Category Archives: PERSONAL

anaïs // month eleven

birdie 11 months | workhouseblogDelightfully humorous to balance out her strong willed nature which she is quite vocal about, this little one is eleven months! It is true that it all flies by the second time around, every phase is shorter, every milestone is here and gone before we know it.  Anaïs is every bit of fire that we were lacking in our family. She speaks her mind and is not afraid of taking risks or tasting every bit of the world. She is strong, both in and out. She loves her father, her sister makes her the happiest and laughs the hardest. As for me, she adores me and finds my being a place a of calming comfort. She loves to eat but must feed herself. She loves loves music both listening to and making. She is on the verge of walking, giving us little teasers by taking a step and then falling on her bum. We are so excited to see her personality evolve and for her to show us who she is, especially when her words start to come out.

Sweet Bird, we love you so much and are blessed to have your wildness fill our home and hearts. You are teaching us that life is something to behold and take charge of, fearlessly.

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mindful living // no. 03

sylvia plath |workhouseblog

Being mindful when things go to shit, now that’s the practice, right?! Being sleep deprived might be one of the most insane, unhealthiest, crazy inducing, monster making things that has ever happened in the history of parenting. I am in the deep, dark valley of it. This was the main reason Dave scheduled me a float last weekend, so I could get some rest and reap the benefits for the next few days. But while in my float two words kept coming up for me: jealous and open.

As I lay with those 2 words in the darkness of a tank they began to resonate with me, especially at a time when I am feeling angst about stepping into the next phase of life; the phase were I get to do the kind of work I feel I am called to do (more on that at a different time). I took them in, in the silence, in total darkness, alone. I began to see that I am in fact jealous. My life is filled by mothering, loving and nurturing other beings that I feel like I am sitting on the sidelines watching everyone make their own dreams come true. People who are changing careers or stepping into new transitions in their lives. People that can just go get it done! When are people finding the time to make it happen? How does one focus on oneself and not let other things go by the wayside? I am seeing people in real life, people in blog life, strangers on the internet and friends all around me making things happen for themselves, big things, life changing things.  This is where my jealousy lies. I sat with it, let it penetrate my heart and waited for the answers.

Next: Open. I feel like I am an open book, ask anyone who knows me, or maybe the fact that I have a blog speaks to that. But what I realized I was being closed off to was what  it is I am actually doing right now. I am making my dreams come true by being the kind of woman I have always envisioned and desired for my family. I am able to give them my time, fully and am learning a lot about myself through the process.I am doing some of the most important work of my life, letting my children discover who they are and meant to be. I already have this answer for myself. It may be not the way I have always defined success for myself, I tend to value notoriety and money as a measurement of achievement, but I can say with total conviction that I am a good mom, the kind of mom my children need me to be. I was being asked to be open to that fact that things take time, that this is part of my process. To be open to my family, to my baby who screams-because not only is she trying to figure out this world, she is trying to figure out who these people in her family are, what they mean and what the heck are they doing? To be kind to myself and to open myself to love, the kind of love that can only come from me. To be an open spirit and to let who I am now permeate through my entire being, letting it be enough.

When I take a look back and see the bigger picture of life- how certain things have lead me to where I am today, the lessons I’ve learned, the people I have helped and the folks around me that fully love and support me- I realize that yes, I am making my dreams come true. They may feel like baby steps right now but there have been some big fearless leaps that I should pride myself in taking. And sometimes one task cannot be done till the other is complete.

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gratitude // no.14

workhouseblog | instagram My attitude this past weekend wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. Ugh, I wasted most of it being in a terrible mood, chalk it up to an extreme lack of sleep, fighting with the mister, feeling like I’m burning the candle at both ends yet still not doing enough. I ended up just disconnecting with everyone and everything. I might have used the word ‘hate’ silently a few times. Thankfully I had a float, a massage and a chocolate malt to turn things around. Saturday evening, things started to change but the weight of it all on my heart had left an impression. Sunday things settled and I started to feel a bit more normal, I skyped with a good friend, edited photos and felt like I gained a bit of myself back, the self that isn’t a mom or partner, the part that is just me. I find that holding that space and time for myself is important, being a mom and a partner is a full time whole heart experience but taking a break to be the person that came before all of it is necessary for me. It gives me the ability to nurture the things that make me special and gives me a sense of self. Sometimes its a easy as having a cup of coffee and working through a card of images to get me back into feeling like I belong and that I’m worthy or sometimes its browsing the entire internet in bed that does the trick!

Ever have those moments in life when you lose sense of yourself and end up disconnecting with everything? What do you do to get back on track?

