Monday, March 7, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

Some days, you get lots of taps on the shoulder. You get lots of nudges, bordering on shoves. You see how beautiful your life is. You see how the ugly and hard mixes in and makes it, somehow, even more beautiful. You see where the stops and starts were, and how you obsessed and over-analyzed them; you can seem them marbled in the foundation like they were part of the plan all along. Which of course they were.

And perhaps it's moments of clarity, or finally getting over yourself and seeing that it's all layed out it front of you, every single day, and the only thing really getting in the way is you and your head. Notions, ideas, criticism; they all are flies in the ointment.

It was one of those days for me today. I was able to see it right in front of me: my daughters have their hands in mine with peanut butter stuck in the cracks of their perfect mouths, some of my oldest and dearest friends are jumping into the next part of their lives with wide-open hearts (and fear in their back pockets), my father is out of the hospital, my husband is installing a second bathroom (what!), and the sun is out on Cape Cod.

So tomorrow I'll try my best to remember how it looks and feels, with sand in my hair and little girls who can't imagine that life could get any better. Well, ice cream. Ice cream would make it better. But that's about it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gluten Free Partaaaay

I took my oldest daughter to a party this Sunday for kids who have Celiac Disease. We haven't been to many events, but I think she's old enough to enjoy herself and I wanted her to meet other kids who have Celiac as well.

I think, because it's such a part of how we live our lives, that I forget. I forget the fear and the panic when she was first sick, and we had no idea what it was. I forget about the week at Children's and her rapid weight loss and her bony body in the tub. I want to forget hearing the word 'mass' from the emergency room physician, forever. But on Sunday I remembered, because there were new parents there. You could tell they were new because of the panic in their eyes. Shoving by to get samples or to check a box or a new bread loaf. A nervous energy rippled throughout the event. They checked boxes feverishly, even though everything there was completely gluten free. They double checked with vendors. 'Are you sure?' They packed their totes with boxes upon boxes of gluten free stuff as if they'd never see it again. Their fear was fresh for them, like it was for us 3 years ago.

And I felt it too, with my daughter. She kept asking, "Mommy, can I have that?"

And I said, "Yes!".

But she kept asking. Because she knows she has to. Because we've trained her to.

And finally, I said something I've NEVER said to her before. "Samantha. You can have anything you want." And I filled up then, because it felt so wonderful to say it to her. And to know that she could, and she wouldn't get sick. No emergency room visits. No IV's and nurses holding her down to draw vial after vial of blood. No sore belly the next day from all night of wretching.

Nope, none of that would happen today. Just crumbs and buttercream frosting and sprinkles. Just a warm hand in mine, pulling me to another table of goodies. Just a smile that came from her toes. Just a really, really, really happy four year old girl.

Please see some of these links for fantastic gluten (and many other allergen) free foods:

 This features egg and tree-nut free foods as well. Delicious!

And, on Facebook, many of these companies have pages to 'Like'.

Please also check out the Children's Hospital Celiac Support Group on Facebook for great companies, recipes, and promotions.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


For the early mornings and the tiptoe behind me when I rise to make my first cup.

For the beard my husband is keeping trimmed because he knows I like it. Grrrr. And because he's just wonderful and fantastic. And cute. And has a great bum.

For the pool at the Y and the people in it who make me smile every week.

For my strong body.

For my parents. For my parents. For my parents.

For friends who love me and my loud-ish ways. Maybe because of my loud-ish ways!

For the paycheck that lets me be in my head and reminds me of all the work I did to get here.

For school and the learning. I do love me some learning.

For old and new friendships. Like a bucket o' treasure I found in my backyard.

And for my own mat. Just big enough for me and my three.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Geneen Roth, "Women, Food and God"

"Diets are the outpicturing of your belief that you have to atone for being yourself to be worthy of existing. They are not the source of this belief, they are only one expression of it. Until the belief is understood and questioned, no amount of weight loss will touch the part of you that is convinced it is damaged. A lifetime of suffering with food will fit right in with the definition you've formed about being alive. It will make sense to you that hatred leads to love and that torture leads to peace because you will be operating on the conviction that you must starve or deprive or punish the badness out of you. You won't keep extra weight off because being at your natural weight does not match your convictions about the way life unfolds. But once the belief and the subsequent decisions are questioned, diets and being uncomfortable in your body lose their seductive allure. Only kindness makes sense. Anything else is excruciating."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Yeah. What He Said.

"People are itchy and lost and bored and quick to jump at any fix. Why is there such a vast self-help industry in this country? Why do all these selves need help? They have been deprived of something by our psychological culture. They have been deprived of the sense that there is something else in life, some purpose that has come with them into the world."

James Hillman, "From Little Acorns: A Radical New Psychology"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Get in the Friggin' Moment Already!

This is how I generally feel about the concept of meditation or the Zen-like experience I keep thinking I have to have to really appreciate my life. I'm just not a Zen-er. I like me some compost, and I love growing my own food. I'm all about organic milk, and I think waiting in line makes me a better person. I'm all about the big picture. But I usually just want to get on with it already.

So, although I thought I got the whole 'being in the moment' stuff, I couldn't ever really practice it when it was important. I'm cool when my luggage gets lost. I'm alright when my dinner is wrong at the restaurant. None of this stuff unnerves me. But the idea of just sitting and being....of being fully present and feeling what I'm supposed to feel without rushing to get on to the next thing? No dice.

Perhaps this is why I fought doing yoga for so long. Stretch? For an hour? And focus on my breathing? And my chi? All set with that. But everytime I do yoga...I love it. And wonder why I don't do it more. So if it makes any sense (it makes perfect sense to me), I'm going to be. No more constant self-help efforts. I'm done with dieting. Forever. Why do I have to keep on trying to make myself 'better' when I am just be fine with who I am and how I think and the way I feel? It's working for me. I have a wonderful life, blessings abound. Why do I have to constantly feel like I'm a boring chapter in a self-improvement book that will just sit, dusty, on the shelves until the next yard sale?

So, in the moment I am. And feeling it. The good, bad and ugly. Sometimes it's uncomfortable but most of the's glorious. To feel the grass on my feet, and the rocks. To smell the breath of my babies, to feel my husband's hand on my back. To sit in a restaurant and hear the din of the diners and feel my hand on the glass. To talk about difficult things. To sit and stew and feel...whatever it is I'm feeling. But I'm here. I'm feeling. And I think you're on my chi.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In a haze of long summerish days and sweaty faces and papers to write, I've abandoned my lonely blog. If it had feelings, it would have it's arms crossed with me. 'Sure Jen, just use me when you're home with two small kids and no one to talk to. Just type on me whenever YOU need to. No, no! Don't worry about me. I know you have your playdates now and your work and your classes, but it's fine. I'm good. I'll just sit out here in the blogosphere and friggin' twiddle my thumbs while you think of something else to write about. Jackass'. Or something like that.

I wanted to write about guilt. But I can't, really, because I feel too damn guilty. I have two beautiful girls playing with the Noni, legs that are seriously too hairy for public viewing, and a video camera that needs charging for a gymnastics show later. So for my 4 readers, I will bid you adieu and be back on the scene like a sex machine sooner than later. Probably later.