Friday, December 25, 2009

. . .a few of my favorite things

jerry garcia, my favorite ornament
almost couldn't find him this year
always makes Christmas happy

something old, very old
this angel has been a part of Christmas
since forever ago
thanks for grounding me with rich traditions, mom

something new, sweet children's book
The Nativity by Julie Vivas
LOVE those slippers

the taste of Christmas morning
since we were 3 grownups this year,
i did it up grown up style
mmmmmmmm. . .

Steinbeck's The Pearl, my favorite book of all time
"If this story is a parable, perhaps everyone take his own meaning from it and reads his own life into it."
This edition was printed in 1947

i am so looking forward to this. lucky me!

a red beauty. LOVE that wooden snowflake tag.

my stock replenished. comfort.

i've been wishing and waiting for this.
i think i may have surprised some folks with O Susannah today.

i'm going to put on some happy concert clothes,
stick the matching DVD in and rock and roll with Paul Mac.
anyone want to come along?
looks like a good date to me.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 18, 2009

someday we'll all have perfect wings

That's an itty bitty silver peace sign pinned over my heart today. I stuck it there in honor of an itty bitty baby girl that couldn't stay. Only 19 weeks gestation yet able to radiate peace, able to touch us in the deepest part of our heart, the part we keep sacred for souls like hers. I held her mama and her papa held both of us. He knew. It wasn't her turn. Not yet, not here. He told us.
He will stand vigil over her tonight as his Buddhist traditions give him strength to "send her off".
I give thanks for men that are strong enough to be oh so gentle.
Prayers for the mama
Prayers for the 3 year old sister
Prayers for a midwife that is supposed to know why.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

5 Gratefuls

1. The places I have been. . .
When hiking and the trail seems endless and difficult, it's good to pause and turn around, taking in all the places you've been that got you thus far.

2. Maggie Traore, my sister midwife in Burkina Faso. I'm remembering an evening when she was at my house and we cooked a Thanksgiving feast just for ourselves. She was an apprentice at my first primary birth as a student midwife and again assisted me at my first birth as a new midwife. We also shared sacred space and time at the Jordan River temple. Missin' you, Maggie.

3. The African Children's Choir. I saw them first in Kennewick and most recently in Salt Lake City. I'm remembering good times driving around with my little girls in a minivan singing along to their cassette tape, "Let There be Peace On Earth", and "From a Distance". . .

4. Christine Elisabeth, I love you pretty one. Wasn't NYC great! We're going beyond New York next time. Get ready.

5. The places I will go. I'm going to finish the hike. Not just Mt. Timp and Big Sur. More. I can't wait to take in the view from the top.

Monday, December 14, 2009

midwifing midwives

When Jodie Palmer took the helm as president of Midwives College of Utah, amazing things happened. Not only did she change the name, define the mission and take MCU to an international level, she breathed life into student midwives. I was nearing the end of my studies and Briana was a new student. Bri and I thank our lucky stars daily for the gift of lives touching and paths crossing at that point in our journey. I count having Jodie as a mentor in my life one of my greatest blessings. I consider my role as her midwife a sacred honor.

" May you walk in your life as a healer, clear and loving and strong
May you walk in your life as a woman, trusting the path you are on"
Briana, Jodie and me
December 13, 2009

"Circle 'round the planet
Circle for each soul
For the children of our children
Keep the circle whole."
Diane, Heather, Jodie, me, MCU president Kristi Ridd-Young, Bri
Celebrating Jodie at her home

"The errand of angels is given to women
and this is a gift that as sisters we claim
to do whatsoever is gentle and human
to cheer and to bless in humanity's name"
Jodie, Aunt Cindy, mother Mary Ann

As Jodie's birthing draws near, Bri and I look forward with great anticipation and humility to serving our beloved mentor. We have been taught to trust the path we are on.

