bittersweet #3 by you.

bittersweet #2 by you.

bittersweet #1 by you.

These three pictures are of a plant called bittersweet.  And for me being a mom is a bittersweet experience.  I know it is the rightful progression of things for the boys to grow up, but it’s also (for me anyway) a bit of daily grieving.  With every new stage of growth and change my heart aches a bit for the babes they once were.  And yet, there is excitement too in seeing the awesome young men they are growing into.  Thus the bittersweet.  It’s amazing how much gets forgotten as the days and years whiz by, but I had to document two tidbits from the weekend.

Living in a rural area the boys are familiar with chewing tobacco.  I was making cranberry orange bread, and Nate stuffed his lower lip with some chopped up cranberries.   Then he says, “Hey Mom, why do they call this stuff chew when you don’t chew it?”   Then thinking for a minute he said, “Really, they should call it suck.”   I couldn’t agree more – they should call that nasty, vile stuff suck!

Everett saying grace before dinner the other night added this to his prayer.  “Please keep Marshall safe as he drives home in the dark tonight.”

  How?  How? How? Did I get such tender, thoughtful boys?  I mean they have their moments that drive me to the brink of insanity, but all in all I have to pinch myself, in case I’m dreaming, over these boys of mine.

The importance of pruning... by you.

And now for a few thoughts on the importance of pruning.  Every now and then it’s time to get out the gardening tools.  I’ve reached that point, and find a need to prune my addiction to the info-crack machine.   I find that my computer addiction has started to choke the life out of me.  It’s totally me and not you!  But I find myself wanting to do everything,  ALL of  the Christmas ideas,  write witty and charming posts (daily), document my charming children and our daily life, take and picnik my photos, quilt, papercraft, try every recipe ever posted in the history of blogdom.  And. I. Can’t.  No way, not even possible, but the crazy side of my brain tells me that yes it is, and that my home and life will only be satisfying and fulfilled if I make it look like all the awesome  things in “Pretty Life“.   So, anyway it’s time to get out the pruning shears, and take some time to a. get ready for Christmas in my own home, and b. take some time to prioritize what is truly important and what can be pruned, and c.  decide what mediums I most want to put my creative energy into.  The thing about pruning is this:  if you don’t do it the tree (or life you want) starts to die bit by bit.  But by pruning you let fresh air and light in, and you trim away the dead parts thus allowing new growth to happen.  It’s not a painless process, but it is a necessary process.

So, other than a post about homemade eggnog there will probably only be one or two other posts from me for the rest of the month.  Take care my wonderful friends!     *sheepish grin*  And my apologies if at any time I have enabled your own info-crack addictions!  : )

19 Comments Add yours

  1. simpledaisy says:

    Well good luck in the pruning process…I totally understand where you are coming from!! I too feel that I have gotten a little crazy in how much time I am spending on the ol’ computer, etc. At this point…it is not taking me away from other things that I do enjoy and if that were to happen I would prune too!! Take care and Happy Holidays~~~

  2. Thanks for making me feel guilty for sitting here reading this instead of making Christmas presents…

    Merry Christmas.

  3. oh jackie, i will miss you! but i understand the need to prune. i just realized today that i have no idea how i managed to get everything done in a day when i was employed. i think if i was still working i’d be going nutty at this point.

    your photos are so beautiful and inspiring. have a wonderful december, jackie!

  4. ellen kelley says:

    Breathtaking photos here…truly lovely and such a deliciousness in the colors.
    I know what you are saying about your boys. There are so many bittersweet moments watching them grow, seeing them spread their wings and moving in their own direction. It is both heart wrenching and joyful to experience their growth and independence. I think that the greatest gift a parent can give to their child, is the gift of love, the nurturing and caring…and the skills to be successful, creative and loving people on their own. My greatest joy and pleasure in my life after all of these years, is to look at my two and truly see and experience the fullness and goodness of the adult people they have become. That….AND that they are just plain fun to be around and that they love each other, appreciate their differences, share wonderful memories and celebrate their time together whenever they can. Your children will add to this world of ours; it will be a better place to be because of them. Is that not a wonderful gift you and your husband have bestowed on us all?
    As to pruning…it is good for growth and the health of the soul. It took me years to let go of doing it all and it was very liberating once I allowed that to happen.
    Take care, enjoy your time…and be good to yourself.
    You are loved!

