We’re in a holding pattern on Dad news. The poor guy has been battling a respiratory thing since shortly after Christmas and due to the sad state of his post-chemo immune system, he’s not entirely past it. For this reason all of his lymph nodes are looking odd on PET, but it’s unclear whether that’s due to the fact that he’s trying to fight infection or that the cancer is recurring or some combination of all of it. His doctor has decided to scan again on February 5. I’m taking this as a good sign – apparently he’s in no rush. None of this really makes all that much sense to me, so I’m just holding on until February and thinking good thoughts. Oh, and I’m hanging out with these guys which does wonderful things for one’s outlook.
Rub a dub dub, three boys in the tub!
Do you recognize that face? It’s B from breaking into blossom! At the close of the year one of our favorite families came for a visit. I still can’t believe that we were able to make it work. It’s fabulous when the stars align and good things happen.
Meeting someone that you feel like you already know is a funny thing. In the moments before they arrived I got a bit jittery, but as soon I opened the door to their three smiling faces all of that went away. If you’re a breaking into blossom reader, I can tell you that B is every bit as precious as you think he is, and as you might expect his Mama and his Pomo are fabulous.
We spent our time playing with boys, feeding boys, and talking, talking, talking. It’s wonderful to live in a time in which it’s possible to establish relationships across so very many miles. And it’s even more wonderful to nurture and develop them.
So, yay for this community and three cheers for the internet. 😉
FAVORITE BIBLE VERSE
I’m broadening the scope here and including some of my favorite inspirational words. Once again, I can’t narrow it down to one.
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.
We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go
I am big on goal setting. I think it started with the 80’s Pizza Hut Book-It program. All I had to do was keep track of the books I read, write a little something about each one and not only did I get a shiny star sticker to add to bright purple Book-It badge, but I got a personal pan pizza all to myself. Brilliance! Nobody has ever had to feed me pizza to get me to read a book, but if somebody wants to buy me one, I’ll eat it. 🙂
If you are the goal setting type, you should check out this website. It’s called GoalForIt and it allows you to create to-do lists, goal setting charts and chore/behavior charts for kids. The designs are fairly clean and the site is very easy to use.
The big goals on my list include:
- Feeding my family whole, healthy foods. I have been migrating away from meat since 1994 when I first gave it up for Lent. Around the time Yogi was born I realized that the only reason I was still eating beef and chicken and pork was because I don’t like to complicate things for other people. How crazy is that?! So, now there is only seafood and fish in my life. As of the new year. Because I LOVE the taste of anything that swims and you can’t hug a fish. My wife enjoys her grass fed beef and we plan to make local meat a part of Yogi’s diet, so I look forward to seeing how all of this unfolds for our family.
- Prioritizing my relationship with my wife. The babysitter thing has been a challenge for us. At first it was hard for her and lately it’s been hard for me. In spite of this, we need to make time for each other. As a couple. I know how important it is and I know we have to make it work.
- Rewriting my NaNoWriMo novel. I wrote 50k words during the month of November last year. On Nov 30, I hit save and closed the file. This month I opened it up and started the process of creating the next draft. There’s lots of work to be done, not the least of which will be the addition of 30k words to get it up to a typical manuscript length, but I’m doing it. This baby is going all the way.
- Moving every day. My running shoes took an extended vacation when Yogi was born. Thanks to the dog, I kept walking but walking was all I was doing. About a month ago my BFF ran a 5k and inspired me to get back on the wagon. I’m following the 5K 101 podcast, running outside with the jogging stroller. So far, so good.
A PICTURE THAT YOU LOVE
Before I get to the challenge I have to break the big news. Yogi has teeth!!!! Plural. They aren’t really full blown teeth yet, but they’re still great. What they are are actually two white ridges in the bottom center of his gums. Hooray!
WHAT YOU BELIEVE
I’m a believer by nature. I love to believe; in people, in ideas, in whatever you got. If you’ve read The Life of Pi (Yann Martel) and remember this quote:
“I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently.”
I don’t want that at all. I want the story that surprises. I want the zoo animals and the ocean and the lifeboat and all of it. I want to live in a world where something like that is possible. This is something I have to watch out for. On every personality measure you can find I am dangerously low in skepticism. Lucky for me my wife has a black belt in skepticism. It’s one of the things I love about her and it certainly comes in handy.
