Laid Off


 We’ve been laid off.
Our oldest is now able to drive and has assumed our responsibility of getting himself and his sister to and from school and practice.

I still stand outside on the porch and wave goodbye, like I’ve always done, whenever any of my family members are walking, biking or driving away from home.

This week my son came home earlier than my daughter and he told me that he’d go back to pick her up, without me asking. I was expecting to pick her up. That felt weird to me and I had to let go and appreciate his offer. I was waiting for her text to tell him when it was time and instead he told me he was on his way and that he had already texted her. I was cut out as the middleman. Woohoo!?! I think.

I am appreciating having the gift of time back and lamenting that I am not needed as a chauffeur as often anymore. The good news is that when I do get to drive with them in the car, I appreciate and cherish the time together and it doesn’t feel like a burden. I appreciate the conversation within the closed confines. And when he offers to drive, I’m thankful to have time to relax or to keep on working.

Maybe being laid off isn’t so bad after all.

Another transition in the program of life. I’m all in and thankful for the help.

What transitions are you currently experiencing? Are you all in?

Namaste.

 

Never Say Never

  
If you asked me if I ever would have a cat, the answer would have been never.

If you asked me if I would ever live far away from my family, the answer would have been never.

If you asked me if I ever wanted to go back to work again, the answer would have been never.

And yet, I have a cat and actually have two. I’ve lived far away from my family for 25 years, longer than I ever lived with them. And I love working again and never wanted to go back.

I am content in my NeverLand.

What have you said never to and are doing now? Never say never.

New Driver

This was weird. Today my son and my husband happened to be driving next to Juliana and I, as Christian wanted more driving practice (Juliana snapped this picture.) Having him right next to me, yet in another car was strange.

I’m excited for him to be practicing and knowing that he’ll soon be able to drive on his own and can get himself where he needs to be and maybe even help drive his siblings and run errands for me. I’m also a bit melancholy, thinking that he’s growing up and taking flight and once he can drive early next year, he’ll be on his own much more and will need me even less. I’m letting go, letting out the heart strings a little more, like we all do and feeling the growing pains.  Yin and yang, and today I caught another glimpse in the rain, of joy and fear.

I wish you well Christian and know you will be your best and am excited for you and your growing independence. Keep up the good work.

nAMaste

Liberty and Love

 
We visited Philadelphia today and showed the kids the liberty bell.  It’s not exactly thrilling for kids, but I felt the significance of it as a big kid.

I’m especially glad we went to see it near Independence Day as it represents our freedom, our pursuit of happiness and our rights to living freely and equally. I think it is just as significant a symbol today as it was 239 years ago.

  

My dream is that we continue to practice loving one another every day and accept and be curious about our differences that make us all so very interesting! 

BeLoved.  nAMaste

Free to BE You and Me

 It’s Memorial Day and I am married to a veteran.  We take the time to reflect and remember that our freedom to BE is a gift from those families who chose to sacrifice and give of themselves and we are grateful. 

Today we celebrated with veterans in Santa Clara and smiled at Denny and his wife Marilynne who shared stories with us as we admired their courage and history in serving our country.  I loved this moment and loved their hugs and kisses. There was an instant connection through our gratitude and recognition of their service and I was touched by our spontaneous interaction.  I wanted to hear more of their story. Denny teased me and handed me his biography. He was decorated with several honorable medals, including a Purple Heart and a Navy Cross. He was a true gentleman and I admired his pride and character.

   
     

We are thankful for our veterans and their families, especially PopPop and MamMam, Algin Hughes and Elaine Hughes.

Life is good and we thank you, veterans. xoxo

Anxiety

Juliana leaves tomorrow morning for Japan without me. She’s going with 14 other kids and 2 chaperones for 10 days.  It’s part of a school sponsored trip and I am so happy for her. 

  

Yet I am filled with anxiety and my body is doing weird things like dancing, cooking, shopping and nesting and more cooking. I even learned how to smoke a tritip on the Traeger!  I am proud and it was delicious and gobbled up with the homemade chimichurri sauce.  

   

   

I wanted to make the perfect dinner before her send off and wanted to be in her room right next to her and started dancing and had to go shopping at the mall to find the ONE pair of shoes she really “needed” to go to Japan and be comfortable. This is WEIRD! I know I’m acting a bit crazy and know I’m filled with anxiety and everything is okay, I just am. 

 I am happy for her and know she will have an excellent experience and be safe and all that good stuff, but the FEAR keeps settling in. I’m trying to make it go away with rational thought, yet I keep dancing and moving and shaking.  Argh!!!  This too shall pass.  

32 years ago I was the little girl getting ready to go to Australia with my soccer team and this was before Internet, wireless phones and texting! My mama was so brave letting me go. I’ll have to kiss her again the next time I see her and thank her for letting me go. She’s pretty amazing!

