10 Oct 2014

BATHTIME {gone wrong}

I tried to take a relaxing bath [by myself] this week, and this is what it turned into… so, onto those daydreams about having a master bath all to my-mama-self.
MAMA bathtime

6 Oct 2014

LAKE TENKILLER {nourishing my roots}

I’ve tried to make a conscious effort in getting more solo time + it’s been so good. Gotta nourish those roots! This is from a morning at Lake Tenkiller where I got some awesome time by myself out on the kayak + some yoga on the deck.

3 Oct 2014

EDUCATION FOR MY BABES {still figuring it out}

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFiguring out the Oklahoma City education system has taken some time for us. [It's been the hottest topic in our house for quite some time now.] I grew up in Norman, 30 minutes South of OKC, where The Oklahoma University is + the education system is much different [than the OKC education system]. I actually think there are many more [good + free] options in Norman, but we have loved living in OKC. My favorite option in OKC is Keystone, but the tuition for each boy would be a pretty penny each year [as much as college]. While I do believe education is the most important thing I can offer my boys, I can’t stop thinking of all our yearly travels that would come to a screeching halt if we were paying $20,000+ for their education each year. So, we’ve continued scouring our options. I think there’s also too much fluff in most education settings [like Lennon watching Rio at school?! He could maybe not watch that, and just come home + play outside]. I like how The Academy does things; kids go to school 3 days a week, then do the rest of their school work in the comfort of their home [we'd be all over this if it wasn't Christian-based. My boys will learn plenty about Christianity living in Oklahoma, I don't want them spending extra time at school learning about sin + hell].
While we have loved our early childhood programs in OKC [Erna Krouch + Bilingual Schoolhouse], we’ve let Lennon start pre-K this year. An amazing [free] charter school opened up in OKC, this year. I didn’t want to start Lennon in grade school this early, but I figured once the word got out about how amazing this school is, everyone would want in + we’d never have a shot at getting back in. Since Lennon got in, I felt pressure to go ahead [this would also get Leo in]. However, it’s been kind of a nightmare. The 1.5-2 hour drive each day has been so rough on all of us. And I think it should be illegal to have a 4-year-old in school 40 hours a week. I think about Ken Robinson’s brilliant words on creativity + education every single morning when I drop off Lennon.
If you aren’t comfortable being wrong, you’ll never come up with something original. We stigmatized being wrong, which is ruining companies as a whole… We are now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. They have been frightened of being wrong. We are now educating people out of their creativity capacities. Picasso once said, “Every child is born an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
We don’t grow into creativity, we are educated out of it. -Sir Ken Robinson
I’ve surprised myself in how incredibly disappointed I feel about education as a whole now that Lennon is in the daily grind of school. This article [The Future of College: The Atlantic] got me thinking about how much our children learn in an unconventional educational/college setting. I don’t think today’s education system is as applicable as most think it is. Times are changing rapidly + I’m sure it’s hard to keep up with those rapid changes. While I still value the traditional education system for so many reasons, I’m not sure sitting in a chair inside learning things that may never be utilized is what I want for my kids. Where’s the fresh air? Where’s the exercise? Where’s the constant access to nutritious foods + water for the growing children? Where’s the rest? Where are the art classes + language classes? Where’s the safe space for children to bravely come into their authentic selves?
Being one that tries to live in the now, I don’t understand this craze we’ve subscribed to where we begin grooming our kids for college in kindergarten. I know it’s morbid, but we aren’t promised tomorrow. I want my boys to enjoy their day TODAY, not have teachers frantically shoving college-prep lessons down their throat that may never apply to their future selves. If they aren’t enjoying education, then how do I expect them to be committed to it?
I get the pleasure of doing my dream job, so I think it will only be natural for me to encourage my boys to locate their resources + passions + use those to support themselves, instead of subscribing to living a life doing something they do not enjoy. I don’t have faith in our education system [in Oklahoma especially] to do this. Sir Ken Robinson talks about the desperate need for a revolution in the education system in this TED talk.
I’ve run a million ideas through my head… trying to fix this. My mom thinks it’s an uphill battle + I’ll never find the perfect scenario, so I should just settle. And no, I haven’t found my perfect scenario because Oklahoma doesn’t offer my dream come true education system [like SEEDS], but I’ve dreamed up my biggest dream without us having to get new jobs + be away from our family in another state. We are now trying to make it all happen. Unfortunately, it still includes us having to sell our house + buy a different one [which is always a stressful thing]. But we will have some amazing things that we can’t make happen in OKC. We want to be walking distance from school + the grocer + a park. We want to be closer to our families + our Norman tribe. This plan will inevitably grow us as individuals + as a family unity. It has already taken us beyond our [comfort] limits + it will continue stretching us. While I have those days where I don’t think I can take another day in the house hunt, I have definitely come to a place where I appreciate the process of things. That is where refinement occurs.
I have a friend who has one of her kiddos in this online school program. I love everything she tells me about it! With all of the traveling we do I think we could be candidates for this some day. For now, I think social interaction is such a sweet part of the education experience for my boys. So, we are going to try out public schools for a while with supplementation from travels + extracurricular activities.

