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"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass







Monday, May 14, 2012

on plates, my village, and hula hoops.



It was one of those weeks.


You know, the ones where everything that could possibly pile on top of each other – does,
and gleefully snickers as you try to scramble to keep those plates spinning.

2 months ago when my academic advisor asked if I would like to go from a part-time student to full-time because my GPA looked as though I could handle it, I said “bring it”. What I didn’t fully realize that I would be “bringing” finals on top of my ridiculously awesome daughter’s birthday.

Guys. You only turn 4 once. And she decided she wanted to do it fierce.fabulous.and fancy.

When on that grand day of fierce-fourness you try to get your fresh faced daughter to sleep so you can slip out the door to join your brother who is working on a project and needs a warm body to fill some frames. With visions of zoo animals dancing in head,  birthday-miss decides she’s not quite done with the day… So, at 10pm your husband handles the assist, while you sneak out. heels in hand, returning home in the still of the night, so in four hours you can do it all again.

This is the day that you had to send your mom to your son’s school for “Muffins for Mom” morning because you can’t bear the thought of his wide eyes taking in all those mamas and not have a hand pressed hard in his. But you just.could not.miss.work that morning. When your heart was crumbling like that dry baked good and your remorse tastes as bitter as the instant coffee you wished you were drinking, instead of being in a windowless conference room with a firm from the UK negotiating fees {and if that seems broad and a little over your head, you know EXACTLY how I felt Friday Morning}.

Later that afternoon, thanking the sweet baby Jesus for Netflix and the Wii my son knows how to operate on his own as I am on a conference call regarding invoice issues in front of my bathroom mirror. Talking as I am shimmying into my yoga pants, with my button down work shirt and pearls a skew. Catching my reflection and wanting to laugh and say, “yes. This exactly. Split. One part mama. One part working-girl. All parts frazzled and a little untucked.”

But we made it to Owen’s first ever Cub Scout meeting and in that park pavilion, with the pot-luck styrofoam plates swirling around us, lifted by an unexpected breeze. I catch my husband’s eye over top of Owen’s head. And the arguments of that morning fade with hearing the earnest vows of our son to “on his honor to do his best” with all the passion and conviction those knobby knees and hands held high could muster.






Ava’s party came the next day and after the cake was made and the house cleaned, we brought in her birthday with a zeal that is in the very least, legendary. The party included make-overs, with her 6’2 bearded rock-star uncle in the chair…stretching out my junior year homecoming dress because he loves her and can’t bear to say “no” to such sweetly pleaded requests.


She exploits this power over him with awe inspiring clarity.








After the dishes were washed, party streamers torn down; I received the e-mail that my writing I had submitted some months past has been accepted to be a part of a published book project, Finding Church, sharing how I have stepped out of the four boxed walls of organized church to find the world my sanctuary. To feel the spirit alive in the breeze and hymns sung by birds in the alcove of pines.


 I will be able to press into ink the words of my heart. 
Hold them in my hands, the binding touching my palms. Fingers caressing the covers.

And yesterday, letting my arms rest from holding up my world. I sank right down into the holy ordinary. Finding love and bounty at every turn. On lady bug stickered index cards three deep with sparkle glue, in races to the fence and back, leaf patterns on skin through the slats of the tree fort. Mid-day dozing. Front door marker masterpieces and corn on the cob. 


Holding on my lap the personalized words of a woman I admire, given to me by one who knows exactly how to encourage my dreams.

Last night I slept the sleep of an abundant life. Weary from opportunities. 
Of days of labor bringing forth new birth.

Some days it takes a village to keep my plates spinning. And for every person who comes along side to assist, I am grateful. My village backs me in a bar basement through a fog machine induced haze. Switching between validating my mama heart and debating bang length and laser hair removal. My village says simply "I’m sorry" when I’m hurting. They don't try to fix it with words. Just hearts. They drive to stand beside me as I celebrate. They allow me to lay out, white wine in hand, while they get this round of pretend zoo keeper. They are the ones I call late at night to share my excitement. The ones that believe in my abilities and have seen me through every one of my fears.





They are ones that for supporting me smell like giraffes and goats for a good long while.









To life, I say I’ll see your spinning plates - and raise you a hula hoop. 
Because I’m not done adding to this one wild and crazy life I’ve been given. 
And, I have a sassy hip swirl that will bring destiny to its knees.



{linking with Just Write,  SDG girls}
read to be read at yeahwrite.me

66 comments:

  1. I'm feeling lucky, that you commented on my blog after getting a glimpse of your life. Whoa! You do have a sassy hip swirl and I am learning how to do it with you. And I think that you have shown more of who you are in this post than any so far. So happy for you on getting your words published. It is just the first of many to come I am sure.

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  2. Wow! and i though I was busy...just, wow!

