The Longest Short Walk Home Ever

“Let’s go for a walk,” I said to my freshly awoken daughter.
“Okay,” her boots slipped on over the jeans she slept in.
The door opened quietly, closed quietly… one long finger held over my lips… “shhhhhhh…”

The morning was OURS. The singing birds, the cloudless sky.

“Reach your hands over your head, stretch! Take a big breath in and FILL your body with all this fresh air!”
Our shadows danced next to each other. She giggled. I breathed in ALL in.
It was magic.

*Screen slam*
He’s barefoot, rubbing his eyes.
“What are you guys doing?”
Going for a walk with one child is enriching and refreshing. Going with two?
But at this point, do I have an option? I could send him back inside where he’ll cry and wake the baby up and be scarred for the rest of his life and only dredge March 25th, 2014 up twenty years from now when his therapist puts down his pencil and asks, “Now. Don’t you think it’s time we addressed your Middle Child issues?”

I resign.
“Get your boots on, buddy!”
“Don’t leave me.”
“I won’t, but I DO have to go to work… so… hurry.”
“But you’ll leave me.”
“But I don’t -”
“Buddy. Choose. I only have a few minutes, so I DO have to start walking. If you’re going to come, hurry and get your boots on.”
“Don’t leave -”
“I won’t leave.”
“But I don’t have time for socks.”
“Okay, that’s fine. I’m going to start walking, and you can make your own choice. You’re welcome to come if you want. Or stay with Daddy.”
“I don’t want to stay with Daddy!”

I realize socks matter. I do. But he never seems to care about socks until there’s really no time for socks. I imagine our house burning down and Trenton tugging on my robe, “Um, I need socks…”
The kid isn’t exactly known for consistently wearing undergarments of ANY kind, unless he’s wearing them on his head.

“Your choice, buddy,” I say and start walking.
The screen opens, slams.
The screen opens again after a few seconds, slams. The boy comes running down the driveway in his boots.
“I will ride my BIKE!”
“This morning, we are walking,” I say, unwilling to start the argument of “if he gets a bike, why can’t I get a bike?” and “my legs are tired of pedaling” and “my bike is stuck” and “GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!”
“But I want to ride.”
“You don’t have to walk this morning, you can stay and help Daddy make breakfast.”
Tears. Shoulders slumping.
Tick tock, tick tock.
“I don’t want to STAY.”
“Awesome, then let’s go!”
“I want to ride!”
“We are walking. You can make a choice.”

Trenton hates it when I say that.
Within 49 seconds, he’s stopped crying and is full on running, gleefully.

We reach the stop sign (a quarter of a mile -maybe -from our house). I start making my way around, Lacy takes a different way. I try calling out to her. Trenton falls into the gravel and screams.

The magic oxygen I inhaled on my lawn has been completely usurped in my efforts to simply endure.

But then she slows down.
Hands in pockets, sighing.
“Come on, Lacy!” I cheerfully coax her, “Let’s get some oxygen in our lungs! Breathe in and fill them up like a balloon! Swing your arms! Let them feel the oxygen too!”
She deliberately stiffens them next to her side.
“Let your arms swing,” I show my daughter by example how good it feels to let loose.
“Mom, no.”
“Trent, don’t run. You’ll fall again.”
“Can I take a short cut through the short cut?” Trenton asks -wanting to know if he can plow through two of our neighbor’s personal driveways on his way back to our own.
“No,” I said, “We just have to make it home. I have work. Lacy! Come on!”
“Can I just swing ONE arm and use the other to hold my pants up?”

And in one swift questions, she summed up my entire life.
One arm swinging, the other holding my dignity together.

Later in the evening, I try to do yoga.

Better to have tried and pulled your hair twice than to have remained on facebook.

Trigger Pull…. *BAM*

I believe so many things about myself that just aren’t true. Not even a little bit true.

You’re a failure.
You’ll never be enough.
You’re unattractive.
You’re too much… too loud, too vocal, too animated, too MUCH.

Only recently did this gigantic “ah, HA” world open up to me where my character traits I believed were flaws were actually GIFTS.


