savoring summer

I’m digging Amanda Soule’s posts about savoring summer.  Here’s a take on our version from this weekend…

Yesterday, we followed summer to the neighborhood ice cream social at the park down the street.  And there was a bubble truck.  Can you even imagine anything more fun?

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After jumping in the bouncy castle, swinging at the playground, and taste-testing strawberry and chocolate ice creams, we followed summer home.  To windows finally open to the breeze, game after game of Memory, harissa-herb salad pizza from Bon Appetit, and a little Casino Royale for the hubby and I after Harper crashed out early. 

How did you celebrate the end of August?


Wishcasting Wednesday


art by Jamie Ridler, Jamie Ridler Studios,  for Wishcasting Wednesday

So over at Jamie Ridler Studios, Jamie leads this thing called Wishcasting Wednesday.  Each week, she asks a question and invites the world to play with her in responding to it for themselves.   It’s this circle, of sorts.  For wishcasting.  and supporting one another in wishing. 

I had penciled in a date with myself to participate.

And woke to Jamie’s question:  What do you want to acknowledge yourself for?

Oh darn.  Not that question.  This is the week that I’ve been grumpy.  I’ve struggled in my connecting with my partner.  I’ve questioned my parenting when my four-year-old is screaming at me.  This is the week I’ve been a doubtful, potty-mouthed, non-self-caring kind of gal (and apparently one who likes to hyphenate!). 

So, really?  Yay me?  (Deep breathsWhiny sigh.)  Okay.

What I want to acknowledge myself for today is this…

  • for sticking with the questions even when the answers feel so out of reach
  • for listening to my gut
  • for allowing myself to feel and acknowledge all that comes up, even the icky parts
  • for listening to the icky parts and trusting they have knowledge to share
  • for striving to be the most loving and mindful parent I can be, even when I don’t know what to do next for the screaming four year old
  • for taking a walk at dusk last night when I needed a time out myself
  • for being open to possibilities with colleagues and partners who are in alignment with my work’s mission
  • for taking risks
  • for having a vision of self-caring for advocates and changemakers the world over
  • for holding space for my clients when they need a place to think, question, articulate and dream
  • for stretching further into cyberspace to broaden my community of like-minds (yay twitter!)
  • for practicing myself a style of living that takes into account all that I value–my loved ones, my passions, my well-being
  • for always, always circling back to lovingkindness

Even during the moments (or week?) of tense not-knowing, I acknowledge that I am showing up fully.  Thank you, Jamie, for the timely question.  What are you ready to acknowledge yourself for today?

reminders this morning

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from my in-laws’ garden, 2009

After a slow start to the morning, I indulged in a bit of blog surfing for an inspiration fix.  Here are the thoughtful reminders that I just so happened to need to hear today…

    1. I give myself permission.  To feel and respond and listen and speak.  Goddess Leonie says it best in her post here.
    2. I will remember to walk my own talk.  Jen says it best:  “health and self-love are intimately intertwined” at the Comfort Queen’s site.
    3. And I will rest lavishly!  Yahoo Jamie!
    4. I will find loving souls to connect with for comfort, nourishment, and inspiration.  Thank you Gypsy Girl!
    5. I will savor time with my boy.  Soule Mama is always an inspiration of how I want to mother, as well as the joy in savoring summer this time of year.
    6. I will get truthful with myself.  Thank you Danielle for a straight-up inquiry:  examine what you tolerate.  It has me thinking!

What reminders are you bumping up against today?

no forcing, no holding back

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I Believe In All That Has Never Yet Been Spoken

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours:  Love Poems to God

Why I’m Grateful for Her Today

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She rocked my newborn babe to sleep when I was too exhausted

She flew cross-country and showed up on my doorstep as a surprise

She cooks me comfort foods like only a sister can

She helped me feel beautiful on my wedding day

She was my sidekick on midnight drives with the sunroof open

She endured endless euchre games and hours of Barbies

She took the bottom bunk

She forgives me for the many moments I may have left her out, as big sisters sometimes do

She gets teary each time we leave one another 

She trusts me with her secrets—and her dreams

She believes in me sometimes more than I do myself

She gives me grace

She is my sister, my life blood, my best friend.

Happy birthday, Kiki.  I love you so.

Friendship Friday

Just over a week ago, I spent an evening with a dear friend.

It was a Friday night filled with so much goodness.  It began with a tour of her new home and ended with painting over breakfast.  In between, we squeezed in hours of talking on the back porch, enjoying yummy snacks and dinner in between.  We pulled Goddess cards, shared work ideas, and talked about my Taos retreat. 

We celebrated all that was new in our lives. 

We decided that we laughed more than we cried this visit.

It was so, so nourishing. 

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I know that hours like this fill my spirit up and send me back into the normal, dailyness of living with renewed energy.  What do you do with your friends to renew your spirit?


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Today my dad turns 60.

And today I want to celebrate him, his life, and the father that he is/has been to me.

My dad grew up in a small town in Indiana.  Besides the four years in Bloomington for college, he spent his entire life in the same county.  Minus the last two, which I’ll explain in just a bit.

Even though we might seem radically different in many ways, like our politics or the jokes we tell, we are so alike in a number of others.  Just like him, I can be friendly in a crowd but prefer my more introverted ways.  Like him, I get grumpy when I don’t have time to myself to decompress.  Like him, I love inspiring music, a sense of community, and order—just check out our closets!  We also can be highly sensitive, entrepreneurial, and creative.

So what do I love about my dad?  

I love that he stood in the wind and rain through countless track meets coaching me rather quietly.

I love that he worked with my grandpa at the family’s independent grocery store.

And speaking of the store, I loved that I would go to “help” him in the mornings before kindergarten.  And he’d comb my wiry hair, as his was just as wiry.

I love that he coached my t-ball games even though I could barely hit the ball.

I love that he’d play his guitar at the dinner table on Friday nights and that we’d go around the table picking songs to sing.  I know that’s where my love for John Denver as well as Peter, Paul & Mary come from. 

I love that he and my mom have found a way to stay together—and in love—after nearly 50 years together.  They were middle school sweethearts.

I love that he is tackling work in Indianapolis these days as a way to challenge himself and leave a professional legacy for the bankers coming after him.

I love that he helped cook and clean and care for us along with mom.

I love that he’d take us on family vacations each year to Chicago or the beach or New York City. 

I know I’m forgetting so many other reasons. 

But for today, I’ll tell you that I love my Dad, Clint Pletcher.  And I’m grateful for all he’s taught me about living.

Happy birthday, Dad.