I am grateful


I am grateful. For her. And him. And them. The dogs. The parents. The friends. The clients.

I am grateful. For the house. And the cars. And the bank account. The job. The work. The insurance.

I am grateful. For sun. Saturdays. Hot water. Cold lakes. Good wine. Fun music. Soup. Chocolate mousse. Soft sheets and pillows to cover my head. Lululemon leggings and messy buns. Long naptimes and short hugs and face smushes.

I am grateful. For grace. And life. And hope. Moments of peace. The power of prayer. Promise.

Amen and love.

on hormones


So, that night your baby has to do an unplanned 12-hour EEG … and your period decides to return … and your milk dries up? That’s a night you survive. It’s two days later you fall apart.

Eck. Weaning and #momfear and menstruation are a HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD combo.


on feelings

Weird emotional experiences this morning. I know I was already primed, because I’d had some anxiety showing up in my body throughout the day yesterday (pre family photo shoot ... which, my anxiety and angst around is worth a future post, fyi). But, this morning, I had a major high and a major low. 

The high: I was singing Amber her namesake song - “Amber” by 311. It’s breezy and makes us think of our Caribbean vacations. When I went to sip my coffee, it was instant sensory memory - tasted of the best coffee I’ve had ... Jamaican and Costa Rican. So good.

The low: I’d just put Amber down for her morning nap. The Mr. is still sleeping (don’t get me started on that one ... 😡) and I’m alone, sitting down to pump and finish my re-heated coffee, when I feel slightly ill and then feel tears well up. I can’t even place what I was thinking about ... other than wanting to establish some healthy practices (yoga, running, etc.). Maybe that feels impossible and overwhelming right now, I don’t know. But, I’m still feeling on the edge. Still teary-eyed.

And I’m just typing about it out loud because I can. And it helps. 



things that piss me off every.single.time.

  1. Tree carnage (land being cleared for construction).

  2. People being mean to or simply objectifying animals.*

  3. Panhandlers with dogs tied up next to them.

I think the nature of my work with humans has a lot to do with my not getting super angry about human stuff.

I mean, I hear some pretty awful things on a regular basis. I sit with people in the middle of their awful. It’s emotionally draining. After work, I have little left for the rest of life … and what IS left goes to my husband and baby and then the rest of my family.

So, as a result, I get inappropriately angry and saddened by hurting dogs and the loss of green spaces instead of the great social injustices of our age. It may be wrong, but it’s my right.

* Yes, I eat meat. So, I’m admittedly a hypocrite. But, I’m really talking about dogs and horses and rodents and the occasional cat … none of which I eat.


a typical morning


This is some more real life right here. She’s napping and I’m pumping. Double pumping. Hands-free (Yay?!) with the pumping bra. Look at those tummy rolls. No makeup. Bed hair. That’s right, I woke up like this. So, so sexy. I know you’re jealous.


4.5 months


Well, the butt is significantly better. Whoo-hoo. Though, in truth, it’s still pretty awful - the Miralax, the Fibercon, the pain relievers, the post-poop cream, the weekly pelvic floor therapy appointments. Again, I feel super, super sexy. Not.

But, the pain is in the 1-3 range, versus the 7-9 range like it was, so I get to be a present mom these days … and that’s so, so good. And what does that look like?

  • Two-stepping to Jake Owen’s “Down to the Honkeytonk” around the living room couch in the mornings.

  • Responding excitedly to her baby babble like I understand what she’s saying.

  • Aerobic booty dancing to Major Lazer while she watches entranced from her back on the floor.

  • Reading peek-a-boo books in the glider before bed.

  • Going for walks around the neighborhood the second it cools off even a little bit.

  • Singing Chris Stapleton’s “Millionaire” to her while she leans back on my knees.

  • Handing her Lphant, reindeer rattle, paci, or spoon each and every time she drops them.

  • Helping her push Grissom’s kisses away when they get too intense.

  • Playing with her in the pool.

  • Rubbing her back and humming “Rock-A-By-Baby” to her when she wakes up restless (but still sleepy) from a nap.

