Weekly Lovelies: Currently Clicking #12

Each and every week, I gather links of all of the places I have been perusing in the great, grand internet. There are plenty of people out there doing big things and small things. Some of these are practical, some are inspiring. This week, I'm diving deeper into the things that matter: marriage, raising children, not having regrets at the end of your life. There are also practical things like the idea of a family closet and how to really clean your refrigerator....

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  1. 3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married. We are coming up on 5 years in a few weeks. These are all good reminders. 
  2. And on the other side of life, Nurse Reveals the Top 5 Regrets People Make On Their Deathbed.  Can we choose to be happy? How important are the relationships in our lives? Do we work too much? 
  3. Letters of Note is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos. How long has it been since you sat down and wrote a letter? This is an interesting glimpse into many different lives. 
  4. From the Art of Simple, 7 Tips to Help You Read More (and Love It.)
  5. Also from the Art of Simple, A Bucket List for Our Children. I love this so much. 
  6. I find this greatly intriguing. 4 Benefits of Creating a Family Closet. Our closets need some lovin'. 
  7. And finally, something practical for all of you people that love to clean. From the Kitchn: How to Clean Your Refrigerator.

Baby Marin: Week Fourteen

“I don't remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don't even know exist until you love a child.” 
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Geoff really does love her. 
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Enough is Enough

I feel the need today to start with a clean slate. It seems I have found myself in a bit of a funk and I don’t know how long I can handle living through it. Some things must change. They have to. I don’t really have a choice or I guess I shouldn’t really have a choice. Change is good. Change is needed and I’m finding myself feeling stale. Lost. Stuck. 

Since I became a mom, I feel like I don’t fully know who I am anymore. That rests upon the prerequisite though that I once did, I guess? I feel like my identity has been tossed up in the air and I am just now trying to pick up the pieces and put them back together again into some form of myself that makes sense. My former self is no more. My present self has no idea what is going on other than the fact that I am Marin’s mother and that needs to be enough. My future self is ignoring everything because of feeling so lost. 

I am the type of person that is constantly going, going, going. Doing, doing, doing. If my plate isn’t full, at times, I feel as if my worth isn’t enough. I know this is a total lie. I know that none of that is really true, but still, it gets the best of me and I sometimes have a hard time admitting that. I’m admitting that now. I’m not doing very well with handling all of this stuff. 

My house seems to get messier by the day. That closet really needs to be cleaned out before our garage sale next week. I can only hold so many essential oil classes every month and I struggle with whether or not that is enough. The bills need to be paid. I need to work. My camera collects dust far too often and that photography class still isn’t finished. I’m not posting enough blogs; too many of them are too personal. I need to lose more of the baby weight so I can feel like a real human again. I tend to eat crappier when I am overwhelmed, which doesn’t help anything. I don’t know what my hair is doing. I need to get up and do something athletic. I haven’t played a show with my band since August. I wonder if I even remember half of my songs. Marin needs my full attention, diapers need to be changed, feedings need to occur. 

My list could go on and on and on and on......But......

I am enough. 

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Say it again. 

I am enough. 

I have to remember that it isn’t about what I do or what I create. It makes me go back to this quote....

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There’s a lot on my mind today. I feel the need to really read this book. I want to go for a walk with my kid, to get out of the house and move my tired, lost muscles. I want to pick up my camera. I want to listen to music that moves me. I will still do a load of laundry today, but I won’t clean ALL of the house, maybe just a room or two. That is enough. That is enough for now. I will leave you with one last quote, from the book linked above.

