Life Lessons: Before We Can Get Back Up

I added “Blogging” on my Apple Watch app for building habits to get myself back on track. I’m currently on vacation (and promise to share more when I have 5 minutes to breathe!) but for now I wanted to share with you my latest parenting essay on Ravishly. (Feel free to check out my writing portfolio and subscribe for updates when I post links to new published work, too!)

I submitted this one when it was still warm enough outside for capri jeans and converse without socks, so it’s always strangely awesome to me when a piece finally publishes…and it’s exactly something I need to be reminded of, at exactly the right time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or for you to share the link with a friend who you think might need to be reminded of the same message in this essay - Life knocks us down, day in and day out. How we handle to fall, and our ability to pick ourselves back up after each one, make all the difference in the world.

Screenshot 2018-12-11 12.46.28.png


Image source: Ravishly.com

Half-Off Joyful Snowman Holiday Cards!

I guess it't not all bad if I'm only posting sales codes these days, right? 

Fans of my Joyful Snowman holiday card sets have the chance to pick up a set (or five) of cards for half off with the code JOYFULSNOWMAN. That means an set of 30 cards is $25 instead of $50 and a set of 10 cards is now $9 instead of $18. You still pay shipping AND play nice, because the code is only good for the Joyful Snowman card sets. 

unnamed-12.jpg

I love this snowman. Last year, this guy was my Christmas card, and I'm so thrilled each time I find out my card was saved and displayed with this year's holiday decorations.

I've got a new design I'm sending out to family and friends this year and next year, the new design gets added to my etsy stock. I just got my order from MOO and I cannot wait to show you tomorrow. For now, don't forget that you can get 25% off all noncommissioned art in stock on the shop (HAPPYHOLIDAYS is the code). 

Note: Joyful Snowman cards are on sale for 50 percent off through 12/20 and then 25 percent off sale runs through 12/31. I'm out for tonight...I've got files to ready for a lined journal I'm self-publishing. 

*Winks*

 

Tacos & Other Firsts

It's midnight. Technically, it's tomorrow, but I've always preferred to separate the todays from the tomorrows with dreams. Since I'm still awake, I'm going to carpe the hell out of this diem right now because stopping my truck halfway up my driveway to take a picture of pine trees heavy with the day's snow that is still coming down is my version of stopping to smell the roses.

It's been snowing all day. The slow, fat snowflakes that make it seem like we live in a snow globe. The roads are shit and visibility is nonexistent, but we have 6-8 inches of soft powder for snowshoeing and snowman building and snow angels and snowball fights. This is the kind of snow we've been waiting for since winter arrived here in northern Maine this year. It's the kind that just feels like it's happy. Dorothy fell asleep in the field of poppies and I was smiling it's this kind of snow that has me thinking that maybe that snow globe idea isn't really crazy and I wonder if we are turned upside down, for just a moment, and shaken gently while we sleep.

 

***

My Weather Channel app tells me it's 33 degrees outside right now and Eliana didn't wear her gloves on the way into the house. I didn't bother to zip my jacket. Cold is subjective, but I'm pretty sure even the Midwest -- after having dealt with unthinkably bitter temperatures and polar vortexes and requisite references to The Day After Tomorrow --  will agree with me that anything above 0 degrees is practically sunbathing weather.

We've lived here just over a year now and after four years in the desert with 100 plus degree temps in the shade being the norm, I think my Maine is starting to show. Proof? Here's a snippet of an actual conversation with The Husband this morning --

Him: it's already 17 degrees out.

Me: (incredulous) Really? How warm's it gonna get?

Remember, people. I'm first-generation on both sides. Pretty sure I may have lost my Mexican card.

 

***

Saturdays are our favorite day of the week, I think. For my kid it's heaven because she loves working with the horses more than I think she pretends to hate our dogs. I'm positive she's going to rebel as soon as she gets her own apartment by becoming a crazy cat lady just because she can, Goddammit. But while she cringes at the thought of a dog licking her and touching her skin with the same tongue that just licked its own ass, this girl loves the horses and saw nothing wrong with dropping onto her back in a relatively clear patch of snowy whiteness to make a snow angel. I should probably sanitize the winter jacket but it just makes more sense to make this her Official Farm Winter Coat because it now and forever shall more smell like horseshit.

I couldn't be prouder.

***

Good friends are moving from one house to another in town and today we got to enjoy the first meal cooked in their new house. I drove by the place twice because I couldn't make out any addresses with the snow coming down so thick. When I finally just guessed and pulled into the drive of the home I thought may be theirs behind the vehicle that I hoped was theirs, I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.

I was right.

And the house I had driven by, twice now, was directly across the street from the farm we visit each Saturday. And it had only taken me 20 minutes to find it.

***

Eliana had her first taco tonight.

You guys? She's 6.

Oh, she's had her fair share of black bean quesadillas before we swore of grains and went paleo. But a taco is new and she loved it in the way all children have sworn to hate anything new that we actually want them to eat, like broccoli. My Jewish friend Shosh pointed out that her 2-year-old eats tacos all the time. I pointed out that mine tells me when her sunbutter, full-fat coconut milk, avocado, and kale smoothie is missing something because "More kale please!" is something I will never tire of hearing.

And then I shared the story about the missing Mexican card and Shosh totally said she understood because she's just that kind of friend, you guys.

***

Time always passes to quickly when we laugh, I think. Before we knew it, it was somehow 10 p.m. and our children needed to be in bed and The Husband was rubbing the sleep from his eyes from exhaustion. He helped move the heavy furniture. I helped hang the curtains.

