This moment: guarded by an army of stuffed animals

Here I am, sitting in the kitchen in my pajamas after Mr. P has gone to sleep. Breaking the blog silence with a few sentences. And the amazing ease of word press on my new iPhone six. 

  

Life is a series of mornings and days and evenings, weeks and weekends and above it all and beneath it all and within it all are the moments. The magic, priceless little treasures like this one, pictured here, where Bob and I sat on the couch and Mr. P joined us and then one at a time he brought his stuffed animals, all of them, to join us like an army until finally there was no room for anything but laughter. 

And right now as I write this all I hear is the sound of my voice dictating this into my iPhone and the crickets in their sweet rhythm in the background. Noticing, capturing, grasping this moment. Celebrating my first blog post in what feels like forever.

 

This Littlest Slice Of Heaven Feels Big

Good morning from my couch! Where I am cuddled under my favorite blanket with my favorite pillow and my favorite magazine and coffee! Mr. P is miraculously asleep still. Well past the 6am rise and shine he’s been blessing us with for weeks now. I’m celebrating this occasion by sharing with you and capturing the wonderfulness of it all.

Gotta go, he’s up! But not before I post this exactly as is. Kisses, darlings! Let’s give today a big hug!!

Love,
Melissa

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Backseat Blogging

First post in what feels like forever: sitting in back seat of car with sleeping 14 month old Mr. P. Bob and my dad are inside one of my new favorite places, Rainbow Acres, picking up juice (the veggie kind-one of my new favorite things) and sandwiches. Since I last wrote:
-Mr. P turned the big O-N-E!
-I started my first big freelance from home copywriting project since becoming a mom
-it got me thinking/feeling hmm… I could do more of this
-phone rang and boom!
-now I’ve been part time working mommy for 6 weeks now. 3 days a week.
-Mr. P took his first steps! Exactly a week after his first birthday
-step, step, step, boom!
-Now he is practically running. His default mode of transportation is super speed walking.
-I decided it’s time to leave the gallery co-op. There’s only so much time in a day/week/life and with work now I realized I just didn’t have room. Will treasure the friends I’ve made there and the growth I’ve made having been a part of it.
-I’m valuing “space” more than ever. Space in my life, space in my drawers, space in my body. Making room for prosperity and possibility and gratitude.
-Sold two of my paintings at the gallery: star lady and ocean Buddha. An interested party inquired about ocean Buddha. The gallery called me to check the price. I told them the price-but the caveat that ocean Buddha was only for sake with his partner: star lady. The buyer bought both right then and there. Turns out, the buyer was my brother.

Dad and bob are back so I will sign off, knowing there are typos and uncapitalized letters and that the sequence of the above is not chronological. Knowing, really, it’s ok.

A special shout out to my dear friend Amy for asking me about the blog and telling me she missed it.

Much love to you all,
Melissa

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V Is For Vulnerable (And My Special Relationship With Warts)

A while back I started the creative alphabet: blog posts dedicated to/inspired by each letter of the alphabet. I did two and then got sidetracked (that was before my big commitment). The two posts were A is for Amazement and B is for Bravery. Well here I am back with another installment of the Creative Alphabet. I started this post with the intention of writing “V is for Virgo” and I was going to tell you about all the Virgos in my life: from the birthday I share with my sister-in-love, the very next day after that will be Mr. P’s birthday and then the day after my amazing sister’s birthday. And today, the birthday of one of my dearest friends and members of my famiglia: the amazing artist and silk painter and fused glass creator, the one, the only Gemma Del Rio. And tomorrow my awesome friend Jen’s bday and so on and so on and so forth about all the Virgos in my life that I know and love. But…

(I WAS going to tell you all that – and I just went ahead and told you now didn’t I?!)

But I decided to go a little deeper below the surface into yet another V word: vulnerable. Being vulnerable is so hard! To live in the land of “I don’t know” to, as my darling friend and mentor Gemma Taccogna called it to “be naked.” To walk through life without hiding behind the clothes of knowledge and power and information and facts and figures and show up exactly as you are, insecurities and pimples and warts and all.

Warts and all? Yes, warts and all. I have a special relationship with warts. I used to be covered with them and thought they would NEVER go away but they did, at long last go away. I had them on my toes and on the bottom of my feet and on each of my fingers and even three extra-pretty-ones right on the top of my thumb bone. A combination of seeing a dermatologist, a podiatrist and instituting a daily regimen of applying a drugstore paint on wart remover, covering it for 24 hours then trimming the dead wart skin off with a razor blade made them finally START to go away.

Here I am being vulnerable! Admitting that I had creepy crawly nasty warts and that the process of removing said warts was even creepier and crawlier and just plain GROSSER than the actual warts themselves. But you know what? As I COMMITTED to this process of wart-removing I started doing just the opposite. I started seeing the possibility that one day I could have clear, smooth skin. One by one the warts went away.

