Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grateful for Home

There are so many cliches about home and heart and all that... well, they're all true, aren't they.  At first, it is just a house, or an apartment, or a room in a house or a dorm.  Then, over the weeks and months, it becomes part of you, the place you where you belong, and which you carry around with you.  It smells like you and you like it, for better or worse... You do dishes and laundry there.  If you're us, you get married, have all your babies, and educate them there, too.  In sickness, in health... gosh, I'm a bit attached.  I am grateful for all of these things and more.  I'm grateful for the views out my windows while doing those dishes.  I'm grateful for the sounds of owls, the chatter of squirrels and twitter and zoom of birds that also call this place home.  I'm grateful for warmth and warm water.  I'm grateful for my bed.  I'm grateful for working toilets and drains, and septic tank.  I'm grateful for well water that tastes good and is very plentiful.  I'm grateful for all the machines that make my life easy:  washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, vacuum, furnace, stove, oven, fridge.  And... then there are all the intangibles.  Too numerous, but so important... the thing that makes me say, ahhhh, when I step in the door.... ahh, it's home, we're home.  We can take off our coats and shoes and the layers of whatever it is we put on when we're 'out there' and just be free rangin' crazy naked freaks.  Figuratively, and literally, too.  Sometimes, at least.  So, so grateful for that place to hang my heart and hat, and all the many homes I have had over the years.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 20, More Sister Gratitude

Today, and every day, I am so grateful to call Kathy, Robert's sister, a friend.  Right from the start she has always been so kind and loving, and as soon as the nephews and nieces started showing up (bing bing, she has been a most wonderful doting Aunt Kathy.  "Where did you get your nice sweater?  Did someone knit that for you?"  "Yes, my Aunt Kathy!"  These works of art have been sported by my children since they were wee chubby ones, a physical reminder of how much she loves them.  But we don't love Kathy just for her gifts, although she does have a knack for gift-giving.  Kathy has made a real effort to be a part of our life and I am so very grateful for that.  I am also grateful for the incredible example of 'in sickness and in health' that Kathy has been since her husband, Greg, had a stroke a few years back.  I am not sure how gracefully I might handle it if something similar ever happens to Robert, but watching Kathy has provided me with a blueprint of what that can look like.  When Kathy comes to visit, we always have a super time, playing games, doing 'concerts' and 'shows' (she can walk on her hands.), sometimes fabulous outings to beautiful places and ballets, and really nice long visits about life (and helicopters).  She just called the other day to ask if she could bring Robert's elderly aunt for a visit. (Of course!)  I am always impressed with the planning and care she puts into her visits (planning ahead is a forte of hers---->awe.) And we always have a really good time. Thanks for being such a beautiful bright being, Kathy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 19 Gratitude for my Sister

When I was a kid, (you know, back in the olden days, as my kids like to say,) if you would have told me that whenever I thought of my sister, Molly, I would smile... well, I probably would have laughed!  It is true though, and it's not just an outward smile, but a smile that I really feel in my heart.  This woman, my big sis, is such a bright light in my life.  Doesn't she make you smile, just looking at her?  :)  We fought like two cats for most of our time living together.  It was really not pretty.  We did start getting along nearly as soon as she moved out and went to college, though.  And, since then, well, it's been a wonderful thing getting to know her.  Seeing her as a friend has enabled me to see how incredibly strong she is, and I'm not just talking about the biceps that are slightly out of view there, although they are a force to reckon with.  The tenacity that was not so very helpful in an opponent is miraculous in a comrade.  There have been times, for both of us, when the tears have flowed so heavily that the other sister could not make out words... only feelings, on the other end of the phone, and we listen and we cry and we talk until we feel better.  When we stopped fighting, and started listening, we found, much to our surprise, that we actually have a lot in common.  We are very different creatures, but we have found so much that we can share, and it has been a real lesson for me in the rest of my life, to remain open minded about people that I sometimes feel very different from.  I used to have a little sign up in my kitchen, above the sink, when Robert was away in Portland and we were living on Slow Lane.  It said, "WWMD"  What Would Molly Do?  It was a reminder that Molly would finish cleaning up the kitchen before going to bed, and that Molly would go for her morning run to make sure that she let off some steam so that she could be a good mama, and that Molly would not stress out over moving her family 100 miles... since she has moved across the country so many times.
Today and every day I am grateful to have such a loving, caring, inspiring person in my life.  Thanks Mol!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Lost Weekend... er, not really. Day 10.