“THERE WILL COME A DAY . . . There will come a day when she no longer wants to hold my hand. So I will hold it while I still can. There will come a day when she no longer tells me what’s on her mind. So I will listen while she still wants to talk to me. There will come a day when she no longer says, “Watch me, Mama!” So I will observe and encourage while I still can. There will come a day when she no longer invites me to eat school lunch with her. So I will join her while I still can. There will come a day when she no longer needs my help to bake cookies or hit the tennis ball in the sweet spot. So I will stand beside her gently guiding and instructing while I still can. There will come a day when she no longer wants my opinion about clothes, friendship, death, and heaven. So I will share my views while she still wants to hear them. There will come a day when she no longer allows me to hear her prayers and her dreams. So I will fold my hands and absorb every word while I still can. There will come a day when she no longer sleeps with her beloved stuffed animal. And that day may come sooner than I think. Because sometimes unexpected events happen, causing the days to rush by, the years to tumble ahead. Sometimes what I thought I would have time to do, like listen to her laugh, wipe her tears, breathe her scent, and hold her close, will no longer be available to me. What I thought I had all the time in the world to do, may no longer be an option. The little pink dog that my child must now learn to sleep without after eight precious years reminds me that tomorrow may not allow for all the things I planned to do. So instead of being too busy, too tired, or too distracted when she seeks my love and attention, I will be ready and waiting to make her a well-loved child while I still can.” 
Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!

Weekly Lovelies: Currently Clicking #11

Every week, I gather links of all of the places I have been perusing in the great, grand internet. There are plenty of people out there doing big things and small things. Some of these are practical, some are inspiring. This week, my love for sushi shows. DIY would take over my life and my home if I allowed it to. I feel the need to really focus on taking care of myself and setting some fitness goals. To add to that, I still think about good food ALL OF THE TIME. 

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  1. I think I need these Avocado Sushi Bites in my life. I also just realized that I still haven't had sushi since I had the baby. What?! That needs to change ASAP. 
  2. I love how this Stained Wood Wall DIY totally changes a space. The price tag for the project isn't too bad either. I would love to a wall like this in our office. 
  3. I have a sewing machine that needs some loving', but here are 15 No-Sew Fabric Projects for the Home. 
  4. I received a FITBIT for Christmas and I am just now getting ready to start using it. I am excited. Here is one gals experience with the FITBIT. I think this is just what I need to really get moving again. Here's another review and another.  
  5. I sometimes toy with the idea of going Paleo. This dish is right up my alley: Chicken Enchilada Bake. Yum. 

Baby Marin: Week Thirteen

Another week, another set of days, another set of realizations about how quickly our baby is growing up. I'm to the point now where I truly cannot imagine a day without her. The days before she came into this world seem so distant to me now. The days of when she was even first on this earth are all a blur, when she was a tiny, wrinkly newborn. It was in those days that I spent most of my time bright eyed and bushy tailed, in awe of this little human that rested in my arms and realizing that I had no idea how to really be a parent.

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We just take every day as they come. More often than not, we smell of spit up and Marin's coos echo every where she goes. She had begun to babble and drool fairly consistently. She spends a lot of her days in the company of all of the grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and uncles that love and adore her. We are blessed so much by the family that surrounds us. It does take a village.

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The days seem to fly by so fast lately. I am up before the sun and then I blink and we are putting Marin to bed. She makes everyday worth it though, even if they pass far to quickly right before our eyes. Our baby is 3 months old now. I know I will blink and she will be 6 months old. These are exciting times in our home and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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Marin rolls over like its old news lately. Sucking on her hands is her pastime. Drooling everywhere has become commonplace around these parts.

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Week Thirteen.

Nostalgia & Thank Yous

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Nostalgia usually begins to set in around this time of year, deep into my bones, always present and always waiting. So many of moments from my past sneak their way in to my life, my dreams, my thoughts. In the past, a lot has happened in the month of May. I have become the person I am today in the month of May. I have lost much and gained much in the month of May.

Nearly 6 years ago (six years!!!), I wrote these words on a now forgotten blog...

I am traveling in between two separate worlds, two worlds that hold pieces of my heart, mind, and soul. My body only rests in the in between of my past 3 years and my very beginning, which now is my soon to be my future once again. Every line on the road takes me further away from the northwest. I am a wash of emotions, some of sadness, some of joy, some of wishing I had more time, yet some of knowing I’m listening to the will of God and going where I need to go, at least for this season. Everything within me wants to turn back, to go back to my life in Longview, to the teary-eyed friends I left in the parking lot a short 24 hours. 

