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Friday, October 21, 2016

Pay Bills & Die? No Thanks!

I have decided that this illustration perfectly captures how I feel about life right now. Or rather how I'm seeing the world for myself. I have often found myself stressed or worried about where I am on the career spectrum of my life every now and then "I thought I'd be at this point by now.." "Maybe I don't make enough money" "Maybe I should go back to an office but then I'd lose the freedom and time I have with my children". Endless internal discussions with myself about career and handful of other things.

But here's the thing...what if the big picture in life is not centered on career but rather experiences??The job foots the bill for the love of everything else in life; travel & adventure.  I've never been a huge 'career focused' person. I'm happy to have one.I work. I do my job. But I don't think about it all of the time. It's not my driving force. It's about what I want to look back on when I'm older. I'm the type of person who is multi-passionate about things. I could probably be happy doing a handful of different occupations...but at the core of that all is that I want my life to be exciting. Full of adventure. Travel. Trips. Memories!!!! (and yes...I know life can't always be exciting...)

I understand that this is not how everyone feels or views the world. But RIGHT NOW I am sitting here at my desk looking out my window at changing leaves, gorgeous color unfolding before my eyes. I've been outside hiking and sitting around fires as often as possible. I love planning little adventures for my family and that FILLS my soul like a job will never be able to do. We aren't meant to pay bills and die. We are meant to live this life we have been given the best way we know how....and when I'm old and sitting in a rocker I want that peace of knowing that DAMN...I lived...and it was AWESOME!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Welcome Fall!

I don't know if there is anything quite as inspiring as Autumn. Something about the cooling of the air, the colors among the trees, the energy that comes from escaping the humid heat of summer.

I'm already lit up in a way that I find hard to describe just based on temperature alone. We haven't even gotten to the changing of leaves. I won't be able to handle it. Last weekend we escaped back to Chicago and I received my first taste of the crispness. I can't tell you the joy that I felt wearing jeans and a jacket and actually NEEDING them. In Georgia, we tend to force ourselves into Fall clothes even when the temp will hit 80 that day.  Gloomy skies make Fall colors come to life and make me feel extra cozy.

Being back in the city I realized that I'm equally at home walking city streets as I am hiking the trails of North Georgia. It's the middle/gray area where I struggle the most (i.e..suburbia).

I hadn't been back in what felt like forever. The last time I walked the streets of Chicago Piper was so tiny. My head was fuzzy from newborn life still and general lack of sleep. This time I was clear headed and the energy lit me up. That feeling. The feeling of belonging. Of comfort. It felt so good and I felt so alive. I was starting to lose hope for Georgia...but then....this morning we woke up to 48 degrees which is HUGE for Atlanta...let me tell you. Windows were immediately thrown open, candles lit, diffusers replenished and Bob Dylan blazing on my speakers. I took my Berner to the woods after all the kids were tucked into school because I knew that she would relish in the feeling of that breeze just as much as I would. We ran. We walked. We stood still. We breathed in fresh air and the possibilities that come with Fall. She ran through the tall grass and was practically galloping.

And that feeling was felt. Here. Of comfort. Of belonging. It's so confusing to me...that you can feel all the feels in two very different places at once. So I am choosing to settle into this season for now. To just be. To be okay with my confusion and take life one glorious fall day at a time.

Welcome back old friend! Here is to an inspiring season of hope, love and newness.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Creating an Awakening!

Lift arms over head. Deep breath in. Exhale and let it all go! LET IT ALL GO! I walked into that studio this morning feeling judgy towards myself, blah, and overall not at my most awesome. It's been a rough'ish couple of weeks. Sick kids. Sick Adults. Traveling Spouses and just an overall depleting feeling. It happens. So... I listened. I breathed. I set an intention. Breath in self compassion. Breathe out self doubt. Breathe in love. Breathe out tension.

What it comes down to is a choice. A choice to determine how you are going to react to your day. Love. Peace. Encouragement. Or... Doubt. Bitterness. Judgement. For me, it took one class and some deep breathing to remind myself once again that I am steering this ship. I can create in myself the love I need. The awakening of my soul..I left lighter, happier and ready for my day.

The class was HARD. Really hard today. I had been doing my home practice during the 'sickness and traveling spouse' time the last couple of weeks so I knew I was in for a challenge. I had a few times I thought I was going to drop to my knees and just stay in child's pose the rest of class. Leave. Throw in the mat if you will....but you know what else I was reminded of this morning? That it is when things are TOUGH that change and awakening happens. When you decide to push. Step outside of yourself and admire that you are accomplishing something even through your tiredness or bad day.

We all have a choice. And I choose lightness. What will you choose today?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Voice

It occurs to me that I've done myself a terrible injustice. You see, when you're young there is a voice that whispers to you and invites you to delight in your natural talents. It's the voice that encourages you to listen to the same song over again, make up a dance for the heck of it, spend hours digging in the dirt for no apparent reason other than you like it, build elaborate towers of Legos or draw inventions that your future self will invent.

As we grow and begin 'adulting' our ways through life we have a chance to listen to the whispers and heed the call of the voice; Go. This is what you're meant to do. You'll be happy and satisfied with this work. It's not about paycheck or class or what you could own. The money will come when you're doing something you're truly great at anyhow.  However, you also have a chance to not listen to the voices. They never really go away for good...you'll occasionally hear them from time to time. You may even take some time out of your day to enjoy a bit of what you once loved. But they've stopped working so hard to get your attention. You chose to go another route. They folded.

