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Monday, September 16, 2013

"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life."

In the past year since going back to work, I have put every personal growth category I have into full force except this one. My words and my writing. This little blog is so important to me. It holds so much of my metamorphosis- my decision to trade freedom for motherhood. If I were to perish tomorrow I would hope that these entries would be printed for my girls. So far, this is what I have going for them. My unrelenting attempts to be enough mother for their present and future.

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Some may be alarmed at my comparison of freedom and motherhood. And frankly, I think these words to be antonyms. There is nothing free about motherhood. Motherhood created a knot that can never unwound, no matter what. And I have two. Freedom means you are a free bird, fluttering in the wind, time is at your disposal, no binds to anything or anyone. I have two.

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Social media makes reminders. Reminders that most people I know have completely mapped out their procreation. The birth dates, the nurseries, the chemical free paint, the Harvard preschools. I have no jealousy, just reminders. My husband and I did not plan but we created. We create the home, even if we don't own it yet. The blankets were fluffed and ready. Todd even built the crib. We prepared as we had to. Sometimes five steps behind... usually ten. Moving earnestly forward to fulfill goals and trying not to lose sight of our dreams. The ones we felt deeply before the thought of family ever existed.

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Now as my girls grow I am more reminded of this. Olivia and Mila deserve everything. So I try harder. Every day I try and fail and sometimes succeed at perfecting myself to my fullest potential. Mind, body, spirit. I remind myself of this every damn day. It's consuming. So after the laundry, job, bedtime stories, workout, time alone, playdates.... My words are left behind. But. I need them.

I need to spill over this keyboard so that in 15 years my kids can read this and know that their unprepared parents love them from here to the furthest known universe and back one million times. My silly blog posts transcend every shortcoming because in them is the most raw and exposed time capsule. Here I am right now, little more than a month from my LITTLE PEA turning FOUR. This blows my mind into every direction. Almost half a decade. A love so big I still do not know how it fits into my body. And then it doubled. So here I am... Loving you much bigger than I will ever be. Always.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

heart and stars.

When I think of the resilience of spirit of my two children it makes me fill with pride and also creates a major pull at my gut. They are so adaptable- as Todd and I hustle though the hurdles, putting it all into creating the foundation for the rest of our lives. They deserve the best and we want to create that.


 Lately this means they are apart from us for periods in the day. It means we are busy, our days hectic. And they roll with every curve. Vibrant and confident and smiley. It is because they're young and fresh but also because they are loved. At our home, at my parents', and their daycare. Daily I try to push back that part of me that reminds me that working away from home is not the best option for them. And so then I must meditate on the fact that in life we must do our best in every situation. All my cards are bet on the fact that putting forth every ounce of me will benefit my girls.


 And if I am ever home late, which thankfully is rare, I can sneak into Olivia's room and whisper in her ear that I love her. And even in her deepest sleep she will open her eyes to meet mine and smile. Back to dreamland she goes but content knowing mommy is home. So then I whisper to them:

"i love you.
  i love you.
    i love you.
      i love you."

And I know that in the dark it resonates and puts that swagger in their walk day after day. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mila for Carter's


Clueless that her face was all over the place... Photobucket

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Then there is that moment where you realize you have two daughters. The realization left me feeling like someone had thrown ice water on my face while I was asleep. Suddenly, I was super alert and horrified.


There are so many implications when raising females in our society. I want to cultivate in them a sense of confidence, courage, and humility. It is a delicate balance between three extremely important attributes. Then, all this pondering just reminded me that before I can expect my daughters to grow up with these characterisitcs I have to cement them into my own persona.

I have to to admit that having children has created "body image" issues that I had never had before. It is because I accepted the life I was creating, I accepted the gorgeous blossoming belly, but I hadn't accepted the aftermath. I dieted. I ran 40 miles in a week at one point. I fit back into old jeans, my scale told me I was back to my previous size. But, I was ever the harsh critic. My skin looked different, my stomach had prints from motherhood. I wanted to feel in a bikini like I had at 21.

Today something shifted as I was watching Olivia serenade me (as per usual). She  recently decided to take her art scissors to her bangs and completely butchered them. It seemed as if the stars aligned and I suddenly had all of the clarity in the world. I saw her funny bangs, as does everyone else. But, her face is just as beautiful. Her spirit is just as vibrant. The effects of growing up had not altered her magic. And then it made perfect sense. She has taught me yet another lesson.

