beach house


posted by on Life

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We spend the first half of this week at a beach house with my family, and had a really wonderful time.

Once upon a time in the not too distant past, I thought I hated the beach. But as it turns out I just don’t like dirty beaches, or driving home covered in sand. And Anna Maria Island is not a dirty beach. And beach houses with outdoor showers keep all the sand outside. 
DSC_0950DSC_0276 DSC_0321 DSC_0469Kaden likes to dig.DSC_0406 Alia likes to sit in holes. They make a good team.DSC_0331 Sunset at the beach is pretty spectacular. We’ve always gone in the morning and left in the afternoon, so it was wonderful to experience for the first time.DSC_0534The beach house was really fantastic too.DSC_0681DSC_0558-2It had a piano, telescope, swimming pool… Not much more I could ask for :)DSC_0640-2DSC_0678-2DSC_0669-2DSC_0172-2DSC_0169-2DSC_0160-2DSC_0276-2DSC_0290-2DSC_0224-2DSC_0301-2DSC_0261DSC_0865-2DSC_0865DSC_0165-4And we had ice cream every night. That alone makes for a pretty good vacation :)DSC_0983-2

posted by on Natural Parenting

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DSC_0423I read an awesome home birth story several months ago that made the remark how everything we do is motivated by either fear or love. The truth of that statement really inspired me to look at the way I approach my life in a more intentional way.


As I raise my children, I can parent out of fear, or out of love.

As I take care of my health, I can do so out of fear, or out of love.

As I create music, art, beauty, I can do so out of fear or love.


Fear of criticism, fear of others opinions, fear of failure, fear of regret. Or of love.

Love for my children. Love for my body. Love for my future, my world, my God.

Gator watching. A little reminder that the right kind of fear can be healthy ;)
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And when I have the courage to push past fear and live a life of love, I am free.

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Nursing in public


posted by on Breastfeeding, Natural Parenting

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI’ve read quite a few articles on nursing in public lately. From sentimental to logical to fiery & religious, there’s a lot to be said on feeding baby around town.

Several weeks ago I was at Disney and sat down by a mom who was nursing her baby (with a cover.) We casually began talking about how old our babies were when she made a comment like “I feel so weird, I never do this in public.” And I just felt sad for her. For moms everywhere. And what it really makes me wonder is why do we feel like there is something wrong or dirty or private about breastfeeding?

Historically breastfeeding has been way more socially accepted than it is now. Women in very modest cultures breastfed openly without concern (I love this photo of this mother in the 1800′s. Does she look like she cares? Nope.) It was the normal thing to do. Then somewhere in the past century or so American women for the most part stopped breastfeeding. And unfortunately it seems that we subsequently have forgotten that breasts have a purpose.

I imagine you already know that breastfeeding is important. So for us to create a culture where moms receive the support they need rather than being ostracized for doing what’s best for their children, our collective perception need to change.

A big part of the nursing in public debate seems to dwell on modesty. And I really do believe in modesty. But while I recognize that each unique culture has it’s own definition for that, I don’t believe that nursing in public is even an issue of modesty. It’s just feeding a baby.

While some may argue that breasts are sexual, they need to recognize that they are also functional. Women have breasts and men don’t so they can feed babies. I loved the way a friend put it as “you know that’s what they’re for, right? I mean, it’s not to look cute in your shirt.

I hope that someday we have a culture where nursing is so common that no one bats an eye when a mother feeds her baby in public. That it would be expected. As normal as seeing someone with a bottle of water. A baby on the breast. Babies need to eat.

But to be honest with you, once in awhile I feel uncomfortable feeding my baby when we’re out of the house. Sometime I wonder what people are thinking, or if they’re “offended”. Occasionally I use a cover (our sling), most of the time I don’t (it’s hot, and distracts her so she won’t eat anyway.) But what I remind myself is that when I breastfeed my baby, I am helping to create that culture. The more mothers who do, the more normal it becomes.

I know you may have different opinions. I typically avoid writing about “confrontational” topics because I just don’t like conflict. But I really believe this is important. That if we can change our perceptions, we will create a culture where nursing is the norm. For healthy babies, and healthy moms. It’s really matters.


Easter weekend


posted by on Holidays

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DSC_0995Easter weekend was really fun this year. This was our second year of giving the kids their baskets Saturday morning, and I really like our new tradition. It stretches out the holiday and lets us enjoy at a slower pace. This year the kids each got 6 books, plus some little toys, treats, & sunglasses. Kaden’s favorite is the Little Golden Book “A Day at the Seashore”, which we read as “Alia and Kaden went to the beach…” Alia’s favorite is “Baby Listens” and brings it to me to read it and in a really sweet voice says “baaaby”. DSC_1069 K got a Whole Foods chocolate bunny too. He thought it was a toy, but was rather pleased when he realized he could eat it ;)DSC_1012DSC_1119

Then we went to the town egg hunt. Kaden found a full basket of eggs. And he either didn’t notice or mind that we removed the candy from inside and gave it away to some older kids :)

They got their picture with the Easter bunny, which was cute. I thought Alia might mind, but she didn’t.

DSC_1276DSC_1441Sunday morning the kids found the eggs we’d colored earlier in the week. They looked so cute in their jammies and messy bed hair poking around the living room, getting so excited when they found one.DSC_1535DSC_1550After a (really great!) church service we went to Mimi’s, and had another egg hunt. These had little toy animals in them, which was fun! DSC_1745DSC_1880DSC_1951Later in the day we colored egg. Kaden really liked using markers & the shrink egg wrappers. And chose green for every one of the eggs he dyed. DSC_0056I gave Alia a slightly cracked egg to color in case she dropped it, and she colored it for a bit, and then started peeling it. She peeled it until she had the hard boiled egg split in half with the yellow stuff all over her tray. Now every egg she gets ahold of she starts trying to peel.DSC_0061DSC_0068We ended the day with Lady and the Tramp. Alia likes anything with “dogs!” & K liked it too, but whenever I ask him about it he says “I didn’t like the part when those dogs were in jail.”DSC_0107Hope you had a Happy Easter!DSC_0179

posted by on Natural Parenting, Photography



It’s always a thrill to hear from gDiapers, so when they asked a couple weeks ago if I’d like to do some photos of their new good natured gPants & write on the theme of kindness (plus a giveaway! Read to the bottom…), I of course said yes!


Kindness is something that for me comes naturally towards my own family. But for my introverted self, I feel a little more stretched when extending kindness to strangers. It’s easier to go about whatever I’m doing and just keep to myself. Interaction can feel vulnerable. Like taking a risk.

DSC_0185But as I’m growing older (and wiser? Can I say either of those yet at 25?) I feel like I’m learning more and more the impact of spreading kindness.


One doesn’t have to look hard to see the bad in the world. In the media, on the news, there is plenty to go around every day.


But kindness. A kind word, an act of kindness, a gentle gesture. Kindness can give people hope.


That in our world, sometimes there will be bad. But there is always good too.


And that hope is worth spreading.



gDiapers offered to spread a little love to one lucky reader – a good natured gPant in winner’s choice of size :-) Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway