Hurricane Irma Upate

Hurricane Irma Update

Hurricane Irma is still on the march.

But she has passed by Naples.

And she has left her ugly mark.

I know that some of you may stop by my blog today to see how my family fared. My heart has been moved by the words of concern I have received… here, on Facebook, on Instagram… so before I go any further along… I will share… they are safe.

Writing is one of the ways that I process my feelings. It’s the reason I started this blog. And so process, I will. If you’d like to come along with me as I record my thoughts from my side of the storm…keep reading.

 

Hurricane Irma.

From the beginning, I’ve been worried. This storm was big and angry. But I have a tendency to worry, so I tried to keep it at bay. That’s not to say I didn’t let my opinions be known. I just knew when to push and went to stop. It’s a delicate dance. I knew who to plead with and how hard to plead. I knew the reasons that went into the hard decisions. Reasons that, unless someone has made you privy to theirs, you have no right as an outsider to question and spew hatred about. Something I see done over and over and in such a disgusting manner and in such a public space.

On Sunday, I opted not to go to Miss Sunshine’s soccer game in Blacksburg. The continued westward shift made it appear that after it crossed the Keys, it would head right towards Naples. I couldn’t take a chance on missing a call. My mother and I exchanged calls off and on throughout the day. The winds were picking up, but it still wasn’t too bad. In a later call, the winds were stronger. The palm trees were shaking. The ground too saturated. Dad had parked his truck near the house. He might need to move it. The tree wasn’t going to stay upright. I felt helpless. I was going crazy in my skin. I am a stress eater. I am prone to anxiety. I imagine worst-case scenarios. I needed to find something else to do. I decided to run to the library and pick up some movies. Anything to feel like I was doing something.

I get there and find some movies. I am perusing through a few more. I come across a movie called Rules Don’t Apply. I am wondering if this is synchronicity.

The night before I had just finished reading the memoir the rules don’t apply by Ariel Levy. A book that I chanced upon in the new book section. Its inside cover had sounded intriguing. I finished the memoir in two days. I do not review books. I cannot tell you if this would be your cup of tea. I can only tell you that she takes you right along the journey with her. I feel like I am standing there seeing what she sees, feeling what she feels.  Perhaps this is my INFP personality… this ability to become immersed into a storyline.  Nothing like anything I have lived. But hers is a real storyline. A tragic one.

So I turn the movie case over to read the description. To see if perhaps there is this glimmer of reason that I have stumbled across this particular movie…and my phone rings. I know some people talk on the phone in the library.  The rules seemed to have changed within my lifetime, but I do not take calls in the library (in fact, my phone is typically on vibrate) or in lines to pay a cashier. I cannot miss this call. I race towards the coffee shop area of the library where talking is acceptable. I don’t know if I can take unchecked items through, so I dip down by the doorway separating the two and answer in a hushed voice. My mother asks if I am okay. I see the irony. My mom…asking if I’m okay…as she’s going through the outer bands of a hurricane. I tell her that I am and she asks if I’ve seen the text she just sent. I haven’t. She says to look at it and call her back. I go to the checkout desk and while the librarian is retrieving the movies, I look at the text.

My dad was able to secure the palm so that as it uprooted, it wouldn’t take out the power line. I am hopeful that this is as bad as it will become.

I call her on my way back to the house. I am worried about the roof. It is gabled. She says that the gables are boarded. This eases my panic… some.

She sends me a text that says the news says they are going to get the worst of the storm. PRAY. Seeing that word in caps makes the tears that I have been holding back spill over. I am frightened. I know that my mom is afraid. I cannot crawl into that space into my mind. That space of raw fear. I know raw fear. I know driving across the State of Florida late at night after your firstborn child has been medflighted to a trauma hospital fear.

But that turned out okay. This has to turn out okay. The part of the memoir that most resonated with me was her thought that nothing bad could ever actually happen to her in “her movie” because she was the protagonist. I am wondering if I will reach the moment in “my movie” where my role as protagonist no longer means that everything turns out okay. I cannot dwell in that space. I am sending out updates to friends and family. I am calling my mom to tell her what is being said on The Weather Channel. I am wishing they’d talk about Naples instead of Miami. Marco Island…Naples..that’s getting this current impact.

