My home-based child care program focuses on meeting the needs of children and families. By nurturing connections among them, the children are able create their own experiences and learning.
I'm also a mom, wife, and woman who has unraveled a bit these last few years...my personal blog, lifebeginsonthebeach, has been my journal as I recover. Please share!
I want to age like sea glass. Smoothed by tides, not broken. I want the currents of life to toss me around, shake me up and leave me feeling washed clean. I want my hard edges to soften as the years pass — made not weak, but supple. I want to ride the waves, go with the flow, feel the impact of the surging tides rolling in and out.
When I am thrown against the shore and caught between the rocks and a hard place, I want to rest there until I can find the strength to do what is next. Not stuck — just waiting, pondering, feeling what it feels like to pause. And when I am ready, I will catch a wave and let it carry me along to the next place that I am supposed to be.
I want to be picked up on occasion by an unsuspected soul and carried along — just for the connection, just for the sake of appreciation and wonder. And with each encounter, new possibilities of collaboration are presented, and new ideas are born.
I want to age like sea glass so that when people see the old woman I’ll become, they’ll embrace all that I am. They’ll marvel at my exquisite nature, hold me gently in their hands and be awed by my well-earned patina. Neither flashy nor dull, just the right luster. And they’ll wonder, if just for a second, what it is exactly I am made of and how I got to be in this very here and now. And we’ll both feel lucky to realize, once again, that we have landed in that perfectly right place at that profoundly right time.
I want to age like sea glass. I want to enjoy the journey and let my preciousness be, not in spite of the impacts of life, but because of them.
The photo shoot was a big deal…beforehand, I felt like things were going along just fine. After the photo shoot, I literally felt like a different person…especially after seeing the peaceful and serene look on my face in those first couple shots…I knew that it was time to take my power back, reclaim myself, and demand what I deserve from my relationship.
Because you guessed it, I’ve been unhappy in my marriage for a very long time. I thought it was ok, I thought it’s just the way things go after 27 years together…I made excuses because it was the easier thing to do. The experience of the photo shoot, the inspiring words from not only the photographer, but several friends and the wonderful people who helped me with lingerie shopping, hair and makeup…so many moments of kindness, and also empowerment in the whole process.
I’m going to do as I always do, use this post to process my thoughts and help others by sharing. This is not a forum used for gossip or to hurt those involved. It is unfortunate, but necessary to say this. And to those who are interested in the gossip angle, there has been no violence, no cheating, no drama.
After a rough thanksgiving, I booked myself a night at my favorite ocean getaway and steeled up my courage to talk to my husband about what I had been feeling. The next day I returned home to find our house in a state of complete disarray and I was furious!! So instead of talking to him then, I stayed up all night cleaning and feeling steaming mad.
At dawn, after 2 loads of dishes, 10 loads of laundry, two bathrooms cleaned and lots of anger brewing, I came up with this: I felt that I wasn’t liked or respected in my own home, in my marriage. So when he got up to go hunting, that’s what I said to him. I asked him to please think about that and that we would talk later.
Now I won’t rehash all of it, the shock, the confusion, all the emotions…and then the rumors and gossip and cruel use of my photos by an unknown individual who wanted to hurt my husband…it has been a lot for both of us, and our son. In these last weeks, there have been more tears shed, more words heard and said, than in all our 27 years combined. And it has been the most important work we could possibly have done yet.
We are focused on the positives in our relationship, the commonalities that we still have. We are also recognizing our own limitations and areas for growth. It’s not perfect and it’s not a done deal…We simply do not yet know what the future holds. I do feel however, that I’ve got some of my power back. I’ve been able to reclaim myself in many ways and demand what I deserve in my relationship. There is still a lot to work through on both sides…but we both know that no matter what happens in our marriage, that we are doing our best, and that the rumors, gossip, and cruelty of others do not matter. We are what matter, our son, our home, our future-it will be decided by us.
I’ve long been an admirer of a certain photographer…this one in particular has a sensual and majestic way of capturing women, children, even whole families. Her photos are just exquisite and mesmerizing.
When she posted a model call for a boudoir shoot, I found myself interested…I quickly talked myself out of it though. “That’s just not something I would want people to know about,” and “I’m a married woman and a mom, what would people think?”…all these thoughts crossed my mind.
I went to sleep that night thinking about the opportunity-there were only 5 spots, and I couldn’t really afford to do it even with the discount…but in the morning, I saw that she still had a spot open and before I could talk myself out of it, I sent her a message. I was in! And I was excited!
