MENTAL ILLNESS & MOTHERHOOD

maybe you know that my husband & I were surprised by a beautiful, amazing, gorgeous, sweet-natured, PERFECT (of course) little baby girl who was born just over a month ago. her name is Iola, and we love her to bits and pieces. though not literally. cause that would be odd. and unfortunate. ๐Ÿ˜‰

maybe you also know that I have generalized anxiety disorder & clinical depression. the first time I remember experiencing a very-not-normal type of anxiety, I was only five years old, although it really came at me like a punch in the gut the summer after I turned 16.

if you’ve been around the blog for very long, you probably know both of those things. but here’s something you might not know:

mental illnesses like these run in my family.
and my husband’s family.

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and for this reason, I was never really sure I wanted to have my own children.

so…
sweet, freshly-diagnosed girl looking out into her future with theseย fears, this is for you.
strong mama in the double trenches of mental illness & motherhood, this is for you.
tentative pregnant gal who never had to think about this until you had to go cold turkey off your meds, this is for you.
anyone who loves a mama with a mental illness, this is for you. Continue reading “MENTAL ILLNESS & MOTHERHOOD”

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IOLA GRACE // THE BIRTH STORY

hi there sweet souls!

I ducked out on a month-longย hiatus from untidy grace (and most social media) for the month of february after our sweet Iola Grace was born… speaking of which…

yes! she is here! our darling girl is finally in our arms and it’s both easy and hard and beautiful and terrifying. we are completely overwhelmed in all the best ways, and we are equal parts out-of-our-minds exhausted & happy. โค she is the perfect addition to our family.

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((just after she was placed on my chest for the first time… be still my heart!))

it’s really important to me that I get to share the story of her birth. I think birth stories matter hugely because they are the stories of how we came to be, how we joined humanity in this wild flood of wild and holy chaos. they are the stories that contain the first moments of our lives, our first breaths, the first time we were touched and held and hands-on-loved.

birth stories come with waterfalls of emotion, too. there is always a bit of fear and panic entwined in the joy and expectation that surrounds the birth of a child. it isn’t all rainbows & butterflies, and sometimes that pain & panic can turn into trauma, deep physical ramifications, or postpartum anxiety & depression. I think ALL of it matters- the joy, the newness, the happy… and the fear and disappointment. all of it deserves a voice.

I will insert here a TRIGGER WARNING for those of you who had traumatic birth experiences. mine was, too, and I want to be sensitive to what you may have faced.

Continue reading “IOLA GRACE // THE BIRTH STORY”

IOLA’S COZY BOHO NURSERY REVEAL

I’ll keep the words short & sweet on this post, because I want you to totally enjoy all the photos of our little Io’s nursery! โค

we finally finished up her part of our bedroom, and I am just so in love with how sweet and cozy and homey it is. it makes my heart happy to see her little space, and anticipate how so soon, a little girl will be living in here with us!

cozy boho is a pretty good description of the feel of her nursery, I think. I wanted to create a space perfect for cuddling, with smart and beautiful storage, and a vibe that could both mesh with an adult bedroom while also growing with her (I think these pieces can all be easily transitioned to a big-girl room as she gets older!)

so come on in & cuddle up in Iola’s cozy boho nursery… shhh, baby’s sleeping ๐Ÿ˜‰

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had to throw in a little bump picture because she’s gotten so big! (doctor estimates 7lb 3oz ย & SUPER LONG at her due date!) so much for fearing having a teeny preemie! Continue reading “IOLA’S COZY BOHO NURSERY REVEAL”

10 REALLY SHALLOW REASONS I’M EXCITED TO NOT BE PREGNANT

besides the obvious (and totally NOT shallow) reason of having my baby girl in my arms as opposed to my stomach, there are lots of reasons I’m super pumped to no longer be pregnant.

several of them aren’t shallow at all. being a family of three, getting to know this amazing little person, seeing my husband become a father…

and while I know that motherhood isn’t all sunshine and roses (I’ve seen the contents of a diaper, y’all), there’s so much good about it!

but today…? I’m celebrating the shallow & silly reasons why I’m excited for the next stage in this journey ๐Ÿ˜‰

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10 REALLY SHALLOW REASONS I’M EXCITED TO NOT BE PREGNANT Continue reading “10 REALLY SHALLOW REASONS I’M EXCITED TO NOT BE PREGNANT”

