on being a mom

Raine peachy_web photo by Katariina Fagering

After a long winter break my daughter, Raine, returned to her school on Monday. She attends boarding school in St. Louis and since her departure, I have been weepy without her near. She graduates in the spring and our time together will only dwindle as she steps into the fullness of her life as an adult.

raine Wu photo by Katariina Fagering

The gravity of this monumental right of passage is hitting me with full force. I know I will always be her mother but my role in many ways will change drastically after she graduates. I will have finished my purpose as the mother of Raine as a child and move into being the mother of an adult. Although there are tangible changes when a child graduates, the real shift for me is on the subtle level.raine in snow by Katariina Fagering

Raine was my only child for 13 years when her little brother Finnegan arrived the day before her 13th birthday. We have been through so much together over these 17 years and we share a special bond. I feel a strong connection to her that extends beyond this lifetime.

raine as baby by Katariina Fagering

When she was a baby, it was clear to me, that my job as her parent, was too build her confidence, develop her independence, and most importantly to guide her to listen to her own internal compass. I had a vision of her leaving home as an empowered young woman who knew who she was and what she wanted to achieve in life. If that thing she initially chose changed a dozen times in her life, it wouldn’t matter to me; having a sense of direction of what to do next was important.

Raine and mom by Katariina Fagering

You can probably guess that this desire for her was created out of my own experience which looked very different. I had no direction and no real options, so when the Marine Corps recruiter called I didn’t hesitate to say yes! I know my parents did the best they knew how and I have no regrets about the choices I had, nor the decisions I made.

Raine however, is having a very different experience. She knows what college she is attending next year and her passion is musical theater, so she plans to study theater, dance and voice for four years and then head to New York City to test her talents.

Raine and Momma

As we move into the last months of her childhood, I am reflecting on our time together – both the low points and the high points. I made a lot of mistakes along the way but as is true for every mom, I did the best I knew how, or I would have done better. Life has dealt Raine some challenges to overcome but I know these challenges also have made her into the woman she has become.

rain Wu photo by Katariina Fagering

She is one of the funniest people I know; she is tenacious, kind and ever so talented. She sings, dances, plays the ukulele, ice skates, snow boards, rides horseback, kayaks, and brings joy to many. I couldn’t be prouder of all she has accomplished thus far and am so excited to witness her from my new position as the mother of the adult Raine.

raine as pocahontis by Katariina Fagering

raine in buns by Katariina FAgering

Raine in red by Katariina FAgering

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a prayer for Raine . . .

My beautiful daughter Raine is now at boarding school 800 miles away. It’s a bittersweet experience for me; I know she is going to have the time of her life and make life-long friendships, but I miss her presence in our home. She is so funny with a mature sense of humor that always makes me laugh; and she is the one that understands me more than anyone on the planet.

Recently I read of a time when girls living hundreds of years ago went through an initiation into womanhood at about the age of 12 to learn the sacred ways of healing, living and guiding others.  This led me to dream up what feminine wisdom I could pass onto Raine before she left our home.

I imagined a secret school for girls like an etiquette class but oh-so-different. It would be a school to initiate girls into learning how to show up in the world in their power, using their most powerful skills, assets, knowledge in the best ways possible.

These are some of the things I would invite them to practice:

  • Alignment with the highest part of ourselves
  • Breathing deeply
  • Drinking water often
  • Learning to listen
  • Learning how to calm and address those emotions within through caring for the child within
  • Learning responsibility
  • Learning to take focus off of self
  • Awakening to and honoring the memory of our ancestors – women folk.
  • Learning to be direct and transparent while staying in their own power center.
  • Experiencing the power of field of energy that exists between us and learn how to increase it.

Well she left too soon for that to happen, but I also know there is still plenty of time to initiate her into all of this; a lot on this list she already knows because I have shared it with her and we practice a lot. With this in mind, I wanted to send her to school with a reminder of her powerful connected self. So I made this poster to go on her wall in her dorm next to her bed. I hope she reads it often and doesn’t forget. I’m already thinking of the next poster to create and send to her – perhaps a photo of herself with a phrase over it. I will be sure to share as I create them.

Finn Swims on Super8

This is Finnegan swimming with so much grace in our backyard pool. If I could only have this much joy in everything I do. I captured this video with my Super 8 app on my iPhone. How fun is this?

