Trust The Journey

“Ring out the old, ring in the new. Ring happy bells, across the snow.

The year is going, let him go. Ring out the false, ring in the true.”

~Afred Lord Tennyson

It’s clear and frosty this morning. C is asleep in his bedroom, and the house is still. Silent.

In the darkness, I journey down the stairs and nudge open his door, knocking into skateboards and loose lacrosse balls. He groans, “It’s still dark, Mom. What are you doing?”

“Just checking on you. It’s what mommies do. Are you warm enough?” I whisper.

“Yes….” his words come out in one breath as he rolls over.

“Go back to sleep, bud. I love you,” I reply, and gently shut his door.

Back upstairs, I light my candles and prepare for the last day of 2015 following my familiar morning rituals. Candles. Journal. Quotes to think on.

I notice the cantaloupe-colored sunrise just beginning to peek through my open window. There’s frost on the roof next door, and the trees are bare, thin branches mimicking the overhead power lines across the street. The candles flicker around me.

This won’t be the first New Year’s Eve we’ve spent apart from our four-person family. Our plans carefully crafted to coincide with Lily’s trip home from college, altered when C crashed into a tree ten days ago, taking the impact with his head.

Grateful for his high-tech ski helmet. Grateful he walked away.

2015 with mamawolfe

It’s been a rough journey for my boy since August 3, 2014, when he broke his leg on a race course at Mt. Hood, Oregon. Three days back into training this year, another setback.

I’m grateful he will recover. But I’m tired of this.

I’ve been in too many ERs and hospitals and exam rooms; I’ve read chapters and chapters in waiting areas and labs. I’ve asked occasionally for help, I’ve questioned and I’ve accepted. Mostly, I’ve kept it all inside.

I can “Fakebook” with the best of them.

I know how to selectively post, how to check in and let you know where we are. I gram and tweet and snap and I could tell you what a high school friend ate for breakfast (PG and J), who is on a romantic night away from the kids ( 🙂 ), and which motivated friends crawled out of bed in the dark for a frosty run. I see your smiles as you ski, the shared meals and new loves. I can almost see your life right there, your clues about 2015 shining through your status updates.

I see the pride, the hope, the joy and sometimes if you’re honest, a glimmer of sadness – all amidst those ordinary moments of living this journey.

Facebook proclaims it’s 2016 in Australia now, so the resolutions have begun. The lists, the fill-in-the-blanks, the wishes and dreams that maybe if we say them out loud, might just come true.

Instead, I pull out the box of memories I keep faithfully filling year after year, and open my journal from 2014.

Just curious, I think. What’s changed? How have I filled a year’s worth of living?

The cover proclaims, “yes to growing and reaching, yes to healing, yes to soulfulness, yes to joy,  yes to vulnerability, yes to change, yes to beginnings.”

Yes, I think. I’ve said yes to all of that this year.

Scanning the pages, I remember how sick I was this time last year – down on the couch, coughing and achy and sneezy kind of sick. Today, I feel well.

Last year I was reflective, grateful, struggling with change and believing in possibilities for the year ahead. I dreamed of joy and understanding.

I was hopeful.

It’s an hour later, and not much has changed. The sun is peeking through, reminding me that blue skies will be here soon. I can sill see the melon colored hue melding into the fog; the frost still clings to the roof tiles, and this, here and now, is still my extraordinary life.

Tonight I’ll ring out the old, I’ll let go of 2015. I’ll ring in the true.

This year, I’ll remember who I wanted to be when I grow up. I’ll trust the journey that’s taking me there.

 

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Imagine The Life You’d Love To Live, Then Live It

All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.”

~ Brian Tracy

It’s the beginning of the year, and everywhere we turn are stories of resolution – it’s impossible to escape people’s heartfelt testimonies to how they want their lives to change, to grow, to improve. People are imagining the life they want to live.

I’m not a New Year’s Resolution kind of person – to me, resolutions are just a trendy way to acknowledge all the things people might think they’re not doing ‘right’ in their life – and most often, resolutions don’t resolve into anything but added stress and disappointment.

I think most of us have an inkling of the life we’d like to live, but often we don’t know how to get there. We think if we resolve to  check off this list of 10 or 20 or 100 things, we’ll be there. Life will be….perfect? In my experience, though, by the time we get everything – or nearly everything – checked off, life has changed, added more complications, and we wake up and realize in the quest for ‘perfect’ we’ve lost the present, and are likely in a similar place to where we began.

I’m an intention kind of girl. I like to think small to think big – and think about what I intend to do in any period of time. I do love to-do lists, but I also love the quiet and stillness required to imagine, to create, to inspire myself to live the life I dream of – and to muster the courage to do so.

Imagine The Life You'd Like To Live

This is one of the reasons I was drawn to Peg Conley’s new book, Imagine The Life You’d Love To Live, Then Live It: 52 Inspired habits and playful prompts.  Peg is an artist-turned-corporate-worker-turned-writer-back-to-artist kind of woman. According to her publishing website, mid-life, she listened to “ a nagging feeling that life might hold something else in the midst of it all. Then came a big breakthrough—(she)  founded a successful, art-centered company based on the advice of her inner voice:

Peg’s journey inspired her book, which is divided up into 52 weekly chapters full of an idea, application, quotes and advice about how to intentionally create the life that we’ve been wanting. Starting with Chapter One, Peg shares her personal story of change and then asks the reader to ‘imagine’ their ideal life – either by writing, drawing, collaging or dreaming it. Designed to be read one chapter per week, Peg offers ideas as varied as “Write With Your Nondominant Hand”, to “Look For Magic and Miracles”, to “Act ‘As If’”, “Get A Massage”, and “Look for ‘Meant To Be’s”.