They are in Naples. I am watching the weatherman brace against the storm. 95 mph sustained winds. 142 mph recorded gust. I know the plaza he is standing in. I know those tree lined medians. They are saying it’s much worse to the East of him. My family is to the East of him.

The calm comes in.

I call my mom again.

She says that it is getting bad. That the house is beginning to buck. She means that the bands are strong. The house is heaving and groaning as wind comes whipping around it.

Compress…compress…

I am thinking they must be close to through it. My dad is trying to tell me the bearings of the radar map.

I am willing the TV channel to zoom in so I can see more roads.

And then The Weather Channel zooms in on the radar and I see it…

They are not almost through it. They are East of Orangtree. Orangetree, the subdivision that was nothing more than a pasture filled with cows when I was young. They are in the red. I tell my dad that the Northeast band of the eye wall is over them right now. He is not surprised. The wind is howling. The house is crying. I am panicked. How long? How long will it last? They want to know. I have no answers. The TV isn’t saying anything. They’ve mentally moved on to Jim Cantore in Estero. I tell my parents that it lasted about 45 minutes in the city, but that the eye is eroding. I tell them that there will likely be no calm, only a slightly lessening wind. They need to relay the information to my brother. We hang up.

Over and over in my mind, the scenes from Twister are racing through my mind. This isn’t a tornado, but it is fierce circular wind. I know hurricanes. I know how they sound howling through the trees. I am praying fiercely that the old wooden house doesn’t decide that it is tired and has given all it can. Protect my family. I know that they will ride  out this eye wall in the hallway. I know that hallway. That hallway that my feet have walked along since I was seven. A long, narrow corridor, just wide enough for a child to reach out and run a hand alongside each wall. Something my brother and I were taught not to do. I know which doorway leads to which room…what photos hang along the way. I imagine them there…safe. Protect my family.

I think the eye has surely reached them. But I cannot get through. A cell tower is down.

I feel in the pit of my being that they are safe. There may be damage, but I know they are alive. Surely I would know if they were not. The fact that life doesn’t always have a happy ending threatens to undo me, but I suppress it.

I worry about whether or not I said all I wanted to say. I think about my Grandma. About how she was dying when I moved to Virginia. About how I thought about going back one last time to visit. But I knew she’d want me to settle my family. Yet, sometimes I wish I’d just gotten on the damn plane and returned home once more. I don’t want this to be like that. I don’t want to think about the what-if’s. But they creep in.

I ask my husband what will I do if I haven’t heard from them by my birthday (I turn 40 tomorrow…the 12th). Every year, my mother calls me first thing in the morning and sings me “Happy Birthday”. It doesn’t seem right that on this milestone it won’t happen. He has no answer for me. I like answers. I am a person who is always seeking answers.  As a child, during movies, I would ask my mother over and over…. “that didn’t really happen, right?” “that’s just pretend”. I still find myself biting my tongue (and sometimes failing) wanting to know the answer to a question in a movie. Usually when I fail, I’m met with “you know as much as me, Amy.” But do I? Maybe you caught something I missed. Some integral piece that gives me the answer that I want to know. I don’t like this waiting. This helplessness. I need to know they have survived.

Eventually we go to bed. Monday is another day in this world I now live in. This world away from destruction. After an entire lifetime in Florida, being gone for four years has lessened the surreal feelings I have when my home, my Florida, is under threat.. but it hasn’t completely removed them.

My phone rings. I am startled awake. My adrenaline starts racing. My phone would only ring if somebody has checked on my family. I lift my phone. It reads 12:12 a.m. The number is my dad.  In the middle of the night, the air out there picks up signals from much farther away. When I was a child, on a clear night, we could listen to radio stations many cities away. I am certain that if he has managed to get through despite the downed cell tower, that the moments will be precious. He is surprised that the call has made it.  They have been trying for about three hours. My mother has stood on chairs trying to hold her phone to places where she might receive a glimmer of a signal.

