The House Built On L♡VE & Shenanigans

The In's and Out's of Family Life in Charlottesville, VA


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Water Babies

10408985_10204198263213998_1236879833410148847_nEarlier this summer, I sat chilling poolside watching as a soft breeze agitated the water just enough to create small ripples in the cool sparkling water – when suddenly, Marley strode over to where I was sitting.  By the look on her face I could tell she was very upset.  “Dada”, she said while desperately fighting back tears, “that girl over there was teasing me and said, ‘Ah ha, you still wear floaties!’ I instantly empathized with her,  as I looked in the direction that she was pointing to see who had dared to riddle my child! I took a deep calming breath, and I did my best to console her by affirming that it’s alright that she was still wearing floaties because for now, they are very necessary to helping her to stay afloat in the water.

I asked her if she was having fun? Head down looking at the ground, she sniffed and replied, “Yes.”  I then asked her if we allow other people’s thoughts of us to curtail our fun, or to diminish the positive opinions we have of ourselves? She looked up at me and quietly answered, “No.” However, I don’t think my attempts at a pep talk carried as much weight as the taunt she had just received from this little tormentor, because she took off her floaties, slipped them back into the beach bag, and slunk down in the chair behind me for the remainder of the pool visit.

Although before today, she was always too nervous to swim without her floaties – no matter how much Rach and I insisted. But little did I know at the time, she had sat there and made the mental decision to never wear a pair of floaties again!

From that moment on, it became her mission to learn how to swim without the assistance of a flotation device. Not only was she no longer interested in being helped by any sort of life preserver, but once while Rach was in the pool attempting to give her some simple instruction, Marley stressed – “No Mama, I have to do it by myself…don’t help me, not even if I drown!”

Of course that would never be an option!!

But this certainly is a testament to her unwavering determination! And in no time at all, wouldn’t you know it, Marley was out there swimming on her own like a little mermaid! Not to be out done, I knew it wouldn’t be long before Delaney would see this and follow suit. So now two of my little daughters are in the water plunging, dipping, spinning, floating, and whirling! They are doing their own thing in the pool! They’ve taken to the water so well that we signed them up for swim preparatory lessons to refine their skills in anticipation of them one day soon joining an area swim team.

So thank you little tormenter! (Na Na Nana Naa Naa)…you unwittingly provided the proper incentive to further their aquatic potential.

MB

 

Celebrating today

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September 14th, marks exactly one year that we took a leap of faith,  left our home and all that we knew in Kansas City behind, and trekked half away across the country to Charlottesville, VA to begin our new life.

Our mission: Voluntary simplicity.  Although we L♡VED KC, we wanted to create a simpler, more enjoyable, freeing life for ourselves and our children.  One that did not entail so many self imposed commitments that kept us busy working for everyone but ourselves.  A life that could be created around our dreams, our life goals, our relatives, incorporate new adventures and a fresh breath of new inspiration, and allow us to grow personally, professionally and spiritually.

What a wonderful year it has been.  We are so thankful that we heeded to that call and made the choice to live our lives as we define it.  Life is way too short to just watch it happen, you have to make it happen.

Sometimes that involves starting over, and that’s ok, because there’s almost always an even bigger blessing in store.

And we are grateful…

 

Sometimes you have to start over.

Sometimes you have to start over.

 

Taking risks. However this year, the stakes were higher. Winning..

Taking risks. However this year, the stakes were higher. Winning..

These boots were made for walking, and that's just what we'll do. We'll all walk through this life together....and the next

These boots were made for walking, and that’s just what we’ll do. We’ll all walk through this life together….and the next

We should choose our path wisely. There is a divine plan for each of us, and our choice to follow the right path can limit heartache, heartbreak, and unnecessary pain.

We should choose our path wisely. There is a divine plan for each of us, and our choice to follow the right path can limit heartache, heartbreak, and unnecessary pain.

Another dawn of a new day. Another day to be better than yesterday.

Another dawn of a new day. Another day to be better than yesterday.

Life is not easy, and at times we all need a little help to stay the course. There are times that we may need to be carried, guided, or led. Our job is to discover and live our own path, and teach and encourage others to find their own.

Life is not easy, and at times we all need a little help to stay the course. There are times that we may need to be carried, guided, or led. Our job is to discover and live our own path, and teach and encourage others to find their own.

Dare to go higher.

Sometimes, you just have to get your feet wet.

 

'Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don't stop at your station.' -Carlos Ruiz Zafone.

‘Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don’t stop at your station.’
-Carlos Ruiz Zafone.

He leadeth me in paths of righteousness

He leadeth me in paths of righteousness

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Many roads traveled, many lessons learned. More travels in store.

 

Live.Laugh.Love.Play.

Live. Laugh. Love. Play.

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Dare to go higher.

 

 

 

Happy 1 year anniversary to our new life!

Happy 1 year anniversary to our new life!

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Happy 6th Birthday To Our Delaney!!

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Six years ago we were blessed by your presence, and our lives have forever been enhanced as a result.  Thank you so much Delaney for coming to us!

Happy Birthday to you…a day we can all celebrate.

MB


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At The Barbecue?

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One of the joys of my job and perks of being “da boss” is that unlike any other employers that I have worked for in the past, my current job openly embraces children in the work place if necessary.  My kids have had the added benefit of seeing me in action several times for short spurts, and our patients seem to love it.

As my day was winding down recently, I was greeted with an after-school visit by the girls.  I have a standing arrangement with two particular residents that I will bring the girls to visit them whenever they stop in.