1 Oct 2014

RELATIONSHIPS {are not all equal}

2498857322_463dc27b82_zRecently, I’ve had a few weird exchanges with friends that left me pretty broken-hearted. While I always try my hardest to brush things off quickly, I was really bummed about these exchanges. Pushing through these emotions has been quite the process. At first, I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me because the exchanges revealed that I had continued being completely vulnerable with these friends that don’t necessarily support + love me like I thought they did. That realization made me want to be soooooooooo private + closed off from the world. I went through a few weeks of major cynicism toward humanity as a whole. bahahahahaha! I know, so dramatic!
But [ironically] this TED talk about marriage reminded me of some rudimentary truths, I need to be smarter about with whom I surround myself + nourish the relationships that nourish me. People evolve differently + sometimes those differences can cause people to grow apart + possibly even make it difficult to understand one another. I don’t have to remain friends with people that do not love me just because I’ve known them for years.
I’m so nostalgic + also so habitual, I tend to keep friendships alive even if they’ve taken twists + turns + become forced. And I think that is when disappointment + hurt feelings are surely inevitable. duh. So… I have a few forced friendships that I have stopped nourishing. Simultaneously, I’ve been celebrating the healthy friendships I have by getting even more vulnerable in those [which has been so awesome!] This alone is nourishing for me! The healthy relationships in my life have felt so symbiotic, lately, feeding my bones with almost every exchange. And I’m no longer distracted by superfluous drama from the forced relationships.

