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!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Defining Success and Looking Ahead to the New Year 2015

There are many "New Years" for me throughout the calendar year.

Like a blank piece of paper new beginnings are delightful, and I thrive where I have space to dream up all the possibilities. Any place in time where I can envision the next 365 days unfurled at my feet like an unworn path is a promising point to begin.

I can rely on the turn of the seasons, my birthday, the boys birthdates, and of course January first to stir up an invitation for reflection, but any time is a good time if I'm in need of a fresh start.

I chip along at making what's good better, and righting our little family ship back on course in what feels like almost constant iteration, and so the official start of a new year and its accompanying goal setting rituals feels a little ordinary but no less fulfilling.

Last year's transition from Working Mama to Not Working Mama (and a homeschooling one at that), left me feeling a sense of loss for my professional self and a nagging lack of purpose. Despite feeling more relaxed and more present than ever before.

I was so content and yet, I wasn't.

I needed to find my focus so I enrolled in a workshop created by Jen Gresham at Every Day Bright and dug deep for a couple months to articulate what meaningful success looks like for me at this point in my life. Ambitious, educated, desiring adventure and connection and, most of all, striving to be a good mother to my two boys, a good friend and partner to my husband.

I'm sharing my definition of success here because it provides context for my intentions in the upcoming year, but also because it was a transformative exercise that gave the immediate payoff of feeling more peaceful about the decisions we've made for my career and the boys' education and our overall lifestyle. It also helped me to see very specifically how my writing can serve me in a professional capacity, even on a small scale, and without aspiration—or caveat—for getting paid.

I know I am not alone in having to work at finding a sense of purpose in the midst of the huge responsibility and joy and satisfaction that comes with mothering while also desiring to integrate the esteem that professional work can offer, maybe my words will resonate with something that you want for yourself:
Success is a comfortable and low stress lifestyle that allows me first to take care of myself, and then to be the kind of mother my kids deserve and need. To enjoy my mothering experience day-to-day is critical to my perception of short term success and a much-needed affirmation of my personal investment to our collective home-life. To nurture my marriage, familial relationships, and core friendships with intention and care, as well as with grace and generosity. To embody the BoldHeart life** in my decision making, and through our investments of time and money. My writing will complement and extend my desire to live life, and forge meaningful connection. My writing will develop and extend my voice and perspective in a way that penetrates the world outside my home. My writing will connect me to the experiences of others and vice versa. My published writing will provide the personal esteem that I crave and a professional platform for self expression and recognition.

**To be inspired; ask questions; take risks; pay attention to and nurture what I really care about; accept challenge; be a relentless learner: inquisitive, curious, and open to possibility; embrace imperfection; ground myself in nature; rely on creative and resourceful problem solving; seek personal truth and authenticity; stay engaged; listen and act on my own intuition.

Now I'm really showing my crazy side for self awareness and personal growth but lets take a quick step back...

In 2008 I began reading Style Statement: live by your own design, but the workbook was lengthy and Roscoe was born shortly after, so discovering my style statement at that point in time just wasn't compelling.  Eventually though I made my way back to the book and in 2012 I coined the term BoldHeart and began to apply it in my every day life.  

Then, in late 2013—after reading another book by Danielle LaPorte called The Desire Map, a guide to creating goals with soul—I identified a handful of core desires that I wanted fulfilled on a daily basis: 


I refer to them often as overarching themes to guide my priorities.


OK back to 2015! Before I share a few of my goals for the upcoming year, I'll tell you a little about what is working for us right now:
  • After nearly 6 years I've finally learned how to take care of my mother self; I know what I need, I know how to ask for it, and how to prioritize self care. 
  • I have a deep sense of purpose in my marriage and in my relationship with the boys. 
  • Date nights have become a regular thing around here, and our collaborative investment in our individual and shared projects is at an all time high. We're keyed into and contributing to what matters to the other, and it hasn't always been that way. 
  • Our family priorities and our investments of time and money are well aligned, and our routines are working pretty well for us. 
  • We look forward to designing and building our house this year (if all timing works out!), to celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary, and to squeezing in some so-far-unplanned family travel where we can. 
For the next season of life, be it the first few months of 2015, or until I get the urge to reflect and revise again, here are my opportunities to improve: 

Nurtured: In 2015 I will continue my slow trek back to my pre-Merritt weight (oy!), and we will to continue to reduce our consumption of plastic as well as find greener alternatives to our favorite cosmetic and sundry brands. I look forward to applying a more significant and tangible approach to seasonal living. (I'm one week into the HomeSpun Seasonal Living workbook, if anyone else is interested.)

Inspired: I plan to take a few local cooking and writing classes this year, and to attend the James River Writers Conference in October, and the VAHomeschoolers conference in March. I will also continue to improve my PBH mentoring skills and approach my role with even greater intention so that I can help the boys to make their ideas happen, achieve their personal goals, and develop as learners.

Connected: I will continue to build relationships and community for myself around homeschooling and writing. Andy and I both want to invest a little more into our couples friendships, so we hope to add into our regular date night rotation some double- and family-dates with a few folks that we really want to get to know better. DIS-connecting from aspects of social media and simplifying the ways that I access information.

Peaceful: I will continue to work on modeling healthy ways to manage negative emotion and resolve conflict, as well as facilitate and support Roscoe and Merritt's sibling relationship.

Purposeful: I'm going to write more! And work on making those latter aspects of my success definition fall into place. My first 5.5 years as a mother have been a whirlwind, but I have high hopes that 2015 will be the year that I really settle into and enjoy where we are in life and the choices that we’ve made to get here.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I share your hope that you write more--I find your outlook so refreshing!

  2. It is quite good writing to release pressure. You can choose the CBD product to release your stresses. You can check the CBD oil strengths before using the CBD products.


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