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love never fails.

stolen from my very own facebook, here is my october 11 message to all of you out there, known and unknown:

happy national coming out day, friends! how grateful i am that the truth set me free, how it saved my life. and what a blessed life i get to live! love prevails. it always prevails.

to all the dear ones afraid to tell your stories: peace to you in the journey. be brave. you are loved. you are already whole. anyone who tells you otherwise is afraid of the prospects of unconditional love and unconventional wholeness. their judgment has everything to do with their own struggle, and nothing to do with who you are. so shake off those shackles. they do not have to be your burden. x

well hello.  so yesterday,  i began to password-protect some of my old posts.  apparently, some of you received new post notifications when i made my edits.  sorry to disappoint you! but it warms my heart to no end to know that you’re still interested in this dusty old blog.

it’s been a good and necessary thing to take a break from telling a public story this year.  i’ve spent this time learning how to journal again.  (it had been years since i’d written anything without a public filter.) 

this silent year has been one of journeying back into the center of all the things that matter, and the work is intimate and delicate. it’s not the stuff of present tense blogging.  

but there is still much to say.  and i feel as though i may dust off this blog soon.  i can’t not chronicle the new, kindergarten chapter of the fambly now, can i?

more to come.

 

 

a small amen.

last january, i wrote this, and set out on a journey toward a deeper wholeness. a year later? i am (slowly, slowly) learning to think new fundamental thoughts about all things holy and true.

the following is a journal entry i wrote today. i hope you enjoy the snapshot of utter joy.

It is a cold, grey, rainy Friday afternoon. I took the day off in anticipation of our upcoming road trip, but mostly with a come-what-may spirit toward something—anything—creative that a day off would bring. And such a day began with a proper lie-in till 8:30, and then another half hour of snuggling with Jude in bed, squinting our eyes to see the odd snowflake amidst the drizzle. I won’t say I did not see one.

Jude and I reminisced under warm blankets about the last time it snowed, two years ago. We watched a video of baby Ziggy from that day, red-cheeked and cooing about the weather with his raspy voice. She giggled and giggled, my girl. When she realized that both of us were wearing warm winter nightshirts with no pants, she declared us the pantless twins. And then we looked through photos of our family on my phone, until we surfaced for breakfast. We got dressed together; she refused to go downstairs without me. “I want to be where you are,” she always says these days, and then she asks me to hold her hand as we walk downstairs together.

After breakfast, we the fambly bundled up in warmest coats, and headed into town for Haircut Day. Zig was successfully bribed into sitting still with the promise of a big candy cane, and was a champ, despite the awful, impatient woman who cut his hair without a word. I gave up instructing her on what I wanted; she simply cut his hair the way she wanted to. I held my hand over his eyes to keep the hair out. He is stunningly gorgeous.

Jude, of course, chatted up her hair stylist the whole time, and was a pro. And H? She had awful stylist woman too, and came out looking just like Judi Dench, which is all she ever wanted anyway. She looks smokin’ hot.

Of course, my boy fell asleep on the way home, nub of candy cane still in hand, and pink stickiness all over every bit of exposed skin. I laid him on his bed, rolled him out of his sticky coat, and wiped his face, his hands; he was limp the whole time. And then I tucked him in, with two trucks beside him, and for all I know, he is still sleeping, nearly three hours later.

After a leisurely lunch with my ladies, I left the nest, driving to the only place where I know I can write: my favorite coffee shop. Obviously, the energy of this place is substantially different in the afternoon than the quiet womb of caffeine I’m used to at 7am. But I’m sat just to the left of my spot, and these words are coming. I feel calm, and something like centered.

And. I think I am remembering (discovering?) that every moment of my life—as it is, without even the slightest shift toward change—is perfect. Now. I can chronicle this quotidian day off business because, glory be, I don’t need anything more than a morning with my family to feel whole.

I talked to Marlei on New Years Day. She went out of her way to praise me for the creativity I put forth on Facebook, and while my first instinct was to argue that it isn’t enough—I should be doing more, writing more, making more time, etc—instead, I listened to what she was saying: I am still making creative contributions, and the scope has little bearing on the intention and impact. Thirty seconds of intentional mindfulness has great meaning. It is enough. It is enough.

I am brought back to Anne Lamott’s Help, Thanks, Wow meditation. At the very end of the book, at amen, she quotes Matisse: “I don’t know whether I believe in God or not. I think, really, I’m some sort of Buddhist. But the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer.”

If I have one New Year’s resolution, it would be just that: without the pressure and baggage of Our Father…in Jesus’ name, I will open myself up to that prayer-like frame of mind. For I have fully felt what it is like to allow my soul to expand in a holy moment. And here are all these holy moments right in front of me, one after the next after the next. What a shame to miss even one of them. Amen.

two.

dear isaac,

at two years old, you are more ziggy than ever. or, as your sister loves to call you: zigster. i still wonder if, when you are a grown man, we’ll fondly remember calling you ziggy as a phase, but i mostly think you will be ziggy forever.

you turned two about three weeks ago, and a note to you has been banging around in my head ever since, not quite taking form until (hopefully) now. i confess that is difficult to write about you. you are so very yourself, just as you’ve been since the beginning–since i knew you were you in my belly–and descriptions are elusive. you are ziggy; you are isaac. you were very aptly named.

your world revolves around mama, coyote and roadrunner, and jude. now that you are done teething, you like me ok as well. (when you are in pain, you tend to take it out on me. i guess you blame your tortured existence on me.) you and your mama are two virgo peas in a pod. you both love your beans and rice and spicy foods. you dislike meat and reese’s cups. you both love order and routine, and express great displeasure with unexpected change.

