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Filtering by Category: real

one of those dreams do come true moments

liz lamoreux


photo of Darren Rowse from the official WDS photos by Joshua Seaman

When I went to WDS earlier this month, I didn't expect to have a "dreams come true" moment. Actually, I thought I would have a good time because I loved listening to the speakers last year and I thought they would be inspiring again, but I had already decided I probably wouldn't want to go back again because, wow, 3000 people was going to feel like a lot, probably too much.

It is so good to be wrong sometimes.

Instead, this group of almost 3000 people felt like one of the most open-hearted, real, delightful, truly amazing group of people I've ever been around.

And I'm not kidding.

Now on to the dream part.

Darren Rowse was the second speaker on Saturday. Wisdom + vulnerability + real stories of when things weren't going so great and how that brought him to this place of living his dreams were just the right blend of, well, awesome that I needed to hear.

The topic of living your dreams can run the risk of being "cheesy" (even though I believe cheesy is often an access point to vulnerability). Too much about "living your dreams" can just not apply to your audience because sometimes stories of dreams coming true are filled with "luck" and "the people you know" instead of actual examples of working hard and staying open even when it seems impossible and so on.

Darren's talk had me laughing and tearing up and feeling my heart crack open even more when it comes to a few big dreams I've been holding close and talking around for a long time. And when he asked us to turn to the person next to us and share a dream we have, I turned to Lori and these words tumbled out, "I want to give speeches in front of audiences of 3000 people." And quietly, to myself, I added, "I want to remind them that they aren't alone as they find their way."

I remember Lori said something like, "I really believe you are on your way to living that dream Liz." 

Then Claire Bowditch came on stage and sang, "Amazing Life," and I couldn't stop the tears (guessing I wasn't alone.)

About 30 minutes later, we were back in our seats after a break when Chris shared we would be seeing the trailers for the two movies that would play during breakout sessions at WDS.

My body stilled completely for a second as I processed this. The Indie Kindred trailer would be playing. On the huge screen. In front of 3000 people. Right now.

As in I was about to tell 3000 people that they will feel less alone when they open themselves up and tell their stories.

Somehow I had missed this on the schedule.

so that's my little family on the big screen at WDS. yep.

And there I was alongside the other amazing women in the film...walking with my family to our favorite bakery...sharing my secret dream of having t-shirts with "poet" on them so we can recognize one another...and talking about the magic that happens when you share your story through your art, your music, your words...how that will help you feel less alone.


So that was something. 

Dream come true. Check.

But here's the best part of the story. As I was tearing up and having this moment, my husband was sending me two texts.

The edited version reads like this:

Transitions are ******* hard today.

But she's using the big potty again.

Because this is what life is: beautiful and real. There is the beauty and the shit. There are big dreams coming true alongside real lives being lived. We are all human doing our human thing. We are all finding our way. 


So big dreams are coming true over here. Ellie is learning and using the big potty. I am continuing to find different ways to tell my story and create space for others to do the same. And really, we are all finding our way together.

Gosh I love this life.


Director of Indie Kindred and my dear friend Jen is currently on the road in an awesome blend of beauty and real as she takes her two girls with her on a trip to show the film in cities around the US. Check here to see if there is a showing near you. 

And WDS really was that great. As in I'm already signed up to go again next year. There are lots of other stories from attendees that can you read here. Next wave of signups will be this fall. You should come.

a moment

liz lamoreux

Because sometimes when the day starts out upside down, I have to force myself to notice the good. And this happened one day last week.

Instead of just pushing through, I admitted I was having a hard day. And suddenly we were all getting back in bed with graham crackers + peanut butter + the whole family (with the dog snoring on the floor beside us) and I was reminded that I really am loved.

(Sometimes you have to ask for that support to remember. And that is okay. In fact, I think it can save your life.)

