Dreams of My 6-Year-Old

The other night, Penelope woke up crying and calling out for me. I went into her room and snuggled into her bed.

“What’s wrong Penelope?” I asked.

“I had a bad dream,” she whimpered.

“Do you want to tell me about it?” I asked.

In between sniffles, Penelope said, “I dreamt that I just got out of the shower and I was all clean. And then Cecilia took a pen and started drawing on me when I was all clean. And then. And then…”

She paused and then wailed,”And then she called me a BUTT!”

Oh, my sweet girl.


The Hemulen

To add more complication, I mean joy,  to our lives, we got a new puppy about a month ago. Meet The Hemulen.

Photo by Malia Arenth

Photo by Malia Arenth

Cute little guy, isn’t he? He’s an Australian Shepherd + Poodle = Aussie Doodle. He’s our second dog and has joined Moomin, our Schnoodle. That’s Schnauzer + Poodle. We like doodles.

If you’re wondering…yes, his name is The Hemulen. Not just Hemulen. THE Hemulen. If you are not familiar with the Moomin books, The Hemulen is a character in the Moomin books. Our Moomin needed a buddy, so we found him The Hemulen.

Like our second child, The Hemulen is a force of nature. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia,  in the Moomin books, “other characters frequently find the Hemulens annoying or overwhelming, as they can be somewhat loud, bossy, abrasive and insensitive, but they are well-intentioned and usually have other redeeming qualities.” This description is perfect for our Hemulen. This dog is super awesomely craaaaaaazy! He’s the Marshawn Lynch of puppies. He is quick to act and continues to charge despite hits from Moomin, me and Fred. His nicknames include Beast Mode, Torpedo, and sometimes even Little Fucker.

Yet, even though he’s a handful, The Hemulen is super smart, sweet and cuddly when he’s relaxed, and the perfect addition to our family. We have all fallen completely in love with the little fucker.

Da boyz. This picture was taken exactly 1 second before Moomin tried to bite The Hemulen's face off.

Da boyz. This sweet picture was taken exactly 1 second before Moomin tried to bite The Hemulen’s face off.

Chillin' in frog pose. The Hemulen has very open hips.

Chillin’ in frog pose. The Hemulen has very open hips.

Conversations in the Bathroom

It’s funny what I overhear the girls talking about while they are getting ready for bed.  Their conversations often take place in the bathroom, either through the shower door or while supposedly brushing their teeth. For instance, a while back, the girls were discussing the lyrics to Macklemore’s Thrift Shop. “How much money does he have in his pocket?” Penelope asked Cecilia. 

The other night, Cecilia was in one of her grumpy butt moods getting ready to brush her teeth while Penelope was in the shower.

Cecilia: I want you to stop annoying me for the rest of the day. (Pause.) Ok? (Pause.) The day is almost over.

Penelope: What does that mean?

Cecilia: I want you to stop doing things that annoy me.

Penelope: I’m sorry. But I don’t know know what annoys you.

Cecilia: That annoys me.

Conversation over.

System Upgrade

Last April, I started a yoga teacher training program at my studio, Love Yoga. And so began my love affair with yoga.The training proved to be surprisingly transformative for me in so many ways, and yoga turned out to be a real game changer in my life.

I always knew that yoga was more than simply going through the postures, more than just another physical workout. I knew that yoga also had to do with breath, being conscious of your breath and linking breath with movement. What I didn’t realize is how much yoga happens OFF my mat and outside of the yoga studio. Yoga is a way of living. It’s about how I interact with myself,  my family,  my friends,  strangers and the community as a whole. Yoga is about finding a space of calm, strength and focus within myself, allowing me to listen to my intuition and my heart, and taking action from that inner strength and intuition.  Yoga is about being fully present in the moment and living with acceptance, respect and honesty toward oneself and others. And yoga is a PRACTICE. Every damn day I practice living my yoga off my mat. Some days are better than others, and my family can attest to that. But they can also attest to the fact that I am happier and more at peace — physically, emotionally, mentally — than I have ever been in my life.

