Thursday, June 26, 2014

A break for Oysters

Last week as we upped the pace of our house yet again and prepared for a very special visitor to join us for the summer, or longer, I was starting to feel overwhelmed.   The head under water feeling was palpable.  I felt I was slipping and worse, knew life was going to get busier in the coming weeks.

Before I fell from the zen platform I'd been happily residing on for a few months, I called the nanny asked if she could stay a few extra hours and called my husband and asked if he could meet me at a pre-baby favorite spot of ours, a local oyster bar.   The weather was beautiful, we met at the bar, drank some beer, ate our first oysters of the season and just simply chilled.

And let me tell you, it worked.  It was just enough time to ourselves to take a step back, breathe and enjoy.  All was going to be fine - better than fine, all was really great.   A sign of my maturity, I suppose.  I no longer seek perfection or avoid difficulty.  They are just a part of the human experience.  The important thing to remember, as I've said so many times on this blog before, it's all part of the ride.  It comes, it goes.  Nothing, good or bad, is forever.

But lest me not forget the healing power of oysters and beer on a warm summer night.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Omnivore's Dilemma: Part 1

I know I'm asking for it by reading this, but I've wanted to for awhile.  I'm finally digging in.  1) I like meat, chicken, pork etc. 2) I can't afford to only shop at Whole Foods for grass fed but I still don't think I should shy away from educating myself.  Just like with my review of Collapse, I don't want to get depressed about environmental damage or the state of our food industry, instead I just want to be informed so that I can use my consumer dollars to support environmentally ethical corporations, when I can.  Also, more meatless meals, farmer's markets and overall awareness of my consumption will not hurt me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vacation Goals

A few more days separate me from a nice week long vacation.  Come to think of it, I haven't been off for a proper week since my maternity leave - 1.5 yrs ago.  It's long due - it's been a very busy few months.   We don't have anything spectacular planned, just going to take the time to get some things done around the house, do some shopping, bang out some appointments and maybe do a day trip here and there.  It will all be very unplanned, which is just what I need.  Nowhere to be, nothing to do.  Just go where the mood beckons!   

A few things I'd like to do: 
  Exercise - Fithouse and Yoga classes.  Every day. Ideally.  
  Eat Well - Cook real food.  Eat lots of delicious fruit and hopefully get out the juicer
  Shop - Two summers ago I was pregnant and last summer I wasn't feeling that excited to get a new wardrobe, which means most of my summer stuff is at least 3 seasons old!  Every morning has become somewhat dreadful as I rummage through which crap to wear to work today.  I'd like to freshen that up AND get my closet into somewhat workable order.   A lot to ask and sadly, not a favorite project of mine.  

That's all.  And rest, relax, enjoy!!    Oh yeah - and our first house party on July 4! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sweet Potatoes in the crockpot

Could this be so simple?   I'm trying it out tonight - I'm committed to bring more lunches to work.   Stay tuned for the results.


Friday, June 20, 2014

The Time....

I'm not here with a fresh and provocative thought.  Instead, I'm here with the observation that time/life is going so quickly.  I'll be looking for ways to make it slow down just a bit - or at the very least maximize the days so that we enjoy this very, very special time in life for everything that it is. 

I am reminded of one of my favorite passages by Rilke, "Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”   Lately, I feel as though we are living the answer.  So many far away dreams seem to be coming to fruition.   I am nothing, nothing, but thankful and happy.   It's all so very good.  

These two, seriously. 


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

25 steps toward success

Just a simple list, but some good ones to remember.

