Buh Bye LA! Soon…

And WE’RE MOVING…again. When we moved out to LA it was to accomplish two things, firstly establish our new little family with the three of us living under the same roof and for me to get healthy after I had fallen ill. I’m happy to report, we’ve accomplished both of these goals in under 12 months. It’s been a a great adventure and learning process coming to LA. Knowing we’re going to kiss this city and loft good by sooner than we thought feels kind of bitter sweet SO MUCH happened in these walls. We worked through the growing pains of becoming a family, a real couple, and W a father to G. Kinks being worked out while making relationships deeper always come with their challenges. I recovered here in this home, countless hours in this bed, a few nights so sick I slept on the bathroom floor. We blossomed here, we grew. For this I will ALWAYS be thankful for LA. It healed us in so many ways with it’s sweet sunshine and slower pace. 

But, part of me always new this was temporary, a stop over to accomplish the challenges we were facing. So in a couple short months we’ll pack up once again this time as a family and set out on our next adventure to London. 

I miss NY so deeply, now that I’m healed part of me does want to go back but looking at the family we are now and the plans were etching out for our future together I realize NYC just doesn’t fit into those plans for so many reasons. 

I’ve voiced my issues with the US in the past very aggressively with my activism so another part of me is also happy to “get my family out” and into the arms of the EU. The culture and lifestyle is just a better fit for us in this given moment. Not that the move won’t be scary because it will! Again there will be adjustments to our new city and with starting over again. New jobs, new friends, new schools. 

Yet, the tradeoffs both in our personal standard of living and experience are worth it. The amount of travel that will become available to us will be amazing. Long weekends in Paris, Germany, Portugal etc. My love affair with Paris is far from over (I mean come on I met W there I’m indebted to the city) so I get just a little gitty thinking the magical city and so many more adventures will be just a short train ride away for our family soon. 

If all goes as planned we’ll be leaving the US in late September. Lots to accomplish like a summer well spent in LA before we leave but I’m already daydreaming of a UK fall and our new home. 

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Farfaria

Every now and then even though I’ve been historically inconsistent on my blogging I still get asked to do a review or guest post etc. Life in the recent years hasn’t made that too possible so most of these offers are friendly “thank you but no thanks you”. A few weeks back I was asked to check out and review “FarFaria” and for the first time in months (ummmm years) I said “yes”. Ok before you close out the post because it’s “sponsored” I have to tell you a bit about the app because it’s actually pretty cool especially is you’re a breed like our family: Loves tech + Loves books. 

The app is an interactive collection of 700 “story books” that can be “read” on your tablet via audio read to your child by the “auto play” setting, or help your child learn to read via the “read to me setting”. As the books are read they highlight the words so it’s encouraging visual and audio learning as you read. Pretty cool huh? 

My one complaint and this really is just my own personal preference is I with there was a more clean cut, minimal, more modern design. Again though don’t I prefer that with EVERYTHING in my life? 

We’re big on books in our home (no tv) so one of the first things I did with G when we moved west was register for a new library card. Yet, some weeks we’re just SO damn busy to get to the library so this is a welcomed fix. Plus it’s in iPad language so G is all about it learning to read while playing a game. 

Also as I mentioned in my post yesterday we’ve been leveraging before bed stories for good bedtime behavior. For a while there bedtime was a fight in this household that often included tears. Since G enjoys Farfaria so much the deal is if she wants to read stories the following evening she needs to go to sleep after being tucked in without hassle. And so far so good. 

Would you also like to try Farfaria out for a free? That’s the cool thing about these reviews I get to also give you all something. Just drop a quick comment below if you’re interested. Again this is a sponsored post but you don’t need to hate me, it’s worth checking it out I promise! 

4 Years 4 Months

These “age updates” are such tricky beasts to keep up with. Looking back I haven’t done one of these “record keeper” posts since G was 2 1/2! Where does time go?!

Well here we are 4 years and 4 months. 

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Changes-  Over all the last 6 months have been full of positive changes. With having W now co-parenting lots of healthy habits have been added to our daily life. Very very minimal “tv time” is one of these changes. G sometimes will go a couple weeks without seeing a show or movie. She does have access to mostly educational apps on her ipad and she’s taken  to playing with Spotify often, scanning through music (proud mama grin).

