Hello and Welcome

Before you meet me, you will probably meet Ella. She's the one running five feet ahead—more, if she's barefoot and I have heels on—the one who never looks where she's going yet never seems to bump into things, or at least nothing she can't climb over and conquer. Always curious, always experimenting, always looking under, inside and (her latest favorite) through things. Constantly in motion, the blur in most of her photos, she's just learned what it means to live out loud, loudly.

If ever there were a life enthusiast, it's her, not me. I, her mother, simply tag along (at a respectful distance when I can help it), experiencing life more fully because she first poked it or picked it up. It's because of her that I finally decided to write a blog.

Before I was her mom, I was the editor in chief of a lifestyle magazine for tween girls, which in between Bieber news and 1D swooning aimed to empower young girls to be their best selves, embrace their individuality and explore their worlds confidently. I'd like to think of those seven and a half years as boot camp. Within a few months of having Ella, I'd packed away my comfy, carefully decorated boss-lady cubicle (with a view!), unsure of what my life would be like after saying goodbye to the life I'd known for so long, being who I thought I would always be, letting go of the goals I'd always had.

That new life, it turns out, is all sorts of wonderful.

Because I'm not so sure of myself anymore, I can do things I don't really know how to do, like gardening, making things, decorating, cooking, baking—oh, and parenting. Life is more fun when you're able to make a mess of things on a regular basis.

This realization didn't happen at once, mind you. I'm still learning how to be an imperfectionist. I was an editor for so long that sometimes all I can see around me are the mistakes. Sometimes, it takes all my inner strength to resist focusing on the flaws, in my life, in my work, in myself, but if I can start embracing this beautiful mess of a life I've been given, my hope is that I'll get better at embracing the messiness of being a mom to my beautiful daughter.

Because she's always running ahead of me, barefoot when I just bought her new shoes, never looking where she's going and never going where she's supposed to, the blur in my carefully composed photos, the curious finger in the middle of my layer cake. I'm grateful for every day that I get to learn how to love her better and love all the things I'm learning because of her.

Once upon a time, my motto was "live, love, laugh" (because it was everyone's motto) but now it's this:

"I believe in the transformative power of God, love, words, travel, music, and coffee."

That pretty much sums up all you need to know about me. At any given time, I will have at least two of the above fueling my life. Preferably all. At the same time.

Anything else you want to know about me? You can email me at shiloah.ma[at]me.com.