Mama’s Circle

So I’ve mentioned before how amazing The Crybaby Club is. How affirming it is to belong to a wonderful group of human beings who get what it’s like to be tough and tender. A safe place to be vulnerable and make real connections. As wonderful as they all are, most are physically far away, around the country, around the world. Super cool and real, but there’s also a need to have people to meet up with in the real world and do life with.

I recently experienced one of those magical moments when the stars align and the universe brings you exactly where you need to be. I reached out to a friend from high school, (I used to drive her to school in my ’66 Mustang – how I miss that car), and got real about how lonely I had been, especially since becoming a mother. She mentioned a friend of hers she thought I’d get on well with, so she connected us and I invited her and her son over for a play date. We connected on many levels and before she left she mentioned the mom’s group she’s part of and their upcoming park day, inviting me to come meet them.

I felt an instant connection with these lovely mama’s. They were authentic and awesome and they welcomed me with open arms. Cue happy dance!

Suddenly I have friends again! Places to be! Things to do! People to see! Mama’s Circle has park days once a week, moms’ night out about once a month, play dates, and friend time scheduled on our own. We stay connected via our group’s Facebook page, but the focus is on getting together in real life and it’s glorious.

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Dear lonely mama’s out there, I highly recommend finding your local mom’s group or making your own! Your fellow mama’s will be so very glad you did, I promise you.

I hadn’t realized just how lonely and isolated I had become, until it reached critical levels. Now I’m learning to balance my introverted nature with my social needs. Not burrowing for too long, remembering to also bloom. Taking time to recharge alone, but not staying alone too long. Not letting it get to such critical levels again before reaching out.

We’re not meant to do this alone. We need people to listen who understand because they’ve been there too. Friends we can talk to and be our vulnerable authentic selves with. The validation is invaluable.

I’d begun to doubt it was possible to find my people. I thought maybe those times were behind me or yet to come again – in about 18 years. This season of life can be so hard and isolating, but it’s easier when we come together. The burden gets lighter and the joys brighter.

It’s also a surprisingly wonderful way to collaborate and share our talents with our small businesses. You may think you’ve thought of everything, but simply getting together with a friend can reveal all sorts of “why didn’t I think of that” ideas and connections. Just talking about my shop with someone else keeps things fresh and growing. The honest feedback and “you can do this” support makes it easier to stay motivated and inspired. I’ve also traded doll slings for photographs with my friend and fellow mama, Lee Anne of Petal & Vine Photography. (Her birth photography and family portraits are particularly amazing).

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When I was little my mom was in a similar mom’s group and that allowed me to grow up with lots of friends and adults I could trust outside my own family. I’m so glad I’ve found these lovely ladies. I needed them and my little guy needed friends around his age. Now we both have a community where we belong. It feels so right to be back in my hometown doing life with this wonderful community of brave mama’s of all kinds. I am so grateful for these wonderful mama’s and their sweet little ones.

Are you part of your local mom’s group? What do you guys like to do? How do you stay connected? Has it changed your life the way mine has changed mine? I’d love to hear your stories! 

 

 

 

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No Place Like Home

It’s so good to be home!

I could almost swear I’ve been living in a time warp for at least the last 5 years. Feeling a bit like Dorothy, learning through leaving that there really is no place like home. It’s as if I just came back from a trip in outerspace, finally back on terra ferma.

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I missed painting-like skies and sounds of rain and thunder more than I realized. They comfort my soul.

Seeing the way my parents’ faces light up when Fox says something clever or when he laughs is priceless.

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I’ve seen my family more in the month we’ve been home than in the last 5 years, when we were living in Indiana. Reconnecting and catching up with old friends is the best. And I’m getting back in touch with myself as well, the person I’ve always been.

I sort of lost myself in motherhood, 1000 miles from family and old friends. Sometimes I have some difficulty remembering who I once was. Hard to determine who I am now. It’s as if there was a break in my timeline. It was hard to make new friends when I wasn’t really sure who I was introducing them to.

Figuring out who I am now is easier in the context of my old friends and family. So nice to be around people who truly know me and where I’m coming from. Not only by seeing my reflection in the eyes of people who’ve known me for years, decades, or my entire life, but also my life in the context of theirs. Friends who once discussed rehersals, and critiques are now speaking of their kids, husbands, jobs, and other adulting things. Look at us now!

So many times over the last 5 years I’ve wished to be able to go out to lunch with my mom like we used to. Just geting to run to the chiropractor and shops with her is a dream come true and I am truly grateful. This past week we actually got to go to the movies, just her and I. (I hadn’t been to the movies since we saw the first Hobbit installment, while I was super pregnant).

