Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Calista shared a conversation she had with her friends today about religion.  She was a little confused that her friends got so upset when she told them she doesn't believe in heaven or hell, and she was somewhat taken back by the place of fear that they were coming from.  She told me she didn't think 10, 11, and 12 year olds should have to worry about such things.  She feels like everyone thinks they know everything and they REALLY don't and no matter how much you contemplate such things you will not KNOW the answers.  She feels like everyone should just stop trying so hard to find the answers and just LIVE.  I listened with open ears and an open heart.  One thing that struck me is that her beliefs on religion and God are somewhat different than mine and that's what really started me contemplating tonight.

Most children who come from a Christian background believe what they believe because that is what they have been taught to believe.  They don't even know how to make their own opinions about their beliefs because they've never been given that option.  I was told by a pastor one time that 80% of Christians became Christians as children.  80%!!!  What that tells me is that 80% of Christians don't hold their own beliefs but rather have been brainwashed to believe that.  That's just astounding to me!  And it always seems to come back to this thing they call hell, and the fear of it.  I lived most of my life, well into adulthood, living in that same fear and I'm so thankful to be free from it!!  I'm even more thankful that I'm raising my own children with that sense of freedom and that they will never have some of the same silly hang-ups that I have spent the last 8 years releasing myself from.

I have my own spiritual practices and they are different than every single one of my children, for my children hold their own opinions and have come to their separate beliefs on their own.  I would never dream of getting in their way or trying to sway them to believe one way or the other.

At the end of the conversation she said, "Mom, if I was going to be any religion I would be Pagan because it makes me feel good and I love doing rituals."  It made my heart smile that she is being authentic to who she is and what is speaking to her.  That is what I want for my children in all aspects of their life, that is my goal as I continue to raise my children in freedom; that they will be completely authentic and true to themselves.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Summer "Bucket List"

I have started a "Bucket List" for my summer.  I'm sure it will grow over the next month as I think of more things I want to add to it but this is a start:

Finish at least two triathalons.

Visit Homer.

Visit Seward.

Visit Talkeetna.

White water rafting in Denali.

Hike Crow Creek Pass.

Hike Pioneer Peak.

Go to the Forest Fair.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wine Down Wednesday

I think Martin and I have found our new Wednesday tradition!  Before we went on our motorhome trip we went to Sabai (Thai food) every Wednesday; it was our date night.  I love traditions and rituals and miss this one in particular.  Last night, one of our favorite places, The Grape Tap, started a Wine Down Wednesday, in which they give you a small glass of wine paired with an amazing appetizer for $10.  Usually when we go to The Grape Tap we leave with a $100 bill so we were thrilled to pop in before dinner, have an appetizer and a little wine and leave with only a $20 bill:)

I think with this tradition we will invite other couples to join us every week.  A nice hour of small talk over a glass of wine:)  Check them out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wasilla-AK/The-Grape-Tap/94662473582

Monday, April 05, 2010

With spring in the air I'm on a constant high these days.  I don't realize how hard winter is on me until spring comes.  It's been a wonderful couple of weeks; seems like my days are filled with fun and surrounded by people that inspire and lift me up. 

I've chosen friends wisely.  I don't have tons of friends but the ones I have enhance my life in so many wonderful ways!  I look forward to each day and the life I'm creating for myself.

The kids are continuing with their swimming.  Kev has Junior Olympics in a couple of weeks.  Tristan did a time trial on Saturday, to see if he could make some times for JO's, since he has only done one meet and only raced the 50 Free.  He tried for the 50 Free and the 100 Free.  He only missed the 50 by .2 of a sec. and the 100 by .4.  So close!!  For someone who has only been swimming since November that's awesome!  He is going to be on fire by the time high school swimming starts!

I've been teaching yoga a LOT!  A couple of our teachers have been gone so I've been subbing like crazy. I've slowly begun to creep my Sunday and Thursday class to a level II and students have rose to the challenge.  It's been a lot of fun.  It was also great to get my paycheck, especially after thousands of dollars of dental bills in the last couple of months:)  My trip to India has been confirmed; there were enough people that signed up and paid their deposit to make it a go.  I'm so excited!!  A few of the people going are on that list of people that I was speaking of in the second paragraph of this post, which is going to make it that much more enjoyable. 

Well, I know it is a quick post, just didn't want everyone to abandon my blog:)  I'm still here, just busy living life.  Will post more when I have the chance to sit for a longer period of time.

Hope everyone has as beautiful of a day as I'm going to have today.  Off to the pool for my swim......

Hiking season is about to begin for us.  Some of us have some lofty goals, such as Pioneer Peak and possibly (for me) Crow Pass, which is a 26 mile hike that takes two days.  We also have a family coming to visit us for the entire summer so we have a lot of little hikes that we want to do with them, not to mention the fishing trips, road trips, lake days, etc.  I'm really looking forward to this summer!! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Whew, what a month! I feel like I have barely been keeping my nose above the water. It seems like things are happening, one after another, that makes me feel like I am cursed with bad karma. I've not had a very good attitude about it either. I set aside a certain amount of money that I knew we needed for dental bills. None of us had been to the dentist in a very long time; Calista never has been. Martin and the kids have all had their cleaning and check-ups and it is bleak. The amount of our dentail bills are 5x what I had planned on and I haven't even gone in yet. We also had some medical bills- my scoliosis, Martin's degeneration in his neck and his hip (which he's getting a hip replacement for), and Kev has kidney stones. Our car has broke down twice this month, with a total of $2400 in repairs, and our bathroom has a very bad leak (down into the entry way) and we have to rip it out. Uuugh!

