end of year thoughts

Wow, another year has gone by. Don't we say that every year? We had a very busy 2010 with 3 surgeries, spending July in LA at the John Tracy Clinic, and selling and buying a home. We celebrated Lucas's 1st hearing birthday in early 2010, and he's had a variety of other great experiences throughout the year. He has made great progress, and I came to terms with one very big part of this big hearing journey... Lucas is going to be okay.

I know it sounds silly, because obviously I knew that before now, but I'm not sure I believed it with all of my heart and all of my soul. I do now. Maybe it's the transition from birth-3 to 3-5 with early intervention and the stellar results from his multi-faceted evaluation (more on that later). Maybe it's the anecdotal stories I hear about his success in mainstream preschool. Or maybe it's just his zest for life and his natural, creative way of interacting with everyone he meets. Whatever it is, it no longer feels probable, but rather definitive that he will be a successful, independent part of society. And I feel free emotionally.

In the early days of his diagnosis, it was all about the unknown. We didn't know whether his hearing aids would work... we naively waited for that magical moment. It never came. Then we started from scratch at 12 months. He'd lost over a year of hearing, including his time in the womb. We wondered if he would ever catch up. But, he did and he has, and now we have a glimpse of what his future path will look like. It's bright and hopeful.

It's certainly not time to sit back and assume that his development will progress as normal. We remain vigilant and proactive. There will be bumps in the road. But we have a sense of normalcy, even with the new access to sound that he has with his left ear, and the feeling that we're starting over again. Maybe it's just our sense of normal, but it feels great.

2010 was a year of progress. Lucas made the language and hearing progress that we always dreamed he would, and we made lots of progress in our goal to have his 2nd ear implanted. There were times when I thought we would never get there, ever. But we did, and I'm so glad it's behind us. We only have the future to look forward to, with all of the benefits of having two ears. It can only get better from here.

What will 2011 bring? Many new adventures, I'm certain. Hopefully Lucas will stay out of the operating room, and will fully embrace his new ear. I really hope that I'm able to report next December that he loves his 2nd ear, can't stand to be without it, and can discriminate speech like he can with the 1st one. We've got our work cut out for us, but I'm up for the challenge.

Wishing you much peace, joy and prosperity in 2011.

Project Smile - December

It's the most wonderful time of the year
It's the hap-happiest season of all
- Andy Williams

1st - A photo shoot that I won't soon forget. Thank goodness I can smile about it now.
2nd - Finally ordered holiday cards after much fretting.
3rd - Spent the night in our new home just for the fun of it.
4th - A long overdue visit with a friend and the discovery that we now only live 8 miles apart!
5th - A much needed trip to the nail salon.
6th - Lucas turned 18 months!
7th - An overnight visit from Grandpa.
8th - A farewell dinner with my Mommy & Me friends.
9th - Looking around at all the boxes laughing and wondering how we will ever get it all done.
10th - Pizza. Enough said.
11th - Date night with neighbors.
12th - Our bittersweet last night in our home.
13th - Moving Day!!
14th - Falling into bed after a very long, very stressful day. Oh, and my sister organizing my closet.
15th - Christmastime at the Happiest Place on Earth! Lucas' first time at Disneyland.
16th - Front row seats to the annual Newport Beach Boat Parade.
17th - A new library. A new library card.
18th - Unpacking. Organizing. Settling in.
19th -
Chickmas, an annual tradition my girlfriends and I have to celebrate the holidays.
20th - Finished Christmas shopping and wrapping presents just in the nick of time...
21st - Bags packed and made it to our flight on time. Whew!
22nd - Seeing Lucas follow his cousins around in complete and utter awe.
23rd - Husband and sister arrive at in-laws for the holiday.
24th - Spending the holiday with family.
25th - Lucas' face when he discovered what Santa left him under the tree.
26th - A long car ride home with a very happy toddler makes all the difference in the world. That and zero going home holiday traffic.
27th - Getting back to reality.
28th - New nanny's first day!!
29th - Celebrating Todd's birthday with cupcakes, bowling and beer.
30th - Sick in bed. All. day. long. Not much smiling going on here until I see Lucas' face.
31st -
An old year to learn from and remember and a new year to ring in and embrace.

