Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Echo is so tender. Before I started taping she was just staring into the distance with tears welling up in her eyes. I've never seen her react like this to music before.

Besides my adorable and extremely cultured child, I too have felt a bit tender as of late. I have a little less than a month until I return to work and its hard to think about. I have enjoyed this time with my daughter more than I ever could have imagined. That transition is gonna be rough, no matter how I look at it. I feel a peace around it, I know its the right decision and things will work out, and I am trying to hold that in my mind as much as I can.

I've also been a bit scatterbrained. I've always been absentminded. At work I make meticulous TO DO lists every day to keep track of all my projects. Sticky notes abound! Echo and I obviously have a much looser agenda, but its getting kind of ridiculous. I lost my keys over a week ago and I am pretty sure they evaporated. Attempting to make cookies I lost count of the flour, and we are talking 2 1/4 cups here. This morning I attempted to wash my hair and it just would not sud up! I tried 3 times, squeezing a little more shampoo out each time until realizing oh wait...thats conditioner. -___- Mom life? Brain mush? New normal?

I've started jogging again. I have exactly 1 pair of pre pregnancy pants that fit me, 1 skirt, and almost no shirts. A solid 20 lbs to lose. The nightmare of wearing a pencil skirt is haunting me more then I would like to admit. The jogging makes me feel good. If I boast about it to you, I apologize, but it really does help! Letting people know I am working out makes me feel a little more accountable. At these moments I am also incredibly grateful for my natural birth. It is such a source of strength. A 5k? I can train for a 5k - I pushed a baby out in a tub! If only this worked the same way for my willpower when it comes to food. Must stop chowing down like a pregnant lady with wild abandon!

What a riveting blog post, I know. I was listening to the radio and there was an interview with author Heidi Julivits. She had just published a diary that has come out to rave reviews and was working on another. A caller asked if she ever felt tempted to embellish her personal life, knowing that she would at some point publish what she was writing to make it more exciting or interesting. She said this (paraphrased)

 "For better or for worse, my life is not filled with a lot of drama...I'm coming from a space where most of the time I work and take care of my kids. I was trying to find a space where I could make each one of my days have some value...It could feel a little bit bland, and I wanted to take what might be inherently bland and give it value, while honoring the fact that its just a regular old day."

I feel the same way. These moments with Echo and Jared and little ol Gill are so important to me. Do you ever stop and look around and think "Wow, are these my glory days?" The last couple of years have felt like the best of my life, and the present is so deliciously vibrant and fulfilling and stressful and exciting and sometimes crazy boring. I want to honor that and remember that....so I write, and I record, photograph and do whatever else I can to remember watching my sweet girl crying over beautiful music.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Jared blessed Echo on Sunday. He blessed her with a brave heart to stand up for the things she believes in, courage in the face of adversity, and eyes to see the blessings and beauty of this world. It was just right. I hope so much for her, but above all I hope that she is a strong woman. I hope she has the moxie to stand up for whats right, even when its hard or unpopular. And oh boy do I hope and pray that she is kind. 

Our family turned out for the blessing taking up 4 rows of the chapel. I am so grateful to live close to all of them at this stage in my life. Its nice to know that like 20 Mannings and a handful of Alexanders have got your back. 

So whats been going on lately? Jared and I have gotten out a few times in the past 6 weeks. We went to see Elton John in concert, and last night we sang karaoke with some friends. Will I ever tire of belting out Total Eclipse of the Heart with my Bird by my side? I certainly hope not. My Grammie watched Echo both nights, heaven bless that woman. One day I will write a true ode to her greatness. The week leading up to the Elton concert I was biting my fingernails to nubs about leaving Echo. Of course she slept the entire time I was gone. Last night I kind of just shut my mind off and handed her off....and when we got home we were informed that she had griped for a solid 2 hours ending with a real good strong cry before bed. C'est la vie. 

Echo, Grammie and I also went to visit the Georgia great aunts and eat some barbecue. We've also visited my brother in Orlando and Taken her to the CityWalk for her first putt putt experiance. She slept like a lamb in the wrap on my chest amidst the blinking lights and pumping bass. I am sure people thought I was a negligent horror mom. 

The past 6 weeks have been some of the best in my life. I'm somebody's mother! And that somebody is such a somebody. I love her to death. Its peaceful even when its chaos. Its still even when its choppy. No matter how long the crying or fussing or poop all down the front of me, there's that little flame burning in my heart for this little person. For Echo. I may have to set her down and walk away for five minutes or hand her off to Jared, but that flame is always there and its never going out. So lets here it for hair long past due for a cut and under eye bags and husbands with silvering temples who look good anyway. Actually lets not here it for that. Jared is rude and a brat for continuing to be handsome in spite of it all.