It’s been a relaxing winter for me – which has been nice. Quiet. Full of introspection and self-evaluation. I’ve been reading a lot, watching movies, and listening to great music. I finished a quilt I’ve been working on for the better part of a year (if not longer). I chopped all my hair off – a decision I both celebrate and regret – sometimes in the same day, and I’ve taken up running again.
My plan for January-March was to recharge. To feed my soul, fill my spirit, learn, love, grow. Evolve. I’m in the thick of that journey and I love it.
So much that I wanted to share some of the things that have been inspiring me lately.
In case they might inspire you, too.
Reading: I just finished “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller. This book. Oh goodness this book. I need to devote an entire post to this amazing work – but only once I finally find the words adequate enough to describe it. This book is like music; it’s a perfect soundtrack to a wonderful life, and I hope that it plays forever in the background of mine. I’m currently reading “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice On Life And Love From Dear Sugar” by Cheryl Strayed. I’m 22 pages in and I already know that this book is going to plant roots so firmly in my soul that I’ll never again live a day without it.
Listening: I’m really loving Ben Howard these days. I’m listening to The Head and The Heart radio on Pandora, and I’m sort of in love with Taylor Swift’s new album, too. And I don’t care what that says about me. Or how “unhip” it is to like mainstream music. It’s more unhip to hate things because your genre or lifestyle says you should. Imagine Dragon’s album has been on repeat play many times this month, and will likely continue being heavy in the rotation.
Watching: Now that “Gossip Girl” is over, I’ve been spending my weekend nights watching movies. Most recent favorite is definitely “Moonrise Kingdom.” This movie was beautiful and inspiring and I wanted to throw myself into my TV so I could photograph every last ounce of it. I saw “Les Miserables” in the theater, and I liked the movie, but I LOVE the story. I have ever since I dove headlong into the novel when I was a teenager. Jean ValJean is an amazing literary character and his struggle and triumph and life was portrayed SO well in the film. The only character I was disappointed in was Javert. Russell Crowe was underwhelming in every way. “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” was unexpected. It was soft and quiet and soul-filling. It was wonderful.
Now I want to know what’s inspiring YOU right now?? Have you read any books or watched any movies that stirred something inside of you? That made you want to shout about them from the rooftops?? If so – please share. The winter is far from over — and I need more soul-filling.
I think maybe we all do.
And because no blog is complete without photos – here are some shots of the girls in the snow.
We celebrated Stella’s birthday over the weekend. As a Festivus kid – and being in such close proximity to the celebration that is Christmas – it’s tough to throw her an adequate birthday fete ON her birthday. So this year, I decided to not even try. That’s not defeatist, promise. It’s simply practical. In lieu of cramming ONE MORE EVENT into an already jam-packed Christmas weekend, we decided instead to throw her birthday party….well…yesterday. In January instead of December. After the lights have been unstrung, and the stockings unhung. After the trees have been strewn to the curb waiting for transit to the big forest in the sky.
She wanted a Rainbow Brite birthday – but Rainbow Brite is surprisingly difficult to come by these days (seeing as how it’s no longer 1986) so we just stuck with the RAINBOW side of that request. Our house was filled to overflowing with people, and kids were screaming and squealing and getting so high on sugar I thought we’d be starting a halfway house for youth in recovery as soon as they crashed. I spent hours baking a six layer (SIX LAYER!!!) rainbow cake (because what’s a birthday without the perfect cake?) that was a little dry, but still pretty good, and I feel like I’ve been picking up toys for 8 hours solid.
As I type this, the girls are the bath, the house is quiet, and I’m left thinking about my daughters – how just moments ago they were babies, and then toddlers. And now they’re girls. Little ones, but still. They have their own minds, and dreams, and they choose which things to do or directions to go. Every day they need less and less help from DRL and me. Too soon will be the day where they don’t need our help at all.
Luckily for me, today is not that day. Today they still need me to wash their hair, and read them stories, and tuck them into their small beds. Snug as bugs.
And they still let me kiss them. And squeeze them.
And eat them up, for I love them so.
For that, I’m forever blessed.
Here are a few scans of the instax shots I took at the party today. And the ONE Stella shot for me (this girl is GOOD with a polaroid. It’s incredible really.)