Monday, December 30, 2013

Well, hello again.  I know.  It's been months since I've been here.  It's the end of another year.  Does it have to escape us so fast?  I've been doing some freewriting in my journal just to stop the spinning in my head.  Time to reflect on the past several months and to look forward to the coming seasons.  I am trying to practice patience, gentleness, gratitude, and mindfulness.  Some days are challenging, and I acknowledge that I have not been the best at these things this past year.

For now, this is all I want to share before the year end.  The following ads truly resonated with me.  I am just a simple purveyor of these moments, but they have surely made an impact on me and how my boys are growing up so fast and how each of us is getting older...  The following productions have moved me to tears and contemplation on how I want the next year to unfold with these thoughts and feelings in mind.

Seriously, you might need to grab your hankie before you watch these.  I feel like Rita Wilson in Sleepless in Seattle when she talks about An Affair to Remember!  The power of moving pictures...

I lose it every time I watch this beautiful Apple ad with music performed by Cat Power.  The teenage boy reminds me of my sons in the face of technology and how I want to slow down with them and stay connected with my family.

This lighthearted ad by VW always makes me laugh and cry.  I've had these laughing-until-you-cry moments with my family and friends during our treasured times together, as I'm sure you have too.

This one by Proctor and Gamble reminds me of the sacrifices we make for each other, and those that my parents and elders have made for my siblings and me.  I will always be grateful.

This one with the mother and son, and the part when the little boy talks about when he cried when some kid didn't want to play with him and the way his mother held him is exactly how I feel with my boys.  You just want to protect your young ones from harm and sadness as much as you can.

Last one by Subaru.  We lost our sweet Sammy at the beginning of the school year, and this was our first Christmas without her.  We really miss her quiet presence.  Sometimes it feels like she's still here on her bed next to our big boy, Odin.

And after reviewing these ads again, I'm sitting here smiling and crying and feeling so much love for the people and pets in my life.  Now go and hug those nearest and dearest to you.  Blessings to you in the coming year!



Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Seattle waterfront.  The boys and I are riding the ferris wheel on the pier, and this is our view!

After a couple of rotations on the ferris wheel, we started gettings used to the motion and heights--kind of.

Here is beautiful Sammy.  This old gal is funny around pictures.  I'm lucky to get a non-blurry shot of her.

Here is gorgeous Odin.  He's always up for a photo session and a dance.  He's my special boy.

Vino at the Landing in Renton, WA.  I had lunch with a sweet friend.  Delicious chocolates to finish off the meal.

Mateo at afterschool pick-up yesterday.  He looks for us then follows up with a big hug.

Tomas at afterschool pick-up yesterday.  He comes running out of the building to surprise us from behind.

Just a quick still life on our kitchen table.  We really need to eat those satsumas before they go bad.

Lately, my thoughts and life have been pretty random (as you can tell by the photos).  It's my younger son Tomas's birthday!  He is officially 8 as of February 28.  He was sad for a bit in the morning because he wasn't going to be 7 anymore.  That's my fault for lamenting out loud that he's growing up too fast.  Well, what is a mama to do?  At 6am, all I could think of to cheer him up was that it will be fun to write the number 8 after his name: "Tomas, Age 8" which is what I used to do when I was a kid.  I would write "Charmaine, Age 8" on my books and wide-ruled paper.

For the weekend, we are heading to Whistler, B.C. to celebrate Tomas's special day with family.  It will be a time to relax, snowshoe, ski, snowboard, and eat.  I can't wait.  I also can't wait for the long drive.  We love hitting the road.  Good music.  Great conversation.  Camp-style snacking.  My stash of books and my journal.  Our pillows for napping.  It's going to be a great weekend.

Peace and Light


Monday, January 14, 2013

Now We Are Six | A. A. Milne

I promise to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School; I promise to do everything I can to encourage and support common sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence.

Today marks one month since the horrific tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  

As a mother of 7 year-old and 9 year-old boys, this has truly affected me--as I am sure it may have affected you in your own personal way.  Every time I read or watch a story about these amazing teachers and beautiful children, I have had to grab my heart for fear it will break.  I just want to hold these families.  The children who have left this earth--I feel that they were my children too.  I can't even fathom what their families and friends are going through during these dark days.

I pray for every single one of them.  I pray for peace and light.

I hope that this poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye brings some bit of comfort and hope. May her words flow with peace to anyone who has lost someone special.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there.  I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there.  I did not die.


Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment by Katrina Kenison


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I am very excited to begin reading the latest book by one of my favorite authors Katrina Kenison called Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment.  Katrina is also a mother of two boys (who are now grown up), and I feel such a kindred connection to her.  The words that she shares always move me and inspire me.  They seem to be the right words when I need to hear them.  She is such a soulful and thoughtful writer.  I wish her a flood of goodness with this latest gem.  If you have not yet read any of her other books, I highly recommend that you add Mitten Strings for God and The Gift of an Ordinary Day to your library or bedside table.  I cherish my copies, and I often give them as gifts because they are just that beautiful.  You will look at your life more mindfully and with an abundance of gratitude.

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