  • Walking in to get her up at 7 am, my “Good Morning, Baby Girl” met with eye contact and bright smiles as she pushes up from her chest.

  • Cleaning all her little parts while she kicks and splashes and coos in her baby bathtub.

  • Hands-free pumping while I spin and shake and hum along with her toys for her as she lays on her back and watches and grabs and chatters on about something.

  • Crying happy and grateful tears while I sing her Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” and Dierks Bentley’s “Living.”

I just love her. All of her. Her big blue eyes, her eager hands, her interest and alertness, her coos, her cries, her baby bird hair, the dimple on her cheek … even her smelly feet. She’s a blessing I didn’t even know why or how much I wanted or needed. I am grateful.



12 weeks old


It’s a cute picture - mommy and baby on the floor. Maybe it’s naptime. Maybe it’s tummy time. Either way, it’s a cute selfie.

And it is. But, it’s not the full story. The full story is that I HAD to put her down on the floor because I can’t sit down - not only because my butt hurts so bad, but also because the medication I’m using to try and remedy my butt problem tends to creep forward and create pain in my frontal regions if I’m not laying down.  

I’d rather be holding her, rocking her to sleep. 

But this is how it is, because of my butt. The TMI: two fissures that are not healing because I don’t always poop liquid (uh, who does?!), and, therefore recreate a problem every other day. And the fissures are excruitiatingly painful and distracting from life and sleep and productivity. Also, not sexy. But, duh.

Unfortunately, because of this pain, I have not been the mother I want to be. As soon as I got past the hard newborn stage I wrote about in previous posts, I walked right into this butt problem. I resent it. Because I love her. I really do. I don’t even want to go back to work because I just want to be with her and engage her and soak up her all her coos and smiles and curious glances. I worry what the tension in my body is transmitting to her when she feeds or we get a pain-free minute to snuggle. I worry she’ll be in therapy when she’s 25 because my butt created a fracturing in attachment development ... Crazy thinking? Maybe. Maybe not.

And because the goal is soft poop, I’m supposed to take Miralax. While safe for breastfeeding, it’s not - because it redirects  all the water you take in to your gut. So, my milk supply is severely dwindling. The one blessing there is that the doc said it’s really just the first two to three months that breast milk has its major impact. So, made that. Whew.

Forgive how poorly written this post may be - I’m more typing as an update ... and for catharsis. This just plain sucks. So much.  

Pray for healing, because I do t know how to enjoy life like this, let alone mother well ... 


6 weeks old


It's starting to feel more real. Or maybe I am ... starting to feel more real, that is. It's like I've finally gotten a grasp on myself in this new reality. It's still a little disorienting, but I'm feeling more capable of navigating it without leaving myself behind.

We've gotten into a bit of a routine now. I know when she's hungry. I know when she's gassy. I know when she doesn't want her paci and when it's the only thing she's looking for. I've learned she really likes baths (love the warm water like her parents ...) and doesn't completely hate having her diaper changed (turns out, changing her BEFORE she's eaten is NOT the way to go). 

She's way more alert the past week or so - follows me with her eyes and seems to hold a gaze. Whatever that does for connection, it's something solid, because I definitely find myself more entranced and in love with her than I did prior. Her cries cause less distress in me than they did prior. I equate that to a sense of capability and adaptability I've discovered (or grown?). I'm less anxious about doing what it takes to take care of her (and, honestly, myself). That's a bit freeing.

Now my anxieties have more to do with getting a nanny and what my practice will look like financially as I head back to work next month. Time will tell ...



3 weeks old


The Mr. goes back to work tomorrow. 

And I hate everything as a result.

Honestly, I don’t know how it’s going to work for me to do this newborn wrangling thing without him. It’s not so much that I NEED the help - though, yes, having an extra set of hands to grab me food and water and my phone when I’ve got a baby attached to my chest, is pretty wonderfully “handy” ... and I will miss terribly everything he’s been on top of - it’s that I need the partner in the mess. I never realized how much I want/need someone I can just be raw with and feel supported by ... And thinking about doing the hard stuff solo, navigating the mental challenge and emotional energy required, well .... it feels really, really daunting. Kind of impossible, really.

