Six Months of Mamahood

Miles is six months old.  I’ve been a Mama for six whole months, and I still sneak into his room at night sometimes to watch him sleeping.  He’s turning into such a little man and if I stop to think about it too much, I inevitably cry.  He eats real food now, just picks up chunks of banana or mango like it’s no big thing and puts them squarely in his mouth.  He makes hugely loud sounds that I call his Dino Roars.  He does it to get reactions out of people, and it works.  (Ask anyone in line at Starbucks this morning!) He is just so freaking funny!

He is mobile now.  Army crawling across the floor to poke Daddy in the face.  Diaper changes have turned into a wrestling match because AS SOON as you put him on his back he has flipped over so he can get his hands on ALL THE THINGS in the diaper changing bin.  He’ll go from cuddly to on-the-move in .3 seconds.  He belly laughs and flirts, flashing his dimple to unsuspecting women in the checkout aisle.

He is in the 90th percentile in height, 60th for weight.  Our chunk of  baby is turning into a long and lean little dude, but still doesn’t have a single tooth.

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Being a mama has changed me.  (Duh?)  I knew it would, but I didn’t know how exactly.  My heart feels bigger and more fragile now that he’s here.  My world is smaller but a zillion times more beautiful.

I am enjoying simultaneously loving the age he is at, mourning the things he’s already left behind, and looking forward to everything that he will grow and do.  He already has SUCH a personality.  I want everyone to come and spend time with him so they can experience the glory of this happy, light-filled, boy.

Don’t even get me STARTED on how he lights up when Mike walks into the room.  His entire face.  Utter joy.

This little man made me a Mama.  I LOVE being a mama.  Every single thing about it.

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When Amy was here for our race last weekend we talked about how I feel the urge to be Super Mom, Super Wife, and Super Employee at all times.  She helped me get to the point where I am okay with not having the time or (to be honest) the desire to start regularly working out right now.  The time will come for that, but right now I don’t want to miss time with Miles.  I can’t imagine being off running in the morning and missing his sweet baby snuggles.  So for now, we go for walks every day and I will practice some self-love until I really feel “in shape” again.

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My first Mother’s Day was perfect.  I ran off with a girlfriend for a pedicure and then the family went out to the park for a picnic that Mike had planned.  The park we go to is super close to our house and is full of neighborhood families being adorable.  Miles is obsessed with going high on the swings and he laughs the higher he goes.

While we were sitting on our blanket I said to Mike that it was crazy to think about Miles one day being old enough to swing by himself and I’ll have to eventually trust that he won’t let go of the swing and fall.  Mike’s response: “And I am going to have to trust one day he will let go at the right time to do kick ass tricks.”

Oh September.

Welcome to my third annual love fest of Fall.  In 2009, my I love fall post was written August 20th... that’s how much I love fall.  I love it when it’s very clearly still Summer.  To each her own, right?  Well, it’s September 1st and even though it’s supposed to be 90 degrees on Friday I can feel the intensity of the summer heat starting to fade.  The nights are cooler.  The mornings are chillier.  Fall is definitely on its way and I am so completely excited about it.

Things I love about Fall:

  • I am having a fall baby.  That means that I am coming INTO the season that will bring Miles.  That’s pretty wonderful.  I have been LOVING finding him Fall clothes for when he’s here.  My favorite right now:
  • While most of my pre-Miles clothes do not fit there is one exception: cardigans.  I have been pulling out all my old sweaters and cardigans again and I can’t wait to pair them back up with my boots and skinny jeans… did I mention I 100% own maternity skinny jeans?  Oh!  And scarves!   What is it about fall clothing that just makes me swoony?

Then there is:

  • baking.  Especially pie now that I’ve figured out the whole home-made crust deal.
  • Football
  • Fall television (Parenthood!  Cannot wait!)
  • Acoustic music that just feels good when it’s cooler out.  The Weepies?  John Mayer?  Alexi Murdoch?  All of it.
  • Apples!  Apples and cinnamon!  Candles, pie, all of it.  The smell is just too wonderful.
  • Pumpkin!  Pie, lattes, beer.  Oh Pumpkin beer how I miss you.
  • Coffee shop dates
  • Crockpot Meals
  • My baby shower (and subsequent visit from my Bestie)

Oh Fall I’ve missed you.

 

What are your favorite things about fall??

Recipe for Happiness

Recipe for Happiness

  • Spend enough time out of the house and away from Mr. A that I really miss him.  So much, in fact, that on the way home from brunch I considered stopping to check the mail but then decided against it because I wanted to snuggle my husband NOW.
  • Pedicures for a pregnant body.  The massage almost made me cry it felt so good.  I hadn’t thought about how my occasional foot and leg cramps have led to little knots being in my feet and legs.  A ten minute massage and hot stones?  There is not enough hyperbole in the entire universe to adequately describe to you how great that felt.
  • A BBQ with friends and making it PAST midnight!  I’m like a pregnant super hero.
  • Spending time every day appreciating Mr. A and feeling super loved on.
  • Eating fruit and veggies from the farmers market.  It just tastes better.
  • Spending the evening planning my hospital bag shopping list and packing list.  (I’m a planner, what can I say?)
  •  Babysitting my favorite 2 year old Saturday night, and trying to read a book on the floor with her.  My belly was 100% in the way and it made me think about how crazy it will be to be pregnant next time with a little one wanting to play on the floor.  (Side note: Carrying her was EASY.  She just fits on top of my belly like it’s a shelf!)
  • Taking steps towards a career move that make me really proud.  I even ordered business cards!
  • Being reminded that Mr. A has the biggest, softest heart ever.  We watched “The Business of Being Born” last night every. single. time. a baby was born the tears would come.  I love that man.
  • Remembering to pause and be grateful for every person and moment.  It’s all so great.