I talk too much? No. I don’t. I just really, really don’t.
Try: I talk openly and freely. I’m expressive and talkative and colorful. It’s the way I was made and created, and for over 20 years, I’ve been solidly SQUASHING it because it seemed so demmed unattractive.

I’m playing a new game now -new field, new realm, new ball game.

As I’m cleansing my my life of my false beliefs, I’m finding I have to avoid certain places and situations that trigger them. Of course, I learned this by finding myself plopped IN those situations and thoroughly hating every fiber of my being.

I’m a very hands on learner.
Just ask my battle-worn sewing machine.

So here’s the deal: I can’t do cardio workouts right now. Every time Jillian Michaels pops up on my screen, I’m suddenly unattractive and riddled with shame.
I used to RUN toward that, thinking I needed to rid myself of my unattractive-ness!
When really? REALLY. I just needed to rid myself of Jillian Michaels for right now -until I’ve accepted myself fully as I am, until I’ve learned that I AM attractive and can embrace what I see in the mirror at any given time of day: first thing in the morning, freshly out of the shower, and right before bed when the day’s cookie count has accumulated in my bloated abdomen.

Shame for me is found in so many places.
I see Jillian Michaels… the trigger is pulled, and BAM: a false belief runs the gamut of my mind.
You’re too soft.
You don’t have it together.

I see a clean house run by someone who cleans their house religiously.
You’re not enough.
You’ve failed.

I see someone going through hard things who is all steel and granite.
You’re weak, you’re so SO weak.
You’re less than.

The blank unholy truth of it all is that I have this crazy belief that the way other people live somehow has something to do with ME.
And it doesn’t. It doesn’t AT ALL.

They can clean their house, and I can NOT and we can live and love each other without me believing that I am somehow the world’s worst and fullest failure of a creation that ever poisoned the carpet she dared to rent.
(PS: most of that is the kids’ fault… okay?)

I can own my beautiful MUCHNESS: my loudness, my animation, my crazy love for anything free and wild… this weird existence between country western and liberal gypsy (go ahead, ask me how long it’s been since I shaved my legs).

And I will say this: I do stuff really well. For everything I DON’T do well, I DO DO other stuff well (like make 11 year old boys laugh by saying “DO DO”).

There are wonderful people who have taken this journey before, who will read my words and think, ‘duh, Alicia.’ and that’s okay. Right now I’m in a cleansing place of learning to accept myself in spite of how others live, in spite of the mountain of “shoulds” I’ve built in my 28 years, in spite of my default setting that tells me life is somehow all about me.

In truth, life is a gigantic, majestic, embracing work of art full of variation and life and color. And I am a piece.
A good piece.
A MUCH piece.
A necessary piece.

And for that, I will stop apologizing for who I inherently am. I will apologize for things I do that are offensive and awful, but
“sorry I talk too much” is no longer on the menu, along with “sorry my house is a mess.”

Cleaning. It’s just not something I GET. I have to work REALLY hard at understanding the mechanics of organization and cleaning. Right now, during my cleanse, I just can’t do that.
Yesterday, I asked my kids to run and clean their room while I picked up the living room. Minutes later, my daughter came out of her room… where she had been CLEANING, remember … with THIS

My daughters have inherited my MUCHness, and now is the time to start loving that part of me so I can fully love and instill self-love and full self-acceptance in them.
Because the scene of my two favorite females emerging from a work environment wearing hard evidence that they’d actually been PLAYING was awesome and hilarious and (let’s face it) admirable.

I found this image through Glennon… Momastery Glennon… and it fits today.

I'm often asked about my parenting "strategies" and I usually just say -"forgive yourself for being yourself." But I saw this picture today and it reminded me that another parenting strategy of mine is to gently swerve out of the way sometimes so beautiful things can grow.


About it, she says:

I’m often asked about my parenting “strategies” and I usually just say -“forgive yourself for being yourself.” But I saw this picture today and it reminded me that another parenting strategy of mine is to gently swerve out of the way sometimes so beautiful things can grow.