So, here it is the 17th.  That seems to mean that I am a bit behind on my gratefulness POSTING.  I posted something on Facebook about having a hard time reconciling the decision to spend less time staring at my computer in my 39th year and the 30 days of gratitude challenge.  So, it is not as if I have not been feeling grateful for the past week.  Oh no.  I have just been FEEEEEEEELING it.  Not posting about it.
We're gonna go all Dr. Who and time travel back to a week ago right now.  I had just seen the Indigo girls.  Then there was:
Day 10:  I am so grateful for my sisters-in-law.  Sally, Jenn and Jaimee.  I got to hang out with Sally and Jaimee quite a little bit last weekend and they are awesome.  Sally, who has been my sister-in-law for the longest, and thus has had to put up with my idiosyncrasies for a couple of decades now, and I, sometimes get into this 'holiday mood' where we plan elaborate celebrations that may or may not actually happen.  By the time I left her house on Saturday evening, we had planned exactly 3 celebrations of light to happen in the next 3 days.  Oh yes, there was to be Martinmas, a trip to the Japanese Garden, and Diwali all packed in there.  Now, to be sure, Monday was a school holiday, and that always makes things a bit easier on our friends and fam who do that schedule every weekday.  Needless to say, I started researching Diwali customs as soon as I got home.  While we did not do lantern walks, or meet at the Japanese garden, we did manage a pretty spiffy Diwali evening at chez Hoesing.  (Don't get us started on the Christmas house plan.... )  Sally is an awesome mama, a yogini extraordinaire, a great cook, a good friend, and a wonderful sister-in-law.  I am so glad to have her in my life and family.
Jenn--It is bad enough living on the opposite side of the country from my brother Pete, but the fact that he married such an awesome woman makes it... well, too dang far.  Thank goodness for Facetime and Skype, which by the way we need to do again soon.  Unlike Phil, who got to sort of grow up with Jenn at Luther, I haven't spent nearly enough time with her, but every time I do, I end up laughing so hard my sides ache.  Funny that--that you can judge a relationship by how much you laugh together.  It's a pretty good gauge, isn't it.  I used to have fits of laughter much more frequently than I do these days... but Jenn's sense of humor rubs me the right way.  I dream of a day when we can live closer to one another, so I can experience that awesomeness more regularly.  I think Jenn cemented her rightful place in my heart when, after Gus was born, she sent me some homemade granola.  I still have the container it came in and think of her fondly every time I rehouse leftovers in it.  She is also the mother of Grant, who the word cute was made for, and I am super grateful for the frequent photo updates of my nephews life.  Thanks for being you Jenn!
Jaimee, the newest addition to the Hoesing fam, and yet somehow, it doesn't seem like that!  When she called me and said she was coming to the Indigo Girls concert I was so excited (yet didn't buy my ticket then, why?) that someone else in my own family is a fan, too.  Sometimes when I'm dorking out on one of my favorite things, it is nice to have someone to do it with!  I'll never forget when I first met Jaimee and it was the night before the BIG DAY for Phil's marching band in his first season in Nampa.  He was a bit nuts, and she just sat down and started gabbing with me and I thought--oh this is the ONE!  :)  It's a little crazy to watch your baby brothers who you have held in your arms grow up and get married, but it stops being crazy when you meet the women they choose and see how lovely they are.  I love talking books with Jaimee, because she teaches kids my kids' ages, and so it's totally cool to have a real teacher to talk to about stuff.  I loved hearing about her trip to London, and am pretty bummed that I didn't see the photos YET!  I love it that she loves to play with the kids and that she said, "Well, they just grow up so fast!" when we asked if she minded being Magic Aunt Jaimee sitting near the kiddos at supper.  She is sweet and wonderful and I am so grateful for her!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 9 Grateful for the Indigo Girls

