Category: Inspiration

Come Hang Out With Me!

Community Creating Creative Small Business Family Identity Inspiration Motherhood

Come Hang Out With Me!

On Saturday, February 25, 2018, I’m excited to be leading the following event:

Accepting our Limitations:

A Discussion & Journaling Experience for Mothers Who Are Makers, Artists & Writers

*EVENT DETAILS*

When:                     Saturday, February 25, 2018, 2:00-3:15pm

Where:                    The Common Room, 1509 N. Front Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

What to bring:       Business cards & a notebook/pen

Cost:                            $13 (includes handmade, natural lip balm!)

Summary:                   Come hang out with Marjorie Sarah, a local soapmaker & blogger, as she leads a discussion for mothers who are makers, artists and writers. Running a business while running a household can pose some unique challenges while simultaneously offering immense fulfillment. Treat yourself to some reflection time at The Common Room, where you’ll have the chance to ponder your personal challenges & limitations through guided journaling questions and walk away with some new connections and resources to use both in your mother and artist roles.

To register: http://thecommonroomphilly.com/events/ 

Please share with anyone who may be interested. I look forward to the opportunity for connection, discussion and reflection.

xo,
Marjorie Sarah

 

 

 

Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash

 

View From My Top Bunk of A DC Hostel

Adventures & Travel Family Identity Inspiration Motherhood Self-care Simplicity Spiritual Exploration Yoga/Mindfulness

View From My Top Bunk of A DC Hostel

Just over two months ago, I made my way to Washington, D.C. on a train alone.

It always amazes me how life throws you bones. I won passes to a yoga conference in Arlington and I truly don’t even recall entering the raffle. The email appeared on an August day and it was just what I needed once October rolled around.

This fall proved to be one that I bumped up against my edges more times than I felt comfortable with. With two major transitions for my children (to Kindergarten and Preschool) coupled with Sean adding a part-time writing job that involved deadlines to his already full-time workload, I felt crumbly and crackly. Too many transitions for just a few short weeks. But we made it through!

Here’s what I can remember from my adventure…

When I’m out of the house and out of my norm (In this season of my life, I spend most of my time taking care of little children at home and working at home), I marvel at how many people I share this world with. SERIOUSLY how MANY people. I feel like I’m seeing with new eyes when I’m out and alone. A major reframe.

How have I missed all of this activity?

Observing people in motion, in a hurry, in a flurry…on their way.

I remember vividly feeling this way once I started working in the city again after my maternity leave – as if I’d been in the slow lane and somehow was propelled on a highway but I was in a wagon.

Where’s everybody going? I thought.

I live in a bubble of simplicity and all I long for is simplicity yet I don’t even realize that’s my life until I step into the complex web that is the world.

Here’s a note I wrote to sean from the trip:

Dear Sean,
I’m terribly sorry for being so selfish & so dramatic.
I really miss you guys. It’s excruciating to be away & has been all day but I’m sure this is healthy for all of us. I love you!

 

After my SEPTA/Amtrak adventure, I arrived in Washington’s Union Station and hopped the D.C. city bus to Adams Morgan. My dad never drove when we were kids, so it usually feels most natural to hop on a crowded city bus and settle in for the ride. I always think of it as the best tour in a new city – the windows are so BIG on the bus!

I was super nerdy and excited as I entered the High Road hostel with my yoga mat. Everyone was so youthful and hipster. I didn’t care how much I didn’t fit in! I checked in and headed out for dinner and beer with my journal and I adored every second. I love dining out alone and I always thought that was the best part of work travel.

I came back to the hostel to snuggle up alone on my top bunk, read and write. It was 8pm on a bustling street in Adams Morgan and I had a feeling I’d need my earplugs.

High Road Hostel

I was the first one asleep and the first one to leave my 6 person dorm at 6am the next day. I walked to a breakfast spot and jumped over trash and rats from the partying that ended just a few hours prior. I squealed and gagged. It was disgusting. I started to miss home and thought of my treasured early morning ritual in my little piece of the planet.

After coffee and a breakfast I’d rather forget, I checked in with my people who were getting ready to hit the soccer fields for the Saturday morning games. Ping…awww man. I missed them.

Hopped my ride to Arlington where I spent the day with yogis in a university setting and also had my photos taken! Part of the winning the trip was winning a yoga photo shoot! It was too much fun.

All photos from here down are by Mina Habibi.

Willing myself NOT to tip over for this photo!

I remember a loving-kindness focused class that had me in tears as we circled with our hands resting in the center of the next person’s back.

