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.
Women's March 2017 Women's March 2017 Women's March 2017Women's March 2017 Women's March 2017Women's March 2017Women's March 2017Women's March 2017Women's March 2017 Women's March 2017Women's March 2017Women's March 2017Women's March 2017Women's March 2017Women's March 2017

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.

Happy Holidays!Christmas 2016Christmas 2016Christmas 2016Christmas 2016 Christmas 2016Christmas 2016Christmas 2016Christmas 2016Christmas 2016 Christmas 2016 Christmas 2016 Christmas 2016

Life

FOR HER: HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

2016 Holiday Gift Guide for HerA few of my favorite things …

1. Gigi Pip Hat. As far as I’m concerned, a person can never have too many hats. I’ve seen a lot of women wearing hats by Gigi Pip on Instagram (my favorite place to discover brands) and I sinfully covet every single one. This grey one is a beauty but there isn’t a hat on that whole site I wouldn’t be thrilled to find under our tree.

2. Habitation Cuzco Embroidered Camera Strap. I saw a woman carrying her camera on a beautiful embroidered strap a couple of years ago and I’ve loved them ever since. What a beautiful upgrade to one of my most treasured belongings. Nena & Co has gorgeous camera straps, too.

3. Harry’s Shave Set. I mentioned this in my gift guide for guys because Harry’s technically makes men’s razors but I commandeered my husband’s for myself. I’ve been using men’s razor’s since I was in high school because I’ve always found them to be more gentle on my angry skin. Razor burn is my middle name. Or at least it was. Harry’s sent me this set to try out and the difference has been remarkable. After a couple of weeks, my underarms and legs are bump free and I’m ready for summer! Or maybe a tropical vacation to escape this polar vortex!

4. Coffee Beans. There’s no better time to brew up a pot of fancy, expensive coffee than Christmas morning. Go to her favorite coffee shop and ask for the fanciest bag of beans they have and then make sure you promptly brew her a pot while opening gifts under the tree. Extra points if you can make it snow and give her a white Christmas. (Our favorite coffee shop here in South Philly is Chhaya. We buy their espresso beans. Mmm.)

5. A Special Print or Photograph Framed by Framebridge. Quick! You might still have time to order! Pick a beautiful digital photograph, upload it, pick a frame, place your order and wait for the excitement on Christmas morning. Framebridge is pretty great. You mail them a print or piece of art (for free) or upload a digital photograph and they’ll do all the work and send it back to you beautifully custom framed. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

6. Nena & Co. Tote Bag. I cherish my Nena & Co. carryall. It’s absolutely stunning and literally one-of-a-kind. It’s one of my most favorite things. Plus, I love the story behind this gorgeous handmade collection. From the Nena site: “Our Artisan Collection consists of products constructed using newly loomed fabrics, custom created on a small-batch scale, ensuring attention to detail and quality of the highest standard. Commissioning the weaving and looming of these new fabrics is vital to the Guatemalan people, as it creates a sustainable form of income for our artisans. Thank you for helping us keep this beautiful art form alive, and supporting the wellbeing of our beloved Guatemalan artisans!” Love love love this.

7. A Great Big Checked Scarf. My husband bought me a beautiful checked blanket scarf from Acacia Scarves for Christmas two years ago and it remains the only scarf I need. I wear it every day and if we’re out and about and the kids get cold in the stroller I cover them with it, too. My blogger friend Jaclyn no longer makes my favorite scarf, but you can find them if you scour the internet (especially Etsy).

8. Half-Knit Leather Gloves. The Club Monaco website claims these gloves are for men but I’m calling BS. I guess that means they could be made for man hands, but the gloves themselves are beautiful. Last year my husband bought me a pair of CM leather gloves and they’re great. They fit like a … glove (ugh, sorry) and the leather is seemingly high quality. Isla has started stealing them because she loves how soft they are.

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