Current Thoughts: August 2018

Just booked an Air BNB for our anniversary and I am PUMPED! We are going to spend a few days in Asheville, NC. I haven't been to the mountains since I was pregnant. While I can't wait to take Babycakes someday, that area is kind of becoming a lovey/romantic space in my mind- it was one of our first overnight trips as a couple, then our honeymoon, then our's nice. I grew up visiting that area, and it is forever imprinted on my soul. I've been wanting to visit for a while, and now that we have concrete plans I am sooooo ready! It's several months away but hey, I'm still excited.

My teacher opened our Blackboard class before the official start of Fall semester, so I'm trying to take advantage of it. I did not not do this in the summer class and it might have been useful. All PowerPoint notes have been formatted and printed. Erasers purchased, and pens still full of ink from summer classes so I'm basically ready. I can't read ahead because my book is partially paid for by my employer so it is released very close to the official first day of class, which is a while away. I'll have to pay for the online access myself, which sucks because it is ridiculously expensive- but that is what all our homework is from and if it's the same as my last class that used the online HW, it will hopefully assist in keeping my grade up. Trying to focus on the positive.

Babycakes might be one of those people who loves hard and quickly. I took her to a FiA workout the other night and there were some slightly older girls, maybe 6-8ish, who played with her on the playground while I worked out. I am so thankful for this precious little ones who "watched" my even little-er one so I could socialize and exercise. By the end of the workout Babycakes was sitting next to one of the girls with her arm around her and stroking her hair! Bahaha. I think the little girl was okay with it...and she has hung out with Babycakes 1-2 before but still, it was adorable and also a little intense how much my kid quickly attached to her (she told me at one point "My little girl! Go to your mat!"). I mentioned this to a friend and she went "Oh hope that's not a problem when she starts dating," which to be honest I hadn't even considered and could potentially be problematic I guess. But as someone who has seen so many friendships fail in my life...I kind of like the idea of Babycakes being all-in on her relationships- I could use a friend like that.

 Speaking of Babycakes: I've talked a lot about my mental struggles after having a baby, but I don't know how to really properly explain the fun of having a toddler. Yes, she comes with a magnificent attitude (the phrase I most commonly hear is: She definitely knows what she wants/is very sure of herself). BUT she is really funny and she's super into music lately* and she's starting to "pretend" and it's the best. Women especially are told that it's babies that are irresistible...but babies aren't my thing, and it's okay if they aren't yours. Baby-ness lasts about a year. After that, you are stuck with an actual child, a tiny little human with an individual personality and that is totally worth dealing with all the baby-drama. So if you are unsure about parenthood because you don't like babies, try hanging out with kids of various ages. See how all those different ages feel. You are signing up for way more than a year of baby, and for me that's a great thing.
*Hubs listens with her ALL THE TIME because he does not want her to end up like her rhythm-less mama

 Rewatching Dr. Who and, not sure if I mentioned it yet...but I cannot stand Clara. She came in after Amy & Rory, who are my top fave companions ever, so I tried to recognize that. And I thought Martha was super bland at first but grew to love her, so I've tried rewatching and sitting with her character for a while. But nope, she's sucks. In a lot of different ways. I may write a full and complete rant about this someday...anyway, I google'd, because surely I'm not the only person who felt this way, and apparently Jenna Coleman almost left the show several times and then ended up staying. This actual makes a lot of sense because there were times they could have done something interesting with the character and then it fell apart.

The Kind of Person I'm Trying to Be

photo by Easton Oliver on Unsplash


I'm trying to be the kind of person...

-who doesn't avoid something just because it's difficult

-who accepts help

-who forces people to remember that rock bottom is something to be avoided, not something to reach before admitting there is a problem

-who stays organized

-who prays for peace and serenity to accept the things she cannot change

-who has courage to the things the change she can

-who DGAF that she just quoted the cheesy Serenity Prayer because at this point in my life, if something helps you do what you gotta do and doesn't cause anyone else problems, fucking do it proudly

-who remembers the above statement when people do things I don't understand

 -who works out consistently, and says "Bless Your Heart" to past me who thought people only worked out for vanity...when in reality the benefits are incredibly broad and slightly different for everyone

-who lets herself be pleasantly surprised (very hard for a control freak)

-who remembers that all things, both good and bad, are only of a is constantly changing, and we do better riding the waves than fighting them

Authentic versus Fake It Till You Make It

original hoto by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash [formatted via Canva]

There seems to be a big focus on authenticity lately. And I completely get that, to a point.

But I struggle because y'all, I fake it A LOT. 

I fake being friendly. I fake being comfortable with social situations.

Probably not well. I probably still come off super weird and awkward.

But if I didn't fake it, I wouldn't do it at all.

I try to be honest. I try to say "Yeah, this is uncomfortable for me." But if all I focused on was being authentic, if all I focused on was being "true to me," I wouldn't do shit.

I wouldn't be able to forgive my husband when he pissed me off, because my authentic reaction is "Fuck you, dude." I wouldn't have friends, because my authentic instinct is to go "Ugh, people."

I don't know how people balance authenticity with growth.

It seems like a lot of people can almost argue against staying the same because it is the "authentic" thing to do, and why would you be fake?

Well, because I'm an imperfect person. Because I don't want to be exactly who I am at this moment. 

I want to grow. And sometimes that means tamping down my instincts and acting the way I think is right- the way that falls in lines with my principles- instead of the way I want to act based on emotion.

I'm sure, like most things, there is a balance. But I don't hear it talked about. 

And I think focusing solely on authenticity can lead to harsh words, sarcasm, and a lack of self-control...because those things are easy, and those things are the instincts of many humans.

Honesty is good. But pure honesty, all the time?

No, that's not my goal.

What I feel isn't always best. It's important for me to give myself time to process those feelings, but it's also important to look past them.

Show Us Your Books Link-Up: August 2018

Best bloggy day of the month! Linking up per usual with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books. Been using the hell out of the library and loving it. On to the books!

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond
I don't even really know how to talk about this book. It was talked about a lot, probably here on the SUYB link-up...and maybe that was part of the problem. It's bibliophile heresay, but I feel like this would have been a better movie than book. The pacing was just awkward. Also, Alice was somewhat of a manic-pixie-dream-girl in reverse which got annoying after a while.
A Tyranny of Petticoats, edited by Jessica Spotswood
This is my favorite book of the month! It is sooooo wonderful. It's a collection of short stories from different YA authors. Each story features a young-ish woman in America, starting around the time of the Revolution and going through the 1970s-ish. Time progresses as you go through the book, but the stories are completely different except they feature women and take place in America. It's such an interesting read and I highly recommend. 

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
This was fun, a little cheesy in some parts. Similar in style to something like the Shopaholic or Gossip Girl series in the sense that it's centered around money and class. I thought the mentions of religion were an interesting addition. I'd read the rest of the series, but I'm not in a rush. And will probably see the movie. 

So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta
This will be a fun ready for anyone who is a fan of Retta, I love her from Parks & Rec and am trying to figure out how to see her new show Good Girls (not on Netflix or Prime, wtf?!). Didn't know she spent time in NC (Duke graduate) so that was fun. 

Christian fiction can often be super cheesy and bland to read. This one thankfully is not. I like that it addresses diversity, both within racial/cultural aspects and within the Christian faith (and the intersections of those). It also addresses family dynamics, including foster care/adoption, and sobriety and class and overall I am enjoying it. Will likely read the rest of the series.

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

Life According to Steph

A Little Slice of Peace

Last night, I was slightly hungry before bed. My go-to for this situation is often chocolate milk. It's simple and cheap enough that I always have the ingredients (I use that term lightly) and just filling enough that I can go to sleep comfortably.

I didn't need a lot, though, so for my glass I used a small tumbler. This weekend the girls from my church small group had a girl's night, and did this Pinterest project for painting glasses. We talked and painted and baked and talked and ate pizza and cookies. It was a great night with female friends and it made me happy to use the glass.

Then I went to read in bed. I like reading relatively light-hearted books before bed, or re-reads where I can rest comfortably with foreknowledge. So I decided to start re-reading the Harry Potter series again.

I snapped a quick pic to send to my friends who I decorated the glass with, as a fun reminder of the night and to say thanks again.

When I went to post it...I smiled. This calm descended on me...or maybe it was already there. I was just so...peaceful. I was happy, and content, and I just felt good.

It's been a while since I could feel's been a while since I could feel it, and recognize it, without anxiety immediately making me think "Oh no this won't last," even as it slips away.

But this picture makes me feel it. It keeps that feeling deep in my soul, which has felt so weary over the past few years.

I haven't been blogging a lot lately, and I thought about apologizing or at least addressing that. But I'm feeling good, you guys. And I'm not apologizing for anything that is leading to me feeling good. This picture is proof that something is going right, and that I have a good life.

And maybe that sounds silly to some people. A nearly 30 year old woman drinking chocolate milk and reading Harry Potter isn't exactly cool or mature or setting the world on fire. But I wager that many people who struggle with anxiety or depression or just a bad fucking day will understand what an immeasurable blessing it is to feel peaceful in your soul.

 I stopped reading, stopped posting, and said a prayer of thanks.

I am thankful for peace, I am thankful for salvation, I am thankful for determination, I am thankful for hope, I am thankful for friends...I am thankful to be at a rest stop in life. Regardless of how small or how long it lasts, last night was a beautiful moment of peace.