Monday, December 7, 2009

in their 20's

"wear your ruby shoes, when you're far away, so you'll always stay home in your heart"

Lindsay Ann, Natalie Brynn, Christine Elisabeth, Alexandra Jade
December, 6, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lovely Lindsay

In 6 more hours she will be here! I can't wait!
A few years ago, the Stoyan three spent some time in this nest. Their housemates were plenty: a mom, a dad, 3 teen sisters, 1 itty bitty Pretzel, 2 dogs and 2 cats and we all slept upstairs!
Sometimes if we were paying attention, we noticed peace amidst the chaos.
That December was one of those gifts of peace in our lives.
Lindsay and I bundled up and escaped one day to 9th and 9th.
Peppermint hot chocolate, scarves and mittens, ribboned boxes from Children's Hour, snowflakes falling. . .we knew we were in the middle of magic that day. One night we set up a little art corner and created our "first annual" mama and her girl Christmas card project. Did we know what we were starting that night?

Last year we knew we had to make the "second annual" happen. Lindsay and her belly full of baby boy flew home. It was every bit as wonderful as we knew it would be. We added a crazy adventure to some antique stores that we'll never forget, bought some big brother a Holga camera after browsing the Holga gallery, fell in love with oatmeal brulee at Eggs in the City, as well as the pilgrimage to 9th and 9th and the Christmas card project. I feel a song in process here - "On the 3rd year of Christmas. . ." We will go to 9th and 9th with or without scarves and mittens (no snow yet!), and we have already begun gathering for the Christmas cards and yes, we will breakfast at Eggs in the City. We are adding The Beehive Bazaar, tonight, 9 to midnight, a Mama Gathering on Saturday morning and birthday dinner for Jade on Sunday. What else Sinny? Park Cafe, Gateway, Temple Square lights, Ikea, date night with Pres, at least a dozen possible favorite "comfort" dinners at home, movies on the green couch, hang out time with little sisters, time with Amy and ??, Santa pictures with Gavi and the best music always.

Your nest is ready baby girl. What a gift you are to me! I love that you know how to embrace the good part and savor it. Another chapter is bursting to be written. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Moon Song

Time go easy on me tonight. . .
Let the moon follow me home
Followed your road 'til the sky ran out. . .
Now the moon's gonna follow me home
Emmylou Harris

south jordan, front porch, 7:33 am

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"the chaos about thee. . ."

can't sleep. no, i didn't get up too early, just never went to bed. i hate when this happens. it's been me and 'jes, the phat black lab and some bad tv. my last season of nights like this was over 4 years ago. i got thru it by spending nights in my office on my perfect chair. it's all been redone. eclectic red treasures have been replaced, the chair moved upstairs, the space all cleansed and refreshed. however, i've noticed that no one hangs out in there anymore. it used to be a place for the weary to be recharged, including me. a place where i've held heavy hearts and poured mine out during some long nights. something is wrong. my office still smells so good, music stills plays, 'jes still curls up under my desk. is it the chair? i saw a beauty in santa barbara last month that i could order. did i break the spirit of my sacred space by scooting all the sweet memories out? other than my desk, this framed gem by lindsay is all that remains from my original space. i need my corner of the world back.
if you ever spent time in my old cozy office, please share your memory of what you felt there.
at this crazy hour of the nightday, i'm reminded of an old quote.
"the chaos about thee is but the confusion within thee"
it may all appear to be orderly. my vision of where i want to be is clear enough.
still there is something clogging the path. fog.
yes, i need my healing place.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"I'll love you more than anybody can"

The birth gods smiled upon me this week. Briana and I have 6 babies due before Christmas. My "big kids", Jeff and Lindsay couldn't come home for Thanksgiving so I decided to go to Washington. That's a huge break in tradition and it meant leaving the "babies", Nat, Steen and Jade behind. After some "checking in" with my moms and Bri, I decided it would be OK to leave town for 48 hours. It was worth every second! And, all's well with the mamas-in-waiting here!

With so little time to spend with these 6 grandbabies, every minute was precious. No lunch dates or shopping trips this trip. Just a lot of holding, snuggling and catching up.

I love you, Asher. 4 year olds rock! Thanks for playing the animal game with me.

I love you, Elias River. You are a beautiful baby. Thanks for letting me feed you cookies!

I love you, Lucas Jude! You jumped into my arms! Thanks for letting me sleep in your bed.

I love you, Gabriel. 10 years old! Thanks for letting me hold your cool lizard!

