27 September 2013

Walk A Mile In Your Shoes

It snowed this morning. Which really isn't too unusual for this time of year in Utah, but it still felt so sudden and out of nowhere. Much like so many happenings in our world lately! Sookie was elated at the thought of building a snowman. ;) I had to explain that the snow most likely wouldn't stick. I cherish her excitement for Christmas and winter already because it is contagious and while so many are whining about the upcoming season, I embrace the fact I get to see it all through the magical eyes of a three year old. It was definitely chilly outside this afternoon when we were having adventures, but we had a wonderful day nonetheless. Lunch with my mom and dad and a super mini date with Rory when we (tried) to play pool while waiting for our food. I say tried because Sookie insisted she could do it too. Later, at my mom and dad's I picked fresh raspberries and watched Sookie herd the sheep with a stick. (Haha)

 glockets limited edition fall pearl necklace

Earlier this week held a rare afternoon nap for Sookie and with it an opportunity for me to snuggle up with her while combing over all the beautiful things we have going on in our lives. I find gratitude so heavy in the pauses lately. I found contentment resting in the quiet moments as I envisioned all these uphill climbs we have ahead of us in the next couple of months. Last week was positively insane with chaos and disappointments and changed plans. However, when all was said and done there were a few rays of sunshine that reminded me to smile and count my blessings. I quietly told myself how lucky we were Miss S didn't end up in the hospital (from a nasty case of croup) and that we were cozy, safe, and most importantly, together.

Fall is an intense time for me. Strong emotions coupled with powerful memories of highlights of my life always makes for inspiration and hope filling weighty moments in the air. It represents growth, new life, fresh chances, and lightning quick "I never want to kiss anyone else again" kind of love. My Make A Wish was in September of 2001 and the anniversary always propels me to daydream and reminisce about those (carefree) days of eating, sleeping, living and loving music.

September also marks the half year of when my sister died, this year will be 7 and a half years. My heart still doesn't quite comprehend it all, and I marvel at the fact I've been able to put one foot in front of the other on this excruciating journey of grief. I met Rory 7 years ago, my dad's birthday is in October as well as the anniversary of my kidney transplant. Some of my most vivid memories in those weeks after my transplant (besides the 45 minute drive to the hospital every other day for lab draws) were the abundance of Halloween decorations at my grandma's house. It is funny to me that ever since then, Halloween has reminded me of a second chance.

A few nights ago I put the finishing touches on my "This Is 30" playlist, thanks to Eva Cassidy and Kings of Leon. I can't get enough of Comeback Story from the new album. I freaking adore the fact they took a somewhat cliche quote and made a marvelous song out of it. I walk a mile in your shoes, now I'm a mile away and I've got your shooooooooes. My dad called that night to tell me to listen to Eva Cassidy's version of Over The Rainbow because it reminded him of me. He does that three or four times a week; calls or texts me song recommendations. I'm so lucky to have such a great dad.

How about you? What is going on in your world? What does fall look like in your heart?

16 September 2013

Hello Truckloads Of Cheer

Hello Monday, hello possibility around every turn, hello sinking deeper into who I was meant to be.

Hello to the state fair and hours of fun. I was bursting with childlike joy while we were there, to the point I think it was annoying to Rory and my parents. The bright colors, the perfect weather (overcast but no rain), Sookie's excitement, and the one man band, all blended together into one wonderful whirlwind.

Hello to recognizing moments that you thought would always remain a distant daydream in your mind. Only to realize the power that lies with believing something into fruition. 

Hello to fresh fall routines mixed beautifully with nostalgic traditions, expanding our social circles, and striving to open our hearts a tiny bit more with each sunrise.

Hello to attempting new things, to repeating mantras to yourself, to scaring and surprising yourself in the best, most marvelous ways possible.

Hello to this genius idea from Ink'd Designs. Monthly print packs to help you organize and live a more awesome life! September's Print Pack includes a calendar, 8 x 10 print, birthday card, goal setting sheet, baby shower invite, grocery list, gift tags and a weekly to do list as well as a daily to do list. Amy is a killer graphic design artist and her blog is one of my new favorites. 

(Hello Monday posts are inspired by Lisa Leonard's Hello Monday series.)

13 September 2013

My Life Is Awesome. So Is Yours.

