A Peek into our Spring

 Tying his shoes! By himself and his choice.  

My handsome, clever, amazing firstborn turned 13 recently. So much love for this kid.

  

  This is how we spend two nights a week and every Saturday for 7 weeks every Spring. I love watching him play. It’s tiring going to practice after work twice a week, but so worth it. 

Just a little love & positivity from me to you. Focusing on the good. 

Xoxo,

Stef

We all have stories

You don’t get to this age (in my case, banging on 40’s door) without having stories.

Your stories shape your life, your experiences, how you react, how you cope, how you LIVE.

I have tried to live my life in a cautious manner. It’s inherent to who I am. I don’t make snap decisions, I don’t “shoot from the hip,” and I try to retain my calm even when I’m screaming, crying, gnashing my teeth inside. Unleashing the anger beast doesn’t solve anything, and often leads to more hurt; hurtful words can often cause more problems than hurtful actions.

Lord knows I’m not perfect. I haven’t always been cautious. I have reacted emotionally. I have sought immediate gratification and soothing for my pain rather than thinking it out and processing it rationally. I’ve tried to keep those experiences to a minimum, especially as I’ve gotten older. As I’ve learned what helps long-term and what simply complicates things more.

I think that is where our stories come in. They illustrate our experiences in human nature. Experiences to learn from – learn from the people, learn from the emotions that resulted from that moment, learn from how we grieved or celebrated after.

Nobody ever knows your stories but you. Maybe they can ask? If they are curious.

You’ve heard that saying, right, that for every story there is your side, their side, and somewhere in the middle is the truth? Because our stories are skewed by our experiences and our emotions. What was minor to one person may have been major to someone else.

My experiences have brought me to where I am today. My stories have shaped how I respond and react to my experiences. I’ve tried to be cautious . . . . I AM cautious. I try to hold my tongue, not lash out, to react with love and understanding more than anger, frustration and betrayal. It’s hard. It’s hard to feel misunderstood.

My stories tell me that time changes everything. How I felt 13 years ago is not how I feel today. My experiences dictate that. Every decision we make, every deep conversation we have with a friend late at night, every argument, every resentment, every pure joy moment – all of these impact our future.

I was hurt one too many times. My experiences built on each other until I had the Berlin Wall of resentment nestled in my heart. I was trying to knock it down, brick by brick, but recent experiences have told me to shore it up again. And here we go again – more pain, more hurt, more betrayal.

Lady Justice’s scale is tipped to the negative right now, and I’m treading water to stay afloat, but I know the scale will tip back before too long. The positive will outweigh the negative. There will be healing. There will be joy.

These are my stories, built on my experiences. There is value (and weight & impact) to each one of them, the good and the bad. There is growth from every experience.

These stories will be be the sum of my life, but my novel is not nearly complete.

Peace, love and understanding. It’s the way to go, and I’m trying.

MORE HAPPY STORIES.

xoxo,

stef

Endless mourning

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Horrible, awful things are happening

How are we to survive all of this?

I try hard but my spirit is dampening

I’m already mourning all I’ve missed.

My 40th year is the least of these.

My marriage dashed; dreams gone.

My sister in law taken by a disease.

My sister, same disease, can’t go on.

Full of love, memories, childhood

Blessed with warm hands and hearts

No pain, no loss; all sweet & good

Never learned how to dodge these darts

Endless days of endless sorrow

Please, let me live, survive, please

Build me up, strength I’ll borrow

There’s no net under my knees

Falling, always falling, stripped bare

Calling out, reaching, no one there.

Why I’m an Eagles fan

I often get asked why a California girl living in Idaho would love the Philadelphia Eagles. This is not an easy question to answer.

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3 years ago I never watched football. My husband wasn’t a football guy and it’s just not what we did. I do enjoy football, and always have, but with two kids & a husband with no interest it was easy to keep our football watching to just the Super Bowl. I watched the game, he watched the commercials.

Then … we separated and my life, our lives, changed forever. I looked for consolation and solace in things that were completely & wholly unrelated to my husband. I spent time with friends who didn’t know him, I leaned on people at work, on my online friends, anybody unconnected with my married life. Within this realm, I had a friend who is a devoted Eagles fan. When the 2013 pre-season started I heard about the Eagles constantly.