  5. Amen, my sister! I love my laptop, but it does keep me from doing so many other productive things. Take a breather and enjoy your break! I will try to be inspired by your act, and restrain myself a bit as well. An internet diet, so to speak.

    I will definitely look forward to hearing from you when you are refreshed and ready to dip your toe back in the internet pool.

    Just promise you don’t forget us altogether! That would be bad. Very, very bad. = ) jan

  6. Kim says:

    I can completely relate (except for the having kids part). The computer has become like an addiction to me as well and it doesn’t help that I already have to be on it all day for school work. Eek. Have a great time taking a break from it!

    I also wanted to say how beautiful those pictures are and that the second one is particularly wonderful!

  7. MichelleB says:

    I, too, spend too much time on the computer. So I understand you wanting to take a break. I need a break from the computer – not blogging – I already don’t blog that much. I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to do that – but do that I must. Good luck. I will look forward to seeing anything that you decide to post.

  8. batspit says:

    this is one of your best posts ever- simply beautiful writing- empathetic, sympathetic, interesting and unique— you, in other words.
    And those photos are AWESOME- i didn’t know about the plant, but the word bittersweet has always been a feeling I understand well. I hope you can point out the plant to me, someday. I’m not sure but I bet it grows here and I’ve just never looked for it.
    Will have to take a walk tomorrow.
    Much love, but whatever you do- don’t stop writing-
    you have all these things you seem to love doing, that are part of who you are- but you never mention the fact that you are a talented writer- you really are, you know.

  9. Amy says:

    Happy pruning.

  10. jacquie says:

    how do you know what i’m thinking? wonderful post…enjoy your holidays!

  11. applecyder says:

    Love Everett’s prayer. Boy, is that sweet. Thanks for sharing that little moment.

    Have a great holiday (and computer break). I think we finally have our Christmas card pic, so will get one off to you in the mail soon.

  12. Diane says:

    Good for you for your pruning, wise thing to do every now and again when the season calls for it.

    And your boy with his prayer for his brother — so sweet.

  13. Cabin Girl says:

    Smooth. . . Well spoken. I felt so horrible doing as much pruning as I did during the past few months (blog and sewing). But I’ve seen efforts in other areas blossom into very rewarding endeavors, and I am more than certain that you will too. Your voice and your view of life are very tender and original. I am drawn back to Smoothpebble as a place of comfort and goodness, and it can only remain this way for YOU if you do the pruning you are discussing. Prioritizing and choosing less. . .in the big and small ways.. .keeps our lives meaningful. I am cheering for you.
    Cabin Girl

  14. mayaluna says:

    See! You’ve done it again… your thoughtful and eloquent posts always move me so much. Pruning sound so right. I’ve been doing it myself a little bit… have you noticed my visits have been a bit sparse? I’ve thought of you each day… in order to make and bake and do and parent… and yes, to blog about it… I’ve had to step back from my visiting of friends. I’m hoping to do some serious pruning in about a week and will be joining you in the bloggin’ break…mmm sounds restful! I hope to find some new rhythms in the coming year! Stellar photos to match your words… thank you for these gifts… your images and voice are far superior to any holiday tutorial I might be searching for. All of my love and friendship,

  15. Rachel says:

    I love the bittersweet photos – such great colors! Also, I really enjoyed seeing your Etsy gift picks! The owl set and the “eat” dish are adorable.

  16. molly says:

    well said, all of it. i love the pictures of the bittersweet -and know that feeling all to well. and i get the pruning idea too – i’m feeling some great big clips coming on. i just try not to think about all the beautiful things i’m missing out there! but i do want to go read the article you linked. happy holidays! ~molly

  17. Martha says:

    Thanks for the well timed reminder about the need and importance of pruning. I have been writing “no lingering on Flickr” on the bottom of my ‘to do’ lists lately!
    And this weekend, I am going to shift my focus from the camera/computer to the neglected sewing machine to get some Christmas gifts made.
    I appreciate your words and photos, and will look forward to connecting with your blooms after the pruning!

  18. trish says:

    I totally know what you mean about pruning. One of the things I’ve pruned in the past couple months is blog reading. There’s only a *few* blogs I follow now, and they have to be STELLAR, or I can’t bother. There’s just too much I have to get done. Unfortunately. 😦

    Luckily, you’re one of the stellar ones (I can say that here because I don’t think any of my readers read your blog). I love just about every post you do.

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