He says they are all safe. He tells me that it was bad. In that moment, thoughts are racing through my head. I am hanging on this thread between reality and dream-state, having just been awakened. I am thinking that maybe the house did fall down around them. He says that the houses are fine. He tells me that it was like nothing he’s ever been through in his life. That it was way worse than Wilma.  They are telling me about the floorboards rumbling. Somebody, I think it was my brother, said it felt like the plucking of guitar strings below his feet as the bands of wind went by. That it never let up. 45 minutes…an hour…unrelenting.

I think about how it must feel to be in a petrified state of fear for an hour straight. Counting down the time. Praying for the wind to cease. Willing your house to stay together. To protect you. It makes my stomach hurt.

He tells me part of one shop is gone. It’s hard to hear. Is it just the wall? The roof? I know this shop. I ran a 4-wheeler into the side of it when I was 15. I came up the driveway with the throttle wide open, my favorite way to ride. But then it wasn’t stopping. The shop approaching way too fast. I claimed the brakes didn’t work. I still maintain that.

He says a truss from the other shop has been ripped away and thrown some ways into the yard. I’m pretty sure that he says that attached to the truss is a car frame that had been placed in the rafters of the shop. Miss Sunshine and I just watched Sweet Home Alabama the night before and I am envisioning the grandfather shooting anvils from a cannon. I am wondering if this is what their yard looks like. This yard that I trod upon as a barefoot child and teen. This yard that I laid upon as I watched the clouds race by. The one in which I counted stars and imagined faces in the Harvest moon. They are telling me about uprooted trees. I think my mom is telling me about losing one that she likes so much. The call is breaking up. She repeats it. I still cannot tell what she is saying because it is breaking up. They tell me that they can hear me fine, so I tell them about the hotspots that they should be able to get to the next day.

We hang up. I am relieved that all are safe.

After telling everyone through Facebook that they are all okay, I collapse into bed and have a fitful night of strange dreams and long periods of being awake.

My mom gets a short call through to me today. The hotspots don’t work. Orangetree had 130-135 mph sustained winds. There were 142 mph gusts. The area is a mess. The call fails before I can hear more.

Now begins the process of cleaning up.  My family is resilient. Florida is resilient.

They will emerge even stronger.

Preserve your memories, keep them well, what you forget you can never retell. -Louisa May Alcott

Let your light shine!

Amy

What I learned from 30 days of no alcohol

What I Learned From 30 Days Of No Alcohol

30 days of no alcohol.

[blankly stares off into space. nope. not me.]

That’s what I thought when I first read something about it being the perfect time to try a month of no alcohol as we were heading into Virgo season.

Obviously, it was on some astrology site. I can’t even remember which one now.

I know there are a lot of people who don’t believe in astrology. I’ll be honest. I’m not even sure what I believe when it comes to it. If my faith were to be placed into the box that it’s supposed to neatly fit into, then it would say I’m not allowed to believe it. However, I don’t believe in legalism when it comes to religion…and that’s about as far as I’ll delve into religious beliefs.

I have always believed that I am characteristically a Virgo. Plus, I am an extremely curious person who wants to know everything about every thing. So in that curious process I looked at my natal chart and discovered that the Virgo personality does claim to be strong. My Sun, Moon, and Mercury are all in Virgo, which is my 9th house. I don’t really know what that means…but if that’s you’re thing and you wanna share some insight, feel free to leave it in the comments.

Anyways…

That was how I stumbled upon the idea of no alcohol.

I really wasn’t sure if I would succeed.

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Which is why I didn’t bring it up in Friday Faves until later.

I don’t drink heavily or even drink every day, but there’s enough times that I knew that 30 days would take effort on my part.

Especially because the hubby was not joining me on this particular experiment of mine. And yes, I call it an experiment. That’s because I often do these mental or physical experiments or research projects in which I am the subject.

That's what I do. I drink and I know things coffee mug

I’m not gonna lie, the hardest day of each week was Sunday night when the hubby and I would sit down to watch Game of Thrones. It is the only show that I stop what I’m doing to sit down and watch with him. We usually have our wine or our beer and decompress while watching this epic storyline before heading into the work/school week.

My detox did end prior to that season finale though!

Since I know some of ya’ll are still catching up..no spoilers from me.

But…oh…my…goodness!

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So what did I learn?

I thought that I would have some epiphany or mental clarity once the supposed brain fog lifted.

Nope.

But what I learned is that I have the mental fortitude to push through to the end of a goal that I set for myself…. even when no one is watching.

It would have been easy to say “I don’t feel any different”, “my skin isn’t clearer”, “I haven’t lost any weight”…”why am I doing this again.”

And there were moments when I wanted to do just that.

But I didn’t.

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I do want to keep pushing my comfort zones. In recent conversations, I’ve discovered that I have a strong fear of failure and so quite often I just don’t try.

In keeping with the “30 days” concept, I’ve decided that each month of my 40th year I will do a “30 days of…” challenge. I haven’t figured out what each challenge will be, but they will likely focus on mental health, fitness, nutrition, hobbies, or the environment.

To keep things more streamlined, I will start them at the beginning of the month. I plan to let you all know what each challenge is a few days prior to the new month, just in case you are interested in joining me. It’s very likely that I will have failures during some of the challenges and this will be hard for me, but I feel like it’s the next step in my growth.

Check back tomorrow where I’ll announce my September challenge!

p.s.- The first one shouldn’t be too hard. My 40th birthday isn’t until the 12th, so technically, I’m starting 2 weeks before my 40th year. Plus, you gotta succeed for your birthday month. Right?!

Let your light shine!

Amy

 

 

Back to School

Back to School

Today was back to school day for my teenagers.

It’s always such a bittersweet day for me.

On one hand, I’m happy to get back into routine…and have some silence.

On the other, it marks a moment in time of being one step closer to having my little birds fly from my nest.

I have taken “first day of school” photos from the moment their tiny fingers left my grasp to enter into the preschool building.

Miss Sunshine wasn’t sure if she was riding to school with a friend. When she discovered that she was, there was a mad dash to collect her backpack and race out the door.

I grabbed my camera to snap a photo before she raced away. I forgot that I had been playing with the camera the day before and the settings were completely incorrect for this shot.

I quickly tried to switch to auto mode for one last chance…

I didn’t make it.

I’ve already told her, that after school she will have to pose so that I can to collect my memory shot.

However, for me, this photo sums up this phase of my motherhood.

This passage of time.

Like a river flowing.

Movement.

Fighting the distractions as I try to breathe these moments into my soul.

My children are becoming more and more independent.

As they should.

I am keenly aware of the marking of days until Big Mr. will leave the confines of high school. I have heard that his his Senior year will fly by.

And as it does, those days will sweep my other two children along as well.

Suddenly, we will be at the precipice,  looking out at the horizon, and my first bird will be flying. Mr. D will see his moment. He will be there in eager anticipation knowing that he is only a year behind. And on that precipice, even Miss Sunshine will see the changes. A brother leaving, the other one planning his flight, and her entering into high school.

Too soon they will no longer be my little birds.

This fleeting phase of motherhood coming to an end.

I think about that future…

Who will they become?

Who will I become?

But for today, I will breathe and sit with the present.

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will. -Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

Let your light shine!

Amy

 

 

WPC:Ooh, Shiny

 

 

 

 

Shine Bright

Shine Bright

Hatred exists.

Sometimes I still just have the hardest time wrapping my mind around this fact.

And yet, it's there.

You'd think that as a human species who claims to have evolved we'd have learned that hatred solves nothing.

Nothing.

Charlottesville is just a tiny fragment in the whole of this hateful divisiveness being spread.

But it begins to feel a little more real when it happens so close to home.

I have friends who have children attending UVA. Miss Sunshine plays soccer in the same league as teens who call Charlottesville home. We travel to their fields to play. We shop in the stores and walk their streets.

I wonder when it starts. This hatred. This division. And how do you find your soul so dark as to believe the lies of superiority?

And I am not just talking about a race issue. You can apply it to any number of divisive situations that you see every single time you turn on the TV.

Something I do infrequently, as I think it only perpetuates divisiveness.

Personally, I see a big difference between denouncing things that are wrong and fighting for justice versus spewing your own form of hatred from the other side.

Because the latter solves nothing.

To respond to hateful acts with hatred is to become the very thing which you despise. – John Mark Green

 

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Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. -Mark Twain

I started this blog as a place to find myself.

That is still a journey I am on.

But it's also a place that I hope sheds a little light in the darkness.

Sunset has always been a place that I find peace.

When I moved to Roanoke, Virginia four years ago, it was the one thing that kept me grounded. This sun that I watched from my hometown in Florida. This same sun that I watched as I moved across the state of Florida. And finally, this same sun setting across the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

It offered me stability and hope that I would crawl of out the darkness that crept upon me during my move.

So when Nikki over at Flying with Water set her creative prompt as The Bright Side because she'd been blindsided by some negativity, I knew that I'd be sharing some of my sunset shots.

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Let no man pull you low enough to hate him. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. -Nelson Mandela

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What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. – Jane Goodall

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Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

 

And while it should go without saying, and I have said it in the past, my space on the web is not for politics. I can and will remove hateful commentary. While politics influence too many people's opinions, I have yet to witness them be the cause of any aim for a unified collection of humanity. My personal experience is to see polarization caused by politics and have only seen unification happen outside of that bubble… when individuals decide that their voice makes a difference.

Keep writing the story of kindness.

Spread your light wherever you go.

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the the mirror reflecting it. -Edith Wharton

Let your light shine!

Amy

 

  • Photos 1 & 3 – Roanoke Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway – Roanoke, Virginia {Nikon D3200}
  • Photo 2 – From my yard – Roanoke, Virginia {Nikon D3200}
  • Photos 4 & 5 – Carolina Beach, North Carolina {Sony Alpha 7II}
  • Photoquote – Naples, Florida {Nikon D3200}

 

 

WPC- Elemental

 

Say What?!

When you travel there is bound to be some type hilarious encounter.

Quite often due to a breakdown in communication between languages.

But what if that breakdown is in your native language?

Well that can make it unexpected and garner even more giggles!

It's Monday, so I thought that if you're anything like me you could use a little humor in your life today.

Even in the United States, sometimes trying to understand what a person from the Deep South or from New England is saying may take them repeating it a few times before you catch on to what they are saying. If they throw in some local slang, it may become even harder!

We had already experienced working through differences in the English language on our first overseas trip. We were relieved that everyone in Amsterdam spoke English, but differences in colloquialisms came into play on a trip to Starbucks. One of the teenagers asked for a squirt of chocolate in their frappuccino. You could tell by the look the barista's face that she wasn't really sure what "squirt" meant. Some hand gestures later and it was agreed upon that "pump" was the term that she was familiar with. Which only makes sense given that is the term Starbucks uses. It was a wonderful learning experience for the teenager in how to work through language barriers.

However, the best breakdown between English languages was experienced on my trip to Scotland. Given that English is their primary language, it never occurred to me that there might be any issues. Understanding their accent, maybe some issues. Complete cluelessness about language, never.

In this post, where I took you on the tour of the Murals of Glasgow, I mentioned that while we were in Glasgow we decided to take the train to Shotts to watch some of the Highland Games.

After making my mother and aunt hike from the train station to the location of the Highland Games, we finally made it.

When we approached the sign stating the entry fees, I commented to my mother "it's 5£ each. There's something about concessions being 4£. I don't know if that means we have to purchase a ticket to be able to eat, but we'll figure it out when we get inside. We can always come back and get that later."

I hear all of you who are from the United Kingdom snickering already.

Don't worry, it gets better.

