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Tag: life

Funny Things

mom-time

I don’t fancy myself a comedian, but I know that sometimes I can elicit a laugh, a chuckle, a torrent of laughter. On Friday I met up with a dear old friend for lunch, an early birthday celebration of sorts. It was nice to just chat and watch Dessi crack up at my quips that fall flat most days on my toddler’s ears.

We’re both moms now, she further ahead than I, but both of us are very much still stumbling through it. We texted about a week ahead to set up the date after so many other failed plans. I had to ask my friend Teri to babysit Rory. (My mother in-law, who has been gracious enough to spend time with my kid for a couple of hours a week has been unable to for a while now due to a broken leg.) It’s possible that getting a babysitter for a mere hour long lunch date is lost on many people—I can hear you asking, “Why not just take your kid with you?” Because, I wanted to actually enjoy and eat my lunch, not spend the whole time cutting up Rory’s food only so he can lob it at me or the floor when he decides five minutes after the meal arrives that he’s done eating.

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Thoughts on Living Intentionally this Holiday Season

promise to be gentle to yourself this holiday season

Thanksgiving is upon us, followed closely by Christmas and then the New Year. It’s the season where we’re thinking deeply about gratitude and self-reflection, but it’s also be a time where material things take center stage, and the comparison game gets all too easy to play at holiday gatherings. There’s a push and a pull to every thought and emotion I have—I want to create memories with my family, but they may not be Pinterest or Instagram worthy; I want to give thoughtful gifts, but I have severe budget and time constraints; I want to be a great hostess and do everything from scratch, but I want to have the time to enjoy myself at my own party; I want to answer questions about what I do all day with pride, but I struggle with feeling like I’m enough.

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A New Take on Porcupine Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes

I’ve really missed cooking these last several weeks while our house has been on the market. I still keep up my weekly meal planning, but the cooking we do is very simple, requires no recipes, and is often done in batches to reduce the amount of cleaning we have to do. The kind of cooking I miss is cooking from recipes with specific ingredients and measurements, but also the kind of cooking that is completely improvisational. I miss cooking on the fly—looking in my refrigerator and coming up with something that may or may not work out. I did both kinds of cooking a lot before my son was born.

Meal time back then could be a risk, an adventure of sorts, because the stakes were low. If something didn’t work out or I didn’t love a new recipe, oh well. Sometimes we didn’t even finish our leftovers. (Shh, don’t tell!) But now meal time is serious business. I want to get in and out of the kitchen quickly, I want a high yield, but I also want to not get so sick of leftovers that I feel the need to order a pizza. That’s asking a lot of myself as a cook, if I’m being really honest.

But I’ve been in a rut lately. We’ve subsisted on leftovers plus a rotisserie chicken all week. Yesterday I just felt tired and unmotivated. I had a pack of ground turkey and no ideas about how I could cook it that would make me excited to eat it. The menu plan called for turkey chili, but I also leaned towards turkey burgers since I had a handful of frozen buns. My mind kept wandering to a craving for meatballs, porcupine meatballs made with Rice-a-Roni, to be exact. I told myself all the reasons this was a bad idea: it’s not a quick meal to cook, I didn’t even have Rice-a-Roni, and the recipe makes a mess (or rather I do when I cook it).

I decided to go for it anyway and just make it up as I went along.

turkey-meatballs-with-purple-smashed-potatoes
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How to Recover After a Stressful Season and Live Well When Life is in Limbo

I’ve been struggling again and I worry that I rely too much on Sesame Street to entertain my kid while I make food or put on makeup. I shared previously some tips on how to manage stress when you feel like you don’t have any free time, so I thought I’d write a follow-up post about how recover after a stressful season and how to keep living life even when everything is in limbo.

I feel like so many things were put on pause while we got ready to put our home on the market. Though we have no real timeline for the move, we know it’s imminent. In the first few weeks our place was listed, we had multiple showings and open houses and I was just trying to survive, but now things have quieted down into a slower pace and I feel ready to be part of the world again.

