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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

day by day

Work. Try. Do.

Some days we need to turn off. Pack up some juice boxes, granola bars, sweatshirts (in case we head mauka=mountain in Hawaiian) and swimsuits (in case we head makai=ocean) and hit the road.

Sunday, we did. Skipped church. Turned on Tom and Jerry in the car DVD player (YAY). Baby obliged and fell asleep for a nap (a rare experience).

And we drove. And mama and dada talked. And figured things out. The week, the schedule, the goals and dreams, windows down, wind blowing, sunlight so so so bright.

We found a rodeo. We found a hike in the burning hot lava rock (not actual streaming lava. Hot from the sun!) We found teeny tiny orange and pink flowers. We found smiles.

And we found each other.

and this is the sunset we came home too...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

forever young

My baby is going to be one in about a month.

The last baby.

The last new baby year.


And I have been feeling my years lately. Sore backs. Tired by 9pm. And I think. Wait a minute. I am going to have a ten year old. When I am Fifty. FIFTY. (I am seriously going to start working out with the image of backpacking camping trips with baby when he is 12 and we are 52 as my motivation. FIFTY TWO.)

That is in ten years. FIFTY. Staring at me IN THE FACE. You haven't done your dreams yet Sara. No book published. No successful non-profit. No coffee goat cocoa farm on the hillside of Hawaii. With yurts. Of course (Hawaii chocolate farming is the new farming endeavor. I AM IN, BUT COFFEE TOO. BUT ALSO CHOCOLATE.)

Yes so all that?

None of it.

What is wrong with you? And you are SO OLD. Commercials about planning for your retirement send me in a panic. College savings too. WHAT ARE WE DOING MESSING AROUND IN HAWAII???

And then.

And then.

I remember ten years ago. Baby boy on my knee. One day dada will be a lawyer. Mama will start a nonprofit. We will travel the world. What a day that will be.

And we are here. Trying. Doing.

The Try and The Do.

So overwhelming. So much trying and doing and trying and doing.

So today, I pulled out the huge box of Legos, kids all plugged in to their devices, and I started building a Lego treehouse. Just you know, free form. Master Builder that I am (winky face sarcasm there).

And the kids eventually join in. And we build. And we put on some Bob Dylan. And we dance, in that shuffling sort of Bob Dylan dancing that you do, hippie style. Baby is a natural at it. Just two days ago he started that head bobbing swaying baby dance thing. SWOON.

And the breeze blows in the windows. And this song comes on. And I think of my college friend who recently lost her brave battle against colon cancer. She was a mama to a wee girl. Never got to saw her learn to read a book, ride a bike, lose a tooth. And I wish this for her girl. And I think of my friend, how intentionally she lived her last year. Now free of pain. Forever young.

Gosh. How did Bob Dylan know this internal cry for our kids? This prayer for their lives? But it makes me think too. What am I doing, to stay young in my heart, hopeful, strong, singing my song, busy and swift and true and righteous? Am I keeping my heart, forever young?

May God bless and keep you always. May your wishes all come true.

May you always do for others and let others do for you.

May you grow up to be righteous. May you grow up to be true.

May you always BE COURAGEOUS. Stand upright and BE STRONG.

May your hands be busy, your feet be swift, your foundation strong when the winds shift.

May your heart ALWAYS be joyful. May your SONG ALWAYS BE SUNG.

May you be - in your life, in your tackling of the hard things, in the joyless seasons, in the joyful seasons, in the rough tough lovely brutal life ahead of you, day ahead of you, moment ahead of you  - may you be, forever young.

Forever Young
Bob Dylan
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay
Forever young
Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
Forever young
May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay
Forever young
Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
Forever young
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay
Forever young
Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
Forever young

Sunday, January 15, 2017

thoughts on saying yes

So. I am sitting in a little tiny apartment, baby sleeping on my chest in the Ergo, three kids watching Netflix behind me. And I am in Hawaii. Not Greece.

It didn't work. Our trip. To lead the team of volunteers. To a refugee camp in Greece.

Turns out last minute adventures with four kids in tow are not terribly easy to pull off

But, I am realizing as I sit here, ocean to my right, that sometimes its not about the doing but about the willing.

And also. And also. I realize I now have Greece and its people permanently etched on my heart - not just the refugees, certainly them! but also the people of Greece who have suffered so much with economic downturn. They are there. Forever on my mind.

And sometimes. Sometimes. That is all that is needed to move to action. To move to yes.

We have all had this happen as humans and mothers. Our child almost drowns one summer at the pool and we are suddenly huge proponents of learning child rescue techniques. Our brother joins the Navy and we see him in every fresh faced uniformed seaman we pass in the airport.

