Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Toooooooooooo Long.

Ok, so I totally didn't keep up with this blog. But I am going to try to!

Since my last posting, I have had another baby, and set out on a weight-loss adventure.

This morning (although it has been in the 70s and 80s) it was COLD. Like below freezing cold.

So..... to start back up on this blog, in an easy way, here is a snapshot of me in front of the computer this morning, no make up, just me.

I will be trying to make a post a day, but I am not going to promise. Life with four kids is INSANE and things often don't get done. But, they need to, so I am going to try.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Recapturing parts of my life...

This week has been an interesting transformation for us.

The whole house has undergone changes. Rory now has his own room. Arden and Canyon are sharing a bunk bed, and for the first time in over 6 years we have our room and our bed back from our children.

Don't get me wrong, Canyon is still nursing, and I love to co-sleep with my children. I wouldn't have it any other way. They are always welcome in our family bed...

I had forgotten what a sanctuary the bedroom can actually be. I love my bed, and many mornings I struggle to get out of it. I love the feeling of the warm blankets wrapped around me, and the coolness of the pillow on my face. It is so wonderful to have a small place of my own again.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

13 Days of Love. Day 7.

We are completely blessed to have such a wonderful church family.

I really don't have much to say other then I love our church, I love our pastor, and I love our church family.

Every time we go to church, I sit and listen to our pastor preach, and am reminded how good he really is. It is incredibly hard to find a minister that really preaches the bible in a way that feels right and touches your heart. We must have visited 5-6 different baptist churches before we found our perfect church.

Each week that Jim gets up to the pulpit, I know that we are going to hear a wonderful sermon. He is well educated, worldly, and has both an open heart and open mind. (Which is surprisingly hard to find in many Christians now-a-days).

He reminds me of listening to Carl's dad when he was the pastor at our old church, and makes me want to go to WV to listen to Carl's mom (who is now the pastor at the old church).

Our church family is so generous, and so loving. It is amazing that we found a church where we never feel judged, or looked down on.

When life get's hard for me, I tend to back off a little, and seclude myself. It makes it easier for me to deal with the problems and situations. When Canyon got sick, I felt the need to back away from a lot of things (my blog and church included). We have recently started to go back to church, and it is wonderful to see how much we were missed, and how much people care. Everyone was respectful of our space while we were away, prayed for Canyon and the family, checked up on us, and then welcomed us back with open arms. We couldn't ask for more.

Today's service impacted me pretty hard, and I am spending time thinking about the real reason things happen here on Earth... but that is another discussion.

Today's love is my church family. Thank you all for your love and support.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

13 Days of Love. Day 6.

My love today is Asheville and it's local commerce and food...

There are a lot of places in the country that don't have available local stores and local food. We here in Asheville are blessed to have both all year.

This morning I got up, and took Rory to the "Toy Box" store down the road from our house. He was able to pick out a gift for a friend, and look at a ton of toys that ToysRUs or Walmart wouldn't have. Every week we go to local restaurants to eat, and many of those use local foods as much as possible. We do our shopping at neighborhood grocers and even at the local farmer's market.

I think that shopping locally for both food and other items is one of the most important things we can do for our planet, our economy, and our children.

Here in Asheville, we have Walmarts, McDonalds, ToysRUs, and even a mall, but you want to know a secret? We don't need them. We have such a great local selection of small family owned stores and restaurants, that you don't need those big chains and discount stores.

We get our hair cut at a local salon, we get our food at small local stores, we get most of our clothes from local stores, and even our toys and gifts come from 2 small toy stores in town.

I LOVE ASHEVILLE and the opportunity it gives us to eat and shop locally!

Friday, February 5, 2010

13 Days of Love. Day 5.

I have spent a lot of time traveling around, and living in different places. One thing I have found is how much I love the mountains.

As a little girl, I grew up in the Potomac Valley in Maryland. There were hills, and mountains near by, but we never got to see them or to experience what they had to offer us. I used to go to visit my Granny Eva in southern West Virginia. Her home is in this beautiful location, and when I would stay, I would tell her that someday I was going to live there. I did for a while, and someday, I probably will again.

