Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
~ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
I’ve spent the last couple of days since my uncle’s passing thinking a lot about the legacies we leave behind after we die. No matter what we do with our lives, we will each be remembered for the good – that much I know is true. But what do we want that good to be? If I die tomorrow, will what I’ve accomplished with my short, precious life be enough?
I want to leave behind a legacy for my children. I want them to be overflowing with happy memories of me. I want them to tell stories to their children and their children’s children about how great their momma was. Do I feel like I’ve given them a reason to tell those stories yet? I’m not so sure.
So, what do we do to create lives that we are so proud of that if we died tomorrow, we’d die with no regrets?
That is the kind of life that I want to live.
Today I got to meet Ali Vincent, the first female winner of the TV show The Biggest Loser. She gave a little speech at my work and something she said struck me to the core. She said, “If you are at a place in your life where you are feeling comfortable, then you aren’t creating. You have to break out of your comfort zone in order to accomplish great things.”
I am living a very comfortable life right now. I never thought that could be a bad thing, but it is. I don’t want to live a comfortable life – I want to live a GREAT life – a life that becomes a legacy. Slowly, but surely…
And now I’ll leave ya with a few questions to get your wheels turning as you finish out this week…
- What is one thing that you just HAVE TO do before you die? What’s holding you back from just doing it?
- What do you want to be remembered for?
- What is something actionable that you can do TODAY to step out of your comfort zone and become who you really want to be?
My uncle passed away very unexpectedly last night from a heart attack.
When you get news like this it knocks the wind right out of you and the world comes to an abrupt stop. I feel like I can’t think straight and I can’t feel straight. So much for me hoping that this week would be an uneventful one, huh?
Life is crazy. You get to a point where you finally start feeling like you have priorities straight and you’re figuring your stuff out only to have your feet knocked right out from under you. You fall to the floor and there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no one on this planet who can catch your fall. The only one who can is God.
That’s how I feel right now. Hopeless and hopeful all at once. Life’s mysteries scare the crap out of me, but I find comfort in my faith – in a hope that we will end up in a better place when this is all over.
RIP Uncle David. Until we meet again…
I apologize for my unintentional blog hiatus over the past few days. I guess I’m really apologizing to myself by saying that. I start to feel so frazzled and off track in my head when I don’t “write it out” ya know? Maybe that’s just a crazy blogger thing.
Anyway, life has gotten in the way of my “me time” lately. Leila ended up with Landon’s strange flu-thing last Thursday, so I had to miss yet another day of work. I’ve never seen my girl so sick. Then the hubby got in a fender-bender Thursday night so we’ve had to deal with all the insurance/car fixing issues that go along with that (not his fault and everyone is perfectly fine). We (well, I guess all the credit should go to my chef hubby) hosted a 5 course dinner for a few friends on Friday night. Ate and drank so much I thought I was going to explode. The weekend involved errands, unexpected family in town, getting my hair done (ahhh, I did get some good “me time” in!), and doing some much-needed spring cleaning.
Office/Playroom closet BEFORE and AFTER…
From clutter to clean. Scored those awesome bins at Costco!
Mixed into all of the crazy ups and downs over the past few days has been a lot of laughter and love and reflection. One particular moment on Saturday stands out to me. I felt my never-ending to-do list calling my name while my right eye simultaneously twitched like crazy over lack of sleep. Instead of choosing to be productive, I found myself curled up on our chaise lounge with a hot cup of PERFECT coffee, sunlight streaming through the windows, and two crazy lil kiddos running in circles around our living room rug. Across the room my hubby sat sipping his coffee. We periodically made eye contact and smiled. I knew in that moment that we were both feeling the same thing – utterly exhausted, but extremely blessed. It was one of those moments where all of the to-do’s and all of the chores and all of the CRAP of life just didn’t exist. It was just our little family in our cozy home loving life. Doesn’t get much better than that.
After last week, I’m crossing my fingers for an uneventful week ahead. Gotta make up some lost ground in the crap-of-life department. 🙂
I hope today finds you in a happy place surrounded by the ones you love (or at least people who make you happy)!
For the first year of my son’s life I posted monthly updates on his growth and development. I can’t believe it’s already been 4 months since he turned one – since my last post. Today my Landon Drew is 16 months old. His cuteness right now is killing me and I can’t help but dedicate another post to him.