One of the key things I advocated in my post was simplifying during times of stress or particularly busy seasons and figuring out what commitments you can forgo while you’re under pressure. But what happens when your schedule isn’t so tight anymore and you feel like you have room to breathe again? Do you just revert back to the way things were before? Or maybe you’re living a new normal and you have to figure out what you want your life to look like now.

five tips for recovering from a stressful season and living well when life is in limbo

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Kindness and Friendship

even the smallest gestures of kindness can bring us back from the darkest places

I have been working my bum off to get our condo listed, and it finally will be next week! Phew. I couldn’t have done it without the amazing support and encouragement from my family and friends.

Stress, anxiety, and fear have a way of giving us tunnel vision, but even the smallest gestures of kindness can bring us back from the darkest places. I have received beautiful comments, a thoughtful card, and an amazing care package from various friends. They all touched me, lifted me up, and brought me to tears (that’s what happens when you’re running on caffeine and sheer force of will). My parents came through for me in a big way when I got to my breaking point. We couldn’t have gotten our place ready without them. I’ve even become better about asking for help from my in-laws.

I sent out a bat signal and so many people answered it. And why did so many people answer it with their time, help, support, meals, and cups of coffee? I’d like to think they’re just returning the love I put out there in the world. Thank you, you lovely humans.

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Take Back Time for Yourself

it's okay to say no until you're ready to say i can't wait

Last week I shared that I’ve been really struggling with our impending move, and it felt really good to unload. Unfortunately, my body decided to completely shut down in response to the stress. I got a nasty cold/sinus thing, and it pretty much knocked me on my ass since last Thursday. I haven’t left the house other than for essential appointments, errands, and coffee runs. I felt like a zombie.

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Sometimes You Have to Pay Yourself in Lattes

 

sometimes you have to pay yourself in lattes (1)

It’s been a challenging couple of weeks in my casa. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but a move has been in the works for a while now.

We’ve had some setbacks, and it’s been a real bummer. I think people mistake an unprompted move as a statement against the community or city in which you live. But my town is undeniably beautiful, with a lot of remarkable perks. If money were no object, we’d probably stay, but we live in the real world where things like the cost of housing, food, child care, and education are outpacing our earnings. We have a lot more family and friends in Northern California, the cost of living is more affordable, and my partner has the opportunity to work remotely. It makes perfect sense that we would sell our one bedroom condo and move, but that doesn’t mean that the process is easy or without considerable pain.

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Three Things to Remember When You Don’t Meet Your Goals

I’ve been working all week on a different post, but the more I wrote the more I struggled to keep the point cogent. I decided that this is the post that actually needed to get written. So, before the week ends I just wanted to put something out there: it’s okay when things don’t work out. It’s okay to put a project on pause and revisit it when you have more time and energy. It’s alright if you set a goal and don’t reach it, and it’s fine if you don’t accomplish one of the many items on your to-do list.

Three Things to Remember When You Don't Meet Your Goals. Forgive and Forget. Adjust Your Expectations. Keep Things Simple.

Here are three things to remember when you don’t meet your goals:

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Returning to Work, Part II: Five Things to Do When You’re Struggling

This is part two in my series about maternity leave, returning to work, and my decision to be a stay at home mom. You can read part one here.

five things to do when you're really struggling

When I was really struggling with finding a work-life balance, I looked at a million blog entries and posts across the web—some helped and some made me feel even worse for not having my shit together. I found a lot of great suggestions about how to manage stressful mornings, how to handle the financial pressure of having a newborn (read: child care expenses), how to do meal prep on the weekends to make dinnertime less frantic—but what I needed was a more manageable path toward self-care. I was stretched too thin, and ultimately I found the pace I had set for myself to be unsustainable. Whether or not you’re a new parent, we’ve all experienced tough times and stressful transitions. These tips are universal, but I am approaching them through the lens of a former full-time mom and worker and currently as a stay at home mom.

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Five Lessons Learned from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Five Lessons Learned from the life changing magic of tidying up

Some of the following include Amazon affiliate links and Birchbox referral links, which means that if you click on one of the links and make a purchase, I’ll receive a percentage of that sale at no cost to you or points for a referral. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For a full disclosure statement see my About page.

I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in December, and then in early January my husband and I began to tackle our home. We fully purged our clothes, books, and papers. We got about three-quarters way through komono, a Japanese term for miscellany, the broadest category, and we have yet to complete the tidying process with her most difficult categories—sentimental items and photos.

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