What were the best parts of YOUR weekend?  Where are you finding bliss?

today is a good day.

writing.  hot apple cider.  projects.  making lists of things I want to do with mr. a in every season. checking in with friends.  beautiful music.  discovering my ex is engaged and finding that i am fully ok with it.  being in love.  being loved back. 

today is a good day.

Party: Tahoe #reverb10

Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

No question, best social gathering was the long weekend in Tahoe in February. 
15 of us, in a cabin, Valentines Day weekend.

 This is The Fam.  People who had relatively recently come into my life, but I already knew there was something beautiful and long-lasting here.  The planning was a blast, google docs that got out of control with jokes and charts and lists of people’s Meyers-Briggs, Jersey Shore Nicknames, and emergency contact.

 We played beer pong, and decided it required extra accessories for team unity.

 We danced in between turns.  This picture is when I TORE THE STITCHES from my leg.  (Totally worth it by the way).

 There were family dinners, with lots of laughter and spontaneous rap choruses. 

 I skied for the first time and FELL IN LOVE WITH IT.  

I spent the morning in a beginner ski class all by myself, getting the hang of snow plow.    After lunch all of my friends, the ones who ski black diamonds and can do double backflips off of ski-lifts, came to ski down a run with me.  It was a blast.  (Please see below picture of PURE JOY)

And when I ran into a “Slow Down” sign at the end of a run, my friends were there to help remove my leg from behind my head. 

I can’t look at these pictures and not feel incredibly happy.  Best trip ever.

This post is a part of #reverb10. Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.

You should join, all the cool kids are doing it. You can participate by clicking here.

Beautifully Different: Happiness is my Truth #reverb10

Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” -Hemingway

I used to be afraid of what people would think if they really knew how broken I have been.  How do you explain to a new friend how having parents who battle addiction has shaped you?  How do you talk about the times you let your guard down and ended up heartbroken and devastated?  I used to think that it would be easier to hide the baggage in some dark room and hide it from others, now I know better.  My scars are what make be beautiful.  My resilience makes me beautiful.  I know to my core that I can get through anything for one simple reason: I already have.  This makes me different than a lot of people. 

I am beautiful because despite the scars I am hopelessly romantic and optimistic. (Sickeningly so.) I am not just open to new people, loves, experiences… I am SO EXCITED for what’s to come I can hardly stand it.

I am beautiful because despite anything all it takes is one cup of coffee and a good song and I am so blissful that I can’t help but text silly messages to friends with a billion enthusiastic exclamation points. (This song made me blissful this morning walking in the rain: Kina Grannis)

I’ve been told that my happiness is infectious and I find beauty everywhere.  I think that every single hard day makes these two qualities more beautiful; my happiness is not naive.. my happiness is my truth.  As sure as you know the sky is blue, I am sure the world is full of more happiness, love, and beauty than you can even imagine.  Beautifully different indeed.

This post is a part of #reverb10. Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.

You should join, all the cool kids are doing it. You can participate by clicking here.

Roadtrip!!

After work today I am driving down to hang with my loves Jimmie and Anthony.  To say I’m excited is an understatement.

Whenever I’m about to visit, Jimmie calls and asks me “what i’m doing this weekend?” and I always make up something boring that I’m doing, “Just staying in I think, catching up on some reading.”  It’s our thing.  And it makes me ridiculously excited.

My car is all packed up and ready to go right after work, and seeing as Kyla is taking a road trip soon too, I thought I’d tell you about my preparation for today’s driving:

Snacks:
A balance between sweet, salty, and chocolate are key here. I always have a cracker of some type, past faves include Wisecrackers, Wheat Thins, or Goldfish.  For this trip, I went with the goldfish, cause his sunnies?  Totally LA.

Next, we have your candy.  I like a fruity option and a chocolate option.  I always always always have chocolate covered raisins and this trip I also got some sour patch watermelon things.

Just remember that while you’re driving, similar to when you’re in a movie theater, you don’t want to have to look at what you’re eating.. like Jelly Bellies. I love Jelly Bellies, but I don’t want to accidentally eat a buttered popcorn one while cruising down the 5, cause I will gag, swirve into the median, and die instantly.

Now, after you have sugar coated you’re teeth, you’ll probably want something less bad for you to munch on.  Maybe some nuts, maybe a stalk of celery if you’re crazy or maybe you should just pack some apples.  Apples are always good, and BONUS, they kind of brush your teeth a little bit when you eat them.  (True story, eating one after coffee lessens the staining potential)

Beverages
I got my water.  A lot of it.  Hydration is KEY.

