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Project 365 – Week 28

Wow, a lot happened this week! Most of the time, I gather my photos by batch on google photos (where my phone automatically uploads them). I tried doing that this time, but it turns out I had multiple batches per day, because there was just a lot going on, and a lot to photograph! Some things deserve their own entry, in fact, and aren’t even in this post. But the things that I chose to highlight this week were definitely fun moments, and I’m grateful there were so many of them. It was a hot week, spent alternately hiding in the shade outside, or hiding in front of the a/c inside. I don’t really do heat so well!

For some reason, I feel the need to confess the hard times of this week, too, because I just don’t want to be one of those “hey look, my life is perfect!” people online, the person whose posts you see on Facebook and assume their life is going way better than yours or something. So, full disclosure: there were some hard times this week, too, some high anxiety days, some low energy watch-a-LOT-of-tv days, housework that never got done, and some aggravating old injuries to deal with (and some potential new ones, woohoo…), and some pretty fantastic tantrums. Though I kind of hate the word tantrum… more like extreme emotional expression. Or something. Anyway. I think we all learned a lot, and dealt with the hard stuff just fine, mostly because there was a lot of great stuff, too. So here’s the great stuff. 🙂

Day 192 | July 11, Fri – It never would have occurred to me to go to the beach at sunrise, but I’m really glad I did! It was my friend, Tina’s, idea, and she, Heidi, and I carpooled out there at 6am. We saw geese, bird tracks in the sand, and boats on the water as we walked along the shore. Shells, rocks, sea glass, pieces of itty bitty crabs that the birds had gotten to. Most importantly, we chatted, sent our laughter out with the waves, sipped coffee, and had a damn fine start to the day. Definitely looking forward to doing this again!!
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Not long after I got home, the busy part of the day started, with a Buy Nothing Project round robin coming to my door (5 huge trash bags of clothes to go through), followed by a baby! The baby, of course, was our buddy, Marcus, coming to spend the day with us. I took both kids to drop off Joe, then we headed to the library, where it just so happened they had story time! We had so much fun. This is in the outdoor sensory garden:
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(I like this pic because the head of the xylophone mallet looks like Homer’s wearing a clown nose!)

Marcus says, here’s a shape for you!!
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I love that they are both completely serious in this photo.
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Day 193 | July 12, Sat – This is our neighbor, Homer’s little buddy, W.! W. uses the walker to practice his walking, and then gets back in his wheelchair when he needs to rest. He goes back and forth a few times during his exercise time in the tennis courts. Homer is fascinated by his walker, and W. and his mom are both nice enough to let Homer check it out! Here they are talking about racing each other from chalk drawing to chalk drawing. They’re pretty cute together!
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Day 194 | July 13, Sun – Yet another hot day calls for a pool day! This was in the evening. I think The Incredible Hulk was already starting to get a little tired…
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Day 195 | July 14, Mon – Yet another hot day! So we went to the beach!! Shade, popsicles, and good friends Tina and Matthew. Awesomeness! This time, even Ashton joined us!
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Day 196 | July 15, Tues – Little S. came over to play on Tuesday. She is amazingly cute, and she and Homer play really well together. I love how she would suggest something, like “Go aside?” and I’d confirm, “Go outside?” and she’d say, “Oh-kay!!!” like it was the best idea I’d had all day. So funny!! Here they are being little rock climbers together.
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Day 197 | July 16, Wed – I was trying to take a pic of the Imaginets set that Homer and I did together. He loves this toy! He does really well picking out the right pieces too, to match the cards. Tails did not want me to photograph that magnet rabbit, though!
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Day 198 | July 17, Thurs – I got a free sample of Jamberry nails from a lady in my neighborhood Buy Nothing group. It’s pretty cute! Too bad it’s just the one nail. I may have to get a full set. It’s way easier than painting them, that’s for sure! For fun, I took the pic with my beloved coffee from my favorite local cafe, too. The lady who sent it to me asked for a pic, so I decided to try to be artsy with it, and then thought, heck, why not make it my day’s photo too? 🙂
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All righty, I guess that’s it for now. As always, thanks for stopping by! Hope you all had a really great week!

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Join us in taking a photo a day for the entire year! Visit the gracious hosts of this project if you like: Mindi from Simply Stavish, Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer, and Stephanie from Behind the Camera and Dreaming.

