Mindful Monday-Women Love

“You know what some of us fear more than anything else? Each other. I feared other women’s success because I thought it made me look bad. I feared other women’s choices because I thought they invalidated my choices. I feared getting closer to other women because I was miserable and I didn’t want them to know that.”


“The best thing I ever did was tiptoe out of isolation and join the circle of women. We need to choose to believe we are all in this together. We need to accept and honor our own lives so we can accept and honor each other’s lives. When we do this, when we help one another, cheer one another on, call one another to our truest and highest selves, we become a powerful force for good-for God-in this world.”

Both from Nice Girls Don’t Change the World by Lynn Hybels

Love both of them. Because I would say that was my transformation. My high school self (and slightly beyond) can definitely relate to the former quote. I think most of us could admit that we’ve been there at some point.

But I can honestly say I’m finally there, at that latter quote. I used to be the girl who “had more guy friends than girls” and would go on to give lots of really ridiculous reasons why that is, all those reasons cut down other women.

Not anymore. I’ve come to a place where I’m no longer interested in cutting other women down, or, quite frankly, hanging out with women who want to do that to each other.

I’m in such a good place right now with my friends (both in person and through the interwebs) and my sisters and my moms and aunts and cousins. I’ve surrounded myself with amazing women who challenge me, love me, accept me, forgive me and support me. It’s an awesome place to be.

As a reward, of sorts, for getting to this place. I’m heading to Colorado. Tickets are bought, calendar is counting down, daily thoughts about it are here. I’m.so.excited. Why? Because I get to meet/see some of my interweb peeps. Cathy, most amazing Cathy, has offered us all a place to stay when we get there. Chandra will be there. Sarah will be there. Mama Papaya will be there. I think Rebekah will as well. And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head (and know their blog names by heart). Who else is coming?

Truly, I’m ridiculous. This will be the first time I’ve ever flown by myself. I wanted a straight shot so as not to develop anxiety about boarding gates and cranky passengers and luggage racks ohmy!. I’m thrilled on so many levels.

But mostly to have a few days, in the middle of summer no less, with some women I admire deeply. I wanna soak in their genius, bask in their laughter and maybe get a little silly on the spirits.

Being in this place of raising fellow women up rather than tearing them down, infinitely better. Infinitely more rewarding.

Trysten’s 8th Birthday

So much to say about this boy. “The Eldest”. 

For birthdays we get everyone up and together then start singing, “Happy Birthday” as we get the birthday person up. I had told Trysten he could wake up a little earlier and play his DS since 1) it was his birthday and 2) he had just gotten a new game from my parents. So this is what he looked like when we met him in song.
For breakfast he chose omelets. Ham and cheese to be exact.
 Then off to school for Trysten and Tariku. Off to the doctor for Tomas, the littles and me. Tomas was diagnosed with strep throat and an ear infection, I was diagnosed with bronchitis. Not awesome.
For Trysten’s birthday treat at school he asked for his daddy’s “World Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies”. Since I felt like crap for the last few days I had forgotten the key ingredient of said cookies and was thus forced to buy sugar cookies with lots of frosting. No one seemed to mind.
My favorite part of the birthday celebration at school was that they have the birthday person sit on a chair and the other kids all ask them questions. (I also liked that they made him a puffy paint shirt with his name on it and made him personalized happy birthday cards). Trysten’s teacher is amazing.
The class asking him questions.
Some highlights:
Q: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
A: Ethiopia
Q: If you could have any super power what would it be?
A: I would want to fly
Q: What’s your favorite water animal?
A: Dolphin
Q: Favorite color?
A: Purple
Q: Favorite kind of dog?
A: Husky
Q: Favorite subject in school?
A: Math
Q: What do you want to do when you grow up?
A: Probably have our family band like we’ve been practicing. (Smile)
Papa Frank picked Trysten up from school then we met them at the Corner Grill restaurant. We opened presents first.
After he got this book though (which he’s already read a few thousand times, but had lost) he read while he waited for the food to come.
Mimi Terre read to Tariku and Dailah.
Papa Frank fed Dailah some of his soup.
Trysten ordered a grilled cheese but was more excited about the ice cream sundae.
I made a valiant effort to be present, happy and vivacious for Trysten’s big day but by the end of the night I was giving into fever and chills. So Trysten obliged me and laid with me. He played his game (Harry Potter) and I soaked in his goodness.
Oh this boy. Last year I had this to say. 
This year, I’ve noticed the pull in him. When I pick them up from school his face lights up, he even leaps a bit at me but then he looks around and pulls back. Walks somewhat nonchalantly to me and gives me a side hug. I understand it, a few minutes after that he always grabs for my hand and squeezes three times. 
One day he’ll be super helpful around the house (helping with dishes, laundry, clean up, etc) the next day it’s like pulling teeth to get him to lift a finger. He’s straddling a few worlds and it’s super hard to watch sometimes. 
But I’m so proud of the way he’s handling it. That said, it’s so hard to believe we’re already here.
8 years. Whew. They’ve gone so quickly.
I’m so proud of the boy he is and the little man he’s becoming. 
Love him so, so much.


in the land of the living.

More posts to come but for now…

I have bronchitis.
Tomas has strep.
Trysten has strep.
Tariku is still recovering from his tonsil/adenoid removal and
Dailah has a suspicious sounding cough.

