Tomorrow my baby will be ONE!

January 25, 2017

This morning I woke up and my first thought was – oh my gosh, tomorrow my baby will be ONE!

It really does go so so fast.

I try to slow it down. To stand still. To hold on. To live in each moment.

But it still goes so so fast.

I walked into his room this morning and sat on the floor. I watched him sleep – all curled up in a ball – so peaceful.

For a moment it felt like we were suspended in time.

The love that I have for him is beyond words. Sometimes it feels so big it overwhelms me.

I am so very grateful to be his mom.

This first year has been full of ups and downs. Transition is tricky. Change takes time.

I’ve said no to things I used to say yes to. I say yes to things I never thought I would.

Yet nothing has ever felt easier or more natural – even on the days that are hard.

I am grateful for the year that has passed – all the lessons learned and the love that’s transpired.

And I look forward to the year ahead – so much to learn, experience and discover.

Happy almost Birthday to my little wild one!

xox

 

 

Having it all…

January 6, 2017

What does having it all mean?

Is it like a real thing…or a myth?

Today was one of those days where I felt like “having it all” was some conspiracy – a big fat freaking lie. Like unicorns and leprechauns. Go ahead, go chase it – good luck with that, never gonna happen.

(yep, I know – a little melodramatic)

Seriously – nothing was working. NOTHING!

And I was feeling sorry for myself. I work hard damn it – why is nothing coming together???

I even had a little pity party for myself. Put a hat on…hung some streamers…sang some songs (just kidding).

And then I called my hubby and he put a stop to it (in a really loving and supportive but let’s be real kind of way).

He reminded me that yes, I was feeling frustrated by some things…a little constricted and trapped by some b.s. that is going down. But those few circumstances (even if they are clumped together and feel like a freaking shit storm right now) aren’t defining of my life…yet I was letting them.

He reminded me that my life is pretty great. By my very own standards I actually do have it all – a happy connected family, a home that is safe and warm, an inspiring coaching business and a healthy body.

AND my #1 priority (my baby boy and being his mom) that is working – it’s actually going really really well.

Everything isn’t going to be perfect or easy all the time (maybe not even most of the time). But isn’t that the whole point of life? Isn’t that the beauty of it?

Having it all means that we get all the goodness and all the other sometimes a little icky stuff that comes with it. We don’t get to pick and choose – having it all means HAVING IT ALL. The trick is to not get stuck on the icky stuff.

Face it, feel it and move on.

Luckily, I didn’t stay stuck in the icky stuff and I was able to enjoy lunch with these two cutie pies 🙂

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lunch time!

 

Emily xox

 

My New Years Resolution…

December 31, 2016

I heard on the news that only about 8% of people follow through on their New Years resolutions. I didn’t fact check this but it sounds about right.

Personally, I always struggle with following through on the promises that I make to myself.

If it’s someone else – it’s happening come hell or high-water. My word to others means the world to me. And I’ve realized that in this coming new year I need to be as committed to my commitments to myself as I am to others.

In order for me to really be able to do this, I’m going to have to start setting better boundaries, getting super duper clear on my priorities, staying focused and saying no more often.

2016 has taught me that in order to really be happy and to live the life that I really want – I have to slooooow down.

One thing at a time, one day at a time, one moment at a time.

This past year when I finally caved and accepted that everything was just not going to get done. I started to feel like I could breathe a bit better. Chasing down my never-ending to do list was a giant waste of time – for every 1 thing I checked off, 3 new things were added.

I had to learn to leave things undone – it’s definitely a skill…that I may or may not master some day. BUT it’s for sure worth taking with me into the new year!

Give it a try – stop chasing down your to do list!

As a mom and entrepreneur it’s easy to feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions every single day. You can feel like you’re constantly being forced to choose between really important things.

So here’s what I’m doing about it. Tonight I’m making myself a “promise board” to remind myself of what’s really important to me and how I want to feel in 2017 (alive, free, open & happy). I’m hanging it on the wall next to my bed so I can see it first thing when I wake up and last thing before I go to bed.

I’ll post a photo of it on Instagram tomorrow 😉

This promise board will serve as a reminder of the commitment to myself to focus on what matters, enjoy the moment and to only do what is essential to my health, happiness and success because this will allow me to be the kind of person and mom that I most want to be.

My New Years resolution is to live out my promise board every single day. I know it will be imperfect and messy but if I stay focused on what really matters I will feel how I want to feel, live how I want to live and be who I want to be. All things I want for my son – since I know he will do as I do not as I say I better get moving.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you – what’s your New Year’s Resolution? What do you want to focus on? Who do you want to be?

Cheers to the new year & cheers to you!

