Happy Mother’s Day, friends! I have absolutely loved reading and seeing everyone dote on their mom today. I’m blessed to have many mothers in my life that have helped me figure out exactly the mom I want to be, and I’m so grateful!

I spent most of today soaking up lots of love, and staring into the sparkly eyes of my favorite girl in the world. It’s all true, what they say about motherhood. It’s the hardest and most wonderful thing you’ll ever do. I’d do anything for Maggie. Anything in the whole world. And I plan to do exactly that very soon.

I’m letting you in on a little secret about some changes I’m making, so I can be Maggie’s Mom forever.

Being BRCA1+ means certain parts of my body would love to host a cancer party, specifically in my breasts and ovaries, so my super-awesome team of doctors have suggested we buy me some time here on earth and get rid of those mean ol’ body parts. In 10 days, I’ll have a bilateral mastectomy.

I am feeling all kinds of things: scared, grateful, a little sad. I have to admit that though I have known my sweet Marc for 11 years, and I know he loves me no matter what, there’s a little piece of me that is scared that he’ll look at me, disfigured and different, and be less than impressed. I’m scared that I won’t get to wear certain pieces of clothing without my scars showing, and a little scared that I’ll never feel sexy again. I’m scared of more scowls when I feed my baby formula instead of breast milk. I’m scared that I’m going to miss out on a lot of Maggie’s “firsts” because I’m not able to lift her, hold her, bathe her, or play with her until I heal. I’m scared that Maggie will be confused when she sees me change, because I don’t look like she does.

And after feeling all of those things, I realize that there have been so many women before me that would take that list of problems in a heartbeat, instead of wondering if they’re even going to make it out of their struggle alive. My own mom did. She used to take me to chemotherapy with her, and it scares the shit out of me that I hardly remember that. I was just a little girl, and I remember the inconveniences, like that my dad had to fix my hair in the morning and he didn’t do as good of a job as mom did. Where was mom? Why wasn’t she fixing my hair? Or dinner? Why wasn’t she home?

I hate to even imagine the thoughts that crossed my mom’s mind throughout her battle, but I have imagined them. And I think about how GRATEFUL I am to know that there is a problem with my body, and that I can FIX it. As scared as I am, I’m also grateful as hell to know about this so early in my life so that I can change the course and be here for my family as long as possible.

Because the thing is, the minute I found out I was pregnant with her, she changed my life. She really did make my heart explode, and brought me happiess I couldn’t have even imagined. So I choose Maggie. I choose her over boobs and ovaries, every time.

So that’s it, y’all. My topless dancing career is out the window now, and that’s annoying, but I guess there will be other opportunities for me. Like being Maggie’s Mom forever. I’m happy with that title, and I hope my little gumdrop knows now, and for the rest of her life, that it’s the title that means the most to me, and I intend to drive her crazy for as long as possible.

Of course, I know that no matter what happens, I’ll be Maggie’s mom forever, no matter where I am or where I go. But right now, while I’m here on this earth, I’d do anything for just one minute more with my Dylan Bird.

If you’re the praying kind, or the good-hippie-vibe-sending kind, please do so, for my beloved Marc and Maggie to have a smooth transition while Mom’s eating tacos in bed. A little part of me is excited for Marc, as I know he and Maggie will be even better buddies when it’s all said and done. I hope you celebrated Mother’s Day with someone who would do anything in the whole world for you, or someone who you’d do anything in the world for. I certainly did.

maggie love

Nah, that was a lie. I’ve got plenty more ahead of me, but I decided yesterday that it was the Last Day of Pretending Like Everything Is Fine, ’cause it’s not.

I’ll start with the fact this this is about more than vanity. If I *totally* didn’t care about what others thought of me, I probably wouldn’t hive out at the thought of being in a bathing suit this summer. So, realistically, it’s a little bit about vanity. But, for the record, anyone that says something along the lines of “having a baby is a reason, not an excuse” can eat shit. Really, go do it, because that kind of pressure is for the birds, and I’m not subscribing to being healthy via bullying.

