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On Needing a Purse, Again + Autumn

August 30, 2016

autumn apple orchard // livelovesimple.com

When Roman was born, I had a shiny new diaper bag, chock full of “necessities.” There were diapers and rash creams; changing pads, blankets; bottles, bottle coolers; pacifiers, toys, several changes of clothes; and so on. Basically, whatever I could dream of needing was in that bag. My personal necessities were in there, too–keys, wallet, phone, lip gloss. It was new, important, and I wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without it.

Fast-forward to becoming a mother of two, and I swear to goodness, I haven’t even seen a diaper bag since before she was born. What do I do now? Throw everything in a good old plastic shopping bag moments before we head out. And by everything, I mean three diapers, a pack of wipes, and a change of clothes (if we’re going to be gone for awhile).

Ha! Yup. That’s it. It’s a little embarrassing to admit and it’s probably the biggest fashion faux-pas that I’ve ever committed; but it’s the truth. I wanted to write it down here for memory’s sake, because it’s about to change.

Since I had my first baby, nearly three-and-half (WTF?) years ago, I stopped carrying a purse. Whether it was a real diaper bag or a plastic shopping bag, I always threw whatever I needed in the baby’s bag and I was good to go. However, yesterday I went to a bridal shower. When I sat down at the beautifully set table, I realized that my hands were precariously filled by my cell phone, wallet, lip gloss, and sunglasses. And I had absolutely nowhere to put the damned things. That’s when I realized that it was time–time to start carrying a purse once again.

In part, it breaks my heart, the end of an era. It reminds me that my babies really aren’t babies anymore. Roman is starting preschool in a few days and Marina is no longer a baby, but now a full-blown toddler. My mama heart can hardly stand it.

Aside from the emotions of it, I have to say, it’s been a good run. I’ve enjoyed not carrying a purse. It’s been liberating. When people asked me to carry things for them, or to take something that I didn’t want to take, I could honestly say, “No, I can’t.” It was nice not heaving that extra appendage to carry around– full of crumbs, old receipts, and random pieces of gum that had escaped their wrappers. Hallelujah.

But, alas, it is time. This time around I’ve opted for a simple, easy-to-carry purse. I’m making it a high priority to keep it clean and full of only the bare essentials this time around. I plan to continue saying no when I do not want to carry or take something. I’ll let you know how it all works out.

On another note, how is it going to be September on Thursday!? I. Can’t. Even. Deal.

‘Til next time… xo

Summer Lovin’

July 27, 2016

summer love // livelovesimple.com

Hello, friends! I hope that this post finds you well and enjoying the height of summer. We’ve been in a heat wave here in New Jersey for weeks and it’s showing no signs of slowing. The humidity is high and the temperatures soar in the nineties day after day.

summer love // livelovesimple.com

We’ve been filling up our days with as much summer fun as possible. That means lots of pool-time, adventures in the woods, play dates & picnics at the park, and visits from the ice cream truck.

summer love // livelovesimple.com

It’s been a full and challenging season for me. I’ve still been wading through some big, difficult life changes. I’ve also been very busy with work. My job as secretary of our church has taken a very busy turn as we welcomed a new pastor at the beginning of the month. Blogging and photography have been put on the back-burner a little bit, but I am trying to ramp up efforts in those areas, too. And finally, I’ve been weaving again. I have several pieces complete and they’ll be going up for sale in my Etsy shop soon, which I am over-the-moon about. It’s a long-time dream come true of mine to sell products that I created with my own hands. I hope to write more about that and about my love of weaving sometime soon.

summer love // livelovesimple.com

I can’t believe that we’re here at the end of July already. It’s amazing how sometimes these summer days seem to stretch on forever, and still the months fly by so quickly.

summer love // livelovesimple.com

I have so much to say. My heart is heavy and saturated with thoughts and emotions. I’d love to spill them out, but instead it’s rather like there is a cork inside of me, holding everything down in me, and the pressure builds. But I’m glad to be getting this post out, at least. I hope that in the coming days, more will flow from me — and more importantly — I hope that I’ll find the time. That certainly does seem to be lacking these days. I have to remind myself that life isn’t really about how much time we have, but rather, what we do with the time that we have.

summer love // livelovesimple.com

On that note, I’m off to tackle the next item on my long & winding to-do list. I’m sending you lots of love and light, friends. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I hope that your days are full of joy and hope and promise.

