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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Life with Twins

Here are snapshots of a life with twins. Here are just some of the priceless moments of our last 5 years with these babes in our world. And of course what we have learned...

To everyone with babes, one, two or oh so many more, stock up on the wine, laughter and caffeine friends. And don't forget to take pictures. 


There's a lot of cuteness. 

There's a lot of trying to be like pinterest. Until you realize every project will result in tears.

There's a lot of this.
And this. Sharing germs is our favorite. 

So is stealing electronics.

Life is a little bit messy. 

Or a lot. 

Don't worry Mom. We can find the jar of Aquaphor on our own. 

They're willing to try anything. Thanks Uncles. 

They will consume things that are not even close to being food.

Seriously...who keeps putting these diapers on? 

Duct tape = survival.

When you blink they will do this... 
The only time they prefer to wear clothing is actually the places where they're not supposed to.

    Potty training may have taken 3 years.

Dirt and nudity will find them wherever they go.

Is there really a better way to read?

Life is really all about the shoes.

And sometimes we are upset because we tried to put on too many pairs of underwear. 
Everything becomes a toy. Or a way to get onto a counter.

Or sometimes things are just in their way. Like all of these clothes that were in drawers.

Make-up is the most fun. Especially on Christmas. When we are hosting it. And momma hasn't put any on yet.

They will find a way to do anything.
Anything can become a swing.

 Or a new chair. Like this sink. 

Chairs are so much more fun if you don't wear pants. 
Pants are so overrated. 

They can do anything at all.

And everything at once.

They will find a way to get bruises and you have no idea what they did.

They literally exhaust themselves to the point of this.

They will find a way to escape. Always. 

    They will find a way.

And find the keys to the ATV.

And just when you think they will color on paper...

I swear we own clothes. 

Seriously it is that exhausting to keep up with your twin.

And then the next time you blink, here they are. Clothed and holding hands.
And you don't know how you all made it.
But you did.
And you try not to do anymore blinking because this journey is just the most fun.
And exhausting.
And you wouldn't want it any other way. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

10 Thoughts that I Had During my First Bikram Yoga Class

I may be a yoga instructor but Bikram still intimidates me. I have avoided it for far too long because something about that 104 degree room and the idea of the same 26 poses just didn't strike my zen fancy.  But then a Groupon came my way and I figured it was time to give heat a chance. When I walked into that stifling room for the first time I was intrigued, excited and scared shitless.

Here are ten thoughts that crossed and lingered too long on my mind during my first Bikram class:

1. Is it too late to run out of this room? Did I just walk into a sauna? Surely they just keep it this hot to welcome us. I've broken a sweat just in unrolling my mat. I'll just be sure to be in the back row in case I decide to go for a Starbucks run instead. Oh no. The instructor closed the door. Arrivederci Caramel Macchiato. It is okay. I've got this.

2. Am I doing this right? I don't got this. Excuse me... what is this breathwork and why are we standing? I'm not following. I guess I'll just pretend that this is all normal and we all look completely normal. Note to self: do not try this breath in public. Ever.

3. Sweet fancy Moses, her body is ridiculous. Dear front and center girl, I see your better than Channing Tatum abs and your barely covering your cheeks spandex shorts. WE ALL SEE YOU. You are front and center posing like a gazelle in front of a wall full of mirrors. Bitch. I mean I know yoga isn't a competition but I can not bring myself to stop staring at her. Wait is that J. Lo? I'm pretty sure it is. Or her more built body double. I'm going to need to watch Monster-in-Law later to confirm.

4. I'm sweating more than anyone else in the history of ever. ARE WE ON THE SUN RIGHT NOW? Is anyone else finding it damn near impossible to breathe? Has anyone else's mat turned into a slip n' slide? I'm so overdressed and I'm only wearing a tank top.

5. Correction: the guy next to me is sweating more than anyone else in the history of ever. I'm not trying to judge you yet I can not look away. If I'm attempting to balance on a slip n' slide than that guy is doing tree pose on top of Niagra Falls. Could we get Mr. Itty Bitty Spandex an extra towel? Or all of the towels? Maybe a mop? Rain barrel? If he's coming here to get laid than I am so sorry friend but it's not going to happen. Maybe you'll have better luck at Zumba.

6. I should have done some training for this. My body has never before been so pissed off at me. It's like deciding while eating a banana split to drop it to go complete a triathlon. Stupid fucking Groupon.