Earlier this week I saw my favorite doctor to have my TSH (thyroid levels) checked. I've been on some form of thyroid medication since I was 10 years old; even prior to my kidney transplant. It is such a normal part of my life I don't even think twice about it anymore. The only time it has ever scared me was when I was pregnant with Miss S and we couldn't get the levels to balance at all. Anyway, after I saw my favorite doctor on Wednesday, the phlebotomist asked me if I have ever had my blood drawn before. Ahahaha! I believe my response was "This is probably the millionth time and I'm not even exaggerating." I was slightly surprised that my scarred veins weren't an instant giveaway. Later that afternoon it was ballet time. Second class and I still cried and smiled a big goofy grin the whole time. I can't help it. Pure bliss evaporates from every pore in my body when I get to watch our girl twirl into her own little world.

We've been embracing every little bit of wonderfulness that the world holds this week. And the big beautiful cannot be contained types of things too. I made a conscious effort to spend time with loved ones and new friends. To quote my gal Brandi Carlile, time isn't money, it's only a lie because everything lost can be found but your time. My unpredictable, people loving introvert of a heart is content and full tonight. The house? A mess. And yet I don't really care. I'm good with it. I'm finally realizing I cannot be on top of everything. It is miles beyond better to enjoy where you are and truly be present in the moment, happy with where you focus is and where your heart beats loudest. People are so much more important than anything else in life. We've crafted memories out of thin air these past several days and it feels divine.

Sookie: (tracing my transplant scar) "What is this?"
Me: "It is where they put Grrmomma's kidney in my tummy."
Sookie: "How dey do dat?"
Me: "They made an opening in my tummy, hooked up the kidney, and then they closed the opening."
Sookie: "Oh! Okay!" 

(Child Life Specialist skills come in handy when explaining a kidney transplant to your own daughter. Wink.)

She is a tender hearted evil genius. The other day she was playing with my dad and told him to "go find some candy so we can play trick or treats."

Sookie: "I need to tell that girl to get down."
Me: "We can't worry about if other people are making bad choices, we need to focus on what choices we are making."
BAM. I love it when parenting reminds me what things I need to work on too. 

A few nights ago a woman came over to buy a headboard from us. Upon seeing Sookie she said, "Oh, you are so lucky to have a girl! I have 4 boys." It reminded me how significant perspective is; this woman had no idea the triumph behind Sookie's existence, what odds she conquered when she was born. The grass seemed greener on my side to this woman and I didn't have the guts to congratulate her on her unique blessings. Water your own grass and make it greener. Savor what you have. It is crucial to cherish your own story.

My life is awesome. So is yours. Own it.

04 September 2013

Live To The Point Of Tears

Today something happened that I've been daydreaming about since I was 3 years old.


Yes, yes indeed I might have been conjuring up images of my own little pixie flitting into dance class since the days when I was barely big enough to myself. It was a milestone day with lots of happy tears and big huge smiles from all three of us. The fact that we are all here together still experiencing life moving forward...it is so huge. All of it. 

This summer I had a self realization epiphany that I am an introvert who loves people. It seems achingly elementary now that I see it, but oh my goodness...it explains so much. 

I have also discovered that I am generally really fabulous at eating healthy and organic during the day, but once Miss S is asleep I feel like I have to eat all the donuts and berry sour patch kids in the world. Have I mentioned balance is a never ending journey? (Wink.)

I listened to a whole lot of Closer To Fine by the Indigo Girls this summer. I even taught Sook the chorus. Girl is a pro at memorizing killer lyrics. 

A sunday night walk. The last one in my twenties.

Two weeks ago, I spent the last hour of my twenties watching Joe Rogan investigate the chances of the reality of Bigfoot, complete with a man (with his Ph.D mind you) at NYU analyzing samples of what could have possibly been Bigfoot feces. I was laughing so hard with Rory, there were moments I couldn't catch a breath! I stayed awake until 12:47 to witness myself actually crossover that defining, albeit invisible line, between 29 and 30.

These past few weeks has been ladybugs who are late to tea parties, carrot juice mustaches, and juicy tomatoes ripe from the August sun.  Birthday random acts of kindness teaching me that the more you open your heart, the stronger and braver you become. The more you focus on giving outside of your own little world, the quicker your world opens up and gives you the courage to face your own demons and perhaps, if you are lucky, the new vantage point might even inspire new methods to tackle your obstacles.

Confession: my mom and Rory wanted to throw me a birthday party, but I simply had too much anxiety over all of it, so I opted to spread the celebrations out with a few people at a time. Now it is two weeks later, I still have the birthday blues and am thinking I should have had a party. My friends with cystinosis who have passed before seeing 30 have been heavy on my heart this month and making peace with all the swirling gratitude and guilt and love and life is a tricky web to conquer.