Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finding Meaning Is All A Matter of Perspective

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." This quote popped up on the TV screen at the restaurant we were at last Thursday night.  Josh and the kids had gone to the bathroom and I had a moment to myself at the table or I imagine I wouldn't have been looking at the screen.  I couldn't hear the TV, but the images of Martin Luther King Jr. and his quote got me thinking. I tried to imprint it in my brain because it struck me.  I remembered the main idea, but the exact quote not so much.  Thanks to the internet I was able to find it in a few seconds. The school day had begun with a different quote for our  "Thought for Thursday" Morning Message.   After students had shared their thinking about what the quote meant to them and I had shared my thoughts and connections one student asked, "So what is the real meaning?" I paused for a minute and tried to explain how meaning we take from art is personal.  The connections we find are based on our own experiences and perspective. 

I recently heard someone commenting about how a blog I love to read is not very real and she couldn't connect to that author's life because no ones life is really like that.  It is all too beautiful.  To me the blog inspires rather than shuts down my spirit.  It is easy to find the downs, the tediousness, the frustrations that life's stresses and chores can bring.  Everyone has them, I don't need to read about more of that on a blog.  I read to think about possibilities of what's to come.  I read to gain fuel for making meaningful moments.

"Mommy, we cook and then we dance!" - Ellie
My girl is becoming a girl.  She taking on more and more.  I am finding time to take on more of what I love to do, share it with her,  and learn new things too.  This weekend we made pancakes.  She announced, "Daddy we are cooking, I need my cape!"
Cape = Apron, when you put one on you have super powers.  You turn powder into breakfast!  And then you dance!  

Sunday night Josh mentioned the idea of getting up early Monday to go check out the relatively new donut shop downtown: Doughbot.  We had read of them selling out early on big days and decided early departure was in order. We bundled up on the chilly morning and decided Santa jammies for Mason would suffice and keep the spirit of the holidays in the air. The car ride inspired a photo shoot.  Ellie is becoming quite the photographer.

She captured my dreamy doughnut gaze. 

Self-portrait, and one of my new favorites.  Mason says it looks like she is going to hug me.  LOVE!

 The modest little shop with its hip bike out front created this box of edible artwork complete with tasty treats such as Meyer Lemon (heavenly), Peanut Butter and Jelly, Maple, Lemon Lavender, Blueberry Cornmeal, Vanilla, Chocolate, Maple Bacon, "The Picard", and 2 S'mores that the woman roasted before our very eyes.

Armed with coffee and anticipation, we braved the cold and took an outdoor table to dive into our box and sip our hot beverages. Gotta love our S'mores whether they are donuts, fabric, or the real deal out at the fire pit.

Sugar rush dance!

Family Fun at its finest.

Say, "SUPERPOWERS!"  ("Cheese" is so 2011)
Things that really matter:
*Giving yourself the power to be inspired and making time to make it real.
*Oh and don't forget to speak up about it.
*Pass it on.
*When you receive it back, don't be intimidated by its looks.
 *Find meaning for yourself, and keep it moving.
*Put your cape on, cook, and then DANCE!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Mrs. Break

So I started a story the other day and I think I will just let it lie there in the draft that it is. Time has past and the feelings that provoked it have evolved and the story has changed. Not erased, just revised.  I think life mirrors the writing process. Our life is ever changing and yet there are constants that we can grab hold of and feel comfort in the structure. The winter break has come and gone and amidst it all there were so many experiences and emotions all wound up into one excellent ride. Who knows...perhaps I will actually open that draft back up and reread it, but for now I'm here.

We headed south for the winter arriving at my "Grandpa and Grandpa's" house as Ellie calls it which sounds very similar to Gabba Gabba's house (as in Yo Gabba Gabba) on Saturday evening to kick of the break. Ellie insists on being our photographer and yep here we are. I was loving the Helen Keller quote mug that week.  Hmmm, what the heck did it say?...something to the effect of life's most beautiful things cannot be seen or heard they are felt with the heart.  Not sure that I have it exact so I shall leave off the quotation marks, but you get the gist.

Some heart felt moments...

