Copyright © June Cleaver in yoga pants
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Monday, September 19, 2016

where i am at

Where I am here...asking this question...oh, and the daily struggles...broken AC in the car, kids whining Monday morning, peanut butter again, endless to do lists, husband off to work, when will it all be easier, now typing one-handed while baby leans on my legs, insisting on standing because six months is SO BIG you know.

But really. This. This is it. And this song. Top lists when I was in Iraq, inhabiting a different skin, really. Running the five mile loop around Saddam's parade grounds, up and down the stairs of the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, hazy sweltering sun in the background, sinking lower and lower, our security guys wrap it up, then back to camp where we barbeque and drink beer and watch the bats swoop in and out of the date palms.

And now. Baby reaching for the keys as I type. Birds swooping in and out of the banyan tree overhead and I just want FIVE SECONDS, where I can type with both hands.

Different. Yet the same.

The news is full of hate. Like real pulpy, ugly, twisty hate.

And we gotta ask.

Where is the love.

And we gotta look around.

And start seeing it.

Father, father, help us
Send some guidance from above

Help us, help us see the love...

Because its real. And here. Tangible and twisty and so simple its easy to miss and so complex that it looks like a mom typing one-handed on her computer on a tropical island desperately missing fall and and family and CHEX MIX but here anyhow. Trying trying trying to make sense of it.

The love.

Because its here.

We just need to see it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

the end of the yoga pants era

I feel like this blog is going through an identity crisis lately.

Maybe I am too.


But, in any case.

I think I dont know what to write. My real life.

CONFESSION: The other day I put on yoga pants for the first time in weeks.


They felt lovely, of course. But, its just not my life these days, the yoga pants life. With little kids under five crawling at you, no real conversation all day beyond why Caillou doesnt have hair and where are my red socks mommy and why cant I drink my grape juice in front of the TV and where is heaven and why is your bellly so squishy.

All of this. Those yoga pants days.

I miss it.

I of course still have little people in my life. Little Green is just turning five this month. And dear baby man. But, boy if it isnt different now. Even outside of the whole kids in school and not homeschooling anymore.

Of course its the new "working mom" thing too ....although GOLLY I hate that phrase. I worked my ASS off when I was a "stay at home mom," who also ran a consulting business and homeschooled and etc etc.. But for real. Can we just change this please?? Can we just be individuals, women,  with little people in our lives? Some who work at mothering and homemaking. Some who run photography businesses. Some who teach. Some who pull all night shifts as an ER nurse.  But all who love and nurture and sweat and cry at this business called motherhood. Like. Seriously. Good grief. We ALL WORK. It is so much work. I am just not doing all the stuff now that I was doing in those early years.

Because I can't. Because I needed to find and embrace this other part of me.

Maybe that is why I dont write here about it all. Because I am afraid that people will say, oh, she just is too selfish to homeschool anymore.

I know. Because I have looked at moms and judged too.

And now here I am. Trying on this new life. Figuring it out, baby in tow of course but, yes very very different.

The last two weeks I taught a group of pastors and NGO leaders from Central Africa. We discussed transformation inside and out for their country. I brought baby with me, nursed during breaks, held him as he napped in the Ergo while I taught, passed him off to whoever was willing when he was awake and chatty, then ran to get Little Green at the school on campus, up to the cafeteria for lunch followed by meetings, connecting with my intern, then big kids home from school, shove some laundry in and find something for dinner, then emails and skype calls in the late evening as kids get in and out of the shower while baby scooches around on the floor.

No bread baking. No wool crafting. No gardening. No sewing. No story telling with handmade figurines carved from raw wood and lovingly painted by yours truly with non toxic paint, polished with local beeswax to a soft sheen. (OH MY GOSH. YES. I DID THAT. HAHAHA)

Instead I am planning projects with people like Dee. Who grew up on the streets of her Central African country. Sold corn from her adopted families field, where she was treated like a slave, so she could raise fees to go to school, even though school is constitutionally guaranteed as "free" and now she raising funds to build classrooms for the twenty street kids she has taken in so she can give them a quality education and a chance at a fulfilling life. We are planning all kinds of advocacy projects. I hope to go to her country this fall to start in on some of them.

Did I mention she is 29???

So yes.


Good. But so different.

I see moms hanging out on campus in yoga pants (all amazingly fit moms who apparently wear yoga pants to actually work out) and they have their little guys in tow. A toddler. A baby. And they are planning their days out in Target trips and playdates.

And I miss those years.

But I am also realizing that I am beyond them. I have done those years. Kicked ass at those years, frankly. Also learned. And grown so much. But it isnt where I am anymore. I have a ten year old now. Who has increasingly complex needs. My mommying life is moving beyond the yoga pants years.

And that I need to be true to myself too.  To be here for them but also show them, hey look, mommy has dreams, here she is working hard at them to make them real.

But I want both really. An integrated life. A little farm where I paint and garden and host family in our guest yurt and make wool felted toys and feed the goats (I totally want baby to have a goat who pulls a little cart...HOW AWESOME, RIGHT??) and sit at a desk on the lanai where I write at my books. I am itching to write lately. And projects. Trips overseas. Where I teach and help amazing people like Dee accomplish their dreams.

All of it.

Here is to the dream!

And I dont know how to be inauthentic in these pages. So. If you are up for it I'll start to write more authentically. Because there is much that June is seeing and doing and thinking about these days. Just maybe, a little bit, well, different.

Heading out to a work meeting

 Meeting baby...

 Yep. Me holding baby whilst teaching. HAHAHA

Taking the kids to a meeting when they were off school from a hurricane

 We log a lot of Ergo time

A Kona sunset

On our commute down the hill to campus

The inspiring Dee.

Friday, August 26, 2016



Ten years of this guy.

Ten years of sleepless nights.

Ten years of relentless love.

Ten years of amazing firsts, mine and his. First giggle. First pouty lip. First scraped forehead. First hour away from mama.

Ten years of worrying.

Ten years of antics. Robot man with buckets on his head. Dancing the gaga dance. Greeting everyone with "hellobabahowyoudoing?" Wearing a clip on tie and superhero cape to the grocery store. Charming the socks off of everyone.

Ten years of thinking outside myself, letting a piece of my heart climb to the top of the jungle gym, scooter down the steep hill, go off to school, run and play with other kids who may or may not be kind.

Ten years of tears, mine and his. Why don't they like me? Why can't I stay with you forever?

Ten years of squint-eyed laughter. Eyes crinkled up, twinkling in delight.

Ten years of doing anything to make that little face light up.

Ten years of impossible questions. What is death. Where is it. Why am I here. Who am I. And on and on until drifting off into sleep, mind swirling with all the unknowns of life.

Ten years of managing expectations, ten years of learning patience, ten years of setting the day up for success, ten years of What will he like best, ten years of learning to think of someone else before myself, ten years of joy and grief and frustrating heartache, and more joy.

Ten years of life.

Ten years of motherhood.

Thank you, my little man.

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