What I really wanted to blog about though was gratitude. I have just been in a dark, dark place this last month and I think it's partly because we are at the tailend of winter, the light is just starting to come back and it's just that February funk. The last couple of days the fog has started to lift. The light is getting more obvious, the days are warmer AND I just made the decision to be happy. This afternoon I took out a book that my Stepmom bought me a few years back: Attitudes of Gratitude. I just needed to be reminded that being grateful is a choice.

It's interesting that I teach yoga and try to live a yogic life, I eat healthy, I meditate but I still fight these human conditions (imagine that:) In the first page of the book she mentions that so often people teach what they most need to learn.......................BINGO! She says, "I do not set myself up as an "expert", but rather a person on a path like the rest of us, each of us becoming the fullness of who he or she is meant to be." That just says it all! Now I understand why I teach yoga. I've always felt a little "inferior" when it comes to teaching, because I don't have the same amount of knowledge as some of my own yoga teachers, but I get so much positive feedback from my classes and students follow me from studio to studio so I've never been able to give it up. I understand now that the reason they may like me so much as a teacher is that I've allowed myself to be vulnerable and they see me as a fellow human being having the same experiences and struggles as they are having. It's easy to see our yoga teachers as something above us, someone who has attained this perfect inner peace that we are trying to attain as students, but all teachers are just fellow travelers wanting to share something amazing. So I keep teaching because I'm getting as much, or more, out of my classes as my students are.

If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.
Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
~ Lao Tzu

So...................I took a walk today so that I could reconnect with nature- I think that's inherent to human beings, whether we realize it or not. It made me feel so much better! Thursday I will head into Anchorage to do a little seed shopping to prepare for my garden this summer. I also need to repair the E string on my guitar so I can get back to practicing. I need to reconnect with those things that I am passionate about.

Today I am grateful because I have EVERYTHING I need and I have the ability to pay all my bills. I have an amazing life that I so often take for granted! I have this incredible relationship with my three children. I have so much!!!

Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it. ~Thaddeus Golas

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I promise I have not given up on blogging:)

My computer got dropped a couple of weeks before Christmas and the display quit working. I could see the display in the right light but there was no backlight. After ordering a couple of parts trying to troubleshoot what the problem was it ended up being the actual backlight. It's a tiny, tiny bulb that looks like a miniature version of a long fluorescent bulb. We got the part in only to realize that some soldering has to be done. The long story short of it is that Martin hasn't had the time to sit and solder it so I've been doing most everything from my phone, with occasional chances to slip in on Martin's computer.

We had an awesome Christmas, the Christmas of all Christmases that I promised the kids:) My younger sister and her family, and my dad and his wife, came over in the morning for breakfast and gift opening and then in the afternoon we met some good friends (the Eries) up at Hatchers Pass for sledding. After the kids got that out of their systems we all came back over to our house for sandwiches and hot chocolate. New Years we spent with the Eries as well; just a nice relaxing evening munching on food and hanging out.

January has been mostly uneventful. The kids have been swimming a lot and we've had two meets this year. We head up to Fairbanks this Friday for a championship meet that Kev is competing in. We've had some car problems this month and are trying to figure out whether we want to buy a new car or not. Martin's car (the one we are both driving right now) is in the shop right now getting a new clutch put in. Then yesterday, as we were driving Kev's car around, his heater motor went out so we've been driving in a very cold car. When we pick Martin's car up we will drop Kev's car off:) If Martin's car doesn't get done by Friday we aren't sure what we are going to do for transportation up to Fairbanks.

We are catching up on some much needed dental work. Calista has never been to the dentist (11 years old) and the boys haven't been for a very long time. We don't have insurance so we don't go unless problems arise. That's coming to bite me in the butt right now. Thankfully, we are in a good financial position to be able to pay for it all because it's costing us a pretty penny. More appointments tomorrow, yay! We found out a couple of weeks ago that Kev has kidney stones. He's been experiencing some kidney pain so our doctor thought we should go in and have an ultrasound, which revealed stones. We are going through some tests to try and figure out what is causing them and of course, waiting for them to pass. I was also diagnosed with scoliosis after months of a very achy back. Not sure why it's just catching up with me at 37 years old but.... After several adjustments I'm feeling back to my good ol' self:)

I've been busy training for some triathalons. My goal is to do 3-4 this summer. I'm already registered for one and am waiting for another one to open up for registration. I am really LOVING the swimming part and realizing that maybe the kids get their love of water from me! I've mostly been running and swimming; going to add the biking here in a couple of weeks. Ren said I could have her road bike, since she is not planning on doing anymore triathalons, so now we just have to figure out our shipping method to get it up here:)

Other than that, not much new around here. Tonight we had a houseful of happy, spunky kids. Tristan had all of his good buddies over and Calista had some girlfriends for a "movie night". The boys ended up walking to the arcade that is about 2 miles from our house, in 10 degrees! Brrrr!!