The Ritual

Angie Warren

We have this ritual, he and I. It's quite new, as in, only in recent months do we partake. Usually, the coming together happens at the end of the day, as teeth are being brushed and children are sliding into PJs.

Side by side we stand, my first born and I, in the bathroom, then backs to one another. My husband judges, each time, his face breaking into a grin that tells me "Honey, he's almost got you.". I puff out my chest and stand as strait as can be.

"It's really close this time, babe. He's almost there." I hear.

In reality, I want to belt NO! I want to say that it can't be, this one who made me a mother, it's impossible. Please no, please, please no. But alas, it's true, he's almost had me for some time.

Today, it happened. On an average day in December, at the edge of Christmas, our windows moist with a bitter cold. My wee boy, who is no longer such, has passed me up. He's taller than me. Not only is he taller, but he's mighty proud of it.

What was once a toddling two-year old, bucket of cars by his side every second of the day, is now a lanky twelve-year old. This young man who I'll soon look up at, has traded in those matchbox friends for a phone and chapter books and a deep interest in marine biology.

He's every bit the little boy so long ago I held, and yet he's bursting with new and exciting things, a deeper voice, and the ability to make you laugh so hard it hurts.

Though I'm not ready to accept the outcome of the ritual, (perhaps my bun wasn't high enough?), I realize it's just a matter of time. I'll keep challenging him in the bathroom, but he'll keep winning, from here on out.

And, that's just fine with me. Mothering the toddler, and mothering the young man - I count these as life's greatest blessings. To wake each day to his bear hugs, taller than me, or not.

Chorus: Childhood

Angie Warren

Sequin crowns and haphazard gifts. Hand made birthdays and a mother's lessons in life and in death.

//

I'm so honored, again, to be a part of this beautiful and lovely collaboration AMY GRACE curates, called The Chorus.

I shared a cherished childhood memory, that was an absolute gift to publish on my mama's birthday. If you're so inclined, there's a treasure trove of words I'm just so blessed to get to be surrounded by.

Click here to read.

(Image circa 1985)

Navigators and an Awakenings

Angie Warren

Shortly after my mom passed away, I had written something on my Instagram account, referring to mothers and daughters and really, just a stream of consciousness.

A young mother commented that she appreciated the insight, as she was navigating the journey of preparing her small daughters for her own passing.

She was dying of cancer.

This woman took my breath away, that simple sentence, a voice beckoning to be heard and understood. Here I was writing about losing my mother - when she, she was preparing to be the one lost.

She was crying out for a navigator, begging someone to tell her how does one do this? To tell your children your time is limited, show them as much love as a lifetime deserves, but that isn't something she had to give, a lifetime.

Within weeks, her terminal illness took her.

Last evening I received yet another, similar note. Again, all breath was sucked from my lungs. Another young mother, more small children. Another woman navigating, still more begging. Another lifetime of questions, with even less answers.

I walked in circles after that, the kitchen my well worn path. Feeling a range of emotion, feeling crazed within my own mind, the fairness of it all, or lack there of, when it dawned on me. I remembered something my mother said often during her own battle with a terminal illness.

"Why not me?"

And there it was. It isn't fair. Not a bit of it. But none of us is immune to it, to the dying. No one is safe from it. I can allow sorrow for others and fear for my own fate to swallow me whole, or I can remember I have this day, today. I'm here. We're here. Let's relish in that.

I did what came naturally to me at that point. My little family circled round our table, waiting for me, so I set the phone down and joined them. We laughed and told stories, forks on plates making the music of our dinner.

And it was enough.

I've been changed because of my loss, and I've been changed because of these two woman. Forever changed. Awakened. Renewed. Inspired. Raw, but whole and present.

It's just what I needed.

May it inspire you, too, friends. Awaken your soul, renew and inspire your spirit, as it has mine.

Sleep tight,
xo

Things That Matter Most, Happy Birthday Mama

Angie Warren
"As I approach 50 it really doesn't matter in the big scope of things. I still don't know the outcome of my cancer treatments yet, but I realize more each day the things I wasted my time on and the things that don't matter. So, my dear friends and relatives, don't stress about the things that don't really matter. Let it go. Be the best you can be, today. That is really all you can do."
- my mom, on turning 50, written August, 2013

//

She never made it to 50. She died six weeks prior.