You are actually living a good life by recognizing these 25 signs:
1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they use to be.
2. You may not have as much money as you want but you live a rich life.
3. You’re not afraid to ask for help and support.
4. Where you live feels like home.
5. You’ve raised your standards.
6. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good.
7. You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror.
8. You’re working on limiting your inner critic and consciously choosing more positive thoughts.
9. You’ve learned that setbacks and failure are part of self-growth.
10. You have a support system that includes people who would do anything for you.
11. You hear “I love you” often, from friends, family or a partner.
12. You’ve accepted what you can’t change, but change what you can’t accept.
13. You don’t complain much, but instead focus on solutions.
14. You don’t blame your parents, and accept them for who they are.
15. You stopped caring about what others think of you.
16. You’re happy for your exes when they move on.
17. You can celebrate others’ successes.
18. You allow yourself to feel your feelings and are comfortable sharing them.
19. You have passions that you pursue.
20. You’re able to accept compliments without deflecting.
21. You have things to look forward to.
22. You have goals that have come true.
23. You have empathy for others.
24. You feel connected to your work.
25. You love deeply and open yourself up to be loved by others.
(finding summer clothes that were packed away and forgotten about, a successful well-visit for J, summer plans) 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lobster Bake

I love this idea and now that we've got ourselves a wonderful backyard, I plan to do it.   Casual, fun, tasty....   we'd go for lobsters since we're in New England.  We're hosting some visitors this summer, maybe this would be the perfect way to celebrate.

I love the cardboard trays to carry the loot. More inspiration here.

(yesterday's delightful green juice compliments of work, R's flexible work schedule that allows him to bring the baby to the well visit and take some of the load off of me, the weather - this delicious, perfect weather.) 

Monday, June 16, 2014

June Weekends

June seems to have become "commitment" month.  Between baptisms, birthdays, graduations and showers it seems to be what our weekend days are busy doing.   While I miss the relaxed vibe of a weekend with less "to do", I am grateful for all of the friends and family which we have the pleasure to celebrate.   And like any other season, soon enough this one will conclude and we'll welcome in the hazy, hot, days of summer with nothing much to do but swim, grill, laze and repeat.  


(immunity - the body's amazing resilience to fight off and battle back.  so much green goodness, from the yard to the drive. its green and lush everywhere.  A new week. a fresh slate.) 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

World Cup

If you've been following it at all, Brazil is in a lot of hot water over their lack of preparedness for the 2014 World Cup.   Nobody who knows Brazil well can claim they are surprised by this.   Brazilians have many strengths - fun, amicable, beautiful, charismatic but well organized and prepared isn't two words I'd use to describe them - individually or culturally.

That said, I loved this line from blogger Fly Brother.  Anyone who knows Brazil would most likely agree, "The Cup will happen, but this mega-event will be the world’s funnest fiasco; only the extreme affability of Brazilians – and their unparalleled fanaticism for futebol – will salvage it."


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My baby

Just a pause to write this brief bit for my baby boy who is just melting our hearts - day after day.  1 and a half --- what an awesome age!!   You are still the cuddliest, most affectionate little thing.  Your chubby little arms and legs are pure and simple goodness.   Your little feet are like mini-sweet potatoes.  Ha.  They're wide, plump, and chubby.   Perfectly yours.  I'd know those little feet 100 miles away.   You have your opinions and don't hesitate to wave me off if I put on a song you don't want to hear or offer you something to eat that you're not interested in.

My baby, you have such a lovely rhythm to your day for which I am so grateful.  You wake around 6 and cuddle with me and dad until about 7.  We watch cartoons on the iphone and sing you songs, once in awhile you fall back asleep so comfortable in our arms.  We think you like that time as much as we do.  Around 7:30am your nanny, our wonderful, amazing, loving, nanny joins us and you help her make breakfast.   You love to help in the kitchen so much, it makes leaving for the day easier because I see how happy you are with your Tia.   Cooking, stirring and getting your oatmeal or scrambled eggs ready.   So helpful.  So curious.   I just want to savor every second of your lovable goodness.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Gratitude

Saturday and Sunday afternoon naps with my baby.  Grilled dinners.  My fun composting pile, which judging by its shrinking, I'm guessing is working - why I find it so entertaining, I do not know.  

Enjoy your Monday, friends. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Hello Friday!