Oh Emily and Amy.  I still remember the first time I heard your sweet harmonies and rockin' guitars.  It was my friend Jim who introduced us, and from then on... you had me.  Your music has figured big in the soundtrack of my life.  I think the first time I saw you was when my bro Tom and I roadtripped to Chicago for Lilith Fair.  Tom was happy to be at a festival with so many beautiful women and so was I.  We saw Sarah Maclachlan, Lisa Loeb, and EmmyLou Harris as well.  And then, there was a whole slew of shows on the pier in Seattle.  It was Emily's birthday around that time, and the shows were always high energy.  We went when I was pregnant with Gus.  We went the next year with Gus as a toddler, my doula and her family, and me in prelabor with Eleanor.  What a way to get a baby out!  Rock and Roll mama!  She was born the next day.  The next year, we went with 2 toddlers!  We made spectacles of ourselves whirling and twirling our little ones, rocking them in slings, holding them on our shoulders and dancing and singing.  We've seen you in Eugene, and also at the Zoo.  We did not go in spring of 2012, because we were busy having a baby that night, one Forest Indigo.  I am always amazed at your honesty, your new songs, your liveliness--and how you rock out! 
You have been role models for me these past 20 years:  doing what you love, standing up for what you believe in, and making such beautiful music.  When I got my guitar, yours (and Bob Dylan's) were the first songs I learned.  When I need a musical old friend, I just go looking for you, and there you are, telling me how it is, and how it's gonna be all right.  When I was far from home, in a land that looked like the surface of the moon, the Baluchistan desert--I belted your hymns out from atop a moving bus.  We have some history, gals, and tonight, YOU ROCKED MY WORLD AGAIN!  Didn't mean to shout, but I just couldn't help it.  Watching and hearing you play with the Portland Symphony Orchestra just brought everything to a new level.  Thank you for keepin me singing and daincing!

Day 8 A day Late. Grateful for the Hoesing Bros.

Yesterday was a busy day filled with lessons, some sniffles and meeting up with my two of my brothers for dinner.  Wow! I love my brothers, all three of them.  They were so fun to grow and learn with, and they still are.  I remember the days well that each was brought home from the hospital, and how exciting it was to hold their tiny hands and be trusted to rock them.   It's hard to believe those little babies are strapping men who I still call my little brothers, although they have towered over me for years.  I have watched them grow and change, and do amazing things such as finding lovely life partners who I feel privileged to call my sisters, get and keep hard jobs and projects that would scare the crap out of me, move across country, travel to Africa and get a PhD, become fathers and husbands and some of the greatest men I know.  I am so lucky to be their big sis.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Day 6 :: Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto.

 Today I am thankful for my sweet husband, Robert.

Thirteen years ago today we made it legal... but our love story started long before that.  Some of you know it, some of you don't.  It has been a fun adventure so far--such an unlikely beginning for two kids from the midwest, and here we are nearly 20 years later, still in love, still having fun.  Sweet Robert: I'm so grateful you didn't give up--even when I said goodbye and left the country, twice.  I'm so glad I didn't listen to the naysayers who wondered if 20 years was too big a gap in age between us.  What does anyone know of the age of two hearts that found each other across space and time?  Nada.  Thanks for making me laugh daily.  Thanks for our kids, and for being a rockin' awesome Dad to them, right from the start--even through all the surprises!  Thanks for working hard so we can have a sweet life.  Thanks for juggling, and doing dishes.  Thanks for being romatic, even still.  Thanks for being a Peace Dude. Thanks for your love.

Days 4 and 5--So grateful for my kiddos!

I have spent the last two days largely away from my computer.  I did look up a recipe for salsa verde tonight, and Lucy Sky helped to make it.  In this, my 39th year of life, I am consciously trying to spend less time in front of a screen, and more time enjoying the abundant beautiful world around me.  It is a challenge!  One of the biggest reasons I want to get my head out of my computer is to enjoy the amazing folks I spend most of my time with:  my children.  I am so incredibly grateful to be a mother to these four lovely beings.  Tonight, while the youngest took over an hour to fall asleep, I found myself becoming impatient, wanting to 'go do my stuff':  my yoga, my blog post, my meditation, my down time.  Then he reminded me, by saying, 'Can you sing me just one more song mama, about a dump truck?' that lying there with him, helping him to surrender the day, IS my stuff, my yoga and my meditation... and who cares about blog posts!  So I just relaxed into breathing and being, and soon, he was asleep.