So, let’s see. I believe:
- In a creative intelligence that sometimes I call God and sometimes I call the Universe
- Everything is connected to everything else
- Love changes forms, but never just ceases to be
- People are inherently good
- Like love, the soul is eternal
- Opening up is always better than closing off
- The space within the question is the most intimate space of all
- Depth is more fun than breadth
- Trusting someone when they show (rather than tell) you who they are is both a heart and a time saver
THINGS THAT SCARE YOU
- Something bad happening to Yogi. Almost anything bad makes the list, but I have a super scary Top 5.
- Traumatic brain injury. I had a student that suffered a SERIOUS TBI between her freshman and quite delayed sophomore year in college. She made it back to campus, but she was not even close to the same person. If I could make everyone I love wear a helmet all.the.time, I would do it.
- Childhood sexual abuse
- The dentist office. It’s not just the drill, it’s the whole building and everyone in it.
- Unexpected calls from the doctor/lab after a routine appointment
- The fact that my wife runs long distances alone
- The possibility that Diet Coke and/or spray butter really might kill me
FAVORITE TV SHOWS
- My So Called Life
- Six Feet Under
- Twin Peaks
- Oprah (Yes I have watched it since I was a kid and I refuse to be shamed)
- The Daily Show/Colbert Report
- Top Chef
During the summer of 2009 we spent 10 days honeymooning in the Pacific Northwest. Although our wedding had been nine months before, we waited patiently for summer and the timing was perfect. I was between summer school sessions and my wife had just taken her final Board exam. We flew into Seattle and played in the city a few days before making the trek to the Olympic National Park where we spent the bulk of the vacation playing outside and hiking. Olympic was a great pick as we were able to spend time in so many varied places from the mountains at Hurricane Ridge to the Hoh Rainforest to the lowland forest of Lake Crescent and the coast at La Push. I loved every second of it. We had wonderful conversation and yummy seafood and great wine. We headed back to Seattle for the last leg of the trip. On our final full day we ran a half-marathon together. My wife had been helping me train for months, but it was the first time I had ever raced that distance and it felt great to cross the finish with her beside me.
A PICTURE OF SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
I couldn’t settle on one thing, so I decided on a collage. The picture on the bottom left is not me or anyone I know, but it is someone in Half Moon pose. I LOVE hot yoga and particularly this pose and hope to get back into practice in the future. Right above that is a picture of my current obsession – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are obscenely good and I am including the recipe because I think everyone should have it. I think the rest is pretty self-explanatory. 🙂
- 2 cups flour (all-purpose or half whole-wheat/half all-purpose – all whole-wheat is too grainy)
- 1 1/3 cups oats (quick-cooking or rolled)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 tbl honey
- 1 cup mashed pumpkin
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbl ground flaxseeds
- 1 11.5oz pkg milk or dark chocolate chips
- Mix dry ingredients (flour through sugar) in a medium bowl.
- Mix wet ingredients (oil through flax) in a large bowl.
- Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients in 3 batches.
- Fold in chocolate chips
- Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper **Cookies will not spread, so feel free to put them an inch apart**
- Bake at 350 for 16 minutes
Yesterday Yogi and I spent the bulk of the day without power and huddled together in our basement, so I’m behind. Happily the sun is shining today and we don’t have any storm damage. Whew.
My parents met in March of 1975 and married eight months later. By the time I was born my Dad had decided to make the move from teaching Algebra at a local junior college to managing what was then called Personnel for a large furniture manufacturer. When he retired a few years ago he was doing the same work and calling it Human Resources. My Mom spent her entire career as a secretary for the same organization, which moved our family in 1982 to the suburbs of a major city. I grew up in suburbia.
My parents wanted a handful of kids but had only me. My Mom has a clotting disorder that requires her to take a medication that is unsafe for pregnant women and given her history of throwing clots right to her lungs even while medicated, the doctor urged my parents to consider adoption. They decided to take a gamble and get pregnant and she was able to make it through the entire pregnancy in good health, lucky for me. My parents and I were very much a threesome growing up and that has made our transition into my adulthood challenging. It has always been just us and although I certainly knew that I was loved, it has been hard for them to see me as separate from them. This is one of the reasons that I am eager for Yogi to have a sibling(s?). I would like for him to grow up in a world that is a little less adult than the one I grew up in.
My parents are both a bit shy, but while my Mom can chatter on endlessly once she’s warmed up, my Dad is fairly quiet and has to really have something to say before he joins a conversation. These days they are both retired. My Mom keeps busy with her small group of friends and Dad is working on his photography skills. They are head over heels for Yogi.