Household Mag.

#togetherwemother Series

MotherhoodHailey AndresenComment

This month we're talking about "what motherhood has made you grateful for" in our #togetherwemother series. Don't forget to visit the rest of the bloggers in this series at the end of this post to read their unique experiences, and thanks for taking the time to read mine.

Normally I would go on one long rant about what I’m grateful for, especially since Thanksgiving is tomorrow and that in itself has me feeling all sorts of sappy and thankful, but in order to keep myself organized and sane, I’m going to stick to a light hearted list style here. Here are the five things motherhood has made me grateful for.

1. Showers. I wish someone would have told me when I was pregnant to take long, luxurious showers - honestly. Shampoo your hair twice, sing, daydream - whatever it is you do in there. Why doesn’t anyone tell you that a shower without interruption will soon be a vacation? I will never take another shower in peace for granted again, and I will always use being a mother as an excuse to shave my legs as infrequently as I’d like, because if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em, right?!

2. Sleep. Ever since daylight savings the majority of the country set their clocks back, but Owen didn’t seem to get the memo. He is now waking up an hour earlier and it’s dark and I feel like a teenager before school in the morning. So needless to say,  I wish that I would have listened to everyone who told me to rest when I was pregnant. And more than anything else, I want to grab all my pals without kids and shake them like this when they say they’re tired. “Cherish it!”

3. Health. I was so lucky to have had a healthy pregnancy and to have given birth to a healthy baby, and I try to remind myself of this each and every time Owen catches any bit of sickness. He tends to run high fevers that send me into overdrive with worry anytime he is slightly under the weather, but they also make me realize that I am so lucky that it’s this and not something else. I am so unbelievably thankful.

4. Mothers. Before I had kids I seriously didn’t get it. I know I was that bitchy twenty something that was judgmental about mothers and their struggles - their sweatpants and their kids clutching iPads and smartphones in restaurants. While I try to combat those same challenges daily, I really understand just how tough it is to get yourself and your kiddo out the door. Sometimes sweatpants are the only option and well, fresh air and conversation are far more memorable in my opinion than the perfect outfit. So mothers, I admire you all, because I know if you're anything like me you are simply doing your best and loving you kids the best way you know how. 

5. Family. There’s nothing quite like building your own family. The idea that Zack and I chose each other twice (yes twice, if you haven’t read the full story do so here) and then made Owen is still insane to me. There is so much to say here, but ultimately I love that we are establishing our own traditions with each holiday that passes and that we are forming memories that Owen will carry with him as he gets older. Being a family isn’t always easy, but this year I am especially thankful to call Zack and Owen my teammates. Love doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Photo by Amy Frances

Sometimes Sweet | Bluebird Kisses | Lucky Penny | Kikhaly

Above Harrison | Chels and Co. | Petite Biet

Chrissy Powers | Mom Crush Monday | Bonjour Ava

An Intentional Autumn

Motherhood, Food + DrinkHailey AndresenComment

Where do I begin? Last weekend I was lucky enough to join Rebecca, her beautiful team and the best group of women I may have ever had the chance to meet. Please take me seriously - I don’t say this often. As I’ve gotten older I’ve made more and more female friends, but generally speaking my crew is made up of men. I’m typically okay with this, but I left Foxfire Mountain House feeling more refreshed than I have in years after being surrounded by women for four days. I might have laughed in your face if you told me this would be the case a short year ago, but it’s the honest truth. This retreat was the first trip I’ve taken away from Owen since he was born, and while I’m sure a lot of you might like to hear that it was difficult - it really wasn’t. A year in and I felt like I needed and deserved a weekend to myself and for myself, and guess what - I missed him and I missed Zack, but no one burnt the apartment down, everyone lived and I truly believe I came home better because of it all.

I learned at our final dinner that I wasn’t alone in saying I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I booked my ticket for “An Intentional Autumn”. That isn’t to say that Rebecca didn’t do an excellent job at describing the weekend - I knew it would be beautiful, I knew there would be a focus on food, hospitality and styling, but outside of that it was fairly open ended which allowed for a mix of ladies with different backgrounds and interests to attend. It was exactly what I needed and from what I gathered through the weekend - it was exactly what everyone else needed too. In an industry where so much of my time is spent behind a computer screen it was the greatest and most necessary gift of all to sit down, eat a home cooked meal (while it was still warm), drink one too many glasses of wine most nights and connect with women that I immediately admired and was inspired by. It’s almost sad to say, but I didn’t realize how much I had missed this sort of connection until I was smack dab in the middle of it all.

