For the Love of MUSIC

I spent a great majority of my adolescence engrossed by music. It was my personal escape and constant companion. Whenever I was overwhelmed I could always find reprieve by listening to music. I can’t say I grew up with a thoughtful sense of music (my teenage genre of choice was lovingly referred to as bubble gum pop and mostly driven by my hormones)… but regardless of genre I’ve always been mesmerized by it. Music is such a unique medium. It can change your mood, create/enhance a memory, evoke emotion, it also transcends and defines generations. Like a good book, when you hear a song that moves you, you are compelled to share it with those around you, it becomes a part of you (even if only for a few moments).

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Best Laid Plans

Do you ever make a major decision and wonder… Is this the right thing to do? I’m not talking about intuition. I’m talking about logic. I’m a firm believer in following your gut for most things in life. But when it comes to making decisions (specifically in terms of finances), that could impact your future I often struggle between logic and the fear of making the wrong decision.

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Mine was worse than yours

The epic battle of my birth or pregnancy was worse than yours. When I decided to enter the birthing community as a birth doula, it was my hope that I could somehow help change the conversation. Change the generation bridging conversation that includes experienced women telling expecting women about their “dramatic, horrifying” birth experiences. You’ve all heard the stories… The unbearable pain, the “65 hour birth nightmare, the hemorrhoids, the “ripping from front to back”, stitches, use of forcep/vacuum’s, failed epidurals, and the list goes on. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a realist. I don’t believe in sugar coating. Sometimes a healthy dose of honesty goes a long way. However, during my own pregnancy, I don’t actually remember one women I know recount a positive moment from their births. Heck, I have even caught myself giving a one-sided point of view on my own births occasionally. It’s like we are hard wired to dwell on the hardship instead of the reward. Continue reading

Life After Divorce

Divorce is a reality more common than most admit to or at a minimum more than they want to acknowledge. In fact, I find it interesting the reaction I often get when I tell people I’m divorced. There is this moment of awkwardness, followed by “I didn’t realize” type comments. I usually counter with some witty quip about how “second husbands are so much better, more trainable” or how “the first was just a test run”. But it never fails to make me feel ashamed, even if it’s only for a moment. It’s like I have a giant failure looming in my life and I’m somehow unfit to be a wife. Does anyone ever actually think they will get divorced?  Is there a feeling or moment that indicates… yep, you are headed for the Big “D”.

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Confession – The first of many…

I feel the need to confess something… I’ve been utterly ecstatic by how well “Business of Self Care – Part II” has been received. I’ve gotten the most views on my blog so far (which isn’t much to tell you the truth, but it’s exceeded my very low expectations) and I have honestly had feedback from people who “get it”. In any case, there has been something bothering me about it. The photos I posted of myself, which if I’m honest, I LOVE. I feel like they capture my personality and have given me the perspective I needed desperately over the last year. But the truth is, those pictures are not a depiction of the “everyday” me. Obviously, my hair and makeup were done fabulously (thank you again Heather @obsidianartistry) and the photo re-touching certainly did me favours in all the right places (forever grateful George @georgedimitrovphotography). However, on a day like today, I’m wearing no make up, leggings and sporting some lovely monthly hormone acne. Something I failed to mention in my post was how important it is to embrace this side of yourself as well. It’s a great thing to be able to put lipstick on and magically have more confidence. But that isn’t the reality that most of us live in day in and day out. Continue reading

Business of Self Care – Part II

This Christmas I decided to do something I never thought (especially with my post-baby body) I would be comfortable doing. I took a risk and randomly messaged a makeup artist I’ve been following on Instagram (@obsidian_artistry) asking if she could help me. She introduced me to George (@georgedimitrovphotography) and a magical thing happened. I met two people who didn’t know me from a hole in the wall but they were both so encouraging of my bravery and completely invested in seeing me through this “photography project”. To be fair, I was paying them… but what they did for me was priceless. I had fun, like REAL FUN for the first time since before I became a mother. It’s funny, during this project, I was reminded of these photo shoots I did with my sister when I was younger. She would do our hair and makeup and we would take these pictures for our mom to put on the wall (mainly to detract from the hideous annual school photos). It’s one of my favorite memories growing up… and it reminded me that I used to love getting my picture taken. When I became a mother (and gained 60+ lbs during both pregnancies) I was miserable having my picture taken. Sound familiar? I think a lot of us are stuck with this imperfect picture of ourselves post-partum. Now I’m not saying that modeling is my calling, but it was fun goofing around and focusing on me without the guilt. The purpose of the photo shoot was to give my husband a bit of a personal gift from me versus the clothes I buy him that never seem to fit. It turned out it was a really a gift to both of us. The night I gave my husband that photobook, he said words that hit me like bricks… “this photographer captured you perfectly, he photographed you exactly as I see you everyday.” *cue swoon* For the first time in almost 5 years I saw myself as beautiful and sexy… not just someones mom. BAM! Worth every penny invested.

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Business of Self Care – Part I

What is self care? Why is it important? I can honestly say that prior to having children I never really thought much about it.  Admit it… at twenty-something, pre-responsibility, we were all narcissistic jerks who spent all of our time and money on ourselves (or some version of this).  Then somewhere along the way adulting happened, we’ve realized that the bills and kids have taken the better part of our focus, and our self image has been left somewhere in between singledom and motherhood.

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New Year, New Beginning

I’ve never been a New Years Junkie. Not one to make big plans for New Years Eve, nor make grand resolutions. I’ve always found it interesting how the New Year somehow signifies some great change for all of us. Here’s the thing, I’ve read the books, I get it. Accomplishing New Year’s resolutions is about goal setting, willpower, being realistic, and a multitude of other things. The trouble is, “life happens” in between all of our wants for the new year. Then when November/December roll back around, we are left with this feeling of disappointment that we have somehow failed. For me… I’ve chosen to not set new year’s resolutions in the past to avoid that looming failure. Can’t fail if you don’t try, right? Truth is, you can and do. I’ve realized in recent months that the inability to take risks in life is the epitome of failing. I’m not talking about risking your life savings on a half-cracked business venture or putting your family or health at risk. I’m talking about calculated risks that have the potential to lead to new opportunities and experiences. Obviously there is a chance those risks will crash and burn (like this blog idea of mine). But it’s not about the end result, it’s about what might present itself along the way. There is also a chance there might not be any noteworthy change or discovery, but its like winning the lottery, you can’t possibly win if you don’t buy a ticket. Continue reading

I’m an A-Hole

Recently I had a stellar wife moment. Before I get into the details of my bitch-fit, I should clarify that I love my husband, and I believe we have a healthy and mostly happy marriage… but there are days I prefer daydreaming of “Hollywood-Chris” (pick one: Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, yada yada yada), the man in my mind that does and says all the right things at the perfectly scripted moment… *cue swoon* Anywhoo… back to my mini-meltdown. Continue reading

You Do-What?

Not sure how many times I have to explain to people what a Doula is. Often we are interchanged with Midwives. Oiy! These two professions are not even close to the same thing. But I remember, there was a day when I had no idea what a Doula was either. Continue reading