Tuesday, March 29, 2016

alignment in yoga and life.

triangle pose, or Trikanasana has been my "worst favorite" pose for as long as I can remember. I have never been able to master the strength, balance, or form- perfectly. my feet are always sliding apart, my legs want to cave in. i'm not breathing. it sucks. (*** by the way, above pic is NOT trikanasana)

a few months ago, I was doing my best to get through, what I thought was the most excruciating pose in all of bikram yoga when my instructor walked by… all of a sudden I felt her tiny hands on my hips. she made one simple adjustment. she helped to rotate my hips in, which made it possible to balance in the pose (correctly). at once, I could concentrate on using the [right] muscles and the rest of the form fell right into place.

alignment in life is similar to alignment in yoga. sometimes all it takes is one (or two) little adjustments and the balance that is family life, work life, social life, yogi life- it all sort of, falls into place.

tony and I always seem to struggle with the busyness of life. if one of us is home in the evening, the other is not. we have meetings, workout regimines, work, social engagements, showers to take, house work to be finished (which Easton is often reminding me of, the little neat freak)- all which keeps us away from each other and our kids more often than we'd like.

How does one find alignment in the hustle and bustle of these full lives we lead? First, breathe. breath is quite important in yoga but also in life. breathe into your heart- find peace and presence in the moment. go to sleep early. STOP binge watching tv shows. House of Cards will never be a substitute for rest and it certainly won't help align your heart and mind with living your best life. take a walk with your family. STOP looking at your phone all the time. there is no text, or whatsapp, or email that is worth the distraction and disengagement that "phone-attached-to-hand" creates. play with your kids (and stay engaged). eat real food, mostly plants. move.

Alignment in yoga is not about doing a pose with the greatest depth (or professional yogi-like flexibility and Instagram worthy postures)- it's about getting the basics right. alignment is about positioning your body in the right way so that as your practice gets stronger you are able to move into a pose using the right muscles- without injuring yourself as you go deeper. 

alignment in life is about getting the basics right, too. it's about knowing how to move through daily needs with balance- so that when the deeper stuff comes, you intuitively know how to move into it.  you are instinctively able to get the basics right when life gets hard and STUFF gets piled (high) on your plate.

I do yoga five times a week for an hour/an hour and a half at a time. I do life twenty four hours a day seven days a week, 365 days a year. it's important to get the life basics in check. it's important to work on daily alignment because, honestly, no one else is coming over to adjust me. it's my job to keep my alignment in check.

those life poses are far more complicated, far more intense than any yoga posture i'll ever do. life… that's the thing i want to get right- or at the very least aligned

Thursday, January 7, 2016

"mama, i wish i was a girl…"

Tonight, five minutes ago in fact, Easton told me he wanted to be a girl.

Easton padded into my room after he was tucked in, read a book, and kissed a hundred times- he was supposed to be in bed, sleeping. Instead, he walked right into my bedroom and told me about how much he wanted to bring Star Wars fruit snacks to his two friends, Mandy and Aiden, on his next school day. I quietly told him that that was a wonderful idea, as I walked him back to his bed.

“mandy brought fruit snacks for Aiden and me at school today!” he said excitedly.

“that was so thoughtful of Mandy,” I said, “she is such a sweet girl.”

“Yes. I wish I was a gwerl…” (girl).

For a split second, my thoughts went straight to Caitlin Jenner. OH NO!, was my immediate, gut reaction. It was automatic. I can’t tell you exactly how long the pause was, before I spoke- probably under two seconds. As the words hit my lips, I realized that they didn’t match my initial (oh no!) thoughts.

“what seems so cool about being a girl?” I asked, with (what I can only imagine was a curious) smile.

“I don’t know. It just does [seem cool].”

We talked about being a girl for a little while longer. I told him how much I liked being a girl, but I always thought boys were really cool too. I told him that when I was a little girl, I wanted to be a boy because boys had short hair- and I wanted short hair (he giggled at this point). I told him that one day when I was little I decided that I could cut my hair short, even though I was in fact, a girl.