I have lived in river valleys, in the "low country", close to the beaches, in the midwest, and somehow, I always come back to the mountains. They literally pull at my heart. When we take trips to visit friends and family on the beaches, and in other parts of the country, I miss the call of our mountains. As we travel back over the foothills, I can feel the mountains, and I know we are coming home. I feel at peace knowing that we will soon be able to see them.

We have been blessed to live here in Western North Carolina. Both the Appalachian and Smokey Mountains run here, and offer us their life and their beauty. The mountains here thought smaller then the ones out west, are breathtaking.

They offer us clean water, fresh air, naturally grown fish, and the opportunity to explore and "disappear" into the wilderness. They offer the chance to kayak, ski, hike, fish, bike, and really to do anything our hearts desire.

I still desire to travel, and to leave the mountains for a brief time... but I know that I will always come home.

My love for today is the mountains. They hold a special place in my heart.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

13 Days of Love. Day 4.

As much as I love the moments that I shared yesterday, there are moments that I covet and protect like no other.

Those moments are the few moments in the evening when my children have gone to bed, the dishes are done, lunches are packed, and I finally have time to spend on me.

As much as I love being a mom and being with my children, I love those moments of silence and solitude.

Those few moments keep me both grounded and connected to myself. I usually spend them curled up in my favorite blue chair, and can be found knitting, having a glass of wine, studying midwifery, or blogging. I spend them doing what I love, that time is for me. They are not moments that I have to spend doing things for others, they are moments that I save just for myself. Every mom needs to have time for her.

We live our lives for our children. I choose to be home 24-7 with my babies, and that choice is one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is not something I will ever regret, it is the most important thing I have ever done.

The thing is, we don't realize when we make that decision, that over time we begin to lose who we are as individuals. Little by little, that person we used to be before children begins to slip away, and unless we do little things to protect that, we lose sight of ourselves.

I have a degree in English, with a concentration in Journalism. I am an outdoors person who lives for the next adrenaline rush. I have spent my adult life before children taking photos, writing, living minimally (in a tent or on the road) and doing extreme sports. After having my beautiful children, I realized that adult contact began to decrease (more so with each child) and that self expression was no longer easy to come by, I no longer get to go rock climbing, skiing, or kayaking on a regular basis, I no longer can live minimally (not in the same way I used to) and sometimes I wonder where those parts of my life went.

In order to keep that part of myself, I take those few moments each night, and I make them mine. I think that all moms need to do the same :) I encourage you moms to take this "love" of mine, and to take those moments and make them your own. You not only deserve them, but you need them.We are people outside of our children, and we need to remember who we were/are, and hold onto that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

13 Days of Love, Day 3

Those precious moments...

Every day, there are little moments that I will always cherish and hopefully never forget...

With each of my children there is a special time that we spend together each day, and with each little one, that time is different.

Almost every morning, I get to drive Rory to his morning car-pool for school. This is our "private time" where (usually) his brothers are not accompanying us, and when he can just talk to me... and he does! Rory will talk non-stop about different things that are important to his 6-year-old mind, and I am learning to see the whole world through a different set of glasses recently. I love my time with Rory, and can't believe how old and mature he is getting!

Arden and I spend time in the kitchen almost everyday. I love that he helps me get food prepared for meals and then after meals when everything is calm, he still climbs up onto my lap and hugs me. It is such a sweet time to get to have with him, and as he grows older, I know I will miss it. He is such a sweet child who wants nothing but love, and I love that about him.

And that brings us to the Can-Man.

Canyon, because of his age, still monopolizes much of my time and my life. But the time I will always cherish with him are our afternoon and evening nursing sessions. When he gets hurt, upset, or sleepy, he come to me, smiles really big, and says "Nur Nurs". His smile and excitement is so endearing as he gets lifted to my lap. He is getting so big, but is still able to curl up in my lap and be comforted in the way only a mom can do. It really is sweet, and I love those minutes.

