Walking the Labyrinth

Mar 4, 2015


Two weeks ago I took a trip to Death Valley + Las Vegas. I was attending my third Sacred Pregnancy retreat and a Sacred Living Movement Leadership retreat. It was 10 days of awesome. Sometimes I cannot believe what a fun/amazing/beautiful job I have. I really have the best job in the world and I work with some of the most awe-inspiring women I've ever met.

At the end of our second day at the Sacred Pregnancy retreat we went to walk a labyrinth in the dessert before we completed our fear release exercise. It was one of the most powerful experiences I've had in a long time. The ground was sharp, completely covered in tiny rocks, but I chose to walk the labyrinth barefoot. I'm not sure what came over me as I kicked my shoes off to begin the walk but I'm so glad I chose to go that way. At first the steps I took weren't bad. They were a little painful at times but mostly okay. As the labyrinth went on it got more painful and I started to question my sanity. I had one hand on my belly connecting with my sweet baby and one hand closed around the rock I'd written my fears on for our release. For a few minutes I cursed myself for taking off my shoes, but slowly I changed my attitude. I'd chosen to step into the very rocky labyrinth barefoot. I'd chosen to do something hard. Because I knew that I could. It was such a lightening bolt moment for me. Why do I choose to do hard things? Because I know that I can do them. And I'm a stronger, more confident person when I finish them. I'm better for the hard things that I do. 

I started to relate the labyrinth to childbirth. The way I chose to birth Everly was hard. There is no way around that. Many people questioned why I could choose the way I did but to me, it was the best way for her to come into the world. I knew that's how she wanted to be born so I did it for her. For this baby I get even more questions. We're planning a home birth that I get asked about frequently. Why would I choose something hard? Why would I choose to birth my baby free of medications? My answer... because I deeply feel that my baby wants me to and I am more than willing to do hard things for my children. 

Sometimes we make choices and do hard things in life. Sometimes in a moment of crazy we step barefoot into a rocky labyrinth that takes us fifteen minutes to walk through. Sometimes we question why we did that hard thing in the first place when it would have been so much easier to just keep our shoes on. But the truth is, life isn't supposed to be easy. We can choose the hard way and come out the other side even stronger and braver than we went in. That's what I did when I walked the labyrinth. 

I came out strong. I came out brave. I came out ready to release my fears that were holding me back. I came out with a deeper connection to my body and my baby and I came out ready to do this hard thing because I choose to. 

xo Sue

amazing photo c/o Kiera Lillesve Foto

The Most Amazing Pickles Ever

Feb 28, 2015

I have a theory that if you pickle it I will eat it. So far it hasn't failed me. But every time I have a  pickle I think "it's delicious but I would change..." So finally I decided to do that and created my own pickling recipe. Now I may be a touch biased, but these are the most amazing pickles ever. I used this recipe to pickle cucumbers, carrots, and asparagus and all three are simply divine. Don't believe me? Try it yourself! 


The Most Amazing Refrigerator Pickles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 clove peeled garlic per jar
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Combine all ingredients and stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Chop veggies to fit in 7 small canning jars. Fill the jars with the pickle liquid and refrigerate. Let sit 2 days before eating.

On Early Pregnancy

Jan 21, 2015

Today I read an article about hating pregnancy and not apologizing for it. While I can understand and agree with a lot of the sentiments it also left me feeling sad after I read it. As pregnancies go, I have the short end of the stick. I've tried explaining Hyperemesis to people who have never experienced it (and trust me, most of you have not) and it's incomprehensible. People make sympathetic noises and say they're sorry but that's truly all they can do. For me, pregnancy sucks. And if I let myself, it's easy to get sucked into the misery of it all. 

Baby Nemo (named by Everly) has been easier and harder in ways that are difficult to explain. It's harder because not only am I constantly sick, void of energy, and unable to do simple things for myself, but I'm also the sleep deprived mother of a toddler. It is so hard. And yet... that sweet, amazing, rebellious, wild little toddler makes this pregnancy so much easier. All I have to do is look at her and I'm overwhelmed with the love in my heart. Last time I knew logically that it would be worth it. This time I can feel in the depths of my soul that she was absolutely worth it. And this baby is too. I would go through this a thousand times if it meant my sweet Everly was always a part of my life. How could I not feel the same about her brother or sister? 

