ebb and flow(ing) all over the place

I am deeply sensitive and emotional, my mood affects my heart and my heart changes my mood in the most high and low ways. I’ve often wished to be different. To be unaffected and capable of just setting routines, schedules, and goals and not live so swayed by heartache, the news, a photo on Facebook, a harsh word from a friend, a squabble with Charlie, all of it.

The longer I live as a highly sensitive person the more I learn. Lately, the more I see that I can harness those highs and lows and emotions in ways that feel connective and full, and work for me. The less self-conciously I can feel my feelings, the brighter I feel and the more I have to give.

My heart is a naturally inclined to give, my answer nearly always swinging to not just a ‘yes’ but an emphatic and encouraging “of course!” and the same goes for my demeanor. While most of the people I surround myself with would claim that they have intense “resting bitch face” to the rest of the world, I stand out as a resting “hey! Come chat with me!” and I’m done thinking that’s wrong, or weird. I’m fully ready to know that… it’s just me! I am always wanting to hear someone’s story, and want to listen. Even if it is with a kid on my hip, another in the cart, and you’re ready to tell me all about your allergy heartaches after seeing all the raw nuts in my cart.

I am taking the ebb and flow of my feelings and using them. I am deeply rooted into loving giving. My knowledge, my experiences, my answers. I’m spending hours a week  (via snapchat, instagram, Facebook, and email) answering questions about online workouts, weight lifting, birthing, breast feeding, cultural appropriation and how we can grow in awareness. Answering questions about no-poo hair care, oil pulling, supplements, gentle parenting, marriage after betrayal, marriage after the ‘honeymoon’ phase ends, and on and on. I’m in the space of wanting to give, and put it out there.

I have been a user of social media forever, my blog dates back to my first years of college and sharing recipes for nachos (yes, seriously). I am a sharer, and lover of connecting people to each other. The only constant in my life is that I am always, inadvertently often, working on building communities. Always.

Since leaving the Mama network in the capable hands of Moms who had the right love to give, I’ve gone on to create a large network for Whole30, an active network for currently W30ing people, and a thriving group for fitness and encouraging each other without selling/product pushing. I can’t help myself. {also, if you’d like links to any of those groups, let me know in the comments here or on FB and I’ll add them}

All this to say, I’m not great at cultivating a niche, my heart is all over the place. I will continue on this space to overshare about weird natural skin and hair care, whatever strange super food is giving my heart and body a boost, my woes about time management and routine setting, body positivity, body positive fitness, and all that I am struggling with in joining that world and community. I want to share about the big goals I have for myself and the ways I am aching to reach them, and here and there about my parenting and my children. They’re my first and world, but as the internet explodes with growth daily I feel more and more hesitant to share them in a space where they will some day soon share themselves, and want to paint their own pictures. So they will always play into my writing, because they are everything. And where 99% of my time is. But know that the reason this space is quieter and quieter about parenting is because it is done with thought, not because I don’t have words just bubbling out and up and over about parenting in this phase (my heart aches to blog it, but they aren’t just my stories…).

I’m applying and pitching my heart out lately, I’m working to create some sponsored content I care and believe in, as a means of growing this blog into one that can help our family start to achieve some big dreams. Some unspeakable goals. And some fun. I hope that you’ll stick with me though this, as I muddle through figuring it out. And, mostly, I welcome and really really appreciate any feedback about what/how I am doing here. I want this space to function as a journal, because my heart needs it. But I also want it to work for someone reading, what information do you want? What are you looking for? And how can I help give that more freely?

Thanks for muddling through with me. And, shamelessly, if you ever want to work collaboratively, email me. I would always love and welcome the opportunity to talk through ideas.


This photo is from a day we spent at a beach, alone. I snapped some photos that I’ve held tight to for a couple months now. They are traditionally ‘unflattering’ and highlight parts of myself that I’ve been wholly conditioned to hide. But, soon, I’m going to blog about the importance of normalizing bodies of all shapes being fit, and will get brave with them. But, for today, this easy to digest one that I am proud of. I’ve worked so hard to make headstand possible and create enough strength to hold it, so now I pop it up everywhere! Now to cross my fingers and begin a draft sharing some much more raw images. . .

Home Workout; Getting Started!


I’ve tried, and loved, gyms before. I liked the ritual of going somewhere, packing up, and being surrounded by other people who are all working together. It’s the easiest way to feel motivated (money! other people to count on you!)Group fitness classes, LOVE. But? None of that was even kind of sustainable with our budget or schedule.

I tried to get friends together frequently enough to do workouts, but without the skills, training, or equipment to really keep going.. it always petered out.