For as long as I shall live, I will never forget the last day I had in Longview. That town built me up, tore me down, and somehow directed me home to the new life that I was supposed to have, even though I fought that for quite a while. The last day will forever be cemented in my soul. I can still feel the ocean mist on my face, the salt inhabiting the curls in my hair. Everything was damp but no one seemed to mind. We were together. We were hopeful, yet we were sad. We knew that, whether we liked it or not, my era in that small town was coming to an end and I would never be the same. Aside from my husband, the friendships I had back in the northwest are ones that I feel cannot be replaced or replicated. There is something so intense and special about it. It’s not meant to be repeated. 
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My dear friend couldn’t have said it any better: 
It was a simpler time, I laugh because I find myself saying that too often lately. Though, I'm starting to believe "simpler times" really only manifest themselves in hindsight. Either way, in hindsight or in reality,life was simpler then. It was before the reality of life had really set in, before any of my major mistakes were made and before I had any understanding of the consequences that those mistakes brought. The pressures of getting a degree, finding a career, settling down, what have you, didn't seem so daunting or at least not as imminent, and music was solely art. Back then we were all far more concerned with when the next show would be, or when our favorite indie artists would release their next record. We all had our own set of dreams, and strangely enough, we all seemed to end up in far different areas than where we were dreaming of at the time. I guess that's how it always works though. It was a time period which saw moments of triumph, defeat, joy, pain,surprise, disappointment, exciting hello's and some heartbreaking goodbye's. It was back when, to my recollection, none of us had ever heard of a flight that occurred at any sort of decent hour. Any time spent at the airport usually resulted in an all-nighter, or at very least, struggling to stay awake in the pew the next day. It was a time period where somehow, church, a trip to ikea, Cap'n Yoby's halibut, and a Fat Tire could cure a day which saw the death of a family member, and even the mightiest fall. It was a time that worked wonders for me as a musician, but not as much can probably be said for my lungs.  I’m an olfactory memory type though, so I guess it just adds another dimension to the memory.  I was one of the the uncool kids that didn't smoke (and on top of that I wore baggy jeans), but I'm pretty sure the second hand smoke got to me at some point. The apartment that we all spent so much time hanging out in, in so many ways seemed to change us from just friends to family. We had each others backs, but when we fought, we fought like siblings it seemed. It was an amazing couple years, but like any season, it wouldn't last forever, but he simple quote of "change is good" keeps resounding in my head tonight.
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The day I left was a tough one. It seems too far away to me now and I feel the need around this time of year to hold onto it tight, to not let it go. The years between then and now are becoming longer. The tears I cried in my car as I drove away from my friends in the parking lot feel distant to me now but I still want to remember them, to feel their warmth on my cheeks. Now my life is consumed by an office job, being a mom, being a wife. I live a life of deadlines, diapers, and trying to fit back into my jeans. I don’t take any of those lightly, but sometimes I look back to remember where we all came from, those fateful days full of rain and creating. Those sleepless nights, not due to having an infant in the house, but because we wanted to create some art that was worth something or at least meant something to us. We awoke every day just to keep going. 

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Little did I know that I would meet my husband a few days later. But, that’s a whole other ramble and blessing within itself. 

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So, if you were there all those years ago, thank you. Change is good, change is hard. But, I think we all find ourselves in good places even now, far away from the years before, far away from the ocean shore and the late nights. 

Just, thank you. 

Weekly Lovelies: Currently Clicking #10

Every week, I gather links of all of the places I have been perusing in the great, grand internet. There are plenty of people out there doing big things and small things. Some of these are practical, some are inspiring. 
I want to make sure I don't forget these some where down the road. 

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  1. The Ultimate Ikea Shopping List: 9 Cheap, Chic Classics
  2. Buzzfeed's Clean Eating Challenge: A 2-Week Detox plan that focuses on eating REAL food. 
  3. MOTHER: A new web mag for Moms. Style, living, beauty, food, and travel. It also just looks so darn good. 
  4. The Only Pizza Dough Recipe You Will Ever Need. I need this in my life. 
  5. 20 Little Ways to Buy Happiness for Less Than 10 Bucks
  6. A Beautiful Mess has done it again with their newest E-course: Blog Life. Learn how to make a living doing what you love. I love everything about this. 

