In the evenings I would get them out of the bath, dry them off, put on their pj’s, and carry them to my bed. They would then snuggle up next to me and get extra cozy while I read them a book… ‘Hop on Pop’, ‘If you give a Mouse a Cookie’, ‘How do Dinosaurs say Goodnight?’ Some nights we would read the same book twice, some nights we would read 5 different ones. Which book we read wasn’t important to me as long as the world slowed down and I had my babies by my side. There were evenings when I would be so tired, ready for the day to be over and the last thing I wanted to do was read a book that I had previously read everyday for the past week–but I would do it. The countless trips to the library that were sometimes agonizing but totally worth it. (Moms of boys who have at one point been 3 years old, you know.) As they grew and started to learn to read on their own we would take turns, they would read a book to me and then I would read one to them. One of my proudest and tedious moments as a mom was helping my children learn to read. It’s so easy to want to say the word for them and some nights it would take all my patience (which we all know isn’t much) to not grab the book from their hands and say “Here, let Mommy read it.” But, I knew that comprehending and enjoying the experience of reading was one of the most important things I could teach my children. You see, I’m not good at math (I cry) or History (boring) or Art (stick figures, anyone?) but I can read like a champ! I needed my children to inherit that from me. Plus, it is a great way to spend time together and that is absolutely precious to me. No, we may not be involving ourselves in deep conversation but we all love to share with one another what is going on in the book we are reading. We are together all in the same place, at the same time, enjoying something that we all love. Yes, we all love to read! Even now that my children are older and can read fluently on their own we will still pile up in bed with our books and read in the evenings. We will sit outside together when the weather is nice in complete silence reading our books. (I love to take a peek over the top of my book and look at their little totally engrossed faces and smile…It’s a happy sight to see.) As a mom I feel like I’ve won the lottery when one of my children will finish a book and bring it to me and say “Momma, you have to read this book!” The feeling is indescribable. I’m grateful to them for sharing in my reading passion. I hope that they always read and one day read to their own children. Reading has made my life richer and hopefully with the impartation of my love of reading to my children it will do the same for them.
Some of you may remember a blog I posted last fall about my anniversary trip to the Dominican Republic. I wrote about how one thing that struck me the most from our time in “paradise” were the people who lived there. All these months later, I still can’t get them out of my mind. I have such a longing to go back and be amongst those people! So, when the opportunity to go on a missions trip to the Dominican presented itself I knew it was something I wouldn’t be able to pass up. One of my lifelong goals is to pursue photo journalism and have the privilege of documenting the lives of others through the eye of my camera. I want to go back and capture the smiles, happiness and joy that I experienced in the DR and share it with all of you. I’m still struck with the image of happiness I saw in the eyes of those who live there when, measured by American standards, one typically wouldn’t feel happy under those conditions. I’m not naive. I know that some of the experiences I will undergo while I’m there won’t be pleasant but I’m willing to face all of them head on and embrace them with the same passion.
This trip won’t only be about me taking photographs of others but also about helping, building, sharing with and loving on those who live there. I’m going to hug and kiss on those sweet babies who have no family and show them what love feels like. I’m going to sit next to a woman who may be hurting and feel alone and show her true kindness. I can’t wait to discover what these woman and children will teach me as well. These are the experiences I’m looking forward to most. I know that once I return my life will forever be changed.
I’m generally not the type of person who asks for help. I am very independent and have the attitude of a 3 year old who says “I can do it myself!” about most things. This however, is one of those times where I am going to need your help! I can’t express to you how humbling it is for me to ask for donations, but here I am. If you would please look inside your hearts and give to this missions opportunity so I, as well as others, can show love to those who may not receive it any other way.
If you so choose, you can donate to my missions trip to the Dominican Republic by clicking here. Your generous consideration of support is very much appreciated! Thank you in advance for your help!
Last week I celebrated my 35th birthday…
I can’t believe it! I feel like the older I get the quicker time goes. If I only live to be 70, half of my life is over. Isn’t that so sad!?? I don’t wanna die!! I know, I know a little dramatic but what can I say, I’m an Aries.
