On October 27th, 2015 at 12:30PM, I gave birth to a baby girl.
We named her Juniper.
She is a beautiful, beautiful kiddo whom I already adore more than any blog post could explain.
The choice to have Juniper was, of course, an incredibly personal one. Staying home with her to help her grow and be nourished for the past month has been even more so.
This motherhood thing is most definitely not for wimps. It's a superhuman effort, but a worthy one. It has not so gently knocked down any walls I had keeping me from total and complete surrender to life.
My world is not merely my own anymore - it's shared with Juniper.
And that's a humbling, gorgeous, bold, vulnerable thing.
It's risky and exciting and challenging and not at all what I expected.
It is - quite literally! - life-changing.
What motherhood has, in a very short time, taught me is this - to fight the tide of life is to laugh in the face of the universe. It is just plain silly to try and control what is uncontrollable. Life is so much more beautifully authentic when lived moment to moment. So yes, this means that, due to this humungo life shift, I am getting less sleep. My outfits are all stretchy. My eyes have circles underneath them. My home is turned upside down a bit more than usual.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
I've been living vegan for seven years now. Juniper has marked maybe the most special year of living vegan to date. Because this is the year I begin the journey of sharing everything I've learned with her. Of being the best, most shiny, most brave example of living compassionately. Of being real with her about why a vegan lifestyle is so darn necessary nowadays.
Because I am raising my beautiful baby girl vegan.
Thankfully - oh so thankfully - I have a wonderful partner in Junebug's daddy. I also have a lovely stepkiddo who is thoroughly enjoying being a big sister.
Both are incredibly supportive, welcoming, enthusiastic, and loving.
So here I go. A month in, and many many many many many more months left. A vegan mama and her vegan kiddo and the incredible family who love them.
Here's to living truthfully.
Here's to sharing that truth with whoever wants to listen.
Here's to nurturing the inherent compassion within each and every child.
Here's to risking for the sake of a more well-lived life.
Here's to new moments.
Here's to all the moments.
Here's to questions and answers and more of both as we go.
Here's to surrender.
Here's to living, breathing Ahimsa in action.
Here's to baby smiles.
And here's to loving more than I ever thought possible.