Mason and Ellie out on a walk through Westwood with Daddy as my mom and I had some time together to hit the local store for who remembers what. I remember loving mom and me time. We received a call that the troops were out in search of a bunny that had been spotted and were hot in his trail.  We arrived in time for scooping up some tired kids and driving them on home.

Ellie and I headed out to town and returned with bagels and coffee.

A trip to visit Grandpa at the library.  Ellie was "reading about how to be a happy farmer".  Love that girl.

The light in the trees outside his office was breathtaking...

Mason casts a powerful spell.

Grandpa takes us on a tour of the newly remodeled UCLA library. We fell in love with these.

I am in love with these two babes.

Grandpa's office was filled with fun.

"Mommy this is my new name, Maso."

We successfully added post-it notes, drawings to all Grandpa's office items.

The next day we were off to visit Grandma's school and enjoyed the Christmas show.  Each class performed a song and a tired Ellie was ready to go toward the end, but revived when Grandma and her teachers got up and sang a song about Santa.  Then as the big guy made an appearance on stage she waved with all sorts of enthusiasm and ran up to him at the end of the show. It helps to know the principal so you can get a photo.

And get away with climbing around the giant roots of the trees outside.

Our time zoomed faster than I had imagined it would. Before we knew it my parents were on a plane headed north to Idaho and we were driving in the newly named "Cozy Traveler" with Uncle Chris heading home. Ellie and Mason fell in love with their copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that Grandpa gave them at his office that day.

Friday we were off to the theater to see The Nutcracker.

Brothers and Sisters waiting for the doors to open.

Uncle Chris treated us to dinner at the Tower Cafe after the show.  Tasty indeed.  The kids had drooled over the desserts at brunch the week before and now was their chance to enjoy.

Ellie chose the "Pirate Cake", our name for it as it was decked out in gold.

Banana creme pie for the boy in the fancy tie.

Christmas morning brought treasure hunts with clues,

spy glasses,


a bit of magic,

and a sense of wonder.

Quality time with Uncle Chris zoomed by us as well and soon we were headed to the airport.  The next day Ellie said to me at breakfast, "I am sad about bringing my Uncle Chris to his airport, but I have you so I am okay." My eyes were sweating a bit after that one.

Ellie and Mason played like the best of buddies.

Costumes were worn to go to the store.

New strings on a little girl's guitar inspired new concerts and her best ROCK STAR pose.

 The sunset as seen from the comfort of our front porch...


More costumes

A project to inspire me to find the joy in creating and watching it bloom into pretend play.
I saw this felt campfire online and had to make my own.  We've had many a fun campout and many more to come.

Campfires are exhausting for busy pirates.

Neglecting the garden makes for happy kids in big piles of leaves.

Another project moved Ellie's things into the kitchen where Ellie took up residence in a drawer while we built her new bed.

Josh's handy work and creativity brought this beauty to reality. Uncle Weston's former studio supplied us with the lumber and the desk piece we had in our garage.  The whole project was virtually free except for the cost of the bolts. Love that!

I am excited to find time finishing decorating it so I can take a photo in the daylight. Here is a first look at Ellie's new room. She and Mason love hanging out and writing at the little desk.  The first day I asked her if she liked her new bed and she said, "And I love my new desk." Tonight Mason hung a huge painting he made for her at preschool under the loft like a curtain.  I love how he thinks of her. He told her it was an early birthday present. (Her birthday is in June.)

New Year's Eve brought us together with good friends and laughter. We always love visiting Nora and Pedar and their boys Casey and Erik. The kids played and played and played until the new year was upon us.

I think it is ironic he wore these pajamas that say, "Handsome like DAD". Notice any similarities?

Erik celebrated his 3rd birthday and got this awesome roller coaster.  He was generous to let Ellie monopolize it for many turns.

Casey showed us his new birthday guitar.

Ellie kept riding that roller coaster.

And had some "help" to achieve maximum speed. I particularly like the safety dog she is riding with.

Don't forget to notice the awesome wooden growth chart Pedar made that is hanging on the kitchen wall.

Tiring out kiddos as the hour crept toward midnight.
Here's to a new year of family, friends, and heart-felt moments worth remembering. Happy New Year!on Kelle's blog