I hope you remember you are loved today. Yes.

living in an instagrammed world

liz lamoreux

One topic I want to talk about more when I circle with women this year is how we move through the world now that social media is part of our everyday lives. We are at the forefront of figuring this out with little to no trail behind us to help us navigate. I believe that we will find our way by having conversations about it all, while also sitting in the quiet and listening to what is best for each of us.

I've talked a little about this from the perspective of how we live an entire world outside of our Facebook statuses and I often bring up the truth that we never really know the full story when we see snippets of someone's day online. I also think we fill in the blanks with our own assumptions, which is something I tend to do when I am pretty depleted and not practicing self-care. I can go from cheering on a friend or colleague on Facebook one day to feeling jealous or "not enough" when seeing a similar status the next day.

Today, I want to tell the story of this photo of Ellie that I Instagrammed last Friday. It was taken in the middle of our messy family room during our Friday evening "movie night" while we had picnic on the pullout sofa. One of her new favorite things is looking through my poetry books and pretending to "read" them. She sometimes just turns the pages quickly, and other times she reads the letters out loud or makes up her own words. 

When I put this photo up on Instagram, I wrote: She's been "reading" my books lately. Tonight it's Elizabeth Bishop's poetry. "I'm reading Poet Trees Mama!!!" And she's pointing out the question marks and tiddles. #notkidding #tiddleisthedotabovethei

After I posted it, I had a tiny nagging feeling that it might read like I was boasting about my brilliant daughter.

But if you jumped to that assumption, you would be missing a lot of pieces of our story: Ellie Jane didn't start saying any words until she started pre-school last fall. She was 2 years and 4 months old when she started using about 15-20 words to communicate. 

Everywhere you go as a new parent, they tell you "Two year olds should have 50 words when they turn two or you should be worried." When she said about two words at almost two (and we felt like we had evidence of her regressing since she seemed to have more words at 18 months), I took her to a speech therapist. She didn't think anything was "wrong" but was concerned about Ellie not having any words based on how clearly she seemed to understand. When I played the "speech therapy homework" games with Ellie, she would look at me like, "Have you lost your mind? This is bizarre. Talk to me like you usually do please." Or she would start laughing. I'm not kidding.

So I just went with my intuition and we didn't return for a third visit to the therapist and I stopped doing the games. Most days last summer were about trying not to get as frustrated as she was. And then she went to school and we quickly went from single words to three words together to full stories in just a few weeks. 

But there were several months there when she didn't say anything and we couldn't help but wonder if we were finally seeing the potential long-term effects of her heart problems. 

And each day I stand in the gratitude that this doesn't seem to be the case.

But here is the piece I really want you to hear today: Over the last three years, I've seldom shared Ellie's newest milestone, especially in short snippets on social media, because I've thought about all the moms out there who would give anything for their child to talk or run or clearly express emotions.

Because I was that mom for the first two years of Ellie's life. Willing her to gain weight. Hoping I was making the right choices. Feeding her things like chicken nuggets and milk shakes and not wanting you to know because I didn't want to be judged. Trying not to burst into tears each time another mom posted a photo of her baby's adorably kissable chunky thighs that Ellie would never have because she was always at less than 5% for weight because of her heart problems. (If you are new to this space, it is helpful to know that our daughter had open-heart surgery at four months old and was on medication for a separate heart issue for the first two years of her life.)

I didn't want to invite other moms to feel like I did in those moments when I wished we could just have a "normal" experience.

And along the way this spilled over into other areas of my life. I don't often share the celebrations about my business because I worry about the jealousy that can seem to be really present sometimes in our creative community. Or I worry that someone will begin to assume we are somehow rolling in money over here because one of my retreats sells out, when that person has no idea of what our financial situation is because those details are too personal for a blog or Facebook status. 

I've even noticed myself not wanting to share the details of a really happy moment because I'm trying to be responsible for other people's feelings instead of letting them take care of themselves. I tend to share these moments like this Facebook status from a few weeks ago: This update could just say: homemade pizza in the oven, folk music in the air, Ellie and Jonny chatting and playing at the table. But those words would not convey how darn hard it is to be a parent and partner sometimes. Trying to just really notice when the beauty sneaks in amidst the everyday chaos.

