide how you feel with me. You are brilliant and at times in your life you will struggle and pushing on may feel like the hardest thing in your life at that time but you can and will survive and what will be on the other side will be beautiful moments and experiences. The world is a never ending place of beauty, explore it!

BE BRAVE!! Stop worrying about the numbers and letters you see on your report cards not a single thing on those papers show people anything about you…you will see them more as you get older because unfortunately, they are a part of going to school but let them go, do the best you can for those letters and numbers DO NOT define you.

Challenge yourself!  You do not need to live within the confines of your immediate surroundings. You have great ambition and you are passionate. I love that you don’t take things to seriously however, as you grow; there is a time and place to step it up! Don’t question yourself in these moments, get up, say what you need to, stay standing even if you feel alone (you will never be alone). Be Bold!  Be Inspired and inspire others. Keep surprising people!

Always love your family and continue to show it, I don’t know why I even write these words because at 13- you already do this!! This quality in you is priceless! Your brother has your back but the day will come when he will need you no matter what it requires of you…just be there! He may be five inches taller but don’t cave every time he comes at you with words or in play, it is in your nature to do this but when you do stand up to him (believe me, it will happen) be strong, out wit him, show him he can’t always win. This will empower you, life requires you to kick it’s butt sometimes even if it’s your little brother’s, still love him no matter what you go through together. I know you can do any you want in this huge world. Never get complacent and show people how you view the world and always lead with your heart.

Happy 13th birthday, my love!

“Love you babe, Love you, Mom”

I Welcome the Silences

Skinny Love by Birdysunclouds

“And while she never felt quite normal, she just loved too much. Choosing to see the world through her heart, instead of her eyes.”

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I welcome the silence this morning just as I did last night after my home was empty and calm.  The fireplace cast shadows over the destroyed living room and in that place I found quiet solitude and reflections from the last year.  The big moments hit my thoughts first and the smaller ones trickled through like snow melting drip by drip in my mind.

Last night, out of the 12 plates I was using; my brother grabbed the last one and it was covered in bugs, it was disgusting (a year in the attic). We all sat at the table (unknowing this) with our plated food and he came, sat down with an empty plate of bugs. (Life, HA!)

There was a fire on my dining room table last night (a burning candle and wrapping paper) and in the chaos of it all and of course, after it was out…I had to laugh.  Life can change in a blink of an eye. HA!

People can be in your life and then their gone.  Life and death. Feelings of being lost or stuck, wondering who you? And then a fleck of sunlight peaks its delicate ray through the dark clouds and something changes. Maybe you jump off that cliff, go with your gut, take a leap of faith with a job change, meet someone that changes your perspective on the world, make a dream come true, get engaged, publish a book, take a risk you normally wouldn’t, meet someone you feel that gives you that spark (it’s real, it’s raw-pay attention to it), graduations, marriages, children; there is so much life to live.  So many places to see and things to do. As I get older I realize I want to have more experiences, I don’t need anything…there are so many other people who actually “need” in this world…in a strange way I feel that this is exactly what I need…. experiences, more of them…act on the experiences I crave and desire.  I want to experience life through helping others daily…make that be one hell of new year’s resolution (and of course, 15 pull-ups, 40 box jumps and 40 burpees at Crossfit)!

In my selfishness I want to pack a bag, throwing the camping gear in the car and just go…. just drive…. just explore…leave my camera at home (yes, I said that!) and breathe in the moments that I find myself soaking in, exist in them, actually feel “life” …. make the word “adventure” …an action word (for you, literary peeps)!!  Here is my last selfish thought…. when I get back from that trip without being on a schedule I want to fill that same backpack with clean clothes and start over on a plane and actually go to places on my soul’s list…help build a school, be an aide where there has been a natural disaster…. help them rebuild…. things happen everywhere every day and I want to give…give everything that I have to somewhere or someone in need; this is a great desire of mine. Other places: Africa, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Bali, Ireland, Nepal, Iceland, Paris (see where my mother was born), Australia (where my sister was born), oh’ backpack across Europe living simply day to day with no plan, oh’ and join the Coast Guard!!

Anybody in??

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(Back to last night.) A room of laughter can easily be turned into worry and fraught as people are too worried about who started the fire rather than get that shit out of my house…burnt paper dusted the carpet and tiled floors. Celebrating with family and friends doesn’t need to be just be on those scheduled days on the calendar. Most people will never give those up for “tradition” sake. But why not get off the forged path ahead and be spontaneous…do something different. Be together to just be.  Be together for no reason.  Be together for an hour two. Sneak off take that trip, commit and go for it, take that leap.  Live!

All we have the moments we exist in!  If you think about today, Christmas…really think about how long this day is; 24 hours, right!?!  But how long does this day actually feel to you?  Does it feel like it drags on and on? Year after year it flies by so fast, we hurry through this day not purposefully but because there is just so much too this day. Many days in life feel this way. Take that leap, experience more, when you feel moved to jump, do it, adventure, take the moments, steal them if you too, give them back in another way but do give them back, karma baby.

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“And while she never felt quite normal, she just loved too much. Choosing to see the world through her heart, instead of her eyes.”