I said to Easton, “we can talk more about this tomorrow. In the meantime, think about all the ways being a girl seems cool to you and I’ll tell you if they’re true, and I’ll think about all the ways being a boy seems cool and you can tell me if they’re true.” He agreed.

Here’s the truth. I don’t want Easton to want to be a girl. I honestly would prefer that he was as straight as an arrow and didn’t have any questions about his identity, sexuality, gender, etc. I would prefer this, not because I wish him to be “normal” but because I want him to have an easy life.

I know, however, that nothing- absolutely nothing promises an easy life. I’m terrified in the knowledge that somewhere, someone is going to make him feel pain. I’m terrified to know that he is a part of a big bad world that tells it’s inhabitants that they aren’t practicing the right religion, they aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, straight enough, gay enough, skinny enough, athletic enough, etc.

I am raising a sweet sensitive boy who will inevitably meet adversity and sadness head on. I don’t know what kind of adversity, and I certainly can’t protect him from pain or grief. I can, however make him understand just how special he is.

 I can validate him, love him, and adore him. I can celebrate his individuality and encourage his freedom. I can (and will) accept him. ACCEPT whoever he is. Whoever he will become. I can do all of this in the knowledge that the deepest love I can give him, is not (will never be) deeper, wider, fuller, or greater than the love that God has for him. Easton is a child- a beautiful, whole, child of God who was picked to be my son. I was picked to be his mama.

Tonight, just like every night, when the teeth were brushed, the books were read, a hundred kisses given- I held Easton tight- I looked him in the eyes and repeated some of the most important words any parent can say to their child:

“You’ve made this day a special day by just your being you. There is no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.” (- mr. Rodgers)

My hope and prayer for Easton is this: one day he will believe those words that Mr. Rodgers (and his mama) said. I pray that he will believe that he is special and wonderful and an important part of this world. I pray that he will treat others like they are special and important, too. I pray that he will know that a person should never be measured by their sexuality, gender, career, bank account, or status- but by their generosity, kindness, compassion, empathy, and love toward themselves and towards others.

Easton, I love you. Just the way you are.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

notes on: sobriety (six years)

it was less than a year ago that i revealed a little secret. i thought about it long and hard before i decided to make my anonymous self known. you see, the biggest part of me... who i am, how i relate to the world, and what shapes me (for good or for bad) is this very tiny fact that...i am, an alcoholic. 

keeping that part of myself secret was a necessity for a long time. i needed to know a few things before i could let other people in on such a personal part of my life. i needed to know whether i was okay with myself, being an alcoholic. did i accept it? did i honor it? did i find pride, humility, joy in who i was, if who i was included this dark little secret?

 because i kept my "festive" drinking to myself (and the very few lucky individuals who had the pleasure of seeing me in action) it was hard to explain who i was as an alcoholic. i was the alcoholic of the worst kind. i endured intense erosion. erosion of the body, erosion of the spirit. the saddest part about drinking, the true plight of the alcoholic is this...the erosion is self induced. i was the only one responsible for it and the only one who could fix it. although, to be clear... God and Grace had a heavy hand in the fixing, but i was responsible for the first step. getting honest.

six years ago today, i woke up in a fog. i was hungover (for the last time).  i felt desperate, hopeless, and so incredibly tired. i sought help. i got in with a crowd of people that (if i'm honest) i never wanted to be in with. but with a little help from this special group of men and women (with similar erosion capabilities)... i learned a new (and beautiful) way of life.

i don't need to drink. i don't want to drink. and every once in a while, if the thought, "hey! one little drink might feel nice" does come up- i don't have to listen. i know how to turn that voice off. i didn't know where the off-switch was when i was drinking. the secret, my friends, is this. if i don't start, i don't have to use an off-switch. it's quite simple, but not easy. staying stopped is the hardest job i will ever have in this life of mine. it's my most important work.

