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Two

Luciana turned two on July 29, and I think I’ve been waiting for that definitive thing to say about this big big year. There’s not one thing; there aren’t one hundred things. As I think back over the last year, and all I’ve witnessed, and all I’ve been privileged enough to be a part of simply by being her mom, I don’t think there are one million things. There are ten million. There are countless. There are more moments in a year of life than I could ever do justice to by choosing two or three or four.

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waiting for her party

A year ago she could stand and take a few steps. Now she scales walls. Literally. Last year it was a few words. Now it is full sentences, uttered sometimes with focus so intense it makes her eyes open really really wide as though she were seeing the words in the air in front of her; other times they fall out of her with such carelessness we both have to stop and pause afterwards to breathe in the air which is now full of her expression.

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one year ago…..

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on her birthday this year

A year ago she liked to organize. Now she still really likes to organize.

A year ago she was still sometimes mistaken for a boy because her hair hadn’t really grown in. She hasn’t been called a boy in a long long time.

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almost one….

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and now she’s two….and in a robe 

Motherhood continues to be the most precious world I’ve ever been a part of. And I say a part of because there are so many mothers that are part of me being a mother. To my beloved friends, you know who you are, and I wouldn’t want to do this without you. And to my mom, who I hear in so many things I say to Luciana. Hearing those things make me smile. And to the moms I don’t know but whose words I have read, thank you for inspiring me, comforting me, challenging me, and accompanying me by writing what you do.

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my mama

I had a conversation with a friend recently and what ended up coming out of my mouth was that everything I’ve ever done has been a preparation for being a mom. All the times I’ve learned about patience, about stamina, about walking through the unknown, about suiting up and showing up, about service, about self-care, about expressing myself appropriately, about cleaning up a huge mess (of words or milk), about prioritizing, about trust, about faith, about surrender, about play, about right-sizing, about self-acceptance and self-forgiveness, about saying Yes and saying No–were all so I could try to build on them as a mom. Like every mother I’ve ever spoken to, I have fallen on my face so many times and had so many moments I wish I could do again, and yet, every morning, this little girl greets me with the most gigantic smile (and now lets me know she’s ready for me by calling “Mommy! Come cuddle with me!” after she has sung two or three rounds of “Wheels on the Bus” and read a book or two). She reminds me there are no last chances, that a new day is a blessing, and that love conquers all.

We opted to do a little party for family this year, and it was perfect. All of us got to spend time with everyone there, and I still had a reason to make chocolate cake.

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loved the frozen balloons in the ice bucket idea found on Pinterest

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everyone wore a hat for “Happy Birthday”

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how I ever thought a cake stand was a superfluous purchase, I will never know

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next year I’ll make a better crown:)

I can’t imagine what a year from now will be like, and I don’t need to. She’ll be a big sister, and if her reactions to tiny babies are any indication, she’s going to be a wonderful one. I have many of the questions about my own life that I had a year ago, and that’s OK for now.

Happy Birthday, Luciana Arabella. I am so so lucky to be your mama.

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Simple but True

This is short and sweet, but it’s what I’ve got for today.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. Fears are paper tigers.

Amelia Earhart, a Leo whose birthday was yesterday

I saw that quote on twitter and it struck me for its irrefutable truth. The places in my life where I have longing, or a desire that feels far from being fulfilled, or a silent grudge towards myself are the places I have gotten stuck and rather than devise a new route, I’ve stopped.

 All it takes is a little step one day, and a little step the next. And if I am unwilling to take that action I have two questions for me: is this something I really want or am I thinking I should want it when my heart says otherwise? and/or  what am I scared of that has me sitting on my hands? Those fears are paper tigers, imagined outcomes, and I can be a lion and shoo them away, with faith in life as my biggest roar.

If you, like me, like Amelia Earhart, are a Leo, happy birthday! May I suggest heading here where there’s a perfume designed just for us big cats.

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Hawaii

 

The 3 of us escaped to Hawaii for July 4th weekend. Though we only had 3 full days there it was one of the most perfect trips we could have imagined.

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ocean splash

 

Luciana is almost 2—at the end of this month she will be. She looks so much like a little girl these days. Her language has exploded: I can’t believe the things coming out of her mouth: how she hears everything, wants to say everything and most amazingly how she’s making links between parts of her life. We’ll be talking about something, a swimming pool, for instance, and she’ll say “Just like….” and name a book in which there’s a pool. Or talk about her swim class. Or tell me someone else who went in a pool. My jaw keeps dropping, especially at the forgotten-or-not-noticed-by-me places she’ll draw links from.

