Bon lundi! It’s a rainy day here in Jax and L has her nine month appointment today. I’m having my usual anxiety about seeing her in pain for her shots but reminding myself that I’m lucky to live in a place where she has access to them (please no vaccination debate — I’m doing me and you do you!). I’m already nostalgic for this weekend and how meaningful it was to do good together as mama and daughter supporting @dctjax. I’m hoping to find ways to volunteer with her even while she’s so little. Any ideas? I’m hoping to ingrain a love of serving others early on!
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” There are so many ways to help save the planet and not a moment too soon. Some easy tips: if it’s not truly dirty don’t wash it — this goes for clothes, dishes, cars, anything (and who doesn’t want to do less washing?), go to optoutprescreen.com to stop receiving junk credit card offers in the mail, install a high efficiency shower head, use a biodegradable, plant-based dishwasher powder, skip red meat when you can, eat local (join a CSA!), and lastly look at trash as a challenge — can that paper towel roll be used for a craft project perhaps? Let’s leave our babies a clean, safe planet. Happy Earth Day! We have to be the change, mamas!
I hope you’re having a sweet Sunday. I had bold ambitions to make strawberry jam like the pioneer wife I aspire to be but was intimidated by the thought of botulism. I have many cooking strengths but venturing on to this uncharted territory felt a bit too precarious. It got me thinking about motherhood and fragility. As soon as you see those lines on that test, all of of the sudden the risks you would take for yourself transfer to this tiny person whom you have a visceral, biological need to protect. Sometimes all I see are sharp edges and threats to her survival. I remember the first time I left the house without her paralyzed simultaneously by the fear of what might happen to her without me and what might happen to her if something happened to me. I’m entering a new chapter though. One where we feel less raw and exposed. I see her thriving today on her nine month birthday and feel a sense of accomplishment. “We’re doing it,” I whispered almost breathlessly to myself this morning. We’re parents. I don’t feel like an imposter anymore or like I’m waiting to deserve the title of her mama. I’m the one her eyes light up for and the shoulder she wants to cry on when she takes a tumble. And tumbles happen. Accidents happen. But she’s less fragile now and so are we. It’s truly the sweet life being her mama.
We had the most inspiring day supporting @dctjax walking in @kydsboutique and @jaffisboutique annual fashion show. As someone said, “It felt like one giant community group hug.” I think when we are facing a tough internal moment, like today for me on my dad’s birthday, the best thing we can do is step outside of ourselves and send love and support out into the world. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised today go toward sponsoring the dreams of local children battling life-threatening illnesses. Bearing witness to the strength and beauty of these families today was an honor. Today shined a light for me and I’m so grateful Lilly and I were able to be a part of it and my mama was there to watch us. ❤️
Today I sat with my sweet daughter and listened to a guitarist on the steet sing Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones. We were sharing avocado toast and giggling over a water bottle and the music started and she got very quiet and leaned over to find where it was coming from. And in this perfect moment I told her that her Papa Jim wanted to dance with her mama to this song on her wedding day but he died seven months before they could. I told her that whenever I hear this song I usually feel far away and sad and lonely but today I felt happy and content because she was there eating her avocado with her tiny fingers and listening to my truth. My daddy’s birthday is this weekend and I know it won’t be easy. It never is. But I think that if grief were easy we’d be doing it wrong. I think grief is big and painful and messy because life is those things. I think loving someone and losing them and hurting like hell and screaming into the abyss is a part of this raw, beautiful tapestry of experiences we are blessed to receive. I think life is fair and unfair and kind and cruel and everything in between. I think losing a parent and sharing a giggle with your baby are both part of the human condition. Maybe just being in those moments is what it’s all about. Maybe it’s not about our jobs or our bank accounts or our house but it’s just about existing in the every day. Some days are beautiful — like this one. Some days are painful — like a loved one’s birthday when they are no longer here to celebrate another year with them. I’m here for all of it.
