Photo by Evan Krause on Unsplash, edited with Canva

Don't get me wrong, I have friends. I have a church group that I see every week (when we're not all sick since most of us now have tiny humans now that bring home ALL THE GERMS), I have online friends, I have friends who are wives of my husband's friends that I like.

But I don't feel like I have a best friend. I don't have an Ann Perkins, or an Amy Farah Fowler.

I don't have an unconditional bestie, but it sounds awesome. Here's my BFF profile, if you're interested! Because I am definitely on the market (in that respect).

Name: Brittany
Age: Late 20s
Height/Build/Appearance: Shortie, Average size, Lots of brown (hair & eyes)
Marital Status: Happily Married
Children: 1 Daughter
Religion: Christian
Political Leaning: Liberal, but dear God what the world needs is moderation
Likes: Lots & lots of books, Netflix, whiskey, spending time outside, visiting new places
Dislikes: The sound of people eating, refusal to respect ideas/opinions outside of your own, scary movies
Hobbies: Reading, working out, crafty things
Five words to describe myself: take charge, introspective, interested, reliable
How other people would describe me: dependable, helpful, caring
What I am looking for in a BFF: Someone who is always up for talking about random things- books, movies, TV, current events. Someone who does not expect perfection, but does challenge me to make sure I am living according to my values. Someone who does not expect me to sugar-coat my opinions just because they do not agree with them. Someone who likes to get out of the house & do things. Someone who respects my faith and does not feel that booze or swearing is at odds with it. Someone who respects my child and dogs and marriage- those are important things and I WILL talk about them, but not only them.
On our first friend date: We could hit a local coffee shop or brewery and maybe go on a walk around the park. I really like to walk, FYI...

What would your BFF profile say?

Add It To My List: April 2018

 Link-up creators are Lauren from Eat, Drink, & Be Lauren and Bre from Bre Writes. Basically, they are always recommending things to each other- podcasts, television shows, music, blah blah blah. And they figured- why not share even further?

  • How to be a Mormon Feminist (Unladylike Podcast)
    • While this story doesn't have the happiest of endings, I appreciate seeing the intersection of feminism and religion. It's not something you see much of but it's something I personally deal with a lot.
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime Original TV Show)
    • From the creator of Gilmore I'm basically destined to love it. I know she's been called out for many problematic things and I totally acknowledge that, but there's still a lot to love here.
  • Resistance Series: Resistance in the Bible from Truth's Table
    •  This is a new podcast for me, and in my true form I'm starting from the beginning. This post is a bit old but I love the discussion of the Resistance and the Biblical inspirations Christians can pull from. 
    • This is a podcast specifically for Black Christian women- I only hit two of the three demographics but it's really refreshing to hear modern women talk about faith so earnestly and honestly and faithfully and realistically and while I'm only a few episodes in I'm LOVING it so far.
  • Set the World on Fire or Don't. It's Your Life by Stephanie at Life According to Steph.
    • Beautiful post about how women can be amazing leaders who shatter glass ceilings- or stay home and lead a "regular" life. I've been thinking of this a lot lately. It's amazing to see all these women fight back against adversity and be lauded for it- but being SPECTACULAR should not be a criteria for respect. Basic existence is enough. 
  • Rich by Maren Morris
    • Not sure why, I've heard this song before but for some reason it's suddenly become my JAM. Love love lovin' it.

What have you been loving lately? Link-up & let us know!

The Trope I Am So Grateful For

Photo by Rupert Britton on Unsplash

The past few years have been...interesting, for me. And for the world, really. Media is ever present and also ever dissected and criticized. I learned about tropes through YouTube & blogging reviews- this was probably discussed in an English class somewhere, but I forgot about it or didn't hear it called a trope specifically. 

Another word for trope is kind of...stereotype. Or super-common idea. And they are usually talked about in a mostly negative way. I've seen people call it lazy writing, I've seen it said that it ignores the complexity of humans by focusing on one aspect of a character's personality- and I see that point.

But I think they are also super useful sometimes. 

A trope that personally pulled a lot of strength from as a pre/teen was the Not Like Other Girls trope.

