Emergence

e·mer·gence
əˈmərjəns/
noun
  1. 1.
    the process of coming into view or becoming exposed after being concealed.
    “I misjudged the timing of my emergence”

…the timing may be perfect this time.

And now for something completely unrelated.
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Journaling: August 25, 2015

The day was going so smoothly. Breakfast, lunches packed, hair brushed, teeth cleaned,. Talie to school, Chris off to work. And me, home with the boys. The house, a disarray of clean laundry (the unanticipated result from not owning a dryer). Fisher Price Little People strung all over the floor. Proof of an imagination alive an well. Coins dumped on the carpet, (thats a dime, that’s a nickle. Yes I know it’s bigger…)  Pee’d in undies all over Louies room.

Uhg.

It feels as though my executive functioning skills are completely shot. Just empty the dishwasher, Holly. One cup at a time. Stay focused. But no. During the emptying of the dishwasher, I run a load of laundry, (as if there was not enough to deal with already. I need underwear!) I make my bed. I check social media. I read and article. I look up a recipe. I email a friend,…oh no! a friend!

What time is it? I look in the mirror.

I’m meeting a girlfriend at a park at 11:00 a.m.. Pack a picnic. Put on a few plates away from the dishwasher. Hang the laundry out on the line. Answer a text, check social media again. (Damn Social Media! Damn my compulsiveness!) Chase boys around to get them dressed. Search for shoes. (Damn SHOES! Every time! Can you relate?!) I get dressed.
A lovely picnic.

Breathe.

***

Not always, but today I am a ricocheting bullet. Ping ping ka pling! Exhausted. Autopilot.

Run away- to eat Chinese food all by my self and write this rant. Thank you Chris. A grateful tip to the hat that I can get away by myself at the end of a day like this.
Only, its not over. It will never be over.

Mac n’ Cheese for the kids and yes finally, the dishwasher got emptied.

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Sycamore Sews: A Teepee

Hello everybody. You’ll have to excuse my long hiatus from the blogger world. These things happen and there is no use explaining the time away.

Onward.

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I write today to share something. Guess what? Sycamore Girl sews. Really, she does. And she really enjoys it!

My latest project has been designing these little teepees for children. I’ve always wanted to make one for my kids and everything I saw didn’t cut it for me. I wanted round wooden poles. And six sides, not just four. And the poles needed to be enclosed, and the canvas tight. And it needed leather. And pockets. And so I got to work to create just that: [the almost] perfect children’s teepee!

Teepee 1.0 was a success and was sold quite quickly. I’ve had a lot of requests for these, so I thought I’d put this out there if you or someone you know may be interested in ordering one for the holidays.

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This was the first teepee I made. Though it fit the bill nearly perfectly, I have created a second model with a few modifications. Call this Teepee 1.0

Teepee 2.0 has a few modifications that have satisfied my critical eye, at least for the time being.

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Teepee 2.0 Modifications to create a tighter neck at top, leather bindings and poles sanded to create a pointed end. (This particular teepee is spoken for already and will soon have leather embellishments.)

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French seams to enclose wooden poles. Sturdy pockets inside to hold treasures!

Specs:
This model is 5 1/2 feet tall with a 48 inch hexagonal footprint. (Translated: the perfect size for any room!) Made with sturdy 10 oz. canvas, real wooden poles and a lot of love.

Each teepee is completely customizable. Choose your pole color (if you want it!). Tell me how many pockets you want! Sizing can be adjusted with some super math skills (and time) and leather embellishments can be added.

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Can you imagine Christmas morning for your kids with one of these teepees? Absolutely magical!

Leave a comment here with any questions or email me at girl.sycamore@gmail.com

Equanimity

A few weeks ago my little family and I took a trip to a neighboring city about an hour away. We had lunch, got some fabulous family pictures taken by the lovely and talented Alisha Stamper and then headed to the Springville Museum of Art.

Springville, Utah! Also known as Art City, piqued my interest as we drove up her streets. I could see myself living in a quaint town like Springville. Especially a town with an incredible art museum!

