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The Minutia of Christmas

( From December 2014 ) The sound was a thwap and a roll, hollow plastic bouncing and traveling across the floor. My new Christmas tree balls were this moment’s entertainment. The “ball balls” were being extracted from their big clear box and thrown while I hurried to put my laundry away. Although that’s exactly why I bought those, I underestimated the little monkey’s reasoning skills.let the ball-a-thon begin on Shalavee.com

Every day is jam-packed with holiday fun.

Not unlike any other day in my life, I’ve been cramming the carrying out of Christmas details into the tiny time slots when I’m kid free. I got started early! Then stalled. And then the holiday started to close in on me and every other person in the free First world.

garland as a boa on shalavee.com

No one to impress but me, I knew I had time. But the tree had been lit and yet naked for a week. On the heels of the Christmas ball shot put incident, the unearthing of ribbon and tinsel garland set off a playing frenzy with Fiona dragging the garland around screaming “Mine, Mine” while the cat chased and pounced on the end. I’m not accustomed to the toddler mayhem yet. I like my holiday decorating to be quiet thinking time for me. Ha!garland and kitty games on Shalavee.com

Today was cookie making day as well. My son and husband conceived that cookies would be Eamon’s offering to the school class party. I apparently was no where around for this important strategy tete a tete because I am no cookie baker. And alas, Pilsbury’s Sugar cookies with embedded Christmas tree designs that you just cut and bake were all gone from the grocery store’s refrigerated section. So I talked myself up into helping Eamon make chocolate chip and sugar cookies. From scratch.

creaming the butter and sugar on shalavee.com

I hate baking because I’m a cook. Exact measurements? And a toddler who refused to eat her dinner and is now milling around your feet and now falling off the step stool knocking sprinkles everywhere? Call them disaster cookies. choc chip cookies on Shalavee.com

I was feeling generally hostile and irritated and pulled out just enough patience to have Eamon do most of the work. And yes, for her sake and mine, I sent Fiona out to Dada who was doing train garden setting up.

I enjoy my domesticity straight up. I am good with all the ten million details of Christmas but I just want to do them alone. No I don’t want to ever bake cookies with the kids again unless they are well-behaved young adults. No they won’t ever be decorating my Christmas tree unless they’ve proven to have tree decorating abilities. And yes, I will totally take advantage of their cute art project creations to make gifts for people at Christmas and cash in on their one absolute contribution. Creative mindless fun. The rest of Christmas is serious business and better left to the professionals. Christmas cookies from Shalavee.com

Merry Christmas to all you perfectionistic special event planners and decorators otherwise known as moms across the world. You’ve given enough. Take a seat and enjoy the event because it’ll be over in a blink.

If you enjoyed what you read, please 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.

25 Year-Old Crazy Brain

At our dinner party the other night I asked my friends what it was that they remembered having the crazy notion to do and suddenly doing at the age of 25? Three of us said we had gotten married. Because I have noticed recently that there’s definitely a switch that gets thrown developmentally in a 25 year-old and it’s a kind of crazy entitlement switch. As in “I’m a grown-up now and I can do all of those things I want to and you’ve told me not to do. All those things that society would frown upon because it’s my decision to make and I’ll show all of them it’ll be different for me. “ Yeah I remember it well.

I think we are all prone to have that psycho toddler punk out attitude. “If you tell me to do it I’m not gonna do it.” And it’s equally annoying counterpart, “If you tell me not to than I’m so gonna do it.” We parents still have to remind ourselves the rules of reverse psychology. If you don’t like the new boyfriend than you need to be overly friendly about him and invite him over for dinner and kill him with kindness. And you’ll be surprised how unglamorous he’ll become to your daughter.25 year-old crazy brain on Shalavee.com

My hope is that my daughter’s testing of me has resulted in my passing by this time and she’ll actually choose companionship for the measure of it’s worth. Is he nice and attentive? Does he make her laugh or understand her quirks or sadness ? My hope for her is to value her worth by her own standards and not by mine or anyone else’s. And when it comes time to give herself away to anyone for any reason, she’ll be doing it not out of spite, fear, a dare, or convenience, but because this choice is a part of a plan she sees for her future value. And only she will know what that is.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. 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 In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

On Happy Endings

I really have no expertise when it comes to happy endings. Miserable endings I could script out perfectly for you though. So when it was suddenly clear to me as a new parent that I was responsible for shading the outlook of the world for my children. When interpreting what they see in movies or read in books, I was responsible for translating the foreshadowing and inferences that would clue my children in to the upcoming plot twists. Life itself needs interpretation for us to decide how it’s going. I knew there were some storytelling rules that I needed to lay down for them.On happy endings on Shalavee.com

The number one rule is that there will always be happy endings in everything I allow them to see. How quickly I realized as I watched my first toddler that he was so susceptible to the change in music and feeling of the videos we were watching. And that it was up to me to protect him and make him feel safe. My sister tells the story about how she was traumatized by watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer when she was small. I explained to my son that I would never allow for him to be ambushed by a story gone wrong. And when Fiona was beginning to watch Friday night movies with us, I explained the same to her.

