Wednesday, April 30, 2014

good vibrations

Well, it's official: I'll be leaving my job at the end of June. Part of me is sad to say goodbye, but the kiddos I've been with for two years will all be heading off to Kindergarten in the fall, so in that sense the timing is good. And I absolutely can't WAIT to have summer with my baby! :) :) :) In addition to spending lots of time outdoors (so excited for farmers' markets, hikes, and the beach with Caleb in tow!), I have a handful of projects I'd like to tackle. First on the list is giving our worn out wooden dining chairs new life with a coat of paint.

I'm leaning towards this bright "Tanager Red" from the West Elm for Sherwin Williams line (the swatch I found online looks kinda dingy, but look how that table from House of Earnest vibrates! I love it.). This new IKEA fabric also has a relaxed, summery vibe (it's actually vintage-looking botanical/insect prints); I'd like to make some cushions out of it.

The dining chairs in question are in storage at the moment--we packed them up to make way for my art area when Caleb came along. They belonged to my grandma, and I was initially thinking I'd just sell them when we move in August. Guess we'll see if a little tanager does the trick first ;)

I feel like there are lots of good things coming our way . . . Fingers crossed and full steam ahead! x

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Breaking in my new summer sandals (seen here). Indoors, as they happened to arrive the same day as a snowstorm. ENOUGH ALREADY, WINTER! I am so very over you.

Took another "mama pause" yesterday with a massage and manicure, followed by a trip to the bookstore. It's been a while since I've been able to just wander up and down the aisles, seeing what piques my interest. I ended up coming home with two books, thanks to a gift card from a student. It's my spring break, and I have loved waking up and hanging out with my baby each morning. Still, stepping away is such a treat, and I KNOW it makes me a better parent. 

Tomorrow Caleb will head to my mother-in-law's house, as he does every Friday, only this time I will be home. I have big plans to clean the apartment and finish some sewing projects. It breaks my heart just a tiny bit that I'll be home without him. But when he returns it will be to a refreshed mama, ready to snuggle him all weekend long. Ohhh, Cabey Baby, I love you, I do!

Monday, April 14, 2014

straight talk:

Image here via Pinterest

Do you have your shit figured out? If so, at what point do you feel like you got there?

I find I am constantly stressed about money, still feeling very Lost in Translation ("I just don't know what I'm supposed to be"), and am wracked with guilt about not having a permanent home where we can raise and grow our family.

Of course, there are waves of immense gratitude in between, and today I found myself humming "Three Little Birds" as I hunted for some tax documents. 

But seriously, when do things settle? When do you finally feel like an adult, financially stable, like you're doing all right?

This is either a Tax Day crisis or a Quarter-Life Crisis. Either way, I'd like a glimpse of the next few steps on my path. I feel like I have a vision for my life; I just have no clue how to make it happen.

Oy. Back to the baby.

PS - This about sums up it up for me right now.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

on matters of the heart

A little girl in my class has been anxious about coming to school because she's afraid of one of the other kids. It's sort of a long story, and the dynamics of any classroom (and human relationships in general) are complicated, but her mom emailed a friend of mine that no longer works at the school about the situation. This friend shared that email with me. In it, the mom said she talked to her daughter about how there will be people in the world who are unkind, and she needed to "build a little wall around her heart" to keep it safe.

And I can't stop thinking about it. While it's odd that I found out about all this secondhand, what bothers me more is the idea of walling off one's heart. Most adults have learned to do this so well that we have trouble ever opening up again. The wall becomes a fortress over time. And I, for one, have spent quite a bit of time and money figuring out how to tear down my internal steel and stone in order to live more fully.

Walking today, gazing at my sleeping baby in the stroller, I contemplated what I'd tell him if confronted with a similar issue. I think I'd talk him through the hard stuff, then tell him that we need to keep our hearts open anyway. Acknowledge that there is unkindness and suffering in the world, feel it deeply, and then consciously decide to remain vulnerable, to live boldly and courageously, without walls. 

I can't protect Caleb from pain, but I can show him how to repeatedly focus his lens on goodness and beauty. To "look for the helpers." To be compassionate, forgiving, and brave. And I can help him to know that, no matter what, I will carry his heart in mine. Always and always, forever.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

al fresco

We’ll dine . . .
. . . on the balcony, seated at this cheerful table, which folds up for easy storage. Mostly likely we'll have homemade pizza and a simple mache salad and drink our latest wallet-friendly favorite, refilling our glasses 'til the bottle is gone. Or maybe we'll sip my favorite summer sparkler right from the can. We'll use our dishes from Poland and casual flatware.

I’ll wear . . .
. . . this easy dress and some simple sandals, plus a ring featuring a trio of elephants, since for some reason they've been on my mind. We'll set a vase of fresh peonies on the table and pipe Anita through the window to set the mood.

Sunny days are here again, and I can't help but dream . . . just like last year ;)

so. much. better.

This weekend was a winner. I feel so relaxed and satisfied, but I certainly wasn't feeling that way going into it! I'd been anxious and down and quick to anger. My grumpiness was even affecting my interactions with strangers, which is so completely unlike me! Caleb started teething and hasn't been sleeping well, which means we haven't been sleeping well, and that can make life feel pretty dang hard.

On Friday, when my students were [supposed to be] napping, I was sitting on the floor rubbing my eyes, when I felt this little hand gently patting me on the back. "Just breathe in through your nose, Miss Emy, and out through your mouth. It's OK. In... and out...." It was one of my students, coaching me through a breathing exercise the same way I often coach her! "There," she said after a few deep breaths, "isn't that better?"

It was (and the sweetness of the whole thing was definitely a mood booster), but I decided it was time for an even bigger mama time out. I booked a massage for that evening. 





I felt like a new person afterwards. So good, in fact, that I also booked a hair appointment for the very next day! Andy wholeheartedly took over Caleb duty Saturday morning while I went for a coffee and croissant before getting a professional blow out. Cheaper than therapy and frankly left me feeling a whole lot better than sessions spent airing dirty laundry.

After my massage, I also sewed up this little bow tie for the bubba. Handsome, ain't he? :)

Then, yesterday, I headed to the gym for the first time in two years (!) and ran. I've signed up for a 5k in June and have been nervous about getting back in shape. But once again, I came home content and steady. Andy especially seems to appreciate when I step up and take care of myself, probably because I'm less likely to lean on him to meet my emotional needs. Part of me still feels a twinge of guilt spending time and money on myself. There's a difference between self-care and selfishness. I'm still figuring out this balance. For now, we've agreed to budget for a special monthly "mama-pause," whatever that may be. If this weekend is anything to go by, when I give myself a time out, everyone wins.

Happy Mama, happy family