All posts filed under: Parenting

Friday Photo & Words: On Seeking my Through Line and Learning to Pivot

Every Friday I share a photo and a story. A lighter touch. An easier read for the end of the week. Friday Photo + Words is my best way to end the work week. — Last week I had the privilege of coaching a friend who is in the process of developing a blog to expand her existing business. It was one of those conversations where we both had lots of “ah-ha!” moments and it was exactly what I needed to start the next stage of this career that I’m slowly building for myself. You see, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately. To be honest, it feels like I’ve been in this “what do I want to be when I grow up?” line of thinking for just about ever. And with each opportunity and project that I take on, I feel like I get closer to it – but never quite there. For a long time I was limited by financial obligations. I financed my own undergraduate education and, even with grants, …

On Changing the Conversation with Myself and Achieving Annual Goals

On Changing the Conversation with Myself and Achieving Annual Goals

For such a goal and checklist-oriented person I’m not sure how I’ve managed to squeak through the last two months without talking about goal setting more. It’s something I do every single day. It’s how I manage my life. It’s something I really enjoy (is that strange? probably). Last week I met with a friend to discuss her goals. She started a blog and she wanted some coaching on where to take it. This is a subject I’m VERY good at consulting on, and terrible at advising for myself. I’ll explain more. With concrete goals – like walking every day – it’s easy to plan, schedule, measure, and mark it as complete. It’s easy to set the boundaries. It’s easy for me to define what a “walk” is. I know that might seem a little obvious, but bear with me. One of my annual goals is to walk every day. Now I live in New England, and our little town in Massachusetts has had a record amount of snow in February. No matter what rules …

Good Life Series | What living a good life means to me - Julie Gagen, How I Sustian blog

Check out my Feature Post on Becky Higgins’ Blog

Remember my Friday post “around here“, where I mentioned I was getting a feature this weekend? Well it’s up on BeckyHiggins.com – today! They say that when you have the chance to be featured on another blog, you always share your best content there. I truly feel I captured that with this post. Background It’s the story of my last year. It’s the story of what happens when your life simultaneously crumbles all at the same time and you think it can’t get any worse – and then it does. It’s the story of how you work through hard moments because it’s the only choice you have. It’s the story of finding inspiration to persevere when all you want to do is give up. It’s also a story of love. And repair. And growth. And inspiration. Read the full story here. In Other News: New Product Coming Soon! Occasionally, on Sundays, I share updates to the blog, sneaks on what I’m working on, and things to expect in the week(s) to come. Today, I have …

My closet: before the clean out. Minimize | A Project focused on cleaning out every corner where we collect clutter. For more on this series visit How I Sustain Blog (howisustain.com)

Minimize Your Wardrobe – Challenge #1: If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it

This post miniseries on Cleaning out your Closet is part of my project #minimize: the the project where I get rid of all the things. It’s an awesome project. And it comes from a deep-rooted place in my soul – which is why you should check back on Thursdays to see all of the small yet awesome ways you can downsize clutter and live like a minimalist. If you want to know more about why I’m doing this project, read the first post. — This week’s #minimize project was a big one: cleaning out my wardrobe. A big project with a wonderful result. So, naturally, I’m challenging you to do the same. But first, a little background. Since the start of my personal #minimize challenge, I’ve had it in my mind to clean out my closet. I knew there were a lot of items in there that I didn’t wear. Items I kept because they were in good condition. Items that were in good condition because I didn’t wear them. Items that were in good …

On How I was Unintentionally raised to be a Feminist | A Story for moms who do amazing things every day

Friday Photo & Words: On Unintentionally Being Raised as a Feminist

Every Friday I share a photo and a story. A lighter touch. An easier read for the end of the week. Friday Photo + Words is my best way to end the work week. — Feminism. It really is the new “f” word. I’m a recent feminist. It was never something that I meant to be. It just kind of happened: a product of circumstance, frustration, and disappointment. And I finally adopted the term just a few years ago, after a friend insisted that – in fact – I am definitely a feminist. For the last few years I assumed that I was made a feminist by my experience in the engineering profession. Frustrated by slow advancement, obvious gender bias (let Johnny do that – he’s stronger. wow – did you do that all by yourself?!), mommy-tracking, and a complete ignorance to the needs of a breastfeeding mom – I gave up. I got tired of the fight. And life – and my career – simultaneously kicked me directly, square in the tail. Right out …

My best and worst moments in parenting have all happened on snow days

The Anatomy of a Snow Day (with kids)

Winter is kicking our butts here in New England. Seriously kicking our butts. In the last 10 school days, our town has had 5 snow days. FIVE. Five days of kids trapped indoors at home. Five days of whining, boredom, and just a little too much lazy time. I haven’t seen the totals yet, but I’m pretty sure mother nature is breaking records here in Massachusetts. Three major storms in three weeks. Three major storms with at least 12 inches of snow. That’s A LOT for us. And we’re just not set up to handle it. Our houses are a little too close. We use our sidewalks (even in the winter). And the young and old alike are straining their backs and wrists with shoveling injuries. Yes. It’s that bad. And I know what you’re thinking: Girl from the mountains of Maine complains about too much snow??! Maine is just SO much better at snow. The roads are wider, the plow trucks are bigger, and there’s less people. It’s our season. We have snowmobiles, cross …

Grief is just a Part of the Story, it’s not the Whole Story

Grief can be wholly and absolutely debilitating. It can take you from smiles to sobs in seconds. It is a lonely, quiet, destructive silence. And sometimes the best way to get through it is to let it happen. To allow the full, pure force of grief take over. To let it consume you, for a time. So yesterday, on the five-year anniversary of my father’s death, that’s exactly what I did. I took some time to quietly allow myself to experience the sadness I had held back all day. And that sadness grew. And grew. After a good, long, ugly cry, I put on my running shoes, prepped my headphones, and took it to the curb. I intended to run the full force of this feeling out of my body. And so I ran. And sobbed. And sprinted. And cried. And slowly jogged. I thought about my dad. I thought about our good times. I thought about what I would tell him if we were talking in that moment. I imagined him running next to …

Friday Photo & Words: I Love you, Ca-bub

Every Friday I share a photo and a story. A lighter touch. An easier read for the end of the week. Friday Photo + Words is my best way to end the work week. — Every morning after Cal steps onto the bus and we wave goodbye, Max starts a series of questions: he asks if he can ride on the bus with Cal; he asks when he can go to school with him; later in the day, he asks when Cal will be home; and a while after that, he starts asking when he can see him again (Cal lives with my mom, spends his mornings with us).   They are best friends. They are cousins. They’re like best-friend-half-brothers. It’s clear they have a strong connection: they help each other without prompting; they invent games together; they coordinate play; they ask to spend more time together; and, more recently, they have worked out taking turns and sharing VERY well for 2 yr and 6 year old boys. So I decided it was time to …

chris and max - 2013

Friday Photo & Words: Max + Daddy

Every Friday I share a photo and a story. A lighter touch. An easier read for the end of the week. Friday Photo + Words is my best way to end the work week. — Yesterday’s post and the start of my #minimize project has taken over my life (in a really awesome way). So rather than a story today, here are some awesome pictures of Max and Chris, taken almost exactly two years ago. As of this week, Chris and I have been together for NINE years. That’s a lot of years! And, in some ways, I feel like he has always been a part of my story. That’s just the way we fit together. But if I were to have guessed all of those years ago what kind of husband and father he would be – even on my most optimistic day, I never would have guessed he would be so caring, attentive, and loving. Never. Honestly, never. It’s wonderful to be surprised. It hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been smooth, and we …