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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Dear Summer : A Love Letter.


Dear summer, 

It's no secret how much I've always adored you. Fall has my heart, and Christmas is my favorite, but you are just everything good. You're happiness and sunshine and laughter and beach days and just pure goodness. 

You've been such a gift already this year. You've been full of sunshine and pool days and sunkissed skin that gets more and more golden with every Friday that passes. 

You've been two-year-old laughter filling the air while Jack gets more and more confident splashing his way up and down the pool steps. 

You've been vacation, road trip plans, good music with the windows down. 

I love your beautiful, perfect golden hour, especially when it's accompanied by walking Jack around the block with a diet coke in my hand. 

I love how you make me feel alive. How you make me feel happy. How you make me feel young and vibrant and full of potential. I love how each day of you, while it may be filled with work and chores and responsibility, still feels like an adventure because there's the possibility of an hour at the pool, or an ice cream run, or a sunset walk. 

I love how you bring a sense of lightheartedness. Even the serious things don't feel quite as serious when you're around. 

I love how you bring people together. Spontaneous pool days, cookouts, vacation plans. You were made for those. 

I love how, even in the midst of chaos and broken things, you seem to find a way to remind us there is still good out there; there is still peace to be found. 

I'm so thankful to call Florida home and get to experience more of you than most people. 

Love you forever, summer. Stick around awhile, why don't you?

What has your summer been so far? 

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Day in The Life (With a Toddler) (Send Help).


Back when I asked for topics anyone would like to see me write about, someone suggested I write a "day in the life" post. Now, while I will eventually write one of those, the day I got that suggestion just so happened to be the most INSANE day with Jack, so I couldn't miss the chance to write a funny one first. 

Now, while I will admit that all of these things did not happen on the same day, I DO want to point out they are all things that have absolutely happened recently. Also, I love being a mom. This is supposed to be funny. If you're going to be mean, leave me alone. Bye. 

4:00 AM || Wake up to the fridge alarm going off. I'm the only adult home, so this is slightly alarming (haha, get it?) I go into the kitchen to see Jack sitting amongst a graveyard of Reece's cup wrappers. He ate EIGHTEEN Reese's cups. E I G H T E E N. Clean things up, get him back to sleep, go back to bed. 

6:00 AM || Wake up to gagging noises. Realize the childproof handle on the pantry must not really be childproof, because Jack is currently emptying out what was a brand new jar of peanut butter. Wake all the way up just in time for him to throw that peanut butter up all over the bed and also on me. Jump out of the peanut butter filled bed, give him a bath, clean the carpet, and take a shower before a single cup of coffee is had. 

9:20 AM || Chase him around the house while he laughs hysterically, because for the third time today, he's gotten butt-naked minutes after I got him all the way dressed. Give up. We are a nudist home now. This is life.

10:00 AM || Get Jack settled in the den with a movie so I can conference into weekly staff meeting. Try my best to selectively hit "mute" so maybe the whole staff doesn't hear Jack banging on the locked door and sobbing like I just left him out in the desert to fend for himself.

10:03 AM || The screaming stops. Unmute when I'm asked a question, just in time for the wailing to pick back up. Say, "Oh no thank you, I'm fine!" When asked if I need to step away for a minute.
  
10:06 AM || Give up on the selective muting. All I'm doing is muting my answers. Stare deadpanned into the camera, daring anyone to say anything about the clearly distraught child on the other side of that door. 

11:15 AM || The sun is out. Take Jack outside to let him run some energy out / also work on my tan. Close eyes on hammock just in time to be startled by a male voice saying, "Um, is this yours?" Realize it's your neighbor on the other side of the fence, holding up a toy. Apologize. He holds up another toy. Apologize again as he proceeds to toss a pile of Jack's toys back into your yard. So Jack throws his toys over the fence now, that's fun.


1:45 PM || Realize Jack can now get on the counters. Find him standing on the stove, microwaving his milk. 

