I Carry Your Heart With Me

I suppose that I developed some peculiar habits after my father’s recent passing. Like not being able to leave the house without one of his possessions.

A familiar ring on a chain around my neck. A tie clip secured to a small notepad. An extra mass card tucked into my wallet.

Just as I promised myself that I would shortly wean of this newfound urgency, life surreptitiously presented a solution (as it often does).  A gifted locket from Monica Rich Kosann arrived in the mail with incredibly uncanny timing. I’m still wrapping my head around the synchronicities of that day.

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The whole family took interested in my new keepsake, with input on how best to carry my father’s memory.

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A favorite quote from a poem read at my wedding took on new meaning, and a spot close to my heart, on the locket’s left side.  While an image of my dad, just as he always was, in a sharp suit, Borsalino fedora, and one of his many cameras around his neck, filled the other.

beautiful-quote-after-loss-of-a-loved-one-E.E. Cummings

i carry you heart with me (i carry it in my heart) – E.E. Cummings

I think with hope about the day that I may want to swap out the locket’s images to that of my children (and even grandchildren).  Unlike some of the pieces that I regularly wear, this timeless locket is one that I can see myself wearing many decades later.  I’m grateful to carry my father so close to my heart – and I know that someday when I give this locket to my daughter, it will bear the significance of familial memories and a legacy wrapped in hope and love.

Special thank you to Monica Rich Kosann Jewelry.  Shop her collection this Mother’s Day online, at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and other Fine Jewelers.

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On This Thanksgiving Day

hugging+children+with+wings This blurry iPhone photo taken three years ago today reminds me of how incredibly grateful I am for our little lot in life.  This is what Thanksgiving feels like.

Wishing you all a blessed day spent with those you love. 

Love, us.

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Midwinter Pause

kids looking out a snowy windowWe had big plans of hopping on the train to local museums and galleries and filling our days with the sort of spontaneous adventure that typically leads an entire week of school vacation.  But the cold was simply too cold, and the kiddos could hardly handle walking to the train during our attempts to explore.  So we spent the majority of our time hunkered down together, and while I honestly prepared for the sort of conflicts anticipated when the kids are cooped up for long periods at a time – I was pleasantly surprised.

The were amazing, actually.

Two kindred, silly spirits, plotting made-up games and running every single wheeled toy, stuffed with animals and buckets of make-believe across the hardwood floors.  Temporary-tattooing their chests and leaving a trail of disaster throughout their tiny sanctuary.  Carefully arranged abandoned toys became vestiges of life frozen in childhood creativity. And during a week of carrying an unexpected heavy heart – I was grateful for all of it.

Inside the snowy windows – all that seemed to matter was the love cocooned between four walls and evidence of an incredibly vibrant life with children.

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On Not Giving Up – Lessons In Motherhood

She barrels into the indoor gym, slapping her legs, bolting forward with a look of determination.  Sometimes, her nervousness is palpable. Manifested in the flip of her braids, the tug of her jersey. Tell-tale mannerisms that only a mother would know.  She’s the only girl at Saturday soccer.

And she never gives up.

What my daughter taught me about not giving up

Even if she rarely has a go at the ball, she runs and gives her all.  Flushed cheeks, dramatically squirting her waterbottle over her head during breaks – always excited to return the following week.

This sort of 7-year-old determination makes me think about my own metaphorical playing field, and the countless times that I’ve been complacent, paralyzed or held-back in some way.  She has no idea that she’s made me revisit the words strewn in draft form that weren’t quite good enough. Questioning my recent risk-taking or lack thereof.

Only time will tell if this sport will stick.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to cheer inwardly and from the sidelines for my girl.  And as of now – it looks like she’ll continue to show up and bring her best.

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The Importance of Self-Care in Motherhood

Thank you Huggies Little Snugglers and Latina Bloggers Connect for sponsoring this post.  Content and opinions, as always, are my own.

On my bedroom wall, hangs a photo of me lounging on the beach, in Aruba, in my first-pregnancy, full-bellied glory. My children often ask questions about the “me” in the photo – quite fascinated with the idea of mama’s existence prior to them.

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The woman in that photo, wholeheartedly understood the importance of self-care – for her wellbeing and that of the growing baby within.  Emotionally taxing days were counteracted by a reserved spot in my favorite spinning class.  Evening walks with my husband, prenatal yoga, meaningful time with friends and healthy eating were prioritized.

Amidst the daily juggles of motherhood, one of the first things to often go is taking care of ourselves.

I have been there. 

And sometimes, I still have to pull myself out.  When I find myself making promises rooted in “when things slowdown”, I know it’s time to reassess and prioritize.  Because in motherhood, when we invest in our self-care, we allow ourselves to be the best that we can possible be for our loved ones and ourselves.

I’m not speaking of the once in a few months trip to a nail salon.  I’m urging mothers, both seasoned and new to make a daily commitment to self-care. This can be as simple as identifying support-systems to help when a new baby arrives; connecting with friends; meditating; asking for help – or squeezing in rest.  The emphasis is on making time for things that energize, ground and inspire.

In my life, working out has been a sanctuary and is vital to my own emotional and physical wellbeing.  Adequate sleep, connecting with steadfast friends, participating in social good and functioning in a creative capacity are important to me too.  The joy found in sewing and crafting is often absent on the pages of this blog – yet left to be appreciated by me and the recipients of my efforts. I know that I’m better when I give back to myself – even if on some days that means being present in enjoying that morning cup of coffee.

Thinking of mindful and consistent self-care as a lifestyle and not a once-in-a-while thing requires continual effort and evaluation.  It is a process that I am committed to working on and one that I hope you will join me in practicing.

Special thanks to Huggies for sponsoring my writing and for continuing to keep babies dry and comfortable with new and innovative products that just may allow mama a bit more rest.  Request a sample of their New! Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers and Huggies Natural Care Wipes and enter to win your dream registry via  Huggies Little Snugglers Registry Relief.

Cheers to making yourself a priority.

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Motherhood and Migraines {Target Giveaway}

This post is sponsored by Target.

The birth of my first child, six-years ago, opened up a new-found sense of immense overwhelming love – a love that mere words will forever fail to accurately describe.  A love for little ones who continually prove to be passion and purpose personified.

Motherhood also brought something unexpected: severely debilitating and life disrupting migraines.  Migraines that force me to retreat into a dark bedroom for days, with severe nausea and extreme sensitivity to the slightest noise, scent, light or movement.  It’s not something that I’m thrilled to broadcast – but is a condition that has colored my world and affected my family for the past six years.  It is also something that has given me profound appreciation and gratitude for my numerous healthy days.

I was reluctant to take prescription drugs for the first few years.  I nursed both babies well into toddler-hood, and I suppose I believed that my migraines would begin to disappear or would resolve with natural remedies.  I’ll never forget the first time I tried prescription migraine medication.  It was the morning of my daughter’s Pre-K Christmas performance – an event that I would be devastated to miss.  Upon taking the medication, I actually felt the migraine melt away.  Although I wasn’t myself, I was able to be present at that incredibly important preschool milestone.

I’m happy to share that my migraine frequency has decreased considerably during the colder months for the past two years.  A victory that I’m incredibly grateful for! When needed, and if taken at the correct time, specific medicine (albeit not so great side effects) has proven to be my saving grace.

When I was invited to work with Target Pharmacy, I realized that filling a prescription outside a local drug store never even occurred to me.  My kiddos strongly dislike waiting in line at our small, congested drug store pharmacy.

However they LOVE going to Target.

target 1Target geeky glasses obtained at this fun Target event!

We make our way to Target about once a month, to stock up on household essentials and other supplies.  It’s an outing that the whole family enjoys.

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Stopping at the pharmacy isn’t so bad when the promise of scoping out the latest toys awaits.  And it’s incredibly convenient to receive a pharmacy text-message notifying me that my prescription has filled.

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Switching to Target pharmacy has actually streamlined our routine and made our monthly trip an efficient one-stop stock up.  I can’t wait to enjoy 5% of an entire day of Target shopping after my fifth prescription fills.

I’m continuing to celebrate the numerous healthy days with these two love-sponges!

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Win It:  I’ve teamed up with Target to giveaway a $50 Target Giftcard to one lucky winner.  To enter visit the rafflecopter below. US only and all entries are verified.  Best of luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by Target.  As always, all opinions are my own.

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