I hope every day of December found all of you smiling as well!

Alicia is the beautiful brain child behind this wonderful monthly meme. Be sure to link up at her blog, A Beautiful Mess or check out other people's reasons to smile.

You can see my November reasons to smile here.

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reflecting? i am.

Reflecting on this past year? The good and the not so good? Its a natural thing to do. We can all find lot's of things to be thankful for even through we can't escape challenges and hardships. Thankfully we all have each other and can ask for help when we need it. Happy new year to you! It's going to be a great year! I really hope to see you at yoga.

Quite simply, the way yoga spills out into our lives and relationships just makes everything else better. We are able to handle what life throws at us a lot better, and things just aren't quite as hard anymore. We slowly let go of things that are unhealthy for us/no longer serving us, without even trying. And we just feel better. We get rid of those aches and pains, we sleep better, are more fluid, and have greater range of motion. The list just goes on an on. Its the best self care I know of. It isn't going to solve all of our problems, but it is the one thing that keeps us in shape and balanced, yet doesn't take our energy away. It gives us energy, and peace and clarity at the same time.

I really hope to see you at yoga. All my classes are really affordable and even cheaper when you double up to attend twice per week (yoga shouldn't cost an arm and a leg), so register away!

I wanted to take this time to thank you all for your support and for just being you xoxo

2011 is going to be a great year! Plus I am in another teacher training right now and am learning lot's of new snazzy stuff! ;)

I've got a ferry to catch so better run! namaste & see you at yoga xo

My Greatest Hits

As 2010 comes to an end and with over 340 blog posts to my credit this year, here are my Top 10 favorite Letters For Lucas posts of the year.

I didn't pick these because of their popularity or amount of comments/traffic they did or did not receive, but because they were heartfelt, some very difficult to write and because I learned something from each one of these experiences. Thank you for accepting my words and letting me share myself with you.

If you missed any of these posts, check them out and tell me what you think!

In order in which they appeared:

Ink - March 21
I got a very special tattoo while on a girls' trip in Vegas.

We Did It! - May 19
We survived 85 days of Lucas wearing a Doc Band thanks to the help of a precious baby boy.

I'm Losing It - June 2
Dealing with the challenges of motherhood.

Guilty As Charged - July 6
Mother's guilt. Enough said.

Miscarried - July 12
A very sad day.

Is This Heaven? - August 5
Time Out at a book store? Yes, please!

Letters For Lucas - August 27

A touching letter from Lucas' dad on my one year blogoversary.

That's Not Going To Pay For College - September 2
Photos of Lucas putting everything but coins in our coin bottle.

The Briefcase - October 11
I never realized how powerful an inanimate object could be.

These Are My Confessions - November 11

This is me; the good, the bad and the ugly truth.

And because one of these is technically a guest post written by someone else...

The House That Built Me - December 13
A tearful and loving departure from our first home together.

Thank you for returning to read my words and helping me through this crazy thing called motherhood. I honestly don't know where I'd be without you some days.

And to all of you new followers, welcome, it's wonderful to have you.

I wish everyone a truly fulfilling New Year.

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making a new list for a new year

Find your 2013 printable kit, here!
Hello friends! Go here for the 2012 printable kit!

newyearsevvvver 012
we went out for greek food tonight. and it was really good. partly because we were there without children. partly because we enjoyed our gyro’s with friends. partly because we were crossing the very last thing off of andrey’s list for twenty-ten.
…and partly because the food was really good.

i get a big fat D+ on my new years goal list. i took my big girl photography class in january, and sent letters to my sisters until february. nice. and despite seeing my list several times a day on the refrigerator, it ended there. i did however spend the year of twenty-ten growing babe. which should give me a little smidge of extra credit, don’t ya think?

newyearsevvvver 009
i got this idea on a blog a few years back. it’s become a little family tradition of ours and we’re really looking forward to breaking the seal on that orange folder and reading the letters we wrote our future selves. i’m especially curious because that lindsay had no idea that this lindsay would be reading her letter come twenty-eleven with a little bit-o charlie grey in her arms. isn’t it wild how that works? i love the dreaming/scheming ahead and reveling in the retrospect at the same time.

newyearsevvvver 005i spent yesterday scurrying to cross something off of my goal list. one of my goals had been to master my illustrator program. yeah. not going to happen in one evening. i did manage to get in a little practice and got to work on making our new years packets for tomorrow nights festivities. everyone will get a goal card to fill out, a notecard to write a letter to themselves on, an envelope to stuff it in and a sticker to seal it up until twenty-twelve.

we keep our goal cards up where we can see them and if you’re like my husband, cross fun things off your list throughout the year. the last few years we’ve had a set of simpler questions to ask lucas and even had him draw a little picture on the back. i loved reading through luc’s old answers to see how much he’s grown.newyearsevvvver 008while learning new things last night – i made a PDF of our packets and figured out how to share them with you here!  i’d love for you to be joining us tomorrow evening while we daydream about the coming new year.
free printables:
+ goal cards

+ a letter to myself

+ envelope seals

happy celebrating, friends!
love, lindsay

Top 10 Favorite Posts Of The Year

I wish I could dedicate more time to reading my favorite blogs. For a list of the ones I try to visit as often as I can, go to my Favorite Blogs button on my Home Page.

I didn't pick these posts/bloggers because they need the traffic or because they are my friends, I picked them because they made me laugh out out loud, shed a tear, nod in agreement or stuck with me for days after the fact. These women inspire me each and every day.

Here are my Top 10 favorite posts of the year, in no particular order:

1. Liquid Gold by Coreen, The Adventures of Captain Fussypants, Little Miss and Caleb the Wonder Dog

2. 30 Things For 30 Years by Morgan, The Little Hen House

3. After The Honeymoon... by Sheri, Old Tweener

4. Goodbye, My Friend (A Letter) by Natalie, Mommy of a Monster

5. A Foreigner In My Own Kitchen by Cheryl, Mommypants

6. That Time In The Public Restroom by Liz, A Belle A Bean & A Chicago Dog

7. 16 & Pregnant by Natalie, My Crazy Busy Life

8. {Guest Post} ~ My Pink Bundle ~ by Tara, Blondie 'N' SC

9. Because It Was Grassy And Wanted Wear / But Still... Christmas by Nichole, In These Small Moments

10. When Private Goes Public by Leah, LA 'n' LA

And for good measure:

11. A Blogger's Gifts and the entire Back to School Back to Blogging series by Gigi, Kludgy Mom

If you don't already follow these gifted and talented women writers, you should! Or at the very least, read these posts for a taste of their magic.

Tune in tomorrow when I share my 2010 Top 10 Letters For Lucas favorites.

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Read this quote this morning, and since my mind keeps wandering back to it I thought I'd share. I think it's quite wise, and a good thing to remember as the new year approaches.
"The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for." -Maureen Dowd

Ever wonder how to "stop" people from following you on social media sites?

I know that most people want want want followers but I woke up to see a hate group following me on Twitter and it turned my stomach before I even got my morning coffee into me. You can probably tell by my blog that I am not all that saavy when it comes to these things (haha...and thats putting it mildly)!

Facebook is another story. I love it and have loads of fun on there. I love that it is so interactive. I spend a lot of time on there each day laughing and joking with friends etc. Facebook is really my 1st blog to the people who know me. People know what I am up to all the time, we share reviews on things, opinions, and all kinds of information. There's the occassional debate which I also enjoy, but most of all lots of laughs. Lot's and lot's of laughs. Facebook is probably my biggest form of entertainment and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I hope it never goes away.

