Wednesday, October 26, 2011

how to start an overwhelming project

i'm reading a book, my aunt sent me with a beautiful hand made quilt for ollie. Operating Instructions; A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott. the story if of another single mama (an only parent), who talks about her struggles into motherhood and the joy her son brings to her world. her story hits very close to home.

she tells a story about her nine or ten year old older brother who had a research paper do on birds. it was the night before and he hadn't started it. he had tons of books on birds and everything he needed to do the work. but he was too overwhelmed. 

she says,"And I remember my dad sitting down with him at the dining table and putting his hands sternly on my brother's shoulders and saying quietly, patiently, 'Bird by bird, buddy; just take it bird by bird.' That is maybe the best writing advice I have ever heard."

i think that's really good advice for getting started on anything that's overwhelming. today, just take one teeny tiny step toward a project you've been wanting to start.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

what we've been up to?

this post is in response to all the dear people who are trying to keep up with where we are going and what we have been up to.

since ollie was born, we haven't had a permanent home. i have been housesitting, nannying and playing music for income and housing. my relationship to money has changed as my main intention is to raise my child and live an abundant life. i am ready to find a spot to nest into but am not quite sure where that is yet.

 life is changing rapidly. i recently said goodbye to an awesome band i was in called, the smile high club. people loved us and i am sad to see it end. i am being genuine when i say, i have entered into motherhood and my priorities have shifted. i thought i would go far with the smile high club but the truth of the matter is, i will always choose meeting the needs of my child, over meeting the needs of a band (although i strive to do both). i remember being pregnant and hearing someone say that having a baby can ruin a band. ;) i guess i just need to be in a band with other mamas and papas!

i am really happy to be where i am at with my music. i have been working hard, devoting more time to being more self sufficient and stepping out on my own. it's always a struggle for me to stand alone on stage but i am getting better at it. with the encouragement of my friends, i played stage 7 twice at  "winfield," the walnut valley bluegrass festival. it felt really good to except the opportunities as they presented themselves.

this week, i am home at my parent's house this week, unpacking bags, repacking bags, playing gigs, trying to see all the people i love, and organizing work.

people are enthusiastic in their support to help me move my music forward. i assure you, i am in the process of making music available to you. there are three ways you can help:

1) tell someone about my music. introduce me to someone or a venue that might be a good fit for me.

2) send me your email address so i can notify you when music is available.

3) financial support is always welcome and greatly appreciated. hosting house concerts and hosting us in your home as we travel to gigs is a great way to do this.

next week, we head to boulder to meet with families who are looking for specialized childcare. i'll also be doing work with a company called buff notes. the baby starred in his first buff notes video. you can find it here. email me for the link to the special gansta version!

Friday, September 09, 2011

another cell phone update

i bought a go phone. for those of you who haven't been reading my posts, i no longer have a traditional cell phone but instead am using a combination of an old iphone, skype and google voice to replace having a cell phone service.

the first time i realized that i needed an alternative to my skype/gvoice set up was when i left my baby for a few hours to hear a band play. i nursed him, headed out and returned exactly three hours later. he was absolutely fine but he had woken up thirty minutes before i came home and was hungry. the person who was caring for him had no way to get a hold of me and was frustrated by the situation. i don't leave my baby often but i want to continue to work as a musician and recognize that there will be times that i need to leave him at night. the choice to get a go phone, just puts my mind (as well as the sitter's) at ease so i know i can be reached if need be.

google voice is such an awesome service. i have added my go phone # to my list of phones on google voice. when i decide to use the go phone, i simply forward my calls and get all my calls and texts messages. this elliminates the need to give anyone a secondary number for me.

on a seperate note, i recently realized that i CAN receive incoming calls. i just need to have gmail open on the computer and i can answer. until recently, i assumed i could not receive calls since i typically run google voice on the old iphone. it's still a bummer that i can answer on the iphone but i get the messages quickly and can return calls easily when i am near the phone.

the  go phone i chose to buy was $40, which included $15 worth of use. i decided on the $2/day plan that allows me only to be charged on the days i use it. despite the additional cost, i still feel that my non-conventional cell phone set up is way more affordable than any phone plan that i would be locked into with any cell phone company.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

to work or not to work?