I remember turning thirty (oh, so long ago..haha..) and having the biggest panic attack ever. I felt like I was losing a part of me. I would never be in my twenties again and it was the worst thing I could imagine! I was going to be THIRTY and I thought had nothing to show for it. I went down a huge list of what if’s and coulda, shoulda, woulda’s. I felt like I had wasted so much time doing so many things that didn’t matter and suddenly I was thirty and left with nothing. Now, looking back, I realize none of that was true. I also realize that being in your thirties is AWESOME! I wouldn’t go back and be twenty-five again for anything! I have grown so much in the past five years…mentally, emotionally, socially, and within my inner self. I’ve evaluated and learned and changed and it’s all been for the better. Normally, I would have thought about the past five years with regret for all the things I hadn’t done and punish myself for things I didn’t do better. But, I’ve turned over a new leaf and am trying to be more positive and not so hard on myself! (I’m my own worst enemy.) I chose to honestly evaluate all that I have accomplished and be proud of the things I have done and not be upset about the paths I’ve yet to take. I’m happy with my life and how I have lived it although, I refuse settle for average! I’ve still got big dreams to accomplish! I love change, and I love to change myself. I have changed so much and I’m ready for more of it! I think if you stop growing emotionally, mentally, changing yourself…then what’s the point? You may as well be dead. I will not say “That’s just the way I am, I’ll never change.” I strive to improve myself daily. It can be a struggle at times, and I will roll around in my own self doubt and loathing (for days, sometimes) but being in my thirties has taught me that I’m worth the fight. If you don’t fight for yourself, then who is going to fight for you?
So, I say on to the next 35 years and more! There’s so much more life to live and I’m going to enjoy living it. I know I’ve got a long way to go…but I’ve got a long time to get there!
Instagram (or should I say #Instagram?) Oh, how I love thee.
My new love of Instagram has completely replaced my love for any other social media. I have neglected Facebook, Twitter, Flikr, 500px…everything! So, if anyone is wondering where I’ve gone well, you can follow me over on the Instagram. http://instagram.co/jackiegoudy
I am so completely addicted to it! I find myself checking it compulsively. Everything I see is another potential Instagram post. (I want to Instagram all the things!!) Sometimes, I even go to my own feed and look through my own pictures and think to myself “I am so cool. People who come to my feed must think I am so awesome.” (No, really. I am not kidding.) I’m positive that all my followers are sitting on pins and needles everyday just waiting for me to post some completely inspiring photo of one of my cats. One of my new bucket list items is to have one of my photos make it to the Instagram “popular page”. (I mean, really, I doesn’t get much more social media awesome than that!) I love when strangers like my photos! There is something so validating about that to me…It proves to my skewed way of thinking that the way I see the world is significant in some way. I also love that I have a permanent photographic journal of my life and how my day to day activities are recorded and kept in one place. Being the visual person that I am it’s so much easier for me to convey my thoughts and emotions through a photograph. Allowing others see the world and my life in a fun, creative outlet is so rewarding. Obviously, I’m a huge advocate for capturing those moments in life that you don’t want to forget so what better way to do that then to grab your phone and instantly share it with the world? Of course I still use my “real camera” from time to time but I think whatever camera you have with you at the time is the best camera. (Also, my new Iphone 5 is awesome. I’m in LOVE with it! I want to marry it.)
So, if you don’t Instagram.. #whatareyouwaitingfor?? Go forth and Instagram and follow me and my cats!
My oh my is the winter dragging on! I thought January would never end! Though February is the shortest month it always seems it’s the longest…I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this year it flies by!
To keep myself busy the past week I have discovered a new hobby. Making these adorable little necklaces! I am not a crafty person and we all know my patience level is low but for some reason making these necklaces has tended to be very therapeutic. Some people like to knit or crochet I like to twist and manipulate metal wire over and over and around and around. I’m sure that says a lot about my personality…but hey, whatever it takes!
Fair warning to all my friends (or anyone who might walk down the sidewalk in front of my house) I will probably give you a necklace (or 5). It may not be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen but just accept it, say thank you and know that you are keeping a crazy lady sane in this dreadfully long winter season.
Over commit. That’s what I have done to myself this Christmas season. I have spent the last several Christmases living on the outskirts of Whoville on Mt. Crumpit, Bah-Humbugging the world. This year out of the blue, I am suddenly very merry! I want to do all the Christmas things! I have been like Mrs. Claus on Christmas Crack! At first I blamed it on the end of the world, then that didn’t happen, now I have no explanation. I think I need to go to the Dr. and get a diagnoses…
Anywho..(haha) I have always loved the nostalgia of an old fashioned Christmas. So this year I decided that I would string popcorn. . . . jokes. on. me.
I am not a patient person. Patience and I are not friends; in fact I want to punch patience in the face. Guess what? Stringing popcorn takes a lot of patience. If it weren’t for my hard working, diligent and helpful children the project would not have been completed. Hours of finger stabbings with needles (ouch), hearing my children chewing the popcorn as they worked (kill me now), the needle coming untied from the string (over and over), and the mess of popcorn crumbs that were everywhere (sigh). Somehow, I made it through, heart palpitations and all and the end result was exactly how I envisioned it. It’s so homey and cozy, I adore it!
Now, our tree is complete and it looks like a true old fashioned Christmas… I think Dolly Parton would be proud.
I have never been one who was good with words. I fumble and trip over them and I just can’t seem to find the right words to say at the right time. It’s like I can see them floating around inside my mind like butterflies, I just can’t catch them to speak them when they are needed. I’ve always been one who could see things that seemed to explain my feelings. I guess pictures are my way of speaking.
