Mar 31, 2014

It's funny how life can be both good and bad. Or perhaps not be good and bad, but have good and bad. I can feel both joy and pain in a day, or a moment. The past few days Everly has been feeling icky and it makes me SO grateful that she's usually a healthy and active little lady. Sick Everly is not someone you want to cross paths with. She also had an allergic reaction to a nut on Friday night that scared us pretty badly. No one in our family has a nut allergy so we never thought she would but oh were we wrong. Lucky it was moderate as allergic reactions go. Itchy hives all over but no swelling of the throat or other body parts. We gave her an oatmeal bath, itch relief lotions, and some medicines and she was feeling much better. But really, this poor little lady needs a break from feeling icky. 

This past week we celebrated my birthday. Another year older, another year wiser. Or something like that. I found that turning 28 wasn't painful at all. It came and went as any other day, except with more sugar than usual. Yesterday we had my birthday dinner with the family. It's a tradition that we get to pick our favorite food and my mom cooks it for us on the Sunday before or after our birthday (or whenever we can). All the siblings and our wonderful extras gather around my mom's giant dining room table and enjoy each others company with delicious food in the middle. And one at a time we go around the table saying what we love about the birthday person. Sometimes it's hard to hear good things about yourself (our society has trained us well) but it's a really special tradition. 

As my family went around the table saying what they love about me I found myself feeling proud. It wasn't a feeling I was expecting but they were pointing out all my best characteristics and features and telling me that they loved them. They talked about how I put my whole heart into things and go out of my way to take care of others. They talked about how I'm strong and smart and funny. They talked about how I'm a good mother. Even writing these things down I feel a little vain- repeating them for the world to see. Seriously society, you've trained us well. It's hard to see the good in myself, even when others are pointing it out. But yesterday I let myself see it. I let myself feel like a good mother, a good sister, a good wife, a good person

Oh this beautiful journey of Self Love is liberating.

xo Sue

28 For 28

Mar 28, 2014

In honor of 28 fabulous years of life I want to share 28 random things with you today. They're a little strange and a lot silly and completely me. 
  1. I love cupcakes but not regular cake. I'm also not a fan of ice cream, although I loved it while I was pregnant. 
  2. This year I will be hosting two Sacred Pregnancy mini retreats & one I AM Sisterhood retreat (at my family's cabin!). I am so excited about them both!
  3. I have to eat small candies in twos. M&M's, skittles, and chocolate chips to name just a few.
  4. Everly's smile makes every moment good.
  5. I try not to refer to Aaron as my husband too often because he is SO MUCH MORE than that to me. Husband is too restrictive of a term for how amazing that man is.
  6. I believe in karma.
  7. I also believe in positive energy and putting good vibrations into the world. Bad things happen to good people but you always have a choice of how to react in any situation. Lemons to lemonade and all that stuff.
  8. Everly's baby pictures and the only thing that make me want another child. She was and is the most adorable baby ever. I'm only a little biased.
  9. In the last two months I've started to realize the beauty in doing things for myself. My life is about my husband and daughter but I can't be my best for them if I don't take care of me. So it's okay to get a pedicure or have my hair done once in a while. Those things make me feel good.
  10. I rock Everly to sleep each night while I sing to her. The song Bow Now by Nina Lee is my favorite to sing and the most soothing song I've found for Everly. It's my song for her.
  11. I get to be a part of two weddings this year for two ladies that I love. 
  12. Working with Sacred Pregnancy has changed my life in ways I cannot fully explain. I am a better, brighter, more beautiful person because of it. If I talk about it too much it's because I love it so deeply.
  13. I believe that I have the power to change the world for the better.
  14. Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys is one of my theme songs. When I want to just feel good I put it on and dance around my room. The way I did when I was five and didn't care what anyone thought. I'm moving back to that feeling. 
  15. The Mother's Wisdom Deck really knows me. And Everly.
  16. I am so grateful that Everly has Lizzie to grow up with. I hope that she gets a sister of her very own one day. There is nothing as wonderful as a sister. Cousins are pretty fantastic too.
  17. I'm very behind on my reading one book a week this year. I'm going to catch up though! For my birthday I was gifted with a few books that I know I won't be able to put down.
  18. Mini chewy sweet tarts are my favorite candy ever.
  19. I make the best chocolate chips cookies in the world. 
  20. I love dinner foods for breakfast and breakfast foods for dinner.
  21. When I was little I used a silk pajama and a refrigerator magnet to make myself a princess.
  22. I LOVE to make flower crowns and wear them in everyday life. My friends are starting to refer back to me for all things floral and hippie and it makes my heart happy.
  23. I'm currently researching schools to become an herbalist. I think being a Doctor of Oriental Medicine would be an amazing career path. Also a Midwife. But if I only ever stay a doula I would be happy always.
  24. Everly and Aaron playing together is my favorite thing. Except when I join in and play too.
  25. I love to take pictures, especially birth stories. 
  26. I will spend more to support a good friend or a local business than to go to a corporate store. That being said, I love a good deal! 
  27. Books and flowers make the best gifts.
  28. Taking TWO family pictures in two days was a major accomplishment. Bonus points that they're both adorable!

