Tag Archives: extra ordinary

BlogHer12: Bright sites, big city

When you are completely spent and sated at the same time and can’t put a coherent thought together, you might as well use bullet points.

  • BlogHer12 was my favorite yet (also in the ring were BlogHer08 and BlogHer10). I focused not on the parties or the swag or the $$ contacts or even the host city (it was freaking New York!), but on the sessions and on my friends, silver and gold ( Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.) I spent time — daytime, evening and wee hours — with Melissa, Kathy, Justine, Pomegranate, Kir, Meg (Kathy’s lovely sister), Kristin, Nicole, Emily…and drank of our time thirstily as though it would have to last through a 11.9-month drought. Sucked the marrow out of our time together, as Mel says.
  • I owe my husband a huge thank you. He managed to entertain our children while I gallivanted. And he showed up with them for a portion of my session. Having both my loves and lives  — my IRL and my URL (stealing this from Esperanza) in the same space was mind-blowing.

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Perfect Moment Monday: On the piano bench

Tessa has taught herself  Heart and Soul on the piano, and we’ll often play it as a duet (“often” as in a bazillion times a day).

The other night she asked me to play her a different song, so I pulled out my sheet music from Edvard Grieg’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, which I labored over while I was in high school — the peak of my piano talent.

In moments like this, I am reminded how much I used to love the world of arpeggios and key signatures and smallish busts of old composers with weird hair. Music — piano and flute — was so important to my sense of self when I was Tessa’s age.

Let’s say there have been a few years of skill atrophy. This is how Wedding Day is supposed to sound. I did a respectable job playing it for Tessa, but I have been capable of so much more.

No matter. The song lasts longer than Tessa’s usual attention span, and she surprises me by not stopping to move onto something else. When we get to a particularly difficult part — the page filled with flyspecks (as Roger says of written music) and the sounds you hear at 1:30 — Tessa looks up at me with pure admiration and love in her eyes, as if I am Edvard Grieg himself, reincarnated as her mom.

Seeing myself through her wondrous eyes was pitch perfect.

Music can change the world because it can change people. — Bono

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the 4th Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. The next Perfect Moment Monday event will be on March 26.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow Write Mind Open Heart.
  2. Between the Sunday night before and the Sunday night after, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.Perfect Moment MondayWhat Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.

Perfect Moment Monday: Happy happy joy joy

(ALI Alert: baby mentioned. Do not read if you are in a tender place.)

One week ago…

Sheri (my middle sister) and I are at a morning yoga class. She’s been living in Pennsylvania this year and it’s a real treat to spend time with just her, doing one of the things we really love to do.

Toward the end of the class we are on our backs, twisting our spines by windshield-wiping our knees first one way and then the other. Sheri is on my right and I am looking left with my arms outstretched. I feel her hand wrap into mine and I do not look over at her. It is a simple moment of sheer love, of pure presence, and I well up with love (as I tend to do).

We turn our knees to the other side and I turn my neck accordingly, now looking at her. She has remained facing me. We look into each other’s eyes and in that expansive moment our entire common childhood experiences fit. We smile at each other and a tear rolls down my temple, into my hair, toward my mat.

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We go our separate ways for the rest of the day, each of us with a mile-long ToDo list.

We reconvene in the evening at a hotel in the opposite part of our city. Why? Because our third sister, 39-week-6-day pregnant Tami, is about to check into a hospital across the street, and she’s been staying at this hotel so the snowstorm we just had wouldn’t impede her birth plan.

By 10:30 pm, Sheri and I leave my kids in the care of my parents in the hotel and head over to the hospital to be with Tami and Gino. We joke around for several hours through her “surges,” as the hospital brochure calls them. Eventually, though, the surges become full-on contractions, about 3 minutes apart.

Sheri, having given birth to three boys via two pregnancies, serves as Tami’s doula for the next several hours. She is masterful at keeping Tami present — breathing with her through each contraction, keeping her in her body and in the moment — and encouraging her to rest in the brief intervals between contractions. I am amazed at both my sisters’ ability to keep going, wave after wave of contractions, Tami doing the laboring and Sheri keeping us focused. Sheri is doing her doula thing on one side of Tami and I am on the other performing energy work on her and sounding the breath with her — my ways of moving energy.

After about 90 minutes I find Sheri’s voice so soothing I retreat to the pullout chair, certain that I’m of no use anyway, having never given birth.

Tami makes it until 4:30 am before requesting an epidural. Sheri and I are asked to leave the room for the procedure, and welcome to come back shortly for the Main Event.

We step out at 4:40 am to a remote waiting room. We text updates to our mom and our husbands. We debrief our experience thus far with each other, we talk about how lucky we are because we are about to see a baby be born, we watch bad dead-of-the-night TV, we look at our watches.

At 5:05 Gino tells us we’ll be able to re-enter soon. Finally, at 5:15, he texts us to come on in. We stride down the long hall, eager for the high point of this long haul and to witness the minting of a brand new human being.

But we don’t see what we expect to see, which is Tami, less uncomfortable than before the eipdural, in the last stages of labor.

Instead we see a radiant Tami sitting up in her bed holding a bundle that looks suspiciously like a baby.

My I-want-to-be-born-NOW niece had crowned just as the anethesiologist was poised to insert his spinal catheter. He was rapidly replaced by the OB-on-call, who caught the baby at the head end of the bed because Tami had fallen over to the foot of it as the baby crowned.

So even though we missed the Main Event, we got to meet Eleana Grace when she was younger than a half-hour old. She looks ready to take on the world, doesn’t she?

Soon my Tessa and Tami’s Dominic, Eleana’s gentle big brother, arrived from the hotel with Grandma. It was pure joy to watch the two kids (and my mom, who cried. Guess we know where I get the upwelling thing) welcome their new sister/cousin/granddaughter to our clan. I wondered if Tessa and Dominic thought about all the happiness that their births brought us, as well.

What an abundance of perfect moments! Though I already posted for December’s Perfect Moment Monday, I did want to document and share these newly minted moments of exquisite perfection.

Happy happy joy joy, indeed. My cup runneth over, and I am grateful.

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the 4th Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to joinThe next Perfect Moment Monday event will be on January 23.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow Write Mind Open Heart.
  2. Between the Sunday night before and the Sunday night after, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.Perfect Moment MondayWhat Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.