Tuesday, March 4, 2014


It's true, what they say. Having a baby changes everything. I struggle to think of aspects of my life that didn't change by January 14th of this year. I still eat (sometimes), sleep (sometimes), and do my homework (usually), but the way in which I do even the simplest things seems to be different now. I feel accomplished when I manage a shower, but only if Annika has had a bath, too. I would skip meals more often if it didn't mean I'd be taking food away from her, too. It amazes me that I haven't slept a whole night in seven weeks. I'm pretty convinced I'm losing some brain cells, which only makes doubling as a college kid that much more interesting. I apprehensively await nightfall each day knowing it will feel like heaven to lay in bed, yet I will become a different, much more cranky version of myself as soon as I'm reminded I may or may not feel any more rested upon waking the next morning. Sometimes I think I've forgotten how to care for anyone else simultaneously, and I'm aware there's no denying that the title "mother" precedes all others now. Not to mention, I haven't entirely felt attractive in months.

And yet, my life is overwhelmed by joy and inspiration.

For the first time in my life, I've experienced the feeling of true contentment. Spending time at home with my little family, I stop looking at the clock. I no longer care about what time it is, or the things approaching that I should be thinking about with either dread or eagerness. I pledged to remove the words "I can't wait" from my vocabulary whenever I'm speaking of Annika. Because I can wait for everything that is coming. I'd rather be completely absorbed in who she is today. I find it hard to believe that, even though I feel she's been here all along in some way, she turned 7 weeks old today and is nearing 12 pounds. It nearly breaks my heart to set some of her newborn clothes to the side that I'm trying to accept I can't squeeze her into anymore. Although this child has made a slave out of me, I wouldn't mind if she stayed 7 weeks old forever. I'm still a dreamer, yet for the first time I also feel that I could be happy in this house, with these clothes, forever.

For the first time in my life, I felt that my existence depended on someone else. From now on, without Annika, I cannot live. It's terrifying that life is so fragile, but it's inspiring to have the urge to keep someone else's life perfect. As so many others have said before me, she gives me meaning. No matter how tired I am when I wake, I still wake with the desire to pour all my energy into this tiny girl. I know that I've been far from perfect from the beginning of this journey, but I will never tire of striving.

Because for the first time in my life, I have no choice but to be the best I can be. I believe wholeheartedly that a mother needs to be who she wants her daughter to become, because that is exactly what's going to happen. I can no longer accept my faults as unchangeable. I cannot accept a lack of confidence, a short temper, a pessimistic outlook, or tiny ambitions in myself, because none of these are what I want my daughter to experience. I want her to live knowing she is capable, that patience will get you far, hope is never lost, and that the world is at her fingertips.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

people who truly care

Another thing I absolutely adore. I love the people who can't simply shrug off the struggles others have. I would even say bystander syndrome is the downfall of the world. I think it was about a year ago that I made the decision that every time that I was faced with a choice, I would stop and ask myself what the right thing to do would be, then I would try my best to do just that. It sounds simple, but it really hasn't been. Whether it's deciding whether or not I should risk a limb to get a chunk of wood and nails off a busy road, or telling a stranger they dropped their credit card, I still hesitate sometimes. There are still some times that I don't do what I decided I should do. But I keep trying. 

Anyway, this post was inspired by a conference I went to earlier this week at Ohio University called The Dark Side of Chocolate. I honestly had no idea there was one. But boy, is there. In case you didn't know, most cocoa is produced on plantations in West Africa. Because the big name chocolate producers try to sell their products for the lowest possible price, people in West Africa try to offer the cheapest possible labor. So that they are able to offer these cheap services, there is a business of child labor and child trafficking. People steal children from their families and sell them to these cocoa plantations. There, the children become slaves and work for no pay until they try to run away. Then down the road, the rest of the world pays 99 cents for a chocolate bar. That's not a fair trade. There are people working for little or no pay so that we can pay a quarter or two less for some chocolate. If these big name producers would investigate who they're buying products from and ensure that there is no child labor, trafficking, or slavery involved, then they could be a fair trade company. If just one of the companies would become fair trade, who the heck wouldn't support them? Then the other companies would eventually have to follow suit, right?

So then I had to stop and ask myself, What should I do? First of all, I'm going to avoid buying chocolate that isn't certified fair trade. Next, I decided to start a petition. If I could convince Nestle to become fair trade, that would make such a huge difference in a lot of lives. I know it's not simple to take on someone like that, but it's a lot more difficult to make a change by doing nothing. My fingers are crossed.

It's so much easier just to buy things without worrying about fair trade, and without thinking about where it might have come from. It's easier to forget about what some people go through only because we're not ready to make a change. It's easier to only worry about yourself. But for some reason I just can't bring myself to do that. The people who dedicate their lives to spreading awareness about things like this. The people who understand how real this is. The people who know it's possible to make a difference. The people who truly care. They're who keep me going.

If you'd like to pledge your support for fair trade chocolate, please take a moment to sign this petition!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

what's a blog for, anyway?

I'm not so sure I can say I have a goal with this blog. I don't have a theme, and I can't say I have any idea what I'll be writing about. I must have started it for a reason, though, eh? Although my life isn't entirely extraordinary yet, I've had this growing, indescribable love for life the older I get. I guess I just need some kind of an outlet. So, no promises I'll always make sense, or I'll always have something profound to say. With that said, I don't expect anyone to follow every little thing I have an urge to write about. Maybe one day I'll have a little more direction. But for today, it's up in the air.

so, who am I?

Every day, I love these girls
Well. I have no idea. I'm a college student that gets distracted too easily, and doesn't read enough. I eat when I'm not hungry, and I buy things I don't need. But this isn't really about me. It's about what's out there. I'm completely amazed by how much there is to do and see in this world. I've learned that Ohio is actually much larger than I ever knew. I've only seen so little of it, and I can't even fathom how big the world is. It breaks my heart that I'll never have a chance to see every small town, or meet every person that has a story to tell. Either way, I'm determined to keep moving and keep learning. Above all, I will constantly be trying to find something about every day, to love.