Current (It's Birthday Week!)

Mar 24, 2014

"Now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good." -John Steinbeck 

Thing on my mind: I'm going to make 28 look good! Can you tell my birthday is my favorite? Birthdays in general I like to make a big deal about. Some people dismiss them but I think it's important for people to feel loved, appreciated, and celebrated. We are all worth celebrating! That's why in our family we celebrate Birthday Week. We go to lunches with friends, make special dinners (Aaron is grilling for me!), and enjoy fun activities together. 

Favorite food: Bread- any variety. It's been my craving lately! We've had breadsticks, sandwiches, and homemade pizza a lot lately just for the bread.

Favorite show: The Big Bang Theory. Lets just agree that it's one of the all time greatest shows ever. 

Favorite activity: Playing with Everly. Lately her thing is to go for walks outside. She's such an outdoors girl and gets VERY grumpy if she's cooped up inside for too long. I look forward to summer time and the blow up pool in the yard! 

Books I'm reading: The Goldfinch & Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.

Project: Working on our ecourse with my sister. Shelly is so much fun to work with! 

Songs on repeat: Girl On Fire & She Is Love. I'm really on a woman-power-love-yourself kick lately.

Favorite moment: Everly picks up cell phones (or anything about that size), puts it up to her ear, and says "Hi!" It.Is.Adorable.

Daily revelation: I am really happy with the direction that my life is going. Everly and Aaron add so much joy to my life and my work (all of it!) is so fulling. I am awake. 

Favorite photos:

A Sneak Peak at Our Ecourse

Mar 19, 2014

Oh my sweet bloggy friends, I have some exciting news to share with you all! Shelly and I have been writing an ecourse. One of my intentions for the year has been focused on self love and after having countless talks about our lives and ourselves as women and mothers, we decided that we were done talking only to each other. We want to talk to all of you! We want to connect with other women on our journey to self love and self acceptance. We want to share our struggles and our triumphs. We want to give women a safe place and a loving embrace- virtually anyway! We're hoping to have the course ready at the end of April and if all goes according to plan we'll run it starting the first week of May. We have LOVED working on the course so far. I already feel like I know myself better just from writing it. And I could not ask for a better partner to work with than my spectacular sister. I hope when we're ready to roll this course out you'll all consider joining us! It's going to be such a beautiful journey! 

March Intentions

Mar 14, 2014

So back at the beginning of February I took this picture and I said to myself it would NOT be my family pic for the month. And it totally was. Because taking a family picture is hard! I'm falling behind on my one book per week goal but I am determined to keep up. Last week I only blogged once but overall I've been keeping up on that one. I'm determined not to fall too far behind or get too far off with the things that I love! I keep hearing about these blogging schedules and I think man, I should do one of those... as I get distracted by the 15 other tabs open on my web browser. Aaron can't watch me work. He says it gives him a headache trying to follow me as I jump around. My brain follows it well though! 

I managed to fulfill all of my February Intentions. I've met with several potential clients over the past two weeks. It's been so fun to meet new ladies and couples and hear all about their pregnancy experiences and birth wishes. I'm a birth junkie. I admit it. I went to the gym regularly (except the week I was in Cali) and it always felt good. I like to reward myself for going to the gym by ending my workout in the massage chairs. I know how to take care of myself. And I went to my Sacred Pregnancy Retreat in California. Wow, what a beautiful experience. I've been writing a post about it but I can't share it yet. It was such a deeply personal and life changing experience that I want to be sure to say it all right. It's one of those things that really matters to me. 