All that to say: I love gyms, and maybe down the line that kind of training will be for me. But for now? For my budget/kids/family life/sanity…. nope. Also, it’s hard to imagine going back now that I have a nice established home routine, it feels so good and doable. I also really (really) love having it be a ritual that my kids see me engaging in every week. It’s normal to them to see me jumping around doing squat jumps and burpees, they’re used to me grunting my weights around and leaping like crazy when I hit a PR. That is something I never want to lose. The visual of their Mama being strong, loud, and growing. Celebrating my strong legs, thick arms, and newfound ability to hold a chaturanga.

Where To Get Started: Start by deciding your goals. Are you hoping to lose weight? Or fat? Are you aiming to build muscle? Or get stronger overall? Do you want to build mass? Or just feel more fit? That will help you determine how often/aggressively and what body parts to be working out. My main goals are overall fitness and strength and fat loss. Because of that, I do a good mix of cardio/hiit (not just treadmill or running unless I’m craving a run! And with Summer coming, I’m sure that will come back into my routine), and heavy strength training. I use Fitnessblender workouts and LOVE so much about them. The main thing I love is that they are body positive. You won’t hear Kelli or Daniel saying “Think of bikini shopping! How do you want to look on the beach!” they NEVER promote fasting, or depravation, they are openly encouraging of eating real foods from all food groups and indulging when you want. They don’t promote calorie/macro counting at all and both are open about their own high calorie intake because of the importance of fueling your body in order to grow muscles and effectively lose fat. Also, hearing Kelli’s story through a crippling eating disorder and out and into amazing strength? So awesome, relatable, and inspiring. ANYWAY: Why I love their workouts is the sheer variety. There are hundred of free videos to choose from and you can easily search them through their website (click Workouts -> full length workouts) and select exactly what you are looking for. My favorites are the “for people who get bored easily” (they have cardio/abs, lower body, upper body varieties) because they are all strength training that feels like cardio for your body (So.Sweaty.). If you are just starting out I think the best place to start is with the Five Day Challenge for Busy People, it will get your body going for a few days, show you their style and variety, is free, and the workouts in that program are only 30minutes or less. I love all the five day ones (the strong and lean one is HARD AND AWESOME). You can also purchase programs, they will create a calendar for you when you log in and preload the workouts so  that when you log-in you just click and it’s already chosen for you. I highly recommend using a program when you are getting stared, it will help you meet your goals, and not overtrain one area/neglect another. I loved the FitnessBlenderBooty program and had really great results, and the Ab program was great as well. I have done FBFIT too and liked it, but the workouts were a bit longer and at that point I wasn’t ready for it, but I’ll probably repeat it now that I have better endurance. The programs range from $9-15 and once you have it, it’s yours to repeat as often as you like. It’s a crazy steal.


Motivation: This is the number one question that popped up when I started putting feelers out on this post. I get it! Feeling motivated to workout, at home, with your cozy bed right there… it’s herculean at first! It’s rolling a square stone up a hill. It’s really hard. But two things sick out to me; First, momentum is motivation. It’s like every other habit, the more you do it… the more you’ll do it. So pulling the trigger on actually doing it those first few weeks will feel like pulling teeth, but it should* get easier and easier the more you do it. Those first weeks it is best to set aside two times of day that work (early morning and late evening? lunch break and before dinner? whatever are two 30 min times you can carve out) and decide that you will use one of those times, set phone alarms, tell a friend you’ll be doing it, find an accountability partner (or Facebook group! I made one that is helping me BIG TIME to stick to actually getting in my daily workouts, let me know if you want to join <3), send a sweaty selfie to your friend or on your IG, do whatever it takes for you those days to really get it. Secondly, motivation needs to be tangible and internal. Those seem counter intuitive but what I mean is that you need to have achievable goals, results are so inspiring and motivating, almost universally! But I feel that for those goals to really sustain you long term, not wreck your self esteem, or contribute to already deeply entrenched patterns created by media and culture… those goals need to be tangible and not size/number related (solely! Everyone can have many goals, but if your only goal is a size… it’s likely going to backfire). So, creating goals that are measurable but won’t make you cry in an Old Navy Dressing room (just me?). Goals like climbing a harder route on a rock wall, keeping up with your kids while you play soccer, biking the trailer all around town, hiking a hike that has seemed outside of your skills, sleeping better at night, feeling guiltless about your food choices on a regular basis (or! all the time!), buying whatever fits you best without feeling sad about the size. Here are my weird, tried and true tips for motivation and sustaining your home program… and forewarning, some of these are weird.