Today, we would have celebrated my mom's fifty-third birthday. Instead, we piled in the car with teal balloons, as has been our custom, notes tied to each string, to send off to Heaven.

Johnny Cash serenades us with his version of 'I'll Fly Away', and the dark of the skies seems fitting. We watch, eyes squinting to see, as each balloon rises, and I relax as the hope and peace begins to unfold in my children.

2/3 of them truly believe their notes will reach her, the other, a bit older now, simply opts to think of her and pray she's enjoying eternity.

The quote above always hits us a bit hard, as her birthday approaches, and this year, is the first year, I find more of my own peace. Today I've chosen simply to find gratitude in everything she's taught me. I've chosen to go back and read her words, swallowing them hole, though the lump remains in my throat.

"...the things I've wasted my time on and the things that don't matter."

Oh how my mama heart needed that today.

Thanks ma, for continuing to teach us, in life and in death, what truly matters most.

Missing you, Happy Birthday.

Ten Tiny Toes

Angie Warren

For thirty-nine weeks and one entire day, these toes grew within me. I felt them, at first just tickles and later, as it neared the time of her arrival, they were knock out jabs.

Ten, tiny, perfect toes, formed from mere cells. Ten toes that at first were purple, the tender skin peeling as it does those early weeks, but wonderful, fragile, immaculate.

These ten toes are now nearing the age of five, and as much as I wish they'd stay small, I know they won't. They'll be stubbed, stepped on, crushed. Perhaps, they'll cram into heels, kick a wall in anger, and eventually, these toes will walk my sweet girl down an aisle.

Ten beautiful toes, that will carry her through the very best, and utmost difficult days. They'll be there, where her feet hit the floor, whether I can be there for her, or not. Toes I had a part in creating, toes I had the pleasure of kissing and washing, of clipping and polishing.

I pray that the toes and the girl they belong to know, with every bit of my being, that they're fearfully and wonderfully made. They'll do great things, see great sights, walk sacred walks, and carry this most wonderful girl, through a most amazing life.

If I do one thing, as her mother, I hope she knows these things to be true, that from the top of her head, to the bottom of her feet, she is a treasure, a gift, a strong and incredible creation.

I'd like to think that one day, she will carry on a legacy with her own children, one of treasuring every small bit, but especially, their ten, tiny, toes.

Happy Sabbath

Angie Warren
"Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing... Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away." - Mark Buchanan

 

If this isn't enough to remind me of Sabbath, I'm not sure what is. Hope your day is full of rest, as well, friends.

Joy, Times Two

Angie Warren

The day was short, as it is in winter, and the familiar yellow of a setting sun washed over our dining room table, when they caught my eye. Two pieces of family history, stacked just so, in that space where the light hits the table.

Joy, the old towel, and Joy, the book of cooking.

I stood for a moment, unable to move, the realization catching me. These two tangible pieces of "joy" which once belonged in the kitchens of two of the greatest women I've known, beckoned to me now.

The towel, with the words J O Y etched at the edge, is worn with washing and age. It's laid over many an oven handle. It's been thrown over shoulders and tucked into apron pockets, it's wiped countless spills, dried numberless small hands, and in a time which feels so long past, it resided in my mother's house.

The towel is now mine.

It comes out each Christmas, and though the scent of her is gone, I inhale it, deep into my lungs. I rest it to my cheek, sometimes to wipe my tears, other times to choose it as a hug, from her.

The towel brings me joy.

The book, Joy of Cooking, is yellowed in all the best ways. It's pages are loose and dog-eared, the pencil marks, checks, and x's that fill it's girth tell tales I only wish I could read. The book smells of ancient times, of the kitchens in which it lived, of the hands that held it. It smells of my childhood and the childhoods before mine, and in a time which feels so long past, it resided in my great-grandmother's house.

The cookbook is now mine.

It comes out on special occasions, when I decide I've had enough of Pinteresting recipes and I need so much to feel close to her, to them, the women in my family. I open the cover, bring it to my nose, and breathe it in, filling my lungs with the whole lot of it.

The cookbook brings me joy.

Oh, joy, unspeakable joy. This word that we hear so much about during the holiday season, joy, and yet, do we feel it? Do we, practice it?