  

I am smart and conflicted and stuck in this middle place, waiting and anticipating her departure and return back to the mama nest. Hurry up already and go and learn and grow and come back to me. Please? 

This is the coolest kid ever. She has packed herself and doesn’t really need me, yet I keep finding things to share or advice to give just so I can feel a part of the process. 

  

She’s pretty rad in letting me in and knowing that I’m struggling and is just the cutest thing ever. Maybe it helps her to not be afraid because she’s too worried about me. Ha! This is a good strategy!!

I don’t get why I’m so worried. She’s already an international traveler and has been away from me multiple times, even with her own passport. 

She’s good at this independence and travel thing and I’m confident in her abilities to navigate the globe.  I think it’s partially because of my unfamiliarity with Japan and not being able to recognize the characters and language, that I feel lost and helpless should I have to go there to help her. Probably 99% irrational fear, and 1% real and I’m letting that little itty bitty percent take over my body.  It’s time to namaste that s*#T!!

Okay, fine. I’ll let it go and take all my own advice and be in the moment and let it go. Just breathe.  AAAAAHhhhhhhhhhh 

Okay. Almost better.

How do you handle anxiety?

I wish you peace and wish Juliana a safe and wildly fun experience in Japan. Can’t wait to hear your story. I love you baby girl!!

xoxo  nAMaste

Baby Steps and Letting Go

I’m listening Wise Ones. I’m enjoying the moments and practicing being present even when I’m so done paying attention to the ever demanding little one, knowing that I don’t have them forever. I’ve enjoyed endless snuggles this week. So thank you for sharing your sage advice.

Facebook and email and laundry can wait.

My baby is now riding his bike to school. I stand outside and watch him go, praying that he’ll be safe without me guiding and protecting him. I hope I’ve taught this proud one well.

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I'm not ready but he is and I support him and wave goodbye every morning and give him a big kiss.

Baby steps. Letting the leash out a little more and transferring responsibility. Letting go. Aaawwwwweee!

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How have you experienced letting go? I wish you well.

Memorial Day Weekend in Colorado

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I love the miles of clouds in the sky and watching how the sky changes throughout the day.

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Today we spent time with Jeff’s family in the Black Forest. I loved the open space and being outside. The kids had a great time playing together in the open fields, chasing the alpacas, throwing balls to the dogs and playing hide and seek. They had rocket balloons that they shot up into the sky and over the house, getting them stuck in the trees.

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While the kids played, the adults sat on the back deck, listening to music, eating chips and dip and sharing conversation while playing with the new baby. Ken barbecued for us and we enjoyed tri-tip, baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad and watermelon for dinner. For dessert, we ate chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

This was a perfect, all-American way to spend the day.

Today I am thankful for family, for open spaces, for kids being kids, and time to relax and just hang out.

Life is good.

Thank you PopPop and Jeff for serving our country and for fighting for our freedom. We seriously live the good life because of your service and sacrifices and the sacrifices of all veterans and their families.

Thank you. Happy Memorial Day!

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Red, White, and Blue

I keep getting asked if I am happy to be home, or if I wish I was still living overseas. This is a complicated question and there isn’t an easy answer. Overall, I say yes, I am happy to be home again in the United States, and more especially California, but I miss several aspects of the European, expat lifestyle as well.

I miss the friendships the most and the slower pace of life. I miss our travel around the world, exploring new lands and cultures and living in Holland and exploring and adapting to the local way of life the best I could.

Being away also made me appreciate all that is good in America. Sometimes the media makes it sound like America is broken, but I don’t believe all of it. For some reason, it seems normal to talk about all the negativity and I don’t understand that. I would like to see and share more stories about why America is great and why so many immigrants want to become citizens of this great country and all that it offers.

This morning there was an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that made me appreciate living here and proud to be an American. I am also thankful and proud to have European roots. They are not mutually exclusive. I just think its time to change the conversation and focus on what’s good again in the USA, and celebrate our roots too.

The WSJ article, “Why I Chose the Red, White and Blue,” by Philip Delves Broughton, mentions receiving a certificate of naturalization from President Obama after being sworn in as a citizen. It says, “Since our founding, generations of immigrants have come to this country full of hope for a brighter future, and they have made sacrifices in order to pass that legacy on to their children and grandchildren. This is the price and promise of citizenship. You are now part of this precious history, and you serve as an inspiration to those who will come after you.”

I believe this is a good reminder for all of us living here. We are part of the experience and creating history. We have a duty to one another to continue to do great things and to continue to make our country amazing. That comes from being of service, helping one another and working hard, doing the right thing. It also comes from being able to vote and to have a say in what we believe. There are so many things we do well and enjoy on this great land, like watching football games and bonding with our like minded friends who dress in the same team colors and root for the same team.

These are a few things that create happiness. I am happy to be home (and still miss Holland.)

Life is good.

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