Search results for 'feathers'

Hanukkah is the thing with feathers

4 Dec

I know that I have been a little quiet lately,

and my only excuse is that

it’s Hanukkah.

And I’m me.

I’ve been busy.

But, I can’t let another night go without telling you about my most special, night 1 present.

Here it is.

And in case my fabulously clear and professional looking photobooth picture doesn’t do it justice,

It’s a lariat,

long and gold,

with a feather at each end.

It’s from my husband.

Did I mention that it is a necklace with feathers?

Which, if you know me,

you know is pretty perfect.

Happy Hanukkah to you.

I hope that your holiday is filled with joy, song,

light

and, of course,

feathers.

 

 

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“hope is the thing with feathers…”

25 Jun

I believe in angels.

I don’t mean that I believe in the winged icons that hang with halos as holiday ornaments.

I believe in benevolent forces, the spirits of those we’ve loved and lost, that watch over us, protect us and guide us through our days.

 

When I’ve needed help, or dug down deep for strength, I’ve been given a sign that a loved one was with me.

 

My grandmother passed away when I was thirteen.

That year I became a Jewish adult, as I became a Bat-Mitzvah.

A new woman was added to our family.

And, sadly, a woman was lost.

We said goodbye to our matriarch,

As Life took away the centerpiece of our own dining room table.

 

Before she passed away, when she knew that she would be leaving us,

We asked her how she was feeling.

She said that she knew she would be back.

She knew she would be around,

Able to look after us.

She told us that she would come back as a bird.

We asked her how we would know she was there, since birds are all around us.

She told us to look for feathers.

 

Since that time, I’ve been blanketed by feathers when I’ve needed the warmth.

Feathers have reminded me to have strength.

Feathers have given me faith.

 

In the two weeks before I found out I was pregnant,

A wish that I hoped with every ounce of being would come true,

I saw at least 20 feathers.

They were on my front porch.

They were on the sidewalk, as I walked the dogs down the street.

They were poking out of my shirt

(and this was August, mind you….it was not as if I was wearing a down coat).

So before I officially knew that I was pregnant,

I just knew.

As I’ve said, even though I knew, in my head and in my heart, I didn’t believe that my wish had actually come true until the nurse called me on that late August day and said nothing besides, “Congratulations, dear.”

 

I called my husband at work.

He answered, nervously.

He knew that I would be receiving my test results in that hour.

I asked him if he was ready to be a daddy.

He didn’t say a word, just sobbed softly.

“I knew it,” he told me. “There’s a giant, brown feather lying across my desk.”

 

That feather told us more than those HCG blood test results ever could.

I was pregnant.

Our dream was coming true.

Our loved ones were watching, celebrating from above.

 

I saw many birds and many feathers throughout my pregnancy.

They always just appeared,

just when I needed them.

 

The night that I had my daughter, I didn’t see any feathers. I could barely see anything. It was my fourth trip into labor and delivery. Nothing was going as planned.

When they wheeled me into the OR in the middle of the night, I was lying on the operating table, and I felt scared.

I didn’t feel particularly strong.

I couldn’t find my faith.

When my husband was allowed to come back in the room he held my hand and didn’t let go.

The anesthesiologist, peering over the tall blue draping that separated my head from my abdomen, told me that it was time.

The baby would be coming now.

I still felt scared.

Then, my husband squeezed my hand and told me to listen to the radio. I hadn’t noticed that the radio had been playing the entire time that I was in the OR.

My ears perked up.

It was “Desperado”, by The Eagles.

It was my grandmother’s favorite song.

At that moment, I knew that we would be ok.

The chorus of our own angels were with us, serenading my daughter as she entered into the world.

Don Henley sang,

It may be rainin’

But there’s a rainbow above you

You better let somebody love you

Before it’s too late.

And the next sound we heard was the tiny wail of my daughter’s first cry.

I have never heard a more perfect sound.

And I know, with all of my heart,

That my angels were listening with us,

Smiling from above,

The rainbow that would forever shine on our precious baby girl.

 

So, the next time you see a feather,

Lying in a place that it really shouldn’t be lying,

I hope you that it makes you smile.

And I hope that it gives you faith.

Because no matter what you believe,

Or don’t believe,

Your loved ones are all around you.

It just depends on how hard you look.

WWW.MOMMYEVERAFTER.COM

27 Dec

Mommy EA

My dears,
Like the rest of us, Mommy, Ever After has now grown.
From here on out, you can find us at

www.mommyeverafter.com

I can assure you, it will be bigger and better
(and brighter!)
than ever.
Follow the trail of feathers…

Stay Tuned and Get Pumped! (is what I was going to say.)

14 Dec

Patience, my dear ones. For I am off to a happy place, where I will be celebrating my 8th Engagemaversary in that very same spot.