I love you, Gavin West. Has it almost been a year since the whirlwind flight to your house whe you were born? Thank you for remembering me.

I love you, Faith Astoria. Almost 8. Wow! Thanks for sponsoring the turkey coloring contest AND awarding my turkey 1st place!

You are beautiful babies! It fills my heart to watch you grow and shine. Yes, I'll love you more than anybody can.
Well, the phone just rang. It was Briana. We are on our way to help someone else's grandbaby be born. What a joyful life!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

making pure

sage bundled by midwife briana

patchouli candle from monterey

my hand

the boots that carry me

my spaces here

the places i'll go

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday, Love Day

I go to work on Thursdays. It's my favorite day of the week. Well, tied for first with Tuesday anyway. My midwife appointments are scheduled on this day. From the minute I wake, I am aware, anticipating, on and open to whatever lies ahead. I know that when I return to my bed on Thursday night my cup will have been filled, consumed and filled again many times as my day unfolds, unwinds. There is an added element of rockin'-groovin', lovin'-my-life going on this day. In about an hour Alisha Stamper will be here to shoot A Day in the Life of a Midwife. She will shadow me, no, she will BE with me as we sup together on the rich feast of prenatals, postpartums, bellies and babies.

In addition to the other prep thoughts that start my Thursdays, I had this one: What should I wear?? A truly prepared type would have had that all worked out. Not me. I did a mental run through of my clothes, the clean ones. Jeans, not today. Cords, not quite right. Brown linen with thin blue pin stripes, might not be classic enough for viewing in 20 years. Dress black, no way. Blush pink sweeties, find of the week from J.Crew, too wide leg for my favorite boots. OK, I'm going with the "my boyfriend's chinos" even though they are slightly chewed up, distressed. I like the color name; sycamore, and how they make me feel all happy, dance-y. Now for the shirt. My favorite white linen has a broken button, not missing, broken, same problem as missing. Next favorite, Sundance green plaid might be too busy even with a large format film camera, black and white. I chose a plain black tee. Not a J.Jill cotton/poly blend but an old all organic cotton from a treasured shopping day at Passports in downtown SeaTown. Perfect. Now for the socks, striped smartwools. No question. Ahh, my boots. From Santa Fe, Groundhog is the brand. I fill a bit sinful loving my boots so much. Michael Franti and Xavier are barefooters you know, no shoes. Nobody right, nobody wrong, I LOVE my shoes, these boots especially. Back to the subject, what about earrings? Um, that's a hard one. I'll decide when I brush my teeth.

Music for my day, a playlist called "self" that I made yesterday. I was all about myself yesterday. Not in a bad way, just grounding, giving thanks, purifying (more about that later) and making a plan on how this "self" could best fulfill the measure of her creation. Thanks Lindsay girl for the focus on Women Who Create. The playlist has Indigo girls, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Modest Mouse, Michael (I'm softening) and Xavier, lots of him. Find this one, Guku, and play it loud. Add some Yogi tea in a peace mug and the chi for this day is flowing. Fill me my mamas, I love you so much.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dreamy Gavin

Some things you just know. My first visit with Ali in February was one of those "knowing things". I knew she was a good mama. I knew their home was a peaceful haven. And Sebastian, I've known lots of dads like him; excellent providers, protectors of their family's space and happiest in the periphery during birth talk. I knew my heart was already filling with love for the Z family. I knew I had to be her midwife. It was hard not to cry as we heard the bitty babe's heart beat right there in her living room during that very first visit. Grandma was there too adding to the celebration of that moment of knowing. And so our story began. . .

My connection with Ali came easily, naturally. She shared so many things with me during our months of prenatal visits. I was open to learning about her faith and she was willing to teach me. Every visit I was treated to something delicious. Fresh berries from the market or over the top pie baked by Sebby; always something good. Soon to be big brother, Blake, became my good buddy. Without saying a word he went straight for the tools, every time. He measured mama and listened to his own heart beating as well as tiny brother's.