I was a child in the 90s, and it definitely felt like there were expectations about how a girl should act and think and be. To be clear, I am confident that this was not a transgender issue- it wasn't that I wanted to be a boy in any way. I just didn't want to do a lot of the traditionally girly stuff all the time.
So when I read books about girls who were girls but not girly, I enjoyed it. Today there is a big push to acknowledge that girly does not mean bad- and I fully support that! I've been guilty of dismissing people just because they are pretty or interested in fashion, and I regret that.

But I am personally so grateful that there were stories around that said "You don't have to be traditionally feminine for a straight guy to think you, a straight girl, is pretty and attractive and hey, weird can be good." 

*I specify straight because at that time "gay" was used as a negative and kind of hung around as a "threat" for weirdos- which is hugely unfair to many people and ignorant in many ways. 

That sounds so stupid now, in 2018. But in 1998? in 2005, even? There weren't a lot of those things being said, at least not where I could see them (ie mainstream media) and I needed that to be said. Yes, it sucks that it ended up hurting people or adding to the stereotype that girly=bad, but it also had a really positive effect on me.

And it is because I saw those examples and learned to be comfortable with myself that I can now lift other women up and recognize their right to be however they want to be. 

I remember how boxed in I felt, and also how much privilege I still had, and don't want anyone to feel that way.

So here's to tropes that serve a purpose- maybe not always the best, but certainly a stepping stone for those of us who need them.

Current Thoughts: April 2018

  • Got my wisdom teeth out, and it wasn't terrible! I wasn't put under, because I didn't want to spend 250$. But I did get the laughing gas...probably didn't even need it, because the real champion is the numbing agents. 

  • I bought myself jeans for the first time since Babycakes was born! I've bought/been gifted leggings, but no jeans. Somehow my jeans and shoes have started to not fit, either they are too big OR too small but nothing fits right (just call me Goldilocks). Anyway, holy cow I forgot how amazing a new, properly fitting pair of jeans can make you feel. Also bought some new shoes and dresses because I need clothes.
    • Does anyone else just binge on clothes? I feel like I NEVER shop for clothes, until I absolutely have driven myself crazy with being unhappy with the state of my closet then I get multiple things at once, and am done for a year or so. 
  • Hubby is finally starting his new job this month! PRAISE JESUS!!! Between my wisdom teeth recovery, the Easter holiday, the resulting visits from the parentals, and his wonky schedule with leaving the old job and training for the new job...I have no clue what day it is or what is going on. I've apologized to my supervisor for this, I have let my kid watch way too much TV...but I am just totally off my routine. We'll get back there, but I'm not worrying about it right now. Too much is going on. 

  • I finally started watching Downton Abbey, which is fantastic. Just got to the part where the war started...I get help but noticed how it affects every aspect of life. It's a stark contrast to the extreme distance most Americans have between the war(s) we are/have been in. While I am not a fan of war by any means, I can't help but wonder how our (American) perspectives would change if it was our backyard that was the was the battlefield. 
    • Also, I always forget that all war stories forever and always will make me cry and pull on the heartstrings.
  •  My final exam is this month, which seems crazy fast but I'm SO excited for a break in school. I take one class a semester- because that's what my employer pays for ;) Can't imagine doing more.

What's up with you lately?

    Three Things: Favorite Kids Books

    Let's keep the book theme going for the week! This month's 3 Things are my favorite kids books. 

    As regular readers know, I have a tiny child. I've been reading to Babycakes pretty much since she popped out (and a little before that). She gets free books through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and we swap books through our local used bookstore which has a trade-in program (LOVE that). She also gets books for holidays...a family member said at Christmas "Well I didn't know what to get her, but I knew you would appreciate books." You're welcome, Babycakes- Mama is ensuring you are showered with books. I hope you never stop loving that.

    Here's some of our favorites!

    by Adam Wallace, illustrated by Andy Elkerton
    My in-laws got this book for Babycakes, no clue where. But it's totally adorable! I love that the main Tooth Fairy in the story looks like a punkish Amelia Earhart, I love that the other tooth fairies are different races/colors, as are the kids featured in the books. I love that it specifically talks about a female whose job includes lots of travel and having fun. I love that it, however loosely, encourages STEM creativity by showing different types of kid-created "traps." It's totally adorable.

    by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Omar Lozano
    This book is super cute. I love that it equates being kind and honest and admitting when you need help as equal to being brave and smart when it comes to being heroic. Also, it features a little girl in a hijab on the playground saying "Girl Power" which is something that warms my heart every time because...well, it wasn't in the books I was reading as a kid.

    by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Sam Williams
    This is the book that ended up providing Babycake's bloggy nickname! It's one of the ones from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. It has cute rhymes with actions (kiss on the nose, clap, sing, etc) that make it fun to read and act out.

