i am grateful for....

"maple leaves" (day 9)

ok. so it seems that many of you get fall at your house.
 by fall,  i mean colorful leaves and crisp air.
i don't.
but these maple leaf cookies almost make up for that.
but as i looked at this self portrait, i realized there are many unexpected things in it that i am thankful for.

the cookies, of course.
the color of my t-shirt.(target)
the fact that my nails look pretty good (thank you OPI gels)
my laugh lines (yah, you heard me right)
the fact that the dishes in the sink behind me are not stacked THAT high.
the way my momma stares right back at me in my eyes.
to me, i look so much like her in this picture.
and while on the subject of my mom, i just want to share.
lately, my kids are getting to the age where i start to remember being that age.
and with that i start to remember my mom's mothering at that age.
i know this may seem kinda funny and specific,
 but since i will always be processing her early death, these are the things i think about.
before this, i just had a general feeling about my mom and how she mothered me.
i couldn't remember exact conversations that we had when i was my kids age, since they were very little.(and i don't have lots of memories that far back)
 my memories were more of a big picture.
she was always there.
she was my best friend.
she loved me.
she was sometimes frustrated.
she was working hard.
but, now my everyday experiences are triggering more specifics.
i remember not eating my lunch at school and her reaction.
and i now have my own boy with the same issue, and my memories and my reality merge,
only i'm now on the other side.
this is felt the most with Jake (my seven year old) right now, since i have more memories of that general age.
his frustration and my reactions, his helpfulness as the oldest child.
they are all things i can remember going through with my mom.
I am sure it will be a another level once my daughter reaches this spot.
i think i have mentioned before, that i have come to understand that even though my mom is not living in this world with me, right now, my relationship to her is still evolving. 
as i reach milestones in my life and witness them in my sister's and brother's lives, i come to understand her more and more.
much of it is speculation on how she must have felt when faced with _____, and sometimes i want to scream from just needing to ask her what she thought about these new(to me) challenges.
does any of this make sense?
i just needed to get it out, so if i seems to all over the place and confusing, just click away.
for now, i will continue to watch the memories of my childhood collide with the real time happenings of my children and try to remember the good reactions that my mom had and try to filter out her not so ideal reactions.
i can only hope my kids will have the grace to do the same for me someday.
and i am hoping i will be around to talk about and maybe even apologize for some of my imperfect mommying.

ps. my mom would HATE the no capitals and questionable spelling on the reed life, but other than that, she'd love it.


  1. Great post. I love reading your thoughts and am constantly inspired by your blog. Thank you!

  2. I feel the same way about my mother....situations I remember as a child are totally different now that Im on the other end...I have a 9 year old and its a very hard age...now I KNOW why my mom has such a hard time with me at that age....I have a much better perspective of what her motivations were...and how much she loved me...your mother is with you always...:)

  3. i personally love when you share the way you are processing your relationship with your momma. even though our losses are completely different, i can relate to the way you share about how you will always be processing her early death. that's the one part of grief that makes the most sad. not that we'll always be processing it, because i'm certain there are amazing things to be learned through that journey, but that so many people in the world don't understand that. they think that after x amount of time you'll be done and be all better. that bums me out so much and really makes me feel more alone then anything.

    anyhow, i guess that's why i say that i like when you share, because it reminds me that i'm not alone understanding. and neither are you.

  4. I have had a turbulent relationship with my Mother and because of this she hasn't been around much, but like what you were saying the more I do and the older my children get(my eldest is also called Jake) I understand her more, I realise what it is like being on the other side.
    I was also thinking about my late MIL today and how I wish she was still on the planet. She Mothered me insanely from when I was 14 and drove me to distraction a lot but I miss her. She died after my ex-husband and I separated but that changes nothing I miss her and I want her here.

  5. "the way my momma stares right back at me in my eyes." - poetry!

    And I do see it in this pic! And when you throw your head back and laugh.


  6. It is amazing and powerful how our mom's can come out in us as we age. Her legacy is now your legacy which will become their legacy. Love just keeps going...even when we stop. What a beautiful journey you are choosing to take, instead of sticking your head in the sand. Your momma would be proud.

    p.s. And yes, cookies can ALMOST make up for the lack of fall...almost. =)

  7. Shauna Bear! I love reading your blog! I get so inspired. I feel like I am having coffee with you face to face. You are so real! Your mom was so wonderful and you are living her legacy....