Start any time, and link up every Friday:

Catch the Moment
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Project 365 – Week 27

We had a mostly good week, ourselves. A lady from the California moms group I was in had a terrifying week, though – her husband and toddler son were in a severe car accident while she was home with her one week old newborn. Her husband is okay, but their toddler spent a few days on life support, with severe injuries. The good news is that he’s already doing so much better, off the support, breathing on his own. I can only imagine the stress of all of this, and I do know a what it’s like waiting months to see if your child will show any signs of brain damage. Homer had some not-breathing episodes as a newborn, and I was told it’s “unlikely” he would have any damage from it, but they couldn’t say for sure, of course, and it’s kind of a wait and see kind of thing. Anyway, I’m incredibly relieved that her little guy is doing better, and that their whole family is being surrounded in love and support by the community. It’s amazing.

As for us, a lot of our time was spent with friends and lots of time spent outside, too. I’ve started a new walking routine and mentally that feels really good, even if I am ridiculously sore. This is what happens when you’re super out of shape, but I know it gets better, so I’ll just keep on going. It’s also been really hot – it’s definitely summer! While I do get a bit overwhelmed by the heat, I do enjoy all the quintessential summery things, like popsicles outside, iced coffee, bright bathing suits, playing at the beach or in the sprinklers, and reading outside. That last one I haven’t done yet, I’ll have to get right on that. Anyway, it’s nice to feel like things are all just flowing pretty smoothly, and for that, I’m grateful.

Day 185 | July 4, Fri – Happy Independence Day!!! It was a bit of a crazy day!! I got up early to exercise, which was great. Then we were supposed to go to a BBQ lunch, starting at 1pm, but there was some wild behavior that meant nap time was in order. Once we finally got there, my phone was dead, and I’d forgotten my Canon. So, no pics of our awesome time at our friends’ place! Smoke bombs, strobe light flashers, poppers, pop-its, and a big TNT-shooting-in-the-sky firework!! And my very first-ever sparkler!! We didn’t really ever do fireworks when I was a kid. They were usually illegal due to droughts in Texas, and we just… I actually have no idea why! Maybe it was my mom worrying we’d get hurt or something. Anyway, I’m glad we got to do it, and it was super fun. I’m still kicking myself for forgetting the camera, though!

Another fun 4th of July moment – one of the ladies who was supposed to be there couldn’t make it because she was busy having her first baby! It was so exciting hearing that her son had been born in the early evening!

Here’s Ashton and me at the very end of the night once I was back home. Luckily, he absolutely could not have cared less about any of the fireworks activity. It was our first 4th with him, and I wasn’t sure how it would go, but it went great! Whew!
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Day 186 | July 5, Sat – A year ago on this date, I had surgery to remove the “contents” of a missed miscarriage. That’s what they call it. The contents of the uterus. It was a very sad day for me, and a rough one for Homer, too, who hadn’t understood at all what was happening, why he couldn’t nurse, why Mommy was sick in bed… I knew I wanted to do something special and fun today, but wasn’t sure what, until it all just worked out perfectly. I’d thrown my name into the hat in the local Buy Nothing group for a tricycle, and my name was chosen. I took Homer with me to pick it up, and came home and rode it all over the tennis courts where he learned to really get the hang of the pedals and steering. It was so cute watching him! And I adore the old fashioned look to this trike. Such a fun way to spend an afternoon!
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Day 187 | July 6, Sun – Homer and I took the tricycle out for an evening spin at the park, but he was so excited by the park, he just wanted to ride down the slides and swing on the swings! I just thought the sky looked so beautiful as the sun started to set (around 8pm!). It stays late until about 9:30pm. So crazy to me! I love it.
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Day 188 | July 7, Mon – While we were at our favorite coffee shop, Homer told me his imaginary friend, Goliad, (from Adventure Time) was with us. Here she is from the cartoon:

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And this is her at the coffee shop. 😉 Homer’s saying, “Do you like to be petted?” and petting Goliad. Could he be any cuter?!!
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Day 189 | July 8, Tues – Happy birthday to my sweet Tails!!! Five years old! What a wonderful kitty he is.
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Day 190 | July 9, Wed – It was a bit of a crazy day of musical beaches, trying to figure out which one we were supposed to meet Tina at (stopped at the wrong one first!), then the original beach destination was super windy, so we re-grouped and finally found each other at another beach entirely. That’s the cool thing about so many lakes – lots of different beaches!! I didn’t even realize. This was our first beach outing, really, since we’ve moved here, and it was so much fun. It was great spending time with Tina, and the kids, too. Here’s Matthew, sitting in a different shaded area than ours, saying, “I wanna sit with these girls!”
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And here’s Homer, joining in on the festive water splashing battle with Matthew. He is all prepped and ready to splash him with a castle full of water. The funny thing is he kept spilling so much water during the chase that the actual splash was never super big. Silly Homer! It was so cute watching them have a great time together.
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Day 191 | July 10, Thurs – Today was a lazy recovery day at home. Our big achievement for the day was picking up a few groceries. Anyway, here is Ash at the exact moment he heard a noise outside! He is always on patrol, this crazy dog. Maybe one day he’ll learn he doesn’t have to bark at every single dog he hears outside. 😉
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Okay, I was just finishing this post when Joe and Homer started playing silly games, and I had to include this shot from tonight. Here is King Homer, in his robe and crown. 😀
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And that’s it from us! As always, thanks for stopping by! Hope you all had a great week!

