How To Be A Friend In The Midst Of Grief

How To Be A Friend In The Midst Of Grief | |

“As much as we might wish, none of us will be able to go through life without some kind of suffering. That’s why it’s crucial for us to learn to suffer well.

-Emily Esfahani Smith, The Power of Meaning

This week is Infertility Awareness Week and it’s a reminder of how there are hundreds of thousands of women who suffer silently due to their struggle to have a baby. I’ve come to realize that there are many women in my circle that have either had difficulty getting pregnant, staying pregnant, or have had the inexplicable pain of delivering still born. It’s a spectrum of sadness that I cannot even begin to understand myself or even fathom what one must feel when those tiresome months pass into years.

But as a friend, what can I do to offer support to these women? How can I be there for them without making them feel worse? And what exactly is the right thing to say? Is saying nothing at all the right thing?

Our good intentions

Grief is an interesting thing and it’s something I’ve dealt with personally after the loss of my sister and through my own miscarriage. Although my friends and husband’s family immediately surrounded me in love, I was cursed with the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty and a lack of understanding of why this was happening. And although I’ve been on the one side of grief, I can also recognize that I’ve fallen into the pitfall of not being the supportive friend or daughter by eclipsing another’s grief with my good intentions.

We all have them – those good intentions. But, unbeknownst to us our good intentioned-filled words can have a lasting negative impression on the very person we aimed to help or support. Most importantly I’ve learned that it comes down to the timing, what is said, and how one says it – and sometimes it’s not saying anything at all. When my sister passed, I wasn’t there for my mother the way she needed me because I was gripping with my own sense of grief. I wasn’t in a position at that time to be as supportive as I could have been. I lacked in timing and my words ultimately tore a person to pieces when she was already hanging on by a thread. And after that moment, and even through the years that have passed, I am constantly reminded by God that…

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
Proverbs 15:4

However, there are many ways in which we can be supportive of someone who is experiencing grief whether it be over infertility, a loss of a pregnancy, child, or other loved one. We can all be there in some capacity for those working their way through their grief and God has given us a few provisions to help us along the way.

Listen, don’t speak.

This was a hard one for me because I so often feel as though when someone comes to me to talk they’re looking for a response. Sometimes, and probably most times, people who are in grief just need someone to listen to them. And if they’re not up for talking, just be in the room with them. Remind them with your presence that they’re not alone.

Ask what you can do for them.

You’re not a mind reader and it’s important to realize that everyone grieves differently. Some might like to reminisce, look through photos, or watch home movies. To have visitors or perhaps be alone. Whereas others don’t even want to talk – yet. Simply ask the person what they need from you in that moment and be ready that, over time, what they might need will change.

Ask what they need.

This moreso has to do with those little chores or things you can do of service for that person. Is it to go grocery shopping for them so they have food in the house, refill their gas tank, or simply just stay the night with them? Are there phone calls or emails you can send or reply to for them? These little tasks may be overwhelming to someone in grief so helping to take those off their hands may mean the world to them in that moment. It’s all about finding out how you can be of service in the moment.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
1 Peter 4:10

Remember them on Mother’s and Father’s Day

It’s easy to get caught up on the busyness of such holidays. But those who are grieving the loss of a child or who suffer from infertility, such holidays can be crushing for them. It doesn’t need to be a super-duper gesture, but simply calling or sending a card lets that person know you’re thinking of them meanwhile allowing them to process that day privately.

Support them in their decisions.

This was a huge one for me because as I was easing out of my grief, my mother was still within the throws of hers. It was, at times, frustrating but while I was busy being upset with her choices I missed out on recognizing that she’s allowed to be human. Sometimes as ‘Mom’ you’re thrown onto a pedestal to which you need to be the strong figure you’ve always been for your kids – and for us children it’s hard to remember in times of grief that Mom is human too.

I’ve learned since then that I needed to be supportive of her no matter what decision she made for herself or how she chose to move forward. I may not have understood it or agreed with it, but my place was to be by her side regardless. The same goes for anyone in grief when making a decision for themselves or their family.

“For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
James  2:13

 And the greatest of all these reminders is this…

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Colossians 3:12-15

For more resources on being supportive through grief: RESOLVE: National Infertility Association and Psychology Today: How To Help Someone Who Is Grieving are great places to start.
 photo signature.001.jpeg

Styling With Stitch Fix | February + Gift

Styling With Stitch Fix | February | |

Referral links are used within this post, but all opinions are 100% my own.

