I came home last Saturday evening exhausted and cynical, wearing the day-stale clothes of a weekend conference, a commitment made in the spirit of rest and me-time and a nice little break that left me feeling less refreshed than hollowed, or weary, or perhaps simply bored.  I came home, came to our ill-fitting front door and unleveled floor boards and Fable’s magnificent crooked smile, and her daddo let go of her hand.

And she walked.

She walked – tiny, hesitant, wobbling steps that we have waited and wished and pined for, and something in me shouted “Yes!” in its loudest breaking swelling voice.  Yes to this moment, yes to uncertain first steps and the slowing of the world and the perfect focus that is this small, magnificent happening.  Yes to this place, with its cracked ceiling and narrow hallway, yes to this man and the way that he gives and gives and gives some more, yes to this tiny, trying, incredible, unsteady girl.

She is taking her first steps.  And I am taking mine.

These steps, these motherhood-entering steps, have been shakier than I planned them.  I have waited all my life to be in this season, and it has thrown me off balance to find myself restless, distracted, exhausted, struggling to engage.  More often than I care to admit, I am lost in my phone, or missing first discoveries as I scramble to Instagram them, or swallowed up in email when I should simply be swallowing the fresh air of spring and a tall glass of something sweet and the perfection of this piece of time.  I find myself craving balance and rhythm and space.

First Steps - Girl of Cardigan

It is worth mentioning, also, that I love you so.  So often, my inbox and social media pages are filled with sweet notes from you, and I cannot write well enough to tell you how much I appreciate your generosity, your stories, your willingness to reach out and share yourselves with me.  I treasure them.  I carry them.  I think of you – I see things that remind me of your letters in stores and I remember your names.  Those of you who have been here for years and years, the beautiful hundreds of you who arrived on that crazy November day, you are my village, and I am grateful for you.

This sounds like a goodbye letter.  It isn’t one.  Nobody is going anywhere.

Well, except, perhaps, outside.  Because, since November, I’ve found myself wrestling with all kinds of thinkings – new opportunities, so many chances to say yes to doing more, writing more, selling more, making actual dollars.  I’m really good at saying yes to more.  But I don’t want to be another blogger selling you my idea of perfection, winking at you the suggestion that perhaps you’d look thinner in these fabulous shoes, or sending pictures of our sponsored adventures cavalierly into your inbox so you will hurry up and have them too.  Those things have value and a place, but this isn’t it.

This is, and has always been, our place – yours and mine, the safest of corners where I say to you “Things aren’t so perfect, but isn’t it lovely?” and you whisper back “Yes, yes, imperfect is perfect after all, here’s a beer and a cupcake,” and we hold hands across these silly invisible wires and feel a little more like ourselves.  I want this to be our secret clubhouse, alway, just ours.

So there will be no ads.  There will be no sponsors, unless they are my dear friends and are offering gifts to you (I’m not cruel, after all).  There will be no selling, except the selling of the idea that we are better than our imaginary wars and should all probably lighten up and go play a little.

In return, I’m asking you to help me give myself permission this spring and summer to let things slide a bit.  I need space for adventure and long walks and I want to write words to you that mean something, that come from itchy fingers that simply cannot wait to tell you all the wonderful things they’ve discovered, and not so much the sort of words that come from staring angrily at my screen trying to figure out how to get at least two posts up this week.  This season, I want to worry less about post frequency and Facebook stats and page views and more about growing strawberries and counting wobbly toddler steps and creating stories to tell you when we meet here.

I’ll still be here.  We’ll still have book club and babywearing and letters to our beautiful girl, but maybe a week will come where I need to check out of the internet, and there will be only quiet and sunshine and peace.  And maybe I will be a bit slower to respond to your letters (though I will, I will, I always will), or maybe I’ll write you a flurry of things all at once and you’ll frantically try to figure out how to stop getting my email notifications and the stupid subscription service won’t let you cancel (annoyingly likely).  But I hope you’ll stay.

First Steps - Girl of Cardigan

Maybe, in the still spaces and the quiet gaps, you’ll write to your own beautiful girl or boy, and you’ll think of us as you plan adventures, and we’ll all be glad for freedom and irresponsibility and the magic precious passing of time.  Maybe you’ll go outside and grow things, or stay inside and grow them, or simply grow.

She is taking her first steps toward balance, my girl- and I am taking mine.

Girl of Cardigan

  • Regina Corley March 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    And so will we, friend. So will we. Go outside. Count those steps. Because they turn into running just so fast. Cherish those moments. We will get it when we don’t get it. Promise. And maybe we will do the same. Get away. Get outside. Get it.

    • karyn March 17, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you, lovely. Thank you, thank you, thank you. love.

  • Tom Serface March 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm


    • karyn March 17, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Because walking!

  • Dede Bazirgan March 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    My daughter Meredith, started a new job today and left her year old son at day care. He is just taking his first steps and they are both starting new ventures….your message made me think of my brave daughter today. I am
    so proud of her taking these steps!

    • karyn March 17, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Aw, yay for your daughter and her courage! How blessed she is to have a mama who is still saying how proud she is of her. I cherish that so much in mine.

  • Annie Willis March 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    this makes me want to not be reading your blog right now, but hanging out with you and fabs outside!

    • karyn March 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      Let’s DO!

  • MrsD March 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Well…now I’m all teary. This has been on my heart too. I never expected motherhood to be so challenging to me. One day I’m doing ok and the next I’m sinking. You know what? Those days I’m sinking…I’ve been on my phone more. This days are so precious…and I find myself checking out to do trivial things on the phone. I’ll always check back in, but I am also going to be giving my phone a rest.
    I love your writing. So many of your articles have hit me right in the chest. Enjoy your new found time with your sweet baby:) I look forward to your words and wisdom in the future.

    • karyn March 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you for this. Just… thank you. love.

  • Tricia March 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    As a mother of 2 little ones, your words resignate loud and clear, thank you so much for articulating what so many of us are feeling. Spring is a magical time and unplugging a bit in order to savor it seems like pretty great advice:)

    • karyn March 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you, Tricia! Wishing you lots of sunshine with your tinies. love.

  • Kristen March 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Definitely declared something similar not long ago. I feel this so much, sister. xo

    • karyn March 17, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Your post may or may not have been the nudge I needed, lovely you. xo

  • Janice Christman March 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Brava, brava!! I am so happy to hear you declare you independence and dependence on your life! You are what is important and although we all thrive after reading your blog, the declaration of indenpendence above, to spend time outside and with walking Fable is so more important! Leave us on the page to await another time to visit with the world and to wait for that wonderful moment that you find your keyboard again….we will always wait and know that you will fill our hearts with a wonderous story! Karyn, we will always be there for you!

    • karyn March 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Love you, Janice. Thank you for being such a steadfast encouragement for me.

  • Simone March 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Wonerful!!! I agree & raise a cheers of beer & a cupcake to you & anyone else reading! Now I’ll make a note to order that book! & I’ve got 2 friends who were not getting your blog to join the book club! Yay!

    Bravo for this honest and inspiring post!


    • karyn March 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      YES to the book club recruiting! I started the book, and I tell you what – I don’t hate it at all. 😉 Thank you, friend.

  • Samantha March 17, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Beautiful. 🙂

    • karyn March 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Back at ya. 🙂

  • Laura March 17, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    You know, I really quite love this post. (Ok. So I think I say that every time. But really. truly.) It’s ironic because I somehow found myself craving more right now. (more $, more opportunities) and while those are grand, and $ is nice, when it comes down to it, they can replace time with those who we most hold dear. It’s not that we can just sit and play endlessly for hours on end. Balance is so important! But, at the same time, there is always more time than we make for the things that truly matter. Thank you for such a good reminder!

  • Jayme Jo March 18, 2014 at 1:35 am

    So I’ve ahem…only been following you since sometime in December, when that post weaved its way to my news feed. Yeah, I’m one of those people 🙂 However, I do have to say that your words often speak from a similar space in my soul, and in them I have found a bit of a kindred spirit (remarkably never having met you). I just wanted to speak to the expectation around frequency and how often one posts. I tend to get wrapped up in this as well, but slipping into another’s shoes helps sometimes. When I get a post from you, I get excited because it’s something I know I will enjoy reading, as I think you have mad skills and really appreciate your style of writing. I also never look at the date, never remember when your last post was, and almost always feel that getting a blog post here and there is akin to something like receiving a postcard from a friend. So no, I certainly don’t mind if you slow down a bit. I think it reminds us all that we should too.

  • Marie March 18, 2014 at 2:42 am

    I read much more than I wrote comments, usually because I’m reading on my phone while nursing my wiggly 18mo old. A year and a half. It’s hard to believe, as it always is. She’s my second girl and if I thought one baby was tough… But the best part of this second girl is the anticipation and rediscovery of all those wonderful things that I swore I’d never forget. Anyway, what I meant to say, is that this second year is my favorite! Still a baby, but so much FUN. My oldest is nearly 4. And her year has been incredible too, but she left babyhood behind quickly – nearly all little girl. I’m cherishing each baby moment I have with both. Except, maybe, the 3am wake up call that happens too often still. Have fun this year – take your weeks off (but not too many because as much as I want, I can’t do it all, and one thing I let go is writing these things down, and your voice echoes the one in my heart). Thank you. And hooray Fable! Welcome to a whole new level of independence and discovery.

  • Jen March 18, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Love it, love it! She’s walking!! 🙂

    And my dear, you are beautiful & honest, searching & growing, enjoying this Kingdom life you’ve been given as it ebbs and flows…thanks for sharing it with us when you feel moved to do so. May you enjoy life in the times you don’t feel moved to share with much freedom & peace. 🙂

  • Sarah Pope March 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    My baby girl took her first steps this weekend also! It is incredible and daunting and magical and so much! Good for you on your decision! I’ll look forward to your posts when they come, but in the mean time enjoy the little steps my family is making too. Thank you for the reminder! 🙂

  • Becky @ bybmg March 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    “More often than I care to admit, I am lost in my phone, or missing first discoveries as I scramble to Instagram them, or swallowed up in email when I should simply be swallowing the fresh air of spring and a tall glass of something sweet and the perfection of this piece of time.”

    Amen. It’s so easy to get caught up in it all. When social media seems like a job. Enjoy the fresh air, friend, and keep reminding me to go enjoy mine.

  • Nikki March 18, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Yes. Very most definitely yes. And thank you.

  • Alicia C. March 19, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I am one of those who arrived on that November day. Your writing speaks to my psyche and reminds me that I am not alone in the fact that motherhood has turned out to be very different yet exactly like I’d expected. Words like these “These steps, these motherhood-entering steps, have been shakier than I planned them. I have waited all my life to be in this season, and it has thrown me off balance to find myself restless, distracted, exhausted, struggling to engage.” embody everything I’m feeling and it is wonderful to know that I am not alone in my journey. My 14 month old son is beginning to explore and wonder in all the outside world has to offer and we will hopefully be spending much of the spring and summer looking at things with fresh eyes. While I will keep coming back to read your words, I hope that they are fewer and less frequent because you, too, have been able to revel in the joys of spring.