someone said it better.

I’m happiest when I’m in the middle of a good book. And in 37+ years I’ve learned that no matter how many books I buy from the goodwill (my weakness) I will really only read them if I get them from the library. I think it’s the impending deadline. Which I love even more because it’s a deadline you can extend. Twice.

God bless the library. And librarians.

Anyway, so far I’m about four books into 2018 and my most recent finish was Grace by Natashia Deon. (You should buy it…you’re probably better at reading without deadlines).

I loved the book but there were two sections in particular that stopped me in my tracks. I wished I written both of them. It seemed like she crawled into my heart and spilled it into her book.

The first of the heart-stoppers said simply, when the narrator was speaking of her child,

There were things I still needed to tell her.

That she’s beautiful. That she’s loved. That there’s a God who loves her.

And the second, chapters later in the book and under very different circumstances she elaborates and that’s really when the chill bumps kicked in,

I’d tell her to always enjoy the present. To live in it. I’d tell her about love, too. I’d tell her the love she has for this boy, she’ll feel again. I’d tell her about real love. Tell her to not be fooled by what feels real. Tell her to get married like I never could. Tell her to marry someone who’s kind. I’d tell her to make herself kinder by learning to care for people with bad attitudes and nothing to offer ’cause the kindness she measures to others will be measured back to her. I’d tell her that in the end, we’ll all need somebody to take care of us, if we live long enough. If we get old. That’s when it’ll matter most. When we’re living the consequence of our old yeses and nos. And if you’re lucky, I’d tell her, your caregiver will be your own spouse because you’d have paid for that privilege with your commitment. And if not your husband, let it be someone you love and loves you.

Heaven help me if that isn’t it. Exactly what I want my children to know. That they are loved by an earthly as well as eternal Mother and Father. And that kindness is an action. That we pay the consequences and reap the benefits of our yeses and nos. And that loving someone deeply is the most selfish and selfless action our life can encompass.

Heaven help me if that’s not exactly what I want myself to know too. As I tell my children daily, “we’re all still learning.” Mama included.

 

 

 

 

2018

The only New Year’s resolution I’ve ever successfully kept was the time when I promised myself I’d stop stuffing the washer so full. For the most part I’ve made good on that one. Oh, and one time I decided to actively be kind to a couple of people who weren’t at the top of my favorite humans list. That worked fairly well and was definitely good for my spirit. Outside of those two experiences I’ve found resolving to be less than fruitful.

Instead, I love to use the start of a new year to make a big ol’ list of projects I want to tackle. Often these are business related but these days they’re also focused around our house which we spent most of last year rebuilding from the ground up. We moved back in in August and spent a frenetic two months settling in before busy season hit in October. Now that we’re through the Fall/Christmas stretch I’m ready to project again…art displays, cushion sewing and closet clean out are all on the list.

But more and more I find that my “to do” lists center around the things I want to do with these two kiddos we’ll only have in our care for another 8 years. Our time left with them is short, even though in the daily motion of things it seems like they’ll be here forever.

There are things in each family, about each family member that are markedly eye-roll worthy. In our family one of those things is my long-winded response to any and every question asked by one of my children. In fact, these days they preface most queries with a “Mom, I don’t need a long explanation for this but why…”

This is something I know I do and I’d like to say I’m working on it but the truth is, I’m not. As I’ve told both Sarah and Ephraim, I am highly conscious of the limited days I have left with each of them and there is a long, long, long list of things I need them to know about the world and their place in it before they go. If that means I have to loop around the block an extra time or three before pulling into the driveway because I’m not quite done explaining why “your body is your body” or “you teach people how to treat you” or “the toilet paper roll has to dispense from the top” then so be it. I’ll gladly pay for the extra gas.

My point is this…I’m not resolving this year but I’m list-making instead. And at the top of my list is using these moments with my family wisely. And also maybe blogging again. We’ll see how that one goes. Hopefully it’ll be as successful as the washer situation.

 

 

 

weird, man.

