celebrating life's marrow-sucking (#wholemama).

I believe in celebrating.

I believe in countdowns, numbering the days on chalkboards and tearing loops off of construction paper garlands.

I believe in finding one thing, every single day, to fist-pump or high five or cheer for, because this not-so-ordinary life, these more-than-mundane hours of existence, are worth all the celebrations we humans have to offer.

Photo cred: Shelley Pimentel Photography.
Photo cred: Shelley Pimentel Photography.

You may have noticed my participation in the Whole Mama series this summer, an invitation to embracing the Holy Creative alongside Esther and Jamie, Erika and Sarah, and a whole crew of most should-be-celebrated women. I wouldn’t – and won’t – trade the relationships formed through that for anything, but am grateful for the time we spent in community, cheering one another on, being for each other in this journey of motherhood and authenticity.

So, we’re going to take the rest of this post to celebrate and to remember how we did a damn good job of sucking the marrow out of life. We – as in me, myself and I – are going to try our hardest to name all all the little celebrations that are the big celebrations of this past summer. And I’d love for you to do the same, whether in your head or on paper or in the comments below, celebrate the life you’ve lived the past couple months.


Made jam. Pitched tents indoors. Hung out in pitched tents indoors. Instigated and relished in Family Movie Nights. Ridden bikes two blocks down the road to the neighborhood pizza place for a certain three-year-old’s birthday dinner. Grilled. Eaten chilled crab and avocado soup. Taken road trips to Santa Cruz and Davis and everywhere in between. Worn our parkas in San Francisco. Been to the Oakland Zoo and the San Francisco Zoo. Cheered on a brave little boy in his first round of swim lessons. Left said little boy at preschool for the first time. Sweated in the heat of our living room. Bought the last fan Home Depot had in stock. Had the most amazing writing weekend, (as you know, as I can’t stop talking about). Hosted hoards of friends, all of whom are too numerous to count, whose stories I still hold heart-side. Celebrated the 4th of July with this girl and with our neighbors. Gotten to know the gift of our neighborhood. Walked countless loops around Lake Merritt. Become a regular at the Farmer’s Market. Hopped on a plane to Idaho to just be with family. Hosted my parents, the greatest Gaga and Papa our boys will ever know. Read, read, read because it’s summer and because summer reading might just be the best invention known to man. Gushed over Go Set a Watchman and Stargirl and Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome alike. Locked ourselves out of the house, with baby inside. Learned how to wear red lipstick and set an intention in a book store, thanks to one wise and witty friend.

But we’ve also…

Taken the time to sit down, side by side on the couch, just me and the HBH (Hot Black Husband), that is. Asked each other the hard questions. Snuggled. Kissed. Held hands. Talked about and leaned into and believed in what really matters and who really matters. Said I’m sorry. Offered forgiveness. Accepted apologies. Realized that marriage takes work and parenthood is not for the faint of heart. Taped this to our refrigerator:

I’m sorry for…
That was wrong because…
In the future I will…
Will you forgive me?

And somehow, as it should, it’s then made us talk about and lean into and believe in the most important things all over again, as we should have been doing all along.

So, all in all, I’d say it’s been a most successful and a most significant and, like the perfect pair of jeans, a most lived-in summer.

What about you?

xo, c.

I’ve loved participating in the #wholemama movement this summer, and do check out Esther’s blog to see where and how the journey continues. Otherwise, how have you celebrated life this summer? How have you sucked the marrow out of life? Start a list! Type out a few in the comments below!

20 thoughts on “celebrating life's marrow-sucking (#wholemama).

  1. Let’s see. On top of discovering a new way to be goofy with my boy crew and Dubsmash (thanks, Cara)? Laying down one dream and breathing life into another. Lots of salty air and sea water. Bonfires with far-flung friends. Arm wrestling with my boys and heart-wrestling with God. Books upon books. Digging in deep with others. S’mores and star gazing in the back yard. And every ice cream run feels like it’s own celebration.

  2. So, all in all, I’d say it’s been a most successful and a most significant and, like the perfect pair of jeans, a most lived-in summer.
    I just adore this simile. I to have taken the time to sit beside my HSH (Hot Scottish Husband) and try to figure out what to do about life and how we want to live it.

  3. What a beautiful, lived in summer! I, too, love the metaphor of worn, well-loved jeans. So lovely.

    “parenthood is not for the faint of heart.” preach it, sister. Oh. My. Word. My HGH (Hot Gamer Husband — can that be a thing?) and I have had to fine-tune our communication the hard way since we’ve become parents. Now we’re on a compliment kick: where you see a compliment or a thank you that you can give, give it. We can handle anything when we’re loved and celebrated. Maybe I’ll work that into my own post.

    1. 1. Hot Gamer Husband. Love it. Of course it’s a thing, because it’s yours. 🙂 2. Compliment Kick …love that even more, and perhaps I’ll write about it as well!

    1. This one is absolutely divine and better chilled. I’ve only had warmed avocado a few times in my life, but it’s not my favorite. Go for cold!

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com


  4. My post focused on my son’s upcoming wedding, but your post and some of the others this week are inspiring a wonderful list like this, noting all the wonderful big and small things. And, yes, wholemama has definitely been a part of that.

    1. I made the list after reading Esther’s suggestion to do so. Nothing original. 😉 Can’t wait to read about your son’s wedding – oh, the emotions you must be feeling!

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com


  5. I love that you look for one thing every day to celebrate! I have kind of gotten out of the habit of looking for things to celebrate and be thankful for. That tells me it’s time to slow down again and open my eyes to see the beauty in the ordinary. 🙂 Have really enjoyed this #wholemama summer. It’s been great getting to know you and others. 🙂

  6. A special summer. I loved the idea of listing all of the everythings – big and small – that you did, saw, and felt. I think I might try this monthly. It will remind me of all I experience and learn and do! Oh the baby in the house! Reminds of the time my baby went down in the elevator – without me! OMG

    1. YOUR BABY WENT DOWN THE ELEVATOR WITHOUT YOU. That is amazing (and so is celebrating list-making – perhaps I’ll join you!)

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com


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