On The Eve Before Kindergarten

From that second you slipped into this world and immediately grabbed my finger tightly with your tiny perfect fingers, I've wondered what this day would look like. I've thought about where we would be in our lives, what incredible teacher would find their way into your world, your favorite things you would have discovered about this earth, and the quirks that would have imprinted their marks on our days together; these five and a half years of being your momma bear. These days with you are precious to me beyond measure.

And yes, there were times I might have doubted if we would be here together. Things can be so unpredictable and no one really knew how my body would handle pregnancy with you, on top of everything else. The past version of myself lacked faith in my health and my own strength. Perhaps not so much doubted if I would still be here with you, but played that wicked what if game that is oh so dangerous in the depths of the heart of a momma. However, the fact remains that your love has been the best healer there could ever be. I believe your amazing soul is just as potently powerful as modern medicine.

From that extreme, I have gone far to the other end, speculating if you would be a big sister by now, by some unexpected avenue. While this isn't the fact right now, and I am the first to admit I have no idea what the future holds for our family in that aspect, it is okay that we are somewhere in the middle of these two vast circumstances. More than okay really, because the place where we actually are is an extremely beautiful one.

Right now my dear? Oh honey, right now we have three crazy cats in our family, you love to sing, your bike makes you so happy, you are a fabulous friend to many, your creative brain astounds me, you are more passionate than most, and you are healthy. Busy, inquisitive, kind and brave. Every single day you wow me with your take on things. Your endless questions and thirst for knowledge remind me that we should never stop learning or inquiring. And that love is always the solution to the problem.

I hope I have shown you how to find magic in whatever comes you way, and that you remember fairytales are true because dragons actually can be defeated. The three of us have already defeated so many together.

Look Outside Of Yourself

It can be so easy to fall into the trap of getting lost in your own worries in your own story that you are living out, every single day. Lately I've felt a lot of worry on my shoulders, and when I get caught up in my own world, it can be a dangerous place where I lose my perspective too much. I don't like it. Honestly, is there anyone that does?

I feel like at the ripe old age of 31 (well alright, 32 next week!) I'm coming to a place where I recognize you can be grateful and you can still have obstacles that wear on you. It isn't an either or type of thing. Is this a revolutionary notion? Not exactly, but when you give yourself permission to feel all of your feelings, even the ones that conflict with each other? That is where big changes start to brew and real growth has the chance to come to fruition.

A few nights ago I could feel every single emotion of the past few weeks bubbling to the surface. It was around 6 p.m. and my to do list was still a million miles long while my house really did resemble the middle of a Jumanji game I was not winning. (Loved that meme, by the way.) There were other things weighing me down and I felt like it was all simply too much.

I stopped. I put on the John Mellencamp song, Save Some Time To Dream. I took some deep breaths. I stood in the middle of my life and I said thank you. I kneeled down to my daughter's level; my darling daughter full of mischief and wonder. I played with her. (She is pretending to be asleep in the photo above.) We went through baby clothes to send to a dear friend with Cystinosis who is expecting twins in the fall (!!!) I helped another friend with Cystiosis create a page on Facebook to further assist her search for a new kidney. She is in desperate need of a third transplant. The thing is, you always have something to offer someone else, even when you're feeling a complete mess yourself. And it isn't about doing things for others because it makes YOU feel better, it is so much more than that. Take some time to sit outside of your own mess and give where you can. You will be amazed at how a light inside of you will spark with the magic of doing something for someone else. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture either. Simple things to let someone else know, hey, I see you. You matter. You are enough. I have found that it often sheds a new perspective on my current obstacles, and when I come back to them all, I am reenergized and armed with a fresh approach.

Hello August

Joining up with Lisa Leonard again this week for the Hello Monday blog prompt! I love this series and the bold inspiration behind beginning each week with crisp motivation and hope.

Hello Monday, hello August, hello rainy morning with Nina Simone crooning into my bones.

Hello pasta salad with fresh veggies. One of my favorite things to throw together in the summer! I've been making it a lot lately.

Hello date night at home last week when we finally watched Wild. I was a bit disappointed in the movie because I simply fell in love with the book so much. I felt like we were pausing it every ten minutes or so in order for me to explain to Rory what was happening. He didn't read the book and it seemed like they made the movie for those who had already read the book. Who knows! I still love Reese though!