Started the day off with a hardcore cycle workout at Fithouse    Not too much left in the way of me and the beautiful weekend.  The weather is supposed to be in the low 80's and perfect.  And other than J's Saturday music class, we are happily commitment free.   Nothing to do but enjoy & wander through the days - free to go where we like, when we like.   Seems like perfection.


(A healthy body that allows me to participate in this morning's workout.  The shining sun and low humidity. The garden and pool that await me)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

To parent

I often think about the parent I am and the parent I'd like to be.  We all have our own definitions and priorities and there really is no "best" way.  To me, the best parent I can be is a delicate balance.  It's finding a way to direct while at exactly the same time, let go.  It's nurturing while simultaneously letting him fall down without much reaction.  It's protecting yet being sure he faces challenges, some he'll win and others he'll lose.   It's hoping they find the lesson in the heartbreak and the victory.  

Ultimately, my hope is and always will be just to foster and encourage him to be his best version of himself.   I will do my best to teach him - as I do believe that is an important part of my role - but when the time comes, I will let him fly.  Hoping that I've done my job so well that he soars to a place beyond my wildest imaginings.

Dad teaching you about the pool, age 1.5

(R - that you never stop trying, learning and pushing to be a better person.  R - that you teach J & I to go after it, letting go of a need for perfection or a fear of failing.  R - that you are at once a strong leader and a compassionate team player.)  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Recap: Collapse

Just finished up Jared Diamond's Collapse.  A study on why civilizations fail.   Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel was one of my favorites and really sparked my interest in anthropology.  Sometimes I wonder had I read these gems when I was young, might I have pursued a different course...    Either way.

Collapse was another interesting, thought provoking read.   To summarize, Diamond tries to hypothesize what commonalities are behind the fall of ancient and modern societal failures - including Maya, Easter Island, Greenland, Rawanda and Haiti.   Human impacts on the environment, external enemies, climate change, dysfunctional political and societal beliefs, and loosened ties with friendly neighbors are how Diamond explains the collapse of the societies he studies.

It doesn't take a whole lot of reading between the lines to understand that Diamond is warning us about our ultimate demise should we not start to pay attention.  The world, as it exists today, is simply not sustainable.  We cannot keep extracting resources, polluting the air, water and soil, and maintaining the status quo and think that this will not lead to our eventual and inevitable demise.   That said, there are steps we can take to lessen our environmental impact, stay progressive in our views, support environmentally conscious corporations and in general, just realize that we are not invincible, our actions cause reactions and the future is depending on us.   Let us not leave people 1000 years from now asking the same we ask of the Easter Islanders, "how could they not foresee what they were doing to themselves?"

Method, Patagonia, and Seventh Generation rank among the most environmentally compatible corporations that we have easy access to - let's support them.  


(the rain which made up for my forgetfulness when it comes to watering our garden, mom - for always being such a willing and able personal shopper for J, dad - for introducing us to so much good music) 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Thank you, technology

>> Because of you, I can read the thoughts of so many brilliant, yet "ordinary" bloggers who otherwise I would not know.
>> Because of you, I can follow along a really interesting political primary in California's District 33 today.
>> Because of you, I can send a text - a few simple words or a picture - so that family and friends don't seem so far away.
>> Because of you, I can collect and organize my thoughts in this way.
>> Because of you, I can help navigate my way through this wonderful but messy life.


(technology, the blown kisses from J, the morning ritual where all 3 of us lay in bed before the day starts - so good!)  

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 1

Welcome, June.  All I can ask is that all keeps going as is.  I feel so blessed and full.   Our weekends are busy - this one included a party with J & I's Isis friends (7 18 month olds! who couldn't have been sweeter guests!), the usual gardening/yard work, bbq'ing, a 5k to remember a very special girl who was taken too soon, swimming in the pool (!!), and all around enjoying of this beautiful life we get to live.

So enormously grateful for it all.

(the first days of warm weather, my iphone to make capturing photos easier, my baby's sweet and easy disposition.)