37 WEEKS PREGNANT // BUMPDATE

I can honestly say that I didn’t expect to be writing this post.

just 6 weeks ago we entered the hospital with my contractions less than 5 minutes apart to find I was at high-risk for pre-term labor, and were afraid we’d have a teeny preemie on our hands; in the 4-5 weeks that followed I was on a modified bed rest to make sure our Iola Grace stayed safely put until she was grown enough to be healthy out in the real world. (you can read the whole story here)

just before Christmas we were in the hospital yet again with more concerns, but (yet again), we were sent home and labor continued to hold off.

the pain has been excruciating. the emotional strain (and yeah even trauma) has been real. the heightened anxiety has been exhausting. and the contractions (now consistently every 10 minutes or less for the past few weeks) have been frustrating.

with each doctor appointment, my doctor expressed the doubt, but hope, that Io would stay put until the end of January. each appointment confirms that I am indeed getting closer to active labor by the day… but our little love has officially made it to term, which we never thought would happen, and we are both so happy & so impatient. (especially this mama who has been in early labor for 5+ weeks!!)

keep us in your prayers! mama is completely worn out and exhausted from the pain.
our girl Io is still looking perfect (as usual!), if a wee on the bit small side. โค
dad is super ready to see his baby girl… and to have his other girl be less miserable. ๐Ÿ˜‰

we’re a hot mess over here, but we are hanging on! this sweet little soul has been desperately waited upon & joyfully suffered for. we can’t wait to see her beautiful face…

happy 37 weeks of life, Io girl. we love you!ย 

JESUS & A NEVER-RUNS-OUT, CONTROVERSIAL KIND OF LOVE

there are certain portions of scripture that never fail to take my breath away.
moments I read about that leave me shivering and goose-bumped at the beauty.
they’re the ones that stick with me and start to shape the rebuilding of my heart.

I love peeling open the pages of my Bible and finding Life and Love and Truth in there. the gospel of John calls Jesus Himself the Word, and I understand that with greater depth of feeling when it’s as though the words of Scripture absorb His presence. there’s a holiness in there, in that sacred space of sweet community with the Divine, that beckons off our shoes & calls us closer to a fuller and sweeter understanding.

one of those breathless moments of Divine presence happens in particular for me in John 8… and I really really want to share that moment with you because I think it’s crucial in our understanding of who this Jesus is.
what this Way is that we walk.
where our lives are meant to intersect and mesh.

because Jesus is never a neutral party. Jesusย never compromises. Jesus is all-encompassing fullness and a great & holy force of grace. Jesus is always acting, always moving, always guiding.

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Jesus-love is a messy, holy, and yeah…ย controversial… kind of love.
and the breadth of it is wild & bold.
there’s enough for all of us & there will keep on being enough-
there is no shortage.
there is no scarcity. Continue reading “JESUS & A NEVER-RUNS-OUT, CONTROVERSIAL KIND OF LOVE”

THERE’S ROOM AT THE TABLE, AND YOU ARE INVITED

It was a hard decision… choosing what my very first post of 2017 would be. and then, rather suddenly, it wasn’t actually difficult at all. allow me to explain…

if you are familiar with the Untidy Grace Manifesto, which I posted here last fall, or if you’ve read the meet moriah page, you’ll know the way my heart beats. the very vibration of my bones is for you, for my people, to know that you belong here, that your journey is invaluable, and that your becoming is the most important thing you could ever invest in, because your becoming is all about redemption and reconciliation and healing- for you and for the whole world.
and so this post, born of that heartache-y vibration, is my love letter to you, dear soul. let these words be the ones that ring in your ears and echo until 2017 has come and gone and you have lived wild and holy and brave…

there is always room at the table. and if there isn’t more room at your table, you’re at the wrong table.

friend, here’s a shock for you: you are invited.ย 

in a space throbbing with the ever-changing “you’re in“, and “you’re out” rhetoric, and the chaotic drumbeat of a song you never quite learned how to dance to (but somehow everyone else did), there is a table to which you are- to which you’ve always been– invited.

there is a table where the under-valued and the stumbling misfits and the mentally ill and the cast-offs and the theologically inept and the trying-but-failing and the battered and broken sit together and healing happens.
belonging happens.
Jesus happens.

there is a table without a dress code and with no prerequisite except for coming, fully human, ferociously hungry, as you are.

there is a table where your story is heard, your journey is honored, and your small piece of humanity is wovenย proudlyย into the unfolding, scandalous drama of grace.