Lately I have been craving art. Can one crave art? I think so. For Christmas I took some liberties with the pocketbook and purchased myself a few Caitlyn Connolly giclee prints. She is…well, amazing.

There are a few Connolly paintings in the museum and their larger than life size could put anyone in a thoughtful mood. Art does that. In browsing the art galleries, it felt to me like all of the artists were able to portray so much in their work. It was almost as if they climbed into my heart and created their pieces with me, a disgruntled commoner, in mind. There were two pieces that touched me very deeply. I didn’t expect to be moved like I was. The first piece was a marble sculpture of a nude mother nursing her newborn. A perfect depiction of a very special brand of beautiful.

Wow. I am a mother. I have a new baby. I breastfeed. I am beautiful. This process is beautiful. How grateful I am. 

Unfortunately, with my little family in tow, it was difficult to fully acknowledge the upwelling I felt. We hurried on from one gallery wall to the next, all while monitoring little wandering hands.

Henry! Don’t touch the art! Keep your hands in your pockets.”

Yet, I was thinking:
I know, I want to reach out too, and say thank you with my gentle touch. Are you real? Did you just speak to me? How did you know just what to say?

I learned a new word: Equanimity. It means being able to keep a balanced, mental calmness, particularly during difficult situations.
I realized that I have been getting the word “apathy” confused with this new found word, “equanimity”. I read this paper which explains the difference beautifully. Maybe you’ll take a gander?

I won’t take the time to go into detail about why the girl in this painting by Justin Kunz reached out and held my heart and my tears for a fleeting moment that day. But she did and I am so grateful.

Learning the practice of equanimity is something that is becoming very important to me. This seems to be what is allowing me to survive and I’d dare say, thrive, right now.

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Equanimity 2011 by Justin Kunz, Lindon UT

Bleary {mid}Morning Boost

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Some mornings around here are, well, just lame. Nobody in this little family of mine are morning people. My two littles generally wake up around 8 or 8:30, sometimes later. And my six month old will sleep until then also. But when you put 4-6 nighttime feedings in the mix, a three year old’s bad dreams and a five year old’s leg aches, plus the occasional (wink, wink) snoring of my slumbering husband, THIS girl doesn’t generally get a very good nights sleep. When that 8am rolls around, it feels like I’ve just crawled into bed. So forgive me if I am not bright-eyed and bushy tailed at the thought of the sun rising and shining her bright rays through my window!

Henry usually clambers into my bed and yells, “MOM! WAKE UP! ITS MORNING TIME!!!”…as if this is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it is a good thing. Sometimes.

Which reminds me, I need to get blackout curtains. For my entire house.

This morning was one of these bleary mornings and I found myself in the kitchen fumbling around for something to boost my energies. I needed a bleary morning boost.
Time to break out a secret weapon! Hilary Flemming wrote a very similar post back in 2011. It is on this that I draw my motivation to sally forth through this day: armed with a Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie!

This is so so so good you guys. I hope you will whip it up on the mornings when you feel like you’ve just been sleep deprived tortured, like so many of us do. Fist pump for Parenthood!

And now, the recipe, (adapted from the one linked above):

Add the following to a sexy blender like a Vitamix or BlendTec or Ninja:

4 cups filtered H2O
5 pitted medjool dates (this type of date is much sweeter than others. If you want your smoothie sweeter, add 6, but start with 5.)1/3 cup raw hazelnuts

Blend those three ingredients on high until smooth and then add the following:

1 banana
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp flax seed meal
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp raw, unfiltered coconut oil
2 tbsp  raw Cacao nibs (the energy enhancing benefits of cocao, contrary to common belief, do not come from caffeine. In fact there is very little, to no caffeine in chocolate. Read this to learn the whole story. Paying particular attention to data point number 5.)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1-2 tsp maca powder (optional. if you are not familiar with this powerful supplement, do your research. I found this page a good starting point. *it should be noted that you should not use this supplement if you take estrogen enhancing drugs due to certain types of cancer.*

Serve chilled. This recipe makes 1.5 quarts of boosting power! Whip it up and sip on it throughout your day or week.

