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

An Inspired Season

Inspiration is a funny thing. A snippet of overheard conversation, a picture or painting, a feeling from someone or something. I was inspired recently by several things and they are coalescing into something quite peaceful, I think. I hope.

Here are some examples:

A parents’ love for their child in the face of a difficult diagnosis, and the entire community/family supporting them.

IMG_1207.JPGPictures of Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the snow.

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I mother losing a battle but surrounded by the purest and most bountiful love as she transitions.

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Precious joy on a child’s face from the true spirit & belief in a magical Christmas.

Wonderful, generous donations of money, toys and food to help our fellow humans by wealthy philanthropists, police officers, and a regular ole Joe Schmo with a few bucks to spare if he cuts back his Starbucks intake.

IMG_1172.JPG Romance, recognized.

The pain of separation. The healing. The peacefulness that can come with acceptance & forgiveness.

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Songs that make me cry in the shower (currently: “I Choose You” by Sara Barielles); songs that make me dance in the shower (“Shake it off” anyone?)

IMG_1206.JPG An iconic tableau.

The hurt of betrayal. Whether my own or what some of my friends have been going through – that abject pain can be a beautiful thing as it transforms & heals the bearer into someone so much stronger. Like a Phoenix rising.

IMG_1146.JPG Silliness with Santa/Dad instead of pain and harsh words.

All these things have come to me. They’ve been hitting me the last couple of weeks, bam, bam, one after another. I’m not positive, but if I was a betting (wo)man, I’d say someone was trying to tell me something.

Inspire me.

Teach me a lesson about love, appreciation, gratitude, recognition of my blessings, love for humanity, and the necessary joy that comes with pure bliss. Help me realize that we, every single one of us, are in this thing together. We aren’t coming out alive so we better make the best of it, right?

Our lives are not perfect, nor are they intended to be. We’re humans – messy, emotional, prone to make mistakes humans. We love; we grieve. Sometimes we’re too scared and other times we leap.

The one lesson I have learned the most in my 39 years is that nothing, nothing, is black & white. We are walking opinions; we are brains & hearts & gut reactions. We are human paradoxical enigmas.

This Christmas I am trying my best to be kind. To be gentle. To have joy. To release stress. To be generous. To remember those less fortunate.

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May all the light & love from the spirit of Christmas be with you today and throughout this season, and beyond. If we could all be as kind in January, April, August & October as we are in December then I think we could maybe increase our collective gratitude & generosity for others. Just a thought.

XOXO,
Stef

I am a fertility goddess

The other day I ran across an image of a fertility goddess and I thought, hmmm, that looks familiar.

Okay, I’m exaggerating; not familiar, but similar or in essence roughly reminiscent.

I blotted that thought away like a shiny nose.

And then yesterday when I was thinking about my body shape (btw, not an unusual occurrence; I’ve probably thought about my body shape at least once a day since I was twelve so this wasn’t a new or unusual thing) I wondered how many designated body shapes there are for women and was it really fair to pin women down to a certain pre-defined shape?

So I looked up a few things. First, the Wikipedia entry for female body shape provides these strict guidelines:

  • Hourglass – If (bust − hips) ≤ 1″ AND (hips − bust) < 3.6″ AND ( (bust − waist) ≥ 9″ OR (hips − waist) ≥ 10″ )
  • Bottom hourglass – If (hips − bust) ≥ 3.6″ AND (hips − bust) < 10″ AND (hips − waist) ≥ 9″ AND (high hip/waist) < 1.193
  • Top hourglass – If (bust − hips) > 1″ AND (bust − hips) < 10″ AND (bust − waist) ≥ 9″
  • Spoon – If (hips − bust) > 2″ AND (hips − waist) ≥ 7″ AND (high hip/waist) ≥ 1.193
  • Triangle – If (hips − bust) ≥ 3.6″ AND (hips − waist) < 9″
  • Inverted triangle – If (bust − hips) ≥ 3.6″ AND (bust − waist) < 9″
  • Rectangle – If (hips − bust) < 3.6″ AND (bust − hips) < 3.6″ AND (bust − waist) < 9″ AND (hips − waist) < 10

Um … HUH?

If anybody can figure out that hourglass formula, I’m assuming this gal fits in that category:

Incidentally, this same Wikipedia page indicated that “Stone age venus figurines show the earliest body type preference: dramatic steatopygia.” – which is a ” is a high degree of fat accumulation in and around the buttocks.”

Hello Kim Kardashian

Hello Kim Kardashian

Which just goes to show the variations in culture and desire over time.

Then I started searching various other sources for information and what I found was extremely varied. Generally, all women’s body shapes are compared to fruit or geometric shapes. Again, I say HUH? Why? I don’t look like an apple, a pear or a banana, or a square, rectangle or inverted triangle. None of these things. Not even a circle.

