Ode To My Family

At the core of this tender life is family. Mine started out with my mom Mary Mike, dad Craig and I. Then came along my fantastic younger brother Steve. For a long time it was just the four of us and I had an idyllic upbringing. Of course we had our issues, as any family, but for the most part we got along and appreciated the best in each other.

                                      Mom and I making baby quilts

                                      My Lovely Mother

                                               Dad Walking Me Down The Aisle

My parents have been together for 35+ years and have been married for at least 30 of those years. They are still together today, for better or worse. As a child they provided us with dance lessons, music lessons, sports, a commitment to academics, family dinners, gardening, cooking, art, summer camps and all sorts of travel around the world. It was pretty wonderful. Their commitment to our family has inspired my husband and I to continue my own family here in Idaho.

My brother and I got along better than most. The extent of our sibling arguments have come to be known as “gatorade fights”, they were few and far between. More often than not we played school, hide and seek with neighbors, danced, or wrestled on a futon in the living room. We were best of friends.

                                               My Sweet Brother

When I was nearly 20, I met the man that became my husband Luke. We were in college and had no idea that eight years later we would be married and in a decade we would be expecting a child together. Before we started dating, it was my criteria that the next person I had a relationship with would have a good relationship with their own family. Lucky for Luke, he comes from a wonderful family, lead by a strong, funny and beautiful woman that is now my mother in law. He also has two amazing sisters who are busy following dreams and being awesome people, in general. I couldn’t ask for a better extended family then the one Luke has brought into my life.

                                      Mama Bear Alton

                                      Beautiful Sisters In Law

In the last decade I have seen Luke go from goofy college kid to dedicated partner and most recently expectant father. Just the other day he pledged his commitment to providing for our family so that I can stay home and be a mom and that we may continue to be successful in all we do. What pregnant woman wouldn’t want to hear that? I’m pretty convinced that together he and I can accomplish anything we set out to do. We have watched each other grow and change and have continued to show love and respect for each other the whole time. I’m pretty confidant that with our history, we are going to continue having a great, prosperous and fantastic life together. And that’s pretty tender!

                                                     All Dressed Up

                                                  Tender Kiss

                                      Love ‘Em All

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Today we got our first Christmas tree in Idaho. Luckily there is a nifty little place 2 blocks from my house with trees for $19.95, what a steal! Our special tree was cut in Oregon, near Mt.Hood, yesterday and then traveled all night to make it to our house today. Merry Christmas all!!
                                  
Who says a Corolla won’t fit a 7′ tree?
  It stands! 
  Lights…
 and ornaments!
 Ornaments received at Secret Santa 7 years ago.
All the other ornaments were gifts from former students, 
except the mini gold and silver balls that I picked up the other day.
Now our house smells like a fresh pine forest and we’re ready to celebrate the season!

Weekend Treats

Now that I’m not working, I realize that I need to take advantage of every social outing that I’m invited to. Which made this weekend full of fun and exciting activities and friends. Saturday started with a yummy girls breakfast at Cafe de Paris in downtown Boise. I had a tasty egg and bacon croissant and a side of sauted veggies. Our lovely breakfast was organized my my great friend Sarah, who is also my doula. After breakfast Sarah, Ashley, Olivia and I strolled through the Capital City Market and even though it was snowy and a little chilly, holiday spirit filled the air and free samples of nuts and toffee were at every turn. It was an awesome morning spend with great friends. It also made me very happy about my new snow boots, my feet stayed warm and dry the whole time.

                                               Capital Holiday Market Companions

Later my husband treated me to dinner out at Chang Mai restaurant where I indulged in Thai Green Curry. One of my all time favorite dishes. Not only was the food great, but the hostess didn’t try to sit us at a booth. Booths are usually more comfortable, except when your belly is the size of a watermelon. This was our first meal out where the hostess was observant enough to notice. For that I was greatly appreciative and told her how much her small gesture meant to me.

Sunday was a lazy day around the house, and the first day the sun has shone in about a week. This meant getting outside to shovel a pathway through the backyard for kitties and attempting to hang Christmas lights on the front of the house. We live in an old house, which has nice character, but is a total pain when it comes to doing just about anything to it. With all the snow and wetness on the ground, we decided not to trail cables and cords around our yard. This has lead to the fact that we need an electrician to update the outlets on the exterior of our house.

