Love

Friendship - A Remarkable Reality

High school girlfriends. College girlfriends. Post-college girlfriends. Book club girlfriends. Play date girlfriends. Sisters. Sister-in-laws. Blooma mamas. My life is surrounded by a band of strong, loving, passionate, beautiful, powerful, rock-star women.

Friendship is a remarkable reality, isn’t it? Especially deep and lasting friendships. Many friendships begin over common interest, some odd circumstance, or a shared life situation. But, what clicks? What makes a friendship last? What makes your heart want to grow to make room in your life for this other person (or people) who are not family? Love. Love for the other person. At some point, you fell in love, in a certain sense, and in this grand journey of life, you want to walk alongside this person in relationship. And, these relationships make life better, they help us bring humor into potentially dark days, a comradery when life might feel lonely, and the perfect advice you need to get through the next big decision (or the next three year old tantrum ).

My own mother surrounded herself with a band of women. I grew up seeing her talk daily on the phone to her own beloved mother, her sisters who lived from coast to coast across our country, and other women from throughout her life. She cherished each of these relationships, each of the perspectives on marriage, family, and life that they brought to her, and the humor and support she gained from each conversation. As I think about my own band of women, I am grateful for my own mother’s example of friendship.

My own girlfriends intertwine through different periods of my life. But, each is marked with fabulous women. These are women who have supported me, and each other, throughout years of friendships, marriages, deaths, miscarriages, successes, postpartum depression, moves across the country, infertility, divorces and everything in between. The beauty of these friendships is how, no matter what you are going through, you often will have a listening ear who has been there before. These friendships are deep. Yes – we may not always agree on everything, but there is a base of respect, compassion, and gratitude for the other in your life.

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For example, the group of my local college girlfriends got together for brunch a few weekends ago. When one of them walked up to the table, she exclaimed, “Look at us! You would never guess that we were all married with jobs, and 12 kids between the 5 of us!” We all eagerly nodded in agreement – only to have our brunch conversation center on mini-vans, health insurance, job changes, house projects and birth stories. A long way from when we were 19 and in college, talking about our next exam, roommate problems, and that really cute guy in our English class. Driving away, I laughed to myself, wondering what would come in our next 10 years. For these are women who I know will still be in my life.

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As our families grow, our relationships deepen, and lives become more full, I am grateful for each of these remarkable women in my life. Each, in her own way, rejuvenates me to be a better person, a more loving wife, and a more gentle mother.

I am lucky to say that my band of sisters, mamas, and friends has grown since my first classes at Blooma. Knowing that the women that surround me are going through the same things. Maybe before class, they too fought a toddler about wearing a coat. Or, maybe they debated leaving the house into the frigid cold to come to class (Tots and car seats in hand). They are dealing with the same struggles, witnessing the same milestones, and crave the same connections. Maybe you, or someone in your life needs to experience the community that can be found at Blooma. Take a prenatal yoga class to connect with other expectant mothers. Find a comforting ear at New Mama Group. Challenge yourself surrounded by other hard working students at barre class. Whatever it is, share the love at Blooma.

 

Written by Shea Olson- Wife & Mama Trying to Make it All Work

Lovin' Ain't Easy

I love you Always…But Today I Don’t Like You.

This February marks ten years (an entire decade!) of “us.”  Ten years of blissful romance that feels like a fairy tale every day of our lives.  Wait, what?! Just kidding.  In all honesty, while we deeply loved one another this whole time, there have been days, sometimes weeks, that we really didn’t like one another.  Let us explain.

When we met, everything about our relationship came naturally.  Thoughts of each other filled our minds all day—every moment apart felt like an eternity.  There weren’t enough hours in the day to spend together and it seemed as if the other person had no faults.  We were young and in love.  We had a vision of how our relationship and life together would look like and nothing was going to get in our way.

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And then things changed.  We were married young and a baby shortly followed. Bills had to be paid and diapers needed changing. We had a daughter who depended on us every hour of the day.  For the first time, things got difficult. For the first time, the person who could do no wrong could now do nothing right. Those butterflies had dulled and the overwhelming feelings and emotions had seemingly gone missing.

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Love came easy when our relationship started. When we were young our love was new and fresh, but then a few years down the road, there were times when we didn’t even like each other.  We both had moments of doubt and despair.  “Did we make a mistake committing the rest of our lives to one another? “, “Do we really love one another?”, “Is this going to be how it is forever?”

But this is when we had to choose each other again. When all was stripped away and we were at our weakest, we chose to work. We chose to serve one another and place each others needs ahead of our own.  There are days when we need to take our emotions and feelings and sort through them, because in the end, we chose this love. Regardless of how we feel in the moment, we know this love will overpower our current emotions. This kind of love is challenging and this kind of love takes work.

So, while we may not always like each other in moments of exhaustion, stress, or pressure that happens in our life with 3 young children, we know the kind of love that we actively choose to pour ourselves into is strong and will stand the test of time. We will persevere through the lows and triumph in the highs.  So this our love--10 years later--a chosen love, deeper love, a selfless love, a patient love, and a joyful love.

Contributed by Lauren & Mike