Baby Marin: Week Twelve

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In a few days, we will have a 3 month old child on our hands. How did that happen so quickly? Every time she hits a new stage or milestone I always think that this is my favorite age. Every week has been my favorite week with her. The first few were really hard, don't get me wrong, but each week brings a new glimpse into who Marin is becoming. 

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Marin at 12 Weeks: 

  • I feel we are facing another growth spurt. She is eating a lot more than before. 
  • Marin is very fascinated with her hands and gnaws on them often. 
  • She is becoming stronger everyday and lifts her head up very well. 
  • She is becoming more vocal and is finding her voice. 
  • She can grasp on to toys and give them a good shake. 
  • She is still sleeping through the night but is moving around her crib a lot more. 
  • We had probably the roughest evening just the other day. She was having a tough time but we finally got her to go to sleep and then she slept like a champ. 

Dad at 12 Weeks: 

  • Ryan and Marin enjoy a few mornings a week together flying solo. They also spend all day Wednesday together while I'm at work. 
  • Marin enjoys screaming over Ryan's guitar playing. They have a system now. 
  • Nothing calms Marin down quite like her Dad. 
Mom at 12 Weeks: 
  • I have officially returned to work and despise pumping but I am pushing through. 
  • I managed to get myself pretty sick last week. I think being insanely busy, returning to work, and waking up too early with a little one finally caught up with me. This cough won't leave me alone. 
  • I am learning how to manage my time and turn off work when I am home, unless I am working from home. It is a process and an art form. 
  • I celebrated my first Mother's Day and I am thrilled that we get to call this little gal ours. She blesses me, challenges me, and grows me every single day. 

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Happy Mother's Day

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Drawn by: Ryan Hollen (my awesome husband) 

Last year around this time, I somehow knew that I would celebrating the last Mother’s Day of my life not being a mother. Around this time last year, I became pregnant, but didn’t know that amazing news until June 7th on the fateful day I took three pregnancies tests early in the morning, freaked out, and went to tell my still asleep, groggy husband that we were going to have a baby! So much has changed in a year. 

I think many women go through their pregnancies, trimester by trimester, rubbing their tummies and dreaming of what motherhood will be like. I want the “Gilmore Girls,” mother-daughter relationship. I want to share dialogue with her that goes a mile a minute and eat in diners and drink too much coffee and...my list could go on and on, as unrealistic as that hope may be. I want my little girl to grow up strong and independent. I want my little girl to follow her dreams and to love Jesus with all her heart. All good things. 

No one truly prepares you for the day you become a parent, the day you become a mother. Those months when Marin was kept safe in my ever growing frame, I dreamt of how all of this would look. I planned. I prepared, like I always do. Motherhood is the most rewarding, challenging, life-giving thing I have ever done. I have been stretched to my absolute limits and found that I can keep moving forward. I have felt my heart swell for a tiny human that I’ve only known for a little under 3 months. I have found that I need to step back and soak in this time that I have with her because I know that I will blink and she will be driving, dating boys, and Ryan will be sitting on the porch every evening,  waiting with a list of all of the reasons as to why a certain gentleman cannot date his daughter. I look forward to those times, but that’s not where we are now and I feel the need to slow all of it down. 

So, to all of you mothers out there, thank you and keep going. It does take a village to raise a child and we are all part of that village. Embrace the bed head on the mornings when you haven’t been able to shower and it’s nearing 12pm; when you haven’t been able to get a single bite to eat for yourself all morning. Embrace dirty diapers, the first time they roll over, when they begin to crawl, and their first steps. Embrace the battle scars upon your body that show the long journey it took for you to hold your baby in your arms. Embrace the quite moments in the morning when you rock you baby in your arms and feed them before the sun even comes up and the world goes about its business. Embrace the days when you have to go to work and then think about your child constantly, through every project and meeting of the day. 

You are a mom and that is an amazing thing. 

Happy Mother’s Day. 

Weekly Lovelies: Currently Clicking Week #9

Every week, I gather links of all of the places I have been perusing in the great, grand internet. There are plenty of people out there doing big things and small things. Some of these are practical, some are inspiring. I have spent the last few days at home sick as a dog with a kid that has been under the weather as well. This marks the first sickness since I was pregnant. Not fun. Not fun at all. But, here are some links to boost my mood and cause me to think about something other than the fact that I'm supposed to sing at a conference tomorrow and don't know if I can because I've been so sick. Ugh. 

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  1. 101 Tips to Make Your Life Easier. We all need these at some point. To continue with life tips....31 Ideas for a Sparkling Home.
  2. Some local musicians just released a worship record that is so refreshing to me. The hubs and I saw them last Sunday. Good people. Listen and purchase Loudharp's record here. I promise you won't be disappointed  The song, "The Nearness of You," wrecks me completely every single time.
  3. I'm seriously crushing on this Modern Bohemian House Tour.  And this Mid-Century Modern House Tour.
  4. I recently became a mom. I have the battle scares to prove it. Some of them will probably never disappear, but they are a constant reminder of my little one and I wouldn't have it any other way. Here are 16 Real, Beautiful Women in Every Stage of Pregnancy. Does contain nudity, but I think it's beautiful. Don't act like I didn't warn you. Also, along the same vein, 4th Trimester Bodies. Becoming a mom is a powerful thing. I think it needs to be celebrated even when our jeans don't fit like they used to. It's not worth freaking out about. 
  5. 100+ Tips for Frugal Living: How to Get Thrifty and Save Money. Posts like this are my jam. I'm a total nerd for stuff like this. Now, if I could get to the point of actually practicing all of these...
  6. As a songwriter, I struggle sometimes with pulling from my past so much when I write because it was a much darker time than the life I live now. This article perfectly paints the picture of that struggle: How to Live a Creative Life (Without Ending Up Depressed, Drunk, or Dead.) 

Baby Marin: Week Eleven

This morning came awfully fast today. It's still only around 5am as I write these words. The rest of the world is still asleep and dawn is slowly creeping into our street. Here I sit. Tired but thankful. Tired but aware of how lucky we are that our baby sleeps through most of the night still. What we are running into now though is that she has begun to move a lot when she sleeps. Swaddling her is slowly not going to be an option. She scoots and slides her way all over her crib, upside down and sideways. Half of the time I don't hear her at night when she is doing her acrobatics but when I go in to feed her in the morning, she is in a completely different position all together. This newfound mobility freaks me out and I don't want to her to pin herself in a corner and hurt herself. Is this a thing? I know bumper pads in cribs are a no-go nowadays but what's a mom to do? I just don't want to sit up all night worrying about every little movement, especially because our baby has been such a good sleeper. This is this week's predicament. Thoughts? 

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Marin is eleven weeks old today. She adores Bernie the Bunny. She hangs out at my parent's house two days a week while we are at work. I've gone to part time status at work and this is the first week that really is coming into fruition. 3 days in the office, the rest from home. I feel so very blessed to be able to have more time with our child and the fact that we, so far, have not gone down the road of paying for childcare. We are in a good place. I have no idea how we would pay for day care at this point. It would be like taking on a second mortgage. I understand now why some moms or dads chose to stay home instead of go back to work. Childcare is super pricey. 

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I would have very much loved to have slept in a bit more today, but this little gal had a different idea in mind. She is now swinging away, completely asleep next to me and I plan on drinking a pretty large americano in the near future. I do enjoy how peaceful it is in the morning though. It makes beginning the day a lot easier. Here's to another Tuesday on the books and another week with Marin. 

P.S. My husband took the photos for this week. We sure love him. 

DoTerra 101: My First Class

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 photo doterra6_zpsc23ea61d.jpg Last night was my first hosted class with DoTerra. I don't think I could have asked for a better group of people and a better array of products. I am amazed time and time again about how awesome these oils really are and how they have already helped my family's health so much. The company itself is also so supportive and knowledgable. I feel good about sharing my experience so far. For this first class, I didn't teach the course, but the gal who introduced me to the oils did. Another DoTerra advocate opened up her home for us because my living room was too small and couldn't accommodate the amount of people that wanted to come. I think that is a great problem to have. I think this is a company that will be around for a long time. I believe that these oils will be a part of my family's life for a long time. It is so encouraging and inspiring to share these oils with other people that are asking the same questions I am. There is a natural way to approach a lot of healthcare. I find using the oils sets me far more at ease than popping a pill every time I have an ache or pain.
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There will be many more classes to come and I will begin teaching them as well. For any of you that were in attendance yesterday evening or if you are looking for another excellent essential oil resource, here is one of the books that you were able to look through, called Essential Oils: HealthCare for Today (A Beginner's Guide.) I will be definitely adding this to my library shortly. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't have it available at this time, but Aroma Tools does.