As far as Twitter goes I don't participate much on there. I haven't really spent much time on it and don't understand it very well. My posts generally just go straight from here or my facebook fan page onto my twitter, therefore becoming tweets of their own. I don't really have to do anything to make that happen so I don't often take notice of who's following me and such, but this morning a picture of a baby with a red circle around it and a line going through it caught my eyes in my follower list. When I looked closer I knew I needed to blow this person/group right off my twitter page asap but didn't know how. Luckily a friend gave me a link and I blocked them.

Thought I'd put this out there because I didn't know how to get rid of them. Followers are great, but I don't want just anyone following me. Especially if they hate something or someone that I love! And with twitter you don't have to accept friends/followers etc. They can just choose you. If you have to sell a part of your soul for for followers? No thanks. I'd rather have none. I'll pass on any haters of any sort.

Below is a link to ditch someone on your twitter should you have anyone who does not represent the person you are/causes you believe in etc.

I'm into sharing two things and hate isn't one of 'em. Sharing information and sharing the love. Namaste.

Final de Ano Agitado na Congregação

É, mais uma que se vai, e que deixará saudades em todos nós por todas as bençãos que Deus derramou sobre a congregação São Lucas, e na vida de cada um de nós!!!

O mês de dezembro não esta sendo diferente dos demais 11 meses que se passaram em 2010, e as atividades estão a mil...

No dia 04 de Dezembro tivemos o nosso Culto de encerramento das festividades dos 40 anos, com a presença do Rev. Elmer Link, que nos dirigiu a mensagem do dia, e também com a participação sempre muito especial da Banda Divina Essência que com seus dons embelezaram nosso momento de louvor. Após o Culto a congregação serviu um Almoço delicioso.

 No dia 11 de Dezembro a Congregação recebeu 10 confirmandos...

No dia 18 de Dezembro foi feita a instalação das novas diretorias da congregação e dos departamentos. Também tivemos uma recepção por Profissão de Fé, e nosso já Tradicional Jantar de Advento seguido de um amigo secreto de famílias.

Famílias Secretas....

Dia 25 de Dezembro tivemos o nosso programa de natal, com a participação de todos os departamentos durante a apresentação...  Leigos, Servas, Jovens e Crianças, todos envolvidos mostrando através do teatro a ação de Deus em se colocar ao lado dos seres humanos através do menino Jesus, cumprindo assim a Sua promessa de Salvação. 

No dia 26 de Dezembro, foi feita a entrega dos alimentos arrecadados durante o mês, ao instituto Santissima Trindade em Moreira Gramado. O instituto atende atualmente 65 Crianças e 15 idosos. A congregação entregou aproximadamente 500 kg de alimentos, entre alimentos não pereciveis doados pelos membros, e verduras e frutas doados pela Comunidade Terapêutica Recomeçar de Nova Santa Rita-RS.

Durante todo o ano de 2010, vários eventos foram realizados, encontros, almoços, reuniões, retiros, cultos, estudos, visitas, conversas, rodas chimarrão, brincadeiras.... É claro que nem tudo sai como a gente espera, e alguns de nossos planos para o ano de 2010 também não se concretizaram, mas sem dúvida nenhuma, os planos de Deus em nossas vidas foram realizados, e isto nos alegra mais ainda, porque sabemos que a boa vontade é a Deus, e por isso estamos entregando as nossas vidas na mão dele neste ano de 2011, e a que a sua boa vontade continue prevalecendo, e a nossa fé se fortalecendo na comunhão com os irmãos nesta Congregação.