“As you look at the women I photograph you may find yourself thinking, “I’d book a photoshoot if only I looked like her.” But what you don’t understand is that 💯 of the women I photograph say this very statement. You are perfection just as you are; allow me to truly See You & your Soul Beauty. Reclaim your power. If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own empowering photoshoot please use the link in the comments to book your complimentary consultation. There’s so much power in saying Yes, and declaring your desires. 🌹” Megan Marie, Photographer Find her website here
I had a lot of questions and did a lot of research. I wanted to be completely prepared. After talking with the photographer, I felt at ease and hopeful that it would be a positive process. She isn’t just about taking beautiful photos, her mission is to capture the essence of a woman’s soul, to affirm the beauty that we cannot always see for ourselves, that hides behind our life-colored glasses.
She set me up with referrals to shop for lingerie, to get my makeup done, and a friend of hers would be doing my hair…all of these were way out of my comfort zone but I went in with a positive adventurous attitude! Make-Up linkHair done here!Lingerie shop here!
So fast forward to last week when I got my hair and makeup done, and showed up to her studio feeling quite unlike myself and nervous…my hair felt smooth and flat which I hate, and the makeup felt like I had pancake batter on my face and caterpillars on my eyes. But the photographer made me feel at home, comfortable, and nurtured. I made myself dive right in as she assured me that she’d play with my hair a bit to make it more me, and that once we got going, I wouldn’t even notice the makeup.
And she was right, because I was too busy feeling like every lump and ripple was on display in my first pose…I was sure the first shot was going to be awful because I just didn’t see myself as anything other than an out of shape middle age woman with stretch marks and wrinkles.
I’VE NEVER BEEN MORE WRONG!
She showed me the very first shot and I was in disbelief! If it wasn’t for the fact that I was with her the whole time, I would’ve thought she had manipulated the image. It was gorgeous and it was actually me! Well, after I saw that photo, it all got so much easier and was much more fun! She had some of my favorite music playing and we had a wonderful time. I felt so pretty and so sensual, so bold and so proud too.
Megan has a talent for capturing real women in the most empowering and beautiful way while making me forget the parts of myself I obsess over usually…we are beautiful as we are and Megan has an incredible way of showing that to us! She has a way of revealing to us the beauty that we have become blind to…she has some serious talent, for photography and also for bringing out that soulful self that we hold onto so tightly. It was an experience I would not trade for anything and I am so glad I went for it. She really helped me to embrace my body, myself, and to shine!
And I had wanted to keep it a secret before, not so much now. I have not and will not be sharing with my husband. ****This experience was not about him or sex. It was about me. It was about reclaiming my body and my beauty. I’m pleased to share with the women in my life, to help them along their own journey.
***UPDATE: my husband found out, and though not happy that I kept it to myself, he is incredibly proud of me!
Today I’m feeling young, energized, beautiful and alive. I look in the mirror and I see a vibrant young face that looks windswept and electrified.
I want to embrace this feeling and carry it with me…
So I’ve been making guest appearances on a few podcasts and it’s been so fun!! The first one had some sound issues but the hosts rolled with it and it was so invigorating! The hosts were patient and kind, and so engaging and appreciative of my story. The next one was focused on depression and how it impacted my weight, and while another rich experience, the best part was how much more comfortable I’d become in front of the camera.
My most recent podcast is my favorite so far, edited perfectly, not too long, and includes some of my most cherished sentiments. Give it a listen here!
And last weekend I attended an early childhood conference in Bangor Maine. I built in a couple extra days for relaxation and adventure…and I’m so glad that I did.
Acadia National Park was just 20 minutes down the road from my hotel and it was incredible…the solitude I found on the shores, the likemindedness among hikers at the top of Cadillac Mountain was inspiring, and the views took my breath away.
And for the first time in 5 years, I saw my twin sister…it was strange, awkward, and a little stilted, but it’s a start…and I got to see her three daughters again, though I’ve seen them through the years, I just can’t get enough time with them!
Last week I ran out of my antidepressants. My dr had been wanting me to cut my dose in half as it was, I had a cold that could’ve been covid, and the pharmacy didn’t refill my prescription and is closed on the weekend…so I’ve been off them for a week.
At first, I felt the same as always…then Friday hit and I felt mostly the same, but I found myself getting irritated with people for things that were quite insignificant. I thought maybe I was just tired from being sick the last couple days.
Saturday came and we went to visit a college with our son (a topic for another time). The person sitting behind me was breathing loudly…no congestion or anything like that, just breathing loudly. And my level of agitation was off the charts. I was so annoyed, but I told myself I was being dramatic and I was just nervous about my sons college visit.
