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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Crybabies of the World, Your Feelings are Valid and You are Not Alone

The Crybaby Club is a ‘girl gang’ that was started by six girls on Instagram and grew into something much more. From all around the world they came together to create a non-judgmental place of love and support for all of us tender yet tough ones who recognize that our emotions make us strong.

Celebrating the good and coming together to lift each other up through the bad. Whether it be on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, the Crybabies are there for each other any time, day or night with authentic friendship, connection, understanding, validation, and solidarity.

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Hearing how my fellow Crybabies support one another has been huge in reminding me to be gentler with myself. To talk to myself as I would a friend.  Learning to regard myself with love and acceptance. Practicing replacing negative self-talk with kindness instead.

While embracing seeming imperfections as strengths instead of weakness is difficult, having a group of like-hearted girls full of encouragement certainly makes it easier.

We can do this. No mater whater what it is. Even if it’s just getting out of bed that day. We believe in each other. Cheer each other on. Sharing the brave things we accomplish. Helping each other up when we stumble.

Being connected with such a truly amazing group of authentically awesome and kind girls from around the world does my heart and soul so much good. We’re not alone! Everywhere I go the Crybabies go with me. They get it.

We remind each other that it’s ok to feel your feelings. They’re not something to be ashamed of. Your feelings are valid.

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I always feel better after a good cry, but ever since becoming a mom I’ve found it difficult to make time and space to let it out. If I can’t tend to my feelings in the moment it’s hard to find release later on. It’s something I still struggle with and, while I have my ups and downs, overall I believe I’m getting better. And the Crybabies remind me to take care of my tender heart without guilt.

When my son sees my Crybaby mug he always points out that it means it’s ok to cry. A message I definitely want imparted to him, especially in the world we live in today. It makes my heart happy that he’s getting it and giving it back.

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The Crybaby Club also happens to be chalk full of creative girls who make all sorts of super awesome goodies! It’s been a tremendous example of girls supporting girls. In addition to generally supporting one another as friends, members are also regularly featured on the blog and I recently received my first Crybaby subscription box! It was brimming with enamal pins, prints, stickers, temporary tattoos, nail decals, post cards, a tote and more, along with a sweet thank you note and a list of all makers included! You can follow them on social media to find out when the next boxes will become available. Maybe someday my necklaces just might be included!

To learn more about or join up with The Crybaby Club:

Blog or Facebook

Instagram: @crybabygirlgang 

Twitter:  @crybabygirlgang 

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Just one last note to say that this post was in no way sponsored or solicited. I just love this ‘girl gang’ so much I had to share!

 

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!

 

 

 

Room for Good Things

I was restless. Frustrated by all the things around me I disliked. Struggling to simply keep my head above water. I didn’t realize that I had it within myself to change things. Sure, I believed it theoretically, but it didn’t seem like a real possibility given my circumstances. Not until backed into a corner did I realize I had the power to turn the things I disliked into dreams come true.

When I was forced to leave my job I was relieved of a heavy burden. And in its’ place came so many blessings, rushing in like water once I opened the door. Only by being forced to leap did I realize I could spread my wings and fly. (As cliche as it sounds. Guess cliches are such for good reason after all).

Since leaving my job and working on my Etsy shop full time, home with my little guy, I realize my life is my own. That it is possible to follow my intuition and passions to a much better place that had always seemed just beyond my reach. The process has brought me closer to my husband, son, and my self and I am thankful.

I’m in good company too. So many lovely mothers out there are doing what they love and helping each other up along the way. Building lives for themselves and their families that are whole. Doing what they need and love to do. Being true to themselves all the while.

Fabric I've since turned into Toy Ring Slings or Doll Carriers

Fabric I’ve since turned into Toy Ring Slings

While working on this post Fox was watching Disney’s Johnny Appleseed story. It holds new meaning for me now.

The Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For givin’ me
The things I need
The sun and rain
And an apple seed
Yes, He’s been good to me

I owe the Lord so much
For everything I see
I’m certain
If it weren’t for Him
There’d be no apple
On this limb
He’s been good to me

Oh, here am I
‘neath the blue, blue sky
A-doin’ as i please
Singin’ with my feathered friends
Hummin’ with the bees
I wake up every day
As happy as can be
Because I know
That with his care
My apple trees
They will still be there
Oh, the Lord is good to me

You got the stuff to see you through
Why…you got all the seeds you’re needin’
And for pretty darn good readin’…
There ain’t nothing finer than your back
Here’s a mighty handy bonnet
Even got a handle on it
Turn it upside down and you can cook
So come on, son, and get a-going’
Get them apple trees a-growin’
There’s a lot of work out there to do
Oh, there’s a lot of work out there to do

Ch ch ch changes!