I know that as my boys grow older, that the precious moments I love are going to get further and further apart. I just hope that my boys will remember them as fondly as I do.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

13 Days of Love, Day 2.

Carl, my husband, my partner, my love.

I met Carl when I was in 2001 while I was finishing college. I had just turned 20, was just a few months out of an extremely unhealthy relationship, and wasn't even looking to fall for anyone.

I decided to drive from Kent, OH. to Ohiopyle, PA. to go kayaking, and was just hoping to be able to bum a shuttle ride from someone.

When I arrived at the put-in I was excited to see a couple of guys there getting ready to run their own shuttle. I jumped out of my car and begged for a ride. I think my exact quote was something to the effect of, "I just need a ride, I can get all my own gear if I swim, and don't need to follow you guys or anything... what do you think?"

Carl and Lad readily agreed to go down the river with me, and give me a ride back to my car at the end.

Looking back on it, I must have been quite a sight to see. I had been out partying for Halloween the night before, still had on my makeup, my hair was a disaster (in curls with so much product it was crunchy!), I was sick to my stomach from the prior night's activities, and was gulping pepto as we made our way down the river. (I actually had the pepto in my kayak along side my water bottle!)

Carl kind of hung back, and was quiet. He was respectful of my space and really polite. He was really a nice guy and I assumed unavailable because of his age and behavior.

After paddling the river, Carl and Lad decided to go out for drinks and dinner, and since I was going to be paddling for a few days, I agreed to go out with them. We went to the Black Bear, and ate and talked. We had a great time. Lad left early from dinner, and left Carl and I to talk at the table.

Carl and I shared some bacon-cheddar fries, and had a great conversation. Carl was so sweet; he was kind, and cute, and nothing like most of the men I had dated! It was a welcome experience, and wonderful to meet someone so "good".

We agreed to go kayaking the next morning again and to meet at 10am.

10:30 rolled around and I decided that I was going to get my gear on, and at 10:45, I was leaving to paddle. I figured he was one of "those guys" who can never be on time or care enough to call someone if they are going to be late. I was pretty hot under the collar by this point and figured he wasn't as nice as he had seemed.

At 10:44 Carl came screeching into the parking lot, jumped out of his car and was apologetic. He had slept through his alarm. He was so relieved that I hadn't left. I actually felt bad for him with how rushed he seemed and how tired!

We had an awesome day, and at the end agreed to boat the next weekend again... little did I know that this was the beginning of something real, and life long.

A few months later, during a pool-game at the BrewPub in Morgantown, Carl pulled me aside and told me he loved me... The almost school-boyish smile on his face as he shared that secret, is something I will never forget. I was in love with him too.

Over the following years Carl and I have grown closer together. We have dealt with a lot of turbulence and stress, but in the end, we have always come out closer and more in love. Now, with 3 children, and almost 7 years of marriage under our belts, I know that our love is real and substantial.

I don't love Carl the way I did when we first started dating. I love him more. The more comfortable and safe we feel in our relationship, the more I love him. Each day that passes shows us trials, tribulations, and more ways to fall in love and to support each other in life. I love my husband, and cannot imagine our lives without each other.

He is my partner in life, my other half, my equal, my love.

So, if you read all of that, I just wanted to say, I love my husband! He is the first love in the "13 Days of Love" that I wanted to share with you.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cross Over From my other Blog...

The next few weeks leading into Valentines day, I am blogging about 13 days of love. Each day will be a glimpse into my life, and I decided to post each post here, and on my normal blog. These posts may or may not contain photos of me, or any photos at all, but they are self portraits in words, and fit here as well. So, here is what I wrote today, and please keep reading for more!

13 Days of Love... Day 1


What is love? What does it mean to be "in love" or to "love" something or someone?

Wikipedia describes love as:
"any of a number of emotions related to a sense of strong affection[1] and attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meal") to intense interpersonal attraction ("I love my husband"). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
As an abstract concept, love usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual emotional closeness of familial and platonic love[2] to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love.[3] Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts."
For me, love is not one thing; it falls into different categories, and depending on the context, it means different things. For instance, I love my husband, I love my dog, I love my kids, I love meatloaf, and I love the color yellow. Not one of those "loves" pulls the same emotion from me as any other on the list. The interpretation is the same, but the meaning and emotion behind the word in each sentence is different.

