from holes to whole

grief is a process. there are stages, and I know we are all familiar with them.  accountability doesn’t really show up in the grief searches I’ve done, but I feel like it’s real.

I was 100% a part of the failed relationship as 1 of 2 people. Therefore I have some accountability in it’s death. The way things ended would have never been the way I would have chosen to handle things – I’m sure there were things I did or didn’t do that contributed to our car crashing and blowing up.  Earlier I mentioned maintenance – I didn’t ask for, didn’t recognize, and didn’t think we were so far off that we needed it.  But loving to grow things I know that nothing lives without care and attention – and I can only speak for myself when I say there was obviously not enough of either.  I can hold myself accountable for my part in that.

The other piece of this that I’ve spent some days really thinking about is why I was here in the first place.  What was it that kept me here, even when I wasn’t feeling fully seen, heard, respected, supported or satisfied.  I’ve been able to come to the conclusion that there were/are holes in me that he filled. Holes that kept me from coming into the relationship in the beginning as a whole person able to offer myself completely.  Holes that he naturally filled, and made me feel whole with him.

I have work to do. Childhood holes to fill for myself, so that I don’t find myself dependent on another in this same way.

I am accountable for my part, but I will never forget this anguish. More importantly, I am accountable to myself, and will do the work necessary to fill my own holes, give myself my own level of care and attention, and find a way to become whole for no one else but myself.

it’s a process…..

day 28


day 25.

trying to turn this pain into something of value. trying to establish a new normal.

I am making lemonade out of lemons (and listening to a lot of Beyonce).

I am certain that this healing process will continue for some time, but while in the midst of it I’ve been inspired to help others going through similar experiences.

The Infidelity Project was launched to build community around the survivors of adultery. Anonymous sharing online or by mail (to a private P.O. Box) allows us to process the wave of emotions that come with this life transition together.

follow our progress. share it with friends, family, strangers – help me grow this community. it is for anyone and everyone who has ever loved.

happiest of new years to us all…..


an unexpected wave

she’s here. my mini-me. for a few days of love before the new year. she is my everything – always has been, but as we drove home from the airport – my stomach began to turn on itself, and the pain of the first week of ‘knowing’ flooded back in.

noooooo. this is not what I expected. how can it be that my own daughter is now a trigger for the pain of this situation. I was with her when this happened.  Focused, and caring for her as a mother does, when she, in her post surgical state had to care for me as I fell apart. I refuse to let this thing he did affect one of the most precious relationships I have.

couldn’t sleep. the pain was back with the same level of intensity as in the beginning. my body was shutting down again.  I sat crying in the living room before the sun rose, and she joined me crying herself at her own anxiety from being sucked into a situation that is not hers.

we will tread slowly, keep our communication open, and acknowledge what is now a transition for mother and daughter.

the ripples of destruction continue….

0600 hrs – day 23.

the storm

so what’s next?

I don’t even know what day it is, let alone what’s next, or what I want to do.

I am beyond devastated, I go in and out of disbelief and the normal things like eating are of no interest.

It’s Christmas. I have no desire to even acknowledge one of my favorite holidays. Will this be ruined forever too?

My anxiety is back – the pains in my chest are real and literally feel like my heart is broken inside my chest.

I’m thankful to have this time off work – but what a waste, I could be doing so much more!

I think the layers of what was set at my feet 3 weeks ago is making this so difficult to process. it wasn’t just cheating, there are multiple things that just slammed into my soul from no where. gut punched. breath taken away. and the reaction of anger still hasn’t really come – just shock, numbness and sadness. and it’s the worst when it’s quiet. it’s like the sadness is on volume 100 and i can’t turn it down or off.

time is the only thing I can hold on to. that time will ease some of this. i don’t think i’ll ever fully understand what and why we are here. the story seems to change just a little bit each time and i’m too tired to keep it straight.

time and space. i think thats all i want for a while.

ho hum.


she said, saw and ate

she said she loved him and meant it. she had never loved anyone as deeply or as eternally as him. with every fiber of her being – she loved.

she saw his complexities and loved him regardless. built homes so that he would know love, feel love and have a sense of home.

she ate her pride, and held herself as she was washed in the shame of his selfish act. the shame of his dishonesty, and her not being honest with herself. his unfaithfulness and disloyalty, her allowing him to steal her joy tiny piece, by tiny piece with his words.


they started their journey 10 years ago. got in a car that she thought would serve them for a lifetime. they kept their car clean with independent interests and passions they both shared. they fueled their car with trips to foreign lands and new experiences. they were free to follow their hearts, and they stayed in their car out of want and not need. they even had a wild idea to repaint their car and give it an entirely new way to live, but what they neglected was maintenance. tires got low, oil needed changing, brakes squeaked until they no longer worked. maintenance may have saved their car, or prolonged the inevitable- it’s impossible to know now. their car has been totaled. it feels beyond repair, and now there is a new car.


