Which Way?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Life, Life Lessons | Posted on 27-02-2017

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I went snowshoeing with my buddies. And for some reason, I didn’t really care where we were going.

Here we were at the base of a mountain, in search of a lake. We snowshoed single file talking all the while, stopping for water, for a Caveman bar snack, for a laugh break. The leader of our pack had the trail map. I was last in line, bobbling along without the need to navigate.

Instead, I focused on the patterns in the snow, the crispness of the air, the snow-laden trees, the crunching of my snowshoes, the sweat building up under my armpits.

We came to a map in the path. There was no “you are here” marked. We had little idea where we were. Where was the lake? Who knows? Onward we went, until we came to a snow globe-like mountain. We were surrounded with snow drifts and trees and magic.

We never did find the lake. But we found beauty and peace and laughter.

In life, we don’t always know what will happen next or which path we should take. Right now, I am at a crossroads in my life. With my children growing up. With my job.

Which way will I go? I’m not sure. For now, I’m doing my best to enjoy the journey.

Which way? #snow #winter #nature #snowshoeing #life #decisions

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It was like being in a snow globe! #snow #winter #nature #snowshoeing

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I Once Was Blind

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Life, Life Lessons, Metaphor | Posted on 04-10-2016

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I once was blind, but now I see.

Or so I thought.

A few years ago, my eyesight was going. Each day my vision was getting blurrier. My eyes stung.

I squinted and Googled my symptoms. Sure enough, I was going blind.

I had to wait three days for my eye appointment. Those three days were agony. I’m going to miss my children’s beautiful faces. I’m going to miss watching them grow. I’m going to miss my husband’s reassuring smile. I’m going to miss the flowers that I love to photograph. How will I see the world? How will I watch movies? How will I drive? How will I experience all of the color and sights and richness of life?

My depression and worry and self-pity mounted with each passing minute. I wept.

Turns out, it a bad batch of eye drops I had been using. After some tests, the doctor reassured me that my eyes were temporarily burned and my eyesight was 20/20 (thanks to Lasik surgery awhile back). After flushing out with good eyedrops, I’d be as good as new.

The next day was Thanksgiving. No joke. And, oh, how thankful I was.

Sight! My children! My husband! Flowers! The world! Movies! Independence! The richness of life!

This is one of my favorite memes: I opened two gifts this morning. They were my eyes.

When I think back to “losing my eyesight,” I am reminded (once again) about gratitude. What prompted me to write this was seeing a blind woman with her cane the other day, while on my run. She was stumbling up the steep hill, navigating the cracks in the sidewalk and the bumps of the curbs. Meanwhile, I was across the street, running downhill. In sharp contrast, I have it so easy.

I paused to see how she was doing. From what I saw, she had amazing perspective. She was outside walking, taking in the morning’s briskness, crunching on the fall leaves, bundled in her hoodie, for goodness sake! Was that a faint smile on her face as she took it all in?

Watching her (staring, actually), I stumbled a bit. Maybe because I was in awe of her calmness and her strength. She seemed to have a good handle on her path, her life. That blind woman opened my eyes. To gratitude. To grace. To strength. To awesomeness.

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Mud Girls

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Attitude, Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Confidence, Connections, Encouragement, Exercise, Family, Life, Life Lessons, Metaphor, Motherhood, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Relationships | Posted on 13-09-2016

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I can’t think of a better way to kick off Mother’s Day weekend than to run a 5K Survivor Run with my daughter, navigating obstacles, slipping and sloshing through the mud, having a blast, and learning a thing or two about life lessons.

This race–complete with obstacles, mud, exertion, and fun–is a perfect metaphor for life.

You put yourself out there. You try your best. You face obstacles and overcome them. You find support. You laugh. You get dirty. You find your strength. You fall and you get back up. You learn independence. You are reminded that you can do it. You have fun. You are empowered.

What better lessons for a mother to bestow upon her young teenager?

It was not the medal at the end that made me so happy. It was the journey through the race, together. Through the ups and downs. (Up dirt hills and down into mud puddles!)

That Saturday, we were Mud Girls. In my heart, we are forever Mud Girls. Also known as Survivors.

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The Ferret

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Humor | Posted on 07-06-2016

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What is 20 inches long, domesticated, brown, and weighs about 1.5-4 lbs.?

A ferret? Yes!

The clump of hair from the shower drain I unclogged? Yes!

Writing about hair clumps in the shower drain has become “a thing.” I have written about hair clumps twice before. Once, I wrote a poem about the new pet (ha!) that was the size of a hamster. Then, I wrote about an even bigger clump I named Hairy.

Guess it’s been eight months since I last cleaned out the drain, because this time, the hair clump was the length of a ferret. From its head to its tail. Ew!

Fortunately, we come from a strong lineage of thick and ever-abundant hair. Stay tuned for the drain reveal at Christmas! Pass the shampoo…

3 generations! ??????

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Let That Shit Go

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Attitude, Emotions, Encouragement, Exercise, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 03-05-2016

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I have a great and full life. I am grateful (greatfull).

But often, I am overwhelmed. How do I make time for family, work, fun, chores, exercise, “me time,” and rest? How do I find balance?

“The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.”
-Unknown

Um, I think I’ve lost it. It’s fine time I lower some of those pesky high expectations.

Some days I’ll work long hours and kick ass at work. Then my mothering skills fall behind. And I feel guilty.

Some days, I’ll spend amazing time with my children, then my work projects fall behind. And I work late at night to catch up.

Some days, I prioritize working out then I have no time to cook. And we make scrambled eggs for dinner. We go through a lot of eggs.

