A Thank You Letter to The Moms Who Have Invited Me To Attend Their Births

Dear Amazing Women,
You have made my life better.

Meeting you and witnessing the birth of your child, as well as the birth of you as a mother has altered my life in such a positive and profound way, and I will never be able to thank you properly.  You may think I did something for you, and I hope I have, but YOU have done more for me than you may realize.

You have shown me how powerful the female body is.

You have given me the courage to trust in my own body and see it as a very special and sacred thing.

You challenged me to get outside of myself and to be very present in the moment.

You have brought magic into my life.

When I left your birth (and I am talking to every.single.one of you) I felt MAGICAL.  It’s the only word.  What you did with your body and your mind and your female super powers was utter magic.  And that you would invite me in as a witness makes me feel so, so special.  Really.  You have altered my view of the world- made it so much better – and you have busted my heart wide open to take in the magic that is all around us.

I went to a restorative yoga class tonight and thought about what I wanted to say to you.  I want to hug you and thank you and prostrate myself at your feet because I am truly not worthy.  But I am so, so grateful.  Thankful.  FULL.

I thought about each of you during my practice and I sent you love.  Each time I attend a birth, I carry you with me.  When things come up at a birth that I learned how to handle at your birth, I think of you.  When I go to the hospital or drive through the neighborhood where you live, I think of you and I send you love.  I look at pictures of your beautiful babies and send them love.

Whether we are still in contact, or life has gotten a little too busy, please know that I hold you in my heart and I am absolutely in love with you.  Because you are super badass!

I hope you have an abundant holiday season!

Love, love, love,

Kate

November 22, 2012. Birth, Doula Stuff. 1 comment.

Heartgasm

Hi.

Sometimes, without warning or rhyme or reason, I am hit with the most intense wave of gratitude and love, and I feel like my heart will burst.

I have no idea when it is going to hit, or if it will come again, but it’s like my heart is having an orgasm.

It hit tonight after I moved out to the couch to watch an episode of Project Runway, and directly after eating a small handful of half melted Powerberries, with my love asleep in bed before going to work tonight at 2am.  Ten minutes before the heartgasm?  I was laying in bed worrying about how I would get the work I need over the next few months to pay bills.

(My) Life is funny that way.

 

August 25, 2012. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Boundaries

I’ve been thinking a lot about boundaries: how to set them and how to keep them.

This can be a really difficult thing to do. I worry about not being a “team player” or acting “selfish” when I set my boundaries and stick to them.  But in reality, no one (other than my husband) is going to look out for my best interests except for me.  Of course my friends and family love me, but they are also looking out for their best interests, and I want them to.  I want them to have their own set of boundaries and stick to them.  And when I stick to mine, I hope they will be happy for me, in the same way I will be happy for them when they stick to theirs.

Many of you know that I work three jobs, two of which have me on call every minute of my life.  It’s difficult to make plans, or go out of town, or get the combination of strep throat/migraine/body aches/fever that I had this week.  My third job is a little more 9-5, but not really because I think it about it all of the time.

You know what else I think about all of the time?

The fact that these jobs take up so much of my life and energy and I don’t even have kids yet.  And I hear those little dudes will require time and energy that I can’t even imagine….

It’s hard (read: scary) for me to imagine how I will do all of this and be a mom…a wife…a sister…a daughter…a doula…a childbirth educator…a friend…an aunt…a grand daughter…a niece…an individual…

Is that even possible? Other people have much steeper hills to climb and they do it…right?

Of course I have the most amazing partner on the planet, but he also has three jobs, and dreams, and so on.

This wheel of worry can move pretty fast once it gets to spinning, so for my first trick, I am setting this boundary:

“Kate will not allow worry and doubt to consume her because it serves no purpose”

And then immediately I will amend that boundary to read:

“Kate will be a human being and occasionally worry and doubt, but she will take deep breaths and remember that things work out as they are meant to, and that she must be very, very kind to herself.” 

So, I am new to this boundary setting thing, but I do believe that a big part of this is putting myself in the driver’s seat, and as the driver, I can change the direction as I see fit.  I believe that taking care of myself so that I can be an amazing wife/sister/daughter/friend/employee/doula/educator/aunt/grand daughter/niece/individual/eventual mom is good for everyone involved, and if that is seen as selfish…well, okay.  I guess I would rather been seen as “selfish” than a total crazy person, because that is what I will become if I don’t take care of myself.  And no one wants to see Krazy Kate.  And I do mean NO ONE.