As Ali's belly grew, so did my love for our experiences. I looked forward to the solitude of my summer drives over Parley's Summit and what would greet me when I arrived in their Park City home.Ali's first pregnancy had gone well beyond the estimated due date. Her first labor was long too, very long. With that in mind, we didn't expect this baby to come on August 7. Nor did we expect a short labor. Still, the ultrasound suggested the baby boy was truly on target for an early August birthday and changes in Ali's body got our attention in late July. Maybe this would be a much different story. We got ready. The birth kit and pool were in place. Midwife Briana made some visits to their home and we waited. And waited. And waited some more. One afternoon, Ali and Sebastian came to my house for a prenatal. She was 42 weeks and 5 days. I had to acknowledge that even though I trusted this baby to know his birthday, in 2 more days I would be required to make some hard decisions about transferring her care. We talked a lot about many things. We talked about surrendering, about filling hearts with love so that the necessary oxytocin could start the dance. I know I expressed my admiration for them and my belief that this baby would be safely born soon.
Just as I was waking up the next morning, I got 3 phone calls, bing, bing, bing!
First it was Sebby. "I think Ali's in labor."
Next Ali. "This feels different. I think it could be it."
And then Grandma. "Ali's in labor, You better get up here!"
Ok, OK! As I was grabbing my keys and heading out the door, my phone rang again. Alright already. I'm coming!
This time it was Sebby, again and very calmly:
"Don't hurry. He's already here."
Just like that.
I was stunned. Jumped in my car and took off. All of a sudden my mind filled with a zillion questions and all of the immediate postpartum concerns. I called them back and instructed them to leave the cord alone and be prepared for Birth Stage 3, the placenta. I called Briana to give her a report and asked her to please follow me up the canyon.
When I arrived, I found Ali on her bed curled up around this beautiful baby boy.

There were some Stage 3 challenges still ahead and I was grateful that Briana walked through the door soon after me. I nodded to her and softly said,
"Set up the O2 and prepare the IV."
Ali sat right up and said,
"I do not need those things."
She was right. The placenta delivered, the bleeding stopped and all was well.
The short story, the very short story as it was told to me is this.
Soon after calling me, Ali felt that her baby was coming, quickly. There was no time to set up the birth pool and she so wanted a water birth. So they got in the hot tub on their back deck. The deck opens right on to the golf course. It was there under a blue morning sky with golfers passing by that Sebastian caught his baby boy. They calmly climbed out, walked to the bed and that's the story.
Did I say Sebastian likes to remain in the periphery of birth stuff? I was misled.
This was not how I pictured myself welcoming this baby boy. It was even better. He will always love the retelling of a beautiful, sunny morning when a special mama and a special daddy went outside to bring their baby home.

It's still hard not to cry when I remember this family, this summer of 2009 when I left a piece of my heart in Park City, Utah. I miss you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Warming up . . .

I have something big goin' on in this head right now. Gestating.
2009 has filled me with experiences, joy, sorrow, wisdom and most of all, vision.

To borrow from the Indigo Girls:
"Now I wait like a widow for someone to come back from sea,
I've always known, I was waiting for me"

From Jamie Glenn:
"Walk tall, you're a daughter, a child of God,
Be strong and remember who you are"

And from scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 90:24

"Search diligently, pray always and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good"

Streams of light are filling my vessel. I feel physically strong and healthy, mentally aware and ready, and spiritually attuned. There is good energy surrounding me, beautiful people and opportunities everywhere I turn.

I love when everything opens up and clarity washes over me. I have a lot to do. Lead my family, guide my birth clients, mentor MCU students, strengthen the Association of Utah Midwives, and a big planet to travel upon.

This month of gratitude is overflowing with blessings. Today's top 5 ~

1. Knowledge of a God in heaven that is aware of me, hears my prayers and holds me gently when I am feeling fragile.

2. Midwives and mamas. Both are wise and powerful. I get to midwife both; as president of Utah's state association and as a birth guide.

3. Jade. Today I am most grateful for Jade. She is brave. She is pretty. She is intuitive. She is mine.

4. My daddy. He speaks to me through sunsets. This first man I ever loved, ahh, I miss him terribly. He taught me to slow down, savor, love deeply, be good to myself, believe in dreams and to never, ever buy cheap shoes!