As I type this I am already feeling my body wake up.  And I can face the day…now that its half over.

What is your go-to energy booster? I’d love to know what you do when an energy crisis hits!

Sailing Her Own Ship

When I walked into Talie’s room on Thursday morning, she was busy, knee deep in construction paper and tape.

“Mom, I wanna sell these.”

“What exactly are they?”

“Horns! And you can do anything with them!”

“What do you mean? Show me.”

She then demonstrated a lovely song tooted through the funnel shaped, taped, paper. Then this horn became a hat. And then a pirates spy-glass.

“See? Anything! And I want to sell them for $2.00 each!”

“You want to sell that piece of paper for $2.00?”

“Uh huh!”

 

It was all I could do to not tear her little plan down. Who would want to pay $2.00 for a simple little craft they could easily make on their own? It was exactly that thought that changed my mind about trying to talk her out of her plan.

Sheesh, I thought. I buy things from other people all the time! And most of of what I buy I could easily make on my own!

Luckily this five year old doesn’t yet have strong concept on the value of money. (except that she wants it!) So after helping her understand that a fair price for her product was probably about $0.25, we set up her shop and she hung her shingle. I posted a quick advertisement on Facebook, (there’s that Marketing 1010 put to good use), and off she went to sell her wares.

And can you believe it? She sold every single one of those Horns That You Can Do Anything With!

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Who am I to stifle my children’s entrepreneurial gusto? Little ones have no fear. I see that they are unafraid of risk or failure. They are fueled by ideas. In their little minds, the steps to success are simple and straightforward. Ship landed. Boarded. Sailed. And she’s on it! Not only is she on it, she is at the helm!

Why do I make things so complicated? By the time I have my fears and motivations sorted, risks and benefits weighed, steps organized and the whole process more complicated, that ship has sailed! I’m left on the shore with my hands in the air wondering what happened.

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This morning, I walked into Talie’s room and she was busy again. There on her floor are fourteen more Horns That You Can Do Anything With! Apparently demand is high and she doesn’t want to disappoint her customers.

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Leave a comment here if you’d like one of these hot items! She accepts Paypal!

Dancing with Gratitude

From November 28, 2013

I woke this morning to a sweet text message from my hippie mother. It was a Happy Thanksgiving dance filled with spontaneity and love. Of course I had to reply in the same manner. Dancing just makes me happy, pure and simple. It raises the endorphins and lifts my spirits without fail. Today amid the chaos of trying to get out of the house for the long awaited feast at dad’s, I felt gratitude for my parents, for my children, for my husband and for a small moment in time that we took to celebrate a special connection between us all.

Today I felt an overwhelming peace in being with family. For my dear parents who slaved in the kitchen to prepare a wonderful meal for those of us that gathered. And while all my family contributed was a pot of mashed potatoes, when added to the host of other goodies, I see that it was enough. What I mean is that we all of us, in this crazy hodgepodge family of mine, have something to bring and share. It’s what makes us all laugh and smile one with another. Today I celebrate the goodness of my life and those I have privilege to share space with.

I know one thing that I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you!

Happy thanksgiving!

Growing pains

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I spent some time today looking at my baby. I don’t know how, but sometime in the last few weeks, he decided to grow. I see his chubby legs and pot belly. A healthy double chin is developing. And his cheeks! Oh, those cheeks! A little dimple on his right cheek is noticeable with his smile. He is such a smiley, content baby. And he is growing. At nearly six months he is getting better at sitting up. This makes him look even bigger. Combine this with jeans and a pair of moccasins from Happyandthehectic and we’ve got ourselves a bona fide little man!

I can say the same of my other two children. Only their baby cheeks are slowly disappearing. No more dimpled hands. Less and less chub on the cheek. More muscle definition. Bigger shoes. Longer legs. Growing pains.
Little bodies doing their thing. Growing. Learning. Changing.

When my five year old clip-clops down the hall in my strappy high heels and sun dress wadded up under her arm pits, she smiles at me and says, “Will you save these for me for when I’m a teenager?”

All I can think is, “Will you save a little piece of your five year old self for me when you’re a teenager?”