“I’ve done the experiment. I’ve moved six times in eight years to very different places, desperately seeking peace and joy. And I still haven’t found what I’m lookin’ for. Parenting, life, friendship, marriage: they are not hard for me because I’m in the wrong place; they’re just hard. So I am finally willing to accept that there is no geographic place that offers perfect peace. Because as Bubba likes to say, wherever you go, there you are. I think one of the keys to happiness is accepting that I am never going to be perfectly happy. Life is uncomfortable. So I might as well get busy loving the people around me. I’m going to stop trying so hard to decide whether they are the “right people” for me and just take deep breaths and love my neighbors. I’m going to take care of my friends. I’m going to find peace in the ‘burbs. I’m going to quit chasing happiness long enough to notice it smiling right at me.” - @glennondoyle 🙌🏻✨🙏🏼
Today was super weird so here’s a photo of my feet on some pretty tile. For more details head to my IG story where you can laugh along with me at the ridiculousness of my day. I set a weekly intention to not let getting off on the wrong foot (coming full circle here) affect me and trying to reclaim the rest of the week with positivity and humor. I don’t know about you, but sometimes the littlest thing can set me off balance and I lose my perspective on how grateful I am and how joyful my life really is. However, I’m all about acknowledging the annoyances and letting them process because repressing them and pretending life is “perfect” freaks me out. Stepping into tomorrow with hopes for a beautiful day and sending love and light out into the universe. Have a wonderful night, mes amies. ✨✨✨
How did we make you?! It’s seriously beyond my ability to comprehend. We are so obsessed with our tiny human and had such a beautiful day with her watching the waves and greeting the seagulls. And yes, that’s sand on her mouth because all she wants to do is eat it! Such a little goof. People kept coming up to us on the beach to ask about her turban from @vannusco. She reveled in all the attention per usual. She’s such a character and so full of life it’s so fun to watch her interact with people! I can’t wait to see who this little lady grows into. Use everydaybelle10 for 10% off these beachy turbans.
Bonjour mes amies! I’m so excited to share the sweetest bracelets with you today from a French brand that I love. Handcrafted by artisans in workshops in Paris and New York, @atelierpaulin uses a disappearing ancestral technique: the art of hand shaping a precious metal wire. I love my “maman” bracelet so much that I decided to give away a petite gold bracelet for one of your sweet bébés along with my favorite red Chanel lipstick (because mamas deserve pretty things, too)! This also happens to coincide with this community growing to 14k beautiful humans which fills my heart with so much joy. Merci for being a part of this little village. Swipe to see the bracelet that sweetly states “amour” with an adjustable string so it will grow with your little girl. Like this photo and comment to tag a mama friend to enter before Wednesday at 6pm EST! I’ll announce the winner on Thursday. Bon chance! #atelierpaulin #ad
How can I encourage crawling? Asking for a friend. 😂 Also, we finally joined the @honest bandwagon after trying literally every diaper Amazon and Target have to offer and girlfriend is reaction free! 🙌🏻 In other news (can you tell I drank my cold afternoon mom coffee?), I’m making homemade strawberry jam from our CSA berries this weekend. Any tips? It’s my first foray into a likely long career of jammin’ (@shmehrlich looks like moms can make corny jokes, too). 🍓🍓🍓
Countdown to the weekend is on!!! My husband and I are going on our first date night since the baby tonight! (It only took nine months...) I couldn’t be more excited to spend some one on one time with him. This Chicago raised Philly loving gal is still shocked that this is my backyard. Surreal in a very fun way. We are definitely enjoying becoming Floridians! Also, in my next life I’d like to come back as this unicorn resting its face on a pineapple. Have the most magical weekend where ever you are with those you love! Also, @morganmazor please come back we miss you and your sweet family so much!🦄🍍#whereistheflamingoemoji
We’re officially booked for Paris avec bébé this fall!!!! After a pregnancy with no sugar or carbs (merci gestational diabetes) and eight months dairy free for breastfeeding — this was the dream that got me through the tough days. Give me all the cheese, pastries, butter and baguettes s’il t’plait. I wished, prayed, manifested this trip into existence and my husband, the man who continues to help make my wildest dreams come true, came home today and said we had enough points to book it! I know I talk a lot about our struggles with his travel on here so I also want to share this beautiful trip that’s possible because of his work, too. I’m feeling deeply grateful for the ability to travel with our baby the way I had always hoped and imagined we would. I can’t wait to show her the whole wide world. First stop, Paris. 🇫🇷 photos: @audreyparisphoto (edited for my IG)