Big changes have been happening around here, including where “here” is!

At the beginning of the month we finally moved from our apartment to a charming 1920’s bungalow! My little guy wakes up in the mornings and exclaims, “the sun’s back up! We can go outside now!”

IMG_1048We love playing on our front porch and in our fenced-in back yard! It’s so amazing what difference having an outdoor space makes. On move-in day we had a little picnic lunch in our backyard and marveled how it really is a little slice of heaven.

Fox in the GardenWe even have four raised garden beds! Our new neighbor’s mom stopped by and taught me all about the herbs growing there and how to harvest and dry them; lavender, sage, thyme, mint, and oregano! There are also a couple tomato plants and a little strawberry bush! In the spring we plan to grow lots more veggies as well.

It’s been years since I gardened as a child with my parents and I’m thrilled to have the space to pick it back up again and share it with my son. He loves to play in the yard or water the flowers while I weed, prune, and harvest herbs. Quite therapeutic getting my hands dirty with earth.

We’ve sighted so many wonderful creatures and plants around our new space too. Hummingbirds, butterflies, chipmunks, squirrels, goldfinches, a hawk, and a big green mantis! There are several Rose of Sharon bushes around the house and a lovely vine of purple Morning Glory along the back fence.

It’s also wonderful to have storage space in our basement, along with a washer and dryer of our own. Toting our laundry up a floor to the shared coin laundry room in our apartment building was tiresome. Especially for an introverted perfectionist like me. Who wants to put on make-up just to do laundry?

When our little guy came into our lives, my painting studio/sewing room became his nursery. Now that our house has three bedrooms, I have my studio back! It’s in the back of the house with windows to the side the backyard. So very inspiring to have my own space to create in.

New StudioSince going all out for the Baby Fair in March, I’ve been scaling it back and focusing on my family. Rejuvenating. Now I feel a fresh surge of creative energy and the motivation to keep it going.

IMG_1166Last week it became clear that I had no choice but to leave my job. I was treated very poorly and undoubtedly undervalued, but it has set me free to do what I’ve yearned for for years. I’m now pouring myself into our home, family, and my Etsy business full time. It feels like coming back to life. There have been so many positive signs that this is right path for my life and my family. So much serendipity. I should have some exciting news to share in a few days actually. Can’t wait to share it all with you!

So as I’ve decided to throw perfectionism to the wind you’ll be hearing from me much more in the coming weeks and months. Lots of amazing things to come!

The Hummingbird symbolizes great courage, determination, flexibility and adaptability. This little beauty is only a few ounces in weight, yet has the courage of a lion. Indeed size is of no consequence…The Hummingbird symbolizes the respect of territories, protecting and enforcing your boundaries, the need to be feisty if needed to protect your boundaries and what is yours. [They] remind us that there are times when we have to make a difficult journey to get to the destination of our goal, there will be obstacles, symbolizing the need for endurance and perseverance. Hummingbird challenges you to say “yes I can”, and believe it will be done.

Something Drastic

Today I dove in and got my hair cut short. Bob short. An exciting change I’d been looking forward to since I made the decision a few weeks ago. I’ve been browsing Pinterest, gathering images on my ‘haircut possibilities’ board.

Long hair has been linked with my identity, but I’m ready for something different. Something fresh. An invigorating way of exploring the new me.

Of course there was also a bit of apprehension, since I’ve always had long hair, but I went for it anyway and I’m glad I did. Grateful to have a friend cut my hair. Thanks so much, Sam, you’re the best!

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Daring to be free

It takes courage to take the blinders off, but the blissful clarity that follows can be amazingly spectacular.

Let go of the unnecessary garbage that bogs us down. Cast it off and breathe easier under a lightened load. Be free from perfection. It’s an illusion anyway. Let others be responsible for their thoughts and actions. You are only in charge of your own. Know that all you are is enough and all you need to be, unique in the universe.

I’m exceedingly grateful to have, in my husband, an authentic and devoted partner who delights in uncovering truths. Unafraid to get up in the guts of an issue. Cheering me on along the way, reminding me that we can conquer anything and come through stronger for it.

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