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!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Merritt is two years old today

Every year I look forward to these three months between February and May. To say that the boys are just a year apart in age offers a simple explanation for how crazy our days can feel. Ooh, they're two and three.

Last year we celebrated Merritt's first birthday with a colorful celebration of hearts and lions. This year, we opted again for a small party with even less fanfare. A simple home cooked meal, a few surprises for the kids, and a short guest list of his two primary caretakers and their partners.

On the menu: chicken adobo (a filipino dish that I grew up on as a kid), coconut rice, a green salad with garlic dressing, and roasted root vegetables. For dessert we shared a mountain of doughnuts served with miniature glass bottles filled with milk, and paper straws.

It snowed most of the day, so by dinnertime the long and blue shadows of winter cast over our meal as we sat down at the table. The kids wanted nothing to do with the food so they played while we indulged in the warmth of good company and candlelight.

While it is Merritt's second birthday, today also marks the anniversary of my second birth. Last year I was melancholic as February came around. This year felt a little less so. I'm not sure what that means as far as progress and healing are concerned, but it appears at first as an improvement. In truth, our beginning still pains me. I try to avoid acknowledging the still tender disappointment when it creeps into an otherwise happy moment. I wish I could pinpoint exactly the thing that is so painful about the birth, or the NICU, but I haven't yet been able. I'm afraid it is all the little things that add up. It makes me heartsick knowing that we can't influence the past. The more time that separates then from now, the less clarity I have. The deeper involved I become in my work supporting women through their own family beginnings, the better I understand how complicated this could be, how unhealed I am, that I may always carry with me a sense of loss and grief. Being made aware of that last little piece was a bummer all on its own.

Though I experience this day with all the bitter sweetness that it brings, Merritt shined his light brightly and enjoyed a very deserving birthday party on Saturday and a worthy encore today with ice cream, a park trip, and many, many, renditions of happy birthday. He is the kind and gentle little brother of our family and we love him so much.


  1. Sounds like a perfect birthday celebration! I love when my kids are "a year apart" as well, especially when they were 1 and 2. Totally justifies the chaos :)
    Side note: do you have a recipe for your chicken adobo that you make? I have a college friend who used to make it and I LOVED it, but have never made it myself.

    1. I used a recipe I found online because I always forget the of soy sauce to vinegar... I'll write up a little post when I get back home :) Basically you marinate the chicken pieces in soy sauce and garlic for a few hours then brown each piece for a few minutes in med/high oil. Then you put all the extra marinade and all the chicken back into a big soup pot, add some some water, bay leaves, and ground pepper into the mix and let it simmer for 30 minutes, add a few tablespoons of vinegar (depending on how much soy sauce you have in there) and let it simmer for another ten minutes or so until the meat is tender. We always eat it with steamed rice (and applesauce, when we were kids!).

  2. I have been following your posts for quite some time now. I guess I don't quite understand why the premature birth and NICU stay are so traumatic for you still. The important thing is that he's healthy, I'm sure you agree . . . but I also feel like you think that statement is trivializing your feelings. Many, many (did I say many?) women don't experience the birth that they dreamed of, for different reasons. I feel like in the long run, it doesn't matter. My relationship with my oldest child isn't changed by the fact that I broke down and got an epidural. Your relationship with Merritt is not changed by the fact that he was in the NICU for a short time.


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