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!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fostering a Spirit of Philanthropy at Home

I wrote this post for RichmondMom. You can read the full post here.

philanthropy
Donations to the VCU Children's Hospital (2102) and Community Clean Up (2010)

If the word Philanthropy connotes an act of giving reserved only for the wealthiest or most privileged families, think again!

To be a Philanthropist simply means to DO GOOD by sharing your talents, interests, and resources of time, money, or voice. Acts of giving will look different for every family, but any effort, big or small, which blooms with intention to directly or indirectly improve the human condition now or for future generations, that’s Philanthropy!

Ready to get started? Here are a few ways you can cultivate a philanthropic spirit in your home:

Practice: The best way to begin to establish a new routine is to practice the desired behavior or skill. Integrate a tradition of giving, and communicate and nurture in your family life a value that says giving back is an important and worthwhile responsibility. Let the seasonal changes inspire your opportunities to give back, but don’t save all your love for the Holiday.

Lead by example: Invite your kids to observe and participate in your grown-up acts of philanthropy, whatever they may look like. Demonstrate your personal commitment to the causes your family chooses to support and work alongside your kids to accomplish shared goals. By working together you’ll foster a deeper connection with each other and develop a greater sense of purpose and belonging within the context of your community.

Identify or create an opportunity: Consider the shared interests of your family members, your combined availability, and the amount of time or money that you feel you can give. Let your child decide how he or she wants to get involved. Think big! Think small! Think local! Think International! The opportunities you choose should encourage a sense of awareness, appreciation, curiosity, and compassion for others. Above all else keep it fun and age appropriate.

Document and celebrate your efforts: Keep track of the work your family does, the causes you contribute to, the events you volunteer for, or the small acts of kindness that you offer to others. Maybe you’ll take photos or video clips, keep a family journal, or create a wall hanging or poster to display in a common area of your home. However you choose to document your adventures, regularly review and celebrate all the ways your family works together to make your world a better place to live.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

We're Considering Homeschooling

Since their birth, I have deeply felt the profound demands of my role as a mother and so have never seriously considered (or had interest in) adding to it the responsibility of personally delivering the boys' formal education. Always with an open mind, but also having little experience with homeschooling methods, I've held preconceived ideas and curiosities about the kind of family who chooses to homeschool, what motivates them, what their intentions are, what their learning days look like, and how the decision translates for their children in the short and long term.

With that said, Roscoe turns five in May and planning for the 2014 school year has been in the works for months already. We are confident that Roscoe should have a play kindergarten year versus an academic one. We submitted our application to Waldorf last month although interviews won't begin until after the New Year.

Recent conversations I've shared with a few mothers outside my circle, whose ideas, philosophies and perspectives on child-rearing (and life) I really respect, have sparked a sudden shift in my thinking on the subject of formal education. Given that 1. every kid has different emotional, developmental, and educational needs over time, and 2. every family unit has changing needs and priorities as a function of finances, proximity and access, career paths, childbearing, and more, it makes sense that a child's education doesn't have to be all or nothing whether public, private, or home school is chosen.

I'm learning that children from many families I know have experienced a mix of these educational models; weaving in and out in a nonlinear progression that reflects the needs and resources of their family at given points in time. With this mindset, to choose to homeschool feels less a commitment, and more an opportunity.

Our primary motivation to homeschool is the freedom and flexibility that our family would have to live, work, and learn together (we only have one short lifetime!) and the resources it would free up to do some serious traveling as a family throughout each year. 

The kindergarten year feels ideal to begin with, and the leap from play-based Waldorf to home-based learning doesn't feel that great. Maybe we'll love it, or need to tweak it (probably!), or learn that it's not for us. However it manifests, it's exciting to think about what the upcoming school year could be like for us with the river city as our classroom, taking advantage of the well established local homeschool network to support our learning, and then stepping out to explore the world together.

This year I've grown to love even more the Reggio-Emilia approach that the boys are engaged in at preschool, which highlights project based learning. If we decide to move in this direction, we would probably adopt that approach.

We are definitely in the exploratory phase of this inquiry, and right now I'm honestly working through my ambivalence on a range of topics and what-ifs that stem from this surprising change in heart. While I will attempt to figure out the biggest pieces, I am compelled to be bold in making decisions that feel right, knowing and trusting that we will figure it out as we go.


This could be the craziest idea we've had yet, or the most incredible, right?!

If you are considering homeschooling your kids, where is your process taking you? If you are a homeschooling mama do you have resources to share?

A few resources I've been pouring over:
The Camp Creek Blog: project-based homeschooling
Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring self directed learners
Virginia Homeschool Groups: Community groups for local support and collaboration
VaHomeschoolers: the organization of Virginia homeschoolers
The VaHomeschoolers Connection: the VaHomeschoolers blog
The Home School Legal Defense Association: learn the laws in your state

Other books on my radar:
Working in the Reggio Way
An Encounter with Reggio-Emilia: Children's Early Learning Made Visible 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Santa's Lap: 2013

Roscoe 4.5, Merritt 2.5
I think this year's photo captures their personalities well. Roscoe is looking quite mischievous and Merritt is keeping it cool.

The Ultimate Foodie Mama Gift Guide 2013

I wrote this post for RichmondMom. You can read the full article here

foodie mama gift guide

If you’re wondering what to gift to the passionate, hardworking, and hedonistic foodie mama in your life, or just need a few ideas for yourself, look no further! I've got some goodies to inspire your gifting this Holiday Season.

Details, prices, and places to shop after the jump!
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