“She will not adapt to you, you must adapt to her. But don’t feel bad if you find that to be much easier said than done. Try not to wish her newborn days away but forgive yourself when you do. Yes, she’ll only be that tiny once but the cluster feeding, constant baby-wearing, sleepless nights and colic evenings are hard. So give yourself grace. Give your husband grace. Give yourselves more grace than you ever knew you needed. Accept that some people will disappoint you with how little they visit or support you. Give them grace, too. Then go find some mom friends who get it.” A letter to myself before the baby that I shared a few months ago is up on @motherhoodherway. This one paragraph really resonated with me months later because I’ve struggled with the disappointment of friends that I decided to remove from my life since I had Lillian. I believe friendships have seasons but it still bothers me when I think about women not supporting women during the first year of motherhood. And now the newborn fog has lifted and I know these people were not meant for me, but I believe they were on my path to teach me lessons as I entered this new chapter of raising a daughter. Someday, I hope Lilly can breathe in gratitude and exhale love even in the face of disappointment as I have learned to do for myself this year. To the person who could never make time for us, I forgive you for not supporting me during my transition to motherhood and I’m grateful to you for reminding me that I decide who I invite in to my daughter’s world. To the person who judged my parenting and my marriage, thank you for giving me the strength to stand up for myself for the first time in years. I send positivity and light in both your directions & pray you are healed in a way that invites more kindness into your world. To the friends who showed up in a million ways and held space for me to talk about sleep & poop & fears & regrets, you are my tribe. I know I’m not alone in losing and gaining friends in this journey into motherhood & although it’s uncomfortable to vocalize, it’s just one of the many realities I’m hoping to normalize by bringing awareness via my experience. We’ve got this mamas!
I hope Lillian remembers her childhood as pure magic. Hanging out with flamingos and wearing baby turbans is basically my dream come true and it looks like it’s hers, too! I’m always hunting for unique pieces that are as special as she is to me and these are definitely going to be a part of her signature look for years to come. I knew I’d enjoy dressing her but oh my goodness it’s more fun than I ever could have imagined. Use my code everydaybelle10 for 10% off at @vannusco — I literally count the days till her restocks and her beachy, sunshine-inspired spring collection is my favorite yet. ✨🌸
I have so much to share and it’s not going to fit here but I’ll start by saying I’m in such a good place right now and I’m so surprised to be. Let’s rewind. I don’t share much about this on here but I lost my dad two and a half years ago to a battle for his life waiting for a heart transplant that he was never healthy enough to receive. April was the last month I saw him outside the hospital. We celebrated Passover and his birthday and then he had one of hundreds of heart attacks (tachycardia to be precise) and ended up in the cardiac ICU at Weill Cornell. He never got to leave. What followed was a harrowing battle for his life as every organ failed him and eventually we had to make the decision to remove life support. Every year from April-October I relive this experience. In June I think, this is when the first surgery happened that changed everything. In July and August, I remember stepping outside of the hospital in the heat after hours at his bedside and feeling the impossibility that life could be continuing outside while inside his was ending. The fall is the hardest. I see red leaves and think of blood and pain and hearts and hospitals. But this April is different. In part because I have Lilly. In part because I’ve been doing the grueling work of self discovery and growth. In part because I see red birds everywhere now and I know he’s still with me. In my daughter. In me. In my brother. But mostly, I’m ok because I’m finally opening up about what we went through and what it did to me. It blew my own heart wide open. Grief changes you. No more pretending. No more masks. If you’re grieving, my heart goes to you. If you’re in a tough season, I’m here. And if you ever need to feel lighter, I can’t recommend sharing your heart with someone who will be gentle with it enough. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to my husband for how tenderly and thoughtfully he listens and hears me when I need to talk about how much I miss my dad. We all need someone to hold that space for us. And be gentle with yourself, sometimes we have to go through darkness to find the light. ❤️
Bashert. A word that didn’t always sit in my heart now does tenfold. Although bashert, a Yiddish word, typically implies a spouse one is meant to be with — in our case it means that and then some. I met my best friend on a trip to Israel where she met her husband, too. It’s rare to find a couple that you love so much you’d seriously like them to live with you (can we start a kibbutz please?). But our families’ friendship is the meaning of bashert. She and her husband are the best humans. Their New York apartment was where I slept while I visited my dad in the hospital when he was dying. She was the only friend I invited into my dad’s hospital room so she’s the only one who truly saw what we went through. We stood by one another as we committed to a life with our basherts. We got pregnant with our daughters a month and a half apart. We became mothers during the same summer and have moved through every phase together in our babies’ first year. Our daughters already love each other and I know they each have found a friend for life in one another (with plenty of matching outfits in their future). When we’re all together the energy is joyful, hilarious, uplifting, deep and beautiful. I know we were brought together intentionally and I’m beyond grateful to do life with the best humans I know. My wish is that every family finds such a friendship because we all need the closeness of a loving village even if they live far away. Now, we just have to convince them to move to Florida! We love you gorgeous humans to the moon and back! ✨
If you had told me during those early months of motherhood that I would ever feel comfortable in my skin again, that I’d be out and about swimming with my baby, that I’d have lost and gained so so much, I would have had a really difficult time believing it. Maybe some people glide gracefully into motherhood but I came tumbling in with a plethora of self doubt, fear, worry, and a newfound love that felt almost too big too hold in my heart at times. My body ached and had changed in ways I’d been told it would and in ways I never could have envisioned. The world felt too big and too small all at once. Bleary eyed I peered at my tiny human wondering what we had done and how I’d ever be the mother she deserved. Today, I’m still awed by the magnitude of this love. I’ve lost some of the baby weight, a lot of self doubt and some friendships along the way. I learned how to be her mama and how to be myself. I stopped caring so much about how things looked (myself included) and more about how they felt. I gained the clearest picture of what matters, how much my heart can hold, and who gets to be a part of this new life we created. My little Lilly is in full bloom — exploring, tasting, touching, growing, thriving and teaching me every day about the world in ways I could have only dreamed of before she arrived. If you’re in the early weeks and months of motherhood, my words to you are to move through everything as it comes. Some days you feel like supermom. Some days you wonder if you are cut out for it. Some days not fitting into your pants feels soul crushing. Some days you think yoga pants and spit up are in vogue. Sometimes it’s the worst and sometimes it’s the best. It’s ok to miss your old life, to mourn the loss of what came before, it’s ok to worry so much and love so much it feels crazy, it’s ok to hate that your body feels so foreign, it’s ok to breastfeed or to formula feed, the bottom line is it’s all beyond ok, and it’s going to change and evolve. I won’t tell you to love every minute (not helpful advice in my opinion) but I will tell you it flies by and every phase holds its own magic. And you’ll find you again. The best you could imagine. ✨ #joyfulmotherhood
I’m filled with gratitude that I’m part of this amazing little family in this beautiful place with our best friends. This little girl now knows how to wave and gives the best open mouth kisses. They say the days are long but the years are short and right now I just want them to last forever. ✨
When I met this gal at JFK airport on our way to Israel we were wearing the exact same outfit, both in law school, and everyone thought we were sisters. We’ve continued to mirror lives (often saying the exact same thing at the same time) culminating in becoming moms together and I seriously may not have made it through this first year without her. We earned this rosé all day lounge sesh during the babies’ naps together for sure! Raising babies together is truly a gift and one of my life’s greatest blessings!
Sitting here comparing childbirth battle scars with one of my best friends and just talking about how we do everything for these babies and would do it all over again a million times over. Looking at our little girls together is beyond beyond beyond special. Seeing Lillian living her absolute best life is what I’m here for in this life. Give me all the babies on floaties in sunnies, s’il t’plait.