Helping David and Freia

What do you do when you are a little girl, and you are out on a beautiful hike with your parents on Christmas day and suddenly your mom, dad, and dog slip on ice, and fall fifty feet into a ravine? The mom in the family is Riley and Seth’s yoga teacher from camp.

The family is recovering but they are in need of help.

I say, we prove to this child that good things always follow bad, the sun always comes up. People care, and Love will always show up to help.

Read more about this family here, and consider making a donation. Every little bit will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Thank you Love.

Donations can be made through PayPal by making a payment to kristen.felan@gmail.com (will show as Daryl Eady, Freia’s mom).

All the single ladies…

There are finer fish in the sea than have ever been caught.

-Irish Proverb

I’ve got a friend who is single but wishes to be married. Gorgeous, beautiful woman. At times she fears something is lacking in her because she has no mate. She yearns for the guy, not realizing the above parable applies to her. Friend, you are the finer fish. You have not been caught.

Appreciating HT

My husband knows every word to every M*A*S*H episode. Every word. He loves the show. So of course, he “had a moment” over Colonel Potter dying this week. RIP.

My husband’s favorite movie of all time is It’s a Wonderful Life.


He knows every word. Every single one. We attempted to watch it our first holiday season together, but we got to neckin’ and missed most of it. True story.

When we were dating, I asked him who his favorite actress was, who would be “on his list” if you know what I mean, and you know what he said?

Susan Sarandon. Not some Hollywood bimbo, but a talented and smart woman of substance. Well played HT.

I think a guy who loves M*A*S*H, and It’s a Wonderful Life, and Susan Sarandon(and dolphins) is a real catch.

I’m just glad I’m the one who caught him.

 

Meditation Before Glee

Busy day, and now in the first lull, the the kids want to watch Glee, which means I have to sit there with them because there are parts I must forward through. Not really into it but it means the world to them. I strike a deal.

“I’ll watch Glee with you, but first we do a meditation.”

Riley groans. Seth shrugs compliance. I bring my computer into the living room and sit on the floor, Riley sits next to me, Seth on the pink couch.

I bring up iTunes and choose a Martha Beck mp3 on anxiety. Riley and I snuggle up on a pillow on the floor, she rests her head in my arm, then moves it around in non-verbal insistence I stroke her hair. She’s pushy like that. Sometimes it gets on my nerves. The mp3 starts and it is nice and relaxing, and soon Seth is tucked in my other arm, and Yippee is on my chest, and we’re all in a heap on the floor, and yes, I’m stroking her hair.

And I forget being annoyed about it, because how lucky am I? To have these kids? Ones who at 9 and 11 will indulge their mother and get on the floor and meditate with her and how awesome it is that we came from a place of almost constant anxiety and walking on egg shells for years and now we pretty much just delight in each other.

Soon we’re all breathing deep and slow, and I’m no longer “the mother” but just with them, and we are all in a place of stillness, no thought, no time, together.

Twenty minutes later, we’re watching Glee, and the day marches on.

But the meditation, it’s there. It’s in us.

Put them on an index card, carry it around

I heard an interview earlier in the week on XM radio (I think it was on Dr. Oz’s show) with Marci Shimoff, author of the books Love for No Reason, and Happy for No Reason. She suggested an exercise which I thought was fantastic. Each person you see, silently wish them these four things:

May you be safe.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you live with ease. 

The driver in front of you in traffic. The person bagging your groceries. Your child’s teacher. Your spouse. 

May you be safe.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you live with ease. 

Your neighbor. Your friend. The people who read your blog. Your children.

May you be safe.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you live with ease. 

The bankers, the protestors, the contestants on Dancing With the Stars, your cat.

May you be safe.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you live with ease. 

Just thinking these statements softly to myself, I feel the good ju-ju pumping through my body.

I’m going to put them on an index card and carry it around.

That’s so 1986

So we haven’t really talked about my 25th high school reunion, have we?

Well. It was interesting. It felt like walking into a time warp. All of these people, most of whom I had not even thought about for many, many years, are alive and well…going about their lives. We all wake up and put one foot in front of the other, every day.

Some looked fantastic. Some looked like they’d fallen on hard times. Some seemed more wonderfully themselves, really in a great place. Some were obnoxious, in that mean drunk kind of way.

Every spouse of a classmate I talked with was awesome. Our class sure married well!

