Posts Tagged ‘Milestones’

Mourning

[I wrote this on January 14th, 2016, and have been too much of a coward to post it till now. Here it is exactly as I wrote it.]

She is awoken by the chirp of her phone. “Is it true? The guy who was Shape died?”

Seeing immediately through the autocorrect, she delves into her network of tomes and reports to discover it is. She is filled with a deep sadness, but though she weeped openly at his on screen death, now her face is as dry as she is empty.

She is 18, and she stands there as the dirt is thrown onto the casket. It hits her that never again will she hear him talk about Fish Filets on Fridays, or statues from Portugal, or tales of bread and milk and the great depression. She stands there while her sisters weep on either side of her, and her boyfriend wraps his arms around her slim waist to discover her almost catatonic. The only drips on her face were from the rain.

Scrolling through facebook, she sees it. The man who first taught her that men can wear tights, and may have something inside them of interest, is gone. And while her heart breaks at the wealth of amazing things he was unable to bestow because of time cut too short, it shamefully pops into her head. She is a pop culture welfare queen, a taker. She will never give back in that way. So she sighs and she closes her phone and ignores it. Because pain can always wait, just like everything else.

She is 15, and in the small living room of the tiny house a woman lays on a bed wailing in pain. This woman who was once her grandmother is tended by her husband. The house smells of must and sweat and saline, the very sterile and the very opposite. As she is told that it is only a matter of weeks, she sits and stares at the statues from Portugal. She has to keep it together, because this is the way of it. It never ends.

That summer when the beloved comedian died, she was shaken. She couldn’t watch his movies with the others. Knowing the sadness behind the humor was not some kind of secret. She had seen that man behind the curtain many times, although from another wizard who was maybe not as great and perhaps more terrible. She laid there in bed and thought about all the things he wouldn’t do, and all the things he had. She rolled over and went to sleep.

She is 13, and sat in the car looking at a catalog to distract herself. If she was honest (which you shouldn’t be about the dead) she had never liked the woman, the old roommate of her beloved great grandmother whose passing earlier that year she honestly couldn’t even remember any more or ever again. The children were all left to sit and wait in the van as the body had been there for 4 days. Children should not be exposed to such tragedies, her mother said. “I hope someone cares about me enough to miss me after just one day” her sister weeps, the tears dripping from her cheeks into her champagne ringlets. She pulls her tiny sister in and whispers “me too,” although she knows that when you are dead you are gone, and it only really matters to those left behind.

A few Christmases ago, when the ache of her community a time zone away was pulling at her, she opened her timeline to see he died. It seemed such a terrible way to find out. Agony should have it’s own font, to do justice to news such as this. He was 14. He was going to be a chef. He was surrounded by family and friends and she wasn’t there. It seemed selfish to weep, her with her 2 children, healthy and whole. She went about her day as best she could. The loss of such potential weighed on her, the injustice of it. Nothing was fair. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust… but we are stardust, though some of us shine brighter than others.

She is 11, and her mother was with her great grandmother weeping in the bedroom. The children were told to stay in the living room and wait for the body to be picked up. While her father was distracted by the baby, she sneaks off to use the bathroom and finds her grandmother. Or what was her grandmother any way. It is shocking, how not you your body is once you die. She snuck back into the living room and never told anyone what she saw. Staring at the little statues and knick knacks on the table, she makes a promise to herself. She will live her life furiously while she has one.

Before the move, before her second child, she sits in her mother’s kitchen while her father tells her his kidney’s are failing. She was prepared for this. She had practiced this in elementary school that Easter, the first time the paramedics came to bring him to the emergency room. She had long known the dangers of chronic illness, the family history of autoimmune disease. As her mother frantically gave her grandmother instructions for caring for the 3 of them, her sisters clung to her. “Will daddy die?” one asked her. “No” she lied. She knew then that everybody dies. The only eternity is what you leave behind when you go.

She was not yet 2, this story more myth than memory. A ball of light and life and chaos she ran around joyful and loud. Except around him. He was weak, and wore a mask to cover a face ravaged by illness and surgery. She would crawl up into the bed and lay with him, intuitively aware that there were times of action and times to be still. Hopefully she will not forget.

She has an idea. Instead of making notes, she just does the whole thing, right now. Ignoring the other things, the distractions and obligations. What is fear when you know what will happen to the best of us? To put things off is the greatest disrespect to those who have come before. She writes, although she worries it is too personal, or too specific, or too self centered. Mourning, however, is always personal. It is always about those who experience it, those who are left behind. She decides that maybe she should leave something for those who come after her, so that there is something worth missing.