As I’ve been diving head first into my yoga practice and yoga teaching, I’ve discovered other helpful personal development tools that so many people do: I meditate. I read a book of daily meditations. I write in a journal. Every night I write down something from the day for which I am grateful.  I’ve become much more mindful with my eating in that I’ve decreased the amount of dairy, meat and bread products I consume, because I discovered that too much of those foods makes my body feel heavy and tired. I’ve learned to listen to my body, acknowledging and honoring how it feels physically from day-t0-day as I participate in different activities.  From that awareness, I discovered that my body feels best when I don’t run as much as I’ve been running in the past. Finally, I read what many people might refer to as “self-help” books. As I scan my bookshelf, these are the titles I see: Being of Power, Journey Into Power, 40 Days to Personal Revolution, Living Your Yoga, Three Simple Steps, Journey to the Heart, Optimal Health for a Vibrant Life, Crazy Sexy Diet, The Heart of Yoga, Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness, Wherever You Go, There You Are, Start Where You Are.

Very recently, I discovered Brene Brown and I’m currently  reading her book called Daring Greatly.  Her research and writing are completely hitting the spot for me right now, so much so that I signed up for  her 6-week e-course called The Gifts of Imperfection. Through reading and interactive art journal explorations, Brene Brown will guide me from the thinking of “What will people think?” to “I’m imperfect and I’m enough.” Despite having very little arts/crafts skills, I’m super excited to start this e-course. I think it will be a very fun process of self-discovery and empowerment, and these days, I’m all about continually improving myself.

So that’s what I’ve been up to during much of 2013, and I look forward to what 2014 will offer. I’ll continue to practice my meditation, my mindfulness…my yoga. I’ll read my self-help books and do journal explorations. I’ll continue to eat less dairy and meat and strive for a more plant based diet. I’ll move my body in ways that make me feel refreshed, energized, strong and calm.  And I’ll continue to work on living and loving fully, in the moment, with courage. All of this has helped me become a happier and more loving mom, wife and friend, and I’ve become more comfortable and confident with who I am. By no means am I saying I’m perfect … But I am a better version of myself. It’s like I got an update…Maggie v. 2.0, just when the system was starting to feel a bit stuck.  I’m still a work in progress, and always finding ways I can improve and grow.

And for the record, even though I’ve been making these slight changes in behavior and thinking, I haven’t changed all that much — I still love a good cheeseburger and fries. I drink wine. I lose my shit in front of my kids. I love trail running. I love watching football. And I love to drop the F-bomb, especially when watching football.  Like tonight…because the Seahawks are going to the f’ing Superbowl!!!! F— Yeah!

Bahnson Archers

I guess this is what happens when you live in the country. I had no idea, but I think it’s pretty cool. 











For the Love of Africa

One wonderful thing about all my yoga training and teaching that I’ve been doing is that I’ve found a tribe of people who love yoga as much as I do and who believe in the transformative power of yoga, for individuals and for communities.

One such person is my friend Alexa — a strong, intelligent, courageous and inspiring young woman. Alexa plans to travel to Kenya this summer with the Africa Yoga Project.  There she will share her love of yoga and use her skills and passion to help empower individuals and communities through hands-on service projects.

As part of her commitment to the Africa Yoga Project, Alexa is raising money to support the organization and the service projects she will be doing while she is in Kenya. I encourage you to visit her fundraising website and read more about the Africa Yoga Project and how yoga empowers, inspires and connects individuals and communities. You can support Alexa and the Africa Yoga Project by donating directly to her website or by purchasing a t-shirt with the design below. T-shirts are $25 and come in both Mens’ and Womens’ styles. Send me a message if you would like a t-shirt.




I’m always willing to admit that being a parent is f’ing hard. There are moments/hours/days  when my kids make me want to tear my hair out, scream at the top of my lungs, shed tears of frustration…you know, have an adult tantrum. Thank goodness most of those moments are balanced out by incredibly sweet, touching, heartfelt moments.

One such moment happened this morning while I was dropping off Penelope at school. Rain or shine, her Kindergarten class starts every Tuesday morning with a forest walk, so she was all bundled up in her rain pants, rain jacket, rain boots and knit pumpkin hat, which she insists on wearing inside out so no one knows it’s a pumpkin. As she was talking to her friend by the cubbies, I waved and said, “Goodbye Penelope.” She walked over to me, so I crouched down on my knees to be at her eye level. She picked up my hands and put her beautiful, soft, bright face about 1 inch away from mine.

As she looked into my eyes, she whispered, “Ok, Mommy. Remember. The love I send you? Lock it up right there and keep it safe.” And she pointed to my heart.

I melted. What a wonderful way for Penelope to send me off on my day.