5. Gina's man, Myles. How can you not love a man that calls you on the phone and says "Is that you KitCat?", folds your laundry and and laughs hard at the ridiculous things that come out of your mouth?

Good things are happening. I'm looking forward. Mmmmmmmm. . .

KitCat, Friday the 13th, 2009, on my way to rock the midwives

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Sailin' on here. . .

I'm getting ready to post birth stories and rebirth my blog. Hopefully tonight if my blog advisor is available. I shut it down to catch my breath and refocus for a minute. My apologies to those of you that couldn't access birthrightly and were confused. I've had a few distressed phone calls. So sorry.
Anyway, for your pleasure while we wait. . .let me introduce you to the new man in my life, Xavier Rudd. Move over Michael. It feels like you are selling out and that scares me. That TapTapTap game and going on tour as John Mayer's opener, not feeling so good right now.

Still, I wish there were something you would do or say,
To try and make me change my mind and stay

(Still got Mary Travers on my mind)

Make some tea, light a yummy candle and maximize the screen. Cozy on up and indulge yourself with the whole 6 minutes and 14 seconds of this asset to the planet.
Everything's gonna be alright. . .
Everything's gonna be alright.
No woman no cry.
All my love,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Deep sorrow

I just got the word that Mary Travers is gone, left this world yesterday. I loved her. As I have been sitting here, listening to her beautiful voice, I am realizing how much of an impact this woman has had on me. My very first concert experience was at Selland Arena in Fresno, CA. Me, Gina and my dad. He made us dress up. This 8th grade girl in a very cool red velvet mini-dress couldn't believe her eyes or ears when Peter, Paul and Mary took the stage. Her straight blond hair, her moves, her voice and the intensity of her soul. I had just read Joan Baez's autobiography, Daybreak. The seeds of pacifism were freshly planted in my idealist heart. My spirit felt connection to these singer song-writers and shouted out with them:
"How many deaths will it take 'til they know?"
from Blowin' in the Wind
"When will they ever learn?"
from Where Have all the Flowers Gone
When my family packed it up and moved to Idaho a few years later, the Ford Galaxy became my Jet Plane and through tears I sang with her,
"don't know when I'll be back again, oh babe, I hate to go."
The lyrics from Don't Think Twice, It's Allright
"still I wish there were something you would do or say. . ."
and the way she looked when she sang them. . . well I tried to sing it just like that when my teenage heart was broken.
My season as a preschool teacher could not have been without PP&M. We loved being swallowed by a Boa Constrictor, Goin to the Zoo and
"star light, star bright,
first star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
have the wish I wish tonight."
The Garden Song was our anthem and we sang it for Sparkle Center Graduation. Elder Rosenburg lent his guitar, someone's Aunt Libby played the piano and Rebecca Brooks led the little voices. I watched from the side, overcome as my dream came true; Mary's voice and passion coming at me on my back yard deck through these little ones.
"So plant your rows, straight and long
temper them with prayer and song"
Then my dream really came true. I got to take my child to her first concert; Peter, Paul and Mary at the Spokane Opera House. Me and Lindsay. I think I made her dress up. My soul again rose up and we sang out, a Capella, tears streaming
"Oh oh, deep in my heart
I do believe we shall
overcome some day"
Every child of mine and every child of theirs has had a moment on my lap in the old rocking chair with Puff the Magic Dragon. And yes I cry a little, every time, when we get to
"a dragon lives forever
but not so little girls and little boys"
Mary, you held my hand as I bridged into adolescence, as I loved, lost and loved again; you helped me raise my babies and helped me let them go. You were in my car, full blast as I pledged my love to Presley on her first day of daycare. We sang, my voice faltered
"I'll walk in the rain by your side,
I'll cling to the warmth of your tiny hand,
I'll do anything to help you understand
I'll love you more than anybody can."
I live in song. There's a lyrical answer for everything. I know now it all started with that swishy blond lady. Her songs are my life's soundtrack. Like Puff, she will live forever.
"I've got a song let me sing it for you,
let me say it now while the meaning is true.
Wouldn't it be good if we could sing it together?