Sidenote: I bought this bottle with the full intention of finding a snarky sticker to cover up the running part, like “napping” or “puppies” or “muffins”… but now I actually like running.  C’est la vie.


Next, we have you’re energy drink du jour.  I know there are a lot of Red Bull fans out there, but I’m a Rockstar girl.  I have been since college, I will die with one of these suckers in my hand.

These are so important when you start getting sleepy!


Entertainment

  • I just got my little AUX jack thing, so I will be rocking out to my iPod WHILE CHARGING IT.
  • I have my free trial of my Sirius radio still, that’s going to be lovely.
  • My friend Paul lent me some lectures on CD from The Teaching Company. 30-minute lectures on the lives of famous people.  I’m kind of excited about this.  When I was driving to and from Irvine a lot, I would always head by the local library for a book on tape cd.  It’s free, and makes the hours in a car wizz by.

 Now it’s your turn.  What are your tried-and-true Road Trip tips?
 
 

Best of 2009- Best Laugh

Oh boy. Biggest belly laugh? I laughed a lot this year. I was lucky enough to laugh a lot this year.

I laughed hysterically at Jimmie’s birthday party in Hollywood. I remember telling Anthony I couldn’t breath and he said “Bri, if you couldn’t breathe, you’d be dead”. Thanks Anthony. A lot.
I laughed in Sausalito during Olivia and my annual “Soul Weekend”.
But recently, I laughed when my best friend sent me the following to illustrate what she meant by having her bridesmaids in different styles of dress but the same color. Which one to chose now….
This year it has become ever more apparent that laughter is best shared with someone. Laughing alone… never becomes a belly laugh. You might chuckle. Feel amused, but not unless you’re with someone to share the laughter with does it ever elevate to a belly laugh.

Day 4, The Person I will Be.

As a 24 year old, sometimes I get the feeling that these things I do, the decisions that I make… they’re dictating my future far more than any other time period in my life has. The people who I call my friends. The place I decide to work. The person I decide to be everyday.



Are any of you completely FREAKED out by this? I have a secret, it scares the crap out of me sometimes.


This is the first time I have ever lived alone. The first time I have been in a new place as “an adult”, meaning I didn’t move here to be in school. Being in school is completely different in terms of experiencing new places. You are basically thrust into a group of people– a dorm, a graduate school cohort– who are comprised of people who may be vastly different but are in the exact same place you are. It’s all so new, this freedom and responsibility… and knowing that this is it. This is my life, and now I get to make of it what I will.




Moving here, there wasn’t the safety net. And I decided things. Joined things… and I know, already, that they will be considered turning points in my life when I am old and grey. Joining the Junior League, for example… life changing. Not yet perhaps, but it will be. It will be something that defines me.


Here’s the thing. I don’t want to screw it up. I don’t want to be 34 and not like the person I am. I don’t think I will dislike the person I am, but that thought it always in my head. I think it generally is really beneficial. It forces me to really think about the kind of person I want to be– do I want to get into a career that makes boatloads of cash? or do I want to be somewhere where I am challenged, appreciated, and may not make as much? What kind of friend do I want to be? And what standards should I have for the people I call my friends?


Anyhow, here is a piece from Oriah, Mountain Climber via Dog-Eared

I just love it, because it really captures all the questions I’ve had as I become who I am going to be…


The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for

and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.


It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.


It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.


I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.


I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.


It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.


I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.


I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
Yes.”



It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.


It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.


It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.


I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

What A Weekend.

Good Morning!! Happy Monday. Here, have a cinnamon roll..

So, this weekend I was at retreat for the new church I will be going to. It was a blast. Got to meet a whole bunch of new people, hang out more with Stephanie and her roomie, and just get away for the weekend. My phone was off. I rarely new what time it was. It was grand.

There was lots of talking and singing and walking and thinking happening at camp. It was absolutely beautiful up there. And I loved waking up both mornings (even though it was cold) and getting to be out where it was so BEAUTIFUL. It also helped that the retreat center we were at produces the worlds greatest lattes ever.


Saturday we had a WHOLE lot of free time… and there is a wonderful woman who was in my small group that has her nose pierced… and I just kept staring at it. I have wanted to get it done for SO long, but really needed an accomplice on the project. And Stephanie was perfect for it. I googled it, drove down to downtown Santa Cruz and got my nose pierced.

Before:

After:

Me and my Accomplice. We are destined for a life long friendship I think.
I even got an award at camp. “Most Extreme Body Modification”…. ha. I am pretty sure most people don’t decide to pierce their nose’s at a church retreat….. but I LOVE it.

The guy who did it was super great, and explained everything in detail. I told him I really wasn’t nervous, I have four tattoos, it couldn’t be worse than that. Than I told him to make sure I didn’t look like an idiot, but otherwise I trusted him to just do it.
Grams is please, I’m sure.
Anyways, great time. Can’t wait to tell you all what ELSE happened this weekend! (Like that little cliff hanger)