what i want more than anything in the world is to be with my son. i have waited a long time to be with him and to be a mother. i have been well trained through my work as a waldorf teacher and a nanny. i'm good at what i do and i am so exciting to be applying what i know to my time with ollie.

since embarking on my journey into motherhood, i've learned so much from the other mothers. i've heard countless stories of the struggles women have regarding their choices to either return to work or stay home with their child(ren). many women are heartbroken and guilt ridden as they leave their six week old baby in the arms of someone else while they return to work. but they feel like they don't have any other choice.

all a baby needs is the love and warmth of their mother. it is my hope to prove that going back to a job isn't the only choice. but i'm really struggling and i can empathize with that choice as i try to figure it out all out for myself.

as ollie's only parent, i try to arrange how can i be his main care provider and provide for us financially. so far, i've only been able to figure out how to survive off very little and to ask for help (something i am not very good at).

as the money swindles down to almost nothing, and with very little work on the horizon, i'm honestly panicked and question if i've made the right choice. i've started applying for "real" jobs. i justify it thinking that if he's in a waldorf daycare then at least he'll be given more of what i want for him and more than i can provide for him on my own. and i truly believe that, but i also think i am the very best person for him to spend his days with at this point.

i'm worn down today emotionally. but i know it will work out. in the meantime, i'm trying to keep myself centered and have faith.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

no cell phone update

july 5, 2011 about 5pm, i am driving to dinner with friends in kansas city when i realize the transfer from at&t to google voice is complete and i have no cell phone. it's a huge relief. it's really nice just to be present with the people i am with and not have to worry about my phone ringing.

the next day, i use the landline where i am housitting to check in with a few people, like my mom. an email from the person that calls and texts the most says, "i don't know about this no phone thing ha ha." she wants to tell me a story and for a moment she feels like i'm not available. we've talked a lot since then. the change hasn't really effected us that greatly, in my opinion.

at this point, it has only been about three days. i've spent some money getting all this set up but i still feel like it's minimal compared to the cost of a cell phone. the first step was to pay google $20 to transfer my number.

google voice assumes i still have a phone of some sort, so i had trouble calling out. i'm sure there is probably a way around that but i haven't figure it out yet. my solution, $8.50 to skype to call anywhere in the US over the next three months (the plan i chose is 2.99/month with a 5% discount for paying for three months at a time). not only can i now call out from my computer but i can also call out using skype on my iphone when it's connected to the internet.

when i call from skype, it showed up as "unknown." i prepaid an additional $10 for skype credit so they could charge me $.23 to send a text message confirming my google voice number, which should now show up on the caller id when i call from skype.

i feel like everything is set up well for me to communicate as i would with a cell phone. so far, so good!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

the family plan; "no cell phone" challenge

my latest project; the "no cell phone" challenge!

it all began when my dad announced that on july 4, 2011, he'd be taking back his independence. like many people, i am on a family plan. it's the cheapest way to have a cell phone and phone companies making it easy to add additional lines at a low cost. what parent wouldn't spend an extra $10 or $20/month to keep in contact with their child? dad loves helping us out and always will when he has the opportunity. but there is no reason for him to still be paying for his 25 and 29 year old children every month.

in this new chapter with ollie, i operate on very little money and $30-50/month for a cell phone is not worth it to me. i am giving more value to living an abundant life and having great adventures with oliver. (and let's be honest here...i need that money to feed my serious coffee addiction)

it is my hope that by not having a cell phone, i will become a more efficient communicator and i will spend more quality time with the people i love. i have transferred my number to google voice which gives me a lot of different options to staying connected with people. i have an iphone which will now function as an ipod. when connected to a wireless network, i will be able to access my email (which will now include google voice). i feel that it won't be that difficult to stay connected to people. there are wireless networks everywhere these days. in addition, there is also skype, which i can use on my computer and iphone.

since cell phones can make 911 calls without cell phone service, i have even less need to worry. everybody has an old cell phone lying around. i figure i can keep a charged cell phone in the car or my diaper bag for true emergencies.

my service just got cut off last night but already i feel great about it. i'm excited to see what challenges come up. i'm just going to figure it out as i go!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


when ollie was eleven days old, we began moving across town. i had planned to move shortly after he was born but this move came about two months sooner than expected. it was extremely challenging and i was not in a state to arrange for enough help to make the transition.