The more I COMMITTED to the regimen of wart-removing was also more LOVE I was giving myself. I started using a warm bubbly foot bath daily and letting the dead-wart-skin soak before I’d razor it off each day. Then I added using a little fresh clean slice of a drugstore hard foot scrubber that I figured out I could cut with scissors and have a little slice to use each day. I’d feverishly scrub away the dead wart skin. (Of course tossing the now-wart-skin-infested slice in the trash each day.)

Then came the biggest part of my transformation from WART-haver to WART-have-not-er. I started visualizing clear skin. And each day I’d have less and less warts and more and more clear skin. Until one day I looked down and they were all GONE!

This is one of the biggest examples of how anything is possible. And now, by telling you about it, by being vulnerable and open to the attack of you possibly DEFRIENDING me due to the grossness of my previous wart situation, I feel light and free. And I feel closer to you, and I don’t even know specifically who you are. And I have given you the opportunity to share about your warts. Or your fears. Or the things that you do that you are embarrassed that you do but you so totally love doing. Or to ask the stupid questions or share the oddball stories.

This blog, for me, is the beginning, the very beginning, of a whole new world of being vulnerable, being naked. By being vulnerable, I have shared with you many less-than-perfect blog posts, I’ve posted on days when I felt I had nothing to say. I shared my birth story, I posted a picture of my boob, I even admitted that in 6th grade I was a punk rock criminal. (Yes, I am exaggerating, Mom.)

Thank you, darling readers, for joining me on this journey. We may not know exactly where we are going. But we sure are enjoying the ride. And we’re going to do our very best to be naked, aren’t we?

That’s all for today, darlings.

Thank you and good things.

Love,

Melissa

 

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This is post 29. I’ve decided to label the posts, not the days. I did 25 posts in 25 days and then skipped 2. And then I skipped a bunch more while I was away. But now I am back and RE-committed to this blogging thing, loving the peace that comes from writing and the momentum that comes from commitment.

This started as a 7 day commitment to write and post an entry from start to finish within thirty minutes, two sessions of 15 minutes each right in a row using my beloved Flylady timer.

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Learn more about Good Things Darling.

Follow the journey on Facebook. 

Visit the Etsy shop.

View more of my paintings on my Flickr.

Soaking In The Sunshine And Serenity

We just got back from a week back east visiting family. A wonderful time surrounded by so much love. We had the joy of seeing friends and family in Boston, Connecticut and Vermont. Mr. P was a great little traveler and was up for anything. I’ll tell you more about it but for now, I will tell you this. A week away is refreshing, rejuvenating and restoring. Especially when a big part of that week was in the cozy growing-up-home of Bob nestled among the trees and the woods in Southern Vermont.

One of my favorite moments was finding this open field of grass to lie in. It called my name and even though I was with a whole crew of family and friends and very-excited-kids on a garden farm adventure around Putney, I took a minute to lay down, shut my eyes and soak in the sunshine and serenity. A big thanks to Oma, my mother-in-love, for taking this picture.

More moments to come, darling readers, but for now, the timer is ticking.

How do you soak in the serenity? What do you do? What is serenity for you?

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This is post 28. I’ve decided to label the posts, not the days. I did 25 posts in 25 days and then skipped 2. And then I skipped a bunch more while I was away. But now I am back and RE-committed to this blogging thing, loving the peace that comes from writing and the momentum that comes from commitment.

This started as a 7 day commitment to write and post an entry from start to finish within thirty minutes, two sessions of 15 minutes each right in a row using my beloved Flylady timer.

*

Learn more about Good Things Darling.

Follow the journey on Facebook. 

Visit the Etsy shop.

View more of my paintings on my Flickr.

 

Thrilling The Little Kid In Me

The little kid in me got such a thrill of delight out of this repurposed vintage gumball toy bubble machine. Bob even put two shiny quarters in for me to buy me a ‘petite poem’ and maybe even one of those trinket treasures, too. My heart sank as nothing came out. But the true prize is that my wheels are turning… How can I score one of these little machines and repurpose it into my very own creation? I love stuff like this, seeing how creative minds tick tick tick.

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Motherhood, Shakespeare And The Pitter Patter Of It All

Well, the first day of flaking came and went. Labor Day 2013. The first day I did not honor my commitment to this writing/posting daily in 30 minutes. By the time the busy day came to a close of sorts, it was 10:42pm. Was I going to find the energy to blog? No. (Then came the second day. I wrote this post yesterday and will finally post today.)

Right now, as I type this with my right thumb, Mr. P is napping on me on the boppy. His darling head is resting in the crook of my right elbow, where my bicep meets my forearm. His whole being is curled up into mine as his even warm breath brings me a kind of peace and abundance and ebullience I’ve never known to this extent. As if each breath is a puff of love-life-air into the deflated tire of my tired-mommy-psyche. With each burst of Mr. P air, I find the reserve to type this to you, one fumbling thumb-letter at a time.