May 11, 2012. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Happy Birthday

Today is my 30th Birthday.

It’s a day that I have been looking forward to for a long time.  Some people get anxious about turning 30.  I did not.  Why?  Because I have witnessed the awesome power of the 30’s in my friends that have gone before me.  The 30’s have been good to so many amazing women in my life and they laid the foundation for my belief that the 30’s are nothing to fear.  In fact, they are to be revered, and so I do.  Revere them, that is.

Today is also my baby sisters 24th birthday.

When I turned 6 years old, I got a baby sister for my birthday.  Yes, I chose it, and yes I was a little bummed when I realized I wouldn’t be getting a birthday party, but in spite of that, she was, and still is, the best present I ever received.

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I learned so much from being a big sister, particularly HER big sister.  Amy was always a really creative, sensitive, and strong willed kid.  When our older sister, Chris, moved out, Amy cried for days and said one of my favorite lines of all time: “It feels like a piece of my heart is missing.”  I mean, come ON!  How cute is that?!  It took all I had to nod knowingly and not burst out laughing at the adorableness of a 5 year old saying that.

At night, when I would tuck her in, she would ask me to give her a dream and I would whisper in her ear all the fun things I could think of- flying, fairies, talking animals.  We also made up a series of kisses that we would do at night, all based off the classic Eskimo Kiss (where you rub noses):

  • Bunny Kiss: this was a wrinkling of the noses will kissing cheeks
  • Lion Kiss: rubbing cheeks together
  • Chicken Kiss: jutting our heads forward while giving quick kisses, like pecking each others faces, but with kisses
  • Butterfly Kiss: fluttering eye lashes on each others’ cheeks
  • and our favorite:
  • Bumble Bee Kiss: doing a series of three kisses on each cheek while making a humming/buzzing sound

To this day, we still sign cards and emails with “BBK” for Bumble Bee Kisses, and it makes me so happy.

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A regular ole kiss on the cheek

Amy recently reminded me that I used to hang a sign in her bedroom that counted down the days until our birthday.

Ames- there are ZERO days until our birthday! Today is our day, and although we aren’t celebrating in person, I know that we are always connected. Sometimes it feels like a piece of MY heart is missing because we are so far apart, but I am so glad that you are that piece of my heart.  You are one of my favorite people in the world and I am so proud to be your sister.

Oh, and I didn’t get you a card, so… you know, pretend this is it, okay?

I love you.

BBK,

KT

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At the Taste of Chicago

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With my sisters at my rehearsal dinner

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Safety first!

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First time Amy came out to a bar with her older sisters =)

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Silly faces

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Twins six years apart- even when we sleep

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Amy came to support me at both the Chicago marathons I ran.

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Amy’s bachelorette party

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Passed out after a fun wedding

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Sistersssss

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The night Amy and Tommy got engaged

May 4, 2012. family, Friendship, sisters. Leave a comment.

katyamy

katyamy

May 4, 2012. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

New Moon Gathering

It’s 12:46am and I should be fast asleep, but I am up late working on a video for a doula client, and there is bread rising, so I thought I would stay up and write about the amazing New Moon Gathering I went to last weekend.

First, I’ll tell you this: I am a little nervous you are going to judge me when you read this post. Here are the things I am worried you will think:

“Kate’s a weirdo.”

“Kate moved to LA and became a feminist hippy.”

“Kate’s gone off the deep end.”

And mostly I am afraid you are going to roll your eyes.

Well, now that I’ve put it out there, I guess it’s not the worst thing in the world if those things happen.  I AM weird sometimes, I have always been a feminist AND a bit of hippy, and, no, I haven’t gone off the deep end.  Also, you are at your computer and I am at mine, so go ahead and roll those eyes if you wanna!

My history with female friends is a short one and a simple one: I have always had a very small group of them. I made friends in college, but still kept a close circle. In my adult life, those ladies that I was very close with in grade school, high school, college and post college, I am still close to many of them. Yes, of course I made more girl friends as I grew up, but I wasn’t always comfortable at all female gatherings. Bachelorette parties gave me anxiety. The Girls Night I had on a regular basis in Chicago contained four of us, and I liked it that way. I was mostly friends with boys because the aforementioned judgement seems to be more prevalent in groups of girls. And that makes me feel yucky.

