Tuesday, May 28, 2013

the 'why' behind the outfit posts...

 top & clutch: Kohls, jeans: Ross, shoes: Franco Sarto

I'm no trendsetter, I don't own a stitch of designer clothes, nor am I a model.  So, why the outfit posts?  Well friends, pull up a chair and let me tell you allll about it...

Have you noticed that in our society, we are big on defining people by the roles they play?  That one of the first questions we often ask someone after meeting them for the first time is "What do you do?", and based on their answer we start developing a sense of who they are?  While this is normal and honestly useful & probably a fairly accurate first impression of someone, it offers only a snapshot of who they are.

Growing up, this was never really something I had put much thought into.  You see, throughout my life, I had always been good at moving on to the right stage at the right time, or the expected stage at the right time I suppose.  I completed high school without so much as a hiccup and moved directly on to college right along side my peers.  During this time, it was easy to understand where I fell into society's expectations of my role, and therefore my own understanding of myself, and it was comfortable.

I graduated college, got married, landed a job, and started thinking about graduate school.  Going into my 24th year, I was still fitting in well with society's {and my own} expecations for my life path.

And then bam. By the time the end of my 24th year rolled around I was a brand new mom {one of the first among my friends} and no longer planning to attend graduate school, but instead going back for a second bachelor's degree in it's place.  And something about this combo confused me.  Not that any of the roles were bad, in fact all of them were wonderful and quite welcomed. But typically undergrad and babies don't go together too often, heck typically marriage and undergrad don't go together too often.  And so, with this new combo of roles, I was having a difficult time of understanding how they all fit together and how they fit with my own understanding of who I was.

I remember going 'back to school shopping' that summer with little Sam in tow, and for the life of me I could not figure out what to buy.  Not for lack of liking anything, but rather I couldn't figure out what I "should" buy, what I was supposed to wear, or how I was supposed to present myself to the world.  Silly I know, but true none-the-less.  I started school that year with a wardrobe consisting mostly of t-shirts and jeans.   By the time fall rolled around I felt no closer to understanding who I was 'supposed to be'.

While clothing nor outfits define a person in anyway, I believe the way a person chooses to dress can be a form of self expression.  An outward reflection of our own self perceptions.  But I was having trouble establishing my own self concept.  I was having trouble expressing who I was, because I was in a place where I was being forced to reflect on and redefine who I was, no longer able to base my self concept on the standard social flow.

Slowly, through this process, I began to realize that the roles I choose in life do not define me.  They  can add to who I am, add to my story, but they are not me.  And because of this, I can do & be & wear what I like.  No longer feeling constrained by social expectations of what mothers are 'supposed' to do or wear, or college students, or wives, or 24 year old women,  it became easy to understand and be who I was.  And suddenly I found it so much easier {& fun} to get dressed in the morning. 

And so that's what it came down to for me.  A reawakening I suppose.  A real Zoolander "Who am I?" moment when my ridiculously tiny cell phone rings...{still love that movie}.  How do I see myself?  How do I choose to express myself?  And these outfit posts are somewhat of a challenge to myself to remember that.  Not that it is always that serious or even a highly conscious decision anymore when I get dressed in the morning, but this is the story of where it all stems from.  And I suppose a small part of me also hopes that if there are other women out there going through a similar internal struggle, maybe my story, my self expression, can help them to discover theirs as well.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

just the facts

He was standing halfway across the playground with his new "friend", when I saw him turn around and point at me.  And then he said, "That's my mommy.  She loves me a lot.  We have a dog, her name is Lucy."

Then he turned back around and ran off for more super hero action with his new bud.

And I sat there, beaming.  Because that was it, his life summary in three sentences.  The things that are important & meaningful & factual to his four year old self.  And on the top of that list is that his mommy loves him.  a lot.

So grateful there is no question in his mind of how much his mama loves him.

Also, grateful to have made it higher on the list than Lucy.

Sorry Jon, don't take it personally... I'm sure you'll make the list next time  ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013


Yesterday, we went on an adventure.

