styleberry BLOG » where pretty meets practical

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The leaves are changing. (THE LEAVES ARE CHANGING!!) I wish I could fully exude my happiness about this Autumn colorshow. I have been staring in awe all day, every day. Seasons. Oh, how I missed them.

I was recently in conversation with a family member who was living back in the Midwest after a stint in Southern California and we were talking about seasons and how they impact a culture on such a deep level. When nothing changes, including the weather, life just…carries on. I think I savored less, accepted monotony more. Nothing ever changed. Not the landscape, not the activities. It just was. After six years longing for crisp mornings in south Texas, I am home. Home in the Midwest. Not home where I was raised (Northern California) but my adopted home. Cool air. Color around every corner. We are truly savoring the light & warmth as we prepare for a deep change, prepared to weather stuff that makes life difficult. Seasons are so metaphoric. They change you. I really think they do. I love them.

I have not been one to hide how little I enjoyed living in South Texas. I made the best of it and walked away with lifelong friends (which made it worth every bit of the misery) but I do not miss it. Not one bit. I am happiest when my nose gets cold in October and my lungs fill with ice cold air. And where there are huge, massive, colorful trees around every corner. I just breathe better here. Summer is bearable, because it never lasts. It’s just a season.

styleberry fall_1

I seem to say that a lot. It’s been the story of my life. Life married to a resident. Life with non-sleeping newborns. Life that was hard. It was just a season. But it really all is. As the colors change and the winds shift, so do priorities. I never thought it would take me until October to log back into this blog, but I really needed to take a break. My kids pretty much just have me right now, and I need to be everything to them. Business & writing & this outlet–it wasn’t what it always has been. Like any season, it darkens. It brightens back up. Leaves fall. & then the tree blooms with life again. I am just not sure when that life will come back here.

styleberry fall_2

It’s been a bit of a rough transition for our family–our first big move. There has been lots of adjusting and a new home to set up. New parks (TONS of new, incredible parks!!) and a whole new city to explore. New people, new food, new (dream) school, new routines. It’s all new. We do love it here in St. Louis, but it’s still been tough for our family. Being married to a medical fellow in his seventh year of post med school training is hard. Life feels really heavy, a lot. Life & death are daily topics of conversation & I am not sure when that heavy feeling will lift. I am hoping it is just a season, but I am sort of gripping the reality that heart surgery is not just a season. It’s kind of always heavy. & we’re working through how to handle that.

Like many moms I still struggle with the “what else” in life. The non negotiable priorities are food, exercise, cleanliness & books + art. Beyond that, well, I just don’t know where it all fits right now. Real food takes forever to cook & prep. Hard exercise makes me really tired. Laundry and dishes and the floor don’t clean themselves (darn) and books + art…well. We just love those. Non negotiables during this season. But what about what is missing?

It’s been a constant pull between what I CAN do, what I LOVE to do and what I actually have the ENERGY to do. My puzzle pieces just don’t fit together very well right now. So I am trying to make peace with this season & embrace it for what it is. All my time constraints would be solved if I had the desire to outsource, but I don’t. I want to be with my children and I feel strongly about that decision, strong enough to let all the other stuff go.

The season of “no.” That is what I am calling it. Just me, my kids and the non negotiables up there. :)

That’s what feels right.

I keep thinking about the next season and what that will hold. It’s fun to daydream. I know I am really good at taking things I love and turning them into a job, that I no longer enjoy, so I am being very mindful of that trap. I feel like I still haven’t found my calling in life, beyond motherhood. & maybe, just maybe, that is my true calling. I am good with that. But I also have “the fear.” The fear that someday when they are in school and It’s just me around here, that I will need something more. So I daydream. There’s no harm in that. Now’s just not the time to formally do anything more, unless it’s simply for my own joy.

So until that season, I’ll keep dreaming. Mostly, that looks like decorating imaginary spaces. It always seems to come back to making something pretty. & practical.

Imagine that. :)

So…to answer a couple of questions that are lingering in pending comments:

Q: Are the stylebabyLOGs going to be for sale again soon?

A: I am not sure. I have supplies to print another huge batch, but I haven’t resumed business in Missouri, and with the way things are going, I am pretty sure it will not happen until next year. Come August, I will have two children in school (at least part time) so until then, business will wait. Unless I find that energy that I seem to be missing. :) But thank you for your continued interest!!