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  3. wow...take a deep breath...I love kelli hampton too...I will have to check out finding church...we have been outside the 4 walls for years. congrats on getting published...blessings to you~

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  4. Love your sassy hip swirl shining through these words- and the glimpse into your life and your zeal! Congrats on getting published- there's nothing quite like seeing your own story in ink. Hooray! Keep writing. Dreaming. Chasing Jesus hard. Always love to spend time here.

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  5. Wow ... how did you keep track of it all? Congrats on your part of the book.

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  6. wow....that's a lot of living. :)

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  7. Glad you have such wonderful support to keep all those plates spinning..it eventually gets easier, or you get better at it or things slow down...but only for a bit.

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  8. I had to miss Muffins for Mom this past week too because of a stomach virus. Maia was crushed, I was crushed because she was crushed. I didn't have my mom close enough to be able to fill in for me. Ugh, mommyhood is so very hard sometimes. I got tired just reading about all you had to pack in to your schedule!

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  9. I have a headache! I'd need more than a hipswirl to get through all that! WOW! You are SUPER mom!

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  10. Wow! You sound like Wonder Woman! I'm glad you have some sidekicks to help you out when all that plate spinning becomes a little too much!

    Beautiful piece of prose. It flowed so beautifully.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  11. I think I need a nap after reading this! Wow, you just keep on trucking...

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  12. well, sorry for all the craziness, but it all made for a terrific write!!! :-)
    love how your words flow, how you bring all the chaos together to express those things most near and dear to your heart. you do it so very well.
    hope you have a great rest of the week, tara!
    steph

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  13. Phew. I have to take a breath after reading all of that. I give you permission to not read my post this week to save yourself some time :)

    And congrats on your latest publish!

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  14. Congratulations on your part of the book and Happy, Happy Birthday to Miss Four-Year-Old; you did it up right and lived to tell a lovely tale!

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  15. I really enjoyed reading this. Congratulations on the book - spectacular!

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  16. Congratulations on the publications, that's fantastic! All with birthday parties and UK negotiating fees (?) and... I'm sure you will be a master with that hula hoop!

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  17. Beautiful, Tara. All of it.

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  18. Oh my, did I ever need to read this! So excited about your acceptance in the book--Congrats! Plates spin and then they SPIN in fan-like fury. Yours were certainly whirling. I'm thankful for holy days of rest!

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  19. Congratulations on the fruits of your labors!

    And you manage to fit in blogging? You're one of those "no-sleep" people aren't you? I can't even function with less than 6 hours. I forget my name.

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  20. " Catching my reflection and wanting to laugh and say, “yes. This exactly. Split. One part mama. One part working-girl. All parts frazzled and a little untucked.”" That was a great visual!

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  21. Being pulled tightly between motherhood and your career is so incredibly difficult. I love the way you write, congratulations on being published!

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  22. "Raise you a hula hoop" :-)

    Congratulations on being part of Finding Church. It's exciting that your exuberance will be part of those voices.

    It is tough to manage it all, be where we must and where we would like to be instead, but it sounds like you are doing it with aplomb and friends, family and faith. Thanks for the exciting and wild ride through your days!

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  23. "One part mama. One part working-girl. All parts frazzled and a little untucked." This is perfect. You should make business cards, tshirts, the whole she-bang with this phrase on it. It describes so many and so much. I know I tell you this every week, but another great post.

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  24. You are truly a gifted writer, it is beautiful! Well it is a hard balance but one you appear to be doing a beautiful job at. I love the previous post about your daughter as well!

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  25. girl, I'm exhausted just trying to do your fancy hip swirl and you do it with such exquisite ease... ;)

    Finding Church is fortunate to have your words shared inside it. Congrats!

    And now I know what i'll pray for on my praying-for-Tara day...

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  26. Love how you spun the mundane of busy mommyhood into such beautiful words. Well done!

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  27. Wow - that's a lot of fullness of life! Congrats on the publication (you deserve it) and on getting thru muffins for moms day without too much guilt and esp. on your fancy 4-YO's big day. (-:

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  28. You SO can spin plates and twirl a hula hoop and you can also WRITE. It is so hard to balance it all and I too find that I have to call in the reinforcements because I can't always be everything or everywhere for everyone.

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  29. Wonderful news, Tara! So glad for you!
    Can't wait to read your book!

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  30. Wow, Tara, this exhausted me just reading...and yet left me feeling strangely energized and alive. I think you perfectly captured what it's like to be a mother, a multi-tasker, a person chasing her dreams. Congrats on publication! I can't wait to read your story from the collection.

    PS - LOVED this line:

    “yes. This exactly. Split. One part mama. One part working-girl. All parts frazzled and a little untucked.”

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  31. Some days I feel like that, wondering when I'm going to drop the ball, and how many of them. Then, someone will do something, anything, but it will be that one thing that let's you keep juggling those balls.

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  32. My head is spinning! You are VERY busy.