what i've learned in my six years of sobriety is this. life sends babies, death, heart troubles, laughter, heartache, love, fear, and everything else (good and bad) in between. none of these, i have control over. i do, however, have control over whether or not i will live in a state of constant erosion. i choose, not to erode but to grow with grace and dignity. 

one day at a time.   (if you want to read more about my story to recovery- you can find it here)

"You've made this day a special day by just your being you. There is no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are."- Mr. Rodgers.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

sailor is two.

this year, we gave sailor an impromtu birthday party to celebrate his second birthday. it was so impromtu that i didn't even think about taking pictures at his party! we rented a huge jumpy house, ordered pizza, and ate a delicious cake from Dick's Bakery in san jose. easton's closest friends were the ones invited to the party (sailor doesn't have many of his own buddies). we had a great time and most importantly, so did sailor!

at two years old sailor is....

still not sleeping through the night. he wakes up around 11pm and doesn't go back to sleep until one of us picks him up from his crib and brings him into bed with us. he still likes to eat! he eats so much cereal and eggs in the morning, that i can't believe he is ever hungry again during the day. he loves his daddy- those two have a very special bond, which if i'm honest, makes me feel a little unneeded at times. they love to goof around, cuddle, and sing songs together at bed time! it's actually very sweet.

sailor has a very funny personality. he makes his voice go extremely low, and says....mooooommmmmmyyyy. he loves to play with easton and has started to speak up for himself when easton tries to steal a toy or take control of their play time. he points out houses while we drive and says..."house." he says goodbye to molly when we leave the house, every single day. he calls his grandma "baba" which in turkish means Daddy. we all get a kick out of that (my nephew is half turkish and calls his daddy "baba").

sailor loves to hop like a frog, tries to do handstands, and spins in circles when he's excited (or dancing). he imitates everything easton does (much to easton's annoyance) and still cuddles with tony and i fiercely and lovingly. his favorite toy, by far, is a ball. the kid loves to play with ball! we bought him a basketball hoop for his birthday and he absolutely loves it!

sailor takes a long time to warm up to people and things. he's an observer. he does what he wants, as soon as he's comfortable, but it takes him some time to get comfortable. now that i know that about him, i try to get to places early...so he has time to get himself acquainted and is able to enjoy himself (like music class, birthday parties, play dates, etc.)

we love our little guy and can't wait to see what 2+ is going to bring!

thanksgiving in tahoe!

we decided to rent a house with some friends in tahoe for thanksgiving, this year. tony and i usually spend thanksgiving by ourselves, with friends, or on a little trip- we sorta feel that there are SOOO many holidays that we celebrate with family, that investing one holiday a year with the family friends we've created, is a good way to forge lasting and loving relationships with people who don't share our dna. after all, my "family" is made up of my parents' best friends. these were friendships that they made before their kids were born- and it took lots of time, energy, and investment to create those valuable relationships. i want that for us and for our kids!

the four frascone's piled into the car on wednesday morning. luckily, the storm in tahoe happened the day before we left, so traffic wasn't nearly as bad as we had anticipated. it took about five hours to get to our cabin. although the kids were bored, i'm happy to say that they behaved very well, and didn't watch a single episode of micky mouse (or anything else) for our entire drive!

we arrived at the fabulous four bedroom, three bath cabin in the early evening. the kids started playing with their friends immediatley! those five children played non-stop for four days. honestly, it was the easiest parenting weekend i've ever experienced.

Brad and i cooked the thanksgiving meal, and it was pretty good...if i do say so myself! i made pumpkin pie, root vegetables, and candied yams (my favorite)! i love sharing the kitchen with pals- although most of the time, it's my male friends that are the ones cooking with me (hey ladies, step up yo game!!).

the boys went sledding with the kids (sailor even got on the sled a few times) and i stopped by to take pictures and do a couple of runs with easton! sailor was a little IFFY about the snow- but he did better than i expected! i think he even liked it, a little bit. 

