Cate and Ila ("we") met in utero when our mamas were pregnant together. Born two weeks apart in Newport Beach, California, we have been besties since birth. At the age of three, we were separated by distance when Ila's family moved inland. Although we grew up in different cities - beach and country - we grew up together. We played, we laughed, we danced, we cried... all the way from little girls to being mommies.
Through the highs and the lows, we got stronger - together - and ultimately found our deepest passions for God, our babies, our boys, nutrition, fitness and entrepreneurship, Our approach to most things is holistic, raw and natural. However, we realize that life isn't perfect and sometimes those imperfections are the things that make life worth living!
We hope to share our experiences with you... Going through this journey TOGETHER. Laughing all the time. Making memories. Finding balance. Sharpening one another as women. Having FUN! And most importantly - keepin' It REAL. xx, C & I
Hi- Cate here! I was born on October 4, 1987 in Newport Beach California. A tom-boy at heart with a girly side, I grew up playing competitive sports, traveling the world- thank you mom and dad-spending time at youth group, making friends left and right, and enjoying my summers at the beach...or should I say year round. As an only child, I always wanted brothers and sisters, but found other ways to entertain myself. I was blessed with two best friends on either side of the street where I lived. We would cruise down the strada in my Barbie jeep, play dress up and house, rollerblade behind our bikes, make up plays and choreograph dances in our garage, create the world's best forts using all my mom's linens, and play countless hours of Super Nintendo and Donkey Kong. My amazing parents are going on 40 years of marriage and have always been a source of strength for me. A deep sense of thankfulness and gratitude to them for loving and supporting me through everything- I love you!
My teen years...oh my teen years! With tons of fun and growing up, let's just say I hit a couple "rough patches" and learned about the importance of surrender, being honest with myself, forgiveness, and telling fear to kick rocks (still a work in progress) Thank you very much!
After college and through my early twenties I encountered some very challenging seasons, both good and bad, and really began to ask myself WHO I was and what I wanted to do. At moments of feeling helpless and stuck, I continued in prayer asking for God's help and guidance. He NEVER failed me. The only one I realized I was failing was myself. Although I believe failure is an event and not a person, I learned I have a choice- to choose wisely or to choose things that only have temporary satisfaction. In other words, I learned life is too short to sit in isolation and regret when breakthrough is just around the corner.
Then on Thanksgiving of 2011, of all days, I found out I was going to be a mommy! Needless to say, my entire world was about to change...and for the better. Fast forward to July 31, 2012 when I fell in love with a little 18" 6 lb 6 oz little boy named Kai. My heart was forever shocked with the love of this tiny human. Kai-meaning ocean, rejoice, and messenger of God- came into my life at the perfect time to inspire me, challenge me, and overwhelm me with joy every day.
Aside from all the joys of motherhood, the journey of the unplanned and unexpected pregnancy with a guy I was not married to, was filled to the brim with heartache, confusion, yet a sense of peace and purpose. Yes, they are oxymorons, but are the best descriptions of those 9 months and on.
The more challenging part of my journey thereafter includes being in a relationship with Kai's father- a drug addict, suffering emotionally and feeling alone, and at times not knowing up from down. Eventually, with more of God seeking and letting go, life as a single mama became much easier, and I began to trust God more with my future.
Then one chilly December evening I met my forever man- Duke. And, oh my, did my heart skip a beat! Our love grew over seven months, and then Duke decided it was time to propose. On July 5, 2015, Duke Loren Burchell got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! We cried, we kissed, and only 4 months later, we were saying our "I dos" in beautiful San Jose del Cabo at Flora Farms with 150 of our closest friends and family. Never in a million years did I think I'd meet the most handsome man I've ever seen, get married in Mexico, have a wonderful daddy for Kai, AND buy a house all in eleven short months. God is good, oh yes He is. And as it would turn out, Duke and I met briefly one year prior through a mutual friend. Previously engaged to another woman, and having no interest in me, I just thought he was um...drop dead gorgeous and unavailable! And yet to both our surprise the engagement was called off and only two months later, we met and God lit a spark. The rest is just a fairy tale.
Duke - my strong, smart, integrous, godly, quirky, quick-witted goofball of a husband is the most incredible man and father to Kai. It's not easy being an "INSTA-DAD"; however, Duke has so gracefully become "daddy" as though he has been there since day one with Kai. I am so deeply blessed by the love and bond between the two of them.
Ok, ok, there is more to the story, but I hope you have captured who I am in this short nutshell of a space, and I hope to share many things with you along this journey of blogging. I'm incredibly grateful for my beautiful friend Ila and so proud of the mama she is. Together, we have the dream of reaching our readers and fellow mamas and women to inspire, encourage, support, and share advice along with all our favorite things!
