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Learning to Play

Let’s Play

I popped into Galaxy Cafe to pick up lunch for our family last weekend.

I had my 3 year-old with me and there was a line, which usually spells disaster. I was committed to grabbing food that was good for my body that day, though, so we stayed.

I handed a menu to 3 at his request, as I was grabbing one for myself, and he proceeded to pretend he was ordering food, “I’ll have a lollipop and a special treat and healthy food.” I watched him pass the time by spinning in circles and walking up and down the aisle feeling the texture on the wall where we were waiting. Lots of movement. A lot of unpredictable-ness.

Normally, my anxiety would be through the roof in this parenting scenario.

Instead, because I have been practicing, studying, looking for playfulness, I was able to see that this child was actually… brilliant! It’s boring to stand in line and wait your turn. Instead of living in boring, he was able to find the fun hiding in the line.

It was a amazing! It was so simple! He is so clever.

Instead of feeling the anxiety that usually rises up, I studied him. I found ways that I could engage that were playful and fun and felt good. He was my teacher in this moment. I was his student.

I don’t always see it this way. In fact, this was the first time in recent memory that I picked up on it. It really clicked. It felt great!! Connected. Fun. Loving. All the feelings. We were just waiting in line and we were doing it together. With ease.

I want to find more ease in parenting!

I am a part of a year long program called: Evolve 2016. The beautiful and brilliant mastermind behind the program, Carrie Contey, PhD, asks us all the time, “what are you learning?”

It looks like I am learning to let go of unpredictableness as a trigger for anxiety. I am learning that my children have a bunch of really beautiful stuff to teach me. I am learning that play is a really cool way to feel good in any moment if you know what you’re looking for… and that getting close to a child is a good as way as any to open your eyes to it.

A Signature Gift

Baby On The Way

There is no better news that hearing a baby is on the way!

Not in my mind.

You can imagine my delight to learn that my dear friend Sara was expecting last Spring. Sara and I met nearly 6 years ago when we were pregnant together, both with our first child. A girl for her, a boy for me. We were in the same childbirth classes at the time.

I later had my second child 25 months after my first was born. To say adding number two was a challenge is an understatement! Some friends shy away from difficulty, but Sara wasn’t one of those. She wasn’t afraid to get right up in the chaos. Offering play dates, babysitting my oldest, setting up excursions we could take together – generally being an involved, supportive friend.

When I heard her news, I jumped at the chance to repay her kindness to me, so I offered to gift her my Signature Prenatal Massage Package. Initially, she thought it meant that I was gifting her ONE massage and was thankful. Instead, she received the full treatment!

It was a gift to me to share my gift with her.

We shared conversation and quiet, reflective space as I provided bodywork to Sara over the course of her final 20 weeks of pregnancy.  I learned of her birth soon after one of her sessions at 41 weeks. For her postpartum session, baby was new and napping quietly near mama for her 90 minute session…

It was the most beautiful, peaceful experience! Care, love, and joy – all swirling in the air.

Sara’s Story

I asked Sara if she would share with us a bit about her experience with massage throughout pregnancy.

Here is what she had to say:

This was your second pregnancy. Tell us a little about your first. My first pregnancy was pretty easy, but the birth was not. With my first pregnancy, I was in labor for 41 hours, was transferred from a birthing center to a hospital for “failure to progress naturally.” My second pregnancy was smooth and so was the birth. I had our baby at home, 11 hours after my water broke.

What are some things you chose to do during your second pregnancy that were different? How come? I was determined to have a home birth this round. I was not happy with my experience at the birth center or the hospital. I knew self-care was going to be hugely important this go round. I saw the chiropractor regularly, practiced prenatal yoga 2-3 times a week, and received massages. I also quit my job 2 1/2 months before my due date.

How often did you receive massage prior to this pregnancy? Did you consider massage a luxury or a part of your self-care? I rarely received massages before this pregnancy. Getting a massage was definitely a luxury. During my second pregnancy I realized that massage IS self-care. It was so important for my mental and physical being.

How do you feel you benefitted from massage during pregnancy? It helped me have a more relaxed, pain-free, calm pregnancy and birth. Because I took care of myself, I was able to better care for the baby in my womb and my family.

Were there benefits you received that you weren’t expecting? The overall calmness of my body and mind. I know the yoga and chiropractic work contributed also, but I think all three worked together really well to prepare my mind and body for the type of birth I was seeking.

What would you share with someone considering a prenatal massage package? DO IT! Don’t talk yourself out of it. Once you have purchased the package there’s no turning back. You’ve made the investment, now you have to take care of yourself. I took much better care of myself with this pregnancy, reduced my stress level through massage and yoga combined and that translated to a calm space for my baby to grow and be born.

A big thank you to Sara for sharing her experience with us here! …and big hugs to those cute kiddos.

Have you used massage therapy for self-care? Does it feel like a luxury expense for you?

It's Still Love

The First Love Letter

My oldest son will be 5 years-old this week!

I get nostalgic every year for my sons’ birthdays. I remember how I prepared, how I waited, how I anticipated every detail. I wondered and then, I waited. It is a difficult thing… the waiting.

While I waited for each of my children, I wrote love letters. It helped me to connect to the moment… to my heart. Simple. Short. Directly to the little one who was about to arrive.

Gavin’s letter was originally posted here. You can also find it below.

Dear Gavin

this was the first time i laid eyes on you…

i went to the first doctor’s appointment without daddy, so i got to see you first — all for myself. it was a magical moment and i fell in love with you instantly! in fact, just the sight of you brought tears of joy to my eyes.

i saw your heart beating and my doctor told me that you were “perfect”! he said we should expect your arrival about october 18, 2010. 

you are much bigger now, and still growing safe and sound.

we’ve already been getting to know each other though daddy and i are really excited to meet you face-to-face. when you are ready, we will be waiting with open arms… ready to love you with our whole hearts, protect you, and enjoy you!

i can’t wait to fall in love with you all over again!

xoxo,
mommy

P.S.

We are still in love!

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Introducing Mama

Introducing Mama

I started a blog once. Ten years ago, actually.

I ran my very first marathon the year I turned 30 and my very first blog post was my Race Report. If you’ve run a marathon, you know exactly what kind of story this is… a marathon is an initiation of sorts and once you’ve been through the fire of the race, you have a story to tell.

I wasn’t a great runner, but I was inspired by my experience and I had a story.

Ten years later, with a husband, two children, and a new career path, I am blogging again.  This time my hope is to connect with you – my client. I plan to share the stories I have collected and am collecting. My thoughts, ideas, and questions about motherhood and business.  

If I find a great resource that makes my journey a bit easier, I’ll share it here!  Maybe even a fun laugh, on occasion.

Here’s my first story…

My Getting Started Story

I enrolled in Massage Therapy school in January 2010. Two weeks into classes, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. My husband and I spent a few weeks freaking out about our news, but soon settled into the beauty of the experience. I received massage daily as a part of the coursework, and I had a smooth pregnancy and birth.

Two years and six weeks later, our second child was born. It was during my second maternity leave that I decided I would turn my focus to prenatal and postpartum massage.

It is here that I’ve found my fit.

I found my own passion in the pregnancies and births of my children. Now, it is my pleasure and privilege to serve as a member of the support team for each of my clients.

Cheering you on from the sidelines as you run your race.

nurtured. safe. empowered.