    What are you favorite books to read with kids, or what were your favorites to read when YOU were a kid?

    Show Us Your Books Link-Up: April 2018

    It's the best day of the month!!! Bloggy-wise anyway, in my humble opinion. It's the day of the Show Us Your Books link-up, where we talk about all the good/bad/ugly books we've read in the past month.

    I will probably end up doing a separate post and specific blog review, deserves it. But the short version that I put on Goodreads right after finishing is:
    This book made me feel A LOT OF FEELINGS. It’s an honest and plain look at poverty and family and pride and conformity and nonconformity and values and self-sufficiency and addiction and determination and culture. It examines a life that we rarely read or hear about, but that many people in America live daily. It acknowledges the good, bad, and ugly- which is important because all people and lives have a little of each.  

    I enjoyed this book...but I didn't love it. Decent family drama...some things were done well and others could have been handled much better- well, not even better but more in depth. It passed the time fine until the end which really pissed me off. The author may have been trying to do something worthwhile but it feel incredibly flat to me. Passed the time okay but don't rush to it. 

    Maureen Johnson is awesome on Twitter, let's just get that out of the way. I became aware of her through John Green, and enjoyed one of her earlier books. I was halfway spoiled on this, mainly because I didn't know it was the first in a series. Someone online commented about guessing the "big twist" leading to the next book so I kept trying to guess the twist or see if it really was that easy and I hate doing that. I generally don't try to see what's happening in a book, I prefer to just let it happen without too much expectation. So that warped my view- but overall this was a really interesting story and I will definitely pick up the rest of the series. It's sort of a Sherlock-meets-Harry Potter-meets-Breakfast Club YA, and I dug it.
    This is the final book in the Paper Magician trilogy. It has been a while since I read the first two books, but I saw this at the library and wanted to finish the set. It was really enjoyable, as the first two were. The world and ways of magic are really interesting, and I almost wish there would be more. Definitely feel like there is a lot more that could be written, and also a little curious about Bennett & Mg. Prit...

    What have you been reading this month? 
    Link-up & let us know!
    Life According to Steph

    Things You Weren't Wondering

    What would a mirror opposite of yourself be like?
    Super stylish and trendy, loves being in the spotlight, not interested in other people or the world in general...basically a Kardashian I think?

    Which of your scars has the best story behind it?
    I get much more bruises than scars, because apparently I'm a peach. But I have a tiny scar on my chin where a friend was spinning me around as a teenager and then let go and I fell into a doorjam and cracked it. It bled a lot, he felt super bad, and I now have a scar.

    What's the title of the current chapter in your life?
    Oh my gosh, WHERE IS IT?! (I can't stop loosing things- seriously- I am missing like 3 very important things this year alone).

    What's the hardest lesson you've learned?
    People's comments and opinions say waaaaaay more about them than about you.

    What mistake do you keep making over and over?

    No one- ever- thinks about things as much as I do and therefore they just do not care and my amount of caring is always viewed as freakish/intense/overboard but I always try to talk to them anyway.

    What do people think is weird about you?
    Too long of a list.

    When people look at you, what do you think they see/think?

    My life would be so much easier if I knew the answer to this question. I know very much what I am- but not at all what I project.

    What have you created that you are most proud of?
    My overall life. It's a beauty in so many ways.

    (borrowed from Teh Megan who borrowed it from Brianne)

    Words of the Month: April 2018

    I'm not sure exactly where this quote is from (Katherine from Salty Pineapple has laid claim, now that I google'd). But it's been everywhere lately, and it's speaking to me.

    Partially because, I just really like pineapples and I feel like they have been undervalued as a fruit. It's nice to see them getting recognition.

    Also, pineapples are seen (at least in the South) as a sign of hospitality. I learned this during a trip to Charleston, SC which holds a very lovely place in my heart so I have general good feelings attached to pineapples.

    Finally, this quote has a very summer-y feel and dear sweet baby Jesus I need some summer. SO OVER WINTER.