If you're in the midst of your own journey with infertility, here is what I say to you: You are not alone.
Indulge or suppress. These seem to be the two voices that scream the loudest in our dealings with “emotions.”
When friendships or relationships become distorted based on what we believe about them, how can we keep a perspective of truly attempting to see
If you need a way to say thank you to the father figure in your life -- in addition to the brunch, hug or
When two people have been doing life one way and then begin the journey of marriage, differences will inevitably surface. You're not alone if
When we don’t meet our own expectations of what we believe a true confidant or a welcoming hostess looks like, we conclude that we
One of my favorite authors is Shauna Niequist, a writer who shares insight regarding relationships, community, and engaging with one another while gathered around the table, surrounded by food and drink and friendship. Niequist is a compelling storyteller who uses her own life as a platform for connecting with her readers in a genuine, intimate way.
One of her primary topics of focus is cultivating meaningful relationships and diving honestly and openly into a supportive community. She writes about this in her book Bittersweet when she expounds upon the topic of the home team:
I think we can all agree that the older we get the more we realize just how much our mothers had to put up with while raising us. From chauffeuring us to tennis lessons and dental appointments to bearing with our adolescent angst and taking care of us when sick, it seems like there’s nothing our moms weren’t willing to do for us.
For many, our moms remain our number one fan, and our relationship with them will forever be one of the strongest bonds we have. Yet, as influential as mothers are in our lives, how often do we stop and actually let them know what they mean to us? Chances are, not enough.
In our day and age of cell phones, email, and social media, it’s easy to overlook the art of writing handwritten notes to communicate with the people we love. We’ve expounded upon the value of continuing to put pen to paper as we send correspondence to family and friends several times, so instead of harping on the topic once again, we thought we’d share some specific instances in which it is easier to send a handwritten note than you think.
Check out our ideas below and let us know if you have any tips to share!
My years of singleness have been a love affair I’m not ready to let go of.
Through them I’ve experienced pain and joy and gratitude and longing and overwhelming peace. I’ve learned key things about myself I never knew, and solidified my core characteristics. I’ve treasured this stage in my life and I like where I’m at. So why would I move on?
Well, I won’t.
A knee-jerk response at best, this stopped me in my tracks. Why do I feel so adamant and quick to jump on the defense? Even when the feeling that sparks my stubbornness is a good thing for me in this moment, why do I respond in this manner?
I knew right away she wouldn’t like me. She embodied authenticity with her tattoos and loop nose ring. I, however, was a walking stereotype with my highlighted hair strategically pinned to appear messy, feeling edgy in my Keds. One of us seemed to belong, and the other one of us was me. It was my first day at the cafe and she, of course, was the barista who would train me.
This girl, I came to find, knew no strangers. She seemed to have a sort of magnetic force that drew all types of people to her. It was not her appearance or her talents, though she was both attractive and talented. She seemed to have an uncanny ability to see the best in everyone — strangers and friends alike.
The promises of wedding vows made with the best of intentions get tested when life — past and present — shows up. We are dynamic individuals growing and changing as we navigate life. Sometimes, a relationship cannot sustain under the pressures of change, struggle, illness, betrayal, and differing desires to make a marriage work.
Much is invested in preparation for the wedding while the statistics of divorce are a stark contrast to wedding day bliss. Many marriages do not survive today. Some statistics have that number between 40-50% for first marriages and the odds of divorce increase for second and third marriages.
When a marriage is in crisis, love is stretched. Faith is tested. Dreams feel like they become more distant.
Because it can be such a new and exciting — yet exhausting and disorienting — time, we wanted to share this article from our friends at the Glitter Guide. We think this info is incredibly practical and encouraging for new moms and moms-to-be. Have your own wisdom to share? Let us know your tips in the comments!
From GG’s Caitlin Kruse:
Like so many women say, being a mom is the most rewarding, joyful and challenging part of my life. It’s hard to believe that my daughter, Piper, is almost 8 months old! I’ve learned a lot in my motherhood journey so far — and one of the biggest things I’ve learned is how precious our time is. It’s hard not to feel burned out when you’re trying to juggle it all — working full-time while being a present mother, wife and friend, as well as keeping up with household tasks like laundry, trying to make your own organic baby food, the list goes on!
Have you often been told you’re ‘too sensitive’? Are you easily affected by the moods of others? Do you seem to notice subtleties in your environment that other people don’t? Can you ‘mind-read’ the emotions of others without them telling you how they’re feeling? Do big crowds make you uncomfortable? Are you averse to watching violence on TV?
Do you cry easily? Would you do far worse on a task if someone was watching you perform it than you would if you were able to do it without supervision? Do you feel the need to retreat and recharge often, almost as if you had an internal battery that easily runs out of steam?
If you answered yes to many of the above questions (you can take a full quiz here), chances are you may be what is referred to as a Highly Sensitive Person, or HSP. Though you may feel like you don’t fit in, or that there’s something ‘wrong’ with you as a result of these characteristics, the truth is that this collection of attributes is found in 15-20% of the population.
