Blog Revamp in Progress...

 Happy Friday to all. :) I am in the process of revamping my entire blog (yay!) and spent the afternoon on a new page ~ My Story. Much of it will be familiar to you, but since it took me so stinkin' long to pull together... I thought I'd share. :)

My story. Hmmmm, where to begin when telling the story of one's life? So many challenges, joys, moments of revelation and contemplation have shaped me. How to abridge that into a 1 page story? I imagine it's often best to simply begin at the beginning, and let Spirit lead the way...

Me & my mom
4 generations in one photo. Many years later is was almost 5 when Taylor was born, but my nana decided it was time to move on before we could make that happen. :)

Me & my dad, once upon a time...
The home where I grew up, although the colors have changed over the years...

I am the oldest of 4 children- as stubborn and headstrong as they come while growing up. I had an idyllic childhood. I was loved and cherished, but never spoiled. I was smart and I was fiery.

Me & my sibs
 We grew up on a small farm, for years raising much of our own food from chickens and pigs, to corn and potatoes. We grew up on homemade bread and fresh fruit. We grew up on fresh air and room to run. It isn't a stretch to say that I had a childhood one would dream of.

 I grew up to create a family of my own. I met Scott during the summer of 1989. I use 'met' very loosely considering that the small school that we attended made us all on a first name basis. I was a sophmore, and Scott a junior. To this day it's a mystery why we stayed together. (Remember the fiery part?) I guess I saw his potential. ;) We married in 1994, a backyard wedding on a hot July summer day. Some would call our life boring, I call it perfect. We both prefer to be home, we both prefer the quiet. We've settled into the comfort of each other with all of the support and love that comes from years of figuring things out together. We bought out first home out of which I opened my own pet grooming business ~ Pampered Pets. I did amazingly well and got to a point where I was able to pick and choose my clients making for very pleasant days.

Miss Taylor
 1996 brought Baby #1, Taylor. She's smart, loves to read and loves to laugh!

Miss Jordan
 I didn't waste any time, and a year a half later life offered us Baby #2, Jordan. She's fiery, independent and hilarious. If I could step back in time, just briefly, it would be to have a sweet and sleepy baby nursing at my chest, breathing in that warm, milky breath. Hovering quietly in that place where dreams begin. Surely the most delidcious smell on this green earth ~ sweet baby breath.
In 1999 my parents most generously gave Scott and I 2 acres of their land and we built a home. It is whrre we live still, and where I plan to grow old. My home is my haven. The sense of peace and calm that I feel here is inexplicable. Surrounded by trees,and birds, and sky, I am at peace here.

Miss Riley Mae
 The new millennium, 2000, brought us Miss Riley Mae. She's sweet, imaginative and loving. Three beautiful girls. Our family was now complete.

My mom and my girls
 Somewhere along the way homeschooling became our way of life. I never envisioned sending Taylor off to school, strangely, the thought never even crossed my mind. I really hadn't thought too much about what I would do, I just kind of unknowingly allowed myself to be guided there. Before you ask, yes, I plan  to continue through high schoool (in fact Taylor is already there), and no, socialization has never, ever been even the tiniset bit of an issue. In fact, the girls and I have thrived and grown in our created environment, and while their education is very important to me, their happiness is more so.

 The number 1 rule in our home? Be kind. If it isn't kind, don't say it. Practice random acts of kindness, just because, expecting nothing in return.  Are they always successful? Nope. But they're some of the nicest, most polite, well behaved, joyful kids I know. Always laughing. That's my definition of success. :)

Me & my dad
 We never watch tv, our days are spent reading, creating, raising animals, learning, growing. I don't fill extra time with extracurricular activities. We live simply and quietly, finding joy in all sorts of wonderful nooks and crannies. Our days are never dull, never boring.

Willie ~ our big knucklehead
 We are extremely health conscious. I believe in perfect health. While some say 'life it too short', I say it's too long to be sick, miserable, and in pain. My choices allow me to enjoy the time I'll be here. We've evolved into organic vegans. Gluten free, sugar free, artificial free, preservative free, yeast free... the list could go on and on.What it really translates to is that I do a lot of cooking. :) Please don't get the impression that our food is bland and boring, in fact it is overwhelming with delicious flavor. Lunch is our big meal otf the day, and we dig in with ferocity and sheer delight. :)

Reggie ~ always hamming it up for the camera

Tansy ~ a bit more reserved than her brother
My life changing moment occured in 2004 with the extraction of 3 widom teeth. Through a series of events too long to doucument here, I found myself diagonoed with panic disorder and living an existence of daily terror and despair. From the moment I awoke each morning, to the momoent I thankfully fell into sleep each night ~ each hour, minute, second, was a living hell, from which I could find no escape. While I don't believe in the existence of hell, I found myself living in my own creation of just such a place, here on Earth. Of course now, loking back, it was without question the most blessed event in my life. It kept me searching for the way, my way, to be free. Slowly, very slowly over time, several years, I have found my answers. I have the distinct feeling this journey of knowledge will last a lifetime, and perhaps well into the next.

My sweet ratter, Bella
 I have released all fear from my life, along with all negative emotions such as worry and guilt. I have no place for them in a life now overflowing with joy, peace, laughter, purpose and creativity. I have evolved into a deeply spiritual being, finding connection everywhere.  In the birdsong outside my window, in the whisper of the wind, in the heady scent of  flowers. I have discovered a deep and unrelenting connection to Spritit/God/Universe that I never found through the rigid rules of any religion, which isn't to say that isn't the way for others. My daily morning meditation keeps me balanced and true to myself. On those rare and magical occasion when, for just a moment, I sit with Sprit, bathed in joy beyond description, they are enought to sustain me for the rest of my journey. Bliss beyond bliss and peace beyond any I've every known.

I learned to embrace change and have discovered once I stopped resisting, change always leadd me to a better place. Without fail. I can always spot the silver lining. I have discovered the 'secret' to abundance. I hold no judgements on any of my fellow human beings. We are each here on an individual journey of experience and rememberings, and I respect that and cherish that with the same fervor and passion that I pursue my own way.
Me :)
  Every day brings with it new questions, and every hour provides me with new answers. I find the guindance is always there in the quiet of my heart. In the stillness between breaths. This journey is an amazing treasure. I'm grateful for all moments large and small. I'm grateful that you're here to share it with me.

Peace and many, many blessings ~ Melinda