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  33. This makes me want to jump out of my chair and join the movement. It's an anthem! I love the way you spin from the extraordinary into the ordinary and the balance you strike between them. Congratulations on your publication, too. You deserve it!

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  34. That is insane. You are one busy Mama, that's for sure! Congrats on getting published!

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  35. ha! busy mama. you're so good with words.

    Janelle

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  36. I enjoy that kind of juggling, spinning, hip-swiveling energy for about 48 hours. And then I'm done. It sounds like you thrive on it - and for that, I am envious! Me, I'll take my nesting, slightly-anti-social habits after the fury of the hustle.

    Lovely imagery and telling.

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  37. Aw. You will have so much pride and satisfaction when you are done though. It is so hard to go to school with a kid. Also? You only turn four once, but you remember it never. How many people remember their fourth birthdays? I have an excellent memory and my 4th birthday is a black void. Don't worry so much. By going to college you ARE being a great mom.

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  38. I'm exhausted after reading this! But wow, it all sounds like a great life!

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  39. I felt like I was running beside you in this post. You have a beautiful way for seeing so much in the busy of life. You are keenly aware of the knobby knees of the son as he takes his cub scout oath, the way your daughter has her uncle so enamored that he is willing to stretch out your jr prom dress. You really see. That is what makes you such a pleasure to read when I stop by your corner.
    I am looking forward to reading the book you are contributing to also. It sounds pretty amazing. Congratulations on being a contributor!
    Happy to be your neighbor today over at Emily's! :)

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  40. I'm glad you wrote it all down so you won't forget just how crazy it gets, sometimes...:)

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  41. A fabulous 4 year old party amidst the furor of your life. Wow! I'm so impressed. Congrats on the book too! Sounds like a very interesting read, Tara!

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  42. Oh love this post! It captures the mastery it takes to do this things called life! congrats on having your writing published. I would love to read that book when it comes out! Keep us posted. :)

    "To life, I say I’ll see your spinning plates - and raise you a hula hoop." Perfect quote!

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  43. This is the crazy life of a writing working mamma. I'm so glad you share yours with us.

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  44. I love your honesty, and your determination and that you can laugh at yourself {we can't ever stop doing that!}
    I am so excited for you on the upcoming book - Yes! - I know it will be a great read.
    love you. xo

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  45. smiles...love the end where you acknowledge all those that help you make it through...that is great gratefulness...and we can not do it alone...i wont lie i was getting worn out with all the things you were doing...smiles...whew...glad you got that day just to be...we need those for sure...

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  46. Yay, congrats! I'm so happy for you - Love when good news like this comes my way. Keep spinning those plates.

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  47. Fun post!! Love your energetic life!

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  48. I have tears in my eyes. There is so much I want to say, but I have to run and pick up my kids. This is beautiful in so many, many ways. Congratulations on your words being chosen!! I am not surprised at all. What a gift you have. What a gift you are.

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  49. Woman! You are super-human or something. And I am so glad you have such a great "village".

    Love you,
    Erika

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  50. Your picture must be in the definition of Busy in Websters. You are amazing.

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  51. "To life, I say I’ll see your spinning plates - and raise you a hula hoop." Perfect. Ellen

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  52. The image in the mirror with the pearls and the yoga pants=. Perfection!! That's how I feel all the time!!

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  53. Super Mama! I'm reliving memories...I look back now and think how did I do all of it back then? Grace alone my friend, grace alone.

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  54. Obviously you're part robot too. There's no way we could be as busy as are and still sleep.

    happy Birthday to the four-year-old

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  55. Ah, but it is a delightful sort of dance that you've painted. What memories you are making. Beautifully written :)

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  56. Congratulations on so many wonderful accomplishments! What a wonderful (and busy) life you lead!

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  57. YES! you hula beautifully, spinning and dancing to the crazy chaos of life! Congratulations on getting published. Happy Birthday to the beloved 4 year old. Rock and roll all around!

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  58. Some moms were meant to do it all! Lovely post! (I have to stay in the slow lane, my special needs son takes up a lot of room in my life.) Looking forward to your next post!

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  59. that book project looks wonderful! your descriptions are dizzying, and this one made me laugh: "One part mama. One part working-girl. All parts frazzled and a little untucked.”

    mercy, mama! may you know sabbath soon and be re-created anew.

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  60. Tara,

    Whew, I get tired just reading this, and yet I smile and understand the precious stickiness of kids' hugs, fleeting moments to listen to Lego accounts and savor birthdays, all while balancing life, ministry, writing, and parenting. Thank you for opening wide your house door for a moment for us.

    Congratulations on the book collaboration! Thanks for stopping by my site "Jottings from Jennifer" and for the dialogue advice. I appreciate it.

    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougan.com

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  61. Whew! Being as real as you have in this post is such a blessing to those of us that read it. Thank you for it! i can just picture you doing that sassy hip swirl you speak of :)

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