Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Cleanse & Some Additions...

Originally, it was all about balance.  Yin-yangs and such.

Where I am right now, is standing at the bottom of a see-saw.  I can feel myself needing to restore health, clarity, and fitness.  Some say it's harder after the second baby, to "bounce back".  It should be, right?  Giving more to more kids, and of course there's only so much time in a week...

Before motherhood, I was concerned with my mental health, wondering if I was bipolar.  Let's just say I strongly identify with my Zodiac sign, Gemini, and sometimes my emotions run like a rollercoaster.  Through reflection and conversation during that time, I vowed to watch my intake (nutrition), my exhales (exercise), and my self-talk.  Monitoring those things was a recipe for a more even-keeled Emily, which as a teacher and wife was important to me.

So I started running & making more salads with protein.  I sat at the piano and I sang more (I don't talk mean to myself when making music- my teachers taught positivity), I spent time with good friends.  I told those friends, that I needed to temper my mental state with time in the outdoors and good food.  I told them I believed another alternative could be a prescription, but because I'm me, I didn't want to go that route.

Right now, I can feel myself needing to step onto the right track, wellness-wise.  I need to keep stretching for more positivity and patience for Miss Josey Bean.

If you call and ask me, I'm going to say that we're good, because we are.  In the grand scheme of things, I consider us lucky.  In the day-to-day, I know I'd like to be in a better, healthier place and a more even-keeled mama & lover.  Using my intuition, I know that I'll find my groove again.

Here's how:

>> Wake up & drink a big glass of water!  Everyday!  (It's amazing what a difference this makes)

>> More yoga.  This just builds patience into my day.

>> Stop starting & stopping my day with Instagram all day long.  Save it for later!

>> Just. no. more. gluten.  Sure, there are plenty of articles naysaying gluten sensitivity.  No matter what people & science are saying, it's a trigger food for me.  Lately, I've been tired and sluggish because I've let it creep all the way back into my daily diet.

>>Strive for more cycles in life- creating rituals & routines to love together, like running with one girl or the other, like going to Morning Melodies at Coffee Traders, and sharing healthy meals.

>> Work balance.  I need to be carving out space for work blogging for Boat Co, and for finding another source of income.  Ideally, at least one source will be musical, so pianoing everyday (even just a little bit) needs to be part of the routine, too.

>>Take it one piece at a time.  I tend to look big-picture and get overwhelmed by all the can-dos, should-dos, and how I'm not doing them.  Instead of getting overwhelmed, my intention is to utilize the time I have wisely.

I love writing goals, releasing them from spinning in my brain.  Sharing with others gives a bit more credibility, too.  Do you have any November goals?  Do share!

***Also..... notice the NEW HEADER here?!  What do you think?  I decided to FINALLY share our commissioned piece the phenomenal Courtney Blazon!  She drew the piece before Eliza was born, and we just love it so much.  You'll be hearing more about Courtney here as our Grows Feature coming up.

***And.... our first official SPONSOR is Starry Knight Design!  If you're not familiar, check out this Grows Feature from earlier this year.  Melanie's leather apparel is AMAZING and readers of this blog get a whopping 15% off with the code PLMG.  Check out her Etsy- she has countless designs for newborns-kiddos, and even some great accessories for adults!  Thanks, Melanie!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

On Intuition

James is a Winter child, he's taught me to love the upcoming season (yes, it was snowing today in Whitefish!) so much more.  During our first Winter living together in a cute, Missoula basement apartment, we went Downtown to a Ski Event at Sean Kelly's.  Plenty of schwag to be had, and it was time to get *stoked* for ski season.  The big item they were drumming up was a snowboard with "Kokanee" written on it.  Crazy as it seemed, soon after we walked in the door that night, I KNEW I was going to win the snowboard.  Not even that I wanted the thing.  I just KNEW I was going to win it.  Over burgers and beers, I repeatedly stated: "I'm going to win that snowboard."  Hours later, at the end of all the raffles, they called my name.

Scrolling through email a month ago, I noticed goop, you know, Gwyneth Paltrow's hip newsletter?  The title:  Trust the gut, drew me right in.

A great line from the article:

"Intuition makes the sliding doors, choose-your-own-adventure a little bit of a smoother sail, as we're more inclined to go through the right sliding door."

