Monday, October 21, 2013

Club Vincent

Do you dance?

We do.

Unfortunately it is not a public affair.

And also, fortunately it is not a public affair.

The music comes on through the 1970's Marantz stereo that my brother graciously gifted to us the one of us who cares about things like speakers and receivers and quality of sound.

'Bigger momma bigger!'

I turn it up.

'Does it get louder?!' Which means 'Is it going to get faster and more intense as most songs do at some point?'

'It will, but it stats out slow'

Mumford and Sons is singing about being a Little Lion Man and waiting for you and awakening your soul. And we jump and twirl (LOTS of twirling) and head bobbing and knee bending.

We turned on the music as a background to an event that is difficult for everyone to endure. It's called 'making lunch'. Music is a good distraction. Unless you are Sis, then it works a little too well.

'I need someone to dance with me!!' 'BUBBBBBB!!!!! You want to dance with me? Come to the living room and dance with me! MOMMMMMMMMMAAAA COME DANCE WITH ME! I need someone to dance with me'

She is relentless. The music runs out of the speakers and into her little body and mingles with the rhythm already residing there. Her arms flap as she runs in circles and her head bobs and her mouth moves two beats behind the singers.

All the while Bubs bobs his head in perfect rhythm while helping to pour and stir and lick (the spoon) of a delicious fall treat: butternut squash soup. 'NOOOO SISSSSSSYYYYY. I help momma!!'

I twirl in between chops and pours and stirs.

She is not satisfied. She demands again and again that we forget what we are doing and just be. Be together. Be silly. Be rhythm. Take a moment to be in the moment. We will eat. We will do the dishes. We will take naps and go on with our day. But RIGHT NOW. BE HERE. THIS song. Not the next one. THIS one. Listen. Feel it. It's only us at home. Three quarters of our family. It's a safe place. Let go of what is going on and holding back from seeing the face of a child in her purest form. Life.

Bubs asks for help getting down from the counter and we join her.

In this moment she is ECSTATIC.  She talked us into the moment with her.

My posse most often remind me to LIVE. To stop and FEEL before moving on. Feel SAD. Feel THRILLED. Feel SCARED. Feel GRATEFUL. Feel OVERWHELMED and VULNERABLE. Feel LOVED. Feel FRUSTRATED.

And then, having felt the feeling without making it anything other than what it is, move on.

To butternut squash soup for instance.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Sledding Hill

On Thursday the second snowstorm of the season hit. With a foot of snow. It's melting but not nearly as fast as the first five inches that fell last week. We've played outside a lot. Built snowmen, built snow chairs and beds, knocked snow off the trees so the branches don't come off, stomped through the snow, and shoveled, shoveled, shoveled. (I'm still sore).

It was time to think of something else to do outside.

So, the other great thing about this time in my life, besides things feeling calm, is that my children are 2 & 3.

And that means they are one year older than they were last year when they were 1 & 2.

Which means that we can do more things this year with them than we could last year.

Like sledding!!!

Sinks Canyon has a sledding hill. It's famous. You hike up some old cross country ski trails to get to the warming hut. Which is just what it sounds like. Although I'm not sure if it's still open. There are signs posted at the bottom of the hill saying 'Sledding, inner tubing, etc. on the hill is not recommended. Proceed at your own risk' or something like that. So I don't think the Canyon wants the warming hut to be open to encourage people. But I also haven't tried to open it since last year when Brooklyn and I finally found the sledding hill on accident as we were hiking.

Once you get to the warming hut you stare up at this long hill that doesn't look too steep and kind of like 'whats the big deal about this hill except that it's long' until you starting hiking up to the top. Then you realize that not only is it long but it is actually steep with quite a few bumps along the way.

We got up there late in the afternoon as several groups of people were leaving. We were trying to figure out the best way to get the kids up the hill as these people were trying to walk around us. We tried to let them walk, but Bubs looks like the kid from A Christmas Story and falls pretty easily and then cannot get himself back up. So then I tried carrying him, and Sis and Hubs held hands. Then we tried putting them in the sled and dragging them uphill. Which mostly worked ok, except that Bubs kept falling backwards pushing Sis off the back end of the sled. He also stuck both hands out of the sled to brush all the snow that we passed.

The sun was shining, no clouds anywhere. The thing about the weather up here is that we are closer to the sun, so even when the air is cold if you are the sun it feels pretty good. And with no clouds it's easy to stay in the sun. The hill had a few packed paths made by several groups before us. It was so tiring getting us all up the hill and we started to realize how steep the hill was and our posse had never been sledding before that we decided to start halfway up the hill. Hubs and Sis went down first and flew over the bumps and off the path and into deep fluffy snow at the bottom of the hill. It was all smiles on the hike back up the hill. Then Bubs and I went. We got some air on some of the bumps! And we went far!!! And then the hike back up. Alternately letting him walk and carrying him was intense but so worth it.

We eventually got higher and higher on the hill as we felt like they could handle it. The last run we all did from the very top. Hubs and Sis crashed.  Bubs and I got WAY off track and were stopped not even half way down and a few seconds into our restart flew over a bump and we fell out but the sled kept going all the way down.

So the last run was a bust for everyone.

But we were all smiles and laughs. We pulled the kids down the hill in the sled which went much better than the way up. We are going to have a lot of memories made on that hill I think.

We think we are a pretty fun family.

And then we had chili for dinner. The perfect end to a perfect day spent outside in the snow.

(I'm looking for pictures of the sledding hill. I might have to go back up there to get them. We were too busy having fun yesterday to stop and take pictures!)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


It's fall!

It's time to get cozy. Turn on the heat, start a fire, get a blanket, make some tea.

The leaves are changing. The temperature is dropping. The snow is falling. (If you live in Wyoming)

And things are peaceful.

The kind of peace that comes as the ripples in the water are dissipating. It's calm. It's quiet.

Three years, two babies, one BSN, one cross-country move, one cancer scare, one stressful-working-nights-for-months-and-months job, + a hundred other little things that came smashing into us over the last three years....The waves have seemingly stopped smashing. No more whitecaps. Just the little ripples.

Things aren't perfect. There are still some night shifts that mess everyone up. There is this thing and that thing.


It's calm.

And I'm grateful that having gone through it, we still like each other. Husband and I.

And we are going to celebrate in Napa Valley in November.

First real vacation since our honeymoon, which honestly, neither of us really enjoyed that much. (we discovered we aren't cruise people)

It feels like it's time to rest. And I'm going to bask in the calm of this time of life (Who am I kidding? I live with a 2 & 3 year old) I am going to recognize and appreciate that the extraneous circumstances of our life that can so often have a pull on us have calmed and quieted and not try to do so much that I miss any rest I might get.

Because who knows when the next storm is going to blow in?

But for now, happy fall!!