We don’t know about you, but June has been a whirlwind month for us. After a few weeks of travel and adventure, we’re back in Brooklyn and it’s all go, go, go. This week alone, Christina and Chris celebrated their three year anniversary, Oliver turned one year’s old and Girl Gift Gather began filming again!
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be bringing you a GIRL episode and a GATHER episode this Summer. We’re keeping the details quiet for now, but stay tuned for the release dates and catch up on our previous episodes in preparation!
We hope your June has been as fruitful and rewarding as ours — here’s to a sun-filled July!
Our building was brand new when we moved in so we were the first to make these few rooms our home. We were engaged, married, pregnant, gave birth and spent the first year of Oliver’s life in this apartment. An apartment we are preparing to say farewell to.
Yesterday was Oliver’s first birthday. A far more emotional experience then I was prepared for. I found myself walking around our home, reliving the labor, reliving the moment he was born, remembering how I got up and laid on the couch and nursed him for the very first time. How we all got into bed together as a family hours later. How beautiful it all was. How perfect. It wasn’t hard to do because this place holds those memories within it.
I think about the energy we are leaving here. About all the people that will live here after us. I believe that these walls will support them through periods of intense growth and joy and discovery as well.
I am feeling so grateful and so heavy at the same time. About the years that have gone by. About my son turning one. About saying goodbye to this place.
We give a lot of props to moms on this site. We are, after all, inspired and dedicated to women. But, it’s important to acknowledge and embrace the wonderful men who are a part of our lives. Last weekend, we were all given the opportunity to celebrate dads.
I for one, had a lot to celebrate on Sunday. My dad is a constant source of support and inspiration in my life. He is a champion of my art, an advisor for all those ‘adult decisions’ I’ve come across since graduating, and a counselor when times are tough. But he is more than all that. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know my dad as a person. It’s a pretty cool (and sometimes bewildering) experience when we do this with our parents. I’ve found my dad to be full of surprises. He’s led so many lives and learned so many lessons that it’s sort of incredible that he’s also managed to be my dad in between it all. He is wonderful and complex and flawed and inspiring. He has loved and lost and looked life squarely in the eye and chosen to keep on keepin’ on. I am so grateful for the profound relationship the two of us have built together. I am so thankful to have had him guide me and care for me. I am so glad I’ve got him in my corner.
He’s my dad and I love him.
Artwork by Liz Pa yne
Last weekend, on the way back from her camping adventure, Chelsey had the opportunity to meet one of Michael’s family friends, a wonderful woman who’s an artist, a writer and an inspiration. Something she mentioned about the complexities of joy and fulfillment sparked a wonderful conversation that led us to reconsider the things that have inspired us at Girl Gift Gather.
So much of our lives is focused on career; society rewards it, our schooling propels us towards it and our lifestyles need it. But, career is only one piece of a much larger and more intricate braid. And in our grand rush to climb the ladder (or invent our own) we too often let everything else fall by the wayside. We arrive at our goals breathless and exhilarated only to find ourselves unsatisfied. Why? Because along the wild and wonderful road to financial independence, personal achievement and job satisfaction we forgot to care for our bodies and love them deeply at each beautiful stage. We kept talking about taking that trip but never found the time. We set objectives instead of dreams. We made lists instead of simply letting our minds run wild and free. We neglected our hearts and occasionally our souls.
Here’s the thing: no one thing will ever satisfy us.This rule applies to partners, jobs, houses, children, bank accounts and everything in between. If we allow this to be our truth, doesn’t it take the pressure of a tiny bit? Yes, it’s a little more complicated. But it’s also more freeing. You don’t need to be a success in your industry by twenty-five to be a happy person. You don’t need to be married by thirty to be a happy person. You don’t need to have three children and a house by forty to be a happy person. You just need to allow yourself to be a happy person. What do you want? What fulfills you? Forget what the world has told you about what will make you happy. What actually makes you happy? And hey, it doesn’t have to be one thing. It doesn’t even have to stay the same. That’s the magic of it all. It’s a beautiful, complex, interlace of things. And it is uniquely your own.
Image via Apartment Therapy
It’s been a pretty good week for ladies. First off, we got the $10 bill. The question is, which wonderful lady will be on it come 2020?
In other finance related news, JLaw is getting paid fairly (aka more than her male co-star who hasn’t won an Oscar).
The state of New York reached an agreement on a new bill dedicated to sexual assault on college campuses. This is a pretty incredible piece of legislation that will broaden campus-sexual-assault standards put in place by SUNY to include public and private schools in New York state. Campuses would also be required to distribute a student “bill of rights” that informs them of their reporting rights in the aftermath of a sexual assault. Learn more about the bill here.
Helen Mirren speaks out about ageism and Hollywood (and also manages to sound so incredibly British and awesome).
And speaking of older woman who are simply incredible, The ManRepeller sat down with Linda Rodin this week. Is there anyone cooler, more stylish or more freakin’ awesome than Linda Rodin? We do not think so.
A beautiful blog.
A beautiful thing to do this weekend.
A beautiful woman.
Have a beautiful weekend.
I was talking to Chelsey recently and I told her that I think I’m anaemic. Anemia is a fairly common issue for women who’ve recently given birth and I was showing all the symptoms: tired all the time, low energy, trouble focusing. Chelsey looked at me and responded in her very kind, funny, intelligent way, “I think you might just have a 12 month old.”
I really thought it would be different for me. That I, somehow, would escape all the challenges and growing pains that so many mothers/blogs/friends warned me about. My husband and I would have just as much sex. More sex even. I would be my most productive self. I would become more efficient, getting my work done ease and order. I would have a six-pack three months postpartum. The list, naively continues.
The truth is, I have escaped nothing. It was all true. Every single thing they told me. All of it. It’s hard. Fuck it! I said it! It’s hard. And amazing and scary. And this is my first one so I have no frame of reference. No real concept of how quickly time moves. For me, it feels like each phase will last forever. Every week, the rules change. Every week, your child is different. Every week, you’re different. It’s freaking wild over here.
So, I’m doing the best I can. All moms are just doing the best they can. Maybe I’m anemic or maybe I just have an 12 month old. Who knows. What I do know for sure, is that I am not unique in my experience. And all of the words of wisdom and cautionary advice that I found so negative, so self defeatist, so cliche before I gave birth, are now the words that I turn on a daily basis. Those cliches let me know that I’m not alone. For now, I will repeat them as often as I need to. And today, I’ll share my favorite with you. It was ever so eloquently expressed to me by someone I deeply admire when I first had Oliver: “Enjoy every bewildering moment.”
Image (and word) via other-worldly.tumblr.com. Have you been to this site? It’s one of my favorites. A rabbit hole if ever there was one but a truly enlightening space.