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Summer Break

September 5, 2015
flowers (3 of 5)

flowers (1 of 5)
Why yes, I have been hiding under a rock for nearly all of Summer.

Actually, this year feels like one of our craziest and most whirlwind years thus far and after a BANANAS-crazy winter and spring, I decided to take some time off in order to regroup and reflect on the direction I was heading (in all things, not just this blog).

Girls (28 of 24)

I feel compelled to start back up with blogging now that summer is (nearly) behind us and we’ve “unofficially” started 4K at home with JBird. We have so many great projects we are working on that it seems a shame to NOT share them with the world. Plus, the blog will be a nice way to document our journey into homeschooling; plus maybe helping others in their journey along the way too.

Girls (14 of 24)

Brief Summer Catch Up:

-Daddy Bear officially started a new job in June. Same company. Awesome opportunity. Definitely a jump in the right direction.

-Weeklong trip to Ohio was great! The girls loved it and it was wonderful to spend time in the woods with family.

-We were in PA and NY nearly ALL of July for a trip back home. Great times. Two weddings in one day. Surprisingly relaxing trip.

-Hosted and EPIC BBQ for friends in August. A great reminder how lucky we are to be surrounded by such amazing people.

-Built a Pergola and finished the front deck! After 3 years of living in our house, it finally feels like we have roots down.  There is also never enough time to finish all the projects we want to accomplish. We shall see what the rest of the year brings (maybe a kitchen makeover?).

 

 

Everyday, Mantras For Moms, Moms Are Human, Parenting

Mantras for Moms

April 27, 2015

better_version_mantraHappy Monday!

I woke up this morning bursting at the seams with inspiration! What a great way to start your week; especially when you also have an early morning dentist appointment.

Starting this week, I am going to post a new Mantras for Moms every Monday. I envision these positive affirmations being things that any mom (or parent) can print out and say to themselves each day. A friendly reminder that we are all the perfect parents for our children; despite being imperfect people.

Let me know what you think and if this inspires you.

XOXO

Abbie

 

Everyday, Moms Are Human, Parenting

Every Mother Needs a Wife

March 26, 2015
soul_mate_featured

A few years ago, someone said something to me that resonated so deep within my heart that I will never forget it: Every mother needs a wife.

Yes. That. All of That.

That simple phrase is the key to surviving motherhood (especially in those early years).

I am one of the lucky ones who has about six wives.

Don’t get me wrong, husbands are great. I would be totally lost without my husband. He is a great provider, a perfect parenting partner, and all around awesome…

…but sometimes a mama just really needs a wife.

My husband travels a considerable amount for work; leaving me to rule to roost with a stubborn dog and two very outspoken young ladies. If it were not for the amazing tribe of women, who have banded around me and supported me during his times of absence, I would probably be locked away in a padded room somewhere. They have become  my life blood during those weeks when it’s just me and the kids. They are undoubtably my lady soul mates; my sister wives.

everymother

What is a Sister Wife?

Well, I think technically it’s a term used to describe a polygamous marriage partner BUT I use it to describe my closest of friends. That’s what they are to me. They are my sisters. They are my wives. They are my true kindred spirits.

We cook for each other. We look after each other’s children. We lend compassionate ears when one of us needs to share deep dark secrets or just vent about wiping butts 100 times a day.

We are intertwined in each other’s lives. We love each other; honestly and truly love one another. We understand each other and accept each other’s crazy. We talk of living in a sister wife commune together; or at the very least taking a sister wife vacation to somewhere tropical and full of chocolate (and booze).

When we first arrived in Wisconsin 4 years ago, I did not know a single person. Then, one by one, the universe brought these women into my life. Each was an instant bond; something totally unique and nothing I’d experienced before. It’s all very cosmic and amazing. With my sister wives I can share wild and crazy ideas and they typically respond: “ ME TOO!”

Sometimes plans change. Sometimes, people move away.

Maybe not today.

Maybe not tomorrow.

Maybe not even 1 year from now.

…but one day I will pack up my home and my life, and move away from them.

It’s the nature of life; always fluid, always changing. I take comfort in knowing that physical distance between our homes will not impact our love for one another.

Friends float in and out of your life; sometimes leaving a lasting impression, other times, not so much. But a sister wife is more concrete than that. Miles cannot separate the bond and love of a sister wife.

every_mother

To my Sister Wives: Thank You.

I am the mama and the woman I am today because of your love, support, guidance, and inspiration.

You motivate me to be a better person and a better parent.

Thank you for the endless love and support when I most needed it.

Thank you for loving my children as if they were your own.

Thank you for never judging me or my parenting choices; even on the days when I feed my children boxed mac and cheese and plant them in front of a screen.

Thank you for encouraging me to spread my wings and soar; and for being there to pick me up when I crash and burn.

Thank you for not thinking I am totally crazy for being in love with my dog.

Thank you for putting me on my current path.

I love you all.

Forever and Always.

…And to think, just 4 years ago, these women were strangers to me.

Everyday

Give It Away

March 23, 2015
featured_image

Remember that Red Hot Chili Peppers song: Give it Away?

You know the one.

It came out in the early 90’s; from their Blood Sugar Sex Magik album.

It was the time period of the tube socks.

Here’s a refresher:

Was this video shot at Burning Man ’91? So much body paint! But let’s be real, those mirrored pants are amazing. I also love the glittery lips. Can glittery lips be a thing again? Let’s make it a thing!

Recently, I came across an article that talked about the origins of that song. According to internet lore this article, Antony Kedis wrote the song after being on the receiving end of an altruistic gesture. Simply put, he admired the beloved jacket of his then-girlfriend and she in turn gave it to him. He asked her why she would part with something she loved so dearly, and she replied that by giving away the things she loved, she was opening herself up to good things (positive energy, good karma, good fortune, etc). *heavily paraphrased…but overall that was the message*

This silly/ random/possibly untrue internet article totally sent my head reeling! A painfully obvious lightbulb went off. Take what you love and give it to others. Spread that love around!  Make other people happy by giving them things you love dearly! Give away your awesome jacket to your couch-surfing boyfriend who has beautiful long hair!

Now, it’s in my nature to be a bit of a hoarder. Maybe this is a trait common to most people; something that is deeply embedded in our primal being. For me, I don’t want to part with things I have attached sentimental or nostalgic significance to. Nor do I want to part with the things that *might* be of importance to me later.

My brain tells me to save it. Keep it. Store it away. WHAT IF you want that someday. Better pack it away in the closet, or in a box, for the day when you might want that special thing again. Surely I am not the only person who does this.

But, what if I stopped hoarding things for myself?

What if I stopped holding on to material possessions for the sake of nostalgia?

What if, instead, I chose to give the things I love and admire to other people; so that they too can love and admire them.

give_it_away

Real life example:

We recently parted with all of our cloth diaper stash. All the diapers, except 1 that held sentimental value to me. This diaper is the last remaining physical evidence that we cloth diapered. I remember buying it on a trip back to NY in 2012. I remember how cute this diaper looked under sun dresses that the girls would wear; and how cute it looked attached to crawling baby butts scuttling around the house. I wanted to save this weird memento with the mindset that one day I will give this diaper to my girls and say: Here! This was yours when you were a baby! Take it and love it!

Now, if my girls are anything like me, their response (when given something they wore as a baby…and something thats sole purpose is to contain poop) will be : Ew! Why do you still have that? Why would I want that? You are so weird! I can’t believe you kept that! Thank you, but Ew. 

A few weeks ago, best friend had a baby girl and asked to borrow this diaper for a photo shoot. She loved the pattern but could no longer find it in stores because it has been discontinued. She had spent many an hour scouring used diaper forums and eBay in search of this diaper with no luck of finding it; a very odd thing that only fellow cloth diaper users will understand.

Of course I let her borrow the diaper, but a part of me felt that gollum-esque feeling of I Want That Back!

How stupid is that? A diaper!

When I stopped by her house several days later to drop off new baby goodies (and to pick up the borrowed diaper), she remarked how frustrated she was with herself for not purchasing that particular pattern when it was released a few years ago.

In that moment I thought of Anthony Kedis, painted silver, telling me to: Give It Away, Now!

So I told her to keep it. She would obviously get more use out of it than I would over the next few years. But above all else, I wanted to give her something that I loved and that held a good deal of nostalgia for me. Why? Because I love her, and want to give her the things that I hold dear.

What if we all did that?

What if, every time someone remarked how much they loved or admired something of ours we gave it to them.

No questions asked. Just: Here, take it! I want you to have it.

The truth is, even when we give away our nostalgic goodies we still have the memories (and maybe a few photos saved on our computer) to remember that thing by.

…and if we’re not sure we’ll be able to remember that one-special-thing if we were to give it away, maybe it’s not actually as special as we think.

Maybe that’s where true happiness and contentment live; not within the things that we hold in our hands, but within the people around us whose hands we hold. Their happiness = Our happiness.

Maybe it’s true that we allow more room in our lives for good things to happen when we open up more physical space and free ourselves from our possessions.

All very deep, right? Half-naked, silvery, Anthony Kedis thinks so.

Life Lesson: Listen to more Red Hot Chili Peppers and give more stuff away.

Everyday

Name Change | Game Change

January 19, 2015

namechange

What’s in a name? Well, it turns out a lot of inspiration (or lack there of) is tied up in a name and blog identity.

After nearly 4 years of blogging with The Feel Good Foodie, I hit a wall. I just couldn’t find an ounce of inspiration to write from. I grew resentful of the name and identity I had created for myself. I no longer thought of myself as The Feel Good Foodie; making it nearly impossible to write from the perspective of my former self.

Truth is, a lot has changed in my life since rolling out The Feel Good Foodie in August of 2011. I still spend most of my days cooking, or thinking about food, but it’s such a small part of my everyday life. It didn’t feel right having a blog dedicated to all things foodie when I no longer cared as much about foodie stuff.

But just to be clear, I still care about food. I really love food. 

I felt like I painted myself into a corner and was stuck. I threw around the idea of stopping all blogging for a few years, archiving the foodie site, and not thinking about writing until I could figure out what in the world I wanted to write about.

That seemed a bit extreme, so I tried to think of ways to reinvent myself.

I wanted to have a blog that reflected my day to day passions, and show people what our life at home with kids looked like. At this stage in my life, raising our girls is my top priority. Sure, I still do all kinds of other awesome stuff; but creating a home environment where they can flourish is my current calling.

Out of the ashes of The Feel Good Foodie blog,  Growing Roots and Wings was born.

FBPic

Look! I kind of know a thing or two about design now too!

 

A few years back, I heard a quote about parenting that struck a chord deep within me:

There are two gifts we should give to our children.

One is roots, the other is wings.

It perfectly sums up how I want to raise the girls.

I want them to be independent, free-thinkers who are not afraid to go out into the world and shake things up a bit.

But I also want to provide for them an environment where they always feel loved, supported, encouraged, and “home”.

Even if the location of our family changes, our home will always be there for them to come back to.

So there is the long and short of it. Stay tuned for exciting posts, lots of pictures, and creative ideas for everyday life.

Cheers!

XO

 

 

Everyday

Being Present

December 3, 2014

bepresent

In case you haven’t noticed, I never finished that photo-a-day project.

I found that the more grateful I felt, the less I wanted to spend time online. I wanted to spread that gratitude around in the real world. So, after 15 days of trying to follow through on a project 1 put down the camera and decided to be present.

You know what? It was liberating.

Even now, I really don’t want to be sitting at my computer writing this. I want to be quiet and still. My own form of hibernation.

Our little family is preparing for a simple and quiet holiday season, and a possibly chaotic 2015 with lots of travel. In order to prepare ourselves for that, I’ve decided to put all other projects on hold.

Blogging is on hold.

The photo business is on hold.

Craft projects are on hold.

Planning elaborate ANYTHING is on hold.

Running ourselves ragged is on hold.

We’re going to focus on being together and enjoying the present time.

I may touch back in before the end of December…but I may not.

Enjoy the remainder of your year. Reflect on all that you have accomplished this year, and all the ways you hope to grow in 2015.

Don’t be afraid to hibernate. It’s kind of awesome.

XO

Abbie

 

Everyday

Grateful Project: Days 11-15

November 16, 2014
grateful

Day 11) Healthy Kids

day11

I am grateful to have children who are so robust and healthy. I think JBird has only been sick about 5 times in her little life; which still feels like a lot but is a drop in the bucket compared to so many other children. I just love their little rosy-cheeked, glowing faces.

Day 12) Bond of Sisters


day12

I am grateful for the love that Jbird and Moon Baby share.These past few weeks have been really something in our home. The girls are becoming real playmates and companions. The sisterly bond that these two share is magical and makes my heart sing. Sometimes I’ll catch one of them snuggled up next to the other; gently playing with her sister’s hair or rubbing her back while the other plays quietly or flips through a book. Don’t get me wrong, they still scream at each other plenty.

Day 13) Breastfeeding Journey

day13

I am grateful to have been a successful breastfeeding mama for over 4 years. I nursed JBird until she was 2.5 years old with only minor hiccups along the way (early issues with over production). After 1 full year of nursing, Moon Baby is still going strong and will likely continue nursing until she is 2 as well. Extended (and exclusive) breastfeeding has been more difficult mentally than it has been physically, but I’m so happy that this has been a part of my life for so many years now.

Day 14) Giving Back

day14

I am grateful to be in a position in life where I can give back to others. I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of no strings attached generosity and thoughtful charity, and it feels really good to give back where I can.

Day 15) Food In My Fridge

day15I am grateful to open my fridge to find it full of healthy, real food to feed my family. I take for granted my full fridge and our full bellies everyday.

(And yes, that is a 3lb box of uncured bacon in my fridge. YOLO).

 

Everyday, Rhythm

Mealtime Verses

November 13, 2014
versesfoodie

versesOur day always seems to fall apart right before dinner time. Both girls are usually in serious need of mommy-time, and mommy almost always has to finish cooking.

As soon as my husband walks through the door, I hand off a screaming child, or two, and quickly try to get food on the table; because let’s face it, I’m starving.

Our meals are always so rushed.

As the preparer of the food, it would be nice to actually take a moment to enjoy it; instead of eating as fast as I can because everyone is losing it and I just want bedtime routine to begin ASAP. 

To help carve out a good mealtime rhythm for us (that hopefully will no longer involve screaming children), I’ve decided to put together a “verse basket”. Once the table is set (a new “big helper” activity for JBird), she can select a verse from the basket and we’ll say it aloud as a family. I couldn’t decide on a single verse to use, so I picked a couple. Simple verses and blessings that can be memorized over time and all have a sing-song rhythm to them. After a few months of this new rhythm, I’ll probably retire the verses that don’t seem to stick for her and we’ll just make one our mealtime blessing.

By adding something as simple as a mealtime verse, we are taking the time to all enjoy a collective exhale from the chaos of our days. We are able to come together for a moment, and regroup as a family unit.

We need to breath out.

We need to acknowledge each other.

We need to take a moment and listen to one another, instead of just talking at each other.


Mealtime Verses (taken from or inspired by Seven Times the Sun):

We are humbled in our questing
As we open to receive
We’re a family changed and changing
By the tapestry we weave

For each new morning
With it’s light
For rest and shelter
Of the night
For health and food
At days end
For everything thy
Goodness sends

Dear Earth, Dear Sun
By you we live
Our loving thanks,
To you we give.
Blessings on our meal,
Our family,
Our friends,
And our world 

We thank the earth
Who grew this food
From little bursting seeds
And the Keeper of the earth
Whose gifts fulfill
Our needs

Thank you for the world so sweet
Thank you for the food we eat
Thank you for the birds that sing
Thank you, Lord, for everything

Everyday, Photos

Grateful Project: Days 6-10

November 12, 2014
grateful

Day 6: My Family

family1(my little brother aka Uncle X)

I am grateful to have the supportive family that I do. They have always accepted and loved me no matter what.

Day 7: My Nearby Friends

friends

My support system. My pseudo-family. My soulmate sister wives. I am grateful beyond words to have found these amazing friends.

Day 8: My Faraway Friends

faraway

The few friends I’ve been close to since elementary school. The handful of friends who I’ve known since high school and college.  All the  other great people whose paths crossed mine before we moved to WI. I am beyond grateful to still have them be a part of my life; despite the long distances.

Day 9: My Neighbors

neighbors

We won the lottery when it comes to our neighbors. On our small street, each neighbor helps out our little family anyway they can. From helping out with childcare (and giving me a break when Daddy Bear is away), to delivering all sorts of tasty treats just because. We are surrounded by generous and loving people.

Day 10: Staying home with the girls

beinghome

Even on our not so great days, it’s still the greatest job I’ve ever had. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to stay home with these girls (and Toby Dog). Not only am I enriching their lives, but they are enriching my life as well.

Everyday, Family

Grateful Project: Days 1-5

November 11, 2014
grateful

This has been a pretty hectic year and I find that the more crazy life gets, the easier it is to lose sight of all the things that really matter. To help refocus myself on all the good that I have in life, I’ve decided to use November as a photo-a-day project month; focusing on all the things that I am grateful for.

Since it’s already the 11th of the month, I’ve decided to combine the first 11 days of photos into several posts.


Day One: My Husband

daddybear

I am where I am today because of a dude who used to knit in the corner at Starbucks. I’m grateful to have him as a partner in all things. This awesome life of mine wouldn’t be what it is without him.

Day Two: My Girls

thegirls

My loves. My life. I am a better person because of them. Plus, they’re just so awesome!

Day Three: My Toby Dog

tobyMy boy. My doggie soul mate. I love him as much as I love my girls. I love him like people.
Day Four: My Health

health

This is probably the one thing in life I take for granted the most. I am lucky beyond words to be as healthy as I am.

Day Five: My Home

house

I love this little slice of heaven. The house we bought with the intention to sell in 5 years has quickly become a place I hope to stay for many many years.