Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A change in plans, no babies for a while

Summertime is chalk and homemade tie dye tees

While at the beach this year Andy and I were able to do exactly two things together, alone.

One oppressive and sticky night we took a beach walk at sunset, trudging through the sand and talking at a fervent pace about our future, our family, and life in general. We walked until the sky went dark when we were left to carefully retrace our path along the shoreline lit only by the glow from the houses that perched over the dunes. That conversation centered largely on dismantling our plan for adding more kids to our brood this year.

The following night we put the boys to bed, and then drove out to Corolla for dinner overlooking the sound. The conversation was unusually playful. I had a martini (rare!)--which pretty much blew me over--and we drove home lighthearted and giddy, headed straight for the hot tub like impulsive teenagers. It was good to feel our marriage so alive, when it more often seems like our relationship lies dormant somewhere beneath a wintry landscape fraught with demands.

I've felt the thaw for many months now. A quiet awakening and a healthy burst of energy as we emerge from the experience of the last four years. Bringing our partnership out into the bright Summer sun and canopied under the warm starry nights helped to bring our marriage back into focus and gave us some much-needed perspective. We want to hold onto the feeling we have right now, and we need some downtime.

Of course the boys have our hearts in every moment and they are as amazing now as they were born. I want a large family, but if I push through to have a third this year we would likely stop there. Roscoe and Merritt are incredible and I want to give them everything. For me it has been a hard exchange and, as I've mentioned before, I'm learning to respect my limits.

In the spirit of imperfect timing, we added that maternity rider to our health insurance plan effective this month with intention to get pregnant in the Spring. 
After some debate we're keeping the rider because it is insurance, after all, but our plans have most definitely changed. For now we are content as a family of four. I've been yearning for this sense of calm, and I finally feel it.  We want to see where life takes us in the next couple years and aim for a baby born when Roscoe and Merritt are closer to school-age. 

Everyone will be weaned!  Everyone will be out of diapers! Maybe everyone will actually sleep through the night!!? (We're still working on this, believe it or not.) With time we also get space for our marriage to reconnect and thrive, for our parental reserves to refuel, and for our relationship with our two little guys to continue to develop. Respite and stability sound pretty solid right now.

A larger spread between siblings changes the family dynamic I've always imagined for us, but taking all things into consideration the lightness we feel in our hearts tells me it is the right thing for us right now. We'll know when we're ready again to embrace the unknown of another pregnancy and the exhausting bliss of a newborn.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ahoy matey!

Roughneck Roscoe & Muscles Merritt
Nightmare Noah & Mighty Mack
We took the kids on a pirate adventure yesterday.  Donning tattoos and swords they boarded a pirate ship, took down enemy pirates, and found the treasure chest at the bottom of the sea.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Outer Banks 2012

We were so excited about our trip to the beach that we decided to leave a day early.

We managed a relatively stress-free packing and loading of the car, which is out of the ordinary for us--we usually procrastinate or travel on a workday evening, which leaves us hurried and in a last minute frenzy. We had all of Saturday to prep, and left just after dinner. 

The short story is that we failed in our intention to have the kids fall asleep on the way and for us to have a quiet, uneventful ride to our midway destination. Instead, the boys were awake and fussy, we had to make several stops for screaming, and when we eventually made it to our home away from home the kids were so in awe of the hotel (not because it was special but because it was new to them) that they stayed wide awake until they crashed at 10:30pm. It must have been a good night for a party, too, because several rooms near ours were hopping, and the four of us were able to sleep only intermittently as a result of the noise.

But today was a new day and we woke up early, looking forward to getting back on the road. We stopped for a quick breakfast and had our toes in the sand by 9:00am.  

