Ezra's toddlerhood is such a joy and with every passing day he becomes more communicative and loving and hilarious. He is becoming his own little person and it's beautiful. Sure there's days of meltdowns (mainly mine), but man, what an intense and beautiful journey this little thing called parenthood has become. I am so crazy in love with that little person and some days it's all I can do to not flip the Mommy Dearest switch on. As I know I have said before, parenthood is an exercise in extremes and I still very much believe this to be true, but the good end of this spectrum somehow continues to get more and more rewarding.
In a recent trip to the aquarium Ezra wailed and generally pouted throughout the entire hour long walk-through, culminating in a full blown breakdown in front of the seahorses. The saddest part is that I know how much he adores seahorses and how sad he would be to have missed out on enjoying them, but we had crossed into a very delicate and intense place that all parents of toddlers are well-versed in. So there we were wailing, pouting, and finally rolling on the floor in all his toddler glory, and then with a banana and the cool breeze of the outdoors, cuddling and lots of excited yelling of nouns began. Fish! Blue fish! Crabs! Seahorses! Neigh! Neigh! (we're still trying to explain the difference) Water! Babies! Swim! Swim! You would have thought this child was the happiest child to experience the awe-inspiring exploration of the seas. With every facial expression and his absolute best and clearest pronunciation he relayed what an amazing time he had just had. We cuddled and laughed and genuinely enjoyed an experience that in all actuality was pretty rough.
This is having a toddler...
So yes, much of my days are filled with the care and maintenance that a toddler demands, but also...I have made a pretty big career decision. I am opening my own yoga and wellness studio in downtown St. Joseph, MO. Huzzah labors of love and leaps of faith! The studio will offer varying styles of yoga, meditation, massage therapy, wellness education, and a small retail space of hand-made (by myself and a few close and talented friends) and organic home and personal care products. I am excited and overwhelmed and generally all a' flutter with the reality of making this happen, but I believe I'm off to a good start.
This past weekend St. Joseph hosted an event to support downtown growth and business development called Better Block. The idea is that abandoned or empty storefronts (which unfortunately our downtown has far too many) are filled with varied pop-up shops and vendors. The slogan being "a better block today, a better downtown tomorrow". This being the second year of the event I was pleasantly surprised with the organization and number of quality vendors involved. I was fortunate enough to be included and thrilled that I would be able to use the space that will actually be my studio in a few short months.
KATIE AND JORDAN (OF PINK ELEPHANT) WITH MYSELF AND AMBER
The weather was perfect at high 60's and sunny, the Felix Street Square (right next to my studio) was filled with local food vendors and talented musicians taking their turns on the stage, and people genuinely thrilled at the idea of a walkable, thriving downtown. This event was a great opportunity for me to expose people to the retail element of the upcoming studio and share with them the plans for the space. People were incredibly supportive and like-minded individuals with talents and skills that I would love to share with our community came out of the woodwork (as has been a common thread with this undertaking).
AMBER SHOWING OFF HER LOVELY YOGA BAGS (HAND MADE WITH VINTAGE MATERIALS)
ROOM AND BODY SPRAYS BY THE AMAZING BREAN
BODY AND BEARD BUTTER, FACE AND BODY SCRUBS, AND TINTED LIP BALM ALL BY THE BADASS JENI
LAUNDRY SOAP, SURFACE CLEANER, AND ESSENTIAL OILS BY YOURS TRULY
It felt like the first step in something potentially really quite amazing. Sharing a practice so dear to my heart, selling hand-made products that I really believe in, and allowing a venue and opportunity for people to share their own skills is such a dream come true. These past few weeks has been a lot of unsexy bureaucracy and number crunching, but this weekend, with its first taste of real possibility, has made it all worth it. I am more excited and confident about this little dream of mine than ever before. I believe in my community's ability to support this business and I believe in my ability to bring it to fruition.
Of course an undertaking of this scale doesn't come without it's fair share of risks and fears. It has already brought to the surface so many personal insecurities and self-doubt, but it has also brought out the dormant leader in me and brought such lovely peers and advisors into my life. Yeah, it's totally terrifying and exposing, but I'm learning that most of the best things are...