Sunday, February 15, 2015

Love Notes.

There are few things that feel better than receiving a thoughtful, personal, handwritten note.  Love notes are big around here in our home.  I started thinking about all of the places where notes show up and what they mean to me. 

Welcome home notes Ava leaves around the house, when we arrive home from a trip out of town.

A love note written on Ava’s lunch napkin, I leave as a surprise for her every day.

Notes of thanks I send to the people I appreciate in my professional life.

Daily detailed notes exchanged between Becky (our nanny) and me about the kids.  I love these notes as it helps me feel connected to the little things that go on each day when I’m not around.  Everything from what Carson had for lunch to the smile on his face when he discovered how to use the brakes on his bike.

The ongoing journal of notes Matt and I have exchanged between us over the past fourteen years.  On our first anniversary of marriage we started a journal together, a place for us to exchange thoughts of gratitude to one another.

What I love most is there has never been any rules or expectations, no pressure.  Whoever has the journal last is expected to pass it on when they feel like it.  I love the surprise of a note showing up in the most unlikely place when I least expect it. 

This month, leading up to Valentine’s Day, our family shared 14 days of what we love most. It was fun to learn what is most important to each of us, right now.  

One of the reasons I love sharing notes is that they become a record, they linger.  They tell us the story of a snapshot in time.  Notes are often read in the private and quiet space of our mind where they can resonate more deeply than spoken dialogue. A note is something we can remember and revisit when we really need it.  I often keep the best ones for the times I need them most.

Notes can be the quiet strength we draw from while preparing to respond.  In the midst of challenge, sometimes rereading notes of the past can bring light to a lost perspective. 

I will continue writing love notes to my kids because if there is any light I can leave on for them in this world, maybe this is it.


The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.  So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. 
 –Neil Gailman

I start every year with a new word, a word that best describes my intentions and hopes for the year in front of me. This year, I choose quiet.

More quiet means recognizing intuition, being awake in the present moment and doing less with more focus. In a place where there is more quiet, there is less worry, noise and distraction.

Anyone who knows me well understands how difficult quiet is for me. My default involves a lot of talking, planning, what-if and worrying. Being still to recognize what quiet looks and feels like is and will be a challenge for me this year.

Last night as I was lying with Carson, I was reminded of what quiet feels like.

Quiet is: 
Not checking my cell phone for the next distraction 
An early morning, quiet drive to the gym 
An early morning cup of coffee before everyone wakes 
Making time to write 
Turning the radio off to drive in silence instead 
Taking the long route home listening to music instead of the TV 
Walks on the beach 
Curling up on the couch with a blanket in front of the fire 
Going for a walk instead of a run 
Thursday dinner date night with Matt 
Listening to Ava read 
Saturday with no agenda 
Spending time outdoors 
Watching them play 
Laying next to them as they fall asleep 

In discovery of my word for this year, I tried something new and took time to write a vision statement. This activity involved jotting down simple notes of what I want and need, spending some time writing and reworking before it felt right.

As I spend less time worrying, I create the quiet space in life that allows me to be present and confident that in this moment, I am exactly where I should be.

Vision creates energy. It must be exciting, present tense, and live in our dominant self-conscious. A vision statement is reflective of what we need, a guide that leads us.

Where are you going this year?