Saturday, March 29, 2008

She's the best friend ever

Homeslice, I love you! YOu are an awesome friend, a wonderful supporter and a lovely human being. I have always known this, and now thanks to your generosity my children do too!

You see, yesterday a package arrived in the mail for the girls. We opened it to find this gorgeous bag:

Saskia read the card to us,

which says "Happy Spring, Fiona and Saskia! I hope I get to meet you someday- your mamma rocks! Love Homeslice" Awww, you rock too Homey!

Then they dug into the package

The shirts are so beautiful! The girls absolutely loved them and put them on right away. Of course, Fiona spilled something on hers within five minutes and had to take it off again, but no worries, the stains washed right out. :) Needless to say everyone here is thrilled with their gifts.

I don't know if you can tell, but the patch has their names on it! So cute!


Monday, March 24, 2008

Resurrection and personal transcendance

Today our minister blew me away with an alternate theory of the resurrection. I plan to share the audio file as soon as he gets it up on his website, however until then I wanted to journal a brief synopsis, as well as I can remember, and talk a little bit about what it means to me.

There are some holidays which we Unitarian Universalists have a tough time with. Most UUs are not Christian, some are atheists, some are pagans, Jews, humanists or agnostics. So the two Christian traditions of Easter and Christmas are hard for some people to really sink their teeth into, in a spiritual way. Especially Easter, with it's central theme of the resurrection from the dead. However, Rev. Alex likes to push his congregation out of our zones of comfort, so today he chose to tackle that theme head on.

He started by explaining where the story of the resurrection came from. Taken in it's context, it makes a lot of sense. The Judeo world was immersed in Hellenic thought and philosophy at the time of Jesus' life. Rev. Alex explained to us that there was an important Greek philosophical model of the world which corresponds to the Christian concept of Heaven. Basically the Greeks believed (a full 600 years BEFORE Jesus came around) that this world is not the real one, rather it is one of pain, suffering and impermanence. The REAL world is one we must "transcend" into. The real world is everlasting, beatific, and absolutely perfect in it's radiant goodness. Rev. Alex explained it better...

Anyway he explained this is the philosophy that the resurrection is based on. This is where the principle Christian belief of God OUTSIDE of the world, and the transcendence into Heaven at the end of our life came from. But what if, like some historians believe, the resurrection from the dead didn't happen?

I'm going to skip ahead as there was lots of history and philosophy involved here and I don't remember the details well enough to do them justice. Basically here is where Rev. Alex argues his alternate interpretation of the resurrection, that is the daily, living resurrection of ourselves from ourselves.

We bury ourselves in anger, hatred, greed, stress, woe. Our own ego kills our spirit. But we can transcend that. We can resurrect ourselves.

When Jesus said, "the Kingdom of God is at hand" he wasn't talking about a distant heaven coming closer. He really meant, it's at hand! It's here, in every atom, in every tree, in every child. Rev. Alex said "turn your head and you see the Divine." Heaven is here, all around us. The divine spirit, what some people call God or Yahweh or Allah is HERE ALL AROUND US. We just have to let go of our ego, transcend the things we have chosen to bury ourselves in, and we can set our spirits free. And we can do it at any given moment.

~~So, that about sums up the key notes of the sermon.

On a personal note, I want to say this had a tremendous effect on me today. I want to transcend my anger, stress and all those things that have been holding my spirit back from peace and love. I can't do it yet, as I'm buried far too deep. But I can start on the right path. So I'll be working on letting go. I'll be working on loving more and hating less. I'll be working on not allowing this life I chose to stress me out. And maybe one of these days I'll be able to resurrect myself.

Friday, March 21, 2008

For Toni

I promised a while ago that I'd write a journal on love Thursday about my step-daughter, so here goes...

T is 16 now. Yes, that's right, just 15 years younger than me. Her dad and I got together when she was 9, and her first sister was born just after her tenth birthday.

T is a beautiful, smart and loving girl. She lives in Germany with her mom. When we lived in Germany, she spent every other weekend and most school holidays with us.

T was totally enamored with her first sister from the start. She would play and play and play with S! I remember once, before F (#3) was born, DH and I went out to dinner and his sister babysat T and S. S was maybe 18 months old and T was 11 1/2 or so. T decided that Auntie wasn't putting S to bed right and took the job on herself. She sat in the dark, rocking my baby for nearly an hour, singing to her so she could go to sleep. Now THAT is LOVE.

Unfortunately T took it REALLY hard when we moved to America. She broke off all contact with her dad for over a year. She and I were okay, and we emailed all the time. We had sort of a big-sister / little-sister realtionship going for a while. I hoped that she could learn from my experiences and not make the same mistakes I did...

Now T and her dad are back in touch, but she still has not wanted to come visit us in America. S misses her a lot, and talks about her all the time. F never really had a chance to get to know her... I hope that can change one day.

My dream? That T would choose to do a year of high school over here, or even go to college. I'd like to have her be a bigger part of our lives. She's such a cool kid, smart as a whip and so kind. I hope that one day, we can all be closer. We ARE family already, but I wish that one day we could have more....

PS- Sorry my pictures are all old, she is a typical teenager and refuses to share any current pictures of herself with us :( The first and last are from 2006.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Baby Love

A post I saw tonight about babywearing got me feeling very nostalgic for when my girls were little, so I thought I'd share a few baby pictures with you.

T My first baby in the hospital right after she was born

Baby wearing

Big sister (my step-daughter) and baby #1

Mama and baby #1

Baby #2 fresh home from the hospital

More sister love

And all three sisters together

Mama with baby #2

That's just a taste of our baby pics. For some reason I can't find a lot of my favorite ones, that's the problem with digital pictures isn't it? Change computers, reorganize files and suddenly you can't find stuff... Next week I plan to journal about my step-daughter and give you some more sisterly love pictures. Until then, I hope you enjoy my little photographic trip down memory lane!