Surrender 101: Happy Birthday Tosh

Today marks another birthday in my family, and offers the opportunity to celebrate another person. Natosha, known as Tosh among her family and friends, is the wife of my nephew Eric, and mom to Aralyn, stepmom to London.

I felt inspired to look up Tosh’s name, which is of Russian origin, and I love what I found on one of the sites I came across:

Natosha, you have a vivid imagination that can bring inspired messages to the world. You like to enjoy the pleasures of life, and when self is overcome, you can rise to the heights. You have an ability to avoid trouble – that is why you often fail to learn from experiences. You are restless, sociable, people-oriented, a lover of change, and a seeker of adventure and new thrills.You are bold, independent, inquisitive and interested in research. You know what you want and why you want it.

You find the best contentment in life when you own your own home and provide well for your family and loved ones. You have a great sense of responsibility and duty. You are comforting, appreciative and affectionate. Your desire in life is to hold to justice and truth, and you can find great happiness and satisfaction.

Those words describe Tosh well, and fit in perfectly with the characteristics that she displays.

Her natural instinct to “seek adventure and new thrills, to be bold, independent and inquisitive”, make her ideally suited to be the wife of the police officer she is married to. It’s not an easy profession, and Eric is blessed to have a woman who stands by him, supporting him and encouraging him, as he pursues a high-stress career.

Tosh joins Eric in having fun adventures apart from work. They enjoy cruises and concerts and family times together.

And the next paragraph is equally true about Tosh. She does find contentment in creating a home for her family, for her husband and the girls. Tosh takes the responsibility of being a wife and mother seriously, which doesn’t mean she is a stranger to fun. It means she performs those duties at a high level and holds them as sacred.

As I was thinking about Tosh, in preparation for writing this blog post, the thought came, She knows what she wants, and how to get there. When I looked up her name, there was a nearly identical sentence contained within the text, which brought confirmation of that deep truth.

Tosh does know what she wants, and as she is journeying through life, I have no doubts that all that she desires will come to be. As with all of us, she is somewhere between the dreaming and the coming true, the woman she currently is, and the woman she is becoming. What a beautiful journey, for a beautiful soul.

Happiest of birthdays, Natosha…Tosh. I love you!

Surrender 30: Happy Birthday Aralyn

Today family members gathered to celebrate Aralyn Miller, who turned two last Monday. It takes a certain amount of courage, and indeed surrender, to throw open the door of your home and  welcome in a boisterous crowd intent on partying. My nephew Eric and his wife Tosh possess both, and graciously invited us all in. They were marvelous hosts for the special event. 

The birthday girl was pretty in pink, her hair in adorable braids, her outfit matching the party theme of My Little Pony. Aralyn was accepting of having so many people in her home, her bright eyes taking it all in. She wasted no time in requesting cake, officially kicking off the party. 


Cupcakes artfully created the My Little Pony birthday “cake”. After we sang Happy Birthday, Aralyn blew out the candle, with a little help from her mommy. Party goers lined up for a cupcake and a scoop of ice cream, kids settling together on the kitchen floor while adults enjoyed the delicious cake in the living room. Aralyn occupied the dining room, perched like a princess in her chair, creating perfect photo ops as she sampled her birthday treat. 



And then it was right on to opening presents. With encouragement from her big sister, London, and cousin Aubrey, Aralyn revealed her surprises, exclaiming over stuffed unicorns, a bright purse and beaded necklace, and an assortment of toys and cute outfits. She’s inquisitive, this gorgeous girl, and it was fun to watch her toss tissue paper as she delved into gift bags and carefully rip away wrapping paper to uncover the prizes within. She paused at appropriate intervals, flashing a smile as she said “Cheeeeese” for the cameras.




The final gift was a little pink tricycle, which Aralyn immediately tried out. It won’t be long at all before she is pedaling her trike down the sidewalk, as mommy or daddy or sister London trot along behind her. 



I’m an observer of people, learning a great deal about those I study. And watching Aralyn today, as she enjoyed her party, this is what I learned. She is a very bright girl. Although she’s only just turned two years old, she has a keen ability to observe as well, and figure things out. She’s extremely well behaved, a testament to her parents, while still being playful. I laughed as she created a teasing game with her cousin Weston, her little face as mischievous as it was beautiful. 


She’s a thinker, with much going on beneath the surface. I only have to look into her big eyes to sense the depths of her perceptions, which she is just beginning to articulate. After the party, as some of us had dinner together at Applebee’s, she had a conversation with me that showed how well she is able to connect events. When waiters sang Happy Birthday to a diner, and I explained what they were doing, Aralyn related that to her own birthday celebration earlier, and then proceeded to list those who had attended her party. I was impressed! 

What a happy day, and what a special, happy girl. I look forward to watching Aralyn grow,  expanding in knowledge and beauty, never losing that spark of joy and mischief in her eyes. There’s great potential in this girl. As I left the party, I paused to give her a hug and a kiss, as she swung on the porch swing with her Gigi. “Happy birthday, Aralyn,” I whispered. “Happy birthday, Yaya,” she answered back with a smile. She’s polite too! That melted my heart. I love you, little one.