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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Berkeley Sunshine

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Two quick photos from our trip last weekend to Berkeley. The sun finally came out on Sunday and Mason and I took advantage of it!
Have a great day!

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Half Moon Bay

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Funny timing for this post, (which I wrote last Thursday and meant to post before the weekend!) because Friday, we actually headed back up to the bay area for another weekend workshop (this time for me!)

Mark posted before about our little getaway, but this was such a great trip that it deserves two posts, and more photos of course.

Sooooooo one lovely, albeit slightly rushed, Thursday morning, we headed up north in our shiny charcoal colored Corolla.  A quick stop at Trader Joe’s to stock up on some Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Sugar-free snackables and mini meals (no easy feat, even at a relatively health conscious store), in case restauranting was limited up there… and we were off!  Although Mason has developed a new immediate dislike for being restrained into a car seat, that I’m certain begin during this trip, he did pretty well on the four hour drive up to Santa Cruz.  This is where we stayed our first night, to break up the drive a bit.

Santa Cruz is a place that had instant ties into my heartstrings.  Not because I have any personal or emotional connection to it.  I think I’ve only been once before.  But the town has this wonderfully relaxed, slightly urban, salt streaked, bohemian flavor to it that just makes me feel at home.  It doesn’t hurt that the main drag near our hotel, Pacific Ave, was a lot like Santa Barbara’s State street, although somehow less pretentious. (Perhaps the lack of Juicy Couture’s and Coach stores)

Like Mark mentioned a couple weeks ago, Santa Cruz is also where we found Cafe Gratitude, a delicious vegan restaurant who’s menu was also half RAW.  Music to my restricted palate.  What an amazing treat to dine (for dinner and lunch the next day might I add) at a place where I could order almost anything off the menu! (There was a veggie burger on a whole wheat bun that was out of my gluten free league)  Even though I’m a huge fan of the comforting warmth of cooked food.  I ordered raw both times I was there!  I felt a little silly ordering with the names of their dishes… “I am hearty” and “I am elated”… which probably says more about me than I wish to dissect right now… so I just asked for the raw pizza one night, and the raw enchilada the next day.  YUM!  I ordered their cookbook off amazon within a week of returning home 😉

At the risk of this becoming a novel… the real purpose for the recap on this trip is this…

Once we got to Half Moon Bay, Mark had to go into the conference almost immediately, and spent long hours of the day there, sometimes through dinner.  Our hotel was gorgeous.  Like a studio apartment, with kitchenette, sitting area, fireplace and a small outside patio… right on the beach.  It was a fantastic, airy, fresh place to spend the days.  And the days alternated warm and sunny and cool and foggy.

There’s something about vacations that can reset your pace.  Even if they’re just a few days.  It’s the removal from the normal routine of life.  Distance from everyday crutches, positions, habits.  Although we brought a laptop with us, I felt silly using it when the beach was right outside our door.  So we took long walks at sunset, or in the morning mist, the baby and I, while Mark was in the conference.  We played, I flew Mason around the room on his stomach, sang to him as we danced around on the patio, set him on his stomach and he stuffed my books into his mouth.  And when he napped… I paused.  And considered what I wanted to do next with my time.  I had brought some knitting, a couple books, and a journal.  I ate when I felt hungry, I made some tea when I wanted comfort, I sat in front of the fireplace when I wanted to still my mind.  I had an informational book about baby’s brains for when I felt like learning, and I had a novel for when I felt like being told a story.  And I even watched a couple tv shows, but only when I checked in with myself first.  I did so little out of reflex, or habit… that I realized how often my days just disappear, leaving me frustrated by the end of them, because the hours were filled with activity, but I did very little that I actually felt was nourishing, or productive in the way that I wanted to be.

Of course we squeezed in some time with bay area friends, and managed to grab some meals as a family of three, too.  And while Mason didn’t enjoy the long car rides very much, they gave Mark and I a long awaited time to just talk.  And we talked and talked and talked.  The conference gave Mark some food for thought on his career and it’s direction and his long term goals… and his thoughts on that spurred on my talking about potential long term career goals of my own.  Long term anything talk tends to turn into future moving possibilities as well… so our car ride home Monday night was filled with lots of musing and dreaming out loud about plans for the future and appreciations for the present.

