The past two years of my life have been a whirlwind of new experiences. I married, moved across the country, and gave birth to my first child. Along the way, I have not only learned a great deal about myself, but have picked up some useful tips on friendship, parenting, and well… life.
1. When you find yourself pureeing peaches for your six month old…make Bellinis!
2. You CAN survive on four- hour blocks of sleep.
3. When you threaten to start stalking your friends, they will usually call you back. (I say “usually” because there is always one that I actually have to stalk!)
4. One hour to myself can seem like an eternity now that I have a child. It is something I look forward to more now than I ever did. I am not sure if it is the alone time or the eventual reunion with my child that makes it all worth it.
5. When you travel, the best places are often found when you stop looking for them.
6. Time out’s are for adults, not children.
7. The root of parenting is learning how to live in harmony with your child. It is not about “doing to” as much as it is about “doing with”.
8. The best food is not found in a box, a wrapper, or a bag; it is grown in your backyard, bought from local farmers, or sometimes even found on your daily walk.
9. Libraries are one of the greatest public resources we have. Use them!
10. Live life in the slow lane. Enjoy each moment, no matter how hard that moment may be.
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Yesterday was Liam’s first birthday. For many people, turning one is a big deal. A month or two before the day, I found myself apathetic to this 365th day of Liam’s life. At first, I thought there must be something wrong with me. I thought, “Why am I not going crazy over his brithday?” I even started searching around on Etsy to see if the thought of buying him a gift would strengthen my birthday indifference. I eventually found some things that I thought he would like and sent a little note to the family, but still…nothing. No desire to throw him a birthday bash, bake him a cake, decorate the house….nothing.
Then, while reading Beyond the Rainbow Bridge by Barbara Patterson, I came across a beautiful idea that I would be also to share with Liam for years to come; a birthday ring. In a Waldorf-inspired classroom or home, a birthday ring is a symbolic way to celebrate the anniversary of your child’s birth and show reverence for each year of their life. There are many variations of how you can incorporate this into your child’s life, but traditionally the first step is to fill the ring with decorations in each of the holes. Those decorations can be choosen randomly, based on asthetic value, or they can be symbolic of your child’s journey throughout the year. Of course, I choose them to be symbolic. While thinking this over, I came up with another idea. I felt that it was important to incorporate my whole family in this endeavor. Since we live over 2,000 miles away from most of our family it was important to me that they were able to share this day with him. I asked each of them to pick out a decoration that could be either a representaion of themselves as a part of Liam’s first year OR something that reminded them of Liam. This way, even though indirectly, they were here.
The next part of the ring ceremony is the birthday story. It is the story of their life for the past year. Each year, of course, the story gets longer as they grow bigger and stronger. As you get to the end of each year’s story, you take out a decoration, replace it with a candle, and light it. While it was totally optional whether or not my family would write a little something about their piece, although I hoped they would, I knew I wanted to. So last night I sat down and wrote the story of his first year. Since we are delaying the birthday ceremony until my mom gets here, it will be read to him on his pretend birthday later this month.
When I recieved all of the pieces from my family, it felt like Christmas. I immediately put it all together and took the picture you see above. When I looked at the ring, I felt as if they were all here with us. Almost instantly, I became overwhelmed with emotions. It made me realize how thankful I am that I have such a wonderful and thoughtful family. I know when Liam gets older, he will feel the same way. That is what I want Liam to know that birthdays are about….not just toys, parties and gifts, but something meaningful celebrating that year of your life with those you love.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Family, Friends, Life on September 4, 2008|
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I would like to take small break from pesticides and plastics to talk about a great little vay-cay I was lucky enough to get to take. I took an 11 day trip down to Ft. Lauderdale, FL to spend some much needed time with friends and family. The main reason for the trip was the marriage of two good friends. One, I have known since the very young age of 14, the other, and even younger age of 11. Needless to say, we have shared just about all there is when it comes to a friendship and I love them both.
While I was super-happy to be able to attend the wedding and reunite with some old high school and college friends, I was even happier to be able to introduce Liam to his uncles for the very first time. They were all so awesome with him, it was great! I hope they had as much fun with Liam as he did with them 🙂 Better prepare for Liam as a crawler!
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When I was in middle and high school, I remember having grandiose ideas about what it would like to oneday be someone “important”. Of course back then my idea of who was important not only included world leaders and humanitarians, but also movie stars and socialites. I always wondered what it would be like to “be” one of those people; to walk around on this earth knowing that I was someone important. To grow up and be “ordinary”, well that seemed like a disease I definitely did not want to catch. That’s what society can do to us I guess… fantasize about what we could have done, or perhaps who we could have been.
Entering into my late 20’s, I never imagined just how wonderful being ordinary can be. I enjoy the simple things in life. I love being outdoors, eating wholesome food (as local as I can of course!), and spending time with family and friends. I am an aspiring vegetarian (I still eat some seafood), a conscious consumer, and have recently become passionate about food activism and natural parenting (part of the inspiration for this blog). I see how we are all connected. I understand that a small action on my part can have huge ramifications in other areas, and it is important for me foster that understanding in others.
So while my life story may not top the New York Times bestseller list, I have realized that I am actally an “important” person. I am important to my hard-working husband, my five month-old son, my friends on the east coast, my four brothers, my dog, and my loving parents. And to me, that’s a lot, especially for being so, ya’ know….ordinary.
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