Landon Drew at 16 months…
- No clue what his weight is since he hasn’t been to the doc since his 1st b-day. I’m guessing 24 lbs. He’s still a big guy – mainly just tall. He’s starting to lose that edible baby fatness. 🙁
- This kid is not a talker. Definitely lots of babble, but no words yet. All he says is “uh oh.” Leila was a late talker, so I’m not worried about him. I just want him to start saying “mama!”
- My fave new Lando-ism is when he wants me to sing the ABC’s (his FAVORITE song). He will say “ya ya ya ya!” in the tune of “A, B, C, D…” He can usually get me to sing it about 5 times with his cuteness before I’ve had enough.
- I’m still giving this kid his milk in a bottle. I just can’t take it away! With Leila we killed the bottle at one year. But Landon’s my baby! I’m just really milking the babyhood this time around.
- In the past week Landon has found his security item. He never took a binky and I bought him a lovey monster blanket with the hopes it would become his special item. Nope. He is obsessed with his Aden & Anais blankies. As soon as he sees one he grabs it and snuggles it up to his face. He likes to drag them around everywhere with him and he nuzzles into them when he goes to sleep. Any other blankie won’t do – it has to be the white, soft muslin ones. Def one of my favorite baby items!
- My son is a boy through and through. He’s into trucks and cars and balls and loud sounds and throwing everything! He also likes to hit things (and people – we’re working on that one).
- He is still a good eater, but if he doesn’t want something he will quickly let you know by throwing the food as far as he can. Yeah, no fun (especially at restaurants). His favorite foods are pastas and casseroles. Likes his comfort food, just like his momma. 🙂
- Landon is a bully. He isn’t shy. He likes to beat up on his big sissy and he gets a thrill out of stealing toys from her.
- At the same time he is a complete little lover. He still nuzzles into my neck when I pick him up and he loves to give hugs and kisses.
- I’ve been working on teaching him body parts. At this age Leila could point to her nose, eyes, ears, etc. Landon has “nose” down, but mainly any time I ask him to point to something he just tries to smack me in the face. Such a boy.
- Even though he isn’t talking and he doesn’t have his body parts down, he’s still a smart cookie who understands everything. If I tell him to go find daddy, he will. If I tell him it’s bath time he’ll run into the bathroom.
- I like to whisper sweet nothings into his ear when he’s snuggled up to me. They usually go something like this, “Mommy loves you SO much. Promise me you’ll never leave me – that you’ll live with me forever. You’re going to grow up and make lots of money in a job that you absolutely love and you’re gonna take care of your Momma.” (he he he!)
I just love this little stinker and all of his personality sooooooooo much. My Landon Drew.
There is nothing in this world I love more than being a mom. The milestones, the unconditional love, the family. But I have a confession to make…
Sometimes I dread the days when I have to be alone with my children.
Wow, writing that out makes it sound really harsh. How can anyone NOT look forward to spending time with their own kids? Let me re-phrase a little…
Every other weekend my husband works. And M-F of each week, I work. That means that 2 days every 2 weeks are spent sans hubby – just me and the littles. It isn’t much and I really do value my quality time alone with them. It’s just that for some reason, during the week leading in to my weekends alone with them I’m not excited about it. I’m sad that I won’t get to spend any time with Andy and I’m nervous over what I will do with the kids to keep them entertained and occupied and happy.
Another confession: I don’t think I’m the best parent. And I know I’m not alone here. I don’t plan out fun art & craft projects, I don’t implement educational activities regularly, and I’m lazy. Period. Sure, I could take my kids to the children’s museum or the library, but just the thought of doing that by myself exhausts me. Even when I took them to the park last weekend, that only lasted approximately 10 minutes before I was bribing Leila with ice cream to convince her to leave.
Looking at the pics from my last post and reading the few sentences I wrote, you get a pretty picture of a perfect weekend at home, just me and my babes. And it was a wonderful weekend, but that post is just a fraction of the happy highlights. It doesn’t show the tantrums or the tears. It doesn’t show all of the time that Leila spent watching TV because I didn’t know how to keep her entertained.
Am I a bad parent? I don’t think so. I think I’m the norm. I do the best that I can.
Could I do better? Sure.
Could I love my children any more? Absolutely not.
Will they grow up happy and healthy with love and a zest for life? That’s what I want more than anything for them.
I think they are teaching me just as much as I am teaching them each and every day.