we had so much fun relaxing and watching our combined five children play! we had football on the tv throughout the entire weekend, and (luckily) i got to sneak away for some black friday shopping (online). the kids went with the adults in the hot tub, ate ice cream, and thoroughly enjoyed all the play time they could get, with each other!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

notes on travel: sedona

 tony and i took a quick and magical trip to sedona, arizona last week. it was a three night getaway without the children. originally, tony was scheduled to have a heart procedure in november but his cardiologist determined that the procedure wouldn't be done (which is a fabulous turn of events). so instead of carving out time for hospital, we carved out time for vacation. 

i've heard over and over again that sedona is a healing, spiritual place- and given our big fat heart scare in august, we decided we needed a spiritual and healing place to vacation! 

we flew to phoenix on friday night and stayed at the Palmor (a kimpton hotel). we had dinner at Pizzeria Bianco, a great spot in old town Phoenix known for it's wood fired pizza's and long wait times. the great thing about the wait… Pizzeria Bianco has a bar next door (a totally separate building) that you can grab a table at while waiting for the servers to tell you when your table next door is ready! we had dinner with my God-Sister, Sarah and her husband Kurt (who very successfully sold us on the idea of moving near them…we shall see…)

(tony's ever present robert de niro face- it always shows up in selfies)

saturday morning we drove (our rental car) to sedona (it took about an hour and a half). immediately we were totally blown away by the red rock formations- they are magnificent. we checked into our Amara Resort (Kimpton) hotel room and went for a long walk. dinner was at 6:30 at the famed L'Auberge restaurant. we ate a four course french meal- which was by far- the best food i've ever eaten in my life. 

sunday we took a long hike twisting and turning up to the top of Cathedral Rock. i was amazed by how green and lush everything was throughout the hike until we reached the top. sedona is not a desert and therefore gets enough rain to keep everything green! who knew?!

after our hike we ate lunch at a mexican restaurant, then headed to the Pink Jeep tours to book a tour to one of the 700+ year old Native American sites, called the Honanki Heritage Site. this was by far the best part of our trip. i loved seeing the cliff dwellings and petroglyphs. i loved walking the paths of the ancient people who loved, used, and protected their land. my favorite spot was a dwelling that researchers believe to have been the site of the midwife. it was a small room at the base of the rock with painting of the midwife symbol (a circle with a line through it) and a picture of a mama, holding her baby towards the sun in gratitude. just beautiful. 

we had dinner on sunday night at an old spot (the oldest restaurant in sedona) where elvis priestly and john wayne used to dine at. the cowboy club, steak house was good (not great) but the history was pretty fabulous. 

 monday was our last day in sedona. we hiked up a big rock and stayed on top for quite a while. we sat, prayed, and felt the intense energy (truly) the rock's vortex gave off. i did a few yoga poses on the rock and honestly wanted to stay up there forever. tony let me stay as long as he could, but alas it was time to drive back to phoenix to board the plane and see our little monsters. 

it was an amazing trip- one that will go down as one of our favorites! we'll be back (next time, with the kids) again! for sure. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

sunday style: instagram wrap up

i am THAT mama who wears yoga pants and a sweater every day that i can get away with. sunday, however is a day that is always reserved for style. sundays our family goes to church in marin, and usually spends time after church romping around sausalito, marin, or san francisco. dressing for me has always been equal parts exhausting and exhilarating but since having sailor, i've been equal parts too tired to deal and too self conscience to enjoy how i look in clothes.

just recently i went on a little shopping spree. i needed clothes that both fit and looked a little more current. i've been on a mission to wear more than just yoga pants and sweaters everyday- mostly because i always feel a tad more confident when i dress to impress (the person i am striving to impress is actually...me). as a mama, i need clothes that are easy to throw on and easy to throw in the wash. i also need clothes that can be mixed and matched, layered, and stripped down (so that if i do need to wear yoga pants, the shirt will go perfectly with little effort). here are some of my recent outfits.

i've been forcing myself to wear my new clothes on days other than sunday- so that during the week i feel as put together as i do on sunday. :)

and finally, just so we're clear... yoga is one place i ALWAYS wear yoga pants ;)

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