Friday, April 12, 2013

New beginning

70 posts over four years.  That is what my first, timid foray into blogging accomplished.  Stories of my first two babies.  Stories of the development of "Lisa the mom", and the fading of "Lisa the hopeless neurotic".

Big changes have happened around here.  In September, I quit my paid employment, and our family made the shift to a single income household.  I am baking more, and spending less.  I am truly the primary caregiver for my kids, the keeper of the financial books, the maker of the home.

Tomorrow, I will be 30 years old.  I look forward to celebrating with friends and family, and to beginning my thirties as a new chapter of my life.

With this new chapter, I want to invite you to visit my new blog, 'Life Lived Richly'.  Like 'Swirls and Swings', the name was chosen to reflect the blog's purpose.  I want to step into my next decade with intention, and the blog will chronicle my attempts to live simply, mindfully, and joyfully.  I would be honoured if you followed my journey.

To everyone who has ever commented here, or followed the blog, or been touched by anything I have written, thank you.  Nothing makes me feel less alone than to connect with another soul through words.  Namaste.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


It is Saturday morning, and I am sitting at my laptop with my whipped-cream-topped coffee, when I see this Facebook status:

"I would like to kidnap somebody and take them to a nature place close to my house. Who is free to be whisked away?"

My house is a mess.  I mean, really.  A mess. There is a pile of laundry at the bottom of the stairs that seems to be only growing.  Every kitchen surface has dishes and crumbs.  You would be hard pressed to find a piece of empty floor to lay down on.  No one is dressed.  No one has eaten anything with any nutritional value.  Sh*t is generally not together.

I am torn, once again, between responsibility and the spirit of carpe diem.  I find my fingers typing:

"Oh, boy. Me and my kids?"

Carpe Diem wins.

The next hour is marked by dressing, gathering, packing, and buckling little bodies into car seats.  Relying on my memory for a few directions given over the phone, I pull out of the driveway very close to on time.  Traffic, construction...  I arrive at the park just before 11.  Thing 1 out of the car, Thing 2 strapped to my back, and into the woods with my friend we go.

All week my nerves have been rattled.  So many feelings of swirling upheaval, and no time or space in my own mind to settle.  But here, now, surrounded by trees and mud, away from the noise and movement of the city, away from the computer and the phone, I feel my jitters start to fall away.  I hear birds.  I feel the wind on my face, and see the gently movement of the leaves.

We are not the only ones in the park this morning.  Here are a couple boys jumping bikes.  There is a fisherman on the banks of the river.  A group of 3 runners hurry past.  We are not exactly in solitude, and the morning is not marked by perfect peacefulness, either. 

Nik on a swing we found, strung simply from a tree with rope.
Nik runs ahead, gets called back, needs one thousand reminders to stay close, to not approach the water, to hold my hand or climb safely on the logs.  Alexa is mostly happy, along for the ride, but even she has her squirmy fussy moments.

But somehow, the conditions don't have to reach perfect serenity to allow me to reap the benefit of being here, in creation in the spring.  The birds still sing.  The sunlight still filters through the canopy.  The river still rushes.  These things are undisturbed by the chaotic movements of a 4 year old boy.  Undisturbed.  Still growing.  Still peaceful.  And they lead by example.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cute when they're asleep

Let me tell you a little bit about my dear, sweet Alexa today.

During my shower, she got into my alphabet beads and dumped them all over the couch, except for the ones that she put in her mouth. Also, she stole a chocolate from Nik, and apparently used it for a full body skin treatment, so I gave her a bath. She pooped in it.

When I took her out of the bath, she ran down the hall and pulled the hurricane lamp off of the record player. Tiny gravel everywhere.

She pulled half of the books off of the kids shelf.

She emptied half a dozen puzzles and bucket of peg board pegs onto the floor.

During lunch, she tried to eat her piece of pizza by pulling off the toppings, picking up her plate with the pizza on it, tomato sauce exposed, and smooshing the plate into her face.

She is just down for a nap, now.

Sleeeeep, baby. Sleeeep.
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