9 Sep 2014

WORKING MOM GUILT {musings}

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWORKING MOM GUILT // When a working mom feels guilty for being away from her children + might even spoil her children when she does get to spend time with them. I used to think it was BS, but that shit’s real. I get it, now. And my working mom guilt cuts me real deep when I’m traveling for work.
I had some time to process a lot when we were in California doing our typical flee from the Oklahoma heat. Our first week there, Papa came out to be with the boys while I worked in Venice on a project [Coconut Kitchen, so stoked about this project. It's going to be a gorgeous coffee table book on how to add coconut into your every day life.] I can’t lie, it got super stressful at times. I had moments of thinking, “What the eff am I doing. I need to stop working for a while + live on a budget + just manage this family.” Then I would quickly come back to reality + recall the joy I get from my work + the things my income provides for our family.
When I finished up the Coconut Kitchen, Papa went home, + I had the boys by myself. I got [am I'm still] deeply entrenched in The Conscious Parent. It is blowing my mind + enlightening me with every page. I feel like I’ve been in therapy the whole time I’ve been reading it.
A few things I noted while I was in Cali: [one] I very much believe my [un]happiness has a direct correlation to my children’s [un]happiness. [two] I am juggling more than I ever have in my life. Going from one kid to two is a major game changer. [three] I feel very guilty when I work + I’m not spending time with my boys. [four] I feel this major shift in my bones recently, I started to feel that one-year-post-birth-dust-settle about a month ago. I remember this time with Lennon. And if I utilize this shift to the fullest, I can transcend some huge things.
I first thought of getting a business coach. But my business is doing great. [Thanks to Braid Creative's method + newsletters + workshops.] It’s more my home-life that I needed advice. I have a beautiful tribe, brilliant people that love + support me to the maxxxxxxx, but sometimes I hate burdening them with my problems. They have jobs, they have families. So, I looked at other options… I decided to hire Rebecca to help me through this process. My pride was hesitant to hire her because I felt like I already know what I need to do + it seems silly to pay someone to hold me accountable. But within moments of hiring Rebecca, I felt this huge calm come over me. I knew it was the right choice. And it’s been great to have her advice with everything that is going on in our lives. Below is a little bit about Rebecca’s vision for mamas:
You are the nucleus of your family. It is ok to thrive and take care of yourself. And guess what, it is way easier to achieve this than you’re making it… I address the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual bodies that all humans embody, but Western Medicine often doesn’t tend or care for all the bodies. I believe that addressing each of these areas is a core value in raising healthy mothers, vital families and communities… I help make a plan to help you take necessary risks and leaps in your relationships and career, support and connection with your partner without asking, and learn it’s OK to follow your heart and mess up and not be perfect. I guide you, and provide resources to help educate, inspire and gain access to a health information that will help you live the life you desire in the early postpartum years.

16 Aug 2014

TO LIVE + DIE IN LA {traveling gypsies}

GREER INEZ-8690-2 GREER INEZ-8262-2 GREER INEZ-lennon-venice GREER INEZ-leo-venice GREER INEZ-7041-2 GREER INEZ-7065-2 GREER INEZ-7023-2 GREER INEZ-7077-2 GREER INEZ-7111-2 GREER INEZ-6994-2 GREER INEZ-7001-2 GREER INEZ-8068-2

29 Jul 2014

ENLIGHTENMENT THROUGH MOTHERHOOD {musings}

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOur children pay a heavy price when we lack consciousness… unresolved needs, unmet expectations, and frustrated dreams. Despite our best intentions, we enslave them to the emotional inheritance we received from our parents, bringing them to the debilitating legacy of ancestors past. The nature of unconsciousness is such that, until it’s metabolized, it will seep through generation after generation. Only through awareness can the cycle of pain that swirls families end. [The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary]

My little Buddhas teach me more than any two people ever have. About love. About my fears. About my battle with my own ego. About my struggle with attachment + control. I’ve never loved anything like I love my children. My love for them is way out of my control + scary, but it’s also the sweetest thing that’s ever run through my bones. [I know this is the same for most parents out there, so I apologize for the redundancy.]
Prior to children, I had a pretty solid Buddhist practice. And with a few years of practice, I had definitely started a beautiful journey of getting to know myself on a deeper level + I had also gotten into a groove with the practice of detachment from my ego… Then I had Lennon… And my crazyass love for him [+ now Leo Wolfe also] has my struggle with attachment on high. I’ve never loved anything more than I love these dudes. I’m now attached to living [literally not dying] more than I’ve ever been because I want to be here to teach them + love them. I also have these new attachments to this [ever-evolving] image of a life I want for my boys. With that, comes L O A D S of expectations on myself as a mother [+ a provider] + on them as individuals. If I don’t check my ass, my attachments + expectations put a lot of pressure + anxiety on us as a unit. My ego steps in + tries to micromanage every situation in hopes to keep our ship on track with my vision for us. As my ego realizes it has very little control, I can get anxious + even angry. I get irritated with this, because I feel like I’ve backtracked in some areas since becoming a mom.
I’ve definitely noticed that when I detach from my expectations of myself + my expectations of my babes, I feel this ebb and flow enter back into our world. But that peace only comes to me when I have time to process things. I have to be able to step back + see how my ego has started taking over in situations + wreaking havoc on my world… I have less time to meditate since becoming a mom, less time to get right.
I’ve realized some profound things about myself this last week, and I am anxious to dig deeper. I love nothing more than those sweet moments of transcendence. To be honest, it’s been a long time since I’ve had one. While I’ve been very happy + excited about life, I’ve kinda been in survival mode since Leo’s been born. I don’t get much sleep + work has been busier than ever + two kids hasn’t left much time for [personal] growth. But I feel like I’m gaining more perspective + awareness lately. [I freakin' love that about traveling!! It almost always leads to these major shifts in my consciousness.]