Monday, September 7, 2009

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It's birthday week for me and Steen. We already treated ourselves to a little birthday appetizer, a whirlwind trip to New York City. We knew our time was limited. There was no time for sleep, no time for makeup, no time for eating (except on the run). And run we did - subway stairs, the streets of SoHo and the four flights up to our Central Park hostel. We took our rest on a ferry trip to Staten Island, planned for that reason - to rest. We planned on sleeping on the 5 hour flight home but it was not to be. The plane was full and we weren't seated together. We both had middle seats, not so good for sleeping. I did have the joy of seeing the full moon from the window. I'm sure the guy with the window seat found me annoying but I couldn't help it. I soared with the moon until it was no longer visible. Beyond amazing.

This postcard is compliments of Lindsay the Lovely. Steen and I weren't even on the homeward bound jet plane when she sent this iPhoto souvenir to us. Sweeet!

If our appetizer is any indication of what our birthday main course will be . . .whooaa, hold on. It's gonna rock! Thanks to my mama for giving me life and thanks to my baby Steen for coming to me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

MANA stats

You know those MANA statistic consent forms you pregnant ladies sign when we first start care? Well, I have you to thank for this huge pile of work in front of me. I've had all year to get this done. Now the deadline is dangerously near. I've been waiting until the precise moment when procrastination adreneline kicks in to help me out. That was exactly 15 minutes ago. I now have 47 hours and 45 minutes until the great state of Utah comes knocking on my door. It's not your fault that the pile is huge. There are some practical, organized midwives out there that complete the 6 page finely printed form for each mama immediately after the birth and submit the data at the suggested 6 week postpartum mark. I am not in their club. There is a club for me however. The keyboards of many good women will be smokin' into the wee hours on Sunday night.
The Statistics Project of the Midwives Alliance of North America is a very good thing. Even if the state did not require these stats annually, I would still participate. The Project documents the value of the midwifery model of care. It also provides proof postive that homebirth is safe.
I do seriously thank you all for permission to collect and use your valuable information for this purpose. It's a great way to do your part on behalf of homebirth midwives and the families they serve.
If anybody out there feels like coming over to share tea and chocolate, come on. For now this is my babysitter!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

He is born!

"My Summer of Baby Love" is officially over! The Dreamy Baby Boy is here. I have two beautiful birth stories to share. Stay tuned. So many of you have listened, read, called and supported me this summer; I just wanted you to know that he is here!

Thanks to Heavenly Father, the birth gods, a nameless Christian Science practitioner and a mom and a dad that trusted the whole design.

Thank you, Briana, for following me up the mountain this morning. Our trips to Park City have been the essence of this summer. Pretty, peaceful, soulful reminders of why we signed up for this work in the first place.

This midwife is gonna enjoy a private little meltdown now. Here's my set-up.

First, light my favorite Mexican Chocolate candle. Pacifica brand if you're interested.

Next, some Meditative tea in my only for special occasions mug. Yogi Teas is the brand. The little fortune on the tea string says "Delight the world with kindness, grace and compassion." I can do that.

I'm gonna let Pandora guide my music today. On the Bose dock. CSN&Y station. Well, look at that. S&G singing 59th Street Bridge Song, Feeling Groovy. Such a great album, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Breathe deep

Drink up

Life I love you. All is groooovy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dreamier. . .

drivers, chippers, putters

PING! That's me, teeing off. I played golf. I know. Hard to picture it. So NOT my thing. Here's how it happened. A few weeks ago I went to the driving range with Chuck; a nice wife thing to do. Just watching is boring so I rented a driver for myself. It was thrashed, the handle grip all chewed up. Chuck shared his bucket with me and I swung away. I noticed that he stopped to watch me. With a curious smile he said, "You're really good." I looked up and said, "Yeah? Well I guess you didn't know me back in my day. I'm a grand slammer." He seemed a little wistful when he said, "No, I didn't know you then."

So when I had to cancel a promised camping trip for the second summer in a row, I had this bright idea: Agree to play golf with him. He was thrilled. I was a little nervous getting ready. I don't exactly own a golf suit. And what kind of earrings are golf appropriate I asked.

