Mother’s Day Rawr…

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day & were able to spend time with your Littles or your Mamas or BOTH.

I had a very nice day with my 3 Dudes.  We took the Boys to get their pictures taken for Mother’s Day & for Ryan’s 3 Month Birthday.  The pictures turned out way too cute & both of the Smalls did great!!!  We did a little shopping @ Target, had lunch @ home & the Boys took naps.  Hub’s mom came over in the evening & Hubs made us chicken, corn on the cob & roasted potatoes for us.  My 4 year old made the salad & he was so proud.  Dinner was great & then Hubs & I gorged ourselves on ice cream after James went to bed.  Although he did come out & caught us red-handed!!!  He goes “Heyyyy……. What’s THAT?!”  So busted.

I was in bed last night thinking about my nice day & thought about my most interesting Mother’s Day so far.  2 Years ago Hubs, James & I went to New Orleans for my Birthday (May 6th) & Mother’s Day (May 9th, 2010).  The day before Mother’s Day we spent all day running around New Orleans.  We walked down Bourbon Street (in the day time before it gets TOO weird), went to the Aquarium, walked around & shopped @ the RiverWalk, walked all around the French Quarter & ended up @ the Hard Rock for dinner.  Everything was going great; we were laughing & having a good time & James was just happy as could be.  Until the SECOND the food came & the poor Kid puked his little guts up!!!  Our Waiter was AMAZING though & totally didn’t even skip a beat & started cleaning up the table & asked if we wanted him to box up our food so we could get James home to rest & if he needed some water in a to-go cup.  We got all cleaned up, put the Dude in his stroller & hoofed it back to our hotel.  James still wasn’t feeling well & puked well into the wee hours of the morning on Mother’s Day.  There I sat @ midnight on Mother’s Day, on the bathroom floor of our hotel, propped up with the cushions & pillows from the couch with a pukey Kid.  Happy Mother’s Day to me.  LOL!!!  I guess that’s what I get for procreating.

*KODI*

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Puzzle Pieces

A year ago today a Friend of mine took his own Life.  I wrote this a few days after he died & just wanted to share it with you.  ❤

“I’ve been thinking about Friends & Family a lot the last couple days after learning about the death of a good Friend of mine from my Childhood.

The people in our lives are like Puzzle Pieces.  Most of the people we encounter are like the Middle Pieces & help connect our Lives together.  May it be a Friend or just an Acquaintance or a Family Member you speak to occasionally.   There are some people though that are more like the Edge Pieces.  They are more important in the shaping of our lives.  People who we have confided in & shared our Lives with.  People who we love.  Even fewer still are the People I think of as Corner Pieces.  People who truly shaped us & really did help us become who we ARE.  Most of these people are our Parents & Siblings.  Some of these few Corner Pieces are Friends.  The People that were a major influence in what we became & who we turned into.  People that if it weren’t for them & something they did, we would not be able to say “I am Me.”

I can honestly say that Dustan Wilson was one of my Corner Pieces.  There is so much of who I am today that stems from the Friendship I had with him in Middle & High School.  I’m lucky to have had him as a Corner Piece as he helped me grasp the idea of being ME & not conforming to what “They” think I should be.  He helped me become an Individual.  Thank you Dustan.  You were an amazing Friend.  ♥

Most of you are my Middle Pieces, several are my Edge Pieces & a handful of you are my Corner Pieces.  Regardless of what Piece of my Puzzle of Life you are, without You, I am not Me.

*KODI*”

Mother’s Day

I always knew that I wanted to be a mom. I was the little girl who pretended to breast feed her dolls and change their diapers, and I grew up to be the teenager who spent most weekends babysitting. In my mind there was no scenario in which I wouldn’t be a mom. After my husband and I graduated college and started our careers, we decided we wanted to get pregnant. I was so excited and ready. Dreams of my big belly, baby showers, and days spent raising tiny people had me giddy.

And so we tried. Weeks turned into months and months turned into years. Every single month there was another negative test. I just didn’t understand why we couldn’t get pregnant. We did everything we could think of to make sure we weren’t hurting our chances. Every now and then thoughts of infertility would creep into my head, and I would push them away. “Not me,” I thought. I was supposed to be a mom. I watched people around me get pregnant and become moms, and I so desperately wanted to join them.

After 3 years of not getting pregnant, I finally decided to see an OB/GYN. They ran some blood tests, and I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The doctor told me that I would not get pregnant on my own and that I would need interventions such as fertility drugs and IVF if I wanted to start a family. His suggestion was that I go on contraceptives until I was ready to accept fertility treatments. I asked him if there was anything I could do to treat my PCOS. He said that there wasn’t.

I went home that day and cried until my eyes swelled shut. How was this possible? I was supposed to be a mom! I was angry at my body, angry at the doctor… angry at everything. I went on birth control, and resigned myself to being “broken.” I felt like a piece of my womanhood was gone. My husband gingerly explained to family what had happened, and it became the elephant in the room. Well-intentioned people gave me advice like “Just don’t try so hard, don’t stress about it, and it will happen.” At a friend’s baby shower I was discussing our newly adopted dog and was told “I’ve always noticed that women who can’t have children have a lot of dogs!” by another oblivious friend.

