my 2015 mantra & intentions.

i usually spend the first few days of the new year focusing my thoughts, goals, and dreams into a few intentions to carry with me through the coming months. everything seems to take a bit longer with a babe, so it seems only fitting that now (seventeen days into the new year) i'm finally putting down on paper my intentions for 2015.

for me, 2014 wasn't a year for achieving goals... at least, not in the sense i'm used to. my pace slowed way down this year, and my time was measured in naps, cuddles, and late-night feedings. having a new baby is a wonderful thing, and i'm so thankful for the beautiful first months we spent together. but i did notice that i lost a big part of myself when i became a mama. the goal-oriented, plan-making, purposeful side of me went into hibernation when my focus turned to nurturing this new little person in my life. my best friend would ask me frequently "what are you up to today?" and even though i knew it was natural, it felt so strange for my responses to be nothing more than playing with toys, taking a walk, and maybe heading to story time at the library (if it was a big day!) and i think i started to resent it a little bit. i would go through periods of guilt for not keeping the house tidier, not teaching any classes, not blogging more frequently, not doing something productive with my days. i want 2015 to be different... phoenix is nine months old now, and getting more independent (i feel like we're mere days away from walking over here!), but i still want to balance my go-getter self with the nurturing mama i've become. so i was pleased when i stumbled upon a free downloadable for my phone's homescreen of a saying designed by the talented mrs. emily ley:
this message greets me every time i turn my phone on, and it is absolutely my mantra for 2015. i know that there will be days when i get to write, clean, plan, and move a step forward in my professional life. and i know that there will also be days when a clingy baby wants me to hold him all day, or i just need to get down on the floor with him and bang pots and pans all afternoon. both are amazing uses of my time, and of course (so valuable to remember) the times where i just need to veg out and watch trashy tv for a few hours after the baby goes to bed is also a necessary use of my time. the important thing is that however i choose to spend my day, i embrace that and live fully in the moment. as i've heard very (VERY) frequently since becoming a mama, this time flies by all too fast. so if i'm not finding joy in my current journey, when will i find it?

i've also made a few simple intentions for 2015. nothing too "goal-y" or "resolution-y", because i don't want to get so bogged down with trying to produce measurable results. instead, i prefer to give my year a feeling, a filter or two through which to gently guide my actions. and so in 2015 i intend to:

~ turn the tv off and pick up a book ~
(whether it's juicy fiction, a non-fiction about my passions, or just a magazine)

~ do a little each day ~
(whether it's tidying, practicing yoga, writing, or anything else,
just remembering that one little step each day
is way more productive than trying to scale a mountain in one big jump)

~ connect with people ~
(mamahood can be pretty isolating, especially with social media
giving us the *illusion* of being connected.
i'd love to spend more of my days with other mamas,
and use my evenings to really spend time with my lifemate)

~ create in the kitchen ~
(having time to cook might be one of the things i miss most
about my pre-baby days. i want to *make* the time as often as possible)

i feel pretty good about this year. i feel good about getting back into my own skin a little bit, finding a new rhythm as a mama, and welcoming some new opportunities.

what are you looking forward to in 2015,
and have you made any intentions or decided on a mantra
to help keep you in line with your view for your year?


2014: the year of new.

**I haven't taken as much time over the past year
to post as often as i'd like,
so i decided to start 2015 off with a summary
of the momentous events that took place in 2014**

last january we knew we were in for some big changes in 2014,
as i was six months pregnant
and paul was busy finishing the first draft of his thesis
and starting to think about applying for jobs
at campuses across the continent.
but we had no idea the amount of change and growth that the year would bring!

in february we prepared to become a family,
attending prenatal classes at our midwife's clinic
and preparing a little corner of our bedroom
for our little baby yogi.

i wrapped up the most amazing professional year
that i'd ever experienced in march,
managing and teaching at a beautiful yoga studio
in my favourite neighborhood in toronto.
the friends and growth that i found there
will stay with me always.

the end of march came and we waited with bated breath for labour to start
after paul submitted his draft... and we continued to wait.

in april, after twenty long days beyond his estimated due date,
our fantastic mr phoenix made his debut earthside!
we were delighted with our new little sidekick
and so happy to become a family of three.

may brought beautiful weather,
which made me want to show phoenix our city.
we visited our favourite restaurants,
attended mama & baby yoga classes,
and made adventurous journeys to farmers' markets
with babe safely wrapped up
on mama or papa's chest.
at the end of may we excitedly traveled across the country
with our little six-weeks-young explorer
to introduce him to family and friends
at his first big party.

june was more visiting with family,
an impromptu job interview for paul,
and an exciting decision...
we would be moving back to the west coast!!
as soon as we returned home to our little toronto apartment,
the madness of packing began.
we found a townhouse and a car
that would be ready for us when we arrived,
and began to prepare ourselves
for the insane journey that we'd be facing in just six short weeks.