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some pretend they own the table (and the invitations, too), but if they’re honest, they felt uncomfortable there and made their own. their table is not The Table. and if you have been excluded from their table, you can rest assured you don’t want to be there anyway. Continue reading “THERE’S ROOM AT THE TABLE, AND YOU ARE INVITED”

THE FULL & BEAUTIFUL LIFE // A FREE E-COURSE!

aaaaand a show of hands for everyone who starts off the new year completely goal-crazed, wild-eyed, over-committed, and caffeine-fueled? and what about that resolution overwhelm?

*raises hand*

you too? yup. that’s about right. I knew I couldn’t be the only one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

well, this year I’m doing things a bit differently.

if you readย this blog post, (if you haven’t… read it now ’cause you’re missing out, babe!) you’ll already know I’ve forgone resolutions, goals, and all the chaos that comes with them, and instead opted for an ultra-simple system that focuses on wholeness and staying true to who I am discovering myself to be & what I most need and desire out of life.

aka: no stress, all becoming. sounds just about divine, right?!

so, to celebrate my cutting of ties to the chaos that binds us this time of year, I’ve decided to host a really awesome mini online course for you all to kick off your 2017 in freedom and wholeness!

it’s called “ABC’s of the full & beautiful life”, and it’s a 26-day journey (starting January 2nd!), each day introducing a new word, designed to help inspire a more whole YOU, which corresponds to the next letter in the alphabet.

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it’s for you if:
~ you really want to pick your #oneword365 but can’t decide what word is best for you OR
~ you don’t know what 2017 will hold, or how you want to enter it, but you need a bit of gentle direction while you decide OR
~ you just want more untidy grace in your life OR
~ you’re craving community with people who are trying to figure out this whole life and transition and new year thing OR
~ you need some structure OR
~ you need some inspiration
(or all of the above!)
Continue reading “THE FULL & BEAUTIFUL LIFE // A FREE E-COURSE!”

I DON’T DO RESOLUTIONS // MY #ONEWORD365 FOR 2017

this is a post that I’ve been really excited to share for quite some time now… even though I wasn’t entirely sure what it would look like ๐Ÿ™‚

while it’s never been a public thing for me, and not something I chose to share on the blog, I’ve practiced this idea of having a single word to guide and represent my year for the past couple of years.

I love #oneword365 and the way that they really rally around and create tribe in a beautiful, holistic way for those trying to live their words! so, if this is something you find yourself really connecting to by the end of this post, definitely click here and go give ’em a visit. (this isn’t sponsored- I just really love these peeps!)

here’s the idea: instead of creating a list of things to do, or to not do, in the new year (which are pretty much either abandoned or causing you to pull your hair out by the time march rolls around), you just find one, solitary word that resonates with your soul, and you choose that as your battle-cry and banner for the coming year. or, more accurately, it chooses you; or that’s what it feels like. more often than not, the word you’ve been running from is the word you need. (don’tcha hate that?)

I’ve been searching for my word for almost three months. and even though I’ve pretty much known it since the beginning, it took me until the end of the creative retreat I did at the beginning of this week (more on that later!) to fully embrace it and own it.

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it’s time. no more messing around. it’s my word that’s been given to me, and I’m running with it, clinging to it, breathing it in and becoming more comfortable with it in my life.  Continue reading “I DON’T DO RESOLUTIONS // MY #ONEWORD365 FOR 2017”

10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016

as 2016 comes to a close, and we get ready for 2017 to make her grand debut, I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane, and revisit all the blog posts from this year that were YOUR favorites โค

this is a little countdown of the 10 posts that were the most-viewed from 2016, in the order of least views to most views (there are a couple of exceptions, as I didn’t include any photography or business-themed posts).

THANK YOU for all of the love you have poured into this little corner of the interwebs โค your encouragement, comments, and sweet emails & messages have made my days brighter and my heart lighter. you are why I write, friends.

are you ready?!

I am! ๐Ÿ™‚

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here are the 10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016

enjoy browsing through the highlights of this year on the blog โค

Continue reading “10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016”