365/ week 28: summer solstice

 

First and foremost...Happy Summer Solstice.  I cannot explain how happy I am to know and have summer officially here.  Since summer came to North Idaho, we've had warm afternoons with tapered and fluffy white clouds dancing in the blue sky and warm breezes.  It's almost like the long, dark, cold winter didn't even happen.

Summer Solstice 2k17 | Heather Woolery

Summer Solstice 2k17 | Heather Woolery

Last week I promised you I was going to self propel myself out of the gloomy rut that I've been in and I can tell you, though I still feel swamped and still trying to find direction that I am not 10ft stuck in a rut.  I started off the week with getting accepted in a show in Portland for a photo I took while I was traveling in Germany last year, which just set the tone for the week of "I will do this, I will not give up."

So Tuesday, I picked up 100? bricks which were donated to me for an upcoming installation I'll be doing, I purchased new sheet music for that piano of mine, spent several late nights in the studio, made my first sale on Etsy, and cheered that daughter of mine on at T-Ball.

Somehow the universe knew that I have been struggling with being a single mom, an employee, and an artist who just is dying to travel.  A friend of mine which I met in school sent me an adorable IG account of a mom/designer/traveler, my mom and I confirmed our trip to BC next week where I've got some photoshoots set up, and I was accepted into three art shows in the next four-months.  

Ellen Vieth | "Beauty Escapes From The Every Day" | 2017 | Photo by Heather Woolery

Ellen Vieth | "Beauty Escapes From The Every Day" | 2017 | Photo by Heather Woolery

And if thats not solidification enough, yesterday while I was at work, a local artist came in to instal a new piece of artwork to the ever growing

gallery that has consumed my office.  My boss asked if I would interview her for 5-minutes so I could write about it on the blog and add her to our summer article.  That 5-minute interview blossomed into a 30-minute conversation and us swapping contact information.  

Being an artist is hard.  Being a mom is hard.  Life is hard.

took an afternoon off this week to go to the movies sponsored by my office | June 2017 | Heather Woolery

took an afternoon off this week to go to the movies sponsored by my office | June 2017 | Heather Woolery

And the struggle is always, "Am I on the right road?" "How will this affect my kids?" "Am I being too selfish?" or even "am I giving too much and forgetting myself?".  This is a dangerous cycle of self doubt and it isn't healthy.  The only thing that any of us can do is to just keep walking.  Somehow I think getting in the rut, holding still, is far more lethal then making mistakes.

Picking up bricks for an upcoming instal | June 2017 | Heather Woolery

Picking up bricks for an upcoming instal | June 2017 | Heather Woolery

It’s better an ‘oops’, than a ‘what if’
— unknown

So instead of sitting still, I have a weekend of being swamped ahead of me.  Of copious amounts of coffee and BBQ chips as I hustle to get as much work done as possible before I head even further up North.  

On that note, if you've been up around Vancouver BC what are some spots/places to eat/coffee shops that I cannot miss out on? Let me know...this will be my first time in that area.

Have a wonderful first summer weekend, and please, just don't stop moving.  Somehow, it will work out.  Just keep moving.

With Grace and Guts,
H

Makeup done and coffee drank = mom win | Heather Woolery

Makeup done and coffee drank = mom win | Heather Woolery

 

365/ week 27

 
Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

There are times where I feel like a champ at my list of things I challenged myself now 27-weeks ago, and there are patches of time where I feel like I'm utterly failing at this thing.

I made this list before we found out my husband would be working out of state, and I would be left to play "single mom" while he was away.  And 6-months deep into this all while trying to keep up with language lessons, piano lessons, working on my book and art work etc just at times has become the impossible all while being dance/swim mom, working full-time, and keeping my house from looking like it should be on the TLC show Hoarders.

But I recently read an article (I know SHOCK, I got to have a 30-min bubble bath reading a magazine!) where the author explained how every birthday she makes a list of things she wants to do.  But it isn't the law of the land, but more of a beacon to remind her of what she wants in life when she feels derailed.  And let's be honest, everyone get's derailed a few times a years, it's just a fact.  

