alright. so this time i won't be too hard on myself should i not make it the full year. because, well, as we know--life happens and it's been a bit since i last did this...and really this is much more for my own memories than anything else. thus, without further ado...

[a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2018]

hadley: a blur. life with her truly is a blur. for she is most often running about to and fro and growing far too fast. death is quite common a subject these days since my parents' dog passed a few months back, which really makes us stop and think about the big things. bedtime with her is my favorite, as her routine looks so similar to mine growing up...backrubs, snuggles, singing and prayers, the most precious moments i never want to let go. potty training is in full swing, as we are try absolutely every tactic to get her to sit on the big ol' porcelain throne. i mean, i knew it wouldn't be easy, but goodness she is quickly rounding the corner to age three and gosh darnit she will--she must--be potty trained!

amelia: sweet, stubborn, independent amelia. does not sleep. i could leave it at that, as i bring my yeti-full of coffee up to my lips once again, but she is so much more, of course. this girl adores her older sister, causing david and i's hearts to swell, burst. teething is so so hard, but this is only a season. no sleep is only a season. this will all pass far too soon, so i cling and i remind myself in the moments where they are both screaming those bloodcurdling shrills,  one day, i will dearly miss this.


i'm no gymnast

it's curious...even when i sit there listing the good things, i end up finding something contrary about it all. the words i select, the tone in my voice, there is always bits of bitterness welling up and overflowing, even into the sweetest of things.

seeing the world 'a glass half full' doesn't seem to come naturally for me. perhaps i am jaded? undoubtedly, there was once a time where i saw goodness, blessing, positivity everywhere...inside every nook, every soul, around every corner. i saw it without trying, without searching. effortlessly, i happened upon it--rather, it happened upon me.

now i lift up rocks and cushions, shake out blankets and towels, stare a little longer, listen a little harder, hoping to find the glimmer in the dust...the magic in the mundane.

and i list.

sun shadows dancing on the wall opposite our bed while the girls nap
walking under the bluest of sky on a warmer-winter-might-as-well-be-spring day
knocking on a neighbor's door to say hello
birds, chirping, ushering--beckoning--the new season

yet i am so tempted to flounder, stubbornly fixating on the shower we don't have, the tub that still leaks, the stove (while not sitting in the living room any longer) dormant in the kitchen, the search for community, struggles in marriage, losing my identity in motherhood...

could i just possibly be only auspicious? could i say anything with less than a trace of the muddiness of my soul?

there is a balance i am searching for, albeit slowly, while on the search for the good things. the balance of acknowledging struggle, being vulnerable and transparent in that, and simultaneously not letting that struggle muddle away the sweet nectars of life.

and for me, achieving this balance--this harmony within myself--is quite challenging. and yet, this tug and pull, this ebb and flow, isn't that life? for so long it seems that i have been trying to fight it. even as i type these words oceans' tides are rising, falling. imagine, if the surfers didn't give in and ride the waves? if instead tried to go against them, battle them?

it has already been four weeks since i have gone without social media. four of the most refreshing weeks i have had in quite a long while. four weeks i have felt more present, less comparing, more in tune, less anxious.

four weeks in which i am beginning to understand embracing the whole self, the whole of life. that we must fall in and let it carry us, trust the current, trust the story.

the messiness, the muck, the magic, the parts of myself i am even still learning to love--it is all good, it is all beauty.

riding a wave can feel terrifying. it may feel as if you are done for.

but standing on the beach with the sand between your toes looking back out as the tides rise, crash and slip out to sea once more--at least for me, i cannot help but stop and gaze, captivated by mystery, wonder...

and i think it's just like life, just like you and like me. it comes in waves. we can sit there trying to fight it, frustratingly fighting ourselves. or we can dive in, ride it, dance with it, scary as it may be--but all the while sit back in wonder, delighting at the beauty and mystery of this magnificent journey we are all on.


fourty six days

giving this plant a good dusting as the light pours into our unfinished kitchen is all too fitting this morning.

my heart aches for rest, for revitalization. there are nooks and the smallest crannies that have yearned to be fed for some time. but they have lost to social media--both instagram and facebook alike.

instagram--the app that has been such an immense blessing in my life as i have searched for community, providing me solidarity, with kin mothers who are wrestling and needed someone--as i did--to place a proverbial hand on the shoulder and say me too. the app that has handed me beautiful in-real-life friendships that i would have otherwise not met.

the app that has tore me down more than i could have imagined as i received hateful message after hateful message for some odd reason, during a period of time last year. the app that has ushered my heart into coveting and greed as it has done so many others who use it. the app that has become an utter advertisement where real, candid, beautiful life used to be displayed. the app that has us addicted to scrolling--facebook taking a close second in this--taking our time away from the people around that matter most.

i truly believe it is what you make it. it's what you put it. it's how you want to use it. it's your own heart issue. yes. yes. one thousand yeses. and i am here saying that my heart is grieving.

oh it's grieving.

it's grieving the times i have sat staring at this little 2.5 by 5 inch screen rather than partaking in play with my girls, the girls who will only be young for so long. it is grieving the rocks i have thrown into my husband and i's relationship as i have let comparison win--steal my joy.

what am i teaching my daughters? what am i brooding within myself? who do i ultimately want to be?

i want to be without ulterior motives: a woman of candor; i want to be present; i want to believe and radiate and preach people over things, experiences over money, time spent in real life over online.

thus after much deliberating...i have decided to part with both instagram and facebook for the next 46 days, and to instead fill my days with life and abundance and joy-bringing things. to taste and see and really truly find what it means to just be.

i will still post here from time to time, as writing and sharing is sincerely life-giving deep into my soul. and you can bet i'll write a bit about my journey on detoxing from social media.

so here goes nothin'!