It is important to note that I haven't felt like I've been stifling my stories. I share stories here and on Instagram every day. But, these pieces are still a part of my journey with social media and I think it is helpful to know that someone like me who shares a lot each day feels this way too.

And it isn't as though I think we shouldn't share the celebrations. Do I want mamas of healthy babies not to post their happy photos? NO! I want to see those happy chubby babies in my Instagram feed. Do I mean that I don't want my friends to celebrate their businesses and lives. NO! I am actually saying the opposite here.

But I think we need to have conversations about how to navigate all of this.

As I think about my experiences with social media during the last few years, and even the last few months, I've come to these three beliefs that I'm continually looking at:

1) We have to be able to find our way in telling the truths of our own stories (from the big truths to the every day little stories) while being mindful of others who will be reading them in the middle of their day. Pausing before posting and just thinking about it all feels like one way to navigate this "instant sharing" many of us do daily. Maybe beginning to to integrate more kindness, toward ourselves and others, before we click "share" is a place to begin. 

2) We need to begin to notice if we are actually experiencing the beauty of our lives while documenting it. Taking time to notice if I'm sharing details more than experiencing my life gives me clues about how I'm using social media. Can I really be experiencing a gorgeous day with friends if I'm spending half the time letting my Instagram buddies know every detail? Am I listening to my child tell a story if I'm interupting to say, "Wait, I just really want everyone to see how cute you look right now?" Only I know the answer to these and similar questions. 

3) And then I think we have to be responsible for the way we navigate other people's stories. Maybe this means checking in more to see if this is really the right moment to check Facebook. Maybe this means going outside and taking five deep breaths when you notice yourself doing the "Check email. Check Facebook. Check Twitter. Check Pinterest. Check Instagram. Check other email. Repeat." dance on your phone. Maybe this means putting up a sticky note next to your laptop that says, "We all have a story." Or "Are you in the right space to respond to this?" Or simply "Check yourself." We talk about how teenagers are wasting time on social media or hurting one another and themselves, when we are doing this too...perhaps in different ways, but it is there. 

These are the conversations I want to have and I hope you will join me. Let's come from a place of truth and love and an openness to understanding as we find our way together. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts just as I hope you will be open to mine.

Thanks for reading and being out there sharing your stories and walking beside me.


over here

liz lamoreux

we found a new to us park


and looked out on Puget Sound while she slept


we created our own board game (love Kiwi Crate!)


I've been playing with beads I've had since high school 


my new iphone cases arrived. with my own images + words. love them.


there has been a lot of coloring + fruit consumption


and adventuring wearing her new favorite hat from Grandma Fina


also four months of Project Life catch up has begun (post to come soon. OH and I love the "a beautiful mess" app. big.)


and we are finding time to notice us


A note from earlier today: I'm sitting in the family room, favorite purple afghan tucked around me, listening to Jon and Ellie chatter away as they play at the kitchen table. There is folk music on in the background, and I'm soaking up the simplicity of it all as the rain falls and I wonder what the day will hold. 

Sometimes you have to pause and really sink into the simple moments and how they make your heart feel. in this moment, I felt truly happy.

This isn't about pretending to have a perfect life. Or not standing in the thick of the tough stuff.

This is about gently pushing yourself to pay attention in the in-between spaces to find the joy, the beauty, the realness.

And for me, it's a lot about choosing love again and again.

what is real (in toddlerland)

liz lamoreux

A glimpse into the real around here:

Yesterday, Ellie and I had a moment when I told her “no” about something she wanted to do instead of taking a bath and getting ready for bed. And, her response was to start hitting my laptop. 

I had my external hard drive attached to it (the one full of photos from the last year that I really don’t have another backup of), and she was pushing the laptop so that it almost fell. The hard drive disconnected. I raised my voice, insisting that she stop.