Pr Maiquel Hellwig

You Know You're A Mom When-sDaze

You know you're a mom when...
  • No matter how many solo flights you take with your child, you are amazed at what a great little traveler he is. I think the new toy, book and endless snacks help a lot! Oh, and the fact that it's only an hour flight to Grandma's.
  • Playing Santa is really fun and Lucas' face on Christmas morning was priceless.
  • You don't care if you give your child your cold, you will not, under any circumstances stop hugging and kissing him.
  • Seeing your son run across the backyard with his face lifted to the sky makes you realize how much you, too have missed the sun.
  • You are thrilled beyond belief when your child takes to a new babysitter.
  • It's December 29 and you're still watching the Elmo holiday special because you don't have the heart to delete it from TiVo.
  • You think to yourself every day, I could not love this child more and then do.
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Finding The Time

I honestly don't know how some mothers do it, especially those with more than one child and no help, or those that work full time. And those that have more than one child and work full time are my absolute heroes!

I really have no business complaining. I have a husband, who is a very hands-on father, a sister who babysits from time to time AND a nanny two days a week for 10 hours and I still feel like I'm drowning.

I'm drowning in obligations or things I feel like I should be doing and never seem to find the time to get to. Am I alone?

Sure, we are just coming out of a holiday season, which is busy and overwhelming for everyone. And yes, we did just moved and it will be a while before the dust has settled, the boxes are all empty and the piles have disappeared, but nevertheless, my 'To Do' is long and grows daily. Here are some of the items currently at the top:

  • Find new pediatrician.
  • Find new general practitioner and dentist.
  • Write and send holiday thank you cards.
  • Call umpteen companies and change our address.
  • Figure out a plan on how and when to start potty training Lucas.
  • Hire a picture hanger (don't ask, just trust me when I say that it will save my marriage by doing this).
  • Go through closet, bathroom products, books and photos. Organize!!
  • Get my ass back into the gym.
  • Start researching nursery schools.

It goes on and on and on from there...

I realize none of these things are dire, but they weigh heavily on my mind.

How do you find the time to stay fit, connect with your spouse, spend quality time with family and friends, have a coherent conversation on the phone, keep a daily blog, read blogs daily, read anything, watch your favorite shows, shop for a wedding gift, make dinner, stay on top of the laundry, etc., etc., etc.?! How do you do it all? And better yet, how do you do it all WITHOUT the guilt? How do you do it and still be present for your child?

Please don't say "better time management" or "by prioritizing", because I think I'm pretty good at both of those. My problem is that once Lucas goes down for a nap or it's bedtime, or I happen to have some "me time", I honestly need the time to decompress, gather myself and my thoughts and have absolutely zero desire to jump into a task. I need the quiet.

Since becoming a mother, I have found that boredom is SO underrated.

So, again, how do you do it?

Stay up all night?


I really want to know. What are your best tips and tricks?

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Photography as mindfulness. Photography is mindfulness.

I have literally thousands of photos on this computer. I am not especially skilled at taking photos, and the camera I use is nothing special. Taking pictures is another way I practice mindfulness, and other than yoga I find nothing more relaxing and peaceful. To take a picture you have to be in the moment. Owning a camera is really wonderful for stress reduction. It takes you right out of your head (and off your butt haha). And the world is just so beautiful that you don't even have to go anywhere special to take pictures. My hobby used to be quite expensive before digital cameras came along with the cost of film and developing and such. Not anymore! There is still something to be said for a paper photograph though.
If you were thinking about taking up a hobby in the new year I can not recommend it enough. Especially if you live out here as the scenery doesn't get any more spectacular. Namaste.

Our Holiday

Christmas jammies #1

We spent the week of Christmas in the Bay Area at my in-laws house. My sister drove up from LA to be with us too. My sister-in-law and her husband and two daughters live nearby, so they were a big part of our holiday. Our visit was full of food, family and fun.

Here are some photos that tell our Christmas story...

Watching the nightly news with Grandpa. One of my favorite photos ever.

Christmas jammies #2

Spending Christmas Eve with my two favorite aunts.

The tree.

The loot.

Christmas morning.

The wrapping paper is the best part!

Christmas jammies #3

The Day After - Tilden Park choo choo ride.

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