Right now, I am derailed.  I thought I would have been moved to Portland, Oregon by now.  I thought that I would be neck deep in editing my already finished book, and almost fluent in Italian while playing the piano with ease and grace. Oh how wrong I was.

This past weekend, we took a one night camping trip, and just the smell of the camp fire, and hearing the crickets and bullfrogs brought a sense of peace and calm.  I've been spending so much time in my studio and sketchbook, praying...HOPING that this funk I've been stuck in will pass.

So today, I put on the dress I wore when I got to meet Brett Dennen for my birthday last year...once again praying and hoping that it still holds all the magical Brett Dennen powers to bring into this Monday.  I remembered to renew my kids books from the library (versus the dreaded fines because I forget to do this often.)  I've drank two bottles of water and only one cup of coffee.  I also got an e-mail informing me one of my photo prints from my trip back home to Germany last year was accepted for a show at the Black Box in Portland.

So, even though this post is 4-days late, it's a Monday and I've got a to-do list that I could swim laps in, I refuse to let my Brett Dennen dress good vibes only, hey I'm a damn artist/photographer for realsies, bad ass mama, kicking butt taken names fail me now.

So for now...here's some photos of my weekend, and soon I'll have the most magical BC engagement photoshoot photos to share with you.

With Grace+Guts,
H

 

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

 

year 26

 

today, i woke up one year older, with a cat named waffles glued to my side and tears on my pillow.

Lapawai, ID | June 9. 2017 | Heather Woolery 2017

Lapawai, ID | June 9. 2017 | Heather Woolery 2017

i am an only child, meaning, i have perfected being able to function on my own.  i don't mind sleeping by myself, and even going to the movies by myself isn't the end of the world. when i was younger i played outdoors vigorous games full of imagination: cave men, jungle jane, farmer, little mermaid on the swing set slide as the hose poured water down it's two-foot decent.

now as an adult, whose husband is gone most of the time between being a forester and an army man, i play vigorous rounds of ring-a-round-the-rosy as i get one child to swimming, another to dance, both to school, sneak in dinner, make it to work on time, and sometime's i'm badass enough i'll get a shower, shave my legs (well to the knee but, hey, husband's gone so what's it matter?) and possibly i'll remember deodorant.

but sometimes, being alone, isn't all the glory that some people have made it out to be.  sometimes, you wake up on your birthday and realize no one is going to take your picture so you can remember in 10-years turning 1-year older. no one is going to make you cake, or let you take a nap.  being a mom means, i'll still cook all of the meals, wash and fold the laundry and will prep the meals for my kids activities this week.  and because of this, its really easy to fall into the "poor me" rut. i know this, because i was there all day yesterday, and even the majority of the morning.

but pitty just doesn't get you much further then smothered in a heap of pillows, soaked in tears and snot, and a bed head.  this past year has been a really tough one.  it has.  and ever so often, i give into the pitty and i wallow for a moment.  but there was also moment's this past year that brought me that much closer to knowing who i am as a human, what i am supposed to do with my time here on earth, what makes me happy, what goals are more pertinent then the rest.  i had to go through all that personal "hell" to get me one step, one year closer to knowing all of these things.  and i still have no full-life plan.  i still haven't bought a house, and i have no idea half the time what the heck i'm doing.  and maybe, one of these birthday's i'll wake up and know what the heck i'm supposed to be doing, in a house i own, but for right now, waking up to 26, all i know is i want to make myself a cake for breakfast, and refuse to wash the dishes, while i plan trips to get me out of this rut that has sucked me in over the past year.

year 26 is yes, starting out horrifically rocky.
but in the end, year 26 is going to be the best one yet.

with grace+guts,
-h

 

365/ week 26: ain't all bliss

 
my little piece of heaven on my patio | Heather Woolery '17

my little piece of heaven on my patio | Heather Woolery '17

As the first unofficial week of summer (as in no school for my kids/warmish weather/summer rain storms...we'll chalk it up to summer) I was reminded on the simplicity and the complicated moments that comes from my mini's being home.