  • she tries to make order in chaos
  • she is a peacemaker
  • she is a nurturer
  • she puts others first
  • she is drawn to the complex
  • she is not a fixer, but a comforter
  • she is wise, smart and sometimes feels beautiful
  • she doesn’t listen close enough to her own heart
  • she takes time to consider everything, every angle, every outcome
  • when she really connects it’s deeply, and she doesn’t connect to many
  • she protects herself, and for the right one leaves herself wide open
  • she holds things in so tightly that her body physically reacts to wake her up

she is awake, alive, and in pain, no – agony. she feels, therefore she knows she is still here.

she is strong. she is searching for her self, for her knowing. she cuts her fingers to the bone while holding the shattered pieces of her heart in place, praying for it to heal.

she sees him now, more clearly than ever. his golden veil is lifting, and his true self is coming into view. she hears others describe him as if they are speaking directly to her in crowded restaurants. he’s most likely been here, this clear for her to see the whole time, but she was either blinded, or he was hiding in his own shadow afraid of seeing himself, or both.

a love this strong is hard to turn off, even when you try with all your might. this love wishes him well on his journey, and hopes he gets what he needs – without her.

it is 3:20 AM. this was my day 10.


on almost every elementary report card i got marked as “talks too much with neighbors”, or however they worded it. i don’t think i was actually chatty. i think from an early part of life, i was seeking information. okay, maybe i was a little chatty – but i’ve always been a discoverer.

curiosity is a trait i respect, embody and look for in people i hire. staying curious might seem like a drain or waste of time to some, but i view it as a way to continue growing, continue improving, and to improve and innovate the spaces around you – whether that be personal or business.

being on the farm has offered numerous opportunities to learn, and i am exercising my curiosity muscle daily. from learning more about bees and how & where to keep them, to learning about how wind, and how water effects our soil, to learning about placement of future fruit trees and creating our own ecosystem of sustainability through planting and raising our animals.

by early next year, i will have a design certification in Permaculture, by Spring we will start our first 2 beehives (off-site because bees and cut flowers as a business don’t go together – who knew!), and our first round of flowers will be on their way in a new low tunnel that’s going up in the next couple of months.

I really like this quote by Peruvian photographer Mario Testino:

My favourite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities.

there is still a lot to learn about living on and with the land, and I’m eager to continue on this journey. and i should also say that learning comes with its share of mistakes – sometimes expensive. we try to avoid those, but without trying there is no learning.

stay curious my friends…



fear, love, and trust

I was talking to my favorite daughter this evening about life things, and she mentioned something about trusting herself. I immediately had a very clear vision of why we are here (like here, on earth, living this life, right now). if we learn how to act from a place of love, trust ourselves first, and acknowledge our fears we will have a chance of living the most fulfilled lives. it hit me hard, like a rock that woke me from a hazy slumber. have you ever had one of those spilt moments of clarity?

i believe we get one chance at this life. one time to experience everything it has to offer us. one end to end opportunity to learn from challenges, to grow from mistakes, and to help others from a place of authentic sincerity.

in order to have those learning moments and deep experiences that impact us forever we have to trust. trust ourselves. trust that our bodies will carry us through impossible circumstances, trust that our mind is strong and our intuition is guiding us. trust that moving through something that feels scary is the right thing even though we don’t know what is waiting for us on the other side. trust and faith can be synonymous. if you truly trust in something you also have faith that you will be supported and taken care of.

my “mini-me 2.0” and I talked about love and how everything we encounter in this life was created in love and meant to experience through love. we are so caught up in self, in creating and accumulating material wealth, and in trying to be better than, that we loose sight that the basis for all things is love. that we are connected to each other and every living thing at a cellular level. like trust, love of self (as we are, not as we wish we were) is foundational to our happiness and to our ability to love others unconditionally. and that’s NOT easy! but I really think that the more you try, the more you receive – so it’s not really a “master this experience before you reap the benefits”, it’s a work towards it and you’d be surprised at how much love you receive.

fear… is the third leg of my enlightenment stool. this one is playing out very loudly right now at work for me. the unknown, a period of change, and a potential lack of control throw people into weird behaviors that are based in fear. it’s kind of crazy how much time is spent analyzing and trying to explain human behaviors when most of them can be boiled down to fear. and I think where there is fear, there is a lack of trust. and when there is a lack of trust there is a lack of love.

