Celebrating Every Day While Grappling with Grief

My mom died almost 9 years ago.  9 years. It seems surreal to even write that now almost a decade later. Sometimes I still want to call her. Sometimes I look at my own two beautiful, happy, unaffected children and mourn the relationship that she will never have with them. I mourn the relationship that I will never have with her. The best friend I don’t get. The help I don’t have.

But I’m also relieved. I’m relieved that she’s not in pain on Earth. Suffering through anxiety, depression and a debilitating mental illness. I’m no longer sick with my own anxiety over whether or not would not wake up the next time she deemed this life too uncomfortable to bear. Shortly after her death, a close friend told me, ‘you’re finally free’ and I thought, ‘now, that’s cold‘. There is a sense of freedom in death though. With freedom comes great responsibility (right, America?) but it’s a burden I’ve learned to bear with strength and joy (most days).

In the past few years, I’ve witnessed friends suffer their own significant personal loss. Whether they’ve lost one of their parents, experienced yet another painful miscarriage or, the one that I’m still wrapping my brain around, lost a spouse who left behind not only her but their young son, I feel the pain all over again. I am reminded of my own experience and how I deal  with grief and I want to share that story in hopes that it helps those who have lost a loved one feel a tiny bit better. Even if just for a moment.

Airing My Dirty Laundry: Why I Left Google (+ a video!)

Hey guys! I have thought about making this video for awhile, but I didn’t want it to be too ‘click-baity’. Some of you have been asking me about quitting my job, so I finally put together a Why I quit my job at Google video for you! It’s not at all comprehensive as there were many, many reasons that I left. Reasons that I gave serious consideration for at least a year. I was so scared to unlock those golden handcuffs, but at the end of the day I had to stop living in fear and start living. Watch the video to find out more and please leave me a comment on YouTube if you have any questions or want to know more! Thank you guys for reading and watching — it means so much!

working at google
^Just for fun this is me at the YouTube HQ circa 2013. The photo was in Refinery29  and I am dying because that outfit was so so so bad. I asked The Banker why he let me wear that and he said he thinks it is cute. I was nervous to be in Refinery29 so I wore all of my best pieces TOGETHER. No girl, no.

(First photos by Brittany Curran and Julia Ralston)

What Moves You: Part 2

proud mom moments
I’m honored to have teamed up with Banana Republic once again to share what moves me. I think of my children automatically. A few weeks ago, we went to Mammoth Mountain for the first time. Harlowe had never skied and despite being together since 2009 and having snowboarded several times since then, Kaare and I had never snowboarded together. What?! Unreal I say!

Merino Ruffle Vee Sweater
So when he had to go to Mammoth for work I decided the kids and I should go out and meet him because why should he have to ‘work’ all by himself? 😉 Harlowe went to ski school during the day which was a little overwhelming for her because it was only her 2nd time even seeing snow. (Her first time was actually earlier this month in Palm  Springs!) Anyway, we sent her off to ski school and The Banker and I did a few runs which took me a long time because I am rusty! After a few runs, we went to watch Harlowe and she saw us and had a melt down! Never, ever show up for your kid’s ski lessons. The instructors will hate you and your heart will break when you see your baby crying. It took everything not to pull her out and hug her. She was stronger than me because after we left, we could see her get right up and give it her all until she got up the poma and down the hill ALL BY HERSELF.

Valentino dupes White Studded Lace Up Sneakers
To say it was one of my proudest moments is an understatement. Kaare and I were both overwhelmed with joy and pride that she stuck with it and she did it! When asked if she wanted to go again the next day, she said, ‘definitely not’, but she’s talked about her first time skiing every day since so I know how much it meant to her.

The first time I went skiing until I was 17 and my friend’s mom took me and paid for my rentals and lift ticket then graciously taught me to ski. I still remember how much fun it was and how empowered I felt coming down Mt Lemon alone for the first time. It felt like I was going 40mph but I was probably going slower than the small kids. I am so glad that we were able to give Harlowe that experience as a little kid! I honestly think she’s already a better skier than me and it makes Kaare and I so happy that she has these opportunities that neither of us had as kids.

We wrapped up the trio with some breakfast tacos with friends and I wore this ruffle sweater from Banana republic — perfect for colder Spring days like we experienced in Mammoth and on sale! I’ve been loving all things ruffled lately especially when paired with studs like these freakishly good Valentino dupes! Got to have a little bit of edge with your outfit especially when you’re feeling like a bad ass mom after a day ‘sending it’ (slowly but surely)!

Psst… if you missed part one check out 5 things to get down on in honor of International Women’s Day after all, you can do this stuff day, errry day!

White Studded Lace Up Sneakers valentino dupes

SweaterBag / Shoes / similar jeans / sunnies

Maui Mama

white summer dress

It’s been a week since we got back from Maui and I’m still dreaming of lobster-stuffed mahi. And sleep. I reluctantly didn’t bring the kids on this trip because it was a work trip for KW which meant events each night that were not kid friendly. As hard as it was for me to be away from them for that long of a time, I have to say, I felt brand new after that much rest. Brand freaking new. At first, I didn’t know what to do with my sans-kids self. Most of my time away from the kids is time at the office. With the laptop at home where would I invest my energy? Would I even have energy? Well, I did figure our what to do. Hashtag, adaptable.

white summer dress

We took these photos at Mama’s Fish House on our last night there. The restaurant is totally worth all of the hype. We had a few locals tell is it is a haven for tourists and warned us against the over-priced menu, but since we don’t get these dishes or views in LA, we had to try. We ordered so much food and oddly, ate everything. I’ll definitely go back on an empty belly.

Things to do in Mauiwags in the wilderness

I’ve been stand-up-paddle boarding only once before, but I am hooked. Ever since my last SUP excursion, I’ve been dying to get out on the water again. We paired a SUP session with a little snorkeling by our hotel on Wai’alae Beach. I am happy to report I saw a sea turtle again, but there wasn’t a lot going on under the sea that day. We did see a lot more sea life on our last snorkeling trip which was on Kaanapali Beach.

white eyelet dresseyelet dress vacation dress

^This was at our hotel. I spent most of my time at the hotel because there was so much to do there. My favorite activities were sipping pool side margaritas and indulging in spa services. KW and I got a pedicure and a couple’s massage on the beach. OMG, it was the best massage I’ve ever had. If you ever go to Hawaii and get a massage go see Bethany at the Fairmont Kea Lani. 🙂

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I’m putting together a video with loads of fun highlights from Maui so be sure subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss it. Thanks for reading! xo

Wearing: Banana Republic Tie Front Dress c/o / Steve Madden ‘Stecy’ Heels