Friday, April 29, 2011

this moment

Inspired by Soulemama:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

...makes me smile

Happy Bright Week friends!
Here are a few things that made me smile last week:

This bed (!)....such a creative co-sleeping arrangement (via Peaceful Parenting)
These coloring books....they are so creative (via Design Mom)
This paper city...great for those spring rainy days 
Our Pascha feast...
Driving home from Pascha at 4am...
Sleeping in till almost 10 am...
Pretty much everything in this shop...
This blog...I wish I had this resource when I had Z!
This skirt...(though it is more than I would spend for my daughter's clothing!)
Trader Joe's milk chocolate malted eggs...

Anything make you smile this last week?  Send me a link and I could feature it next week!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sick and Tired (Pt. 1)

So, I haven't written in quite some time, at least not for the blog. I've been in extreme fatigue and survival mode for a while. I may have mentioned my illness in recent posts. It's called adrenal fatigue. I hate talking and thinking about it so much, but right now I just am anxious about getting better. I've felt this way for 9 months or so. I hate it when people complain about being sick, so that's probably why I haven't posted in a while. This sickness weighs heavily on my mind and how to get better even more so.

I've seen my doctor about it on several occasions and been to an endocrinologist. Neither one has offered me an explanation for the tiredness. The original reason I went in was due to heart palpitations (tachycardia), but now that I've figured out what is triggering those, I'm dealing with an extremely low energy supply, and more specifically, low morning cortisol levels.

I say all this as a sort of excuse for my absence. I've been resting, or, more appropriately, recuperating. My body is renewing itself by the grace of God, but very slowly. This is my introduction to the series I will be doing on being sick and how I'm dealing with it (and not dealing with it), how I'm getting better (and not getting better). I intend to go deep on this one. I am usually a very high energy person, so this has been hard. Sitting and writing about this is helping me to process it all. Anyway, consider this part one of Sick and Tired.

Friday, April 22, 2011


"Mommy, is it Pascha yet?  Is that bird ALIVE?!"

Z has been asking this question daily.  Multiple times a day.  Ever since Great Lent began, she has been anticipating, with great joy, the day that we celebrate the Resurrection.  We haven't had to do too much explaining about why exactly Christ's Resurrection is so important, so vital to our faith.  She gets it.

Awhile back, before Lent, we found a dead bird in our back porch.  She was concerned about the bird and very sad when we shared that the bird was in fact dead, and not sleeping.  We took this opportunity to explain that when Jesus rose from the dead, he defeated death.   And when He returns, He will redeem ALL of creation.  This didn't seem to make much of an effect on her sadness, but we didn't push it.  To truly love and understand life, we must understand the reality of death. 

Then Lent began.  And she began talking more and more about Jesus rising from death.  She walked around the house singing softly, "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!"  She would tell people about Pascha and how excited she was to celebrate.  She would unabashedly proclaim"Did you know, all things are alive in Christ?!"  during snack time when we weren't even discussing the subject.

Like I said, we haven't pounded this into her.  She has soaked it in during Liturgy.  She has seen the hope in the scripture readings and prayers.  She has grasped the reality of the Resurrection.  The truth of the Resurrection is real and tangible, right now.  So whenever she talks about Pascha, she asks about the bird.  She believes, with her whole heart, that Christ defeated death, once and for all.  

Her faith and fervor are inspiring.  This is one of the many moments in parenting in which I realize our roles have been reversed.    She is the teacher, I am the student and I have so much to learn. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Milk toof

my milk toof
Lu has her first tooth!  It came in yesterday, and it looks as if her second tooth will not be far behind it.  She appears to be doing everything just a little sooner than Z did.  Crawling earlier, getting teeth earlier.  She's determined to catch up to her big sister as quickly as she can....I just wish she would slow down a little bit.

Monday, April 18, 2011

...makes me smile


Happy Monday!  Here's what made me smile this past week:

This necklace....wouldn't it make a lovely mother's day gift?
Popsicle molds....I think we'll need these for summer!
Peeps...(via Ohdeedoh)
This soap...the scent is just wonderful.
This meal would be a lovely wedding present.
Dinner with friends...
This would be perfect for a road trip. 
Tulips everywhere I look...
Sunday afternoon nap time...
This dress...

See anything that makes you smile?  If you have, email me a link along with a link to your blog, and I might feature it on the following week!