so is it as easy as “love” more — maybe, but for sure it all starts with self. the results are always more satisfying when you’ve done the hard work yourself – so stay aware of when you feel off balance and really try to hone in on why – is it fear, love or trust??



the year of big shifts

we are into the first month of the new year, and it’s hard to believe it’s two thousand and eighteen. so much happened for us and for me in 2017, and i wanted to take a few minutes to make sure i record what i’m calling the year of big shifts.

we put the idea of leaving our city life into motion halfway through 2016, and fully realized it less than a year later. i am a firm believer in the power of the universe, and in positive intention. i have too many examples in my life of things falling into place after one out loud conversation about a desire or wish. i’m not saying it’s magic, or that it happens every time – but i do think we have the ability to manifest good and not so good in our lives. the phrase “be careful what you wish for” is real, especially if your intention behind your wish is in the right place and you are ready to accept the gift.

okay, on to the year in review….

big shift #1 – new job: this was one of those “fell into place” situations. i am so grateful to the team that provided me the opportunity to stay with the fruit. it was a conversation i had with a VP that started the ball rolling and here we are. working in this org has been vastly different from my previous organization. it’s weird how that can happen within a company – parts operate as their own small companies and while the foundational stuff is the same, the nuances of the day to day are very different. i’m working in a space i’ve always been passionate about and it’s a space i’m proud to still have good examples of my work in action out there in the world. 2018 will be about how to land the next big thing and have my little signature associated to it.

big shift #2 – moving onto the farm was the next big shift. we moved to austin into a brand new house as a rental. we unpacked (a tiny bit), got comfortable and made a home because we had no idea how long the search would take. we had nine months and used six. however we found wallum farm 39 days after arriving in austin.

farm life is obviously opposite of city life. we miss the conveniences of the city, but we are so grateful for the wide open spaces, the fresh air, the peaceful morning and nights and our ability to learn and create this new life.

big shift #3 – depression

where to start… there was a lot of change at the beginning of 2017 and many times where I thought we had made a mistake and we should just pack it up and go back to something that felt more familiar. the fact that work was new, our environment was completely different, the conveniences we were used to were non-existent and we knew very few people put me through a period of loss. we moved for all of the right reasons, but the adjustment was difficult. i’ve read that when you make changes that are big positive pushes forward, there is usually a period of second guessing, or difficultly that causes you to think that maybe you made a mistake. the challenging times didn’t last long, and i can recognize them now for what they were. the lows after the really big change high!

big shift #4 – adding anchors. we jumped right in with wanting animals. with creating spaces for them and serendipitously finding breeders.

animal count: we’ve added 2 labs (gracie and hudson), 10 chickens (apollonia, cocoa chanel, hei hei, phyllis diller, thelma and louise, wilma and betty, bonnie without clyde, and eartha kitt), 3 barn cats, 3 mini donkeys (captain and moe are with us and baby brother hank joins us in the spring), and brooklyn our havanese who has moved from Seattle to SF to Austin. we had some bumps with our anchors. keeping chickens didn’t start out as easily as i had thought it would be. we lost 5 in the first 6 weeks. one to a hawk and 4 to who knows what. our boy lab puppy hudson has been diagnosed with elbow, hip and knee dysplasia, and brooklyn tried to run away on thanksgiving due to the large family gathering we had. too many people, and we think she was headed to the airport for a flight back to SF.

we’ve installed version 1 and 2 of a vegetable garden, versions 1, 2, 3, and 4 of an in ground fire pit, and are working on some small landscaping ideas for around the house.

the farm is in its infancy, but we’ve made solid steps that I’m proud of in our first seven months.

big shift #5 – family

one day maybe i’ll write about this shift….

i am so grateful for all the opportunities and hurdles in 2017, and cheers to 2018!

xoxo – n

three months…

today marks three months on the farm, and eight and a half in Texas.

the journey has been every emotion imaginable, and I want to try to capture how i'm feeling in this moment because I know that months from now i will feel differently. hopefully better, hopefully more settled, and more balanced.

the anxiety is real. it's reached a level where I have to acknowledge it.

