Adventures: This one in Arizona

December 2015 we surprised the kids with a trip to Arizona. This was a working trip for Aaron but with both of his brothers and both of mine living in the Grand Canyon state it was a nice trip to tag along with.

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

We did plenty of hiking, a day trip to Sedona, sightseeing, off-roading, and visiting close by parks and state parks.

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

Arizona 2015

I’m feeling a little but of the wanderlust this season … ready for another adventure. A flight, an open road, a few minutes beneath the sun. With our kids being the ages they are (12 and 8) we’re starting to think about some different destinations. Where have you been (with or without kids) and what should we do/see/experience? I grew up globe trotting so over-seas itineraries don’t bother me at all. I have my eye on London, but weirdly also Ireland and Sweden. Or closer to home trips are fine too. I’m not really bothered by distance or lack thereof. Let’s just get going.

Where have you been?

Red light, Green light

I have .7345 minutes to get this out of my head and onto paper. So this will be quick.

Lately I feel as though all the anxiety I could experience about any given situation has woken up. As in, HI. I HAVE COME BACK, REMEMBER ME? The stuff of crippling ineptitude to move in any direction. I can’t even slenk backwards, I’m paralyzed with indecision so I stand still. And it’s not an active stop, where waiting is the active searching for the next step – it’s literally the halt.

Right there.

In your tracks.

No moving.

Freeze!

I find it interesting that this is where I am, no longer looking for certain purpose in my work or my time but instead divided by how to use my time WITH my purpose. I’m aware of distractions and oftentimes I’m trying to either quiet them or dislodge them so I can stay focused except for now. Right now. Now I can’t decide.

Have you ever felt this way? It’s not even a crossroads – it’s inevitable. Change, movement – it’s all coming. It is going to happen and I am aware of the shift but I can’t keep my feet on both sides of the fault line. I have to step firmly into the unknown. I have to let go of the comfort, embrace the out of control, and often awkwardness of the search within the journey, and I have to feel like an adolescent who hasn’t grown into their limbs just yet. Proof that I will one day be able to use them to their full potential.

It’s just the in-between of learning how to run while clumsily shuffling through the hallways seems to be the only way to cross said line. And I keep looking down to make sure my shoes are tied so I won’t trip.

Learning to tie.

But I keep falling anyways.

Sanctuary Woods

Finding adventure

A few weeks ago I took Oliver on a hike to Sanctuary Woods.

Finding adventure

look closely

There’s a rhythm of habitual practice to the way I go about my life. I used to be worried about developing habits, I didn’t want to be so predictable. I wanted to be as wild and untamed as I felt inside. I wanted to follow the whims of my demanding temperament.

Finding adventure

Finding adventure

But I’ve learned that I throw myself into predictable chaos to protect myself from the reality of my vulnerability. Only what if every day was a choice to move forward? Regardless of what yesterday left undone? What if every moment was an opportunity to practice acceptance for who you are – right now?

Finding adventure

Finding adventure

Spending time on these trails reminds me to look closely. To pay attention. And when Oliver is with me, the conversation is light, he notices things I can’t even see until I take off all my preconceptions and put my cheek to the ground to see the magic he sees.

Finding adventure

He looks for the adventure and when he happens upon it, he partakes. Like a feast for your soul, he dives in. There’s no waiting to be invited to the table of wonder when you’re a child – you just leap. And I love that about them. I love living that all over again on each adventure. It rips me from my routine. It takes me from my head to my heart and it keeps me here.

Finding adventure

Finding adventure

I take a lot of photos, an overwhelming amount of memories to store and keep. I’m often reluctant to snap because I feel the weight of the responsibility to take them from the lens to the page and in all of those photos are snap-shots of my feet. I’ve been keeping track of the movement of our family for years. I’ve had a camera attached to my hand since I was fifteen, and the only place I turn it on me is down, towards the ground. Where I can prove I’m there. Where I can see that the ground is still there, where I’m planted firmly beneath the moments I keep.

Finding adventure

And the legacy of proof I’ve collected that I’m still here, still standing; Well, it keeps me moving one step forward, one at a time. Leaving old ideas, habits, and routines behind that no longer serve me well. Leaving footprints but still collecting theirs.

Merry & Bright!

Wishing you a Happy Christmas season! I can hardly believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve already, but it’s arrived. We’re anticipating out of town family as house guests (nothing like waiting til someone else will use the second bathroom to finally pull the trigger on finishing it and putting it together: details soon) and lots of coffee, Settlers of Catan, and multiple runs of the dishwasher daily.

Merry!

I had a dream last night that I was still in high school, I recognized one of the people in my dream – but there were 3 other key players I couldn’t place but could tell we were aquatinted. There was a choir concert I was supposed to be at and couldn’t find an outfit I liked (or fit) so I ended up missing it. My mom came home to comfort me – followed by some friends and my choir teacher. He had some sage advice for us all: He told my boyfriend that he was popular, gave accolades to my other 2 friends for their work in their studies, and told me I was a leader but was sometimes negative: so to be careful how I wielded my skills.

Then I woke up.

At first I was puzzled but this has been something I’ve noticed on my own lately. This season notwithstanding, I can easily be the voice in the room that lets the selfish anxiety overshadow any ability to comfort. Like I strangle the optimism just to see if it can still breathe.

I’ll have plenty of opportunity to quiet the negative on the tip of my tongue in the next few days and I’m actually glad I have the chance to practice. Because it’s important to me to be fluid enough to care for all sorts of people. Not to be so rigid, so regimented on where I think love should fit: where expectations often fail. It was an odd dream but timely. I take myself out of the choir because I can’t seem to find anything that fits – but the seat isn’t filled by someone else in my absence: it’s just empty.

Here’s to showing up as our rag-tag, holey-socks, homeless-heart self this Christmas. I won’t remember the color of your scarf – only how your eyes seem to sparkle when the edges of your smile reach to the sky.

Merry Christmas.

trigger happy

I’ve believed that if it’s easy, it’s not worth it. If it doesn’t take hard work: no one will accept that you’re really an artist, writer, dreamer, doer, photographer, life-liver.

If you wake up in the morning with an idea and can finish it within the first hour of your day, you’re not working. It’s not credible. That’s a hobby. That’s an “exercise” for the real thing – it’s not what you put on the shelf, it’s what you line the birdcage with until the real stuff starts streaming.

So when does the real stuff start streaming? Do you have to walk away every time you push your brush to paper? Does it make sense 6 months later when you had to abandon the work because it wasn’t “working” enough?

If what I do is easy and what someone else does, in the same arena, looks harder … I’m not doing it right, right?

If what I do feels as comfortable as breathing and what someone else does looks labored and sweaty … I’m not doing it right, right?

If I’m not a runner unless I run a marathon then what is all this jogging for?