Reflections On The New Year

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Though I had journaled for years, I truly started blogging regularly back in 2009. I was twenty two years old, and had recently fallen pregnant. Everything was so new and I didn't relate to any of my younger, non-parent friends anymore. I needed an outlet to document the blossoming both physically and spiritually of my being; blogging, paired with photography was the answer. Quickly, I found community within the online world-- I was connected to people going through similar stages in their lives, some a few states away and others thousands of miles across the ocean. I found solace in the witty and uncensored writing. The stories. The beautiful photos. I was inspired to document my own transformation into a young mother, a newlywed. Suddenly I didn't feel so alone.

This little blog has evolved and shifted over the years time and time again. Those of you that have been reading since I first started writing know exactly how often I have played the shapeshifter. I can never quite figure out what I truly want this space to be, but it has always been. Faithfully and loyally steadfast, waiting for me to shape and mold it in whatever direction my heart leads me. When I strip it all away and truly give myself- and the blog- room to breathe, I find that the answers come to me more clearly. 

I plan on writing more about evolution in general, but that is a post for another time. What I've come to realize, however, is that transformation is natural. Just as the times change and years pass us by, the cells in our own bodies that have weakened and shifted will die, slowly making room for a re-birth of our selves that happens over and over again throughout our lives. Nothing stays the same. No matter how much we feel we are sitting still on this spinning planet, how our lives have stayed stagnant, how we're stuck in dead-end careers or tiny apartments, or how we've wasted time doing one thing wishing it were another, the fact is: everything is always moving forward. Change is inevitable. Plant the seeds for the coming year. Watch them grow. 

Reflections for me have been long and deep. I've allowed myself to explore parts of myself I hadn't bothered to recognize. Maybe I was afraid of what I would find, or becoming uncomfortable. What I've learned is that this space is so sacred to me. It is a home for my thoughts - thoughts that change and evolve constantly over the years, and thoughts that are reflected in writing and photography. I am not afraid to be vulnerable, especially knowing I am not the same person I was five years ago. And I'm okay with that. This will forever serve as a documentation of the evolution of mySELF. And I encourage anyone starting a blog to keep at it. To let yourself be influenced by your surroundings. Try it all out. Try fashion blogging. Try mommy blogging. Try sponsoring. Try designing your own headers. Try creating recipes. Try taking moody photos. Try stripping everything back. Try to keep a 365 (or a 52!) photo journal. Try whatever you want. Eventually you'll find the perfect balance of what your individual space means to you, and you'll only be better for getting your feet wet in the things that interest you. I can look back and laugh at all of the ridiculous things I've tried, but will always honor my authenticity, my unique and individual journey.

In 2015 I will continue this journal. I will strive to go deeper. To strip back even more. To challenge myself even more. To document what my heart feels drawn to share, and to release what no longer serves me. My energy will be spent toward making memories with my children, honoring the earth and advocating for women, deepening my spiritual calling, making time to reconnect with my husband and strengthening the relationship with my friends.

As we begin to approach the darkest days out of the entire year, only five days before the winter solstice, I find that energy levels are depleted and my moods can be dark and heavy. What is supposed to be the happiest time of the year can often turn melancholy in an instant-- there's good reasoning for that! The universe has designed this time for us to retreat deep into ourselves and the dark sides of our lives so that we can plant those seeds of change to be reborn in the new year, rested and clear in mind and heart. I think about this year and everything that has happened on a global scale: legalization/prohibition, hate, racism, inequality, brutality, cyber security, challenges to feminism... just to name a few. There is so much happening and a revolution is coming. Just like many years before, our work in America is not done yet. We have a long way to go, and my heart is heavy for so many. In this time of darkness, my only hope is that we band together and start spreading more of our vibrant light out into the world. It's very clear that the world needs us-- ALL of us. Don't ever underestimate your voice. Keep talking. Keep LOVING. Keep praying for peace in 2015, and for always.

~Kate 

Bits + Bobs

A few weeks back I took a trip to my local nursery to pick up some new plants for the house. The cheer of the greenery keeps my spirits high as the weather begins to cool in the city. They were, after all, a reward to myself for keeping my other green leafed friends alive and kickin'. I think they make a lovely addition to our family. This is a clipping from the larger braided money tree we have potted in our bedroom.

It only seems like forever that I've been chasing after a wholesome, clean diet. I go back and forth, some days doing really well and others not so much. The not so much days happen more often, especially due to the convenience, but I'll be damned if I'm not trying my hardest. I struggle greatly with sugar cravings , so I've had to get creative with finding recipes that cure that itch. Thankfully, through a spark of inspiration this afternoon I have developed a warm and frothy chocolate mylk that is pure bliss in a cup (and not bad for me, either). I've already had it twice today! It really is so good. 

Oh, and these little succulents. Boy, do  I have big plans for you! Though I haven't had the chance to shop much lately, I'm hoping to thrift some vintage stoneware or tea cups to transplant these little fellas into. Gardening indoors will have to suffice until it's spring again. I've found by having little projects around the home to tend to, I've kept busy and grounded amongst the holiday chaos.

And of course, my little Alba. I peeled off the glue to your cut today and everything has healed up nicely, thank goodness. We've entered such an intensely emotional new growth spurt (accompanied by its lovely friend, teething) and it has seemed to be never ending. I cannot get this peanut to eat anything other than breastmilk at the moment and sleep has been difficult and interrupted for us all. It has been an utterly exhausting week on all accounts...whew!

Split Eyebrows and Hello Kitty Band-Aids

The E.R. trip that we so narrowly avoided with Sofia's almost broken nose was a stroke of good luck that unfortunately didn't last for long. A few days later, on a quiet morning after breakfast, I was washing dishes in the other room when I heard crying followed by Erick saying, "oh my god, oh my god" over again. 

This time, Alba.

There was a cut, right above her eye and straight through her brow. It bled, she cried, but not for long. I was trying once again to convince everyone that everything was OK, until Erick pulled the cut apart and I saw just how deep it was. Shit! So this is what parenting is like now?  Part of me felt like I was dreaming; how could this Terrible Thing  possibly be happening to us after what we just went through? A bit of a pity party, and overall anger that our house wasn't properly Alba-proofed ensued. But it was happening. We got dressed and headed to Emergency, getting to enjoy all the creature comforts like waiting in a hot and stuffy room for 5 hours to be seen for a total of ten minutes.

Have you ever seen a doctor glue skin back together?

I haven't, and it was pretty cool.

For now, I am investing in large quantities of bubble wrap and saying my thank-you prayers. 

Winter In The City

Winter in the city -

Little bits of color still left in the park downtown, frigid temps, wobbling ice skaters.

There is something about the way the city comes alive when the holidays approach-- twinkling lights and bustling shoppers. While I prefer my winters cozied up at home (away from said bustle) I appreciate the magic that can be felt as you wander around.