Always and all ways–

summer love // livelovesimple.com

P.S. The babies’ adorable sun hats are from my friend Emily’s shop, Blue Corduroy. Do give it a look. She is amazingly talented!

Rectifying the Pieces of Myself

July 5, 2016

sunset // livelovesimple.com

“You are not your wounds.”
–Charlotte Brontë

I once heard it said that we can not know ourselves until we reach our thirties; that all of the years before then, we are simply becoming and getting to know. Then, in our thirties we come into who we are completely, for the first time we see ourselves in an unadulterated light. For the first time, the opinions of others and all of the shadows that the world casts against our true selves are put out of our vision and we can see ourselves clearly. These aren’t the exact words that I heard, I’m putting my own spin on it — interpreting some piece of wisdom that was shared with me long ago and spitting it out through my own lens.

I imagine that this process is different for each person. When it comes to experience and growth, there are few things in life that apply across the board. But for me, I believe this to be true. And it wasn’t in my thirtieth year, or my thirty-first year, that I began to see myself clearly — it has only been just recently. Now in my thirty-second year I am finally coming into focus. It is a scary and painful and beautiful and liberating process. One day, you just become aware. You can see into the deepest parts of yourself and you have a choice, you keep looking and you learn who you are, or you look away.

I have chosen to keep looking. Although, sometimes what I see is so difficult, so raw, so painful, that I want to look away. But I will not. We are all made up of thousands of tiny pieces and for every good, beautiful piece, there is a dark, ugly piece. But this is the way of life, this is the way of the world. It is true for all of the things that exist. Something as simple as a stone, once picked up by human hands, can be used in so many ways. Think about all of the uses for a single stone. Think about how it can be used for good, for bad, or for nothing at all. So it is with each human spirit, each one infinitely complex and containing infinite possibility.

sunset // livelovesimple.com

The more that I look inside, the more that I realize how complex I am, how deep. I am learning that the world will push us to be shallow instead of deep. In this society, everyone is busy (or at least they think they are busy) and also most people are extremely self-consumed and obsessed with things that are not truly important. (Such as physical appearance, unnecessary personal possessions, career status, social status, and so on.) Due to these obsessions, there is very little time to speak about truly important things like personal growth, the depth of the human spirit, real love, caring for the earth, and so on. All of these things are actually important, as opposed to the false realities that most people worship and spend their days obsessing about. Of all of the things that I’ve mentioned, today I am talking specifically about the depth of the human spirit. To come back around to my point, because most people are not focused on that, they will never help you to cultivate and explore the depth of your own spirit. Therefore, you will have to do it yourself or seek out the rare individuals who will walk with you on that path.

I have just started out on this path for myself. As I embark, I see just how many pieces of myself there are: mother, daughter, friend, magician, adventurer, goddess, warrior, believer, creator, lover, and the list goes on. Now that I see all of these pieces, I find it so important that I nurture all of the pieces of myself and not just the few pieces that perhaps society would have me focus on: mother, daughter, friend, believer.

When we look inside and discover these many pieces, the next step is to embrace them and to do that we must rectify each piece among the others. It is a complicated but critical process. I find that it is especially difficult for mothers and daughters, because we are so consumed with our children, and later in life, our parents. However, if we truly wish to be our best selves and to experience all of the spiritual growth and greatness that we are capable of, we must set out to rectify and honor all of our pieces — not just the ones that society tells us to value.

* * *

These are deep and heavy thoughts. I hope that you will welcome them here, friends. This space has always been my creative outlet to share pieces of my heart and life. It will continue to serve as just that.