This month was a fun fix because my amazing stylist, Whitney, was able to find a number of pieces that I have had my eye on for a while. Due to the weather beginning to feel a lot like spring during the day I am in need of new knitwear both in the form of dresses and tops. My capsule wardrobe already has jeans accounted for, so finding new tops that fit well and are lightweight is the name of my game. I told Whitney that I wanted to begin to look ahead to spring with this fix and she found me the cutest pieces.

Let’s take a peek!

Oh! But before we do Stitch Fix has a gift for you!

Stitch Fix is providing all of my friends (guys and gals!) who use my special link here to $25 off their first fix. This means your first fix is on them! So, if you were ever looking for a time to try it out FREE of cost to you, take advantage of this opportunity today! Just sign up and schedule your fix before 2/21/17 to receive your $25 off!


Loveappella – Madras Embroidery Detail Knit Top | ??

Loveappella - Madras Embroidery Detail Knit Top | |

I was very excited to see this item in this months fix considering I had pinned a top very similar! It’s sleeveless, which I love because it makes layering easy without a fear of getting too hot. The material is super soft, another quality I really enjoy. My wardrobe palette tends to stay pretty neutral so I like the prospect of adding something with a pop of color. The embroidery detailing adds a fun touch to the top and makes it unlike anything else I own. I do wish the top was a bit more flowy or lightweight since it’s slightly more snug than I was expecting. Nonetheless I enjoyed the top – just not sure whether or not I want to keep it. What do you think?

Loveappella - Madras Embroidery Detail Knit Top | |

Loveappella - Madras Embroidery Detail Knit Top | |

Paired my top with items from previous fixes for the complete SF outfit! This Pixley open cardigan was from one of my maternity fixes (and received it in burgundy in November), these jeans from my very first fix, and the shoes were included in this month’s fix!

Staccato – Alun Woven Hem Knit Top | KEEP

This is by far my F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E top because it takes the peplum and opens it up just a bit, which makes me feel 100% comfortable and confident when wearing it. The shirt overall is billowy but fitted in the arms and bust, which is a perfect fit for me since I’m looking for pieces to hide my trouble areas, but are still cute for spring. I also love this top because it covers my tattoos, so it would be a fun top to wear when heading back to work in the future.

Staccato - Alun Woven Hem Knit Top | |

Staccato - Alun Woven Hem Knit Top | |

Apologies for the wrinkles as it’s straight from the box!

The back is just as flowy and the lightweight material makes it the perfect top for this transitional spring weather we’re having.

Le Lis – Kano Textured Knit Dress | KEEP

Whitney did a fantastic job finding me this textured knit dress as it was one of my favorite pins from my style board. I’m loving the deep blue color and the fit is exactly what I requested. I paired this dress with my favorite knit cardigan from my December fix. The length is modest, the fabric is comfortable and the fit is flattering. What more could you really ask for in a dress? I like that this dress can also be worn more casually or dressed up for more special occasions!

Le Lis - Kano Textured Knit Dress | |

Le Lis - Kano Textured Knit Dress | |

Le Lis - Kano Textured Knit Dress | |

Le Lis - Kano Textured Knit Dress | |

Market & Spruce – Nic Knit Dress | RETURN

When I pulled this dress out of the box in this months fix I was excited about the pattern, but noticed the fabric (although very soft and comfortable) appeared to be more fitted than a fit and flare. I asked for fit and flare knit dresses because I needed a lightweight fabric that hugged me in all the right places and hid my tummy without looking drabby. Unfortunately when I tried it on it wasn’t a flattering fit at all. I’m still carrying a bit of baby weight and self-conscious about my midsection and this dress, although cute, didn’t work for me. However, I still wanted to share a few photos to show you all how cute it is!

Market & Spruce - Nic Knit Dress | |

The criss-cross of the horizontal lines is flattering, but perhaps on a slimmer frame. I also wished the dress itself was cut more modestly to fall about knee length. When it comes to dresses, especially ones I’d like to wear when going back to work as a teacher, I need them to be longer and not as fitted. However, if you have legs for days and have a smaller frame this dress may be perfect for you!

Market & Spruce - Nic Knit Dress | |

Franco Sarto – Alora Strappy Sandal | KEEP

Yes! I was patiently waiting for my stylist to include a shoe in my fix and these Alora strappy sandals were exactly what I wanted to add to my closet. I’m in desperate need for new sandals and Whitney found me a perfect pair. I wore them out the first night of having them and I swear they’re the first pair of new shoes that I didn’t feel like I had to break in or risk blisters all over! A huge plus!