july was a blur of packing,
last goodbyes to friends,
final visits to the areas of toronto that we knew we'd miss the most.
on july 31st we boarded a flight
with phoenix snuggled against me in his sollybaby wrap,
and two very freaked out cats in their soft sided carriers stowed under our seats.
our journey from toronto to nanaimo took about two weeks,
with visits to family along the way,
and a celebration of our five year anniversary right in the middle of everything.

and then finally, in mid-august,
we arrived at our spacious (to us) new townhouse.

we explored our beautiful new little city,
with its everywhere-you-look ocean and mountain views,
it's multiplicity of forests and parks to walk through,
its quaint little downtown,
and its friendly people,
and i slowly started to feel like
yes, maybe i could call this place home.

paul began teaching his full load of courses in september,
while editing his thesis,
and helping me with the baby.
the fall was a blur of busyness,
but i found some beautiful moments
to bake many loaves of this yummy bread,
to get to know some new friends
and learn new songs during babytime at the library,
to take walks and steal cuddles every day with my little monster.

phoenix started exploring solid foods in october,
learned to crawl in november
(and i celebrated a big milestone),
and said "mama" for the first time in december.
towards the end of this month,
his two front teeth finally came down,
and he became really interested in big boy foods
(so much so that he'll now demand to share whatever i'm eating,
which helps me to remember not to eat junk!)

we took a trip down-island
to celebrate the wedding of an incredible, smart, fearless, beautiful woman whom i have been proud to call one of my best friends for the past ten years
and her sweet, funny, wise new husband,
and to spend the holidays with family.
our december ended on a festive note,
with consecutive stays in
log cabins with paul's family,
and a ski chalet with mine
(oh what wonderful and boisterous memories were made in these past two weeks!)

our new year's eve was a quiet one,
spent on our sofa in our cozy little townhouse,
talking about how much has changed this year,
how much we have changed this year,
and how all the challenges and new experiences we faced
have helped us grow.

2015 is going to be an amazing year
because we'll get to know our new family member even better,
i'll begin growing my career in our new city,
and we'll work as a couple to support one another
in our many endeavours.

cheers to 2014,
a year of so much new...
and here's to 2015,
when anything could happen!


birthday reflections: still figuring things out

{image from here}

today i turn 30. it's always been a huge milestone in my mind, but now that i've got a little 6-month-old on my hands, my big birthday seems to have taken a bit of a backseat. but i'm sitting here enjoying a relaxing magazine read while phoenix naps, and NOT tidying the house, and that seems like celebration enough to me.

not just because of my birthday, but also because of where i'm at with parenting, with my career, and with my own self, i've been pondering my position in life lately. parenting (especially these last few days, when phoenix decided he'd rather scream than go back to sleep eleven times a night) has given me many unforeseen challenges to deal with. i've had to adjust my expectations numerous times to keep from jumping out a window. i'm learning that even though i may want things to go a certain way, there are other people involved (who don't communicate with language, and who don't do so well with compromise) who may want things a different way. so i am slowly learning to negotiate new boundaries and strategies, and we are finding our way together in the world.

my career and my personal life have taken a backseat to this all-encompassing job (as much as i loathe to call parenting a job), and i am looking forward to getting those things back on track now in the second half of my year of being a stay-at-home mama. but i know it's going to look different. i can no longer just head out for a run, teach a yoga class, or redesign my website whenever i'd like.

i admitted to myself recently that after moving to toronto i stopped blogging mostly because i lost that pining feeling that propelled me in the years i blogged after i graduated and got married and i was looking for a career and a life purpose and a feeling of being settled. suddenly, three years ago, with our move to toronto, i found all those things. i was in a city i adored. i began to teach yoga and manage an incredible yoga studio and it was as though all the pieces of my life fell into place. i felt like i had things figured out. and so i had nothing left to write about, except all the fun adventures that we were having in our amazing city (and to be honest, i got intimated by the idea that i had to take a ton of beautiful pictures, upload & perfectly edit said pictures, and add them artfully to my blog before i was able to write a post about a fun neighbourhood we explored, or a cute new cafe i'd discovered. it wasn't fun or therapeutic anymore, and so i stopped doing it).

but now everything is on its head again! i'm in a new city, making new friends, and - in a sense - starting over in my career as a yoga instructor. and i'm doing all of this with my new identity as a mama at the forefront of my mind. i'm so excited to carve out a new life for myself in nanaimo, to find places and situations that i fit into and feel excited and delighted to be in. but right now i can't imagine ever being comfortable leaving my sweet little sidekick with anyone besides close family (who aren't available at my beck & call) while i go out and pursue my dreams. i can't imagine having the energy to work towards developing my own brand, let alone opening my own studio. i can't imagine finding the motivation to get up in the morning and run in the cold winter air, when i could be soaking up the last precious minutes of sleep before our day officially begins. 

all of a sudden, i no longer have all the answers, and i'm remembering how exhilarating and scary that is all at once. i have big plans and dreams for myself, my career, my passion, my life, and i kind of have no idea at this point how i'm going to get there. but today, as i venture into a new decade in my life, i am starting to feel ready to embark on this adventure... or at least to take the first step.