Episode 23: Campaign Slogans I'd Vote For in 2020
Friends, I come to you with fantastic news for me personally and for our nation.
After thirty-something years of believing that not being born on American soil disqualified me from running for president, I learned yesterday that isn’t true. Pennsylvania Avenue, here I come; it’s not too late to fulfill my middle school “first female president” superlative.
I am unable to donate blood to this day because my brief time in England coincided with a mad cow disease outbreak, so I’ve sacrificed enough due to my birth abroad. (All those cookies.)
It seems like what we need now is more heart, humor and compassion in our political arena, so I am tossing my hat in the ring and need help with my campaign slogan. Have a favorite?
Smith 2020: We’re All Just Doing the Best We Can.
Smith 2020: I Think Somebody Needs a Nap.
Smith 2020: You Seem Cranky. Want a Snack?
Smith 2020: Y’all Need to Calm Down.
Smith 2020: Act Like You Have Some Sense.
Smith 2020: Bless Your Heart AND Your Brain.
Smith 2020: I Need You to Use Your Kind Words and Inside Voices.
Smith 2020: Help, Encourage or Hush.
I’ll be the first party-less-but-joy-filled candidate ever, and plan to run on a platform of “Don’t Call Yourself the South if You Don’t Serve Sweet Tea” and “Wave When Someone Lets You Out Into Traffic, for Heaven’s Sake.”
The White House will have one heck of a First Gentleman in Bradley "the Podfather" Smith, and what I can’t accomplish as Commander in Chief will surely be handled by First Toddler Margaret “Mae-Mae” Smith. She rules her three older siblings with an iron fist, so watch out, America.
You’re welcome to toss out your own campaign slogan, even if you weren’t born overseas, at @butnotallatonce on Instagram. At this point I think we should have millions of presidential candidates, just to get chuckle-worthy slogans on koozies. How else are we to survive the next 15 months?
Also, you're welcome for the random and embarrassing insights about me as both a first-grader and a grad student; as you can tell, not much has changed. But vote for me all the same! Or at least my pro-snack, pro-nap, pro-politeness slogans.
To hear my interview with Influential Motherhood podcast, visit tinyurl.com/InfluentialAnne.
|Aug 14, 2019
Episode 22: Loving What Is
Greenville-based interior designer Whitney McGregor was featured in a spring 2019 issue of Southern Living, a coveted achievement for anyone, particularly a mom of three who works from home. (You'll be comforted to know that a ton of cleaning and professional styling that goes into a photo shoot like this, even in the rooms of a designer!)
Our chat runs the gamut, covering her thoughts on loving what is rather than aiming for perfection; styles that are timeless; taking intimidation out of interior design; working mom issue; the aim of true hospitality; entering others' homes without judgment; throwing your doors open wide before things are Insta-worthy; and why home is a sacred space, so making it welcoming is a noble task, not a frivolous one.
Whitney answers questions from our @butnotallatonce Instagram community and shares her best advice for where to save and what to invest in as you furnish your home - plus the one thing you can do right now to love your home more.
Find Whitney and learn more about her work at @whitneymcgregor on Instagram.
|Aug 07, 2019
Episode 21: Four Months Too Soon
Owen Davis had everything to celebrate when her extended family took a trip to the Caribbean early this year: a happy marriage to her college sweetheart, a precious toddler daughter and twin girls on the way.
Things took a turn, though, and what started in an emergency room in the Cayman Islands led to an urgent flight home, a heart-wrenching series of discussions in their hometown hospital, and finally the birth of their micro-preemies not much bigger than a Coke can.
Though Molly and Lucy had uncertain futures and were separated for months in NICUs across the state, their story is one of hope, strength and an online community of friends and strangers praying them home.
You can find Owen at @mrsordavis on Instagram
|Jul 31, 2019
Episode 20: Open Hands, Part Two
In last week's episode, Tara Posner's life went sideways in the span of a day. What started as just feeling "off" became an aggressive leukemia diagnosis; intense, in-patient chemo; a bone marrow transplant; more than 100 days quarantined in the hospital; organ failure and doctors advising her family to say goodbye.
After a few recuperative months at home, Tara learned her cancer had returned - but that was just the beginning. Hear where she is now, what it means to start her own counseling business after what she's walked through, and what the hope she aims to offer her clients, whatever their faith background.