I worked from home this week, while I devised a plan with activities each day that would allow them to get some TV time but not couch potato in front of it all day, got them plenty of time to play outside and still got their chores done.  Sounds fabulous doesn't it?

At times, Yes It Was.  One of those day's my son even took a nap! (Which if you followed my Insta Story Monday you would have seen the hilarious state I found him napping in.)  But there's no way to be the perfect parent or raise perfect kids.

Saturday, while my daughter had one of her last dance practices before her recital, my son decided to throw one horrible tantrum in the car which eventually lost him his voice.
Sunday, I tried practicing Italian and Piano but every two seconds my children had an "emergency" and I never tried again the rest of the week.
Tuesday, I found a plant that was thriving last week to be near death.  I quickly gave it new soil, but apparently my green thumb isn't as green as I've been bragging it to be.
Wednesday, my daughter didn't screw on the lid to her bubbles and threw the container onto my grandmothers 100+year old antique dresser...allowing bubbles to leak and forever destroy the wood.

And yesterday...yesterday while I was just inside and had gone outside to check on them, give um a snack...etc...decided to displace 4-baby robins from their nest and then try to play with them.  There was other things involved, but needless to say they had to burry one and the other three are back in their nest...and this mama was completely crushed.  I talked to them through their sobs, made them sandwiches and then sent them to bed at 6:30.  By grace the three are doing okay, but my kids have two weeks of volunteering at a local animal shelter, a report due on robins, 2-weeks without TV and some other "mom was so mad she just started taking everything away" type stuff.

To top it off, some less then great stuff happened to my bestest yesterday and I got into a world of a fight with my husband.

Some weeks, just ain't all bliss.

I'm no Italian speaking fool yet, not Beethoven.  Apparently my green thumb is struggling and spending time with my kids came crushing down yesterday as I questioned my own parenting after they'd gone to bed.  The money that was saved for the travels is now having to be allocated elsewhere for my daughters custody case and our move to Portland and even though it's only 7:00 am, my coffee just doesn't feel strong enough.

On Sunday, I turn another year older.  There will be no bells and whistles, no party or balloons.  I will be spending it solo with my son as we go pick my daughter up from visitation.  There will not be cake, or cards or well wishes.  But what there will be is a determination to switch all of this that was raised to my attention this week around.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

WTF did I do wrong? | Heather Woolery '17

WTF did I do wrong? | Heather Woolery '17

 
On the patio journaling | Heather Woolery '17

On the patio journaling | Heather Woolery '17

A view through the sunroof | Heather Woolery '17

A view through the sunroof | Heather Woolery '17

Tuesday's Sunset | Heather Woolery '17

Tuesday's Sunset | Heather Woolery '17

dara+ben / a pdx, or engagement session

 

When my client texted me a couple hours before their session asking if I liked old fashions - - I knew I was in good company.

Dara + Ben are fun loving adventurous people who I felt more like friends with at the end of their engagement session then anything else.  We started on their back porch with their hammock, drinks in hand and their creamsicle kitty, Gus. Here I got to hear about how they met (two words...anatomy class) and connected over their love for hiking, camping, travel and the outdoors.

We then took a drive over to Powell Butte, a frequent place for them to escape the city to run and hike around.  Besides the precious wildlife and stellar clear views of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Adams - this session was filled with golden light, clearing up any confusion Ben had had about walking in fields nicely dressed and sun flairs. 

Honestly, my heart was so full by the end of this session, that I didn't get lost once ya'll on my drive back to my hotel!  And that's saying a whole heap - since this girl right here has like zero sense of direction.

I cannot wait to capture their wedding this September and wish them all the joy and happiness as their summer has been filled with adventures to be had before their big day.

With Grace+Guts,

-H

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

ceci + colton / a neighborhood session

 

It's probably pretty evident at this point that I get idea's for sessions and when those idea's spur I have a hard time getting the idea out of my head.  Instead I usually make a call out for a free photo session to anyone willing to play along.

This is one of those sessions.
But it turned out to be with some very special people.

