Hello blog-lovers! I'm Danielle, a Los Angeles, CA native who has found herself embracing this new life in the Midwest since my family and I moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in September of 2015. I'm a mom of two handsome little boys and two energetic-but-sweet rescue dogs. My husband and I are celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary this year - go us! We have been on a fast-track of life milestones since we met, but life has kept us on our toes and we're having a blast and growing closer and closer with each crazy step we take. He is my rock, and my hero... tho goofiest, eco-friendliest Marine Corps veteran you'll ever meet. We are currently moving into home number five since we got hitched (too. much. moving.), but have both learned to enjoy the mystery and excitement that each change brings. Life has been especially exciting since I started my journey as a mother. It's a learn-as-you-go gig, and I've never felt wiser or more confident in my humanness. Aside from being a mom, I work from home in the travel business and in my free time (HA! what's that?), I enjoy making natural gemstone jewelry for my small side business. I'm a Gemini, a lover of the arts, a nature junkie, a yoga-fiend, an empath, an animal lover, and a hippie in most senses of the word. I've been a writer since my very first diary, and I know I'll be a writer until my dying days. I'm honored to share my life with you all, and humbled for the time and energy you have shared with me in reading what I have to say. Namaste - the light in me honors the light in you - and cheers to the journey ahead!

A Stranger Paid for Our Groceries Today

November 22, 2016

I posted this picture of my baby earlier, surrounded by reusable bags filled with groceries, wearing a sweet grin and a fresh daisy. The kindest woman paid for our groceries after I realized I didn't have my wallet, and after having a good, joyful cry on the drive home, I tried to find the words to describe just how much this gesture had impacted me. In an effort to hopefully reach this kind woman, I shared my post on a local Cedar Rapids facebook page, but what has happened since has blown me away. This post has gone Cedar-Rapids-viral, and not an ounce of negativity has touched it.

Born to a Mother

October 25, 2016

Through the bubbling of the air purifier, I hear my son's sleepy sniffles from his room. A cool mist humidifier is glowing his room up in a subtle rainbow cycle, gently illuminating his tossing and turning. Every so often I hear a frustrated wail, upset that sleep is not coming as easily as it usually does. The baby monitor screen lights up with a cough and a squirm. I wish I could take the sickies away from my little ones, but it's part of the human condition. Despite our best efforts, we all get sick sometimes.

Bedtime Songs to the Tune of Julian

October 10, 2016

Between washing dishes and clearing the dinner table, the sound of my son humming a song in his dark room caught my attention. His bedtime stories with dad were over, his lullaby projector was playing, and his sweet voice was singing, muffled between his pillow and Mickey Mouse. I walked into his room, climbed into his bed, ran my fingers through his golden hair. "What are you singing, buddy?

The Postpartum Transition

October 7, 2016

My body is still in the throes of the postpartum transition at almost 8 months out, and it's a little more than just "the extra baby weight" dragging me down. While that plays it's part, and I am certainly struggling emotionally with that on its own, I have been more upset with the cause and effect of everything my body has been through. I grew TWO babies in THIS body. I birthed TWO babies out of this body. I've nursed TWO babies, one for 6 months, and still going at almost 8 months with my littlest one. I've rocked TWO babies to sleep, carried TWO babies in infant car seats from the car to the coffee table, lugged around a diaper bag that rivals Mary Poppins for TWO babies. This body has done all of this on scant sleep, with a less than healthy diet of kid scraps and rushed snacks, while carrying around the heaviest luggage of all: the stress of being mom.

Hosting a Party - Level: Mom

September 28, 2016

So you want to throw a party? It's a holiday, or the end of summer, or, say, your husband's birthday, and you decide to invite friends, coworkers, neighbors. you name it. It'll be fun! Sure, we'll have to turn the house right side up again in the few hours before guests arrive, but just slap the word "potluck" on that invitation and BAM. Virtually stress free! The clock creeps closer to start time, the house looks decent, and now you're just hoping that people actually show up. The doorbell rings, and so it begins. I'd like to offer a friendly PSA for any of you that find yourselves in this moment - Expect the unexpected, because throwing a "family friendly" party will far exceed your wildest predictions of how it will go. Let me give you a few specifics of the kinds of curve balls you can expect:

This is Truly the Heartland of America

September 26, 2016

One year ago, I boarded a plane with my son, my mom, and my unnoticeable baby bump, and I took a one-way trip from Los Angeles, California to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I've lapped the sun once in this city, and it has been absolutely remarkable. I knew that moving to the middle of the country would be a very bold adventure for this born and raised So Cal native, but I've come to find a great love for this place.