We had a 20-minute drive back to our own house and time must have still been fast-forwarding because now it was 10:30 and The Husband had already left in his Jeep so he could get the fire going again. We'd been gone most of the day, after all. So Eliana and I drove a little slower than usual on our usual route home and it only took us a little bit longer than usual to make it from Point A to Point B and then the headlights illuminated the drive leading to our house, hidden from view by the thick walls of pine, and the usual suddenly looked new. I had to stop midway up the drive to take this picture because it makes me think of wardrobes and magical kingdoms ruled by wise lions with Liam Niesons' voice.

It's the moments like these that, I think, are a test for us put out by The Universe to see how much we appreciate the moment we are in right now. Welcome to Narnia, y'all. This is where I live.

 

Mexican Musings from Maine

 

A text to a friend:

 

"Snow shoed. Finger knitted. Watched the plow truck get plowed out of our driveway by a construction plow, the fed ex guy park behind the plow truck while still stuck and jog through 50 yards of foot deep snow carrying packages under one arm like it was a Sunday jog, and grilled salmon on the deck while my kid played in the snow for an hour after snow shoeing. Just your regular winter night in Maine."

 

Her response:

Let me know when your column launches.

 

Okay.

Challenge accepted.

Between the Lines and My Cups Overfloweth

The problem with my brain not automatically transmitting my thoughts and images into blog posts that publish themselves is that I end up so far behind myself that it's usually not worth catching up. But that's only when I haven't lost my mind just a few days shy of my 35th birthday and learned that the local health clinic for general care no longer prescribes ADHD meds to anyone over the age of 18 citing "problems" when they were. In other words, all you assholes too lazy to search out your own community meth lab in Someone's Basement because you didn't need a prescription have now left me scrambling to find anyone who can get me legal speed in a bottle with my name on it before I run out of what I've got. Also, I'm wondering exactly how ADHD is supposed to magically fix itself once the patient turns 19 or if that's the reason Somebody's Basements keep popping up all over the place.

Other highlights from the past week or so include a depressive fog so thick I could make soup out of it and driving two hours to see Santa and showing up three times at the post office for holiday crap after my meds have worn off. I'm pretty sure the staff looks forward to the next time I stop in. Or maybe everyone in Maine is just that nice and I haven't picked up on the "Dammit, the crazy lady's here again" vibe. Either way, you get the rest of the inside of my head in between the lines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then I run out of steam. It's 2 a.m. and I have words to write for the other site that doesn't pay the bills but means the world to me and my sanity. I have more to share here. Until then, Happy Christmas Eve.

First Snow

I'm going backwards. Before I show you the ride between Tucson and Northern Maine, I'm showing you the first snow fall and how Buttercup was so excited that she insisted in skipping breakfast and suiting up to go play first. She doesn't understand yet that snow is not the rarity here that it was in Tucson. But I doubt it will make a difference when she does. I have never seen her more excited to get out of bed and race out the door.  

 

 

 

 

Memories. Captured.

"Think she's old enough?"

Doesn't matter.

"Think she'll like it?"

Of course.

"Think she'll..."

"DADDY!!! Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!"

Yeah, she'll appreciate it.

"Where are we going, Mama?"

"It's a surprise."

"But I don't like surprises."

"So we stay home."

"That's now that I said."

"So it's a surprise."

"Where are we going, Mama?"

"I see snow!"

"Isn't it pretty?"

"Can I make a snow angel, Mama?"

"Maybe later."

"After we get to our surprise?"

"Yeah, baby. After we get to our surprise."

"Daddy, Mama said I can make a snow angel after we get to our surprise."

 

"We're here!"

"Where's here, Daddy?"

"Our surprise."

"So I can make a snow angel now?"

"Enjoy your stay and your train ride to the North Pole."

"The North Pole?"

"The North Pole."

"Will Santa be there?"

"Of course. You may even see him on the train."

"I GET TO SEE SANTA ON THE TRAIN?"

"Yes, you do."

"I GET TO SEE SANTA ON THE TRAIN!"

"Mrs. Clause can see you now."

"Are you a real elf?"

"Are you a real girl?"

"Your ears are pointy."

"That's because I'm a real elf. You're cute."

"That's because I'm a real girl."

"Would you like to be my honorary elf?"

"But I'm a girl."

"Girls can be honorary elves."

"What do I have to do?"

"Just hold my hand and wave the first train off. Think you can do that?"

"Smile and wave, sweetie."

"I am."

"Not at me, you silly goose. Smile at the passengers on the train!"

"I'll wave at them. But I'll smile at you."

"We're going to see Santa"

"Yes, baby. It's our turn now."

"Then I can make a snow angel?"

"You are adorable."

"Can I be an adorable snow angel?"

"Hot! Hot! Ooh, we got it! Hot! Hot! Hey, we got it! Hot! Hot! Say, we got it! Hot chocolate!

"What would you like for Christmas?"

"A special doll that's just for me!"

"Merry Christmas!"

"I love you, Santa!"

"Mama! It's SNOWING!"

"I see that."

"Now see me dancing in the snow!"

"I see that, too, baby."

"Can we take the snow with us, Mama?"

"No, but I can take a picture of y0u dancing in the snow with us."

"Take more, Mama. Take more!"

"Am I making  good snow angel, Daddy?"

"The best."

"I want to make it smile."

"I think it already is, baby."

"There's snow on my manos, Mama."

"Yes, I know."

"My butt is wet, Daddy."

"I figured it would be."

"My legs are cold, Mama."

"Makes sense to me."

"Can we stay here forever, Daddy?"

"Forever? No. For now? Yes."

"For now is so pretty. Thank you for for now."

 

This post was written in response to a sweet little linkup at These Little Waves for my friend Galit Breen.