It Really is a Magical Journey

“Joseph Campbell asserts that once the hero commits to his quest, whether consciously or unconsciously, then magical helpers arrive to point the way.” Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey

Some books I read. Sitting up in bed, lying on the love seat in the kitchen, leaning back in a chair in the ski lodge following the story, page after page.  But every once in a while, a book comes along that I pore over with pencil in hand, not just reading but studying, like an educational life course, marking line after line as if there will be an exam at the end.

Magical Journey is just that sort of book.  I’ve sent copies to my mom, to my sister, to my aunt, to my yoga teacher and to several friends.  I wish I could send a copy to every one of you.

Katrina writes about loss and grief and the tears that trickle down her cheeks onto her yoga mat.  And she writes about love.  When you strip everything else away, Magical Journey is about love.  It’s her story, but it’s my story, and yours, too, just in a different town, in a different kitchen, with a different family, in different circumstances.

Katrina is such an exquisite writer that I’ve been reluctant to write this post, afraid that my words could never do hers justice.  So rather than try, I’ll let Katrina’s words speak for themselves by including a few of my favorite passages. But first, I want tell you why Katrina and her books are so important to me. Because long before we met in person, Katrina had been one of those magical helpers on my journey.

You see, it was two days after Andie’s birth that I found Katrina’s first book, Mitten Strings for God in the hospital gift shop.  That book became an ever present guidepost and reminder of the gift of motherhood, teaching me to remember childhood is precious and fast and that raising my children with presence is the greatest gift I can bestow upon them and myself.

And then Katrina wrote The Gift of an Ordinary Day, chronicling her journey with her adolescent children, preparing me for what was to come (and has) in my life.

And now, Magical Journey.  It’s about her journey into mid-life, a place I have yet to reach, but a place I don’t yet need to be to feel and comprehend and devour this story.  Because Katrina has pulled the curtain so far back on her inner-emotions and feelings, at times I felt almost embarrassed to be reading such intimate details about her life.  There is so much more I could say, so much more I want to say, but instead, I will say just say this, Read this book.  It is truly a must for anyone seeking a fuller, more profound existence in life.

Katrina has generously offered a signed copy of Magical Journey for one of you and I’m giving a copy of Mitten Strings for God away to another lucky reader.  Leave a comment below and as always I’ll let do the choosing.

In the meantime, as promised, here are a few of my favorite, underlined passages from Magical Journey.

From the chapter titled Stillness, Katrina writes, “To be human and alive, it seems, is to strive and to struggle, to learn and to grow even as we endure our losses and question our ability to transcend them.  It’s easy to think we should be somewhere or someone else – smarter and wiser, or further along on the path, closer to having an answer.  Instead we muddle along, heads down, certain everyone else must know something we haven’t figured out yet.”  Oooh, I love that so much! Totally reminded of my word of the year, Enough.

And also from the chapter Stillness, “My first inclination always, when the tears start, is to jump up and get on with things…But making the choice to just hang in there with my own rather pathetic self for a while demands a different kind of perseverance altogether, a kind of strength that lays bare all of my weakness.  And so I try, day after day, not to scorn this raw, sorrowful soul, not to dry my eyes and bolt, but to settle into the darkness instead, heart open, experiencing the humiliating truth of my own silent, barren place.”  What an incredibly important lesson.

And another inspiring lesson, this one from the chapter called Going, “I learned that sometimes the best thing we can do for our children is to acknowledge our own need for help, to make room for their vulnerability by sharing our own.”

And finally, probably, my favorite line of the entire book from the chapter appropriately called Love, “Maybe all I really need to do – all anyone needs to do – is trust in what we love and continue to do that.”

It’s all about the love.  It always is, isn’t it?

If you want to order Katrina’s book, click here and if you’d like to read more of her gorgeous writing in her weekly blog posts, head on over to her website

Remember to leave a comment if you want a chance to win a copy of Magical Journey or Mitten Strings and a huge congrats to Renee, the winner of the Winter Jamms Hat Giveaway!

Happy Valentine’s Day Y’all!


Feelin’ the Love?

You may have noticed that I’ve been playing with photos over here on the blog quite a bit lately.  I’ve been incredibly inspired by an online course I’m taking called Blogging from the Heart with Susannah Conway.  It’s my first go at an online course.  I was skeptical at first, but it’s proved not only to be inspiring, but an amazing value.  5 days a week for 6 weeks – 30 classes, for 99 British pounds, which the day I signed up translated to about $157.

I came across Susannah’s work through Tammy Strobel’s blog Rowdy Kittens.   Tammy is the author of the book, You Can Buy Happiness (and it’s Cheap) that took my “organizing-decluttering-surrounding myself with the things I love” kick to a new level.  On her blog, Tammy often shares photos she’s taken.  In a recent post she mentioned having edited her photos using Snapseed.  I downloaded it myself and have had a ton of fun editing many of my photos.

Needless to say, my creative juices are flowing, and I’m getting geared up to make some changes to the appearance of my website to reflect just that!  I’m working on a new banner for the top and rather than having my picture up there, I thought I’d put a new one in the sidebar.

This is the one I’m considering…

What do you think?  Are you feeling the love?


Building Blocks

My Boy is 13 today.

When I look at him my heart flutters in panic – no please stay little and young and mineforever.

Then I look at him again and see every moment of my little boy – all the moments and birthdays leading to this one – and know that every bit of my little boy is wrapped up tightly in the bones and muscles and cells of the young man before me.

My heart flutters knowing that my little boy will always live in the heart of the man he becomes.