1:47 PM || While cleaning up from his countertop expedition, realize something smells bad. Like, poop bad. Check his diaper. It's clean. Chalk it up to bad gas and keep cleaning. 

1:49 PM || No, really. What is that smell? 

1:58 PM || Find the smell. GOD HELP US ALL, THIS CHILD POOPED IN THE SINK.

1:59 PM || Get allllll the cleaners out, because this sink has to be SANITIZED OKAY. 

2:13 PM || Finish cleaning just in time to catch Jack pouring window cleaner into the dog's bowl. Attempted murder? Perhaps. This is why I buy nontoxic cleaners. 

4:12 PM || Hear a man's voice. Even though my phone is password protected, somehow Jack has facetimed my coworker. 

6:34 PM || While I'm making Jack dinner, Jack is also making himself dinner. In the dog's bowl. He's poured a gallon of milk into Gatsby's food bowl and is trying to feed it to him with a spoon, like cereal. Gatsby is unappreciative, probably due to the earlier attempt on his life.

9:32 PM || He falls asleep, I put him to bed. I'd planned on tackling my to-do list once he fell asleep, but it's not happening. I last about ten minutes before I also collapse into bed. 

10:14 PM || Wake up to a hand on my face. For the first time, Jack's figured out that he can come get in bed with me at night.  Think, oh my gosh, I am literally with him 24/7 now. There is nothing more exhausting than this in the whole freaking world.  

10:22 PM || He rolls over, pats my head, and says, "mama." Think oh my gosh, there is nothing better than this in the whole freaking world. 

Parenthood is weird, y'all. 

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Friday, June 15, 2018

What True Friendship Looks Like Right Now.


Life is made up of lots of different seasons we travel through. As our seasons change, what true friendship looks like changes. Some seasons call for space, some seasons call for an almost-roommate of a friend. Some seasons need extra support, some seasons need more lightheartedness. Some seasons need spontaneity, some need stability. 

I am extremely, extremely blessed to have some true friends in this season of my life. 

Right now, this is what true friendship looks like: 

It looks like acting like me inviting you over is the most fun thing you could have imagined for a Friday night (I know it's not) because I'm solo-parenting and couldn't get a babysitter. It's pretending you don't notice how messy my house is, and then rolling your eyes and saying you don't care when I point it out. 

It's facetime dates. Lots of those. It's understanding that sometimes you just have to blow my phone up before I'll call you back. It's lots of missed calls and texts and not getting too mad when I take twelve business days to respond to your text. 

It's understanding that no matter how much I love the idea of being spontaneous, this season of life takes so much planning. It's still inviting me to things you know I probably won't be able to swing because you don't want to leave me out, and it's trying to plan things in advance so I can secure childcare. 

It's reminding me of how important my dreams are, and nudging me to follow them when I stall or say I'm too busy. 

It's listening to me talk about how I want to be healthier and then not judging me when all I want for dinner is Publix fried chicken. 

It's checking in when I go a little quiet. It's taco bell runs and juice cleanses. It's saying "I'm here for you." It's pool days and Netflix nights. It's sticking it out through the ups and downs, because that's life. It's deep and it's fun. 

It's such a gift. 

What does true friendship look right now in this stage of your life? 
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Amazon Favorites Lately


Does anybody else remember when we used Amazon primarily to buy books? Textbooks, mostly? What did we even do? Where did we even buy our things? 

I'm just going to level with you. I love shopping. I love malls and Marshall's and Ross and Ulta and all of it. However, Jack has entered a very non-shopping-friendly stage if it's just him and I. So being able to get the things I want online is pretty magical. What a time to be alive, you know?

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. I honestly think this is the best thing you can buy on Amazon. I've raved about it before, so I won't go into it now, but it's cheap, it works, and it lasts forever. I'll always have a jar of this.

This bikini. At under $15 for a top and a bottom, I'm a fan. It's cute, true to size, and I'll be wearing it all year. Also, side note: For some reason the link now says "thong bikini" in the description?? I assure you, it is not. 