I love that physically my body is able to grow my baby. I love that. I adore every tiny movement I feel inside my belly. I look forward so much to the day Everly and Aaron can feel the wiggles from the outside. It's not far off, I know. I love that I can do this. I do not love the side effects of pregnancy. And that's the only way to describe what I'm feeling. The most important part, I love. The rest has an end in site. 5ish more months and my body will feel well again. 

One of the most difficult things for me to deal with is the immense guilt I feel over losing so much weight. I cannot help it. If you didn't keep down a single thing for over 3 months trust me, you'd lose plenty of weight too. In 5 months I won't have to hear comments about how good I look losing weight. I won't have to hear comments about how unhealthy it is to lose so much weight when I'm pregnant. I'm sure I'll still get comments on my weight because for some reason people think it's their business, but I won't be consumed with guilt every time someone mentions it. 

I'm trying every day to enjoy this painful, difficult process. This is our last baby that my body will grow. Aaron and I are both at peace with that knowledge and we're thrilled to be creating the last piece of our little family. We are happy with our decision. So while I'm going through this experience I'm both grateful that I'll never do this again, and also a little bit sad. Not for the icky, the sick, the awful, but for the sweet moments. When I cry that I can't do this and my baby responds with a little wiggle. When I wake up in the morning to Everly kissing me and my belly and saying "Love you baby Nemo!" When it hits me how truly amazing this miracle of life is. Those are the things I'm trying to capture in my memory forever.

And just for fun, here's a little comparison. My 16 week (roughly) baby bump now and then. Everly announced herself much better. Baby Nemo is staying nice and hidden. 

xo Sue

believing in MAGIC

Jan 2, 2015

When I look back over this past year so many emotions come up. We had good and bad and scary. Honestly, it was a hard year. But we learned a lot and we've been blessed with some amazing things that have come our way. My word last year was intention and it was really wonderful to watch how my life unfolded when I lived with intention and not just day to day. When pregnancy and hyperemesis hit I stopped posting my intentions to the blog but I kept journaling them and sharing them with myself. Even though I didn't complete every intention I set, it was huge for me to see the way each of them developed. It made all the difference in the world. This year my word is...

magic.


I've thought a lot about this word the past few days. Picking a word is hard! But no matter what else I considered, I kept coming back to magic. It followed me around and insisted this was the year that I focus on finding the magic in my life. So that's what I'll be doing this year.

Aaron and I have two big plans for 2015. We're going to have our second child and become a little family of four (I say little because I come from a family of eight) and we're going to find a space to call our home. I'm excited for both of these endeavors and I hope the second comes before the first, though I'm not placing restrictions on myself. I've learned my lesson there.

I also have a few small intentions for the year (because intentions rock even if it's not your word for the year).
  • one family picture each month - I did this in 2014 and it was one of my favorite things I did. The progression of our family month to month is so fun, especially as I watch Everly change!
  • read at least 2 books each month - Last year I wanted to read 1 book a week and it got overwhelming pretty quickly. I got off track for a bit and then got back on course  a while later. It was a huge thing to undertake. But I love reading so I'm making the intention smaller but still relevant. Hopefully it helps! 
  • have an outing with Everly once a week - This can be big like taking her to an amusement park for her first baby roller coaster (I'm excited to do that this summer!) or small, like a trip to the zoo or local park. At least once a week the two of us will leave the house to do something just for her. And in July we'll add a third wheel who will sleep while we play.
  • cook one new recipe each week - This might be my favorite intention for the year. I cannot express how much I love cooking and (not to brag too hard) I'm very good at it. I read far too many food blogs (if there's such a thing?) and pin amazing recipes all the time. I'm going to try at least one new recipe each week so my family and I can all enjoy the benefits of my cooking skills. 
  • date night with Aaron - Is once a week to much to ask for a date night with my husband? I hope not, because I am. I want to go on a date with Aaron once a week, even if that date is a trip to the store without Everly in tow! We can grab some coffee and call it a romantic stroll.

Cheers to that wild, crazy, beautiful 2014 and lets bring on the MAGIC for 2015!

PS How adorable is that photo? Everly thought Christmas morning was the most amazing thing ever and all she wanted was to go play with her toys.