oh, and coyote and roadrunner? you are ob-sessed. you call them deet deet and raaaaah. you would watch those cartoons all day every day if we’d let you. we don’t let you. cue great displeasure.

your vocabulary is equal parts words and sound effects these days, and when you’re using actual words, they mostly begin with N or D. (NEIN! you yell like an adorable, angry little german, when you assert possession of something.) you call sweet treats “deet deets”. sometimes i ask you to say “road runner sweet treat”. you oblige: deet deet deet deet. it slays me, every time.

you are the most mature two year old i’ve ever met. you quickly deescalate yourself from tantrums by calming down on the couch, for instance. also, you are about 97% potty trained, and if i’d let you handle the toothpaste by yourself, you could totally own your oral hygiene routine.

every time i mention this bit about you, my chest tightens in fear that i’m about to jinx it: you still love to sleep. our bedtime ritual has remained a constant as you’ve grown, in that it always ends with me cradling you and sniffing your honey-head before plopping you down into your crib. you still kiss my hand as i sign “i love you”; a gesture, you may remember, that stems from the days when you bit me all the time. and then you roll over and go right to sleep, every night. some nights, i am brazen in my confidence about your overwhelming desire to sleep, and i stand sentinel by your bedside, watching your eyelashes flutter and your breathing grow slower and deeper. other nights, i continue to sway you in my arms until you go limp.

you fall asleep right there in front of me, and it is a holy moment.

last night [ahem, october 10], mama put together your big boy bed, and set it up in jude’s room–which is now, officially, jude and ziggy’s room. you hopped right in, covered yourself up, tucked a stuffed animal under each arm, and said “night night” to me. i kissed you and turned out the light. no more cradling: you were a kid in a bed who was ready to sleep. i left the room before you kicked me out.

you woke up at 5am, wanting your crib, and so mama obliged. jude woke up too, and was gutted that she would have to spend the rest of the night alone in the room. (despite the fact that she’s been alone in there since she was about 6 months old.) already, she has made the leap that you two are in this together, and she is fiercely devoted to you. she wholly expects you back tonight.

…and now it is three weeks later. grandma came to visit, and the days got away from me.

your crib is gone now, dismantled and given to a baby not yet born. this big boy thing you’re doing, zig? it’s on. it’s real. it’s not going away. you and jude continue to share your room, with a mixed overnight-sleeping success rate. you love to torture her in the middle of the night, and you love to turn on the clock radio. and so, most nights, there is some screaming and being re-deposited into your bed by one of your weary mothers. despite such setbacks, you’re making great progress, and you still love to go to bed. there is no more swaying you to sleep, however. after two stories (currently olivia and annie bananie), you climb into bed and allow me to kiss you and tousle your hair.

you still kiss my hand when i sign “i love you”.

oh my boy, you are a delight, and i adore your two-year-old self. i love your devotion to swinging, and you save your biggest smile in the world for that act. i love that you find it funny to talk in silly voices. i love your independence. i love that you still do not call me mommy, and instead opt for “nanny” (bananie).

i love you i love you i love you. and i am so excited to know you more this year.

love,
mommy

zero:

one:

two:

just. give.

i interrupt the unintended blog silence with a plea for help, and money if you gots it.

the reproducing genius family needs our help. their beautiful, perfect son has been diagnosed with a one-in-a-million kind of leukemia. he will turn 3 next week.

already, he is undergoing chemo, not even a week after diagnosis. he needs a bone marrow transplant, and the search for a donor match is on.

here is where the help pleas begin:

1. register to be a bone marrow donor. it’s free, and you can do everything from your own couch. simply visit be the match today.

2. donate directly to the genius family via paypal. there is a button on their blog.

3. the most excellent t-shirt-making duo at chronicles of conception have created an awesome t-shirt. check it out:

here are the deets to order:
Alright folks, t-shirt orders are a GO as of RIGHT NOW. $20 each including shipping to you. PLEASE tell ALL your friends and family. We have until NEXT FRIDAY (8/31) to get as many orders as possible. 100% of the profits go to helping BG. I want us to be able to sell a TON of these. Please post on your blog, email your friends, share with your family and coworkers, post on your wall….etc. You can order YOUTH XS (2-4), S (6-8), M (10-12), L (14-16), XL (18-20) or ADULT (S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X) t-shirts. Accepting orders NOW through next Friday August 31st. Please email me at tiffreynolds@hotmail.com with your order (size, quantity & mailing address) and I will email you back with the paypal address to send payment to. Let’s support BG!

4. harness the power of social media for good. do what i am doing. prove that twitter and facebook are more than just places to post inane, poorly spelled commentary about the election.

5. send all your love, prayers, and hope to bg.

a year ago today, i married the love of my life. on this anniversary–our first year of marriage and ninth year as a couple–i thought i’d share some of my favorite pictures from our wedding and reception. all were taken by our beloved friend, c.

i hope you enjoy!

boston city clerk, rosaria salerno, signs our marriage license:

rosaria salerno, h, me, and our respective weird sunburns: just married:

with michael and christine moers, our witnesses:

waiting for our train back to n&c’s house, with first marital coffee:

holy shit! so many delectable wedding cakes!

holding court and children:

cake cutting:

aftermath:

passwordiness.

i’m totally mysterious, i know. i just added a password-protected post. it’s the same password i’ve used for the past year. if you need it, just comment or email.

x

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