I Hope I Never Forget

I Hope I Never Forget

By Becky Houdesheldt

This weekend Andrew and I were reminiscing about when our son was a baby. I mean, he is almost 13 months. But 13 months is a lot different than 3 months. I miss the early days with him, when he needed to be held all the time, when it was ok to snuggle him as much as we wanted, when there was no such thing as spoiling the baby. When I would wake up and see my husband in the nursery, asleep with him in his arms in our green glider. Getting up with him in the middle of the night, sharing the responsibility, getting bottles and diapers and swaddles ready.

I have fond memories at our little house with our new little baby. The house I bought on my own at 30, because after I took the trip of a lifetime and recognized I didn’t need anyone or anything to live my life, I finally felt empowered and I took the leap into home-ownership. It was an adorable 2 bedroom home with a 1 car garage, a pretty red door and the cutest bathrooms. It had a kitchen with exposed cabinets and that 60s charm. It had an oven in the wall that was so small hardly any of my dishes fit in it, but man did it cook fast. My girlfriend and I painted half the basement right away – a beautiful shade of light blue, with white trim. It felt beachy and relaxing. I broke my foot the day I moved, and she helped me set up the basement so we could watch Star Wars and eat pizza. As time went on, I made more changes to make it mine. I hung pictures from twine in the hallway. I painted the small wall in the dining room a dark purple, and hung an eclectic mix of artwork around the window. It was so decidedly me. I loved it. Continue reading

Motherhood Is Not a “Before and After”

By De Elizabeth

When I was younger, I believed in the idea of separate selves. Throughout high school and college, I felt myself consistently shifting — not so much changing, but disappearing and then reappearing as someone completely different. I divided portions of my life into chapters, all of which neatly fit within the pages of my journals that I kept as a teenager and early twenty-something. If a friendship ended or I went through a breakup, I felt like “the girl that I used to be” during that time also ceased to exist. I marked endless “before”‘s and “after”‘s with physical alterations: a new haircut, a shopping spree, a dramatic weight loss, the change of a season. Continue reading

My Life Looks Different Than I Thought It Would

My Life Looks Different Than I Thought It Would

By Kate Kole

Sometime during middle school, I picked the house I would live in once I became a grown up. It was a 10-minute walk from my childhood home, quaint and complete with a white picket fence.

I imagined my brother and sister would buy places in the same neighborhood. We’d all get married and have kids. They’d play little league together and we’d barbecue with my parents on Sunday afternoons. Continue reading

Not This.

Not This.

By Jillian Stacia

Not This.

It rang clear and true while I sat in the workshops, networked in the exhibit hall, chewed my dinner during the Awards Banquet.

Not This, Not This, Not This.

The concept of “Not This” comes from bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert writes, “Most of us, at some point in our lives (unless we have done everything perfectly…which is: nobody) will have to face a terrible moment in which we realize that we have somehow ended up in the wrong place.” She goes on to say, “I call this moment of realization: NOT THIS.”

This was my moment of realization. This was my Not This. Continue reading

Stop Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

Stop Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

By Kate Kole

Last week, Chrissy Teigen shared on Instagram that her dog had gone to Heaven. Within seconds of seeing her post, I felt emotion begin to rise through my body. The kind signaling that a storm of uncontrollable tears and unspeakable words was coming. I grabbed a roll of paper towels (because I’m classy like that and we rarely have tissues on hand) and told my husband what had happened so that he’d understand why I was curled up in a ball on the other end of the couch crying. (Read: this isn’t our first rodeo of me losing it over random dogs on social media.)

This morning, the tears came again when Teigen posted a picture captioned, “The same day I got you, I told John I was sad. He asked why and I said because one day you’re going to be gone.” Continue reading

10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Pregnant Self After My First 10 Weeks of Motherhood

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By Jillian Stacia

It feels like just yesterday that I was pregnant. If I close my eyes, I can almost convince myself that the past 10 weeks have been a dream, and when I wake up, I’ll be curled around my humongous body pillow, still nine months pregnant.

But that’s not the case. I gave birth to a healthy little boy. I fell madly in love. I brought him home. And my world has never, ever been the same.

I realize that ten weeks is a little early to start dispensing parenthood advice. I’m the last person to call myself an expert. But I’m doing this, I’m living this, I’m breathing this new motherhood thing every single day, and I am startled by everything I’ve learned so far. I want to take the time to document what I’ve discovered right here in the thick of it, before the haze of new motherhood wears off and I forget what it was really and truly like. Continue reading

5 Ways to Spend Quality Time with Your Kids

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By Brigitte Evans

In this crazy, hectic, chore-filled world that revolves around constant obligations and attempts to make our children’s lives better, we often forget that the best way to make them genuinely happy is to simply spend time with them. They’re always away at school and you’re always at work or stuck cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry, so when you do get together, the time you have is precious. How do you make the best of it? How do you make sure you bond and grow closer than ever before? Continue reading

The Mantra Helping Me Deal with Anxiety Over Becoming a First-Time Mom

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By Kate Kole

Without ever labeling it, I began struggling with anxiety in college. It was the first time in my life that I was overcome with a desire, which felt more like a need, to be perfect. I hit the gym at 6 am for the perfect body, and I studied like crazy for perfect grades. It became an almost addictive pattern. The more control I felt I had, the more control I craved.

And so, it didn’t stop with graduation. It only intensified. I had all the classic symptoms that came with it: excessive worry, trouble sleeping, stomach issues, and a lot of inexplicable sweaty panic. But I justified my anxiety as a good thing. Because as much as it destroyed me, I’d convinced myself that it simultaneously drove me to be my best. Until it didn’t. Continue reading

Good Enough Really Is Good Enough

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By Kate Kole

I love Melissa McCarthy and I really love Ellen DeGeneres, so I was a little bummed when I forgot to record their interview a few days ago. I asked my parents if they’d seen it and immediately knew they hadn’t when my dad responded something along the lines of, “Oh yeah. It was so funny.”

“Okay, so you didn’t see it either.” I said.

“Why do you say that?” He asked.

“Because, you’d say it was just okay,” my mom and I replied in unison. Continue reading