This foam roller. It's five dollars and makes ending a workout way more enjoyable because it ensures I can actually move my body the next day.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. Worth every single bit of the hype. Dab a little bit of this on any upcoming breakouts before you go to sleep, wake up to them almost gone. It's magical. 

Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement. A glass of this before bed and I sleep so much better. 

What's your favorite thing you've bought on Amazon lately?

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Take a Risk, You Deserve It.


A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine found a listing for what was very close to her dream job. She was under qualified, and she wasn't really looking for a job, but still. Her dream job. 

We talked for days about whether she was going to apply or not. Could it hurt to just try? Wouldn't it be embarrassing when they saw she wasn't exactly the type of candidate they were looking for? But wouldn't she regret letting this opportunity pass without trying? 

After a few days of talking about all the reasons it was a bad idea, she went for it. She cleaned up her resume, wrote a cover letter, and put herself out there. 

Within an hour (I'm not kidding - a single hour), they'd emailed her back and let her know her qualifications weren't enough for the job. 

She took a risk. She wasn't successful. But it was still worth it.

Because you know what? Her resume is updated. She realized she was excited about the possibility of a new job. She now knows rejection doesn't kill her.  And the next time she comes across a risk worth taking, it'll be easier. 

Taking a risk doesn't have to pan out to be worth it. 

Go to a new workout class that you very well may embarrass yourself in. Or, that you very well may fall in love with. 

Ask someone on a date. Really, do it. They might say no, or you might have the best night of your life.

Apply for that job. You may be underqualified, or you may land yourself a dream job. 

If nothing else - even if you fail spectacularly and nothing good ever comes from it - it's a reminder that you can take risks. That you're alive and moving forward and not stagnant. 

 Take a risk. You deserve it. 
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Friday, June 8, 2018

Be Happy in This Moment, For This Moment is Your Life.


Be happy in this moment, for this moment is your life. 

I saw this on a sign when I was visiting a friend in another city in October. We were spending the day laughing and shopping and when I saw it, I thought about how happy I felt in that moment. I snapped a picture of it and saved it to my favorites, because I wanted to remember it. 

I keep it saved in my favorites, because it's so true. And my moments aren't always laughing and shopping and having the best day with old friends. But they're still making up my life. What is life but a bunch of moments all strung together? 

Be happy in the hard moments, because they're making up your life. 

Be happy in the good moments, because they're making up your life.

Be happy in the mundane moments, because they're making up your life. 

Sometimes (lots of times) a day ends and I fall into bed, so exhausted, and think, what even was today? And when I think back over the day, it was a lot of stressful moments and messy moments and seemingly unspecial moments. But you know what? Those moments made up my day, and those days make up my life, and they're worth being happy in, no matter how messy or unspecial they may seem, because my life is worth being happy in. 

Some moments happiness comes right to you without you even making an effort, and some moments require a whole heck of a lot of effort to find a smidge of happiness. 

That effort is worth it. 

Because this is your life. 

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that things have to be perfect to be happy. Don't get so lost in curated Instagram feeds and magazine covers to think that if your moments aren't bright and colorful and perfectly posed that they aren't worth enjoying. They're worth enjoying because they make up your life, and your life is worth being happy over. 

Be happy in this moment, for this moment is your life. 
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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

High-Wasited Shorts Round-Up.


Me and high-waisted shorts are having quite the love affair at the moment. 

Unfortunately (I mean, not really unfortunately, because, money), I do most of my shopping secondhand (Sandy's is LIFE) or on sale, and those things are nearly impossible to provide links for.

So I thought I'd do the next best thing and do a round-up of shorts that I would 100% wear, if I don't already own them. With the exception of the first pair, they're all under $30, and if you're anything like me, you'll wear them all summer (ahem, year) long.


If you click on the individual pictures, it'll take you to the link for those shorts and make all your high-waisted shorts dreams come true (Or something like that, anyway).

