What If? (a birthday pondering)

DSC_6435My birthday is Saturday.  The years fly by in the breeze faster than I can blink but I am grateful for each and every year that I get to celebrate being on this beautiful earth.

New Year’s makes me ponder how I can do things better and makes me set lofty financial and personal goals.  Autumn makes me rethink what I need and what I don’t need.  It is a cleansing of sorts.  My birthday makes me think of ways that I can live.  How can I take in each day more deeply?  How I can be more present and more compassionate and more alive?  It makes me think…what if?

What if I stopped making a to-do list?  Would anything actually get done?  Instead of cramming sixty-two things into one day, what if each thing was done as I thought of them.

What if I stopped counting every penny?  Would money begin to flow in after I loosened my grip on worry?

What if I stopped circling back every time I began to move forward in my work?  Can I let go?

What if I got a Buddhist hair cut?  Would people think I was sick?  Or ugly?  What if it didn’t matter?  What if I released my appearance and symbolically started anew on my journey?  How fun would that be to not do my hair.  Or to not have a headache every night from hair ties?

Why is cutting my hair or releasing worry or moving forward or not having a to-do list so monumental?

What if I took more time to do yoga and to sit in coffee shops writing or got a bicycle and rode around town?  What if I spent more time in the garden or with my children or reading?  What if I had tea time every day at 4?  What if I cut my hair?

Maybe this is the year of boldness.

Of courage.  Of peace.

of living.

The Marvelous Miss Mims


Seventeen years ago this morning a red head entered the world.  That in itself is not a particularly unusual event but this red head would change my life forever.  My third child was born.

With the cord wrapped around her neck the doctors prepared to perform a C-section but in Emily style she decided to do it her way and came out in such a flurry the doctors almost weren’t ready.  Her petite fingers and toes, her tuft of red hair, her sweet green eyes.  I was in love.


She had a very different demeanor than her siblings.  They were very outgoing and loud, but this little girl with the red hair was very quiet.  So quiet it concerned extended family.  But inside that little mind, the wheels were always turning.  She was the little girl to watch because she was so quiet, an entire mural could be drawn down the hallway and I’d be none the wiser until I came upon it later.  The dog has worn mohawks and tie dyed hair.  She cut her own bangs for ten years.  She still does, but now her hair styling is beautiful and she knows what she is doing after all that practice!


In preschool she hated the song, “Ants in My Pants” which they sang daily.  She would lament to us in the car all the way home.  We would try not to giggle.  She adored(s) her sister and brother and would do anything to make them happy, which of course has gotten those kids into a fair amount of mischief in the past years but it is a joy to see them as young adults reliving their fun childhood moments and speaking as adults to each other about college, life plans, life partners, and children.

Growing up, from the time she was very little, she has been a daddy’s girl.  Her email address was daddy’s girl Emily for a long time!  She could play airplane for hours, him swooshing her around or lifting her from a recliner with his leg, or leaning her backwards and back up, she breathless from laughter.  He worked with her in baseball and in track.  She loved his smoothly shaven face and would demand to pet it before he left for work.


She has always been a character.  She would pile toys in her backpack to take to school only to have them taken away but would replace them with more the following day.  She had a shy smile, and an uproariously gritty smile to show her intense joy.  The same smile I see in the other red head that changed my life, her daughter, Maryjane. (below)


Through the years I have watched her grow.  I appreciate how intelligent she is, how creative she is, how funny she is, and how quiet she is.  For it is not the norm to be silent so much, but I wish I could be more present and more quiet.  She is a beautiful, determined, and passionate young woman.  I am so lucky to have spent the last seventeen years by her side as her mother.  And how wonderful to see the delightful mother she is to Maryjane Rose.  She is already an accomplished photographer and hopes to start college in the fall to begin her journey towards law school.


She has made our life laced with laughter and adventure.  Our life has been so much better with that sweet, marvelous Miss Mims.

Thankful for Bret, Emily, and Maryjane

So, a wish goes out to my dear Emily Lynn, Mims, as we have always called her.  May your days be rich with laughter, paved with good memories, and filled with life, love, and a farm!  Mama loves you!