One of my favorite chapters, “Give Thanks”, reminds us of the importance of gratitude in our lives. She shares statistical information as well as anecdotal, expounding her idea that showing gratitude should be more than just something we do on Thanksgiving – it should be a regular practice. I also enjoyed her chapter, “It’s the Little Things”, which assert our shared belief that we should remember to celebrate the small moments in life, the times which might be neglected on our push towards our goals.

I challenge you – make 2015 the year you set an intention to dream about the life you want to live. Think big, dream daily, and pick up a copy of Peg Conley’s book, Imagine the Life You’d Love to Live, Then Live It: 52 Inspired Habits and Playful Prompts for an extra nudge. 

I’m offering a free giveaway of one copy of Imagine the Life You’d Love to Live, Then Live It: 52 Inspired Habits and Playful Prompts – if you’d like to win, reply in the comments with your dreams for 2015! One winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, Jan. 14!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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A Year of Change and Possibilities: September, October, November & December 2014

September came and went with two freshmen living in two states – an official emptiness in our home.

I made friends with a great new author and read some terrific books.

Meeting Erin Lindsay McCabe
Meeting Erin Lindsay McCabe

Cameron turned 15, and continued to heal his broken leg and dashed dreams.

Healing a broken leg
Healing a broken leg

I was finally able to write about the change in our lives with Lily going away to college.

Lily loving her new college life.
Lily loving her new college life.

The year ends with an interlude between pain and healing, our family back together, and hope for 2015.

Hope for health and happiness in 2015
Hope for health and happiness in 2015

Through all this change and tumult in my life, I turned to writing; my favorite posts of the last third of the year were:

Broken

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

These Moms, They Don’t Know Me

Home

Interlude

 A huge, grateful thank you to all of my readers, my friends, and to my family who tolerates my subjecting them to sharing their lives here on mamawolfe. Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2015.

All my best,

Jennifer

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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How Healthy Is Your Family?

How Healthy Is Your Family

Are you still thinking about that New Year’s resolution you made? Are your kids (and you) slipping into their old habits? Not to worry – mamawolfe is delighted to have guest writer Jessica Socheski share her ideas about healthy families!

Every January, the number one New Year’s resolution is to get back in shape. After the months of holiday indulgence it only seems natural to start the New Year off right with workout routines and new diets.

Instead of doing this resolution alone, why not include the entire family? Children need to practice healthy habits in order to maintain health in adulthood, so why not make health a family affair?

Family Physician

One of the first steps towards improving family wellness is to find a good family doctor. A great doctor will take an interest in every family member and take the time to know your clan. Having a family practitioner who is good with children will help kids feel comfortable when receiving shots, visiting for check-ups, or receiving emergency medical attention.

Because kids need regular check-ups to ensure healthy growing, developing a personal relationship with your physician seems ideal because you will be interacting with him or her on a regular basis. When finding a family physician, consider traditional insurance coverage and alternatives like concierge medicine which tends to provide more private primary healthcare.

Make Mealtime Fun

Many times families spend more time eating on-the-go from fast food restaurants than they do in their own kitchens. No matter how many nutritious offering a restaurant boasts on its menu, cooking at home almost always proves better at delivering healthier food and better family relationships.

In order to make mealtime fun, invite your kids to cook with you in the kitchen. Spend time each weekend looking over healthy and relatively simple recipes. After selecting a few to choose from, ask the kids to pick the meals for the week. Your children will feel involved in the process and, as a result, will probably be more likely to eat the healthy food on their plates because they asked for it.

Bring the kids to the grocery store, too. Most parents dislike shopping with their children because it seems like too much of a hassle. Avoid the junk aisles when shopping with kids, and allow them to select whatever they want to eat from the healthy aisles. This is another practical step to involving children in your family’s new healthy lifestyle.

Finally, make sure meals are eaten together. Do not let life’s busyness interfere with enjoying this essential time with your children.

Family Night

Designate one night a week as family night. Family health is not just physical health; it includes mental and relational health as well. Spending at least one night a week together without homework, work, chores, and other interfering tasks can improve a family’s overall mentality. Children naturally want to spend time with their parents, but if this happens rarely, families will grow apart.

Outdoor Adventures

Another great way to pursue health together is to spend time exercising as a family. Kids learn the most from your example. So spending family days biking together, hiking, walking, or playing sports will teach children to stay healthy through fun exercise. And these activities will also serve as team builders between you and your kids.

As a parent, there is nothing more important than the well-being of your family. Focus on improving the areas that are lacking in mental and physical health and turn 2014 into the year of total wellness.

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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A New Year, Another Voice

IMG_1211
Sunrise over Alpine Meadows, California

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”

-T.S. Eliot

Happy New Year!

I dream of a year full of peace, kindness, and joy with those you love.

 Looking forward to sharing our voices together in 2013,

Jennifer

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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