Frankly, it’s 54F outside right now, and the forecast high for today is in the 60s. On a couple of days next week, it’s supposed to be in the 70s. I will now duck your thrown punches. So, pretty much, no, it’s not really very cold here in Austin, TX.
Last year we had snow a week into the New Year (we were still living in Nashville). Braden expects it this year, and I keep having to tell him we will probably not see it.
No matter the weather, we’re enjoying some Christmas spirit in our home right now. We’ve been tracking Santa already and are currently watching The Polar Express. I sense there will be cookies consumed later today – along with our usual brunsli and spitzbuben, I made these monsters yesterday. Hey, at 433 calories a cookie, it eats like a meal! (Better get out my stretch pants.)
It’s been a wonderful holiday season, from the lights to the tree and the anticipation of the big day itself. Braden’s first time sitting on Santa’s lap and talking to him was a rousing success. My heart definitely grew to three times its previous size.
Now it’s Christmas Eve, and before I completely lose myself in:
- trying not to cry at the insanely joy-filled excitement spilling out of my son (already failed)
- The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, Elf, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- a pile of wrapping paper, tape, and cursing ribbons
- smoked salmon, crackers, wine and… yeah, really need to put on those stretch pants soon.
I wanted to share a little ditty with you guys that John and I recorded (home studio + talented musician, FTW!) earlier this month for The Fifth Annual Blogger Christmalhijrahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, hosted by Neil.
Just click the link below to listen to our version of Baby, It’s Cold Outside. And whether it really is cold out for you or not, I hope this warms your heart and spreads a little of our Christmas Joy to you.
From our family to you and yours, have a very Merry Christmas.
Happy Holidays, my friends!
This time of year has me in a weird place – I’m both surging with joy and childish wonder at the beauty and spirit of the season… and scraping the barrel of my emotions, coming up with fingers mired in the black tar that lies at the bottom of my heart.
When I eyeballed #reverb10 yesterday, “an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next,” I was intrigued. I was a little iffy about signing a commitment, because, let’s face it. The very nature of depression is that it’s hard to give a flying fuck lots of days. But then I decided it’s not a legal contract, and if I want to flake out like I do on everything else I’ve ever taken on, I totally can! Yay! (?)
But seriously, and more importantly, I see these writing (thinking/exploring/creating/discovering) prompts as a chance to find inspiration and motivation to keep me going through this season, even when the anchor tethered to my heart seems the heaviest, and the chain link line the shortest.
December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Prompt Author: Gwen Bell)
As in, where I do. This has been a hell of a year for me, for my family. In both joyous and heartbreaking ways, and both literally and figuratively, I’ve come from far away back to where I belong.
I feel at home again… in my body, in my home, in the world, and in the arms of my husband (who, by the way, loves me with a depth and in a way I sometimes can’t believe possible, but for which I am grateful).
I’m not sure how I’ve really been lucky enough to make it here, but I’m so glad to not be wandering in the ether as often anymore.
I’ve refound where I truly belong this year, in so many ways.
My word for next year is…
I’ve been far too complacent about a lot of things for some time. (I know, how much more specific can I get, right?) I’ve also allowed myself to fail at things (which is sometimes okay, but that’s another story) and I’m not okay with that right now. I’ve felt left out, unconsidered, not good enough, and neglected in certain arenas. I hate feeling that way. I hate that I feel that way about myself, ever. I’m going to challenge myself in the coming year – to overcome those feelings, to focus on positives, and to accomplish successes that will help make those first two things easier.
I need to rise above the stopping point on my comfort level and push myself to new heights, both personally and professionally. (And share it with all of you, whether you like it or not.)
December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Prompt Author: Leo Babauta)
I do quite a lot of things that probably don’t contribute to my writing. I don’t see that as a problem, though, so the idea of eliminating those things is somewhat puzzling and I find it unnecessary.
Writing is a deep part of me. I do it often, share it sometimes. I write about… well, everything. When I think about this, in fact, I’d have to say that, because of that very truth, everything I do and think while I’m not actually writing *does* eventually contribute to my writing. (Which is making this feel like a moot point, but I’m going to continue with the beating of the dead horse, for s&g.)
I write about my experiences, things I think, how I feel, etc. As such, all things I do affect my writing in some way. Writing and living the rest of your life = mutually exclusive? Nah. Is life full of distractions? Sure. But I’m going to lean towards saying that time management, rather than elimination of life stuff, is the key to writing and still doing.
I’m never going to regret that I didn’t spend that hour writing, for deadline or for pleasure, rather than building an epic train track with my son or sharing some wine and my heart with my husband.
What I would regret is if I let everything in my life get in the way of ever writing. So “balance,” once again, is the word of the day.
When I’m not wrapped up in my son, my husband, photography, cooking, gardening, Twitter/Facebook, fart jokes, Dexter, wine, or menial chores/errands/tasks that make me want to stab a pencil in my eye (clearly a favorite)… I’m writing.
Where the most time is devoted ebbs and flows, and I’m totally okay with that.
