Boo

November 2, 2010 by

Homesteading on Halloween.. I savor the moments every Halloween and this year was no exception especially cause Halloween fell on a Sunday. I had the whole weekend to welcome the fall season in.  I love Halloween, Not only is this a holiday for the kiddies but for us Moms.  First off it’s fall, it’s the weekend I start baking again. The day embodies everything I hold on to as far as being a Mom: being home with my kids, making  costumes,  baking, decorating, staring at the sun, cooking and being in the kitchen from 7am til 10pm, lighting candles, listening to music, carving the pumpkin (yes we even did that yesterday). Though our lives are so busy and the kids keep getting bigger, we still found time to decorate these delicious cupcakes, carve the pumpkin, call a Grandma and line up all the candy from the pillow cases.. Much fun was had by all. Happy Halloween to all and to all sweet dreaming of next year’s magic..

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October 31, 2010 by

Meet Avalokiteswara. Goddess of Love, Compassion and healing

Yesterday in our sister summit call, I spoke about the murti (an image which expresses a Divine Spirit), Avalokiteswara. Here is a photo of her. You will notice she has 1,000 hands, working tirelessly with her divine energy to help offer love and healing. She sits on a lotus flower, symbolizing that even in the mud, one can emerge and grow, sharing beauty. It’s funny, because although I am incredibly drawn to her and she has deep meaning for me, and I love to look at her and she brings me feelings of love and healing myself, I have no idea what to write about her in this entry.

What I do know (or what I am working towards further clarity on) is that I am drawn to work where I can use my talents to offer compassion and healing. Maybe that has something to do with yoga therapy. Or working with the elderly. Maybe even in sister summit.

When I bought Avalokiteswara up in Estes Park at the Anusara Yoga Grand Gathering, the man instructed me to incorporate her in my mediation, in my daily life events, in chanting and in my yoga learning. Although traditional meditation continues to call me, I find it challenging to take the time to sit, let alone invite a daily chanting practice in my life. I can however, put her in front of my yoga mat when I do a home practice. I can set her on my desk when I write and work. And, actually, I do know a chant, about her – Om Mani Padme Hum.

So, sisters, with each of you I share my new friend, in love and compassion.

— 3sister, sam

 

Juxtapositions

September 18, 2010 by

Last week John and I sat together at the Methodist church in town for the second Saturday in a row. We were there to participate in celebrations occurring in the lives of our children’s friends. The first Saturday was filled with smiles for the wedding of one of Katie’s closest of friends, and the second Saturday was filled with tears for the funeral of the father of Simon’s closest friend. We could not help but think of how different these two services were. We could not help but think of our own mortality. We were drawn into our past lives because we knew these very special people best during when they were playing with our children in backyards, on soccer fields, at birthday parties, in plays and musicals, at school functions, in boy and girls scouts, and during car trips. Now we were witnessing them as adults doing adult things. We sat beside our grown children and sharing their lives with their friends at some of the most important days in a lifespan. It is weird, and so different for me to be thinking of our lives from this new perspective. We are middle aged parents who are now less the participants than the observers and memory keepers. Of late I have been lamenting how I feel so much an outsider in my children’s lives. I am not sure where I fit in anymore. Yet, here I was, so honored to be a part of the milestones of their lives and their friends’ lives.

In this moment in time I recognize that have to pay attention here. So I sat in the pews both Saturdays and listened hard to the words of the pastor who officiated both services. He was so eloquent and used words that were so very apropos. He captured the essence of the people in front of him. His words built us all up in community. His message reminded us that we have a choice with whom we spend our lives. Making that choice alters the path we take but not who we are. It is vital that we maintain our very unique self and bring that to our relationships. Our mates, our children, our families, our world, need us to be who we are. I know this to be true, but sitting at these important gatherings was like sitting in the theatre watching it all play out in front of me.

One other thing struck me at this time. During these two important events, I was again part of a community. Community surrounds us with energy, encouragement, strength, and compassion. I have withdrawn so much from my community in the past few years. I have my family of course, and I have my school community. But, I have so little time that I have neglected friends and neighbors. So I am so grateful that my children’s friends invited me to be a part of their most precious of moments. I felt part of the community, witnessed its power, and I hope that I don’t let this lesson slip away.

“Most of us lead far more meaningful lives than we know. Often finding meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways.” Rachel Naomi Remen in “My Grandfather’s Blessings”

Sisters, thank you for being my community. Our connection to one another is so powerful.

Peace,
Jude

Making Progress

September 18, 2010 by

Here we go.  We have made progress and our laundry room is much improved.  Still need to paint the whole room, but it is clean and need all over.  On now to our clothing closets!

A quarter of a century!

August 20, 2010 by

This is Katie on her 25th birthday.  I can’t believe I have been a mother for 25 years now.  It is truly humbling to know that you have brought into this world little people who are now capable adults.   And not just older kids, really, they are now adults making adult choices and living lives that affected, and are affected by oh so many others.  As much as I take this all in stride, as just a part of life, I am also in awe of this phenomenon of parenthood.  I am also a bit forlorn as I miss my days with the kids.  I am no longer much a part of their lives, and I truly miss them as people.  But I am proud of them.  And specifically, this week I am celebrating my oldest’s 25th birthday.  She is a talented teacher.  She inspires me, along with many others.  She has a gift with children.  She is unpretentious and she loves to have fun.  She also loves accessories!!!  Happy Birthday, Katie.  And sisters,,,,, just you wait!

