Permission, Support, Courage


On Friday, I went to a SoulCyle class because it had been a year since I last hopped onto a bike and I finally felt “ready” to get back in the saddle. Clicking into the pedals, the nerves hit and I started to think that I made a mistake. Was I ready to really push myself? Was I awake enough to make this session “worth” the price of the entrance ticket? The instructor came in and started doing that thing that SoulCycle instructors do where they positive talk about goals, body image, and motivation. It may seem sappy but it was exactly the message that resonated most with me. As she turned out the lights and turned up the music, it hit me that almost a year ago to the day, I took my last SoulCycle class and I was not alone. Tucked inside  was baby Owen who seemingly slept through the rigorous class. I remember taking that final class and thinking about meeting my baby soon after, about what he would be like, what he would look like, and when he would arrive. It was hard to be on the bike with a bulging belly and it was weird to be back on that bike without one. That class had been for Owen. It was to give him a fit pregnancy, healthy environment, and ideally an easy delivery. This class was for me. The instructor Charlotte started to talk about three words: Permission, Support and Courage. And, I am not going to lie, I might have teared up a bit in class as she shared her message and as I reflected on all that happened in those 365 days since I last saw Charlotte.

After baby, looking in the mirror can be a little tough and rough. A deflated belly is hard to process. Shouldn’t everything just go back into place upon the little one’s arrival, no?  It was hard the first time with Henry to see the transformation that occurs in the postpartum period and it was just as hard the second time even though I had my previous knowledge. This is where Charlotte’s message about permission hit most. We don’t give ourselves enough permission to heal and be and recover. Often when grocery shopping, I will see a magazine cover that says something like “So and so is back to pre-baby body in just 2 weeks!” and she is lauded and praised and touted as the norm. Good for her! Seriously that is some impressive sh*t! But, I have learned for myself that I need to give myself permission. Permission to soak in all that just happened: I grew a human. This baby took over my entire body cavity. He moved all of my organs, he stretched out my skin, he took my nourishment, he grew strong and fat and pushed my bones to their limits. This is a point of pride! It took 9 months to get to that point and I need to give my body permission to heal and slowly return to a settled place. It is also so important to give permission to just be in awe: WOW.  And permission to not exercise until my body really feels ready to tackle that. And you know what, it might always be a little soft and a little “flabby” or it might always look like I have a “baby bump” but then again I did have two babies and my body will wear those experiences because I am only human.

Charlotte also shared a lot about support. When you are on a stationary bike you can let the wheel fly. This means not having any resistance and just allowing your legs to rotate freely and quickly as though you were sprinting along. This feels good but it is not always productive as you coast. When you add that resistance by turning the knob, Charlotte calls out “add support!” and then you feel the tension on the wheel and your legs have to work to rotate around that axis. You feel the support as though the ground became thicker and you muscles start to say hello. Mommying can be very isolating. Some nights when you are awake 3 or 4 times in the night with your baby you know that you need to be there for them and comfort them but you ache for sleep and I ached for someone to help me.  “What happens if you don’t stand in your own way,” Charlotte asks  “what would happen if you actually pushed yourself?” It took months for me to really ask for help with Owen’s sleep. I thought that with baby 2, I should just know how to get him to be comforted and to sleep. Working full-time and having a toddler on top of a new baby was a new equation. When I finally really let David in to support me at night, we all started to sleep better. Yes, David woke up and yes he cradled Owen and rocked him as Owen screamed into David’s face for what felt like hours, but Owen learned to be supported by David and I learned to be supported by David and we learned that we are WAY stronger when we work together than when we think “we got this” alone.

The class ended with Charlotte talking about courage. She had us working our way up a hill and adding more and more support to the bike when she said, “Are you giving it all you got? What would happen if you didn’t hold back? Maybe you would fall but you would learn something. You would learn how strong you are and how strong you can be!” Owen is working on walking. He fearlessly let’s go of the coffee table and takes a few steps. He falls a lot, he smashes his face sometimes on that table, but he smiles and tries again and again and he is getting better. You can see his balance improving, his steps becoming more confident, and his legs getting stronger. He is one courageous little dude. And sometimes we have to remember to take those steps too in life. To get out of our comfort zone. To give ourselves permission to try and to be courageous enough to get back into that saddle!

Belated valentines

Yes, Valentine’s Day can feel a bit contrived but at the same time, I love it.

Since adding the littles to our family, days can be a blur of endless activity. Some weeks it feels like all we do it get up,  get everyone dressed, go to work, get everyone into pjs, and go to bed. So having a day to remember “oh hey, I love you and this crazy life together is a good one” is a good thing. There is no one else in the world who I would do this with than David. So I want to take a minute to say thank you to my love, my partner, my teacher, my critic, my comic, my shoulder, my rock, my everything. 

Sorry last night we were too tired to make our “romantic” dinner in. But getting to bed at 9PM wasn’t terrible and the steak was good tonight nonetheless. I love you, David.


hi!


It has been almost 8 months of inconsistent blogging. The usual excuses are the culprits. Primarily my lack of sleep and feeling pinched everyday for a free second are the contenders for my stretches of absence. As our family grew so too did the responsibilities and returning to work added on top of the heap more stressors and timing issues. By nightfall once the house was quiet and the papers of students graded, there was little energy left for much. Poor David has been so understanding and often from 8PM-8:30PM when I surrender to sleep, we would lay in bed for some pillow talk and have “our time” as a couple in 30 short minutes. But, at least those minutes were uninterrupted! This season of life is good though, I don’t want to give off the impression that we are not happy. Happiness is definitely a constant in the house and in my heart. It’s just very busy feeling and having a stride or a routine that let’s us balance these busy endeavors has been elusive.  Then we thought how do we make our lives EVEN MORE complicated? Ah yes, let’s buy a new house, sell our house, pack, and move all before Christmas! My sister-in-law called these early months with a new baby the longest shortest time and it truly is. Yes, there are hard days, yes we are all tired, yes we bit off more than we can chew, yes we are all laughing, yes we are all eating, yes we are all screaming, but it is flying by and I wish I could slow it all down and stay inside of this manic experience a little longer. I don’t want it to end even though I crawl into bed completely zapped every night.


With the holidays keying up, I am feeling particularly nostalgic for everything and blogging feels like the right endeavor to make some space for. These little dudes and this little life should be documented more consistently because I know that I will want these stories to read and read and read as our days continue.

3 years together

What!?!  How has it been three years since David and I walked down the aisle and said “I do!” I guess the old cliche is right: time flies when you are having fun. I seriously love this guy. He has challenged me, inspired me, loved me, supported me, and made me laugh each and everyday. In these short three years, we have built a family and a home together and I am so incredibly grateful to have such a fabulous husband (Of course, I am a pretty fun wife too!). Our little twosome is about to be a threesome but I am really happy to have had these three years together. It has been an adventure and promises to continue to be. Thankfully I will have this lovely guy by my side to keep it all interesting!

When it became official: The Kiss

 

 

60 days

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9…..60!  That’s about it from this point. It is amazing to think we are in the home stretch of this long waiting game for baby. But, we are SO very excited to meet this little guy. Last night, we worked on our birth plan “wish list.” Of course, the day of will likely throw us some curve balls, but we are hoping that as long as everything progresses well and the baby isn’t in any distress that we can have the labor and delivery we both imagine. The baby room is coming together bit by bit and last night we washed his little baby clothes. Everything is so tiny! Of course, only he knows exactly when he is coming but we like to pretend that this 60 day estimated due date is it.

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sunday adventure

Yesterday David woke up and said, “Want to go for a Sunday drive?” We didn’t have a real plan but decided that we wanted to avoid highways and just follow the back roads and see  where they took us. Packing a few snacks, we got into the car and started our journey. An hour and a little bit later, we found ourselves in Salem. The streets were completely quiet as families stayed in to enjoy their restful Sunday morning. We walked the old cobblestone streets to the wharf and slowly made our way around the town. Before heading back in the car, we grabbed some pizza and lattes. We took little detours all the way home and truly enjoyed our “Sunday Drive.” A random journey really did turn into a special Sunday together!

 

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