Tara answers our Instagram community's most pressing mental health questions in today's episode as well; you can hear that portion around the 29-minute mark. Her insights on anxiety, procrastination, feeling "stuck," when to seek counseling, and how Christians should approach mental health. (Spoiler alert: it's probably the opposite of what you'd expect.)
To reach Tara or learn more about her practice, visit AmphoraCounseling.com.
|Jul 24, 2019
Episode 19: Open Hands, Part One
Tara Posner had an inkling that something was off, but the 39-year-old mother of three first suspected it was new running shoes slowing her down. She'd soon learn it was leukemia.
Thrown into a whirlwind of aggressive in-patient chemo, hospital quarantine and a bone marrow transplant, Tara missed more than just Christmas with her kids; she was unconscious for some of the scariest days of her life.
Her husband and children were brought in to say goodbye in early 2016 as her organs began to fail, and that's where her miracle started.
You'll love hearing from a woman who threw a full-on party in the hospital to make sure her children saw her shaved head as something to be celebrated, not startled by.
Learn what she gleaned from looking her diagnosis in the face, understanding her children needed God even more than their mom, and opening up the hands she'd clenched for years in hopes of controlling her life.
Next week Tara, who has since opened her own counseling practice, discusses learning her cancer was back only months after her 110-day hospital stay ended; she'll also answer mental health questions submitted by our Instagram community.
|Jul 17, 2019
Episode 18: "When Are You Having A Baby?"
You’re just standing there, minding your own business, when you’re forced to dodge questions from people who aren’t minding theirs.
When are y’all having a baby? Another? A boy? A girl? Letting your only child become a big sibling? Finally giving your parents grandchildren?
I don’t have to tell you why these questions are inappropriate and just plain not okay - but I'm gonna.
I'm also going to tell you HOW this issue doesn't affect you in the least. How it's hurtful but unnecessary - were you planning to come over for the 3am feeding? Contribute to the college savings account? If not, then your curiosity is just scratching a momentary itch before you move on with your day, having been intrusive for absolutely zero reasons.
Last week I was flooded with messages (see MYOB in my @butnotallatonce Instagram highlights) and promised to make this a public conversation. If I can't make people stop saying these things to you, I can at least provide you a resource to unpack why we should end this nosy little trend and what we're going to do about it.
Next week we'll get into the best responses to such fun-stopping questions so you can continue blithely sipping your champagne with a ready reply in your back pocket.
|Jul 17, 2019
Episode 17: "The Bubble Got Popped"
When artist and teacher Marian Pouch said "I do" at 26, she never imagined that in four years she'd be single and pregnant.
The years ahead taught her about blame, forgiveness, happiness versus joy, finding your identity outside of another person, building authentic friendships and reserving judgment. Not to mention the crash course she got in custody arrangements, counseling, co-parenting, the stigma of divorce, and dating with a baby.
Marian's story has a happy ending, as she's now remarried with a second baby boy, but the road was far from smooth. Her attorney advised her to put on her "big girl panties," so she did - and she's here to tell you how you can help others in her shoes.
Learn what Marian wishes she'd known, why a counselor is crucial, how dirty diapers make for a revealing date, why she still wears her parents' wedding ring as a reminder of hope, what helps a blended family work, and how sometimes God has plans far better than your own storybook expectations.
You can find Marian and her work at @marianpouchart on Instagram.
|Jul 10, 2019
Episode 16: An Invitation to Eavesdrop
You know that friend who tells you what you need to hear? The one who has a totally different perspective and can speak the truth with love? Working mom of three Emily Scurry is that friend to me.
After a recent pep talk where she encouraged me to look a hard situation in the face - and thereby turned my month around - I knew we had to record one of our work-week lunchtime chats. And here it is! Consider this your official invitation to eavesdrop.
We walk through what we wish we'd known in our first jobs about fear, empathy, working moms and more. We talk about juggling work, motherhood, self-care, extracurriculars, family traditions, societal expectations and our own priorities.
About how we can't always be at the preschool Thanksgiving luncheon where your toddler refuses to eat mashed potatoes while looking adorable in a tiny pilgrim hat. About how we can instill security in our children while teaching them that sometimes life will bring disappointments.
About why there should be TWO sets of Mother's Days and Father's Days (this one may get me into some trouble). About learning to admit we're turning off our phones and not checking work emails for the night, or leaving early to take a child to the dentist. About being brave as we advocate for ourselves, negotiate for raises, articulate what we need and ask the neighbors over for post-kiddie-bedtime wine and socializing.