Check-in wasn't until 4:00pm and so we found ourselves with a lot of time on our hands. We took a long drive for nap and then enjoyed a much anticipated lunch at Pigman's barbecue. We decided to try a nature walk in Nags Head Woods, which turned out to be really cool. We found toads, turtles, butterflies, ornate spiders and other insects, deer, and even a snake. It was exciting for the kids and we enjoyed the shaded trails around the marshy swamps as reprieve from the heat. 

Afterward we stopped for custard and then met up with our family and cousins at the house.

Merritt (1 yr.), Roscoe (3 yr.), Noah (2 yr.), Mack (5 yr.)
It was a long but good day--a nice start to a full week ahead--and we're happy to be near the ocean and in good company.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Brotherly bonds

I've noticed the boys doing this a lot lately. Merritt reaching out for Roscoe, Roscoe reaching out to Merritt. It's a car thing. They pass snacks back and forth. They console each other when needed. I'm so glad my sister captured it on camera. (This is classic Roscoe.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Berry CSA: weeks 10 &11

In week 10 we received blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and plums. The plums reminded me of the variety that we could find in California growing on trees in our neighborhood, small and soft and so sweet.  

In week 11 we got
 blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and doughnut peaches, which turned out to be one of my favorite fruits this year. Our CSA hit 100 days of strawberries this season which is impressive, and so we also got an extra carton of strawberries. You may guess as to how I felt about that!

For the most part we ate our fruit as it came to us, but I did bake a
Three Berry Buttermilk Bundt Cake for 4th of July (phenomenal!), and a recipe for Blueberry Chocolate Banana Bread. Both have been added to my bank of go-to recipes for their simplicity and because they were really, really, good. Not to mention how gorgeous the final loafs were, your Summer houseguests will be impressed!

For the bundt cake I substituted oranges in place of the lemons. For the banana bread I omitted the bourbon (only because we didn't have any!) and substituted blueberries for the walnuts. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Work ends, life begins

We're keeping it cool, literally (with ice cream, of course)
and figuratively (because life is crazy-good right now).
The beginning of last week was a frenzy of email exchanges and conference calls wrapping up what has been my career for the past six years. I'm so very grateful to have had the opportunity over the last three years to remain intimately involved in the boys' daily life while also growing professionally. I am also more than happy to have agreed to remain available to the Initiative through the end of September on an as-needed basis. I know what you're thinking. Not a huge commitment, just offering limited availability to see the grant through its final months and to support the team as we close the remaining open projects. (It has been hard for me to submit entirely to the idea that I won't have my own income stream and so I suppose this is my way of hanging on until the very last second.)

On Wednesday I swiftly turned my attention and energy to addressing a long list of to-dos that I had been putting off for the better part of 8 months, maybe longer, all hinged on the anticipated moment of work's end. 

So many household chores have been ignored or left undone out of necessity to prioritize and I tackled a good chunk in just a couple days: listing baby items for sale on craigslist; deep cleaning the kitchen; reinventing the screened-in porch from a cluttered storage space to a cozy dining area; culling the kids' worn and age inappropriate toys from the good ones for tossing and for putting into storage; sifting through their drawers and closets to pack away the clothes that no longer fit; yard maintenance; and finally working with Roscoe to support his efforts to potty train. (His progress in only two days has been tremendous and exciting for all of us.)

I've also had some time to devote to getting my birth work off the ground. I hired someone to help with my brand, I'm digging into the curriculum, securing a teaching space, and ordering workbooks and teaching aids--a female pelvis arrived in the mail yesterday!

My first series of classes begin in August and the next three weeks are going to be intense in the best ways possible. We're headed to the beach on Sunday for a family vacation with our extended family, and when we return I'll be headed off to Blogher '12, then shortly after I'll put on a new hat to assume the role of birth educator. It is a dream come true to be immersed in activity that feeds my passions and contributes to building community and improving quality of life, for others and for myself. I think the whole family's happiness and contentment just got kicked up a notch. 

I bought a laptop so that I can stay connected through my travels and adventures, and have every intention to resume dialogue here starting . . . now.
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