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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Love.

I don't know a lot of things in this life, especially anything having to do with numbers. Or science. Or how to change a tire. I'm a constant procrastinator. Laundry and I are enemies. I forget anything that is not written down. I would literally be lost without my GPS.

I could actually write for days about all of the things I don't know. And I would still be forgetting things (see above). But instead I'll focus on this one thing that I do know a little something about: love. No, no. Not romantic love. I still have much to learn about that one.

I'm talking about the real deal, soul filled, how am I this lucky to have you in life type of love. No romance, no strings, no need for an IOU or you need to pay me back eventually... no. It is the I see you and I hold you in my soul type of sisterhood love. No guilt. No glitz. Just the grit and glory type. That is my favorite type of love.

As many of you know, my husband and I separated a few months ago. Our first date was on the first of July in the year 2000 when we were twenty years old. I am grateful for the life that we have built together, and all that he still does for me and for our children. He is and was the love story of my lifetime.

How we came to this point of our new redefined normal is a story that may or may not be told in due time. Not today. Definitely not today.

Today is the story of how my dear friends and family have shown me an arms wide open type of love in this space of time and healing. I know that I am not the only one going through this space. I also know that you may know someone going through the hard and you don't know what to do. This is what my people have done. They are my village. They are my salvation.

They have poured me red wine, fed me cheese, bought me a machine to make my own espresso, taken me dancing, invited my four children and I into their homes for sleepovers, organized trips out of the category of "someday" and into the "right now."
They have listened without judgement, hugged me without being the first one to let go, made me laugh and reminded me that that counts as an ab workout. They have not only told me that I can stand on my own two heels but they have helped lay out the stepping stones on how I can and will be able to do it. They reminded me that if I need a hand in mine that theirs will be there.

Growing up, I had my father and two older brothers. And then I had Stephen. When you like to think of yourself as an independent woman but you have had a man to depend on for 37 years and you now have four children that you have stayed at home with for twelve years, it can be daunting, challenging, overwhelming at times, to think of turning the page and writing yourself a new chapter.

It is all of those little things of the every day that we question.

What day is trash day? Where are the snow shovels? Why do we live somewhere where it snows? Why are kids sneakers so expensive when their feet are so small? Why do they grow so fast? Why do only the lightbulbs go out that I'm too short to replace? Does that cough sound like croup? How do I get everyone to where they need to be? Are brownies, soup and sandwiches a legit dinner? Why are pickle jars so damn hard to open? What is the Netflix password? Why is a king bed necessary when I am sleeping alone?

And that was just one hour of one day.

My car battery died on the eve of New Years Eve when my family was leaving my house and my newly separated husband's family was on their way, ensuring that 2016 would continue to be a revolving door of every emotion until its final minutes were up. Thankfully, my amazing brother-in-laws arrived and showed me how to jump my battery. Two days later my mom sent me one of the most thoughtful gifts that I have ever received: a device that will jump your car battery without the dependence of another car. Or another human. She said, "I hope that you never need this. But just in case. Now you can do it, without anyone's help." Thank you Mom. Your foundation of roots and wings are boundless. And beautiful.

When you know that there are people in this world that fiercely believe in you, you not only keep stepping one heel in front of the other, but you show them that you can rise. You wake up early, you stay up too late, you work and create in any window of time that you can and you let them see all of your sides, the joy, the vulnerable, the hopeful, the strong.

Sunday is our trash day. The snow shovels are behind the shed. Those kids do grow up so fast. And my 9-year old showed me how to work Netflix and I discovered that my intuition on the kids illnesses is usually right. On Sunday it was twelve degrees and snow and ice encrusted our long driveway, with the exception of the tire tracks I made to avoid using the before mentioned snow shovels. My daughters helped me drag our trashcans to the top of the driveway, small boots followed the path of the tire tracks. We had grilled cheese, campbells and brownies for dinner and no one seemed to mind. The pickles can wait. And my sons did the dishes.

They didn't complain. This day they didn't complain. They have before and I know they will again. But this day, somehow, they didn't.
They showed their grace, even though it is hard.
They see me standing, even though it is hard.
They see me grateful, even though that part is easy.
I see them.
And my arms are open.

In this redefined normal we are not alone. It is okay.
One person is enough to fill a bed.

Thank you village. Thank you.
I see you. Thank you for seeing me.
We are enough.

Here's to the next chapter.
In love and endless gratitude...















Saturday, December 17, 2016

New Book Release: We are a Pantsuit Nation





















Hi everyone... like so many, 2016 was a challenging year for me. I know you are probably thinking that maybe I'm having a nervous breakdown to be releasing another book. And you'd probably be right. But also because I am a writer. And writers have to write when the world most needs it.

