Monday, August 29, 2016

Embracing my Season

Am I the only mom who looks at her children and can't believe that she's their mother?

Maybe but probably not. I swear I was just 21 yesterday and now I'm the mother of three amazing, beautiful children. Children who rely on me now but will eventually leave and start their own separate lives.

I try not to think about that too much because that's just living in the future instead of being present and embracing the season of motherhood that I'm in.

My season is littles running around, never having a completely clean house, temper tantrums and breaking up fights. It's love and exhaustion and frustration and joy on a daily (sometimes minute by minute) basis. It's being completely overwhelmed during the day and laying in a bed filled with little bodies at night knowing I wouldn't have life any other way.

This season of motherhood won't last long. One day I'll blink and my littles will be bigs and I'll swear that yesterday they were small enough to fit in my arms. Until then, I will try my hardest to embrace every moment of this season (even the temper tantrums, they'll make good stories later on) and let the future meet us when we get there.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Life and Anxiety in Paradise

We live in Paradise. A place where people dream of visiting yet I stay in the house. I have no motivation to leave, to explore. The desire is there. I want to get out but for some reason, it's almost like I'm held prisoner by imaginary bars...maybe there's one of those invisible electric fences surrounding my house and I'm the only one wearing a collar.

If I'm honest (which I really want to be here on this blog, in this space), this isn't new. This happened when we lived in Germany and I always had an excuse why it wasn't a problem but now, now it's obvious. I have only been to the beach once. The picture above with the bright blue sky, green grass and sparkling ocean wasn't taken by me. Will took this picture during one of his many trips to the beach with the kids. On this day in particular, I stayed locked in our hotel room like a vampire afraid to be touched by the sun.

Anxiety is something I've dealt with before. It's something I know I have to will defeat. I mean, what's the point of living in paradise if you don't bask in its aloha spirit.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Redefining Father's Day

I have always hated Father's Day. It's that one day that makes me think about my relationship (or lack thereof) with my father. This day is a reminder of the bond I don't have and every year, I hate this day. At some point in my childhood, my father decided that parenting is optional. He cut most ties with my sister and I and moved on with his life. He remarried (I found out from the newspaper) and eventually moved back to Chicago without saying a word.
After that, we had a handful of conversations mostly after I'd talk to my grandma and tell me to call him but once I realized that these conversations were one-sided (he rarely asked about my life) and superficial, I tried to contact him as little as possible. This wasn't really hard since he never once called me (even though I had the same phone number for almost 10 years) and I just accepted this.
That was our relationship until the spring break I went to visit my grandma. My father was living with her at the time and I saw him face to face for the first time in years. Everything was fine until he decided to insult my mother's parenting. I exploded. How could someone who decided not to be a parent insult someone who was forced to raise kids completely alone?! That was the first time I fully realized that he thought (and still thinks) of himself as a parent, as a father. He feels as though his decision to walk away was the fault of my mother, my sister and myself. And that's when I felt hatred towards Father's Day.
Once I became a mother and my children had a father of their own, I realized that I had to change my view. I couldn't let my father taint a day when my kids get to celebrate their dad. His love and commitment makes me appreciate the fathers that I see my friends raving about. He's not perfect but to my kids, he's the best. And each year that we celebrate him, I'm able to let go of the resentment Father's Day usually brings.
Happy Father's Day Will.

Saturday, May 7, 2016


We're in Hawaii! We survived the almost 24 hours of traveling and have recovered from the horrible jet lag we had. We landed on O'ahu last week and are staying in a hotel until we get housing (we should sign for our house on Monday). 

I am so ready to get settled. In reality, we'll be in limbo until late June when our car arrives and we get Betty White from quarantine (Hawaii does a 120 day rabies quarantine. She only has to be quarantined for 40+ days since she was able to do most of the quarantine in Germany).

I must admit. I haven't left the hotel much since we got here. I think I have a bit of postpartum depression creeping in. That and it's hot! When we left Germany, it was snowing! I'm starting to adjust though. I think I'll feel a lot better once were out of the hotel (the a/c is not the best here...well, nothing is really the best here but that's a different story). 

I promise to get up and take more pictures soon. Until my next post, Aloha!