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We’ve added a TON more family time now that I don’t travel for work including lots of outdoor activities. Being we were dealing with my health issues we’ve been eating very well lately, lots of fresh fruits and vegs. All around we’ve become so much more incredibly healthy as a family and it feels great.

G’s flourishing with our new lifestyle she shot up a few inches at least and thinned down so much. She’s still the tiniest in her class just like I always was. None of that baby pudge is anywhere to be found these days. (gimme a little baby!) She’s maturing and really learning how to be a kind and loving human.

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Emotionally it’s very obvious there’s been a lot of changes happening at this age. We’re seeing more influence from friends at school (both good and bad) and a lot of boundaries being pushed. There was about a month recently where a real attitude came out of our sweet little girl. It all came to a peek with a major melt down one evening which included her (for the first time ever) trying to hit me and screaming things like “you don’t love meeeeeee”. While we were also overwhelmed by the tantrum Wilson and I did our best to handle it. We were firm with what is OK for her to do and what isn’t when she’s upset yet made sure she felt loved. Eventually she collapsed asleeep in a sobbing exhausted mess into our arms. We moved her to sleep in our bed that night since she needed as much love, comfort, and support possible to work out everything she was feeling. 

When the storm passed and morning came she awoke in better spirits than she had been in weeks. She had “gotten it all out” and her behavior has been lovely since. Of course there’s the little things she may get upset about but seems since the melt down she feels more confident in being loved which as we all know equals good behavior. 

This parenting thing is not for the light hearted! 

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(grump face few days pre-meltdown)

Food- As always G rocks on the food front. She’s still 100% vegetarian and starting to understand the reasoning of why I raised her this way, to have the choice to decide what she wants to eat. She’s happy being veggie (though did stress a little concern of being different than her friends) she even tried a couple times to actually lecture us on why we shouldn’t eat meat. Cute she’s passionate and forming her own beliefs. Current fave food are still pancakes, pancakes all the time. 

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Loves- Sleep overs, swimming, and Princesses (ugh). We’re actively trying to teach her about inspiring strong woman to offshoot the princess play but with Frozen being such a hit in school and with her peers it’s been a hard task.  

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(holding a frog on a school field trip)

Sleeping- Should this update still be on here at this age? Afternoon naps are becoming a rare thing these days which is fine because she’ll just go to sleep a little earlier in the evenings. She’s up EARLY most days and we’ve worked with her to get her breakfast herself and entertain herself so we can get a little more shut eye (who am I kidding I’m up at 6am like clock work…so W can get shut eye haha). For a bit there bed time was a bit of a struggle. We’ve since remedied that with our night time stories. The deal is if she want stories the next night she needs to go to sleep without a fight. Fingers crossed this keeps working because for a bit there we all were dreading bed time.

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(posing as a “strong” hiker…she has a new found passion for hiking!)

Four Years and counting little girl and it’s just getting better and better each year.  

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Cured

Have you ever been in a position in life where you’ve felt like you’re killing time? Like every decision you make every step you take has a little bit of a “question mark”. Well that’s how it’s starting to feel around these parts but not for much longer…

I’m happy to report not only am I feeling better I’ve technically been “cured” of all my autoimmune issues. I had a follow up appointment last week with my Dr who redid my blood work post surgery, amazingly all the markers have went not only into “safe zones” as to not having an autoimmune disease but they are completely 100% normal now like I wasn’t ever sick!

Basically, I’ve been cured by the surgery! 

The Dr says I still have blood that’s “prone to autoimmune issues” which means I have to be careful as I age but as of right now I’m as healthy as healthy can be and feeling better than I have in years! Really someone pinch me! 

Obviously I’m still recovering and will have to go for follow up blood work in a few months to guarantee it was my tonsils all along but the concept that I went from so ill to having a healthy future is a relief beyond words.