And I need to be in a place in life where I can stand on my own two heels so I started to write a very cynical, possibly funny but more dark book about what a shit show of a year 2016 was and then I took a break by scrolling through my facebook feed (procrastination's best friend). There I saw a post on Pantsuit Nation​ and it was so full of optimism over adversity and of beauty and of hope. And the support was magnificent. And the community was so giving and honest and real and present. And I thought THAT is the book that needs to be written. A book for the community that gives the light to overcome the dark. They are the ones that deserve the stage.

So I wrote "We are a Pantsuit Nation" and it is available now on Amazon. It is a book for all ages that want to love with open arms and believe in a hopeful tomorrow. And I not only want to stand tall in my pantsuit, but I want to give back. So a percentage of all proceeds will go to Glennon Doyle Melton​s amazing charity Together Rising to benefit Aleppo. It is time for us all to rise together.
Thank you all for all that you do. Here's to you...

























https://www.amazon.com/dp/1541156285/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481980705&sr=8-1&keywords=we+are+a+pantsuit+nation

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mommas This is the Important Thing

You know how we all wish that motherhood came with some type of manual? But we wouldn't have time to read it even if we did so instead could we please, for the love, just let each other know the bullet point version of what is truly, really, don't forget, this makes a difference important and just focus on that and let all the other bullshit exhausting parts go?

I don't know what I'm doing as a mother about 92% of the time and about 4% of that remaining time I'm quoting things my mother used to say to me and the other 4% I'm googling things like how big is a sperm whale (67 feet #thanksgoogle). But this I know. This falls in the category of "really... is that seriously important?" Yes. And you know it is the Santa Shop. Seriously. You have a 12 mile to do list and you have to find $4 in cash under the couch cushions so that Junior can go shopping at school where everything costs $1 for things like flashing red and green bracelets that jingle while you walk. I know. I had to borrow money from my child's piggy bank (#feelfreetopin) so that my kids could shop like a bunch of ballers.

It is my absolute favorite thing at school to volunteer at.

To see these kids glow and smile and analyze like the weight of Christmas is on their shoulders to find their momma/daddy/brothers/sisters/mee maws the perfect gift, a few dollars in hand... it is the sweetest thing.
And my 7 year old Micah couldn't even wait to show me what he picked out just for me and gave these to me right at the Santa shop amidst the elf hats and cougar earrings. Actually this is the 2nd pair because the 1st pair broke upon opening. I LOVE them I said. I put them right on and he held me until I had no choice but to tear up. He told me at dinner last night that giving me those earrings was his favorite part of the day. I told him the truth, it was my favorite part of the day too.

So whatever your child brings home to you this holiday, please please give them your best reaction and wear it like a boss. They love us like wild no matter how much we get caught up in staying afloat. They love us. And you are doing an amazing job, momma. You are seen. And that is the first bullet point.

Now I'm going to go put in the other 8 pound a piece gold earrings that Sophia got me today that almost reach my shoulders. 10 more days. Keep on smiling. We've got this.

Cheers to you...






Thursday, December 8, 2016

On Her Own Two Heels


She woke up one day alive with fever.
She realized that life was too long to live only to endure it. She was exhausted. She was drained thin by going through motions and routines and endless grinds that lacked any type of fire. She was in a maze coated in dead ends. She ran into walls. She forgot how to dance. She forgot how to fly. 

But then she looked up. 

There was a whole sky that she forgot existed. She forgot how stunning it was to witness day surrender into night and to rise again was. She forgot that there was more than one way to live. She looked down and remembered that she had a pulse, two hands and two heels and that was enough to know that she was worthy of getting to work.
Writing was her therapy and truth was her religion and she decided to not keep either one in boxes anymore.

She stopped waiting to share her words.
She stopped waiting for Saturday night to wear high heels. 
She stopped waiting for permission to wear the pants. 
She stopped waiting for her children to be older for her to be her true self. 
She stopped waiting for summer to see the ocean. 
She stopped waiting for the next new year to make a change. 
She stopped waiting for forty. 
She stopped waiting to be seen. 
She stopped waiting for the perfect body before she would show her skin. 
She stopped waiting for the seasons of her life to be in order for her to feel whole. 
She stopped waiting for someone to ask her to dance.

She was going to fucking dance anyway.
She wore what she fucking wanted to.
She sang and laughed so fucking loud.
She ordered the fucking french fries if she fucking wanted them.
She spoke her fucking mind.
She stopped fucking apologizing for the weather and the traffic and everything else that she didn’t fucking have anything to do with.
She stopped fucking saying yes when what she meant was no.
She stopped letting fucking fear dictate what she created. 
She stopped living by the bullshit rules created by people who didn’t see the real her. 
She stopped letting the toxic people into her fucking life boat. It was hers to keep afloat. There was no longer room for anyone who was poking holes in it.
She found the fire inside her veins.
She fell in love with her own beautiful imperfection.
She let go.
She became.
She stopped waiting for her life to send her an invitation to be alive in it.
She stopped waiting.
She woke up. 
She set herself free.