But sometimes {especially right after nap time}, the thought of an adventure makes your face look like this:
And sometimes, adventures can also make your hair look like that ^.

But once you finally wake up, that spirit of adventure takes a hold and there's no stopping you.

And you don't even care that your hair continues to look like that ^.

And you and your Captain America mask find a frickin' awesome tree fort.

So you make daddy come in too.  And then you make your best 'You-told-me-to-smile-so-I'll-make-my-very-best-ornery-face-instead' face.  But mommy still thinks your pretty cute.

Then you finally find the perfect fishing spot and excitedly cast out your line.

Unless you're mommy, in which case you spend most of your time just.like.this.

But when you finally do decide to go ahead and try your hand at this whole fishing thing, you excitedly tell your husband that you've 'got a big one!'.  But 'the big one' turns out to looks a little different than you had expected...

But regardless of catching sticks instead of fish, turns out yesterday was a wonderful day to be adventurers.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

the ones I will miss

There are certain words Sam says that just turn my heart into a big ol' puddle of mush.  Not necessarily the meaning of the word, although there are those too, but how he says it.  This list, which used to be much longer, is shrinking day by day, as his verbal skills continue to grow.  One of 'the originals', which will always be on my list of all time faves, was 'muk-a-muk', aka milk.  This was one of his first words, but has long since fallen to the wayside.  The other day, I jokingly asked him if he'd like some muk-a-muk, and sadly he didn't even recognize the word. So of course, as any good mama would do, I told him about "that one time you were a little tiny baby..."

And he loved it.
And I loved that he loved it.

And this got me to thinking, what are some of his other words I will so sorely miss when they're gone?
lellow {yellow}
loo-lulls {noodles}
puh-cuter {computer}
pack pack {backpack}
cuh-splosion {explosion}
woah-gurt {yogurt}
hosbibal {hospital}
kleez {please}
fink {think}

Oh motherhood... so bittersweet.  So proud to watch him grow each day, but still my heart aches knowing that I will wake up one day and he'll be a man.  An independent man, who is ready to leave the arms of his mama behind to go explore this wide world on his own.  And I'll need to be ready to let him.

But these arms will always be ready and waiting.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

yoda juice

News flash:  sometimes kids don't love to eat their veggies.
Heck, some days I don't like to eat my veggies.
But luckily, our little family has been able to claim one small victory in our battle against veggie-less-ness.  Yoda Juice.

No, it does not actually call for a small, green, jedi knight among the list of ingredients.  It's not even juice for pete's sake, it's a smoothie!  But Sam loves Star Wars and the color was reminiscent of the little green fella', so the name stuck.

We've been making this smoothie for the past several months now and initially did a lot of experimenting to get the most bang for our buck nutrition wise without sacrificing flavor, finally settling on this recipe.  Depending on what we have available we may switch out the strawberries for different kinds of fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc., or we may throw in a banana, peach or mango to mix things up.  We typically use frozen {or canned, in the case of the pineapple} fruit as they are easier to keep on hand year round, make prep time much faster without any need for peeling or slicing, and are affordable.  The following recipe however, is our 'basic recipe'.  Simple, nutritious & delish.

Yoda Juice
  • 1 can sliced pineapple in 100% juice {pour in whole can, juice included} 
  • 1 cup frozen {or fresh} strawberries 
  • 5 cups fresh spinach 
  • 6 oz. vanilla yogurt  {Tillamook brand is our fave, seriously tastes like ice cream} 
  • 2/3 cup frozen edamame, shelled
Throw pineapple, strawberries, yogurt and edamame in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add spinach 1-2 cups at a time.  Continue to blend until all smooth.

Some days I'll whip this up for a quick snack for the little guy, but it also makes a great on-the-go lunch for me.  Either way, we've found this one to be a keeper!

But you don't have to take my word for it, the proof is in the puddin'...

 {and yes, he is wearing his most fave Darth Vader t-shirt.  while drinking yoda juice.  mind blown.}