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Life

WE ARE WOMEN

Isla Bee five months with mama in the nurseryIf I could give my daughter only one thing, it would be the knowledge that she and she alone can decide her place in this world. Be strong, be kind, be confident, be true to yourself, and give zero you-know-whats about the people who wish to bring you down. You make me a better woman, my sweet Isla Bee.

In honor of this International Women’s Day, thank you to all the glass-shattering women in my life.

“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.” – Michelle Obama Apple picking, Hill Creek FarmsEast Passyunk Easter Egg Hunt 2015Isla Bee Seven MonthsFranklin Square Park in PhiladelphiaIsla + mamaLong Beach Island, NJRabbit Rabbit Top by Letter19Design EtsyHers and Mine: RompersMother/Daughter StyleFamily Photos with Kate Leigh, PhiladelphiaHers and Mine Tulle SkirtsResist Hate Love is Love T-Shirt to benefit ACLU

Life

WHY I MARCH

Women's March 2017People from every corner of the world joined together with one voice on Saturday to fight not just for women’s rights, but for human rights. It was a humbling, awe-inspiring, hopeful, yet sad and frustrating day. I find myself constantly wondering, “How the hell did we get here?” but for many, it’s really not that surprising.

I am a liberal, white, upper middle class, heterosexual woman. I work hard and feel passionately about a great many things, but my life has been relatively easy. I was raised by financially comfortable, progressive parents and had access to a good education.

I was born into privilege and it has followed me throughout my life.

My perspective is valuable and important, sure, but no more than anyone else’s. And it’s useless if it’s the only one I care about. I feel strongly, I’m loud with my opinions and I’m often certain I’m on the right side of history, but I live in a bubble. And I don’t mean that “coastal elite bubble” everyone on the news is blaming for the outcome of this election. I mean the separate bubble occupied by those of us who have never had to truly fight for basic human rights. I will never understand what it’s like to be a person of color and face racism every single day. Or how it feels to be told you’re an abomination because you fell in love with someone of the same gender, or felt like you were born in the wrong body. I hope I never have to worry about how I’m going to put food on my kids’ plates, keep the lights on, pay medical bills or get into a “good neighborhood” so my kids can receive a quality education.

Saturday’s march, for me, was about something bigger than one narcissist on his throne of ignorance. It was about stepping outside my bubble, gaining perspective, seeing the faces and hearing the voices of people who are both nothing like me and exactly like me. It was about showing my children I am willing to fight for what I believe. It was about human decency. The right to love freely, live without fear and have equal opportunity.

Marching was empowering, but it was easy, which means it wasn’t enough.

I am ready for what comes next because we are one beautifully diverse world, and the only way I can give my kids a better future is if you can, too.
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Life

TWENTY SIXTEEN

Family Photos with Kate Leigh, Philadelphia{Family photos with Kate Leigh}

It’s hard to wax poetic about a year filled with so much negativity. But I want to focus on the good, which sometimes feels selfish but also may be the only path forward. So for the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to remember all the personally happy moments I can recall from 2016.

Such as ….

Isla began (and fell in love with) preschool and made a classroom full of new buddies. We threw Theo a first birthday party. My lovely friend Susie launched a new shop to bring us all a little good luck. Our kids are happy and healthy. My cousin got married! And our kids were Vanity Fair cover-worthy at her wedding. My other cousin moved to Philly! My sister-in-law gave birth to a healthy, perfect baby girl! I got dressed a lot. We spent just about every summer Friday at Happy Hour with our neighborhood friends (kids included). I vowed to stop body shaming myself and others. There is no better husband than mine. Chris and I made new adult friends and found time to connect with old ones. My 93-year-old Anya is alive and well. Chris and I took our kids with us to vote for Hillary Clinton, the first major party female candidate for president, and despite the outcome, I will, for eternity, remain incredibly proud of that vote and of the moment I shared in the booth with my daughter. And as a result of that election, I grew immensely close to a beautiful group of women and fellow moms from Isla’s school. I joined a bunch of women to learn how to brew beer. We donated about half  of our “things” to a couple of good causes.

There is a lot of uncertainty as we head into the new year. I am personally experiencing both excitement and fear. While I intend to remain vigilant, vocal and steadfast in my own beliefs, I also want to chart a positive course that affects not only myself and my family, but others both near and far. I have a lot of thoughts on how to move forward, some concrete, some a little more abstract. I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, but this seems like a good year to have a few positive goals to live by.

In the meantime, let me say this: 2016 is behind us, but it’s just a number. The ceremonial dropping of the ball changes nothing unless we want it to. As we approach 2017, let us do it together, with one eye on a bright, inclusive, prosperous future filled with kindness and generosity, and the other eye on the lookout, ready to fight injustice, speak up against hate and lend a hand to those who need it most.

Happy New Year, my dear friends. May 2017 bring you peace, love, kindness, comfort and positive change.

Here’s just a sampling of a few of my favorite 2016 moments as documented on these pages.

#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party cake by Vanilya Bakery, East Passyunk {Theo’s first birthday party}Kid bridal party{My cousin’s wedding}theo_is_one_12{Theo’s first birthday}Ice skating at Delaware River Waterfront Riverrink{Ice skating for Isla’s second birthday}Eight Month Photo Shoot in Nursery{Theo’s eight-month photo shoot}
Rabbit Rabbit Top by Letter19Design Etsy {Rabbit Rabbit}Monthly baby photo shoot: Theo is Five Months{Theo’s five-month photo shoot}Easter 2016{Easter}Hers and Mine Tulle Skirts{Hers and mine}Isla sining Adele in nursery{Singing to Adele and Ellie}Madewell Silk Cutout Jumpsuit{Pantsuit … Nation}{Documenting Isla’s first year with Artifact Uprising}Theo Three Months{Theo’s three-month photo shoot}Franklin Fountain hot chocolate at Delaware River Waterfront Blue Cross RiverRink{Isla’s first hot cocoa}Cape May, NJ Beach{The beach with buddies}Theo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightbox{Theo’s six-month photo shoot} Bat Boy and Cat Girl Halloween Costumes 2016{Halloween}Seven-Month Baby Photos{Theo’s seven-month photo shoot}Isla Bee{Theo’s 11-month photo shoot}10 Month Baby Photo Shoot in Nursery with lightbox{Theo’s 10-month photo shoot}Family Photos with Kate Leigh, Philadelphia{Family photos with Kate Leigh}Family Photos with Kate Leigh, Philadelphia{Family photos with Kate Leigh}{I regret my silence}Bat Boy and Cat Girl Halloween Costumes 2016{Halloween catwalk}
Memorial Day Weekend{Memorial Day Weekend}

Life

CHRISTMAS DAY

Christmas 2016I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! We spent Christmas morning at home with the kids and it was everything I had hoped it would be, despite all four of us being sick. Isla sweetly helped Theo open all of his presents and they played nicely all morning. They giggled and oohed and aahed as they opened every gift. Theo kept picking up all the unopened presents (some were bigger than he was) and handing them to us so we could help him open them. We kept the presents to a minimum again this year because I’ve found they find one they like and carry it around and sleep with it and love it so much they forget about all the others anyway. Isla asked Santa to bring Theo a scooter for Christmas and boy does she know her little brother well. He loved it! Now they both have one and as soon as his helmet arrives we’ll go cruising through the neighborhood. My parents bought Isla a Peppa Pig doll house and she carries that thing everywhere now. She even slept with it on Christmas night. She’s at the age when she can spend hours playing make-believe with all her cats and dolls and kiddie kitchen. It’s the sweetest thing. Theo also got a drum (our little musician), a pair of sunglasses to match his daddy’s Ray-Bans and he was pretty obsessed with the Paw Patrol underpants Isla found in her stocking. It was a Christmas for the books.

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