Searching for the Christmas Spirit

I have to admit that I have started this blog posts several times in the last two weeks. I wanted to write both about the joys of the holiday season and the reality that I am not feeling particularly joyous this year. As a mom, I can’t just decide to skip Christmas. I can tone it down a bit, and have done so due to health issues and a general lack of energy, but I cannot just skip Christmas. Honestly, I don’t want to skip Christmas so much as I want to find my missing holiday cheer. This has always been my favorite holiday. I love how people are nicer to one another, the look on the kids’ faces when they see light displays and the fun of annual traditions.

This year, I just feel ambivalent. Continue reading


Seeing Faith and Gratitude during crisis

As a health coach I was taught about primary and secondary nutrition. Secondary nutrition is what you put in your mouth. Primary nutrition is what feeds your spirit. I recently had an experience that strengthened my faith in every way.

Yesterday was an amazing day. It began with a head-on collision on a dirt road in the Olympic National Forest. It likely seems odd that I put those sentences together, but I have a lot to be thankful for after those first terrifying moments beginning with the knowledge that my children were unharmed.
It began with an overnight camping trip then a drive up forest road 2870 to the Tubal-Caine Trailhead to drop my husband off for his first backpacking trip. On the way back down to the main road the kids were singing along with the soundtrack to “Frozen” while I navigated the curvy roads. The next moment there was a blue pick-up truck inches from me and then the crash. We had collided coming around a blind corner, neither seeing the other until too late to stop. I got the car stopped and climbed over the passenger seat to get out and get to my crying 4 year-old while the other driver got out and asked if we were ok. Fortunately, Brenna was just scared and a little sore from where her seatbelt dug in. Aidan was stunned but unhurt.
I find myself getting teary as I write this, thinking what could have happened to my children. Remembering the steep ledge on the other side of that road.
Deep breath; on to the aftermath. I counted six people who stopped to help, though there may have been more. Two men on bicycles helped push the cars to the side of the road and others offered water and rides. A kind family vacationing from Florida and visiting relatives gave us a ride into town as there was no cell coverage on the mountain. They said they didn’t intend to get such a large rental car but were glad they had. After calling a tow truck and giving us contact information in case we needed more help or were just stuck for too long, they left us at the Evergreen Collision Center in Sequim. There tow-truck driver, Scott, didn’t make me and the kids pile into the truck to go back and fetch the car. In fact, he suggested a nearby park and told me he would call when he was on his way back. Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Edgington was equally helpful and kind. They declared this a no-fault accident then gave the kids and I a ride to the park. The kids enjoyed riding in the back of a police car. They also enjoyed the chocolate-lavender ice cream we found at the Lavender Festival there.
Finally, the blessing of my father-in-law who drove the three hours to Sequim to fetch us and as much of our stuff as we could fit in his car. The kids, exhausted from the adventure, fell asleep on the way home. They had both behaved incredibly well. I could not have asked for better from them or all of those who helped us. It feels as if God was there every step of the way, putting those in our path who were willing to go out of their way to help us.
The kids had a hard time falling asleep last night so we all slept together. Brenna and I shared a bed while Aidan slept nearby. After such a day, I wanted little more than to hold them both close and thank God that they were unharmed and seemingly recovered from the ordeal.
Tomorrow, a friend has offered to drive us back to Sequim to retrieve our car top carrier and my sunglasses then we will let the insurance company do what they do. I am, of course, upset about the car but feeling more grateful than anything else today. Things could have been so much worse. Instead we had help every step of the way. My bank account may soon be smaller, but my heart is very full. The kids and I gave thanks before sleep last night and I have a feeling I will be doing so for some time to come.

Be Bad

I listened to an interesting talk this week. The theme was “be bad.” The Institute of Integrative Nutrition defines “bad” as something you feel you shouldn’t do or feel is irresponsible. These are little things that you might not do because it conflicts with your routine, your sense of responsibility or is just too silly to feel right. Suggested ideas included scheduling a play date for yourself rather than your kids or leaving work early to get a massage.
I have thought about this off and on over the last few days. Today I was tired and a bit cranky. Without consciously trying,

I did something bad. I put on a video for the kids to watch then spend a lovely 20 min soaking in a hot bath with a fun book before the yelling and door slamming started.

The interesting result is that when the fighting did start downstairs I was feeling too relaxed to get angry. When they interrupted me I simply told them to go to their rooms and read until I was out of the bath. I didn’t mad and the world didn’t end because I told them wait.
That bath could be considered irresponsible or an example of self-care when it was needed. What do you think?

What can you do today that is “bad” and that might make you feel good?

Climb Out of the Darkness – walk for postpartum mental health

I have been invited to participate in a fundraising and awareness campaign for a great cause. “Climb Out of the Darkness is an annual event in support of Postpartum Progress, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting pregnant woman and new moms with parinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Because I believe that  no mom should ever feel alone, I will be walking in Olympia on June 21st. If you would like to support this worthy cause or join in the walk, please see the link below.

Climb Out of the Darkness – Olympia walk