This is good. Good things. Good people.

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Weekly Lovelies: Currently Clicking #8

Every week, I gather links of all of the places I have been perusing in the great, grand internet. I like these posts. I can go back and see what I was obsessing over for the week. This week it's parenting & friendship, getting out of debt, a new e-course, anything that has to do with decorating our home, brunch recipes, and a new album that you should buy. I'm all over the map and I like it that way. Also, here is an adorable picture of my family. That is all. 
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  1. Once We Become Parents We Don't Want To Hang Out With You Anymore (But Not For Reasons You Think). I relate to all of this. Having kids pretty much changes everything. 
  2. This blog. She is so encouraging when it comes to managing finances, getting out of debt, and living more frugal, intentional lives. 
  3. I just purchased this class and I'm super stoked. The team at A Beautiful Mess have done it again. I took their first Blog Love class and loved it. 
  4. How To Have A Hipster Home. I hate to admit that I am guilty of many of these....
  5. For some reason I have brunch on the brain. I love this, this, and everything in this post
  6. Some awesome friends just released their new record. Gleemer is a top notch band that you should be listening to. Get their record here

Mother's Day: 10 Great Gift Ideas

This year marks my very first Mother's Day. I remember back to this time last year, wondering if that would be last year of not being a mother, and here we are. I have a 2 month old and feel like I have fallen head first into this thing called "motherhood." There's no looking back and I am good with that. I am Marin's mom and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've been compiling a list of some Mother's Day Gift ideas for the mom in your life. They deserve to be pampered and taken care of, not just one day a year, but this is a time where you can tell them and show them how awesome they are! I know I would love any of these items...maybe you don't, maybe you do! Some of these are inexpensive, some of these are a bit of a splurge. I love them all! 

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  1. Blueprint Juice Cleanse: I've talked about this for a while now and still haven't tried one. I will wait until after I'm done breastfeeding, but I would love to try the Renovation Cleanse. I think it is a good reset button when it comes to seasons of eating too much junk and let's face it, those seasons can happen far too often. 
  2. Hello Apparel's Hello Pullover. You can buy a matching one for your little kiddo as well. The perfectly comfy pullover that you can dress up or dress down. 
  3. A photo book from Pin Hole Press. My plan is make this series a coffee table book once we hit one year of weekly posts. I take a ton of pictures in life but most of them remain digital. I would like to have some photo albums to actually look through in the future. I barely even have any of our wedding photos printed. That should change. 
  4. "I Already Want To Take A Nap Tomorrow" Shirt. As a new mom, I feel this. 
  5. DoTerra Mother's Day Gift Set. This now comes with a free lotion as well. These things are selling fast though, so get one while you can. It features Balance, Whisper, and Serenity Oil Blends. 
  6. Some mom's might not like this idea, but I would love a good jogging stroller. Let's face it, my body is not like it was before having a kid and anytime I can be working out with her involved is a good thing. 
  7. Stitch Fix. This a company where you create a personal style file based on your likes and dislikes and they send you box of items to try on. You then decide which items you would like to keep, pay for those items, and send back the rest free of charge. I have my first shipment coming June 28th. It is a way to find new clothes and maybe step out of your comfort zone when it comes to shopping. I love stuff like this. June 28th will be a good mail day. 
  8. Many moms need coffee. I am one of those moms. We have had a Keurig for a while now. We were just talking about how nice it would be to have some reusable Keurig cups that you can place you own coffee in. Case and point. 
  9. A Package of Bliss at this fine establishment. I would probably go for the Unfrazzled Momma. 
  10. One last pullover from Hello Apparel. "I'm So Tired" Sweatshirt. I would wear this everyday. 
There you have it. What you getting your mom for Mother's Day?