Some days, I’ll spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking then I run out of time to exercise. And no one likes to be around me when I don’t get my run in.

Some days, I’ll put everything on hold in order to play for the afternoon. And work projects hit the fan.

Some days, I’ll get so many chores done. And then I resent that I spent my precious time doing chores.

Balance is certainly not about perfection and high expectations. Nor is about having everything in balance. (I picture a teeter totter.) Balance is about acceptance. Accepting that things will be askew and being OK with that. Accepting that unbalance is OK. Accepting that everything is in flux. And to be OK with that. Accepting that sometimes good enough, is good enough.

“I must remember to forgive myself. Because there is a lot of grey to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.”
-Libba Bray, author

“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”
-Alain de Botton, philospher

And my favorite quote about trying to meet high expectations:

“Let that shit go.” #letthatshitgo
-hundreds of people on Instagram

Always balancing. #life #metaphor #balance

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Body After Baby

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Babies, Childrearing, Children, Life, Mother, Weight | Posted on 29-01-2014

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Hey Hollywood moms! It took you three whole months to lose that weight you gained while pregnant?!

It has taken me 176 months (that’s 14 years + 8 months) to lose the weight I gained while pregnant with my first son, then my daughter, then my second son. Because life sorta happened. 

Where is my magazine headline?!

It’s a good thing I’m not under scrutiny like Hollywood moms, who are measured by the size of their jeans and the collagen in their lips. Whew!

But maybe I am. My own self-scrutiny. Yeah sure, I want to look good in jeans. Who doesn’t? And I always have lipstick handy. Because my lips don’t have collagen and they sorta need some color.

There’s kinda more to life than the scale, don’tcha think?

In life, I strive to be joyful and optimistic, to support my children with love, to be kind and to teach my children to be kind, to pursue my passions and to encourage them to follow theirs, to use my brain and to prioritize education for my children, to be active and healthy, to communicate, to celebrate, to be independently minded, to do fun things like hike and bake and camp and roller skate, to make the most out of today.

And maybe, with all that roller skating and hiking and living, the smaller jeans will fit one day. 🙂

Me and my son…when he wasn't 6' 2".

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Pippi!

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Not Busy as a Bee

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Happiness, Life, Nature | Posted on 26-07-2013

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“How have you been?”

“I’ve been SO busy.”

I didn’t ask you how busy you’ve been. But thanks for telling me. Yawn.

The other day, I wasn’t busy. Instead, I wandered my backyard with my camera. I took in the Summer colors, smells, and sounds: purple, lavender, buzzing.

I sat down to observe the bees busily humming. Like I was Jane Goodall or something. (But with bees, not gorillas.) It was nice not to be busy as a bee.

So, the next time someone asks me, “how have you been?”

“I’ve been enjoying Summer.”

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The Good Old Days

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Life, Life Lessons, Love, Memories, Mother, Mothering, Parenting, Relationships, Time | Posted on 24-06-2013

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“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

-Andy, The Office finale

I always hear about the good old days being so long ago. Like when my Grandpa could buy a bag of lemon drops for a nickel. Are the good old days gone? No way!

Reflecting on my good old days…

  • Was it my childhood? Three Flies Up with neighborhood buddies. Lightning bugs on humid Summer nights. Baking chocolate chip cookies with my Grandma.
  • Was it my teenager years? Hanging with friends. Scouting out cute guys. Touring Europe with my mother.
  • Was it early marriage? Movie nights mid-week. Road trips without destinations. Co-ed softball games and pizza.
  • Is it now? Raising children. Cheering them on soccer, football, and basketball. Family Monopoly games until the wee hours.

Whaddya know. I’ve been living the good old days all along,

How about you?

good old days

American Gothic

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Love, Marriage, Memories, Parenting, Romance | Posted on 05-06-2013

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Today is my 20th wedding anniversary. Whoa!

When we vacationed in Hawaii recently, there was a little wedding chapel on the hotel premises. I chided my husband, “We should totally renew our vows!” He answered with, “I didn’t know our vows needed renewing.”

What a guy!

I thought it would be funny to take a picture of the two of us and morph it into the American Gothic painting. You know the Americana one with the farmer and his wife? They look a little weathered from work, domesticity, and life. I have to admit, sometimes after a long week and what not, we do kinda look like this! Work is draining. And domesticity gets a little much.

However. When we take a step back–like you do when examining an incredible piece of artwork–we are grateful for and blessed with the love, friendship, happiness, fun, and family that we have created in our 7,300 days of marriage. Whoa!

american-gothic-large4

Threads of Life

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Family, Health, Life, Parenting | Posted on 29-03-2013

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My grandmothers and great-grandmothers were quilters. I’m a fan. The colors. The craftsmanship. The history. The metaphor: the quilt representing life. Especially the crazy quilt. I read that while many quilts have a repeating pattern, the beauty of a crazy quilt lies in its differences. Remember the movie How to Make an American Quilt?

My youngest son had eye surgery two weeks ago. He had a lump on his eyelid that needed to be removed. Worried parents. Anesthesia. Hospital gown. IV. He was wheeled away down the long hospital hallway. Brave boy. I couldn’t hold back the tears.

An hour later, he  emerged from surgery, that brave boy of mine. With a patch on his eye, he looked small, but relieved. Three new stitches in his eyelid.

surgery

Two days of recovery at home. Then, back to school. Back to tumbling class. Back to normal life. Two weeks later, the stitches came out.

And we now have another block to sew into our quilt of life. Just with three less stitches.

crazyquilt

I spotted this beauty of a quilt here: http://www.nebraskahistory.org/sites/mnh/crazy_quilts/