That sounds nice, doesn't it?  Intuition is rarely as easy for me as it was that night at Sean Kelly's, just buy a raffle ticket & wait to hear your name.  No, I tend to second-guess it often.  What's your intuition like?  Do you notice it?  Do you overthink or follow your gut?

My therapist, Elizabeth, helped me through some challenging times in Middle School and High School.  We'd often discuss the connection with individuals who have disordered eating to intuition.  Many of us tend to be people-pleasers, who end up compromising a strong feeling, something we know in our gut, because are influenced by outside factors.

When we act against our gut or intuition, it creates an icky feeling, an imbalance.  Many of us try to fill it up with the wrong fillers.
/Happy Belated bday to the photographer of this favorite photo!
Anders Olson

Do you know what I mean?  Hole-filling?  When you just need something, so you fill up?  It can be attempted through emotional eating, shopping, substances, the media, etc... but it always feels worse than making an effort for the good stuff- like going for a hike or talking with a loved one.

After I read this goop article, I read it again.  Nothing spoke to me as strongly in months.  Intuition's something that Jill, the intuitive from the goop article, says grows as women experience motherhood.  I thought, at the same time, intuition can be really hard to hear in this day in age.  We wake up to our iPhones, we go to sleep with them.  How are we supposed to get in touch with ourselves with so much extraneous influence?

The next day, one my favorite Instagram feeds, Alpine Baby Co. posted a raffle for a pair of Adventure Leggings.  I saw the word raffle, and I had that same feeling.  So I bought a ticket, and I commented "#feelinlucky"!

Low and behold, soon after, there was a congratulatory email in my inbox, and now Eliza has this adorable new pair of Adventurer Leggings!

Photo via Alpine Baby Co.

If you're struggling with intuition, Elizabeth said one thing to do to help can be to write down (or at least take mental notes) of those times you follow it and end up with a good result, or when you don't.  Either way, it's recognizing the existense of this powerful voice we all have inside us.

Examples: going to bed early, working out, passing a slow car on a two-lane highway at the right moment, instead of hesitating and getting stuck forever, the voice that tells you to stop procrastinating, ok... you get the idea.

The snowboard, after I repainted it for my brother

This subject of intuition simply facinates me.  I'd love to hear from you--- have you had {{good/bad/indifferent?}} experiences with intuition?  Do you think using it can help us create better experiences?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Currently: with 2

I just saw my girl Hannah at Joyful Life posted a currently, and is now hosting the linkup!  Hannah, talk about needing to get a blogging butt in gear!  I am so behind.  If I had $5 for every draft I've started since moving North, and not posted, I would be in the market for a good deal on my dream-boot, Fryes.  Let's give ourselves a break though, we have two babies keeping our hands full (everyday, without one doubt, there is someone to remind me how very full my hands are).

Thanks for the prompts to keep me on task here:

Thinking: about how,as James put it, the "rest of the world" lives. We just moved into an apartment out of a trailer.  We wanted to live in town, for proximity to things we like to do, like trails and parks and libraries.  But, we are also trying to save to buy our own house.  So, we were looking at low-rent options, and our other close competitor was a spacious, quirky, retro house in the middle of a trailer court.  Across from a cemetery.  There was little sleep as I worried over where we lived, as there are trade-offs for everything.  At one complex I dropped an application to, the owner/manager said, "you know what I say, if it's meant to be, it falls into place." This apartment by the water fell into place and I am all sorts of thankful! 

Let's say there are some sweet perks, but some things I might try and ignore, like more junk than I'd like and cigarette smoke.  Much of the world lives with violence and hunger, and I worry about a sweet scores on Craigslist, minimizing clutter and adhering to a nap schedule.  

It's important to keep those things in perspective, as the privileged individuals we are in this country.  Important to give thanks!  

Making: a new home.  Really, home is wherever my love & girls are, but this flat is our place until Spring.  Maybe if I get my act together, I'll share some pictures once we're settled.  Its pretty cute, but MAYBE.  

Anticipating: our trip to the Northwest for a November Holiday Celebration!  Love to plan ahead for travel (so many first-world-privileges, I feel spoiled).  

