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

22 Days Left In The Decade. This Is What I’ll Do.

By Kate Kole

We’ve officially crossed into the territory of the countdown to the end of the year. Only this time around, it feels like there’s added significance. Because we’re not just closing out one round of 365 days and moving into the next, we have a whole 10 years to reflect on and finish strong before setting new goals to achieve.

I simultaneously feel a surge of motivation and a dose of anxiousness each time I see an inspirational Instagram post reminding me of the number of days we have left in 2019. How will you make them count? It asks. I stare at the screen, momentarily frozen as I try to come up with an answer that seems monumental enough to match the transition from one decade to another.

My 18-month-old saves me from the spin cycle of my mind by beginning to climb on the furniture. I toss my phone on the coffee table and wrangle him from the couch cushions, from there moving to play our favorite game of ‘empty all the kitchen cupboards’. 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

See Its Magic

By Kate Kole

I love writing, baking, and yoga. So much so that in my early days of blogging, I had a site called Baking In Yoga Pants, combining my love for the three. I’ve dreamt of doing each full-time. Sitting down daily to write a novel, opening a bakery, running a studio. 

During my yoga teacher training, we did an exercise where we jotted down all the things we wanted for our future lives inside a circle, and all the things we no longer wanted outside its perimeter. Of course, writing, baking, and yoga found their way inside my bubble. As did my husband, kids, dogs, and a house with a fenced in yard. The whole vision combined to create my utopia. 

The family and the home are part of my reality now. And yet, all too often, I find myself taking for granted those things I once dreamt of having. I get caught up in the everyday shuffle that comprises this chapter of life and am so busy looking down at the high chair that needs to be wiped, the floors that need to be vacuumed, the dog food bowls that need to be filled, and the laundry that needs to be folded, that I forget to look around. At the family we’ve created, the walls we’ve filled with memories, the traditions we’ve established, and the house that has become our home. 

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

Take The Damn Nap

Take The Damn Nap

By Kate Kole

My mom says (or if you’d prefer, my mama always said) that as a kid, I’d put to myself to bed when I got tired. Hopped up on Mountain Dew and Dunkaroos, I’d run myself ragged and then climb underneath the covers for an afternoon nap.

Still today, I crave rest when I’m running on empty. But, often times now, I’ll resist the urge. My mind reminds my body of all the things that need doing, and I power my way through the slump. On days when I do opt to lie down, either out of sickness or pure exhaustion, I’m greeted with a familiar, nagging guilt. Do you really have the time for this? Isn’t there something else you could be doing? That you should be doing?   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