On to March (yes, I know it's halfway done but I wrote these a while ago and haven't shared them yet!)...
  • I will paint... or draw, or color, or something. I want to be an artist. I tell myself I am one and even if I'm not the greatest one out there who cares? I've always wanted to call myself an artist. If I make art then I am one, right?
  • I will detox. I'm participating in a sugar detox at the end of the month. A dear friend of mine is hosting it and I'm actually really excited about it. She's creating the whole program to include new recipes and good yummy food. If you want to join me I'll put you in touch with her. It's going to be wonderful!
  • I will celebrate Birthday Week with the people I love. I've been away from most of my family and friends for my last two birthdays and it's been hard for me. Aaron is amazing but I cannot expect him to be my everything. Last year my birthday was especially hard because my mom had just left Japan, Aaron had just gone back to work, and I was suddenly home alone with a new baby. This year I'm going to really take advantage of being close to so many people I love and celebrate every single day for a week. Birthdays are a really big deal in this family! 

February was really a fantastic month. Aaron got some great job leads, we celebrated Everly's first birthday, and I took giant leaps forward with my birth business. I've become more immersed in everything that I love doing and it's been wonderful. I feel so lucky to have the wonderful life that I do. I am so grateful for it. For my Aaron, my Everly, my family, my friends. I am so lucky to call them mine. 

She Speaks, Sort Of

Mar 12, 2014

My sweet little blog has sat dormant for a week. And what a crazy week it has been. I've been SO busy that I haven't had five minutes to sit down and write. But I haven't been worried about it and that's a great feeling. I write when I want to. Hooray

Everly has been surprising me almost daily with the words she's *trying* to say. She's said Daddy for a while now (I'm not jealous or anything...) but now she's adding others into the mix. She likes to pick up her toys (any toy, she's not picky), put them to her ear, and say Hi. Then she repeats about six times until I say hi back. Then she grins at her communication skills. Hi is all she really needs, isn't it? She also spent an hour one day saying Chocolate and now refuses to say it for anyone but me. I think Aaron thinks I'm making it up but I'm not! She says Papa for grandpa and actually says Muah every time she gives a kiss. She (sometimes) says Up when she wants to be held but just as often uses whining to accomplish the same thing. At least three times a day I'll say a word and she'll try to mimic it. It's so fun to watch her try new words out on her tongue. She rolls them around and plays with them. She also babbles almost non-stop. Lizzie seems to understand her but the rest of us are left clueless. I like to talk to her all the time, narrating what I'm doing and asking her questions. One day Everly is going to understand me and I won't even realize it right away because I've been talking to her all along. I'm looking forward to that day. I think it will be a fun one.

As for me, I've been BUSY. Besides chasing after a sweet little lady 24/7 (yes, sometimes in her sleep- she moves a lot!) I've been expanding my business and enriching my life in so many ways. Everly and I went to California for a week so I could be at a Sacred Pregnancy Retreat. It was magic in a way that I cannot describe. It was such a beautiful experience and I am forever changed by it! The best part is now I'm certified to teach Sacred Pregnancy classes myself. I cannot wait for my first one. I also spent three days last week at a doula conference. It is so fun to connect and visit with other local doulas. It's such a unique profession (I support women while they push babies out of their bodies, what do you do?) that most people don't understand my absolute love for all things pregnancy, birth, and babies. Every time I'm surrounded by other birth lovers I feel my soul revitalized. I'm currently running three online courses (and they're intense!) for Sacred Pregnancy. I love running the courses and meeting all the women who love SP so much. It's a privilege and a blessing to work with this amazing group. And last (but def not least!) I met with three new clients this week (!!!) and had a great time with all of them.

That old saying, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life," it's SO true. I am constantly busy, playing with my growing lady, building the next site, updating the next class, attending the next birth, and I enjoy every moment. 

I love doing what I love. 

xo Sue

A Lesson For Life

Mar 3, 2014

Do you ever have those moments that make you stop and say WOW and suddenly you see things in a completely different way? Occasionally Life does that to me. Frequently Everly does that to me.

A few weeks ago my mom pointed something out to me and I have not been able to stop thinking about it. Everly learned to walk at a very young age (just 8 1/2 months). Because of this she didn't really have the muscle control or coordination an older baby would have and as a result she fell down A LOT. Over and over and over she'd fall on her bum and over and over and over she'd stand right back up and keep going. My mom said to me one day, if we followed her example and stood back up every single time we failed at something we'd always find a way to succeed. My mind was blown. I watched her the entire rest of the day as she walked around in her determined little way. She doesn't fall down much anymore, but when she does she gets right back up and keeps going. How many of us can say that? She is so resilient. She is so smart and curious and determined. Nothing will keep her from getting into the dog food or the trash can. Nothing will keep her from the top of that slide. Nothing will keep her from doing exactly as she pleases. I am so proud of this little lady.

Thank you for teaching your mama about life. May you always be fearless, sweet baby.
xo Sue