still crazy but....

>> Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy Saturday, friends. Just a quick note to let you know I've officially changed the title of the blog from:

Boy Crazy [finding clarity in the chaos]
Clarity in the Chaos

I know Boy Crazy was cute and incredibly appropriate, but over the last two years I've realized on many occasions the awkwardness that can come with the connotation if someone reads the title without knowing the context. (And a certain male friend of mine was embarrassed to list me in the sidebar of his blog. Heh.)

I'm only mentioning it because I will pop up in a different spot in your blogrolls, readers, and other subscription places and I didn't want to confuse. My url remains the same, so no worries there. Just a different title on record. (And maybe changing it in the header if I can find the time to play around a bit.)

That's all for now. Happy weekend.



>> Thursday, March 24, 2011

We sat with our eyes closed in a circle on the floor and we breathed and what came to me over and over was that this was not just a writing practice it was a compassion practice.

Every week for a year and a half
I go to my practice and we shed the day and the to-do's and the busyness
and we close our eyes and breathe and clear our minds
and then we write.

And then we share,
reflections casting light in all our shadows.

Listening without judging, receiving gifts through words, bearing witness and studying the movement of others' minds. We all strip raw, exposing soft undersides unguarded and in doing so, spines lengthen and weights lift and fog clears and from scattered stars constellations appear.

We all have stories.
Every person has a story.

The surface hides the buried, the unearthed.

This is a compassion practice.
I am practicing compassion.
Learning the minds of strangers and friends through their stories.
Everyone has a story.

How can I carry this with me --
from this pulsing room in a shared space where permission to live unedited cushions our step and bolsters our back --
out the door and into the bite of the wind and the glare of the sun?

I have been holding a lot of anger. More anger in five weeks than in my whole life long. My shoulders are tight and my mind is a carnival ride, flinging me forward and jerking to a halt, shooting me sideways and lurching me backwards and making me sick.

I've shed it, at least for these precious two hours.
How can I carry this with me?
Everyone has a story. If we could share our stories, if we could listen without judgment to each other's stories (not rhetoric), if we could carve a space for vulnerability and watch strangers and friends discover constellations from scattered stars,
if we could show compassion....

We open with mediation, and we close with meditation.
To integrate what we've written and heard and shared
So we can walk out from here and let compassion
sing out from our cells.


speaking up

>> Friday, March 18, 2011

These protests are not just Madison liberals.

Please, listen to Wisconsin farmer Tony Schultz explain how this bill will affect farmers and rural communities. Seven minutes of your time, and I promise this clip is worth it.


catching up

>> Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I'm still here (not sure if you are! ha!), but I have set up quasi-permanent residence on facebook (I'm /elizabeth.kattreinders if you're an avid facebooker) as the political battle continues to rage here in Madison. (watch this if you have a couple minutes. These are my people.) I've intended a thousand times to lay it all out here, just what I'm fighting for, what's lit the spark in the masses; but there are so many articles that articulate it already, that with such limited time I'm just linking and posting like crazy over there, rather than spelling it out in my own words here.

In other news, I started another new job -- this one will be long term, though, and big news.... after almost 8 years at his job, John resigned his position so he can be a full-time stay-at-home dad. We feel really lucky to have the flexibility over the long run to switch it up like this. I got to be home with the boys (a combo of full and part-time) when they were babies and toddlers, and now that they are full-fledged little boys, always on the go and ready to rock and roll, John gets a chance to be the primary at-home parent. (Although I'm guessing they'll be home rarely... probably more likely you'll catch the four of them plus Wilson in the canoe most afternoons.)

We have been really fortunate to have an incredible nanny and then a wonderful "manny" (great fit, by the way, for a family with 3 active little boys) to care for our children while we were at work, and I do believe strongly that it takes a village. That having another caring, loving adult in my children's lives is always a positive influence. That it teaches them that the world is a good place, that people are to be trusted and relied upon, that we work together, that families come in all shapes and sizes and extend beyond those who share your house. That being said, both John and I are really excited for him to switch things up and be home with the boys.

I had a great time in Denver with all of my sisters, and the break from protesting and facebook politicking was probably healthy for me. I did, however, come back home with a killer sore throat and fever for my first day on the new job, but somehow I managed to pull it off.

i got all my sisters and me

And: we're putting our house on the market in two days. Anyone who knows me is painfully aware of my tendency toward slobbery. Not an organized, neat, or clutter-free person am I. But dudes. We kicked some serious house-cleaning-de-cluttering ass, and my house looks like someone else's right now. Fingers crossed we can keep it that way until we sell it.

Lastly, remember the project that launched me back into the workforce a year ago? The one that was awesome but stressful and that I mentioned was finished a couple of months ago? Well, the book is out, baby. And it looks incredible. I'm so proud of it, and honored to have been a part of it. I'm thrilled to have some of my photos published inside and to have had the privilege of helping to shape the look and feel of the design, but my real sense of accomplishment comes from this:

See that? It says "Lead Author" and then... my name! The entire publication is available for free download here, but I have to say the actual printed, published book is gorgeous and I'm happy to finally have it on my table.

OK, friends. I have to run. I'm home with a sick baby today. Can I just add that I am so grateful for extended breastfeeding and babywearing? Without nursing and my BabyHawk mei tai, this gig would be a lot more difficult. I am so grateful for simple tools for providing comfort and security, at 27 months and counting.

I hope you're well. Back again soon....

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Clarity in the Chaos

I'm a realistic optimist who relies on raw honesty and plenty of humor to navigate the boystorm that is my life. I am mother to three and wife to one. These are my stories.

Finding clarity in the chaos since 2009.
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