Emily xox

Believe in Miracles

December 26, 2016

It’s Christmas Eve and this morning I woke up with miracles on my mind.

Last year at this time I had a giant belly and we were waiting on the arrival of our baby boy.

Year after year after year before that we were hoping and praying for a holiday season just like this.

It’s here. And I am so grateful.

This morning as I was reflecting on our little miracle and the magic – hope and promise of this season – I thought of all the people who this season are hoping and praying for a miracle of their own.

A miracle of a baby. A miracle of health. A miracle of safety. A miracle of love. A miracle of forgiveness.

Whatever your miracle is – I hope that it comes true for you.

Tap into the hope and faith that this time of year has to offer. Allow yourself to dip into the magic and believe. Truly – anything is possible.

Merry Christmas! xox

You Do You: Parenting in the Age of the Smartphone

November 4, 2016

As I prepare for our first trip as a family of three (thanks senior mom who let me know that once you have a baby, you no longer take vacations, you take trips), I make a list of topics to research – traveling with a carseat, tips for keeping your baby from screeching on long flights, baby at TSA – the list goes on.

One evening after our sweet babe is asleep, I hit the internet to learn more about traveling with a car seat. After reading eight blog posts, a statement from United Airlines and an OP-ED by a former flight attendant, I have no clarity and have read what feels like 19 contradictory articles. I read a few seemingly credible articles warning me never to use a seat from the car rental company, measured our infant carrier to see if it would fit in an overhead bin (nope), and just when I settled that we would bundle our new convertible seat in bubble wrap and check it, I read “a checked car seat is as safe as one that has been through a car accident.” I dejectedly decide to go to bed and continue my research in the morning.

The next day, I ask a few of my relatives whose kids are now grown, what they did. They remind me that growing up, they didn’t use car seats and when they had kids, all car seats were pretty much the same and they just didn’t take a trip unless they drove. Not helpful. Next, I consider calling the pediatrician (I mean, they know anatomy, they surely have all the answers!)

And then I stop. This is craziness.

What happened to my once-confident, gather the facts then decide, attitude? I am a capable former business woman with a master’s degree. I used to present campaigns to executives without a hint of self-doubt. People half my age are first-time parents that manage just fine. Where did my matter-of-fact self go?

The above scenario is just one example of all the contradictory opinions and research we, as new parents, have access to and diligently read, seeking to do the best for our precious children (feeding, vaccinations, sleep, playtime, schooling, etc). The modern day new parent is the first generation using smartphones. While the smartphone and constant internet access have a TON of benefits that make parenting easier, we have to acknowledge the impact of information overload and too many opinions. While there are some absolutes in life (for example that you shouldn’t steal and that N’Sync was the best boy band of the 90’s), not everything is black and white. With access to so much information, it is no wonder that we question ourselves and plague ourselves with doubt.

While facing my issue of whether or not to check our carseat, I found I first needed a dose of the proverbial ‘check yo self.’ I refocused on trusting my abilities as one of my child’s parents. My husband and I know her the best and do our very best everyday to provide for and protect her. Why should this be different? I should do the research, consult an expert of two, discuss with my husband and move forward with an educated decision that is what we believe is the best for our daughter (note: best for our daughter – not universally best for all children, everywhere, under every circumstance). While the people of the internet have valuable insight to share, I cannot take their opinion or experience as truth – who knows who these people are or what else in their life led them to their horrific experience checking a freaking car seat, packaged in bubble wrap and labeled ‘FRAGILE’!

I’m not going to reveal what we ultimately decided to do with the car seat. Namely because it does not matter (and let’s be honest, I want to give myself the grace and space to change my mind). I argue you should do the same, no matter the topic. Read, research, ask other moms, perhaps call your pediatrician, but at the end of the day, we as parents are already equipped with the desire, knowledge and discernment to protect our children to the best of our ability. Parents everywhere, put down your phone and please stop googling. Research, become informed then make a choice and feel good about it – you awesome parent who did their due diligence!

rachel This post was written by Rachel

Favorite time of the day

October 21, 2016

I am not a morning person.

Never have been, never will be.

Honestly, waking up before 7am makes me mad – like seriously angry (and really, I’d prefer 8 or 9).

Ever since I was a baby I was a sleeper – it’s one of my superpowers. I am great at sleep.

You might not think that’s  a big deal – talk to someone who isn’t so great at sleep. I sleep well. I feel rested – it’s amazing.

And then my beautiful baby boy was born.

He is amazing. He is perfect. He doesn’t sleep.

He has serious FOMO (fear of missing out) going on. He loves to be in the mix. He loves to party.

He does not love to sleep. Just like his Dad. They both love to be on the go.