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Prompt Author: Ali Edwards)
This makes smoke float out of my ears as my brain fries to a crisp. It takes me eons to choose from the menu at a restaurant, deciding what to wear has the potential to cook up Angst Soup with a side of ARGH Salad, and any Bio or Profile where I’m required to list 3ish favorite books/movies/songs throws me into a mindlock of epic proportions.
I might be a little indecisive.
This task was difficult for me. Really difficult. REEE-HEEEAAALY.
And I’m going to bend the rules, here, and tell you that this is ONE OF THE moments when I felt most alive this past year. Seriously, I FEEEEEL way too much, far too often. There is no way ONE moment can be the MOST of anything in a whole year.
In any case, right up there hovering damn near the top moments when I felt most alive? When John, Braden, and I walked through this house for the first time, in the middle of the night, after having traveled nearly 1000 miles to get here.
Something pleasantly electric ran through me.
During those first moments in this house, my heart was so full it seemed it might push its way up through my throat and out my mouth, finally floating away. I took a photograph of myself, reflected in the back patio door… I think you can tell how I felt?
It was a dark, quiet night outside, and inside there was an air of neglect and loneliness, like the house had been alone for too long, waiting for someone to love. Our voices rang out as we passed through together, seeking the room we’d put our air mattress in for the night.
I felt alive because this (this town, this neighborhood, this house) is where I belong, where we belong, and I knew it, felt it. Maybe the house did, too. When I woke up the next morning, it didn’t feel alone any more.
And hopefully, it never will again.
Oh, Raw Honey, look at you sitting there waiting for me! I heard you whispering for me to come over, Raw Honey. And you are sounding soooo really, very good to me right now. Let’s get better acquainted in a situation involving bread and butter, m’kay?
What the hell, Raw Honey…
Why would you toy with me so, Raw Honey? Why would you sit there, practically beckoning to me with your sweet, delicious Raw Honeyness… and then… and then… be… EMTPY?
How cruel you are, Raw Honey!
How. Very. Cruel. You have hurt me deeply, Raw Honey.
*deep, heavy sobs*
What is that you say, Raw Honey? You mean, you didn’t do this to me on purpose? You say it was beyond your control, Raw Honey? You were just sitting there, being Raw Honey and someone came along and emptied all the delicious Raw and sweet Honey inside of you out?
You are telling me that someone scraped you clean, selfishly enjoying every last drop of you, Raw Honey? Someone didn’t share you, but just ate you all in private? Someone ELSE did this to you and then PUT. YOU. BACK?
Just to fool me?
What is that you say, Raw Honey? Yes, Raw Honey, you are right, I *am* feeling rather stabby.
Don’t worry, Raw Honey. I’ll get even. I make all the meals around here after all, right, Raw Honey? People eat what I prepare, without question.
What is that, Raw Honey? You say there’s a funny tone to my laugh? Oh, Raw Honey, just ignore that. Everything is just fine. I am in a peaceful state, don’t you worry. Just overlook the strange new element in my laughter, Raw Honey. I promise, I’m okay. You just rest. Shhh, shhhh, now, Raw Honey.
Someone else better watch his Raw Honey Thieving, Trickin’ a Bitch Ass, though, Raw Honey.
But you? You just sleep now, Raw Honey. Shhhh.
<rambling post of awesomeness>
I have had way too much fun lately. In fact, I told John that I was pretty sure I’m going to die soon and this is The Universe’s way of saying, “Oh, hey, sorry about that…” ahead of time. A lot of times The Universe is a total dickhead, but I can imagine that maybe sometimes it gets bummed out about what a shit it is and tries to be cool to you to make up for it.
It’s kind of like how I pretend to be nice to John every once in a while when I realize I’ve been a total hole for months on end. Cause, you know, a few hours of not actually saying anything derogatory and smiling a lot can make up for endless weeks of torture and passive aggressive quips blended with just out and out aggressive combativeness and demanding, controlling, and manipulative domestic behavior.
God help him if he complains though; then I’m all, “DO YOU NOT REMEMBER THE TIME THAT I HANDED YOU A NAPKIN WHEN YOUR FACE WAS DIRTY? I BLEED FOR YOU, INGRATE.”
Or something. But, basically, I know not to push The Universe and all, because it’s just doing the best it can, damnit. Ya dig?
So. Yeah. The Universe is clearly trying to be nice to me because it feels bad about my impending doom.
Either that or it is going to plan such a fiery, explosive and painful ending for me that getting me all complacent and mellow first will make things that much funnier for the bastard when it all goes down. The Universe is probably sitting in a dark room rubbing his hands together, and he’s all, “This stupid bitch has NO IDEA what’s in store for her, man. It.is.going.to.be.EPIC. I am totally going to photograph the look on her face and Twitpic it when she gets hers. MUAHAHAHAH.”
Um. Wow, The Universe just went from being a maybe, kind-of dickhead to a completely sadistic psychopath in my mind. I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve been into the caffeine again. Also the wine. Maybe a little of the blow powdered sugar.
What the hell was the point of this post? Oh, yeah. I’ve been having fun lately – making new friends in our neighborhood, going out with girls I actually like, and generally, well, not being locked in my house like a socially inept, loser ho-bag.