…is what I had written, yesterday,

prepared to publish today,

as I would now be off to St. John, via St. Thomas, with my entire family; Parents, siblings, kids…

It’s funny. Just last week, Jordan said, “The way to virtually guarantee that a child will get sick is to schedule something that you really want to do.”

And it has been no secret that we have been sickie little chickies in my house for the past month.

But weeks of sick days and doctor visits all kind of came to a head yesterday when I crashed, unexpectedly, at 3pm, woke up two hours later in excruciating ear pain. I have been suffering from TMJ on my right side, but this pain was on my left. And I couldn’t hear out of my ear. Weird.

So, I shook the sleep out of my head and rallied to give the baby his nighttime bottle, give my daughter her kiss goodnight, and I told my husband that something wasn’t right. All of the local urgent care facilities were closed and all my doctor besties were stuck without otoscopes (I just wanted to see if I was crazy), so we found a Care Stat location a little ways away and I got checked out.

I told the doctor about my TMJ. “First let me look at your right ear, or your ‘good ear’,” she said.

“Yup, this ear is infected.”

Then she moved onto my left.

And all she said was, “Whoa.”

That’s never what you want to hear from a doctor.

So I have a double ear infection, but on my left side it is pretty severe, and I am prohibited from flying for a week. Which means that we had to cancel our trip to our happy place.

It’s ok. I was most disappointed for my daughter and parents, but we have made alternate arrangements so that my kids will be taken away on a fun family trip, just the four of us, that involves driving, and no change in elevation that will perforate my eardrum.

I walked out of the urgent care office, into the Krispie Kreme two doors down, and ate a hot glazed doughnut right off of the conveyer belt. Because, really, what else was there to do?

So, I will continue where I had left off yesterday before this all went down (when I thought I would be leaving you for St. John):

Please don’t think I would leave you hanging. Oh no.

Because we have some big changes on the not so distant horizon; my home for the past 4.5 years,

http://www.mommyeverafter.wordpress.com,

just got quite the makeover. We are moving on up people.

Very soon, this blog will be located at…

http://www.mommyeverafter.com

Mommy EA

You can visit the site to countdown to our big launch on December 22. There will be ads! There will be new categories! There will be a feathers! This is forrealz.

And I realize that my audience here is mixed; some of you have been here from the beginning, while others are newer to the land of mom. So I am leaving you with some old favorites. And the fun thing is, they lead you to other old posts. You have almost 900 of ’em to wade through as I wade through the ocean. (Editor’s note: I don’t even have to say it. Frowny face.)

Let me take this opportunity to say thank you.

This past year (and I am getting choked up) has been the hardest in my life; I am so grateful for the support I have received from YOU. You have empowered me to tell me story and motivated me to help others. Thank you. I would not be here without you.

So here you go. I’ll be popping in here and there over the next week, but to tide you over:

Something motivational

Something sweet

Something musical

Something nostalgic

Something comprehensive

Some Important Insight

The craziest call to the pediatrican ever. (Really, ever.)

The second craziest call to the pediatrican,, ever. And it’s a close second.

Something Happy.

Something Hard.

Something Hopeful.

See you on the flip side at http://www.mommyeverafter.com,

the home of everything ever after.

The little feather that could.

2 Dec

This morning was a morning like most others.

We watched an episode of My Little Pony, found the “Tuesday” underwear from my daughter’s drawer, hurried her off to school, as my son and I stayed in our pajamas.

My son and I snuggled up in bed for a good two hours and napped together, as I fell asleep to the rhythmic sounds of his breathing.

And then we went to the eye doctor. And we got some unexpected news. My son had to get glasses at 11 months to correct his farsightedness, just like his sister before him. He also had to have a minor surgical procedure to unblock a clogged tear duct, and I feel so fortunate to say that it went very well.

Today, we learned that my son’s eye crossing is not exactly like my daughters, and my sister’s before her, and my mother before her ; he not only is extremely farsighted, but he also has a weak eye muscle. This will require a surgery, and it is a much more extensive surgery than the little tear duct probing. And my heart stopped beating.

Let me stop right now.

I realize that my son is getting eye surgery.

In the scheme of life, this is a blip. It is a slightly large blip, but I recognize that parents, every hour, are given far worse news about far worse procedures and prognoses, so please do not think for one second that I do not have perspective. I do. I send all of the love I can muster to those parents and those children and those families.

But I also have the knowledge that my son will have to go under general anesthesia, be intubated, and face some pain afterwards. And, this surgery will not do anything to correct his vision.

The eye doctor said, “Boy, this one can’t catch a break, can he?” and I replied with, “None of us can this year!”

