Winter is getting to the age where she doesn't always want to be in front of the camera. It takes so much work to constantly build content, answer emails, and connect with others. While my blog is mainly centered around my experience as a mother, I need to respect the wants and needs of my child and keep her best interest in the forefront of my heart. Now, Brittany and I NEVER make Winter do anything that she doesn't want to do. However, it does get stressful at times when we have, say, 4 products or concepts to shoot in one day. And while I am not complaining, because I would rather have too much work than none, it's a delicate balance to be a motherhood blogger. It's a huge decision to not only document your life as an adult but to also capture your child's upbringing on a weekly basis. I have more to say about this on a later date.
Perry and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary this past week. I get a lot of questions on how I met Perry so I figured I would take you all down memory lane and post our engagement photos with the blurb I wrote on our wedding website on how we met. For our shoot, we went to Bishops Castle in Colorado. I rented a stunning sequin dress from Rent the Runway and Perry dressed up in the finest getup he owned. Our dear friend, Joni, took the photos and killed it on the lighting. Would you believe this castle was really, really dark? It was so fun dressing up like a queen and king for a day even though it was below freezing this day.
Father’s Day is right around the corner and I wanted to do something homemade and super special for Perry. For Mother’s Day, he surprised me with this amazing plant stand out of his grandfather’s old barn wood (view the stand, here). So to keep with the theme, I knew I wanted to do something plant-related.
Perry teases me because I tend to be at tad bit indecisive. One minute I talk about cashing in on our house and moving to Argentina and the next I am discussing my plans to pop the top in our current home and stay here forever. While I think my indecisiveness drives my husband crazy, I know that it can be good when it comes to consumerism, especially when it comes to buying big ticket items. Being indecisive makes you push the pause button and really think about your choices. So actually, Perry should be thanking me because I am virtually saving us money any time I can’t decide on what to buy, haha.
Perry and I have had our fair share of stressors when it comes to raising Winter. She has breath-holding spells (read more about our experience, here), she has already entered into the tantruming phase of her life, and recently, we ended up completely stuck and lost on a bus in the middle of the redwood forest with a very car sick,puking child without cell reception. I know when difficult parenting situations arise, the panic, pressure and chaos can easily take over, and it’s hard to keep your cool whether you are alone or with your partner.
Every day that I leave for work, I wonder what Winter is doing, what it must be like for Perry to get to work from home and if I am doing the right thing for my family. I’ve opened up before (here), that while I would love to stay home, it’s not a reality for me right now (dang those student loans). Being a working mother means that I have limited time with Winter and the last thing I want to do on the weekends is run errands with a toddler in tow.
Well, it's official. We are going to Hawaii this summer and we couldn't be more excited. The travel day is about 10 hours from Colorado to Hawaii (including one layover). We have made several airplane trips with Winter since she has been born and have definitely learned what keeps her busy without the use of screen-time.
Take a peak at the list below to view my favorite tried and true travel toys for toddlers.
It’s been nine months since we moved into our new home and our living room is finally starting to take shape. For months this room has jokingly been called our “lobby” because it consisted of plants, a rug and Perry’s desk (he says he is the house receptionist). Our short term plan is to live in this home for a few more years, purchase another home and rent this one out so we can have two rental properties (we rented our first home out last August).
I get asked about my mindfulness practice on a daily basis. I think one of the biggest misconceptions about living a mindful life is that you have to set aside 30 minutes a day or longer to do it. This is simply not true. In fact, I practice being mindful several times throughout the day. I have noticed that by doing even these simple techniques, I am less reactive, more attentive, feel more grounded and am able to manage stress with more ease.
The following is a list of my favorite ways to take one minute to be mindful. Note: You don’t have to do them all in a day to reap the benefits. Just pick one or two from each category and mix them up.
A few months ago I would have given anything to be able to say that I was happy. Now, a week before Mother’s Day, I finally can. I remember during one of my meditations a random thought bubbled up about how on this Mother’s Day, I didn’t want anything else in the world other than to experience a true sense of contentment within my heart. A card, flowers, candy or even a special meal prepared by my loving husband just wouldn’t do. In that moment of clarity I experienced while meditating, I decided that for this Mother’s day I was going to love myself and do something that I probably should have done months ago.
Today, you are a year and a half years old. I am having a hard time starting this letter because I have so much to say, but I am not entirely sure I have the vocabulary to convey it.
I remember writing you a letter the day before you were born (you can read it, here). I was so eager to meet you, little one. When I wrote it, I wasn’t feeling apprehensive about the labor or delivery. I remember the words just pouring out of me. While I typed, I experienced this cool, calm, and collected ease and energy pass through my body. Now, here you are a year and a half later, and that easy-going, serene-like energy is passing through me again as I am typing this today.
I have opened up quite a lot on this platform about my marriage, revealing what's it’s been like for Perry and I after having a child. I am constantly learning and evolving, discovering new ways I can better myself and our marriage. I share our experiences because I think it's important. I often wonder why we don't take communication and relationship classes all the way through grade school, high school and college? I feel like so many fights or mishaps could have been avoided if we had just been taught how to fight fairly. I learn the most about my marriage when I reflect and talk to others who can relate. So, I will continue to keep talking about it because, while I don't believe my marriage is quintessential or the holy grail of marriage, it's all I know.
Next month is National Mental Health awareness month and after experiencing my own struggle with depression/OCD I wanted to help bring light to this topic in every way that I can. Over the next month, I will be highlighting ways that you can get involved to #normalizePPD. This post features my new friends Ziraffe, who are helping me to raise money to donate to a charity I believe in with my whole being. It’s alarming that “1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family” so keep reading to learn more about Ziraffe and how you too can get involved. (Source: NAMI:National Alliance on Mental Health).
I was a much better mother before I had kids because my imaginary children were so much better behaved and more predictable in my mind. I have a higher degree in child, family and school psychology and, while I learned how complicated little ones really are in my studies, I thought that I would be way more prepared to deal with any obstacle or curveball that came my way. As a psychologist who works with kids on a daily basis, I have never pretended to have it all figured out, but I did have some ideas about how to approach difficult situations. When I was around other parents observing them deal with tantrums, whining, or irrational behavior, I would think, in a non-judgmental way (or maybe with slight judgement), oh, if they just did this or this, that would quickly solve the problem.
Perry and I are finally tackling the basement and going through all the boxes that we never got around to back in August when we first moved. These boxes are filled with old college memorabilia, childhood belongings, art and music supplies and quite frankly a bunch of things that we just don't use.
In my twenties, my friends would make fun of me because I was a bit of a hoarder. Meaning, I attached sentimental value to everything and kept a lot of objects that really didn't serve me. Now that I am in my early thirties, I have realized that the more stuff I have around me, the more chaotic I feel on the inside.
I get this knot in my stomach when people ask me if we are going to have another baby. It’s that forward thinking type of question our society asks anyone who has made a major life decision, such as “Have you set a date for the wedding?” after someone gets engaged or “What are you going to major in?” after someone has graduated from high school. I’ve been asked these types of questions my whole life so you think I would be used to it by now, or, at the very least, come up with an automatic response that I could say to appease someone when asked a question like this.
Winter's nursery was the first and still the only room in the house that is completely decorated. It usually takes me months to put together my vision (and let's be real, months to save the money to do it) but somehow it came together quite effortlessly until I got to the bookshelves.
I don't know what it is about shelves but they always intimidate me and take me hours to figure out what the heck to put on them that's both functional and fun to look at it.