Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April- No Spending...

At the beginning of the year I set my 2014! Get at it! goals and one was to have a no spending month. As April comes to a close I think my no spending habit will continue in many ways. When you are consciously thinking: is this necessary, is this needed, I will wait, and the like, you realize that many things we spend on are unnecessary. Sure I did go to a movie or two this month and had some meals out, all of which I was treated to. Thank YOU! And I actually did spend on Bailey and Sebastian at the beginning of the month before I realized that it is April and I am not spending. But the other day, I didn't even buy the Easter dye at 90% off because I wanted to keep trucking through my month. I skipped over a few things that the impulse already faded on and I am that much richer and wiser. But a funny thing also happened this month. My credit card number was stolen and I had fraudulent charges on my account, and I was issued a new card. Thus meaning, Netflix and other automatic subscriptions were halted. And since that is frivolous and unnecessary spending, I did not renew. It was made simple in a rather annoying way. But nonetheless, the funds were processed for recovery, reports filed, new card issued and the sun is still shining.

As a nod to no spending, I brought my lunch to work everyday. And the other day when choices at home were slim, I packed cereal and milk in a mason jar. And I enjoyed it, because no additional funds were needed to eat. Using what we have is always the cheaper option.

So... here's to May. I look forward to novel reading. The Namesake will be first and then I plan on heading to the library to pick up another read (free of course).

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Do something fun, tell someone you love them and laugh a lot....

K and I saw this today. Super cute! I love movies!

I feel very conscious of my blessings lately, and yet, I feel selfish and spoiled and distant. However, I am allowing providing myself an observation phase. I mean, isn't life an observation in itself? But the point of my observation phase is to identify.

Here are some of my observations:

  • Losing my job was the best thing for my health, sanity, family. 
  • Getting a job was epic.
  • Starting on the 8 limb path and working from a place of possibility is changing my life 
    • I am starting with the yamas, currently focusing on Ahimsa. 
  • Being here, now, is the best place on earth.
  • The bluebird really is signing on my doorstep (and he's right outside yours as well, you just have to stop searching past him)
  • Clearing clutter, stuff, excess, dust, dirt, debris, tainted memories, thoughts and treasures from your space and place allows creativity, grace and peace to follow in epic sweeping waves, think gracious tsunami. Clear space for your gracious tsunami to flow. 
  • Confronting your fears is scary but living in fear is terrifying.
  • Loving may end in a loss but to never love is a loss I cannot imagine.
  • My children are the most beautiful creatures and their hearts and minds are eager for much. But, I hope they allow the calm to sweep in and see the beauty and bliss surrounding their lives.
  • Family makes the world go round, no matter what shape, size, color, computation composes the family. 
Maybe so many thoughts surfaced this week because it was quiet, maybe I am becoming more grounded? Maybe both, maybe neither. Yesterday when I walked out the door for work, I hopped in the car and backed out like usual but the car sounded funny. I motioned for K to pull out so I could go back in the drive. I had a super flat. She ended up calling in late to work, driving me and dropping me at the office, I made it with time to spare (pun intended). But she was happy to do it. I must admit, I like her driving me to work. But, then I started thinking, it is just a flat. It didn't happen while driving, no one was hurt, so all good. It can be fixed and tada. I remember a time when I would've been quite bent out of shape over it and let it upset me and ruin my moments. I am grateful to know and watch myself from a distance and see that I am handling life better some days. 

You know you are a party animal when cleaning, organizing and moving furniture is a hot Friday night and you do it past midnight. Oh yea! We get down with some Dr. Bronners and sweeping round here. Last night, K and I did just that. I organized the pantry and worked on the kitchen while she dressed our couches. We both moved them in circles, ultimately placing them in the same places we started, and then we organized the linens into vacuum bags. Holla! And we aren't done. We are still ripping and rolling. Well, now I am yogaing and blogging and she is baking. But we aren't finished because there are still things to do ;)

K's Baking Reine de Saba (LOVE) RIP Julia Childs

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Strawberry fields forever

Bailey and I love to go to the strawberry farm. We've visited several different ones in the area and are usually quite impressed. It's such a great deal for a couple hours of fun and some good old fashion memory making. This year was no exception, the weather was picture perfect and the berries sweet as can be! We paid for two buckets ($20) and I think Bailey ate 2 pints off the vines while we are picking. The motto is "pick as much as you can, eat all you want, don't step over the row". Before leaving, Bailey spent some time with the goat and then we coughed up another $8 bucks for some amazing strawberry jam (definitely worth it).

