The kids are running throughout the house laughing and screaming. Their father, the tickle monster is giving chase and I am comfily curled up in a cozy chair watching it all go down…
It’s a friday afternoon. My favorite day of the week, because it’s the only day that has a slower afternoon into evening schedule…
I don’t have to rush to do homework, there isn’t any today..
I don’t have to think about cooking today. We’ve already agreed on pizza…yum!
And I can focus on what my weekend should or might include..
Because it’s so close to the holiday, my crazy schedule is finally beginning to slow. I can plan out my last bit of shopping or just sit here and enjoy my tree with a glass of wine…while the world and my girls whiz by….
The world, the crazy world…where everything is not right, but everything is alright has taught me how important it is to find your own moments of zen.
It’s 2015! It has been for 17 days, I know. But, I had previously been in a funk over the setbacks humanity has been experiencing on the journey toward peace.
Since I’ve last written, verdicts have come in a couple of crucial cases-Michael Brown and Eric Garner- which have led to riots, protesting and the discovery of some latent and deep seeded racism in some places and people that weren’t as apparent before.
It’s been kind of a bummer.
But, now that that has had a moment to set in and I’ve come to the conclusion that everything happening now is a necessary step moving us closer to honesty and possibly a better understanding of one another, I’m much better.
So now, I feel excited and empowered to make my new year proclamations…
This year will be better than last year.
This year will be full of hard, but rewarding and exciting work.
This year will be a harvest for some seeds sown all throughout last year and before.
This year will bring a greater understanding of the past, it’s effects on the present and how it will shape the dreams of tomorrow.
This year I will grow more loving, giving, beautiful and peaceful because that’s what’s inside already.
These are my proclamations. Now they’re out in the universe!
Basically since graduation, I have been out and about, traveling the world on tours with others and to support my own music. Being an alumni, even an alum of the prestigious New York University has been almost irrelevant.
Now that I am doing much more at home, because of my new kindergartener’s need for stability, I find time to do some different things. Goals like trying to attend church regularly, going to soup kitchens and serving, making friends with the moms of Ella’s new school buddies and last but not least, taking advantage of my dusty, old, but rightfully earned education can now become a reality.
Fortunately, this epiphany occurred just in time for NYU’s alumni weekend. I never really considered going before, but for a couple of hours, to hear a couple of seminars, why not? At least It’ll be nice to walk through my old stomping grounds again. I’m actually looking forward to it!
Sometimes we overlook some wonderful resources waiting there for us!!
Once upon a time, Ella was on the boat singing about jumping. I overheard her pretending to encourage and receive encouragement from her friend, who was absent at the time. “You just gotta go!”, she said breathlessly as prepared herself for the daring jump down the stairs.
I didn’t like the fact that she was jumping (even though I knew she would most likely maintain a reasonable level of safety, since we only have three short steps from the upper level to our boat’s lower level). Still, I couldn’t interrupt her just then. The laughter of my two girls and the melody I could hear forming in Ella’s song just made me stand there and quietly listen.
Rest assured, however, that when I started to ask her to sing it over again, she stopped jumping on her own. At first she was annoyed, by my interruption and then, slowly she became psyched by the idea of her song and our own group and videos, etc…
Today she is super excited, just like me to share our first video. It’s called ‘Jump, jump jump‘ and she has named the band, Rainbow Flowers! We have lots more to come, but in the meantime please enjoy!
This is the kind of book that haunts you long after you’ve turned the last page. This story of a young, hopeful wife and mother being kidnapped then held and tortured for 13 days is such a testament to what we can endure.
As she slowly “dies,” forgetting all she knew, all the comforts she was used to as the daughter of a wealthy Haitian business man, all the love her husband lavished on her and all the love she was eager to give her baby son, she also learns to survive.
She plays the game these young and frightened rebels force her to play and she wins in the end. But during those 13 days of violence, I feel her pain. I cry for her as her breast milk dries up and her body begins to forget her baby boy. I cry for her as she faces the hard truth that her father is not as willing as she hoped to part with his fortune for her freedom.
But of all the possible characters in the novel, Mirielle’s mother in law, Lorraine, a cancer-stricken, white, farm owner, who wasn’t so welcoming to her in the beginning becomes Mirielle’s savior, of sorts. She returns an old favor and helps to nurse her daughter-in-law back to health and life after the traumatizing ordeal. Their relationship is beautiful. They made me smile throughout the many pages of nail biting and tears.
Needless to say, this emotional roller-coaster has made it hard to move on to another book.
Good luck to me and to you too, if you decide to read it.
Recently we had a friend visit us with their kids in tow. As they had just moved to the area, my husband decided to give them a tour of our home with its renovations to possibly inspiration for their own projects down the road.
