It hasn’t even been a month since my last “ten things” post, but I feel like I have lived six lives since then.
ONE // Friday Night Lights
I like to watch TV or movies while I’m needlepointing every night. Recently I kind of felt like I either hated everything new or had watched everything I wanted to watch. I was really searching for a show I could sink my teeth into and watch for seasons and seasons…. I have seen Friday Night Lights before, but it’s been years. When it popped up on my Netflix recommendations, I immediately clicked and I was immediately hooked. I loved it when I first watched it, though I didn’t remember a lot of the details. It still holds up after all these years. (Though it’s interesting to watch now as a parent– I think I’m watching the show with an entirely new perspective.)
TWO // New Stocking
Speaking of needlepoint, I landed on a design for Mike’s stocking!! I didn’t realize it was printed (versus hand-painted) when I purchased it and I was quite daunted at first. I have since made some good progress and she’s coming along beautifully. I am obsessed with the nutcrackers. They have so much personality with their crazy hair and fun outfits. My goal is to finish it by Labor Day…. but we will see if I’m able to pull it off. They’re so time consuming and truly end up being a labor of love. I’m happy to have a nice big project to keep me occupied too. Brings so much joy.
THREE // 18 Months
Baby Jack is not-so-much a baby anymore. (But I secretly hope his cousins call him baby Jack forever 💔.) Can you believe he just celebrated his half birthday and turned eighteen months old?! He has definitely been teetering on the edge of toddlerhood, now there’s no denying it though. He’s a toddler and I’m loving it! There are challenges with every stage and this is no different, but I think the rewards of 18 months have to be some of the most magical. Like the other day, we’re driving to gymnastics and all of a sudden he starts singing along to “The Ants Go Marching.” Really singing too. Saying “hurrah! hurrah!” with gusto and adding the “boom boom boom boom” sound effects too. Sometimes it’s hard to see time pass us by… but for the most part I’m loving every new development even more then the last.
FOUR // Jeans
Have you been following my jeans try-on situation? Honestly it’s going better than I expected and I’m (dare I say it) having fun trying on jeans and trying out new brands and styles. I usually hate trying jeans on but this has been a fun experiment. I saved a highlight to my IG story in case you want to catch up. So far I’ve been most impressed by this pair (and this pair for a more budget friendly price point) and then also this new-to-me brand with jeans so soft I couldn’t believe they weren’t leggings!
FIVE // Trying Times
Life has been a little tough lately, honestly. I think all things considered, we’ve kept good attitudes and tried our best to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. (Having a toddler, as exhausting as it can be, helps too. Life just has to keep marching on.) Every time we come up for air a little bit I feel like we get knocked down again. We have soooo many things to be grateful for and we really do have a ton of great things happening, but it’s also been hard, too. Just acknowledging that/this because sometimes it’s weird to be like “wow life is so good! look we have a toddler who is singing and turned 18 months and learned how to jump and climb!” and also at the same time be struggling in a lot of ways too. It’s weird. It’s hard.
SIX // 1000 Hours Outside
Mike and I decided at the beginning of the year that we would attempt the 1000 Hours Outside challenge. I should note that for me, this is a challenge as a mom. Luckily, Jack would happily spend the entire day outside– regardless of weather. We are already seeing benefits though! Our time outside is actually pretty low-key. We’re not going on massive adventures right now– it’s mostly walks around our neighborhood and into town and then playing basketball (we have this little hoop) on the patio. I really hate winter and I definitely dread going outside… I have to admit though, once we’re out I’m fine and I always come back in after and hour or two feeling completely recharged. Additional benefits? The house stays so much cleaner when playtime is outdoors 👏🏻 and we’re getting longer naps too!!
SEVEN // A surprisingly “hard” part of influencing
This is kind of random and it’s not a huge deal, but something that’s been on my mind. While it’s not worth making a whole blog post about it, I do just want to get it off my chest. I’ve been writing this blog for over fourteen years now. I’ve seen a lot. 95% has been incredible– I’ve met some of my closest friends, it’s turned into a full time job for me, I have had the opportunity to work with amazing brands, I have experienced things I never could have dreamed of. But there’s also like a little bit of the job that isn’t so fun. (Which, honestly, feels like a pretty low percentage if you took all jobs/careers into account. Only hating 5%? Not bad.) So to be clear, I love what I do and don’t see myself doing anything else anytime soon.
One of the challenges is that some parts of the job can feel like being back in a high school cafeteria. Popularity is literally an important figure taken into account. While numbers may have bothered me a little bit more when I was in my early twenties (and Instagram/influencing felt more cut throat), I feel like I’m in a pretty good place right now. I have a great, highly engaged audience (love you!!) and, most importantly, I really know who I am– and who I’m not– as an influencer. This is hugely helpful for my business overall. But (!!!), sometimes brands don’t think I’m cool enough (for lack of a better word, just go with it) to work with and it really bothers me. I know I’m not a cool it girl. But… again, I know who I am and what my audience likes…. and I have the numbers to back it up. When brands that I love (and that you love!) blatantly ignore me, it does hurt. It’s probably the high schooler in me feeling like I don’t quite belong all over again, but I can’t deny that I’m not a little hurt!
EIGHT // Surviving Norovirus
Oh my god the norovirus nearly did us in this past weekend. It was probably the worst 24 hours of parenting (which all things considered, we are lucky if a stomach bug is as bad as it’s been), but omg. Thankfully, we were all staggered so no one was at their worst at the same time. It was still horrible and we went through so many loads of laundry and I was Clorox-ing every surface of our house multiple times over. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy!! The scariest part was Friday night, Jack was sick and then I was with him while Mike was handling switching over crib sheets and then I started getting sick (and starting to pass out) while holding Jack. I am not one to ask for help, pretty much ever, and I was screaming to Mike (who went to the basement to get clean sheets out of the dryer “heeeeeeeeeelp!” He came running in and scooped Jack back up, but whew it was a scary few minutes.
NINE // Saying No
I swear I go through phases where I’m so good at saying no and honoring my own boundaries and then other times I am in a major “just say yes to everything!” phase. Right now I’m in a big, “thank you for thinking of me but I can’t right now” phase. I do experience some guilt as I hate letting people down and in an ideal world I would be able to do everything and help everyone and do it all. I just now I don’t have the bandwidth emotionally or, frankly, the time to take on anything additional right now. It is a liberating feeling and I know– maybe soon, maybe further down the road– that I’ll be in a “yes” phase again.
TEN // Recipe Recommendations?!
It’s been on my dream “to do list” to get better about cooking dinner. I’m grateful to have a husband who takes the reins big time when it comes to feeding our family. For a while, I was trying to cook one dish a week…. and then Jack got way more active and I just lost interest in trying to entertain him in the kitchen while I prepped/cooked. But I’m really trying to be better…. Any family favorite recommendations?! Doesn’t have to be gourmet and doesn’t need to be like “one pot easy,” but I would like to avoid crazy unhealthy dinners. (We do enough takeout for those kinds of nights 😉) Merci !