Happy Birthday

Getting It Together!

August 7, 2010 by

This is the first small attempt to get my life organized.  We are designing the laundry room closet to be a functional pantry.  The whole laundry room might not get made over, but we’ll give it a start with this update.  Here is the before picture.  I can’t wait to post the after!

My life disorganized.

The garden today

May 31, 2010 by

May 30, 2010

Lessons from Growing Up in the Midline

May 22, 2010 by

Last week — brief as it was — I had the chance to reconnect with my five brothers and sisters. The six of us gathering with countless other relatives to witness the funeral ceremony for our 99 year old grandmother. Grandma Yula passed away in her sleep, in mid afternoon the day after Mother’s Day. Her frail condition over the last several months, signaled her readiness to return Home.  As each of us received word  of her passing, we began to phone, email and text each other, making our plans to travel east. Carolyn’s home would serve as our anchor, our meeting place. With last-minute flights hovering way north of our checking account balances, Judy, Bob and David rented a Lincoln cruiser (thanks to Chrisine’s “she-sells-cars” connections). Maureen wrangled a piecemeal flight from Priceline and I tapped into my frequent flier miles for a 6 AM departure to Newark, by way of Chicago. Amidst heavy spring storms centered in the midwest, by Thursday afternoon, we had all made it through the country’s midline and arrived in New Jersey  — in time for the first of several family gatherings.

There’s something amazing about the connection we all have as brothers and sisters — this connection that doesn’t even think twice about navigating flights, rain and work schedules to meet up with each other. And though I did not come to appreciate and truly leverage this gift until these last few years, I love that I am a part of the McCann family, sponsored by Jerry and Kathleen McCann.

As scrappy as we are in this snapshot from a time long passed, I realize that the closeness we all share today is a result, in large part, of growing up, hugging “the midline”. Carolyn has referred to it as “the Iowa factor”, and we all pay tribute to our midwestern roots. But ‘hugging the midline’ is also a term I borrow from my Anusara based yoga practice.  “Hugging the midline is created when you access the strength of your core energy to support the pose from within, rather than relying on the strength of the outermost muscles to hold the pose.” — Ash blog.  Because the physical practice of yoga has been a tool for me to apply the principles of alignment and asana off the mat as well — I am reminded again of the lessons from the midline.

  1. No matter how tough it gets, we still have each other. Unconditionally.  Geeky glasses and all.
  2. It’s still home, no matter where you pitch your tent. From Arizona to Colorado to Chicago’s west suburbs to New Jersey, somehow we’re all “home” whenever we come together.
  3. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Individually, I am one, younger middle sister, who spent much of her youth seeking happiness outside the “midline”, the family. Now I know with certainty that I am so much more because I am connected to the strength, the community and the love that this family is made up of.

So let’s click our red sparkly shoes together three times . . . there’s no place like home [in the midline].

Post by Sandi McCann, 3 sister

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Check this out

May 7, 2010 by

I’m trying out Bubblejoy. What do you think?  http://bbljoy.com/m2xpx

On our way to phenomenal

April 20, 2010 by

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a women’s conference that was designed to give female entrepreneurs encouragement, support, tools and resources to pursue their dreams of owning their own business. With speakers like Lisa Nichols, Les Brown and Paula Ellingham (the organizer of the conference) I was not only inspired by the words they spoke but by my realization that I am exactly where I need to be, on my journey to phenomenal.

The moment I was born I began this phenomenal journey, and my life experiences, whether they were good, bad or life-changing, they have brought me to this place.  Every moment was played out exactly as it should have. Sometimes it doesn’t look like I thought it should, but it is mine and I get to choose how my journey will continue. Sometimes I want to give up and run away, other times I want to stand up and fight for me. It’s OK; all is well on my phenomenal journey, because my journey is lit with love, joy, heartaches and headaches. But most of all, my journey is one of love, the love of my family, friends, coworkers and colleagues, from my 1st grade teacher to my darling daughters, the moments I have shared and the lessons that I learned are just as they should be. The choices and decisions that I made as well as the ones that were made for me are just as they should be on my phenomenal journey.

Whether we see things as blessings or curses, we get to choose. Sometimes we stumble, sometimes we fall down and sometimes we think we are unable to get back up… but we do. We put on our backpack full of experiences, wisdom and our love of life and our pursuit of happiness and carry on with our phenomenal journey.  

My phenomenal journey is filled with the most amazing experiences, large and small. Reaching the summit of Buckskin Pass, floating down the Rouge River and giving birth to my beautiful daughters were pretty big moments for me, and yet some of smaller moments are equally special, like having lunch with my dad, sewing my daughter’s 6th grade quilt project with my sister Judy, hiking with my 3 sisters during our first sister summit and laughing so hard with my girlfriends Ruth and Colleen on our road trip to Glenwood…all are very special and my journey is just as it should be.

This past weekend gave me what I needed, time away from my crazy busy life, inspiration to pursue my dreams, a girls night out, a taste of best hot dog on the planet, a stroll down Rodeo Drive, a toe dip in the Pacific Ocean and the realization that I am on my way to phenomenal.

The pathway of my phenomenal journey looks bright…an exciting business, teenage years, trips to Chicago, Arizona and New Jersey and other places in between, along with many personal and professional lessons that I am eager to learn…but what inspires me the most is my journey is lit with love, the love of my family, friends, co-workers and colleagues…those that are alongside me on my phenomenal journey.