The Rwandan genocide occurred the year I graduated from highschool. I tried to go on a youth missions trip to Eastern Africa that summer and unlike the past four summers, it just didnt work out. But my heart. Oh how my heart was changed. I wrote my first paper in college on the genocide and cried tears when I read through the thick packet of documentation sent to me by the United Nations (yahoo search was only basic then - HAHA I AM SO OLD. You had to actually write away for information for research.)

That is what this "almost trip" has done to me.

And what's more, I know this isn't the end of the story for us and Greece. And I fully see us living in a little stone house for a month, working, meeting with people, developing some kind of project, homeschooling the kids, even within the next year or two.

It's gonna happen.

And yea. It didnt now. But that is okay.

Because it spurred me into thinking about saying yes. Saying yes to good things. Saying yes to a simpler life. Saying yes to less. Saying yes to opportunities, though scary, and friendships, though hard sometimes. Saying yes, for some of us, to love. Loving ourselves more. Loving our spouses more, or to maybe loving again.Saying yes to being who you are, not who you think you have to be. Saying yes to the body you have, not the body you think you have to have. Saying yes to contentment. To peace. Saying yes to courage.

What are you challenging yourself to say yes to this year?

Find it. Hold on to it. Say yes.

And I am writing now from my teeny tiny hole of an apartment where we have landed after all this, feet first, like cats on the prowl.

And I have an actual little desk, with cubbies for notebooks and thank you cards and decks of cards and colored pencils. I honestly think its the nicest set up I have ever had. And gosh darnit, I think I am going to be able to blog again from this here desk.

And I have a brand new super nice laptop that dada finally was able to get for me. AND IT IS SO LOVELY.

And the ocean is just a glance to my right. Hazy today, palm trees lazily swaying in the evening wind.

And I am content.

I could write a book from this desk, I think.

I think I shall.

And I will lead my little school next quarter, even with the three students we have so far, and I shall start pulling my justice projects together in skype calls around the world.

And gosh darnit. Its all coming together.

And I am going to keep saying yes. Because there is magic in a yes life.

this is going on outside my window right now!!!!!!!

mom has a cool camera???

mom wont let me touch her camera!!!

mom has her camera back out!!!

hazy lovely goodness...

Monday, December 5, 2016

comfort and courage

 You know those people you see traveling around the world, speaking maybe or writing or traveling for fun and they are with their amazing children doing amazingly wonderful things and they look to be amazingly wonderful people.

 I feel like I am trying to impersonate those people.

Like I'm a total fake. Look at me. This is the face of an overwhelmed mama. An overwhelmed mama who is a total fraud.  A frantic fraud.  I am not amazingly wonderful.  My children are not perfect.  I like to eat chocolate and drink wine.  I like to stay up to procrastinate watching sappy shows. Part of me feels like I should be reading the New York Times cover to cover every day. Reading spiritual books to become better. I should be doing something edifying. Filling my soul. I should be reading inspirational stories to my children. Or, something I don't know. Something more.

I don't have everything together! I can't even get my butt off this couch. I need to pack up. I need to raise money.  I need to clean. Holy crap do I need to clean.  I need to write. I have so many emails I need to answer.

 But this is what I am doing. Sitting on the couch. In fact I am laying on the couch. A sweaty hot mess. I went outside I repotted my lemon trees which for some reason are infested with fire ants. I loaded the dishwasher. That was about it. That is all I can handle today. So now I'm laying on the couch. A hot sweaty mess.

 I saw one of those inspirational memes the other day. And it was something like this.

 We can choose comfort. Or we can choose courage.

 I feel like this is where my heart is struggling right now. I want so badly to have a little house a little farm to call my own. I want my own dishes, my own artwork. I want my stuff.

 I want to sit and write and paint and homeschool my children. I want to stay very close to home.

 My heart wants comfort.

 But my heart also knows that this is the year of courage.  Don't get me wrong. Some of the most courageous people I know are stay at home moms. You don't have to be a crazy adventurer to be courageous.

 Courage is taking the next step however. Courage is momentum. Whatever that looks like. Courage is being able to look around at your life and say this isn't all I am here for.

 But I am realizing that even in the courage we cannot be perfect. And part of me so wants to be perfect. I want to pack up my children, have color coordinating luggage, have a Kindle for each perfectly behaved child. Be perfectly at ease in my mind knowing that this is the right thing for us to do right now. That we can spend a month in Greece, learn about the local culture. That it will be excellent. That I will kick ass at this adventuring mama lifestyle.

 And all that might happen. But I am also super duper freaked out.  My anxiety is skyrocketing. I am snappish with the kids. I don't want to do dishes. I don't want to do laundry. I want to lay on the couch and eat chocolate and watch Netflix. My comfort side is rebelling against my courageous side.

 Which is so life right?

