Jack was "in" his first wedding on Friday. I put that in quotations because, as it turns out, he actually declined to be in the wedding. We put him down to see if he would possibly walk down the aisle and that was a big NOPE. But he did sit in a chair long enough for someone to take this picture and I'll probably never stop laughing at it:
Anyone else just gonna light their bracket on fire after this weekend? My bracket died last night during the Kentucky game.
Chris and I have been listening to the audiobook of Dark Matter, and it's taking us forever because we're really not in the car together that much. But this weekend we went out of town, and are almost finished-oh. my. goodness. I thought my brain hurt before, but now that the book is almost over WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Someone on here recommended it to me, but I can't remember who. Thank you, whoever you are! Who else has read this?
The weather is venturing into the 90's here this week. Chris is mad about it, but I just see that as one day closer to the pool being warm enough to get in. And I can't wait to see Jack's reaction to swimming this year.
The giveaway last week was so fun, I'm back with another one with some of my favorite ladies. I think we should maybe just start every week off with a giveaway, yeah? It makes Mondays better. This one is for a $75 Sephora (Or Ulta! Your choice!) gift card and some of Emelia's favorite things, like a GlamGlow mask (the best) and a Becca highlighter (the actual best).
Last week, I wrote about how your life is worth celebrating. About how we should find little reasons to celebrate, how we shouldn't wait until special events or vacations to notice the good or live like life is special.
I've really been trying to keep this in mind day to day, so I thought it'd be fun to start sharing how to do this. It's one thing to say, "Hey! Let's celebrate life!" And then another to actually do it. So I'll give you my ideas and you tell me your ideas and we'll just all be a bunch of party people celebrating life, okay? Okay good.
Have something to look forward to.I'm a big believer of living in the moment, but I think that sometimes, looking forward to something actually helps you live in the moment. Chris gets time off for vacation in seven weeks (PRAISE) and I'm just. so. excited. And having that to look forward to is really helping me feel more celebratory on a day to day basis, because if I'm bored or stressed, instead of just sitting down and zoning out to watch TV, I do something like look up things we should do on vacation, or look up floppy hats or bikinis that I definitely need for vacation. And then my attitude just kind of changes, because having something you're looking forward to is an easy way to brighten your day.
If you don't have something, plan something. A visit to see your family, a lunch date with friends, a day trip to a really great mall. Having something to look forward to, big or small, makes life feel more special.
Buy something small (ahem, cheap) that will bring you a little bit of happiness every day.Prime example: my new doormat (which I can't find online, but it's from Target!) It was $12 and makes me happy / gives me summer vacation vibes every time I come home. It's tempting to spend money on something like fancy coffee that's gone in five minutes (although that's totally appropriate at times, too), but this week, if you're spending money, spend it on something like a new doormat, or printing out your favorite pictures to hang on your fridge where they'll make you smile everytime you open it. A few dollars, a lot of smiles. Win-win.
Make something you really love for dinner.Dinnertime happens every single day. You know it's going to be a part of your day, but it's so easy to just gloss over. This week, try making it a mini celebration. If you're cooking anyway, you might as well cook something you love eating. If you wanna get real crazy, maybe even eat at the table instead of in front of the TV. If you're the kind of person who orders a cup of coffee after a nice dinner out, then make a pot of coffee and enjoy a cup at your own table. Sip it and slow down and enjoy and talk about what was good in your day.
How are you going to celebrate your life this week?
Probably my new favorite picture. It continues to blow my mind how, no matter what else is going on, my heart is constantly being refilled with happiness because of this little joy monster.
We went to Universal and forgot shoes. #floridaprobs
I kind of thought that taking Jack to Universal would be more for me and Chris, but he freaking loved it. It was the best ever to just see him running around and laughing at everything. Pure joy.
His walking skills are now to the point where we can go on actual neighborhood walks. WHAT.
I've been thinking a lot this month about how we choose our family. Like, Chris and I went the majority of our lives not knowing the other existed, then we just decided to be a family. Of course, you have the family you're born with, but then some of your family-your partner, your close friends-you choose that family. And that's pretty cool.
Parents of the year award: We took Jack to a park that's kind of far away, and he fell asleep in the car. Since we drove all that way, we woke him up when we got there. Poor bub was so tired, he literally fell asleep going down the slide.
Not pictured: The Mariachi band he was laughing/SCREAMING at while we were eating dinner.
My dad is a pastor and they live stream services, so I put one on a few weeks ago and Jack just laid there and watched. So adorable.
And finally, what a difference a year makes:
What do you always want to remember about this month?