Good times.

Princess Ball

On Sunday Dailah was invited to the annual Princess Ball at my father-in-law, Frank’s, church. Even though they do this every year, she still gets just as excited as she did the first year.

So Dailah and I entered our modern day version of the Red Tent and prepped her for her night on the town.

At one point I even looked down and she was meditating. With proper mudra fingers and “Om” on her lips. Love that girl.

We finished with just enough time to snap one picture before we had to meet Frank at the church.

Getting her out of the car, I couldn’t help but see the likeness between these two.

This year papa stepped up even more and brought her a wrist corsage. She squealed with delight. They were quite the handsome pair.

A quick picture of two of the people who love her most (Note to self, never be in the forefront of a picture, does nothing in the way of making my oversized head appear smaller).

While Dailah and Papa were at their dance we went out to eat with some friends. Last week I had heard that one of my favorite Mexican restaurants (Los Agaves for those local folks) had $1 tacos on Sunday. Since I 1) love a good deal and 2) love Mexican food I got all kinds of excited about the possibilities. The Bergers and Smiths met us out where we had our typical amazing time.

These two seem to always dress alike. This night they were rocking their very best Bill Cosby sweater look. Love that about them.

Doozie joined us after her dance where the Berger sisters (who she considers her sisters) met her with oooos and aahhhhs.

I don’t really understand her love of dressing up all fancy all of the time but I must be honest in saying a part of me was thrilled that she rocked the arm tats the whole time too. Love her so, so much.

Tariku’s Tonsils

On Wednesday we had an appointment with an ENT specialist for Tariku. The last few months his snoring had become so intense he was keeping Tomas and himself up at night. Then around Christmas he fell asleep in the car. After awhile of loud snoring it got quiet. A few minutes later he started gasping for air and woke up. 

That sounded like sleep apnea, I thought.
And the last few weeks he started to show more signs that his apnea had gotten worse. 
We told the Doctor this and he looked down Tariku’s throat and nose and said, “Yup, he needs them taken out.”
They scheduled the appointment for Friday. 
On Friday we took our little Tariku early in the morning to the surgery center. He was still stinkin’ cute in his little gown.
Zach and I took turns snuggling in bed with him. He was nervous, but seemed to bask in all of our attention.
After he came out of surgery we got to go right in to see him. Tariku was just coming out of anesthesia and put the “C” in “crazy”. Poor guy was flailing about, spitting blood and screaming. He calmed down when he heard Zach and me. But MAN was it hard seeing him like that. 
But of course, Tariku being the strongest kid I know, impressed the nurses with how much he drank right away, how well he handled the pain meds and his overall mood and temperament.
He impresses us still. Every day he gets better and better. He’s done well drinking what he’s supposed to and tasting the pudding, applesauce and bananas.
When Tariku came out of surgery he asked how much longer until he saw his brothers and sister. Then he said, “I just want everyone I love around me.” And so my mom had come to help. Papa Frank came for a visit. My siblings went to lunch with us. That night Frank and Terre brought over dinner for those of us who could eat and lots of hugs and kisses for the one of us who couldn’t. Terre also gave love to our dogs, namely Abe who, at 160lbs still considers himself a lap dog.
Leslie and Oliver brought balloons over the next day, which made him very happy. And it’s been a non-stop “Let’s show Tariku how much we love him” since.
And boy do we!
I love him so, so much. So excited for him to get better sleep, and to breath better, etc, etc. But more excited that he’s my son. And what a darn good one he is!

Last Weekend

So I’ve been horrible at blogging. Many reasons why, but the biggest is probably just that we were busy. And when we weren’t busy I decided catching up on DVR sounded like more fun than blogging. So I gave myself that.

But it’s Monday now. President’s Day actually, so the kids are home from school. I’m trying to put off a house cleaning and a grocery store trip so blogging wins.

Last weekend (as in, not this one we just celebrated but the one before that) was laden with joy. Friday night my brother and sister-in-law took the kids overnight so Zach and I could have some QT together. We had so much fun going out to eat, lingering at different shops, hitting up one of our friends’ bands at a cool venue in town and then going home to an empty house. There was nothing earth shattering that happened, except we got so much uninterrupted time with each other, which is really all we needed.

Saturday night Leslie and Jake held a “Baby Rave” at their place complete with a fog machine and strobe lighting. What started out as a distraction for them (has it really been almost 3 years they’ve been waiting for Baby Klipsch?) ended up as a really fun night for adult and kid alike. We offered to take my brother and sister-in-law’s babe for them this night so she enjoyed her first rave as well. Turns out having a baby makes it a lot tougher to take pictures. Also turns out when a fog machine is added into the mix, most cameras don’t know what to focus on. Either way, was able to snap just a few.

Sunday I woke up to the smells of omelet making and coffee brewing. Then heard the kids entering the room carrying breakfast for mommy. Squeals of “Happy Valentines Day, mommy” greeted me.  Though a day early, it made me so completely happy.

Sunday night we met with our group of friends for dinner at the Bergers. Lasagna soup (amazing) and other homemade goods made my belly dance and the company made my eyes sparkle.

It was just one of those weekends that you wake up on Monday morning so deliriously happy you forget about the laundry that didn’t get done or the garbage that is overdue to be taken out. And Praise God for weekends like that.