Maybe I made a human six whole months ago, and maybe I should be “healthy” by now, but shoving the whole diet and exercise thing aside for a minute and looking at what making a human does to you on an emotional level is enough to make you Looney Tunes all on its own. I am truly happy for my friends who have babies and run marathons. Go you! Do what makes you happy! But for the rest of the moms (or even Not-Moms) who have always hated exercising and FORREAL eat cookies in bed, that’s not how we roll. It’s a straight-up task, people. Some days, it’s a task to even get out of bed, and we’re lucky that I even got dressed. I’m just not motivated by the same things other people are motivated by, and I don’t think that makes me a bad guy. You know what motivates me? Queso. Chips and queso.

But lately, it’s been weighing on me (see what I did there?) a while that something has to change with the way I treat myself. I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks while trying to be aware of how I go about it all:

I’ve learned that I’m an emotional eater, and there is a food for every occasion. Tired? Donut. Happy? Taco.

I’ve learned that while I’m COMPLETELY aware of what is “good” and what is “bad” for you, I am the Queen of Excuses, and will find a way to ignore any and all knowledge about what I know is right.

I’ve learned that the thought of being responsible for another human being’s happiness and wellbeing and also trying to completely change our lifestyle and the way we think about diet and exercise makes me throw metaphorical confetti in the air and say, “Fuck it. That’s WAY too hard.”

You know what else I learned? 

I’ve learned that, for me, this change has to be personal, and it needs to be driven from peace and kindness, because I’m not motivated to be better by self-loathing or meanness.

I’ve learned that being a good example for my Magna-doodle is sometimes going to be harder than I thought. (“Cookies are a Sometimes Food, Dylan Bird!” NOMNOMNOM.)

I’ve learned that in this process, I’m going to have to nurture myself even more than I already try to. I already know there will be a lot of “checking in” with myself, and a lot of accountability and responsibility (boo, where’s the wine?) going on.

That’s a little overwhelming. And daunting. And terrifying. And OHGOD, WHAT AM I COMMITTING TO? But here’s what I’m doing to get started:

– Marc already started cutting meat out of his diet, so I decided to do the same. Have I ever talked about how much I love beef? Well, we’re cooling it on the beef, and other meat, for obvious health reasons, but also at an attempt to reduce our footprint. I guess every time I want a steak, I’ll watch that video of the farmer playing a trombone to his cows. (That’s a real video. Stop what you’re doing and go watch it if you haven’t.)

– We’re exercising (at home, duh) for 25 minutes every other night. Laugh all you want, but I’m dreading it.

– I’m committing to 30 Days of Yoga from Yoga with Adriene. I’ve watched her videos on the past, and she’s so kind-hearted and makes me feel like a normal human being, so YES to that.

– I’m writing in my Diet Doodle Diary, because if there is only one way to this girl’s heart, it’s through paper and talking about my feelings. So BAM!

Wish me luck, y’all. If it still feels healthy to post about my progress (or, you know, not-progress), I will. Peace and LOVE to you today, and always, friends!

I’m about to be mean to myself. But I’m hoping to find some light at the end of the tunnel, er, post. So hang with me.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and that makes me sad for a few reasons. Let’s put aside the fact that there’s a chance that no one else but me gives a damn that I write, and that’s fine. But writing and posting is also (and mostly) for me. It makes me happy. It’s mine. So why does my brain betray me when it comes to this, and other things I try to do for myself that are meant to help me grow into a better wife, better mom, better friend, better person?

Is anyone else out there making stupid lists of stuff that they should be doing to be better? Because I’m a bleeping PRO at writing these lists.

“Write. Journal. Paint. Sleep better. Wake up earlier. Connect with Marc. Pick out clothes for the next day. Do some yoga. Or any exercise, like, at all. Make an effort to look put together. Cook better. Eat better. Spend less. Fix hair. Don’t eat donuts. Don’t buy things we don’t need. Be positive. Be organized. Be understanding. Read. Clean the house more. Iron Marc’s shirts. Be nicer. Pay bills off. Save money. Pray.”

Those are all good ideas, right? So why do I come home, get Maggie to bed, crawl into bed myself, watch YouTube videos, and pin the shit out of some great ideas on Pinterest instead? And why are there some nights that my prayer is a shrug and a “Sorry, God. Goodnight.”