This didn’t work the way I wanted it to but I’m still working out the technical bugs. In the meantime just click on the link!!! Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/embed/fWqPObZMXMY

some things I just love today . . .

my beautiful man

Today I am so madly in love with my handsome, soul-filled man, Larry. He takes great care of us, he is a wonderful provider & protector. He is tender & sweet as well as strong & intelligent. I love his entrepreneurial spirit & his creativity that drives him to keep creating new experiences with business. We have an incredible connection & appreciation for each other. Here there is deep respect & love like I have never known before. Out of this love was born my next love.

finnegan & daddy

finnegan

Now my sweet daughter Raine who starts her sophomore year of high school in two days is not last because of any ranking. It’s just that she hides in her room until 2 pm then emerges with her sunny face & quick wit to make us all laugh. Doesn’t she look like a domestic queen?

Raine making cupcakes

now for the inanimate objects that I love today –

old accordian

Larry bought this old accordion on ebay just because it has so much history & story just eeking out of it. We put it on our mantle & it looks great.  It fits in well in our house.

our mantle

Outside in our backyard where we recently put in our pool & this week will be building the epi wood porch, we finally finished our outside shower. I designed the cement floor with rocks & Larry put together the shower out of copper pipes & a vintage shower head. It’s so absolutely amazing to take a cold shower during the day when the 102 degree weather is getting to ya & the pool is 90 something degrees. Lar & I both now only take showers outside & can’t remember the last time we took one upstairs in our inside shower.

our outside shower

We planted some zoysia grass in old baskets & boxes I bought at the thrift store. The grass is thriving & we love the look.

our outdoor shower

our old bricks

I love these bricks. These are reclaimed vintage bricks I both found & bought for our pool deck. I found about 70 of the bricks around town over the past year & collected them into our garage. Then we bought Thurbers, Croesbecks, Standards, Coffeyvilles, Houstons, and on & on.  We wanted to give our backyard the feel that the bricks have been there forever. So we didn’t use any grout or mortar but instead put sandy dirt between the bricks. In some of the bigger spaces where the bricks didn’t quite fit together we planted zoysia grass. Well I just share that with you if anyone is interested.

the cairn i built

This is the cairn I built to honor all the gratitude & patience I have for our slowly coming together vision of a magical backyard sanctuary in the big city.

Thanks for witnessing all that I love today. Well it’s definately not all that I love but those things that crossed my path & grabbed my attention.

 

 

 

 

pregnant with possibilities

Pregnant with Possibilities

Last night I started a 7-week telecourse  called The Keys to Feminine Power,  Awakening the Three Power Bases of the New Co-creative Feminine.  My good friend, Anna in Santa Fe took it & loved it enough to take the next & the next. I can see there has been a huge shift in her presence over the past year, so I decided to take it as well.

In this first lesson they kept saying that we were all pregnant with possibilities ready to be midwifed. It reminded me of this photo I took of Tawny back in 2003 or so. The fires had just burned around the outskirts of Temecula, CA & I had this vision of a pregnant woman amidst the burned trees. Luckily, I knew a pregnant woman at the time & she was more than happy to climb down embankments & waddle into the charred remains to creat this image.

It reminds me of the concept that even from the charred remains parts of my life have become I am still pregnant with possibilities – ready to birth.

 

sunday with finnegan

running free in yoga room

While Larry took Raine to Splashtown, Finnegan & I had the day to ourselves, so we went to swim in the big pool at the YMCA! We arrived before the pool opened so we played in the yoga room filled with big yoga balls. After swimming Finnegan wanted to play basketball with the big boys in the gym so he ran around in a diaper & bare feet trying to make baskets.

 

Finnegan shooting hoops

 

 

playing with the big boys

 

taking a shot

 

 

 

updated version . . .

i birthed a beautiful being (finished . . i think)

So I think I’m done with her for now. I lightened her face a bit, added more details & it feels good. One of the ideas i was playing with was using different tones of white. I had some warm whites & a cooler white-painted around her to make it a little more dynamic. I actually learned about that idea from an article in a magazine about Flea Market Decorating where this woman had a house of different shades of white. It doesn’t exactly show up in this photo but the actual painting is distinctly different. I also like the contrast of the paint against the charcoal. It gives it a gritty sort of dirty imperfect feel.

Now to move onto the next painting.

Thanks for witnessing this journey with me. Blogging makes me feel not so much a lone on this path.

Big Love,

Katariina