  1. Videos of yourself! This happened on accident, I started taking workout videos for my IG and the side effect? I went HARD when I popped on the video camera! I had great form (well, sometimes, I’m still learning!) and was able to feel that gym motivation to lift harder/heavier because I knew I would be sharing this, and I wanted to share my best and hardest.
  2. Mirrors. Being able to see yourself is kinda paramount with home practice because you can’t get form correction from a trainer. But with your mirror you can see how straight your back/legs are, and what is working and what isn’t.
  3. Music, find you groove and station. For me, and this is stupid embarrassing because every song on there is AWFUL and full of terrible messages… I listened to Sexy and You Know it Radio (when I’m working out sans kid’s) and Taylor Swift Radio (with kids).
  4. Pull up your workout and push play. As it starts going I always realize… “I don’t want to watch this, I want to get this DONE.”
  5. Let every one know… I know, it’s my generation or my narcissism or something, but don’t knock social media accountability till you try it. Post in a group that you are working out now, and ask someone to check back in an hour. Text your friend, or spouse, write it on your to-do list, IG a picture of what you are about to do and then delete it and add a sweaty after instead. Whatever you do, ditch the social media shame and guilt and do whatever works for you to get you to your goal of feeling better.
  6. Photos…. seriously. After you ditch the scale and begin to rely on emotions and feelings and strength to gauge fitness it can be easy to feel like you aren’t seeing any changes externally. Your see yourself every day and will likely not notice the changes, because healthy changes are super gradual. Take progress photos! You *will* eventually see some changes, even if it’s mainly in how you hold yourself, smile, and enjoy your reflection, and those will motivate you to keep achieving your specific goals.

**Should: I say should because many people (me!) experience a major endorphin high and feel way better after working out. I need to feel that several times a week to feel good, it’s an antidepressant for me. It’s the runners high, that is present after any good hard workout. I don’t think that happens the first few times depending on your fitness level, but give it at least a bit of time. However! and the reason for the asterisk. I have recently had it pointed out that feeling better after a workout/endorphin high is not an experience everyone has, so the motivation of “you’ll feel better after” and “you never regret a workout” is not true for everyone and I am privaledged that it does work and happens for me. If this doesn’t happen for you then your goals can reflect this and you can look into other ways to meet those needs that maybe *do* bring you that joy. It could be working out outside, or trying an alternative workout (try a zumba or dance video, rock climbing, yoga, hiking, long walks with friends, jogging with a pod cast, etc) and my advice up there won’t hold true that it gets “easier and easier” because it very well may not for you, and if so, that’s okay! You can hate working out, and choose an active lifestyle instead, or you can hate working out and do it anyway, depending on your goals, but I would think them through thoroughly and be sure that they are goals you want for your heart and head and not just for acceptance or a size.

When?!: I’m going to repeat myself a bit here. My answer is similar to what I said in my Home Yoga Practice: Getting Started, post. Many of the programs are set up to exercise three or five days a week, if you are choosing a program I suggest following it fully and not adding more exercise right away. If you are creating your own, by choosing workouts, I would aim for 2-3 active workout days, 2-3 active rest and at least one full rest day. As far as time of day… that’s on you! Does your day work well with a firm schedule? General consensus is that working out in the AM is easier, less time to put it off. For me I have to just fit it in where I can/when I feel motivated and if not? Then I do it at night. My day to day is pretty all over the map, and will only grow in that chaos with Summertime and no school schedule, so I will continue aiming for morning but taking time wherever I can squeeze it in. If you procrastinate and pull up your program and realize “There is NO way I can do 52minutes of anything right now!” then just take note of the muscle group/style of exercise it is and hunt down a short one on their page (their 10minute workouts are some of my FAVORITES!). A little of something, is far far better for your body than nothing.

Gear: This is where home workout can get pricey. All of the fitness blender videos are still hard and effective without any weights. But to really work on muscle growth and up your stamina, some weights will be really helpful (but not right off the bat! You could see how you like it and then slowly save up!). I used exclusively one pair of 8 pound weights of for the first year (!) because that was all I had. And? I loved it. Had awesome results and still got all the endorphin highs! In December Charlie bought me a weight set from Costco (10-30# for $200!) and it’s been amazing and invaluable. It means we can both workout together towards our goals, and it means that my muscles are growing like crazy now! If you are wanting in invest in something I would start with a pair of 15# weights and a pair of #5 pound weights, that at least gives you a nice weight for shoulders/back, and squats/deadlifts. And then grow from there. I also really like having a couple of kettle bells (less expensive!) I have a 10# and a 15# and really want a #35. Caution! Buying workout stuff is addictive! I have found all my plates and my first dumbells at Good Will and Value Village, always keep your eyes open! Other than weights: a good mat, supportive shoes, and killer headbands to keep your sweat at bay are all worthy investments. But? My favorite thing about working out at home? I can workout in my underwear and no one ever need know. heyo! I buy most of my workout clothes at Old Navy and Target, or I look for better brands at Good Will and Value Village (SO MANY IN MARCH! End of resolutions?)

