Your life is not lying in wait in the future like a wild animal or some ominous destiny. Nor is it hidden in the heavens, like a paradise or promise. Nor is it shut up in the cave or the prison of your past. It is here and now; it is what you live and what you do. At the heart of being; at the heart of the present; at the heart of everything – in the great current of life, of reality.
Andre Comte-Sponville

Thursday, January 27, 2011

**Messy Recipes**

Brenna loves to make up her own recipes, and then she likes to bake them, and then she likes for me to taste them, and I do, with a smile, because that's what mamas do.:) She asks the question, at least, once a week - Mama, can I make up my own recipe? And I always answer with a - Sure, Baby - just be sure to clean up your mess. Below is her version of cleaning up the mess.

But I don't mind, at all. I love that she enjoys trying to create her own recipes - it makes her happy, and that makes me happy, so the mess doesn't matter. And her recipes are starting to taste better! Last week, when I was taste testing, I didn't really even have to fake the smile. She made cookies, and they tasted pretty darn good!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Brenna has been taking piano lessons for just over a year now, and she's been doing such a great job. However, tonight she had a big meltdown while practicing. One second she was playing, and the next she was pretty much just freaking out! So, I let her get all her emotions out - anger, despair, confusion, sadness. It took awhile - she's very dramatic!:) But, eventually, she calmed down, and she was able to explain that she feels the lessons are getting harder, and it's difficult for her because it's not coming to her as naturally as it usually does. I was getting ready to tell her that the frustration she is feeling is normal, and that sometimes there will be lessons that are harder than others, and that it's okay that it may take her longer to get it, but that she shouldn't give up....BUT I didn't have to say anything. Before I could start, she turned to me and looked at me with those big, beautiful, blue eyes, and said, "Mama, I'm okay now. I was really frustrated and needed a good cry, but I feel better now, and I know I can finish my practicing"....and she walked to the piano and did just that. Hey, like she said, sometimes a girl just needs a good cry. Sometimes, that's all you need to get through a tough moment.:)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. " — Mary Anne Radmacher

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

*Great Start*

I feel like 2011 is off to a great start - in many ways! For the last four years, we've been very "unschooly" in our schooling approach. It's been very laid back - focusing, mostly, on reading and writing, and a little math. Lately, I've been feeling like the girls were ready for a little bit more of a curriculum, and so we started off the new year doing "school", almost, every day. Actually, I'm amazed by how much they already know since they've never had any formal schooling, or a strict curriculum here at home. They've picked up so much by the reading, writing, computer time, games, etc., that they do on their own - living their everyday lives.

Also, we've started this year by trying to lead a more healthy lifestyle by eating more healthful foods, and exercising. We've stopped eating out so much, and we are enjoying cooking together at home, and trying out new recipes. And we're having so much fun playing active Wii games!

I feel really optimistic, and that's a great feeling!

*Lack of Ambition vs. Lack of Self-Confidence*

I was talking to my dad about 6 months ago about some stuff, and he mentioned how I didn't seem to have any great ambition towards anything while I was growing up which is, mostly, true, but I did have a secret passion - acting and singing. I loved music and drama - still do!:)

As a kid, I remember spending hours laying on the floor listening to my parents vinyl records. The words were on the back of the album covers, and I loved reading the words while I sang along to - Me and Bobby McGee by Kris Kristofferson, Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton, You're No Good by Linda Ronstadt, Rainy Days and Mondays by the Carpenters, and, oh, so many more! And then I had a couple of my own albums that I was addicted to - Michael Jackson's Thriller, and one by Shaun Cassidy.... I mean, what girl didn't love Da Doo Ron Ron?!! It's amazing how music can touch you - deep down to your soul!

And I've always loved tv, movies, and plays - there's just something wonderful about taking a break from my life for a couple hours, and being totally immersed in something else. Getting lost in a romance, a comedy, a thriller, or whatever - just being taken to a totally different world.

Sports were a big thing in my house growing up, and that's what we did. That's what we did, and so I did it, but it wasn't my passion. I wanted to act and sing (act more than anything), but I never mentioned it to anyone because I didn't have the guts. No one around me was into drama and singing - well, my friend, Angie was in choir, and I do remember thinking, I should just join with her, but I didn't think I'd be good enough, and was too scared to try. I would look at the plays going on at school, and think - oh, if I only had the courage!

So, looking back, I feel it was not because of a lack of ambition as much as it is was lack of self-confidence. I didn't have the confidence to try something that my family or friends weren't a part of - I didn't have the confidence to go outside my comfort zone.

My girls already seem to have more confidence than I ever did, and I'm so grateful for that - I hope they keep it throughout their whole lives!

As for me, I still struggle with self-confidence in some areas of my life. At times, I feel paralyzed with doubt, indecision, and guilt. It's not a great feeling, but I'm trying to overcome it. I want to live with confidence, and feel good about the decisions I make in my life.

I've thought about trying to get involved in community theater - I would really love to do it, but I haven't found the courage yet. Maybe someday - maybe, maybe, maybe.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


We went to see Wicked in Chicago a couple weeks ago - a Christmas present to Brenna. I guess, it was a gift to me, too, because I was just as excited about going as she was! We LOVED the show! At one point during the performance my legs were tingling because I was having such a reaction to the show - to the whole experience, I guess. I love that my girl loves all things music and theater, just as I do. I'm grateful it's something we can share, and experience together. I look forward to seeing many, many shows with Brenna....and maybe, someday, seeing Brenna in a few of them!:)

Today, the four of us, are going to see Annie - it's going to be a great day!

Monday, January 3, 2011

*New Year*

Often, at the beginning of every new year, I feel a little down that yet another year has passed by so quickly, but I don't feel sad today. I'm excited for the year ahead, and I'm grateful for the year that has just passed.

2010 was a good year! I feel like I did my best to really be a part of every moment - good or bad - I celebrated the good ones, and learned from the bad ones. I enjoyed great quality time with my family. I made room for new friends, which has always been a hard thing for me to do, and I'm so glad I let my guard down because I'm really loving our new friends!

Time really does fly! My girls are 10 and 7 1/2 already, and this time with them is precious, so I look forward to this year ahead with them - watching them live, grow, and learn.

In 2011, I, also, hope to get healthy by eating healthful foods and moving more. I hope to spend more alone time with my husband. I hope to continue to spend time with friends. I hope to spend more time with my parents, my sister and her boys. I hope to take more field trip with my girls. I hope to read more books. I hope to blog more.

It's going to be a great year!!