I am famous in some circles for saying, "I don't really think having a baby will change my life much."  I get reminded of that statement periodically.  How funny it is to think that I ever thought that--and enough to say it out loud!  Having these four babies has changed my life, my body, my heart, my very being.  Just yesterday I read a quote by a famous actress who didn't believe it when people told her she looked 'glowing' when she was pregnant, that she really looked like a whale and everyone was afraid to tell her.  Too bad for her that she didn't feel glowing--I sure did.  Being pregnant taught me to love my body in a way that I never had before.  What a miracle!  Giving birth to these children taught me to trust my body in a way I never had before.  Being their mother--well, that sure gives me pause and makes me question everything and challenges my integrity daily.

They are growing so very quickly.  We are on the verge of big changes for the big three, and in the midst of big changes for the little.  It boggles my mind to think how fast they have grown and how much we have all learned together in this time.  I marvel at the thought of all there is left to learn with them and from them. 

I am grateful for learning how to be calm when a baby is screaming.  I am grateful for learning how it feels to be needed 24/7 by another human being.  I am grateful for the gift of breastfeeding.  I am grateful to have been able to stay home and watch and participate in nearly all of this growing up.  I am grateful for the opportunity to see four people learn how to walk, talk, read, write and do so many more things.  I am grateful for all of the handwritten love notes, cards and home made birthday gifts--including this years:  a beautiful necklace and bracelet, and a homemade flashlight!  I am grateful for all of the times when they have forgiven me for being less wonderful than I would like.  I am grateful for the chance to do things better the next time.  I am grateful for the embodiment of joy and fun and spirit that they are.  I am grateful that my heart grows more full each day!  I am grateful for you, Gus, Eleanor, Lucy Sky and Forest!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

day 3: Gratitude for the Dad.

Today I am grateful for my Dad

I can't sleep because I realized I hadn't posted my day 3 gratitude.   I have been thinking lately about how you used to come home and play checkers with us.  "King me!"  And, I was really thinking about you this summer when I tried to play baseball with my kiddos.  We really are not very good, but it was a fun experience anyway, and reminded me of walking down to the park to play on Sunday afternoon in Madison.  I was just as clueless then, but at least YOU knew what you were doing!  You are a great example of hard work, and even if we often have different opinions about stuff, you have a way of letting me be me.  Thanks for all that you do, Dad!  Here is a poem I once wrote for you:

When Dad comes home carrying a big lug,
I always like to give him a great big hug.

I wish that we lived a bit closer so I could give you a hug more often!  

Saturday, November 03, 2012

day 2 : : Thanks Mom!

 Today I am thankful for my MOM!  On Nov 2, 1974, she did some very hard work and I was born!  She then proceeded to do so very much more, there aren't enough different ways of saying Thanks to cover even a fraction.  Mom, I think about you every day, many times a day and send silent gratitude to you and all that you are.  You taught me so many things, inspired the love of so much.  Especially on my BIRTH day, I like to thank you for standing up for what you knew to be true:  that your body worked well and that you could give birth naturally.  You can credit Johnny Rogers and his 98 yard touchdown for the Huskers, but I know better--it was YOU who gave birth to me, not him!  Having that as a beginning--well, it was just the beginning of a life of being a nature girl, I suppose!  Here we are on one of our Saturday rambles at Stone Park.  Good Times!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Thanks Beth!

30 Days of Thanks!

Thanks!  Today I am so grateful for my Nia teacher, Beth Noelle, who through her crazy sexy fun classes has inspired me to be more fully in my body and also reminded me that I LOVE TO DANCE!  Oh yes.  And my hips--well they are very audacious!
Sometimes in this life of mothering, I feel like a taxi driver.  Dancing reminds me that I am a moveable object--no, that I am a spirit having a human experience.   Having a place and a time to dance means that I dance more without a place and time.  My body loves me for it, my spirit, well she's on fire when she's dancing.  It is awesome to be in a room full of women and girls who are loving moving and at least at some points, dancing as if no none is watching!  :)