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Showing posts from March, 2014

Mended Book Review and Giveaway

I like memoirs. There's something about reading other people's stories that makes me feel like we're all in this crazy life together.

So when Anna White offered me the opportunity to review an early copy of her new memoir Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faith, I was excited.

It didn't take long for me to settle in with my Kindle and a blanket and soak up her stories.

In her first essay "Mended" Anna invited me right in with a few simple words: "I am enough. And so are you."

It's a notion that takes some of us a long time to realize and there, in the first few pages of the book, was a gentle reminder.

Later in "Worn" it was these words that caught my attention:
I write about the same things over and over again. Death. Uncertainty. Fear. Faith. The hard and fierce goodness of life.
"The hard fierce goodness of life"- I love that. And aren't those big, recurring topics for many of us? Death, uncertainty, fear, and fait…

Flecks #18

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.

I've been in a bit of a funk for the last few days, but I'm feeling much lighter today- happier and maybe even a little bit badass. I'm ready once again to take on the world.

Little lows happen all the time and they help us appreciate the little everyday highs. As has become a little tradition here at Live Wonderstruck, I'm reflecting on the week with all its little highs and lows. (Hint: See that little sleeping angel at the top of this post? He's one of my highs.)

Here we go...
Things I learned this week:

There are certain days I shouldn't attempt life analysis, big dreams, or make any major decisions. If I'm in a funk, I need to be okay with all of the not knowing and divert my attention to NOT swirling myself into confusion and despair. Despair! (Is it just me or do you envision the Pit of Despair from The Princess Bride when you hear that word?)
When I'm in a funk, finding j…

Clearing the Gunk from our Dreams

Lately I've been getting clearer about my dreams. It seems like it should be easy enough, but there's a lot of gunk to get through. Gunk that comes in many forms- preconceived notions, limited thinking, "rules," not knowing what's possible, worrying about how to make money, staying within what is "acceptable," and not knowing what I don't know, to name a few.

I've struggled for a long time with figuring out what I wanted to do. It's been a question since high school when I needed to plan for college. Part of my problem was having a limited view of what was possible. I was choosing options from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, skills assessments, personality tests, and the jobs I knew of from adults in my life.

I'm not very good at thinking outside the box and I had plenty of "no, I don't want to do that" notions and some "hmmm... maybe that if I learned more," but no "Yes! That's the thing! That's wha…

Flecks #17

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.
Things I learned this week:

I learned more about the kind of work I do and don't want to do. Hooray for clarity!
I did not learn how to make bread. I followed a basic recipe that seemed simple enough, but it didn't rise. I used "active dry" which is all I found at my grocery store. I'm guessing that's not the same as "instant" which is what the recipe called for.  So all of that uber-dense bread went into the garbage. So sad.


Things I'm celebrating this week:

Receiving a kind message out of the blue from a childhood friend.
Clarifying my intentions.
Changing my mood on a tough day.
Healing.
Completing a project.
Next steps.
Getting the ducks out for a swim!


Things that are resonating with me this week:
Allowing Dreams by Susannah Conway in which she says...
My part of the deal is to work hard, be committed and have a little faith. And to make room in my life for the good stuff to…

Gratuitous Duck Photos: First Swim of Year

It's been a while since we've had a duck update here. What with it being winter and all, there hasn't been much to show.

However, the last two days were quite nice and warm, so I thought I'd fill up the kiddie pool and let Squackers and Buttons go for a swim- their first of the season. (Well, technically their second because they escaped on a really cold day and stood on top of the ice that filled the pool, lapping up the water at the edges.)

As always, they reveled in their swim time, fluffing their feathers...



...primping and preening and cleaning...



...shaking their tail feathers and all their other feathers, too.



Yep, they had a good time.



It's back to cold weather and strong winds today. I sure can't wait for more spring frolicky ducky days.

P.S. If you aren't familiar with Squackers and Buttons, you may want to read about that fateful day last year when my husband and I randomly bought ducks on a Friday night.

Rough Day? Do the Opposite

It was one of those days. You know the kind. I was grumbly, the toddler was whiny, and there were a million things to do. Nothing seriously wrong, just everything a little off. That kind of day.

By the time the teenager came home from school, I was full-on cranky. I knew that I was prepared to snap at any little upset, so I worked hard to keep my mouth shut.

On our way to the orthodontist, the teenager took over the radio. He changed the station and turned it up, I turned it back down. I was in no mood for loud music. I just wanted quiet.

But then a weird thing happened, I came into awareness. I recognized that I was in a bad mood and that there was no reason to be cranky toward my teen.

In that moment, I made a conscious effort to change the way I felt (or at least fake it as best I could). I did the opposite of what I thought I wanted in that moment. I said to my teen, "You know what? You're right. We could use some good music," and I turned the radio back up. Then we car …