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

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

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

5 Ways to Spend Quality Time with Your Kids.jpg

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

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

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

When Good Enough Really Is Good Enough.jpeg

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

6 Pregnancy Fears I’ve Had, And Why I’m Choosing Faith Over Them

6 Pregnancy Fears I’ve Had, And Why I’m Choosing Faith Over Them.jpg

By Becky Houdesheldt

Our first baby was born in March of last year and we are currently 2 months pregnant with baby number two. We are overjoyed to be adding another member to our family and we are excited to be walking this journey again. I was happy when I saw that second line on the test and it has been fun to dream about how the kids will play together. But I’m going to be honest, it is scary. I’m in a lot of fear, more than I thought I would be my second time around. Although, I’m not really afraid of pains and tugs, what labor will feel like, and if I’ll be able to handle newborn poop and running on basically no sleep. My fears are now manifesting in different ways. Continue reading

7 Steps to Creating a Cozy Nursery

By Brigitte Evans

A new baby is a fantastic gift, and parents want to do everything in their power to make their little bundle of joy feel loved and welcome. One of the ways of doing that is definitely by designing a beautiful nursery. That enthusiasm often results in overcrowding the baby’s room with tons of unnecessary and expensive things, and sometimes even forgetting about the essential items for the baby’s wellbeing. That’s why you need to stop, take a deep breath, and think about what you really need in the nursery. Just in case, we have prepared a short guide for you. Continue reading