So when my friend Monica suggested we go to a New Moon Gathering, I was interested because it’s the Taurus New Moon (and that’s me!), but a little nervous that we might have to dance around a fire and drink a strange Kool Aid. (Spoiler Alert: that’s not what happens)

The history of moon gatherings dates back to our Native American roots. They began in the “red tent” and were a time for women to gather and celebrate their power.

“When a woman is having her moon, her blood is flowing, and this blood is full of mysterious powers that are related to childbearing. At this time, she is particularly powerful…a woman’s power and a man’s are opposites, not in a necessarily bad way, but in a good way. Because of the power a woman has during this time, it is best that, out of respect for her men and for their medicinal trinkets and beliefs, she stay away from them. During this time, the men would often build a small lodge for the woman while other female relatives serve on her needs.”- The Spirit of the Indian Woman by Judith Fitzgerald

Over time, women were taught that their periods were dirty and encouraged to hide them away and not permitted to gather. From a young age many of us are given all sorts of products to hide our periods, keep it clean, and given methods to stop it all together. All of this is bothersome to me now because I have learned a heck of a lot since I got my first period at age 11 thankyouverymuch, but for most of my life I thought that was all normal.

A modern day New Moon Gathering is a time to be with women during the new moon, and to nurture our friendships and collective power.

When Monica discovered that she could not go with me to the moon gathering, I was nervous. I really wanted to go, but not sure I wanted to go by myself. I wouldn’t know anyone, and it was in Ojai (which is an hour and a half north), and I don’t usually go to things where I don’t know anyone. But I REALLY wanted to go…and so I did!

Here is the description about this new moon.  I hope you enjoy it and take some time to honor yourself!  I’ll write more about the actual gathering at another time.

Taurus New Moon~ Body (and Earth) as Temple

From the moment the full moon in Libra rose last week until the June 6th transit with the sun, Venus is holding the celestial spotlight.

The month of May, mid-spring, has always been center stage for the sensual Goddess, ruling her most comfortable sign, fixed earth Taurus. The sign of the bull maintains and venerates the physical. The body, the senses, the flowers, trees, animals, anything that is visceral and can be touched, smelled and tasted awakens the earth mother. This is the cycle of fertility for all living beings and fecundity has been celebrated by humans for millenia. Sadly, our current society (meaning the last few thousand years) has overall been more disconnected from the power of life and nature than any culture before; and that separation does not seem to be creating more love, joy and peace in the world, does it?

Venus is getting a lot of attention this year, not only with her usual April full moon cameo and regular season of worship in May, she is also next to go retrograde and is an integral part of both the Mayan and Cherokee prophecies for 2012, which includes her completing an eight year solar transit when she crosses the sun on June 6th.

If I were to say there is just one thing we could collectively do to bring more harmony and balance in such chaotic times, it would be to make a regular practice of honoring Venus.

Like, NOW.

The Taurus new moon is Saturday April 21st, and precedes another intense eclipse cycle over the summer. That feels to me like Venus giving us a chance to ground through sweet physical practices, surround ourselves with the people, places and things that bring beauty to our lives and sustain the mutable time ahead through gratitude, connection, community and love.

The concept that came to me as I admired Venus in the sky (as her planet self and as the energy behind the full moon) was the saying “my body is a temple.” I don’t know if that phrase came from the earth, sky or from within myself, but it could truly be said for all three, and that is my intention for this month and those that follow.

How would you treat yourself and the planet differently if you really believed they were temples? I mean, have you ever walked into a space and just wanted to fall to your knees and weep in reverence? That is my reaction to seeing a Red Wood or Sequoia, to standing at the ocean, climbing the red rocks of New Mexico or entering the cathedrals of Italy or Spain. I have always felt that “temples” can be made by hand or nature, as long as the intention upon entering is to worship. What temples have you honored in your time? How can you create that feeling in your own form and the places you call home?

Could you eat better? Maybe this month is the time to plant that garden of veggies and herbs, or find a farmer’s market. Have you been meaning to switch to natural in your cleaning, bathing, beauty or home products? Start researching your options. Have you wanted to find a more joyful community? Get into massage, or crafting? There are groups all over this city! What actions can you take to bring more beauty into your life, and into the world around you? I have friends working in community gardens, meeting monthly to align their chakras, doing book clubs, planting trees, hiking in groups, biking to work together, taking time for the spa, learning to cook, all of these and more are Taurus tasks!