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LC at pool

As her mom I am finding my patience tested in new ways–which is her job as an almost 2-year-old. It’s been an amazing opportunity for me to watch reflex reactions and consciously work on shifting them when it obviously doesn’t serve either of us. I did a study group on this dense deep wonderful book, which isn’t the easiest to get through, but has been unbelievable in giving me ways to choose other reactions and unpack where those reactions came from in the first place. And as much as my patience may be tried, my love and awe of Luciana is bigger than it’s ever been.This trip was just a teeny bit bittersweet since it’s our last summer vacation as the 3 of us.

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If we’re not social media friends (and I would love to be! Icons to your left….) you might have missed that we’re having another baby in early January!

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I’m 14 weeks now and beginning to look maybe a little bit pregnant in a place other than my thighs.

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It’s been true, what all my second-time mama friends told me, that there just isn’t the same time spent and focus on the second pregnancy. I have Luciana. There’s been time every morning and night and in the occasional prenatal yoga class to start to feel the new spirit, but it was on this trip our new little being started to feel real and here. We won’t be finding out boy or girl, and for now Baby goes by The Dolphin. S/he feels strong, playful, light, and very very happy in the water.

Sky and I, though we didn’t have much time the 2 of us, got to slow down and be present together and that is so precious these days. He put down work, I put down baby planning and we just were. And that was magical.

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Hope summer is treating all of you beautifully. Wishing you lots of late afternoons in the sand.

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For Mommies and Moguls

A couple of weeks ago I told you about MyYogaWorks and told you I’d tell you when my special Mama series is up. It’s up, as is another one I’ll do a big reveal of momentarily. These mommy mini-classes might be the teaching that’s nearest and dearest to my heart. It was so so so SO challenging for me to get my yoga back after Luciana was born, and part of what did it was remembering I didn’t have to do 90 minutes 6 days a week. I could do 10 minutes 3 days a week and start to feel like I was reconnecting. And once I did 10 minutes it was often easy to do 20, and so on it went. And that’s what this series is: 5 10-minute-ish sequences you can do alone, or string them together for a longer practice. I loved making them; I hope you love doing them. You do need to be a My Yoga Works member to see the preview video and sequences….

Yoga For Busy Moms Online Yoga Classes by MyYogaWorks

And because I love a good pair of opposites, I created a series for those of you chasing emails rather than toddlers. Perhaps because I am married to someone who spends a lot of time at a desk, I also have a soft spot for those of you whose backs, shoulders, necks, eyes, wrists, hip flexors and even minds are affected by so much screen time. The Office Yoga Series is several 5-10 minute-ers that, again, you can do solo before or after a meeting, or put together on a lunch break. I had a ball shooting in a dress rather than yoga pants. Intro here; series on the MYW site.

Office Yoga MyYogaWorks Online Yoga Classes

You have 5 minutes now? Ok, go.

Everything Always Ok

There are the moments of overwhelm almost every day–some big; some small. You know the ones–be they about the house, job, family, money, body, spirit—they enter quicker than you can shut the door to them and for the time they’re in residence they reign.

Sometimes I can shoo them out without too much hassle; other times it seems they’re moving in for good and that they’ve thrown out in their powerful rush my sense of center and any ability to ground.

Recently, in the middle of one of those I-Don’t-Know-How-I’m-Ever-Going-To….I remembered a moment from just after college. I was camping with my best friend in Hawaii. I was out in the ocean, I could hear dolphins when I put my ears under the water, and I remember floating there in warm water and sun and knowing, deep in my bones, that everything was always going to be OK. When I suddenly thought of that a few days ago, remembering exactly all the sensations in my body, how the shore looked, what the water felt like, I was brought to that same sense of surety. That memory erased the haggard hurried feeling I’d been unable to shake. So I’ve been playing with that since….

There was the time I was nine years old and I was in the car with my mom and sister; we were driving over the Cooper River Bridge. No one was saying anything special; it was an ordinary car ride. I know what I was wearing, what the light looked like through the windows, what buildings and shipping containers I could see; and in that moment for no apparent reason something inside me said Everything is Always Going to Be OK. I felt warm; I felt safe; I felt….OK. There was the time Sky and I were walking down our block that year we lived in New York. We were laughing, had our arms around each other, it was just the right amount of chilly, and I knew. It’s All Forever Going to be OK. Two days ago Luciana woke up early from her nap, clearly needing more. I brought her into my bed, lay down with her, and before we both dozed off I could have promised anyone: I Can Tell You for Certain- It’s All Ok. Perhaps I’ll call on that one five years from now after a horrible audition or a flooded bathroom.

I’m falling in love with memories again. So much of motherhood is presence; that is one of its biggest blessings. Yet I seem to be re-learning the power of recollection. How sometimes the present betrays you, pretends the difficult moment is all there is, and in those I can anchor to these. Not to erase the difficulty; life’s not about that to me; but to get that perspective: nothing is fixed, everything passes, and somehow, someway, Everything is Always Going to Be Ok.

 

luciana on beach 19 mos

 

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