Later that afternoon, I went down to the lake to paddle and read, as I often do. Usually it’s just what I need to reset and feel peaceful. There was this one guy who was talking to his toddler like he was trying to sell him a used car…I heard myself mumbling “shut up” to myself. Another persons dog kept yapping and once again, I mumble to myself “shut your dog up”. Later, some young adults are floating on a paddle board talking. They’re pretty far out but I can hear every annoying word. Again, I’m agitated and mumbling to myself.
Notice a theme here?
Long story short…I’m going to the pharmacy tomorrow and come hell or high water, I’m going back on my meds! They work!
I tried a cooked oyster over the weekend and it was disgusting…but I did it!
Now I’m going to be on a podcast (or 2)! I have been working on marketing my books more, and more effectively. I came upon a group on Facebook that matches pod cast hosts with people who might like to be a guest.
It’s amazing to me how many podcasters are out there! I had no idea-and I was pleasantly surprised to find many podcasters that I felt I could relate to. I’ve reached out and connected with a few-not just about my books!
When I have links, I’ll share with you all…it’ll be across the next few weeks!
I know it’s been awhile-lots going on for me and sometimes writing about it doesn’t feel quite like the thing to do…
Then again, I am super proud of myself and it’s time to BRAG!! Here’s a little background preceding the big brag-worthy moment…
In the spring, my brother told me he got a job in Yellowstone National Park as a year round carpenter. I was excited for him and looking forward to a big send off…but then my son got covid (mild) and so we all had to quarantine right around the time my brother was leaving for Wyoming.
I hadn’t really seen him since the winter as it was and I was so disappointed that I couldn’t see him off-especially considering he had no idea when he’d be back for a visit. Now most of you know about my travel anxiety…anything new and I predictable causes me stress. When I fly places, I tell my companion that they are the grown up and I am the child so they can take care of details and I can concentrate on breathing, yes I said breathing.
By the middle of May I was feeling like I wanted to see my brother badly enough that I was going to go. It was expensive, so I went alone…(read that again), I WENT ALONE.
I drove myself to the airport and that was scary-crack of dawn, backed into my son’s car in the driveway, and the parking garage seemed so full! But I found a parking spot and took a photo of where I parked and sent it to my mom-she was picking it up later. I gathered all my stuff and headed in.
I went through security smoothly and then waited for my flight. I had a good book with me so that was helpful. I had previously printed out maps of all the airports I would be heading to-I was especially nervous about Chicago but it turned out to be super easy!
When I landed in Montana, I easily found my checked bag and then the car rental company sent me a text with the exact location of my rental car, even going so far as to include photos. They were amazing! Check them out here!
And then I slowly found my way to Yellowstone-I made a couple stops along the way and even though it was a little scary for me, it was also wonderful and empowering and got easier with every stop.
I had a wonderful long weekend with my brother. We saw some beautiful skies, lots of wild animals, majestic mountains and the coldest lakes.
And at the end of the trip, I treated myself to a massage: Check them out here! I got a hotel room and treated myself to nice dinner. I got myself to the airport nice and early the next day and after a stop in Denver and just one panic attack (we waited on the plane for takeoff and I think the anticipation got to me), I was back home.
AND SO PROUD OF MYSELF! i did it! all on my own! and it was so much fun!
And though traveling with my brother to Iceland was a little tricky, this trip went extremely well and I’m so glad that I did it!! My brother is so happy there and I think he’s really found his place in this world❤️
After my trip to Iceland, I was feeling like I could do anything! Well, not exactly, but I felt so proud of myself for setting aside my many fears and I wanted to keep it going.
I’ve always wanted to go to North Carolina’s Outer Banks (I’m a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks). So I looked at my bank account and decided I could do it-I booked a trip for my family in the spring-my folks are coming too. And for those who know me-this is huge!
As school began for my son and I enrolled new children in my program, I was feeling like I needed to get out and about more and exercise and have quiet reflective outings. Being so busy during the week, I just needed the peace.
I used to love hiking and having conquered that volcano hike, I decided to go hiking-by myself! I used to have so much fear about being in the woods by myself, but I found it to be peaceful and restful. I made sure I had proper gear as the season got colder, even preparing for winter hiking-which I LOVE!
One hike led to a mountaintop lake where I sat down on a weather worn log and refueled. I started thinking of my young adult self and how many opportunities I missed out on because of my fears…there were too many to count.
It all boils down to anything unknown…travel, food, new people (men in particular whether in the workplace or proximity), animals, even going to an appointment in a new building. My fear of the unknown has been hampering my experiences and relationships for much too long.
So now I practice embracing the unknown…I say practice because it’s a process and I’m not always successful. Though I am proud to say I’m making progress and finally beginning to live a richer life for it!