And she weeps.

Revisiting Goals

Well hello. I obviously failed my challenge, as I did not post for 4 days. However, I decided that this was a GOOD thing. I took this challenge to get me to actually post, which I was… But you guys, I am obviously not interesting enough to post 7 days a week. I wrote 2 posts exclusively about how I was sick and exhausted, but would be back tomorrow. I am redefining this challenge to be weekdays in November, and will continue this in December (or until I figure out something that works better.)

Which leads me to this. No, I was not stoned when I wrote that list, but I was for sure delusional. I am on track to accomplish 1/3, maaaaaybe 1/2 of that list. That list is insane, but I do still want to do all those things. I have come to terms with my impending doom turning 30, and will just roll over anything not completed into next year, where I will still 100% be a real human who still feels joy.

I also have been thinking about the scope of this blog, and while navel gazing and posts about boy wizards are super fun, in general I feel passionate about fashion, fine crafting, eco friendly make up, and building fun family traditions with my kids. Of course we have holidays coming up, so that tradition part is gonna be SO EASY, but basically I am using this blog as an accountability buddy for actually doing things instead of talking about them.

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So, you know, please join me on my revised journey, where I do things and blog about them. Or something.

See you tomorrow!

Is It Ever “Too Late?”

So, when I first theorized this post, I was thinking of it being about me, as an individual turning 30. I have talked before (too often?) about coming out of a couple years of illness and small children, and I do often wonder if it is too late for me to ever carve out a life for me as “more than a mom.”

But then Halloween happened. Holiday season always puts me in a mind of “look at all the things we aren’t doing.” My children are very cheerful, grateful, unselfish children… and somehow that makes it worse? I feel like I should be doing so much more, so many fun things, and I keep falling short. They love it because they love everything! Will they still feel that way about their childhoods when they are my age?

I am going through all of the pictures for some projects going on (which includes a large “update on the kids” post tomorrow) and the feeling is compounded. Look at how small and squishy they were! Look at how much time has passed. I am stable with my health right now, but even still I just came off of 3 weeks being on/off sick because of a severe allergy turning into a respiratory/sinus infection (and this happens 2-3 times a year since we moved.)

It is always going to be something. On and off somethings. I get stronger, I do better, I move forward. I add more traditions, more snuggles, more books to the bedtime reading list. I add more things for me as my children spend more time away from me at school/with friends. I fight the desire to keep them close and homeschool, because I know that what is best for them is not me trying to make up for me (real or perceived) failings. Their early childhood was what is was. I am now leaving panicked and insecure chaos of babies and toddlers for the rushed and guilty chaos of school aged children.

In talking to friends, I am discovering that I am not a special snowflake in this regard. So many nights I wonder if I just lived a day my child will talk about in therapy 20 years from now. I hope that I have enough joy, enough love, enough humility to make up for them.

I don’t know how to reconcile these two desires, this wish to be “the best mom” and the “fulfilled individual” because I don’t even know what those things look like independent of each other. What does that even mean? Probably nothing. I do know it doesn’t do any good to look back in regret, and to look forward to anxiety.

I do my best to look back in joy at the good things we did, and to look forward in hope. I am learning to live in the present instead of just driving through, but also to not be angry at myself for doing that. I am practicing self forgiveness, and self love, but also self improvement and reflection. This isn’t about letting myself off the hook, it is about breaking cycles of shame and sadness. All of the pretty things and lovely experiences will not change a household of sorrow and regret.

When my girls look back, I know they will not remember me as perfect, but I want them to know they were cared for, loved, and cherished. I also want them to see a happy mother, because I know that what a model is what they will default to.

Halloween Costumes!

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Anaabel from “Extra Yarn” and Lady Bug Girl. Excuse the muddy shoes, they could not help themselves.

Lawrence fixed the issue with the memory card, and as a result of all the drama we are sorting the images into files by month/year, so things are going to be so organized! I mean, sorry that the halloween pics are 2 weeks late but yay for getting organized.

