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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.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

To My Daughter on her First Day of Middle School

Dearest Lucy,

I'm not sure how this day even got here. Somehow time has accelerated the older (and more fun) you have become and it seems like the opposite should be true. I'm in a bit of shock at the speed and ferocity of this whole motherhood experience.

I want you to know that I remember being eleven years old. I remember middle school. I remember how it feels to be on the cusp of not wanting to ever grow up and wanting more than anything to grow up. I remember feeling like a marionette puppet being pulled in two opposite directions, often with the same force and desire, not wanting for change but yearning to grow. I remember the hard of it all.

Which is why you need to know that I believe in you. And I'm beyond proud of you. And I am in awe of your brave and kind soul. And that is what I need you to show up with every day from here on out: bravery and kindness. I know it sounds simple, but it's amazing how often the human race forgets one (or both) of those things each day and what a different place it would be if we didn't. There are people who may test your kindness and push the boundaries of your bravery. There are people who hurt and hurt others as if it is a game. There are people who think being cool or popular is somehow the greatest quality a person can obtain. There are people who may make you feel that you are somehow not enough.

If there is one promise I can make to you in this lifetime it is this: YOU ARE ENOUGH. Always have been. Always will be. You have been built to handle anything this world gives you, no matter how unfair or cruel or unsurmountable it may seem.

You can and will rise and prevail my love. Again and again. And you can do it with a smile. That is how your father and I made you and we will be relentless in our pursuit of watching you conquer life like the warrior that you are. Just keep rising.

We won't back down and we will never expect you to either.

You have intelligence, strength and fire and what you do with it is yours and yours alone. Don't dim or compromise your spark for anyone else. Ever. Boys are fun and great and all but they are only worth your time if they can see your worth. You, love, don't need to be like the rest of them. You be original, glorious you. Say yes to the things that bring you joy. Say no to the destructive. Put the blame on your parents. Do your chores. Work hard. Say please and thank you. Put the napkin in your lap. Be gracious. Be grateful. Be brave. Be kind. See beauty. See opportunity. See the light. Smile. And, above all else, keep on dancing.

You've so got this girl.

Here's to a new chapter in watching you rise.

Love you.
Always.
Momma









Tuesday, May 31, 2016

An Open Letter to my Thighs


Dearest Thighs,

You have been with me now, literally, forever. You’ve witnessed and been one with me through thicker and thinner days. You’ve been there through the crashes and the cascades. You know what it feels like to reach for the clouds on the springtime swings of childhood. You know what it feels like to have the warmth of a July sun and soft powder sand cradle you at the same time. You know what it feels like to help carry the weight of bringing a baby into the world. You know all about being weightless for a moment in the depths of cool oceans and being so whole and heavy in the all encompassing place of motherhood.

So I feel saddened and shameful to admit that when I look at you, admiration is not an emotion that I adopt. You are what my eyes first see in a dressing room mirror. Fluorescent lights seem to showcase every line, every imperfection, every dimple of years that are mapped across your edges. When I see you now, it is hard to remember the girl that you used to pedal on a bicycle faster than fireworks on summer afternoons. When I see you now, it is hard to remember that I once saw you as beautiful. When I see you now, I long for an eraser instead of a highlighter. When I see you now, I see the things that are wrong instead of the things that are right.

Which is why I have decided to call a truce.

I am no longer going to complain about you. I am no longer wasting dear moments producing hostility toward you or me for the way that I carry you. I am no longer letting you dictate whether or not we will spend summer in a body length cover-up or in a show you off sweet bikini. I am flaunting you. Because you are powerful and strong, regardless of size. And life is glorious. And the more complaining we do about the way we are built, the more that glory seems to diminish.

Our time is too valuable to pick apart the width of our bodies instead of embracing the pieces that make up the width of our days. Whether it is thighs, or stomachs or breasts or arms or faded images of the way we used to see ourselves. The way I see it, we have two choices: to either let go of our complaints or to do something to make a change. We can go to the gym, or go to yoga or go to a plastic surgeon or buy the spanx. Or do none of that. There should be no shame either way. We have a choice in the way we see and treat ourselves and how we see and treat one another. So let’s keep on going and live a life that is lighter and freer because we won’t have our negativity weighing us down. We get this one shot at life and our bodies are there for the whole stunning ride.

So thighs, bring it on. You are with me in the drivers seat and the time to press the gas is now.

Let's do this…






The Other Place


This was a piece that I wrote for Scary Mommy that appeared on their online site on the 26th of April. Cheers...




I don’t really know how it happened but one day I woke up and my children weren’t babies. Or toddlers. They didn’t need me to pour their cereal or lift them out of their crib. They didn’t need me to dissolve pink syrup in the milk filled purple sippy cup. Sippy cups no longer live in our cabinets or more accurately, leaking on the stained fabric between faded car seats. The stroller in the trunk has long been replaced by lacrosse equipment. The sweet new baby smell has grown into the scent of sweat and the reminder to my nine year old that he needs to take a shower. Yes, right now. 

Last weekend, they were all in the house, all doing their own thing. And it was quiet. Four kids. All independent. And quiet. My mind was blown. I asked my husband, “Is this really happening?” His response, “They’re not yours anymore.” My response, a hesitant bordering on the edge of tears, “Yes they are.” Who asked him anyway. Shit. 

They still need me. But it has evolved into the other place. I’m no longer in the thick of the everyday. Just. Like. That.

Before any of them rode a school bus, I used to take them to a toddler morning at a local roller skating rink where you could bring bikes and scooters and baby doll strollers and whatever you schlepped inside would instantly be no longer wanted by your child as soon as they saw the new big wheel that another child was riding. The whole thing was a hot mess but we NEEDED to get out of the house to be able to survive winter. The center of the rink was the thick of it. This is where there were seats for the nursing mommas, this where the full body tantrums happened, this is where the tears were relentless and the falls of the beginning skaters happened again and again. This is the place where everyone’s hands were full. It was where mothers gave each other reassuring nods that they were not alone.  They too, understood that you had to get out of the house no matter how difficult it was to leave and how challenging it was to make it through the present moment. 

And then in the outer ring there would always be at least one momma on rollerskates. She had older outer ring children that knew how to ride on skates or on bikes without training wheels. They didn’t need her hands any longer to hold them up. She still was there, but now more as an anchor than an appendage. Her hands were free. She was smiling. She earned the other place.

I never thought I’d be her.

But I am.

When you are caught in the thick of the tears at the roller rink or the grocery store meltdowns or the endless sleepless nights, it seems almost impossible that any other place exists. I am here to promise you this: one day you will be in your home and you will only hear the sounds of the outdoors. You will be able to complete a thought. You will be able to drink coffee while it is still hot. And it will scare the hell out of you. I also promise you this: it will be remarkable. You will have earned the time. You will have earned the quiet. You may even miss the noise. And it’s okay if you don’t.

And you are still needed. Every single day.

You are still the chef, the chauffeur, the laundry chief, the therapist, the mediator and the all knowing master of whatever item your child loses or needs that day. You are still the queen bee.

For life.

And that outer ring has no end. It just keeps evolving to a different ring, a different place. Easier in so many ways, more challenging in others.

As much as it breaks us down, it builds us up. So whatever place you find yourself, please know that it is hard and it is beautiful and you will survive it. And somewhere there is a mother looking where you are and longs for just one day to have that place back. She misses with fervor the fullness that used to be in her hands. She misses the sound of it, the laughter in it, the smell of it, the wholeness and the hope of it all. And that is the heart wrenching bittersweetness of all that being a mother is. It is an unparalleled journey. 

Here’s to all the places of motherhood.
Here’s to us.