7 Ways The Thomas Fire Forever Changed My Marriage (For The Better)

Sometimes, it takes a natural disaster to make things clear.

When an out of control wildfire chars over 242,000 acres, destroys 972 structures, and forces 88,000 people out of their homes, many couples are forced to come together in ways that leave lasting imprints on their relationship.

My husband and I spent a week holed up with our four-year-old in a hotel room escaping the flames and smoke of the Thomas Fire while obsessively checking our phones for updates and praying that our house survived. Our relationship was tested, but we came out of it with an appreciation for how we were able to show up for each other when things got real.

We were not the only ones. Many of the couples I spoke with post-fire reported significant shifts in their relationships after the shared experience of a natural disaster.

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Childbirth, Pregnancy

7 People You MUST Avoid When Pregnant

Some people can really suck when you’re having a baby.

With the great strength birthed when you become pregnant, comes a great vulnerability. This vulnerability is a gift in many ways, expanding your ability to feel love so profoundly it shakes your core, making it a joy versus a struggle to make sacrifices in the name of another person, and developing a heightened sensitivity for the world and people around you (and bigger boobs and fuller hair).

This vulnerability also makes you, well… more vulnerable. The words, actions, and emotions of others will have a deeper impact on how you interact with yourself and surroundings, and how you navigate your pregnancy and birth.

To ensure your journey into motherhood is filled with people who honor and nurture your vulnerability, instead of taking advantage of it, here are 7 people to avoid when pregnant.

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Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

I Was The First To Get Pregnant

IMG_1187Be wary of a friend who uses your pregnancy as a soapbox for self-righteousness.

When I became pregnant in my mid-20s, it became the source of invasive gossip amongst my group of childless friends.

Many of my friends didn’t get it.

“A pregnancy? That you don’t want to end? But what about alcohol? You can’t drink alcohol when you’re pregnant, did you know that? And isn’t there a baby at the end of a pregnancy? Who will change the diapers?”

My pregnancy was unplanned, but still welcome. I was on birth control and my partner was just beginning graduate school. But the stars (or sperm and egg) still aligned. I immediately knew the pregnancy felt right, even though most people were telling me it was wrong.

My partner needed time to reconcile with the fact that he was going to be a dad and when many of our acquaintances heard this, they latched on.

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Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love, Uncategorized

9 Amazing Things That Happen When Adults Start Coloring

IMG_7324Coloring in the outline of a trendy owl will make you a better person.

The hardest part of coloring is starting. My initial thoughts, upon setting my adult coloring book and colored pencils on my little TV tray, was, “Shouldn’t I be doing something more adult? Like scrubbing a toilet? Eh, it says ‘adult’ on the book so I’m good. But what if I suck at coloring inside the lines? Embarrassing.”

And then I started and didn’t look up for two hours (except to get a glass of wine, because wine makes you better at coloring). Here’s what will happen when you start.

  1. You slip into a vortex known as “the zone.”

And it feels amazing. Instead of grubbing on a tub of frozen sugar or binge-watching Bravo, you can make your escape through a classic childhood pastime. The zone (sometimes known as hypnosis) feels so fabulous, it’s like an emotional massage.

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Parenting, Uncategorized

I’m A 27-Year-Old Mom and I Still Don’t Feel Like An Adult

IMG_2094Here’s to being an adult while feeling like a whimsical child still trying to figure it all out.

I usually look around for an adult when my son is misbehaving. It’s like I’m the babysitter waiting for the sage parents to come home and properly parent. Then, I would go home and be properly parented by my adults.

I thought having a child would be my prerequisite for feeling like an adult. “When I have a child, I will feel like an adult.” But I didn’t — and I don’t.

Where’s the omnipresent wisdom, pant suits, financial security, maturity, self-confidence, autonomy, clear decision-making, practicality, belief that I know what the heck I’m talking about, and cocktail parties? Where have all the cocktail parties gone?

I’m living the motto of “fake it ’til you make it” — I’m good at simulating those adult characteristics (I rock a stellar pretend pant suit), but when will I officially make myself into an adult? Is there a course I need to take?

Self Love, Uncategorized

What Happened When I Stopped Taking Selfies for a Month

Aren’t you glad I stopped taking selfies?

I started living when I stopped taking selfies.

If I stare at my picture long enough, all of my positive features begin to fade to the background while my imperfections zoom in and laugh at me. I love selfies, but they mock me.

If I’m the one taking the photo, I have to take between fifteen and twenty before finding a decent one, all while muttering, “No darling, that’s wrong, so wrong. Try a new angle. Don’t smile like that. Don’t grimace. Why is one of your eyes more open than the other? Don’t open your eyes so much, you look like a crazy person.”

I started living when I stopped taking selfies. I also stopped looking at other people’s selfies, which made me like them more.

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Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love, Uncategorized

11 Real Struggles Only Shy People Will Understand

*Big ole vulnerable dose of myself.

I’m a shy extrovert. These two aspects of myself are in constant battle. My shy, introverted self pulls me back to my shell of WiFi and Netflix, while my extrovert self pushes me to connect with real-life people and find work that requires me to talk in front of people for hours. It’s tricky.

I enjoy my extroverted tendencies, but find my shyness leading the way most of the time. And it usually leads into a quiet room with snacks, my laptop, and a bed. Shyness can be a true struggle, and here’s why.

  1. Face-to-face networking is a rare form of torture.

To grow in a professional (and personal) sense, I need to connect with fellow writers, professionals, hypnotherapists, and general human beings. This means going into a room of strangers, awkwardly going up to people and saying something at least slightly interesting without stuttering.

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