March 2011

videos coming soon

I’m experimenting with videos right now and I’ll start posting them when I…

a) Film something anyone would possibly want to watch.

b) Figure out how to stop being vain.

Neither of these are going well so far, so stay tuned.


The roller coaster ride

March 20, 2011

ethiopia ornament
I’m one of those boring people at theme parks who waves adios to loved ones while they belt themselves into contraptions that look like death traps. My strong dislike of anything resembling a roller coaster overwhelms any desire I have to be cool.

This is rather unfortunate because international adoption is like one giant, unpredictable ride… ups and downs, moments of excitement and sheer panic, never knowing when it may zig or zag — or end. Along the way, the pit of your stomach doesn’t always feel so good.

In case you’re brand new to my life, my husband and I are adopting two children from Ethiopia. They will be siblings between 0-4. That’s all we know. What started out as a projected wait time of 10-12 months has turned into 17 months and counting. That’s just for a referral of children — then there’s also the waiting for a court date in Ethiopia, followed by the embassy date for the children’s visas.

Over the past year, the Ethiopian adoption process has gone through a lot of change — mainly due to efforts to cut down on corruption and fraud, which can happen when an adoption program grows quickly in a developing nation like Ethiopia.

The latest change is that fewer cases are being handled each day in the Ethiopian court system. This hopefully means more time to investigate each child’s case, but it also means enormous delays for children in orphanages — and the new families who wait for them.

You try not to think about these things too much, but you have to learn to cope with a process that is utterly out of your hands. Your mind imagines every scenario so you can be as prepared as possible. Or maybe that’s just the way a person who hates roller coasters operates.

Here at SlowMama I’ll be chronicling this crazy ride we’re on, and writing about adoption and what it’s like to build a family this way.

By the way, the ornament in the photo above is made in the shape of Africa, with a heart in the spot where Ethiopia can be found. It was made by a talented adoptive mom, and we keep it hanging in our home.


The SlowMama Manifesto

March 17, 2011

The world today is stuck on fast forward. Speed has infiltrated every aspect of life, robbing us of the things we want and need… good health, satisfying relationships, meaning, quality of life, and peace.

Women everywhere are waking up to the fact that a “slower” life is actually better. And they’re doing what they do best: changing the status quo by adopting the principles of the Slow movement to reclaim their families and communities.

These women are SlowMamas — whether or not they have children — and I count myself among them. We range the gamut… entrepreneurs, professionals, stay-at home moms, office workers, farmers, home schoolers, and more. We hail from different places, cultures, and backgrounds, but here’s what we share in common:

  • We’ve made a conscious decision not to allow speed to define our lives.
  • We’re busy, but we try to do each thing at the optimum pace.
  • We make it a priority to simplify and to stay connected to what matters most.
  • We choose quality, not just more, bigger, cheaper, faster.
  • We care about family, food, friendship, nature, beauty, community, and making the world a better place for our children.
  • We do all this imperfectly — sometimes terribly — and yet we strive to adopt a Slow attitude every day.

Our commitment to Slow living, doesn’t mean we don’t love cool, fun, and luxurious things like shoes, chocolate, good martinis, or a day at the spa. Living Slow doesn’t mean turning in our girl creds.

This is the SlowMama Manifesto. It’s still evolving.



March 15, 2011

red couch

This is the big red couch that sits in our small brick row house.

Try finding something long enough for a guest to sleep on, comfortable for everyone else to sit on, reasonably priced, less than 35 inches deep, all in a style you can tolerate. Add to this the desire to have something made in the USA from sustainable materials and relatively easy to clean when slimy little hands and dirty diapers appear. Not easy.

Click here to read more about the big red couch…


Welcome to SlowMama!

March 15, 2011

Drinks in Jars

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Mamas aren’t slow — they’re busy doing a million things — working, chasing children, cooking, running errands, changing the world.

But increasingly, women are waking up to the realization they don’t want speed to define their lives. Those of us who can relate are “slow” mamas — and you don’t need children to join in.

The name of this site was inspired by the Slow movement, made famous by the grassroots organization, Slow Food, which began as an antidote to fast food and fast living. I blog here about trying to live a life inspired by Slow principles. I don’t find it easy to do and I bet you don’t either.

By the way, I use the capital “S” not to be annoying, but to distinguish the word from its standard definition. Most of us do need to slow down, but Slow living is above all an attitude.

This is primarily a lifestyle blog so in the weeks to come, you’ll find posts on food, home, design, arts and crafts, travel, health, advocacy, and the stuff of daily life. I hope we’ll also talk together about what it means to live Slower, and share our successes and failures.

Because I’m a certified life coach, some of my posts will focus on issues and choices we face today. Additionally, I’ll be highlighting people and organizations doing great things in the world and occasionally commenting on current events and news.

Last but not least, I’ll be chronicling the adventure my husband and I are on to adopt two children from Ethiopia — it’s been a roller coaster ride so far, to say the least.

Through it all will be the idea that a rich, full life is one that always pays homage to the snail.

You are most welcome here — come back often!

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