summer slow down.

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LOVE TAZA sunflower field

it’s the last day of july.  the temperatures in the city have oddly been in the 60’s the past few days, making it already feel a tad bit like autumn and pulling me into a confusing funk about all the things. i’m losing two babies to full days of school this fall (with E in first grade and S beginning kindergarten!). they discuss school daily together, with eleanor excitedly telling samson about everything to expect, “samson, when we see each other in the halls, we can wave to each other like this (demonstrates as she wiggles one finger up and down). i can’t wait to see you in the halls, samson!”  it’s times like this where i feel the pit in my stomach shift just a little and it all doesn’t feel so scary. (only like, 80% terrifying instead of the 90%.)

josh and i have been having a lot of discussions about life lately and i think i’m realizing the root of so much of my anxiety and frustration with things in life right now is change. i just don’t like it. and it’s hard to accept and embrace for me.  it’s been a summer of relearning how to breathe slowly for me. which is ironic considering i’m 31. but taking deep breaths, closing my eyes and holding still while doing so, it’s helped. a little.

i love life so much. the good parts, the struggles. the ups and downs have shaped me greatly and i find such purpose in my role as a mother. i do love watching my babies grow, and when i really think about it, i am excited to see them progress and reach milestones and even send them off into the world to do their own thing. sometimes i feel selfish for wanting to pause time or keep them in my arms forever. but i’m working through my breaths, in slowing down and holding still and soaking in these last days we do have together and enjoying them completely.

i’m not sure if this translates well (oh to be more articulate!), but if anyone else feels this way, i wanted to share a few things that have helped me remain calm, and be more at peace, as i’ve struggled the past couple of months with the anxiety of change.

  1. breathing.  slow intentful breaths!
  2. saying no.  surprisingly, taking things off my plate and not being that “yes person” i always feel i need to be has been such a help. we don’t have to do all the things. we can take time for ourselves, we can live without the extra projects or certain social outings or trying to please everyone.
  3. sunshine. a cure for everything, i am sure of it.  we wandered through a sunflower maze while on a day trip to new jersey a few weeks ago and something as simple as feeling the sun on my face while being surrounded by such beauty felt huge. those moments in that sunflower patch are up there in the summer moments i truly loved this year. because everything felt slow, felt right, felt special.
  4. and sleep. i never get enough of this one. there is always so much to do (or so much we think we should be doing), that we think we can skip this one and get by just fine. maybe it’s aging, who knows. but i just can’t get by with 5 or 6 hours like i used to. to love my body and mind is to treat it with the utmost respect and getting the right amount of rest has played such a big part in remaining calm and present in my day to day. it’s also meant i haven’t been able to get the kind of stuff done i used to, because i’m shaving off a few hours of productivity at the end of my nights to hit the pillow a little earlier, but the physical and mental shift has been amazing, and it’s something i regret not applying sooner.

these photos are from a few weeks ago when we visited the most amazing farm called alstede farms in new jersey. they have this ginormous sunflower maze that made me pretty happy. dodging all the big bumble bees was so worth it to wander through. :)

LOVE TAZA sunflower field-2LOVE TAZA sunflower field-8LOVE TAZA sunflower field-6 LOVE TAZA sunflower field-3 LOVE TAZA sunflower field-4 LOVE TAZA sunflower field-5LOVE TAZA sunflower field-7LOVE TAZA sunflower field-9 have a wonderful week, you guys!

…..

wearing this dress by love shack fancy.

  1. Bridget

    I’ve felt like I’ve been struggling with a similar thing but for different reasons right now. I’m going into my junior year at college and my brother just graduated and isn’t around as much as he used to be and it’s been a hard transition. I’ve kept myself busy most of the summer but it still is a bummer not getting to hang out with him as much. I know as time goes on it’ll settle down. It’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one who is having a bitter sweet experience with change in our families this summer – although for different reasons. I hope thing start evening out a bit for you.
    Bridget
    https://bridylife.wordpress.com

  2. Change is honestly such a hard thing to come to terms with. It’s hard to adjust to something new, regardless of how happy or exciting it may be. I hope you find peace in the little moments as you gear up for the things to come!

