February was a month of loss, light, and learning. Here are three noteworthy mentions in each category!

LOSS

We can’t figure out childcare in LA. We thought we found the perfect nanny situation, but when I least expected it that ended. I still really like her as a person and there are no hard feelings whatsoever, it just blows to go back to square one. After that, we tried a daycare and Shia did great, so we filled out the paperwork to make it official and commit for three months. The next morning I got a text message that explained they were closing down. I swore I was being punk’d. Where’s Ashton Kutcher?

Time with E was slim and we spent most weekends apart, which wasn’t all bad, but I’m putting it in this category because we thrive when we have more quality time together.

It was a super short month. It felt as if there was never enough time in a day or days in a week to get anything done. I know it wasn’t a wash, but gosh it was a challenging 28 days for me mentally and emotionally.

LIGHT

We celebrated Shia’s 1st birthday! I am so in love with our little boy. He’s healthy and happy; that’s all we want at this point. I’m really proud of myself for deciding how I wanted to celebrate his first birthday and executing that without anyone else talking me into something different. It was simple – just us with my mom and stepdad at a park with no stress. The idea was presence, not presents. 10/10 recommend!

Our daily post-work walks to the park and pushing Shia on the swings was a gift. The joy he feels while swinging is evident by the smile on his face. I find so much delight in watching him evolve into the person God created him to be little by little each day.

Allie came to visit! This was a huge bright spot for me. I have friends in L.A., but there’s something special about Allie and my friendship with her. She makes me feel seen, heard, understood and deeply cared for. I have fun with her and am so thankful she’s still working for me, but mostly that she’s someone I get to talk to regularly and see occasionally. After dropping her off at the airport I thought to myself, “I want to leave people the way Allie leaves me. Feeling encouraged and less alone.”

LEARNING

I hosted my first L.A. based Soul Care Retreat! It was great and I’m so glad these are happening again. With each one I learn something new about myself, my work, and hosting these retreats in particular. I have an even clearer vision for the next one!

I’m doing somatic therapy every Tuesday morning and that’s going really well. My therapist is Aurora and she makes me feel really safe because she is so nurturing and genuine. I’m recognizing more parts of my life and childhood that still impact me to this day.

In the process of preparing to launch my book into the world, I’m learning so much. First, you don’t get what you don’t ask for. Second, no one cares about something you create or invest in more than you. Third, creating true solidarity and offering real hope requires vulnerability, which is terrifying but there is no substitute or way around it. I pray that putting myself out there as much as I do in my new book is not in vain.

~

It’s currently the second week of March as I’m finishing this recap. Before I hit “publish” I figure I should be radically honest because that’s where real healing begins. Over the last two weeks, I’ve noticed depression creeping up. I’ve felt really low lows more frequently and without any real explanation. There truly is nothing to worry about at the moment, and I would hate for anyone reading this to panic or be concerned. I’m OK. Promise. I have medication, a counselor, access to doctors, a supportive partner and the tools in my tool-belt to navigate it. I just really hope that it passes soon. Feeling hopeless and struggling with intrusive thoughts is not something I’d wish on my worst enemy. I’ve been meditating on Lamentations 3:22-23 (new mercies each morning) and Psalm 30:5 (joy comes in the morning) because they remind me of what I know to be true: the darkness doesn’t last. Light comes. God wins. Always. The day after a dropped egg day is a perfect avocado day. That might sound ridiculous but it’s the metaphor I associate with my good and bad days.

If you read all of the way to the end, leave a comment! I absolutely love hearing from you whether we know each other in real life or we’re connected through the internet somehow. 🙂

Milano cookies & oat-milk,

Manda

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Manda's weekly letters on faith, marriage, motherhood, soul care, social justice - and occasionally the collision of it all. 

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