My heart yearns for my husband and children when we are apart; when I come home from a trip, I feel immediate peace and comfort when I walk into my home and see the yellow walls that hug my home in warmth and love; when I eat meatloaf, I savor each bite and yearn for more long after I am full.

Each of those scenarios are types of love. Over the next few weeks, I am going to pick things from my life that I love, and I am going to blog them.

Tomorrow, my first blog will be about my husband, my love, my equal, and my other half.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A little clumsy...

I'm not really that clumsy of a person. I am sure footed on wet river rocks, walking in strong currents, and standing on wet rafts... so can someone tell me how that all changes on a little bit of ice?

I was running carpool this morning and when I stopped to get one of the girls, I fell on the sidewalk. I fell HARD. My hips, back, foot, and knee are all sore! I can't believe how ungraceful I was. I did get by without ripping my jeans though.

I think I might be getting a little old. A few years ago, I would have either caught myself, or at least not looked like a flailing elephant when I fell ;)

Here is my foot... I haven't had the nerve to take a look at my back and hip yet.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

There is a chill in the air...

It has been COLD in WNC for weeks now, not just chilly, but cold. I have lived up on the lakes, and this even beats that! Our well has frozen (and thankfully unfrozen) and the heat pump is working overtime to keep the house in the low 60's.

Today, I finally broke out the scarf to wear in the house... Thank you aunt Kathy for making me a gift that I would not have otherwise had time to make for myself!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The end of the day...

At the end of the day, I have this chair I like to sit and have a glass of wine in...

The chair, by normal standards is hideous. It is BRIGHT royal blue, on rollers, square, and big.

To me, it is the most awesome chair in the world. It is actually a set of 2 that I have. They are from the 1950's and we got them at a resort a few years back... The chair is just the right size to curl up your legs, hold a glass of wine, and to relax in. Honestly, if it weren't for the color, I don't think my husband would object to them so much... but then again, I love color, and I picked the chairs :o)

I love having the perfect place to relax. Do you have one?

Thursday, December 31, 2009


I have had quite a few piercings over the years, and one of my favorite and most painful is one that I unfortunately have taken out.

I currently still have 4 holes in my left ear, 6 in my right, my nose, and my tongue. If I had the nerve, a few of my other past ones would go back in ;o)

After Rory was born, I got an industrial bar across the top of my ear. It is a free hand piercing (no clamps) that runs from the top edge of your ear to the front right next to your head. It is a great one, and one that I wish I still had. But after having it for a few years, I got pregnant and during my pregnancy, the skin began to grow across the bar and I had to take it out. Had I left it, I would have had worse scarring then I do now!

I have a few more holes I would love to have poked, but I fear that they will not grow properly because of the bar... maybe one of these days I will get a new industrial bar though... maybe. I think I will have the scar removed first though.

Here is the scar, and my new earrings that Carl had made just for me for Christmas. Affixment is a great company and has an awesome artist. We actually own quite a few of her paintings in our home.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Still no shoes...

It is funny what people notice about your appearance, or find odd about your appearance...

I have never gotten a rude or cross comment about my dreadlocks from anyone in Asheville, quite the opposite, most people stop me to complement them... no one has ever said anything about my clothing... but I constantly get stopped about my choice of footwear!

I have not worn shoes regularly for 10+ years now. Yes, I know it is winter. No, my feet are not cold. No, I don't get sick because of it... I lived in Northern Ohio for goodness sakes, and until it was below zero, with significant snow, I wore my sandals there too! We live in the south now, cold here is in the 30's.

I just find it amusing that with everything people have to choose from, my footwear is the most commented!

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Jeans...

I think I really need new jeans... after 6 years, my favorite pair has become unwearable. There isn't just a "punk" style tear in them, or just a little place they wore out... the entire knee has ripped out and rips more each time I bend my legs... they don't look cool, just worn out. Even the thigh is starting to rip now.