  3. yes! it’s such a conundrum wanting to keep our babies little but also wanting them to grow up. i feel you mama.

    xo, brittany
    summer beauty favorites on my blog today!
    http://www.notablob.com

  4. Oh my gosh I was glad to read this this morning and hear that I am not alone. My twins turned nine in June (nine!?!) and will start fourth grade, and my single son turned six (six!?!) in June and will start first grade come August. As much as a break will be nice this fall, I am not looking forward to the adjustment to a change in our schedule.
    Our one and a half year old daughter is also constantly growing (and changing!) and while I wouldn’t have it any other way, and in many ways her growth brings me joy, I can’t help but pine for easier days. She’s into EVERYTHING and is getting quite the opinion, which is exhausting.
    I appreciate your advice about breathing, getting outside and getting enough sleep. Such important things.
    I just remind myself that the future comes one day at a time. Then it seems possible to face it.

  5. Em

    Love all these tips. Everyone needs a reminder every now and then! Just think what exciting things are in store for your babies!

  6. We moved to (Morristown) New Jersey from the Bay Area in Fall 2015 and Alstede was our first outing as a family in our new state. It was so fun and beautiful and made me feel like this big move across the country was the right thing for our family.

  7. Katie

    Very thankful for the honesty behind this post. Seriously, it is encouraging and refreshing to know we all have these times in life.

    Keep it up sister!

  8. Maddy

    I absolutely know what you mean about the heartbreak of your kids growing up. My eldest starts school in September and while I am super excited for her it also breaks my heart knowing that the time of her life when we spent most of our days together is coming to an end and it will never be like that again. I was really struggling with the impact this was having on my anxiety levels until I wrote her a letter. I don’t know if I will ever give it to her but the act of getting all my thoughts and feelings out and sharing them with her along with memorie and hopes for the
    future has really helped. I feel like a weight has been lifted and able to focus on her feelings about school. I hope
    you are able to find peace wih it too and thanks for tips. Your blog is always so inspiring xxx

  9. Teresa

    I’m right there with you. My little-one is about to start kindergarten and I’m freaking out. I’m happy about her growing up but it comes with way too much change for me right now. Thanks for the tips!!!

    xoxoxo
    Teresa

    http://www.aleandtere.com

  10. Mari

    Change is very hard for me too. I feel like I immediately retreat when I get anxiety and stress! The stress/changes around my children always hit me hardest. I love what you said about saying No to things. I’ve been trying to more of that lately, too. Xoxoxo

  11. I’ve followed your blog since 2012 and it is beautiful and inspiring. I love watching your sweet family and being reminded that even Mama grows and it can be hard and painful at times but it is as natural and beautiful as any other part of the journey.
    Peace and Love,
    Alethia

  12. Emily Naganashe

    have you read present over perfect by shauna niquest? sounds like it’d be refreshing for exactly where your soul is right now. although, i’m sure reading isn’t the most practical thing to be adding, it’s so worth it! let us know if you end up picking it up + what your thoughts are! thanks for this beautiful post.

  13. Sheryl

    “…change. I just don’t like it.” Gosh.I said these words a few days ago. Thank you for the tips. I need to be told to get some more sleep & sun. Those realign things in our head certainly.

    I love your IG and has been a long time follower. I have three kids same as you. I have to click on your blog on your bio a lot more.

    ❤️,
    🍊

  14. Kerryn

    I wish you would talk more about anxiety and frustration. I feel frustrated daily about little things – general life things (groceries, errands), little independent kid things (spills and messes etc).
    Can you let us in more often?

  15. Brianne

    You said so much of how I’ve felt this summer! I have 2 kids and my baby is starting kinder this year. I know it will be so great for them, and for me. Even knowing how good it will be for us, this next phase of not having any babies at home during the day still feels like such a scary change. Thank you for these tips and sharing your thoughts! We’re blessed mamas!

  16. Mollie

    I totally understand your anxiety struggles. I can’t even imagine how much more difficult it is with kids, but it must be nice knowing they will be in the same building and have each other!
    Love your sunflowers photos. We have tons of those around here in the midwest where I live, and although they are bright and summery, them blooming does kind of signal the end of summer.