This concept has alerted me to how even the world news, easily seen by the children of families who feel news is acceptable to broadcast without censoring, can be very jarring to them. I filter it out because even I have been jarred by it. And this is how we grew up. Today, the more scintillating news and tv sells the advertisement spots. Because when we forget the television and film industry is for profit, we forget to guard ourselves.On happy endings on Shalavee.com

My generation grew up thinking there were no happy endings. And yet we crave them more than anything. We’ve seen more strife and believe that this is the norm. We were robbed of the happy safe bubble I am trying to give my children. Because eventually and inevitably, they’ll come to understand that yes, there is strife and inequality. But that’s all in good time. It’s up to us to decide how un-sucky their childhoods are before they get to the age of reason.

I have had to create a new space in my head for the possibilities of happiness that I never had before. It’s a type of faith to assume that even though you’ve never felt it and lived it, it still may be possible. I have had a week’s plus worth of days where events went smoothly without crisis and full of kindness and fun with my family. I very intentionally molded those days as such based on a hunch that this was a possible way of living, of being happy. And my hunch was correct. 20 years ago, I might have said that sounded nice but I wouldn’t have believed it was possible. Today I can say it is. And that is happy ending enough.

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 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.

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A Real Day

I lived another real day. Nothing “exciting” like a grocery store run. Just waiting on a service man, cleaning up a pee puddle or two from a stubborn 4-year-old daughter. Stasis. Stillness. Stupid brain.

Wishing I’d grabbed those few valuable moments of peace when she was sulking and half-naked in her room upstairs. But instead, I just wasted a half hour looking for that perfect rug online again. A real Day on Shalavee.com

The waiting has gotten me so much more than I’d credit it for. The waiting has made me catch up and slow down with my real purpose. Catch sight of who I really want to be : Me. I am a professional pusher and waiter. I got good at expecting way more from myself than I knew I could do deliver so that I would feel anxious and bad. And then I embraced stopping and listening to myself too.

I am good at waiting. I waited on you long ago at that restaurant. Now I am just awaiting my antibiotic to kick in and vanquish the umpteenth sinus infection, mother natures way of humbling my ambitious self out every time. The truth and the trick is? You aren’t ready until you are. What you do when you do it is proof of that. And using your expectations that are above and beyond your current capacity to torture yourself will only irritate and irk you in unnecessary ways. A real Day on Shalavee.com

Sometimes the time while you are awaiting the shift is torturous. It feels like spending long long days with a toddler trapped inside waiting for a delivery man. Because that’s what it is. And it is what it is until it isn’t anymore. Knowing this too shall pass, that soon this will all be a memory (nightmare) is how you live through it to tell another better story. Wait for it. You’re worth it.

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 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.

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My Life’s Forgotten Plot Twist : Fiona

Life happens while you’re headed in another direction. Sometimes life’s intentional. Sometimes it’s happenstance. Sometimes forces of natural science and fate converge and you get a Fiona. She is the plot twist in my life. The one I fought and fought which finally aligned. And as miraculous as her birth was, I’ve just as easily forgotten this little miraculous plot twist in my life with the relentlessness of her toddlerhood. My life's forgotten plot twist Fiona on Shalavee.com

As times passes, I forget that she was my last ditch effort at fertility and children. And that it worked. She’s the pink elephant miracle in the room now. I forget because all I seem to remember is my striving, my longing to be more for me and its long entitled deep roots in my life. It stems from my legacy of not enoughness. And I lose sight of my miracles as I fall back on my familiar discontent.

That she and I are finding out who we are simultaneously should be a wonder to us both. That she humbles me out so that I must take this discovery process slow as to continue to be present for her. It was never her that was in my way anyway. It was always my fear. My life's forgotten plot twist Fiona on Shalavee.com

Forgetfulness is the enemy when it allows us to let go of the things we once deemed magic. The miracles that made us revere our luck, our existence. And then these fade and the magic disappears in the cracks of the mundanity of life. And we forget who we are and how we were made.

Fear is the enemy when it belittles our abilities. It forgets us as we are standing on our hard earned ground. Like a bully it pushes us and then wants us to fall down. Pairing the fearful and the forgotten me and everything that I have achieved in the past decade disappears. And I vanish into dust. I am only as memorable as I make myself. And I know Fiona’s purpose herself is far greater than that. She reminds me how important she is to the world every day. And so I must remember and cherish and share my life’s little plot twist.

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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