How to do it with kiddos?: Two things here: one, expectations. The first few weeks/months you may be stopping your workout five… ten times, it might take you 1.5 hours to do the 45min workout. Or? You may have to stop all together and just call it good at 10min. But trust that doing some bit of something is still better for your brain and body than doing nothing. And secondly, the more you workout with kids around, the more normal it becomes. For our family it’s now just a part of the routine that “okay! I’m gonna workout now.” and they scatter to play. Or, they join in! It isn’t the most alonetime/break/easy when that happens, but I feel awesome about them choosing to stick with me and see me doing something I feel really great about modeling. But truly, the more you do it the more they really won’t care. Also? Full stop. If you plug your kiddo into netflix for 30min to get a sweat? No shame. It’s important to do what you need to do to be your best self and best parent, and sometimes that means some compromises. If we had more than one device/screen I’m sure I would be doing that too!


Here are some quotes and support from some of the ladies in our Facebook group, sharing a little about their at home practice:

“Give yourself grace! Realize you aren’t a paid athlete and it’s okay to have more than one priority in your life. Scratch that, not just okay but healthy! Finding balance is so difficult but if you keep trying to fit fitness in (even 15- 20 minutes) you will feel so much better.” -Christin

“When I first started working out, I used several DVDs. They were so hard because I was so unhealthy and out of shape. But I made it my mission to complete the workout even if I had to down modify or walk in place during some of the moves. Making it through to the end gave me a real sense of accomplishment even if I wasn’t doing exactly what was prescribed” -Nicole

“The biggest challenge I’ve always faced is getting discouraged when the results seem to take such a long time to achieve. I want to see and feel immediate changes, but I have to remember that I didn’t get to my current physical state overnight, so I need to commit to long term goals in order to see appreciable improvement. I continually remind myself that I will never see results for the work I never put in.” -Colleen

“My advice would be to do what you can day by day & build up from there. If you go full out right out of the shoot (lifting like the trainer on the screen, keeping up with reps, etc) then you’re likely to be super sore, discouraged because you can’t “keep up” and then burn out quickly, not to mention the risk for injury. (Uh, I remember when 3lb weights made me incapable of washing my hair… But I gradually increased and it felt AMAZING!) But the biggest part? Have a stellar accountability partner to check in with daily. It makes all the difference. And knowing that there will always be someone that wants to put you down for bettering yourself. Having someone to turn to when those negative thoughts creep in was vital in my initial success in learning to be consistent.” -Megan

“My biggest advice would be to start with small achievable goals. For me it was committing to 30 minutes a day. That seemed so easy to do and squeeze into my schedule when I just started out. Also finding a chunk of the day that you firmly dedicate to exercise no matter what’s going on – of course you do have to be flexible too because, life. There’s many a day I’m catching up on my missed workout in the evening… But it’s also way more tempting for me to skip it then. Be gentle with yourself and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day!” -Liza

“You have to start from somewhere!” -Kristen


This post got long! But if you have any other questions feel free to ask them here or on the FB page, I would love to chat more about this!



Space for fear

Today I swung my whole self hand-to-hand across the monkey bars. A year ago I couldn’t hang, holding my own body weight, for more than 25sec.

Yesterday I hung upside down on a bar on the school playground, by just my knees, I used momentum and swung back and forth until I could let my legs go and land on my feet. I didn’t, I fell. But it was okay!

Nolie squealed! I grinned! And tried again.

Feeling the weight of my body, and the strength of my hands was exhilarating. Feeling a little scared, a little uncomfortable, but knowing I could trust that if I fell, I would be okay, maybe I wouldn’t fall next time.

Watching my daughter feel proud and excited for me.

This is why I lift weights, why I rock climb, and why I keep trying to hang on the monkey bars.

Not only for those girls. Not only for the normalcy of a Mama who plays, swims with them, and jumps on the trampoline, and tried ridiculous headstands, and falls and gets scrapes. I want to  do things that scare me. In front of them!

But also, for me. That moment of “can I really do this?” and then… that next of “yes!” or… “hah! not yet!”

It feels good to practice what I preach to my kids. To shift those words I say to them so often, onto myself;  “You can do hard things. Your body is so capable!”

Today I felt it. Today I got to model it. And today I am so strong. IMG_6830

blog gone.


When it was almost gone I felt a moment of relief. All those words and moments and documented mistakes were gone. All the over sharing and stories that aren’t quite mine to give so fully… gone. I felt a second of “oh good. Now no one will know. ” I was thankful to have the words gone from my girls. And thankful to not have to wonder “have they read about me?” when I meet a new Mom in Bellingham.