Here I am. 36 years into my life and I just now am REALLY understanding what a fool I was for not taking the advice of those voices, my core, my gut. Because they were right. Here I am a skip and a hop from 40 considering a complete shift in direction. I'm planning on creating a whole new reality for myself because the manufactured one isn't working. It is not my authentic self. When your mind wanders constantly and always veers back to those same concepts as a child something is there.

Monday, July 25, 2016



More staying still...

More snuggly mornings at home with hot coffee

More saying no to things

More time with friends

More looking at faces instead of screens

More self motivation

More kindness towards one self

More lifting others up

More dream catchers

More hikes and time in the woods

More yoga

More nothing....because sometimes nothing is nice

More random acts of kindness


More music

More savoring of small things; a clean house, a delicious cup of coffee,etc..

More gratefulness

MORE of the good & simple.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

DO DO DO!!!!

I must have scribbled this quote on the back of my planner a long time ago and completely forgot about it. I came across it this morning looking for an address which I have yet to find. But since I like to look for meaning in everything I feel that the universe made sure that I noticed it today.

I've spent hours (probably months/years) of my life thinking about and making lists of goals for myself. I am SO GOOD at making goals/plans/lists/etc...I am a big picture thinker, idea generator....we'll get into personality types one day but this is SPOT on for me. What I fail miserably at is the follow through.

Monday, May 9, 2016

More of this.....

We held hands and jumped from rock to rock. Taking a moment in between jumps to stop and think what our best next move should be. We landed on a large rock next to the rushing water in the middle of the river and took a moment. Both of us kneeled down and placed our hands in the water feeling how powerful it felt moving along almost sweeping us away if it could. Cold. Refreshing. Majestic. It  was just me and my boy enjoying this free gift that Mother Nature has given us all.

The fact that we shared this moment on Mother's Day made it all the more special. It also solidified in my heart that burning desire to share these moments and experiences with my children and husband. I happily posted the hashtag #experiencesnotthings on Instagram and meant it with every fiber of my being. The things I 'want' can be found in the aisles of REI because it is in nature where I want to spend my time. I'm okay with that investment.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Not This....by Elizabeth Gilbert

                        Elizabeth Gilbert's photo.
I have been so inspired by so many authors over the last year. Shauna Niequist, Jen Hatmaker, Tsh Oxenreider, Cheryl Strayed, Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert to name a few. The books I have read have really touched me in both little and big ways. Dare I say that some have even changed me? The words have lead me to moments of clarity and realization about myself. They've helped confirm things about myself I already knew.  Elizabeth Gilbert (author of "Eat, Pray, Love") is one of those authors. I'm reading (again) her book "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear". Below is a post that she shared on Facebook recently.

I'm not one for just copying what someone else has written but this is powerful. I need this post to live somewhere permanent so that I can read it again and again. The two words that keep creeping into my mind are "And Yet..." and that has really given me something to work with. Perhaps you will find something in here that speaks to you as well..... ENJOY. XO

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Because Mr. Rogers said so....


Leave it to Mr. Rogers to deliver me the parenting advice that I needed. Just when I was teetering on the edge of ridiculousness the man with the loving smile and stellar cardigan collection grounded me and reminded me what childhood is all about. What I LOVED about childhood.

We tend to know the answers to things and yet push aside that simple knowledge (i.e..children are meant to play) with what other voices have allowed to creep into our minds (i.e. My kid needs to be focused, ever attentive and positively crushing it in sports/school/life/etc..).That would be the more unrealistic of the two.

I've written this post about 3 different ways and each time I reread what I've written I want to give myself a little smack across the hand with a ruler.

Let me back up. It seems to me that childhood has changed. No, it doesn't seem....it has! At least the parenting side of things. I read once that parents used to 'raise' their kids but now we 'parent' them. Many Moms run their kids' lives like a small business. Scheduling them up in activities to help them find their passion and be put on the road to success. Researching the right school with spreadsheets and interviews to assure that this child is taught well. I'll admit. I've totally caught myself in a couple of these situations. Naturally, I look around me. I see kids who are in soccer/lacrosse/after school enrichment programs/lego builder clubs/chess club. (I should note the child I'm referring to here is SIX). I can't help but think "Am I missing something? Is my child missing out? Did I not read that parenting book!?"

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Because I Must.

"Do what nature demands. Get a move on--if you have it in you-- and don't worry whether anyone will give you credit for it. And don't go expecting Plato's Republic; be satisfied with even the smallest progress, and treat the outcome of it all as unimportant" - Marcus Aurelius

This is my blog reboot! I let go of something that I enjoyed because of fear. Fear of not knowing why I was doing this in the first place. Fear of it not becoming 'something'. Fear of not having direction. Fear of being judged for my thoughts. Fear of upsetting people. Fear of thinking I'm not good enough. Fear of not thinking I have anything worth sharing. Just good ol' fashion fear.

But something is happening within me. A realization that I am the only one who can control or get rid of my own fear. The realization that in order for me to be truly and deeply happy I must honor what my soul longs for. As the beautiful quote above illustrates, I mustn't do something with the end game in mind. I must do something because that is what the universe wants and needs me to do.

I need to fill my soul by sharing stories and thoughts. I need to find different ways to express my creativity before my soul goes dark. I need it in order to have the light and love to give to my family. I need it so that my children will look back and read my words one day.

So I'm rebooting. I'm just writing words. Seeking the light. Looking for inspiration. Truth telling. Being me. Seeking to tap into that childlike curiosity for life. I don't offer promises of frequent posting or life alterning DIY's. I just offer myself. And that has to be enough.