Another simple way to connect with Venus is to paint, print or purchase an image of the love goddess in one of her many forms (Venus, Ishtar, Inanna, Astarte, Aphrodite, Hathor, Isis, Lakshmi) and either place it on your mirror, altar or even make an altar just for her. Offer her sweets and flowers and ask for her blessings through this time.

Venus will be retrograde for part of her reign, and that means cleaning up old wounds, particularly around relationships, body issues, environment and abundance. This is the time to put your focus on the temple around you and within you, tidy it up, decorate and celebrate!


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The view on one side of Sky Ranch

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The view from the other side of Sky Ranch.

April 27, 2012. Tags: , , . Friendship, LA, Wellness. 1 comment.

Fasting

A few times a year, although I haven’t done it since I moved to LA, I do a 3 day detox fast consuming only fresh juices, water and tea.  I first read about this process in a great book that I recommend everyone have a copy of in their home.  It’s called Prescription for Nutritional Healing.  You can find it at most book stores, all health food stores, and certainly Whole Foods Market.

Anyway, 5 years ago I found the section on fasting and the benefits of it really piqued my interest.  There are all different kinds of fasts you can do, but the 3-day detox is just right for me.  I’ve never done anything  more than that, although I have heard people talk about the great benefits to a 10-day fast.  At this point, I’m not looking to do anything more than clear out the ole pipes and start fresh.

I learned some really interesting things this round:

  • I WANT to eat more than I NEED to eat.  I only felt “hungry” twice in the entire 72 hours, but my desire to eat was really strong and I almost broke down a few times.  The late afternoon was hard because I would often get stressed with work, and I am a stress eater, so naturally, I wanted to put food in my mouth.  Evening was also hard because I love cooking and missed the ritual of preparing dinner.  My brain knew what was up and I forged on, but it was hard.  I could feel that my desire to eat was directly linked to the amount of anxiety and stress I was feeling, and that was startling to actually FEEL and resist it.  It didn’t take long to push through it.  It just required some mindfulness, deep breathing, and a dance party (or two).
  • Fresh Juice is not the same as what you buy in the store.  Even the stuff that says 100% juice and nothing added, there is something added.  I could feel a HUGE difference in my body’s reaction to the two kinds of juices.  Luckily in SoCal there are an abundance of places with juicers who will juice anything you want and I felt great after drinking them!  Bloom Cafe on Pico is fantastic (not only for their juices) and I discovered Real Raw Live in Hollywood.  I had stocked up on juices from Trader Joe’s, but after drinking those, I felt jittery and often had headaches.  The ingredients list that the fresh juices are from concentrate and there must be something keeping them from separating because my fresh juices would separate overnight.  At any rate, fresh juice is the way to go.  It felt like a full meal!
  • My energy level was great! When I do these fasts I expect to feel slow and terrible in the beginning and push through to a better side by the end.  I didn’t experience that this time.  Day 1 is always a challenge to get the routine down, and this one was particularly hard because I went to a workshop that night where I sat at a kitchen table FULL of food (including my favorite- brie!).  It was hard, but in the end, I was really glad to have a reason to avoid eating those foods because, for as much as I love them, they make me feel terrible.  At that workshop, I got to test my blood sugar and it was 91, which is in the normal range.  On day 2 I hiked Runyon Canyon all the way to the top and back, and Day 3 I went to a restorative yoga class.  I learned that I can’t stay in forward bend for very long without feeling a little woozy, but otherwise, it was fine.  I slept really well, and my pee looked GREAT (nice and clear despite all the beet juice I was consuming).