Being a homeowner is fantastic and I love it, but along with the freedom to paint the walls whatever color we want also comes the responsibility of doing all upgrades and repairs ourselves. In updating our 60+ year old house I am learning to find the good handymen in our area because they are worth their work in gold. 2010 alone has meant replacing or updating the water heater, furnace, bathroom, interior doors, baby nursery, and carpeting. This to do list of repairs could go on indefinitely and can be very overwhelming for me. On the upside, there is always a new upgrade to look forward to, which hopefully leads to better house value and easier, more affordable, living. I also have to express gratitude for our ability to own a home and our capacity to make it even more comfortable for our growing family. So while the exterior light show is on hold, I am excited to say that tomorrow we get our first Christmas tree since we’ve lived in Boise. I am very excited and can’t wait to post about how that goes.

Finally, the most tenderest time of this weekend was probably the simple dinner with our friends Danny and Sarah. Having good friends with whom we can laugh and share with has made my life rich and happy. Danny and Sarah were the first, of many, members of our “Idaho family” and I’m grateful that they have stuck it out with us in Idaho all these years. It’s been a pretty amazing time for all of us, and some of the most tender moments I know have been spent with them. Love you guys!

Get Adjusted

In an effort to create a positive pregnancy and birth I have been seeing Dr.Anacker, a chiropractor. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and pregnancy provided the perfect reason. I have been getting adjusted weekly since about 30 weeks in my pregnancy.

Each adjustment session lasts about 15 minutes and involves the typical back adjustment while lying face down on the table, using special props to make space for my growing belly. She then releases ligaments surrounding my uterus by using massage techniques. The session ends with me sitting in a special chair while she uses her special chiro skills to adjust my neck. This requires major trust and relaxation on my part. Getting my neck adjusted sounds like fireworks, but there is never any pain. When it’s over I take a quick walk around the block to make sure my blood is flowing and then I go about my day as my immune system strengthens and blood pressure remains low. These are things she’s told me happen within 15 minutes of an adjustment.

Since seeing a chiropractor I have seen many other positive side effects as well. The top two are heartburn relief and the ability so sleep pretty soundly through the night. These are two things that any pregnant woman in her third trimester will tell you are major downers of pregnancy. Having experienced them before chiropractic care, I’ll take a weekly adjustment any day. Dr.Anacker is kind, gentle, and truly loves what she does. I’d go as far to say her chiro skills are an art form, and I’m grateful to experience the care and chiropractic experience she offers .

                                      Big Kitty, no adjustments needed

Simple Snowy Pleasure

During the winter I have often seen people, often elderly, shoveling their sidewalks/driveways early in the morning and while it is still snowing. My neighbor, who is pushing 90, sweeps her walkway every hour on the hour during a snow day. During each of these times I wondered why on earth they were doing this in the middle of the very weather that caused the work. Now I know. It is WAY easier to keep your house clean if there isn’t snow at the entrance of your home and you are much less likely to break your neck if there isn’t weeks of compacted snow and ice on the ground.

It seems so simple, but until my front yard had been dumped with inches and inches of snow for the last month, I had no concept. I don’t know if it’s because I’m pregnant, staying at home, or just crazy, but I LOVE shoveling snow. There is something so gratifying about peeling fluffy white snow away from the ground. The way that snow shovels are shaped allows the snow to fly in curls and waves to it’s final destination. Sprinkling snow melt is akin to a science experiment, watching ice turn to water with the fleck of a wrist. Plus, I like the fact that I don’t have to wear boots to take out the trash or get the mail. Whatever the reason, I’m lucky that I now have the time and consciousness to appreciate this small snowy pleasure.

Now for the requested belly photos that have been requested. Happy shoveling!