I remember a class on Spiritual Activism that challenged the way equality is defined and measured. I remember being encouraged to think about who we are vs. who we think we are.

I remember having oh so much fun with the amazing photographer Mina!

Corinne, this one’s for you!

But most importantly, I remember the clarity I got just by being away from my normal life for 24 hours.

: )

I spent three uninterrupted hours quietly making my way back to Philadelphia. Thinking about my time away and listening to two of my favorite podcasts. The first one was this one. And the second one was this one.

That second one really made me remember what I was thinking about the night prior – how much  privilege I have had my entire life. Stories like these make me motivated to keep going and when I think it’s too much, to simply remember all of the resources that I have access to, to use them and be grateful for them, but to also be the resource for someone else.

Everything that had worn me down in the weeks leading up to the trip still remained once I’d returned home, but everything inside of me had shifted.

Natural Lip Balm

 

 

My Sister

Family Identity Inspiration Simplicity

My Sister

She is beautiful – inside & out.
I believe we chose each other before we became Jill & Marjorie
We are so alike,
We are so different.

Between us four kids – each boy/girl combos
“So fun to parent one of each,” we say.
Different people on different paths alongside each other
Enjoying the stories and the lessons that the other gathers and collects.

Always my protector when we were little.
“Get in the car, Marge.”
She’d tell me, she’d shield me.
Now both adults, we shift and offer/receive protection as needed.

Our lives always intertwined,
Our growth aligned.

Siblings are interesting as I parent a set
They fight and they play
Always having their partner there
Growing up & being sibling friends
Savoring a treat that life lends.

 

 

2017 Holiday Orders

Creative Small Business Inspiration marjorie sarah's product line

2017 Holiday Orders

Happy November! I’ve been working hard planning and mixing and curing soap for this time since August. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week. I’m elated! It’s my favorite time of the year – full of twinkle lights, family meals and my son, Brady’s, birthday just a few days before Christmas. He was the best Christmas gift we ever got.

I’m grateful to have so much energizing support for my products and I’ve had a lot of fun putting together gift sets for various price points – whether it’s someone in the office, a teacher, your mom, sister, wife or your husband (yep!), I tried to put something together for everyone with these gift sets.

And if the gift sets aren’t your thing, my lip balm trio makes a great small gift for someone you love or want to say thank you to. Maybe you noticed them in this month’s Gift Guide issue of Grid Philly!!!

How to order:

click here to order all products (to be shipped & picked up)

marjorie sarah's lip balm

I hope you enjoy the packages!!! Please note that I did sell out last year so please reserve as soon as you know you may want one (if we know each other personally and you want to pick up, you can do this without paying in advance…see link on how to order above).

I have a limited inventory that I hope to sell quickly so Meadow and I can bake and sip hot cocoa by the Christmas tree and sing carols while we wait for the time to go pick up our kindergartner. She won’t be three forever, so that is my goal this season – savor it all. : )-

Light and love this holiday season,
Marjorie Sarah

handmade soap philadelphia

In Love

Family Inspiration Simplicity Spiritual Exploration

In Love

As we approach our 9th wedding anniversary this month, I keep feeling pulled to explore what my marriage means to me. Reading Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage had me thinking more on this topic as I enjoy stories of love, partnership and relationships.

“However much we describe and explain love, when we fall in love we are ashamed of our words.”

-Rumi

When I try to put words to why I love Sean, it feels impossible, because it is. I start to say, he’s awesome, he’s funny, I love hanging out with him, he gets me, he puts up with my antics…but that’s not why I love him. I love him because I just love him.

“He’s your lobster!”

– Phoebe from Friends

Sean and I had some kind of magnetic energy since our senior year of high school. Love at first sight, if you will. However, we didn’t know that feeling was love then, having never been in love. I feel somewhat certain that he and I have had past lives together and hopeful that the relationship will continue on and on in future lifetimes.

I feel compelled to share my love story because I believe love changes things. I believe love changes EVERYTHING actually.

“Love is the remedy.”

-Zac Brown Band

This man, I call my husband, became my best friend when we were still kids. We entered adulthood together, found our way together and discovered many layers of ourselves alongside each other.

Sean was deployed with the Air Force and I spent a semester abroad in college, so three separate times our relationship spanned the Atlantic Ocean and when your love is young, as ours was at that time, that is brutal. The few times we said goodbye to each other, knowing it would be months until we got to see each other again, I sobbed uncontrollably at the airports alone.

One particular deployment Sean was stationed near Frankfurt, Germany and I went to visit him for a week. We traveled all over in our rental car, flying down the audobon listening to European music we didn’t know having the time of our lives. We drove through snowstorms, had our car break down and discovered adventures waiting for us in Berlin.