(Feeling fantastic after her self-makeover.)

I am not supposed to look the same. Everything about me is different and more spread out. My mind, my heart, my intentions. Everything I do is no longer about me and this body has housed this version of me that is far superior to any younger version. Now with pride I can really look at these hips and remember I housed my two tiny bits of the future. It is my responsibility to ensure they make our world better without focusing on frivolous hangups. Now, I must nourish every facet of their worth without wasting time on silly things like choppy bangs and stretch marks.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cheddar hiatus.

(All photos on this post by Natalie Holford.)


After a blur of months from September-January I am on a hiatus from my work. When I say blur that is literally what I envision when I look back. A 6AM alarm clock, hurried shower, clothes thrown onto my body and my kids' bodies, chugs of coffee, quick drop-off at daycare kisses.


But, we did it. We got a flow. My gut literally twisted at fleeting moments of the day and I am sure my girls had moments of "WTF where is my mom?" but we did good. There was a routine. We had our chaotic daddy-cooked family dinners and I folded my body into Olivia's mini bed for a story most nights. Then there was that phase in December where I was away far too many hours. And there were tears.


Now I find myself with no set schedule in hand and shock of the switch is staggering. I mean, I wake up and stare at two pairs of large, expectant eyes and I wonder- How did I spend so much time away from you? And before that, how did I spend so much time with you? There must be a manual somewhere.


So, here I find myself. With polar opportunities once again. The comfort and the sacrifice. A few doors are open but how to choose? I have no idea what is the next step that will suit us best but for now I guess there will be many park days, random explorations of the backyard, and moments where I will miss where I was when I was missing them.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The gold star.

One month and six days ago I wrote a letter to my daughters and published it here. It was just another programmed sequence of letters and symbols in webland but it meant a whole lot to me. It tugged at my heart in a way I have never felt as I drove away from their daycare provider's home, making my stomach weigh a million pounds, my eyes were so blurry. I felt like I was at once making them proud, and also failing. Olivia told me I looked "shiny and pretty". I walked into my new office feeling confident and proud. I thought of them as I sat at a gray desk with a large screen in front of me. I constantly needed the reminder that they would one day be proud of me. But, I had to do good work. I had to do it all and do it well.

Now, I have been at it and I can tell you that out of the depths of longing and missing them I found ME again. The me that was not drowning under a lack of creative stimulation, no time to write. No material other than two beautiful faces. I was immersed in tiny limbs and mini sounds and playgrounds. I loved it. And resented it. I was not me, but I love them so much.

Dare I say I am here now? Platform pumps, novel in my purse, baby on hip? Red lipstick, big words, skipping around our living room with my (almost) 3 year old baby girl? Am I really sort of pulling it off? I sit down to a solitary lunch decorated with the downtown San Diego skyline, it's really quiet. I wish I could text Olivia that I love them. I'd remind her to take care of her baby sister.

Do not judge me. Devoted mama, wife, moneymaker.

I can say I start each day with earnest ambition. I will do my best. I will strive for the gold star sticker on every hat that I try to wear every day. Some are better than others but I start all days the same way.

With lots of heart, a little style, and a hint grace. They fuel me.

Monday, September 3, 2012


To my sweet girls,

I apologize for my drama, but I cannot sleep without addressing a letter to you. You are sleeping heavily, I wish I knew what you dream of. Tomorrow our lives will be different. I will have yet another purpose, a new hat to wear. My heart feels both heavy and excited, cautious and confident. My role as full-time mama is going to shift. But, I rebel against that idea. You're the reason I chose this, for you I will work extra hard. Not only will I fight to be the best mother to you; I will also be fighting to better myself everywhere. A better wife, businesswoman, daughter, sister, friend, person.

I will no longer catch every new saying, every laugh, every tantrum. There will be things I'll miss. This awareness makes a pit in my stomach, but I also have to remember. I am the product of a career woman, a "working" mom. The strongest presence in my life, the most reliable constant. She was there now, is here now. For you, for us. From her I also draw a great strength. Thanks to her I am ready and qualified. I can do this, and I will do it well.

I carry you both wherever I go. In every pore, idea, glance at the clock.

Thank you for inspiring me.