about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

On Being Present.

I have a tendency to always talk about how things used to be, or how I hope they are in the future.  Rarely do I just pause and appreciate things as they are right now.  I wish I remembered to do that more often.  And so when I read this bit of an article earlier, I felt a twinge.

The present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now. – source

Looking backward doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  It’s healthy to protect and preserve memories, to reflect, to learn from experiences.  And looking forward is a good thing too – setting goals, making plans, and leaning on hope.

But by looking back and forth in each direction too often, we tend to miss what is happening right in the middle – the now.

Being present is something I’ve been working on for a while now.  When I got married three years ago, I walked myself down the aisle.  My bridesmaids all went ahead of me, and so the last few moments before I stepped into the church, I was alone in the back with a wedding coordinator.  She turned to me and told me to take an extra minute.  Soak it in.  Soak it up.  It would only happen once. 

Be present.

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And I was.  I pushed aside my nerves and my emotions, and I listened to every word, every song, and every breath.  Because of her advice, I made sure to live every minute of our 20 minute ceremony, and here three years later I can remember it like it was yesterday.  By being in the moment, I have made it last so much longer. 

I remember hearing similar advice in our birthing classes.  Childbirth is such an incredibly overwhelming experience, and it’s easy to get caught up in the lights, equipment, and frenzy as the baby arrives, and we were told to try to remain as present as possible.

Despite how mentally and emotionally drained I was by the end of my labor, I held onto this, and when Cullen arrived the background became a blur.  I focused on staying present – only seeing him and Casey – knowing that our moment as a new family would only happen once. 

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And now that he’s here, I find myself looking backward and forward too often.  Parenting is a funny thing.  While we do our best to cherish every smile, laugh, and snuggle, the sleeplessness and the hard work sometimes let the days run together and months pass like minutes. 

It’s easy to long for the next nap, or the break that comes when dad gets home from work.  And too often I am thinking about all the other things I need to do, rather than simply appreciating what is right in front of me. 

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I find myself thinking in terms of the upcoming weekend, the next vacation, or the next time we’ll see family again.  But in between all of those things are days that hold moments of their own.  Perhaps they are moments that don’t feel extraordinary, and don’t always require a camera or a phone call, but they are still there.  Subtle, simple moments.

Today was one of those days when it was just me and Cullen – sun up to sun down.  But after this morning’s reminder to stay present, I didn’t feel the length of the day or the lack of help.  I just focused on each moment, each hour, and each nap as they came and went.  We had a great day.

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I look back at pictures of Cullen from a few months ago, and I feel sad that I’ve already forgotten what it was like for him to be that small and that helpless.  And I read books and parenting sites and find myself stressing about all that comes next – solid foods, baby-proofing, potty training (okay not for a while, but still quite scary).

But instead of longing for what was, or fearing was is to come, I’m going to make a better effort to simply appreciate the here and now. 

Because the present is pretty darn good. 

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139 Comments so far
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Debbie     at 8:26 am

Totally what I needed to hear :) My baby is 4 weeks old today!


Amber     at 11:03 am

Thank you for sharing this! I tend to look longingly at the past and wait anxiously for the future, but like you, I have a really hard time being present. I appreciate the reminder, and I absolutely love the quote! Today, I will be present and embrace each moment. I hope you do the same! :)


Dee     at 11:07 am

This was such a powerful post Emily. Thank you for the reminder. :)


Rachel C     at 11:14 am

I must remember this when I am rushing myself and kids out the door for school and work and the regular hustle bustle of our daily lives. It can really be difficult, with so many things going on, and I think I have relied on just trying to get all of us through the day. Something to work on.


Heather     at 12:57 pm

great post, it’s so true. I am such a planner so I find myself looking ahead all too often.


Sara     at 1:32 pm

Such a great post! I have been feeling the same way since my little guy was born 6 weeks ago. He has already changed so much. When the day gets hectic, I often think of the lyrics or listen to a song by Trace Adkins called Your Gonna Miss This. Puts things in perspective for me and goes along well with your post.


jessica z     at 2:32 pm

this is a special post. thank you for reminding all of us to stay present. it’s so true, all of it. :)


Christine @ BookishlyB     at 4:16 pm

This is definitely something I need to work on too. It’s always about the next step, jumping over the next hurdle, and figuring out how to make things more awesome.

In a way, I think that it can be a benefit if done in moderation. It helps motivate us and not become to complacent.


Julie     at 4:32 pm

Wow, I never get sick of your writing and perspective. You are very honest and inspiring.Thank you for this entire blog!


Karly     at 5:17 pm

Beautiful post, Emily! I was looking at baby pictures of Elizabeth the other day and I came across one of you and Lindsey holding Elizabeth when she was recently born. She was so little and now she is 7 years old. Time sure does fly! Enjoy every moment with your sweet little blessing!