7. I want to get a tattoo. I am channeling all of my energies into fantasizing about being one of the almost-naked-I-have-Chinese-food-in-my-fridge-older-than-them-built-like-gladiators girls in the front row. They are barely even sweating. J.Lo and I shall become besties and drink wheatgrass after front and center Bikram together. And we will travel to Thailand and get small om tattoos somewhere on our ab area so the wannabes in the back row will have to squint to read them. This class is the best thing ever.

8. Is this class ever going to actually end? Did I misread the description and sign up for a 900 minute class instead of a 90 minute one? Now all of my fantasies are about snow and Antartica. Fuck Thailand. I'm sorry Thailand, nothing against you it's just I need to be among Eskimos right now. At least we've made our way on to the floor which is good because I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to stand again. I could have gone to Starbucks AND watched Monster-in-Law AND drank a margarita in this amount of time. I. AM. SO. THIRSTY.

9. Thank you Mother of all things holy, the instructor dimmed the lights. The end is near! The end is near! I've never been more excited for darkness. Savasana you are the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

10. I survived. I actually made it. Exhausted like how you would feel if you had your intestines ripped out of you, to be cleaned, ironed, neatly folded and then put back in again while using no drugs, of course. And wow. I actually feel like a bad ass warrior. Sweaty, spent and glorious. That Savasana put it all into delicious perspective for me. God bless laying down. This. This is the feeling I guess we all strive for- overcoming our minds so that our bodies will thank us. This is detox at its natural crazy best. A celebration of what the body can do and a release of the things that need to be let go of. Bikram you have sold me though I may need to work on the abs a wee bit more before heading back.

I can't wait to shower (maybe one where I'm sitting down; I suppose that's called a bath but I don't want to swim in my current sweat situation). A sit shower it will be. And I'm actually even looking forward to the next class. Groupon's got me for 14 more.

Cheers to you warriors...
May your hot yoga experience be paved with extra towels.

Love & namaste,

Doing snow angels naked in this is what Bikram fantasies are made of.

My new book is available on Amazon now. A happy gift for all the warriors in your life. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Best Hot Chocolate Ever. (Bonus: Dairy Free Too)

It is about 3 degrees here and I found a can of Trader Joe's Coconut Cream in the pantry. BOOM. Winter joy just got real.

I wanted to create something free of dairy (it unfortunately doesn't agree with my stomach though I have fought for years to try to convince it otherwise) but if you don't have or want to use a milk substitute by all means go for the real deal, just please don't rub it in you lucky one. And dare I say I wanted to create something grown up... why should the kids get all the fun? The kids can keep their Swiss Miss; Momma's going to take a time out with this happy blend. It isn't all that sweet but you can of course add more sugar or your favorite sweetener if you fancy. 
I love the richness of it. And the fact that it also pairs perfectly with espresso. Or my personal favorite, whipped cream vodka. 

Hope you enjoy and here's to a delicious winter...

The Players

1 can of coconut cream (I believe it's 15 or 16 oz. Sorry my can is in recycling heaven; I got mine at Trader Joe's)
2 1/2 cups of almond milk
2 Tbsp. sugar (increase if you prefer a sweeter cocoa)
2 Heaping Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

The Game

  1. Pour coconut cream, almond milk, vanilla extract, cocoa powder and sugar in a medium sized pot over medium-low heat.
  2. Mix well to incorporate.
  3. Once the mixture is hot pour in the chocolate and mix until fully melted and combined.
  4. Keep on medium low and stir often until it begins to simmer.
  5. Once simmering turn heat down because you don't want you chocolate scorching.

Keep an eye on it and serve once it is thoroughly mixed. Feel free to add marshmallows, espresso or whipped cream vodka. Or all of the above. 
Mondays are for moderation, not Fridays. Or snow days. 
Enjoy loves.

Oh winter you and I can get along after all.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Keep on Treading Tribe

I used to see the piles of clothes strewn in every corner of every room and feel helpless. Tears welled. My shaken voice would raise. Those clothes were an exact representation of the failure that I felt as a mother. Growing mountains of messy, all consuming guilt. Wash, dry, fold, put away, get muddy, outgrow, buy more, pass on, change seasons, repeat. Never ending piles. Never put away. Never ahead of anything at all. The treading everyday life of parenthood. Each day repeating itself. Never getting any closer to shore. Just (barely) keeping my head above water. Maybe one minute gaining inches forward only to have the flu or teething or a tantrum in aisle two to push me back farther back than I felt I even began.