And after this all: a little public service announcement if anyone you know is having symptoms like myself, constant fatigue, swelling, falling ill often, trouble sleeping, please mention “bad tonsils” to them. I’ve learned through this process many people like myself will carry low grade infections around with them in their tonsils for years without knowing what’s actually making them sick. It’s more common than I would have ever thought. You could literally save someone’s life passing this info around. 

Heres to health, second chances, and being blessed.

Kirby

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Few quick facts: 

-We’ve walked into a super busy time with both W and I picking up new projects and work. Feels good but leaving little down time.

-My recovery couldn’t be going any better! I’m feeling healthy, strong, and HAPPY.

-Life currently can be summed up in this music video above. Do yourself a favor this Wednesday afternoon, click and let is sink in.

Hope you’re having a lovely week friends. xo 

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Recovery + Summer’s Start

Recovery, boy was it a hard one. But I’m happy to report I’ve taken a turn for the better finally (after THREE weeks!). As I gain my strength and stamina back up slowly I’ve started to have these burst of overwhelming feelings of health and comfort. I haven’t felt this way in years. I’m assuming it’s my body after god only know how many years fighting off infections within my tonsils and glands FINALLY getting a break and getting back to some (new) state of normal.  

 During my bed rest I managed to gain weight (who does that on a liquid diet!?). But in the past week or so even though I’ve yet to start exercising again I’ve dropped what I feel is near ten pounds. I dropped three waist sizes and am fitting into pants I haven’t fit in for years. That combined with the swelling in my face (buh bye round face, hello real face) and upper body going down I’m hardly recognizing myself in the mirror! My old clothes are feeling great to wear with a little bag and I’m just feeling well, good finally. 

(almost nightly brother face time chats lovelovelove it and miss him) 

G sadly has been cursed with the same over sized tonsils as myself. She snores every night and we’re convinced isn’t getting the best rest because her breathing is labored. So, she’s next for the operation which will take place in the next month or so. The doctor has reassured me the recovery is 1/10th the struggle for children and doing this before she’s 6 is the right/safest call. I’m going to be a nervous wreck when she goes under the knife but hope we can prevent some of the health struggles I’ve faced over the years unknowably being caused by my own body. 

W’s birthday came and past while I was in a medication haze so we shifted the actually celebration to this past Friday. It was a blast, we had SO much fun! Being we’ve seen mostly the inside of Dr’s offices and hospitals since getting to LA so it was a pleasure to get out and get social. G headed to a friends house that evening for a sleep over and we enjoyed our second child free evening in months. 

During the day I sent W on a scavenger hunt around the city that led him to pampering like a massage and haircut/shave (he looks so hansom!) eventually finding me at the local market we enjoyed some BBQ + sushi and the first beers we’ve had in weeks. A well needed date. 

(always taking photos, love it) 

That evening we hopped around a bunch of local events meeting neighbors and new friends eventually ending up in a local park hosting columbian dancing all under cute classic paper lanterns and the few stars that can be spotted from DTLA, it was magical and perfect. You know how some people say “don’t trust someone who doesn’t smile?” well I wanna take that one step further and say “don’t trust someone who won’t dance”. All the best people in my life dance translating the joy in their hearts to the people around them. It’s a clue to strong character. 

(pre-shave!)

As summer is taking over LA and the heat is getting stronger and stronger each day we’re settling into the idea of longer days, later bedtimes, and a LOT more pool time in the months to come. I’m not fully recovered yet but everything seems to be on the up and up. 

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Great Big Thank You.

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Yesterday was a tough day not a hard day I’m not going to give it that much, but a tough one. I took a risk in my personal life, something I had to do as an adult just to know I had done it and was horribly rejected. Bummer right? But a wonderful beautiful thing happened that evening. I posted that above photo on insta saying how I would be a strong, kind, loving person, even in the face of horrible aggression and disappointment. Saying out loud and establishing the change I’m setting in motion for the next generation and breaking vicious cycles…. venting via social media really. Not long after posting this… wave of love soon followed. The calls and texts started pouring in. 