And I issue that same invitation to myself… to get out of my own way and let myself swerve out of the white lines I’ve painted in my restricted and colorless Mountain of Shoulds.


So this morning, I left pretty early for a quick medical test in a town 45 minutes away. I took my eldest with me and left everyone else in the dust.

Because they were sleeping.
But apparently, my starting up the car and backing out of the drive woke my 5 year old son up, and he naturally assumed that his ENTIRE FAMILY had abandoned him.

He did what any boy in his situation would do, which is run next door and tell “Super Grandma” (we have a lot of Grandmas around here) that his family left him alone.

She did what any loving neighbor in her situation would do, which is come next door and see the mess of my weekend and discover that my husband was sleeping soundly under his favorite thick comforter while his son was PJ-clad and gallivanting around the neighborhood.

We’re going to make her card.
I’m not sure if it should be full of apologies or gratitude. We’ll probably go with both and cover all of our bases.

This month has kind of been like that, you know?

A few weeks ago, we were driving to the store and my husband asked what I was thinking about.

I don’t know WHY he does that. It’s always mildly frightening, and he has to mentally go through this whole PROCESS of deciding to accept me anyway -in spite of my inner most thoughts.

“I was just thinking about how I hope I have a tumor growing on my brain so there would be a natural explanation for my utter lack of physical grace. Walking across a room and moving around is sometimes such a chore because I stumble and bump around. Is ‘bramble’ a word?”

Awkward is though.

Awkward has sort of been the theme of this month. It’s just been… off in ways that are head slappy and sighy and “of COURSE”y.

But the days are getting longer, and the Arizona heat is flirting with me. So I don’t much mind the awkwardness.
To be honest, I’m getting kind of fond of it. It feels familiar.
Which is probably hard evidence that there’s no tumor on my brain. I’m just naturally brambley.

Soul Feast

My soul needs nourishing.

Sometimes, my soul needs more nourishing than it does at other times. Lately, I’ve needed a steady stream of nutrition directed RIGHT at my soul’s epicenter.

I wanted to share a little sample of my Soul Feast with you today. Is that okay?
I have so many things to blog about, but my time is very precious. What very little down time I do have these days is spent lying on the trampoline soaking up sun with my boy.
“Do you feel the Vitamin D, Trent?” I ask with my eyes clothes and limbs stretched out on the warm, black canvas.
“No,” he sighs, “I just feel da heat.”
“That’s the Vitamin D!” I say.
“Oh. I wanna feel da Vitamin D wiff my toes,” he says and peels his socks off.

That’s what I want to do with my downtime. I want to plug into the present and let the early spring sunshine have it’s way with my skin.

That is soul food.

Every once in a while, I push play on this video and let my soul digest slowly.

And quotes. I’m big on quotes. Quotes are like fulfilling Soul Snacks. Unless they’re about someone else making you happy and passed around the internet by preteens. Then they’re sorta maddening.

I found that gem on Facebook, and I absolutely love it.

Here’s another great video I push play on every once in a while… just for good measure:

It keeps me from “at least”ing others… AND myself.

My sister recently introduced me to Yoga with Adriene, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s come into my life right when I’ve needed it.

She has a slew of videos, and I’m loving diving into them.

Yoga is the one excercise that finds it’s way to my soul through my body, and I’ve found this detox tea from Camp Wander to work the same way.
I leave out the Apple Cider Vinegar because I don’t have any.
And also because I’m not brave enough to buy any yet.

Everyday! Morning Detox Tea

But my morning routine goes something like this:
Oil Pull as I read scriptures (instead of facebook -staying true to one of my new Dailies)
Wake my daughter up for school
Do Yoga
Drink my Detox tea while I listen to DeBussy

Make breakfast
Get Ready
Go to Work

Except I don’t always fit ALL of that into a morning. But when I do, the rest of the day feels it.
Heck, if I can even get THREE of those into one morning, the rest of the day feels it.

I know there’s more goodness out there, and I know there’s a huge amount of Soul Food just waiting to be discovered, but I’m simply handing you my present soul food.
Bon Appetit!