In the next flicker I felt intense heartache. It’s all gone. All the mistakes, and moments, and over sharing of motherhood and wife life and our story and his story, and her sleeplessness, my body hate, and my anger, my sadness, my everything from the start was gone. Poof, into the internet universe never to be seen again. And with that felt a strange weight. I’ve already forgotten those days (I was recently at the store and a new mom asked me if sleep was hard with my oldest, and it took me too long to remember. Because now I miss it. I remember rocking her fondly. Not putting her down, to hard, in anger at 3am. The realities have slipped away). I quick look through the archives reveals a women I am both pushed and pulled to cry with and comfort for her choices that she will regret (that I’ve already forgotten) and also pulled to never remember because she feels wholly unrecognizable.

The words I used to describe Nolie in her sleeplessness break my heart. My desire to not cry it out but to push it to the edge and “break her of this habit” make my stomach turn.

How freely I shared Charlie’s story makes me so torn. It introduced me to so many beautiful and suffering women. So many women who needed to know they weren’t alone. And who needed, desperately, to see a story of hope. But it also feels heavy and strange to know that so much of our very personal hearts and life are there. On a page. Easily searched. (But know, it was all shared with Charlie as the editor. And who stills believes wholly in that story being available).

The words that go along with my birth stories are so strange and hard and beautiful, but oddly stoic. Because I didn’t quite know myself. I didn’t quite know how much to give, how to give in, or how to convey it. And now my desire to rewrite them, years later, with just what’s left. Just the intense and the beautiful.

The moment dragged on. And my need to make a decision (to pay to have this page hosted) loomed. And I’m here.

Bubbling over with words, after feeling mute for so long, so much to share, so much changing going on and beautiful and happy and light. So much heavy and new and universal.

I’m struggling with the boundaries. I know that I won’t be putting as much of my children out here. And I know that I will be choosing wisely how quickly I share my own tender heart. But I also feel the words pressing out my fingers again and I’m ready to make it a practice again. To find a new voice. And to see what story it is that I am needing to share.

So, it’s here. And will be here. And won’t (as some posts will be disappearing, but no recipes). But that woman, the one I’m desperate to erase, she’s still there too. And she deserves hold a piece of my past, as much as it pains my heart to read those words and feel utterly divorced from the woman, and mother, I was.

All I can do, as I read back and decide to write on, is to do it with grace for who I am, who I was, and who I will be. And trust that those who love me have the same.

So, hi. And we’re back. And it’s new.

running is changing.

Last year Charlie and I trained for and ran a local half marathon. It was a hard, long, and eye opening process. And I never ran alone. Always with him, or a friend, the miles felt too quiet and too long and too tiring with only my stomp-stomp-stopm. The dedication to put in the weekly maintenance runs was really hard, and I lagged at the end. The long weekend runs were a treat and a break and often spent with a dear, and inspiring runner friend, but I struggled toward the end because I slacked on my training.


When race day came we did it. We raced like newbies and had our fastest 10K yet but dragged through the 7 miles after that. When the race came to a  close we pushed across the finish line with nothing left. Nothing. At one point, during mile 12, I stopped and wanted to walk (for the first time during the race) but walking hurt more than running so we kept going. And vowed to each other that we would NEVER RUN EVER AGAIN.

About a week after the race, when we had both semi recovered, we went for a run around a local lake and vowed to do the race, and do it well, the following year. I made the goal to run it 15 pounds lighter and 15minutes faster. Well, I’ve amended that to be that I’ll run the race at whatever weight I am, and 30minutes faster (though, I think I am around 10 pounds lighter currently, so it could be that goal might happen on happy accident). But this time I am doing it differently.

I’m not just training for a half. I am cross training my body. And training my brain too.

I am running alone, well… with the girls and dog but basically alone, and in my head. And the running part feels like mental training more than anything else. Miles of foot to trail, and my own thoughts. And my brain feels calm and healthy in those miles, not frantic and exhausted. It’s a gift. And one that grows when I nurture it, so I keep running.

But for my body… I am changing it up. Last year I just ran as training. This year I am weight lifting and doing a lot of HIIT (high intensity interval training) and getting my miles in slow and steady. But it’s amazing, my body feels SO good on runs. I can power up hills because my squat weight is climbing. I can push through that last mile, hard, because my calf lift is on point.11045458_10101259840820950_3417006566120062386_n

I am using a website (fitnessblender.com) to find workouts I like, and spend probably 4-6 days a week doing a 30-45minute workout. And it’s working! And changing my body and mind.