I pay for the three of us to get through the gate. Our accents give away the fact that we are not locals so they give my mother a collectible spoon that they have for people who've traveled a long way. I think "what about me?" for a second, but then am relieved because I'm a minimalist-in-training and collectibles are not what I'm striving toward.

It's already close to lunchtime so we know that we will be hungry soon. I see prices on the food trailers, but I'm still confused. My mom decides that she is going to go back to the gate and ask them if we need a ticket.

A few minutes later, she comes walking toward me. I can see that she is holding back tears of laughter. She tells me that I'm not going to believe what happened.

She asked them "what about the concessions?" and the lady taking the money says "well…" and the other lady in the booth steps into view, possibly concerned that my mother is going to become argumentative. The lady finishes her sentence "that's really for people who are older than you." To which my mother replies "oh, so it has nothing to do with food." And they all start laughing and assuring her that "no, it's not about food."

Apparently, "concessions" in Scotland is what we refer to in the United States as a "senior citizen discount" and my mother is not in her mid-60's or even 60 for that matter so they were surprised she was asking about the discount. In the United States "concessions" refers to a "concession stand", a place where you purchase food at events. We thought that we couldn't eat without a ticket to frequent the food trucks!

We laughed about that for days and still laugh every time we remember our "concession" experience.

I hope you found a good laugh in it too!

Oh.. and in case you're wondering what Scottish men wear under their kilts… that day it was compression shorts.

Happy Monday!

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust

Let your light shine!

Amy

What does your chill time look like?

What does your chill time look like?

Chill. Relax.

Chillax.

Where, or when, or how, or with whom, do you find this place?

That’s what Nikki over at Flying Through Water has asked us to ponder this week.

Originally, I thought I’d say yoga.

Yoga Namaste

I shared a little about how yoga has been transformative in my life in this post. My practice mainly consists of Bodyflow classes at my gym, which is similar to some power yoga that I have taken.

I’ve been considering doing more with my practice after finding that I really enjoyed my Pilates class that focused on breath work. I don’t often practice at home because I like the verbal cues that keep me focused on the present moment. I’ve even thought I would enjoy teacher training, not because I have any desire to teach, but because then I would learn more of the depth of yoga from somebody with knowledge.

Yes. I do find my chill in yoga. My moments in savasana center me.

But I also have other places that I find my chill. And recently, I spent some time pondering them. I know some people going through some heavy stuff and sometimes after turning their heavy stuff around in my mind (because turning and turning is what I do), I find myself needing moments to analyze the meaning of life.

To examine my life.

To just be.

Alex and Ani Seek Solitude bracelet

And so yesterday… I just was.

I came home from Pilates and made Miss Sunshine breakfast. As I popped open the can of biscuits, I thought about how I should learn to make biscuits so there wouldn’t be all these strange ingredients. I watched as the bacon sizzled in my cast iron pan, waiting for it to get to the crispy, almost burnt way Miss Sunshine likes it. I cracked open the egg, popped its yolk, waiting until I knew the moment to flip it over. I put it all on the biscuit for Miss Sunshine.

I helped Miss Sunshine gather her things to meet some friends. I dropped her off.

I came home and made my late riser, Mr. D, some breakfast. I watched the bacon sizzle, remembering to take it off well before my crispy preference. As I placed it on the plate, I watched as it still sizzled. I cracked two eggs into the skillet, careful not to bust the yolk, watching for that moment to flip and finish out the over-medium eggs.

I did not go on Instagram (which for me is rare) and spent little time in the blog world. I needed a break from the pressure of trying to achieve. I was very open in this post about how part of my blogging journey was about discovering a passion that would eventually yield some form of income. And sometimes, I need to step back and reassess if I’m still walking and spending time on the path that feels like a soul call.

I did not do any of my 20 minute bursts of decluttering.

I read and read and read.

I studied some subjects of interest online and climbed deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of my insatiable thirst for knowledge.

I stood on my back porch while the puppy played with sticks and blew bubbles. I watched as the wind carried them and the sun made the magentas, and blues, and greens swirl round and round.