                                               11 Weeks Pregnant

                                               37 Weeks Pregnant

Today’s Tender Tidbits

My husband and I share 1 car, a 2001 Toyota Corolla. It’s small, has 2 wheel drive, gets good gas mileage, and my husband can squeeze his 6’4″ frame into the drivers seat. I like to consider our household “car-lite” which is better for the environment.  However, it is mostly just economical. Since I don’t go into work everyday, I drive the car one day a week, in order to get errands done around town. In the warmer seasons I’m happy to ride my bike, which is a great bonus of living in a city. However, in the winter a car is more necessary. Today was my turn to use the car and this made for a long day. It was also a day that a snow storm decided to blow into town. Being a California girl from the central coast I never really drove in the snow, but having lived in Idaho for the last 6 years, I’m beginning to get used to it.

Running all my errands forced me to consider our current income and how it is changing now that I am not earning a paycheck. With two incomes and no children yet, I could be pretty loose with my budget, but that’s all changing. I now have to consider every purchase I make, and am beginning to understand coupon clippers and bargain shoppers. While it may seem naive, I’m going to have to learn to budget anew and find pleasure in the art of the deal. Money is not what will make me happy, although I would be lying if I denied the sense of pleasure I get when spending it on all manner of goodies. Real happiness can be found in my list of tiny tender treasures from today:

  • Getting my tires rotated makes me feel responsible. Best part it’s totally FREE!
  • Leisurely enjoying a latte
  • Coming home to a warm house
  • Snowflakes
  • Figuring out how to decorate my pregnant belly casting
  • Watching my husband, focusing with eyes closed, listen to our baby’s heartbeat through a fetoscope

                     Tender Memory: Visiting Mont Sainte Michael on our honeymoon to France

First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

I have come to use the word tender to mean sweet, happy, or for any circumstance that is just…well… tender. Sometimes it’s a photo, or kind words or sentiments expressed, or a thoughtful action. As a person and active member of this world I try to live in a conscientious and tender way towards others and myself. Sometimes it’s difficult, and I don’t always succeed, but it’s a worthy ideal. In these posts my goal is to express how I and my family aspire to live in a tender way with each other, our friends and neighbors, and the earth itself.

Now, so you know where I’m coming from, I’ll introduce myself. My name is Megan and I am at a turning of seasons in my life, so to speak. My first child is expected to be born any day, I just ended my career and my husband and I are attempting to live on one income. We’re working on being a nuclear family, for all the good and bad connotations that may have. I am many things to different people, a daughter, wife, sister, friend, soon to be mother, recently retired Kindergarten teacher, Doula, hopeful stay at home mom. These are titles that I wear proudly, but not one can define who I am as a person. Maybe the one true thing I know about myself is that I am painfully normal. No matter the situation, I can always bet that I’m not the first person to to experience it, nor will I be the last. It is this simple knowledge that provides small amounts of peace in times of chaos, and pushes me to be a more unique individual on my good days.

If this blog goes according to plan, which has about a 50/50 chance of happening, it will be an account of me and my family’s day to day existence. It is an attempt to find wonder and fulfillment within this ordinary life. Bear with me, I can be painfully optimistic. I won’t try to list all of the possible things this will include, but a few will be:

  • Living on one income
  • Being a new mother, staying at home to raise our baby
  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • How we attempt to stay healthy
  • Being married
  • Living in the capital of a state that most would consider middle America
  • Working to leave a light footprint on the earth, because it’s the right thing to do

You get the idea. Any and everything that involves living and breathing is fair game. My hopes are to document this life I have created and share it with anyone who wants to read about it. Which are probably the 12 people my mother will send the link to. I value comments, feedback and questions, especially since I’m out of the work force and have to create my own social circle now. Read on, dear readers, to witness how I am attempting to live a tender life, and consider how you’re living your most tender life too. Now I must go, because even though in my head I am becoming an amazing and in depth blogger and am beginning to believe this is going to be my next BIG THING, the heater guy is here to fix our ailing heater, which resides under the house. The fact that someone is willing to crawl under my house to remedy this issue is pretty tender on his part.

Oh yes, I can’t fail to mention my friend Chelsea and her blog www.beingchelsea.com as she is one of my closest friends, she has inspired me to race in triathlons, live in a healthy way, and to start my own blog. Thanks Chelsea.

Birthing From Within, Dancing For Birth, and Inclusive Women's Circles for Women and Families in Boise and the Treasure Valley

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