Partnership

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

The Importance of Getting Away

My husband and I have been married for five years. Yes – I know it’s a baby marriage in the grand scheme of time, but the milestone felt significant. For us, it has meant new jobs, buying our first home, two (almost three) children, and countless times of learning and growth in how to be better for ourselves and one another.

Marriage, like any relationship, is not always easy. Yes – there are times full of joy and life. My husband is the one that can make me laugh the hardest, always has some comment to bring a smile to my face. Our kids light up when he walks through the door each night, and to hear their little feet run toward his open arms will never cease to light up my heart. However, there are also memories that I have that are marked with frustration. We are people and we fail. We make snide comments in the wrong tone, we forget how to act with charity, we are selfish, and we disagree – with big things, like how to raise our kids, or little things, like who is going to clean the bathroom. But, there is no other partner I would rather have in my life. Our marriage, some days my greatest challenge, is also my greatest success.

Every year, on our anniversary, my husband and I write in separate journals as a reflection on the past year as well as hopes and goals for the coming one. This was the first year that it truly felt we were on the same page when we shared what we had each written. Many of our reflections, and the hopes and goals for what lay ahead were similar.

One of the goals for this past year was to spend more time as a couple. I know this is probably a goal for many of us. And, if you are anything like us, we can push it aside for something that feels more pressing. But, we have come to realize, that this time should be sacred. Our relationship with one another is the foundation for our family, and it should be strong and healthy in order to build upward.

We started off the new year with a long trip with just the two of us – our first for this long without our kids. We went to Colorado for a few days over New Year’s. We spent time in the mountains hiking and snowshoeing. We lounged in coffee shops reading books, talking, and playing countless games of Cribbage. We were lazy about getting up in the morning and ate meals at what would be odd times (for our kids anyway). Our days had no schedule. Although it took us a day or two to get into just being us, the time together was priceless.

Your time away with your partner does not always have to include a plane ride, but the effort is what makes the time worth it. Maybe it could be an overnight downtown with breakfast at your favorite diner. Maybe you could come to a Blooma yoga class together and get a cup of coffee on your way home, just to make the time together a bit longer. Maybe you could go on a long walk through a neighborhood you don’t really know well, but have always wanted to familiarize yourself with. Think about it, talk about it with your partner, and really try to make it a priority in this fresh new year. For us, the time away together, to focus on one another and our relationship, helped us remember why we even decided to be in this marriage in the first place – we really like one another!

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

**Take some time with your partner and join us for Partner Yoga, February 18th in Minneapolis.