The two "joys", stacked atop one another, the lineage of womanhood, of kitchens come and gone, of mothers mothering and daughters daughtering - it was almost too much for me. My heart both ached for them, the original owners, and swelled with gratitude.

Yet another gift this season, not wrapped in ribbons or bows, not purchased or even hand-made. Gifts from the heart. Gifts from life. Gifts that serve as reminders, that joy really is, everywhere.

xo

 

Just Throw the Towel

Angie Warren

It was a desperate attempt to be heard, really. When I hit 'send' on the text, I knew I didn't mean it. I knew this and yet, I felt it, so deep in my gut, it was a tangible thing and it hurt to hold.

"It's just one of those days I want to throw in the towel." I admitted to my friend.

The phone, now tossed aside, began to buzz with her reply. I knew what she would say, and perhaps that's why I wrote her.

"So throw in the towel for today. It's okay, do it. Be done."

Permission.

She gave me permission, didn't tell me to power through, or to buck up, no, she gave me the okay.

To say I've had enough.

To let the four year old eat cookies in the dog kennel.

To finish up math, but say history can wait for tomorrow.

To make a quick, less than healthy dinner.

To take a bath.

To skip the gym.

To put on sweats.

To be, to find quiet, to have "one of those days".

Don't we all have those days? The ones we need a girlfriend to hold us, to hold our stories, to hold our hearts? Days where we want to just toss that towel?

I'm so grateful I listened, glad I reached out, though it made me feel for the slightest moment, weak. I know though, that often times we need the nod, the reminder, the nudge to throw it in.

My friend Mothering the Divide with Kara Lawler just tonight reminded me of the goodness of self care. Of saying no to something, in order to say yes.

Our bodies need tender loving care, our hearts do as well. I hope you too have a friend who'll remind you of this, who will hold you and your story. If not, allow me to do so: care for yourself, slow down, say no in order to say yes.

You're worth it, in body AND heart.
 

The Gifts Not Tangible

Angie Warren

"You look just like your mother." she said, her voice velvet and soft, and my breath caught in my throat.

It was mid-day, at a bagel shop of all places. My youngest two were taking an art class near by, so like every week, the eldest and I hunkered down for an hour.

When I heard the ladies at the table nearby mention the place my mom and dad used to work at, immediately my ears perked, and my heart raced. It's not a name you hear just anywhere.

It took everything in me not to run, the sheer mention of the organization my mother poured her life into, it brought so much grief and emotion to the surface. Instead, I casually walked over, excused myself for interrupting, and asked if in fact, they did work there.

"No, we don't. But I've volunteered there for decades." she began, the one on the right, I'll call Ms. B, whose face was etched in age, but wore a smile that lit the room.

"Oh, oh, okay. My parents you see, they used to work there. I just found it intriguing to hear it in passing. Thank you." and I began to walk away.

"Who are your parents, dear?" the question burned a bit, worded as if they're both still alive, breathing, around.

I told her their names and she nodded.

"Yes, yes I remember them. Your mother, oh her heart for her work. A true servant she was, I know she passed."

And there it was. There was the bomb. The four words I needed, not realizing the fear I felt in having to say "Oh you didn't hear? She died."

*I know she passed.*

I needed that. I needed this woman, Ms. B, one I'd not met until now, who by happenstance would be in the same tiny bagel shop as me, on a cold and blustery December day, unknowing that I needed so much this encounter. Needed so much the gift of this experience.

It shook me for a few hours, and I allowed the words of remembrance, her eyes filled with gratitude for a woman half her age, that had such a heart for those less fortunate, my mother, I welcomed those words and let them sink deep into me.

I could have allowed this to break me, and perhaps two years ago, it would have. Instead, I decided to see this as a divine appointment. Ms. B gifted me with something on that day, she reminded me that the memory of this one I loved so fiercely, that it was alive and well. That her light and life wasn't for nothing. That it was still burning, and will continue to. When she told me I look like my mother, I welcomed the compliment and took it as one of the greatest I could receive.

During this Christmas season, I'm reminded that the most memorable gifts aren't tangible ones at all, no, they sometimes come packaged up in a random occurrence at a hole in the wall shop, or in the words of a stranger, or simply, in a smile.