So I really slacked this year, but this was because what the kids wanted was super easy! Cara wanted to be Ladybug Girl and I just didn’t see a reason to make these things from scratch. The leotard, tutu, and wings/headband set are all from Amazon. Fiona wanted to be Annabel from Extra Yarn. This is such an amazing book, but only 2 people knew what we were talking about! The costume was as easy and black/white/gray striped clothing and a sweater. I looked EVERYWHERE and I could not find yarn the looked anything like the yarn in this book, so I dyed some yarn from Knit Picks using Kool-aid and I am thrilled with how it came out! I based the pattern on the One Night Sweater but I cannot remember what I did exactly. I know I held the yarn double and used US 17 needles. I knit it with still damp yarn in the middle of the night before her halloween party at school on 10/30, because I am a responsible adult. It is a bit too short because I forgot how tall she was, and a lot too short because it shrunk when it dried all the way. I bought a little doggy for Fiona and made a sweater so she could have “Mars” like Annabel does in the book, and so of course Cara needed a little basset hound to be Bingo. The kids went to 2 parties on Friday, as well as trick or treating on Saturday. They had a great time, and ate way too much candy before the “Candy Fairy” swapped it out for a small treat.

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My super fancy costume.

I was extra super lazy for myself, I went as Elizabeth from The Paperbag Princess. Surprisingly, a lot of people didn’t know who I was either! I used a giant leaf bag, a cut up sheet of glitter card stock, and a headband. This was a lot of fun, and fortunately it didn’t rain during the times I wore it (I did go costumeless to the school party, and went late to the Friday night party because the weather was so terrible!)

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My little paperdolls!

I thought it would be fun to show off the costumes from the last 2 years (since I have been going through costumes anyway) and so last year they were paper dolls. Super easy, made out of poster board, these were a lot of fun to make (and wear, so I’m told.)

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Little Faeries!

Last were these little hand made faeries! I made the tutus from the book Little Things To Sew. More info on the crowns here and the wings here and here. All of the patterns are from the book Woodland Knits which is SUPER ADORABLE!

Halloween is a favorite time of year for me, and honestly this was the first year where the kids really got into with their own costume ideas, and their own anticipation. I look forward to many more years of seeing their creativity and personalities bloom.

30 Before 30

So, I turned 29 on April 10th. Not gonna lie, I was a little freaked out about turning 30! I spent my 20′s alternating between having small children and being chronically ill. I decided I might feel better about leaving my 20′s if I made a list of goals. This way, I would feel like I had accomplished something.  I broke them into groups so I could see balance.

Lifestyle

  • Visit Florida

  • Take a vacation (NOT Florida)

  • Go on a road trip

  • Make time for weekly dates

  • Weekend away from kids (with Lawrence)

  • Weekend away from kids (without Lawrence)

  • Entertain monthly

These are pretty basic, I think. The only one of these that might be problematic is going away for a weekend with Lawrence. I reserve the right the change it an overnight at the last minute, but I am aiming high right now! I have always wanted to entertain, but I have a lot of house shame that I am working through.

Personal Growth

  • Take a ballet workshop

  • Take a contortionist workshop

  • Take ariel workshop

  • Start cello lessons

  • Basic proficiency in Spanish

  • Basic proficiency in French

  • Do my Goodreads Project

This one looks insane! Okay, so for the 3 workshops, they are each only 6 weeks, so not a huge commitment. Also, fitness! So that is important. The cello shouldn’t be terrible, because I played the violin as a child. I already understand some Spanish, so I will be working on pronunciation, and as for the French, Lawrence is learning it, so we can be accountability buddies. The goodreads project is just me writing a review for every book I have read (rereading ones I don’t remember well enough)

Art and Creativity

  • Write 365 short stories

  • Finish my novel

  • Start my webcomic

  • Start multimedia project

  • Start soul project

  • Start youtube project

So I am writing a [very] short story daily, as well working on my novel (my goal is for a first draft to be completely finished. Unlikely I will ever do anything with it, but I want it done.) The next 3 are all projects that WILL see the light of day. The webcomic has been outlined, and I am working on character studies right now. The last one is a project I plan to work on with Lawrence.

Fashion and Blogging

  • Make 10 garment for each of my girls

  • Make 10 garments for myself this summer

  • Build autumn/winter capsule wardrobe

  • Build spring/summer capsule wardrobe

  • Learn hatmaking

  • Start makeover series

  • VLOG

This one is straight forward. Make garments! Build capsule wardrobes! Learn a skill (hats look so good on me.) I am thinking about vlogging because I feel more comfortable talking to a camera than I do in pictures. We shall see.

Spirituality

  • Celebrate the wheel of the year/esbats

  • Start a CUUPS

  • Write and perform my own ritual publicly

These are pretty direct as well. I consider myself a pantheist, but am drawn to the celebrations of the wheel of the year as a way to celebrate the seasons and the passing of time in general. Besides, what kid is going to complain about a holiday every 6 weeks!  I am working with my church to start a CUUPs group, and in doing so I will be more “out” than I ever have been before.