Wear your heels. Or your slippers. Stand on your own two feet.
Let your scars and band-aids show.




@thenakedmomma

We are Family Book Release


WOOHOO! YEEHA! WOOT WOOT!

I am beyond excited that my new book that is celebration of family and our beautiful imperfect selves is here...

"We are Family" is now available on Amazon and is perfect for children of all ages, especially those who are kids at heart.

You can check out a video of me describing it and reading an excerpt of it on my Naked Momma FaceBook page here.

And, as always, thank you for being here. And for reading. And for being rockstars, beautiful, imperfect ones, my favorite kind.

Cheers to you dear family...
xoxo
Katie



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This Christmas

Here's what I'm thinking... I'm thinking that maybe we are doing too much. And that it is driving us insane.
I think that we are trying so hard to be so damn good at everything and we are unraveling in the process. We are trying to be magical unicorns in yoga pants, trying to take pictures where no one is crying for the "perfect" holiday card, remembering to move the f-ing elves, trying to find the best deals on the x-box one, kicking ourselves for realizing we missed the best deal on the x-box one, channeling our inner Martha Stewart to bake 112 different kinds of cookies, being secret santas, going to school concerts and tree lightings, and shopping, more shopping, wrapping, traveling, driving hours to do dishes in someone else's kitchen, caring too much about pleasing everyone else, going to so many parties on so few Saturdays, buying all the wine, questioning your life's decisions while waiting at the post office, and you still aren't done the shopping love and by the time Christmas arrives you couldn't be more exhausted.
It is TOO MUCH.
So with the exception of the wine, why don't we simplify it this year? And not even just say that we are, but to actually do it. It is time to let go of the things that we don't like about the season and make more room for the things that we do. Don't like baking? Don't do it. Those break apart cookies are sold for a reason sister. Put out some sprinkles and let the kids decorate like you spent hours in front of an oven. Don't want to go to a party? Don't go. Don't want to host? Don't. Hate the elf? Write a note that there was another family that really needed him and he will (creepily) still drop in on your kids so still keep up that angelic behavior- he's magic, they don't need to see him on a daily basis.
We are so caught up in the things that we are supposed to do that we forget about the things that we actually want to do.
This year I decided not to do Christmas cards. While the year has been really great in oh so many ways, a lot of it has been really hard too and if there is any year that I don't want to put out a message that says look how happy and shiny we are, this is the year.
Maybe this is the year that we all should try to be honest and not be so consumed in showing our perfection but in showing our flaws. Let's show our truths. Let's show our unraveling. Let's show our real, imperfect selves. Let's show one another that we are not alone.
I'll start. My husband and I are separated. He moved out a month ago. I've been with him for 16 years... that's a whole lot of Christmas cards where we either were happy and shiny or we put on an appearance that we were. Here's another truth, I want nothing more than for him to be happy. We have four kids, he will be in my life for all the years, so we might as well do this as gracefully and with the most respect for one another and for our children as we possibly can.
And we will be here at the house together on Christmas. I'm not baking. I'm probably going to forget to move the elf. I'm not going to say yes to anything that doesn't bring my children or myself joy. There will be eggnog in my coffee, truth in my voice and laughter from my children surrounding me.
Even when we don't have the perfect Instagram family photo, that does not change the fact that we are so damn lucky. It is all about doing the next hard, right thing. So this is the year that we don't make it harder than it has to be. Forget Pinterest for the next month. I'd rather have my sanity. We've got this. Team a little broken, team store bought, team simplify, you are my people.
Here's to a holiday season that is a redefined beautiful...
Cheers to us...


How we did the holidays in the '80s... apparently my Mom had to let some things go too,
mainly winter apparel and haircuts done by salons. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Artist in You

Dearest Artist,

I see you. I see your creative ways. I see your hope, your vision and the edges of what you thought you would be when you drift off to sleep. I see that you have hands that used to build such big things that now spend endless moments in water, baths, washers, sinks, that you forget what else they have the potential to do. That water can swallow your days whole. That water can make you forget to breathe, forget to paint or write or sing or dance. It can make you forget to dream. For being so consuming, it can leave you so very empty.
But dear artist remember this: you are doing the most important work and the constant drowning spiral of it all can make us lose sight of that. You are shaping miracles every day. You are a creator of hope, a visionary and a keeper and gardener of dreams. So make sure that you still go after your own. There is time enough for all that stirs your soul.
There is time enough for you.
Go create. The world needs you.