Thursday, April 28, 2011

The World of Work

I think it's strange that the older I get (uh, I'm 28 now and aging by the day ;), the more I think about WORK. What do I really really want to do specifically? How will the jobs I take and the moves I make now get me to where I want to be in the future? What is most fulfilling to me? How do I marry doing what I love and also making enough money to be comfortable?

And so it goes. I know, boring right? But I've noticed that in my late-twenties, whenever the conversation with friends or family in a similar age group turns to work, a lot of us are asking those same questions. When did we get so old and boring anyways? j/k. Coming from the land of my early twenties, where everyone I knew (including me) was a musician/artist/writer by day and a server/bartender/other by night, this change feels pretty substantial. Now we're talking about "building resumes" and "taking this position to help propel me to my dream position" and retirement, benefits, pensions. When did we get so adult-y?

But I do think it's cool to have finally scored some meaningful work, and to have some (overpriced) education under my belt to back it up. Now I'm setting goals, which brings up even more questions!--do I want a private practice where I primarily see children and adolescents (for play therapy) but also work with families? Do I want to publish a book relating to therapy? Do I want to continue agency work and slowly transition to private practice? Will I miss working with adults?

 At this point I think my ultimate goal is to continue working for my agency until I am fully licenced and have my play therapy certification. Then to begin my private practice, which I would like to be a group practice that's a collaboration of holistic mind/body treatment. So maybe I would specialize in play therapy and creative arts therapy (like sand tray), and would also offer groups and classes like yoga, meditation practices, maybe have a nutritionist on staff. I think that would be the best representation of my work and my authentic self. Plus, I'm hoping to collaborate with friends of mine who are yoga instructors and nutritionists and amazing holistic-living individuals in the process.

And I'm inspired to see friends and family making similar moves towards snagging their dream jobs. Not just selling out and getting a sales job, but really thinking long and hard about what they want and taking steps to get there.

My birthday's coming up next month (and yes, I will be turning 29--the age I will remain for the rest of my life). And with this birthday comes a calm assurance that I'm heading in the right direction. For me. For my family. For Everleigh. And it feels awesome.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter, Everleigh!

It was little Evie's first Easter, and she was a real champ :)

Yesterday we took her to a city-wide egg hunt, but actually arrived just after the hunt was over...regardless, she was thrilled to see so many little kids. She got to see the Easter Bunny (a creepy 70's looking thing), a fire engine, and a cupcake walk. Oh, and about 500 kids, which was all she cared about.

Later that night we took her to an outdoor show in Parkville, featuring our friends' band, Dolewite, and Ev got to try out her cool noise-cancelling headphones. I just thought it was adorable that she looked like a little baby DJ.

Then this morning we slept in and woke up to the sun peeping through the windows (which was awesome because it's been rainy and gloomy here for what feels like forever). Evie got a little sink bath in and then changed into her pretty pretty Easter dress, and we drove to the City Market to purchase some fresh-picked green beans for supper. I even dressed up in a new blue dress that flattered my most recent 5 lb weight loss (yay! keep it coming!). I kind of wished I had a big white hat like the ones I wore as a kid.

It's funny how having a kid of your own brings back so many long forgotten memories from your own childhood. Traditions become increasingly important, and it never ceases to amaze me how much I lean on my childhood traditions for inspiration.

At my big sister's house, Everleigh did her first egg hunt, during which she basically located one egg, realized it had her treats in it (which she refers to as "nang nangs"), and proceeded to eat her treats and shake the egg. I mean, she found one egg--why look for more? Luckily her cousin was kind enough to donate some eggs to her basket.

Judging from the fact that she crashed out at about 7:30 tonight and is sleeping like a, well a baby that sleeps better than her, I'd say Everleigh's first Easter was a success ;)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Do It, Write It, Sing It

This week I wrote my first full song since Everleigh's birth, and it felt so good to have one of those moments where the song really writes itself. It has been AWHILE since music has felt so effortless and fun.

Scott has written Evie two singsong-y baby tunes since she made her appearance, and she absolutely loves hearing them both over and over and over. Maybe I'll post us singing these sometime ;) warning: they are super cheesy baby-themed songs. But whatever the kid likes, am I right?

Ok, enough about that. Needless to say, my brand spanking new song is about Ev and all the ways she has changed my life. I was shooting for simple and honest lyrics with a fun, hummable tune, and I think I've almost got it nailed down. It really made me wonder about writers (songwriters included) and how they communicate about their world. I guess part of me was like, "is it lame to write this song about my daughter? Too contemporary country (Taylor Swift-y)? Too Hallmark-ish?" But at the end of the day I knew I had to be true to what I was feeling. To write about MY experience and MY world right now, which (in case you haven't noticed) is very baby-centric.

Then I thought about the great songs I know about babies or children, as well as the artists with kids who haven't ever touched on it. I guess everyone's style is different and the mind is a very complex thing, but it would be tough for me to write about much else right now. Motherhood has changed the way I eat, sleep, think, function, dream, love, think about others, think about myself, and probably some other things I'm missing ;)

In my songwriting history, I've written many a ditty about relationships (mine and other people's), about girls I knew who were tragic and beautiful, about feeling happy, silly, in love, brokenhearted, stoned, confused, depressed, curious, and many many more. But even the songs I've written based on a character or on someone else's story have in some way connected with a part of me.

Writers out there--where do you draw inspiration? (from experience, from pure imagination, from pills (jk)? Do major life events always creep up in your work or not at all?

Oh, and PS:
1) Create
2) create
3) create

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekend Haze

Sometimes it just seems like the weekends last forever in a sweet blur, but it's still just not quite long enough. It's a haze of hugs and sticky baby kisses, of lavender baths and playgrounds, of fresh cut grass and banana snacks, of naps and diapers, of Everleigh in blue, of Tory holding Ev in the sunshine, of my husband holding my hand while we watch our two girls, of moments where my heart feels so big I think it might explode.

This was one such weekend. And tomorrow is Monday. Better soak up the sweetness while I can!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Super Late Report: Ladies' Night Ya'll

I have a confession (gasp!). I took a night for myself and didn't blog about it (double gasp!). But I meant to. I've just been feeling a combination of sick, lazy, and busy that resulted in this undocumented alleged event.
Here goes:

A mommy friend proposed a monthly girls' night. I thought, "that sounds perfect." So when the date was set, I spread the word like mad. And you know what? Chalk it up to bad timing, but NO ONE could attend but me and the one friend who proposed the whole thing in the first place. Who knows? Maybe we smell bad or something (um, just kidding. we don't). But you know what? I went. And although it was less of a "ladies' night" and more a girl-date, it was SO NICE to take that whole night and just be me again. Not mommy-me. Just me.

Here's what we did: Jen picked me up (it was a girl-date after all), and we went to Grinders for a glass of white and some good conversation. Then, we hit up the local Kansas City Roller Warriors roller derby bout. Which was pretty awesome. We got really into that first bout and it was a nail biter for sure. If you've never gone to see live roller derby, I highly recommend it ;) I've actually had the secret dream of being a roller derby girl for years now, but the timing's never been right. It WILL happen though, so look out!

After we had our fill of chicks on roller skates and ripped up fishnets slamming into each other, we headed to the Bulldog for a nightcap and neither one of us even knew what drink to get. That's what happens when you get out of practice--be warned ;) So we ordered rum and pineapples, which were so-so and kept the conversation going.

Even though it was pretty low-key, I am dead set on making it a monthly tradition, because both Jen and I felt so relieved and grounded afterwards. Just having that time to relax and not worry that the kid is getting into the drawers, and actually connect with a fellow female without judgement, without competition. It was fabulous.

And maybe next time 1 or 2 other people will join us!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Fountains and The Youth

SO sleepy but so sad we were leaving :(
Yesterday we decided to show Everleigh how awesome Kansas City can be in Spring. I took her to her 5 year-old cousin's soccer game (which was super action-packed ;), then played on the playground. Later that  day, Scott and I loaded her into the car for the 2 minute ride to Crown Center in downtown.

Crown Center has these awesome little fountains that go up and down and send little kids splashing and giggling through. We took Everleigh last summer when she was teeny tiny, but she was pretty passive about it then (um, probably because she was like 1 month old). But this year she is BIG and it's bound to be the summer of fun. As soon as we set her down, she took off walking into the fountains without a backward glance. We were both proud and frightened. A super brave kid is not always a great thing...especially come teen years...nevertheless.

She did not need to be shown what to do. She splashed, she played. She stared at people and made them giggle and feel weird at the same time. She made friends with the random other fountain kids. In short, she LOVED it.

When she was done, she was acting super tired but wasn't willing to give it up. We changed her into dry clothes and loaded her into the car, where she immediately crashed out while we went for a leisurely drive around the Strawberry Hill area and oohed and ahhed at the sleek modern architects' houses sandwiched between clunky old houses with flamingo lawn ornaments. We held hands and smiled and just felt awesome.

Then the girl woke up, we all went home and Scott worked in the garden while I played outside with Ev til the sunset. Peace. Happiness. Love was all around.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Send Chicken Soup

I've finally caught the miserable cold that's been plaguing Miss Ev for the past week and a half, and I'm full on sick now.

SO, for lack of more positive things to say, here's a picture of us dancing to a blue grass band at the city market. We drank in the sunshine, shared a brat hot off the giant street vendor's grill, and danced so hard we laughed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dear Everleigh (10 Months!)

Photos by Jennifer Flanagan of Image Market Photography

Dear Everleigh,

Today you are ten months old and I'm really beside myself about how quick you're growing up! This month was a truly HUGE month for you and your little self.

Here's what you've been up to:

In short, trouble. You can sniff out the most dangerous item in a room in less than 5 seconds flat and you gravitate towards trouble all day ;) You're very cute though, so we forgive you.

You've gone from taking a few steps whenever no one was looking, to full on walking and now you cannot be stopped. You have even started walking while holding toys in both hands. Basically, you're a rock star.

And speaking of rock've also started doing this awesome thing now when you hear music you like, where you get on all fours, bounce back and forth, and shake your head real slow to the music. It's super cute and makes you look like an old festival pro. More of that, please.

You have also discovered the game where you open drawers (kitchen, dresser, whatever you can find), and throw out each item one-by-one onto the floor. Sometimes you put things back in so you can throw them out again, but you just don't believe us that the game is just as fun when you pick it all up and leave it put away ;)

Daddy has started letting you pick out outfits for the day based on what pants and shirt you throw out of the drawer, then kiss. It's an interesting system that often results in fun pairings.

You slept through the night ONCE this month. Which makes once since you were born. I was still up every few hours out of habit. Silly Mommy.

Oh, and this month you grew a little more hair and TWO TEETH. Boom and boom, your little bottom teeth sprung right up and they are looking super cute if I do say so myself.

Hmm...what else. You started calling your whole grain and fruit treats "nang nangs" and you frequently request them by name. You stopped nursing as much and I thought you were starting to self-wean, but then a bad head cold reminded you of the comfort a good boob can provide, and you are back with a vengeance.

You also had your first introduction to spring weather this month, and discovered how much you love the park with its puppies, grass, kites, and the hustle and bustle of tons of other little ones.

You are growing to be so fiercely independent and strong, and I'm so proud to be your mommy.



Nicknames we're calling you this month: Tooth Magooth ("Magooth" for short) to celebrate the late arrival of your baby teeth, and Nake McGake (anytime you take off running while we're trying to get a diaper on you or just before your bath). No matter what though, you'll always be our little geech.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

First Friday

Wow, this weekend was truly epic ;) I had a date with my husband Friday (hubba hubba), a "ladies night" Saturday (at the KC Roller Warriors derby bout), and enjoyed a blissful Sunday with the girl in the sunshine.

Friday night: Scott and I snagged a date night so we could hit up the local art scene in the Crossroads art district....a night where all the local galleries open their doors (and sometimes their bottles of pino) to welcome the masses and debut new art from local and national artists. It's basically awesome--the most "city" feel Kansas City really gets. When the weather is warm, there are throngs of people (rich middle agers, curious onlookers, freaks, geeks, trust fund art students, parents, children, homeless people) who make it out for this monthly ritual.

We saw some awesome performance art involving ariel fabric ladies, space age costumes, and electric violins. We saw modern and retro designed cardboard chairs, a drum circle complete with hula hoopers, a giant telescope, lots of upbeat gay guys, a new mom wearing 6 inch heels and carrying a baby that was almost as big as her. We bought a strawberry lemonade cupcake off a bakery truck and drank some Boulevards. We sat in the car not wanting to leave the scene but knowing we needed to go collect our girl. We listened to the new Radiohead cd and kissed.

Then we tried to start the car and realized we'd somehow killed the battery, and that we no longer had jumper cables. Rut ro. So we did what any reasonable adults would do--we called my mom ;) But there was no need; we ended up finding two kind strangers willing to give us a jump, and we were on our way.

Date night is back! Those 2 and a half hours made us feel so free and happy and lovey-dovey. It was truly lovely.