This week we are registering for the race (it isn’t till September, but early bird prices. . . ) and I am starting to get pretty excited about crushing last years times!11073470_10101254187255740_2068781312218279135_n

Bucket List Blonde

I come from blonde roots. My Mom is a blonde, my sister is, and all the nieces and nephews are little toe heads. I’ve always been dark haired. I would have been named Robin had I followed in all the blonde footsteps before me, but I came out with gorilla levels of nearly black hair, and so my sister got her way and I was named Autumn.

As long as I can remember I’ve wondered what it’s like to be blonde, could I pull it off? Would it be too weird? And… would it be more fun?

This past month has been a weird one, full of joy and fun but also transitions and tiredness, settling into our home and trying to find the groove we fit into. And in all that tumult and the dust settling around huge life changes I felt that itch. The one for a Big Change. It was this or a tattoo, so I figured it was time to scratch one off the list and just go for it.

I am so glad I did.




I still feel a little like I am wearing a disguise but the strangest side effect is that I feel about 100X more confident and like such a girl! I’m getting dressed, grinning from ear to ear, and kinda feel like I’m walking on air. Being Blonde will be a short season for me, but one I can already tell I am going to adore. Cue the CHORUS: ” I ennnnnjoy being a girrrrl!”


How to nurse in a dress!

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for ages! I’ve only come across a few dresses I can’t nurse in, but generally I’ve found there are tricks and ways to nurse in virtually any dress.
Here are my tricks when looking at dresses during shopping trips, and a few cheap items you can add to your wardrobe to make the dresses you already have work!
Photo on 12-5-13 at 4.06 PM #7
{how most of this post was written; while nursing, in a dress.}
Number ONE tip: TRY IT OUT. Don’t look at a dress and think “I could never nurse in that.”  When you are in the dressing room and you try on a dress, any dress! Give popping your boob out the top a go. It sounds weird, because it kind of is, but you would be surprised! Pull the dress neckline gently forward as far as you can, hike it up short short in the back, (it won’t matter, you’ll be sitting when you nurse!) and try to nurse. I guarantee you will be shocked! You would be surprised how much ‘give’ there is to this material if you just give nursing in it a shot, I’ve been shocked many, many times by what is ‘nursable’ even though it isn’t a traditionally stretchy feeling material. For example…
{however, this dress is also a nice one to wear with leggings or jeggings to nurse. Because of the nipped in elastic waist it can almost act as a cover/tent feeling when I nurse by pulling it up, no need for any tank to cover my stomach. Like here!}
The dress doesn’t have much stretch to it at all, but when I pull the dress forward a bit around my neckline before I sit down it raises it up (short!) in the back (but who cares?! I’m sitting!) and gives me enough space to be able to pop my boob out the top and easily nurse in it. Sames goes for this dress;
And this one too;
And here I am nursing in that dress;
Or this dress, below, it is jean material! But if I pull the neckline down and bend over a bit then I can get my boob out and easily nurse (and discreetly with a scarf or in the sling) even though there is almost no give to the high’ish neckline.
Brings me to another tip; SCARVES. Nursing is a time to invest in many, many (like, you can’t have too many and I need ten more), light weight infinity scarves. I was gifted (thanks Mom!) one I adore and it was under $20 and from Brass Plum at Nordstroms (pictured above) and I use that one, and a few others to act as a nursing cover for me when I nurse in a dress. If you are going over the top and are well endowed you will be showing a lot of skin, and if that’s not your thing then using a scarf to help bring a little coverage is easy and still stylish. I like the infinity scarves best because I don’t have to take them off/rearrange it at all I just pull it over and down a bit, not over babies head, just over my exposed skin (like above!). (here is a link to the winter version of my springy one!)
As you can see, I wear scarves with my dresses a Lot;
And, nursing in the dress pictured above;
If high necked and shortish; then add a stretchy little mini skirt underneath to make it easy to lift your dress up as you would any shirt. This skirt cost me $3 on clearance and they always have them in stock and it works really well to add a thick/cozy and non slippy layer to make nursing more discreet and easy!
382775_899499094700_433472_nHere it is making nursing easy and giving a little extra length to my (suddenly short!) dress with my little 17 weeks bump!
And, finally, the obvious tips;
JERSEY. My sister is rolling her eyes right now, but really! There are lots of cute jersey dresses out there and they make nursing so.easy. and when you wash and dry they lose any sort of neck slack you created. Here are some of my easy to nurse in dresses. I look for a nice mid thigh length (I wear leggings under often and then can just lift up, or I use my skirt trick), a fitted silhouette, and not too low of a neckline.
And, also, button down dresses (lots of vintage dresses with that style!) or wrap dresses will forever be nursing friendly. Especially if paired with a light scarf.
Any other tips you seasoned nursers have? I’m wrapping this up more quickly than I planned I have to get back to nursing my around-the-clock-hungry baby!
Here’s my shopping list!
1: Ikat (with black black tights and high high heels this would be an easy way to make a jersey dress holiday party ready!
00065139-012. Poetic Shift– This with jeggings and heels, or yellow tights and a mini underneath (this would be a drop the belt and lift the dress kinda nurser) would also be great for a fun friends holiday party or a date day!
3. Darling Stripes – this one looks perfect because it gives the little waist but without a side zip! So again this with a mini underneath, or with leggings would be another great holiday look!
00073721-044. Lace Fit and Flare – I’m just kidding. I don’t think I could nurse in this, though I’m up for the challenge. I just want it so bad to wear on a date!
{no affiliate links or compensation, I really do just troll F21 and Nordies too much}