So this has been an interesting adjustment. Early on I was desperate to find that magic thing that would make that “sleep like a baby” saying be true. I googled it. I talked to the pediatrician about it. I read the books. I asked other moms. I listened intently, sure that someone had the answer. Babies sleep, right???

We tried everything. Maybe you have a magic sleeping baby. Good for you (seriously enjoy it, be grateful for it). My baby is magical, but he doesn’t sleep. And the more people I talked to the more I realized that most people that I know have magical babies who don’t sleep.

So I stopped trying to make it happen. I threw in the towel and accepted the reality of my amazing, perfect non sleeping baby (if you know me, this is a really big deal). And once I took that pressure off – once I stopped trying to fit my baby into what I believed he was supposed to be – I was able to let go of the expectation of sleep.

And this really crazy thing happened – I got to enjoy 5am morning cuddle time. It is seriously my favorite part of the day. I’m sleeping. My baby wakes up. I go to him. I rock him and hold him and love him. It is amazing.

It is my favorite. And I am grateful that my magical FOMO baby and I are awake (sleepy yes, but awake) for this cozy time together. I am enjoying it. Taking it all in. We can sleep later (or not). Right not, I love this.

What the f*ck did we do?!

October 20, 2016

What the f*ck did we do?!

That was the thought on my mind this morning as I was cleaning puppy pee off the kitchen floor – baby holding on attached at the hip, puppy holding on teeth clamped to my pants.

Who brings a 9 week old puppy home when you have an 8 month old baby?!

We must have totally lost our sh$t – I mean who does this?!

These are my thoughts. Carrying my baby. Dragging my puppy.

And I think about a recent conversation with my Mom about times of transition.

2016 has been a big year for change. Some of the highlights – moved to a new home, birth of our baby boy, CAVS change Cleveland sports history, loss of our dog, transitioned to an online business model, new puppy, Indians headed to the World Series ….. Phew – that’s a lot going on. AND we’ve still got two months to go!!!

But here’s the thing – change happens.  And it tends to come with mixed emotions and conflicting thoughts.

Being able to adapt and go with it is key. I learned this skill early on as we moved quite a bit as a kid. Honestly, sometimes change feels more in my comfort zone than things staying the same (I get antsy).

And it’s important to remember that this too shall pass. The good, the bad, the so so – it all comes and it all goes.

Just let what is be as it is.

You’re fine, I’m fine, it’ll be fine.

Don’t judge it. Don’t create meaning around it. Don’t get caught up in it.

Remembering this conversation was exactly what I needed this morning (good thing it just happened last night). Yes, we chose to add a little more chaos into our already on the move life. But that little extra chaos is an adorable bundle of cuddly cuteness.

Who cares if she pees on the kitchen floor?!

So I sat down on the floor with my baby boy on my lap and our new puppy cuddled up.

I mean really, what more could I ask for?!

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How I hope to be as a parent

September 5, 2016

Today I’ve been thinking a lot about how I hope to be as a parent. Actually, I’m not even sure that’s the right way to put it…

Professionally I talk with people about how to be happy. How to trust themselves. How to be themselves. How to navigate big life changes. How to get what they want.

And it’s a freaking process. I know because I’ve been through that process – I am still going through that process. Why is it so much work to just be yourself?! Why?! Why?! Why?!

So as I was preparing for a group call tonight, I was thinking about how I can best show up for my clients.

And I was looking at my perfect little baby boy. He is amazing. I love him with every piece of my being. I want him to know that no matter what – he is perfect. He doesn’t have to “be” perfect or live up to some unrealistic expectations. He is perfect as he is – exactly as he is.

As his mom, I just don’t want to get in his way. I want to love him. I want to be there for him. I want to help him. I want to do whatever I can to support him in being the amazing person that he already is.

He was born perfect. He doesn’t have to do anything expect be who he is.

And that’s the thing – where does that get lost along the way? Why does that become so hard? To just be who we are. We all start out as perfectly amazing tiny humans.

Then life kicks our ass and we spend years trying to reconnect with who we are and what we want.  We spend so much time  trying to figure out how to get back to being that perfectly amazing tiny human.

I look at him and I am amazed by him – literally by his existence.

He is happy. He is curious. He knows what he wants. He is determined. He keeps getting up. He keeps trying. He laughs. He cries. He doesn’t sleep. He radiates love. He truly is perfect exactly as he is.

He was born that way. Just like you were. Just like I was.

So how do I help him keep that? That’s my question. That’s what I want to know. That how I want to show up for my son. That’s the kind of parent I want to be. I want to give him nothing but love and mirror back to him his amazingness.

Honestly – that’s how I want to be as a person. That’s how I want to show up for you, and me, too.

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