And So It Turns

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I actually asked myself today, “where can I write about all these feelings I have to process them?”  Um … oh yeah! I have a blog.

It’s a full, exciting time and I am finding myself short on spare time. But, when I don’t write, I get kinda weird in the head, so I think it would be good for me to write more. This is a lesson I seem to have to relearn frequently.

Morning workout, 8-week fitness challenge, Waves Women

I’m back in the saddle with the whole exercise-for-fitness journey, which is my conflicted little hamster wheel. (It had been a long time since I was exercising regularly and I won’t bore anyone with the reasons why.) For the last seven weeks I’ve been going two mornings a week to a workout with a group of moms from our school. I call us the Waves Women, though our group has no official name. One lovely, enthusiastic lady recently became a personal trainer and she offered to whip us into shape in an eight-week program. I caught wind of this group a little late, but joined up. We’ve been exercising in the mornings in the park right next to the Waldorf school. The workouts at first were a little hard for me, but they’ve become much easier. And while I kind of hated it at first, as I have come to know these women better, I really have come to enjoy the whole experience. Because they are awesome. They show up and bellyache and laugh and try and modify and encourage each other. It’s very real and wonderful. (Many thanks to Black Francis for taking the photo above and letting me publish it here.)

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So, I would just like to say thank you to Meredith for giving her time and encouragement and energy, and thanks to all these super people for making this experience fun for me. Turns out I like working out with people I know!

I’ve also been doing a lot more walking and running lately. I’ve been walking with several friends semi-regularly and running a couple of times a week—but I had a cold for part of October and that slowed me down a bit. One day I walked 8 miles because I didn’t feel up to running, but walking was just right.

Good morning

It’s hard to go wrong when you can get out to places like this within just a few minutes. So, anyway … fitness. My motto right now is “Do more.” We’ll see where that takes me, but I can tell that I’m in a better place for it.

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This past weekend I acted as the officiant in the wedding of two dear friends. I was honored to be asked to do this work, and I am so happy for them. The whole thing was beautiful and I’m very pleased with how the ceremony turned out. Ian was the Best Man, and that meant that our boys were rather on their own for much of the day’s festivities. They were super good and I’m proud of them. There will probably be photos from the day floating about, but I confess I took none. I was too nervous before the ceremony to even think about getting out my camera or my phone.

Writing and performing this wedding ceremony has had me thinking a lot about love and commitment. About how two people can honor each other through time and changes and growth. How you continue to blend two lives in concert when people have differing needs and wants. I know that it takes work and patience and understanding. I know it takes open dialogue and discussion and that isn’t always pretty stuff. I know marriage includes a lot of unglamorous things that fall into the highly unsexy categories of “Daily Grind,” and “Working the Plan,” and “Roles.” I’m 18 years into my marriage and it’s frequently bewildering but always rewarding. It isn’t a fairytale, however, and no marriage can be—unless we’re talking about the kind of fairytale in which fingers get pricked and sacrifices are made and sometimes the woods are dark and scary.

Anyway, here’s what I know about love: It doesn’t fall from the sky or blossom at your feet without effort. You make it, and make it, and remake it, again and again, every day. You plant the seeds of love in a thousand little actions every day. What I don’t know about love and marriage is a lot longer than this paragraph, I’m sure.

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And now, about Halloween. I am feeling like I blew it this year. But I also know I don’t need to feel that way. I know that in the past I’ve set the bar for our Halloween costumes pretty high, and this year—well, the wedding and my work ate up Halloween. We will still go trick-or-treating. We will still see friends and enjoy our spooky night. Our kids will end up wearing something. Lucas has taken point on his assassin costume. He’s relaxed about it, and not worried about it being fantastic. Asher is going as a potion maker, and we have found a couple of items at the thrift store and he’ll carry with him tiny bottles of colored potions. That’s all his idea and I don’t have to control it. Right? Right.

I love Halloween, and I will have other opportunities to go mad about it. Just not this year. And that’s OK.

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So, maybe this post is about starting again, about continuing to try, about compromise and doing the good work, and about forgiveness. Maybe.

Spreading the Love

Valentine's Day Breakfast

Decoration

Heart Composition Books

Valentine's Day Nature Table

Valentines from Friends

Valentines from Friends

Redwork Pillow from Grandma

Valentine for the Birdies

Happy Valentine’s Day from our family to yours.

You can find this post also on Homespun Waldorf’s Winter Carnival
Homespun Grab Button

Holy Days

Christmas Morning at Home

My Boys

These holy, family days have been so full. We are enjoying. Resting.

Asher got Face Crayons

Coloring.

Dragon from Santa!

Bananagrams

Playing with so, so many wonderful gifts.

We have had long, luxurious visits from friends, and a sweet party that we are very honored to host.

Dog and Ian

Playing

The little dog, Solstice, is a great joy to us all. We still don’t know where he is from. We haven’t had even a single nibble on the ads we placed, hoping to find his owners. In the meantime, whatever the outcome, we are enjoying him ever so much. And now I have someone new and fluffy to point my camera at.