One of the stops on this road trip was in the Medieval town of Rothenburg. Super cute town but the time of year we went it was dead. Nothing to do, nothing going on. Zilch. When you’re 24 and ready to party, that’s a bummer. There was an Italian pizza place across the street and we went there three nights in a row and drank loads of their house wine and ate pizza as if it was the place to be. It was better than the clubs.

On our Honeymoon in St. Lucia, December 2008

I think we’ve had three chances to partner up in this lifetime and I’m happy the 3rd time worked out.

  1. We realized that both of our dads were in the same Roofer’s Union in Philadelphia and we both attended their holiday parties when we were kids. Too soon.
  2. Then when we were in high school, our worlds collided, but quickly divided when we went our separate ways to different colleges. Hit then miss.
  3. Finally, when we crossed paths again once Sean came home from a deployment in Cyprus, the time was then for us to be together. And we basically were ever since. Perfect timing.

I remember the day that my friend called me telling me he was really coming home from overseas. I was crossing Broad street in Philadelphia and I was on my cell phone and stopped in the middle of the street, nearly getting hit by a car. I was so excited and in complete shock.

It was in a driveway in Lawncrest later that night that he told me he’d basically drop whatever he had going on to be with me. Wait, what did he say??? It took more than a couple weeks for me to realize what had been said.

“Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer.”

-Rumi

Someone once told me that couples who make it through the years still argue about the same things they always have, they just change the way they argue. It is something that has always touched me as we transitioned into parenthood and now as our family grows.

A note I wrote to Sean for something I was sorry about

So as Sean and I each journey on our own paths of self-awareness and even self-study I see that we have shifted the way in which we argue and it actually makes us stronger – disagreements and all.

“Then your heart changes your mind and it changes you.”

-Zac Brown Band

Gone are the wild days of driving around anywhere at anytime seeking all the adventure we could find. We did it all, I bet you have too. Often it was just us two finding fun at a Phillies game, out in Center City or going to Dorney Park. We’d drink a million beers talking about everything we could think of with Van Morrison in the background. We’d mention that strange feeling of love at first sight, or knowing there was just something different about the other one. We needed to be together.

“We were young and wild
They say nothing good’s
Gonna last forever
We were pedal to the metal
And always together
When I look back I just smile”

-Zac Brown Band

And together we were. I didn’t have a driver’s license for the first 10 years of our relationship – so we went nearly everywhere together. For TEN YEARS! Like everywhere. Then we both got sick of that. Haha.

Moving in together at 20 years old was fun yet challenging. Our friends were living in dorms or at home still and we were figuring out how to split the bills. The upside is that it gave us practice and by the time the wedding came, we had it somewhat figured out.

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”

-Rumi

Sean has two hands together that hold me up in precisely the areas I need support. And I try to be that same support for him.

One time when I was going through a major transition, he didn’t recognize me but told me that he understood I was like a flower and I needed to grow. I didn’t think I could have loved him more than I did in that moment.

When I was feeling black and blue
I could always count on you
You always made me new
Always made me new

-Zac Brown Band

When we lived in Center City we would often wander the streets and go for long walks and talk for hours. We were bored and broke but we had each other. Those are some of my favorite memories.

Lunch in Playa del Carmen, June 2017

Today walks are for carrying scooters and yelling “Wait at the corner!!!!” to the kids. Our exchanges are checklists of family to do’s and asking the kids to please SHHHSH so we can communicate. Often we only have the chance to talk for real when we are both exhausted and half asleep. Our lives are different now but we still have each other and every once in a while when we do get to spend meaningful time together, it’s just as fun as it’s always been.

An Accurate Family Portrait

I am continuously blown away by the forces and circumstance that united us. I have much gratitude in my heart for this, my most precious friendship and partnership in this lifetime. Nine years of marriage has shown me love,

A Night Out in Mexico

compassion, patience, frustration, compromise and companionship.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our love story. I’d love to hear yours and consider featuring it on my blog. Email me at mslipbalm at gmail dot com.

With Love,

Marjorie Sarah

 

 

I wanna get lost in some corner booth
Cantina Mexico
I wanna dance to the static of an A.M. radio
I wanna wrap the moon around us and lay beside you skin on skin
Make love ’til the sun comes up, ’til the sun goes down again
‘Cause I need you

-Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

 

That’s What I Got

Inspiration Motherhood Simplicity

That’s What I Got

Two half-broken hairdryers
A dishwasher that won’t wash a dish
A diabetic, blind dog with diarrhea & fleas
That’s what I got.