WhenI heard that the former coach of the Oregon Ducks, Chip Kelly, had moved to the NFL and was the new head coach of the Eagles it piqued my interest. Being a member of the Boise State Bronco Nation, that struck a memory about a story regarding Chip Kelly from when the Ducks lost a game to the Broncos. A Ducks fan complained to Kelly that he’d spent a certain amount of money to travel to the game and was disappointed. Kelly wrote him a check to reimburse the fan’s expenses. Dude. That’s class.

I was intrigued. I started watching the Eagles games. I watched the Packers, Ravens, Broncos, Cowboys, 49ers, Saints & Giants too. But I mainly watched the Eagles. I started re-learning the game. Learning more. Digging in. Trying to understand terms that weren’t clear to me. I started googling different terms, plays, positions. Just as I was really digging in, the season ended.

What do you mean I have to wait 8 months for the season to start again?? Noooooo!!

I kept reading. I started watching football movies. I loved Draft Day. I cried & laughed. I watched the actual NFL draft, noting the Eagles draftees.

When the 2014 season started I was so excited, so ready, so eager for the Eagles to get out there and do their thing. Every week, starting with pre-season, I couldn’t wait for the next game. I was lucky that a lot of the Eagles games were televised in my area. I briefly thought of mortgaging my house to buy the NFL Sunday Ticket just so I wouldn’t have to miss any games at all. But that’s just silly. (Right??)

The thing is, every week I had this wonderful, exciting thing to look forward to and it never mattered what happened during my personal life that week. The Eagles would be there. Just like they were there last season. This season they became even more. More to me, more to my life. I could be broken-hearted, exhausted, lonely, or whatever, and the Eagles would make it better, win or lose. (Mostly wins, except for effing December. Grrr.)

I love Chip Kelly & his philosophy. I love how he supports the team and his matter of fact, practical logic regarding wins & losses. I love Nick Foles, Darren Sproles, Conner Barwin, Cody Parkey, Shady McCoy, Ertz, Huff, Cooper, Peters, Acho, and just the whole damn team. I love their heart. I love their ambition & spirit.

Eagles for life. I owe them a big part of my life. My sanity, at least. Thank you, Eagles.

Counting down to August …

Xoxo,
Stef

On Being Mr. Darcy

Mr. Darcy, arguably the most swoon-worthy character in all of literature, stands up as a god among men. There’s a reason my ASD son’s middle name is Darcy. My J-man doesn’t like it though. He says it’s a girl’s name. That he’s embarrassed. That kids will make fun of him for having a girl’s name.

He said, “Mom, when I’m an adult I’m changing my middle name to Theodore. You know, like in the Chipmunks.” LOVE HIM.

Of course, this is my ASD guy. My Autistic little dude. He, like many Autistics, want things to fit into routine little boxes and, to him, it doesn’t make sense to have a “girl’s name” within his full name. His first name is very masculine but the middle name ruins it all. Poor guy. I advised him for now to keep his middle name a secret. He can say his first & last name without using his middle name.

But . . . I’m on a campaign to change his mind. I want him to understand why Mr. Darcy is a worthy namesake. Maybe this is too much for a 10 year old to imagine, but I hope when he’s 24 years old he’ll wear it like a badge of honor.

Mr. Darcy is no less than these things:

  • Intelligent and witty.
  • Financially solid.
  • Straightforward and unabashed in speaking his mind – sometimes imprudently, but he learns his lesson on that count, which means he’s . . .
  • Teachable. He learns to humble himself and be understanding without compromising his beliefs.
  • Loyal and caring to his family and friends. Those who have earned his trust.
  • A good listener.
  • Becomes self-aware, and has a further awareness of others and human nature.
  • Good reputation.

When we were trying to come up with our second son’s name we focused less on family names, as with our first, and more on relevant and meaningful names to us. To me, it was always Darcy. Had to be Darcy.

Trust, little man, trust your momma. You’ll grown into that name. You’ll wear it proudly one day. Theodore isn’t bad, but it’s no Darcy.

XOXO,

Stef