Friday, April 22, 2016

(almost) En Route

The movers have packed most our belongings and I watched as they rolled down the street. We have one more day of packing left next week then we'll leave the house we've called home for the past three years. I must admit that this house was never really a "home" even though I have brought two lovely children home in the house and watched another grow into an awesome kid here. I still remember a neighbour and her daughter coming to visit and the daughter asked if we just moved in...we'd been living here for over two years. Our house was pretty bare. No decorations, no personality so it's not too hard to leave it behind.

I have such high hopes for our next house. I realised that I need to go in this house with an idea in mind of how I want things to look. I even put together a little vision board with decorating ideas so we aren't overwhelmed. We're still embracing a simpler look so we actually downsized a lot. We both decided that if we didn't love something in our house and could survive without it, it was not getting put on the moving truck. That might seem crazy to some people but to us, we want to have a house that's homey without being clutter, that shows our personalities and we're okay with waiting a little while for everything to come together.

Besides decorating, I'm excited for the newness of this move. Everything will be new to the kids and it will signify a new, fresh start for Will and I. A new opportunity to grow, to learn.

I'm just going to put this out there...This move is going to be great...we'll once we get past the cleaning and traveling parts. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

To Asher

Today is your third birthday! I know it doesn't seem like it since we celebrated last week and were preoccupied with movers today.

You are my baby boy (although you would tell me that you're a "small guy" not a baby). Even though you are a total threenager, you have a great heart and spirit. I wish I could see the world the way you do. I hope that you continue to grow and I can continue to learn and grow with you. I love you with all my heart.

Happy third birthday Asher Poo!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Turning 31

This is 31. Six years of marriage, three kids, two dogs, preparing to move thousands of miles away in two weeks. 

Always learning, always evolving. 

I am still learning to love the woman I see in the mirror. The woman who is flawed but has come so far, who will make mistakes (because she's human and not perfect) but won't repeat the mistakes of her past.

I'm still learning to love that woman for who she is and who she can become instead of picking her apart for who she once was.

Does that even make sense?
Who knows but 31 feels good. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Motherhood || Life as a Mama Bird of Three

Three little baby birds (although Asher will quickly remind me that he's not a baby). Life in our nest is chaotic, as usual. Since we're moving thousands of miles away very soon, it has been hard to get any kind of routine established. We're just going with the flow right now and that will likely be the case until we're settled in our new house/life in Hawaii (whenever that is since we have to wait for Aurora's passport to leave).
Without a regular routine, we've noticed a change in the boys' behavior, mostly Liam's. I have to remind myself that he's only five and I can't place unrealistic expectations on him. With that being said, I know what he's capable of doing and the behavior he should have so that's something we need to work on. Asher is a pre-threenager right now so he's horrible (I'm exaggerating). They're great kids though and I'm a truly lucky mama. Every day I get with my kids, I'm filled with gratitude, especially if they're all sleeping at the same time. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dear Asher...

My little ball of emotion. Being two has been hard for you and I completely understand why. Your emotions are so big that it's hard to contain them in your little body. You want so badly to be understood, to be heard. It's understandable. There are times as a mama that I feel the same way. 

Even with so many emotions flowing, you are always such a loving soul. The way you softly touch my face when you talk to me, the way you do things with so much passion, these things make you, you (and definitely make up for the times that you're not so nice). 

You're going to be a great big brother once we establish that the baby who's hogging Mama is indeed the same baby that used to be in Mama's belly.   

Dear Liam...

You held Aurora for the first time today. The look of happiness on your face brings tears to my eyes as I write this. You are an amazing kid/son/being. You have a kind heart and a huge spirit that I both admire and envy.

I'll never forget this look because it's the same one I had when I held you (and Asher and now Aurora) for the first time.

It's a look of pure, organic love.

Dear Aurora Everly...

Your arrival into this world was fast and fierce. Even though we've been anxiously awaiting your arrival for weeks, you managed to surprise us.

The moment you were placed on my chest, it's almost as if I had everything I could ever need in life at that exact moment. My life, my world, my universe made sense and even though we'd just met, you'd always been a part of it. I felt the same way when I met your brothers. It's a feeling that's hard to understand or to explain but it's like seeing a piece of your heart in your hands. A piece of myself in the eyes of someone I've been waiting to meet my entire life.