Home cooked meals every night of the week
Silly screams
Neighbors that give me beer when I’ve finished my only one
That’s what I got.

Tons of paperwork
Homework
Voicemails to return
That’s what I got.

Hot water
Sacred space
Coffee & tea
That’s what I got.

Mosquitos
Messy clothes
Sticky tables
That’s what I got.

Warm blankets
A stocked pantry
Herbs & spices
That’s what I got.

A cold kitchen in an old house
A broken door
Many creaky floors
That’s what I got.

Love, snuggles, family, health
Big windows for sunshine
Books & candles that are mine
That’s what I got.

I’ll take it all.

 

Photo by Jeffrey Wegrzyn on Unsplash

Difficulty & The Lessons We Aren’t Up For

Family Identity Inspiration Motherhood Simplicity Spiritual Exploration Yoga/Mindfulness

Difficulty & The Lessons We Aren’t Up For

Oh hello there again, Shit I don’t want to deal with
How’d you find me?
I’ve been hiding from you
Secretly.

I don’t have time for this
It’s early and there’s so much to do
I turn my head and feel a ping of realization
I have it all backwards here

Those things I have to do
Are not my lessons
They are the distraction
From the work

Right here, in the messy fears and tears of those plugged into me
Is the “to do”
The entire freaking list
Is screaming at me
They need me

I breathe and switch gears
How could I have nearly missed this chance again
The chance to show up
The opportunity to change the day

These are the moments I prepare so attentively for
Through mantras and silence and yoga
And they come and then I trip, with disappointment in my heart
But not this time

It wasn’t perfect
But I tried
Grateful for the opportunity
Maybe tomorrow I’ll be a little bit stronger

 

 

Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

3 Ways to Support a Breastfeeding Mother & Other Breastfeeding Resources

Family Inspiration Motherhood

3 Ways to Support a Breastfeeding Mother & Other Breastfeeding Resources

Breastfeeding, like parenting, unexpectedly altered everything about me. I found it an avenue to dive into the topics of food, health, well being, parenting and attachment and an opportunity to connect with like-minded people on a topic that has endless opportunities to learn about myself, my growing baby and my body.

My breastfeeding journey with each of my children was unique, but had many similarities. I found much support and direction from a group of smart, supportive women in my community (La Leche League of Montgomery County East). I also pulled from a variety of resources to collect tools and emotional support along a journey that shifted my view and reframed my perspective on mothering through breastfeeding.

My shadow at Wilder Park (outside Chicago), the birthplace of La Leche League. I had to find my way there and it was worth it.

 

Perhaps you are the partner of a breastfeeding mother or the grandparent of a breastfed baby and you find yourself in unusual territory. Here are 3 ways to show your support for the woman you love:

  1. Go get a glass of water and set it in front of a breastfeeding mother.

    Don’t ask if they want it, they NEED it and it will be much appreciated. There were many times when I’d sit down to nurse and the second Brady or Meadow latched on, an overwhelming sense of thirst took over me. A friend once suggested creating “water stations” around the house and just leaving water bottles where you frequently nursed. That is such good advice!

  2. Show interest in hunger cues and encourage feeding.

    There are signs that a newborn gives when they are hungry. Here’s a handy tool to interpret them. Learning to notice them is like having a conversation with the little baby in your life without words.

    I often felt worried that I was feeding my son too often. Once I realized how easily and efficiently breastmilk is digested, I understood that he wasn’t being a bugger when he was hungry just 30 minutes after a feeding, but that his body had efficiently processed his milk and was ready for some more! Our first pediatrician warned me not to be the pacifier and further warned against nursing for comfort. I was perplexed by that because I felt that was my job and the beauty in breastfeeding – I was providing food and drink along with comfort and security. I could not love this essay more – on the beauty of being a human pacifier.

  3. Provide a pillow and reading material. 

    It’s the little things, but these make a HUGE difference!

Because I had so many supportive mothers who had been where I was to help me on my breastfeeding journey, I choose to offer the same support in return serving as a La Leche League Leader for 2+ years. No matter if your goal is one week or 5 years, you may have many questions – from technical to emotional – and hopefully some of these resources at the bottom may offer guidance.

Resources

  • The most helpful book I found was The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. You can buy it through the local LLL group I mentioned above for $10.
  • Infant Risk Center – If you are taking a medication, say getting a cavity filled, or whatever, call them and they will talk to you about the latest research on whether or not to nurse the baby and how soon. I called multiple times and spoke to a real human.
  • United States Breastfeeding Committee – Leadership, advocacy and collaboration resource.
  • Embarrassed: Spoken Word by Holly McNish – a beautiful spoken word piece of her experience breastfeeding in public. It gives me chills every time.

