Let’s Celebrate

It is quite popular today, at least in the mommy blog-o-sphere, to write articles highlighting that life isn’t merely the beautiful highlight reels we display on our social media; to admit to the fact that life is hard, that it takes strength and courage to walk the path of motherhood and marriage and friendship.

I am totally in with that crowd because raising two little boys is hard.  Raising independent, loud, demanding children is a hike through the wilderness that is all it’s own.  And it does take strength, courage, grace and a lot of coffee to walk it every day.

I want to take a moment, however, to do the opposite.  I want to suggest that we all take a moment and call out those times that are beautiful and awesome.  Let’s celebrate and commend ourselves when things are going well and we are groovin’ through life to the beat of our favorite song.

Life has been awesome for me lately. Not every moment is full of sunshine and rainbows (we’ve been watching a lot of Pixar’s Trolls lately, if you get the reference) but in general, we are in an upswing. I’ve been rocking nap times and mealtimes.  I’ve been connecting with my children- laughing with them and enjoying such sweet moments of play and conversation; watching them begin to play together and care for each other.  My husband and I have been talking about the issues that matter and taking on things as a team.  We’re getting projects done that have been put off and balancing the care’s of our daily lives in a way that is comfortable for both of us.

Maybe it’s the beautiful weather.  Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been getting enough sleep.  Maybe it’s just ok to say that life is awesome right now and leave it at that.

It’s so helpful to reach out when things are hard, and it is equally comforting to be able to speak up when things are going swell.  Life has a balance, a rhythm and the only thing that we can be certain of is change.  Things aren’t going to be rainbows and unicorns all the time. The upswing will eventually give way to a downswing before it heads back up again.  So let’s do more of showing up for each other when things get dark, when our friends and neighbors need a hand held out to them.  And let’s do more celebrating when things are awesome.  Let’s cultivate joy for ourselves and for each other when life hands out opportunity and success and be grateful for all the sweet beautiful moments.

I sure am grateful for all the sweet beautiful moments I’ve been experiencing lately.

 

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Yoga Baby

I watched him do it.  He took himself through his own vinyasa this afternoon.  From all fours he pushed his way into downward dog- his typical response whenever I say “Let’s do some yoga.”  He lowered into plank pose, then came onto his tummy and looked upward (cobra).  He pushed himself back into downward dog and lifted one leg high, enjoying the feeling of being slightly off balance.  Then he walked his feet up to meet his hands, coming into a forward fold.  He stood up and grinned at me and then promptly sat down and let his knees fall out to the sides where he sat, in Baddah Konasana, studying his feet.

It was that simple.  It took less then two minutes for him to plant his hands and feet into the ground, for him to connect with his body and relish in its ability to move.

Was this intentional?  Has he seen me do this same simple sequence of poses so much that he was intentionally copying me?  Or are these movements innate to him?

It’s so circular.  When you watch babies and small children, they seem to do some yoga poses without thinking about it.  Watch Yogis and they seem to be imitating the natural movements of small children, working towards the openness and flexibility that we are all born with.  Yet Yoga is not about being flexible or even about being good.  Yoga is about being present to the moment and accepting yourself wherever you are.  It’s about understanding and accepting that each day is different, that our yoga practice will be different each time we take to the mat and being ok with that.  Simply noticing our breath and enjoying the movement of our bodies.

We are all born with this enjoyment, this amazement, of what our bodies can do.  Children take so much pleasure in finding new ways to move their bodies and discovering the things their bodies can do.  They twirl and skip and jump and climb without a second thought.  Yet at some point, many of us lose that.  We begin to separate our minds and our bodies.  We  begin to doubt our bodies, scrutinize and find fault with them.  We go to war, sometimes, trying to change the very body that once brought us so much joy.

Watching Casey carry himself through this simple vinyasa today only deepened my commitment to taking to my mat every day.  Whether it’s a full yoga class, a 15 minute video on my computer or simply 5 minutes of quiet meditation, I continue to commit myself to a daily practice.  Because it is through this practice that I have found peace and joy, acceptance and an ability to stay present in the moment.  These are all qualities that I hope to foster in myself so that I may pass them onto my son.

Whether he was copying me or simply moving on his own, watching my yoga baby today brought me so much joy and lightness.  His simple movements worked within me and deepened this passion that has already taken root in my soul, because each time I step away from my mat I come away with so much more then I brought onto it to begin with.

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“I Do”

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Wednesday, February 5th, as 700,000 people filled the streets of Seattle to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks, I stood high above them all next to a corner window on the 11th floor of Seattle’s Municipal courthouse and married my best friend.  I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.  Everything else disappeared as the setting sun illuminated the Seattle skyline behind us.  We looked into each other’s eyes and held each other’s hands as we exchanged our vows and became man and wife.

The ceremony was short but sweet, attended only by our friend Loayza who acted as witness and photographer (and schlepper of all my shit).   Although it was a courthouse wedding, we didn’t have to get married in the courtroom.  Instead, we stood in front of the southwest facing corner window of the “Jury Assembly” room, radiant, as the setting sun made its slow descent into the western horizon.   It was a beautiful day, chilly but sunny with clear, blue skies.  To the South,  Mt. Rainer was visible in the distance past the sports stadiums and to the west, out across Seattle’s gorgeous skyline, the waters of the Puget Sound sparkled.   It was magical and altogether too swift.

It’s always like that though isn’t it?  We spend so much time and energy looking forward to and preparing for the big moments of our lives, only to have the moment pass in the blink of an eye. That’s how our wedding felt.  There was the briefest pause during the short ceremony, as if time stood still and for just that instant nothing else mattered except the handsome man who stood in front of me- this man who I have known and loved for so long now, who knows my secrets, my fears, my quirks and my dreams, who I trust more than anyone, my favorite person in the world who can make me laugh harder and longer than I ever thought possible.  All that mattered for that moment was this man who was about to become my husband.

As it always does, the moment ended and we were forced back into reality, the ceremony over.  We collected our belongings, took a few more pictures and were on our way.  We  had entered the courthouse fiancees, full of excitement, not knowing what to expect.  Now, our rings snuggly on our fingers, our vows and kiss(es) exchanged, we were walking out husband and wife.

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