Hello Disneyland daydreams. This photo is from our trip in February when we went for a little belated 5th birthday adventure for Sookie. My cousin is there right now and I've been texting her a few times a day with different food recommendations, drooling in jealousy. Ha! I could eat a Disneyland churro every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of them!

Hello sweetest kitten in the land. If you follow me on instagram you've seen Lucy around lots lately. She is so curious and quiet, yet reaching that playful stage that is so fun. She is definitely bringing some much needed sunshine and giggles around here. She has been such a fun surprise!

Hello to loving the new Alicia Keys single, 28 Thousand Days. There is nothing like fresh motivation from music! I'm still a little thrown off that new music release day is Friday.

Hello mountain adventures with family last week. Delicious onion rings, a gorgeous hike around the lake, and giggles erupting from Miss S as she chased my cousins dog around. Nature has this heavy way of letting you know everything is going to be okay, no matter what happens from here on out.

Hello super productive morning! In the few hours Sookie was preschool today, I went grocery shopping, wrote this blog post, indulged in a good workout, made pasta salad, did a load of laundry, and managed to get 4 doses of eyedrops in.

Boom. Monday, I'm coming for you!

The Fairy Forest Of Utah

Some of my favorite days ever are simple ones spent in the mountains of Utah with my little family by my side. Our family adventure days are precious because I look forward to losing myself in nature while my worries seemingly float away for the day, or for the afternoon at least. ;)

Last year was when I first heard about the fairy forest up in the Uintahs. There is nothing like it and something you need to experience to truly appreciate it! It will forever be included as a must do on our summer bucket list!

Do get there, use the directions found HERE.

1. Head to Kamas, and get on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.

2. Look for mile marker 17. There is a little parking lot on the side of the road.

3. Look toward the forest, there will be a path on your right. Walk down that path.

4. You will come to the campground. Cut through the campground and continue on the path.

5. When you come to the dry creek bed, cross it. Be careful because some of the rocks may be loose and there may be a little bit of water as well.

6. After crossing the creek bed, walk up the hill. When you step over a log, take about 5-10 more steps, then head down to your right. You will see the Fairy Forest there.

On a random note: Sookie has decided rain boots are perfect for our mountain, fishing, exploring days. Bonus? They were perfect for walking across the river to the fairies. :)

I have to admit, I cry every time we go. The wonder in Sookie's eyes is priceless. The memorials make my heart catch in midair and inspire me to craft something for my sister. I think it is simply a special place to enjoy with people who are dear to you.

I love that there is no sign on the side of the road to alert you that you are there. That there is no official entrance. Once you cross the river, you simply find yourself in a place that evokes laughter and whimsy. What is better than that, really?

Be safe and have fun when you go! If you've been this year, what were your favorite parts?

Summer Reading

Ah, summer. All I want to do is play with our girl, write, sip Dirty Diet Cokes, and read!

I've said this before, but words are my drug. Books and music are my preferred methods of indulgence.  I don't know if there is anything better than losing yourself in a book. I am grateful for other people crafting their stories to further fuel me in my own. Inspiration is everywhere and I never know what type of book will motivate me next, or give me a fresh perspective on an old obstacle.

Here is a stack I'm working my way through on these long and hot days.

Kayla Aimee - Anchored
I've followed Kayla and Scarlette's story since the very beginning. I don't know her personally, but I am unbelievably proud that she was able to take such a tumultuous time in their lives and turn it into such an uplifting tale of finding hope even in the most hopeless of days.

Jessica Turner - The Fringe Hours
I've been wanting to read this since it was first released. As a woman, and a mother, I often feel tremendous stress in aiming for balance in all aspects of my life. I've heard such excellent things about this book and I can't wait to implement Jessica's tips!

John Green - Paper Towns
What can I say? Last summer I sat in a theater and cried with my best friend while watching Fault In Our Stars. I saw the Paper Towns preview and was instantly intrigued again. And again, made the mental note to read the book before I see the movie.

Alice Hoffman - The Red Garden
Alice is one of my favorite authors. While I'm waiting not so patiently for her next book, The Marriage Of Opposites, to come out, I'm re-reading her other creations. When I'm attempting to describe her style to people, most of the time I end up saying "She writes fairytales for adults."

Jodi Picoult - The Storyteller
Piccolo and Hoffman both rule my world. I'm always in awe of how Jodi can present a plot where you think you know what you want to happen, but it ends up a completely different way that what you ever envisioned. I admire the research she puts into her storylines and her characters come alive, they are so real.

What are you reading this summer? What is on your list?