So farewell to my favorite pair of jeans, your replacement will arrive tomorrow on the UPS truck.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I spend a lot of my time on the road driving. I drive my children to school, to play dates, activities, and really anywhere we want to go. I have to say, the most amazing part of being home with my children is the freedom. I'm so glad that I have the freedom to take the time off of finishing my masters, from working, and from the stress of all of that...

This is the view that I see so often:

And you know what? It makes me smile. I love my wedding rings; they symbolize a promise, and love. They are the only "real" jewelry that I regularly wear. The other thing I wear often is a wooden necklace that was crafted for me when I was pregnant with Rory.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My days...

My days are spent with my children. We go where ever the day leads us, which is often to the river. Here is a shot I took with my tripod at the river, (and yes I am aware that new jeans are needed, they have been ordered and should be arriving soon!):

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I love color, and our house shows that!

In this shot I am working on the computers... (yeah there are 2, the desk-top and lap-top) but you can see the yellow kitchen and dining room walls, and then the brown contrast wall; in the back ground you can see our blue living room. All rooms in the house are brightly colored except the master bedroom. In 5 years I haven't figured out what color to paint it yet!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A mom...

Yup, that is what I am, a mom of three, and my body definitely shows it!

I have curves, stretch marks, (which are not purple or too obvious), a stretched out BB piercing hole, and a little extra skin I should work on getting rid of... but over all I am pleased.

This is me. This the my body. This is what real moms and real women look like. It is hard to come to grips with the changes that my body has undergone because of birth and pregnancy, but I have, and I am learning to embrace it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The leaves have all fallen...

The leaves have all fallen onto the forest floor. We have gone hiking a lot lately and as I walk through the trees all I hear is the crunch-crunch-crunch of the leaves under my feet. When I look down, the leaves cover my feet completely most of the time! I love this time of year.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Haven't done a lot of posting...

Sorry for slacking off on my personal 365 of me blog, I am going to start up full force after Turkey Day, and will let you all into little windows of my life. I have been updating my family blog daily so be sure to check it out while you wait. www.lmgittings.blogspot.com


Friday, November 20, 2009

More Dready Goodness.

They are so nice and tight. I love how they look this close!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dread Bun

Just a quick up-do that I wear sometimes. It is super easy and only takes 2 hair bands, nothing else!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sorry for the lapse :o)

My dreads, all natural, and all me :o)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Needing some love...

My dreadies are needing work!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 6

I hate dirt under my nails. But with three boys, we play in the dirt, a LOT.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day 5

I have worn shoes maybe 5 times in 10 years. All I ever wear is sandals.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 4

I have always been fascinated by the Muslim religions, but I cannot imagine wearing a head wrap like this all the time!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 3

Tonight we went to BeleChere in Downtown Asheville. As usual, it was a blast, and we were lucky enough to enjoy some good brew and awesome music.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 2

The River is a huge part of our lives, not just a particular river, but the nature, the power of water, the beauty... For me, there is nothing better than the feel of the cold water and cobblestones on your feet.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 1

I really am unsure of where to start, do I want to take a true "self portrait"? Do I want to take a photo of parts of me that I am proud of? That I am self conscious of? That I think are odd? What?

Well I decided to take a photo of something that really is "me" and my family. Recently I got a new tattoo on my forearm that has symbols representing our story. The top symbol, that is in focus, literally means family.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Yup. I decided this evening that I need to work on a few things.

#1.) Taking photos that aren't my normal type of shots.
#2.) Being less self conscious.
#3.) Getting in front of the camera instead of hiding behind it.
#4.) Some of my photography skills.

So, I am going to try to take a photo a day of me (or at least some part of me) starting tomorrow.

I've come to accept that I have the body of a woman who has given birth to three babies, who will never be a size 4-5 again, who threw out society's definition of beauty, but who is beautiful none-the-less.

So please feel free to lurk, comment, and enjoy my photos (just don't be too harsh!)

Here I am, not a great photo, but just my starting point: