Some Gratitude

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It’s common knowledge by now that happy people are grateful people, right? And it’s true. I know that when I’m in a shit mood and want to have a full blown pity party for myself I’m the opposite of grateful. I find anything and everything to be upset about. At 5AM this morning after a night of cuddling and nursing a coughing baby (who is on his third ear infection in just two months) I began to cry. Not just because I haven’t had more than 30 minutes of consecutive sleep all night but because it’s been 10+ months of not really sleeping every single night. That’s when all of pity’s friends began to show up – guilt, anger, loneliness, and shame just to name a few.

So around 6:15 I asked Jeremy to take the baby and I got one glorious hour of solid sleep. I woke up insanely grateful – which is both timely and appropriate given the holiday.

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I am so incredibly grateful for my healthy and happy baby. He’s napping in my arms as I write this post and I keep taking breaks to put my chapped lips to his big fuzzy head and inhale. He makes me grateful for life.

JEREMY
I spend a lot of time studying self-improvement basically so I can be more like Jeremy. He’s really good at just living. The description of being good at living life, for me, conjures up an image of a shirtless and spontaneous Matthew McConaughey – surfing with a perfectly rolled joint hanging out of his mouth … but that’s not what I’m talking about, and that’s not Jeremy. Jeremy is really good at living a life that isn’t the bohemian adventure-sporting fantasy. He’s good at living the daily grind – and for that I’m grateful. (Though, I wouldn’t be mad if he wanted to get me buzzed and go surfing together… just sayin’.)

MISS TAYLOR
This morning when I started thinking bout what I’m thankful this year Miss Taylor kept coming top of mind. Miss Taylor is Fox’s babysitter. She loves him. And he loves her. I am so grateful for all the wonderful ladies who take care of Fox when I need to take care of myself and my work.

BRAID CREATIVE
I had no idea how much purpose my work would give me when Tara and I decided to launch Braid a little over three years ago. This year has challenged me in so many ways, and my work has kept me grounded and certain when my confidence has been shaken in other areas (like growing into my new role as a mom). For that I’m grateful.

BOOBIES
I’m grateful that I can take off my shirt and make everyone in the room (everyone in the room being Fox and Jeremy) smile. I am so incredibly thankful for the ability to feed, nourish, and comfort my baby with my own body.

MODERN MEDICINE
I believe things like essential oils, chiropractic adjustments, and meditation are great tools for healing, but today I’m especially grateful for antibiotics and vaccinations.

MARIA
Maria cleans my house once a week. Some weeks she’ll clean out my fridge and change my sheets. Other weeks she’ll sweep the front porch and water my plants. If Fox is home and crying she’ll pick him up and calm him down while I get his diaper bag together. I am so thankful for her.

MY MOM AND DAD
Last week I asked my mom and dad how often they think about dying. Apparently my dad thinks about dying once every 35 minutes and my mom considers it maybe once a month. I’m grateful for my dad because he’s been reminding me that he’s going to die any minute now for the last 30 years. I’m grateful for my mom because she’s never going to die.

I’ve got sweet potatoes on the stove and green beans that need trimming – otherwise, I’d go on and on with all the things I’m grateful for. Actually, I think I will.

Happy Thanksgiving. XO

The Love Well Handmade Fox Bandana Bib

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I pretty much had a baby just so I could name him Fox and dress him in 100% organic cotton Love Well Handmade leggings. But these days just changing his diaper is like trying to change a diaper on a crocodile (he rolls with strength I did not know babies possessed) – so getting him into really cute leggings is nearly impossible. That’s when I pitched a bandana bib to my friends Jonathan and Candice – the masterminds behind Love Well Handmade. The idea is that it would be easy to snap on, catch all the excessive drool that comes with growing teeth, and would give my baby some instant style without a lot of effort. Love Well told me they would create it if I designed it – the only requirement was that I had to use the geometric Love Well Handmade signature heart in the design (challenge accepted!). And of course, the design was inspired by my little Foxy muse. This bandana bib is reversible – check out the fun flip-side here.

You can buy a Love Well Handmade Fox bandana bib for your little cutie too! My portion of the proceeds are going straight to the ASPCA to help save endangered animals worldwide, and another 5% will go toward providing clean water to kids and families in the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua through the efforts of Second Mile Water.

WANT ONE? 
I’m giving away one of these bandana bibs! All you have to do is:
1. Repost either of the images from this blog post to Instagram and do the following:
2. Hashtag #lovewellstyle
3. Mention @lovewellhandmade and @andkathleen
4. Tag a friend that might like one too (who knows! maybe we’ll send them one too!)

We’ll pick a winner at random on Friday, November 28th.

P.S. This post is NOT sponsored or affiliated in any way. I just love collaborating and creating with my friends.

P.P.S. This bandana bib will be carried locally in Oklahoma City at Collected Thread, Stash in Norman, and Shop Good – they should be in stores by Thanksgiving. Please support handmade and local this holiday season!

What I Want

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I’ve always been good at wanting things.

• Talent • Beauty • Recognition • Fortune • Tradition • Ritual • Muscle • Flexibility • Adventure • Travel • Leisure • Tight Jeans • Boyfriend Jeans • A new car • New teeth • A baby • Some sleep • Dark chocolate • Red wine • The ocean • The mountains • Hot sun • Cool air • Pink skies • A cozy bed • Wicker furniture • Gold jewelry • Platinum hair • Red lips • Vintage rugs • Oversized sweaters • A good show to watch • A good book to read •

The list could go on. But at the end of the day what I really crave is experience – to live the kind of life that makes for good stories – the little details and the magical memories.

And sometimes that story simply boils down to some good food, good conversation, and big love.

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Images by Choate House for Vidya Seasonal Kitchen | Fall – check out more images and the video + Fall recipe here. Claire is really great at making good food and good conversation, and she’s taught me so much about Ayurvedic nutrition and self-care, yogic philosophy, and seasonal alignment. Claire is currently available for one-on-one coaching if you’re interested in learning more about those things too – learn more at Vidya Cleanse.

Is This Hard?

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Last night around 9:15PM Fox was lying in child’s pose on our big king size bed – he was in the middle of a coughing fit and even though he was still half asleep I picked him up. I cradled him and petted his head. I offered him a boob and he threw up a tummy full of snot on the both of us – for the third time this week. I reassured him that everything was okay and changed him out of his pajamas as he hysterically cried – which is typically the only time I get to see how his teeth are coming in. Last night I noticed the top right one just about to break through the surface to join his top left. Growing teeth isn’t a good time.

Five minutes later I’m in the shower – which is where I go to escape these days. Hot water and white noise usually loud enough to tune out my day. But last night it wasn’t enough to drown out the sound of my hysterical baby who refused to be comforted by his dad. As I get out of the shower I’m surprised to find that Fox isn’t in bed, or in Jeremy’s arms, but crawling towards the bathroom crying, with his whole body, something that resembles “mama”. I scoop him up, wearing nothing but a towel, and remind him with a soft “shhhh-shhh” that everything is okay – he seems to believe me.

By 9:45 Fox I’ve coaxed and nursed Fox to sleep, on a towel – just incase, with his arm wrapped around mine. I’m reading Amy Poehler’s new book Yes, Please and Jeremy is laying next to me reading Game of Thrones. But I’m doing that thing where I read the same sentence over and over without comprehension because I’m in my own head. I set down my Kindle to ask Jeremy if the words playing on repeat in my head all day long are true:

Is this hard? Being a parent?

Jeremy sets his phone down and carefully considers the question. “No. It’s not hard.”

“Then what is it?”

“It just… is.”

It just is. Jeremy went on to make me feel better by describing celebrating Christmas thirty years from now. We’ll be living in a house straight from a John Hughes movie – perfect for celebrating the holidays in. Fox will be in town with his really great partner-in-crime and I’ll be sharing stories by the fire, with a mug of coffee (or glass of wine), about how I grew a wildly successful business when he was just a little baby. A little baby who refused to sleep longer than two hours at a time. I got lost in Jeremy’s fantasy as he described it to me – it turns out his daydream is what I needed to escape and tune out the day.

Jeremy is right. It isn’t hard. I mean, sometimes it feels really hard. Like this week – juggling house guests, comforting a sick teething baby who won’t sleep, coordinating doctor’s appointments in between a schedule packed with client meetings, managing a team and deadlines and my own damn drive to write more, work out more, be more … all on very little sleep and with the thought that this is the rest of my life … it’s hard. And it is hard. But sometimes it is bliss. Sometimes it is funny. Sometimes it is sweet. Sometimes it is no big deal and sometimes it is mind blowing. Sometimes it is love bigger than anything I’ve ever known. But I think if I can stop trying to categorize the experience I’m having I can see Jeremy is right – I can see that it just is.

Fall Back

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My shoulders are still sun-kissed from a summer that just kept hanging around a little past its welcome. But Fall is here. Leaves have started turning, a few falling. Fall is here because we had to put an extra blanket on the bed and the heat has started kicking in to warm the house, rather than cool it, to 68º degrees. The sun has started rising a little further to the south and seems to hang a little lower on the horizon which gives the air a golden quality. The fact that I’ve even noticed the position of the sun in the sky makes me feel decidedly adult – oh, and the little baby I’ve not only managed to keep alive but has started clinging to my legs as I put on my makeup in the morning. And with that, I finally get why daylight savings ending is more of a curse than a blessing when you have a baby, because it turns out babies don’t know how to read clocks so they wake up whenever it feels right. So for us that means this morning we were awoken by a squealing baby at 5:19AM rather than 6:19AM. Fall is here – and so we’ll bust out the sweaters, we’ll begin baking apples, and roasting winter squash. Let’s fall back.