I wasn’t sure where the reunion was going to be held. I didn’t recognize the name of the restaurant, and didn’t bother looking into it. A week before, I bought a summer dress, on clearance. Not super dressy. It was white eyelet. Simple. We got to the restaurant early to meet our friends Michelle and Cris and catch up a little before the party officially got started. Inside the bar, I got the nice wine goblet you see in the photo above. It turned out, the party was outside, and very casual. At the right time, we ventured outdoors, where wine was served in plastic cups, and my glass was coveted by many. Seriously. People kept mentioning it. I felt just a smidge over dressed, but not horribly so. Of course my goblet made me extra fancy.

There was one guy who looked exactly the same, and for some reason I could not figure out who he was. Once someone told me it was like, oh, of course! There was a lot of standing around, whispering, figuring out “Who is that?” Then we’d figure it out, and go over and say hello.

Food was buffet style. Todd and I got plates and as we sat down to eat, I saw out of the corner of my eye at the next table, a woman I’d always thought of fondly point in our direction and say, Is that Michelle H?” As those at her table nodded, she said, thinking I couldn’t hear her…What’s with the dress?” 

And you know what? I had been feeling a little insecure about the dress. I mean, I loved the dress, but was the dress too much? Only one other person was wearing a dress (and she was rocking it btw).

Perhaps my fancy wine glass filled her with fury and she just had to take me out verbally? It’s difficult to say.

Anyway…her snide remark freed me of all insecurities. What was the worst thing that could happen? Someone like that, would say something like that.

So what?

Should I apologize for trying to look nice for my 25th high school reunion? I don’t think so. Got my hair highlighted too. And after two years, I’m done with Invisalign. By our 3oth, I plan on looking even better. Maybe some yoga and pilates in my future? You never know. It could happen.

Cue the inspirational music and play the Marianne Williamson quote which is always falsely attributed to Nelson Mandela:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you….” Yada yada.

Who am I to wear a cute dress?

Who am I to have a fancy goblet? LOL.

I love that quote. And I really, really feel in my heart it is true, and if we all knew who we really were, we’d  never ever say anything hurtful about anyone else, it just wouldn’t be possible. One day we’re all gonna get there.

Love.

Theater Arts Camp – A Success!

Today was the last day of theater arts camp. Riley was the only kid with special needs and she was with an aide she didn’t know previously and kept the fact she had an aide undercover. Her aide was young, and everyone thought she was just another conselor. Riley’s super duper memory and ability to easily learn lines is no doubt what scored her the leading role. The play was an original story with a hodge-podge of familiar songs and show tunes. Riley played “the teacher.”

Eariler in the week it was touch and go. She had an issue with her microphone, and almost couldn’t get past it, but she was able to articulate her feelings and we came up with a solution, and she got through it.

She had a beautiful solo in the beginning, and here she is in one of the numbers which she performed with the camp counselors. This one blew me away, because just the noise at the beginning of the scene would have derailed her not so long ago.

Yes. I cried.

And Seth. My baby. Look at him attack the mic and do Michael proud. I love this boy. I love everything about him. I love him and I like him, and I think he’s cool.

And how cute were the tiny kids? Impossibly cute. Our friend Jancy came to cheer the kids on. It was so nice of her to want to be there. The kids had only seven days to actually rehearse.

The Cleveland Music School Settlement is a place which truly supports those with special needs. It is an organization with a heart. A lot of people jumped through a lot of hoops to make this camp happen for Riley. They were all rooting for her to even get into this session, and then…she blows us out of the water by auditioning for the lead.

Riley has no concept of how amazing she is. She doesn’t know she’s breaking down barriers. She doesn’t know she’s a freaking miracle. She’s just plugging along, being Riley. Doing her thing. Full of sweetness and love.

I am so blessed to be her mom, to have front row seats to watch her fly.

Johnny Barnes

I’ve been reading a wonderful book called Love for No Reason by Marci Shimoff. It is very inspiring, full of wonderful examples of unconditional love. I have folded over so many pages, and could keep myself busy for years just looking up all of the amazing and beautiful people she depicts in the book.

One such man is Johnny Barnes. He lives in Bermuda and for over thirty years, he has stood on a busy street, waving at commuters, blowing kisses and telling them he loves them.

He began his waving mission when he was an electrician for a railway company. Each day before work he would take an hour and and wave at people. Retired now, he wakes before dawn and takes up his post, waving and sending love for six hours a day. He’s been happily married for over fifty years.

Love for No Reason is a book that will open your heart. It just feels good to read!

I read Johnny’s story out loud to Seth just now, and he loved it. We did a little searching and found the video above. I am so appreciative of YouTube. I’m so happy to see Johnny’s face, and hear his voice, and feel his blessing. I love books and technology and this interconnected web of a Universe.

I love Johnny Barnes, all the way from Cleveland.

I love Love.