    Enjoy the lovely weather in NYC!

    xoxo Mollie
    www,molliebellezza.com

  17. Miléna

    Thank you..

    For sharing not only the good but also part of the bad and scary stuff.

    xx Kisses from Paris

  18. Naomi-I truly admire you so much and especially because of the joy that you radiate always with life. I can only imagine how hard it must be to watch those sweet babies grow up, but know that you are making them into the sweetest life loving adults like you and Josh.

  19. Jasmine

    The thing about change is that majority of the time it is out of our control. That makes it so hard to get on with. I tell myself, that to be worried, fustrasted, and or confused with change is to act as if God does not know what He’s doing. I’m sure He knows best and would not lead me astray. I see His hands on your life Taza, trust Him and keep enjoying all the sunshine he brings! Thank you for this post and I love sunflowers as well :)

  20. The photos are amazing and amazing are you too! You inspired us so much!

  21. tamara

    Hello Taza,
    I love the open posts from time to time. Sharing about life and the struggles we have always helps feeling a little less lonely.
    I also loooooveee how some of your posts are a bit more artistic lately (with Nordstrom – love it, and also the pictures of your datenight with Josh had a different atmosphere around them). It reminds me a bit of the first years of your blog. I always liked this artistic twist you give your posts,I really love seeing that again.

    Good luck with the kids going to school. I don’t have children myself yet, but I can imagine it is difficult letting them go. But I see in the comments you are not alone ;) Keep breathing!

    All the best

  22. tamara

    PS. Also: I also HATE change!!! But I also learned that sometimes (or often actually) it comes with good stuff….

  23. Leslee Keckley

    Gosh, do I ever remember feeling allll those feels when my babies left the nest for school many years ago! The funny (or not so funny) cycle of life is that we get to repeat those worries and change many times over as they grow and graduate to each new phase of school and life! My oldest will be starting her sophomore year at BYU in a few weeks, and I STILL get that summer anxiety over the new adventures and challenges she will face this school year! And learning to parent an adult has been a crazy ride so far–one I’m praying over daily! I love to read your tips and see your beautiful photos–they remind me to engage in those STILL moments and seek out pretty and warming reminders of what’s the most important in life! You’ve inspired me to find a field full of flowers for my own soul-enriching photo session! Thanks, Lady!

  24. Michelle

    This farm is in the town next to where I grew up, and we went there often! So happy to see a shout out to good ol’ Morris County. :) They have great apple picking in the fall too!

  25. irina

    sooooooo beautiful! meditation is the most helpful for me. next are sunshine/nature/trees.

  26. Kelly

    Those sun flowers really are gorgeous and I totally get what you mean about sleep!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  27. Cynthia

    This post was much needed and made me feel like I’m not alone who feeks this way in the world. Beautifully written, Naomi! Thank you for sharing and reminding all of us these simple ways to feel and be more present without doing a million other things. I, too, believe in the power of saying “no”, which I’m still learning and trying to incorporate it more at work and to have a few more hours of snooze time. Even when you have a 4 yo and an 8 mo old babies at home, those extra 45 mins to 1 hour of interrupted sleep feels SO good!!

    Beautiful pictures too.

  28. Kim

    One of the reasons why I dread fall is because it’s a season full of change. Usually I associate September with school, which means new classes, new teachers, new peers and that terrifies me! The fact that Sept is also my birthday month doesn’t help. Good luck with all your changes! Lately, it has been feeling like a super early fall in Connecticut, where I live.

    Kim
    Simply Lovebirds

  29. Kelsi Leavitt

    Loved this, Naomi. Needed it.

  30. fefe

    I can’t imagine the anxiety I’d have with sending my future children to school! I can barely send my DOG to daycare!

    http://objectsicantafford.com

  31. fritha

    It’s such a tough one isn’t it, my little boy has just finished reception (kindergarten) so is going into his first proper year and part of me just wants to say no and have him home with us as he’s still so little but he loves it so much! Love the idea of getting more sleep, I need that! x http://www.tigerlillyquinn.com