Welcome to this chaos sweet tiny baby. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Pregnancy Notes // 39 weeks

I honestly did not think I would still be pregnant right now. After my 38 week appointment, my doctor had my hopes up that I'd be meeting this tiny baby within a couple days. Well, a week and two hospital visits later, I'm still pregnant. I actually thought I was in labor twice this week but both times turned out to be nothing. No baby, no progression and now that I'm home, I'm okay with that.

This baby isn't late, I mean, I'm not even due yet. What's the rush? This baby is going to be born into a world of hurrying, of constant busyness. This baby is reminding me to slow down and enjoy our last moments together, in this body, our secret world. There's no reason to rush that. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pregnancy Notes // Waiting for baby

I admit, I'm getting impatient. Even though I'm only 37 weeks pregnant, I usually go into labor around this time so I'm anticipating that will be the case this time as well (although I have a feeling, I'll be pregnant for a little while longer). 

I was waiting on some things to arrive (like the super soft blanket from Saranoni in the picture) and now that they're here and everything is freshly washed and packed, I'm even more anxious.

I think this is the most prepared I have ever been before childbirth. The only thing I haven't done is pre-register at the hospital (something I've actually never done) but if I'm still pregnant by my next prenatal appointment on Friday, I'll take care of that then (our hospital and my doctor are in another town about 20 minutes away from our house).

Until then, I'm just trying to remind myself that stressing over things I can't control only hurts, not helps. Our lives will be pretty chaotic for the next few months. There's nothing I can do but embrace the chaos and thrive in it. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Pregnancy Notes // 37 weeks

Everything about this time, this little baby, this life feels just right yet I can't help but fall into old habits.

The anticipation is here and I'll soon be a mama of three. Three little people to love, to teach, to learn from. This little baby will be joining our chaos soon and I know there will be more lessons for all of us while we're adjusting.

I know that things will not be perfect, that we will have to create a new normal, a new chaos. I know all these things yet my needs for control, for perfection are slowly creeping back in.

I have a feeling that letting go will be the main lesson for me during this time. 

Letting go of control, the idea of perfection and replacing it with joy, laughter, gratitude.

Letting go of rigidness, of aloofness and embracing love and life. 

I'm ready whenever you are little baby. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Plant Based Family // Weeks 3 & 4

I ate a hot dog. That felt so good to get off my chest! I felt horrible afterwards and I doubt I'll eat anything like that soon. I guess if you're going to go backwards on a plant-based diet, you might as well eat something horrible like a gas station hot dog just to remind you why you gave up meat in the first place.
We've been thriving at home with our diet and I know once we get to Hawaii, it'll be even better (there are lots of vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants and let's not forget Whole Foods). Will and I still haven't come to an agreement about restricting meat from the kids' diets. I think we should all go meat free but he feels that if we're eating out and they ask for meat, we shouldn't deny them. We'll see what we end up on but as of right now, no meat at home. Here are a couple dishes I made over the last two weeks:

Will actually made this homemade ramen for dinner. He loosely followed a Minimalist Baker recipe and it turned out really good!
Vegan s'mores and coffee. The perfect breakfast.
More vegan s'mores! So good!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Growing as a Wife

I am a very difficult person to please, I'll admit it. I can be overly critical of the people I love and sometimes a lot of times, my expectations are unreasonable. 

In our five years of marriage, Will and I have been through many ups and downs. We have learned so much about each other and life in general along the way. It's so weird to realize that it's never really been the two of us. We met, got married and started a family all within a couple months (a lot of people are still surprised that we're still married, believe me, so are we at times) so my identity as a wife has always been intertwined with being a mother.

It has taken five years for me to realize that in order for me to be a good mama, I also have to be a good wife. Our marriage is the foundation for our family and if I continue to neglect our relationship, that foundation will never be strong. 

This year, I am focusing on being a better me as well as building the relationships I cherish. I intend to put more effort into my marriage and I know our family will flourish in return. Although it'll never truly be the two of us, the universe brought us down this path for a reason. Last year, we hit rock bottom but 2016 will be a year of rebuilding, it will be a year of us.