Friday, July 31, 2009

the alchemist

Western Coast of Ireland from our trip in 05'

A few weeks ago I read "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho and its truths have been following me around ever since. Whenever words of wisdom reach a deep place in my soul, I like to marinate in them for a few days. Whispered messages are sheer and delicate, so easy to flutter away. Better to hold them close for a bit and let them take root in your own spirit before peppering others with their goodness. So with that said I won't try and spread all the insight I gained from the book, only the fragment that has sealed its foothold on my heart and is ready to stem forward.

We each have specific calling (Coelho uses the word "legend") and to fulfill it should be our commitment. God fashioned each of us with a purpose and a personality to match. Shy. Bold. Humble. Confident. We have a distinct role to execute and satisfy, building the beautiful patchwork quilt that is humankind. What really touched me (the part that sunk into my heart) is the understanding that by not following our true calling we are actually doing a disservice to ourselves, the world, and the Creator.

Ryan and I talk often of our parallel journey and how to live our best life as partners and as individuals. When degree, career, and ambitions become murky and our individual calling lacks clarity, we are comforted knowing part of our calling as partners is to parenthood...and in that layer of our expedition we are living our legend. Yea Teddy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

garbage gems

Old TV stand, turned end table that a neighbor left out for the garbage.

This hobby of sorts started back in Minneapolis. When Lindsey and I lived together we had we had a lovely little alley off the back of our house. It was there we noticed the neighbors would leave out perfectly good items for the garbage man to haul away. Linds suggested we nab the treasures. At the time "retrieve and reuse" was new to me and I remember being a little skeptical (or disgusted) by the idea. However, as time has passed, I've changed my views.

As of current, Ry and I have rescued three furniture items and one full set of golf clubs from certain demise. The lamp and side table are really nothing special, but they served a need in Teddy's room. The third piece of furniture though, really makes my heart palpitate. We managed to drag home an old, vintage-feeling green leather chair. It sits on rollers, a fact that combined with the style seems to indicate its from the 70's. Bodacious.

Our official chair model. Greta was jealous that Omar appeared in the blog last Friday. She wanted a turn.

Push pin detailing.

So the garbage scavenging along with the graveyard strolls should be enough to make us sound like such a lovely family. Ry's not worried about it. He and Big Bertha are out hitting the green.

Friday, July 24, 2009

emotions: as described by teddy ryan

today i was sad because i missed you.

then mom made me laugh, so i felt happy again.

then my best friend came to sit with me, even better.

hope we see each other soon. because i love you.

from, your teddy

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the power to choose

Remember, we shape our destiny. Let us not be passive puppets pulled along by the strings of the universe, but a potential-filled partnership with the power to create our own condition.

I wrote that little message for us and posted it on the fridge when we first arrived in New York. At the time we were feeling a little too light, swept away from friends and family by the demands of work 1,200 miles away. We wanted to feel heavy and fixed and grounded. I guess it was good to remember that life is all about choices and even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment....we have the power to choose. Maybe you will get a little burst of empowerment from it too.

Happy Wednesday Sweet Tarts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

a county fair

Following months of diligent practice, Teddy heard barnyard animal noises first-hand on Saturday at the Saratoga County Fair. The pigs were an oinkin' and the cows a mooin'! Teddy couldn't believe his eyes (and ears), he was stunned silent to realize that the animals we read about are actual real things...and they even take visitors!

To be honest he seemed pretty frightened of the pigs. I tired to help him hold onto the gate so he could stare down himself, but he started shaking.

The horses were a completely different story. He loved them, especially when they trotted.

Even more fascinating than the animals were the cars, trucks, and general engine noise. The tractor and truck pulls made him giddy with excitement. Have I mentioned lately how he is completely, madly, utterly in love with trucks?!?

In honor of his obsession, mama and pumpkin went on his very first carnival ride. A dump truck merry-go-round.

The last hour of the fair was spent staring at and touching the enormous wheels of the Massey-Ferguson tractors. I'm pretty sure he would have been happy to do that for the entire day.....

(to my teddy: thank you for a smile soaked weekend. you make us lusciously full.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

a walk in the "park"

Bordering our apartment to the west is a large, mature, beautiful parkway. Okay, maybe a little less parkway and more a memorial site of sorts. Okay maybe not a parkway at all, but simply an old graveyard. When describing places of enjoyment, I tend to romanticize a bit.

Yes, it's true...I enjoy old cemeteries. When I was younger my family went to DeSmet, South Dakota to visit the final resting place of the Ingalls family (as in "Little House on the Prairie"). We spent an entire afternoon driving around to different cemeteries and staring down at the descendants of Ma and Pa Ingalls. I loved it. So I guess I'll chalk my continued pleasure in marble town's up to childhood encouragement to delight in the dead.

Poor Teddy is destined to travel down the same path. A gleeful graveyard stroll in the afternoon seems to have become our norm. I can't help it, I'm fascinated by them and now we have a booming necropolis right in our very own backyard. They are so full of history and mystery. For example......

Exhibit A:

Look at this gravestone with an entire family on it! Everyone passed away in 1882. What happened? Perhaps a devastating fire that destroyed the family farm and its inhabitants? Maybe illness? If so, what kind? Malaria? Yellow Fever? Dysentery? Influenza? Worm Infestation? Goodness, the possibilities are endless. Here is the real mystery though, the wife/mother of the family is not listed among the dead on the gravestone! Is she only one to have survived? That poor, poor woman, to lose so many children and her husband.
(Side Note: Can I just say I love reading the names from the late 1800's. All the Margarets, Marys, Thomas', Williams. Classic. Beautiful. Timeless.)

Exhibit B:

In most shared spousal stones from the 19th century the females maiden name was used for the marker. Why? Peculiar. It seems so contrary to the times. I must praise the practice though, how very convenient for piecing together lineage. I wonder why graves today rarely state maiden names?

Exhibit C:

And how about all the "no name's"? Oh course, it is probable the name wore off with time, but how very mysterious. What happens when the names are not only washed away but the graves themselves are engulfed back up by the earth. How many hundreds of years will the ground remain sacred when the physical fragments are gone?

So you see....saturated with stumpers and secrecy. Fascinating, I tell ya'. Fascinating.

Monday, July 13, 2009

lake george, new york

Yesterday we drove about an hour north of Albany to one of upstate New York's most famous areas, Lake George. Tucked just inside the Adirondack Mountain Park Preserve, it stretches about 34 miles long. It's size, combined with the mountain lined shore made for one of the most beautiful spots our family has ever seen.

Thanks to my MIA status over Father's Day this year, Teddy and I didn't do much to celebrate the incredible father in our family and I'd been on the lookout for a belated surprise. When I woke up yesterday and saw the perfect summer day, I knew Ryan would be itching for some fresh air and new sights. I decided to make reservations at a boat rental and surprise him with a planned day at the lake. It all worked out wonderfully. We rented a pontoon for a couple hours and spent a gorgeous Sunday afternoon enjoying the lake.

Hope you all had relaxing and spirit-renewing weekends as well.