Jan 26, 2014


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

She is currently on day eleven of a mean and persistent little cold. It hasn't stopped her from her usual wild play, but every so often, that glazed look comes over her, and my heart aches that I can't take her place. On another note, her curls have become completely untamable...

Jan 24, 2014

10 things i'm grateful for

1. Guilty pleasure TV shows

2. Vanilla coconut yogurt

3. Home-made granola--both the heavenly scent of it baking, and the yumminess when eating it

4. Julie's set of children's handbells (thank you bestie!). The handbell nerd in me has been re-awakened!

5. How protective our cat, Prudence is of Julie. It's the sweetest thing

6. Julie's developing sense of humor. There is so much laughter in our lives

7. That my husband and I share the same, quirky sense of humor. It's bizarre sometimes, and I like it

8. The feeling of relief when a wretched cold is on its way out

9. Baby/toddlerwearing. It rules

10. A day well lived

Jan 23, 2014

mothering through sickness

Julie and I are on day eight and nine, respectively, of a miserable cold. As of yesterday, James has succumbed, as well. We have been lucky to have had minimal illnesses for eighteen months, but starting last month, everything has come at once. Fever, croup, and now this cold, which insists on dragging on for all of us. I know every parent knows the pain of this acutely, but there is nothing worse than a sick child. It breaks my heart. And then, there is the reality of parenting when you are sick yourself. To put it simply, it sucks.

When I was in school, I would look at my cats happily napping their days away, and be overcome with jealousy. Now, I look at anyone who can recover in bed, watching movies, and napping whenever the need hits, with that same envy. To be able to recover in bed seems like the biggest luxury in the world. (Right alongside sleeping in and spontaneous dates).

I love being a mother more than anything in the world. I have wanted this baby for as long as I can remember, and I am awash in gratitude every day. But...it is truly the hardest job--far beyond anything I ever could have imagined. There are moments when I feel like I cannot possibly go on. That I am too exhausted, stressed, sick, and have nothing more to give. It is then that my daughter reaches for me, rests her sweaty little head on my shoulder, and murmurs "Huggy". Or she cries and cries for me in the middle of the night, for only mommy will do. And in those moments, I find that there is an infinite well of strength within me fueled by love incalculable.

Jan 20, 2014


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Her newest obsession is her learning tower. She will spend countless moments at the kitchen counter, pouring, mixing, "cooking". She must have her favorite pair of my sunglasses on, though. This is a

Jan 11, 2014


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Mostly, she lives in a state of unbridled joy. She cracks herself up regularly, letting out mighty laughs that sometimes bring her tumbling to the ground. This only serves to bring on another fit of giggles. But there are the moments in between when she suddenly becomes pensive, and I am left to wonder at the mystery of what has captured her mind so.

10 things i'm grateful for

1. My cookbook library (I read these books like they're novels)

2. Julie's new learning tower/pod (Thank you Grandpa!)

3. Time to sit down with tea and silly reality TV while baby is napping

4. An amazing teacher and group of moms and kids at our parent-child class

5. Vegan chirashi-zushi. Yum, yum, yum...

6. Having a dishwasher. I'm grateful for this daily

7. That feeling when embarking on a fun, new project--butterflies, extra energy, pure happiness

8. Chocolate anything

9. Re-connecting with old friends after the years have flown by

10. Perfect sunsets

Jan 10, 2014

confessions of a recovering perfectionist

I will be the first to admit that I am terribly hard on myself. Although it's true that sometimes I get carried away, and extend this to others--especially those people that I am close to--it is still nothing compared to the impossible standards that I often set for myself. There is no realm that this perfectionism does not touch. Motherhood? Check. Breastfeeding? Check. Birthing? Exercise? New projects? Relationships? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Eating a healthy diet, and getting to my ideal body type hover very high on this list. This perfectionism is pervasive and can be endless. It also creates enormous anxiety and it is about as far from loving as could be.

Every time a new year rolls around, I will buy a new journal, reveling in its untouched quality, and fill the first few pages with a gigantic list of resolutions. I will sit back after the work is done, look over the list, and feel exhausted by the year ahead, and anxious at the thought that I just may not be able to deliver. What a way to start the new year.

This year, I have toned things way down. There is no new journal--the old one, complete with messy scribblings and big feelings from last year will do just fine. Most importantly, I only have one resolution, and it's more of what I consider to be my life's work.

My resolution is to live authentically and with love. I will learn to love myself enough that that love then radiates out into the world and shines its light on those around me. I will go out into the world with this love filling my heart, so that I can love others through every interaction big and small. I will love myself when I mess up, am not my ideal weight, eat junky food, feel lonely, angry, or lost. And I will set an example for my precious daughter that this--love--is truly all that matters. It really is.

Jan 8, 2014

what julie ate

New year, new beginning, time to detox. It's best to follow Julie's lead, I think...