I felt an overwhelming sense of comfort that evening and a new sense lightness this morning upon waking. As I stood last night in my kitchen cooking dinner together with and pinned between a little girl I’ve worked so hard to show a positive life (one I’m getting to live along side her) and the man that’s shown me the path to true kindness that there can be positive full relationships in many areas of your life (but mostly with yourself). I was filled with the over whelming sense of gratitude, so thankful for everything I do have and will continue to have. 

So much love and affection both in my home and coming in from that tiny miracle of a cell phone last night, just so much. The incredible thing is that post on insta wasn’t horribly sad, or calling for attention but you my dear friends and family you just knew, sensed that I could use a little extra love a nudge that I’m on the right path and making the right decisions. 

This post is slightly vague, no reason to bore with the details but just know this, I’m so thankful for both this little family of mine I get the pleasure of enjoying while growing with, day in and day out. Thankful for my friends and family new and old scattered all over this country that social media and technology has let me stay connected with. Thankful for this online community that started five years ago and has only grown closer with things like insta coming into our daily lives. 

I want to focus more on this, the community of wonderful people in our life and I’ve decided to do that in the best way I know how, to write it. I’m soon going to start a series “People We Love and Why” to celebrate each person we love both the closet old “IRL” family to the dearest online friends. I want to highlight and celebrate the community that not only enriches my life but is so instrumental for G as she learns to navigate relationships and develop her own self worth. I hope she’ll one day look back on this series and feel a sense of identity from the love she has all around her. 

2014 has a very prevalent theme it seems for me (and for my family since they are along for the ride) that being “healing” both physically as I recover and prepare to live the healthiest life I’ve ever lived and emotionally as I continue the long ago started process to move away from destructive situations and fully into a loving environment and mind set. 

Thank you for loving us. 

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Happy Birthday W!

Happy Birthday to the best man I know. Yes, it’s been less than a year since I’ve well, “known” him (but that 1 year anniversary is RIGHT around that corner!*excited squeal*). A large part of this year has been challenging with illness and an ever ending amount of change for all of us, still though, the last (almost) year has been incredible and magic. 

(rare pic of us two taken by G)

I have no single doubt, we are all where we are meant to be, right here, right now, together, a family

I have never known someone so kind, dedicated, and wonderful as you my dear. I never knew I could find another wild wanderer at heart with such stability and strength as you possess. With a personality smooth and calm as an underground river you give this family strength and stability it has never known. You make this often torn woman feel whole.

 I can only watch from the outside looking in because it’s yours and hers alone to create but I so enjoy watching you and G’s relationship grow. Sometimes even the struggles to learn this new relationship is a sentiment to your strength and patience as a man. Everyday your bond becomes deeper and I often find my breath a little taken away. You got to choose me as your partner, you didn’t get to choose this new daughter. Yet you love her as if she were not only your own but the one you would choose a million times over if you had that choice. I can never express my gratitude enough to the universe she has you in her life. 

You challenge me everyday to grow and become a better person. And man, it’s not easy to be with me, I know, my crazies are sometimes hard to deal with, my trust issues run deep, and past wounds are still fresh and on the mind from years before. It’s a roller coaster at times. Yet, somehow you have found ways to tap into this little soul and help a better person shine. You slow me down. You’ve taken my life and added so much more depth, color, and meaning. You’ve given me safety and shown me everything I’ve ever wanted even when I didn’t know it. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILSON YOU AMAZING PERSON YOU! 

The future is bright and exciting with you my love and I look forward to 100 more birthdays together after this first. WE LOVE YOU!

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Input vs Output - Tech Rant

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Day 6 after surgery. This sucks. I mean my Dr told me it would suck but I didn’t think it would be THIS bad. The pain and the cravings for solid food are really strong. But worst of all is the drugs and how it’s like they have taken my brain and put it in a blender on high….UGH. I’m over it. Some moments I’m “clear minded” and next thing I know I’m falling asleep mid sentence or suddenly feel like I’m in a bubble. Ready for a pouty, swollen lipped, week in bed selfie? Well there you go. And yes, the headband is totally necessary. 

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Being bedridden I’ve had a whole lot of time lately surfing the web and when it’s too hard to focus on my computer, I stare at the ceiling and just think. This video on youtube “Look Up” really got me thinking yesterday.