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Join us in taking a photo a day for the entire year! Visit the gracious hosts of this project if you like: Mindi from Simply Stavish, Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer, and Stephanie from Behind the Camera and Dreaming.

Start any time, and link up every Friday:

Catch the Moment
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Permission to Speak Freely

This past week, after dropping Daddy off at work, Homer and I had a free day in front of us. The thought of a pecan cinnamon roll from Flying Apron Cafe, a vegan, gluten-free eatery in town, sounded SO good. (Doesn’t it always?) I am neither vegan nor gluten-free, but damn that’s a tasty treat! As usual, when I suggested it, Homer said, “Wait.. what cafe?” And when I explained what it was like to jog his memory, he said, “But let’s go to the OTHER cafe! The good cafe!” That meant Soul Food Books, and since I love it, too, how could I resist? Homer likes it more because there’s a huge play corner filled with interesting toys. Plus he loves their cookies. Bonus: many of their pastries are FROM Flying Apron Cafe!! So off we went.

Once Homer had taken a few bites of the blueberry scone we ended up with and finished his cookie, he was off to play. I noticed some free newsletter things just sitting on the table, so I picked one up, and read the headlines as I sipped my foamy caramel mocha. Just under the main header, an article title popped out at me: “The Power of YOUR STORY How Telling Your Truth Sets You Free” by Judith Fertig.

It was a short read, but the words truly resonated. There was a soldier who couldn’t heal from PTSD until he wrote a personal, emotional memoir about it. And an explanation of polygraph results in which heart rates go up with lies, and normalize with the truth. That makes sense – lying is stressful! “Our cells know the truth,” is one line that really struck me, a quote attributed to Sondra Barrett, PhD. It goes on to talk about bloggers’ stories making the writer feel heard, and the reader feel a sense of connection when they identify themselves in someone else’s writing. And how people who know and tell their family’s stories are more likely to recover better and faster from illnesses. It’s a really interesting article, and the publication is called Natural Awakenings, in case you have it in your own local hippie coffee shop. 😉 It’s absolutely worth the read!

**Oh my gosh, I found it online: The Healing Power of Story. Check it out!

When I finished it, I thought… how long have I been wanting to really blog again? At least six months, as I started this blog site on January 1st. But it’s been much longer than that. Years, really. I hold back often, for fear of getting negative comments. Or perhaps worse, NO comments! No interest at all. Or arguments, and jeez gods, how I hate confrontation!! I have just been resisting something I really want to do, and I felt like this article was just the nudge I needed. “Go on, tell your story,” is a message I can really get behind.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved stories. Especially my mom’s. I loved how when we were little, she’d sit at the foot of my bed to tell my brother and me this ongoing story about Petey the Parrot and his band of friends. She just made it up as she went along. Homer asks me for stories about vampires and mummies in the woods, but I feel like mine aren’t all that great sometimes. I bet my mom probably felt the same way, but I loved them, and I’m sure Homer loves my stories too! More than that, I loved the true stories my mom told, of her life, of my brothers’ and my births, of my brothers’ toddler antics before I was ever born, of our pets… Even today, I’ll ask her about those stories, and I love hearing them as much I ever have.

In school, I felt so intrigued by the idea of a time before writing, in which stories were told and memorized by villagers, and re-told again and again. Imagining those bardic nights sitting around a fire, sharing those stories with one another… what a beautiful tradition. So imagine my excitement when I discovered my tribe of local Druids in the area, an earth based spiritual tradition, down in Los Angeles. They had a bardic circle! I was in heaven! Our bardic circle was mostly musical, but we wrote a lot of aspects of our rituals, too, and even had a Bards’ Night during a camping retreat one year. That remains one of my most fun memories, singing and telling stories and laughing with each other late into the night. I miss those folks!!

