Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

This parenting manifesto is by Brene Brown, an author and researcher who has impacted me more than any other in this past year.
I love her books "The Gift of Imperfections" and "I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't)."
From time to time, I browse around her website (love her music and book suggestions!), and sometime last year I stumbled across her parenting manifesto on her site.

I was newly pregnant at the time, and I remember just sobbing reading it.
It's perfect.

Which she would probably kind of rub against (that description, "perfect") because part of her whole thing is that we're NOT perfect, and how do we relate to ourselves and others with our awareness of that reality?
So Brene, how about I say "It fits."  It fits and connects so meaningfully with the woman I've struggled and fought and learned to become throughout my 20's, and with the parent I long to be to my little mister who is coming into this world any. day. now.

I love the space this manifesto creates for real life, for real humanness, and real love.
My life is so about to change, isn't it?

*If the words on the image are too small for you to read, I've included the text here:

The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and loveable.

You will learn this from my words and actions—the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness.

You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both. 

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.

You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.  

I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude. 

I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life. 

Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it. 

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.

I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Backyard Baby Shower

At the beginning of June my Mom, sister, and long, long time friend Alissa threw me a baby shower at home just days after my brother's wedding.
Months ago we debated about a shower so close to the wedding but in the end decided that it would be special to have the shower while my aunts and other extended family were able to be in town for the wedding.
I'm so glad that's what we decided, because having my aunts and grandmas there turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the shower.
It was my Aunt Lanie who took all these photos (thanks, Auntie!)

On such an off summer weather-wise, a beautiful day is especially appreciated and against all of this summer's odds, this morning was just that. 
  It reminded me so much of my wedding day in the same backyard, and I just love that the two are now connected in my mind's eye.

Also. The brunch my mom and sister made for the shower is one of the best meals I've ever had. 
I mean, you guys, those two are the two best cooks I know and they went above and beyond!
(Of course they did, that's who they are...)

The faces you see in the pictures are the faces that raised me and watched me grow through every stage of life before I moved to Chicago.
I'm so grateful all these women gave up their Tuesday morning to come support me and celebrate with me yet another life transition, even though I've been grown up and living away in the city for so many years now.
One of the sweetest moments was my mom bursting into (happy) tears when turned to see me come in to the kitchen, all dressed up for the shower.
Favorite part of all: Opening the car seat with a card that revealed that it was from Tiff, Ty, and Parker, my siblings.  The card held the most meaningful words from the people most meaningful to me in the world.  Every time I buckle the little mister into his car seat, I'll think of them and know their love for me and for my baby.
So yes, favorite part of all.

Thank you Tiff, Mom, and Alissa for giving me and the little mister such a special morning!

Friday, July 5, 2013

3 (More) Weeks

Where does the time go when you're nesting and preparing for a baby who's due 3 weeks from today?

This poor blog.
What a fun place it could have been during this pregnancy if I could've found the time, but I'll be the first to admit, I can't do it all, not even close.
There is a blog post in my head about a pregnancy how NOT to.
Namely, how not to wait until the last trimester to prep everything for your baby's arrival like I did.

Our (my) baby to-do-list has been running us around, and we've been having a blast part of the time and fighting and getting stressed part of the time, but at the end of the day I think we've cried happy tears together more times than I can count this week alone.

Last night I sat on Neal's lap as we watched the 4th of July fireworks from our apartment, and husband made the analogy that these final weeks of pregnancy feel like riding up the steep incline of a roller-coaster as it slowly click-click-clicks to the top.
That is a publishable analogy, in my opinion.

This photo is from my rooftop baby shower this week which was a day to love.
Hopefully the pictures and more will make it here to the blog soon but if not, hey, maybe there will be a baby picture instead!