slower than molasses.

Carson-2

Have you ever driven behind someone who is lost? You know they’re lost because they’re cruising ten miles under the speed limit, slowing down at each intersection before re-consulting their GPS.

This makes me absolutely crazy.

(I recently took a personality test that identified my main emotion as anger. Ha! Me? Angry? No. Couldn’t be. I am an eternal optimist! A dreamer! A cheerleader! People refer to me as “bubbly”! What in the world?)

A few weeks ago, I was driving behind someone who was lost and it took every ounce of self control to not scream out loud in my car.

MMMOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEEEE.

Come to think of it…..trying to get out the door with two little children is kind of like driving behind someone who is lost.

***

We are late. All of the time. Every single time. Every single day.

One day last month, I was super proud of myself for getting to preschool five minutes early. Preschool starts at 9am and on very good days we get there around 9:04. So you can imagine my pride the day we strolled into the parking lot at 8:53. The doors weren’t even open yet for crying out loud. It was a whole new world.

I stepped out of the car and waved to a fellow preschool mom in the parking lot.

Oh hey! Nothing to see here! Just another prompt mom, dropping off her kid EARLY! No big deal!

I smiled.

And then I opened Everett’s door and realized he wasn’t wearing shoes. Carson was wearing shoes, the kid who was only in the car for the ride and didn’t even need to be wearing shoes. But Everett, the kid who was ready to run around a playground and ride a bike for the next hour during outdoor play, was only wearing socks.

Of course.

***

Both of my kids started walking when I was out of town. I bore witness to their first steps, but that was it. They’d take two steps here, four steps there, teetering around from the coffee table to the couch, an accomplishment that led me to clap and cheer as if I’d never seen anything more impressive in my entire life.

Then I left for Liberia for two weeks.
And Everett started walking.

Then I left for Palm Springs for a weekend.
And Carson started walking.

Before I left, I had seen maybe five steps from Everett. Probably seven steps from Carson. When I came back, they were practically running laps around the kitchen. There must be a psychological explanation there, right? Something about a mother not picking up her child for multiple days that prompts a sudden desire and animal-like instinct to move one foot in front of the other? Survival of the fittest and all that? I can totally see Carson conceding defeat: welp, momma’s not going to carry me around today so I guess I’ll have to start walking now. Humph.

The best part about your kids learning to walk is the novelty of it. No joke: for two straight weeks, Carson barely played with a single toy. Who wants to play with blocks when you can walk laps around the dining room table? It was amazing to see my Velcro baby not only becoming independent, but enjoying his independence, stumbling around the house with a giant grin on his face. I’d say I was 98% happy and 2% sad about it.

Of course, now he wants to walk everywhere. While he’s certainly gained some momentum since those first wobbly steps, he is still undeniably slow. He’s slow walking into the gym, slow walking into church, slow walking to the park. I used to carry him on my hip at my pace, which is naturally set to somewhere between quick and efficient.

….not anymore.

Nowadays, I feel like I’m constantly driving behind someone who is lost. I can’t make these kids move faster, I can’t go around them. I’m simply stuck in permanent slow mode.

But this is motherhood, you know? The only thing that goes fast around here are the years. Everything else is slow as molasses. These days, these sleepless nights, this whack-a-mole bedtime routine, that thirty-minute process of getting three people into the car with all the bags and all the things.

But if you stop and look closely, you will see a tiny bit of magic in that transformation. Slowly but surely, they’re growing into themselves. And so am I.

I just have to slow down to notice it once in a while.

This post was created in partnership with Lily Jade, makers of the most beautiful diaper bags ever.

The Lily Jade #storyofmotherhood Giveaway!

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my valentines.

Valentines-4 Valentines-7 Valentines-8 Valentines-9 Valentines-11 Valentines-12And to think someday they will grow up and get married and someone else will call them valentines. SOB.

p.s. Real talk: Carson is 16 months old and I feel like we are just now getting the hang of two kids. I’m writing about sleep deprivation and marriage and co-parenting and grace over at Coffee + Crumbs today.

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winter capsule.

Capsule1

grey silk tank (Everlane) / DVF silk top (thredUP) / pale pink racerback
pink blouse (H&M) / moody floral top (Target) / grey sweater (H&M)
splendid striped tee (StitchFix) / black & white top (Nordstrom Rack) / gold shimmer sweater (thredUP)

Capsule2

white tunic (on sale!) / oversized cream sweater (Gap) / striped sweater (StitchFix)
navy bue A-line (Brass) / tribal sweater (StitchFix) / coral dress (Anthropologie)
geo blouse (Nordstrom) / asymmetrical sweater (Nordstrom Rack) / short sleeve sweatshirt (Everlane via thredUP)
hi-rise ripped jeans (Zara) / black skinnies (StitchFix) / hi-rise jeggings (American Eagle)

Shoes

Indra flat (Moorea Seal) / Franco Sarto flats (Nordstrom Rack) / gold flats (Target)
ankle boots (Target) / Ecuador sandal (Nisolo) / flat ankle boots (Nordstrom Rack)

***

With only two weeks to go until my spring capsule begins, what better time to finally blog the winter one? This is a half-hearted account of what I wore this winter. I think I might be missing a few pieces, but the truth is: I wore yoga pants most days. Winter is not my favorite.

In other news: I made it one whole year living on the capsule wardrobe! I started this system last spring, and at the risk of sounding both dramatic and like a broken record, it has truly transformed my relationship with my closet.