Click away! Happy shopping, friends! 


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Monday, June 4, 2018

Books I Read in May and Whether or Not You Should Read Them.


The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

Plot: "In the bestselling tradition of The Girl on the Train and In a Dark, Dark Wood, from the internationally bestselling author whom Stephen King called “an absolute master” of the psychological thriller, comes a riveting suspense novel about the unlikely friendship between two pregnant women that asks: how far would you go to create the perfect family?

Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.

When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…

With its brilliant rendering of the secrets some women hold close and a shocking act that cannot be undone, The Secrets She Keeps delivers a dark and twisted page-turner that is absolutely impossible to put down." -via Goodreads

  
Favorite quote: “We need the darkness to appreciate the light, and the bumps along the road to stop us falling asleep at the wheel.” 

My thoughts: I loved this book. You find out the twist pretty early on, which was different than most thriller books I've read recently, and I liked it because it shaped the rest of the story. It wasn't a, "Okay I've got to solve what's going on" kind of book, it was a, "Oh my gosh, I know what's going on, how is this going to play out?!" kind of book.

Should you read it? Yes!

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki

Plot: "High in the Hollywood Hills, writer Lady Daniels has decided to take a break from her husband. Left alone with her children, she’s going to need a hand taking care of her young son if she’s ever going to finish her memoir. In response to a Craigslist ad, S arrives, a magnetic young artist who will live in the secluded guest house out back, care for Lady’s toddler, Devin, and keep a watchful eye on her older, teenage son, Seth. S performs her day job beautifully, quickly drawing the entire family into her orbit, and becoming a confidante for Lady. 

But in the heat of the summer, S’s connection to Lady’s older son takes a disturbing, and possibly destructive, turn. And as Lady and S move closer to one another, the glossy veneer of Lady’s privileged life begins to crack, threatening to expose old secrets that she has been keeping from her family. Meanwhile, S is protecting secrets of her own, about her real motivation for taking the job. S and Lady are both playing a careful game, and every move they make endangers the things they hold most dear. 

Darkly comic, twisty and tense, this mesmerizing new novel defies expectation and proves Edan Lepucki to be one of the most talented and exciting voices of her generation." -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: “You think you know how a story begins, or how it's going to turn out, especially when it's your own. You don't.” 

My thoughts: This was an incredibly unique book...but I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. It told the story of several complex relationships, and instead of focusing on a real plot, focused on the characters. I was sad when it was over, not because I liked it, necessarily, but because I wanted more to happen with the characters I'd learned so much about. Overall, not my favorite. 

Should you read it? Probably not.
  
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen 

Plot: "A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing." -via Goodreads
Favorite quote: "I was happy, I think, but I wonder now if my memory is playing tricks on me. If it is giving me the gift of an illusion. We all layer them over our remembrances; the filters through which we want to see our lives."

My thoughts: Oh my gosh. I have so many things I want to say, but since I am a good friend who doesn't want to spoil this book for you, I will not say them. But read this boooook!  It's been awhile since a book made me stop and realize I had not a clue what was happening. I LOVE when that happens. 

Should you read it? YES! Like, now. 

What books have you read lately?
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Friday, June 1, 2018

Spending June: A To-Do List For Adventuring Through Your Month.


1. Stock up on sunscreen!

2. Get rid of the bathing suits you no longer wear. 

3. Set aside an afternoon (ugh, entire day, if your laundry room looks like mine) and get completely caught up on laundry. Fun? No. Worth it? Yes. 

4. Get some sidewalk chalk. If you have kids in your life, color with them! If you don't, chalk yourself up an instagram pic. 

5. Make a list of your favorite foods you order out. Set a goal to learn how to copycat them at home this summer! 

6. Do the same with your favorite drinks!

7. Make a list of the responsible (aka, not the most fun) things you have to do this summer.  That way you won't lay awake at night wondering what you're forgetting to do. 