Motherhood is courageous. Saying yes to love is courageous. Saying no to the wrong relationship is courageous. But sometimes stepping out of ourselves, stepping on that ledge into the next transition is so freaking scary. Maybe, though, following that resistance  says something. Maybe it's key. Maybe following the resistance is what we need to do. Because that is where life becomes more beautiful.   In those moments of I can't I can't I can't.  We can see and find our own strength and say I can I can I can.

Instead we are letting in the yes. We are letting in the light. Letting in love. Letting in light. Letting in a stronger faith. Saying yes can carry us to greater and bigger and more amazing things.

So mamas. Where is your point of resistance? Forgiving someone in your life? Forgiving yourself? Saying yes to love? Saying yes to adoption? Saying yes to schooling for yourself? Saying yes to a new scary exhilarating career? What is it?

Find your fear, your point of resistance. Chase it down relentlessly, then look it in the eye. And say yes.

I'm going to do it too. Take my kids and dada to Greece. Lead a team of teens. Then come back. Teach. Buy a farm. Write.

And eat lots of chocolate and freak out more than once and cry and wail and procrastinate via Netflix. But I am going to keep leaning in to my point of resistance.

Courage mamas! The best is yet to come!

Saturday, November 12, 2016


You know, when you have the next baby and they get past the cooing stage to the moving all the time stage and then your husband is working crazy hours and suddenly you are like....



This. Is. My. Life.

No seriously, eat the damn nuggets.

I am so tired.

Dada is working this crazy hours job. Have I mentioned this? We have made some crazy interesting assortment of friends on the island. Including many in the movie making biz. So he is helping them on a shoot. Turns out movie making is not glamorous. Not when you are part of the crew anyway.

And I am kinda dying.

We are talking 16 hour days up on a mountain with no cell service anywhere.


And so I stop writing and blogging. Which means I stop processing. Because writing is how I process. And I totally wanted to do the November Novel writing challenge this year. But that requires being able to stay awake past your children. And I cannot. At all. Sometimes even cant before they are asleep. HA.

But, as one does, one must be gracious with oneself when one is overwhelmed.

Sara. In the past when you have had a baby the novel writing month thing has also been impossible. Yes, yes, Sara good point. Now, now Sara. You will write a novel someday. You will get this organization doing good things off the ground. It will be okay.

Grace. To yourself.

Then an ugly election happens and you try to understand. WHAAAAAAT????? And read far too many New York Times articles using up brain power typically reserved for things like remembering to turn around the laundry before it smells nasty.

And all the ugly gets too throaty and raspy inside you.

And so you have to step back. Cancel meetings.

Lift up your hands and let go.

Holding tightly to things (be it plans or emotions) is usually only harmful to ones self. And you are too precious to harm with silly things like unmet expectations for say, a massage promised for one's birthday more than a month ago.

So. Hey. Let's live in the moment. For a moment. Come on Sara. Let's go buy some books with grocery money. Let's take the kids to the park, on a whim, with milk in the car. Lets go out for shaved ice at bedtime, let's go swimming after, in the dark.

Let's let go.

Let's look straight at the future, eyes shining, unblinking, big girl pant(suit) on, and say, yes, you are right, I do not know what the future holds. Or even where we are going to live in three weeks time. But...there are possibilities...and it will be OKAY.

Good, even.

So let's hold teething cranky baby as he sleeps. And slow down.

Honestly, this baby was such a gift to our family at this time in our lives. He MAKES me slow down. He makes us smile. He is at the stage now where we just all sit around and watch him and giggle together. Ten year old little man flips him around, kisses his neck, calls him his "little manny," the girls coo, and Little Green says he is her best friend.

Here Sara, have some more chocolate. It helps, it really does. Write out some to do lists in a new pretty notebook (with attached pen) Pack up the kids for (another) trip to Target. Make a date with a friend for coffee. Day in, day out. The season will be changing soon. All those dreams will come to pass. For now, fill up.

The best is yet to come.

Which isn't to say this isn't the best. But we gotta believe for the best. For the future. For goodness and love to prevail. Even when things seem tough. Right? It's necessary, so necessary.

Sip tea. Light a candle. Pray. Rest. Eat buttery French toast. Go for a walk at twilight. Hold the baby while he naps. Eat an entire bowl of chex mix. Drink good wine. Write to do lists. Connect with a friend. Make a plan to be a changemaker in your corner of the world. Buy someone coffee.

Life is full of moments and opportunities to be kind to others, and ourselves. And every act is worth it.

Hugs mamas. And sorry for the sporadic writing. I miss it. I miss June. She is just super tired. WHERE DOES ONE VACATION WHEN ONE LIVES IN PARADISE??

Target. With an iced latte.


See you there.

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