Wednesday, November 30, 2011
We spent the week up in the gorgeous mountains of Lake Arrowhead. When our Angel Daughters were little, Mark and I decided to purchase a second home up there because we had grown up with snowy winters and wanted our girls to experience a bit of the white stuff. This home has been a part of our family for fourteen years(so many wonderful memories) yet for the past two years, Mark and I had not been up there at all. Dance competitions, work schedules and just life in general dominated our weekends and driving the almost two hours made it very difficult. We used to go up for every Thanksgiving. My best friend since junior high school who now lives in Las Vegas would meet us up there with her three children and we would share the holiday as one big family. Well, as the children got older, other obligations disrupted our tradition. Two of her children got married and went on to have babies.(whom I absolutely adore!) They needed to remain closer to home so that they could split the holidays with in-laws, etc. Last year I felt like I needed to be out of town for the holiday so we took the girls up to San Francisco for the week. We had a lovely time, but some of the girls(you know who you are) complained that I was not making the traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving and that preparing it on another day was not the same thing! So up the mountain we went with two new boyfriends, one very old boyfriend(Is seven years a long time for a twenty one year old to be in a relationship?) and a sweet girlfriend whose family was going to be tied up with her brother's hockey tournaments all weekend. Mark took everyone skiing/snowboarding, we ate, we shopped, we laughed, but most of all, we had a really wonderful time. The higher altitude did take its toll on my body but that was a small price to pay to spend Thanksgiving in the mountains with my husband and our girls. I have stories to share but those will come later.
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with love, good food and lots of laughter. I just wanted everyone to know that I am still here, fighting the good fight, living contently in spite of. Battling the pain while soaking in every single joyful moment possible, trying my best not to give in to the focus that the aches can sometimes overshadow. I am here. Once again, thank you for visiting, for checking in on me, for your kind words and your sweet emails, for caring. I only hope that you know that I feel the same way about you that you do about me. It truly is my pleasure. I plan on visiting, catching up and saying hello in the next couple of days. Until then, just know that you are on my mind and in my heart, always.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
|Angel Daughter Number One as Peter Pan at Disneyland on Halloween|
Tonight, as I was scrolling through photos, some that I took, some that I (a-hem) borrowed from my daughter's Facebook pages and some that they texted to me, I began feeling the joy that can only come from loving so hard that the smiles make your face hurt and that is the kind of pain that I know that we can all use more of. Please indulge me as I remind myself that these are the most important reasons that I keep on truckin' along when I might feel as if I am running on empty.
Harjuku girls. They were absolutely adorable. The blow-up pirate ship in the background was on our front lawn at our main home on the ranch.(as opposed to our smaller homes on the beach and in the mountains) The girls are seventeen years old but they wanted to go out trick-or-treating anyway. Heck, I wanted to go out trick-or-treating! When they dressed up, they kind of looked like they were around fourteen which is fine with me:) I only wish that I could keep them that way for a while.
LACMA in Los Angeles on the very last day that it was going to be there. I love it when my daughters make plans to just get together in different combinations. It reminds me that they do feel connected even when outside of the whole family as a unit. I have been feeling very disconnected from that type of bond lately because my only brother is gone and I am no longer a part of his children's lives.(for now) I truly am very blessed to have the family that Mark and I have created together but aside from them, I am pretty alone in the world now. Yesterday my doctor reminded me that this is the time of the year when people tend to focus on losses and that it really is not quite as jolly as all of the retailers would like for us to believe that it is. That resonated deeply with me.
When people talk to me about nurture vs. nature, I must admit that I used to believe that the emphasis was on nurture but when I look at my own children, I can see that who they were as babies and as children is a lot like who they are now as young women. Mark and I are the very same parents with the same values and ideals who are raising four female children in mostly the same way.(I say "mostly" because each child has different needs, strengths and weaknesses.) Yet our girls are all unique, all special and all different. Some things just are as they are, inherently.
I will try my very best not to draw back into my cocoon of chronic pain. There are times when I end up here and do not even remember the onset. I try to pinpoint an event or a day when I overdid it, or even something emotionally overloading that burst like an infected cyst into the rest of my body. I only know that my soul feels broken open and that my body feels beat by the pain, right now, and I want it to stop. I need for it to stop. But in the in-between, I will hold myself accountable by doing things as if the pain has subsided. I will continue to cut myself some slack(fighting with oneself is mostly futile) but I will remind myself that in spite of it all, I have a pretty darn amazing life and that unlike my brother, I am still here to care for the people I care for and to love on the people(and pets) who I love. When I breathe into that thought, it momentarily soothes my soul enough to get me into the next minute, and then the next one, and then the next one...Until I know that there will be better days ahead. I just have to hang tight for a bit.
With love to all,
Friday, November 4, 2011
We all had our own reactions to our first shots, but the look on Angel Daughter Number Two's face is priceless.
She wasn't a bad shot either. Interestingly enough, she is the only one in our family who is right handed and left-eye dominant. She always has to be different:)
I was at a bit of a disadvantage since I had a dangling target, but I managed to hit it! You can see how tense my body was but once the gun went off, I had the same reaction as the rest of my family did. Lots of laughter at myself and the recoil on this very small rifle.
And because I did not want to make this post all about this...
Now go out, buy yourself some wasp spray, and keep it in an accessible spot.