and laughing with my mama over the telephone about the joys and sometimes utter ridiculousness of raising children, particularly teenagers. As Spring Break is winding down, I can see summer just over the horizon, and look forward to slowing it down a little bit more around here. I'm longing for more daylight hours, more second lunches, more phone conversations 'just because'.......
I didn't really intend for this last gratitude to be so encompassing or so cliche, but as gratitudes have been swirling around in my head today, I just kept settling on thoughts of this year. For me personally, there's just no denying that 2011 has been a year of change and adjustment, a year of new friendships, new work, and lots of growth. There have been years in the past that I've met the new year with resignation or kicked the passing year to the curb with a tongue lashing and good riddance. I'm not so naive to believe that tough years won't come again, but it just doesn't seem right to not acknowledge when things are groovy. I realized today that I'm looking forward to 2012 with curiosity and optimism and that's a pretty damn good feeling. So thanks, 2011...it's been real fine. Real fine, indeed.
It's been a crazy couple of months. I started a new job a couple of months ago that has occupied every spare moment of my time. This past weekend really feels like the first time that I have been able exhale and take stock in quite some time.
A few things that I am certain of:
-I love the dedicated people that I am blessed to work with.
-This type of appreciation and respect can buoy a team to move forward regardless of sleepless nights, injury, illness, frustration and disappointment.
-The mad support that The Man provides me in unwaivering. After 6 years of working together and almost 16 years of marriage, you would think that I wouldn't feel the need to state the obvious...but the transition has been a bit bumpy around these parts and it's worth noting how much I value his steadfast belief in my abilities.
Things that are a little muddier:
-The thing I'm having the most difficulty with is carving out real time to spend in the kitchen. I find such joy in creating, capturing and blogging about the food that we cook. Lately we've eaten out of more boxes and cans than I will can reveal to you without seriously embarrasing myself.
- My work schedule has always revolved around my children. I would leave my office at 2:30 each day, and pick up my second shift after the kids were in bed. Often this meant working through the night, but being present for the kids and their needs when they were home We've known that this would not last forever, but it's been difficult to find our rhythm in the evenings when our daily schedule has been pushed back hours later than we're accustomed to.
Today I sat with a dear friend and she reminded me of the metaphor that all the mamas I know use to call on each other to take care of ourselves. You know the one. It's the one about the oxygen mask and how you're supposed to put it on yourself first when the airplane is experiencing a drop in cabin pressure. You wonder why they tell us EVERY single flight? Why we repeat it to each other constantly? Because by nature taking care of ourselves is not what we think of first, but truthfully if we don't find a way to allow for our own needs then it can effect everything negatively. I find that a few solitary moments make me more present and patient with my children. An afternoon sitting on a beloved friend's porch, catching up, fortifies my soul and releases burdens that I didn't even realize I was carrying. An evening of baking cookies for a fundraiser busies my hands and calms my mind.
All of this to say...I feel like out of necessity we're slowly creeping back towards a more normal routine. I actually made a meal plan for this week, and spent almost 3 hours in the grocery store to restock our woefully depleted pantry. It may not seem like this is 'self-care' but believe me, I get a great sense of satisfaction from being prepared to feed my family.
Starting now, I hope to be more present here on the ol' blog, but please understand that I might falter now and again. As always, I appreciate your support.
With regards to my girl, I'm feeling grateful for the friends that aren't too cool for school...the friends who coax out the goofy on days when she might be taking herself just a little too seriously. Sweet girls, this mama thanks you. xoxo
The view from my kitchen window has been grey and dreary for days. I'm so ready to see little green shoots of life poking up from the very barren looking ground. I'm ready for redbuds and baby birds and the kind of rain that fuels the lush green growth of spring. I guess if I really stop and think about it, I'm looking for the inspiring sense of potential and renewal that the blues skies of spring can bring. Is it too much to ask for a little wide-eyed wonder? I don't think so. So yeah...whenever you're ready....
I found this beauty while cleaning the kitchen up this morning. Apparently the spoon was left in the mostly empty pickle-relish jar overnight. Anyone know what the reaction was? Silver + vinegar is my guess, but maybe you know better. The patina has faded now, but it's still pretty splotchy...is it safe to use? Is my spoon ruined?