Here are some more positive lovelies to make this week’s list:
-the mister baking homemade soft pretzels
-spotting 2 bald eagles
-an amazing float experience- before/after shots here
-a family slumber party
-brown rice bowl dinner, a family fave
-a clean house
-slow rainy sunday
-hot cups of coffee and warm cups of tea
-laughter
-bad moods that teach you a bit more about yourself
-a space to write about it all
-a little extra time with the mister on this monday morning

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countdown // weekend

des haigh | workhouseblogSix more day till spring equinox! Our neighborhood is filled with birdsongs, blossoming trees and the smell of the salty sea air. We’ve been out on walks every day this week, we even stumble upon 2 bald eagles perched in an evergreen in the park by our home. The feeling of spring is every where. I love this time of year, its when I birthed both of my girls, its when the Japanese Magnolias bloom and when things come back to life. Refreshed and anew.

This weekend Dave and I will have our first date night, since the baby was born; sadly, the most romantic thing I can think of is sleeping 8 hours straight in a bed all to myself and maybe a little dessert. Dave is awfully aware of my sleep deprived state and kindly made an appointment for me and a friend at a local float place along with a massage on Saturday before our date. Have you ever floated? It is the most relaxing and soothing experience, it is amazing how quickly your body releases stress and any tension you’re holding.  You feel extremely well rested and I always have a good night sleep after a float. I am going with a good friend who has never been so I am looking forward to sharing in his experience and hopefully snapping some before and after photos.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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gratitude // unplugging

workhouseblogTaking a bit of a sabbatical from the outside world for the next few days, using this much needed time to focus on this blog, a new project and to just to enjoy my family. On Wednesday I set up an away message for my email account, changed my voicemail message: I directed people to Dave incase of emergencies and set up a text message for incoming calls if needed. I logged out of EVERY social site (with the exception of Instagram, cause photography is a lifeline for me) and am refraining from reading anything non-essenstinal to my focus. I can tell you, now a few days in, its like a breath of fresh air, my mind is clearer, less cluttered and I am being productive…along with catching up on all my favorite shows at night with the mister.

Its amazing how so much of the outside world is right at our finger tips all the time, our phones give us so much information about the lives of strangers, what’s going on without us, what others’ are pursuing and making happen that I somehow forget to do those things for myself. Unplugging is my way of connecting. Its surprising how taking a bit of time to slow down and maybe even scraping the to-do list for a day can actually make me more productive when its time to work. I am also taken aback to see how quickly the dynamic of my family changes when we have more time together to just be,  there’s more of an ease in our daily routines.

So this weekend, we will take it in slow (the rest of my family is recovering from the flu), I will take Lucy on a date for hot cocoa and a trip to a favorite book store. We’ll draw, read books, cook together, laugh and play with no status updates, no tweets, no pins, no calls to distract us or emails to tie us down but there will be the occasional photo and hopefully you’ll sense our undying love and euphoria.

Have a wonderful weekend. What do you to do to slow down? How do let go of all the mind clutter and engage with the life? I’d love to hear your tips and gain some new tools.  (The beautiful crystal grid pictured above was a recent anniversary gift and was handmade by Lauren over at Stone and Violet)

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motherhood // the journey

the 101 | workhouseblogself portrait | workhouseblog

For days I’ve been trying to write a post about the tenderness of my heart lately. Trying to find a minute here or there between meals, diaper changes and homeschooling to sit and write about moments like this when I feel a bit stuck or both over and underwhelmed with life. It seems like every year during this time when the skies are grey and love is in the air my heart seems to yearn for me to take over and create the life I have always dreamt of, not to say that parts of those dreams have not come true, they have,  but the parts that are almost a fantasy, the goals that I have for myself that are almost so far fetched that I’m not even sure they can be reality.

I wanted to also share an image of what life is really like behind the scenes, as you can see my hair is pulled back, I am wearing a nursing tank, an oversized cardigan, have a bit of tinted moisturizer on and I have a babe strapped to my body as I type. This has become my uniform-sexless, functional and comfortable. Lucy is in the room behind me doing some research on the family computer for a paper she is writing. She comes in every 7-10 minutes to see what I am doing and ask a question. My mind then wanders around the internet to retrieve her answers, I lose train of all my own thoughts.  All I need is time- to myself, with my marriage, with each of my daughters, time with girlfriends and time to focus on new work as I transition out of photography.  My heart is being pulled in so many directions, its so easy to just lean out of it all and do nothing. Make dinner, straighten beds, clean up, go to swimming lessons and spend the night knitting and start things all over again in the morning.

I know most of this is winter talking, having a little baby and not having the desire to push myself a little bit harder. I know that these are normal feeling of motherhood. We’ve all been here, right?! A little lost, tired and waiting for the next phase in our own lives to begin. The images of what life should look like, feel like, dress like and be like.  The things that are bought and sold to us to make us feel the ever building pressure to be better, richer, wiser, kinder, more mindful, mindless and do it all while fitting into the perfect pair of jeans with the right shade of red lipstick. I am too old for these things, for these games and hoops. These days my goals are simple: make the baby laugh without a tickle, sit and play with Lucy and engage in her conversations and to give the remainder of my time to Dave once we are alone. That’s about all I can do at this stage in life without totally overbooking myself and my family (I’m an all or nothing kinda gal), yet there is a yearning deep in my soul to push forward, to fight through the grey clouds and make it all happen. Then I all is see is late nights and way less sleep then I’m already getting.

