what am i going to do when he is a teenager?

(photos by Josh)
Because for this adrenaline junkie, it isn't enough to go down a GINORMOUS inflatable water slide on your bottom. Or even on your stomach head first. Come to think of it, it won't cut it if your body has any contact with the ginormous water slide at all. That just doesn't hold the rush that he needs. So, instead...he flies. And he loves it.
But really. Should he be wearing some kind of full-body safety gear around? Like, at all times?



not only is it what i will be voting for come november in the u.s of a,
but, it is also what i did with my hair late friday night.
i took it from this:
to this:

and in doing so, i dethroned myself from the title of being the "all natural girl" from my dear dad's perspective! hee hee. although, i might argue that CHANGE is as natural as it gets.

inevitably partaken of by all of nature.

and although it looks like i have hologram hair in this picture, that isn't the case. truly. it was the sun shining through asher's tye-dyed curtains that gave me the psychedelic effect. which is kind of fun if you ask me.

change feels good.


where am i going?

Today started off great. There were quite a few things to mark off the "to do" list and we got rolling early enough to avoid the feared for melt down hour. Things went off without a hitch. Well...there were a few hitches. But, I figure if you can count the number of hitches on one hand, you might as well say that it all went off without a hitch. Because, really, that is as good as it gets.
But then emotions ran wild and thoughts went flying and tears started flowing. One of the first places that I thought of turning to was this space. And so, I started asking myself WHY. Why do I blog? Why do I come to this place to divulge, to eliminate, to expand upon? Why?
So, I started dwelling on that tiny little self-inquiry.
Why do I blog?
I came up with, without failure, several reasons why I choose to do express in this way.
*Because it feels good to focus on the positive. This is a place where I can come and relay to myself (and anyone else who happens to be reading my words) the things that I would like to remember. It isn't always "positive", come to think of it, or honky dory. It isn't always a holistic picture of the day, the week, the month...but it IS what is is. A compilation of what I choose to share and it is a place that reminds me to focus on what is good and what is worth remembering during this time.
*Because I find out more about myself in writing here. I do. I have discovered how I process things, through the act of processing. I learn more about what makes me passionate, what I want to learn more about, what inspires me, what I fear, how I learn, what I disagree with, and how to better open myself wide through this online forum.
* I seek connection. This is another way in which to do so. I have gained friends. I have learned language of love and forgiveness. I have been challenged and have seen what it really means to lead life with kindness through the lessons that you all offer. I am offered a wider world through the click of a button.
* I am inspired to be a better person but also to accept my reality for what it is. I am moved. I am breathed into. I am thankful.
* I want to be honest. I want to express as much as I can. I want to learn how to write with dedication and commitment.
I don't view this space as a journal. I think that I used to, but that only created frustration in the fact that I felt I was in a boat that was chained to a tree. There are certain things that I just don't choose to talk about in this place. I don't think this is the best places to tell those stories. Partly, because they are still mid-breath, partly because this is all too raw, too close and I am not quite there yet. Mostly because i have difficulty trusting and I just wanna hang on.
So, today started off good, but than it headed somewhere else and I just kept thinking "how did I get here?".
I couldn't self-induce a time-out...it just wasn't happening for me.
So, tonight, after Josh got home and before he left out the door for the second time...I made my escape with nothing more but a "I'll be home in a little while.".
And so it was.
Although a trip to the local Goodwill and a just as exciting stroll through blockbuster were all good for the de-briefing approach.
There is nothing like a good glass of wine, a long, complex phone conversation with a sister and sneaking in to peak at your sleeping children's faces as they dream in another realm.
It doesn't resolve everything.
But it certainly offers a break.



overheard at lunch yesterday
asher: "Nourney, I am fwustwated!"
journey: "fwu-ate?"
asher: "Ya Nourney. Fwustwated means panish (spanish) for MAD!"


some day

driving around town on a sunday errand expedition, i spotted, out of the corner of my eye, a painted VW bus parked in the driveway of a house down a side street.
i made a mental note to swing by it on my way back home.
things like that bring me smiles, so of course i remembered to do it.
the bus artistically communicated love and joy and that was enough to make me want to say "oh SOME DAY i will have my own hand painted VW bus"...but the HOUSE that the driveway holding the VW bus led to was another sight in itself.
there it was. a yellow home with white trim and a large front porch that stretched across the entire front of the structure. a yellow house with white trim! a front porch!
and it didn't stop there.
a green, grassy yard with two giant trees providing more than enough shade for those perfect afternoon picnics in the front.
and what was that attached to one of the sturdy limbs of the giant tree?
a tire swing you say?
a tire swing!
like the one you have been talking about having in your yard for months now?
some day.
the yard was overgrown, lush, full.
from the house to the tire swing was a well-worn path in the grass.
it was all WELL lived in...but loved.
i was tempted to knock on the door and see just who in there was "living my dream life" , as my sister so appropo said to me today while relaying the experience to her.
then later that night i was hustling about the kitchen while the chilis played outside...trying to scrounge up something for dinner.
spaghetti, that works!
i have it all right here.
and just as i was feeling relieved for having everything i needed to make spaghetti...i dropped the entire jar of sauce on the floor.
the glass jar.
on the floor.
and shards of glass flew into my big toe.
some day, i will have enough tomatoes in my yard to go pluck some for home-made pasta sauce and i won't have to worry about buying the sauce in big glass jars that fall on the floor and break into tiny pieces that fly into my big toe.
because that hurts.
and it sucks to clean up.
SOME day, i just might find myself living in a place where all four seasons show up knocking on our door.
a place where the lessons we learn through our nature-based books and resources hold incredible relevance because, heck, it is all right outside our front door (the front door to the yellow house with the white trim).
we don't have to "imagine" what it would be like to live where the leaves turn yellow and red and brown because we can see it with our own eyes and we can smell the musky rich scent of fall in the air.
we'll live there.
some day.
the diapers will get washed...some day.
i will take a shower...some day.
as my new yoga teacher might say,
some day never.



My eyes, upon sleepy awakening, drifted over towards the door of our bedroom this morning where they rested on the division of light and dark. Both of which were accepting and allowing for the other to exist and take space. I immediately thought of keeping the balance and the pleasant fact that today marks the first day of autumn. Well...good morning fall! (and hello again to the beautiful "art by journey" on our door)

For us, the new season brings with it the anticipation of cooler days in which to fill up with outdoor play and joyful learning in nature. We may not see too many trees changing colors or leaves falling to the ground. There will be quite a few more days of heat to travel through but we will notice the change in the air, in the light and in the way we are being pulled to the outdoors. The work in planting a fall garden is in full swing as is the visions of fresh baked bread, new projects for outdoor play, apple cider, pumpkin everything and even (gasp) long sleeve clothing. Could it be? Will it happen? I think it just might.

For today, we are expressing thanks for what we have, in intentional effort to keep the balance in giving and receiving. We are waiting on some home-made bread dough to rise, and we are really "so eh-cited" about both the maple popcorn we intend to make and the trip we will be taking to the fishing store to buy some worms for our compost.

A new season is upon us. Blessed be!


i am courage and i am strength.

this was my mantra last night during yoga as i held tree pose and stared out at my focal point...a strong, rooted, sturdy tree holding center close to the lake.
it reminded me to stand tall.
to not dismiss my wants and needs.
to honor the complexity of my being.
to remember my simplicity.
to always listen to what calls out to me.
to ignore the persuasive feeling that i must be someone other than myself.
to just be.
and live.
and grow.
after i got home from the class, i spent some time reading some of the beautiful souls that i sometimes do across the Internet.
i rested upon this quote that was shared over at boho girl's space:
"I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter. We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves."
~James Kavanaugh
reading this just really pierced a certain part of me that feels the need to explain myself or to pretend that the complexities and vibrations of my soul aren't what they are.
these words just held me while i rested in the truth of who i am.
i search.
i long for.
i dream of.
i ache.
i love.
all of it, my time spent in tree pose last night and my time spent meditating on these words has just brought me this really solid, peaceful calm.
a kind of calm that brings with it the acceptance to look at myself and say
"oh, how lovely".

