Busy Days

Lots of busy days lately. I'm taking little steps to help me feel more organized, and less stressed about all that life has coming at us. Sometimes I write yoga classes and take phone calls in the tub...

I got a really beautiful weekly planner, and I've been taking a few minutes on Sunday night or Monday morning to look at the week ahead and write out all of the things I have planned: classes, meetings, trainings, Gwen's activities, as well as special chores and errands like taking the recycling, writing classes, and appointments.

Just taking the time to look ahead and break it all down into manageable bites makes everything feel so much easier. I'm also slowly working through different areas of the apartment, organizing and sorting, cutting down on the clutter around me.

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Taking time for me, with getting my hair done and taking yoga classes, are really important parts of making the busy times feel less overwhelming.

And special dates with Trav help too. We recently attended a Lehigh U alumni event at a pretty fascinating museum that we hadn't checked out before.

I've been busy behind the scenes too, working on some very exciting upcoming events... things that I've been dreaming about! I can't share them all yet, but I can share this!: 

I'd love to see you there!

What's keeping you busy lately? What's keeping you organized and sane during the busy times? 


Birthday Fun

It was nice that this year Gwen's birthday fell on the weekend. She was so excited to wake up to her birthday banner, some new LEGOs, and the anticipation of a hockey game later that day.

Gwen's sweet teacher joined us! Gwen asked a friend who couldn't make it, and the other person she wanted to bring with her teacher. It was actually really relaxing for us! Ha. And Gwen was so happy about the day, despite the Avs losing.

We ended the day with takeout Chinese, and more LEGO gifts from friends... and a very happy 9 year old.


Birthday Interview:

Previous years can be found here

Me: “Hey Gwenie, how old are you now?”

Gwen:  I'm 9!   

Me: “Who’s your best friend?”

Gwen:  Prajit

Me: “What is your favorite thing to do?”

Gwen: Watch videos, eat junk, put together LEGOs, go to hockey games... skip school! [😂]

Me: “What is your favorite color?”

Gwen:  Can't say I have one. 

Me: “Do you have a favorite food?”

Gwen:  I don't have one.

Me: “What is your favorite thing to do with mommy and daddy?”

Gwen:  Ski with Daddy, have you read to me. Watch movies with you guys. 

Me: “What is your favorite toy?”

Gwen: Legos.

Me: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Gwen:  I don't know.  

Me: “What makes you happy?”

Gwen:  Watching videos without noise, being able to do what I want.

Me: “What is something that makes you sad?”

Gwen:  I don't know.

Me: “Do you have a favorite movie?”

Gwen:  A lot of them!  

Me: How about a favorite TV show?”

Gwen:  The Dragon Price, The Deep, Star Wars, Lego Ninjago, Boss Baby, and more.

Me: “Do you have a favorite book?”

Gwen:  Can't think of any.

Me: What do you like to learn about?”

Gwen:  Alexander Hamilton.  

Me: “What were you excited about for your birthday?”

Gwen:  I was excited for Legos! 

Me: “Where’s your favorite place to go when we leave the house?”

Gwen:  Chuckie Cheese, Boondocks, Dave & Busters, or Prajit's house! 

Me: “What is your teacher's name?”

Gwen:  Miss Carlson

Me: “Do you have a favorite treat?”

Gwen:   Fun Dip, Ice Cream, I don't know!  

Me: “What’s your favorite animal?”

Gwen:   Lions, dogs, cats, monkeys... so many! 

Me: “Do you have a favorite song?”

Gwen:  Not really, I like a lot.

Me: “What’s your favorite thing to wear?”

Gwen:   I don't really have a favorite thing to wear.   

Me: “What are you looking forward to this year?”

Gwen:  I have a lot, I can't really say them all. 

Me: "Thank you!"


Dear Gwen:

Dear Gwen,
Tomorrow you turn Nine years old, and girl, I am both terrified and excited.

Scary Mommy put this age so well when she said,
"Nine is sneaky. Nine smuggles a flashlight into her room and secretly stays up for hours past her bedtime, doing god knows what. Nine wants to watch TV shows that are inappropriate for a child her age. When you tell her no, Nine will look them up on YouTube and watch them anyway. When you punish her and take away tablet and television privileges, Nine acts aloof. She doesn’t care because she knows you want her to. To be completely honest, Nine is a little bit of a sociopath. [...] Nine will push you to your breaking point. You will have heart-to-heart talks with Nine. You will discipline her, punish her appropriately when need be, and give her more love and support than humanly possible. You will think you are making tremendous headway with Nine, that you are finally getting through to her. You’re not. She’s still Nine."

You, are all this as you turn nine. But you are also the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful kid. You offer genuine, heartfelt apologies, and truly see that your reactions are out of proportion with the offenses that caused them. It doesn't mean that you can control them, but you can at least recognize the reality of the situation afterward. You are sometimes brazen, often brash, but also empathetic and loving, curious and inquisitive.

You are happy, funny, smart (sometimes too smart for your own good), and loving. You enjoy math (and are great at it too!), love to read (especially graphic novels! Lumberjanes and Dog Man are some favs), and find really joy and awe in nature, animals, and science experiments (especially slime!). You still love Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Star Wars (in all forms - book, movie, trivia!). LEGOs are still one of your favorite things, and you love games too.

You seem to love and hate school in equal measure right now. You long to have lazy days full of games, reading, and videos... but get antsy and miss your friends. You don't want to get out the door in the morning, often ranting about the unfairness of your responsibilities, but when the end of the day rolls around, the majority of the time you say that the day was good.