Anna Watson Carl, the author of The Yellow Table, and her team prepared all of our meals (three meals a day to be exact - with dessert at each meal), she also lead workshops on hospitality, baking homemade granola and poached pear tarts. If I had to select one love language it’s most likely food, but as we sat in the living room and each shared what hospitality means to us I found myself with tears in my eyes. I realize it might sound cheesy, but the conversation fed my soul and tapped into why I started Household to begin with - the desire to cook and bake and share despite being in a new place and knowing under five people - I learned to connect online after a long line of avoiding the internet and claiming to be “bad at it”. Hospitality originally started for me at my mother’s table, the table that in her most recent move she had the legs removed so it would fit into her and my dad’s new loft in Downtown Phoenix. There are still marks in the table top from mine and my brother’s homework. I can still remember each Thanksgiving and Christmas and plenty of the other meals spent there with our family, friends and neighbors - it was a place to gather, eat, share and connect - no matter who you were you were always welcome. As an adult I found this sense of hospitality again in the restaurants I worked in, and in the past year and a half I have found it right here. So thank you for being here.

Our other workshops focused on weaving, setting the table, forging and floral arrangement, defining your brand, and food styling and photography, primarily lead by Rebecca - who I left feeling so unbelievably inspired by. The effort, time and thought that went into her retreat is difficult to put into words. From the selection of Foxfire Mountain House for the venue, to the food and gifts we received, to the morning yoga, to the carefully organized schedule and set of workshops she put together, to the group of women she attracted - it seems too simple to say that she really hit it out of the park, but she really did. Her focus through each and every activity was intentional living, which I admit I was nervous about before I arrived. My work is primarily done on a computer. I wondered, would this be considered intentional living? Since I’ve had Owen I’ve been pretty intentional with my time, but what would that mean by Rebecca’s standards or by the standards of all these new people I was meeting?

I think we all left on the same page. An intentional life is simple - it means that everything you do is done with intention (yes, even watching TV). It doesn’t mean that there are things you should or shouldn’t be doing, but that whatever it is you are doing should be with intention. I struggle with being checklist obsessed, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s not about how much you do, but how you do it. It’s about realizing what you need and making time for it. That’s at least what I left feeling. It doesn’t mean you have to take on more work, I actually left feeling like maybe I need to take on less, but focus more on the work that matters. And that ultimately I need to make more time for everything that matters - Zack, Owen, friends, family, me. It’s easy to bury yourself in work, but in ten, twenty, thirty years will it matter? Finding balance is key and making time, being intentional with your time is what it’s all about.

A huge thank you to Rebecca for teaching us, for welcoming us all and for putting together one of the best weekends I’ve experienced in some time. There’s no way anyone left “An Intentional Autumn” feeling less than they did walking in. Sign me up for your next retreat please. ;) 

Photography by Amy Frances

Inspiring Spaces

Home + DesignHailey AndresenComment

When I asked Paula Mallis, the owner of this gorgeous home, what makes her house a home she shared with me that she has been opening her home for the past three years to her community for women’s circles and gatherings, and that of all things, she feels that these gatherings have blessed her home and family. To give you a little back story, Paula is a mother, doula, yoga teacher and meditation guide living in Venice, CA with her husband Todd, her daughter Madeleine and their furry friends Buddy and Willow. On Paula’s site she explains the women’s circle gatherings mentioned as such… “As we gather we will be honoring the transition a woman goes through on her journey from pregnancy into motherhood. We will honor this sacred rite of passage by sharing our experience, wisdom and birth story. Our time together will be held in a safe, non judgmental and loving space. This evening will provide an opportunity to deepen our understanding of our stories and apply a loving reframe to the places within us where we might hold judgment towards ourselves and others. In maintaining this heartfelt and loving space, we will connect and support one another as we travel our own unique journey into motherhood.”

I don't know anyone who wouldn't be drawn to Paula’s beautiful space by looking at these photos, but it was after I learned about how she has made her home a safe space for mothers that truly it hit me how inspiring her space is. Her husband took the home they purchased down to the studs, designed and built the home you see here, and now this is a space where her daughter explores imaginary play time, where Paula and her husband cook meals together, where they gather as a family and where women honor their journey from pregnancy to motherhood. Talk about dreamy hospitality! When it comes to decor, Paula is a huge fan of Merchant Modern, 1st Dibs, General Store and Tortoise General Store, plus her and her husband have inherited a furniture collection from her husband’s family that is especially special to them.