Monday, April 4, 2016

Eleven Years

I have so much on my mind these days...

I registered Paloma for Kindergarten(!) a couple weeks ago, and as we were driving home I heard this song for the first time.

Songs with timelines like this make me super-reflective. They make me take a deep breath, a pause, because they remind me just how fast time flies. They make me think about what I have done in my life up to this point, and of course as the years progress, I get emotional... that's just me.

"Once I was seven years old, my mama told me
Go make yourself some friends or you'll be lonely
Once I was seven years old"

In the last few weeks I have finally felt like I am getting my footing here. I feel like I am slowly carving my way into this amazing little community of Piedmont. I have finally put myself out there, interacting with the parents who have been available to me since the first few weeks of school, but I just wasn't ready then. It took me some time. I am still sad about my Dad often, but it's not preventing me (anymore) from starting to think about the near future.

"I always had that dream like my daddy before me
So I started writing songs, I started writing stories
Something about that glory, just always seemed to bore me
Cause only those I really love will ever really know me"

I have been writing more in the new year than I have in a long time, but not as consistently as I would like to. I find myself having so much to say, and it sounds so inspired in my mind, and then when I get it out on paper (or the computer), it is not the same, or I wonder who would even read it? And is writing anything more for me than just a release? Is it something I can do for "a living"? I am surrounded by so many talented people out here that it has me wondering whether or not I could keep up, considering I have been out of the game so long. I am a woman of many interests and passions, but what the heck am I going to do when it is time for me to go back to work (outside the home)? I have started thinking about it, and maybe I am over-thinking it, but the most important thing to me is that I can do something that does the following: 1) fulfills me creatively, 2) brings home some bacon, and (most importantly) 3) allows me to continue to be the mom and wife I want to be.

That is so important to me...

"Soon I'll be 60 years old, will I think the world is cold
Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me?'
'Soon I'll be 60 years old, my daddy got 61
Remember life and then your life becomes a better one"

One commonality of all the songs I hear with timelines of these artists' lives, is how important the first 18-20 years are. I want to be present to help shape my kids' childhood into the best foundation possible for the rest of their lives. I want to teach them how to revel in every moment. But I also want to continue to work on me, and my contributions to the world (aside from my children). But what will those contributions be? My cupcakes and sweet treats? Another song? Public service? A children's book (top priority)? I guess that question doesn't need to be answered today, but hopefully someday soon, I will have some clarity on what it will be. One thing I do know is that I want to continue living life to it's fullest. I am trying to take full advantage of all there is where we are living. I want to learn and grow, alongside my children. I want to have tiny adventures daily, and big adventures spontaneously.

Now that my children are getting bigger, I am trying to revisit all the things that inspire me - all the things that get put on hold when you have babies (when your main focus is making sure they thrive the first 5+ years).

When I feel like I am forgetting to take care of ME a little (which happens from time to time), I will try to incorporate the things that nourish my soul, and include my kids in them, instead of just putting them off until I have a moment to myself. Paloma and I paint on the front steps, watching Quincy shoot hoops with the neighbor kids, while Forrest wanders from yard to yard, and we wait for Solon to come home. We have been visiting all the local library branches here and checking out 30 books at a time, just like my Dad used to do with my brother and me. I am reconnecting with nature - which is abundant out here - and I've encountered so many wonderful parks surrounding us where I can unplug and just be with my kids, while the fresh air envelopes me, and discoveries await.

I use to wake up to music. I used to listen to music while getting ready for the day; while cooking; while cleaning; while writing - I am starting to do that again. I don't remember when I stopped the consistency of it, but I am sure it had something to do with my children hearing a catchy pop song on the radio, and then that's all we could listen to, over and over and over. I am revisiting the music that makes me, me: Counting Crows, Simon & Garfunkel, the Beatles, Indigo Girls, Whitney Houston (the early years), John Denver, Eva Cassidy, Tracy Chapman, Gavin DeGraw, Train, India.Arie, and basically all my favorite 90's Alt Rock (thank you Pandora) and Oldies that my Dad loved.

Solon and I just celebrated our 11th Wedding Anniversary. Solon woke me up that Saturday, the way he has the last 10 anniversaries - by playing Tony! Toni! Tone!'s "Anniversary". We talked about all that has happened throughout the last 11 years of our marriage, the ups and the downs, the trips and the adventures, the stresses and the joys, the personal challenges that either we or the people we love had endured, the love, so much LOVE, and the losses, which we will feel for days and years to come. It's all part of life, and marriage, and I thank God every day that I have him as my partner through it all.


Now, some pictures (I haven't posted any since before Christmas, so here's a semi-quick recap):

In December, we had a weekend of fun celebrating Natan and Larel's birthday when they all came to visit. The cousins were OVERJOYED to be reunited again!

Then Quincy turned SEVEN(!) and my MOMMY(!!!) came in town

Quincy's "Jurassic World" Birthday Party

The following weekend we were back in Arizona for the Holiday Break, and we kicked it off with a playdate for Paloma with her preschool friends

Christmas Party at Holly & Chad's

Christmas Eve with my family

Christmas Night with Solon's family

Dinner (and tequila) with some of our nearest and dearest

The kids reunited with Eve while she was visiting from London

In January, Paloma turned 5(!) and got her ears pierced (by this girl)

Paloma's Birthday "Art" Party

In February, we celebrated Solon's 38th Birthday in a memorable way. I made reservations for a "fine dining" establishment overlooking Lake Merritt in Oakland, that was known for it's exquisite LIVE jazz, and marble dance floor. The restaurant turned out to be housed in a Senior Living Residence Building. We didn't realize it until our dinner arrived! We all got a good laugh, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Return to Napa Valley for Tony's 50th Birthday - the kids are pros in Wine Country by now, and had their first ride in a LIMO!

In March, Papa Allen and Danita came to visit from Iowa!! It rained the first three days they were here (BOO!), but we still were able to have lots of fun, including an adventure into the city when the sun came out, and a trip into the beautiful regional parks.

Quincy and members of his 1st grade class performed in the "Annual Beach Revue". Five performances in one week - I am so proud of him and all of his buddies! It was a BIG commitment and he had an absolute blast! And BONUS: now he likes The Beatles!!! (WooHoo!)

Check out his moves in the performance below:

We have been filling our afternoons with art, sunshine, and Tae Kwon Do

And finally, a snap from Easter with the Meltzer family in Fairfield!

Up next, SPRING BREAK - Can't wait!!

No comments: