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Thankfulness

I dare say I take everything for granted . Intentional thankfulness almost takes a little effort. But I know this so I slip free from the grips of guilt if I sit back and have a think.

And recently Fiona keeps saying “thank you”. Why am I surprised to hear that from my three year old. I am elated and suspicious all at once.ThaThankfulness on Shalavee.com

If I were to round up my gratitude, it may include these topics I feel grateful for:

  • After 5 years, my husband’s business has taken off
  • Bills are being paid off
  • Good food and wine was bought, cooked, and devoured
  • We have Great Friends and Family
  • My family is all healthy, for now
  • My creative muse is being entertained regularly
  • I have immense Freedom to create
  • I have a great therapist who has moved me on in ways I thought were fantastical
  • I love my life Thankfulness on Shalavee.com

Honestly, I’m not sure I could come up with anymore than this now and I’m OK with this being good enough.

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all from Shalavee.com !!!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Hallelujah it’s Halloween 2016

And lastly, Halloween wraps up my month straight of posts in October, 2016. I used to really celebrate this holiday when I was younger. Even way into my 30’s, Mark and I had a great time dressed as a pirate and his cabin boy. And a pimento loaf and cheese sandwich. Kids came and its now all about them and their fun and costumes. I made sure I decorated this year 4 days ahead to make it real and Fiona babbled with excitement when she got home and saw the decorations.halloween-at-turnbridge-point on Halloween 2016 on Shalavee.com

fiona-and-juliet-at-the-trunk-or-treat

In a wonderful article by fellow blogger Rae Ritchie here called “Forget Bah Pumpkin! Hallowe’en is just a handy excuse for life’s good stuff”, she gives a fabulous reflection of how this holiday is being embraced in Britain, previously skeptical of a holiday which seemed so American (or is it Irish?). And she insists that this holiday kicks butt because of three factors. For her it’s friendship, time to hang out and play with friends. For us it’s Family time. I so agree with her that it’s also Community involved fun. People get to dress up their houses and then visit one another. And thirdly, it’s creative as heck. From those house decorations to costumes, it’s fun to make stuff and be whacky with décor you’d otherwise be worried about being perfect.Halloween 2016 on Shalavee.com

bonfire-boo on Halloween 2016 on Shalavee.com

We try to carve pumpkins close enough to Halloween so that they won’t rot. And then on the night, after trick or treating we usually have grilled cheese, potato chips, and tomato soup for dinner and watch a scary movie. This year’s trick or treating night date however is on a Monday which is a school night. So we may enjoy our TV frightfest on Sunday night. Saturday night we did a bonfire/fire pit and I think that may become a part of the holiday traditions when the weather permits. So much fun opportunities this holiday provides.

Halloween 2016 on Shalavee.com

A Search for Halloween on the blog gave me this for 2012. This for 2013. And this for 2015. Soon to be 2016 under our belt. I might have fought the decorating a bit. And Eamon didn’t decide what he wanted to be until two days prior. But darn it, we had fun and played and created. Community and family and creativity and friendship was what Rae Ritchie said it was all about and I would agree! Happy Halloween!!!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Our 15th Wedding Anniversary

Dear Bubby,

Happy wedding anniversary! It’s been such a fast ride here. Where did the time go? My kind compassionate handsome do-good man. Our 15th anniversary on Shalavee.com

When we met, we were well aware of what a bad marriage decision looked like. And we knew this was a good one. We have two cute smart kids and careers that are absolute reflections of our talents and passions.

We are a home. And I’m happy to be here. You and I created a place where we are free to be us, and where our children feel safe. It’s old and leaky sometimes but it’s comfy. Our 15th anniversary on Shalavee.com

I am so glad you fell into my life when you did in a slightly fateful sort of way. I am always grateful for you and your hard work and efforts to be what you need to be for your family. I’m proud of you for everything you do. Our 15th anniversary on Shalavee.com

I love you and am proud to be your Missus.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Why Our 2016 Summer Vacation Didn’t Suck

For a long time, I resented you and your family vacation. I didn’t really have a quintessential family growing up, think broken home and raised by wolves, and there were no vacations to be remembered. Your pictures of yearly fun at the seashore and by the lake house were just a reminder of my lack of a life like yours.

But then I created a chance for a Mulligan, a history do-over. One where I had my own family and my own kids. I knew that ever elusive family Summer vacation was one of those must-haves for my children as well as for me to heal and begin again.

