Five Minute Friday: Dive

I find it appropriate that “dive” is the prompt for this week’s Five Minute Friday. It’s been quite awhile since I participated and I feel like I’m leaping into something again.

So, here’s 5 minutes of unedited free writing on “dive.”

GO

Sometimes you hold your breath, protecting yourself in an unfamiliar environment. Sometimes you jump in feet first, hoping to impress everyone with your big splash.

Then there is that perfect one, where everything comes together so unified and serene. Not a ripple is seen and people barely realize that you’ve arrived.

I tended to go for the big splash, because I was afraid of being missed…unnoticed. Even if its messy, it draws attention.

I’ve come to realize that the one that produces the best result is the quiet, calm, deep-breath beforehand, smooth glide into the water. That’s when it works best, because its not always important to be seen. What’s most important is remembering to point your toes at the end.

When it all goes right, and everyone just thinks that’s how it happened on its own.

STOP

Thanks for stopping by, and check back next week to see what’s kept me so busy away from the blogging (and there just might be a giveaway)!

{timber}

Being almost twelve years into marriage and over eight years into parenting, you’d think that the time for creating new family traditions would be done and over. However, most of our family traditions were forged in sunny Southern California where the weather and lifestyle is vastly different from the Pacific Northwest. Vastly different.

This year, our family gave up our usual tree-procuring tradition of trekking to Home Depot and trying to decipher which bundled up tree would look best in our home and in our pocketbook. Instead, we followed the example of most of the families around us; we went logging! Well, not exactly logging, but it was an adventure.

After several recommendations, we chose one particular u-cut {you have to spell it that way…I’m not sure why} Christmas tree farm over the multitude available in the Evergreen State. I think the deciding factor was that it offered free hot cocoa and cider, and knee pads for those robust dads out hunting and gathering for their families.

Guess who greeted us upon arrival? No, not Paul Bunyan…Santa!

Attack!

The kids were VERY excited, especially Silas who had no idea who the bearded man in the red suit was, but he’s passing out candy canes so don’t question.

Our next stop was the cocoa and cider. This seemed to be the first stop of several others, and my kids waded in to the mix {elbows flying} ready to fight off those who would dare to challenge their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of hot beverages.

We came out victorious!

Double cup

Finally, it was time to hunt for our tree! At first it was just fun to run up and down the aisles of Douglas firs. It kind of reminded me of that moment when Lucy pushes through the fur coats in the wardrobe and the soft fur is replaced with pine boughs {no I didn’t pretend I was Lucy, that would be silly and I’m never silly}. One tree was rejected for being way too tall, one was too lopsided, but then we discovered just right.

The modern momma in me wanted to capture the moment for Instagram, but my children were reluctant to comply with my request for just one nice family picture.

Take 1 Take 2

There were more attempts. Many more attempts. Not one showed four serenely smiling children calmly standing together with their tree.

I guess truth in art is more important.

Fed up with my tries to create the picture perfect family moment, we moved on to the actual chopping down of the Christmas tree. This was very interesting to the kids, who each asked for a turn.

Observe

Then we hauled it back to pay for it and head home.

Haulin'

Which was a good thing…because it was definitely time to go.

Time to Go

And here it is in all it’s glory! Ooh…ahh…Christmas tree!

Ahh...Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas. I’m going to bed.

This was fun, but not all traditions are.

What holiday traditions do you have that you could do without?

Lemons

I thought a lot about lemons today.

Lemon slicesThat’s a weird statement, right?

Why would anyone want to think about lemons? I mean, it makes sense to think about lemons if you’re making iced tea, lemonade or maybe fish. But really, lemons?

But I did. I thought about how lemons can be both sweet and sour. Change when they’re picked or what they’re paired with, and you have a completely different experience.

Did you know that the best way to get the most juice out of a lemon is to poke it with a fork, zap it in the microwave and then press down on it with your hand while rolling it on a cutting board? What might seem like harsh treatment {if you’re a lemon} is what produces the most effective results.

lemons-b_2

And then there’s the peel. You can rip it off quickly or zest it away slowly. And there’s different times where each technique is more advisable.

This might be the place where you think I’m crazy for thinking this much about citrus. You’re probably right.

What was my point in thinking about lemons?

Mostly it was because I opened an Etsy shop today so I can sell handmade hats and other things I think to knit. I was going to come up with some funky, cutsie name. As I thought about things I like, I thought “lemons.” Because they’re multidimensional, multipurpose, and when I see them I think of sunshine, freshness and joy.

I guess it made me think because this past 18 months has been lemony.

Sweet.

Sour.

Ripped off quickly.

Worn down slowly.

Poked. Zapped. Pressed.

And I felt like this space needed a fresh start. I’m not planning on doing much of a recap or catch up on what’s happened in the last year and a half; it might come out as I start writing again, but I’m betting it won’t. For those of you who were here before {and I’ve MISSED you}, you’ll maybe see changes and I hope you like the new me.

God’s done a lot and He’s still doing a lot.

So, here we go; all lemony fresh.

4.0.1

Five Minute Friday: Dance

Today I’m taking part in Five Minute Friday over at Lisa-Jo’s place. That means five minutes of writing on a central topic, and no going back to edit. The community there is inspiring and the different ways that the theme is interpreted are fun to explore.

This week’s theme is: dance

Ready?

GO

Life is frequently described as a path. Especially in Christian circles…

“This is the path God has me on.”

“I’m following God’s leading on this path.”

“There is a bend ahead in the path and I don’t know what’s next.”

I always liked the idea of a path. I picture it as a light freckled, dirt covered avenue lined by trees. Because the paths we picture for ourselves are always peaceful and brimming with new life, right?

The problem with the path is that there is a beginning and an end and it’s all about progression. Movement implies advancement, or the opposite which means you’re heading in the wrong direction.

What if life is more like a dance, especially one in a Jane Austen novel?

Where movement implies relationship, fluidity and transition. The point isn’t to get somewhere, but to take part in a rhythm and pattern.

Paul’s definition as the Christian life as a race always inspired me to “press on” and “win.” The urgency of competition and attainment gave me a central focus. I would be first and I would be best!

This past year has been transformational for me, and one of the main things has been a quenching of this thirst for accomplishment and advancement. Not because I have attained my goals or done all I feel God has for me, but rather the striving and pursuit seems quieted in my soul.

I feel more content to contemplate the pattern, the music, the partners and surroundings. To take joy in the dance.

STOP