If we were meeting for coffee outside, I might try to convince you to get this green drink instead. It's delicious and refreshing and for a coffee addict lover like me to go to Starbucks and get something other than coffee, you know it's good.
And if we were having coffee here, we'd most definitely be outside. Because Florida got it's warmth back and I'm super happy about it.
I'd tell you that my friend Erica had me over on her blog answering some questions. A lot of people email me asking me the question she asked about finding time to blog, and then when I email them back, never respond. I assume it's because I didn't have the kind of answer they were hoping for, since my answer is basically something along the lines of just do it. So I'd ask for your answer: How do you make time for things that aren't your full-time job, but are still important to you?
Speaking of making time for things and saving time, I'd tell you that these have been a lifesaver over the last few weeks. Just toss one of those and some meat and veggies in the crockpot and wham bam, dinner is ready 6 hours later.
If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that the last week has been a huge wake-up call for me in terms of what's most important in life. Last week, I was watching the Bachelor finale with two friends and Chris. We were sitting on the floor eating Chuy's takeout while Jack was running around the room making us all laugh. And I thought, this. This is an important thing. Sure, I had to wake up the next day and work. I still had uncomfortable emails to respond to. Disappointing news to deal with. But on the heels of a night where I really enjoyed what was truly important, the other, not-so-fun things didn't feel like as big of a deal anymore. I'd ask you if you were giving the most important things in your life a high enough priority, or if that's something you were working on, too.
You will have good days. Days that make you happy to be alive. Days that make you thankful that you are the one living your life. Days where you notice how good even the little things are--the way the sun is shining, the way your favorite song makes you feel, the way your heart beats in your chest after a workout.
You will have bad days. Days where it feels hard to just be alive. Days that you wish you could have been dealt a different hand in life. Days where you notice how bad even the little things are--the way the check engine light only comes on when you're already upset, the way you can't sleep through the night anymore, the way that absolutely nothing is going the way it is supposed to go.
Life is made up of both of these days. I wish that I could say there was always a balance, but there's not. Some seasons are made up of mostly good days, but some are made up of mostly bad days, with no breaks in between. No matter how many good days you've had, the bad ones still suck. The fact that you've had good days doesn't make the bad days hurt less. But the good news is that when the good days show up, they show up with all their good day magic, no matter how many bad days you've had.
On the good days: Live them to the fullest. Celebrate every tiny, warm, perfect, delicious detail. Don't waste a single minute of them looking ahead to what might happen in the future or thinking about bad things that have already happened. Just live the good days, in the moment, as they come. Let them remind you how good life can be.
On the bad days: Remember that you'll be okay. If history is any indication, you have a pretty good track record of making it through these. It's okay that the smallest things upset you. It's okay that you feel convinced that the whole world is against you today. If you can find nothing else good, remember that having a bad day means you are still alive, and that's something. Let the bad day just be a bad day, ask for help if you need it, and go to bed with the hope that tomorrow will be a good day.
You will have good days and bad days. You will make it through both. Both will shape the wonderful, magical person you are. And both are a reminder of the incredible, phenomenal gift: You are alive.
Yogi Teas. I've been singing the praises of the honey lavender stress relief tea, but that's just one of many Yogi teas I discovered last year. They have a tea for everything. Some of my other favorites are vanilla-spice perfect energy and the pomegranate green tea. Bonus: All of the tags on the tea bags have little sayings like fortune cookies.
Mrs. Meyer's Baking Soda Scrub. I discovered this when we were moving out of our apartment and were trying to make sure we left everything super clean (AKA, we wanted our security deposit back). To be completely honest, I'd never really deep cleaned anything before without my mom telling me exactly how, so I kind of just went down the cleaning aisle at Target and threw one of everything into my cart. This stuff is some sort of black magic. Our sink, our shower, our oven...this took care of all of them. I'm telling you. Black magic.
Bubba Tumbler.This was maybe my best purchase of 2016. That's saying a lot, because I bought a bunch of stuff last year (hello, new baby and new house). I am constantly raving about how I find drinking more water to be literally life-changing. It probably annoys everyone I know, but whatever.
As everyone knows, the best way to make yourself drink more water is to 1) Have a cute cup, and 2) Have a straw. This has both, and the straw is silicone, which I'd never seen before. It's so easy to carry around, fits in cup holders, and keeps your drink cold. It's awesome.
It's 35 ounces, which means just filling it up twice gets you past your recommended 8 glasses a day mark. I easily fill it up 5 times a day. I will probably buy these as gifts for the rest of the year, if that gives you any idea as to how obsessed I am with mine.
