Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Sloooooow It Down

The first hint of silver lining I got from Braeden's dad, Aaron, when we first discussed the news about Braeden having Down syndrome was when he said, "Well, he won't have to run the rat race."


I hope.

Because I choose not to run the rat race either.  It's a race you can never truly win.  And as I raise that sweet little Brady P., he constantly reminds me, even by what he represents, to slow down.  Life is not a race.

We literally stop and smell the roses when we go past the big bushes at the post office.  He is so stinkin' cute when he crouches and sticks his little nose in them.

Sniffing the first rose of the year!

He takes the time to show me on his fingers which step he just climbed down.  One through eleven.  To me, it takes forever.  For him it is pride and accomplishment... every step of the way.

He chews every bite of food (well, almost every bite) with appreciation and satisfaction.

He still points at all the cars that go by, so I can tell him what color and what kind of car it is.  Oy, all the parked ones too.  

He is just there.  He is in the moment.  I love it because I get to be in the moment too.

How often do you take the time to slow down?  To breathe deeply.  To be grateful.  To take in the beauty around you.  To feel connected to where you are.

Do you ever do it?

I do it a lot.  And I now feel the most amazing, strong, true, peaceful and joyful that I ever have in my life!  Genuinely.  Without just smiling to cover up the sad parts of my life -- because there are none.  Sure, things can happen, but I choose how to react.  I choose whether I hold on to the pain or let it go.  And I choose what is next.

I know what I want out of life, and I will settle for nothing less.

I wanted a macro lens for my camera.  I knew that little piece of equipment would combine my love for wildflowers and colors with slowing down and really paying attention to the moment.  At a focus 25 times what the naked eye can see.

And now, my friend, now I will show you what I can do with that.

Inside a purple iris

Birdsfoot trefoil

Metallic streamer

Orange hawkweed

Crow feather

Do you see what these images do?  They force you to slow down and look at images we take for granted everyday.  Just objects.  Or weeds.

But it is my intention to stick the magic, uniqueness and beauty of these images right in your eyeball.  You can't deny the colors.  The shapes.  The detail.  And, on a lot of the pictures I'm taking, you can't even tell what it is a picture of!  It's like a mind warp as well.  Sober.

Anyway, I am stoked.  I'd like to keep sharing these images with people.  If I can get my act together (because I have nothing else going on, you know), I'd love to be able to print these captivations and sell them through my website, so people can enjoy them on their own wall.  I'll let you know if that ever happens.

In the meantime, just sit back, take a deep breath, and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Frogs and Letters

So there's this pond.  It's back in Clyde's field, next to the community garden and near the trailhead.

This pond has frogs in it.  Beautiful, metallic, fluorescent, croaking frogs.  They are the type of frogs that do that airy-balloon-throat-bowmp-type sound.  I am not a frogologist.  I don't know any specific language for them.

But I know the kids love them.

I took Captain Donny Jr. and two of his nieces out for a wildflower walk past the gardens, and the girls had to visit the frog pond first.  I mean had to.  That's fine.  B and I like the pond too.  Besides, kids don't pay attention to what you are telling them if they are distracted by something else. 

In this case, frogs.

B pointing to a frog

Brady P. can even spot those frogs in the pond.  Aster counted nine that day... I think.  They often appear and disappear.  Then we find another one once we hear it croak!  So fun.  I like to be a part of this type of entertainment for the kids.

And just look at these magnificent amphibians.  Their eyes look like they're made of copper!

One of the alluring frogs

B and I will always visit the frog pond when I go to the garden as well.  Once he hears them croak, he points and shouts, "Ah!" in their direction.  Yup, we'll go see the frogs!

Then he is so sweet.  "Biyee!" he says and waves to the frogs before we leave.  He is so inclusive.

Now if we were in our house, and one of his toys was singing about letters, he would find his toy frog animal when the letter F came up.  Because he knows that frog starts with the letter F.

When the letter B comes up, he finds a bear. He finds the camel for C and the kangaroo for K (Whaaaat??? He knows the difference???).  He finds the horsey for H and the zebra for Z.  The lion for L and the giraffe for G.  Need I go on?  How did this kid get so smart?

Do you understand what I am telling you? (Of course you do, your not an idiot.  But let me reiterate.) Braeden can hear a letter.  He must visualize the letter in his head because he can then match it with one of his animal toys that starts with that letter.  He finds that animal in his pile of animals, pulls it out and points proudly, making sure I see.

I just shake my head in awe. How many three-year-olds can do that?  Really?  I am so amazed.  What a little man.  Genius, I tell you.  Genius. I couldn't do that when I was three.  Or four or five even.

I didn't really like to learn to read, but Braeden loves it.  He will open his books and "read" each page by saying the letters or names of the things he sees (the best he can, you know). He is so hungry for knowledge and showing off what he knows.  

And good for him.  He will help to show this world how inspiring that extra chromosome can be.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Oh, my goodness.  We are back in da Harbor!

I'm actually sitting in my front yard typing this.  I pulled up a lawn chair in the shade, so I can keep an eye on Brady P.  He fell asleep in the van, so there he shall stay until he wakes up... or this won't get done until tonight!

I don't know what you are most curious about after resuming, but I will tell you what I am most excited about.

Braeden is trying so hard to talk.  He will repeat pretty much anything you ask him to -- even if you don't ask!  (So now I really have to watch what I say.)  He doesn't always get the words right, but he gets close.  And he seriously is trying so hard.  It fills my heart to watch his determination and see him delight in his accomplishments.

He will walk around and sing EIEIO from Old MacDonald.  He will pretend to read his books.  And he has such a sweet voice.  Here is a video of us singing Old MacDonald.  It's so precious that I couldn't resist sharing.

So, like I said, not perfect, but valiant in effort.

Til next time!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Almost There!


I apologize again for my absence, but I am driving back to da harbor today.

I promise to resume next week!

Until then, go outside on a sunny day, take three deep breaths in a row, and during each one, name one thing you are grateful for.

That will be expressing gratitude for three things.  And three deep breaths.  And sunshine.

See how you feel after that!