And I was thinking about my son’s first year;

He had a mother who went a little crazy and then was later hospitalized. He has been to the Emergency Room FIVE times now: once in utero, twice for RSV (which lead him to a most depressing Christmas week stay in the children’s ward of the local hospital), once for Carbon Monoxide poisoning and then, finally, for slicing his wrist on my mirrored coffee table, requiring seven stitches. He hasn’t had it so easy.

But just like the realization that I had a week ago, when it occurred to me that my sweet son is the best thing to have ever happened to me,

I had another epiphany today.

He is my strength symbol.

Right before we left for the Ophthalmologist, I found this tiny, stray feather stuck to the inside of the wrist of my sweater.

It gave me the feeling that I always get when I see feathers, which is that I can be strong and that there are people watching over us to guide and protect us, even through the darkest of days.

And then I got this crappy news from the eye doctor and I looked back down at my feather and tried to figure it out. What was it telling me?

And I got it:

My son is my strength symbol.

He has shown me bravery, fortitude and resilience like nothing I have ever seen.

He has had a tough year with some tough circumstances, and wakes up with a smile on his face every single day, showing seven little teeth, gapped and perfect.

So, my tiny feather, you are my inspiration. You show me what it means to be courageous. You have faced so much in such a short time and I am so, so, proud to be your mother.

You are my little hero.

And we will just keep chugging along.

photo-21

For the love of music.

23 Nov

This morning, one of my cherished new friends sent this video to me, to help chase some of my sick babies blues away.

She didn’t know that The Beach Boys concert with my family was my favorite concert ever. EVER.

She didn’t know that “God only knows what I’d be without you.” is the phrase that I use to describe how I feel about my husband.

She just knew that it was beautiful and that it featured a feather prominently.

And this brings me to tears; the friendship, the music, all of it.

I hope you enjoy.

“In Our Time” and on my night table.

15 Nov

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”

-T.S. Eliot, one of my favorites.

Last night before bed I scanned my night table for my glasses, and took a minute to note what I keep there, next to me, as I sleep.

I don’t have much, but everything is meaningful. I have one of my crystals (of course).

I have a mirrored frame, containing a small piece of art that reads “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

In the far back corner, hidden behind a silver carved wood box, I have a feather or two and (don’t judge me, please) my lucky purple underwear, folded and twisted up into a tiny little knot. Unidentifiable to anyone but me. My protection symbols. Ok. I know it’s weird. Whatever.

I have a photograph of Ernest Hemingway, older and bearded, writing at his desk.

And tucked away, behind it all, I have a few pieces from the hospital. They remind me of where I have been, where I no longer wish to be, and where I hope to go.

FullSizeRender-3

The pins are from a night earlier in my stay, when I was doing a partial hospitalization outpatient program and staying in a beautiful local boutique hotel. My dear, kind, amazing friend came up one night to sleep over with me, so that I would not be alone. Since my hospital was located a few miles from a lovely, quintessential college town, I met my girl at 6:30 that night, once my program for the day had ended, and we spent the evening walking around, through the college apparel shops, the pharmacy, clothing stores and savoring every second in their real, actual book store. We don’t have many (if any) of those around anymore. I must have lingered in the far back right corner between Hemingway and Fitzgerald for a good 10 minutes, just running my hands across the spines of “in Our Time” and “A Farewell to Arms” and “An Immoveable Feast”, like I wanted to inhale them.

At the checkout counter, they had these silly little pins for $1 each. We each picked out a couple, and I keep mine by my bed, because they make me smile. They make me think of this time of great transformation, but also of my great fortune to have a friend who would drive all the way to another state, after a long day of work, to spend 12 hours in a hotel room with me, just so that I wouldn’t have to sleep by myself.

There is also a beaded bracelet, that I accidentally made too big during a Sunday morning art therapy session while I was inpatient. I remember stringing each bead on carefully, knowing, as I did it, that I wold save this simple, silly little craft forever.

I guess subconsciously I keep these things, this strange collage of items, in the place that is closest to me as I rest,

hoping for healing, protection and guidance;

that somehow some of the powers of the crystals, and the safety of the feathers and the weight of the hospital stay and the wisdom of Hemingway and the reminder of eternal love will seep into me during slumber.

Hey, who knows how these things work.

Each night as I fall asleep I pray for a new beginning the next day; a new place from which to start. And, if nothing else, I can always rest easy knowing that, undoubtedly, Tulips are better than one.

strength and symbols and superstitions and salt.

23 May

It’s all about the little things; that’s what I’ve learned.

***

There are some things that are up in the air right now, and we are in a time where we feel a little unsettled. Part of this is obvious and tangible; we have a POD with the entire contents of our flooded basement taking up half of our driveway–but there are also other things, harder to pinpoint, that we are trying to work through. My husband woke up at 2am and could not go back to sleep, his mind was racing so.