So here it is! I will be posting periodic updates about my progress, but I hope for this year to be my most exciting yet!

I’m Back!

I missed blogging! I took an unexpected (and super long!) break due to illness. I dragged my feet coming back because of insecurity. I never really felt like I found my writing voice, like I was a very stiff and formal version of myself. I also felt like the type of blog I had was the wrong direction for me. I was trying so hard to be “super crafty fun mom” (hence my old name, “Manic Pixie Dream Mom”) but it was just not who I really was.

Being ill forced me to look at things differently. Having children in my early 20′s and then experiencing chronic illness really took up all of my time, so there wasn’t a lot of room for self care. For a long time, I convinced myself it didn’t matter, that it was over and I was a mom and a wife and not much else. It turns out it does matter (surprise!) and it was weighing on me.

My medical stuff is mostly sorted out, and I will be turning 29 in a few short weeks. My children are going to school in the fall. This blog will be my place where I figure out my purpose. There will still be pictures of my children and sewing, because I love those things. I also love shoes, fashion, art and eco friendly makeup! I love photography and dance! “Whimdulgence” is me allowing myself the fun I couldn’t have in the last decade. I hope you will follow along as I explore these new aspects of my life.

Spring is here!

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Sorry for such an image heavy post, but I can’t help but think that the grandparents will be thrilled. We had a ton of fun in the field behind our house where there were tons of dandelions. I never realized that Fiona had never seen any before. Neither one could blow hard enough to disperse the seeds, but they both had fun trying (that is indeed the crinkle face Cara is making above). Yes, she is standing unassisted now! But there have been no step yet (YET!)

My girls…

What’s New?

So, I am sure you are wondering what is new with us? Today I will be indulging in a little family update… Starting with the tiniest first.

Cara
Nicknames: Squishy, Squishadoo, Squishadoodle, Caradoodle, Baby Cara, Goo(Lawrence only) Babes (Fiona only)
Age: 2 weeks shy of one year old
Favorite books: Extra Yarn and Big Brown Bear
Most recent milestones: Cruising, attempting to walk. Also “talking” (aka using vowel sounds in word like ways to communicate… Perhaps only the three of us know what she means but we do, quite plainly)
Interests: Food (OMG!) Being outside. Reading stories. Older children (especially a certain older sister.) Dogs. Electronics.
Dislikes: When I take electronics away. When the food does not come fast enough, giving other people privacy (especially a certain older sister.) Cats (does NOT like cats)

Fiona
Nicknames: Pigget, Piggetina, Pigster, Finster, Miss Fiona, Gunda (Lawrence only) Fafa (Cara only)
Age: Three years. Not months. It is important you know this.
Favorite Books: Winne the Pooh, THe Very Hungary Catapillar, Extra Yarn
Most Recent Milestones: Has a better vocabulary then some adults I know. Uses meditative breathing to control her emotions. Better at yoga than I am. Imaginative play and story telling in full swing. INCREDIBLE memory for recitation.
Interests: Doing whatever mommy is doing. Reading. Teaching Cara new things. Buying books. Everything about the farmers market. All manner of animals and insects. Climbing. Pretty dresses. The Moon
Dislikes: underwear

Theresa
Nicknames: Mommy (Fiona), Mama, Mala (Fiona) Mamala (Fiona)
Age: 26
Favorite Books: Just finished Good Omens for the third time (ahem) Am currently on book 2 of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. Still obsessed with Harry Potter
Most Recent Milestones: Time management! Increased awareness of my gifts and limitations.
Interests: Knitting, Sewing, Woodworking, All manner of kitchen work. Outdoors. Handmade/local. Sustainability and the green movement.
Dislikes: Having to say no. When I’m forced to say no again. When I leave both my book and my knitting at home.

Lawrence
Nicknames: Daddy (Fiona) Dadada (not a typo) Mr Daddy (Me, because I am a dork)
Age: 29
Favorite Books: hasn’t read fiction since I read Good Omens to him while pregnant with Fiona [edit: read John Dies at the End when Fiona was a newborn] Wants to finally finish The Princess Bride (and excellent book)
Most Recent Milestones: Realizing he is not super young, and should not try to push himself into injury.
Interests: Sleep, spending time with his girls, being active, having quality food and other items.
Dislikes: Paying for quality food and other items.

And there you have it. It’s us!

Happy Bottle Free Day!

My precious daughter (who just turned 3 months) and I are celebrating 1 month of being bottle free (w00t!) We plan to do something destructive to our final tin of formula (which was opened, but never used.) It will involve fire or the ocean… I will keep you posted!