Meanwhile, I’m giving the same kind of love-life-air to Mr. P. My heart beats slowly and rhythmically in my chest, causing his cuddle-nap-place to rise and fall in perfect symbiotic symmetry to his beats. I am thinking, now, of my first day of Shakespeare 101 way back in the other-life me at Bucknell. It was co-taught by one of the more conservative Shakespearean scholars on campus, and I believe in the field, too and by this radiant and brilliant in both brains and bright beauty Indian professor. As conservative as he was, she was as refreshingly liberal. Her voice was music to my sponge-learning-creative-peak ears. They started the first day of class with this lecture:
(This is etched in my mind for over 15 years, so please, don’t quote me)
Context: they were talking about the Shakespearean rhythm of iambic pentameter…
He:
And it beats rhythmically like the heart… Ba-buh-ba-buh-bu-buh. And it makes my heart beat to the rhythm of his words. Pitter patter, pitter patter…
She:
And the words and the rhythm to me are so powerful they make my heart stop.

This, to me, is the perfect description to motherhood. My baby and I with hearts beating pumping love and blood and air into each others spirits so much so it makes my heart go pitter patter most of the time AND at the exact same time when I’m so struck by the power of our lifeblood that then my heart stops in its tracks frozen in time and space so I can notice, really notice, the beauty of it all.

Except when I’m so frazzled that I can’t even notice any of this, which in these 11 months, is quite often.

I am grateful for this moment, away from places to be and people to see. Away from laundry and dishes and to do lists. I am grateful for this sleeping angel and this moment to share our love and life with you.

Good things, darlings.

Melissa

Day 26. (I debated, how do I number this when I skipped a day? And then I thought of fly lady: “you’re not behind, just jump in wherever you are” and Gemma saying “adelante, darling!”

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Adelante! September Here We Come

Gemma used to always say 'Adelante!' Onward, upward. I named this painting Adelante probably, at the time, inspired by my dear darling friend and mentor's words. I finished this piece at Gemma's table after letting it sit in limbo for years shoved in between my fridge and my cabinet on my small studio apartment. I met Bob days after finishing this piece. I was ready for everything that onward and upward would bring in my life. And here we are now, welcoming a new month and I was inspired to call this post 'Adelante.' Let's just see, shall we? Let's just see what unfolds for all of us when we move onward and upward.

Sometimes after a long busy weekend full of adventures and aha moments and chick peas and bit-in-half blueberries and hummus all over my leggings and 11-month-old-earlybird-getting-the-worm-every-single-day and spilling water on my iPhone and going to see great friends and finally folding the laundry and crusty finally getting done dishes and drank too fast morning coffee and Mr. P pop-pop-popping his way around the park walking at the speed of light pushing his big boy walking toy and Facetiming families making exciting plans… Sometimes it’s enough to give a crazy long sentence recap and leave it at just that.

It’s the beginning of a new month. Happy September, darling readers. When I think ahead to October 1st it feels like one million years away. So for now I will savor September each day as it comes. Onward, upward, one wonderful day at a time.

Good things, darlings.

Melissa

* Day 25 of my commitment to write/post a blog in 30 minutes.

Raising Well-Adjusted Parents

I cannot take credit for the brilliant and wise title of this blog post, the credit goes to my amazing friend Amy who bought this onesie for Mr. P.

No matter how many parenting books read or how many classes we took before the baby was born, the best lessons we can learn are from Mr. P himself. Day in and day out he teaches us to be the best possible parents we can be. We are in a constant state of amazement. And exhaustion. These two go hand-in-hand in the coolest way. Like today, meeting my sister, his aunt, for a park picnic. The picnic itself was short-lived and fun as Mr. P mashed chickpeas and green peas into his mouth and into our picnic blanket.

Then we ventured onto the sidewalk to push his big boy walking toy that my bro, his uncle, got him. It was so wild setting him free in the open expanse of the park as opposed to inside our tile floored condo. He was a wild man set loose in the fresh air. Then we went to play in a friends pool and picnic again with some of the mommies and daddies that we love. It was then that Mr. P decided to stand independently for the very first time right while all of our friends watched.

Bob and I stared in amazement because this is the very first time it had happened. We couldn’t even take a picture or video because our phone memories were full of pictures. Lucky us, our friends took some pictures and just sent them to us.

We are learning as we go and feeling like this little guy is teaching us the lessons we need to learn just as we need to know them. So thank you Mr. P for raising us to be well-adjusted parents. And thank you, Aim, for giving us the words for our new parenting philosophy.

Good things, darlings.

Melissa.

Day 24 of my commitment to write and post a blog in 30 minutes.

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Cuddling It Out

A short and sweet post, brought to you live from the pitch black bedroom where the AC is pumping in this LA heatwave. Mr. P is cuddled up on my left side, just not wanting mommy to go away tonight. Each time I tried to creep away from putting him down in the crib, he’d wake up and cry. So tonight, I’m in bed early cuddling with Mr. P and bringing you what I have to offer in this moment, a glimpse into my mommy life where sometimes evenings don’t unfold exactly as we expected but you know what? It’s all good.

This pic is from earlier this week, Mr. P rocking his Bucknell t-shirt and helping with the laundry. He was also, incidentally, in the midst of trying to poop.

Good things, darling.

Melissa

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Day 23.

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