8. Set reminders in your phone to encourage your friends. So simple, so meaningful.

9. Next time you're in the drive-thru getting coffee, pay for the order behind you. 

10. Make dinner only using things you bought at a Farmer's Market.

11. For a week, write down every single time you truly feel happy. Read it at the end of the week and look for ways to cultivate that happiness. 

12. Invite someone to go get ice cream. 

13. Buy a cute pitcher to make drinking enough water easier.

14. Get ahead. Whatever stresses you out the most, set aside a few hours and just work on it.

15. Buy yourself some fancy coffee. 

16. Do a social media cleanse. Aka, unfollow anyone that makes you feel bad about yourself. 

17. Read a thriller. I recommend The Wife Between Us!

18. Make whatever your favorite summer treat was when you were a kid. 

19. Track down a drive-in movie theatre in your state. Road trip!

20. Forgive somebody. You don't have to tell them. You don't have to think whatever they did was okay. But let it go, you'll feel so much lighter. 

21. Chase down the ice cream truck. 

22. Make lemonade. Does it get any more summer than that?

23. Go to an outdoor concert. 

24. Ignore your to-do list and spend a day by the pool. 

25. Go to TJ Maxx or Ross and stock up on beach towels. See also: Throw out all your ratty ones!

26. Make BLT's for dinner. These will always make me feel like it's summer! 

27. Have a vacation day. Even if you can't take a vacation this summer, take a vacation day (on a weekend, or a day you already have off, if you need to!) and do vacationy things! 

28. Print out your pictures. Pay homage to the days of getting your summer cameras developed.

29. Try out some new salads. Hot weather and salads just go together. 

30. Make a smoothie. Get your fruits and veggies in while tricking yourself into thinking you're enjoying some sort of summer cocktail 

How will you be spending your June?
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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Love You, 2018: Part 5

According to my phone's camera roll, part five of 2018 looked a lot like...


...baby naps on the boat.


...trips to Cedar Key.


...walks around the neighborhood with Jack actually walking instead of riding in his stroller.


...lots of outside time (before the 8,432 days of rain came).


...dinners at Lucky's, where Jack wanted to sit at every table except his own.


...belated birthday celebrations with my best friends.


...going to Grill's for lunches where you can eat in your bathing suit (the best kind of lunches).


...celebrating Mother's Day with this little ham.


...celebrating my best friend for passing her teaching exam.


...getting tacos with my two bffs. Side note: Jack literally lept out of my arms when he spotted that brownie on the counter.


...silly baby selfies.


...Jack playing with his new bff, Nora.


...discovering a new acai bowl place.


...eating giant watermelons.


...Gatsby being ridiculous. 

What did this month look like for you?
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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What May Taught Me.


To focus on the things that are in my control. I'm pretty sure this has been on a "what I learned this month" list before, so obviously I still have more to learn about it. But I thought a lot about it this month. I'm the kind of person who can drive myself crazy thinking about all the things I have absolutely no control over. And how stupid is that? What a way to waste a day, right? I'm working on focusing on all the things I can control, and trying to just roll with the punches for the rest. 

To be the best version of myself. I wrote about it here. I'm working on changing my perspective to focus on this, and it's been really amazing. 

That I crave experiences. This is how I like to spend my money. I want vacations and trips and memories. I want to go to dinner not because I don't want to cook (I mean, I probably don't want to cook), but because I want the experiences of sitting on a patio and laughing and talking over food. It doesn't bother me to drop a lot of money on vacation and have to pinch pennies for the rest of the month, because I want to make long-lasting memories of sitting on the beach and eating nachos while my babe laughs and plays football. 

That as much as I love a good to-do list, I don't need to live and die by them. I had a lot of things to do on Thursday, but the sun came out for the first time in what felt like forever. So I took Jack to the pool, and we stayed there until the rain came back. This meant the dishes didn't get done. I didn't catch up on laundry. Emails went unresponded to. And you know what? It was every bit worth it. If I had judged the day by how many things I marked off my to-do list, it would've looked like a failure. But in reality, it was anything but. 

