Chasing The Crape Myrtle Tree

By Jillian Stacia

On my phone, I keep a list of things that I love – things that make me feel like me. It starts with coffee and ends with deep breaths of forest air.

It may seem dumb, this list. Or maybe a little narcissistic. And it’s slightly sad to have to remind myself that I prefer sunflowers to roses, or that naps during sporting events are my favorite way to unwind on the weekends.

But I find myself looking at this list more and more, constantly adding, editing, tweaking.

I’ll catch myself staring down at the numbers, memorizing the content, reading them like a mantra: the sound of rain, library books, reading on the beach. Continue reading

Joy Comes With The Mourning

By Kate Kole

Last week, my older brother would have turned 40. It was the 15th birthday we’ve had without him here with us.

While most dates are just numbers on the calendar, Mondays blurring into Tuesdays and one errand running into the next, birthdays stand apart.

There’s anticipation and expectation. Memories of the past and wishes for the future.

When his birthday rolls around each November, I think about the first year he wasn’t here. The way our grief felt heavy and hard to carry. How we wondered if we’d ever feel happy again.

Continue reading

The Thing About My Yoga Mat

By Kate Kole

Relax your jaw. Soften your shoulders away from your ears. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Exhale out through your mouth. Set your intention. Fix your gaze. Be here now, I tell myself.

Noise escapes through the baby monitor and I look to see my toddler pull himself to a standing position in his crib. Turning off the device, I glance at the clock on our kitchen stove.

7 minutes”, I whisper. Good enough for today.

Continue reading

Some Thoughts On Change

Some Thoughts On Change

By Jillian Stacia

I’ve had a lot of change lately. That’s an understatement, actually. In the last year, I’ve gotten pregnant, been promoted, had a baby, went back to work, quit my job, started freelancing full time, and dyed my hair blue.

Things have changed so much so fast, and I still feel like I am reeling.

Here’s what I know: I am happier than I have ever been, probably because I feel more like myself than I ever have. My life is finally a representation of my values, and that feels amazing and right and whole.

But I also feel like I’m floundering. Each time I start to find a rhythm, I am pummeled by change. The carpet is ripped out from under my feet, and I have to start all over again. Continue reading

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

Being Judas

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By Jillian Stacia

On Easter night, I watched Jesus Christ Superstar. I didn’t make it past the first song before I had a startling revelation: holy shit, I’m Judas.

Admittedly, I did not have the strictest religious upbringing – I’m one of those “holiday Christians”. But I know enough about Jesus and the resurrection to know that I really do not want to be Judas. In the whole cast of characters, he’s like, the worst one. You know, the bad guy. The big one. The one who betrays Jesus and is responsible for his death. Yeah, that dude. No one wants to be that dude. Continue reading

4 Ways To Save Money And Still Be A Social Butterfly

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By Cassie

Going out is fun. But it’s expensive. Food, drinks, movies, concerts. They add up quickly. Sometimes we’re asked to make the unfortunate choice between what we want to do and what we can afford to do. Where’s the fun in that?

While some things you can’t change – for example, concert ticket prices are out of your hands – there are ways you can cut back on the expense of going out so that you can get more for your money. In other words, you absolutely can have your cake and eat it too.

Here are some tips for saving money without having to become a hermit: Continue reading

Does It Make Me A Bad Parent?

Does It Make Me A Bad Parent

By Chelsea O’Neal

Does it make me a bad parent? That’s the question that kept running through my head the other day. That’s the question I repeated over and over in regards to every parenting decision I am making. Does it make me a bad parent?

Does it make me a bad parent if some days I feel parenthood is just a little too overwhelming? Does it make me a bad parent if some days I just want her to sleep all day so I can get a breather? If I get annoyed sometimes when she’s climbing all over me, fussy and wanting me to hold her? If every time she grabs a handful of hair and yanks and I just want to yell “stop!Continue reading

The In-Between Time

Living In This Chapter

By Kate Kole

It’s Tuesday, which traditionally isn’t my favorite day of the week. I don’t think I’m in the minority here, as there aren’t a lot of graphic tanks on the market with “Tues-yay” or “Hello, Tuesday!” or “Tuesday Funday” plastered across the front. And we certainly don’t greet each other with “Happy Tuesday!” the same way we might on a Friday morning.

It isn’t a bad day, more of just an in-betweener. It’s the day I’ll start dreaming about what I’ll have as my evening dessert at 9:47 a.m. and making weekend plans – dangling the ‘what’s up next’ carrot in front of my face as incentive to power through whatever tasks my to-do-list hosts. Continue reading