Now, she‘s very cute. Wonderfully sweet when she’s sleeping on my shoulder. Mesmerizing as she’s making faces, working her digestive system out. She’s a beautiful baby (and I say that realizing I’m biased, but confident that I’m also right). But, it’s not enough to make these days, this season of living, enjoyable. (Yet?)

I hate myself for thinking that. I genuinly wonder if it’s proof of the “I probably wasn’t meant to be a mom” concept that’s always nagged at the back of my mind. Would good moms struggle so much with this gigantic change of life? This physical lockdown (two months before hanging out in public places?! I DIDN’T KNOW!)? The physical/body toll? This emotional turmoil? I swear no one has ever relayed their dismay about having a kid like I’m feeling. So, it’s gotta be just me, right? 

And I hate that thought. I hate it for her. She deserves better. I wish I had known better. She deserves better than me. Than this. 

So, somehow, I have to figure out how to become what I’m not. How to feel good about what doesn’t. Because she deserves better. 

I just don’t know how. 






2 weeks old


It’s all still hard, but it’s getting better. Whether that is because of the human ability to adapt to new circumstances or because it’s legitimately slightly easier two weeks in than it was at a week and a half in, I can’t honestly say .... but it’s a tad bit better.

And she’s still adorable. And warm. And squishy. And when she falls asleep on me, immediately after nursing? There’s very little in the world that feels better.  

But she’s been air-side for TWO WEEKS. It feels so much longer and like it’s flown by at the same time. If this is any indication of how fast time will move through her childhood, I’m terrified and sad ... I don’t want to miss it. I want to cherish it. I want to be transformed by the pure joy of it. She’s precious and I never want to lose sight of that ... in fact, I want it to be so real for me that I can’t help but transfer that truth to her ... that she’ll believe it about herself and act and feel accordingly. 

I’ve spent a lot of time holding her and praying over her this past week - for her protection and health and wisdom and salvation and sanctification and innocence and confidence and mental health and relationships ... and I just get the sense that God and I are going to be talking a lot more simply because she exists. 

That’s not a bad by-product of these hard and sacred times.  


UPDATE: It’s a few hours later and I’m on the edge again. A little resentful, a lot lonely, a whole lot more insecure - about my mothering, my instincts, my future ... and it’s feeling really heavy again right now.  I’m tired with no good sleep in sight. I can’t poop or sit comfortably like I could just two weeks ago ... and it’s crazy how body discomfort can really mess with a mind (see previous post at 37 weeks, ha). 

So there’s that real life. 





40 weeks


It’s my due date, and I already have an almost two week old baby girl.

I’m celebrating by changing a dozen diapers, offering up my boobs every couple of hours, trying half a dozen techniques to calm crying (with little, to no, success), and sitting and standing with an excessive amount of caution due to tears in the lady parts.

This ish is hard. Harder than I could have expected. Harder than I wanted. Harder than I would have signed up for. We’ve walked into a very harsh reality. One that is self-doubt inducing, emotionally overwhelming, relationally challenging, and worldview confounding.

In these first days as a family of three, I’ve marveled at her every feature, took thousands of pictures, cuddled her close and posted my pride on social media. But, in and out of those days, I’ve also had what one mom friend called “buyer’s remorse.” I’ve wondered out loud, “what have we done?,” and “what if I’m not wired for this ... what if I forced His hand and she’s going to pay the price for what I lack?” I’ve felt my blood pressure rise, my survival instinct flair up, at a hint of a whimper. I’ve worked hard at breathing deeply when she’s at my breast, hoping against hope that somehow I can spare her reading (and transferring) anxiety from her caregiver. I’ve struggled, tears streaming down my face, just wanting to hear my husband say all these feelings are normal and that I am a good mother, that, somehow, he’s seen me show up and impress him with my maternal instincts. And I’ve cried more, alone on the corner of the couch, when he’s remained silent. 