Also, Halloween!  Still brainstorming costumes for the girls... So far Josey's been an elephant & a minion.  This year, she might actually get Halloween a bit more.  Love how much she talks & asserts herself in this world.  Feel pretty darned lucky to be in this life with the one-of-a-kind Josey James!

Wearing: Eliza May.  

Actually, I went for a lovely walk with Eliza May this afternoon, chatted on the phone with a certain special birthday girl, and this boutique, who was having a huge moving sale just drew me in!  I was nervous about trying on my items because she was comfy in the Ergo, and I wasn't going to be like- "Hey, lovely French boutique-designer/owner, will you please just hold my baby while I change out of my sweats into your beautiful clothes?"   Fortunately, the sweet lady offered me this adorable bag, which unfolds into a play-mat for baby, and I was able to try on some gems, which I'm so excited to add to my pre-baby wardrobe (which has been packed in bins for months and months).  Yay for fashion! 

Thankful for:

A roof, a bank account, clothes and ample smiles, giggles, songs and colors. All of them!

Thinking of our Canadian loves as they celebrate Thanksgiving.  Need to get our minis to our Northern neighbor, soon!  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

... The place that chooses you

Canadian Radio gave me a nice reminder the other night.  In the car with laptop in tow, one babe left snug in bed and the other left mid-lull with Daddy.  Moments of true solace are so few & far between these days with 7 roommates, tourists, and a steady stream of visitors.  

So, the solo drive for some coveted "smartphone"service turned into a stop to reflect at the Sherburne Dam while listening to The Road Home -a beautiful program on CKUA.  the DJ-host shares music, poetry, and sounds from his home in the country.  He is living his dream, and I realize I am living a dream, too.  

Not once, as pianist/housekeeper/server/Heidi's employee/Hootenannigan in 2005, 2006, 2008, or 2009 did I ever think I'd be living here with children.  I mourned the end of my time as summer pianist and took action to have the position filled by a talented & spirited friend.  The splendor of these mountains, the history in the Grand Hotel, the legacy of Mr. Tippet, falling in love here- all etched a permanent print on my life, and ultimately I can't & won't stay away.  

So, who am I, here and now?  A mother of two who "used to be" someone else?  A tired "has been"?  Sometimes, I turn a envious green hearing of roommates' fun, late nights & epic hikes. My experience here now is complete with diaper blowouts and tantrums on the trail!  (and of course the sweetest smiles & new discoveries...)   Like most who have graced this place, I hold so many times here near and dear.  Summers of friendships and adventures not to be forgotten.  

Beyond the unique vegetation & geology, the unforgettable landscape, scents & tastes, this place has an incredible history of musicians entertaining guests here.  James & I are performers in a whole different way these days, our family on "stage" each Sunday, my children an adorable part of so many vacations.  Still playing duets & group numbers, trying to hold the Hootenanny together during the transition from Glacier Park, Inc. to Xanterra.

The time to finish a thought on a screen or a paper is fleeting.  My desire to document this life in a new way has become my focus, and my creative work focus has become the musical tradition at Many Glacier Hotel.  I posted earlier about my desire to create a documentary on the Showplace of the Rockies.  While few would deny that it's a great idea, no one will say that it'll be easy.  

The affirmation- "shoot for the moon" rings in my ears, and a favorite performance from a past Hoot, with the talented singer/fiddler/mandolin serenader- "Moonriver" swoons me on.  My babies have become the most important thing to me, and oftentimes I feel that continuing Music at Many Glacier has been an uphill battle.  The notion of the "golden years" is almost annoying to me at times, while I love and treasure the history, I want music as a cornerstone of each Hotel guest's experience.  I can't do it all, and I've become better at going with the flow now that I have two.

I'm not returning to Florence to teach this Fall, and it's a strange feeling.  No lesson planning, no warmups, no repertoire.  I feel a twinge of guilt, leaving the students I care so much about, leaving the program I worked so hard to build.  Yet, there was a part of me that wasn't meant to be there anymore, and I have to accept that.  I also can accept that the teacher taking over for me is fully competent and will do an amazing job (maybe a twinge of jealousy mixed in there).  So.  September at Many Glacier.

The impression, the quote I took away from that night with The Road Home: "When the place you choose as home chooses you."  I guess that's happened, and I couldn't feel more lucky, challenged, and... home.  


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