I see oh so many articles or posts about “unplugging” and the necessity for the modern parent to detach and unplug. I do see the source of this modern angst (which this video does a great job at capturing) but, really, I don’t think it’s the “unplugging” that’s needed. I think being we live in a modern world to unplug fully is to go too far into the other direction. I think all we (being anyone who creates online) and I KNOW for myself need is no over step in either direction but a healthy balance.

For me it’s less about the unplugging and more about the affect the “input” has on my “output”. My writing is my form of creativity. It’s my way to reflect on this journey called motherhood and keep myself in check. When I successfully translate my thoughts and feelings from my mind to the page it’s an act of balance for me. It’s instantaneously rewarding in how refreshed and focused I feel. I often also find when my best, most honest words hit the page is often when my readers will reach out and connect with me the most. This is another wonderfully rewarding aspect to my writing and why I choose to blog over journal. I just love ya’all and the community aspect of this lifestyle. Feels great to know you are there. (hollar at your girl!) ….(see pain killers!) 

Where the issue for me is not the need to “unplug” but the need to cut down on the “input” I subject myself to because it kills my creative “output”.

When I get online and dive in head first into the websites and blogs, even ones I adore sometimes I can go on overload. It’s a LOT, instagram, twitter, blog after blog after blog. There’s just SO much great content out there! And I love it. I love the news, science, design, and reading about YOUR lives. It gives me pleasure to relax and let go into others work and lives for a bit. 

This is especially true when my life is in a rut (or like five ruts in a row) and everyone just looks so happy go lucky out there outside of my whiny bubble. I’m not ashamed to say I can fly into “blogger envy” on occasion. It’s a nasty little mood that’s not only mean but that will also steal my creative steam awkwardly and quickly before I even know it. Envy is just horrible and a guaranteed path to writers block. 

While it is easy to take any art form whether it be blogging, painting, or interpretive dance and make it competitive that’s not why I write or why 99% of the writers out there I adore write either (I’m assuming). With myself though it’s very easy if I don’t organize and control my “input” I’ll get easily overwhelmed and unmotivated within my own work to create and start envy others. It’s less about envy for what they are actually creating, the work could be anything really. It’s more for their capability to get the words on the page and do something awesome at all.

Am I making sense here guys? Well, seeing that video above got me thinking about this all and how to create a more balanced input/output digital lifestyle for myself. I want to celebrate other’s successes and enjoy input while being inspired by their creativity. Just a matter of balancing it all! 

One benefit to being bed ridden with a computer to entertain this week is all the organizing I’ve been able to accomplish in my digital life. I’ve decided to do a big spring cleaning of my online world. This included setting up my “intake” less chaotically so I won’t feel like I’m missing anything without needing to feel I have to be “connected” all the time.

I’ve been a member of bloglovin for sometime (years I actually think) but beyond claiming my own URL on there I’ve never actually used my account… till now that is. I’ve went over my tabs, and dumped the book marks out of my iPad and consolidated my readings. Everything from my “daily reads” to my “occasional stop bys” into my bloglovin dashboard. Now that I’m using the tool how it was built to be used, I really love it. 

Find me HERE on BlogLovin - lets be friends, share your reads with me! Remember I’m bedridden perfect time to share new blogs with me!  

It actually surprised me how many blogs and news feeds I consume once I collected them all into one place! No wonder I would often get overwhelmed and unmotivated with the excessive intake! I’ve even cut down on some to make it more manageable.

I’m happy to feel I have a space to get my “input” that won’t affect my “output” in my own work and creativity bubble. Green is a bad color on me anyhow ;) 

 I’m hoping to organize and minimalise (HOW is this not an actual word?!) my digital footprint more and more so I’ll better be able to focus on “output” of quality, thought worthy blog posts more consistently. A digital reflection of the minimalism we’re practicing in our physical life too. Kind of cool huh? 

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Proximity & Parenting

It’s strange to type these words out but, “in the four plus years I have been a parent, these last consecutive four months have been the longest straight through I have been with my child”. Work travel and then divorced parenting arrangements made the scheduling often complicated and separated myself and G for days sometimes weeks at a time before. 

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