At some point my heart began to change. The bitterness and anger started to give way to a sort of peace. I was going to be a mom, and perhaps the universe just intended that my children wouldn’t be ones I birthed. My husband and I started to talk adoption, but part of me wanted to give it one last try. I decided that maybe that first doctor wasn’t entirely correct. And so I researched, read, and dug for any bit of info I could find on PCOS. At first all the information I found agreed with the doctor’s information. But then I started to find a community of women who were using natural means to heal their PCOS. I figured it was a long stretch, but I dove in.

I got rid of every chemical cleaner we owned and replaced them with things like vinegar, tea tree oil, and castile soap. I detoxified my personal products- deodorant, soap, shampoo, makeup; all of it replaced with less toxic options. Finally I detoxified my diet. I did a cleanse followed by 6 weeks of eating a raw food diet. I felt amazing. I was happier and healthier, and I lost 15 pounds.

One morning 3 months after I started my mission, I woke up with an instinct prodding me. I took a pregnancy test, and for the first time in 5 years, it was positive. I stared at it. I read the entire insert from the package 3 times looking for all the false positive scenarios. I didn’t say anything to my husband because I couldn’t stand the thought of getting his hopes up if I was wrong. I went to the store and bought 3 more tests of all different brands, and they all came out positive. That evening I asked Randy to come into our room, and I showed him the positive test. He stared at it, stared at me, and then started to cry.

 
What followed was a healthy pregnancy resulting in the birth of my son, Dylan, under the care of the beautiful women at Mat-Su Midwifery. I was finally a mom. Even saying that now, my eyes well up with tears. Our youngest son, Everett, joined our family 2 ½ years later… a “surprise” pregnancy, which still causes me to smile. And now I have my 2 crazy, beautiful, amazing children to keep my days full of adventures.
On Mother’s Day I count my blessings and appreciate the journey that brought me my boys. I am grateful for the warrior spirit that emerged and made me fight harder and dig deeper when I was told not to bother. It also reminds of the spark in my heart to adopt a child, because somewhere out there is a child who is meant to be part of our family even though they weren’t born into it.

Whether you be pregnant, holding your baby, adopting into your family, or remembering a sweet angel baby, Happy Mother’s Day.

#Erin

rowing meditation

photography Aaron Ostrowsky (c)

You see your breath puff in clouds out in front of you with each surge in and out of your lungs as you feel the heavy weight of the boat resting on your right shoulder, your oars dangling from your left hand. Walking down to the dock in step with your boat-mate, all four footsteps echoing off the trees lining the path. Reaching the dock, it’s time to set the oars down with a short squat to reach the ground. In synchronicity you lift the boat off all shoulders and roll it over, upright and ready for the water. Stepping lightly to the edge of the dock, with a light plunk, the boat is in the water, ready to move. Gingerly climbing into the boat is done once, then twice. The oar locks click and wobble as oars are locked into them, the locks twisted and tightened down. Feet in place, oars in place, it’s time to shove off. A few half strokes to pull away from the dock and then it’s just the rower, the boat and the water.

    …

It is so early, the birds are just waking up. Just the early birds are chattering and tweeting their good mornings. Listening to the oars move through the water provides a symphony of synchronized sounds. First the oar raises from the water leaving behind a wet towel of dripping water to be wrung out as the oar moves forward. Simultaneously the seat glides and  creaks its way back, providing the pathway that moves the boat forward. With legs crouched, ready to pounce, the oar suddenly drops. Hold still for a moment and you can see the micro-ripples run from the oar like an atomic cloud overtaking area 51. Within an instant your legs rip into action, pushing your body back up the slide until there’s no more slide to go. Your arms lock into place on the oar, pulling it with you as your upper body leans back, eking out every last inch of length. Leaning back as far as you can, it’s time to end the stroke. Your arms go down, the oar goes up and as you drift forward, the ripples become wings to your ride. To keep moving forward, the rhythm must be repeated. Repeated into monotony. Repeated into meditation. Splash. Click. Slide. Splash. Pull!. Lift. Slide. Repeat. and repeat. Until you find serenity.

There is something magical about sitting just inches above the water, gliding across a glassy lake when most of the world is quiet. That anxious, rat race energy which invades your body and mind by the end of the day is still hovering over another economy. There is only your energy, and that of your boat-mates to contend with- still a fight on its own. It’s after the warm-up that you find the peace. Just like music, you need a good rhythm. A steady rhythm to keep the forward momentum without conscious effort. In those moments where your brain is off, your body is on and the water is glassy, that is where I find my serenity.

photography Aaron Ostrowsky (c)

In my serenity, I take comfort in the ripples. Those small waves that result from even just a drop of water hitting the early morning surface. The ripples resonate across the lake. They move farther than you thought they would or could, for being caused by such a small drop. Yet there is power in the subtlety. There is rawr in that potential. So much change effected in that little ripple from that little drop falling on the glassy water.

-Marie

May the Fourth be with you!

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