Wednesday, January 1, 2014


We were having a sort of haphazard last conversation before my parents left for the airport yesterday morning. We were talking about such things like what the new year might look like, child-rearing, empty nest syndrome and feeling purposeful. My dad said words that gave me a boost of confidence and more of the motivation I need to plan for certain things next year. But what I want to talk about there is what my mom then shared. During my high school years, we lived apart from my dad who lived in Korea for his job and my mom raised us three girls, along with a part-time job that required full-time hours, while also being a full-time student to get two masters degrees and a Ph.D. I always had admired my mom for the willpower and strength it took for her to get through all that education with such a busy life. But yesterday my mom shared that she doesn't know if she could have done any of that if she wasn't a mother. She said that being a mother gave her the extra motivation and strength that she needed in order to keep moving and striving. She said that at times she would wonder if she could have done one or the other better if she didn't have such a full plate, but the fact of the matter was, being a mother kept her tank filled. 

I am chewing on two things here. One, we have no idea where the paths we take now will lead us. We can imagine, plan and hope, even sometimes despair, but ultimately we do not know what tomorrow or next year will bring. That used to rile up in me frustration, but now it garners peace….and excitement.  Two, I know this to be true from my very short experience, but having it come from someone with so much more experience punched it up for me. There is sacrifice required to being a mother, but it also brings a sort of superpower. I've talked about this before, but it's the kind of reminder that I need to carry with me into the new year as I ponder new paths and opportunities. Motherhood brings so much change, but I like the idea that being a mother doesn't limit your options - dare I say, it gives you extra courage to go after even more options. 

I've been thinking back on 2013, and Ken and I have been talking about our hopes for 2014.  I recently heard Zora Neale Hurston quoted from her book, Their Eyes Were Watching God,  with the sentence, "There are years that ask questions, and there are years that answer." I don't think the years of my life fall into as neat a category all the time, but it has been helpful for me to think about the past two years of my life in this way.  I was pregnant for most of 2012, and that was also when we bought a house, and Ken changed jobs. It was a momentous year, but it was a year of questions for me - am I ready to settle down? Can we handle being homeowners? Will we be okay financially? And most importantly, am I okay/ready to be a mother?  2013 felt like the answer, and the answer was a resounding and steadfast, YES.  Yes, we can handle being homeowners, and we enjoyed hosting and opening up our home to friends and family. Yes, we will be okay financially, because we will plan, budget, and communicate.  And Yes, I am more than okay being Sloane's mother.  When I think back to 2013, I see it as a year of embracing my new role as a mother and having constant epiphanies about what life with a daughter is like. It was a wonderful year. 

Along these lines, this upcoming year feels like another year of questions and I am in a state of great anticipation. If the past few years is any indication, it's a good place to be in. 

You know what helps in navigating this drama of questions and answers? My family and friends - I am so built up, challenged and overjoyed to have you all in my life. 

And yea that's right, I brought it back to more photos of our trip from last week. On our second to last day there, we walked across the street to the pristine beach to take some family photos. I treasure these. 


  1. i had a moment on this post and on the one before where i thought 'what did she put that camera on for the group shot'. oh yeah, tripod! yay for christmas gifts! such a sweet family time!

  2. Beautiful post and beautiful pictures! I love reading your words about motherhood. They surely ring true to me as well.

  3. i loves your mom. and i do think she's got super powers too.
    those pictures - make me really happy.
    happy new year big family!

  4. the family pics turned out great! yay!

  5. As a family picyute, I like the first one better than tha second to the last, dad's favorite, except you are missing.valuable record of family history!