While I don’t have concrete numbers to testify, I hardly shopped in 2015. I saved a ton of money (and even more time!) by working with a limited number of clothes each season. One year later, I still stand by these five benefits, and can’t imagine ever going back to having 100 things in my closet.

Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? Would love to know how it’s working for you!

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four brands I love.

Since hopping on the capsule wardrobe bandwagon (winter capsule coming soon!), I have started paying more attention to what clothing companies I support with my dollars. Here are four brands I discovered last year that I love and highly recommend:

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1) Everlane

What they do best: modern basics

Why I love them: Everlane is known for their unique radical transparency. They have found the best factories in the world, and have personal relationships with the people creating their products. They are completely honest about their pricing structure and will tell you exactly how much it costs to make their products.

Products I have purchased and love: Ryan Tank, Linen Tank, Ryan Pocket Tee, Silk Tank, The Ponte Short Sleeve Dress

Products on my wishlist: Silk sleep set

Sign up here.

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2) Nisolo (<—get a $25 coupon)

What they do best: shoes, jewelry, bags

Why I love them: Every shoe is made by hand and is seen as a work of art. Their products are created with quality materials made to last. Their styles are simple, effortless, timeless, and made to live in.

Products I have purchased and loveEcuador Huarache Sandal

Products on my wishlist: all of the jewelry, Austin Smoke

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3) Seamly.co (<—-get a $10 coupon)

What they do best: versatile, effortless clothing

Why I love them: Seamly products are created with surplus fabric, and sewn right here in the USA. They produce clothing responsibly, with thought and soul and care. A lot of the products can be worn different ways, which works very well for a capsule wardrobe because you get multiple looks from one garment.

Products I have purchased and love: The Convertible Pantsuit

Products on my wishlist: No Sweat Pants

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4) Brass Clothing

What they do best: dresses

Why I love them: Brass offers designer-quality dresses at the right price. Their styles are flattering, well-made, and neutral in color so you can easily style and accessorize them to your taste. Brass is all about great fit, and they’ll even pay the tab at your local tailor if you need to get a dress hemmed.

Products I have and loveThe Navy A-Line (SO FLATTERING, and it has pockets!)

Products on my wishlist: the tank maxi, the shirt dress

I’ll be back next week with my winter capsule! Have you discovered any new great brands recently?

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thriving, not surviving.

Thrive-1It’s early. 5:30am to be exact. I am the only one awake in my house and it feels wonderfully peaceful at this hour. My coffee is hot and I’m curled up on the couch in my pajamas, listening to the sound of the heater warming the rest of the house. I wish I was a morning person, that I could do this every day. I wish I could wake up before anyone else and write in the dark. The only reason I am here right now is because I went to bed at 9pm. Yes, I went to bed at 9pm on New Years Eve. I’m not even sorry.

My instagram and Facebook feeds have been full of inspiring posts the past few days. Everyone is setting intentions and goals for the year, picking one little word to guide them for the next 365 days.

To be honest, I haven’t given it five minutes of thought.

Which is so unlike me, come to think of it.

I am usually all about New Years. New year, new me, new you. I love a fresh start, an empty page, for my life to be a blank canvas on January first.

Coming off the tails of 2015, I can say with absolute certainty that this was one of the hardest years of my life. Transitioning from one kid to two kids was more than a year-long process, one marked by severe sleep deprivation and a deeply needy baby who could barely function outside of my arms. I have been in a fog for most of this year: tired, exhausted, worn out, drained physically and emotionally. My body has suffered. My marriage has suffered. My writing has suffered.

If I had to put a word down for 2015 it would be survive. This past year I was barely treading water, kicking my legs as hard as I could just to stay afloat. There was not a lot of balance. I think I read less than five books all year. I saw maybe three movies. I drank way too much coffee, and ate way too much takeout. I cried a lot. Every day was a hustle, and not in a good way.

Ironically, 2015 was perhaps one of my best work years to date. Coffee + Crumbs continues to grow in all the right ways. We published 156 essays, ran a successful pledge drive, opened our online shop, and just this week launched a writing workshop. I signed with a literary agent and worked on a number of book ideas and proposals towards the end of the year. I attended my first photography workshop in October and, as a result, did an overhaul of my photography site, vowing to show more of the work I want to book. My brain never stopped working in 2015. I chased every dream I could think of and walked through every door God opened. Every night after the kids went to bed, I opened my laptop and worked till I couldn’t keep my eyes open. It was wonderful and tiring, inspiring and taxing.

To put it simply, I am grateful and proud and exhausted at the end of 2015.

Today, as we enter a new year full of endless possibilities, I can only bring myself to make one resolution. One intention, one word.

In 2016, I want to THRIVE, not simply survive. 

I want to play more and clean less. I want to cook more and eat cereal less. I want to rest more and work myself into the ground less.

I want to flourish.

I don’t want to tread water anymore; I just want to swim.

See you at the lake?

***

My favorite posts from 2015: You Just Had A Baby, Inconvenient, To Be Brave With Your Art, Mommy Doesn’t Go To Work, When Love Is A Relay, The Hard Way, The Year We Didn’t Sleep, When You Say Your Dreams Out Loud, Taking A Leap

and a few from Coffee + Crumbs: Meeting In The Middle, Enjoy This Time Dear, A Tale Of Two Birth Plans, Imposter Mom, Velcro Baby, The Battles We Choose

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