8 years ago today when I hit publish on my first blog post, I never could have imagined how much that choice would impact my life. I had just turned 30 and was at a crossroads in my career. A year prior, I’d made the extremely tough decision to leave an emotionally and physically draining career in digital media/advertising. Then after a little soul searching, I’d accepted a new role as the digital marketing manager at Los Angeles magazine. I felt at home. The people, the work, the bustling journalistic environment was everything I thought I wanted. Yet, there was still something missing.
Well we survived week one of quarantine aka social distancing from the Coronavirus, and yet there’s still so much uncertainty happening all around us, all across the world. Instead of letting my anxiety get the best of me, I decided last week that I wanted to document our experience – as a family. For me, when life feels like it’s spiraling out of control, I try to just focus on the things that matter. As scary as the situation we’re in is, I’m trying to use it as a way to reconnect with the simple things in life. I created this video montage of our first week “At Home with The Murray’s,” to remind me, and all of us, that social distancing doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, in a lot of ways it’s just what I needed.
It’s been nearly a year since I wrote about this topic, and my how things have changed. If we thought Cha Cha was strong willed before, then we absolutely, without a doubt, and whole heartedly know this to be true now. But here’s the thing. At what point did “strong-willed” become synonymous with “bad-behaved,” or “stubborn,” or even worse – “problem child?” My child is anything but a problem. My child is strong-willed, Yes. But she’s also mind-blowingly perceptive, and what if some day she wakes up and starts perceiving that this world isn’t meant for her? That her strong will is yet another thing society tells us we need to correct for her to “fit in.” Well screw fitting in (pardon my French). I honestly think we need more children like Cha Cha, and here’s why…
Why is it that when life hits us with change – we all of the sudden put these unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Be the perfect wife. Be the perfect mom. Be the perfect employee. When did life become so “all or nothing?” Forcing us to believe that unless we master everything we do, it’s not worth doing. This notion got amplified when I became a mom.
I can’t believe the last one of these I wrote was 6 months ago on her first birthday. Our little Cha Cha has changed so much in just the last couple of months, it seems like that should be a year ago already. She went from just a baby-faced little thing, to a full on toddler with a mind of her own in what feels like the blink of an eye. Naturally we came up with a whole new crop of nicknames for her that seem to suit her just fine, such as: C-Rex (Grant’s personal fave), Charnado (my personal fave), Charmin Ultra, and Charley Davidson – just to name a few ? But without further ado, here’s our latest list of sentiments for our dear Charnado – happy half birthday little one ?
1) I love all your facial expressions – you can go from a sweet smile, to a side-eye, to your infamous stink eye in less than 2.5 sec and it always has us in stitches ?Continue reading
How is it that another year is gone, just like that? I mean, 2018 feels like it didn’t even happen. For some reason – what should feel like a year went by, really only feels like a solid 6 months max. It’s like I woke up one day after Christmas, like woah, 2019 is just around the corner. Maybe it’s because so much happened last year. And maybe that’s why this year I was excited to actually get my hiney up off the couch and ring in the new year right – like we used to, before kids ?
It’s pretty common for people to say they see their mom, dad, grandma, etc. when they look at their own child. But with our son Garrett – it goes way beyond just a physical resemblance (although he definitely favors our Sicilian side ?). When I say I see my dad when I look at him – I mean, I see his soul. I see past those warm and compassionate dark brown eyes right into the soul of a man stuck inside of a little man I call my son. The soul of a man who was also an old soul, and who left us all too soon.
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It’s been exactly one month since Charlotte decided to stop breastfeeding. And when I say she “decided”, I mean – one minute she’s happy nursing, and the next she’s like “meh, I’m over it.” ? Girl has a mind of her own that’s for sure, and I’m just thankful I got to nurse her for longer than I did her big bro. It’s never easy letting go of that “baby phase” though and watching them go from being so dependent on you, to all the sudden over night gaining this new found independence. I can’t tell you how many times I get asked at the Chick-Fil-A playground how old she is, followed by “Wow, she’s a climber.” Uh yah, tell me about it – you ain’t seen nothin’ dude. I love her curiosity, but sometimes I just want her to slow down just a tad – because before I know it she’ll be talking, and then going to school, and then graduating, and…ok, deep breaths.
I get it now. I mean, I realllllly get it now. I thought I got it before, but until you have a strong-willed child of your own – you never truly get it, do you? Who knows, maybe you were like me once – before we spawned a child like ours. Watching those other poor moms with their hands full, literally, not understanding how they could allow a child to behave that way. But before I get into exhibits A, B and C – I first want to say that I am strict. Like strict, strict. My first born knew how to say yes ma’am, no sir, thank you, yes please and follow instructions like a soldier fresh outta boot camp. But that’s just the thing – he’s what you call a “rule follower.” My second born – she’s what you call “the strong-willed child.”
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Bday Onesie (handmade gift from aunt – ribbon rose tutorial here )
Well, it’s official. Our little Cha Cha turned one and is definitely not a baby anymore. She’s a walking, talking (although these days it’s more screaming), full fledged toddler. I always wished I’d had more of the baby months with my first – Garrett weaned and walked at 10 months old and mama was not ready for either. So hey, at least I got a couple more months with Charlotte, who just started really walking in the past week – on her first birthday, believe it or not. I keep joking what a strong-willed child she is, and she was gonna make darn sure she’d be walking by her first bday. Well played, Cha Cha, well played.