My husband and I have been blessed repeatedly with over the top amazing babysitter's for our children - people who genuinely love our kids and people our kids genuinely love back.  Which as a mom is EVERYTHING.

This session, I got to give light and love on one of those amazing humans in my children's life and her new fiancé.  Let me be clear - THIS WAS NOT THEIR ENGAGEMENT SESSION.  These two played along with this crazy notion I had to walk around the adorable residential area of our town and just take in the spring joy and goodness.

Their goofiness was clear the whole time as they joked, licked each other, tickled and laughed profusely at one another.  I couldn't stop laughing myself at their laughter.  It was over the top contagious.

We ran into an old VW bus, hovered in front of peoples yards to get photos with their flowers and stood in the middle of the road to get these memories and moments in this sweet couples life.  This adventure of a session was worth every little piculiar and crazy thing.  And I only wish the absolute best that there is in this world to this couple.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 
Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

 
Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

 
Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

 
Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

Ceci + Colton: A Neighborhood Session | Heather Woolery Photography 2017

365/ week 25: summer pledge

 

It's officially summer...and my mini's and I have decided to do something about that.

My daughter+her besties | Last Day of School 2017

My daughter+her besties | Last Day of School 2017

This morning I had a 1st grader + a preschooler, and tonight I put to bed a 2nd grader + a kindergartener.  Oh! My mama heart hurt and beamed all at the same time.

But tonight, after we got back from one last school event, my mini's and I sat around our small patio table with popsicles, a pad of paper and a pen with a whole heap of determination.

Maybe it's me and my 365 challenge that's inspired them, but tonight we made a list of the simple joys of the summer that somehow we miss most of the time because we're busy going to this summer camp, going on that trip, me going to work, and everything else in between.  So, this summer we've got our outline.  

It's our pledge to live this summer.

In my last post I shared how we were supposed to be moving to Portland, OR this month and now we're not with no date in sight right now - which means I will spend another summer single momming it.  In this frustrating situation, most summers I've robbed myself let alone my mini's of these joys because well, gosh dang it, I want my hubby home.  But, life has it's own ajenda.  And there is a lot to learn from what cards we've been dealt.

So starting tomorrow, the kids will have 10-weeks to make this list of simpleton joys a reality.  Oh! How I love these two sweethearts of mine.

Have you and your family ever made a list of things you want to do for the summer?  Or maybe just for a vacation?  I'd love to hear what your kiddos chose!

With Grace+guts,

-H

My two mini's on the morning of their last day of school May 2017

My two mini's on the morning of their last day of school May 2017

The Summer 2k17 pledge

The Summer 2k17 pledge

 

365 / week 24: bridges

 
Found on Pinterest

Found on Pinterest

This past weekend I went to Portland, to see my hubs, get some ocean in, work my first official photo shoot in Portland and get some R&R.  But what I got was just a little bit more.  

This blog post comes day's late, and I debated about just waiting a couple extra day's and putting two weeks together - because overall last week; not a lot was checked off the 365-list other then the usual of me putting effort into learning botany, drinking coffee, spending time with my mini's and finding my laughter.

But what some of you may have missed, was when I first announced I was moving to Portland - I was going to be moving in June...this week.  This week, our family would become one again, I would be crying to you all about the horrible traffic and how I would be dying on the I-95.  I was going to have VooDoo as a daily option and misty foggy mornings with my cup of coffee.  I was going to learn my way around Portland, get in my favorite pair of jeans and unpack each box with my kids.  I was going to take this time to really hunker down on my book and put everything I had into being a Portland based photographer.  And now...I'm not.

It's a long story, and if you've followed my blog for awhile, you'll know for the past 2-years I've been struggling with a really hard custody case with my daughter.  Bottom line is Idaho won't let me leave till I get an OK from my not-so-great ex...who for 6-months has ignored every contact to avoid the topic of me moving. (and like I said long story so no comments here please, this part is personal and will remain personal).

But this on-going "single-momhood" missing my hubs like crazy really got me down this weekend.  And even though we had a wonderful weekend of being on the road, soaking up beach (and major sun burns), Tillamook ice cream pit stops and laughter at the pool...it weighed heavy on me.