We had a blast in Malibu with Kathy Eldon and her daughter, Amy Eldon Turteltaub.
Both are the founders of Creative Visions, a global foundation that supports creative activists using the media and the arts for social impact. They share about their latest venture, “Journey,” a feature film about the life of their son and brother, Dan, in our spring issue. Below we’re inviting you on set for a glimpse into how our day with them came together.
“How are you?”
The question we all ask most often, that sits stale on our tongues and is received with numb ears and returns to us with an equally unoriginal response. We find it suitable for passing, as it’s been reduced to a courtesy rather than a conversation. It’s the most inquisitive we are usually willing to be.
Einstein once said, “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.” And it is this kind of passionate curiosity that allows us to learn; it’s the same practice seen in scientific research, in job interviews, in seeking a faith, on a first date. We cannot know answers until we ask questions.
But our society somewhat lost the art of asking questions when answers are google-able and social media reveals much of what we want to know. There seems to be little left to discover, and this attitude becomes especially problematic as we interact with the world and people around us; we become overly self-involved and lacking in curiosity.
I have always been a dog lover. My parents had a cockapoo when I was born, and when I was in first grade, we got two darling cocker spaniels named Jake and Molly. They each had their own distinct personalities—Jake was a mischief-maker who loved to cuddle and steal snacks from anywhere he could find them, while Molly was more of a pensive pup who liked to keep her distance but loved us all the same. They were so much fun, and they defined the childhood memories that my brother and I share.
It wasn’t until my mid-twenties, though, when I realized the difference between growing up with a pet and raising a pet to call your own.
I often wonder if my marriage will be the death of me. I say this without sarcasm or angst, and I mean this both literally and figuratively. As the caregiver for a disabled spouse, my life will no doubt be shortened due to the inherent physical and emotional strain. And my marriage, like every commitment birthed of true, unstoppable goodwill toward someone else, has meant an end to part of the life I dreamed for myself, a death of the future Me I always thought I would be.
Admittedly, this isn’t what’s sung about in most love songs. But perhaps we need to start writing some new ones.
Valentine’s Day can be tough — some people love it and others love to loathe it. While we can surely understand that, we also think that any day centered on being intentional with those around you is fine in our book. It just may take some reimagining (and a bit of creativity) to see new ways of making someone smile.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with Shutterfly to bring you some foolproof advice for making anyone’s day — Valentine’s or otherwise. Below we’re sharing four key things to keep in mind to ensure authenticity is always at the heart of any gift.
Our romantic lives have a unique way of exposing us – our vulnerabilities, our flaws, the things we hold most precious, the chinks in our ability to love – in ways that other types of relationships just don’t. If you think too hard about this, it’s actually quite scary and easy to see why no one would move forward at all!
The problem is, that’s not how we’re designed. We are made for relationships.
We didn’t go in for the first doctor’s visit and sonogram until I was 8 weeks along. We were excited and anxious to get a glimpse of our baby and hear its rapidly beating heart. The tech was silent as she performed the sonogram. We watched the image of the baby on the screen, waiting for her to speak. I finally asked “Is anything wrong?” She said the baby’s heart wasn’t beating and it looked like it had stopped growing a few days before our appointment.
I was blindsided. It was all so surreal. We just went through the motions at that appointment, shocked that the baby that had been making me so sick, that had been pulsing in my tummy, was no longer alive.
Integrity is the map to achieving our maximum potential; it is the wholeness of our self. As we pursue integrity, we obtain virtues that better us. We all desire to capture the best possible future that exists and make it our present reality; setting standards accomplishes this. Standards are the footprints on the path we hope we’re brave enough to take. They define our personhood and determine our character as we discern the character of others. How we believe we should be treated is directly related to the standards we create.
I’ve always known I wanted children. When I was a little girl, I used to fantasize that someone would abandon an orphan on our doorstep. In my imagination, my mother would be too busy with work to care for the child, so he or she would become “mine.” This impulse never left me, and in my early twenties I’d often boast of my intention to have five children (likely to the dismay of my boyfriend at the time). Back then, of course, thirty still seemed old, and like most of my friends, I assumed I’d be married well before then.
It didn’t turn out that way, though. Now I, along with many others I know, have found myself in a difficult modern predicament. Do we keep waiting for love, hoping it’ll come into our lives before our biological clocks run out, or do we take matters into our own hands, prioritizing the baby before the man, whatever that may look like for us?
As I addressed my Christmas cards this year, I realized I didn’t have an updated address for a friend of mine. I logged onto Facebook to say hello and ask for her new address.
Then I realized we weren’t friends.
There she was, and right next to her profile was the little “add friend” icon.
I had been unfriended.
On any given Friday night, I usually wait until about 5:59pm to decide what to do. I like to keep my options open until the very last minute in case I get a better offer. The idea of someone asking me on a date and agreeing on a time and place in advance has not only proved unrealistic in our culture, but rather unthinkable. Like most little girls, I grew up naïvely thinking that dating would involve candlelit dinners, presents, and mix tapes full of sappy love songs.
However, the older I get, the more skeptical I become that courtship can really exist in the digital world.