Wednesday, September 7, 2016

one month in washington.

We’ve been in Washington for a month. One whole month. It’s been sunny and warm, and full of excitement and newness. I simply love the newness. Our house is better than I had expected, and things are a little less busy and a little less smoggy.

I’ve learned a few things in my first month. I’ve learned that “pop” means soda here in Washington. I’ve learned that there is far more love for Trump than I’m comfortable with, and I’ve learned that, men, women, babies, children, and everyone in between wear Seahawks gear every day of the week- for absolutely no reason at all. People wear jerseys in their everyday life. like seahawks gear is a part of their daily wardrobe. That’s strange, people.

On the drive to the grocery store, we see more trees than we see in all of the bay area, combined. It’s so beautiful, and green, and foresty. I’m sure I’ll grow accustomed to the evergreens, but for now, I’m in awe. Mount Rainier feels so close I could reach out and touch it- it wears a hat of snow even in the summer. The kids and I often talk about how silly it is that the outside of the mountain is so cold, while inside, the volcano is very hot. So silly, right?

Yesterday was our third day in a row of grey skies. It rained a day before that, and we decided to turn the fire place on. It’s our new tradition. When it rains, the fire goes on.

I will say- in all honesty- by day three of the grey weather, I was feeling a little zapped. I wanted to snuggle in bed and drink coffee and sleep. I was missing California a little more on day three of the grey, too. I missed my friends, I missed my mom, I missed my AA meetings, and my yoga studio. I felt a little weepy, if I’m being honest. It’s day-freaking-three of grey weather, and I’m all... weepy!

I started to question how I was going to make my writing into a real-person profession. I started questioning my ability to work, to make money, to be successful and special to people. I questioned whether or not I was an adequate mama.  I got a little teary, I bit my lip, and took a little nap.


My friend, Annie Lamott once said during a Sunday church service, “today is good Friday. It’s dark and gloomy, and sad. But we are Easter Sunday people. We look forward to the light- to the resurrection.” I really want to be an Easter Sunday person. I want to be an Easter Sunday person every single day. When things start to feel gloomy and sad, I want to see things through God’s eyes. I’m not sure, but I think- maybe if God is looking at me he’d think, “you’re just wonderful, beloved. You are right where I want you to be.”

So Washington, bring on the good Fridays. Bring on the darkness, and the gloom, and the rain. I am an “Easter Sunday person” and I know what is coming.  Light, beauty, and all sorts of Easter candy!
(These are pictures from our first hike in Mount Rainier National park!!!)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

this is going to be hard. but great. but hard. WASHINGTON

tony and I have talked about moving to the pacific northwest for as long as we've been together (almost fourteen years). the idea of moving was always something that swam around in our heads and into our hearts- but we've never gone further than thinking and dreaming...

until now.

tony has officially resigned from his job as the Director of HR for Milpitas and starts his new job in Federal Way as the Director of Employee Relations. we are so excited!!!

tony will leave next week to get started with work, meet his new staff, and begin house hunting. our dear friends live very close to tony's new job, and we'll bunk with them until we find a house to buy! Easton, sailor, and I will start our pilgrimage on July 30th.

this move is going to be bitter sweet. we've always wanted to go but making it a reality feels both surreal and all too real at the same time. leaving behind friends and family, our church, our community, our connections, our support network... I can't even begin to wrap my head or my heart around the absence of the people I love in my daily life.

but here's the great thing- we are making a brand new start. we are making a change that will allow us to live in a community that values work/life balance. we'll be able to buy a home that we can afford (and love), and we'll be living in a place that we love ( hopefully with private access to the lake!). Plus, the air is clean and the grass literally IS greener (maybe it's because of the significant rainfall- but we'll wear boots!).

I will miss the sunshine, my mom, brandi, and shaney, and lisa, and christine. i'll miss seeing my boys playing with their best buddies (buddies who are the children of my best buddies). i'll miss our church, our beautiful little church in Marin where I see God in the faces of the congregation and in our pastor- a church where I feel loved and know that my children are loved. i'll miss my AA family and my yoga community. i'll miss my girlfriends, women  I've known since elementary school- who's friendship has meant more to me than I can describe. Ironically, i'll miss being known. we've lived and/or worked in Milpitas our entire lives. we see people we know and love while shopping at target, going out to dinner, and grocery shopping. i'll miss that.

I've continued to remind myself that moving does not mean losing those beautiful, carefully cultivated friendships. they will remain, as the love and loyalty remain. the visits will be fewer and farther between but they will happen. our family will grow and change and adjust.

we'll learn to love a new church and find new communities of support. we'll become closer and live a little more simply for a while. we'll wear rain boots, carry umbrellas, and enjoy the sunshine a little bit more (for it happens a little less often, to say the least). our children will no longer consider San Francisco and it's beautiful bridge "our city and our bridge." they'll grow to love seattle and it's space needle. they'll learn to use facetime and have weekly "dates" with family and friends. we will be residents of Washington. we'll become Washingtonians. we'll wear flannel.

it will be hard. but great.

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 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!

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