Breakfast: Gluten free oatmeal with flax oil and cinnamon
Lunch:  Brown rice with natto, kale, sesame oil, nori seaweed
Snack: Green smoothie with homemade almond milk, romaine, strawberries, banana
Dinner: Quinoa pasta, tempeh, carrots, kale, tahini

Jan 5, 2014


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

I just adore this project by Jodi from Practising Simplicity, and I knew that as soon as the project started up in 2014, I would want to jump on board. So here is the first of many portraits, and thank you Julie for always being such a patient model. 

Julie roaming free in our favorite little park, loving her freedom, but turning back every once in a while to take our hands and let us join in on her adventure.

10 things i'm grateful for

1. Dining out with friends we love

2. Julie's giddiness at accomplishing a few new things--getting on and off the bed and chairs by herself

3. Discovering a truly good book

4. A clean kitchen

5. The scent of lavender and vanilla essential oils mingling and filling the apartment

6. Meeting up with a dear friend of many many years

7. French fries--I love them, it's a mild obsession, and I refuse to apologize for it

8. Getting to watch James and Julie together, and getting all teary at what an incredible father he is

9. Holding my sleeping baby in my arms

10. Those late night hours filled with golden solitude

Jan 2, 2014

what julie ate

Julie is an avocado fiend. She would eat it at every meal if she could. Lucky for us, we live in the land of year-round avocado perfection.

Breakfast: Gluten-free oatmeal with coconut oil and parsley
Snack:  Superfood puffs, avocado
Lunch:  Brown rice with chickpeas, nori seaweed, flax oil, miso
Snack:  Strawberries with almond butter
Dinner:  Buckwheat groats with sprouted tofu, spinach, tahini

Polishing off her avocado and moving on to her plate...

the gift of illness

It's a new a year, and cliche though it may be, I adore the feeling of a new beginning placed before me. It's been almost a year and a half since Julie's long and dramatic birth, and the feeling, which began in quiet little whisperings has become much more insistent--that I let go of those things that do not serve me.

The list of things I do that aren't the healthiest boasts a prominent few, but among those, the most pressing one at the moment is detox. Of the food variety, that is.

I am a bit of a health nerd now, but this was not always the case. It was a series of serious illnesses that inspired me to change my lifestyle drastically. I didn't always use "that hippie sugar", as James likes to tease. A trip to a fast food joint was an almost daily ritual. A certain, ubiquitous diet shake and microwave dinners, three cups of coffee, plus those countless, thoughtful refills, topped off with at least five packets of sugar per cup, donuts, cookies...I trudged, quite literally from one neon establishment or junk food package to the next. I was heavy, with troubled skin, and was angry, depressed, in pain, and so very sick. (I also am a firm believer in the mind-body connection, but this is for another day.)

I was sick from the time I was thirteen years old until I healed myself, with the help of food and other natural modalities twelve years later. After various treatments, and a parade of misdiagnoses, I had surgery for severe endometriosis, and large ovarian cysts at the age of twenty. I also had polycystic ovarian syndrome, but was told there was nothing to be done for that. The doctors told me that I had to have children as soon as possible, or that I would probably not have them at all. At twenty, I was nowhere near ready for this, so I lived instead for many years with the deep fear that I may never conceive.

Although the surgery helped temporarily, the endometriosis came back within a year, and it was then that I threw my hands up, and decided that there had to be a better way than continuous surgery. I don't believe I found a book on Macrobiotics by accident, as I've always felt that everything happens for a reason, but whatever the truth of this is, I stumbled upon a book that challenged all of my thoughts on food. Overnight, I cut out dairy, meat, sugar, processed everything, threw out toxic body products, chewed my food, and all the other fun things that come with the Macro lifestyle. Thanks to my beloved aunt, I even got to go to a retreat for sick individuals in the Berkshire mountains, where they teach you how to live a healthier lifestyle. For six months, I was dedicated completely, and at the end of this time, I found I was cured of not only the major problems, but of a great many other things, as well. The unexpected bonus was that I also felt tremendous energy, joy, and excitement for life. It felt nothing short of miraculous.

These days I don't follow the strict diet that I did to heal. I am a vegan, but I have also let go of a lot of the rigid rules I had set for myself when I needed to devote everything to healing. There is room for improvement, but I don't beat myself up when I stray too far over the holidays or other special occasions. Life is too short to be unforgiving of ourselves. When I make the decision to pursue healthier eating, it is with excitement, rather than negative pressure.

There isn't a day that goes by that I am not grateful for having been sick. Without this experience, I would not have been motivated in the way that I was to make such a tremendous change. I don't know that I would have found my way to holistic eating and living without the catalyst of illness. The beauty of these experiences is that they also touched the lives of many people that are close to me. By overcoming illness, I also gained the realization that we are so much more powerful than we realize. Our choices mean something! If we can heal ourselves, what else can we do in our lives? The possibilities are endless. The other blessing that came from this journey is the appreciation I gained for true health and my life in general. I may have days when stress overshadows appreciation, but I always find my way back to this place of deep gratitude, which can never be lost. I am so thankful for the gifts that illness gave to me.

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