Some things to note if you decide to give this a try:

  • You really need to consult your physician before trying this.
  • This isn’t a quick weight loss gimmick, so don’t use it for that.
  • If you have a history restrictive eating disorders, this may bring up some things for you, so tread lightly.
  • You might break out.  Toxins are leaving your body and they tend to come out through our skin, so watch out!
  • You have to do it on a week or weekend when you can lay low if you need to.  I don’t have a dependence on caffiene, but those that do will get headaches and feel out of it as your body detoxes, so take it easy and slow.  You may want to take a nap and you should be able to.  I did feel a stronger pull to sugar than I expected, and that was a challenge.
  • If you have a partner or roommate at home, asking them to eat when you are not home or outside the house will make this a lot easier.  My partner was very accommodating =)

By Saturday I will be back to regular food, although I’ll be avoiding sugar.  I have been tuning in to my body’s response to sugar in the last few weeks, and it’s just no good.  It’s better with cane sugars, but that white sugar really spins me out.  And during this fast, I really felt a draw to sugar in a way that surprised me because in my mind, I don’t eat a lot of it.  Maybe the fact that it’s IN EVERYTHING has something to do with it…

Watch this 60 Minutes video about Sugar. And then put that cupcake down.

April 20, 2012. Food, Wellness. 1 comment.

I am Becoming a Peacemaker

My dear friend, Monica, gave me a few of her old copies of Tathaastu Magazine: Eastern Wisdom for Mind, Body, Soul and I just took the time to read through one of them tonight.  I should be snuggled up in bed reading more, but I got so excited by one of the articles that I am now snuggled in bed writing about it so you can get excited too!

I will preface this by saying that I am not a huge follower of Depok Chopra.  I don’t dislike the guy.  He just seems a little bit like the Target of the wellness world (aka: very popular and watered down) and I am looking for something a little smaller and more intimate in my guidance.  At any rate, he wrote an article that I read tonight and it’s called “Does Peace have a Future?”  The article itself is fine- nothing revolutionary, although he talks a lot about the teachings of Jesus and that surprised me a little, but what I really liked were his “Seven Practices for Peace.”  I am going to cut them out and put them up on my mirror, but I thought I’d also share there with you.

He gives us something to do each day to “become a peacemaker” and I just LOVE this idea!  He breaks it down like this:

Sunday: Being for Peace

Monday: Thinking for Peace

Tuesday: Feeling for Peace

Wednesday: Speaking for Peace

Thursday: Acting for Peace

Friday: Creating for Peace

Saturday: Sharing for Peace

Each day there is something to do to encourage ourselves to be agents for peace, and help others tap into their own peacemaker.

Sunday: “Take five minutes to meditate for peace.  Sit quietly with your eyes closed.  Put your attention on your heart and inwardly repeat these four words: peace, harmony, laughter, love.  Allow these words to radiate from your heart’s stillness out into your body.  As you end your meditation, say to yourself: Today I will relinquish all resentments and grievances.  Bring into your mind a grievance against someone and let it go.  Send that person your forgiveness.”

Monday: “Thinking has power when it is backed by intention.  Today, introduce the intention of peace in your thoughts.  Take a few moments of silence and then repeat this ancient prayer:  Let me be loved, let me be happy, let me be peaceful.  Let my friends be happy, loved and peaceful.  Let all beings be happy, loved, and peaceful.  Let the whole world experience these things.  If at any time during the day you are overshadowed by fear or anger, repeat these intentions.  use this prayer to get back to your center.”

Tuesday: “This is the day to experience the emotions of peace.  The emotions of peace are compassion, understanding, and love.  Compassion is the feeling of shared suffering.  When you feel someone elses suffering, understanding is born.  Understanding is the knowledge that suffering is shared by everyone.  When you understand that you aren’t alone in your suffering, there is the birth of love.  When there is love, there is the opportunity for peace.  As you practice, observe a stranger some time during your day.  Silently say to yourself: This person is just like me.  Like me, this person has experienced joy and sorrow, despair and hope, fear and love.  Like me, this person has people in his or her life who deeply care and love them.  Like me, this person’s life is impermanent and will one day end.  This persons’ peace is as important as my peace.  I want peace, harmony, laughter and love in their life and the life of all beings.”