I have a dear friend who is pregnant with twins. She texted me a picture of her bare beautiful belly. Her skin glowed with the badges of motherhood; the marks of growth that feels too big to contain. Her belly button protruding just enough as if to say two stunning lives are growing here and we just need to make more room for them; they need every centimeter of valuable real estate possible. I used to have that same belly button; those same badges of a mother's work and honor. You get amnesia of all the "wise" words strangers say to you in public when you are pregnant but one comment I will never forget is a five year old whispering to her sibling, "I can see the baby's nose." Some of my most favorite words ever.

Now that all four of my babes are in school I have that glorious pleasure of going to the grocery store alone. Some may view these trips as a chore but I find them to be a blissful vacation- all that gorgeous food, oh so many options! How lucky are we to live in this land of being able to create any recipe you dream and to do it within driving distance? LOVE. And to go to this place without having to strap anyone in and no constant request for snacks and more snacks and high fructose corn syrup and to be alone with my own thoughts and time and recipes is borderline orgasmic for me. Which is why on a recent Trader Joe's solo trip, I couldn't help but to be surprised when I stopped and stared at a mother in the trenches. She had a baby in a bjorn that had just traded in its newborn wails to succumb to sleep on her chest. A two year old hung off the cart in cowboy boots opening another mozzarella stick while a four year old in an Elsa gown followed behind driving an overflowing little red cart recklessly colliding with the sample station. That momma was forgetting what it feels like to breathe. I showed her that her haven was near; there is a free coffee sample station as well. She smiled, poured a cup and breathed it in like it was a cappuccino poured on an Italian countryside.

I am you I thought. No that's not true. I was you. But I am still part of your tribe. The surviving motherhood tribe. The tribe that in the thick of it all is barely treading to stay afloat and never goes to the bathroom alone and too often forgets how to breathe. The this-is-so-insanely-hard-why-don't-people-talk-about-how-insanely-hard-it-is place in life.

And in a blink it evolves. It is still insanely hard but at least you can shower alone. And sometimes you have a moment to think and eat warm food and breathe. And you remember in awe what it felt like to have life flutter inside of you. And to have  a newborn fall asleep on you. And to have cowboys and princesses accompany you to the store. And that is why strangers give you that sympathetic "I've been there" stare and the "please please enjoy it" hand gestures. It is not out of jealousy or meaning to be rude or longing to restart that journey. Oh hell no. It is because we are all part of that same tribe and sweet love it will get easier. You will wear your badges with pride. And you will realize, perhaps not in the moment that you most need to, but in a moment of being alone in a store looking at a mirror of the past and see, truly see, that motherhood is consuming and exhausting and just may be the most important work of your life.

The pure irony of it all is that there are endless days that you are going to want to fast forward only to look back and wished that you had hit the pause button.

So now I'm hitting pause and looking at the piles upon piles of clothes drying by the basement fire and thinking how lucky am I? We were blessed to have a two hour delay this morning and there was nowhere we had to be like all of the other mornings and so my kids went out in the snow. They are grown enough to zip up their own coats and young enough to feel like they are flying when they sled down our hill. Bliss.

If you are treading, please keep on keeping on. And please remember that there are lifeboats in the form of girlfriends and wine and babysitters and even the woman (creepily) staring at you at the store. Ask for help if you need it. There is no shame in it. You are not alone. This tribe is for life.

Love, health and caffeine to you...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Top Ten Dreams for 2015

When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a 
single bit of talent left,
and could say...

"I used everything you gave me."

-Erma Bombeck

This is the year of talent, light and becoming unstuck. No more excuses or alibis. It is time for what and who is important and release the rest. A new start to living out loud. A year of saying no to the things that drain our energies and yes to those that ignite our strengths. It begins now. 

Here are my top 10 for 2015 resolutions. Dreams really... let's just call them dreams. Ones that I believe I can make happen. The laundry and Pinterest are going to wait each day until I check off at least one (or several) of these babies. To me they are scary enough to push me into the wide awake life I yearn for yet attainable enough to reap the rewards. Please comment below with yours. I would absolutely LOVE to hear them. 

10. I will be present. My phone will no longer be an appendage.
9. I will let go. And slow down. And embrace. And write.
8. I will read more real actual books. And care less about not-so-real reality stars.
7. I will laugh. Until I snort.
6. I will show gratitude and grace and kindness. And own not just the type of mother I long to be but accept the one that I am.
5. I will love my home more than Target. And Anthropologie. Okay. Almost as much as I love Anthropologie.
4. I will listen and be more patient with my kids. Even when they're doing a 10 minute soliloquy about lunch boxes.
3. I will finish what I start. I will control time and will no longer give it permission to run over me with the force of a tractor trailer. 
2. I will spend less time online and more time between the sheets.
1. I will take care of me. 

Love, hope and strength to you...
happy new year-

xo Katie