Anne     at 6:34 pm

What an awesome post. I couldn’t agree with you more. I need to take more time to relax and enjoy life instead of constantly stressing about what’s coming next.


Allison     at 9:34 pm

Great post Emily! You are very well spoken (or written!)


Julie     at 10:03 pm

Great post! I wanted to comment on this subject not to make you sad, but to remind everyone not to take those everyday things for granted. I recently lost my 3 month old son to a heart defect. He would have been 5 months next week. Going through this heartbreaking and painful experience has tought me not to stress over the little things and to live everyday to the fullest. I never thought anything like this would ever happen to me and now looking back on the last few months, it makes me appreciate everything I had. Me and my husband will hopefully be trying for baby #2 soon, and i’m telling you, you will never ever hear me complain about not getting enough sleep or waking up in the middle of the night multiple times to feed my baby. I would give anything in the world to have that back. This whole experience has completely changed how I now live my life.


Emily Malone Reply:

Oh Julie, I just can’t even imagine. My thoughts are with you and your family. You sound incredibly strong, and I’m amazed that you are able to find positives in something so sad. Thank you for YOUR message!


Jacquelyn     at 10:11 pm

Emily, Thank you. I’ve been struggling with these very same issues this past week. My son is 4.5 months old and I’ve been looking at his newborn photos with a sadness that I can’t get rid of. My father passed away when my son was just six weeks old and I spent that first six weeks trying to give them both all of me, so I’ve felt like a failure in the fact that I didn’t get to give myself to either of them the way that I feel they both needed. I feel like I missed out on my son being so tiny and like I wasn’t able to really take in as much of my Dad as I should have before his death. But reading your post reminds me to take in my son now and to be happy that they both got to meet each other. So before I go on too much I’m going to go breathe in my son’s scent and really take in the day with him! Thanks!


Emily Malone Reply:

I am so sorry for your loss! You can’t get back those early weeks, but I am sure that your dad getting to meet your son is its own memory that you can hold onto forever. Now I kind of want to go peek in the crib too… :)


» Stuff I Love This Week Jennifer Picicci Wellness Coaching     at 6:43 am

[…] Two of my favorite bloggers wrote pieces on being mindful and present this week. Charlotte of The Great Fitness Experiment wrote about her experiment for April on eating mindfully and Emily of Daily Garnish wrote about being present with her oh-so-gorgeous five month old son. […]

Rachelle     at 12:49 pm

I waited to read this post until I had a quiet moment to really read it. As you can see… it took me a while ;-)

You are so right and this post really brings great points. As your little guy starts to grow it will become easier for you to be in the moment with him (mostly b/c he will demand all your attention & b/c you will be *amazed* by him and what he can do). You won’t always be in the moment, but there will be more times when you *want* to be in the moment. Let’s face it, as moms, a lot of brain power just goes into planning our day and next meal.

One thing that worked for me was to just take 5 min (then 10) to just sit there and play and bond. Now that my guy is 3.5 years, we have a great bonding time when I lay with him for 3 min before nap or bed. We talk about our “favorite” part of the day (or a part that made us sad or mad). I truly cherish this time with him & learning what was important to him during that day.


Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Rachelle! Great tips!


Heidi - Apples Under My Bed     at 2:07 am

Fantastic post, Emily! Thanks for this reminder :) So so true and so so important.
Heidi xo


Fran     at 6:38 am

I love this post. Being present is something that I never paid much attention to until I had our daughter. I attribute this awareness of staying in the moment to quitting drinking and my mom, who constantly says “ooo, I wish you kids were young again!” I am grateful that I am not just going through the motions so I can go out for a drink…who am I kidding, drink(s)! I am fortunate to be present to spend quality time with Lu after a busy day’s work.

Not to be harsh, but I giggle when I think of what my dad sometimes tells me when I am worrying about the past or projecting about the future: “Frannie, if you have one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you are peeing on today.” Point well taken, Dad!


Sarah     at 3:39 am

I love this. Such wise words.


Lauri     at 4:57 am

LOVED this post!! Our little girl is due any day now, and I constantly find myself thinking about the future and stressing over every little thing. I keep telling myself that I need to relax and enjoy these last few days with my husband and that our little girl will come whenever she is ready! But The days all seem to run together like a blur lately! I really need to step back and enjoy these last fews days of pregnancy and it being ‘just the 2 of us’. Thank you.


Eating as a Path to Yoga     at 5:30 am

Those of us with eating issues don’t have a food problem. We have a calming problem. Small moments of meditation are excruciating, but helpful in developing present-mindedness.


The Unbounded Spirit     at 3:34 am

Such an amazing post. The present moment is all that we have, so let’s just be here and now and enjoy life’s beauties!


Leah     at 9:01 pm

What a beautiful post. It got the tears going for me. As a busy sahm of two, I really struggle with this. Thanks for inspiring me and reminding me what is truly important.


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