I hope you too find these types of gifts this season, I also pray you feel led to give them. We never know when the words of our mouth or the spreading of a smile, will change the course of someone's life.

xo

Being Held

Angie Warren

"I don't know if I want to turn five." she said, her voice small and still.

This birthday, it's just around the corner, inching closer though I wish it wouldn't.

"Why sweetheart? Why don't you?" I watched as she brought the two small horses together, encouraging them to touch.

"I'm afraid when I turn five, I'm afraid you won't be able to hold me anymore. To hold me close."

And with that I scooped her up and into my arms. I squeezed as much love into her as I could, and I assured her right then and there that I'll hold her, as long as she'll sit on my lap.

Sufficient enough I suppose because she smiled, returned to her horses, and relaxed.

"In fact, on the morning of your fifth birthday, the first thing I'll do, is to hold you." I promised.

"Really?"

"Really."

Oh, the power of being held. The courage and grace and magic of touch. It's a need deep within us, whether we're five or forty. The warmth of an embrace, the knowing that we're seen, that we're there, that we're worthy of being held.

I pray she feels held all of her years. First by me, then by friends, some day by a man that loves her (nearly) as much as her mama, and of course that she always feels held by her Savior.

I hope and I love and I pour into her words of affirmation, words to live by and to hold onto, and to pull out of her pocket on the days when I can't be there to hold her.

Until then, each day I am blessed to wake up her mama, I shall hold her, I shall hold her close, and keep her there and just not let go.

 

Twelve Years a Mother

Angie Warren

Today I awoke and celebrated twelve years of motherhood. The sun was just rising as I shuffled downstairs, began the process of morning tea, and waited, toe-tapping the cool of the tile, for him to come down.

I did as I always do, the night before their birthdays: criss-crossed the house in streamers, hung the traditional "H A P P Y H I R T H D A Y" sign (no that isn't a typo, it literally came that way from Target), and designed a birthday greeting on our chalkboard.

The previous evening my husband laughed as I scrambled for decor, "He will be twelve, you know, you don't have to do this." to which I nearly lept out of my chair and in a mama bear rage roared, "YES I DO." - It's true, I'll be doing it as long as their heads hit their pillows here in our home.

My tea was nearly ready, a splash of cream, a bit of sugar, when I heard him. Round the corner he did, and much to his pleasure, I no longer look down at him, no, my baby, my first born son, now stands at exactly five-foot-two. Just like his mama.

I squeezed him tight and reminded him that really if we're being honest, he wouldn't be twelve until 1:10 in the afternoon, so not until then, until that very minute, would I accept this birthday.

I'm not sure what it is about *this* birthday per say, that has me so emotional. Perhaps every year that passes, we inch closer to the birthday that brings him to manhood. So today, on this big number twelve day, we, his family, were simply together. We made him feel special in big and tiny ways.

I held it together the entire day, through morning donuts and cookie baking, with every phone call that came wishing him a Happy Birthday, I was alright, I was fine even when the clock did the dreaded thing and hit 1:10pm, marking exactly the moment he came earth-side. No, I didn't really lose it until much later in the day.

The tears began to fall instead after dinner. I think it was simply the winding down of the day, the deepness to his voice as he thanked us for his gifts, and the remembrance that it's yet another birthday marked without my mom.

It all sort of crashed in on me and I had to take a moment. I had to acknowledge that it is what it is, there is no stopping the passage of time, there is no changing the emptiness of missing, there is no need to push it down with a glass of wine or stifled tears. No, it needed to flow, and I needed to nod and accept it, and all would be well. And you know, it was.

It's taken years, and trial and (so very much) error, to come to an understanding in this life. I still don't have it down, no, not by a mile, but I believe I'm finally in a space where I can look emotion in the face and nod, a nod of acceptance, and mutual affection.

Yes my babies are growing up, no my mama isn't here to see it, yes there are going to be days I wish I could hide from it all and change it all and throw my hands to the skies and scream at it all. But oh, this one wild and precious life I live, it's meant to be LIVED. Not ignored or rushed through, or wished to be different.

And today, today I believe we did, we lived it, and we lived it well. We celebrated an amazing boy, we made messes, we laughed, we loved. And as the night swallows us whole, I pray that boy sleeps feeling so filled up he just may burst.

I know that's how I feel.

Contented.
Whole.
Filled up.
The entire lot of it.