Somehow, even though I celebrate stories and story-telling, I’d shied away from telling my own stories for a long time. I think partly I did so to avoid feeling vulnerable. For a while there, a lot of my personal stories have intertwined with stuff that’s kind of hard to talk about, like anxiety and miscarriage. No one wants to be the Debbie Downer of the party, you know?

That’s why I’m grateful to have come across this article when I did. It reminded me why I love story telling, and why it’s great to go ahead and share, that sharing heals, that telling these stories is worthwhile, for all of us. I guess there’s a reason there are 152,000,000 blogs out there in the world. It’s been all too easy to keep asking myself, why bother? What do I have to say that hasn’t already been said? But the truth is… my own story! That’s what each of us has that no one else has. Our own story, our own voice. So no more listening to that inner critic whispering that no one will care, or that my writing isn’t good enough so why bother. Fuck that critic! I wouldn’t take that crap from anyone, so why do I take it from myself?? That stops now. With the inspiration from that article, and for the sake of following my own desires, I’m giving myself permission to just go for it, write, and see where it goes. I’m ready.

If you have a blog and want to share how writing it has influenced your life, let me know in the comments!

tell-your-story

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Project 365 – Week 26

We’ve had a great week! The weather did a huge 180, which was interesting! We played a lot. We lazed around a lot, too, honestly. Watched too much tv, read plenty of wonderful stories, especially our new finds from the library… Just some really fun stuff! Only one crazy epic tantrum of hitting and insanity, but just so much sweetness all week too, and plenty of laughs. In other words, typical life with a 3 yr old!

Day 178 | June 27, Fri – Here’s Homer, still sleepily trying to wake himself up. It was sprinkling a bit first thing in the morning, too. I love yawning kids, babies, animals… It’s just so cute.
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Day 179 | June 28, Sat – We had enough rain overnight for some awesome splashy puddles!!
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Later, we went to our first Buy Nothing Project event at the local library. It’s a great group that I’m happy to be part of. All of us members brought lots of stuff to give away for free. It was exciting watching it all find new homes, and chatting in person with members we’d only met online so far! I didn’t take either of these next two pics, but they represent a big part of our day! Here is a great pic of my friend, Tina, who decided to take the giant alien head mask that Joe and I finally parted with.

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And then here’s a candid shot of all the activity going on! (That’s me in the blue shirt.)
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Day 180 | June 29, Sun – Today we went to a new little dog meetup, and it was so much fun! Ash was a bit nervous when he first got there, but he soon warmed up to everyone and they had a blast chasing each other all over!
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Day 181 | June 30, Mon – First we went to a library we’d never been to before for a really cool science based musical concert! Homer is still singing, “Yellow and blue make gree-een! Yellow and blue make greeen!” Check out her songs on NancyMusic.Com!

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And this is a local grocery store we stopped at for lunch the same day. (I am the worst at picking just one picture a day, I know!! ;P ) Homer pretended the speaker part of the toy cash register was a phone. He is always talking to Nonna whenever he’s talking on the phone. 😉
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Day 182 | July 1, Tues – **Halfway through the year!** I’m so excited I’ve kept up with this project. Being part of a group definitely helps!! I’m so excited to be part of Catch the Moment. 🙂 This was taken at a local play place that has a balloon room and fans! Exactly the place to be when it’s creeping up to 90 degrees outside. I guess now that it’s July, Summer has decided to dramatically make its presence known!!
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Day 183 | July 2, Wed – Today we went to Target for fans (it’s hot!), some cleaning supplies, and some shorts for me. We left with the first two things, no shorts (none fit, boo!), and because Target is the vortex that sucks you in and makes you browse and buy things you never intended to get, we also ended up with some fun stuff for Homer. He has a Captain American shield, so he asked if he could get the mask to go with it. I told him only if it’s less than ten dollars. Well the mask and suit came together, and the set was on clearance for almost exactly ten dollars, and then the shoes we saw in a different part of the store and were 50% off. How can you resist that?? I knew it’d make him happy, and I knew I’d get adorable pics like these…

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And Joe took this one…

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Day 184 | July 3, Thurs – My mom came over with her friend, Sally, to make lunch and just hang out and visit! It was really fun!! Even the animals love seeing their Nonna, and never miss a chance to soak up cuddles with her!!
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And that’s our week! As always, thanks for stopping by! I hope you all have a safe and happy fourth of July, everybody!!

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Join us in taking a photo a day for the entire year! Visit the gracious hosts of this project if you like: Mindi from Simply Stavish, Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer, and Stephanie from Behind the Camera and Dreaming.

Start any time, and link up every Friday:

Catch the Moment