That is, I’ve been pretending I’m not a socially inept, loser ho-bag, and nobody is on to the deception yet, so clearly I am up for the next Academy Award. (note to self: do not marry Jesse James any time soon)
Last Wednesday, in another installment of Happy Fun Times I Should Feel Guilty About (don’t worry, I got mine) I went to an Open House at Beleza Medspa with some lady friends: Blythe (Aka @Bejewell) and Leigh. We needed to learn about ways you can change what nature does to your body, and instead, make it all fake and HOT.
Apparently, Blythe and Leigh were getting drunk for free while they were waiting for me to arrive late (people start drinking to cope with the fact that they miss me, I’m that awesome) (either that or they drink to cope with the fact that I’m about to arrive) and once I got there, we went to a back room to find out about the process of having your facial skin turned from haggarific to Goddess Sheen of Awesometasticness.
This process is also known, to lesser degree, as Let’s Burn Your Ugly Face Off. You’ll only have to hide in a cave for about 4-6 days while all the skin flakes off as if you have some horrible and contagious disease. But after that? YOU WILL BE BEAUTIFUL. It’s a metamorphosis. You have to let your inner butterfly out… by KILLING THE SHIT OUT OF THAT CATERPILLAR we like to call your real face.Read More»
they say it flies
often it rolls and tears
sometimes it creeps
and sneaks quickly, while you are distracted
it’s a flower that
drops its petals
far too quickly
you look around you
and they are scattered
like the pieces of your soul
changes explode all around
milestones rip past you
things you try to cling to are lost
others are found, unexpectedly
nostalgia will mock
serendipity can tease
the man holding the hourglass
has a snide grin
a cruel, jagged laugh
we all struggle to make sure
the joke is not on us
but when the laughter fades,
what side of the punchline will you be on?
always, we are progressing
through the stages of life
whether we resist the movement
or just flow
time pushes your existence
along a path that isn’t paved, but
being created by your own passage
do your feet drag lines down
or are there hand prints
indicating that you did
cartwheels along the way?
your life, like time
tumbles by swiftly
and often quietly
if you let it
like the life of that flower
from bud to fragrant memory.
try to stop and notice
those moments when
it is in bloom
just as often as we note
the petals that fall.
April 26th rolled past me, as it did you. It brought pain and joy and all things in between to him and her and them and the others. It was a day, and we all walked into and out of it, just like we do so many others. Some days leave their marks on you and those marks, be they soft lip prints or jagged, deep carvings, stain you. This is Life’s Tattoo. This is the one that can’t be removed; you just have to learn to live with your new ink. You may even find beauty in it.
I thought about this baby several times on this past day that happened like they all do, as clocks everywhere mark the time that slides by without any effort. It has been 2 years since that first miscarriage, the one that opened the door on a special kind of fear and loathing, and introduced me to the doubt of my female body. On this day I wondered, as I have so many times, who that one could have been if conditions had been just right. I sometimes stare off into nowhere, eyes distant, face slack, thinking these thoughts. Then I sigh deeply and swallow a lump in my throat; my hand may wipe at a tear that rolls absently. Other times I feel a peace, a moving on, an acceptance.
My world feels different than it used to so many moons ago. I am changed. There are some wonderful differences and there are, scattered about, some not so fabulous ones. These things, the changes both good and bad, are all just a part of the What Is. I can handle that. I can roll with it and still find a reason to be, see a splendor in life. It’s always there, waiting for me to rediscover it.
There have been times I didn’t think that was possible – that I’d be able to see beauty and feel bliss in life again, be able to even care if it was there or not. But I hold that knowledge, that truth, close to me now, as I live and breathe. This tender awareness seems to sit in the palm of my hot hand like a smooth pebble. It holds weight and feels cool against my skin. I like it; it grounds me.
I have learned another truth during this time, as well. A less fabulous one, I’m afraid. In every situation during the past two years where I have said to a group of women (of any size) that I have had miscarriages, at least one of them always shares that she has had one, also. There are too many of us. Why does it never fail to shock me, even though I know well by now how often it happens?
To all of you who have experienced this or other painful loss, I thought about you today, too. I felt sadness and tension, and then I released it. I sought the love and peace in my heart. After soaking it in for awhile, I released that into the universe, too.
I hope it finds you, much like a cool pebble that might just land, unexpectedly, in your upturned palm.
His very first cone of ice cream to eat all on his own was a waffle cone bigger than his head. He loved it deeply.
It loved him back. They became one in a melty explosion of chocolate toddler happiness.
You just can’t stand in the way of a love so deep (and sticky) as this – you just put it outside, watch the sweet carnage unfold, laugh and take lots of photos.
Mark it down on the list of fun stuff I’ll miss witnessing one day.
The next time you see me here, I’ll be back where I left my heart years ago.
Heading back to live in Austin, my friends. With a huge grin plastered across my face.
I’m sure I’ll be tweeting all along the way there, so if you’re interested in coming along, follow me on Twitter!
I am so, so, so happy.