If you are interested in this topic I would love to hear your thoughts. How do you rectify the various pieces of yourself with one another? Do you find it is difficult to rectify being a mother/daughter with being an adventurer? Are there some pieces of yourself that you feel you have not honored because you’ve caved into society’s expectations? I would love to know. Tell me that I’m not alone. ♥

Thoughts on Thirty-Two

May 28, 2016

livelovesimple.com // thoughts on thirty-two

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve started this post in my head. How many poems I’ve stumbled upon, how many quotes that have passed over my lips — words that I thought might help explain how I am feeling, where I am at in my life. These thoughts that I have been dying to spill out from my fingertips, desperate as though they’re trying to escape a burning building. I wish I could sit down and pour out the contents of my heart. And yet. Here I sit, stifled. I’ve been thirty-two for more than three weeks now and I’m no closer to putting any of it into words.

Instead my days are spent in a beautiful & terrible blur of changing diapers, refereeing toddler disputes, naps (or lack thereof), long nights of comfort-nursing every ninety minutes, days of loneliness, and fear, and joy — there is always joy, still.

Here’s what I know about thirty-two, and about life. Sometimes things really do have to fall apart so that we can put them back together. That’s how life works. It’s terrifying, but it’s necessary. Everything is a choice. Every single moment, we make choices. The greatest choices that we are faced with, moment by moment are: sadness or happiness; fear or gratitude.

Recently, a friend wrote to me saying, “You look like you’re coming out of a shell, re-birthing maybe.” Yes, I am without a doubt having a period of rebirth. It’s beautiful. It’s about the most liberating thing I could ever have imagined. I feel empowered and it’s wonderful. I am also scared, afraid beyond anything that I’ve felt before in my life. But it’s right. It’s all right. Things have to fall apart so that we can put them back together.

“Long ago, God drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. You were never not coming here.” –Hafiz

heart spill // february

February 24, 2016

Be brave.

I’m tired and sad in a heartbreaking way. I think perhaps I shouldn’t be writing this today. After all, I felt fine yesterday. But perhaps I only felt fine for a little while at a time. Perhaps, I really am just sad and tired. And that’s okay.

My life has been turned upside down recently. A series of long anticipated events coming together, a perfect storm, if you will. And now I’m existing in an inexplicable state of chaos, a stepping stone from one place to another, limbo, purgatory.

On top of all the things that I can’t talk about, there’s the mothering. Marina is about to turn one and while things are far better than they once were, she’s still about as needy as any one-year-old you could dream up. Roman is good and sweet, but he’s a few months away from turning three and he needs so much. He craves constant interaction, conversation, learning, activity. He craves everything. He’s just exploding with wonder & curiosity — and it’s beautiful but it’s devastatingly exhausting.

Marina is sleeping on her own, but she is up between two and four times each night, needing to comfort nurse back to sleep. I’ve tried letting her cry — I have no mercy at this point, but she will cry endlessly. She has a force of will unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. It’s difficult now. But I believe that it will serve her well later in life.

I’m not apt to self pity. I’m not prone to negativity. I’ve spent half a lifetime learning to see the positive in everything. I’m always one to pick myself up by my bootstraps, make a plan, and take action. Fuck sitting around in a stew of misery, you know. But lately, things have deteriorated so severely that I’m rendered nearly helpless.

It’s like I’m constantly standing on a skateboard over a gorge. It’s taking every shred of strength and energy to keep myself upright, to stop the board from slipping out from under me so that I tumble down and break every bone in my body or worse.

I know, I know, it sounds dramatic and extreme. But it’s where I’m at. Once again I’m writing in metaphors, unable to talk about the reality of what I’m going through. But that’s been a theme in my life for a long while.

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On the other hand, I have to be true to myself. And even though I’m sad and exhausted to my very core, my true self still focuses on the light at the end of the tunnel. I know it’s there. I know it’s waiting. I know that the night is darkest just before the dawn.

My ‘word’ for 2016 is bravery and I’ll be damned if I am anything but brave this year. I’m facing all of my demons head on and slaying them one by one. And even when I am scared, even when I don’t feel brave at all, you can bet that I will put on my bravest face and keep on trudging forward. That’s what I’ve been doing and that’s what I will keep doing.

D.

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