I think I fell down a rabbit hole. Two plus years since I wrote here. I guess there was no particular reason why I stopped other than life, man. And also the nagging feeling that one day my kids might feel entirely too exposed on the internet. But time and again over the last two years I’ve come here, scrolling, searching and reveling in the stories of their lives. At times I’ve even read aloud to them…and sometimes them to me. I mentioned yesterday that I might start writing here again and they both pleaded for that to be true. So I guess, here we go.

Chances are there will be lots fewer pictures and less specific stories but who knows. What I do know is that I’ve missed the outlet of writing. Something about pecking at these keys is cathartic…even if the only catharsis I seek is from the passage of time. Because the truth is that the day to day dull ache that I feel is over how quickly it’s all going. The kids are ten and twelve now. TEN AND TWELVE. Hold me. To make no mention of how old Brent and I are.

So I guess that’s why I’m back. Time is passing, kids are growing, life is marching on and the only way I know to slow it down is by celebrating every last second of it.

 

 

 

our little hip hoppers.

We are lucky to have not one but TWO dancers in our family. Last year Ephraim decided to take hip hop along with Sarah and we couldn’t be more proud of them both! The recital early this Summer was absolutely amazing. I loved capturing them on stage!

Check out our little guy stealing the show!

Sarah was delighted that her third grade teacher came to watch. (Super dark photograph but still a keeper for the moment it captured!)

And no dance recital would be complete without our neighbs! Sarah and Betsy have been attending each other’s recitals for years now.

Apparently dancers aren’t supposed to be seen in costume in the hallways during a performance. So here’s E snuggling his Dad with his robe on…

Sarah was also asked to be in the closing recital this year which she was THRILLED about. She was one of the youngest to dance in this number so she was mostly hidden in the back. She didn’t mind though…she was so enamored to be part of a group of such wonderful dancers. I had to be quick to grab a couple shots of her at the very end.

I guess I’m officially a dance mom!

the seaside half.

Like all of the posts in the queue here at The Pigbear, this one is old. How old, you ask? Like, old enough that when I was in these pictures I had bangs. Which then grew out. And have now been cut into bangs again. That’s two whole seasons by my count.

But this trip was fun and has stories worth telling so here we go.

This past February (told you this was old!) my running group headed down to the beach to run the Seaside Half Marathon. A couple of years ago Brent and I were generously gifted the beach house that Brent’s parents built 30+ years ago. It was their baby for decades, and now it’s ours. We have already had SO many adventures there, with so many more to come.

Our house is in Laguna Beach, just outside of Panama City Beach, and just short jaunt from the hoity toity beaches down 30A. So we loaded up the day before the race and headed down to road to grab our registration packets, shop and carb load.

These friends have come to mean so much to me.  I started running with them two or three years ago when I had a couple of half marathons under my belt but was starting to get bored with just the thoughts in my own head on a ten mile long run. I heard these girls had a group and that they might not mind me honing in on it. So hone I did. And now, hundreds of miles and ten half marathons later I dare them to even think about kicking me out. Their friendship has done more for my sanity than running ever has…and that’s saying a lot. I adore them.

Amy and Angela…

Plus Bri…

I think you know this one…

Plus Julie and Brooke…

Told you we were carb loading. Beer = best carb ever.

Once Seaside sent us packing we headed back to Laguna and spent the rest of the day resting our legs at the house.

Not counting the mad dash to TJ Maxx for sheddable cool weather clothing when we realized the race start temps were much lower than we had expected.

After a good night’s sleep we were up at zero-dark-thirty for race day.

Race, miles, run, blah, blah, blah.

13.1 miles later we were back, showered, happy, and half-drunk on mimosas. Post-race afternoons are a beautiful thing!

We strolled down to the beach, looking like a cross between a Beatles album cover and an ad for colored denim.

Then I got a picture of their cute runner’s butts as I simultaneously tried to sell them a house in our beach neighborhood…

Maybe we’ll stay at their house next year!