When checking in, I noticed a jar of metallic golf balls. "And throw this in," I said as I grabbed a pink one. We were off. I'm seriously good. I even got a little rush when I teed off and heard that ping noise and the ball sailed. Chuck said things like, "awesome" and "wow, that really got air." At the last hole he said I should probably use the pink ball (I'd been saving it!). I stood waiting at the tee for some old, slow guys that were ahead of us on the putting green. Here's how the highlight went.

Chuck: Go ahead.
Me: No. I don't want to hit one of those old dudes in the head.
Chuck: It will be OK. We're far away.
Me: No. It might be my lucky shot.
Chuck: I want to see your lucky shot. Come on.
So I swung away. PIIIIIING!!!!!!!!! Pinkie sailed on to the green then rolled off just a little. We were stunned.
Me: Uh-oh.
Chuck (more than a little surprised): I don't think they even noticed.

Me and golf. Who would have thought?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

For Gina

Maximize the screen, turn up the volume. Practice the chorus; it's gonna be our theme song. You can be Emily, I'll be Amy Ray. I think I even have some pinstripe pants and will throw my very old Doc Marten boots in the trunk. Maybe Lin can make us a countdown 'til the adventure calendar.
53 more days

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Very Own Little Jackie Paper

Following a night and day at a birthing (stay tuned for a story; I'm still processing the beauty of it all), I came home, basking in yet another birth hangover. I made myself a cozy nest on the couch to savor the afterglow. Thinking about all of the amazing things that I had experienced in the past 24 hours, beginning with my crescent moon and sparkling Venus, well, I was seriously blown away. . . Baby Jack found his way to my nest. He shared the bliss of the babymoon with me. Somewhere during my singing to him, Puff the Magic Dragon, we crashed.

Puff, the magic dragon LIVES, present tense, by the sea. . . Peter Yarrow told us that himself! Remember that, Sinny?

fm db

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

moon and venus

I wanted to call everyone I know at 6 am to witness this incredible moonset/sunrise.  

Monday, August 17, 2009

My 5 Gratefuls List on this peaceful Monday

1. Waking at sunrise to a feeling that autumn is close. No one home but me, Jes and Bella so I turned up the Stones really loud, "Miss You".

2. My favorite white linen Sundance shirt was clean. I'm extra happy when I wear it.

3. Three 6 week postpartum visits, three bittersweet good-byes to families that I love so much. Thanks for the hugs, cookies and promises to make another baby for me!

4.  My last visit of the day, The Michaelson's. It was late, I was tired and traffic construction was bad.  I was met at the door by a little boy who said, "You're just in time for Family Home Evening." And so I was fed, my cup was filled. Five little blond, jammies on kids, mom, dad, grandma and Cody the Cool Dog, singing, learning, loving.  AND, after weeks and weeks of never looking at me, baby girl ran to me and let me hold and snuggle. Then baby boy came over.  They are both my babies and soon will share their newborn baby sister with me.

5. Arriving home at sundown, dinner waiting and this peaceful office to sit in and savor all things good that filled my day. Can you smell the sweet Mexican Chocolate candle layered over patchouli? Can you hear Augustana "I Still Ain't Over You"? 

The show is about to begin . . . I know when the stars are aligned you can

Monday, August 10, 2009

a boy and a girl

I don't wanna write a love song for the world
I just wanna write a song about a boy and a girl. . .
One more baby boy and one more baby girl will soon be born. That will be the end of my summer of love. The families are doing their best to stay busy, to stay patient. These little ones know when their birthdays are and so we wait. I wonder what it's like for them, for those that they are leaving for this great big earth adventure. I'm sure it's a time of tender preparation, making sure they have all of the gifts they are supposed to be bringing. Maybe it's a little scary as well as really exciting. I hope they know that two earthly families can hardly wait to meet them, love them and help them discover the gifts they have to share.
My birth bags are packed, the car is loaded. My hands and my heart are ready to welcome
a dreamy little boy and a lovely little girl. I can hardly wait to experience the joy their spirits will bring.
get ready. . .get set. . .