Franco Sarto - Alora Strappy Sandal | |

Franco Sarto - Alora Strappy Sandal | |

And apologies for the much needed pedicure! #momproblems

Franco Sarto - Alora Strappy Sandal | |


One of the ways I love communicating my style needs with my stylist is through my Stitch Fix Pinterest board. It gives her a chance to see what styles or particular pieces I’m looking for and writing a quick note tells her what exactly about the photo I love and would like to see in a future fix. Here are a few of the pins I’ve added before scheduling my February fix: embroidered loose tops, knit peplum tops, fit and flare knit dresses, and strappy sandals. As you’ve seen, my stylist picked up exactly what I wanted and came through with some fun pieces to try on!

So if you’re questioning how much your stylist uses Pinterest or whether or not it’s worth having a board dedicated to your style inspirations, question no more!

Styling With Stitch Fix | See how using Pinterest helps my stylist find the perfect pieces each month! | |

So, what is so great about Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix first began as a skeptical leap of style faith. I wasn’t quite sure that some stylist over the internet could really find 5 pieces that would not only fit me, but be looks I’d actually want to wear. For a $20 styling fee I received my first fix and was initially so impressed with how my stylist heard exactly what I was looking for and delivered on it. I still wear a number of those first purchases today (and that was over 2 years ago) and enjoy adding new and fun pieces along the way.

I’ve journeyed with Stitch Fix through the ups and downs of my weight and even through my pregnancy with their maternity styles. Since it’s been a couple of months since my last fix, I was so excited to see that they offer shoes now in addition to a new mens line. This just proves to me that Stitch Fix has a finger on the latest trends, but also keeps the needs of their customers in mind. I can only imaging how they’ll grow and expand into the future!

What about those referral links?

Because I created a free style profile I now have the ability to share my love of Stitch Fix with others. A referral simply allows me to earn a credit of $25, which essentially covers my styling fee for the next time I schedule a fix. Once you create a style profile you are given a special referral link and begin earning your own credits. Why not get a credit for something you use anyways? I am so appreciative to those who use my link because it helps me as a SAHM enjoy the little things. So, thank you.

Don’t forget to you grab your first fix for free during this special promotion!

 photo signature.001.jpeg

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 7

This weekend had me feeling a lot of things.

Friday was Inauguration Day and typically I don’t feel one way or the other considering all the pomp and dutiful formalities that fill the day. However, this year was different. I was actually sad to see the Obamas leave the White House for the last time and to see Trump sworn in and occupy the most important position in our country. If Michelle’s face and stoic demeanor could represent my emotions of the day I would say it was spot on.

It was overall just a sad day for me; to realize and come to terms that his man, and his chosen cabinet, is our new President. To continue to hold out hope that he will lead our country in a positive direction. Honestly I’m still skeptic, but remain hopeful nonetheless.

But my sadness and fear turned to action and demonstration on Saturday.

Saturday was a powerful day for me personally. To have my husband and son march not just with and for me, but to stand next to the thousands of people who gathered in Santa Barbara to make a stance for equality. It’s more than Trump, as I’ve written in my last post explaining #whyImarchIt’s about being a presence that cannot be ignored and that a large majority of the American people demand that his administration realize what’s at stake and how prepared we are to ensure that our voices be heard. That women’s rights are, in fact, human rights we demand representation in the law; not just for women but for everyone.

Here are a few scenes from Santa Barbara.

So, thank you to everyone who came out in peaceful protest on Saturday. Thank you to the many families who marched together in the face of discrimination and intolerance.

Keep in mind that we all have much work to do outside of our march on Saturday. Our voices continue need to be heard that comes down to our active participation in our local and national governments. The Women’s March organizers have continued to share resources and have launched their next campaign called 10 Actions for the first 100 Days, which is one action every 10 days.


Express to your ELECTED senators why you marched or discuss the issues that you feel they should be representing on Capitol Hill. I used the Ink Cards app (it’s free!) to design a special themed Women’s March card and wrote to my senators about what matters most for me and for our country to be as inclusive as possible. Simply fill in your message and include your recipients and they’ll print and send your cards for you. In total I only paid $3 with free shipping. Done. This website also has an easy tool for you to type in your zip code to locate your senator’s public address.

