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You Know Best

Monday, August 19, 2019

Words & Photography
by Clarissa Esquivel



And to think we are in the very last stretch of nursing. Wow! Ten months of breastfeeding Zeke, and, yet, I wish I could say it has been wonderful. But the honest truth is, I really just want my body back. Does that make me sound selfish and ungrateful? I’m sure some of you may think so.

If you think about it, how awesome is it that I was able to feed my baby this liquid gold that my body has created? I think back to all the special moments we have shared together, just us two, and also knowing that mama is his safe haven, and nothing and no one can comfort him as well as I do. Yes, all of that is great...

But then there are the moments we don’t like to talk about. The moments where I leave the baby with Dad and not even two hours later he’s texting me freaking out because the baby just won’t. calm. down. Or the moments when the baby starts to teethe and you literally become a human pacifier, and you have no choice but to nurse 24/7. Or the, "I have to schedule everything around feedings because the anxiety of feeding your kid in public becomes all too real." Do you even know how many times I’ve asked my 8-year-old to grab his baby brother a snack because I’m stuck on the couch nursing?
Do having these feelings make me a bad mom? Of course not. But instead of feeling accomplished that we made it this far, I'm feeling embarrassed that I’m wanting to call it quits because it’s become too much for me to handle.
There are so many countless hours where I feel like I’m not doing enough because I’m stuck with a baby on my boob. These are some of the things I would normally never even dare to share on here because I’m too afraid of judgement and what people may think about me. Do having these feelings make me a bad mom? Of course not. But instead of feeling accomplished that we made it this far, I'm feeling embarrassed that I’m wanting to call it quits because it’s become too much for me to handle.

Breastfeeding is all so beautiful and raw and hard. And for those mamas who do it with so much grace, I applaud you. And to those of you who only breastfed for 1 week, 1 month, or didn’t even bother to try at all...you’re all just as wonderful.

Moral of the story is, don’t be ashamed or too embarrassed to talk about the decisions YOU decide to make for YOU and YOUR babies. You are mom and YOU know best.

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Farm To Table Feast

Friday, August 16, 2019

Words & Photography
by Candice Hackett


And all of that, makes all of this. ⁣A community farm to table feast. A gathering of friends. A nourishing of our hearts and bodies. There’s nothing quite like it.
We know the farmers who grow our veggies and the baker who bakes our bread by name. We harvest from the dirt of our own garden. ⁣We were given fruit from a dear friend's tree. And flowers from another’s garden⁣. And all of that, makes all of this. ⁣A community farm to table feast. A gathering of friends. A nourishing of our hearts and bodies. There’s nothing quite like it. ⁣

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Fresh Out Of The Oven

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Words & Photography
by Olivia Jane





One brown sugar peach crumb pie fresh outta the oven.
Tell me, what’s more satisfying?
Spending nap time baking a pie
or knowing that you’ll be spending the
hour after bedtime digging into it?

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Colorful Lunch Bowl

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Words & Photography
by Miriam Stimpfl



Busy days are for colorful lunch bowls, right?
What’s you favorite quick and easy go-to bowl?
I need inspiration!
Mine is: rice noodles with peanut-lemon sauce and sliced veggies
(carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, spring onions, peppers, red cabbage).

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Grief And Gratefulness

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Words & Photography
by Megan Alexandra



There are a few things throughout our foster care journey that totally humble me and can, at times, bring tears to my eyes with gratitude. One of those things is our relationship with one of our former foster’s bio family. I love seeing baby’s bio mom be an amazing parent. I love seeing her in her kid’s eyes. I love the way her kids smile at her and run into her arms. I feel like I’m being given a precious gift when she continues to call me her baby’s godmother, calls Ivy “sissy,” and invites us into their life. I don’t feel like I deserve that, and I don’t feel entitled to it, but I’m beyond grateful for it.
I grieve my loss of her little voice happily calling out for us from her room every morning, while still simultaneously celebrating that she’s forever home with her loving family. I celebrate that, although the foster system is broken, she came out of it with double the family that adores her.
For a year that sweet baby was in my arms. Though I didn’t carry her in my womb, the love was still the same. In many ways she shaped me into the mom I am now. Her leaving our home made me cry in bed for hours, as could be expected. BUT. I grieve my loss of her little voice happily calling out for us from her room every morning, while still simultaneously celebrating that she’s forever home with her loving family. I celebrate that, although the foster system is broken, she came out of it with double the family that adores her. I celebrate with gratefulness that we have been given this gift of watching the next chapter of her life unfold. It’s a huge dichotomy of Foster Care that I think you can’t quite understand until you walk through it. Grief and gratefulness.

If you’re a new foster parent out there feeling stuck, strapped into a seat of the emotional roller coaster that foster care can be, take heart. Remember that although there are stories of heartbreak, there are also stories of healing. Fight for the healing, whatever that looks like for you. The healing is beautiful.
 

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