10 July 2013

Katie from Standpipe and Sprinkles

Today Katie is visiting from Standpipe and Sprinkles, soon to be See You There blog. Sometimes, you just happen to stumble across readers and you quickly connect through twitter and Instagram. Katie is such an honest woman who has dedicated her life to finding balance with motherhood and everything else the world has to offer. Thank you Katie for sharing your thoughts on happiness, it means to world to me.

Going into my senior year of college, I had a plan. A 5-year plan, if you want to call it that. It went something like this: Get married. Apply and be accepted to the graduate program of my choice. Apply to and be hired by a glamorous force of good (Human Rights Watch, the United Nations). Mostly, my plan went ... well ... as planned. I married my high school sweetheart. I applied and was accepted to a prestigious graduate school. I was hired by a major political campaign. But when it came time to apply for that permanent job, I found myself feeling unsure, for the first time in my life.

I just found out I was pregnant with our planned sweet Maile. And given my  husband Tim's incredibly demanding, very different work schedule, I suddenly didn't want to bring a baby into the world, only to have her hardly ever see her parents. Suddenly, the plan changed. I started work for a small nonprofit organization, with a local office. I felt a bit like I'd lost my way, but I was happy; the work was rewarding.

Now, we've traded in our city apartment for a home in the suburbs. Most days, you'll find me in flip-flops or Converse -- my "serious" pumps thrown into the far corner of my closet. My makeup doesn't always look perfect, if I've found the time to put it on at all. And the first "news" I check each morning is daily activity for Maile that I receive in my inbox. 

This wasn't my plan. 

Sometimes, though, the life you didn't plan is even better than the life you did. 

I am finding fulfillment and happiness in simple, yet profound things. Yesterday, Maile held a ladybug for the first time. I will never, ever forget the look of wonder and pure joy on her face. It's okay, when we're running 10 minutes late, to sit patiently encouraging our girl, who wants to put her shoes on by herself. It's laundry and grocery day, but Maile asks, "Dada make Maile a fort? Mama, Dada snuggles?" So we build a blanket fort, stuffed with our softest pillows; we put on a favorite movie, and snuggle and snooze as a family. Because the laundry can wait until tonight. And no matter what's on Pinterest, my family will be just fine with leftovers for dinner, as long as we're eating our meal together.

I admit that my happiness quotient is still, to some degree, measured by accomplishments. When Maile wants to share her ice cream cone with a friend who doesn't have one, I feel accomplished. When the house is a disaster, but we've played all day in the sun, and are standing around the kitchen island, watermelon juice dripping down our chins ... when my husband looks over at me and says, "You're such a good mom," I feel accomplished. When Maile recognizes a new word, I feel accomplished. When in the middle of involved playground play Maile suddenly jets over to her Dada, wraps him up in a hug, and says, "I wuf you," I feel accomplished. 

But more than accomplished, I feel happy.


  1. love Katie's blog and love this post. i think all mommies would agree our sense of accomplishment comes from our family and those little details that surround us.

  2. I finally got to reading this. Made me tear up, big sis. Love and miss you tons <3.

  3. Finally got to read this and it made me tear up. Love and miss you tons big sis <3.


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