Monday, May 28, 2018

Deep Thoughts: Being a Mother of Girls

We are fast approaching the graduation of our youngest daughter and it feels like a marker in our journey as parents. This part of our journey as their guides is over, and a new one begins.  Just like that they are practically adults and it's time to relate to them in a different way. We have grown along with them in ways I would have never predicted. I have been stretched. I have been tested and challenged. And it's all been incredibly worth it. 

Steve and I always knew we would like to have two kids. And that they were both girls was a bonus for me as I grew up with a sister. Sure they fight. Sure they drive each other crazy. But in the end they have each other and I can't think of a better gift. No one else can relate to the stories they can tell of growing up in our crazy household. No one else can commiserate about their parents trying to keep things equal but not always succeeding. 

And hopefully we have done well by these two women. And will continue to do so. Our relationship doesn't end, it just changes considerably. I love talking with them honestly about things I would discuss with my girlfriends and not having to censor myself. They are smart, they are honest and they are funny. We are proud of who they are and that they are ours. We are also proud that they are their own people who are learning to navigate in the world on their own. They are figuring things out and trying things on. 

 We are happy to release them to the world, knowing they always have a landing place with us. That they will never have to worry about being out there in the world alone. That family is where they started and where they end. We love these humans that we are proud to know and call ours. And we are excited to see where their adventures take them. This adventure is only beginning. For them and for us. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Deep Thoughts: Mother's Day Thoughts

Today is Mother's Day and I have enjoyed breakfast in bed, gifts and cards from our girls, a picnic, some thrifting and a relaxing lovely day. Now I am here feeling thoughtful and grateful. 

This year has been full of loss and heartache for friends I am close to. My own relationship with my mother is strained, making Mother's day feel a bit complicated. All this is a constant reminder that Mother's Day isn't all sunshine and flowers for all women. 

This is a love letter to all women. That support one another. That are mourning a loss. That are hoping this will one day be a day to celebrate in the future. We mourn together. We celebrate together. And we hold one another up. 

This motherhood thing is not easy. It's something I would never survive without my friends. They are many and they are varied. Some are mothers, and some are not. All are special to me. Today I celebrate my women friends. Both mothers and otherwise. Cheers to them. 


Monday, May 7, 2018

Field Trip: Yellow Co. Tour Stop in Seattle (and some thoughts on Self Care)

Yesterday Samantha and I had the great fun of attending the Seattle stop of the Yellow Co. Tour. The thing that made me really want to attend (besides the incredible speaker they had lined up!) was the fact that one of the creators of the organization, Joanna Waterfall is someone I had met years ago at a blogging conference. It just felt like a sign that we should go!

The Yellow Co. is an organization that is all about empowering women to figuring out how to make their purpose match their passions. This tour stop theme was self care. I'm all about this topic and was happy to hear what the different women had to say about it. 

First up was Moorea Seal, a woman for whom my admiration grows every time I'm around her. She shares openly and vulnerably in an age of trolls and criticism and has no fear of speaking passionately about the things she cares about. She spoke eloquently on making sure that while we pursue a career we are passionate about, that we take care of the personal. 

Next up were two women that I follow on instagram and it was wonderful to see them in real life. Brandy Brown, of Marabou Design answered questions along with Deborah Shepherd of The Broke Minimalist. They had a lot to say about having a business, setting boundaries, and taking care of yourself in the process. 

Molly Moon was next up and she took to the stage with her sweet baby Odessa in arms. This was my first time hearing her speak and I was so taken with her smarts, drive to make a difference, mixed with a love of connection. She was funny and wise and I hope to see her speak again in the future. 

The speakers ended with Joanna interviewing Sharon Lee of the Low Income Housing Institute, the "Do Good" Partner of the tour. She shared about the Tiny housing project she is a part of to help with the homeless crisis in Seattle, and shared about her journey in getting to this point. She also had some things to say about self care! 

I thought it would be easiest to summarize everyone's thoughts on self-care to talk about them. 

Moorea Seal - Occasionally it means therapy. Journaling. Working on self thru goals and self-reflection. 
Brandy Brown - Time with friends. And occasionally just time doing nothing. 
Deborah Shepherd - Meditation. Prayer. Journaling 
Molly Moon - The occasional massage. Visits to the "naked spa" (The Korean Spa in Lynnwood)
Sharon Lee - Swimming in the many different pools of Seattle. Getting a massage. Dim Sum.

I just wanted to put all the different responses together to show the variety. I have a concern that "self-care" is going to become another thing that we start to see on instagram along with the gorgeous bath setting and the candle, the bath salts and the perfect shot. And it's great to see all these gorgeous shots. What I hope we don't do is compare and shame ourselves about our own care. I had a conversation about this with Moorea before she spoke and we both agreed that sometimes self-care looked like McDonalds fries and three hours of Netflix, something you probably wouldn't see a post about. And it's okay. Whatever works for you is self care. 

I just want to encourage you to take care of yourself how you see fit. Wether it's moving your body, getting a massage, or just sitting still in your car before picking up your kids. It's just important to do it. Whatever it looks like. On Saturday after the conference for me it looked like a cone from Molly Moon. Today it looked like a barre3 class. What does self care look like for you?