Christmas Day Reading

We’ve been reading new books in our leisure and drinking too much delicious coffee. Nursing head colds.

Ice

Experimenting with magical ice … to see what we can make, of course.

Window Stars

Cutting snowflakes and folding window stars. (LOVE!)

After all the working>making>striving>doing>going> leading up to and including Christmas day, we are now fully and happily settled into our hibernation days, our holy, family days. There is plenty to do—very little of it is urgent. So perhaps we’ll do some laundry. Or cook. Or play more Legos or a game. Or go for another walk instead …

Nature Walk

At the River

Asher Climbs

Or climb a tree …

Asher and Solstice

Brothers

while we learn more about each other …

Heart of Stones: Found Art

and see what we can find along the way.

Thanksgiving Letter to My Husband

Ian

I am grateful for …

 

your humor

your smile

your ceaseless, devoted love

your boundless curiosity and need to know

your intelligence and courage

the way you hold me at night and I melt into you

how I can always find safety in your arms

 

your tireless caretaking and delicious cooking

the way you will play Legos for hours, create movies and games, build with, cook with, read to

and otherwise spend time with our children

they soak up every moment with you

the way you do the things I don’t want to do because you want to spare me

the way shield me from news or stories that will hurt me

 

our sweet children,

with all their random noises and sticky fingers and smelly feet

how they are intense and playful

learn every moment,

and trust that their world is safe and beautiful

because it is

they are the gifts we gave to and share with each other

and they crack open my heart to make it bigger every day

 

our health

and healthy relationships

our community of creative darlings

and loving family

how we are nestled in among all these loving people

who share with us their stories and wisdom and passions

 

our beautiful, wacky home

with its hundreds of colors and clutter of goofy, artistic treasures

its happy memeories

its fullness and warmth

its laughter and chaos and rhythms

how it always has enough

the way we are always filling it up with our friends

the garden, which is our labor of love

that pleases me with each blossom and every leaf

and reminds me to celebrate small things

 

These things, and so many more, are my blessings and I’m grateful for all that we are and all that we have built together—for so many of my blessings circle back to you, my love.

Today’s Blessings

Beeswax Lantern

It’s been hard lately. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Today was good in these important ways:

Sleepover friends kept Lucas and Asher well entertained until 3 p.m. I got to work during this time (in between their many feedings).

They created a “Kid Café” in my kitchen and served herbal tea and toast. Lucas wrote out everyone’s orders: “Bred tostid, Honey, Buder, sleepytime.”

I cut a persimmon in half to show the kids the eight-pointed sunburst/wheel of the year inside. They didn’t much care, but I did.

T’s favorite piano piece got markedly better as the day wore on. She practiced it about a hundred times. It’s a lovely, sad piece of music that she is playing by heart.

I watched a kid-made paper puppet play. It was extremely goofy. Asher sneaked in a mention of “poop” at every opportunity to see if I would react.

I wrote a poem. I made a pretty gewgaw. I made plans for more creations.

As soon as their friends left, Asher fell apart and fell asleep. While my sick baby napped (and coughed and cried), Lucas needle-felted two new toys for himself: a knight and an archer, complete with weapons.

I lit candles and enjoyed them, even though my sick little one screamed that he hates candles and why won’t anyone listen to him and put them out?!

I left the house for an hour for groceries and supplies. I bought whiskey. The outing was worth it.

The Internet made me cry, but then it made me cry again in a good way because as awful as some people can be, others can be even more amazing.

My husband is dreamy.

 

 

 

Fitness and Me

I should be doing a bunch of other things right now. Instead I’m going to talk in this space about fitness, my own fitness, in particular.

I am having more success this year than possibly ever before. Which is why hurting my back last weekend has really thrown me off. See, I’m not not exercising this week because I don’t want to. Well, OK. I’ll turn that around: I’m not exercising this week not because I’m too lazy, or my kid is sick, or there’s no time, but because I can’t. Because I should heal from whatever the hell I did to myself. Because I don’t want to make this mild injury worse.

And, well, this not exercising is kind of driving me nuts. I can actually, honestly say it: I’m missing my exercise this week. I’m feeling really hampered by this mild back pain, this slight impediment to my normal, everyday movements. And I don’t like it. I don’t want to rest.

Those who know me will realize how big that is.

Ian deserves all the credit, except for the fact that those calories I’ve been burning regularly since January 17, 2011 were my calories and I burned them. But Ian helped an awful lot—by coaxing, encouraging, cajoling, rousting, pushing, and loving me into our shared exercise and my fitter, stronger body.

It’s worked. I’ve accomplished 121 workouts since we started seven months ago. I won’t go into all the gritty details. The truth is I hated many of them, especially those that began and ended before 7 a.m. But what I like is the accumulation of them. The collection of workouts. The notches on my bad-ass belt. The sparkly jewels on my custom rainbow-and-unicorn reinforcement star chart that Ian made for me.