Our new house is so perfect for us too. More space than we’ve ever had, large studio, fenced in backyard, all new appliances, laundry room, and so. much. storage! Even our cat, who doesn’t like to go outside, enjoys exploring the screened-in porch. Fox keeps saying he likes it here and “let’s stick around.”

(Pictures of our new place to come in a future post!)

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Of course there are also all the fun Florida things to do! We already got year passes to The Florida Aquarium and are looking forward to going to places like MOSI, theme parks, and Fox’ first trip to the beach! (Excited to go back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Russ too!)

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Burrow & Bloom will be continuing through this blog, my Etsy shop, and I’ll be setting up as a vendor locally around Lakeland and other central Florida locations before long! Custom handmade doll slings and teether necklaces are still available. And as always, if you’re interested in colaboration or consignment just send me a message here, through my shop, or email at burrowandbloom@gmail.com! Stay up to speed by following along on the ‘gram @burrow.n.bloom, Facebook, Twitter, and by following here on the blog!

 

 

 

Gentle TV Shows for Kids – Part 2: Puffin Rock

Thanks for tuning in! Hopefully this series will help you find good gentle TV shows for your little ones! These are our family’s favorites! Not too busy, scary, negative, or in your face. They’re gentle, fun, and entertaining stories with sweet characters in beautiful settings.

If you’re just joining us you may want to check out Part 1 about the show Tumble Leaf on Amazon Prime Video.

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On the show Puffin Rock a young puffin named Oona and her little brother, Baba, live with their parents and friends on a tiny but gorgeous island off the coast of Ireland. The textured illustrations have amazing light and color! I would love to hang prints from this beautiful show on our walls!

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Nature facts are beautifully blended with the story through narrations by the hilarious Chris O’Dowd, (IT Crowd, Bridesmaids, Pirate Radio). There are plenty of funny comments for parents to enjoy right along with their little ones! Not to mention the lovely Irish accents!

Whether they’re pretending to be grown up puffins, going on a family trip to an underwater cave, or simply in awe of a murmuration of starlings the adorably sweet characters of Puffin Rock are brilliantly funny and super cute!

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Oona and Baba even help tidy up their burrow by finding new soft things from around the island to replace the old bedding, as a surprise for their parents when they return from fishing.

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The little puffin siblings play with and care for each other, their parents, friends, and anyone come across. Their best friends include Mossy, the pygmy shrew who loves to eat, May the bunny rabbit, and Silky the seal.  They also have nocturnal friends, the owls, and Bernie the hermit crab, their friend and mentor, (who they help find a new shell when his cracks)!

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Flynn the fox has a bit of a grumpy exterior but truly a heart of gold. And the seagulls don’t really get along with puffins, but it’s nothing major. My guy is really sensitive and they don’t bother him much.

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The puffins adventures take them all over land, sea, and sky! From traveling through burrows with bunnies and hedgehogs to swimming through glowing phytoplankton with whales, (on Oona’s first night time trip to the sea by herself because she’s a big puffin now)!

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We’re especially found of the episode where Oona goes around telling all her friends about the supermoon so they can stay up late to watch it together!

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Hope you and your little one enjoy the show as much as we do! I’d love to hear what you think or hear about what shows you like to watch with your family! Please leave a comment below so we can share!

Awkward Social Situations

I sometimes think myself out of social situations before even giving them a chance to play out. Imagining how it will go I skip to the part where I just don’t. Do you ever do that too or is it just me?

The phrase “social situation” always reminds me of this episode of The IT Crowd: Watch Video on YouTube

Why is it that making and being friends is so much easier when you’re a kid? Oh, you like that too? Best friends! So organic.

Now everyone’s so busy. Getting together has to be scheduled and probably rescheduled at least once. Friend time has to be planned around nap times and adult obligations. It’s not like someone just happens to be sitting beside you in class or at lunch. I like things to happen organically. Go with the flow and hey, friends!

Guess you just have to find new ways of doing things in new phases of life. Easier said than done.

When I think of reaching out to new friends, for instance, I can easily think myself into awkward situations where I can’t seem to express myself, fumble it all up, and they think I’m nutty. Ever happen to you?

I also feel like if someone wants to hang with me they’ll ask. Maybe they feel the same way, so we just never get together. How silly would THAT be?

There are wonderful surprises when I stop myself from overthinking things and just reach out. New friendships to start and to grow. It really is so much better to try than to regret not ever branching out. I even find that, in the actual moment, I often feel the opposite of awkward.

Part of me felt like I needed to figure out who I’ve become since moving 1000 miles from home, just year prior to becoming a mother, before making new friends. But I just have to just be who I am now and things will fall into place. Besides, a good conversation can help you understand more of who you are.

So invite that mom and her little one over for a playdate! Meet them at the park! Maybe even go to the party! You just might be glad you did.