Whatever your age, parenting or work status, you'll walk away from this episode with a fresh set of eyes for your circumstances. Learn to cut yourself a little extra slack and throw grace around like confetti - especially in your own direction.
Listen in on lunch with my friend, then find us at @butnotallatonce to let us know your favorite takeaways!
|Jul 03, 2019
Episode 15: Treading Water, Part Two
After learning her toddler had metachromatic leukodystrophy, April Robson made it her mission to find joy, purpose and beauty in the everyday moments with her family.
In the second half of April's story, she shares how we can care for friends who are facing a painful season, what it means to be grateful, what we should (and should NOT) say to families who are hurting, and how her life has changed in the year since she first heard the letters "MLD."
Whether it's a random text (prefaced with "no need to respond!"), a box of Charmin, a coffee dropped on the front porch or a bit of yard work, you'll leave with some clear directives for how you can "just do something" for ones you love in a time of need.
April's joy is contagious, and the love she has for her husband and three children is evident in everything she does; no diagnosis could change that.
|Jun 26, 2019
Episode 14: Treading Water, Part One
April Robson had a picture-perfect family: a husband who once saved her in his phone as "April Hot Girl," two beautiful daughters, a son on the way and a loving community of (in-person and online) friends. Then she learned her two-year-old had metachromatic leukodystrophy, a rare, degenerative, terminal disorder that had a one in four chance of affecting Charlotte's newborn brother as well.
With her trademark joy and honesty, April walks through her most heartbreaking and hectic season, marveling at how a person can continue to function even when her life is unrecognizable.
Learn about how a tenacious pregnant mother disguised as a Mary Poppins-esque powder puff pushed to get answers for what was happening to her child. Hear the earliest signs of MLD, the strangest prayer April has ever prayed, and the happiness that can be found even in a hospital room.
The rest of April's story will go live next week, when we'll learn what it means to be supported in every sense by the people who care about you - whether you've met them in real life or not.
|Jun 19, 2019
Episode 13: Hitchhiker Babies, Part Two
Few people could understand why Brittney Bolt, a married mother of two, would volunteer to carry babies for a couple she'd never met. Last week we heard the first part of her gestational surrogacy story, and today we learn how her "hitchhiker babies" made their way into the world.
The life-giving, baby-growing "adventure" Brittney anticipated ended up being a complicated one. From preterm labor scares, magnesium and bed rest to delivery, diastasis recti and reconstructive surgery, there were more bumps in the road than the Bolts saw coming.
The intended parents of the boy-girl twins Brittney carried live in New York and made it to South Carolina just in the nick of time on delivery day. Learn what reminded her of "Duck Hunt" as thee babies were born and how she feels about the possibility of being a surrogate again one day.
Did you send in a question for Brittney on Instagram via @butnotallatonce? We may have answered yours in today's episode!
Find Brittney at @brittbolt on Instagram or explore her YouTube channel at tinyurl.com/britt786, where you'll find an FAQ video and vlog posts from throughout her year-long surrogacy journey.
|Jun 12, 2019
Episode 12: Hitchhiker Babies, Part One
Few people could understand why Brittney Bolt, a married mother of two, would volunteer to carry twin babies for a couple she'd never met.
Describing her as magnanimous or selfless only makes Brittney cringe; she thinks of her two transfers, one D&C, time on bed rest, twin delivery, month of pumping, and post partum reconstructive surgery as an "adventure" she felt called to take.
In part one, hear about when Brittney knew she'd want to become a gestational surrogate (hint: I was more concerned with Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers and Ross and Rachel's break-up at that age), how she told her college boyfriend, and what made the conversation change once they married and became parents.
Walk through the legalities of surrogacy; finding an agency; grappling with the mixed opinions of family and friends; matching with intended parents; the infertility struggles many IPs have faced; the challenges of parenting while pregnant with someone else's child; and starting a pregnancy as virtual strangers before becoming close (if long-distance) friends facing loss and new life together.
Learn more next week as Brittney's twin "hitchhiker babies" are delivered and make their way home from South Carolina to New York.
To see the surrogate being introduced to a surprised family in front of a waterfall, the video Brittney mentions, visit tinyurl.com/waterfallyoutube.
See all of Brittney’s surrogacy journey videos on her YouTube channel at tinyurl.com/britt786.
|Jun 05, 2019
Episode 11: "It's Never Over"
You may recognize Greer Howard as the in-house reporter for the Atlanta Braves or the face of any number of brands, but there's a lot more to her than a Jumbotron can show you.
Greer is a former military wife whose story includes a long-distance marriage, restarting a career in entertainment after cross-country moves, building a healthy co-parenting relationship with her ex-husband, raising a five-year-old while carving out a career that doesn't stick to bankers' hours, and creating opportunities for others along the way.
Whether you are looking for encouragement as you face divorce and co-parenting, wondering how to seize every career opportunity you can, reconciling the dreams of your early twenties with the reality of adulthood, or feeling stuck in your chapter of life, Greer's words are for you.
This year she has committed to being present, grateful and hard-working. No matter what you're facing, she says, "it's never over." Sometimes you just need to pivot.
|May 29, 2019
Episode 10: Just Say No and Check the Box
You can't spell "mayhem" without May, and everyone you know is up to their eyeballs in commitments.
Ready to make some room on your over-filled plate? Here are a few things you can say no to sans guilt.
Once you've said no where you can, "just check the box" on everything else. Aim for adequate; there's no need to earn a gold medal in everything you touch.
Sometimes we just need to survive and advance, and May is one of those times.
|May 22, 2019
Episode 8: "We're Stressed Enough"
Holistic health coach Brady Godfrey thinks you're stressed enough; you don't need to let nutrition or wellness be add to your worries.
Hear from an expert about how lowering your expectations, removing judgment, listening to your body, putting on "ear muffs" and tuning out Instagram could make all the difference in looking and feeling your best.
Learn her shortcuts for easy school lunches, sneaking produce into your kids' diets (without sneaking it in at all), getting the men in your life on board, making changes without taking away your favorite foods, enjoying treats and the power of a fresh start.
Brady's breezy, judgement-free attitude toward food, parenting, life choices and everything in between will inspire you to take a new approach. (Spoiler alert: It probably won't involve wheat grass.)
|May 15, 2019
Episode 9: Body Image Pep Talk
Have you ever rushed to un-tag a photo of yourself, then spent ages pinching, zooming and dissecting it from every angle? Do you wince or stare when you walk past a mirror? Make jokes about your size, shape or how very different you look than your favorite Instagram personality? Feel pressure to Photoshop every "flaw" before you post something? Wish you could walk around with a Snapchat filter in front of your actual body?
This pep talk is for you. (And also for me. Ok, mostly for me.)
|May 15, 2019
Episode 7: "You Are More Than Your Roles"
Whitney Meade is a wife, mom, small-business owner, speaker, author and YouTuber who took "chaos" out of her vocabulary and is teaching women to live out their purposes.
She dives into the mommy wars; a Lyme disease diagnosis that took her by surprise; how wellness and weight aren't synonymous; why investing in your marriage will pay off; what to quit feeling guilty about; the value of a good night's sleep; and the importance of a Christian counselor.
More than anything, Whitney wants you to know you're "more than your roles" as a working woman, wife, mother, sister or friend. Find her at @whitneymeade across social media platforms.
|May 08, 2019
Episode 6: "I Can't Fix It, But I'm Here"
What do you say to someone facing unimaginable pain? (Better yet, what do you NOT say?) How do you return to normal life after grief? When did our moms become so wise? And how quickly will our children realize we don't know what we're doing?
Dive in to all this and more with Anne Harris, who brings joy and laughter to her family's story of infant loss, rainbow babies and faith when hope was hard to find. Learn what it's like to grow up in a family of six, how life without an Instagram filter still holds plenty of beauty and why there's no gold medal for grieving.
|May 01, 2019
Episode 2: A Pep Talk for New Moms
Did someone just hand you a baby and wheel you to the hospital door? Do you feel like you're simultaneously being thrown into the deep end and set aflame? Here's what you need to know - or at least what I wish I'd heard in my first days as a mom.
You're equipped, you're doing beautifully, and no one could be handling this better, I promise. You aren't alone, this isn't your life forever and things are only going to get better from here. Hang in there, friend.
Know a new mom? Send this her way! Better yet, just come over and hold her baby while she naps.
|Apr 24, 2019
Episode 3: Building Community and Buying Ethically
Do you have someone in your city who's universally beloved? Someone absolutely everyone believes is their personal best friend? Our town has four: the "Given girls."