This is hard. She’s beautiful and precious. And I can’t help feeling like she deserves better than I’m giving her. And that’s all I’ve got right now.




37 weeks

Well, nothing about this is enjoyable.  

I feel disgusting. My thighs are - not kidding - double their normal size. I’ve got a double chin developing. I’ve gained 50 pounds. 5-0. These boobs I paid for? No longer sexy. My ankles and feet and hands are swollen. The extra weight has turned into plantar fasciitis pain in BOTH feet. The belly (and she who dwells/moves within) has turned into very regular and painfully acute back pain - especially while sitting or laying down. The influx of hormones equates to sweat-soaked tossing and turning throughout the night, EVERY night. There’s the bruised ribs, from her stretching ... and the pain in my pelvic area EVERY time I stand up. And the itchy, stretching skin? Yea, that just started. And sometimes when I walk? Feels like I just tore my hip out of joint. 

I can’t paint my toenails. Or bend down. Or help do ANYTHING. 

In my discomfort, I’m grouchy and on edge. I legitimately have a new-found compassion and understanding for chronic pain patients. I will never judge your opioid addiction or grouchiness again. Not being able to be and or do what is desired, when it’s desired and how it’s desired is its own kind of hell.


Now, I know I’m supposed to preface or back-end this complaint with commentary on how it will all be worth it - that the temporary struggle pales in comparison to the joy having a child will bring - but I don’t do platitudes. I also don’t speak from inexperience.

So, all I can say is that I hope I like her. I truly hope I have some astonishing measure of magical connection/attachment to this being I helped create. Right now, I’m just marveling (with slight disgust and an ounce of disdain) at my audacity in thinking I had any right or wisdom enough to embark on plotting for parenthood. Foolish human.

I hope she comes soon. I hope she doesn’t. I’m scared of when she does. I’m eager to find out how it plays out. I want a known in all this unknown. I don’t want things to change. I don’t want to be pregnant anymore. I’m worried about what life looks like when we’re permanently three instead of two. I’m a bigger dichotomy then I’ve ever been and it’s driving me a little bit crazy. The hormones are not helping. 

Relaxin sucks. Ironically. 

And that’s all I’ve got for this Mother’s Day morning. Thanks for letting me be real. 




peace and presence

My work this pregnancy, besides the obvious (i.e. growing a human), has been a lot of peacing out and trying to stay present. And, yes, it’s work. Hard, intentional, purposeful WORK.

Let me explain: 

Peacing Out 

This isn’t leaving, it’s anxiety management. It’s calming my body down the very second I notice tension building. It’s choosing into a meditative practice when there’s still a list of other things to be done. It’s taking the automatic negative thoughts and the circular thinking and challenging them with truths, again and again and again .... and again. 

None of that comes naturally to me, but I know too much to discount the benefits of or to sidestep the work. 

My hypnobirthing classes and resources have been invaluable in the process (more to come on that later), as has my professional training and experience ...

I KNOW how important it is to a developing brain to know peace and calm versus fight or flight. I KNOW that anxious parents produce anxious kids. I KNOW we often manifest that on which we ruminate. I KNOW good parenting begins in pregnancy. I also KNOW that 0-18 months is when innate personality traits, secure attachment, and coping strategies are wired into a brain.

So, I choose to work hard at peacing out. Working hard at letting go, freeing up, and calming down. And it’s good. 

Stay Present

If I have my way (at least in my current mind), this is the only time I’m doing the whole pregnancy she-bang. The only time I’ll watch my stomach expand beyond a food belly. The only time I’ll get to put the Mr.’s hand on that belly to feel an inner tumble. The only time I’ll have a baby shower. The only time I’ll have a viable reason to eat two cupcakes for breakfast ... 

The last time the Mr. and I will be just us. That thought makes me tear up every single time.  Cause I love us. I really do. And I am mourning the change, despite the excitement over what’s to come.