She yelled back, “Don’t yell at me Mama.”

I pulled a tiny bit of end-of-the-day patience from somewhere in my big toe and lowered my voice but spoke in a very firm tone asking her to please sit down in her chair, which was right behind her. 

She just kept yelling, “No. I won’t!”

After a few back and forths, Jon came in and tried to get her to sit in her chair too.

“No. I WON’T”

Here’s the thing: We don’t really "make her" sit in a chair in a time out (or “time in” as I like to call them) for lots of reasons and one is because moments like this usually pass quickly. Sometimes there are a lot of them in a day, but she doesn’t usually spend a lot of time in just one of these moments. She shifts to something else, then maybe back again to being crabby, and then back to joy. 

And I want her to feel her feelings - in her body, in her mind, in her heart. And notice what they feel like because being two is really about practicing in this safe place called home.

And I’ve found that it usually works to just let her yell for a minute. Then she will take a deep breath, and that will be my cue to say, “Do you need a hug?” And she will say, “Yes.” (Or more likely, “NO!...Yes, Mama, I need a hug.”)

But in this moment, I wasn’t listening to the voice inside me telling me this was the usual end of the day tired crabbies, and I wanted her to listen to me.

It was all about me. My laptop. My photos. My surprise that she was acting this way. My insistence that she sit in her chair.

I was calm about it with my voice. But my mind was all over the place, determined that she was going to sit in that chair because sometimes it feels like a tiny adorable dictator runs the show around here and what kind of parent am I becoming if I let her and what would have happened if I’d just lost what I was working on and if the pictures of her were gone and I was that person who lost the photos of her kid...

Oh the mind chatter that comes up around “What kind of parent am I????”

It had been maybe three minutes of this. Me saying, “Sit in your chair.” Her replying, “No. I WON’T!” Jon walked down the hall to start her bath, and she ran the few steps to the hallway and flailed her body onto the floor. 

“I need SPACE!” she said as she put her head against the carpet in child’s pose.

Seconds later, “I NEED my taggy blanket.”

Seconds later, “I need a hug MAMA!”

This series of words pierced through my mind chatter. 

I grabbed her taggy blanket, walked the few steps to where she was taking deep breaths with her head on the carpet, and as she turned to hold her arms up to me, I thought, “What kind of parent am I? The kind who is teaching her kid how to ask for what she needs. Wow.”

Most of the time I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. What works one day with Ellie, doesn’t the next. I wonder if I’m too permissive. I wonder if I sometimes take the path of least resistance and how that might be hurting her, us. I feel the guilt each day when I notice my patience slipping during those moments before bed time. I have some real pride wrapped around how patient I am with her, but when it begins to slip, I feel guilt paired with deep exhaustion.

Feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing but somehow trusting that you do, this is being a toddler mama. This is listening to your intuition. This is messing up and learning and messing up again. This is being present to all of it. This is letting your child teach you too.

Later, when Jon was reading to her and I had a moment to myself, I closed my eyes and said these words softly to myself:

Okay honey, you really are doing something good here. She asked for space. She asked for love. These are things you want and need too. These are things you’re trying to teach yourself, teach others to do. This is being a good mama. Yes. You got this.

An invitation: Even if you aren't a parent, you probably have moments where you feel like you don't know what you're doing. I believe that this is what being an adult feels like sometimes. We think it won't be this way, and then it is, and we wonder why. In this moment, spend a few minutes thinking about what "you've got" today. How are you surprising yourself with your grace, wisdom, and truth? How are you trusting all of it today?


