Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Underside of Joy

Being a mother,
I have a really hard time reading stories
involving tragic events and children.

So, I might not have picked up this book to read on my own.

But, because I'm part of the BlogHer Book Club,
I signed up to read and review The Underside of Joy by Sere Prince Halverson.
And I really enjoyed it.

OK, perhaps "enjoyed" is not quite the right word I'm looking for.

I was swept up in the emotions and the worry.
I felt the pain and anxiety.

I thought the author took a difficult situation and really did well exploring the complexity of the emotions.

The basic storyline is about a man who died, leaving behind his newish wife and two kids from his previous marriage. And, then his first wife enters the picture, and the women began a battle over the children. It pulls at your heart strings.

There is poetry in Sere Prince Halverson's words though.
It was so beautiful to read.

Even when I cried, I appreciated the beauty of the syntax.

Here's one of my favorite descriptions of the trees on their land:

I looked to the trees. They always calmed me. The redwood grove stood like our own appointed guards; their trunks rose straight and solid from the land, their branches so large, we had seen wild turkeys perched in them. 

She continues with:

Our oaks were more like wise, arthritic grandparents. If you pulled up a chair and sat awhile and listened, you usually learned something useful. The fruit trees were like our cherished aunties, wearing frilly dresses and an overabundance of perfume in the spring, then by summer, indulging us with their generosity, dropping apples and pears and apricots by the bucketfuls..." 

The setting, the history, the complex emotions.
This is a book you don't just experience.

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It takes a Village

It takes a village to raise my children.

Yesterday was a perfect example of this.

We have to wake up around 5am every morning 
in order to walk out the door around 6am...
to get my oldest son to the high school 
for early morning training.

After school he has more training and working out, 
so he can't take the bus home.
Today my grandmother, his great-grandmother, picked him up 
because I work far, far away in Dallas.

My grandmother also picked up my younger son 
from his after-school care at the elementary school.
And she then took them both to my mom's house,
where she and my grandmother worked to come up with a formal outfit
for my older son for a football banquet.

A football banquet that we just found out about.
That I didn't realize was a formal event or that my son needed to attend.

(yes, OK, I did forget that I'd received a letter about it a while back.)

My mom and grandmother ironed a dress shirt, picked out a tie, found a jacket that fits, ran him home to grab his nice shoes (he somehow ended up with two left footed shoes?! How does that happen?), and had him completely ready by the time I walked in the door around 6pm after my hour-commute home.

All I had to do is drive him back to the high school in time for the football banquet.

The football banquet that lasted almost 3 hours.
On a school night.
Whereas he didn't get to his homework until 10pm.
And we went to bed much too late to wake up again the next morning at 5am.

But, the importance of this entire post is that it seriously takes a village to keep up with my kids.
And I couldn't do it without the help of my mother and grandmother.
They are LIFE savers.

(Isn't he handsome?)

Do you raise your kids all on your own?
How many people does it take to raise your children?

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK Day Sunrise

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. 
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Sunrise Addiction

I have a new addiction.
I'm obsessed with sunrises.

More specifically, I am obsessed with taking pictures of the sunrises I see every day
on my commute to work.

Obsessed I tell you.

Now, there isn't a GREAT sunrise every morning.
But on the mornings that there are...
I try to find the best vantage point, along my drive.

I might pull over on the side of the road and take one with my window rolled down.
Or I try to snap one while driving on the highway.

The one above was taken at a stoplight,
and while I tried to crop out the phone lines...
I eventually decided they actually gave the photo a nice accent.

I ended up taking about 6 photos from the same sunrise this morning, after different angles and stages.
And the final photo, when I was ALMOST to work...was the best.

 If you follow me on Twitter, you'll see I tweet them as I take them.

What do subject matter do you find yourself photographing over and over? 
What beauty do you find it hard to resist? 
(For me it's my children, nature, my dog Annie, & sunrises!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Green...or Maybe It Is

My younger son, Remy, turned 10 years old this week.
We celebrated with family meals, cakes, and lots of balloons and birthday fun.

His great-grandmother gave him some birthday money.
And within two days, he knew exactly what he wanted to spend it on.

Meet Sparky:

Sparky is a Fire-Bellied Frog.
(He looks like a toad with the bumpy skin, but he's a frog with a red belly).
He's slightly toxic.

Remy's school is having Science Week this week...
and that also entails having a Science Store.

With his own money and my permission, he was able to purchase Sparky at school (container and all).
Sparky eats live crickets (good grief).
So, Remy spent all of recess yesterday searching for crickets, found one and fed it to the frog.

Now my older son wants one, so Remy will get another one at school this week to take home and keep Sparky company.

Last year at this time we had rabbits.
Now we have frogs.

The animal adventures continue.

What animal adventures have you had lately? Any odd pets?