A hand to hold …

As of yesterday afternoon my world finally calmed down. Yay! It’s honestly been a whirlwind. A wave of relaxation literally washed over me after my last meeting yesterday. Last night I realized that I’ve been so busy that I hadn’t really even given much thought to my favorite holiday fast approaching. Even after decorating, confirming with George when he would head home and after booking Sid’s flight it still hadn’t hit me. Talk about distracted!

I had big plans today. Plans to nurture myself. THIS is so important. Seriously, we all need to do more of it. But that’s a topic for another day. My day started early with a wonderful carefree run. I prayed. I thought about Thanksgiving. I thought about how blessed we are and how thankful I am. And then it hit me! ALL of my babies will be home. SOON. I was instantly overcome with emotions. I have not been with all four of my kids at the same time since early August. That’s a first. Again, I don’t like it but I wouldn’t want it any other way. They are off living their lives and becoming who they are meant to be. It’s beautiful.

The picture I posted with this blog is quite a few years old but it’s one of my favorites. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t miss those days. I do. They were days when we were all a bit younger and life wasn’t pulling us in so many different directions. I’m not one to want to turn back time, but I do like to look back. It makes me appreciate our togetherness even more now. I love our family history and the memories that we have made. They are, after all, what paved the way to what is our now. Again, it is beautiful. I know that our NOW might not look like our THEN but it still takes my breath away. These incredible souls are my WHY. I am blessed to be their mom. So so so blessed. And I am grateful that regardless of how much time passes or the distance between them, that they will always have each other to walk through life with. As an only child I wanted this for them. No. I needed this for them. And knowing that they have each other fills this mama’s heart with immeasurable peace and joy.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have a hand to hold!!!

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Libs and here we go again …

Yesterday Libs took the PSAT. She took one last year, in her sophomore year, and did well. We also arranged to have her take an unofficial SAT about two months later just to see how she would do. The test evaluator was pleased to see her score since Libs was technically about 18 months out from taking the official SAT. When the evaluator found out that Libs had forgotten her calculator she changed from “pleased” to “shocked” that Libs did as well as she did.

Telling you all of that is not to brag about my smart kid. Trust me, she IS smart, but it’s because she works so hard. Heck, Libs welcomed all the testing last year just so she could see where she was AT educationally. She’s always thought this way. She is the kid who checks her student portal obsessively after a test or big project. So much so that we had a year when we had to implement a time cutoff to check grades because she would get upset if they weren’t posted. It would ruin her whole evening. That limit really helped her balance fun and work and helped her to see that there is a time (and importance) for both. Anyway, Libs has some lofty college goals and when she started verbalizing them to me we had a long talk (several actually) about what it would take to achieve them. She knows it won’t be easy but she knows what she has to do to make it all happen. When I saw her commitment to her goals and saw how it was all effecting her I went to her counselor, coaches and favorite teachers to let them know what she wants. All of them were on board. Libs has the support of MANY. An army of people who see that she CAN achieve the goals that she has set for herself. As a mom, I couldn’t be more thankful. But I have to say that yesterday has been a stark reminder of times that are soon to change. Again. I’ve been down this road twice before. It is a beautiful road but it does have its’ thorns. The reality of my third baby growing up is creeping in. As much as it all fills my heart with joy, I find (ONCE AGAIN) that my heart can ache at the same time. I have no doubt that when it’s time for Libs to head to college that she will be ready. She will embrace the new life laid before her. She will thrive as an adult. But until then, I will cherish every last childhood moment that I am blessed to share with her.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you see it all happening again!!!

A genuinely good soul …

My beautiful green-eyed girl Libs is 16 years old today. She was born into this world to a room full of laughter (no joke!). Her birth was like a party and life has been that way ever since! I remember when I first held her and I felt an unexplainable familiarity with her. Like I had held her my whole life. She fit perfectly into my arms, my heart and our family. We wouldn’t be US without HER. Libs is one of the funniest people I have ever known. She is my JOY! I love how she sees and greets the world. She is REAL and honest. She has always been my justice-seeker and she is one of the fairest people you will ever know. She is a gifted artist and sings like an angel. And she is brilliant. But most of all, Libs is kind. She has a precious heart for others. Compassion lives in every fiber of this girl’s being and I am SO SO SO proud to be her mom.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a genuinely good soul!!!

Clowns and circuses …

Many years ago I made the decision to not engage in anyone else’s “drama”. Meaning that if someone is trying to upset me I simply ignore them. If someone is behaving in a way to get me to react, on their level, I just don’t. And I have to say that this decision has brought me A LOT of peace of mind and no regrets.

This was definitely not easy to do in my younger years but it is now. Age, wisdom and maturity are good things! I’m not saying that I don’t initially get upset when people act unpleasantly toward me or do things that I don’t like. I do. But it doesn’t last long. And don’t get me wrong, I will confront someone when they have really “crossed a line” particularly when it can effect my children. However, I have become a pro at not getting sucked into situations that don’t suit me. Reacting poorly in response to someone else’s bad behavior is just not who I am or who I ever want to be. If someone is going to “put on a good show” I just remove myself from their audience. Which is really easy to do on social media with “hiding”, “unfriending”, and “blocking”. HA! But I’ve found that this is pretty easily done in REAL life too. I tend to be calm and rather “matter-of-fact” so I’m sure that this helps. And I actually enjoy taking the “high road” because it makes the other person’s efforts look that much worse! But honestly, I refuse to give a person like that my time and energy. My life, my heart, my mind and my soul are much to valuable for that. So when another unpleasant situation or person enters my life, I will remain on my path of joy and genuineness. And I will chose to sit happily, in my own skin, with my original thoughts, ideas and decisions. Knowing in my heart that I may have nothing to gain by my actions (or rather, in actions), but more importantly, I will have nothing to lose … especially myself.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t let the clowns pull you into their circus!!!

Wander …

Traveling is wonderful. I enjoy the planning of it and the excitement leading up to leaving just can’t be beat. I love seeing new places and revisiting places that hold fond memories in my heart. It’s all GOOD. But there is also something that I have come to appreciate even more than our planned and perfected traveling. It’s the flexibility we have adopted to reroute and change directions. I absolutely love when we choose curiosity and adventure over organized plans. There is freedom in drifting away from what is “likely” and I have found that random discoveries often help me untether my mind from expectations. I find so much joy in this! I know the thought of traveling like this sounds a bit uncomfortable to some people. Nomadic, perhaps. It certainly requires some retraining of your brain and a bit of wild abandon. But I have found that these experiences have always been worth my initial discomfort.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you wander!!!

It’s a wonderful world …

We have spent the past few days along the California Coast and we plan on seeing a whole lot more of it before we head home. It’s been exciting to see new things and to share new experiences with my children. I have told them since birth, to appreciate moments not things. I have shown them that sharing time with the people they love and adventuring with them will bring them more joy than any material treasure ever will. And I have taught them that this planet we call home will give them the opportunity for those moments and that joy, if they just take the time to explore it.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you got to experience our wonderful world!!!

Go for it …

What makes us not pursue our heart’s desire? I know the answers are vast on this one. Fear. Guilt. Time. Obligations. Money. I am sure that most of us can come up with a list a mile long. I know I have! And I’d say that probably most are valid and reasonable excuses. Reasons that make our decision, to not chase our dreams, absolutely understandable. BUT, if I’ve leaned one thing in my five decades it’s this … every time I’ve been given one teeny tiny arrow pointing me in the direction of my goals, it has been a good enough reason to make them a priority. And ultimately it has all brought me a lot of joy.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you GO FOR IT!!!