Wednesday: “Today the purpose of speaking is to create happiness in the listener.  Have this intention: Today every word I utter will be chosen consciously.  I will refrain from complaints, condemnation, and criticism.  Your practice is to do at least one of the following:

  • Tell someone how much you appreciate him or her
  • Express genuine gratitude to those who have helped and loved you
  • Offer healing or nurturing words to someone who needs them
  • Show respect to someone whose respect you value

If you find that you are reacting negatively to anyone, in a way that isn’t peaceful, refrain from speaking and keep silent.  Wait to speak until you feel centered and calm, and then speak with respect. “

Thursday: “Today is the day to help someone in need: A child, a sick person, an older or frail person, or someone facing a difficult situation.  Help can take many forms.  Tell yourself: Today I will bring a smile to a stranger’s face.  If someone acts in a hurtful way to me or someone else, I will respond with a gesture of loving kindness.  I will send an anonymous gift to someone, however small.  I will offer to help without asking for gratitude or recognition. “

Friday: “Today, come up with at least one creative idea to resolve a conflict, either in your personal life or your family circle or among friends.  If you can, try and create an idea that applies to your community, the nation, or the whole world.  You may change an old habit that isn’t working, look at someone a new way, offer words you never offered before, or think of an activity that brings people together in good feeling and laughter.  Second, invite a family member or friend to come up with one creative idea of this kind on his or her own.  Creativity feels best when you are the one thinking up the new idea or approach.  Make it known that you accept and enjoy creativity.  Be loose and easy. Let the ideas flow and try out anything that has appeal.  The purpose here is to bond, because only when you bond with others can there be mutual trust.  When you trust, there is no need for hidden hostility or suspicion, the two great enemies of peace. “

Saturday: “Today, share your practice of peacemaking with two people.  Give them this text and invite them to begin the daily practice. As more of us participate in this sharing, our practice will expand into critical mass.  Today, joyfully celebrate your own peace consciousness with at least one other person who shares a consciousness of peace.  Connect either through email or by phone.

  • Share your experience of growing peace
  • Share your gratitude that someone else is as serious about peace as you are
  • Share your idea for helping the world move closer to critical mass
  • Do whatever you can, in small or large ways, to assist anyone who wants to become a peacemaker”

And if I can add one more thing here:

Each night, before you go to bed, say out loud five things you are grateful for.  If you have a partner in bed with you, tell them 5 things you are grateful for related to them.  If you do not, tell yourself 5 things you are grateful for about YOURSELF.  I think one of the biggest things we can do to become peacemakers is to be kind and loving to our own selves.

February 3, 2012. Tags: , , . Wellness. Leave a comment.

One Year Ago

Today marks the one year anniversary of “Tommy’s Accident” and the start to “Kate’s Year of Magic” (it’s a working title).

So much of my language this past year was centered around Tommy’s Accident.

Annie:  “Where did we go for Bekah’s birthday dinner last year?”

Me: “I don’t know- I was in Chicago because of Tommy’s Accident.”

Anyone: “When did you become a doula?”

Me:  “Well, I think I have been a doula my entire life, but it really began for me after I returned home from taking care of my brother in law after he was in a car accident.”

In almost every way, it was my worst nightmare.  I got a phone call from my dad sometime mid morning (in my nightmare, it is nighttime when I get a call like this), which was strange because he would have been working.  He was actually home sick from work- sinus infection I think- and he sounded terrible, which he would have whether he was sick or not because of the news he was about to give me.

“Tommy’s been in an accident.  A bad one.  He’s in the hospital.  I don’t have a lot of information, but it’s not good. “

A note about me: I have gotten a phone call like this before, only it was much graver news, but I handled it in a similar fashion: by yelling “What?” and then “No!” as if I had misheard and then could change it with a word: NO.  And then yelling it louder: NO!  And maybe repeating it: NO!      NO!

But nothing changes.  I yelled for Buck.  I start crying.  I desperately want to get off the phone to call my sister; To blink and be back in Illinois with my sister; To stop time, and the truck that hit Tommy.  To send back the words my dad has delivered.

But only one of those things happened.

I got off the phone with my dad and called Amy who is in the car with my mom, who had picked her up from the school she was teaching Kindergarden at (the same school she and I went to for 1st-8th grades), on their way to the hospital where Tommy was, in the Surgical ICU with a pressure monitor in his head to relieve the bleeding on his brain.

I don’t remember what I said to her, but I remember that she wasn’t crying.  She was in shock. I stayed on the phone for as long as I could, but eventually they arrived at the hospital and I let her go, said “I love you” as hard as I could, and promised I would be there soon.