School *is* harder this year. Its more academic then previous years, and expectations are rising for what you are responsible for on your own - at school and at home. You want the freedoms, but don't love the requirements. Still, you've been adapting so well, working hard and excelling at school. You love GT (gifted and talented) best, as well as Math, specials, and Peak Academies (special once a week activities ranging from yoga to cooking to graphic novel design or MineCraft).

You started after school activities this year: Garden Club and Recycling Club; which is nice for both of us! You also started Girl Scouts this year, and we are knees deep in our first cookie season! You hit the ground running, and have impressed me with how much more confident you've already gotten with talking to people in a very mature way, handling money, and thanking people for buying or not.

You are wild and exuberant, excited and confident. You love to travel and explore, enjoy playing adventure games with your friends, and have mastered your bike. You are so understanding and accepting of people's differences, you give me hope for the future!

You exhaust me, but also fill me up and bring me more joy then almost anything else in this life.

Other then the pictures with Pumpkin the Dog, all of the pictures in this post were taken by Heather Gramm Photography this past summer. She captured the many sides of your personality so well!!

Baby, I love you so much, in ways that I can't even find the words for. I can't believe you are 9 years in our lives already. I cannot wait to see what this year brings for you.

You're the best Gwenie I ever had...
Love, Mama


Weekend Fun

This weekend was quite full, but so so wonderful. It felt like a reward for making it through last week!

It started with brunch with two of my favorite people! My soul sister, Marissa, was in town ever so briefly and we ate at Punch Bowl Social, and really fun, delicious place downtown.

It was so fun to catch up in person. After that I headed to do a cookie drop off. My most recent doula client ordered some Girl Scout cookies from Gwen (you can too! Right HERE!), and I swung by her place to drop them off... it was well worth the trip!

Love me some baby snuggles!!
After a quick trip to the store, I headed back home, and the day was almost done.

Sunday I taught at night as usual, but our day started long, long before that. We were up early to be at our friend's house by 6:30am for their traditional house blessing! We all got dressed up for the occasion...

It was wonderful to help our friends bless their new home, and make it feel warm, welcoming, and full of beautiful feels and beautiful things. 

After much time in Pooja, we were fed so much wonderful food... and then it was time to head home!

It felt so late, but was actually only about 11am! Still time to pick up more cookies, and have some relaxing time.

What a great weekend!


What A Week

Canceled plans, busy days, sickness (Gwenie with a cough and cold; me with dizziness). So thankful for yoga teacher friends who can help in a pinch, a sweet babe who is pretty darn adaptable even when not feeling well, and a husband who picks up the slack. Here's to feeling better next week.


Life, The Edge, The Breath, The Pause

How do you sum up a life in 5 words or pages or books or decades of writing for hours a day with no break and endless hemming and hawing about all it was or wasn't or could have, should have, would have, might have, wasn't but who's to say what matters in it all --

Birth and death are the bookmarks ends... but maybe I was right the first time... with divisions of no set length birth and death and years, months, shorter shorter lately maybe, well its not so scientific but it is one divider, however doesn't it all just start to blur together, and how many of you just wanted to burst into song, letting loose all those seconds when you read that first line, just me?

That's okay, I'm used to it. Miles work too anyway, the ones traveled or the ones in between me and family or the metaphorical ones between what I thought it would all be and what it is, between who I am and who he is and who we thought 36 would be and how can 30s feel so old and so young at the same time, when I might as well still be in college and drinking beer that tastes like piss --

Vomiting up sloe gin that looks like blood, studying Chinese characters while standing against the wall at a party (that was the best grade I got on a vocab quiz) knowing that there is no where else I'd rather be but also somehow that it was all pretend, and I can't pretend that wasn't a lifetime ago.


Sometimes everything rushes by so fast that I can't catch my breath, but it is also endless... did you know that they say there are more suicides in genius youth because they figure out so early that there is no point to life besides just living it, no great reveal, just these days of passing and what is the point, and I think 36 is still too young to know that, but at least here we can see the beauty too --

Thirteen thousand plus sunsets and rises and days and nights, but I don't see sunrises very often because morning sleep is the best sleep but maybe I'm missing out too; but am I because can't travel be written as distance x time = the great big gulping pause --


Its both endlessly frustrating and also so very reassuring that life keeps going even when your checked out, that the pause is really only pretend, and when you let out that little shutter at the end of the gasp and return to your regular pattern, well it all just rushes back --

Talk about a regular pattern, I think marriage is just opening the dishwasher and wanting to throttle someone for it all. being. wrong! but instead just thanking them for doing it, and I swear that if we had a mattress the size of our whole bedroom, and we drew a line down the center, I would still end up smashed against the edge --

I have early memories sitting on the stoop of our house in Allentown, just the moment and nothing else, and remember being in the hospital with dehydration when the spaceship Challenger exploded, and then vividly I flash ahead to the night that my heart sped to 200+ bpm, a lamborghini engine in a VW Bug, and the moment they stopped my heart and I knew so surely how I had years to come --

And how do you sum it all up, with birth and death, and my own death then life, and how much do I have left and what do I want and I guess that it all comes down to this great secret:


Summer Planning

A time consuming, but super exciting thing I've been working on lately is summer planning. Gwen and I have some big travel plans, and Trav and I have so many concerts to look forward to!

Texas road trip, East Coast time, and another trip between up Northwest-ish to hit some new states...

More to come and I can't wait to share it all with you!