So this trip… I think it gave all of us a chance to reset.  I definitely become more aware of my approach to the days and slow myself down just enough to make sure I was headed in an intentional direction before I took off.  To remember that word I chose for this year, Attention, and apply it, not just to those special fleeting moments that I want to treasure, but to all of the moments in my day.  In paying attention… to how I’m feeling, how Mason’s feeling, how Mark’s feeling by the end of the day, and what we all need at varying points… those special moments happen far more often.  Because life isn’t just occuring without my participation.

And who doesn’t want to be an active participant in every day of their own life?!

 

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Photo of the day

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Mason smiles are contagious

Two Collages

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If you look closely at these top photos you can see two baby teeth popping out from his bottom gums. Mason is a little wiggly at times so it makes photographing details a little challenging!

Just some random shots from this morning.. enjoy!

{this moment}

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{this moment} – A SouleMama Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

(Already shared this on facebook… but I just love it)

Mason rice cereal

Nom Nom Nom…

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We started feeding him rice cereal.  How cute is this little chomper?! Feeding baby rice cereal Feeding baby rice cereal2

 

Feeding baby rice cereal collage

Elsewhere

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I love the time and in between

The calm inside me

In this space where I can breathe

I believe there is a distance I have wandered

To touch upon the years of reaching out and reaching in

Holding out and holding in

I believe this is heaven to no one else but me

And I’ll defend it as long as I can be

Left here to linger in silence

If I choose to

Would you try to understand

 

I like to sing.  I sing constantly, loudly, softly, intentionally, and without realizing it.  I sing to Mason, when we’re walking, when we’re dancing in the backyard, bouncy songs when he needs to laugh, and slow songs when he needs some soothing.  This is actually a Sarah MacLachlan song, but I originally heard it sung by Bethany Joy Lenz (Galeotti)… and sorry Sarah, but it remains my favorite version.  It’s Mason’s favorite song, I think.  Because within the first line or two, a grin spreads across his face, whether previously sad, sleepy or serious.

I have to say, that there are of course, periods of minutes or sometimes even hours, where things are not easy.  Where constant reserves of energy are being called upon from my rapidly emptying tank… where he’s so upset he won’t calm to my songs, or anything else we try for what seems like an eternity… where he may be peaceful and good-natured when I have him in my arms, and then immediately frantic and tearful if I set him down… or even when he is full of laughter, smiles and ready to be played with and entertained, and my cheeks have started to hurt from smiling.  There are days where I breathe a sigh of relief when he goes down for a nap, only to spend that time on laundry or making lunch or planning dinner because that’s the time when it’s easiest to do those things.  There are days where Mark and I plop down on the couch at the end of the day in front of a hulu show and eat our dinner there, worn out from our own form of work in the day.  And then turn on another show when that one ends.

BUT

I do believe… this is my own particular kind of heaven.

I’m sometimes shocked, after being woken up two, three, four times in a night to wails from the room down the hall, wishing each time that I could just sleep a full night again… that it’s still possible to walk down the hall, pick up that little screaming baby, and more often than not, instantly think that there’s no where else I’d rather be.

I’m not a masochist.  I enjoy sleep.  I also have a part of me that is wistful for the days, moments even, where my desires were the only important thing in my world to fulfill.

But here’s the truth…

We have our children with us for such a shockingly short amount of time.  18 years.  Before they’re grown and out to discover life on their own terms.

And we have our children as babies, toddlers, little young things, for an even smaller amount of time.  Short as the blink of an eye in the course of a life of 70 or 80 or 90 years.  Such a heartbreakingly short amount of time to cradle them, to cuddle them in your lap, to be the one they cry for in the middle of the night when they’re sad or hungry or lonely.  This is likely the only period of time in Mason’s whole life, where Mark and I are the only people in the world that he needs to feel safe and loved.  And I know this is that thing that all old ladies in supermarkets tell you over and over, but it’s all going to go by so fast.  So fast that soaking up even those really hard, exhausting, moments of endless giving… is so very important to me.

And if I can bring him some comfort in the middle of the night, or bring a giant smile to my baby’s face with just a couple little song verses.  Let me tell you, my heart swells.

Baby Mason Fauxhawk