In the wake of the recent tragedy in Connecticut, I find myself at a loss for words more than ever. No one has answers, and no one ever will. There will always be the question of “why?” as there always is with any heartache or tragedy, but no one will ever be able to explain or give reason. Tonight, I found myself gazing out my window thinking of how truly grateful I was to have my children to hug when they came home from school today. What an honor it is to be their mother and hold them in my arms. Then my thoughts traveled to my best friend who recently lost her Mother and I thought about what a privilege it is to still have my parents here on this Earth with me. To be able to call them up anytime and just say “Hey, Whatcha doin’?” I too often find myself taking such little things for granted.
As I continued to look out my window while the rain poured down, I gazed out onto my favorite tree and I saw how these little berries were still holding on. Despite the rocking wind and the pelting rain they held firm. They may have been shaken and felt ruined and possibly thought “will this ever end?” but they endured with a tight grasp. I noticed how the light that was glowing over them somehow seemed to be shining through them. It was stunning. It reminded me that although there are times when life is bleak and you feel like you’re in the dark, rain all alone, somewhere if you look deep inside yourself there is a light that will shine through. If you can find the endurance inside yourself, eventually the rain will end and you will still be there…holding on.
Last night as I was driving home from a photo shoot, when the most magical thing occurred.
Something that I have always wished to see; something that is (was) on my “bucket list” actually happened.
What is a murmuration? It’s a phenomenon. A beautiful, intricate and enchanting dance performed by a flock of starlings. Thousands upon thousands of starlings that are flying together with such grace and ease… Swooping in and out, and back and forth, over and over again. It was absolutely breathtaking and spellbinding… I honestly can’t use enough overly dramatic verbs to describe it.
I feel so honored to have been driving in the right place at the right time, and to even have my camera on hand! It truly was my lucky day! It was a reminder to me that no matter how busy I am to always expect the unexpected. I need to remember that it’s OK to take my eyes off the busy road and look up at the sky from time to time. You never know what you might miss.
Sadly, Autumn is in full swing and my summer of fun and relaxation is over. I took full advantage of the summer months to escape from the world of business and busyness. I kicked my feet up, read tons of books, enjoyed my children, built sandcastles, and even took a trip to paradise…
My husband and I went to The Dominican Republic to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. It was the most magical time of my life! It was a week full of relaxation, learning, and falling in love. I really didn’t think that my time on a fancy resort would allow me to fall in love with the culture and lifestyle of the country I was visiting… I’m glad to say I was wrong! Not only is the Dominican countryside breathtakingly beautiful, but so are the people. I quickly learned that the people of the Dominican Republic are some the kindest, happiest, amiable, salt of the earth people I have ever met. I was blown away by the hospitality and the friendliness that was shown to us everywhere we went. It was so refreshing to be around people who, despite having so little, have hearts that are overflowing with happiness. I can only hope that I am able to infuse a little bit of that Dominican spirit into my own life; To let tomorrow be the next day, live in the happiness of what is today, say “No Problem” and just keep smiling.
It’s funny how you get accustomed to the busyness of life. It’s like a daily rush and hurry to do or get to the next task. Then suddenly you are gifted with a day that is full of emptiness and you don’t know what to do with yourself. You catch yourself still going at hummingbird speed even though you have nowhere you need to be at any certain time. Your brain keeps churning and planning and skipping ahead to the next moment when what you really need to do is stop and enjoy the one you’re currently in. Why do we feel the need to fill every second of our lives with something? We never stop. If we have a spare moment we’re planning what we are going to do in the next, or we’re lurking behind a monitor being overly concerned at what other people are doing in that same exact moment. Busy, busy, busy. Go, go, go.
I have to say I am the most guilty. This weekend I was gifted with free time to do whatever I wanted, to come and go as I pleased; and I couldn’t turn off my brain. I’m so used to going, and planning, and rushing that I couldn’t take 48 hours of alone time to just chill. So, this morning I forced myself to shut down. I wanted to see how long I could blank out and do absolutely nothing; no TV, no books, no Internet, just silence. It lasted all of 14 seconds; pitiful I know. But, what I realized in that very short period of time is that I like my rush. Yes, it’s nice to have a day off where you just chill and do nothing all day, but I like my over imaginative, busy, never turning off brain. I love the things in my life that cause me to be busy. Those two little someones who keep me going constantly and shower me daily with love and happiness and that one certain someone who tells me I’m beautiful even when I have no makeup and I’m wearing sweatpants. They are worth every rushed second I spend, they make the rush beautiful. How can the rush not beautiful when it’s being done in love..?
One thing I did take away from my 48 hours of nothing to rush for is this; from now on for at least 14 seconds a day I’m going to turn off and just breathe….but until then…off I go.