Friday, April 15, 2011

To be beautiful

She watches me as I straighten my hair with the straightening iron.  The she asks, "What is that?  What does it do?"  I tell her that it helps my hair look nice.  Then she asks, "Can you straighten my hair too?"  "No," I reply, "you're hair is beautiful, you don't need it".  "But I want it...just straight my hair please..."  To appease her curiosity I run the hot iron through two chunks of hair.  She beams and asks how her hair looks.  I tell her, "It's beautiful, it was beautiful without the straightener".  She insists it looks better now.  She watches as I continue my morning routine routine for going outside of the house.  Hair, makeup, brushing teeth.  I grab my eyelash curler and squeeze my eyelashes in hopes that it will make me look a little more presentable.  She asks what I'm using and I explain "It's an eyelash helps mommy look helps me look more awake".  I wanted to say, "It helps me look more beautiful" but I immediately stopped myself.  While that is how I feel, I don't want my 3 1/2 year old to equate beauty with an eyelash curler. 

I consider myself pretty low maintenance.  I don't shower everyday.  For makeup my minimum is concealer and powder, my maximum is eyeshadow and mascara.  Maybe, just maybe, a little lipstick on date night.  Some days I'll do my hair, most days I won't.  Even though I don't feel the need to be all dolled up everyday, I still feel the pressure to look a certain way.  We all know what that way is...flawless skin, tiny waist, tight abs, sparkling white teeth, long & lean legs, etc.  In short, everything I'm not.  My Guatemalan genes decided long ago how tall (or not tall) I would be.  They decided I would never look like a runway model.  I know that.  So why am I frustrated when I look in the mirror?

The pressure to look a certain way is strong in our society.  I don't own a television, yet I feel it.  I see the airbrushed perfection on magazine covers while I'm grocery shopping and cringe at my meager appearance in comparison.  I know that the cover is airbrushed.  That doesn't help.  I can rationalize all I want....I am still unsatisfied with my appearance more often than I am content.

I'm trying to figure out that balance.  Where I'm not so focused on my appearance that it's distracting, but I still care enough to look nice.  How much is too much?   How little is too little?   How will the way I approach physical beauty and appearance effect the way my daughters feel about themselves?

I want to save them from the obsessive focus on your body's flaws with which I was plagued in middle/high school.  I know that this means I must be extremely mindful of how I look at myself in the mirror when they are present, and even when they are not.  They must see in me that beauty does not come in a mineral foundation or a new dress.  While those things can help boost your confidence, they must place their worth in something more permanent, more eternal.  

That is a tall order to fill, and I'm not sure that I'm up for the job.  I  am worried that my example will not be strong enough to outweigh the assaults the media will lob at my daughters.  I know that a campaign like Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty is taking steps in the right direction.  But, they are still trying to sell you something.  I don't want my girls to buy into the thought that they must purchase items in order to be beautiful. 

Ultimately, we all know that outer beauty fades.  I want my girls to be beautiful, I want to be beautiful, when physical appearance wastes away.  My friend posted this video on her blog awhile back.  It conveys what I want to teach my girls, what I want to feel myself.  Watch it. 

p.s. there is one f-word in this have been forewarned.

this moment

Inspired by Soulemama:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Compassionate Advocacy

Code Name: Mama is hosting their Carnival of Natural Parenting today!  The theme this month is compassionate advocacy.  Lots of different bloggers have written about how they advocate for natural parenting choices without judgement or criticism.  Subjects range from birth to gentle discipline.  I haven't read through all the participant's entries yet, but I am looking forward to having a little bit of down time this afternoon and browsing through the posts!  I could definitely use some suggestions on this subject.  Sometimes I feel like I can be so passionate about our parenting choices that it can come across as harsh or judgmental to others who do not choose to parent the same way.  So, if you consider yourself a natural parent, and even if you don't, you may enjoy reading these posts too!

Monday, April 11, 2011

...makes me smile

photo by Z
*these simple yet beautiful baby announcements (via You are My Fave)
*these garden tools which would be perfect for my Z
*spending so much time outside
*how the house breathes with the windows open
*these paper dolls 
*this piece of advice followed by this.  it's all about balance :)
*this yummy homespun wool
*garden planning
*this song
*how this book is gently helping my baby sleep longer at night

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The weekend

The makings of a perfect Saturday afternoon

Happy Saturday, friends.

Friday, April 8, 2011

this moment

Inspired by Soulemama:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 


Thursday, April 7, 2011

The day you were born

photo by Natanael Perez

It's this guy's birthday today.
This guy, who hardly ever takes a serious picture,
who makes me laugh multiple times a day,
and gives the best hugs in the world.
Happy birthday, Papa Bear.
I'm really glad you were born.

Friday, April 1, 2011

this moment

Inspired by Soulemama:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.