10 Days Done

Yesterday morning I finished my ten day yoga challenge. I asked Nolie if she would take my final pictures for me. She happily obliged and proceeded to take about 70 pictures of me bending and moving, the walls, Evie, her feet, and various home landscape pictures. But that afternoon as I went through the myriad of photos I was struck with how incredibly perfect her shots were. And what a pleasure it was to see me through her lens.

I look strong. Confident. And flexible. I learned and felt quite a lot during these ten days. I felt frustrated and unmotivated, annoyed at my lack of ability, inability to control my breath, and how out of breath I got even though I wasn’t jumping around. But as that started to dissipate I felt stronger. Less frantic. More calm. And I could feel the changes in my body. I am going to keep going with yoga, and try to do at least a little every day.

Here are the pictures that Nolie snagged on day ten.


Easily my favorite time to do my routine was first thing in the morning, without the little ladies. But that isn’t really possible with any kind of reliability. And i really started to like doing it with the girls around too. Nolie got pretty into it and was actually kind of incredible at it! It is really important to Charlie and I that we are modeling an active life style and encouraging her to move! and run! and dance! And empowering her to do things that are outside of her comfort zone (as she wants to).

I have always thought that I was too big to do yoga, that it was for tiny bendy girls and I would look too lumpy or feel gross. But I was so wrong! Yoga has won me over. It has made me feel less lethargic, so much stronger, and more content in my body. It was incredible how obvious the changes were in my flexibility even in just a few days. collageyg

I used the Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD each day, its kind of half yoga and half body weight training. It was a great way for me to get into yoga and still get nice and sweaty. The unexpected place I found a LOT of awesome yoga inspiration was Instagram. I started following some yoga mamas, and #yogainspace IG’ers and tried out the poses from their daily challenges. It was a fun way to find poses, see them done well, and now with the new video feature I can even see how they get into some of the crazier ones! My goal is to be able to do a handstand one day (soon?ish?). That would be so awesome and so satisfying.

I am still trying to figure out what my next challenge will be. Possibly something running centered, but I also really liked the idea (from the comments on my last post!) of a strength training program. I’ll keep you updated! Anyone want to join in? Have any other ideas?

Expect more #yogaformama posts on my instagram! I am wanting to keep this up.



I challenged myself to a Ten Day Yoga Challenge. Ten days of yoga, thirty minutes. Day five and I have fallen in love. I’m not doing any sort of “real” or super strenuous yoga, just an at home DVD deal in my yoga pants that often times double as my ‘grocery store’ pants or my ‘play-date pants’. I picked up this DVD ages ago for $7 and am really enjoying this slow intro to some yoga-like moves. By day three I was feeling sore but hooked and started following some Yoga Inspiring people on Instagram (having those pictures pop up on my phone is great motivation for me to look up poses and try them out! Check out the #yogaeveryday #yogaeverydamnday to find some really inspiring pictures and find people to follow who fit your style. I found a few Yoga Mamas to follow and feel really boosted by their pictures.

I am feeling sore, stretched, and tired by this. But also feeling new, invigorated, and different. I am dripping sweat by the end but didn’t jump around a bunch. I feel either face my day with more calm (morning yoga! favorite!) or fall asleep more easily, so far this challenge has been nothing but aching muscles and happiness. Finding the time has been the biggest struggle, but having the accountability of posting to my instagram and facebook about each day has been the best in keeping me going. And, honestly, I can always find 30min. Even if it means doing yoga with a toddler helper and a baby crawling all over me (extra resistance?), or waiting till they are in bed and making this my ‘break’ time. Either way, I am making time for it. And feeling better physically and mentally for doing so.

I had hit a rut with running, fallen out of practice, and needed a restart. This is getting my muscles going again and I can’t wait to see how adding yoga in will affect my body and my running.