Essie Gel Couture Polish.I am a nail polish hoarder. Until I moved in May, I still had nail polishes that I had bought while in college. Let me just explain to you how much I love this polish: I threw away all of my other nail polishes. I can get ten days of wearwith this one. It's worth it.
Yoga with Adriene. I've never really been a yoga person. I've been to a few classes and done a few at-home videos, but it was never something I just really loved. After I had Jack, I tried yoga as a way to ease my body back into being active (because, ya know, growing an actual human for 40 weeks really does a number on you). I discovered this youtube channel and loved it.
Over the fall, I started doing one of her videos every day, and (warning, I'm about to sound like a giant, crunchy hippie here) it did wonders for my stress levels. It's also the first workout I've ever done where I could really see myself getting stronger day-to-day. If you think you're not a yoga person, try these videos. There are hundreds to choose from and something for every skill level.
LulaRoe Leggings. Before pregnancy, I was not a leggings person. I just wasn't. But then I discovered maternity leggings and proceeded to wear them for 9 months. And then as long as I could get away with them after Jack was born, too. Then I realized I should probably buy normal leggings, since I wasn't pregnant anymore. I started seeing Lularoe pop up on social media and loved all the different patterns (I'm a bright colors & pattern junkie).
Embarrassing story: I had never purchased any LulaRoe, but when I moved to Gainesville, I didn't know anyone here. I joined a local facebook group and a girl who was also a part of the medical community posted about selling LulaRoe. So naturally I literally bought a pair of leggings so I could pick them up and meet her and we could become friends. Spoiler alert: It didn't work. BUT it did leave me wanting more of these leggings. So when I saw my sweet friend Janelle opened her own LulaRoe shop, I was so excited. She was made for this-she takes such joy in putting together outfits and helping people find something they feel wonderful in.
I'm not lying when I tell you I wear these leggings at least once a week. They got crazy popular for a reason. It weirds me out that people call them "butter leggings" because that's such a weird image, but honestly, I get why they do. They're so soft.
I told Janelle I was going to be blogging about this today and she offered to give away a pair of leggings (because she is the sweetest). I'm gonna jump in with her and give away a pair. Enter here:
Tomorrow, medical students and their families all across America will find out where they will spend the next 3-7 years of their lives....all at the same time. (If that sounds like an insane way for that to happen, it's because it is. You can read about the actual Match Day here). A year ago, we were waiting for the same thing.
I blogged a lot about Match Day because it was such a huge event in our lives, and I was surprised by how much everyone could relate. People waiting for an envelope to tell them their future is a pretty specific group, but people who are confused about their future and frustrated by things out of their control is not. In that way, even though all of our stories may be different, we can all help each other and learn from each other, and I think that's pretty cool.
If I could go back a year and give myself a pep-talk before Match Day, this is what I'd say:
1. However you are feeling right now, it is okay.For a few days last year, I fell into the trap of feeling like because I was anxious about the future, I wasn't being a supportive wife to Chris. That's crap. There is no right or wrong way to feel about these kinds of things. So the days I was excited about a new adventure, that was okay. The days I was scared and anxious about moving, that was okay too.
2. No matter what happens, you will still be the same person.I wish I could go back and tell myself: You will wake up tomorrow and still be all of the things that you love. And you will wake up a year from now and still be a writer and a mom and a wife. Circumstances change a lot of things, but not the most important things.
3. You are more adaptable than you think.Me a year ago was very resistant to change. This is funny coming from someone that had a baby last year, but hey, just being honest. It's almost comical to look back and see how worried I was about the change Match Day would bring, because really, that was the least of ways I've had to adapt in the last 365 days. But I've done it! And while the term, I welcomed change is a bit of a stretch, I've gone along with it. And handled it all without falling apart. And--dare I say--even enjoyed some of it.
4. Celebrate the journey.Sometimes we get so caught up in how far there is to go and how many obstacles that are along the way that we forget to celebrate how far we've come. Every step of the journey deserves to be celebrated, especially when you've worked hard to get where you're at.
Ironically, these are all reminders I can still use today. So I thought I'd share them, because maybe you could use them too. Whether you have a big, looming decision like Match, or you're just confused or going through a difficult time, remember that it's okay to feel however you're feeling, that you are and will continue to be the same person, that you are more adaptable than you believe, and that you deserve to celebrate how far you've come.
And if you're participating in the Match tomorrow, as a medical student or a medical student's partner, my heart is with you. You've got this.