Growing pains. I wonder is it as uncomfortable for them as it is for me? My anecdote today was kissing on luscious baby cheeks and squishy thighs. But soon those will be gone and there will be other new and exciting things to find joy in. And those growing pains? I doubt they’ll ever go away.

Esperanza Pie

Esperanza. Say it: [es-pay-rahn’-zah]. Feel it. Hope.

I am learning to have hope in all things good. Today was a lesson in hope. A lesson in goodness. A lesson in love and friendship. A day about worthy investments and doing things that matter with the people that matter.

Today I stepped into a space where hope blanketed my soul with her sweet aroma of peace and comfort. Baked at 400 degrees for 50 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Sweet Esperanza Peach Pie!

And I know it wasn’t about the pie. But the symbolism of coming together and creating something meaningful and good. Full of hope and friendship. I am filled. Thank you, my dear friend Cathy!  IMG_8232[1] IMG_8233[1]

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In your space

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If there is one thing I love about my iphone, it is the handy little camera that can take a pretty decent picture. I am actually considering selling my Sony NEX-5N! Add that to Instagram and I have been a happy girl. Follow me on Instagram @sycamoregirl.

These three pictures have something in common: Personal space.

Do you Instagram, too? leave your user name in the comments!

Who, me?

A few months ago, a long lost friend and roommate of mine over at Destination Domestication was super kind and passed along the Liester Award to my blog. I enjoy Destination Domestication because first of all, she is very funny. A SAHM of 3 children and one on the way, this Mom says it like it is in her world. If I could be a fly on the wall in her home! Plus, she’s got a lot of great ideas for parties, (which she does amazingly!) decoration, DIY projects and of course, great insight into the craziness of Motherhood. You do it with finesse, Kylie! Thank you!

As for me, it seems my typing hand and my writing hand have been disconnected as of late. That means, I’ve been writing, but nothing that I feel like I want to share just yet. Anyway, I’m honored that a fellow blogger would notice me and give me that shout out, even if I have been somewhat silent around here.

So now on to the rules of this virtual Chain Letter/Pay it Forward Award:

If you receive the award, you should:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you. 

2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog. 

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

 4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!

And now, drum roll please, I award the Leibster Award to the following blogs of note (in no particular order):

1) Hilary Flemming:  Adventures in Life, food and fitness. A blog I visit regularly- or as often as she updates, Hillary always posts witty stories, amazing health conscious recipes, which I LOVE, and cute photos of her growing family. And of course, she’s beautiful, so whats not to love?

2) Bryanna I know it probably sounds silly to list a Private Blog here, because you probably wont be able to read what she has to say. But I think she needs this little award. She can still play. 🙂 Bryanna writes obsessively (we’re talking like everyday- or at least it seems like that) about her hilarious boys who have silly habits, her love of running and difficulties harnessing the perfect sleeping habits. Mostly, Bryanna writes about her love of exercise, her love of her family and of course, her undying Faith in God. I just love every word she has to say. Who knows, maybe one day she’ll open her blog to the public so everyone can enjoy…(hint hint!)

3) Run Lucas Run Bright clean photos. Simple words. Poetic messages. Lovely Lindsay nails it.

4) And So… Sarah M. Wells, poet, published author and mother and obsessive Tweeter! (I’m sure much, much more!) Wonderful writing. Thought provoking stories and funny takes. I’ve loved exploring her blog! Go buy her book and read her essays!

5) Adriana Paramo This woman blows my mind. Could this be me in 20 years? It is highly possible. We connected so well in real life, and even through the virtual vastness, it is writing that keeps us connected.  An accomplished writer and exquisite woman and mother, Adriana paints pictures in your mind that are unthinkable. I am SO looking forward the release of her new book, Looking for Esperanza.

And one more for good measure-

6) Notice Your World Charles Pulsipher, also a published author shares his true and hilarious stories, complete with homemade pictures. Everything is better when its homemade, right? Read Notice Your World for tips on writing, self publishing and tactics for breaking through tough writers block. For an excellent laugh, check out this story. And then keep reading.

 

So there you have it folks. Read on!