Here we are

I blinked and October arrived. Naturally the Christmas decorations have been twinkling on display at Costco for weeks now, and it strikes me that my last post was two Christmases ago!

I’ve been puzzled about writing here again—I can’t seem to pick up right where I left off, and the idea of building a bridge from there to here feels overwhelming.

Better just to invite you to be here with me now, thank you for reading this!

If we haven’t caught up in person for awhile, the first thing you need to hear is that the game of tennis has (unexpectedly) swept me off my feet. My family is laughing as they read this because it’s pretty much the only thing I ever do or talk about since this time last year.

Russ set up a lesson for the two of us last October, and encouraged me to continue on. What began as me stepping onto the court hesitantly once a week has evolved into a full-fledged addiction. The kids play with us and take junior clinics, Russ and I wrapped up a solid summer as mixed doubles partners, and we’re all just getting started!

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I can’t describe tennis as a breath of fresh air because it’s more like I got the wind knocked out of me. I mean to say, I am stunned and delighted by the ways tennis has enhanced our life, and how swiftly. Come out and find us on the court!

One place you haven’t found much of us recently is on social media—awhile back I decided abruptly that it was time to be done with it. Russ understood; I’d equate his reaction to a golf clap (he vetoed Facebook back in college and never looked back). If I’m being honest, I had mixed feelings about it. Social media is so fun! I enjoy editing photos and writing captions, seeing family and friends and babies growing up, and having a clue about what’s going on around town. But I couldn’t deny that it preoccupied me. With all I had on my plate, I decided it would be healthy to step away from the news feeds, filters, and general noise.

If you’ve ever taken even a brief pause from Facebook or Instagram then you’re familiar with the restlessness, the void—I’d almost describe it as a feeling of grief. As time goes on, it gets better. And I understand now that I was craving to hear more of my own inner dialogue, to feel my own feelings, to do my own thing.

I realized I was sensitive to the shadow of friends and followers hovering overhead. As soon as I flipped on that smartphone camera, these precious, silly, lovely moments became a potential spectator event. I wanted to be present in these moments, anticipating the next giggle or nose-crinkle, rather than contriving some clever post.

So many of you do a much better job than I do at sharing freely without being overly self-conscious. I guess I’m just learning what suits me—maybe a bit of invisibility is my super power.

That being said, I’m happy to indulge you with a little dose of Martin kids, who are so BIG and HAPPY and BUSY!

 Grace (age 9) becoming a triathlete

Grace (age 9) becoming a triathlete

 Amy (age 7) heading out on a birthday trail ride

Amy (age 7) heading out on a birthday trail ride

 Megan (age 4) loving that July 4th party in the U.S.A.

Megan (age 4) loving that July 4th party in the U.S.A.

 Russell Jr. (age 2) camping in Montaña de Oro State Park

Russell Jr. (age 2) camping in Montaña de Oro State Park

Everyone is back at school this year and it’s all good. Homeschooling was a wild, happy ride, and transitioning back has been bittersweet for all of us. I’m not sure what the kids will remember of the two years we spent at home together, or if they even learned a thing (except how to push Mom’s buttons in new and clever ways). I’m fairly certain that I’ll remember my new mantra which is “it can all be cleaned.” Ha! What I’m sure of is that I'll never regret having drawn my kids in close, nurtured their little hearts, and practiced how to be a better mom to them.

I started this blog wondering how I might be be remembered one day. I know I am loved, and I feel blessed in ways far greater than I could ever hope for, or even imagine. Raising kids has been the hardest and best privilege of my life so far. The chaos, the exhaustion, the triumphs, the mistakes, it’s all part of my story right now. And it’s easy to get lost in it.

I try to remember that I’m more than “mom”—to see motherhood as a medium for coming to know myself. Eventually the kids will grow up and head out on their own, and I intend to have kindled ‘this little light of mine’ along the way. At the moment this means keeping tennis on my calendar, booking hot dates with my husband (who am I kidding, we will probably go play tennis), chipping away at the stack of books teetering on my nightstand (I promise only two are tennis related), and deciding to write here a little more often.

Catch you next time! xx