moving towards peace

Over at this living angel's space , I recently read about her journey into peace with her three little loves that day. It touched me so much to read about their adventure. It was a familiar exchange that I have experienced between me and my own babes, where the only thing that brings us peace is getting out and breathing with the wild, open air.
After reading her words, I was immediately envisioning our own escape and had little ideas floating around my mind about where we might go but left the details unplanned because, well, that is where the magic takes place. But yesterday morning brought with it the knowledge that the car seats were not in our car, but rather with daddy in his car...which was at work. That was because on Monday the car wouldn't start and we had to be rescued and the car seats were eventually transferred to the van (the one we aren't driving because it is without A/C) and surprisingly (totally kidding...not surprising at all) I forgot to put them back into the car that we got working again.
So we were stuck at home for another day. Which is really not a big deal at all but it WAS a big deal yesterday because yesterday was one of those days where we all needed some peace. You know those days, right? The ones where someone poops on the floor because the diapers haven't been washed and also because every time you put on this child's clothes, she takes them off anyway and where there is no food in the house but it doesn't matter anyways because the dishes are piled so high that even if there were food...there would be nothing clean to eat on. The kind of day where asking your child to put on undies if he wants to go out front or stand in front of the open window sends him crying on his bed, and really, what does it matter if he wears undies or not? But for some fear-based reason, you worry about him standing in front of the window without underwear on and your fear squashes his freedom. It was a day where none of us remembered how to share and where the craft project we were working on got some of us so frustrated that it was no longer fun...where little girl was in need of extra love and nursing but where patience was thin, feelings were hurt and this mama took a few time-outs for herself. You know what kind of day I am talking about? The effort it took to understand and respect all of our different wants and needs required a little bit more than what we had to give.
A tiny get-a-way was totally called for, but it wasn't happening.
During one of my self-imposed time outs, I was reading a bit from the book Seven Times the Sun and drifted to the section on celebrating peacemaking. My eyes absorbed these words:
"With our children we are faced with the best and worst in ourselves. Perhaps no one in our lives can inspire our hostility and anger to surface quite as readily and completely as these people we call our daughters and sons."
"Perhaps you have noticed that there are a great number of children growing up among us with iron-strong wills. These children have to be strong and willful to put forth the kind of energy necessary to set our world aright again. Parenting such children makes us feel at times that we must use an iron hand with them if we are to retain any semblance of order and control. It is easy to feel that if we choose not to wield the iron hand, we will allow chaos to run the household."
"These children who are gracing our planet with the gift of the willful act need a generation of parents who are equally as strong and decisive. These children are hungering for guides to help direct the energy forces they bring to the earth - not to smash their energies with an iron hand nor to sit idly by and allow these energies to be unleashed wildly upon the world. But guides who are able to teach peace - respect for oneself, others, our homes and our world. The elements that produce peace in our selves and our homes are the same elements that produce peace among nations and peoples. Here in our homes, here is the learning ground. And when we create peace with our children, then perhaps, we, too, will really learn something."
I learn something everyday. Not that I always create the peace that I ache for...but that I am reminded loud and clear why these little souls came into my care and love.
So we learn, and un-learn and then re-learn again the ways to express ourselves without being destructive. We makes big messes without worrying about the clean-up. We take nature walks outside when the house is just too small. We wait on when the time is right to escape, because sometimes the lessons come from sitting with the chaos and creating peace with what we have.
And then, we start all over again come morning.


for the love

I shouldn't forget to mention all of the fun we have been having over the past few weeks. Yes, let's not forget that. There has been a lot of work and a lot of adjusting to new elements added into our days (the adjusting is still going on...it may take a while). But there has been a lot of FUN that has exploded into our days here and there.
One of them being that Josh was handed a pair of tickets to a D-Backs game last Friday. A very good pair of D-Backs tickets. I had never sat so close to a pro baseball game. And as much as I don't get wrapped up in sports and all that jazz...baseball is one that I actually enjoy watching. I even got attached to a certain 3rd baseman and now I find myself taking a look at the sports section of the newspaper for the new word on the team. hee hee...there is nothing like a rowdy crowd, a close game and sharing an ice cream cone in the stands with your sweets to get you interested, right?
And for Asher, the height of his dinosaur love may have peeked when we ventured out to walk with the dinosaurs on Saturday. The show in itself was just amazing. But the best part for me was watching Asher take it all in and listening to him talk non-stop with such eagerness about each dinosaur that he saw walk out on stage. He was smitten. It was a very tender thing to see...a small child witnessing the life of his dreams unfold right before his eyes. And I don't know what is the deal with my emotional reaction to theatrical performances...but as soon as the "paleontologist" invited us with booming enthusiasm to come with him and "walk with the dinosaurs!" as music echoed through the arena and lights danced about the walls...I started crying. I always seem to do this. I was crying at the dinosaur show. It is this catharsis of emotion and it is totally uncontrollable. So, I now know this of myself. And if you ever find yourself sitting next to me at any kind of performance that has any potential to be magical or touching...just know that there will be tears. (And maybe a playful smack on the arm if you make fun of me)!
But really, Asher soaked up the experience and kept repeating the fact that he "yuved that dinosaur show" all the way home. He told several people that it was just "amazing!".
And now, if you were to catch a glimpse of the little guy throughout any given part of the day, you would probably see him digging for dinosaur bones outside, reading his dinosaur books inside, asking to go to the dinosaur museum every day, or growling and constructing disastrous scenes anywhere and everywhere with his dinosaur figurines.

Here he is with a T-Rex tooth.

The pride just bounces off the picture, doesn't it?

And last night, as predicted, his choice of books from the library was the same. I don't know if there are any books on dinosaurs that we haven't checked out. But, miraculously, he always seems to find more. He marches right over to the section that knows his name and begins his selection process...which these days centers around pictures of carnivorous dinosaurs. He is very fascinated with the meat-eating folk.

