I'm so excited to have been a part of this styled shoot done by Becca Bell of 2b Photography that's now featured in the October 2016 Issue of Beauty, Cocktails, Girl Talk's on-line magazine. My lettering (invitations + place cards) makes an appearance -- and somehow Ann Marie Leveille conned me into playing the Bride again... not a tough sell. ;-)
Aaaand we're BACK! I hope none of you are tired of me talking about our trip already. If you are, then I'm not sure why you are looking at my blog right now. Get outa here!... JK I love you, please be my friend. You guys, the mom-brain and travel-haze is so real, because I've been home for about a week and am already forgetting details about things that happened. God help meh! I'm so glad I'm writing this down! If you missed part one about our Oxford visit + how we packed, then check that out first.
So on the 5th day of our trip... "my true love gave to meeee... FIVE GOLDEN--"
Sorry. Staying on track...
DAY 5: When we were planning this section of the trip, we definitely made a calendar error. We wanted to just take a train to Glasgow and stay there for a day, but then we realized we were one day short and would have to stay on the railway alllll the way to Fort William with only a short stop-off in Glasgow.
Well, our traveling craze just earned us another badge. We officially survived our first family-style international traveling experience with an almost 2 year old. Back in March, we took a cross-country trip to Portland and drove down to the Redwoods in California. After that experience, I had moments of doubt that we would ever be able to travel internationally or with multiple children one day. But then... as we thought back on our planning mistakes with the Oregon trip and realized Rowan's free, under-two travel window was expiring (along with my last month before returning to teach)... we knew we had to squeeze in a trip. CARPE DIEM, PEOPLE!
Today I sit here baffled by the fact that I'm about to have a two year old. Around this time two years ago, I was having not just one but THREE amazing baby showers from the end of August to the beginning of September. Mainly that was due to having giant families... but still! Yesterday I stumbled across these gorgeous pictures taken by the endlessly talented Morgan Trinker -- photographer, expert home-remodeler, and (as you can see) President of Flawless Parties.
So I just read a NY Times article about how much unhappier American parents are compared to parents in other countries... pretty sad, right? Oh, "Land of the Free", why do you have to be so restricting sometimes? August is National Breastfeeding Month, and I've been thinking a lot about the vast differences between all the mothers in the world and in our country. What we do have in common is the lack of paid maternity leave, restrictive hospital practices during birth, and the idea that all women must be and do all things.
But isn't it insane that a common life experience sometimes couldn't be ANY more different if you compared two different kids or parents?
...those couples that struggle to get pregnant vs. those who have a surprise pregnancy, stressful breastfeeding journeys vs. those who find it easy, families with relational conflicts vs. those with financial troubles... It's a wonder anyone can relate to each other in adulthood with how differentiated our lives can become.
Remember how clueless you were before experiencing college, or marriage, or your own pregnancy? Well guess what? Your experience in those topics have only gained you knowledge about your own life and a GENERAL knowledge to relate to others in similar life stages. But the fact of the matter is that we are still mostly clueless to each other's lives, and we have no idea what it's like to be married to their spouse, have their job, or parent their children... and etc. and etc. and etc... AAAAAND soap box over! Isn't it mind-blowing though? Well, it is to me anyway.
And it truly explains why so many mothers have a hard time understanding their friends... and how you feel so much loneliness and isolation when your experience isn't matching up with others in a group. It's all common sense that everyone's life is different, but for some reason in parenthood we feel like we are all in this thing now, and we are all supposed to "get" each other. Again, maybe it's just me.
This month marks 22 months of my "extended" breastfeeding journey, and let me just say that I don't have a whole lot of people in that club with me. haha!
I'm sure that nearly every mother -- no matter what their journey of feeding their baby may be -- feels shame in one form or another. So I thought I'd share some of my moments of shame heaped on (unintentionally and intentionally) by others and our American society. Maybe they will help someone...
In just 3 short months, little Rowan is going to be TWO. How did this happen so fast? Seriously. One interesting thing going on with him at this age is how his receptive language is surging, yet he hardly produces real words. So this got me thinking and wondering how many other young toddlers out there are this same way (or if the norm is to just be jabbering already)... Or is it just half and half?
I couldn't find any hard statistics on how many toddlers are slower to produce expressive language, but I do know that it is more common in boys. I also read that 70-80% of late talkers will outgrow a language delay (if they have no delays in comprehension). But then this kind of sent me down a rabbit trail as I wondered, how do you know if you might be in that other 20-30%?
Happy 4th of July, friends! I am so seriously tired today, but I'm trying to get some sort of patriotic excitement going. (slowly waves a tiny flag while sipping coffee)
So, I had two cool things happen this week: FIRST, My cousin-friend Kelly started a bucket list blog before her 33rd birthday called Thirty Three Things. It reminded me of my 2016 goals for the year, and I realized I'd be slacking on my resolution to lift others up. In fact, I feel like I've actually had more days of just trying to keep myself afloat than being there for others... but I guess that's young mom-life for ya. SECOND, My awesome buddy Sarah left a secret, out-of-the-blue package on my doorstep filled with an encouragement letter and the gifts pictured above. I haven't read them yet, but you know that sea salt chocolate is already opened. Has anyone else read either of those books?
So all of this made me think of a challenge for this holiday...
"You don't need a reason to throw a garden party anymore than you need a reason to throw a birthday party. It's a garden party. You don't need a reason."
-- Andy Bernard
Thanks to Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland of Repertoire, my calligraphy was included in the sweetest garden party shoot she designed for Social South Magazine. My favorite part of the shoot is definitely the florals made by my bestie, Sarah Woodall. Her centerpiece was amazing, and all of the girls had their own flower crown -- which, let's be real, makes me jealous. I wish I could wear a flower crown every day! Everything was captured beautifully by Love Be Photography.
It's almost half-way through summer break -- Nooooo! -- and I need help from all my teachers out there. You're sitting by a pool (I hope) and have a few seconds, right?
I haven't talked about much about being an arts integration and literacy teacher here, but education is a gigantic passion of mine. For the past year, I've been developing an app for teachers. I didn't just wake up and want to develop an app, but I woke up and wanted this app idea to exist. So I went for it!
But a project like this is very big and requires a lot of planning, research and business decisions. So, If you are a teacher (or have ever been a teacher), please help me by taking the survey below and/or sharing it with a teacher-friend! I need a few dozen more participants (at least) and will send virtual hugs to you all.