Saturday, August 8, 2009

She is born!

saturday morning
from the midwife's sunroof
"for each child that's born
a morning star rises
and sings to the universe
who we are"
sweet honey in the rock

It didn't feel like a day and a night. The time peacefully passed. At 5:00 this morning, three of the cutest little boys ever, got a sister. Mom and Dad discovered it together at the same time. "We have a girl!" Mom held her close. Dad was beaming. This was a homebirth that couldn't have happened without the intuition of the mom and the dad. At 20 weeks an ultrasound indicated placenta previa. There was only one option for the midwife. Risk them out unless further ultrasounds and maternal-fetal specialists agreed that we were safe. They knew it would be OK but went along with my requests. A month ago we got the "all's well" that we needed. I am so happy that this little princess was safely born in her parent's bed at the quiet of daybreak. Blessings of gratitude for the peaceful spirit that reassured me that we were in the right place.

Good Morning Baby Girl

Thursday, August 6, 2009

midwife's moon

to hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
and Eternity in an hour

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Great swirls of light

Not in entire forgetfulness
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.
I've been tethered to home since mid-May. This is unusual for me. I thrive on adventures; spontaneous trips to anywhere. There's only one thing that can keep me in the county, especially during the summer - due dates or in midwife-speak, EDBs. Estimated Date of Birth is just that, an estimation. For each mom there is a 5 week range of normal. There is no way of knowing when you can escape for a few days or not. Summer "on call" has been my lifestyle and it's not over yet.
I remember when this stretch started. I took a quick trip to Washington in early May. When I got home, Chuck and I discussed summer plans. I took a deep breath and reminded him that I had to stay close to home, within cell phone range for the next 4 months.
"Can we go to Pasco for Memorial Day?" he asked. NO.
"Can we go somewhere for the 4th of July?" NO.
"Can you go to Seattle with me in mid-July?" NO.
"Can we go camping?" NO.
Although midwife life has it's challenges, being married to a midwife is far worse. I get to witness the joy of mamas, papas, babies and families being born. There are times when I am aware of angels hovering near sending off a new life and angels hovering near to help receive that fresh spirit. There is sacred stillness in every birth space, whether it is during the middle of the night or during the middle of the day. This sweet baby boy was born in a house on a hot afternoon in the middle of the busy city. I wonder if the folks walking by could see the great swirls of light that surely surrounded us. Present in the small living room where he was born were his parents, his big brother, yet a toddler, his grandmother, his 3 aunts and 2 midwives. It was an honor to be a part of that circle and everyone present expressed over and over how peaceful yet powerful this birth experience was.
There was a small sliver of time right after this baby was born before he took his first earthly breath. It was like time standing still, like I was holding heaven for just an instant. His eyes were open as if he were communicating, "I have so much to tell you. Help me let go."
I call it "tween" time. It's beyond magical when it happens. Soon the baby sputtered, gasped, shifted his gaze to his mama and started to cry. It's a blessing to witness every time, new life and the hope that each life brings to this planet. I know that and give thanks every time.
At this birth there was something extra. I'm not sure I can describe it. It's as if every part of me was finely tuned in to the miracle. My senses were sharp, my mind was clear and the day was perfect; filled with an abundance of love and peace. I was open to the rich lessons this birth had to teach me about life, my work and the relationships I cherish.
Just hours old, as I did the newborn exam, this little one really connected with me. It was a spirit to spirit thing. A few days later when I visited, I held his head in my hands and he gazed into my eyes. It was an intensely spirit filled connection, again, and I wanted to cry.
I looked forward to my postpartum visit today. Once again, he filled me with an amazing affirmation that heaven is real and still lingering close around him.
I would not trade my summer experiences thus far for any adventure to anywhere. I've witnessed the trailing clouds that these babes bring.
I love my calling. I am blessed. Thank you baby boy for trusting me with your secrets.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Uncle Michael

Gavin and Michael Gallivan Center April 2009
Michael Franti is sick! Really sick, at Cedar-Sinai Hospital. His appendix burst and his belly was full of infection by the time he got to surgery. He had a set back today, infection at the incision site. C'mon, Mike, your music is the sound of sunshine. From all of the Larson's, big and small:
We Got Love For You! Please get well soon! See ya at PTTP!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

For my ol' man

We are right smack in the middle of the vast and amazing.