And I was- the next day.  January 5th, 2011.  I was terrified to leave LA.  I was going by myself- Buck had to stay behind to work- and I cried almost the entire flight.  There were so many nice people around me on the plane- one guy lent me a Sharpee so I could write in my journal.  The lady next to me gave me a tissue and did me the courtesy of not asking me what was wrong.  Funny how I will never forget those details- how fear and tragedy can burn things into your mind in a way that, for me, even the happiest moments of my life don’t always.

That month in Chicago- January 2011- changed my life forever.  I had no idea that one of the scariest moments of my life would give birth to the path that I was meant to walk down and dedicate my life to.  Who can predict these things?

I have had a lot of fear and anxiety on the lead up to this day- this anniversary.  I have been afraid of reliving this and feeling these feelings.  But a week ago when Buck and I were driving into Chicago to see our dear friends and beautiful Goddaughter, I said to him, “One year ago, we were doing this exact same thing.  If we had known what was about to happen- that Tommy would make that left turn and that everything would change- would we do anything different?”

And the answer I wanted to say was, “YES!  We would have hugged him for 24 hours straight, and never left the house, and not let him get in the car that morning!!!!”  But that’s not the truth.  Because life doesn’t work like that.  You can pad your furniture, but you might still stub your toe on the padding and it will likely still hurt!  You can stay in bed all day long (which is what I did for so many days in 2011 when I was sad and lost), but it doesn’t change anything.  Life is still happening and we just need to keep moving through it, unafraid, and full of love for all things and beings around us.

And I am full of so much love and marvel for how magical this past year has turned out.  Tommy’s recovery has inspired me to the core, and my sister’s dedication to him has guided me in my own exploration of what patience and compassion really look like.   I have learned to be kind to myself and to open my heart totally so that the magic can continue to flow in and out, just as it should.

Tommy and I 2012

January 4, 2012. family, sisters. 5 comments.

Gobble Gobble

Today was a great day!

Buck and I spent 5 hours in the kitchen together.  We cooked, we talked, we listened to two episodes of This American Life, as well as plenty of Prince on Pandora.  We wore silly aprons and moved around one another pretty seamlessly as he made 1 pie, 1 cheesecake, and a crisp, while I made 2 side dishes (vegan green bean casserole and cranberry sauce), caramel sauce, and 50 rolls for Gobble Gobble Give.  It was lovely!

Making rolls

Buck in his adorable apron

The beginning

Green Bean Casserole, Apple Rhubarb Crisp, Pie crust waiting for French Sink filling

This morning we went to the farmer’s market in Santa Monica with Wyatt and then braved the afternoon rush of the grocery store on the Thanksgiving Eve in LA.

Tomorrow we will go to the Coffman house to celebrate with our friends.  Annie calls it “Orphan Thanksgiving” and I like that name.  In the morning we will go put some meals together for the homeless through Gobble Gobble Give.  This is our first time volunteering with this organization, but hopefully things are well organized and we can do some good.

Today was also the birthday of my best friend, Kate (yes, also Kate).  Here are some things I love about Kate:

  • She is incredibly kind and generous.
  • She is really pretty, but it’s not something she has to work at.  She doesn’t work out regularly, or wear much make up and yet she is gorgeous!
  • She makes beautiful babies and she shares them with you when you just need some baby snuggle love.

Snuggly Baby Will and I

  • She enjoys the simple things like tea, and a good magazine.
  • She doesn’t watch TV and she’s way behind on her movie viewing, and I think she actually has more brain cells because of it.
  • She laughs at just about anything.  Got a dumb joke?  Tell it to Kate and she’s likely to laugh!
  • The girl can EAT!  And yet she never gains a pound.  And if she did gain a pound, she wold not care in the least.  Because (and here is my very favorite thing)
  • She has her priorities in order.  It’s really admirable.

I miss Kate all the time and wish we lived closer so that we could have tea time in person instead of via phone/skype, but I take what I can get.  Twenty years as BFF and SF does not feel like a long time because you’ve made it so fun.  I love you.

Kate, Steve and Mae at my wedding

Kate, Kate and Some Lady In Background

Darling Reader, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for so many things…right now, I am feeling really thankful for your readership. I really enjoy writing this blog and have no idea who actually reads it.  But knowing that people do, and seeing comments come back is really neat.  So, thank you for checking in.  I hope you enjoy the holiday!

I’ll be back with updates on a few births I had, some Diva talk, and more stuff  like that.

November 24, 2011. Friendship, Random. 1 comment.

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