Here are days 1-5! You can follow along on my Facebook or instagram (buttons for both at the top of my blog) with the #yogaformama #goodbyecomfortzone


I do really well having the accountability of a “challenge” and a set number of days, uh… a number of days that are way less than a month. So I want to do another ten day challenge after this one, any ideas? Any fun and cheap workouts you are loving these days? Help a Mama out!

Gorgeous- Mama does boudoir

I walked into the studio and felt the sweat begin to bead on my forehead. I had watched girls disrobe and grin all day long. Gorgeous bodies that had carried babies, given birth at home or in a hospital, vaginally or surgically, bodies that had been forever changed. And bodies that were being celebrated not as mothers now, but as sexy women.

The photographer began to snap and I didn’t feel that calm that I watched wash over so many others. I didn’t feel that relaxed confidence that I had seen them all embrace. I felt more awkward, more fat, more sweaty. Then she stopped. Looked me square in the eye and said “don’t change a thing.” 

Tiffany turned the camera around and I saw this.


 And tears sprung to my eyes. Because I don’t want to change a thing. For the first time I can remember.

I have felt like not only would it be incorrect to think I am beautiful but that it would be wrong and prideful. That doing something that the soul purpose was to celebrate my body would be somehow selfish/gross. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After receiving my photos I walk taller. Feel more love for my husband. And can own my womanhood free of motherhood with a wielding power that feels incredible. My body was forever changed by birth, and my eyes hold experiences and intense love that I never knew possible, my girls have changed me forever. But they haven’t ruined me. They have empowered me to realize how important it is to think I am gorgeous.


I regularly tell others that they are beautiful and I mean it. I daily tell my girls how beautiful, smart, strong, well made, and awesome they are; and I mean it. But to myself? I toss on whatever is on the floor, reject all the compliments Charlie lavish’s on me, and cast off confidence like it’s a prideful rag I can’t stand to put on.

Since this shoot I have been picking up confidence and robing myself in it. Taking True words about myself and allowing them to hang on me beautifully. I have been looking in the mirror and seeing what Charlie sees, what I should see, and not staring into the flaws with intensity. Because I was not designed with that in mind.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

(from Psalm 139)

I had these photos taken for a few reasons.

The biggest reasons was to have something beautiful to show my girls when they have a low moment about their body. The short legs they inherited from me, the small waist and ample hips, the tiny curvy feet, the cheeks that apple up with every smile. There is a photo of my Mom on a swing set in a mini skirt with big blond hair, little waist, and wide smile. It is sexy, gorgeous, and affirming. I look at it and see her but I also look at it and can see me and my sister, I can see where we came from and appreciate the pieces of me that I inherited and have been less than loving to. I want my girls to find themselves in these photos and be able to have that same recognition of inherited beauty that I get when I see my Mom’s sparkling eyes, little whoo nose, and short strong legs.

I left with a gift as big and bigger. I left with the ability to see myself through someone else’s eyes. To see a person who is wonderfully made. Who is strong. Confident. Gorgeous.

Because, guess what? It is more than okay to think you are gorgeous. It isn’t socially acceptable, women are taught to speak lame words about themselves, to not appreciate their bodies, to cut themselves and other women down for any perceived flaw. But the truth is different. The truth is that healthy and strong is sexy. That every woman has so much beauty in them. That stepping back from the mirror, stepping away from where your eyes are drawn (the purple stretch marks and loose belly, the wide hips or fat thighs, the arms that wag, or the back with rolls) and see that all of that, all of you, all of me, it’s pretty damn remarkable. Not just for it’s accomplishments, but just because. Because it’s more than good and more than right to look at yourself and think and say “yes, I just look gorgeous. All of me.” Because you do.

It isn’t a size or number. It isn’t “real women have curves.” because we are all real women and beautiful in exactly the skin we have on today. I know that boudoir photography isn’t for everyone. But if you even think for one moment that you would glean something from it, get off the fence and do it (but only with a GREAT photographer). I can’t tell you enough how incredibly altering, beautiful, affirming, and marriage improving this was. I’m sharing a couple of photos, but saving the rest for Charlie (and a few for my little girls when they are bigger girls). I wasn’t planning on blogging about this, because really? Who wants to see pictures of some random Mom in a corset? But the experience was so much more than wearing lingerie for a picture.

I walked into that shoot with a despicable beast on my back whispering “Your body is ruined. You aren’t worth this. These will be so gross. Why would Charlie ever want to see this?” and I walked out free of that voice, that shame, and those words. And it’s been three weeks and I am still walking free of that horrible little voice.

Because this body? It’s just gorgeous.


Photography done by Tiffany Burke Photography , her facebook page is here.

Make-up by Love Beauty

and hair, duh, no-heat-curls