Monday, September 26, 2011

The Waiting Game

Howard and I have been in a holding pattern, waiting to hear about some plans/news. 

Here are a few things I'd rather be doing than waiting:
1) Having a root canal done (and yes, I've had one).
2) Cleaning out toilets.
3) Eating anchovies (blech).
4) Reviewing a really bad book.
5) Getting the kids to clean their rooms.

Still and all, there are some things about this particular bout of waiting that I am grateful for:
1) It's nothing medical or potentially detrimental to us.
2) It's teaching us a lot about ourselves and our priorities.
3) It's not quite as bad as the humidity these days.

And so here we are: waiting...waiting...

No pictures today, because waiting is a kind of blank space where you have to deal with the images inside your own head.

How do you deal with the waiting game?

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Sam had a karate test today. At the end of it, there were speeches:

And then he was awarded his new belt.

His new junior black belt

His teachers are proud, we're proud.  A junior blackbelt is quite an achievement, particularly for a 10-year-old.  It's been four years in the making, and Samuel's worked very hard for it.  Despite a few times that he thought about quitting (and many more times that he didn't want to go to class on a particular day), he stuck with it.  Sam approaches karate as he does so many things in life: with determination, focus, and tenacity.  You can see the self-satisfaction on his face here:

Howard and I decided that such a momentous occasion deserves parental recognition.  So, in addition to the take-out Chinese food that he gets tonight, we got him a lego set that he's wanted for a long time: the Death Star. 

He's in a bit of shock over that, too...but again, happy shock.  3803 might well take him more than a day or so to get this one done!

Who or what has made you proud lately?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This Past Week

Life has been busy here this past week, since it's been "back to school" time for me and the kids.  So, here are (literally) a few snapshots of things going on around these parts. 

Samuel is, as always, drawing.  M.C. Escher, eat your heart out!

Anya is experimenting with new outfits:

Samuel and his friends Fred (on the left) and Paul (on the right) got dressed up one day:

We all went to the zoo on Sunday.  It was very educational:

Finally--and most important--Anya is practicing sentences!  Here are several from last night:

Those read:

I like to play.                                  My cat is small.
I love my cat.                                 The bed is big.
I put on my jacket.                         Dad is an alien.
I like school.                                   Sam is a good brother.
I can paint.                                     Dad is a crazy alien.
I like pizza.                                     I love my family.

What's going on in your neck of the woods these days?

Monday, September 5, 2011


I am constantly telling myself that I want to/need to/should (oops, there's that "s" word: should) simplify.  Have less stuff, less clutter.  Yet, it never seems to happen the way that I imagine.  Howard and I have talked about it several times, and again: not coming to fruition.

Recently, however, we just began...doing it.  Working on it one step at a time as a result of our regular coffee talk and life discussions.  So, here are some of the things that we are including under the label of "simplifying."

Saying Goodbye to:
1) Cable beyond the most basic service possible.
2) Internet on our cell phones (I don't use it, he uses it too much).
3) Day/s of the kids' after-school program that we don't really need.
4) Clutter in our bureaus and closets (in process.  Today: the kids' bureaus).

5)  Too many magnets on the fridge.

Saying Hello to:
1) More committed/clear family time.
2) A return to making things (which was on hold for much of the summer).
3) Deeper questions and conversations about what we really want in our lives.
4) Accepting that we'll never be "super simple" in our living. 
5) #5 is a secret...or, if you will, just a plan...for now.

Working on:
1) Too many books.

2) Too many work commitments.
3) Cluttered corners (and still some closets).

4) Internet addiction.
5) Over-doing/over-thinking everything (my specialty in particular).

Our process is far from perfect, but it feels good to be thinking about it concretely and taking some action on our longing for simplicity.  In the end, we decided that it's not just about "having less stuff."  It's about letting go of the un-considered drives to do do do and get get get.  It's about getting rid of things that don't add value to our lives, but also about being willing to add things that  bring true richness to our days.

What simplicity have you embraced?  What difference has it made?