Heather Woolery | Cape Kiwanda 2017 | Family Shot 

Heather Woolery | Cape Kiwanda 2017 | Family Shot 

Shortly after leaving Portland, Of Course! my daughter had to go to the bathroom.  However, the pit stop of Multanoma became impossible as the parking lot was full - therefor the exit was closed making it impossible for me to get her to the bathroom.  The next stop was Cascade Locks...a town that holds a very special place in my heart.

Cascade Locks holds my favorite bridge.  Yes. Bridge.
The Bridge of Gods.

The gateway on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) from Oregon to Washington...the last leg of the 2,650 mile journey that goes through California, Oregon and Washington.

I have been tied to this bridge for a few years now, and there is a magical power when you stand on it and look out across the Columbia River.  As the wind comes up and swarms around you and into your hair - you know that life is only just beginning in that moment...full of endless possibility.  

I know this seems a bit "deep" for my usually light blog posts - but it's so very true and if you ever make it past that way you must 1) go to the Bridge of Gods 2) get an ice cream cone from the only ice cream shop on the main stretch, you wont regret it.

Bridge of Gods Doodle | Heather Woolery | May 2017

Bridge of Gods Doodle | Heather Woolery | May 2017

But where I'm going with this is BRIDGES.

We all have bridges to cross in life.  Some bridges we don't even know we are crossing them until we've reached the other side and look back.  Some bridges have to be burned for the sake of our own hearts.  Some bridges are rickety while others are straight forward and concrete.  I thought all along that Portland was a strong, concrete bridge, and I was wrong.

This time away from my husband, has forced me to think outside the state of Idaho, what do I want to be doing, Oh! Yeah! HEY! I'm a mom reminder. And about a million other little things that have come along while I inched my way across the bridge...thinking June was the end...when only...it was the beginning of the bridge.  These 6-months have forced me to see the things that really bring me joy (um! hello...Plants and leather accessories anyone?), it has forced me to be present for my kids (Yes...that was me on the porch tonight thirty-minutes past my daughters bedtime helping her with her math homework when I failed basic math classes in high school and college) and reminding me that I am what I set forth and do.

Maybe this bridge wasn't made to be crossed, or, there is another bridge that is where my move happens...of course I am only human and don't know the answer to these things.  But, from everything I've learned from my favorite bridge attached to my favorite trail is that you only have to keep walking to get to the other side. So I guess, that's just what I'm going to do.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

Heather Woolery | Cape Kiwanda May 2017

Heather Woolery | Cape Kiwanda May 2017

 

365 / week twenty-three

First off.
Let me say...thank goodness it's friday.
Let's just take 30-seconds to take that in..............................

Okay.
Well, good morning.

This past week felt more "productive" on the checking things off the list aspect as I spent some major quality time with my studio, purging all the past work that doesn't serve me any more and just putting it all up for sale all to make room for my new bodies of work, the online shop I'll be launching here on the site soon and me working on my book.

I also got that shoulder tattoo and i'm so swooning in love with it.  I'm sort of addicted to tattoos, but addicted because each one I have has never been an impulse but has a novel of love and reason behind the ink.  So it's been quite a while since I was in a tattoo shop, and to get one more before leaving the 208 meant a lot to me.  It was designed by a friend who was really there for me when my daughters custody case broke out - and a friend who can put up with that emotional mess is someone who will forever me tied to my heart.  She put in wild flowers but with such a delicate touch that it's just one of those pieces I will forever love.

I finally am on the last bit of a book, that has taken me FAR TOO LONG to read, but I will be posting it's "book review" later in the week and then will get started on my summer book club list...

When I got outside this morning, rushing my kids to ACTUALLY GET IN THE DARN CAR SO WE"RE NOT LATE FOR SCHOOL YET AGAIN, and literally took five-seconds to just breathe in the sun.  Up in North Idaho we've been getting one day here and there of sun while the rest of the week in down pour of rain, sleet and cold as all get out (I still have wool sweaters in my closest ya'll!  I kid you not!) And every time that sun comes out I am reminded that we're just moments in such an amazing world and where this is all leading we will never know - but to take that quick moment of life and make it matter.