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I think I look like a woman. Not a type of a woman, but just a woman.

A softy rounded, plump, fertility goddess -because, dammit, that’s what I am! I had the babies! Conceiving them was astonishingly easy, carrying them was a gift and though delivery wasn’t a walk in the park, that experience didn’t take away my power. It enhanced it.

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I am a fertility goddess, my dear, and I can own it. In fact, I may even be proud of it.

Love, light & thankfulness today, my sweets. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and I choose to be thankful for all that I am.

Xoxo,
Stef

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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I’m sorry. I simply couldn’t help myself this morning.

A friend on Facebook posted that she made pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes last week and I’ve been thinking of it ever since. This morning I woke up and said yes, this is the day.

I started checking out different recipes online. There were so many variations! When I realized I was out of baking soda that limited my options to using Bisquik instead of a completely from scratch recipe.

So this is what I did, and you’ll have to forgive my rough estimations. This recipe does seems to have a lot room for adjustment according to taste so feel free to be creative!

2 cups Bisquik
4 big scoops of puréed pumpkin (see scoop in the pic)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (approx)
1 tsp pumpkin spice (approx – I did 4 or 5 shakes)
1/4 cup brown sugar (approx)
3/4 tsp cinnamon (approx)
1/2 tsp ginger
Chocolate chips to taste, I used 1/3 a 12 oz bag of semi-sweet
Milk, according to batter density (about a cup, for my preference)

Okay, I mixed all the above together and added milk. The consistency was too thick for my first batch so I added more milk & it was perfect & moist.

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Then I made homemade whipped cream in the mixer. I always chill my mixing bowl & whip attachment in the freezer first, then threw in a cup of heavy whipping cream, a couple tablespoons of sugar & a teaspoon of vanilla. Turned the mixer on high and it was done in about 90 seconds.

Buttered the stack, added maple syrup & a heaping dollop of whipped cream & it was so so yummy. The chocolate chips were melty & soft. The pumpkin flavor was evident. The texture was moist. Just perfect!

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Enjoy the yummy things once in awhile! Love & light today, my dear life warriors.

Xoxo,
Stef

Falling down the rabbit hole

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Are you familiar with that term? Its origin is from Alice & Wonderland, of course, but I’ve heard it used a lot lately in reference to research or some other absorbing activity from which it’s very difficult to be extracted.

Recently I have started DVR’ing this show called Intervention. It’s where they shadow a drug addict on the premise of making a documentary on drug addiction and show culminates in the actual intervention with the family & an interventionist.

Tonight I fell down the rabbit hole watching this show. This show is entirely fascinating to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been into drugs. They scare me. The thought of being out of control, the thought of being addicted, being a slave to it, or of living that lifestyle – it’s way outside my comfort zone.

But what gets me the most are the back stories; finding out what drove these people to their present level of addiction. Discovering why their inner demons needed soothing from the drug. Sometimes I cry my eyes out during the actual intervention part of the show; just seeing the raw emotion from the addict & their families. So much hurt & pain; so much abject fear of losing their loved one.

Sometimes I associate with those people far more than I could have ever imagined. Their pain is so acute they could no longer function without self-medicating. I know pain like that.

I don’t run to the medicine cabinet though. I throw myself into work, or I distract myself with the TV, with mothering, with cooking, with crafts. Yes, some of that is certainly therapeutic, but it’s also avoidance. I feel sometimes it’s a constant battle keeping the demons at bay; keeping myself from dropping down a rabbit hole, an emotional spiral, of sadness and depression.

We hear the word “triggers” a lot these days. A Huffpost article about striving for body perfection may have a trigger warning for people who suffer from eating disorders. An article about rape may have a trigger warning for those grappling with the emotional trauma of a sexual assault.

There is no trigger warning for most of life’s heartaches, though. We can’t insulate the world from every bad thing. The show Intervention triggers an emotional response in me, but I have to wonder if that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Do we want to go through life only dealing with the easy? Nope. We can’t only have good. If there was no bad then we would never appreciate good.

- – – – – – – – – – –

I wrote the above a few days ago, and then I got in a car accident tonight. My goodness, that certainly punctuates taking the bad with the good, doesn’t it? I’m upset about the accident, but so relieved no one was hurt. Things like that knock us down a peg and remind us that we’re only human. We make mistakes. We get holes in our bumpers, it happens.

One of my favorite sayings is to be kinder than necessary because we’re all fighting some kind of battle. I try to keep that in mind, always; some times it’s harder than others. When I watch the behavior of addicts on Intervention all I can think of is how much their people must love them to endure it. Thank God for that love. I’m so grateful for the people who love me unconditionally.

Love & light to you, and remember to take it easy on the self-blame. Just do better next time.

XOXO,

Stef