Monday, February 25, 2013

Social Media Gratitude

I am a social media grumbler.  Part of it might be that I have trouble overcoming this platform where heavy and trivial go hand in hand.  Where else can you view a post about a friend losing a spouse sandwiched by pictures of paleo pancakes and an update about last night's Downton?  Moments like that make my shoulders hurt.  Part of it might be that despite my recent 31st birthday, I am actually an 80 year old woman who complains about those darn kids and their newfangled ways.  I still don't know the purpose of a "tweet."  I have a pretty tenuous relationship with technology.  I'll always remember googling "facebook" with my friend Dawn back in 2006.  And part of it might be that social media can be this giant vortex that sucks up time and brain space.  There are moments where I want to sign off from all of it, shut down the blog, deactivate Facebook, downgrade my phone, and spend my days writing my first novel and brewing kombucha out of Nourishing Traditions.  However, at this moment I am filled to the brim with gratitude for social media.

On my 31st birthday I received over a hundred posts, texts, emails, likes, comments, etc, from well wishers all over the world.  I received greetings from six continents, from Kazakstan to Kenya, Beaumont to Burma.  I heard from aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, inlaws, mentors, roommates, neighbors, friends that I've known most of my life, friends that I've never met in person, people I haven't seen in years, people I saw just yesterday, people that I love dearly, and people that make me feel dearly loved. Some posts and texts made me laugh, some made me get little tears in my eyes from sweet words and many miles, all are still making me smile.  And I have to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.  I feel so surrounded by a community that stretches from here to there, and it's a beautiful feeling.

Every inch of my life was present in simple words and comments on Saturday, from every stage, every home, every group.  I realize that this is only made possible by the social media I complain about so often.  And while I haven't come to terms with my grumbles, I do recognize that my birthday was made a very special day because you all took the time to make a quick post, call or comment.  So, I won't sign off, but maybe I will still try my hand at brewing kombucha and writing a novel.  It's good to know that whatever I decide to try out, I have a pretty spectacular crew of support.  Thank you all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mogwai

Goodness me!  Veteran parents have warned me countless times that it all goes by in a flash.  But we were spoiled with itty bitty Aurelia whose baby days lingered.  Marguerite is such a different story.  It's like I blink and she's grown an inch.  This baby is becoming a kid far too quickly.  Even though her birthday was a week ago, I still shake my head in disbelief that my little redhead is 1 year old.

And man, I love this kid.

She is our child who rolled over at six weeks, pulled to stand at 6 months, and walked at 9.  And each milestone she hit, she'd give me her little impish grin like she was waiting for the perfect time to show off her new skill.

She is such a little riot (in fact, one of her many nicknames is Margariot).  She is a little whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm.  We call her our passionate child.  She is fiercely happy or fiercely angry.  But she is fiercely loving too, especially when it comes to Mama.

It is incredible to watch her grow.  When Aurelia was a baby, I would tell her to grow at "just the right pace."  And for her, that pace was slow and steady.  For Marguerite, the pace is an all out sprint.  Each day she picks up words and skills.  Today her sister taught her to play "Ring-Around-The-Rosey."  Yesterday she learned that a duck says "Quack" and a light turning on says "Click."  I know she will be my little one that graduates high school to my laments of how fast the years went.

In the meantime, I'll cherish her laugh, the kisses she blows, the hugs she gives, the way she grabs a book and crawls into my lap signing "more," the way she wants to be just like Aurelia, and all the wiggles and chaos that make up our little Mogwai.

Birthday Girl


Baby Mac

The cake!

Not too sure about it. . . 

But obviously warmed up to it.
Big sister was a fan too. 
Kate made the One shirt.  So cute!

And we love that Joey's parents live close enough to be at these events!

Happy Birthday to my special little lady!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

40 Days

I am on the threshold of a season of change.  But today is not the day to post about these upcoming changes.  Suffice to say I have been preparing my heart and mind for a lot of unknowns that we'll get to know in the next few days.  There is a lot of blog worthy material on deck.  Cryptic, huh?  Side note: We're not pregnant or anything like that. . . although I've had two people ask me if growing our family was part of my thought in choosing the word "Growth."  That is definitely not part of the plan for this next year.

Change is a great way to stimulate growth.  It forces us to look at things through a new lens, to change our norms, to try something new.  Of course there are big life changes like moves, marriage, and motherhood.  But sometimes change is subtle.  Sometimes it takes necessary changes in habits and holdups to help us move forward and grow.  I've been thinking about these subtle changes a lot recently.  What do I need to change in my life to help me grow?  What is holding me back?

Fittingly, today is Ash Wednesday.  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 day period of fasting leading up to Easter.  Every year I join the throngs of people that give up something for 40 days as an act of sacrifice and and to prepare our hearts for celebrating Christ (I realize this is lent in it's simplest form).  In the past I've given up things like refined sugar, caffeine, Facebook, or my IPhone.  And I've found that after Easter, I am less dependent on those things.  It's a great feeling to be free of a dependence on something that was holding me back.  This year I am breaking with character by writing about what I am giving up as an act of accountability and confession.  'Cause I have to admit that I have a serious addiction, and it's name is HuluPlus.

I could explain it away for hours: It's only when Joey is gone.  I'm a busy mom and I need mindless moments after long days.  I only watch a few shows.  I only watch when the kids are asleep.  I'll cut back, I can quit anytime.

But here are the facts, the embarrassing facts: I watch about at least an hour of TV each night after the girls are in bed.  The list of shows I watch is growing and includes shows that I don't even care about or like (i.e. Raising Hope).  I put off things I need and want to do in order to stay caught up on shows.  When I told my sister that I was thinking about giving up TV for Lent, she said, "Are you sure you can do that?"  But I have to try.  I read less, write less, and sleep less when I let my TV addiction get the best of me.

It's hard to foster a spirit of growth when I spend my nights doing absolutely nothing.  And I am tired of being stagnant.  With that I say, "Welcome Lent."  40 days without TV, 40 days to focus, 40 days. . . I can do this.