When I fail at “the list,” I check out of my own brain and into Hotel Distraction. Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, or any other place that will keep my mind occupied on anything but my failure, until it’s time to go to bed. At least I know this about myself now, so when I start to feel this way, I can slide out of bed, stand in front of Marc and say, “It’s here. Help me, please.” (AND HE DOES. God, I love him.)

So what the hell is the point in keeping a list like that makes me feel like shit sometimes?

I think the point in keeping the list is a reminder of this: There are 1,000 things I could be doing to be better every dayBut I don’t. And that’s okay. Sometimes I suck. And that’s okay, too. There are also 1,000 things I might be doing right, and that’s what I’m learning to really, truly focus on.

If you have a “list” somewhere, I hope you work through it patiently. Because I’m pretty sure we’re awesome for even trying to be better. I commit to continue teaching myself that failing at any one thing on the list doesn’t mean I fail at everything.

I also commit to eating donuts. Only sometimes.

Happy 2015, friends!

I really mean that. Let’s be happy in 2015.

I have resolutions for this year! But they are flexible, because my Life Resolution is to be happy, peaceful, and full of love, whatever that means. Sometimes that means leaving the dishes in the sink, dipping your pizza in that fake garlic butter sauce, or staying in your pajamas all day. And I’m okay with that.

This year, I will remember my sweet Maggie Dylan Bird when I’m standing in front of a mirror tugging at fat and body parts that are different than what they used to be. I’ll remember that she was worth it, and I’ll remember that she is watching me. I’ll remember that she is my greatest accomplishment, and that to me, she is perfect and amazing in every way. And I’ll remember that some people think that same thing about me too.

This year, I will be more conscious of what I eat and what I feed my family, and I’m hoping it will be mostly healthy. But I also know it will mean we will eat carrot cake and Whataburger sometimes.

This year, I will be more conscious of my health in general, and I’m hoping that means more yoga and water. But I also know it will mean taking naps and watching two movies in a row.

This year, I will allow myself more creativity. I’ll write in my journals, even if what I write is painful to read later. I’ll doodle in my sketchbooks, even if they’re not worth writing home about. I’ll get paint under my fingernails, and glue in my hair.

This year, I will date my boyfriend, Marc, because he has saved both Maggie and me up from despair on more than one occasion. He’s warmed her bottles, and chilled mine. He’s changed her shitty diapers and my shitty attitude. He’s been more of a supportive dad and husband than Mags and I could have ever dreamed of.

This year, I will organize my home so that it’s easy to admire all the things that make our lives easier and happier. I will let go of clutter, and make room for functionality.

My heart has been filled by my family, my job, my home, and the life I’ve been given. How grateful I am for these. I hope your resolutions bring you the happiness and light that I know mine will bring me. Happy New Year to you!

Friends of Knowing Lola,

Let me start by saying how much I LOVE YOU for reading this blog for the past 2.5 years. I never thought in a million years that anyone would be interested in hearing what I have to say about anything, but so many people have sent me so much love over the years, and for that, I thank you. Your support has filled my heart. Even the people that have read my blog and hated it, and hated me, I thank you, too, for helping me grow into the writer and person I’ve always wanted to be.

That being said, over the past few years, there were good times and bad times that made me take a few steps back and really evaluate who I was, and I’m so happy to say that all of that searching has gotten me to a really happy place. That, and the love of my family and friends. I’m so glad I had this venue to help me get those thoughts and feelings straightened out in my head and in my heart, and you helped me feel normal. And for that, I thank you, too.

So with all of that soul-searching and soul-finding, I thought it was time for Knowing Lola to start reflecting who I am today, so I decided to start fresh, just like I did in real life. My old posts are tucked away, here on WordPress in a neat little “Private” folder, and in my heart in a neat little “Archive” folder, because those building blocks are still important to me. But for future’s sake, I’m moving on, and I want you to come with me, if you feel so moved.

I hope you read my Post Categories page to find out about the kinds of things I’ll be writing about in the future, and if you like it, I hope you stick around. If you hate it, then go here instead, because no one can possibly hate that video.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for loving me and letting me sing my song. Here’s to second chances, love, and light. CHEERS!

Now go follow me on Facebook to get my new post updates.

xoxo, Lola