Water Your Mama Soul is a 10 day course where you explore ways to be right here in this moment and find the space to choose love...for yourself...for those around you...for this life you're choosing to live each day. You'll take photos and journal a bit and notice what you need each day. You'll reconnect with yourself. You'll give yourself the gift of remembering you.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Register right here.

why i *still* watch grey's anatomy (because this is self-care)

liz lamoreux


versions of this list have been rolling around my brain for weeks now, so i thought i would just get it down...because sometimes (not all the time but sometimes) self-care can be in the form of a date in front of the television and i'm not afraid to say it.

why i watch "grey's anatomy"

because it helps me grieve some of the stuck stuff

because i remember walking through hospital corridors and imagining a force field of love around us

because a four-month-old heart really is that small

because talking about death is okay

because i am so thankful our teaching hospital experience didn't involve drama quite like that

because my baby lived (and yours didn't and i think about that too. often.) 

because life and death really are part of our everyday (even though that scares us)

because Patrick Dempsey is even better looking than when the series began

because I love the music

because the voice over at the beginning and end gets me every single time

because my birth experience was more traumatic than some of the storylines and it helps me to know I'm not crazy to be feeling all that I feel

because it really is okay to grieve the parts when things weren't okay even if they are mostly okay now

because sometimes fiction gives our brain and heart just the space they need to be still enough to notice the feelings underneath 

this is...

liz lamoreux

This is not a post about how I haven't been to Paris yet.

This is not a post about how sad I am that I didn't have professional photos taken while I was pregnant or right after Ellie was born.

This is not a post about how I'm still thinking about the food Persephone made at the Feast Retreat (and how I need to make some in my kitchen).

This is not a post about why I (still) watch Grey's Anatomy.

This is not a post about Millie's chronic ear infection and how she's moved on to the needing to see a specialist phase and how intense, sad, and expensive it is.

This is not a post about how I want to teach more workshops around the country and how I'm wondering how to make that happen.

This is not a post about how much I really want to start an art journal practice.

This is not a post about me sharing how I really feel when someone says, "Soak up every minute. They just grow up so fast. You will miss this."

This is not a post about the incredible number of words Ellie says in a day or an hour and how much that sound delights every corner of my being.

This is not a post about how much I really want to be invited to a party where I can wear my never-been-worn favorite party dress.

This is not a post about how much I still love my hair cut.

This is not a post about how much I miss you.

This is not a post about the quiet moments when doubt sneaks in.

This is not a post about the exquisite taste of fig jam + goat cheese + prosciutto.


This is a post about one family taking a walk in their neighborhood on a Sunday evening and finding the most incredible evidence of a Pacific Northwest Spring along the edges of the sidewalk. Walking, running, naming every color and every shade of every color, telling me which flowers to photograph, and chatting the entire time. 

This is a post about getting back into nature in the simplest ways to clear one's head of all that chatter.

Yes, this.

(These colors inspired several of the new soul mantra necklaces in the shop.)

seeking evidence in a well-lived home

liz lamoreux

succulents in the family room

Every now and then when I look around my home, I get overwhelmed by what I think other people's expectations are for a home. How neat, how "company ready," how "clean it should be so you can hire a cleaning lady" kind of expectations.

peek at the beginnings of our nature table

Last week, I almost got bogged down in that overwhelm again as I looked at the tall stack of random clean laundry on the dryer, the "never can get it white" grout in between the blue tiles of the kitchen counter, the paper that never finds the right spot to land.

where her shoes land before bath each night

To clear my head, I turned to my camera as a way to seek evidence of how we are really living in this home.

a new jewelry collection in progress

the two Mickeys she insisted Grandma sleep with while she was visiting

bathtime/bathroom time needs

left behind after the last breakfast tea party with grandma

And I kept finding these beautiful pieces of us. The bits of clutter and real that reveal who we are in our beautiful, often messy, lived-in, little home. 

Sometimes you need the close-up lens of the camera to push you back to seeing what you actually know.

a favorite happy bowl

An invitation

Use your camera lens to capture the evidence of a life well lived in your home. Notice the little details beyond the surface. This would be an awesome Project Life prompt (especially if you don't have a lot of photos one week). 


In Inner Excavation, there is an entire chapter about what we gather to us. The book invites you to dive deeply into noticing your world, noticing you through self-portraits in photography, poetry, and mixed media.

Order your own copy signed by me here.