What did this month teach you?
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Monday, May 28, 2018

My Favorite Things I Discovered in May.


This flamingo water bottle. It was $3 in the Target dollar spot! I can't find it online to link to it, but it's still at Target. 

Macadamia nut milk. I fully credit this (and also my stubborness) for being able to quit sugary creamer so fast. 

Lucky's. I discovered Lucky's Market this month and hello, heaven. HOW have I lived in Gainesville for two entire years and never ventured into this magical place?! There aren't a ton of things I refer to as life-changing, but Lucky's is one of them. 

Chocolate coconut coffee. Discovered at Lucky's. 1) It's delicious. 2) I told you Lucky's was life-changing. 

This bralette. I actually bought this two months ago and it fell out of the bag and has been under my seat since, only to be discovered a few weeks ago. But it's so cute! It's so comfy, lined enough that you can wear it as an actual bra without giving somebody a show, but cute enough (and covers enough) that it can peek through without looking sleazy. 10/10. (I got the peach beach floral pattern). 

Magnesium. I wrote that I'd been taking melatonin and a lot of you guys told me how bad that was for me. Some of you recommended magnesium instead. I bought some and it's been doing the trick! Plus, no insane dreams or nightmares, which is a big win. I will say it takes longer to work, so I try to drink it about 45 minutes before I go to bed. 

What fun things have you discovered this month?


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Friday, May 25, 2018

The Best Version of Yourself.


This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. I touched on it a little bit here, and have been mulling it over all week. 

There's an overwhelming amount of things I think we could all agree we should strive for: Being healthy, being a good friend, being a good employee, being a good parent. 

There are things that we could probably all agree that are good to strive for: Keeping your house clean, eating things that are good for you, responding to emails on time. 

I'll tell you this for sure: There's no feasible way to do everything (or to even try to do everything) that everyone thinks is good for you to do. 

But there's one thing we can all do, and it's a really good place to start:

You can strive to be the best version of yourself. 

The best thing you can be is the best version of yourself. Not the best version of someone else. Not a compilation of traits you admire from people you look up to. But the best version of you. 

I don't know why this has been such a lightbulb moment kinda thing for me, but it really has been.

When you're not trying to be authentically, fully yourself, you're way more susceptible to not feeling enough, because your focus is going to fall on others and the ways you admire them, but aren't like them. Comparison is a lot less of a weapon when you're working to be the best you. 

This is something new I'm trying, so I don't really have any advice to write out in bullet points here. But we can try it together, yeah?

What does the best version of me look like physically? Mentally? Spiritually? The happiest me? The most alive me? 

If we could be the best ourselves have to offer in these areas, or even in one of these areas, I think we'd be in a much better place, don't you? 

You are a really, really amazing person. Cheers to being the best version of that person. 

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Just a Reminder That You Are Alive.


Someone said this to me a few days ago, and it really shifted my perspective. So I wanted to pay it forward and pass it along to you too, just in case you're like me and need someone to hit you with some truth every now and then. 

If you are reading this, you are alive. You are living and breathing. You are still here, on this earth, living out a life. 

Chances are, it is not a perfect life. Chances are, it probably isn't even close to perfect. You probably don't have a career that fulfills you daily, or a picture-perfect relationship. You probably have had more trials and issues that you ever would have chosen for yourself. 

But. 

You are alive. 

When something happens often, we tend to start to take it for granted. Since every day we wake up is a day we're alive, it's easy to stop recognizing it as an incredible thing. It's easy to stop thinking about what a marvelous chance each day is. It's simple to just fall into monotony, day in and day out. 

But. 

You are alive. 

I'm saying this to myself just as much as I'm saying it to you: Please, please, please view this as the precious gift that it is. Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Stop worrying about things that won't matter a month from now. You are too precious to waste your time like that. 

You are alive. 

What a gift that is. 
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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Things I Believe in This Week.


That willpower + stubbornness are a pretty powerful combo. || We're now TWO (and a half!) WEEKS into the whole no sugary creamer situation. This might seem like a small accomplishment to you, but I assure you, it is not. I also assure you it has been accomplished sheerly out of stubbornness to prove to myself that I could do it. Because it feels really good to put your mind to something and decide to stick to it, and then actually stick to it. 

Breaks. || Coffee breaks, book breaks, walk-around the block breaks, sit and stare at the ceiling breaks. When you're busy, taking a few minutes and some deep breaths can make all the difference. 

Supporting the heck out of the people in your life. || My dad called me last week to tell me that he liked a blog post of mine. One of my friends texted me this week saying she was proud of me. One of my best friends is sad about going back to work after her maternity leave, so I sent her flowers. All the simplest actions, all mean so much. Life is hard, but feeling supported by the people in your life makes it so much better. It doesn't have to be big gestures or take a lot of time. Just be supportive!

Summer. || No matter how old I get, summer always feels like a bit of a break from real life. Adventure and pool days and fresh watermelon, does it get any better? While Florida may be in the middle of a rainy week (OVER IT), I'm still feeling the excitement and overall happiness that summer brings every year. I love it so much. 

What do you believe in this week?
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Coming in Live: Thoughts on Being a Mom.


I love a good live blog. I woke up way too early today and Jack is still sleeping peacefully sprawled all over my personal space, snoozing away next to me, so it seems like a perfect morning to type one out. 

I was sitting in the bathroom the other day while Jack splashed around, laughing. He's at an age where he's big enough to want to give himself a bath, but not big enough to be left alone in the tub. It's easier for me, it's harder for me. He loves baths, so I spend a lot of time sitting on the bathroom floor, watching him be amused and enamored by shampoo bubbles in a way that only a two-year-old can. 

Anyway, I'm sitting on the floor when I have this thought-becoming a parent is one of the few things in life that takes one single moment and instantly changes all of the rest of your moments, forever. 

I became a mom and, suddenly, every single moment after that was filled with Jack. My Tuesday nights are filled with the same things-workouts, group texts, cooking dinner-but they're also filled with sitting on the bathroom floor, making sure he's safe in the bathtub. Even when I'm not with him, he's still changed my moments-I'm in charge of leaving him with someone responsible, of checking in, of eventually going back to get him. 

It's exhausting. 

And fun. 

And joyful.
     
And terrifying. 

And hilarious. 

And exhausting. 

Someone asked me the other day, "Do you enjoy being a mom?" And I found it hard to answer. Not because I didn't know the answer, but because it has never occurred to me as a question. It felt like someone asking me, "Do you enjoy being female?" Or, "Do you enjoy having been born in America?" Things that just are. I just am. 

From the moment Jack was born, I became his mom. I just am his mom, always. No matter where I am or what I'm doing. 

I get a lot of comments about how it's cool that I don't let being a mom be the only part of my identity. That I do things other than only "mom things." And while that's true (and I think so important), in everything I do, I'm his mom. 

I just am. 

I think a big perception of becoming a parent is that suddenly, you are just a parent. Your identity becomes singular and the list of things you can't do anymore becomes long. But that's not true. You are everything that you were, everything you want to be and a parent. 

My identity didn't shrink to just one thing, it expanded in everything I already was by double. 

I think that's pretty cool. 
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Monday, May 21, 2018

Rainy Day Coffee Date.


Happy Monday! We're having the dreariest, rainiest weather over here (anyone else?) and it seems like the perfect day to curl up with a cup of coffee and catch up. 

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you. . .

. . .that I legitimately have bad luck. I just do. I got a brand new phone in February and bought Apple care. I cracked my screen a few weeks ago, so decided to go get it repaired on Friday. When I came back to pick up my phone, everyone was really weird to me and then said, "uhhh let me just get a manager." 

The manager informed me that they'd broken my phone while trying to fix the screen. Like, the whole phone. "So we're giving you a new phone! Here ya go!" Which, in theory, is nice...but I didn't need a new phone! Mine was perfect other than the cracked screen! 

I got in my car and realized my phone won't connect to anything...can't make a call, send a text, nothing. So I go back into the store, and they tell me, "Oh that's a provider issue, go to the Sprint store." 

Which is, of course, words that everyone wants to hear on their day off. 

Long story short, these people got rid of my phone without turning it off, so my new phone wouldn't connect to my number, and it was the BIGGEST PAIN. Next time I'm just keeping the cracked screen. 

...that I'm on a tea kick. I go through phases with tea. I'll buy all of the tea and drink several cups a day, then I'll go months without drinking any. But I'm in a big tea phase right now, specifically, this tea. It tastes like Christmas dessert and is the coziest drink. 

...that it feels like it's been raining for 87 days and nights and I am ready for the sun to come back. Rain is just part of summers in Florida, but it usually is about 20 minutes in the afternoon, not the whole dang day. I miss my pool days! 

....that I've got vacation coming up. We're going back to the place we went last year and I CANNOT WAIT.  I think Jack will love it even more this year. Counting down to nachos by the pool and splashing around with my little bub!

Your turn! What's going on with you? 

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Friday, May 18, 2018

The Good Old Days.


When I walked out of my last final of college, I sobbed the whole way back to my dorm. It was a creative writing class, taught by a man I had grown to deeply love and admire. As I realized that would be my last day with him, that no one was going to be there to talk about my writing, to teach me how to write, to force me to write, my heart hurt. 

Pulling away from graduation, I couldn't stop crying because for a year, I had eaten dinner with my best friend every single night. For a year, she'd been a few steps away. We'd gotten ready together and drank coffee together and lived daily life together for a year, and that was over. 

In hindsight, college was the best. Being forced to read poetry and write stories and study authors, I miss that. I fiercely miss the community, the friendship, my best friend living with me. Those were the good old days. 

When we lived in Orlando, I had more fun than I've maybe ever had in my life. There were rooftop pools and Sunday brunches. Bars and restaurants in walking distance. A group of close-knit friends. We had family dinners, danced on rooftops, drank champagne on Fridays at the pool. When I think about that time and those people, I miss it and them so much my stomach hurts. Those were the good old days. 

Right now, as I'm typing this on my phone, I'm sitting outside watching Jack laugh and splash around in our backyard. He keeps looking over at me smiling. We shared a popsicle earlier. It's a simple and beautiful and sticky and perfect day. I know that these are the good old days. 

I also know they won't last forever. I know one day I'll look back and miss them so much. 

But here's the thing...I've had so many good old days. So many good seasons have come on gone. Started and finished. Because the thing about the good days is that you don't get to have them all at once. 

When we moved from Tennesse, it broke my heart. But had we never moved, I never would have fallen in love with Florida (CAN YOU IMAGINE?!). If high school days had lasted forever, I never would have met my best friends, or fallen in love with writing the way I did in college. Had that season never ended, I wouldn't have had the dancing on rooftops in Orlando nights. 

Friendships. Travels. Marriage. Jack. Melbourne. Orlando. Gainesville. People. Places. Experiences. 

So many good old days. 

Sometimes you know when a season is over, and sometimes you don't. Sometimes you get the finality of walking out of a place for the very last time, and sometimes you look up from life and realize it's been months since you spoke to that person, or years since you've been to that place. 

I guess what I'm saying is this: There is good in every season, and every season ends. With enough time and hindsight, every season becomes the good old days. 

So live in your moment. Live lightly. Don't cling so dearly to what you're enjoying that you might miss the next wave of goodness. 

Reflect on the life you've lived so far with fondness and thankfulness, but don't idolize it. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, and all that. Enjoy the present, but don't cling too tightly to it. Look forward to the future, but don't count down to it so much you miss the life around you. Live your moments. Cherish them. After all, these are the good old days. 

They all are. 
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