the new space is borrowed from a family i nanny for. i feel a lot of gratitude for having such and incredible home to introduce my son to the world. it is so beautiful and magical here. i sometimes feel like i'm on vacation.

the house is still and quiet. typically, it houses a family of six and a very active household. i love the energy of the people and activities that fill it. i lay on the floor yesterday enjoying a quiet, peaceful moment with ollie thinking about the time that grant and a very pregnant version of me, sat in this very room at "mardi gras in kansas" practice. the room was vibrant with a large amount of brass instruments and noise makers. a major contrast to the wonderfully quiet days we have been enjoying.

i am always conscious that i am a visitor here and i am very respectful. i spent a lot of time in this house during my pregnancy. the one room i had never been in was the recording studio. i have stationed my "bedroom" there and it feels like my own for a little while.

temp living quarterstemp living quarters

i have been creative with how i have utilized the room. i made a make shift closet out of some things i had. i have arranged a little "nursery" for ollie with a beautiful cradle, changing area, clothes and a winni the pooh lamp i had as a child. the sunlight pours in from the skylight and the room is full of bright colors. i feel very fortunate.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

two sides/step back

there are two sides to everything. every person comes with their individualized experiences and we try to compare them. it interests me that two people can go through the same experience and have two wildly different view points on how it went.

if you start resolving conflict by just considering that fact, it's a lot easier to get over holding onto the anger. my experience is that anger seems to stem from a feeling of not being heard; by something unjust; feeling misunderstood. it's good to start with listening and trying to understand what the other person is trying to express to you. there needs to be a willingness to let go of the hurt and move forward in love and happiness.

but it doesn't just apply to conflict. seeing the different viewpoints to any experience can open you up to a lot of learning opportunities. it's nice to step back and reflect. to look at things from as many angles as possible.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


not long ago, i heard someone speak about how sometimes exactly what we need are the challenges that are already laid out in front of us. i feel like i have had quite a few challenges dealt to me over the last few years. what i find repeatedly is that i am exactly where i need to be.

i've just entered my third trimester. it's easy to be panicked about this new life as a single mom. people throw all sorts of questions at you. there is a look of worry in people's eyes as they ask, what are you going to do?

i have a choice. i can freak out about my so-called "situation." if i am truely honest with myself, i know that this is a journey i was meant to take alone. i choose to have faith. i know that everything i need will be provided for me. i focus on the things in my life i am gratefulful for. so many oppurtunities have opened up for me and i know that this is just the begining.

i have been gifted so much time working with other people's children. i know that no amount of money will make a difference while raising my son. it's all about love. that is the one thing i have plenty to give.

i observe so many people, going with the flow, following the path that others expect from them and they never seem satisfied. i can relate...i used to live like that. sometimes i still do. it's hard not to.

it is my hope, that by starting to blog again that i can inspire just one person to take control of their life and live it abundantly. i am really excited to be entering into motherhood. although many people around me except this joyously for me, because they know this is a perfect fit, it also continues to be a struggle. so many people view what i am going through as something negative. i view it as incredible and joyous!

Monday, January 10, 2011


i woke up this morning to the 6am phone call. i suspected this meant that my household was having a snow day. i had gone to bed early last night and i wasn't going to be able to fall back asleep. my head was spinning with all the reasons why i wished i had the quiet house to myself today. which is really ridiculous because i live in the most respectful, loving house with some of my favorite people in the world.

why is it so important to me to be alone? there is a freedom i find in my solitude. i can be my purest self in each moment without any sensors. my guard can be down. what i am learning, having had to give up my own space and live in community with others, is how i can find that solitude and space within the collective.

it's really hard for me to cut loose and feel free to be myself all the time. but i strive to do that. finding that solitude and authenticity helps me be a better musician. i can sing more freely. i can cut loose easier on stage in front of a crowd of strangers. it makes me a better dancer. i can let my body free to explore the depths of the space around me.

i found my solitude this morning while everyone was still sleeping. i bundled up in all my warm snow gear, a spandex belly band holding up my snow pants and walked out into the dark morning. it was incredible. the world was so quiet and still. i was the first one out on the blanket white sidewalks. i question, if i was still living alone, would i have found the motivation at 6:30am to take that walk that was so good for me?

in conclusion, i found just what i needed this morning and enjoyed every minute of it. recognizing that baby will be here soon and these moments are fleeting.