After seeing my daughter’s room and then heading downstairs to the basement, one of their children very clearly and comfortably announced, “this is a messy house!” Immediately his parents tried to correct his behavior as they apologized.
“No big deal, he’s just a kid”, we said and we all laughed it off. But later as I reflected on what he said, I realized that he was right! Because I had been working Saturdays and Sundays singing, while I was still getting into the groove of life with a kindergartner and an almost 2-yr old every weekday! That includes making breakfast, packing lunch boxes, preparing lunch for the younger one, helping with homework, making dinner, washing dishes, sweeping the floor, overseeing bathtime, having story time, refereeing the fights that occur during playtime…and then some! Seriously, its tiring just to type it!
On top of that, I was fighting a cold, brought home to me by my little school girl!
I would ask for some slack, but you know the story, a woman’s work…yada, yada! I probably wouldn’t get any slack.
Instead, I asked for energy, better time management and restored health. Then I heard this today (on the Today show) and at least it inspired me, with it’s small steps to keep the house cleaner and try to keep everyone well!
Take a break and Enjoy. (And don’t forget to get your rest, because none of this can get done if we don’t feel well!)
A few days ago my husband, two daughters and myself just returned from our first family camping trip. The trip had been a dream request of my five year old daughter’s for some time, so with my experienced husband’s encouragement of her dream, I finally gave in.
We flew into San Francisco, baby carrier in tow, planning to rent a car and drive to Yosemite National park, with it’s huge sequoias, El Capitan and Half Dome monoliths.
From the beginning, I was worried about bears, but immediately upon landing, we found that the San Francisco area had just experienced a substantial earthquake in the past few hours. Earthquakes then joined my list of things to worry about.
When we finally arrived at the camp site, which was already pitched and complete with cozy, soft cots/beds. I couldn’t help but notice all the burnt trees drove there. Suddenly, forest fires in the middle of the night were also added to my list of things to worry about.
As my list grew, it never occurred to me how much fun I might have. Pushing a couple of beds together in order to snuggle for warmth while we were serenaded by bats, crickets and other animals throughout the night, was actually a nice way to fall asleep.
Using my flashlight and singing as we walked briskly at four in the morning, in the 100, or so feet of complete darkness and trees from our tent to the bathroom, helped to calm my daughter’s fears and mine, but it also made for some exciting memories that I won’t soon forget.
Locking food and toiletries away in a bear locker, using pampers on the girls heads because I didn’t think to pack comfortable hats to sleep in and still feeling like I was at a resort because of their great restaurant, pool, spa and kids playrooms, all made for a priceless and unforgettable vacation!
Thanks Evergreen lodge. I look forward to doing it again. Only next time, we will definitely reserve one your log cabins!
There’s been so much said already about what’s happening with police brutality and the slayings of young black men, that I almost didn’t want to say another word.
What can I say? Everything I think about the subject only serves to upset and sadden me more.
Then I read this article in Time magazine, written by David Von Drehle. It’s full of interesting information about Ferguson, a place where old hatred has now erupted into something bright, red and thorny, from a seed that was planted long ago and nurtured for years. It’s roots date back centuries, even to 1857. So today, those ugly roots are as deep as they are thick.
From reading the article, it would appear that Ferguson had this coming. If it were only Ferguson, however, our problems would be fewer. But it’s not only Ferguson. As David Von Drehle notes, this sort of scenario has occurred in many towns.
He would like to know “how often this happens?” Are “police resorting more quickly resorting to lethal means, and if so, against whom?” Good question, but if your skin is anywhere near the shade of mine, you probably know the answer already.
So, after reading this article, my question was, why can’t police be chosen more carefully. Lawyers use simple questioning to find witnesses who won’t be extremists.
Can’t we ask them about their prejudices and then require them to come up with something positive to say about every group represented in their community.
They are supposed to protect and serve the people in their communities, but I think that in some of these communities the police are just having a hard time seeing some people as “people.”
This weekend I traveled for work to Michigan. I am usually hypersensitive to hotels, i.e., the energy or the way I feel when I am there. But lately I had become very relaxed and not always saying my prayers of protection, like I used to.
In this particular hotel I felt a little icky, but after working late and preparing for an early morning I went directly to sleep after packing up my things. Overtired, I woke up with the worst sensation and begin to pray right then. Of course, I felt relief immediately. But it got me thinking, never again will I get too busy or too lax to remember what I KNOW inside is most important.
There will always be some unanswered questions when it comes to faith, but when you KNOW what brings you peace, you should never let it go. After all, that’s what faith is all about. There is no proof for faith, it simply is.