So today, I thought that a little extra support in the form of my strength symbol was necessary.

photo 1-3

***

My family is extremely superstitious. We have our things. We don’t walk over the legs of another person. We don’t put shoes on a table. And my dad wears a rubber band on his wrist for good luck. Today my daughter found one and gave it to me. I’ll take it, I say.

photo 2-2***

I got to spend a little time with one of my favorite people today. She reminded me to count my blessings. She reminded me to say, “I want a life that’s good.”

photo 3-1

***

With some things up in the air, I turned to one of my dad’s oldest superstitions of sorts: salt. He has always thrown salt over his shoulder as a way to symbolize things going in the direction that they should.

I did this today.

photo 4***

I found a feather today, in an unexpected place, at an unexpected time. My strength symbol. I did not take it for granted.

photo 5-1***

It’s the little things. The little things make all the difference.

My Nanny

18 May

I have written on this site, since it’s inception, about my Nanny.

My Nanny was my grandmother on my dad’s side. She was incredibly special to me, and I lost her when I was 13 years old after a furious 6 month battle with cancer.

She is why I have a thing for feathers and lucky pennies.

She taught me about art.

We used to go to museums and at the very end of our visit she would have me pick out the postcard of my very favorite piece of the day.

We used to sit on the big rocks by the pond by her house, next to waving cattails and resting geese, and would sketch our feelings with charcoal.

I would sleep over at her house and she would bring me breakfast in bed with her finest china plates and bowls and crystal glasses for my fresh squeezed juice.

My Nanny taught me about scones and Almondina cookies and Ikura sushi and champagne grapes.

She taught me about The Phantom of the Opera and Into the Woods.

I struggled a lot with my Nanny’s death. She was so young. We had so much more to see, and hear and taste and do and sketch together.

But what I struggle with the most is that she did not live to see me as an adult.

I think about how much she would love my husband; how she would appreciate his gentle way, his artistic abilities, his passion for food and his tenderness. She would have made him her fried chicken and mashed potatoes and would have smiled so contently as he licked his plate clean.

That makes me sad.

I wish my Nanny could see me as a grown woman. As a wife, as a mother. I wish she could see how I pack lunch for my husband and daughter every day, just like she did. How I cook dinner every night. How I eat biscotti and sing lullabies and teach.

But that sadness does not compare to how I feel about how she missed meeting my children.

She would love my children.

And not just because they would be her great-grandchildren, but she would love them for who they are.

My daughter: She would love my girl for her spirit, her feisty personality; how she is so gifted in the arts, both fine and performing; how she enamors strangers with her cuteness and spunk; She would laugh at how, like me, she never stops talking.

My son: She would love my boy for his sweetness; for his reddish hair; for his rolls of pudge and warm, coy smile and the twinkle in his eye; she would love how he eats with great gusto and would love cooking for him.

I do believe in angels. I believe that our loved ones, while maybe not watching every moment of our lives like a movie being projected in a theater, are around us, and weave in and out of our lives and consciousness throughout the years and the milestones and the moments.

Today my Nanny would be 80 years old.

If she were here, we would celebrate her with a cake from the Ultimate Bake Shoppe. We would put on music and I would tell my daughter to say, “Just a little bit of dah-ncing” in my Nanny’s way. We would give her handmade cards and maybe a pretty handkerchief or picture frame with photos of the kids.

We would snuggle up to her softness. We would say, “I love you.”

Today my Nanny would be 80 years old and I miss her very much.

Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late

Wonderful and Featherful

11 Apr

You guys. Seriously, you rock. You’ve made my birthday so wonderful and you’ve filled it with amazing treats, feathers, and, most of all, words. You’ve shared your words with me today and each note, each word has meant something to me. So thank you.

photo 4-8

And I’m covered in feathers,

from my top

photo 2-24To an incredibly special gift on my wrist from an incredibly special person,

photo 1-24

All the way to the tips of my fingers

photo 3-15With a lil’ party mani to boot.

So thank you. I love you. And I love life today.

A tiny, little, amazing story.

9 Apr

photo-23

Today, as I unloaded from school pick up,

doing my normal routine of getting my daughter out of the passenger side of the car,

slinging her backpack over my shoulder,

walking her around the car to my side where I get her brother out in his incredibly heavy infant carrier,

when my daughter said, “Wait. I want to see my brother.”

And it stopped me in my tracks;

I got that incredible feeling of happiness and awe at my new team.

I thought about how I’ve never myself uttered those words.

So I decided I was going to blog about it.

And I brought them inside and I went to take him out of his carseat,

and she came up to him, stroked his arm, and starting to sing, this will be our year.

Smile for me, little one.

She sang all the words and he giggled and cooed.

And then, at that moment, a feather fell from the sky, onto the pile of us.

I swear to you.

After somewhat of a hard time  this week, I am comforted to know that my angels are

applauding my team, just as loudly, and just as clearly

as I am.