A little bit of family goes a long way....

I certainly won't argue with those who say my dad did little when I was growing up and wasn't there...well, he's here now and doesn't that count for something. I mean, to me, it takes a lot for someone to step up. It's not all roses but when it's good, it's good. I love him. He calls and checks on me, asks if we are okay, if we need anything, he worries about us and in some way helps me to worry less, he believes in me and even when he doesn't agree he will back me, of course, not without saying his piece but he is a dad. My siblings and I have led such dysfunctional family lives. We've each defined family in our terms and cultivated family units to hold dear and done so with having our bonds with one another strained. My brother and I see one another the most these days and a large part of that is I can see him at work. I love Whole Foods and he works there so, bam! Groceries and a family hello. I miss my sisters and my little brother. Many miles separate us all and so that means many dollars separate us all. I've thought many times that it would be so lovely to create a vacation with my siblings once a year, hang out and just be together, learn about one another and then embrace the individuals that we are and see how we can fit together as one.

I read Nicholas Sparks memoir several years back and it inspired me. His novels are very run of the mill beach reads but his memoir, it was special. It had spark (pun intended). He was candid and raw in his feelings and misgivings and the beauty of the intense trip with his brother ignited me. It instilled a dream in me that I can have that with my siblings. And I hope that one day we can.

Easter means Family Reunion time

It's tradition, that's why!

Holidays would not be the same if no drama surfaced, everyone smiled and no tears shed. But because of the culmination of these antics and nuances and inconveniences, we have memories. We remember the year the turkey was dry and overcooked and everyone showed up and we only had one cake. We remember the sideways rain and crowding 45 people on Leonard's porch. We remember the hot sun and and the cool temps. We remember the food. We remember when we think that our cousin shouldn't have won the egg contest, when they won by pocking our egg. We remember our games cutting short due to crying, injury or rain. We remember the laughs. We remember the joy. We remember the wisecracks and inside jokes only our cousins know. And it is with the memories that we make more. Our memories become the templates of new memories. Backboards for creating ultimate memories, adding our chapter to life's story as we sculpt history.

Dyeing eggs are tradition. And we are going to dye eggs until I'm dead, and if I do things right, my kids, grandkids, greatgrands, etc., will keep on dyeing. Long live the Paas corporation. What our memories know, photographs often do not show. We sometimes capture the moment we hope for in perfect f stop, lighting and composition but we miss the meltdown that occurred before or the one that came right after. And so we are left with a semi-fraudulent memory. In my opinion, I think this is fine. I think the back story is great and I love a true, honesty and dirty photo. The photo of the helpless loving mom and the crying 2 year old. The image of the 10 year old who has just had her world as she knows it melted and her feelings are raw and real and captured in black and white intensifying their meaning. I also love blooper photos. The ones where you actually didn't catch the person you were supposed. The ones where everyone falls on one another. The ones where Mother Nature decides she wants to photo op and is quite candid about it.

Well, this year, dyeing eggs at our house went like this... I boiled a couple dozen eggs, prepped a couple dozen mugs for dye, introduced glitter and vegetable oil for effects, plucked the kids from their screens and started the egg dyeing. It seriously lasted Norman Rockwell-like only long enough for me to snap this below picture and post on IG. That's IT! Then the complaining and the he is doing it wrong started and Bash casually left the table and entered his room. Not dyeing anymore eggs. Bailey then left because she realized the magnitude of the situation and all I could think was "thank god I got a damn photo." This is a normal mom who likes to document everything reaction. I know it is. I also think it may be a normal thing to have a tiff over the egg dyeing. Point is, holidays add intensity because we have a need to make them perfect. Disney perfect/picture perfect/Rockwellesque, get my point? Sometimes it helps to release your expectations and pressure and enjoy the moment for what it is, pure bliss.