Fast forward a few more years and we have just returned from our 2016 Summer beach vacation. It was a pretty big hit for the littles and big both.

Mark and I were in a chillaxing mode on the way out-of-town. We’d both gotten our homework done and were ready to just unplug. That set the tone for all of our unrushed choices for the next three days. The meals, the unlimited cartoon cable network watching, And the swimming swimming swimming all the time time time.

I wasn’t blogging yet I wanted to have an outlet to do something creative for me, so I told and posted our unfolding story on my Instagram feed. If you are not a social media user or an IG follower, I have included those posts from our beach visit in the order I posted them so that you can feel caught up. It’ll make you feel like you are there with us. Almost.

Just so you understand how special our time here at the beach is for me, I didn't get vacations as I kid. I barely got a childhood. And although I've risen like a Phoenix from those ashes, it means more than the beautiful Solstice moon to me that my children have this memory. And that my husband and I can weave it for them with calmness, good humor, no anxiety, and generosity to ourselves and them. Driving here I said to Mark, "Imagine what it would be like to have someone anticipate your every physical and comfort need. That someone cared enough to get your favorite things for you at the store and cheer you on at every endeavour." He said Yeah, Wow, and I said ,"When you grow up, that person is you. You are your own parent. Whether you are a good one or a bad one depends on how you value your inner child.". You know what she loves, when she needs firm comfort, and when she needs a pass. Be a great parent to yourself and you will reward yourself with trust. Love to all of you who wished us well on our vacation. You are dear to me, each and every one of you. #OceanCityMaryland #fionamariepeach #poolside #atthebeach #taleswithfriends #Soul_selfie

A post shared by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

Here’s to hoping for the same fun vacation next year for these kids and for their parents who deserve a break too. There’s nothing wrong with knowing where you’ll be, what you’ll be eating, or where the best arcade games are. And it’s fun to discover new stuff every year.We found there was a sushi place nearby and a Chinese carry out that had Indian Food ! And although they built a Starbucks across the street from our hotel, we still had our traditional Dunkin’ Donuts’ morning coffees courtesy of my early bird husband. Such predictable goodness!

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Relentlessness of Motherhood

My go to word in describing parenting is relentless. My baby daughter, ungrateful and miserable, can cry at me at least ten times today, what feels like 70 percent of the day, beating me down further and further into defeat. The relentlessness is daunting.

You’re review is in. Fifty percent of today will not meet with her satisfaction and, according to her, you suck at parenting.

My top seven words to embody my experience with motherhood are:

  1. Chaos
  2. Temperance
  3. Perseverance
  4. Relentless
  5. Confusion
  6. Patience
  7. Exhaustion

All problems could be solved, you think, if only I had their money or their family. Those people with their 5 extra family members to spread out the stress of the 16 plus hours a-grueling-day of care-taking and giving. If only I had their time and money to buy nicer clothing to cover up my ever-widening butt until I could hire that trainer to help me widdle it down. For now, I wear my ill-fitting sweats, placing my greying thinning hair into something up-ish. My nails and cuticles dry and ragged for lack of care. I have that look of survival and neglect. That wild look that says I’ve thought about fleeing in my fantasies. The dull look of disbelief that this will get better no matter how many times people insist it will. Beaten and hopeless is all the rage in the truthful Mommy circles.At the grocery store years ago on Shalavee.com

If only I had the money to buy a SUV that I could comfortably load and buckle my child into without having the rain soak my back. Then I’d slip into the front seat and drive smoothly away to drop my privileged child off at that member of the care-taking team whose day it was to take them. Or I’d hire a housekeeper/child care-taking person as a stunt double so I could escape and make art or do lunch or have beauty salon time. Where’s my miracle money? My large ever-loving family? Where’s my get out of hardship free card?

No I won’t be looking forward to “taking care of myself” with a kale and flax smoothie tonight. Instead I’m thinking of making pasta with gravy, cheese, and deep-fried potatoes and a side of beef so that I can feel an ounce and moment of comfort that I never feel in my day-to-day existence. Wash it down with a 12oz glass of Shiraz and pray I can stay awake to watch any escapism television.Baby Fiona on Shalavee.com

Why is it wrong to want it to be easier than this? To want the release of the hardship and grinding daily agony. I want to feel light and unencumbered. I want privilege instead of lack. I want a child who doesn’t make me constantly feel like I’m failing her. I want to stand here in the winner’s circle and not the survivor’s circle. Like my mother did. Like hers before her. Because deep down I don’t believe there’s any other way for it to be but hard.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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