I hope you, do too.

xo,
A mama of twelve years.

The Dance of New Rumley Road

Angie Warren

The A-frame cabin was filled, each corner of it, with the warm and tangible aroma of roasting turkey. It was a Saturday, my uncle was in town to hunt, and we decided on a big supper. Supper in Ohio is what we call dinner in California, but usually Supper is had on a Sunday after church. It is prepared the night before, and at my grandmother’s, the table is set to perfection before bed.

This particular Saturday we decided on a Supper because there were plans for the following day, a hay ride at the little church in the country. Turkey roasted, mashed potatoes steamed, gravy simmered. I was all over the place with the kids, curating yet another nature scavenger hunt, enjoying a tea party in the playhouse, here and there and everywhere.

Each time I came into the house, I saw her in the kitchen, my grandma. I looked at the golden stream that blanketed her through the rectangular window above her sink, and I forced myself to inhale it. To breath in her presence.

To watch, if only for a moment. To remember standing in the cabin kitchen, intoxicated by the smells and textures of family, of turkey dinner, of the autumn which has brought so much heartache in years past. I offered my help, but as per usual, she declined and busied herself with the role she knew so well.

It was a dance I had watched since childhood, a beautiful waltz in which she never missed a beat. The kitchen was her ballroom, and every performance a meal.

When supper was long enjoyed, our bellies full of the food of our people, and naps taken, I became struck with a notion. Life at home, prior to our trip, for years, has been a good one. It’s been a good one and yet, I have been hurried and rushed and so focused on the next project, on a deadline, I’ve lost the art of that ballroom dance passed down to me from my mother, from her mother, and hers.

The personal journey I took of finding myself and accepting my true calling, which came to a tipping point just days before we headed back to New Rumley Road this October, was one that found me halted, in the eye of a storm. I made a choice, to walk away from the woman who took on any and every possible thing, to become the woman that invests her life and love into her family, and to her writing.

Watching my grandmother, remembering my mother, dancing the dance of homemaking, it ached inside of me, the desire to get back home, and dance it myself. So often, pre-trip, the pile of dishes, the laundry, the bedtime routine, and general discord of a house full of growing children, was a dreaded task on my to-do list of life.

More times than I’d like to count, my heart was cold and angry. I held onto so much bitterness, it bled out into every aspect of life. Oh how I wanted to get back home, and find my ballet slippers, to place them gingerly on my feet, and set about the dance floor we called home, and pour my love into it.

The dishes were piled high after that Saturday supper, they spilled out onto the small counters in that cabin kitchen, but she wouldn’t have help. I cleared the table for her, and said, "Nan, you’ll be doing dishes for an hour!", to which she smiled and replied, "Well, yeah, but it’s okay, it’s worth it."

It's worth it.

It's worth it.

It's worth it.


Those words will forever be tattooed upon my heart. It is worth it. All of it, the mess and the prep, and the time and the chaos, spilling out of every corner - for a twenty minute meal, enjoyed around an oval table. It’s all worth it.

Her heart, a servant’s heart if ever I knew one, a true Proverbs 31 woman, my grandmother. And I began to pray, that very day, for a heart change. For a heart change, because for so many years I felt refuge in disdain, in pity and grief and a great longing for something, different.

Please God, I begged, please give me the dance of my grandmother. Please give me a joy for my home and my family, like never before. And on that evening, I knew I was changed. There were days during that trip that I’d have said it was all a mistake, and between heaving sobs, begged to go home. But the truth of it is that the pain pushed me to a different space. A space of peace and acceptance, of insight and foresight.

I was then filled with a warmth and light like never before, I was prepared to go home and give this life and my family, my every bit. I will forever be so breathtakingly grateful for the gift of New Rumley Road.

Made of Magic

Angie Warren

"I feel like my bed is made of magic." she said, her face beaming, as I tucked her in. "That's because it is." I whispered.

We put up our tree tonight, which meant of course, we got to bring out her 'collection' (too many snowmen to count, the majority she's inherited from my mama's own collection). New to the display this year were these snowman lights, and as I wound them around her bed, I felt a bit of that magic touch the tips of my own fingers.