11 Jul 2014

ZYTO SCAN {hippie shit}

ZYTO SCAN | I got the boys + myself zyto scanned the other day. It was quick + easy- we place our hand on the device below + it scanned our skin, then suggested essential oils + supplements that would benefit us. We sat Wolfey on the scanner  to do his scan. [Hehe. I can't help it, I'll ride that crazy, hippie train til I die. It works for me + my family].ZYTO SCANWe each got back a PDF with suggested oils + supplements + a detailed description. [see below] All of the suggestions made sense + I’m excited to see how our prescription of oils will help us. [Of course, I scanned for Rose, one of the most expensive oils. bleh!] While Papa probably thinks I’m a crazy horse, he lets me put them all over him too + the diffuser is rarely off. I hope to bring him along next time.
ZYTO SCAN lennon july 2014ZYTO SCAN leo july 2014 ZYTO SCAN greer july 2014 ZYTO SCAN greer descriptions

10 Jul 2014

MUSIC {and my dad}

GREER INEZ laguna beach victoria beach 2DADDY’S GIRL | My dad + I are both water signs + connect on so many levels because we are a lot alike; we are both very sensitive/emotional + can get pretty cranky if we can’t exercise daily + kinda sorta academic elitists + introspective + relentlessly curious about other cultures + like a lot of time by ourselves + yellow-dog Democrats + skeptical of any zealot + mad love for music [we both tend to obsess over albums + play them over + over + over] + have a deep, long, hard passion for photography [HE is the reason I can call myself a professional photographer, which is one of my greatest joys I get to experience on the daily]. I am so thankful I have had my dad as long as I have, it’s especially amazing to see him be a grandpa. New realm of love in our relationship.

GREER INEZ laguna beach victoria beach Music is probably what makes me feel most connected to my dad. There are certain songs + albums that remind me of each of my parents. A few seconds into them, and I feel like a five-year-old stomping through our home in Baton Rouge. I get those childhood feelings of being dominated by my imagination + no care or responsibility in the world + safety beyond measure with both of my parents close by. Some of those songs + albums are:
Tracy Chapman: especially Fast Car
The Mission Soundtrack
James Taylor: especially Up On The Roof
Landslide by Stevie
Madonna’s True Blue album
The Hours Soundtrack
Thin Red Line: especially track
Alice in Chains’ Three Legged Dog album
This morning a few songs came on that reminded me of my dad + I got slammed with the ever-haunting overwhelming fear I have of losing him + having to continue on in a world without my dad. Hussy says it’s like our psyche starts preparing us for those moments, so we can somehow handle it + survive when it happens. I get petrified at even the thought of existence without either of my parents, so I don’t know how I will do anything but have a major wipe out.
*The photos of me above were taken by my dad. LAGUNA BEACH // victoria beach // JANUARY 2007 // My Aunt Nez had just been diagnosed with glioblastoma [a very aggressive brain cancer]. I met my dad in Laguna Beach to meet her neurosurgeon + care for her while she went through brain surgery. That time in my life still feels surreal + slightly fictional.

9 Jul 2014

CELEBRATING OUR INDEPENDENCE {with our tribe}

While I have many mixed emotions about ‘Merica, I am very grateful for the independence in which my family + I get to exist. We celebrated all weekend with our tribe.
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