the roses // manhattan beach, ca // oct 2022

the henriods // manhattan beach, ca // oct 2022

the howes // manhattan beach, ca // oct 2022

 

all the other kids

monday morning
halloween parade at the elementary school

charlie and i made our way up the street to the side gate where the kids, teachers, administrators, and parents were assembled for the costume parade. 

it was open. 

halloween: a day that is 100% about fun, childhood, and making memories. and all i could think about as i entered the campus was that anyone could walk through the gate and shoot at us. 

i didn't rush or panic, but the thought entered my head and stayed there throughout the procession. i spotted eleanor first and calmly thought, "there are too many people between us for me to protect her if a shooter came in through the west gate. but at least i know where she is." i was able to catch her eye and wave so she'd know i was there. she was thrilled i'd made it as i promised. i couldn't see lucy; as it turned out, her class was just a few feet away from me to my right and invisible from where i stood among the many parent spectators. i watched her excitedly (and bashfully) circle the track with her class, scanning every adult in the crowd, looking for her mom. when she finally found my face, hers lit up. my mom is here. she came to see me in my dragon costume in the parade. she really showed up. 

for a few seconds, i forgot about the shooter. it was just me and Lu there, elated we found each other. every sparkle of hope within both of us – that the other would be there, that we'd find each other – washed over me. 

then she returned to her class spot and i made a mental note that she was nearby. in my head i let the scene unfold: the sound of a gun, pandemonium, my immediate instinct to get as close to the girls as possible, throwing my body over theirs, and ordering them to play dead. charlie was already in my arms so i wouldn't have to worry about him getting lost in the chaos. beyond stationing myself as close to them as i could, i had no real plan. it occurs to me that the school didn't either. and why should we? is it our job to metabolize our trauma and develop a system of defense from an enemy that we are desperately trying not to go to war with?

strangely, as charlie and i left the school, i felt completely calm, which makes little sense. but then what about the american culture of school shootings does? i guess there's no more appropriate time for me to have had this silent nightmare than the holiday we've collectively dedicated to celebrating the frightening, the fearsome, the gory. 


31 weeks// tumble dry low

some days i feel completely calm, confident, cucumberlike
like today. 
mostly chill, not feeling especially freakouty at all really
and 
t h e n

it's 11:01 pm
nate's asleep beside me

find myself
watching birth videos
a nagging tumbling feeling 
like i'm in the dryer
spiraling 
imagining
envisioning 
all that could go wrong

my imagination's worst case scenario elbowing itself to the top of my mind

every kick and wiggle
half reassurance, half terrifying
is he upside down?
did he just tangle himself in his cord?
how are we going to make it another ten weeks? or twelve?

how am i ever going to deliver this baby?
what if something happens?
what if we have a cord accident?
i'm not okay
i can't do this
i can't go on
i'm too scared
i'm too scared
i'm too scared
please God
what do i do i'm just so scared
i can't survive that
my heart feels like it's going to push itself out of my throat
God please, please 
i'm going to drown in this fear
i am so terrified
it feels like a nightmare but i'm awake, it's 11:19 and i'm typing a blog draft
and it feels like i'm 
actually
living the worst possible moment 
how do i stop how do i stop i'm so scared God how do i stop

and in my mind's eye
mom and dad's dining room
the wall
the small drawing 
black ink old paper
the angel beside Christ in the garden

i feel my heart returning, burning, to its proper location in my chest
i need like 12 tums
someone opened the dryer door
i'm exhausted from the spiral
still scared but somehow no longer blinded by the fear

God, please, please, please let me raise this baby
bring me through these last few weeks

and then let me start the fresh batch of first year worries
latch and cradle cap and the pause
allergies and formula and growth curves
all i want is to be so tired i can't even see straight, 

holding my baby
breathing together
together
breathing
together









30 weeks today //

i look like i swallowed a soccer ball
can't walk more than a few steps without support belt
most shirts don't reach the bottom of the bump now
the kicks sometimes look and feel more like earthquakes
we all think it's a boy

i like my midwives
rita told me she went to columbia 
i'm going to labor at home until i'm 100% sure one of them is there


it's still a fight
to not hate my size
to step away from the temptation to criticize
belittle
blame
villainize
my own body
my body neutrality practice has been helping
i sit on the edge of the bed and remind myself:

my body is no better or worse than anyone else's

my body is doing exactly what it should be doing

i prayed for this 

please use me to do whatever You need done today

my body won't always feel or look like this

my body is my home

my body is my baby's home



alt summit // oct 2022 // new york city

Last week I went to Alt Summit in New York City with my bff @rachelfromaustin. We ate everything, talked each other's ears off, and absorbed so much wisdom from the inspiring women at the conference, number one inspirer being Gabrielle Blair, the founder of Alt and @designmom herself.

10 takeaways from my Alt Summit

1. "You can't use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have." –Maya Angelou
2. Cultivate relationships – reach out to someone unique every single day, via text or email, just to let them know you're thinking of them. Be curious. 
3. Ask yourself: when you have a problem, what do you do? The answer is important to your progress.
4. Your personal brand is the digitization of your reputation. Yikes. But also, cool!
5. Start where you are, each step on the path is progress. 
6. The power of a thousand true fans...!
7. A lot of people out there still feel lonely post covid. Try to use your talent to connect them.
8. People come to Instagram to be entertained, educated, and/or inspired. Deliver accordingly.
9. What led you to start your "thing"? Figure it out and double, triple down on it.
10. The unfinished business of the feminism of our mothers is women's wealth creation. 

My to-do list, photos of meeting my TWO biggest creative inspirations, and everything we ate, right this way: