Soulful September 3:4

It’s really beginning to feel like fall all of a sudden around here. The beach fog rolls in, in the morning, it’s much cooler throughout the day than it’s been, it’s getting darker earlier and I’m just feeling that shift in season. Today I spent the day cleaning house, getting out some fallish items, putting away some of the bright, light summer colors and replacing them with richer, deeper tones. I dusted, I vacuumed, I lit candles throughout the house, all while wearing my first pair of socks for the season. This to me was soulful. I find preparing for the new season something peaceful and welcoming to the soul.

fall changes

 

wind blows fall in

 

fall runner

 

candle cleansed

 

darker colors fall brings

This past week I’ve been

reading : this that I got in the mail this week. Loved this piece on books. And joined an online book club where we will be discussing the first chapter of this parenting book tomorrow.

moving; practicing my physical therapy/Pilates exercises every day. Ellie thinks I’m being silly and enjoys crawling all over me while I do this.

writing: I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now and finally after reading this post, I signed up. I’m hoping it will enhance my soulful journey and help me develop and strengthen my creative writing. I’m freaking out about it just a little bit.

meditating: this has still been difficult for me to do every day, but this week I’ve been taking daily walks with Ellie and sometimes when (if) she falls asleep, I work on listening and concentrating on my breath as I walk and shut out the rest of the world. Not quite the meditation practice I had in mind when I started this thing, but hey, I’m a Mama and I guess you could call it my Mama Meditations.

I’ll leave you with a poem, for, tonight is the harvest moon!

RIDING ON THE HARVEST MOON by Annette Bromley 

 The days are growing shorter

and cold weather is coming soon

as autumn arrives in gala dress

riding on the harvest moon.

The harvest moon, pale amber orb

in the late September sky

smiles down on a bountiful earth

and bids summertime good-bye.

The oaks all wear carnelian crowns

in a forest gowned red and gold

where crickets chant by the moonlight

Fields and orchards yield plenty now,

days still warmed by a gentler sun;

Now is the time to gather in

for soon ice and snow will come

and sooner will be the days of sticks,

fields, once gold, soon turn to dun.

Wild flocks are singing their farewells.

We’ll soon hear the last song of the loon.

The geese will soon be flying south

across the harvest moon.

It is the season of the Harvest Moon,

that pale amber orb of light

smiling down on a bountiful earth

on these late September nights.

Now is the time to gather in.

The fields and forest are ripe

And abundant now for harvest;

The apples are red, the pumpkins gold

And the harvest moon is in the sky

And the nights are growing cold.

The days are growing shorter.

Winter’s night is coming soon.

Autumn has come in gala dress

riding on the harvest moon…

And she is chanting out her warning

upon the autumn breeze

as she twirls and dances for awhile

among the falling autumn leaves.

 

Just Write: This Beautiful Child Who Does Not Nap

we snuggle up together, she curls into my body and starts nursing, one hand draped to her side, the other softly caressing my chest. The hum of the fan calms both our bodies. It’s cool lying on the clean, cotton sheets. I have ocean music playing. Tunes to unwind and help little ones sleep. The wind blows the shutters open above our heads and a bright sun-gleam shines onto her face. I stare at my baby girl lovingly. She smiles at me between sucks. Her heavy, sleepy eyes perk open clearly and she pops off, flips over, smirks at me with a twinkle in her eyes and crawls quickly off the bed. A quick, lovely, peaceful moment… but unfortunately, no nap today.

wiggling feet

i refuse to nap, but i am cute

 

-joining in with Just Write today (I had written this last week but didn’t get a chance to post it. Now that I’m posting, I have a sleeping, sick baby curled up next to me).

Weekending!

bday for harrison

bubbles and balloons

 

fun bubbles

 

walking walking

 

walks in the carrier

 

pink baby in the carrier

 

wearing pink baby

 

 

happy babywearer

 

sleepy girl

A low key weekend. Friend’s First Birthday parties. Lots of practicing the art of walking. Wanting to take walks with Daddy in the “pack pack”. Wanting Pink Baby to ride in the “pack pack”. Wearing Pink Baby in her very own rainbow wrap. Real baby sleeps in Mama’s rainbow wrap… Very Good weekend.

How was yours? joining Amanda over at The Habit! 

Portrait Project

37/52

bunny girl

eloise: you’ve been wanting to wear this bunny hat every day. You find it in my bag or in a basket and bring it to me signing “help” for me to put it on you. I love the innocence in this picture. You had been practicing your new walking skills and carrying books over to Daddy for him to read and all of a sudden you fell to your knees. I captured this shot and immediately knew I would use it for this week’s portrait. My beautiful bunny baby. 

-joining Jodi for the lovely 52 project!