And the scene above is what I turned around to find after pulling into the driveway. Open book on lap, already read books placed strategically behind the head...and a little boy drifted off to the land of his dreams, where I confidently assume dinosaurs are roaming and he is walking closely beside them.


what we harvest

happy harvest moon!
we were driving home from a day of play last night and i pleaded with josh to pull off to the side of the road so that i could snap a few of the moon. so beautiful. so complete (well, last night she was almost complete).
i have been paying more and more attention to the moon cycles into my adult years and there is something so magical about that knowledge and connection. something so rhythmic and inspiring.
the children and i have been talking a bit about tonight's moon throughout our day. we are planning a "harvest" meal of vegetable soup with some full moon circle bread (chapatis). we anticipate a trip to the library to check out a few books on the harvest moon and we are hoping to spend some time outdoors this evening enjoying the brilliance and seeing if we can peek at some stars (that is, if the mosquitoes don't eat us alive)!
and thoughts of work in relation to food scatter about in my mind and i anticipate learning more about the work that goes into cultivating your own crop once we get this garden planted. the work is already there, where we must shovel and rake and clear ground for future bounty.
we've been outside a lot these days, working bits and pieces of the yard at a time and the sight i envision is what keeps me committed during these hot, mosquito swamped days.
the sight, and the recent words on work that i fell into while reading from Kahlil Gibran (as if I could read him and not be soaked to the core with inspiration):
"But I say to you that when you work
you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream,
assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be
intimate with life's inmost secret."
~Kahlil Gibran
So, I'm thinking of the work we do. The physical push of shoveling rock or holding warrior pose in the middle of the park on a stormy insightful night. I'm thinking about the work we do internally...the challenges we each face and how much they tug and pierce at our insecurities, but how very necessary it is for us to rise to those same challenges and accept and say "i am here to work".
It is necessary so that at some point along the way, the shining circle of light that shines upon us will illuminate a full harvest.


what time is it?

Have I mentioned that waking up before my children means that I must pull myself from bed around 5 am? It does mean that. It also means I have a bit of convincing to do with Journey when I try and leave her side. Or rather, when the milk supplier leaves her side. But I did it. Today I pried myself away and comforted my longing to sleep with little reminders of how great it might feel to get a few things accomplished before anyone stirs. And it does. It feels great. There is something so meditative about being awake in a quiet home that is not normally so quiet, before anyone else is awake with their own wants and needs...just sitting with myself. Mmmmm....it has been calming. What a steady way to begin a day. Hopefully I can do it again sometime! It seems the next little while will require making some effort on my part to incorporate some new rhythm into our days. Nothing too structured or super intentional...just a little more guiding on my part for our mornings and transitions. We are turning new leaves, doing a lot of experimenting with learning and with joining different groups of people to see where we best thrive and grow. Change is amongst us and it comes with excitement and energy and also the thoughts of how in the world is this all going to work? Time will help us along and so will our efforts and I know the natural melody of change will guide us into where we need to be within the walls of this home and within the core of learning. I can feel the shift even in the season. Something is moving, changing, expanding...while others are shortening. Light is shifting and ideas of outdoor play don't sound as crazy. I'm eager for it all. I think we're all ready for it because I've been hearing this squabbling around our home for weeks now. What is with the squabbling? And the pulling of each other's hair? And the pinching? Seriously. But there was none of that this morning at 5am. And that was really nice.


here. there. and everywhere.

wanting to write. hoping to write. holding intention to write and actually WRITING...are very.very different things.
i am so sore from pulling weeds in the backyard.
should i be that sore??
i wonder how long journey will sleep before she wakes up to nurse.
i wonder how much longer journey will want to nurse.
there is something really funky going on with my throat.
i must want to say something to someone.
it is really funky.
i should post more pictures of myself on this blog. it is MY blog, after all.
but that would mean that i would have to actually take pictures of myself and that always feels kind of strange for me.
plus there is the whole situation with holding the camera with one hand, which is kind of heavy. or the whole setting the timer and then trying to make it look natural while laughing to myself over how really funny that is.
maybe there won't be more pictures of me on my blog.
i am SO excited about composting. so excited. probably strangely excited.
how on earth am i going to rake all of those rocks that need to be raked in order to plant our garden. really. how am i going to do that?
one rake at at time. oh yes.
my house is clean and it feels so good to be here.
and then i look into the garage and see that behemoth pile of laundry waiting to be washed and i don't feel so good.
but i think about setting up my clothesline and i am strangely excited about that.
and about clothespins.
i find it really difficult to write when someone is standing behind me.
so then i just write "practice" words like:
"little house on the prairie".
which i can write abnormally fast because for some weird reason, that is what i would always type when i wanted to pretend that i was the fastest typer ever.
wanting to be the fastest typer ever was somehow important to me at some small point in my life.
but now i can type
"little house on the prairie"
very.very fast.
and THAT is kind of fun.
how are you?
who are you?
where are you?
please tell.