I thought of sugar plums and fairies and the best bits of childhood she gets to experience. And it all made me smile. The choice to say no to things in recent months, allowed me to say yes, to this. To witnessing the magic of a string of $3 lights, of the joy in a four year olds heart, and what I pray are the very best chapters of her story. Yes to slow, yes to family, yes to less.

Plan as if You'll Get it, Love as if You Won't

Angie Warren

If you've lost someone, it's obvious to remember the day that happened. The day your world changed. For me, I'll also remember this day, October 25, as the day they told us our mom would die.

On that most horrific and gut-wrenching day, something shifted in me. I sat down my camera, I stopped updating her Facebook group, I began to spend more time in the waiting room than I did in with her.

Why? I was scared, terrified of looking into her eyes and acknowledging what we now knew to be true. I couldn't do it. I remained that way until one evening in the corner of the tiny family room on the second floor of Kaiser ICU, when my best friend said, "Ang, you should be in there, yeah?".

So I did. Face swollen from the day, stomach sick with knots, we sat around her, her family. She spoke of thanksgiving dinner, asking my brother what he planned to make us. Sorry, what? Thanksgiving? They've just told us you have likely days left and you want to talk about Thanksgiving?

Years later I can look back on this and see, and my heart will re-break all over again as I realize, she was simply, coping. It was her way of easing us through.

I will carry a regret, that I didn't instead, smile, and let her talk, and make a list for what we'd make. I will wish I could go back and gift her with planning a thanksgiving she wouldn't get. But I suppose that was how I was coping, too. To disengage and silently flip out and cry myself to sleep that night.

So many of you walked beside us (both in real life and virtually), and as this week progresses, I find myself feeling absolutely nothing, and everything, and it's (mostly) silencing me.

I suppose in the end it reminds us, to plan thanksgiving as if we'll all get to enjoy it, but love as if we won't.

 

A Man Named Jerry, and the House He Built

Angie Warren

The man who built my grandparents a-frame cabin lives way down the lane. He crafted it by hand, thirty years ago, and lives in one himself, (which he also happened to build).

He's never been married, and lives by choice with no electric and zero running water. Jerry's pets are the two remaining peacocks from a family of three, that travel back and forth between the two properties.

He fascinates me, and I think about him often when I think of New Rumley Road. Little did he know, back in '86 that he was building a home, a space, that would change the life of a then four year old girl.

It's amazing to me, and yet no surprise, when I try to grasp the goodness and well laid plans of my Savior. Nothing is by chance. Nothing is coincidence. It's all written up in a big bad, super rad, plan of life.

I'm so grateful a man named Jerry decided to follow his dreams so many years ago. And I'm so glad I got to be someone who saw what was on the other side of it all. Back between the maples and pines, lay a house that would change my very life.

//

I've been quiet here, but shared a lot of our trip over on Instagram (find me there @angiewarren).

Tomorrow we return home. With us, I'll bring the final pages of the first draft of my book, as well as the title. I knew coming here to Ohio, to New Rumley Road, there was something waiting for me. Turns out, I was correct.

It's now in the saved pages of a document as well as in my blood. Between the painful and beautiful, I've found what I was looking for.

Go in October

Angie Warren

Tomorrow the kids & I board a plane headed east. We go each summer, but this time, something in me said "go in October".

Now that the trip is just around the bend, and I'm filled with mounting emotions, but I'll say without a shadow of a doubt, that nothing is coincidental. It's all a part of a master plan.

And regardless of my hesitancy, I know something is waiting for me in those woods. Something I need. May it be healing, forgiveness, closure. I'm not sure and I won't know until I'm there, feet crunching leaves, the smell of campfire in my hair, my grandma's coffee in my hands.

I'll be sure to share, if not here, in the final words of my book. Yeah, I have a feeling it will be there. No turning back. Time to fly.

Here we go!

A New Leaf

Angie Warren

Time to get real: I feel as though an introduction of sorts is in order. Not the kind you think though. For the first time in nearly 10 years, I stand here proudly and say, "Hi my name is Angie. I'm a wife, mama, and homeschooler from N Cal, who by the grace of a God is, writing a book."...

Did you catch that? Did you notice something, missing? Did you happen to see that I stopped there? I used to pride myself on adding things like 'lifestyle + wedding photographer', or 'freelance artist', or 'mentor', or 'founder/owner/CEO' whatever title you want to add.

You name it, I've tried it, done it, and added all necessary social media outlets. Do you know I owned more URLs than shoes? Owned, key word.

There's been a shift in the Warren home, blinders are off, eyes are open, and as hard as some decisions have been, I simply know that following my true calling has been put on the back burner for far too long.

Part of that calling is the job I was given nearly twelve years ago, and that is the role of 'mother'. It pains me to admit, but I do pride myself on being as real with you all as possible, that my children have taken the backseat too often when I'm diving deep into another project or opportunity.

So enough is enough. I did it. I did the thing I've had in the back of my mind for years upon years, emotionally I parted ways with URLs and IG accounts, with hats I've worn, but this week it's become physical. A physical parting of ways that on one hand broke me, but on another, doing so mended the broken hearts of my babies.

I'm being called to step back and just be. Be their mama. Be Justin's wife. Be present. Be still. Be. Be. Be. To create for them, and for me. To shoot for them, and for me. To take this one wild and precious life, and not waste another minute chasing a hustle that does more damage than it does good. I'm not the greatest at this, I used to thrive on deadlines and to-do lists.

Not anymore. So yes, slowly but surely all my other "online presences" will dissolve and I'll just be here, just me, just Angie. And I'll promise be true to what I believe and I guarantee I'll be real. I'd be so glad to have you along for the ride.

I'm Angie, good to meet you.

Hello There, Friend

Angie Warren // Hello There, Friend

Recently, the lovely ladies of Hello There, Friend approached me about a feature on their blog + IG. I was honored, it's a project I've followed since the beginning, and I absolutely love how they remind me to find gratitude in the itty bitty daily pieces of life.

They asked me some really great, thought provoking Q&A and I got to takeover their IG for the day! What fun!

You can check it out, here.

xo

 

Six Hours for Him

Angie Warren

Sometimes you do things in the name of grief, of necessity, of a gut-wrenching need. Like drive nearly six hours round trip, to have twenty minutes with your brother.

I don't think it simply chance that he quit his job 3000 miles away, to work temporarily in the mountains here. During the fall, a space in time I feel most fragile. We all do, our mother's children.

And today, I had that need, a force so strong, I hopped in the car and drove into the night. There he stood, on the side of the road in the middle of no where and it was the most welcome sight.

Puffy-eyed and utterly exhausted I was, but I squeezed him and we talked of his adventures and laughed, and for a bit I forgot about the breakdown today, and forgot about the loss, and about how three years later it hurts as much and not as much - different but the same.

It's a white hot poker, so fresh and painful, and yet life is so intrinsically different I sometimes wonder if she was real at all, our mom. Or if she was simply the best dream I've dreamt.

I digress.

The drive was worth it. And I count myself lucky to have had the chance to even make it. To see him, the boy she loved and prayed for so very much. The brother I adore.

Grief changes and it doesn't. It's alive and it's hidden. And if you're in the thick of it, a month out or three years or thirty - you aren't alone. Not a single bit.

Hang in there and hang on.

As Long as You'll Sit, I'll Push

Angie Warren

When you asked to take a walk in the stroller I was stumped. Where is, the stroller? It's been years since you, my independent last born, has ridden in your Maclaren.

You cried big, heavy, tears. Finally after some thought, I tossed you in the car and we went in search of a jogging stroller.

I was reminded of the tale of Goldilocks, except for in our story, you were just too big for every one of them. I looked at you in aisle three of the "baby store", and it was my turn for the big, heavy, tears. Your legs, long and lean hung over the sides and you proudly beamed "mom it's just PERFECT for me!" and with a fractured heart I had to come to acknowledge that my baby, is far from the small, bouncy girl whose legs weren't lean and whose hair wasn't long.

You had outgrown the stroller but your heart was still in it. I'll always wonder but never care what others thought of a four and a half year old and her mama weeping in the stroller aisle.

So I did what any good mother would do, we spent $20 on a black and yellow striped number, and I wheeled you around our block in your snug as a bug bumblebee and we felt the wind and we talked of life and we chose to ignore your bent up knees and the way it hugged you a bit too tight.

We chose to remember the walks Nana took us on, and gather some pine cones, and relish the last strolls we'll take like this. As long as you'll keep sitting, I promise to keep on pushing.