Babes, although we come from all different faiths, walks of life, struggles, and circumstances, I want you to know you are not alone. Keep your head up, pray and speak positive encouraging words over yourself; remember, life is too short to stay stuck- keep it real, chicas!
Born in Newport Beach in 1987, I spent the first few years of my life in the coastal heart of beautiful Southern California. In search of a slower paced lifestyle and more space, my parents decided to move our family inland (and away from my BFF!) soon after. They bought a four-acre ranch house, along with a pony named Ginger, in a horsing community called Coto de Caza. This is where my childhood memories began and my most foundational experiences were created. I was exposed to the country and a western lifestyle; I grew up riding horses, wearing boots, learning how to care for the animals and running a muck all over the land. Most importantly, I learned the value of hard work, growing up a bit of a cowgirl.
Using these values, I applied for and was accepted into the University of Southern California as a business major and graduated with an emphasis in real estate finance and entrepreneurship. After graduating, I moved away from the country and back to the beach where I was born and where my BFF lived. As a young girl in my twenties, I loved the fast-paced lifestyle, social nature of the area and overall aesthetic of Newport Beach. I became a broker at a top commercial real estate firm and lived the so-called “life” - working hard and playing harder. However, this stint lasted a few short years before I fell into a slump and craved something more fulfilling – something closer to my heart - a slower and simpler way of life. I yearned to move to the midwest or the south, to a place like Texas, with the goal of attending business school and hopefully to meet a guy, start a family and launch a business of my own. So naturally, I booked a trip to Dallas alone to see what it was all about.
Ironically, on this trip, I went to a Starbucks and sat down next to a cute Midwestern boy who would soon become my husband. Ryan - was from Kansas City, Kansas and had recently graduated from Notre Dame Law School. He was in Dallas spending the year clerking for a federal judge. Before that, Ryan had played professional soccer for Sporting Kansas City and spent several years abroad in Sweden playing soccer after having graduated and playing soccer at Yale. No. Big. Deal. Suffice it to say, I fell for him.
We dated long distance between California and Texas – which seems to be a microcosmic metaphor for my life – the juxtaposition between beach and country. We got married in July 2014 in Aspen, Colorado – see our wedding photos here! Shortly after, we moved to Washington, DC, where Ryan had committed to an attorney general honors program position at the Department of Justice and where I would be attending business school at Georgetown University. From the west coast to the east coast, I was in for a ride.
I started my MBA at Georgetown, aspiring to become an entrepreneur. I was interested in starting a company around a topic that came naturally to me – most generally, wellness and beauty. While I knew that I wanted to have a family and stay at home with my children one day, I had always aspired to do great things with my career. My goal was to graduate from business school, work for a few years and then start trying for a family. This seemed like a good plan, until I found out that I was pregnant opening term at Georgetown! Shocked and feeling a little out of control, I knew my life would soon be rocked by our sweet little boy.
My son, Lincoln, was born in the summer between my first and second year of business school, and yes, my life was forever changed. I cried like crazy the first day I had to leave him to start my final year of classes. That said, I finished business school strong and graduated in May 2016. On graduation day, I walked across the stage to receive my diploma with Lincoln in my arms, signifying the importance between mother, baby, career and the balance we all yearn to strike.
After graduating, I stuck to my commitment to stay at home with my son. Every morning I wake up, I appreciate the fact that I have the ability and opportunity to stay at home with my baby - some mothers do not. And because of this opportunity, in those moments that I am with Lincoln I try to enrich him and love on him as much as possible - which I look forward to sharing some of my tips and tricks throughout this blog. However, as much as I love my son and value the time I get to spend with him, I still aspire to have a career and to do great things professionally. What does this all mean? I’m not sure. What I’m sure about is that in God’s timing, all will prevail. Through this platform, Cate and I hope to explore this topic and share our journey together.
As a city mom in DC, Ryan and I are en route to moving our family to a slower-paced area with yes, a bit of a simpler lifestyle. This is something we have both valued before we knew each other and hold dear to our hearts even more so now that we have Lincoln, and another (surprise!) on the way. Throughout this blog, I hope to share a big part of this journey - from babies to moving to travel to health and wellness and beauty to newfound growth.
Cate & I, more specifically, hope to share our passion and love for our children, pregnancy, health, fitness, nutrition and more. While we take a holistic approach to being a mommy, we want you to know how important it is that we keep it real! Life - especially being a mommy - isn't about being perfect or on-point all of the time. BUT - with a community of mamas who support each other by being raw and real, motherhood is an absolutely beautiful thing.