And if you are passionate about supporting breastfeeding mothers – support them! Much of the research states that the community around a nursing mother is one of the most important tools to help her meet her personal goals.

Go to local meetings of whatever group makes sense to you and volunteer or host a gathering. La Leche League has annual local conferences that I attended and even co-led a session and those were very fulfilling and exciting learning opportunities.

Happy Breastfeeding!

xo,

Marjorie Sarah

 

Top Photo Credit: Pixabay 

 

A September Like No Other

Family Identity Inspiration Motherhood Simplicity

A September Like No Other

Holy smokes, what an emotional roller coaster.
Just left Meadow’s preschool meeting – she starts tomorrow.
Don’t be alarmed if she doesn’t speak to you, I say.
Last week my little man marched off to kindergarten.
The excitement, the fears, the new world opens; it suddenly appears.

Time has switched all up on me.
No morning quiet, where is my meditation?
Packing lunch, walking to the bus, breakfast chats.
Days are choppy, different, busy, slow, busy, slow.
I hurry then wait, then hurry, then I wait.

I love preparing the lunch containers, the meals.
I love after school chats and getting the scoop on all that went down that day.
There’s so much joy to be found in the small things like these.

I see the road next to school and as I drive along I realize this: for the next eight years I will be parking, waiting and looping around there for the elementary school pickup.
And I love it. This job of being the mom, the container to both hold it all and serve as a launch pad is again a paradox.
The beauty and the letting go all tangled up.
They are ours but not to keep, just to snuggle & let soar.

Happy September,

xo, Marjorie Sarah

 

 

Photo by Marko Blažević on Unsplash

Why I’m Growing A Handmade Business While Nurturing Growing Children

Inspiration

Why I’m Growing A Handmade Business While Nurturing Growing Children

I thrive on connection, it sustains me more than food and water. In the early days of parenting and being a stay-at-home mother I sought out heartfelt stories of  mothering – stories of the mama bear love along with the real challenges I was facing.

When I had challenges meeting the demands of midnight nursing and pumping at work, I binge read support articles from La Leche Leauge.

When I had a break down because 9-5 and parenting did not mix well for me, I found authors and bloggers who had been where I was and read their words.

When I feared my second birth would be late and a possible induction loomed, I googled success stories of natural births that started with induction. There were many and I was able to visualize the birth I’d been planning for.

So here I am, faced with another challenge of trying to grow a small, handmade business while nurturing a growing family. Every time I find out a business owner is a mother, I immediately hope they’ve written a post on EXACTLY. WHAT. TO. DO. Then I exhale, and remember my favorite life lesson: that you already have all the answers buried within you. Trust yourself, Marjorie Sarah. 

I’ve yet to find that post and, well, nothing is ever that neat and tidy anyway, right?

It’s time again to set the intention on perseverance and give my attention to those that lift me up, then float with the energy.

My struggle is that everything is everywhere. Every thought and everything is tucked into various corners of my living space and I’m just trying to scoop them all together into a pile so I can make something of it.

I have a new goal that I established with my healthcare coach: to journal as a tool to work toward acceptance of everyday chaos. I get a $100 incentive if I reach two goals. Why not???

We are all busy, we are all crazed. At least that’s what it feels like and that’s what most people seem to be telling me. But this chapter of my life where I’m home with two young kids and a diabetic dog, has me feeling exceptionally spread thin.  It also has given me the gift of perspective. I’m able to see my reactions and patterns that appear over and over again. I used to think certain things were hard because of my job at that particular point in time. Oh crap, I see now, that it was me. I have the same reactions to completely different problems. I’m once again in complete overwhelm – it’s not because I’m a college senior or an administrative assistant or a memeberhsip manager or a paralegal anymore. It’s because I get overwhelmed easily. Oh, well now we have that one squared away.

As my latest read in book club has showed me, this path is winding and just when it gets hardest and you want to fold, endure and proceed. This is me doing just that. I keep thinking I should fold up this business. I love every second of it, but if I’m home with my kids (which I also love), why not just be home with my kids? Don’t add a whole bunch of crazy by making tons of awesome soap and lip balm. : ) I can barely get the laundry folded – why take on a business?

Because I love it. That’s what I keep coming back to. No one said it would be easy.

I will continue to make and craft amid the noise, the mess and the chaos. #makersgonnamake

I hope another maker mother finds this article and feels connected to someone on a similar path.

Namaste,

Marjorie Sarah

 

Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash