happy birthday, we are mid-30s now

Happy Birthday to my favorite man. He is as kind and generous as he is handsome and patient. I love that he chose to spend his life with me, and gave me awesome kids to boot. Ps- We have been together for 17 years, and are in the middle of our 30s now. Mind-blown.


5 benefits of living without a smart phone

I will admit, the first month  without my iPhone was tough, tough, tough. I second guessed my choice several times, I mourned, I was angry, I bargained, I was in denial. All of it.

After a month things started to get better and better, and they just haven't stopped. I knew I had a lot of addictive behaviors when it came to my phone, namely INSTAGRAM, pinterest and TEXTING. But I never realized that life was moving faster than I could keep up. Which kept me in a constant flustered state. Like a camera that can never focus until you slow down, that was my daily life.

I've had some time to reflect and I would say the top 5 bonuses of not having a smart phone are these:

1. BETTER MEMORY. my memory is getting better. appointments, phone numbers, dates. no joke, after several weeks the digital cobwebs are clearing and i feel more present every day. my brain clouded with social media in my pocket all the time and my face in my phone. now i feel the temperature of the room differently, the sunset, my children's faces, people's voices, my clothes, even reading is different.

2. SLEEP. I sleep  sounder. I wake up more alert. I am less cranky. What's not to love about that?

3. TIME. I have SO MUCH FLIPPING TIME ON MY HANDS. I'm not even joking. Laundry? Yes, I have time to fold and put away. Talk on the phone with a good friend? Yup, I have time for that and can fold the laundry at the same time. Manage emails, write on the blog? Yes and yes. I would say without my smart phone I have at least 1-2 extra hours a day. Yikes. I'm reading about a book a week holla! That makes my heart so happy.
some of my favorite reads lately, obviously in a self help phase.

4. FREEDOM. I am not a slave to technology. I can run errands, drive on vacation, watch a movie with my kids, take a walk, go on a dinner date without thinking about posting it, or thinking about what other people are doing. Is that a cute photo? I hardly ever think that anymore.  Selfies? No more my friends. Just doesn't work with a nikon lol. But guess what? More people died this year from SELFIES than from SHARK ATTACKS. When will we wake up? Sharks, that eat small dolphins for snacks are SAFER THAN SELFIES. What the hell is happening to our society?

5. Real Relationships, Real Conversations. I am a better mom without my iPhone. I am a more present companion to my husband. I would say 99% of the people reading this have a smart phone, but I have to be honest. Who I care about talking to and spending my time with has decreased dramatically. And in all full disclosure honesty, most of my friends' social media accounts I want to drown in diesel gasoline. They irritate me, I feel insecure, unhappy with what I have, unhappy with my daughter's hair, unhappy with my couch throw pillows, or lack thereof. But those same friends in real life? I LOVE talking to. I love hearing about their REAL lives and their kids and homes. I value every one on one conversation i have with them.   Now I am happy if I bump into someone, I'm happy to catch up with them (because I truly don't know what's going on with them). No judging someone because I know where they've been (or what or what they haven't been) doing.

* Today I actually  had my first non-smart phone downfall today, I couldn't download a coupon at a store I wasn't planning on going to. Boo-hoo. I think I'll live. And this music video my beautiful cousin posted on Facebook (yes, I still visit social media when I have time to) is stuck in my head. It is so scary what digital social media relationships are doing to us, and now to our children. Likes, follows, comments, all wrapped up into one strange and lonely virtual world. http://youtu.be/UKftOH54iNU


song lyrics and unripe nectarines

these were the fluffiest marshmallow clouds against a pure blue sky,
a pure maynard dixon painting

a few weeks ago i was rushing through walmart (ugh) and as i ran past the produce i saw an entire crate full of nectarines.  walmart produce has yet to impress me over the last decade, but during summer i can not, will not, pass up peaches or nectarines. the fruit of the gods i tell you what. none of them smelled or felt ripe at all, but our kitchen warms up quite nicely in the summer and is the perfect fruit ripener if you know what i mean. i brought home a bag bursting full of them. in the next few days most were gobbled up, one by one, leaving trails of yellowy orange sticky juice around the tables and chairs and countertops.

after the best ones were devoured, one of the little ones would bring me the same rock hard nectarine and ask if it was ripe. day after day the same answer, "nope, not yet". the funny thing is, it never ripened. after an entire week had passed, which was ample enough time on our fruit platter to turn a green peach into the juiciest one you have ever eaten, this nectarine still felt like a baseball. i let a few more days go past, and a small outer layer, almost 1/4 inch thick softened. but the insides? bedrock. 

i imagined this to be much like life. sometimes we jump the gun, we rush towards what we want and how we want it. instead of waiting and ripening our talents, knowledge, mind and heart, we let circumstances pluck us off weeks, months, years too early. we never use the god-like attribute of patience, i hardly know if any children even know what patience means now. we rush, run, collide, drop and push to what we want and when we want it. and when that happens, the fruit of our labor never quite ripens. it doesn't make that sweet heavenly aroma, it doesn't slightly give when you squeeze it, it isn't full of the most perfect potential. it doesn't burst with delicious fruity flesh juice as you devour it. it gets a little ripe, but the center of it, the real meat of it, is hard and stale and worthless and inedible.

on the other hand, for the majority of the time we don't wait long enough for a project or undertaking to fully ripen. we bail because it is just taking too long and seems like it will never work out. we quit because, heaven forbid, it is too hard. we want the easy route. we want to fit in, we don't want to stick out holding on and working on to something that is different, undesirable by the masses or doesn't even look like fruit at all.

 i might be the only person alive who understands this analogy, but it is truth for many things in my life over the years. i'm thinking a lot more about patience today and developing my spirit, mind, body and heart, and letting time ripen everything till it is right. even if i don't enjoy being patient.

in other random news, i sat in church yesterday and thought a lot about songs that i love now that i absolutely hated as a child. the slow songs in the musical that i would just skip right over. yawnfest, every single one of them. you know what the funny part is? I will tell you. now those are all of my favorite songs. so of course, i made a little mental note of a few so i could remember:

climb every mountain- sound of music 
sunrise, sunset- fiddler on the roof 

There's a place for us, 
Somewhere a place for us. 
Peace and quiet and open air 
Wait for us 

There's a time for us, 
Some day a time for us, 
Time together with time spare, 
Time to learn, time to care, 
Some day! 

We'll find a new way of living, 
We'll find a way of forgiving 
Somewhere . . . 

There's a place for us, 
A time and place for us. 
Hold my hand and we're halfway there. 
Hold my hand and I'll take you there 
Some day, 

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