Q: How has your Pelvic Floor rehab been going? Any updates since the article?

A: Yes!! I left my awesome PT and am still working on a referral to see one here. Due to a lack of good yoga, I ventured into a whole different world: Pilates. I have been working with an insanely amazing Pilates instructor with a lot of formal education in rehab & Pilates is the best thing to happen to my core in years. I mistook it for a posh and prissy workout–oh no. How wrong I was. It’s the hardest workout I have done in a very long time and I am even back to doing my beloved squats and lunges with zero impact, on the reformer. I could not recommend it more. I have also been doing a home yoga practice using on my ipad (I love Katherine Budig’s flows) and that has been a nice filler. I am at the gym three days a week in my classes, and doing my home yoga practice at least once a week. Before I left it was confirmed that I was able to reverse my original position quite a bit, just by rehabbing. So again, let me be your hope–it’s not a life sentence of misery! Just a detour that may lead to something out of your comfort zone! Like some awesome Pilates!

& also, I have hundreds of blog comments in queue. I try not to approve them if they warrant a response to a valuable question. I just haven’t found the time to sit at my computer to adequately reply! So if you have one pending, I am sorry. I am a mama, with a big solo parenting responsibility and while I would love to resume professional blogging, the kiddos win! :) Thanks for understanding!!

So, pictures?? It’s been almost a year since I posted any big camera images. yikes. I have a zillion, and I love them all. BUT…hardly any are edited. So we’ll celebrate my very favorite time of year to take pictures of my kiddos. HALLOWEEN! Happy Halloween! I can’t believe this is our SIXTH with kids!! Oh, so fun. But entirely different, with our first deep freeze of the season projected for tomorrow night. FUN!!

styleberry 2014 Halloween_4 styleberry 2014 Halloween_9 styleberry 2014 Halloween_7

styleberry 2014 Halloween_8

styleberry 2014 Halloween_6 styleberry 2014 Halloween_3 styleberry 2014 Halloween_10 styleberry 2014 Halloween_2 styleberry 2014 Halloween_1 Gosh, I love Halloween!! We always try to make costumes that are appropriate to their interests. Everettosaurus + Rainbow Ballerina Hello Kitty. Concepts by kids, execution my this creative mama. :) Now I have to go back & reminisce…to the First, Second, Third, Fourth…and oh my goodness, I forgot last year. Well, for old time’s sake!! Can’t forget Ariel & her turtle friend, Squirt, who was totally into backpacks:

styleberry halloween 2013

All so fun.

& random things worth linking:

Happy Halloween!!


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  • Lindsay - Gosh, I just miss your blog! While my husband is not a medical resident, he travels for work {mainly to Texas} I am a solo mamma about 90% of the time. It’s hard. I need to make 2015 a year for me {kind of like 2014 was for you}. I’m always inspired by you and find myself cruising around your blog from time to time. I admire all your changes you have made this year and I feel I need to find my way and do the same. My babies need me {100% of me} and not the current me that is always checking my Facebook, blog, Instagram, etc. It’s a hard balance and I need to figure out how to prioritize to help me get closer to that feeling of balance since I know being 100% there will hardly ever come. Thank you for coming back to this beautiful space and updating us. Happy to see you are enjoying your new surroundings. I hear what you are saying about the seasons. I moved to Denver for about 8 years and loved every ounce of it. I grew up in Arizona and it’s pretty much the same as Texas…monotonous. Enjoy the change of the seasons! :)ReplyCancel

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  • Cindy - I’m so glad you’re happy! I understand the changing leaves. I’m a Virginia gal, and we moved to the gulf coast of AL for 6 years (and my inlaws live in San Antonio). I didn’t quite realize how much I LOVED fall until I didn’t have the changing leaves, crisp air, etc. This is our second “real” fall after moving to NC and we’re loving it. I’m still in awe when I drive down the road and see all of the yellow & orange trees. Continued luck with your transition in St Louis.ReplyCancel

  • Robyn - Shawna, your blog posts always speak to me! With a husband also in residency, I can relate to so much of what you say and struggle with. Thanks for the update on your beautiful family and for your honesty! :)ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - Always a nice surprise when you pop up in my feed! Oh, I loved that spider costume way back when…her sweet little face just happy to be a spider no matter the ailment! Hope you enjoy the Fall and Winter and look forward to reading again whenever you’re back for another post!ReplyCancel

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