Category Archives: Personal

Crafting My Life, With Thanks to Amber Strocel

I can’t tell you how delighted I am to share this book with you! When Amber of put out an invitation for readers to review her Crafting My Life Playbook, exchange guest posts, or otherwise join with her on the journey she has begun, I knew I wanted to participate. Amber’s work has been such an inspiration to me as I have settled into the role of mother and begun the task of figuring out where the intersection between my personal goals and my life as a mother lies. I knew I would enjoy reading her Crafting My Life Playbook, but what I didn’t know was how timely it would be for me. Continue reading

My first "unique baby," one week after her birth. Photo by Amanda Cox.

Unique Unto Itself

Welcome to the first edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and Mudpiemama!

In the month of January, we start afresh, a new year, new ideas. Hence, our participants have looked into the topic of “Birth and New Beginnings”. Take a look at the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants.


My first "unique baby," one week after her birth. Photo by Amanda Cox.

I’ve been preparing for my second birth, which should take place sometime in late July or early August, by using the Hypnobabies home study course. I did the same during my first pregnancy, but this time it means so much more. This time I have a toddler following me around, repeating the “Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations” she hears me listening to daily. One of those affirmations provides a reminder that, “this is a new birth and a new baby, unique unto itself.” While I consider my first birth to have been a beautiful experience, all but perfect for the time and place we were in, I am looking forward in so many ways to the opportunity to have a new and different experience with our second child. Continue reading

Annabelle's closet, designed for independent dressing.

Our Montessori Home, Sans School

I have really come to enjoy posting bits and pieces from our lives for Montessori Monday, but as I put together my thoughts on The Schooling Dilemma, I realized I may be painting a bit of a confusing picture.

I explained that I admire, fully support, and am quite frankly in awe of parents who choose to homeschool their children using the Montessori method. I support homeschooling, I am a Montessorian to the core, and I strive to implement Montessori philosophy in my home, and in my interactions with all children. While I suspect I will always be guided by Montessori philosophy, I will never homeschool my children using the Montessori method. That is unless I decide to open a school in my home that includes children unrelated to me. We shall see 1 Continue reading

  1. Is this the place where I should admit to hoarding small shelves, tables, chairs, and the like, just in case I should find myself designing a home-based Montessori environment?
to do

Self-Improvement, Pregnancy, and the New Year

Photo Credit: LoveBug Studios on Flickr

We all know that pregnancy brings about many changes, both physical and emotional, but the biggest one I have noticed this time around is a sudden preoccupation with self-improvement. It happened before I actually got pregnant, really. Since Annabelle was born, I have given myself a great deal of grace. I didn’t get Christmas cards out last year, but that was okay. I had a baby after all. There are dark corners of my home that I deliberately avoid, because I don’t want to have to think about cleaning and organizing them right now. Being a new mom is challenging, and some things fall by the wayside. It’s no big deal. Really, you can name just about anything, and I’m behind on it: emails, exercise, sleep, coursework, writing commitments, cleaning. Some weeks I find that I’ve fallen behind on showering. Continue reading

Photo Credit: Youssef Hanna on Flickr.

Checking In: An Exercise in Self-Empathy

Photo Credit: Youssef Hanna on Flickr.

I have taken a couple of Sundays off from writing about Nonviolent Communication, mostly because by Sunday evening the idea of getting up from the bed after I get Annabelle to sleep has been unappealing. This topic has been on my mind today, however, and I really want to take the opportunity to write about it.

On days like today, when I find myself grumbling around the house, finding another reason to be ticked off at every turn, I really benefit from a little NVC-style checking in exercise. I think I would have had a much more pleasant afternoon today if I had taken the time for it, and I’m hoping that by writing about it, I’ll bring it back to the forefront of my mind and return to it more readily the next time. This little exercise does not come directly from the book Nonviolent Communication, but it’s an adaptation of the NVC process, inspired in part by practices in The Mindfulness Workbook, that has worked wonderfully for me.

I was in a really great groove for awhile, where I took ten or fifteen minutes for myself before making dinner each evening. Sometimes just going into a quiet room and being still for a few minutes was all that I needed, but other times I was really on edge and needed more to bring myself back to ‘center.’ Here’s what worked: Continue reading