Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Penelope has been having a really hard time whenever I leave the house to go somewhere by myself.  She has no problem if Dan and I go somewhere together, and leave her with a babysitter.  But when I am trying to leave alone, she loses it.  Even if it's somewhere completely intolerable for a little girl, she insists she wants to go with me.  In the moment, I have to swallow my frustration because usually I have three options: 1. create a diversion and sneak out, 2. pry her off my leg and then suffer the guilt of leaving her behind in a pool of tears, or 3. stay long enough to talk through it with her that she actually does not want to come with me and brain-ninja her into thinking it was her idea that she should stay and I should go (which usually makes me late and still requires that I carry out #1).  Usually I'm already running late, so these extra steps are tough for me.

I'm trying to focus on being present with her more.  In general.  She constantly wants me to join her in doing her favorite things "Mommy, would you like to color with me?" "Mommy, would you like to play dress up with me?"  "Mommy, let's make something delicious in the kitchen."   Too often I've got my hands tied and can't.  Or won't.  But I'm making a conscious effort to allow myself to put work away, or pause doing the dishes, or postpone the email response; and give her a few minutes of undivided play.

Once, just once, I let Penny come along on a quick photo session for some friends of ours who I knew wouldn't mind that she tagged along, at a location where she could safely roam without constant supervision.   She was actually marginally helpful, getting their two-year-old to smile a little.  Now, she wants to be my photography assistant SOOOOOO bad.   "Mom, I will help you with your photo shoot."  "But mom, I know that kid you are taking pictures of."  Every time.  And she's devastated most when it's a photo shoot that I'm going to and she cannot come with me.

I hope when she's old enough to really assist, that she still has interest, because nothing would bring me more joy than for her to take up what I do, and have it be something we could do together.

Some day, big girl, some day.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

32 / Resolutions

My life over the last year has been full and amazing. But... if we're being vulnerable here, age 31 was a tough for me, on a strictly personal level. It was a year of feeling tired and in over my head. A year of poor sleep. A year of more weight gain and sedentary lifestyle than ever before. Dan categorizes some of my clothing ensembles as "you look like you've given up on life" and last year I wore them a lot - oversized t-shirts and old pajama sweats mostly, usually paired with either wet or dirty hair pulled into a bun. It was year of being discontent about my body but choosing to pour my efforts into my children and my business instead of myself or my husband. It was a year of physical ailments and injuries, some unpreventable but some likely a manifestation of the lack of order. It was a year of never quite finding balance in any area of my life. Any. But pretending that I had it all together.

My birthday falls so close to New Years that I tend to think less of New Years Resolutions and more about what I want for myself in each new year of my life. So moving on from The Year of the Tired Hobo, on my 32nd birthday I've got a list of four things I want for myself. Just for me.

Feel Fantastic in my body. Fitness and weight loss goal cliches aside, this one's super personal. In the Fall, we joined a gym and I lost 18 pounds by the tried-and-true nutrition/exercise method. It wasn't about a number, it was about feeling like myself again. I got to where I was feeling pretty darn good in my own skin, but not totally where I wanted to be. Over the holidays I gained some back but I plan to start the year off strong and get back on the wagon. I'm pretty pumped about it. This line item also includes not being injured all the time. Being strong and protecting my back, and gaining coordination to help save me from some of my own clumsiness, so maybe, just maybe I won't sprain anything this year.

Marriage, THEN kids, THEN business. This one might be the most challenging for me, but I've got to include it and hold myself accountable to it. For my family.

Care more about my appearance. Not in a vanity kind of way; in a "I haven't given up on life" kind of way. More specifically: I'd like to: 1. Wear lipstick more often; 2. Do my hair once a week (especially since I've recently discovered a dry shampoo that I love) and not just on days when I might have my picture taken or see someone I want to impress; 3. Not wear sweats or pajamas past 3pm more than twice a week and; 4. Start wearing jewelry again, now that my children should be old enough not to rip it off of me and eat it.

Be more connected with girlfriends.  Asking for and accepting help.  Be the "reacher outer" from time to time instead of waiting for others to reach out to me for phone conversations and play dates or - gasp - kidless mom dates.

32 feels.... safe and peaceful.   I was telling my sister today that thirty-two actually does feel older than thirty-one.   I do feel older today than I did yesterday.  And I feel so great about that.

 images in this post: Melissa Young Photography

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