I was reminded of two photos taken while in Scotland.

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An evening stroll took us onto the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. In the pedestrian area there were people everywhere. And amongst them, a man creating giant bubbles that the children loved to chase.

Bubble blowing of this magnitude is unusual to me. I do not live somewhere this is commonplace, and yet I also saw a man creating the same gigantic bubbles in Vondelpark while I was in Amsterdam.

For me, these moments create a connection in humanity.

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That wherever we are, we find beauty and joy in something as simple as a bubble floating on the air.

As I thought about where I find my chill, I realized I find it in the little moments.

The moments where I am fully present.

Damselfly on a blade of grass

The little moments that take my breath away.

The little moments that make me grateful to be alive.

Yesterday somebody looked through quite a few of my old posts. I don’t know if they actually read them, but I went back and read quite a few of the ones they clicked on.

I can see how I’ve grown.

I can also see how I’m the same.

Ever deep in thought…always seeking the simplicity…learning to find the beauty in the chaos.

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Let your light shine!

Amy

 

What's in a {nick}name?

What’s in a {nick}name?

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I’ve been thinking about nicknames lately. Anybody else do that? Just ponder nicknames? What they are? How they’ve come about?

Anybody?

Anybody?

My husband gives out lots of nicknames. To people, to animals, sometimes to objects (this is where I practice the art of mind reading when he asks where said object is located).

Over the years I have been given many nicknames… Sweet Pea, June Bug, and most recently Sweet Love.

Other times, the nicknames are less cute: take “Wookiee” for instance. I suspect this one came from the fact that my mother has always called me “Amy Woo Woo”. However, I was not enamored by being called Wookiee by my husband. It did not evoke feelings of love from me. It took pointing out that this was a giant, hairy creature (even if they are cute) to curb that nickname.

And also, not responding when called it.

But his nicknames always come from a place of love and add to the charm that is him.

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When I chose the names of my children, I wanted to be sure that people couldn’t change up their given names. One of their names can technically be shortened, but I didn’t realize it at the time. That name belongs to the child that I claim named himself.

I’ve been pondering nicknames for some time because I leave my children anonymous in this space. The oldest has not chosen to remain completely anonymous, but when I started this blog, he was pursuing YouTube edits and Instagram growth, and now that he isn’t pursuing those things I find myself less active in putting his name out there.

While I don’t really have an issue with “the girlie”, calling my boys “the oldest” and “the middle son” leaves me with a distaste in my mouth.

Mostly it bothers me for my middle child. The second son. Only 17 1/2 months younger than his brother and 26 months older than his sister. This sometimes no-man’s land of discovering your role. I doubt he’ll ever read my words, but just in case he should ever look back at this blog and read his mother’s words, I want him to have an identify. Not just the nebulous “middle son” as his title.

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Our teenagers have nicknames given over the years.

Most of them are used here and there and are plays on their name, which really wouldn’t work in this space.

My middle son has nicknames based on his first name and also ones based on his middle name, a name that his father loved so much that it had to be included in the Smith line.

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At 6’5″, and with a size 15/16 shoe, the oldest is often called Bigfoot by his friends.

But I have a different name in mind. A name his father has called him consistently over his 17 years:

Big Mr.

And along with that, the nickname that has been consistently used for our next child:

Mr. D.

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The girlie is often called “squirrel” by her dad.

I have no idea why.

But in fairness to the fact that she isn’t a hairy creature (even if they are cute), I will continue along with my previous theme and she will be:

Miss Sunshine.

Identity is an important facet of human beings. It helps us mark our place in this giant world. While plenty of people are happy living their lives behind the scenes, quietly going about their business, they still have a name.

A name mostly likely chosen by someone who knew them. Someone who looked down upon their face and said:

“Your name is….”

Big Mr… Mr. D… Miss Sunshine…

Even a {nick}name offers a glimpse into identity.

Do you have a nickname? A preferred name? Did you keep your chosen name or trade it for another?

What does a name mean to you?


Let your light shine!

Amy