So today, we headed to find my sweet little resident, who happened to be outside during “smoke hour” with all of the others who were smoking cigarettes, and being supervised by my buddy nurse friend.

Mind you, my girls have little to no experience with being around cigarettes or smokers, because neither Marc nor I have immediate friends or family who they’ve seen smoking.

We stepped out onto the outdoor smoking terrace, and I could see the surprise in the girls eyes as they caught a glimpse of the smoke wafting in the air, as well as the wrinkled looks on their faces as they got a whiff of the distinctively harsh smell of the cigarettes.

Delaney’s first response was: “What are y’all doing out here, having a barbecue?”  She then turned to my supervising nurse friend and says to her, “And who are you…the chef?”

I thought I was going to die from laughter – we all laughed so hard!

Then wise old sage-like Marley, chipped in her two cents by matter-of-factly telling Delaney, that this was not a barbecue, but that all of the people present had “smokers” (lighters) and “smokerettes” (cigarettes).

I have no idea where she got those terms from, but apparently she creatively made them up.

Boy, if they could only stay this innocent!


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Giving Is Living – So They Say

IMG_1955Since we packed up our house in Kansas City, and began our more compact life in Charlottesville, we’ve been keeping the bulk of the overflow furniture items and knick-knacks from our former house in an onsite garage. For an additional fee, our apartment complex conveniently provides this extra space for those who are fortunate enough to land one – and we were hallelujah happy to get ours because they are in high demand.

Many of people who luck up and grab one of these garages, use them to house their cars, motorcycles, canoes and such, but they don’t come cheap.  So if you don’t absolutely need one, you probably need to let it go.  With this in mind, and in our pursuit to live more simple and frugal lives, we announced to the good folks at the office that we were giving up the garage for our second leasing term which begins this month. Unfortunately, that meant that most of our stored unused stuff would have to go!

First of all, I don’t like to part with my things, period! I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination; I just have a “thing” for my things! I mean, I bought it, it’s mine, and if it’s still nice, I wanna keep it (if I can) regardless of whether or not I’m currently putting it to good use.

 

Goodbye comfy easy-chair, we had some good times.

Goodbye comfy easy-chair, we had some good times.

One of our neighbors spotted me rearranging the space in my patio storage closet (the one that every tenant has) in anticipation of the disposal/relocation of items mission, and inquired if we were moving. I told him I was hoping to free up enough room in this tight closet to be able to stuff in and keep as much of the “stuff” that’s sitting in my garage as possible. In a good natured attempt to bestow a kernel of wisdom upon me, he offered this thought,  “if I haven’t used a particular item at all within a six month period, then I get rid of it.” Well I guess I still have to work on becoming more evolved, because needless to say I was less than receptive to his insight at the time.

In fact, I wasn’t trying to hear any of that – I smiled and listened to him pleasantly, but as he went on his merry way,  I thought to myself, “shoot I ain’t giving up nothing!”

But like in a funny movie when the sound of a record scratch abruptly bursts someone’s bubble, Rach put an end to my stockpiling dreams in her usual way.

 

IMG_1952No problem you might say, just sell the items you can’t use, and pick up a little coin in the process, right? Well, the problem with that is, we had a busy summer – which is also code for we procrastinated to point that it was far too late to try and sell the items before our September 1st leasing agreement deadline, and we didn’t want to have to pay for the garage for another year. So what we couldn’t creatively cram, fit, force, stash, or shove into an open nook or cranny inside our apartment, got donated to Goodwill – Rachael’s suggestion of course.

You see, Rachael doesn’t hold the same attachment for material things that I do, so she seemed a bit too comfortable…no, down right eager to partake in this whole purging process for my taste!

We can’t just give all these good ol’ possessions away, I thought – I mean, this is our stuff…these are our things…

Rach sweeping out the now empty garage.

Rach sweeping out the now empty garage.

And like a flash, I remembered a passage I read in Michael Bernard Beckwith’s book, “Spiritual Liberation” which said: “Evolved people give to live until they live to give. As individuals expand their understanding of universal law, they learn to give in order to live a life of inner wealth. This is a process of growing out of a mindset of getting something from the world to letting something from within you be freely given.”

I realized that I may had formed a potentially unhealthy attachment toward these objects that no longer served me, but could be of greater service to someone else.  At least that’s what I told myself as I watched the long-haired burly Goodwill guy charting away my chair, coffee table, and other once cherished items.

I admit that I’m still a work-in-progress, but I’m working to become more willing to give in and do the work that might help me live a more happy and abundant life.

 

MB


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Feeling a little off today

She really sarcastically said that.

She really sarcastically said that.

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I wonder if it’s a fool moon? You know, the kind of moon that makes people act a fool!   This morning I’m just not feeling it, as evidenced by these burnt pancakes, messy house, and I’m not even about to put my mug on camera.

So far, I’m feeling about as flat as these flapjacks!


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Vice President of the PTO?

I’ve been mulling over ideas of how I can get involved with the girls’ school.   I guess my biggest hesitation has been the “time factor”.   Do I have the time to commit?  Or most likely, do I want to make the time to commit!

As I’ve mentioned before, I really love my children’s school, and now that we will have been in this town exactly a year on Sept. 14, I feel obliged to now firmly establish new roots – as we aren’t going anywhere!

I think I’ve been so focused on making sure the kids adjusted well and getting them acclimated to their new environment, that I’ve made little time to invest in me.

I guess now it’s time to think about cultivating myself a little more.

What to do, What to do!

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