Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Shut Glass Door

My parents' once hired a very tall painter named Dennis to fix up our deck. He was walking in and out of our back sliding glass doors getting supplies. But one of those times, the door somehow got shut. And, typical of my mom, that glass was fingerprintless. On his next round, poor Dennis sauntered face first into the plated glass. All 6'6 of him crashed to our living room floor like a felled oak tree--a memorable moment of my young life.

I've felt lately like I'm standing at a closed glass door. (I've lost momentum to have any notable tumble.) I can see ahead, but can't seem to move forward. A problematic standstill.

Writing propels me forward into new thinking, into solving problems, answering questions, asking new questions. I need to open the door again. I need to walk into fresh ideas and have a place to explore them.

I think I need a new venue. 

Or rather an old one. Peek at what speaks to me.

Friday, July 18, 2014

In a Funk

Now that Ben's schedule is lighter (beautiful ambulatory rotations!) and my sister is living with us so we can play and chat to our heart's content, life seems full---without any social online fulfillment at all. What should I do when hobby loses it's savor?

I need to do some tweaking to figure myself out of my blogging indecision funk. Maybe sorting through the layers of issues will help me decide what to do...

1. Learning from Cecily: 
Cecily is my good friend's sister. Her husband just died suddenly due to a heart problem. Now she's alone...with 8 kids. I've thought a lot about their circumstances. If that happened to me, what would I value?

I decided I'd want to read and reread the details of our life together. I would hope to have kept a vast record. Right now, I don't exactly have that.

As deeply as I feel about literacy, the importance of writing book reviews has begun to pale in comparison to keeping a detailed family record and real life relationships vibrant.

2. Worst ever juggler:
Women have a reputation for multi-tasking right? Well, this innately feminine quality has not yet to descend upon me. I can hardly boil pasta and stir a marinara sauce at the same time. The idea of keeping my personal journal, my boy's personal journals (which I have strong feelings about being handwritten), family photo album, a detailed family blog plus a reading blog afloat makes me consider sitting down with a stiff drink. (And I don't drink.) Maybe I haven't revealed the fact that writing takes me a bit of time. To give you an idea, I revise, edit and reedit text messages. Not exactly efficient.

3. Authenticity:
Before this reading platform I kept a personal blog I adored. I wrote about what speaks to me-- everything from favorite smells to newspaper articles. It wasn't private, but it wasn't something I told people about at all. It was for me. And it was so fulfilling.

I've felt that this domain is a little more calculated, a little less authentic. Or at least I'm leaving a lot of my real thinking to try to stay true to books, "Photo Fridays" and a few "interesting" other thoughts that might seem interesting to readers.

4. Computer and phone full?!:
Our MacBook has kilobytes, kilobytes, of memory left. It's practically a miracle this machine works at all. We've put years of photos on our external hard drive and we still somehow don't have space. I think the blog book I started through blurb was the straw that broke the camel's back. To boot, my phone is also full. So taking pictures has not been on my radar for, well, way too long. Not convenient.

5. "Quiet" Time:
Seth has finally, at the age of 4+, given up his nap for good. He did quiet time beautifully in our old house, so no losses for me. But now that he and Noah share a room, places for him to have "quiet time" have at least tripled. And I haven't figured out the right rules to regulate a good quiet time in these circumstances. So that's all to say, my quiet time has decreased substantially. But my knack for playing firefighters, astronauts, pirates, World Cup and "two-year-old Sethy goes to the airport" has grown substantially.

And the clincher: 
Instead of writing through it, *right decision*,
I've clammed up all together. *wrong decision*
::slapping wrists::

So that's my conundrum.

My options:
   - Give up entirely. Don't feel super great about that.
   - Keep this blog going, but do a lot less book reviews and a lot more family, personal stuff...the problem: it's called
   - Go back to old family blog only.
   - Go back to old personal blog only.
   - Start fresh with a new family/personal blog that I can work out my own thinking with, be a tinch more authentic, feel less limited.
   - Never decide. (refer to first "Options" bullet point)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Travel Bug: Part 2

Out at sea in Avon of the Outer Banks

 Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC

Noah overcame ocean anxiety at the Outer Banks 

The best part for me, being with dear friends Kira and Lisa again, all the way from upstate New York
We stayed in quite the beach house: 5 levels, 6 decks, and, most notably, 2 hammocks

All smiles 

A full house of fun, crazy kids (though the picture is missing two)

Fantastically magical splash park in Charlottesville, VA

5 Peterson cousins under 5 in Charlottesville: Luke, Seth, Lily, Renae and Noah. (If only we had little 2-month-old baby Rex in there for 6!) 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Travel Bug: Part 1

I do not consider myself much of a traveler. For one, the only time I've been out of the country is a weekend in British Columbia. (And that was before you had to have a passport.) For two, I have a history of almost hyperventilating with the idea of throwing off our normal, beautiful, low-stress schedule. I really love routines and traveling simply isn't routine. 

However, I think I've begun to embrace the adventure of travel. Even with two small kids. Either that or I caught a travel bug that inadvertently changed my deep-seeded cyclical needs. Or perhaps I'm getting more laid back as a parent, able to roll with the punches, willing to deal with some short-lived unpleasantries for the sake of finding some new good.

So in the past 8 weeks we've visited:
Salt Lake City, UT
St. George, UT
Portland, OR
Cannon Beach, OR
Outer Banks, NC
Charlottesville, VA

A smattering of visuals from the first half of the travels:

Salt Lake Temple steps in Salt Lake City

  Snow Canyon red sand dunes in Saint George with Grandma Nan

 Seth snuggling up to uncles and aunts back in in Salt Lake

 Enjoying landmark Multnomah Falls on a typical drizzly day in Portland

 The boys meeting cousin baby Abby (up from California) for the first time in Portland

 Our family favorite Ecola Point on the Oregon Coast, just north of popular Cannon Beach

Snapshot of Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

And that's not all folks!, in the next 8 weeks or so we're planning to visit:
Washington DC area
Myrtle Beach, SC
Salt Lake City, UT (for brother-in-law Jacob's wedding!!)
and Rochester, NY for a little reunion, if we can possibly squeeze it in

Any other east coast travel recommendations. Deal me in! I think I'm getting the hang of this. 
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