Towards the bottom of the page you’ll find a box to input your email to stay notified of the next 9 steps in taking action within the first 100 days of the Trump Administration.

 photo signature.001.jpeg

#WhyIMarch in 2017


This week, no doubt, you will most likely be flooded with the media leading up to the much anticipated Women’s March on Washington, which is happening this Saturday, January 21st. Although I cannot be back home on the east coast to participate, I am grateful that women from all major cities are preparing to march. I am grateful these women and supporters have created an opportunity for those who live outside of D.C. to stand with the hundreds of thousands of other women to declare that we will no longer sit quietly as this new administration takes their seat in the White House.

However, as much as I’ve seen the media get a lot of things right about this march, there still seems to be some things that are misguided about what this march means. So, today I’m sharing why I’ll be marching on January 21st and hope that it inspires you to be apart of the movement that will hopefully be reflective of the change that’s required.

It’s bigger than the election.

A lot of people seem to think that because of the January 21st march date (being that is the day after the inauguration of Trump) that it is somehow a protest directly targeting Trump. I’m sorry, but this message is much bigger than him. It’s not about anti-Trump, it’s about demonstrating to our government, and to the world for that matter, that Women’s Rights hang in the balance and that this new administration has a responsibility to provide these right’s for all. If such actions do not take place then we have a Constitutional right to assemble and petition our government for a “redress of grievances.”

It’s more than just about women.

This march reflects more than a man vs. woman dialogue. It’s more than just a gender conversation.

It’s about being recognized as equal and that we are just as deserving of protection for our bodies, minds, spiritual selves, and families. It’s about putting an end to violence not just for the everyday woman, but also for targeted groups such as the LGB and trans community. It transcends into the very fight Dr. King spent the majority of his adult life fighting for and that was for the rights of all people of color in our nation. To end racial profiling by law enforcement. It’s about protecting our reproductive rights and our accessibility to quality healthcare regardless of federal or state restrictions. It’s about working rights for families with paid family leave when a child is born, affordable childcare for when parents return to work, and equal pay for equal work regardless of gender. It’s a Civil Rights issue and our Constitution should be updated to reflect the groups of people who have yet to be recognized by our government as equal. So, this march is much more than some think.

Read more on the Women’s March purpose and vision on their website.

It’s time for the men in our lives to stand with us.

This march isn’t just a march for women by women. Rather it’s a movement for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion, or even party lines. It’s a time for the men and young boys in our lives to see the power that women have to enact change, but to be supportive of this cause because of them. To be supportive of the women in their lives whom they can recognize are held back from career or even family opportunities, healthcare, and safety. To stand with us and to show our government that this isn’t a singular issue that affects only one group of people, but it affects 50% of our population and thus affects everyone.

This is a march for everyone.

It is reported that certain groups, such as Pro-Lifers, plan to protest during the Women’s March on Washington. However, my hope is that groups such as these realize that this march isn’t intended as one group vs. another. I hope they, and any other group out there, show up on January 21st in a meaningful way and show our new administration that we will stand together and fight for the things that matter to us, even if we may disagree in thought or conviction. I personally love this ‘intersectional’ approach considering there are so many marginalized groups that need to be properly represented on Saturday.

“Movements are not just the dramatic moments,” Chatelain said. “It’s about the everyday acts of resistance that the marches are also trying to represent. Everyone has the capacity in their communities to resist.”


Change will not happen over night. It took 72 years, from the early conventions of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, for the 19th Amendment to finally be written into law in 1920. It took a year for our government to pass the Civil Rights Act after MLKs famous speech during the March on Washington in 1963, nearly five decades ago. However, that time leading up to his march were decades of systematical abuse and in turn, protest. In reflection of that time it’s quite a shame that we must continue this fight to extend beyond race and skin color, but to now include the modern American, who bends the perception of what’s considered equal in the eyes of our government and this ‘Baby Boomer’ generation.

It’ll take slow, but meaningful, actions on the part of our participation in the elections that affect us on a state level. It’s rising up, in moments like this, to be a presence that can’t be ignored. It’s about being educated about the issues and laws that are being proposed. It’s also about being respectful amongst each other, especially in the face of disagreement – in the words of Meryl Streep during the Golden Globes, “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence.” And in the words of our former First Lady, let’s go high when others choose to go low. This peaceful demonstration on Saturday is us taking that high road and being a force that will not sit idly by as the Trump administration refuses to acknowledge and represent the very people who he is supposed to be protecting as our next President.

That is #WhyIMarch. What about you?

 photo signature.001.jpeg