The Bluestocking @ Home

Musings and Reflections


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Halloween 2018|Part II|Hermione Granger

I know I say this every year but this girl of mine, she is fierce and brave, kind and smart as all get out! So I was thrilled when she asked to be Hermione Granger for Halloween this year. I think she nailed it … sass, bossiness, and spunk included!  I love her spirit, her confidence, and how comfortable she with who she is.

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Hope you all had a lovely Halloween!

Warmly,

Magdalena

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Halloween 2018|Part I|Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Happy Halloween! Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

My son and I had such a wonderful time with this costume this year.  Mr. Rogers was such a influential figure in my own childhood and I have nothing but fond memories of his programs.  My children have only had a taste, but my husband and I have both spent so much time talking about our fond memories of Mr. Rogers and finding old episodes to show our children that they know and appreciate who he was and what he represented as well.

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Last night, when very few people recognized his costume at a party that we attended, Yuri was little disappointed.  We came home and washed away any of those feeling by watching the deeply moving “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” documentary about Mr. Rogers.  Despite this being my second viewing, I bawled my eyes out again.  If you haven’t seen this phenomenal film, I emphatically encourage you to see it. It will move you and inspire you.  It will remind you of the power and simplicity of love, the far reaching effects of empathy, the simple act of kindness and how deeply they can affect a generation … and the generation after that and onward.

 

This boy of mine, he knows how to show empathy, patience and kindness with younger children, and has a heart of gold. If he’s going to emulate anyone, I can’t think of a better role model than the likes of Mr. Rogers. Watching him grow and change and become the wonderful young man that he is today is one of the greatest joys of my life.

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Stay tuned for our Halloween Part II with our sweet girl!

Warmly,

Magdalena


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On Writing, Intentions & Liturgy

While my current writing project isn’t fiction, I find this beautiful liturgy a wonderful opportunity for the setting of intentions and for grounding myself in my craft. It reminds me of how strongly I feel about the importance of partnering in the creation of art with my creator from whom all blessing flow.

It reminds me of my deep desire to surrender as a creative to bold and authentic art, to the cultivation of beauty, to the wrestling with of thoughts and questions in my own heart and mind. Whether religious in nature or not, I pray that I and other creatives alongside me are bravely surrender ourselves to the deep well of inspiration that overflows in abundance all around us.

How often have I heard authors say, “this character or these characters, they just walked into my head and wouldn’t leave”? It only reaffirms my belief that art connects us to something greater than ourselves and outside of ourselves.

We stand as vessels, filled with the experiences of our lives, the observations of the seemingly ordinary, and the dream of worlds that were, that could be, or that perhaps should be. We stand before the page, affected by the stories of our own lives, by our own memories, by the hopes we carry deep within our hearts, by the scars that have shaped us and the joys that have lifted us.

And sometimes it feels like too much or not enough, and yet, when we surrender the perceived shortcomings, when we leave our floundering (or possibly inflated) egos at the door, beautiful things can happen and we, as vessels, become infused with a strength, wisdom, and grace previously unknown to us.

A splendid partnership of the human and the divine. One that humbles the heart and mind, while simultaneously causing the spirit to sore. It is a partnership that once tasted is craved for a lifetime. Perhaps that is what makes moments of writer’s block or seeming stagnation seem unbearable because we are yearning to return to that sacred communion that causes our hearts to spill out onto the page.

So I humbly surrender my craft and utter the words of this liturgy, “Lord, take these my small offering and shape me by these labors.”

Warmly,

Magdalena

P.S. The gorgeous liturgy in the picture that helped prompt this post is from the truly inspired book, Every Moment Holy by Douglas Kaine McKelvy. You can click the book title to take you to learn more about this very special book.


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Settled Into The Bone

October 15th is the feast day of Teresa of Ávila, a saint whose words have often spoken to my heart. On the days when we feel oh so weary, so very bone weary, this imagery of allowing God’s presence to settle in our bones and the releasing of ourselves to sing and dance and praise, and love, it is like a balm and healing ointment.

Not all days feel like days to sing and dance. Not all days feel like days to praise. Some days are heavy laden with memories, with hurts, and sorrows. Some days the sorrow reaches the bone and it aches deeply and you are short of breath, spiritual breath, emotional breath, mental breath.

But then a thing happens. Slowly, the breaks begin to heal. The sorrow, enveloped by time, cradled by love, nurtured in patience, begins to make way for new beginnings. The scars, not always visible, will remain, but life invites us to try again, to welcome the new day with a new hope.

October 15 is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This past September marked ten years since my traumatic miscarriage at 16 weeks. That day, a decade ago, I lost my son. His name is Luca Olivier. He was my second, his big brother was so excited for his arrival, my husband and I were so excited to see our family grow.

I held him in my hands for a brief moment. A moment so brief that even a decade later it hurts to know that it wasn’t nearly long enough. For so many years, I was haunted by the trauma of that day, by the things that felt like they were my fault, by the moments that that couldn’t be undone, by the heart crushing sorrow that penetrated every cell of my body and settled deeply in the depths of my soul as they took his tiny body from me. It was one of the darkest moments in my life.

The seasons that followed were not linear. There were highs and lows, there was much healing, and yet there were moments that felt as though I was being pulled back to the earliest days. After a decade I am in a completely different space with my grief. I have been able to hold the hand of others who have experienced loss, I have told my story, and I continue to speak about Luca, because he existed and he was mine and I am grateful for even those brief months we spent sharing this body of mine. I have organized prayer services, I have written about loss, I have raised awareness. Through it, and in the midst of it, there has been healing.

And then, last year, on the anniversary of the day I lost him, the day came and went and I forgot that it was the day. And this year, it wasn’t until the day after that I remembered. And I was consumed by shame, by guilt, and by a different kind of grief.

But then I realized that sometimes healing means no longer needing to relive the pain in the same ways. And in some ways the pain has morphed into an honouring memory rather than a gut wrenching experience. I will never forget the way I was treated in that hospital that day, it traumatized me deeply and still makes it hard for me to walk into a hospital without anxiety, I will never forget the pain of labour, the utter distress of having my water broken by the doctor and knowing that there would be no turning back and that everything about that pregnancy was over in that moment.

I don’t want every memory that I have of this sweet boy of mine to be marred by the darkness of that day. From the moment I knew I was carrying his life within my womb, there was pure joy and wonderful anticipation. There were dreams of family and there was the excitement of a little boy who would talk to my belly so excited to be a big brother. There was love, so much love. There is love … deep and abiding and it has not ceased.

And so when faced with guilt or shame, I also realized that the darkest parts of my sorrow have had a chance to heal. I can think of Luca now without the very raw feelings of those early days and years. I would not begrudge my body when bones and muscles and joints heal in the aftermath of an injury. I would rejoice in the moments when I no longer needed crutches or a cast, or the day when I realized that I was no longer limping but walking at full strength again.

It has to be okay to walk again. It doesn’t mean that you didn’t love enough, or hurt enough, or that it wasn’t a big deal. It means that healing has taken place. It means that the sorrow has made way for hope, for joy, for new beginnings and for more love. It means that you have taken the pain and allowed the presence and peace of God settle deep into your bones, and hold you when you thought you couldn’t carry yourself any longer. And in the surrender of the pain and the sorrow a new road has emerged. It doesn’t erase the one that brought us here, it simply offers a new way. And along this path you may find others who need you to walk alongside them so that they too can walk towards their own healing. May we always be open to that journey, for the road of grief is to often lonely and overwhelming, but the yoke when shared makes such a difference.

Luca, sweetheart, mommy and daddy love you dearly as do your big brother and little sister. Thank you for touching our lives so deeply even in your brief time in our lives.

Warmly and with Love,

Magdalena


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Small Treasures

This special surprise greeted me in the kitchen this morning!! My kid is amazing! Not just because he made this, which is super cool! But because he has this heart of gold! It is so very much the little things you all! He probably couldn’t have imagined how much seeing that he made this for me touched my heart. It is not a special day, it is just Friday.

I cherish so much that he knows how to express love and that he loves to make things. He is constantly carving, constructing, reverse engineering and making things. Some days the glue gun and popsicle sticks and carving wood, the paper and the electrical tape, oh heavens the electrical tape, the crazy glue, the bits of straws and half used cardboard boxes that I’m forbidden to get rid of, strewn in all corners of my house and especially my kitchen drive me crazy!

But this morning this little gift not only stopped me in my tracks because of its love and kindness, but because it reminded me that all these “messes”, they are so important. They are the building blocks of creativity, of problem solving, of trial and error and trying again. They are the very sacred messes of childhood, and of the journey to adulthood, and of being a way-maker and a problem solver, a creator, and an innovator. And that mingled in the passion for creativity is the desire to share that joy with those you love. As I hold this keychain in my hand today, I am humbled yet again that I get to be his mom, and that I have the joy and honour of seeing him daily grow into a fine young man. Yes, dear friends, it is so very much the little things.

Warmly,

Magdalena


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Fall-ing Away

I’m finally layering in little touches of fall decor around the house, and taking the time to nurture my home and simultaneously a part of my heart again. It feels like it’s been a spell since I truly nurtured my home, but that can happen when your heart feels overwhelmed and overburdened, so I am both physically and emotionally embracing the gentle falling away of the old and a season of preparation and nurturing for the chapters that lay ahead.

I must be on the right track because even my loves are sensing the shift and are loving the return of the little touches around the home and in our daily rhythm that used to flow so naturally from me, but that seemed to be wilted for a time. And while I have berated myself and bemoaned the off feeling that I had for some time, they have never breathed a word. But I can see their excitement and their genuine pleasure at seeing the return and it makes me so happy.

Fall is a good time of year to let things go, and prepare the ground for something new. What are you letting go? What are you making room for? Is there anything that you are returning to that your heart has really missed? Or is it time for new pursuits all together?

Warmly and With Love,

Magdalena