Making + Listening

new record finds

john denver

granola

LISTENING: We took a mid week lunch time visit to the Wednesday antique market here in town and came home with a few new (old) records for our listening pleasure. Karen and John have been singing non-stop in our home ever since with a bit of Johnny thrown in as well from last weekend’s yard sailing. I’m still loving playing records in the house and Ellie will even go over and pick one or two out as well, almost daily. She’s been liking Raffi’s Everything Grows and Ernie and Bert’s Rubber Duckie Album (how could she not?)

As for MAKING, I finally got around to making a new batch of granola. We’ve been on a toast and peanut butter breakfast binge for a while and I was itching to get back to my yummy yogurt and granola mornings but couldn’t find the time to get it together. Yesterday was that day and now we have plenty of granola for a couple of weeks at least.

I’ve also been keeping up with a wabi sabi practice I had read about a few months back. The recommendation was “whenever a pebble or small stone catches your fancy, pick it up and put it in your pocket. ” The chapter goes on to talk about arranging these natural treasures inside your home, moving them around and arranging them in an aesthetically pleasing way thus cultivating a passion for the little, everyday, seemingly mundane things in life. It really makes me feel good to find that perfect rock or piece of wood on my daily walks and give it a new life on my windowsill. I’m finding this practice brings me back to my childhood where everything natural was sacred and interesting and it helps me to truly see the beauty in the everyday. I feel a calm, zen come over me when I roll that special rock around in my hand after finding it, examining it over, feeling the grooves and seeing the patterns. And it’s nice to bring a little bit of nature inside and display it like I would flowers in a vase or a picture of our family. A simple yet meaningful practice to include in our lives.

wabi sabi

special rocks

kitchen sill

what are you Making and Listening to?

Joining Dawn (after a long hiatus) with MAKING+LISTENING!

Soulful September 2:4

“May I be happy

May I be safe

May I be well

May I be peaceful”

– from Sarah Napthali’s Buddhism for Mother’s of Young Children

white flowers

It’s the second week of my soulful september. Every day I read something, write something, move, and meditate. I have to be honest with you. It’s been tough truly doing and finding time for all of these things every day. I’m wanting each of them to be so meaningful and I’m struggling with not being able to put in all the effort I want while tending to the needs of others and keeping house. I am keeping a written list by my bed of the things I’m doing every day and the first couple days went very well and the next couple days I didn’t even have time to write anything down! But, the month has just begun and there is still so much time to fill up this Soulful September. So, I’m staying optimistic and will continue on…

Some of last weeks reading:

This lovely article about Charlotte’s Web.

Chapters from Buddhism For Mothers of Young Children

Chapters from Wabi Sabi: Timeless wisdom for a stress-free life

This witty piece about a pig and buying local.

Moving, has been mostly walks with the dogs or walks with Ellie.  Jeff and I are really enjoying our evening walks. Ellie gets wrapped up in the rainbow wrap, dogs get a slow but steady neighborhood walk and we get to really talk and connect. Jeff has even decided to do his own 30 day challenge, keeping a food diary, getting out to exercise every day and once a week getting out into the garage for some woodworking. He’s hoping to finish a wood project by the end of the month. If nothing else, this project has inspired him and that makes my soul happy in itself! I’d also like to incorporate some yoga or stretching into my morning rhythm as well, so that’s something I’ll be working toward.

Writing and meditating have been the toughest to fit in. I try to blog as often as I can (so I’m counting that as writing), I also occasionally write for this website, but I would like to do more journaling with pen and paper and I’m working on fitting that in daily. Meditating happens in the daily flow. I try to breathe in and out and smile when taking a walk outside. Before bed I try to say a mantra to let go of all the thoughts in my head. I would like to spend maybe 15 minutes a day really meditating and connecting with my breath, so that will be a work in progress as well.

How are your challenges going? What are you working on this month?

Weekending!

going to see the fish

stearns wharf aquarium

whales

petting the shark

pink jellies

blue jellies

sustainable fish

seeing the fish

This weekend we took Ellie to visit the Stearns Wharf Aquarium in Santa Barbara. We saw little sharks that we were able to touch, fish, local to our oceans, and a really neat little jellyfish exhibit. The aquarium was pretty small but it was geared toward younger littles which we liked. Ellie seemed a little taken aback by the fish and being so close to them, but by the end of the day she was comfortable enough to climb through some of the exhibits (they had aquarium tunnels)!  We will definitely be back to visit again.

I’ve also been steadily filling my days with bits of reading, moving, writing and meditation (for my Soulful September).It’s been difficult actually; a lot more so than I thought it would. I will give a full update sometime this week. If you are joining in a 30 day challenge, how are you doing?

* joining Amanda over at The Habit.