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marriage // year eleven

james moes | worikhouseblog james moes | worikhouseblogimages by james moes

Marriage is an incredible thing, the amount of courage, vulnerability and trust that you have to have with another person is a tremendous feat. The ins and outs of the daily routine can cause    romance to walk right out the room but the spontaneity it creates can be both thrilling and reassuring that love will somehow last. Last through the sleepless nights of a teething baby, through the reminders every Thursday evening that its trash night, through the mind numbing trance of watching The Bachelor, through the grocery shopping, the dishes, the everything, Dave is the one person I can see doing all these things with. It may not always not be as glamourous or extravagant as I had envisioned love in my early 20’s and its but its solid, through and through, tried and true and so much better than any fairytale that I had created. This is going to last- long after my hair has silvered, long after our girls have grown up, long after our memories start to fade, this is the person I was destined to be with, to share my life with through the mundane, the beauty and the ugly. We have learned the ins and out of what our marriage needs to stay healthy and in time that will again change but for now the sweetness of its love it right where I want to be.

This weekend Dave and I will be celebrating our 11 year wedding anniversary together with our girls and good friends (Superbowl is happening too), after last year’s renewals and Anaïs’ arrival, we are keeping things pretty low key around here. On Sunday a good friend will be hanging with the girls so I can make Dave’s wish to eat at a local breakfast place come true, we used go there all the time before we had kids, it has the best egg benny, endless cups of dark roast coffee, is small and quaint and kid unfriendly. Afterwards  all of us will heading to  Ba Bar  because all I want to do is eat a cronut in every flavor, our dreams are simple but so attainable.

I so love you, David Kim and am so thankful for your patience, understanding and never ending quest to make sure my dreams come true. xo

 

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knit // rosebud

rosebud hat | workhouseblog

Knitting is one form of meditation for me, it brings me to my breath, shows me where I am holding tension in my body and gives silence to all the chatter that life gives. It allows me to slow down, sit still, most likely with a hot cup of tea and is a sign to my family that mom is taking a break. It also has quite a lovely outcome.

As an after holiday gift I usually splurge on little something special for myself, the rosebud was exactly that. I was given the pattern from a friend and so happen to have a bit of yarn stashed away just for this hat, the colorway is postcard for those who are curious (since I had the fingering weight I double strand knit it). Its a delightful knitting pattern and the yarn make such a beautiful fabric,  it made for the perfect self gift.

|POST SCRIPT| I wanted to add that my hat (as well as others who have made this) was a touch too big, so as recommended by a good friend, I dampened mine and tossed it in the dryer with a few dryer balls (or towels) in 5 min intervals until it was the perfect fit.

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personal // a legacy

workhouseblog

This quilt was beyond anything I expected to receive for a Christmas gift, it almost holds a holiness all in itself. My thoughtful sister in law decided to get a hold of my father’s sister, my Aunt, the family historian and archivist. The one who holds the key of knowledge when it comes to ancestry and the person thoughtful enough to preserve our family heirlooms. This is one of those things, this is now mine, this is from those who created before me, this is when the legacy was handed down. My grandmother had the forethought to create a wedding quilt for each one of her 5 children and then one for each of their children, its unknown if this was designated to be mine or for one of my Uncles who never married, whichever the story, they both hold a significance. I love it, more than I can express in words. It holds a story, memories and an energy that mean so much to me, the fact that my Grandmother’s handiwork is all over this quilt makes it feel like almost too much to take in, at least all at once. This quilt has a heartbeat of its own, its huge, all encompassing and will comfort us for many years to come.

 

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welcome // 2014

new year // workhouseblog

(photo| james moes)

Welcome to the first post of the year! The blog has been spruced up a bit and a few details will change here and there as we finish up the update. I will also be starting a new photo project for the year and am hoping to start a few new series as well. But alas life is full and I will keep these intentions close.

We are entering the year refreshed, loved and excited after having spent quality time with friends and family who came to visit, sleepover or share meals with us over the holidays. It was a full and festive 2 week break. Sometimes I wished it would never end but life must continue as it may and everyone has to return back to their own beds for every night can’t be a slumber party by the fireplace.

I want to take a moment to thank you all of you for your kind emails and comments about The Workbook 2014, it was such and honor to create. I was overwhelmed with the feedback and feel so thankful that you each took the time to work through it, shared it, pinned it and gave it to friends as gifts; it went far beyond anything I imagined. My heart was bursting reading through the emails and messages I received, that was a gift in itself. So, thank you!

I want to leave you with the intention of anew and how you can invite it into your life in 2014. To change what is no longer working for you or to make something different for yourself or as easy as drinking lemon and warm water in the mornings. Take a moment to think about how you can welcome a new positive change in the new year.

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