Sisters Erin, Beth, Jesse and Caitlin started their store, Given, to offer cause-conscious goods to women looking to spend their dollars and build their wardrobes in ways that matter.
Along the way, they learned about balancing work and family, doing their homework into where goods come from and how artisans are treated, building a supportive community and encouraging the women around them.
You can find "the Given girls," their beautiful hearts and their ethically-sourced offerings on Instagram at @shop_given or in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.
|Apr 24, 2019
Episode 4: Wellness at (and Families of) Every Size
Mother of four Danielle Sorrells is on a mission to teach the world that you can pursue wellness at any shape or size. Whether you look like Instagram's most popular yoga instructors or not, she says, there's a place on the mat for you.
Danielle believes we can teach and encourage those around us even if we haven't crossed the finish line on our goals, and that we can take the sting out of typically-hurtful words - especially "fat." She finds that speaking honestly about size and treating ourselves with care models self-worth and health for the little ones watching us.
Find Danielle at @fat_bottomed_mama on Instagram, or look for her around the Upstate of South Carolina with a wagon of her four sweet preschoolers in tow. (Be sure to hear her thoughts on what's most - and least - encouraging to say to moms of big families, too!)
|Apr 24, 2019
Episode 5: "There Will Be No Shame"
Dr. Kelly Kline joins us to answer the But Not All At Once Instagram community's most pressing questions.
Her answers include:
"Yes, you should absolutely tell your doctor the truth about how much and how often you're drinking wine."
"No, you don't need to worry that our staff is going to bat an eyelash at anything you throw our way. Our motto is, 'There will be no shame.' We've seen it all."
"Absolutely, I'll write you a prescription for a pre-baby pedicure. That sounds medically necessary to me."
Kelly walks us through what is "normal" in terms of how you feel after delivering a baby. She shares what it's like to be a single woman building a successful practice, taking good care of yourself and making time for your friends in a busy season. She also recounts the first time we almost met, and how Hollywood writers couldn't have scripted it any more ridiculously. (I really wish she'd just walked into that room!)
If you need to feel good about yourself, you need to take a listen! Find Kelly's practice at @ParksideOBGYN on Instagram, or bring her a Chipwich to buy a chance to be her newest friend, as I did. Spoiler alert: it worked.
|Apr 24, 2019
Episode 1: Starting from Scratch to Beat MS
Meredith Jaggard is a go-getter. Unflappable. And unafraid to take off the Instagram filter to tell you what's really going on in her life.
A born and bred South Carolinian, she is beating MS with the help of her husband, her new baby girl, her "vegan plus pizza" diet and the physician she moved to Portland to pursue.
Meredith's mind was made up from the moment she got a diagnosis: against the predictions of previous doctors, she was going to win this fight. Years later, she is! She wants to make sure you know, no matter who you are or what your story is, that you have a friend in her.
Whether it's the truth about miscarriage, pregnancy and post partum life, or the reality of starting from scratch with a new village when your "people" are on the opposite coast, Meredith tells it like it is. And you're going to love her.
You can connect with Meredith at @msjaggs across social platforms.
|Apr 24, 2019
Six months ago, I started But Not All At Once on Instagram to amplify conversations that matter - things we were discussing in group texts and preschool parking lots, but hadn't taken to a wider audience.
We focused on balancing the facets of our lives that mean the most to us: faith, marriage, motherhood, friends, hospitality, family, work, fitness, supporting the people we love, attempting to look like we've slept all night, masquerading as functioning adults. (Spoiler alert: we can do it all, but not all at once.)
The But Not All At Once podcast will be an extension of those conversations. Thirty-something years into life and four children into parenthood, I realize more every day that none of us can do this thing alone.
Through the beauty of technology, we now have a virtual dining room table to gather around - all that's missing are the wine and cupcakes. So grab your earbuds, take a moment for yourself and prepare to befriend a passel of people you've yet to see in person.
Join us each week to hear another woman's story, celebrate some accomplishments, steal some ideas - whatever it takes to prove no one has all her ducks in a row. Subscribe now and you'll hear a new episode every week! (We have a BYOP policy: Bring Your Own Pinot and Petits Fours.)
In the meantime, head over to @butnotallatonce on Instagram and join the conversation!
|Mar 26, 2019