So, I don’t want to miss the blessing that is this passing season. As a result, I have to work to stay in the moments - to catch and stop myself when my mind jumps into tomorrow’s what if’s. Reminding myself that my energies are best engaged in today’s experience instead of spent out on tomorrow’s ideas ... it’s work. 

But, it’s worth it. I like being here with my boys, squishing the pups and leaning into my husband. These are beautiful moments - spent chatting on the patio, in front of nightly Blue Bloods, listening to 80’s metal while putting a dresser together, online boat shopping, walking the neighborhood and local festivals ... I love this life. And, honestly, I wouldn’t want to bring a new love into a life I didn’t love so much.

So, my work is peacing out and staying present. For the remaining two months of this pregnancy ... and, God-willing, for the rest of this beautiful life. 


i'm an addict

No, seriously. Sugar is my drug of choice. I'm a snob with my vice — I tend toward the chocolate, baked goods, and bready carb iterations that feature quality ingredients (none of the corn syrup nonsense) — but it's a vice, nonetheless. And like any addiction would, it's got a powerful hold on me. I'm a willing slave.

But things have to change. My thighs have moved into unacceptable spaces with unacceptable textures. I'm officially disgusted with myself. I dread the idea of getting into any one of the twenty-plus bathing suits I own and adore. And, as a result, I've started to hyperfocus on the cause of my distress. Unfortunately, I can't do much about the need to exercise right now — a recent heel injury has me laid up for the time being, but I CAN do something about the food ... and, more purposefully, my relationship with food.

I've known for sometime now that I grew up associating food with celebration, reward and freedom (instead of fuel, nutrition and function). More recently, however, I've noticed a tie to boredom. It's hard to admit, but sometimes I'm pretty sure I'm eating just to feel alive and satisfied and excited. It's like a high. And, while it makes all the chemical and psychological sense in the world, I hate admitting that I'm just another unhealthy 30-something American, using food to numb, escape and soothe.

It's astonishing, because this is a dramatic pendulum swing away from the perfectionistic, overtrained, marathon runner I used to be. Maybe you have to land at the other extreme to do the work of finding balance. If so, I'm there. Pregnant, "crippled," and totally there. Not able to ignore it anymore. 

So, I emailed a dietician today. I'm seeing my therapist on Thursday to start talking about the gaps I'm trying to fill with food. So, toward balance I head ... one carrot stick at a time. 


turns out i'm a three

I thought I was a six, because in all but one test, I tested so. But that one test, it cost money ($12) and it was thorough and from one of the Enneagram experts .... and the explanatory results? Pretty much spot on - in a way the six explanation, though familiar, never quite connected. 

Then I re-listened to Richard Rohr's Enneagram talk ... and, sitting at the kitchen table over laptop speakers with the Mr., I had a head-nodding confirmation. Yup, I'm a performer. An achiever. A success. I am a total three.

It doesn't sound so bad when defined in those terms, right? After all, American culture heralds those qualities. It's built on them, even. And, in large parts, these personality penchants have worked incredibly well for me.

BUT, the truth of being a three is that I've spent most of my life showcasing (and mostly rocking) only about a foot of the miles of depth I actually possess. And I've kept to that foot, because my heart doesn't believe anyone's interested in the rest ... and worse, that if they tapped into it (or rather, if I stopped the show and exposed the rest), no one would stay .... or love me ... or value me. See, we threes are doers. And we're good at what we let you see us do (explanatory sidenote: we run far from that which we don't excel at). But, if we're not doing, then what do we have? What are we left with to give/be? Who are we? 

Realizing I'm a three, facing my years of deceit and reconciling myself to the internal questions I still have yet to wrestle with, has helped me put some structure around some of the general angst I've dealt with in the past couple of years. The personal work (through counseling and intentional practice) I've done over the past six years has moved me away from many of my compulsive three-ish ways and into a healthier behavioral space, but now I'm realizing just how much more room there is to grow.  Maybe more to the point - knowing I'm a three gives me some additional clarity on where the sin still lies and where the compulsive core still gets in the way of my true self. 

Just some thoughts on my latest foray into my personal spiritual journey. More to come, I'm sure ...