the expectation i've place on myself for the garden, the beginning of flower growing, on sustainable living (chickens, bees, veggies) is a lot. the projects that have been started and not finished due to contractors leaving us high and dry, or small business people getting paid for most of the work and leaving the last 10% has taken a huge toll on me. i just want work completed. i want to be able to plan, to budget, to execute and to celebrate the finished work.
the time that has been spent to start, stop and pick up a project again has been frustrating and a learning experience for both M & I. to have to manage a professional business owner to the levels we've had to has made me crazy and caused some friction in our home.
i know we have time. we have a lifetime to be here on this land or however long we have. and i know what we do with it will change. this is iteration one, the initial plan, the first go round. we will learn the seasons, the things that work and things that don't. but i'm eager and excited and i've seen it all in my head for over a year. i have to be patient and live in the moment, remind myself to not take on too much (which at least once a week it feels like we have).
the anxiety builds.

as an introvert it's hard for me to develop new relationships. the move to SF came with people we already knew. people M knew from living in the Bay area. the move here to Austin was a blank slate for both of us. i have some work colleagues i knew, but nothing deeper than work relationships. i've always been satisfied with a handful of good friends, and as i get older i think i'm getting more selective. i'm in a brand new environment, around people who haven't ever been on a plane, haven't eaten or tried the kinds of food/wine we love, people who dress, shop and have interests that are a direct opposite of me. i feel alone, isolated and like finding "my people" may be harder that i envisioned. i am drained by going out, and socializing in large groups of strangers terrifies me. but i'm holding on to hope that there are women and couples not too far away that we will connect with. people closer to our age, our career length and learned life lessons. i have nothing against the people we've met so far – the twenty something's who are still finding their way, and who look at us like what we've achieved just happened over night. nothing against them, but also not feeling very much in common with them.

anxiety is fear. i recognize that. i see my fear and meet it with deep breathes and patience, and tears and sleepless nights. i'm trying to embrace this moment for what it is, because maybe it is what im supposed to be experiencing.

time. give myself time. let things unfold as they are supposed to. and find a way to accomplish things in a manageable manner.
time. take my time. organize the wants vs the needs. and give it time.

these are growing pains…..


the first thirty days….

the first thirty days….

I wanted to make sure I captured the blur of events that happened during the first thirty days in the farmhouse.  i’m sure i’m missing some things, but these are the most memorable. 

in no specific order:

  • we unpacked and organized close to 90% of our boxes – including stuff we’ve had in storage for the last 6 years. 
  • we had concrete backsplashes poured to match the counters. and successful got one was installed. the larger one has to be remade. (ouch)
  • we learned that a dehumidifier would save our air conditioning bill and keep us a lot more comfortable during the humid pre rain days. (it works!!)
  • we bought a zero turn lawn mower and a regular push mower – yes there is that much grass. 
  • we designed and finished a 60ft x 40ft fenced in garden space with 10 raised garden beds made from lawn timbers. 
  • we had 2 giant piles of fill and organic planting soil delivered for the above veggie boxes. (we may have too much dirt – so flowers may be coming sooner than i thought)
  • we put together rocking chairs, a bench, a love seat, two chairs and a table, a dining table and six chairs for our outdoor front and back patios. 
  • we had a total of 8 overnight guests. my dad came for 10 days! it was awesome to have him here. (i think my mom would agree)
  • we bought a circular saw that i used to cut logs!
  • we made it through 30 days over 80+, with a lot of them being over 90 degrees. (even in the rain, and it’s not summer yet!)
  • brooklyn made friends with the horses. 
  • we all learned how to feed the cows what their owner calls “cow crack”. the cows now come straight to the fences to see if we have treats. 
  • we goat fenced the playpen, and in a few months we’ll add nygierian pygmy goats!
  • we hearded the cows out of the playpen twice – gotta fix the fence where they keep getting in before the goats come. 
  • we had a run in with a local politician over misplaced recycling – which we had nothing to do with, but because he found our info on some of the boxes he called and accused us of illegal dumping.  M went NY on him for the false accusation. (eek)
  • we took a trip to see The Alamo!
  • we got a pool cover made to keep the pool clean. 
  • we built a fire pit and enjoyed it 3 times before it flooded. 
  • we took the jeep mudding 
  • cooked a jackrabbit shot on the property 
  • we lived through our first tornado. it went right over the house, broke two trees in half and took limbs off of 8 others. we survived, the house survived, and our little country street made the local news. what didn’t survive we discovered a week later when the standing water from what we thought was poor drainage started flowing over the driveway. our main water line to the house had been cracked because the tree roots wrapped around it were pulled in the 85mph winds. 
  • and, we bought a chainsaw 

it’s been a crazy 30 days, full of fun, learning, anxiety, and love. we look forward to the upcoming year being a little less stressful, but equally full of things learned and great accomplishments!

wallum farm – #firstthirtydays

xo – n