The One Where I Laugh At Myself

Let's just call this the one where I laugh at myself, because seriously, did I really think that October was going to be slower?! Hahaha, oh, no. As you read this, Trav and I are on a much needed vacay from life celebrating our anniversary, so this week, I will finally get that slowing down that I had hoped for, and I am going to enjoy the heck out of it. The rest of the month, not so much.

Woman for scale... she was a few inches taller then me!
These horses were HUGE!
The very first weekend, we quickly went from not much happening, to Trav working one day, and me subbing two classes the following day.  ::hello husband, goodbye husband (we blow kisses as we pass like ships in the night)::  There were exhausting times: a week when Trav worked events 3 nights in a row; nights on call for me. Halfway through the month there was a stressful event that felt like a huge hump I was happy to get over. Still trying to find that balance between finding the help I need sometimes with not really wanting to have to ask for help, or overburden someone else by asking for help.

Apple cider donuts!
We had to drive up past Boulder to get them, but totally worth it!

Even with only one child and my relatively laid back schedule, there were definitely times this month that I wished there were two of me to get everything done (or maybe three of me, with one being a permanent fixture on the couch, alternating between all the books I wish I were reading and all the Netflix I want to watch!). I don't know how parents with multiple kids (and multiple after school activities) do it. 

That's not to say it was bad, not at all! I've subbed a handful (and a half) of classes this month, found my new car, did CPR training, got family pictures done, went to yoga, talked with a doula training class, met with friends. We also hit up an Orchard for some Apple Cider Donuts (where all the pictures in this post are from). So much good stuff!

The subbing in particular... I called Babs after leaving a class one day when I had a "I can't believe this is really my life now!" moment. Its surreal to stand at the front of the class and lead a group through a flow together.

So, while the month might not have been as slow as I hoped, it was full and fun, and had all the other beautiful hallmarks of Autumn.

Hay ride!

November is looking pretty low-key so far. Maybe I'll get that slower month I was looking for? Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath!


A Car is Just A Car, But...

Mid-September, on a random weekend when Trav was working, Gwen and I decided to drive down to the Farmer's Market and do a little browsing. Everything was going great. Until it wasn't.


Don't worry. We're fine. But my sweet Angie, not so much. Totaled. 

I know that its just a car... but I've had this car for 11 years and she was my baby! Its the car that drove us to Cape Cod and back countless times, the car that brought home Daisy for the first time, and cocooned Gwen as a baby. It drove us cross-country 3 times, and on countless road trips. She's quirky, but I know her quirks!

I miss my parade of dancing cows...

She was the perfect size, comfortably broken in, and happily paid off!
In the end, it is just a car. But I loved that car, and I miss her.

Farewell, Angie.  :-(

That said, this girl is shaping up to be the silver-lining in this whole mess: 

Meet Rhonwen!

I will say that the 4WD and the extra space for travel essentials is pretty nice. There's never a good time or place for something like this to happen, but I'm just happy that its all over with and I can start getting to know my new girl.


Short Words and Full Hugs: Musings on Being the Parent I Want to Be

None of us can be our best all the time. By definition, it wouldn't be our best then. Plus there is this amazing thing called life that happens all around us and in us and through us at all hours, and you find yourself tired, cranky, or overwhelmed. Our children are little people, so very human, and they learn rather quickly how to read us and push us to our edges. It's reassuring to them that the love is still there, even after that.

Excerpts from Gwen's Yellowstone/Grand Tetons travel journal.

It's less reassuring to us who often look back at our reactions and see all the ways that we could have done it better. But after all, we are only human as well, and try as some of us might, perfection isn't actually an attainable human goal. 

Maybe it's even harder to look at those moments when you do it so well. I can clearly see the laughter, the hugs, the love; it's very easy to see how short I've fallen when I know how much better I can do.

But the focus should be this: there is so damn much love. So many hugs. So much laughter and fun and happiness. Amazing memories, learning opportunities, and just plain simple happy times.
A reminder of the memories we are making together...

Lately I have frequently fallen short of my hopes and expectations for myself - both personally and as a parent. I think of fights and too short replies. There aren't enough hours in the day for all I want to accomplish, and the impatience gets taken out on those we love whether they have any control over that or not. 

I'd written a few weeks back about how I'm struggling, and even just writing that allowed me time and space to acknowledge where these responses are really emerging from, what they really mean. It doesn't mean I've been able to change them overnight, but at least I can be more self aware.

And how much we like each other, even when we get on each others nerves.

The smart Bunmi Laditan wrote something recently, a whole lovely post about not cutting your child on your own jagged edges. The whole thing was just so perfectly stated (seriously, give it a read), but one thing in particular: our anger is normally a flimsy cover for some deeper, scarier emotions. So I've been trying to dig deeper when that emotion rises up and over me in those hard moments, and see what its really all about.

Often its about failure, and my fear of it. About failing as a parent, about failing Gwen in some way, of not preparing her for the sometimes hard world that she's a part of. And when I identify it that way, I can take the step back I need. I can remind myself that I'm not a failure, that Gwen is an extraordinary girl worth being proud of, and that we have a long time together to continue to prepare her.

We can only do our best to learn from ourselves. To look at where we struggled and try harder the next time we are in that situation. This time there might have been short words, but next time maybe we can respond with some long hugs instead.