My relationship to exercise in general has always been wobbly—often emergency-room wobbly. Exercise has always meant to me asthma, asthma, and more asthma, running around toxic school fields of allergic green death. There have been some small exceptions in my adult life, since asthma maintenance drugs have improved immeasurably over those I took as a child. The crux there is they were always brief exceptions, short forays into the realm of normal people. In high school I enjoyed dancing in musical theater productions quite a lot. In college I walked all over the hills of Santa Barbara, Berkeley, and Saint Andrews in Scotland. During one of my office jobs, Ian and I managed to drag ourselves to the gym with good regularity.

Something always came up, though. Asthma. A massive deadline, or a whole season of them. A nursing baby in arms. Then another. It just got more and more complicated.

K, never mind all that. The point is: I’ve been running. A little. Since about March. A little here, a little there. Almost 2 miles, then almost 2.5. Then 2.7 miles a bunch of times, then that distance without any walking breaks at all.

Last Saturday, I ran 3.8 miles in a row without stopping. And when I was done, I felt fantastic.

So, I’m a runner? Me? Asthma girl? Running is the freakin’ Holy Grail to me because it’s always been so unattainable.

And now I’m benched. Slightly injured. For now. For not much longer, I hope. Because now that I’m on a roll—succeeding at this difficult thing—I really don’t want to lose it all and go back to Square-One Failure. The Harpies are shouting in my ear, “See, you can’t actually be a runner. You’re no athlete. Who do you think you’re kidding?” And I fear I will have to start over. I have fears.

I also have two stars to go before my rainbow is complete.

Thanksgiving

We have a quiet Thanksgiving Day today. Quiet enough to think a bit about what I’m grateful for.

* My beautiful sons, strong, brilliant, and hale. They are the sunlight of my days. They have transformed me.
* My loving, noble husband who takes care of all of us and brings out the real me. He is my shelter and my heart.
* My parents and Ian’s parents, for all that they are and do, and for all they helped us to become.
* My precious, clever, quirky, shining friends. They know why.
* My safe, comfortable home filled with all that I really need and lots more besides.
* My ever-hungry brain and my many hobbies, which nourish me in so many ways. I am still growing.
* My undeniable, abundant opportunities, a plethora of blessings and experiences that I’ve enjoyed all my days. I am especially grateful that we can now offer amazing opportunities to our children as they grow.
* My family members whose love and courage are so great that they do the tasks that no one else wants to do.

We are so very, very rich. I am sending out my love to all of you on this Thanksgiving Day. Blessed be.

Second Grade Form Drawing

Happy Birthday

Bascha

I love you, Bascha. Thank you for spending your life with me. To me you are rainbows and ocean breezes, sunsets and a warm bed.

I Know Him So Well

I Know What He Likes

True love is being able to pick out library books for your lover.

Family Days

So, Friday again. There’s always such gorgeous POTENTIAL in Fridays, such HOPE, so many dreams and plans. How will we fill our weekend? What weekend joys will fill and fulfill us over the next few days? Around here, we call weekends “Family Days.” I know we have family days every day, for we are never really far from one another. But “Family Days” is the name that means something to my children, and it helps us grown-ups remember that these two days are important, no matter what we end up doing (even if it’s just chores and hanging out). Family Days are special. Daddy is home with us all day. There’s less routine (like little boys waking up even earlier than usual out of excitement) and more resting. A bit more reading. More breathing out.

It’s funny, the expectations I carry. I want my Family Days to be idyllic and restful, peaceful and restorative after a hard/busy week of bouncing to and fro between kid activities and work. I also want Family Days to be packed with exciting projects and fun, tons of friends and laughter, special foods and adventures away from home—all to fill up our hearts, minds, and eyes.

Oh Friday, where will you take us?

Lots of weekends look a lot like work days for me. Today I’m imagining that apart from all that dreamy fun, adventure, social time, and rest we’ll have this weekend, I’ll also get gobs and gobs of freelance work done. Yes, this is where that time machine comes in. I’m awaiting its delivery. Should be any day now. I have my receipt around here somewhere …

On deck for this weekend:
• Getting our hens!
• Finishing coop/chicken run chores (yikes!)
• Getting some straw and feed and chicken sundries
• Tons of editing work for me
• Dinner with friends
• Some swimming, hopefully—it’s damn hot
• Grocery shopping
• Making snacks and popsicles

This morning, my kiddos were READY for Family Days. Asher whined, “It’s NOT a school day. It’s a Family Day! We play together today.” I know how he feels. Although he rallied and adjusted his attitude to going to preschool, he gave me a set of assignments for today: “Spray your plants. Work on your computer. Build with blocks on our zoo. Then when I come home, I’ll say ‘Good job, Mom! You did good work today!’”

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2017 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    "Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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