Motherhood! Julianne Hallstrom

I’ve had this image bouncing around in my head for a while now.  I remember reading once that the largest living organism in the world was a grove of Aspen trees in Utah that covers over 100 acres and weighs over 6,600 tons.  I thought this was kind of odd because to me a tree is, you know, A Tree.  But, apparently, each Aspen tree is really just a stem off of the same plant, and they grow in stands that share a single, connected root system.  For some reason, I love this image.  I picture each Aspen not as a solitary tree, but as being securely bonded to all the trees around for miles, sharing nutrients, providing group shelter and support, and standing as a part of this massive, living organism.

You know where I’m going with this, right?  That’s us.  We are aspens. We are beautiful individuals who are strengthened by the bonds that we share as mothers—we partake of each other’s burdens, creativity (blogs!), time, laughter, frustrations, faith, and carpools!

The legacy I hope to leave is not really mine to begin with and it is certainly not my legacy alone.  I want to strengthen the grove, to extend our roots.  There are too many women out there who feel they are standing alone, doing this mom thing on their own.  And, I’m sure most of us can relate to feeling that way at times.  I remember being in the midst of one of those tough times and a woman I hardly knew yet, a mother of 4 older children, put her arm around my shoulder and let me know that she’d been there and completely understood.  She showed such a willingness to share and encourage and serve ME.   It hit me so hard then that it was absolutely okay for me to need help and support as a mother.  It was okay to share my load.  AND, one day it would be my turn to pay it forward, to reach out and be the one supporting and encouraging those moms around me.  We all take turns needing and being needed by each other.  I want other mothers around me to know they do not stand alone.   They are a part of this and that they can find support, inspiration, and fulfillment in this vast network of ours.   I’ve got your back, and you’ve got mine.

I am grateful every day for the moms who’ve passed this legacy on to me through their bits of wisdom, their inspiration, and their sharing of their own special gifts.  I will see to it that their legacy doesn’t end with me and that our grove keeps growing stronger.

Julianne Hallstrom was born in colorado and moved to Hawaii when she was 8 years old.  She currently resides in Manoa on the island of Oahu.  Julianne earned a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese with a Minor in Art History.  She served as a missionary for 18 months in Sapporo, Japan before marrying her hich school sweetheart, Jeff, in 1999.  They are now blessed with 4 children.  Juli gets a great deal of joy (and some pretty funny stories) our of being a stay-at-home mom, but also loves her book club, gardening with the kids, serving in the children's church, digital scrap booking, dating her hubby, and recently, artisan bread-making!