July 23, 2014

Thin Skin

She had a loud heart
And some opinions to hold in
With a few worn heartstrings 
And some rather thin skin

I imagine that the difference in aging gracefully and, well, not, is that you let your heart grow and count on your skin to stretch rather than thicken. 

July 20, 2014

[27] 29 Lessons

Find a balance.

You'll notice I didn't get this posted last week.

When Friday morning rolled around and I hadn't done it, I vowed to use my Sesame Street time to get it finished. But then I didn't, and so I promised I'd write it on Saturday. I didn't do that either. Squeaking in on Sunday night though! And okay, I get this is a blog and I can really just write or not write whenever I want and it doesn't change the course of fate or life or even your day. That's just an example.

That's an example to say, sometimes I have bad days. Sometimes the bad days are days when something actually really bad happens. But you know, most of the time a bad day is just more like a blah day. You wake up and you are so mad you can't keep sleeping and you run out of coffee cream and have to use regular milk and your kids are arguing and your body doesn't want to move and you're thinking "What on earth am I going to do today? Because I don't have the motivation to leave the house but if I don't leave the house I WILL LOSE IT!" Also, on those days, you write run-on sentences. 

When I first picked this topic for this week, I think I assumed I'd write some basic post on finding balance in all parts of life. And while we all need some perfecting in this area, when I really thought about it, I realized that this wasn't the lesson for me in my twenties. I didn't have to learn that it was important to balance my different roles and tastes and goals with each other and reality. I already knew that and the task was instead trying to put it into practice.

What I did have to learn (oh, and especially since kids), what I've had to learn to balance, is that some days I will fail miserably at this, and failing miserably isn't an excuse to spiral wildly out of control into imbalanced oblivion. I am a human--and at that, a female, mothering, married one--and so it goes to say that I'm going to have a bad day. They're allotted to us. Some days are just pajama days, and even when you don't feel great about it, it still feels so good to do it. 

Life can't and shouldn't be a constant striving. I really do want to work hard toward things, to live with excellence, to be my best self; but sometimes it's important to get back in to life perspective and understand that it's just simply not roses all the time and that needs to be okay. Even when you've moved to the greatest city in the world, if you still want to take every Monday to laze about, maybe accomplish some laundry, but mostly just watch princess movies in yoga pants, I say, hey! That's fine. It's probably a better balance to allow those things than to push for perfection and accomplishment in every waking moment (and then some, because I actually have been trying to sleep better, which just sounds funny to say but I will admit to you is true). 

I guess my point is, finding a balance shouldn't be another item on the checklist. Finding a balance should be about identifying your crazy, and then allowing yourself to swing the other way now and again. Of course we all hope to fall somewhere in the middle, but we are a more interesting species than that, so I know you've all got crazy. Go with it. And then go with the other end. And then spend the days in between remembering what it feels like on both sides and finding those balanced vibes somewhere in the middle.

July 17, 2014

Meghan Savage Photography

When Trevor and I were first married, we lived in this enchanting little garden apartment complex. Ivy climbed up the walls outside our 1930s-styled windows, and there was room out back for Roscoe to run around with the other dogs. It was an idyllic little setting, and every evening we would pass some time throwing a ball around and watching Rosc exercise those herding instincts rounding the neighbor pups into a corner. This was how we met Meghan and Jason, a couple from a few apartments over, who happened to become great friends too. Those were happy times lounging by the apartment pool, walking to the Cherry Creek Farmer's Market, and sipping a late-night coffee downtown. 

Jason and Meghan have since moved to Kansas City and we are, well, here; but right before we took off from Denver, the stars aligned and placed Jason and Meghan and their sweet little boy River in town! Our meeting was brief but fun and nostalgic the way it always is to see old friends from a lovely part of life. 

Meghan just happens to really have a way with the camera. We ran in some of the same circles in those early days between my writing and her photography; and her career has only blossomed. She's a renowned wedding photographer (in fact, that's what had brought her back to Colorado that weekend) and captures the most beautiful pure, candid moments for families. She asked if she could shoot our family, and how could I say no? Especially since it was the weekend before we moved--now I have frozen in time the last of our Denver run! There are a few snippets of the shoot below. You can view the full gallery here and don't forget to check out the rest of Meghan's stunning work here. She's available to travel worldwide, so next time you're looking for a photographer, think of Meghan!

July 16, 2014


Rolling in and away
Somewhere and nowhere
Here is the start of a day
That's already ending somewhere

Each wave a beginning sounds
And an ending leaving too
The perpetual tide of this life of ours
Swirled in endless blue

The ocean spoke
We were mystified
And we were misty eyed
We were on the edge of something

July 14, 2014

One World Trade Center

On the Fourth of July, we walked along the Hudson, stopped at a playground, and then we made our way to One World Trade Center. It's still "Freedom Tower" in my mind, even though I've been corrected; but names aren't really the important part. Iris had a lot of questions about where we were and why the mood was somber and awed at the same time and how come there were little flags stuck in the wall. 

And while I thought about how to convey the meaning of the place to my three-year-old while sparing her the gore and terror that she just doesn't need to know yet, I remembered being 17 and sitting in science class when Mr. Hawkins burst through the door. He turned on a television in the corner and we saw the news tape ticker across the bottom of unbelievable footage and were granted the knowledge of what was happening without maybe really understanding. Eventually, the headmaster decided against students watching the news unfold. It was for parents to reveal to their children as they saw fit, he determined; which, as a parent now, I guess I understand. I remember knowing that my dad was stuck in Italy, thankfully, instead of on a plane bound for the States. I remember so desperately wanting to feel about the whole thing, but instead my feelings were stuck. Probably, I just couldn't fathom it.

As all this struck me and my eyes scanned the names lining those fountain walls, as I also recalled everything I've read and learned since, I was overwhelmed with a sort of sadness, but also with gratitude. Then I knew what to say to her. I pointed to a fireman and his truck parked out on the street and I said, "This is where men and women like that fireman were very, very brave. This is where people put others first and helped everyone and became heroes. All of the names here are those people who need to be remembered because they were so, so brave and loved. This is a very special place." She nodded her head as if she understood that a response didn't require words.

I wiped the corner of my eye and cleared my throat and held my hand over my heart because finally, all these years later, my feelings weren't stuck. I'm glad that the release wasn't fear or anger, but instead an overflow of appreciation and pride and thankfulness for all the men and women who demonstrated selflessness and pure human love even in the face of danger. I'm glad I could be there to experience that in person and to remember.