So once again - we've made it to friday ya'll.
I hope you all have an amazing and blessed weekend (with HOPE HOPE some sunshine!!!)

With Grace+Guts,
-H

Design by: @klovelace13  | Tattoo done by: @thadsallfolks  | Tattoo shop: Bitterroot Moscow, ID

mothers day / a recap

 

on a daily bases i swear i'm failing my kids.
i swear i'm failing myself.
and maybe i am...but who's to honestly say?

heather woolery | mothers day | 2017

heather woolery | mothers day | 2017

happy mother's day first off to all the moms (and like mom's) out there.  today is there to celebrate you and everything you do...including all the things no one see's...the behind the scenes.

i hope you were able to find a moment today between chasing toddlers, washing breakfast plates and for the ten-millionth time begging you're 10-year old to pick up their jacket which they've left plopped on the floor like a piece of trash or road kill for you to fall over.

every day i end the day passed out in a pool of my own drool with the clock beaming 2-am and the cat laying on top of me.
on top of being a mom to a hurricane katrina of a 4-year old and a beaming sassy 7-year old, i work as a full-time creative coordinator for a marketing firm, teach a weekly after school art class at a local gallery annnnd try to keep my own art and passion's alive.

sleep is a dirrrrty day dream of mine that one of these day's i'll act upon.

back in january, my husband got offered his dream job in portland, oregon. he had only 2-weeks from the time he accepted the job to be all moved over there and ready to work. which left me playing the role of "single mom" for these past 5-months and only by grace have i made it to today.

honestly.

there have been nights my prayer went something like this "dear God...please OH please give me the strength to not duct tape my children" or "dear God...please PLEASE give me patience to not yell at my kids and tell them how stupid their argument over who's going to close the front door really is".

there have been nights where all i fed my kids for dinner was a whole watermelon or cup after cup of root beer floats.

there have been nights my kids didn't go to bed - ON A SCHOOL NIGHT - till after 10:30 because i was so tired of them not doing their chores i made them stay up and actually do them. 

my son's ability to listen to any set of instructions or requests is at zero right now and my daughter's ability to refrain from rolling her eye's at me when i ask her to wear something more weather appropriate is at about zero right now as well.

but something that i realized the other day when i was once again mom-shaming myself was, the probability of these current mother frustrations lasting forever are at about zero as well.  both of my kids are quickly growing, becoming who they are meant to be.  and i may in fact short circuit by the time they both are 18, but, never the less we will get there.  i may arrive to their high school graduation with a popped out forehead nerve, a twitching eye and medusa hair...but we will get there.

not having my husband around has in fact made me rely on myself and my own strengths and judgements.  it's also made me a better prayer.  and not just praying that i don't kill my kids or find their face on a milk carton.  but praying about everything.  i pray for a parking spot, for the right words, for clarity.  

5-months without my husband consistently there has challenged me as a mother, a worker, a creative.  its pushed me to the edge and then a bit more.

this weekend, i finally got to get out of the house and go hiking and on a family bike ride with my kids.  they picked me wild flowers and "helped" me find my phone when i managed to loose it on the trail at one point.  there's been hugs and snuggles. and even though this weekend, i felt oily and frizzy-haired and less then up to par, i was in bliss to be reminded that this thing called motherhood was never meant to be easy. it isn't for the faint of heart, nor is there anything, any job quite like it.  it is messy and joyful.  sometimes all you can do is laugh. and sometimes all you can do is cry. and that's just the way it is.

so no matter how you spent today, i hope you can remember that what you are doing ma'ma's is being brave. you are being so brave and fearless (even though being a mom you're always afraid of something).  because being afraid and doing it anyways is what makes you fearless.  it's what makes you brave. and those little eyes and hands and toes love you with everything they've got.

with grace+guts,
-h

heather woolery | mothers day | 2017

heather woolery | mothers day | 2017